It’s 2016, and We Still Lack Preference for Virtual Meetings. Here’s Why.

Healthcare Apps, Unified Communications, WebRTC, IoT, RFID, Healthcare Solutions

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

With the mobile workforce revolutionizing businesses, both small and large, it’s becoming more conventional to meet our clients and business partners for a quick chat over the wire. While it’s pretty cool to think back to where we were just ten years ago, we’re still not as far as we would think.

In fact, GFK, a firm dedicated to market research in Technology, reveals that only a quarter of U.S. consumers are regularly engaging in digital interaction and consider it just as good as being face-to-face. Overseas consumers reflect similar sentiments.

Globally, women are more apt to welcoming virtual interactions than men. In the United States, it’s the men, who more strongly agree with the fact that meeting face to face is “just as good.”

While it is true that nothing compares to human interaction, one can argue that with collaborative tools, productivity is actually maximized through evolved technologies and real-time communications. One could also argue that corporate dollars are being saved, where they previously splurged on luxurious business trips, both cross-country and cross continental.

Not so surprisingly, only 20-30 percent of all consumers completely disagree. This leaves a majority of overall consumers indifferent. They simply consider it convenient and not a preferred method of communication.

Also not surprisingly, it’s the Millennial and Gen-X consumers are more positive about virtual communications than are the more senior of professionals. Actually, with Gen-X crowds being the largest group of consumers in digital media, it makes sense.

Millennials, while many agree that virtual interactions are “just as good” are more of the adventurous crowd. They’re more social. They are also ultra-sensory, so while digital interaction is amazing, the five senses call for more.

The type of consumer being identified is very important in consideration of this topic. After all, 32-percent of Internet users were reported to be content with finding a lifelong partner through online dating. This number has since increased with the acceptance of virtual communications in every day life.

Some consider business relationships a marriage of two companies, it would only make sense the same would be true amongst business professionals. Perhaps when it comes to money, we are less “open” than when it comes to matters of the heart. We can be over protective, especially when more than just our heart is at stake. It’s the reputation of the business. It’s the funding of our next project. It could be the end of our career.

This may reflect those professionals indifferent to acceptance and preference. They might actually prefer real-time communication and virtual meetings for increased productivity and convenience in the work environment. Confidence in this method, however, may be lacking. Perhaps, empowerment is key to increasing preference amongst the business community; and one day, it really will be just as good.

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Could Phishing Expeditions Stop Cold with Deeper Insight?

VoIP, Partners, SMB Solutions, call center, certification, voip services, voip equipment, Media Processing, hardware, middleware, opensource, SIP, SBC, Wireless, ims, Triple Play, Switching, VoIP Peering, regulation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET SECURITY

Easy Solutions, a fraud protection company, recently did some research into phishing attacks against a Top 25 US Bank during a three-month period. From September of 2015 until December, it seems these “phishermen” were quite busy. What’s most alarming is that these attacks were done during a season that leaves us most vulnerable to attack and where many of us won’t even realize that have been a victim until much later on.

During such a busy time in commerce, many of us won’t even know we were victims until much later down the road. This next bit of information might tell us why.

Easy Solutions broke down over 3,030 cases at just that one bank. What’s most interesting about this finding is that in each case, the common denominator was that each instance targeted around 190 people on average.

If we factor in how many banks there are – not just in the United States, but all over the world – and consider that this is a yearlong plague, we start to see the bigger picture.

Easy Solutions grouped the attacks into three main categories. Parameters were based on how sites were created as well as whether or not the domains are registered – including the domain provider and the location of each server.

The company decided that many of these sites were created as traps, only meant to serve a few stragglers at a time.  These people would accidently stumble upon the site or be directed there through some other devious means. And, it has been proving successful.

Each group of sites were then broken down. Location was a big factor in the next step of the process. Other factors were Whois information, the types of phishkits used and the strategy for getting people to the site.

Daniel Ingevaldson, CTO of Easy Solutions, states, “When institutions can more effectively characterize their attackers, they can then more successfully combat phishing attacks – by tuning consumer education campaigns, changing web site countermeasures, or adjusting risk scoring during phishing campaigns.”

Armed with new information, consumers can better differentiate between a genuine source and a scam. They will know which sites to stay away from, and gain confidence in those that they trust.

In a day where we are including our entire business on a cloud platform, there are still many that refuse to use their credit card online for these purposes. Institutions, such as the IRS, PayPal (NewsAlert) and Bank of America, are repeat victims of fraud. Customers and those who aren’t even affiliated with the organizations are often tricked through scare tactics and extortion strategies.

By understanding the source, it’s easier to shut fraud down – one scammer at a time. By better understanding domains and locations that are frequently associated with this fraud, it’s easier to pinpoint all source of fraud on a regular basis… stopping it cold in its own tracks. 

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ShoreTel Expands Globalization Growth Through HYBRID System and Voxbone Partnership

Unified Communications | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

ShoreTel, provider of unified communications solutions and phone systems, has decided to partner with Voxbone in extending the reach of its Cloud PBX Service. Voxbone is a global provider of virtual local and business-centric telephone numbers, serving both individual and enterprise consumers.

Impacting global expansion strategies, ShoreTel’s partnership with Voxbone will enhance enterprise operations, by allowing clients to be reached by customers outside of their current territories and markets.  

ShoreTel recently launched the Connect CLOUD, providing fully hosted management to benefit collaboration and unified communications experiences. This not only establishes a centralized universe for companies working across continents, but it also allows them to receive direct inward dialing (DID) extensions that facilitate global demand through a carrier-grade network.

Voxbone, an industry choice for many, has partnerships with national carriers all over the world, providing service possibilities to the end-customer.  They not only assign traditional geographic-based numbers, but they also provide regional 800 numbers and the ability to receive text via virtual mobile numbers. This is extremely important for organizations that are switching from strict call center models to contact call centers in keeping with modern progression.

This move also facilitates customer contact through multiple platforms. Delivering the means to communicate through a central source provides continue efficiency and fosters proactivity in the workplace. It also establishes brand trust and loyalty. Which means, ShoreTel is providing clients with more convenient way to serve their customers.

Striving to better serve a globalized workforce, ShoreTel has been working to evolve their solutions in meeting the needs of companies operating in obscure locations and geographical regions, while connecting remote teams throughout.

In other news, the rollout of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID is allowing sites to mix-and-match efforts towards more effective UC deployment. Companies are be able to move all communications within the cloud – or route them to where it most benefits their daily activities. Directory synchronization allows for extension-to-extension dialing, pairing virtual extensions with actual extensions in the physical realm.

“The hybrid architecture is a destination, instead of a transitional strategy,” states Dave Michels, Analyst of UC Strategies.

ShoreTel is taking an initiative in upselling existing solutions by helping companies exceed their current growth and business models. With growth comes the need to upgrade servicing and ShoreTel is working to help them get there.

“Many customers want to take advantage of UCaaS capabilities, and at the same time they want to leverage their existing assets and business processes,” states Eugenia Corrales, SVP of product at ShoreTel. She continues by discussing new subscription-based model targeting the specific needs of each business. “Businesses now have the flexibility to optimize communications services and applications while migrating payments to a subscription-based model.”

A few benefits of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID and the move to integrate Voxbone technologies include little or no expense in:

  • Adding additional offices and office expansions in remote locations
  • Providing seasonal teleworkers with their own extensions without interfering with IT operations
  • Simplifying communications
  • Centralizing communications
  • Transitioning operational models and existing solutions
  • Reaching customers outside existing markets or market reach
  • Providing flexibility in the communications model
  • Protecting sensitive communications and identities of workforce

This shift in solution servicing allows on-site and remote workforces to work together in synch, while facilitating productivity and collaboration in day-to-day business operations. It’s almost like they’re down the hall from each other. 

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Telefonica and Juniper Networks Enforce Rich Content Delivery Through New Infrastructure Delivery

NFVZone, Network Functions Virtualization | TMC Net, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S NFVZONE

Content providers strive to provide the best experience to the end-user. This means speed, resolution and easy access to on-demand content. As content gets bigger, bulkier and part of larger conglomerate of in-demand content, there is often a sacrifice in load times, the amount of content that can be displayed at once and even the availability of content from time to time.

Last week, Telefónica Spain joined forces with Juniper Networks, yet again, to combat the disruptions we often face in content consumption across several channels and platforms. This partnership aims to rollout a new solution in support of enhanced delivery of rich content and cloud-servicing.

Telefónica, service provider to over 329M customers around the world, teams up with Juniper Networks in transforming the current Fusíon Network infrastructure to provide better services to clients through television, high speed Internet and mobile services from a single IP network. The companies aim to better serve enterprises, providing rich cloud services, as well.

One focus of interest is providing better interconnectivity to content providers, content delivery networks and data centers, who rely on such systems to work seamlessly and without interruption. There is nothing worse than losing quality in content during consumption – unless, of course, you are interacting with a customer and trying to provide them with an enhanced customer experience, while showing them why they need your brand. Solid service translates to reliability for a service provider.

Telefónica will provide better service to their enterprise clientele, who are able to provide service to their customers in confidence.

“Our customers expect a fast, always-on, secure experience, as they connect to cloud-based business services, access bandwidth-hungry TV, video and music content for download and streaming, or use social media sites,” states Joaquin Mata, CTO of Telefónica Spain. “Development of a superfast core that can match Fusión Network’s service edge network with scale, reliability and minimal latency, is the next step. Juniper Networks is a valued partner to Telefónica as we drive Spain’s digital transformation forward.”

The two teamed up Last September for a next generation multi-terabit IP/MPLS solution for metro services delivery through the new MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers, covering the entire Fusíon Network.  These routers have provided high performance, scalability and intelligent SDN control. The quality of ingoing and outgoing traffic is enhanced through routing capacity and connectivity in all Internet Exchange locations.

The new addition to the MX series, MX2020, is an industrial-level router, providing clients with over 32Tbps of capacity, feeding millions of consumers at once. With secure and fully redundant architecture, this solution is set to rollout in 2019 and will be automated through Juniper’s proprietary Junos OS system. The network, itself, is highly automated.

The entire MX Series scales up to 80Tbps of system capacity, utilizing the same Junos operating system and powered with a programmable Junos chipset. The newly evolved networks will not change the way television is viewed or how content is consumed, however it will unlock the doors that will, through better connectivity, reliability and complex functionality. Data will be more secure. And, Telefónica will continue transforming content delivery through their highly consumed platforms.

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Gotham Technology Group and Pivot3 Partner in the Hyper-Convergence Space

TRANSFORMING NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE | TMC Net, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S HYPERSCALE DATA CENTERS

Gotham Technology Group is known for its dedication to the build and performance of agile and innovative mobile infrastructure solutions for a, primarily, Fortune 500 customer base. Most recently, they teamed up with Pivot3 to announce a partnership that will optimize the mobile workforce as we know it. Pivot3 provides a dynamic, scalable and hyper-converged solution to software-defined data centers, eliminating big bulky equipment and improving the cost of operations to client businesses within various industries.

Together, the partnership aims to create enhancements to existing tech infrastructures and storage solutions. In some cases, existing infrastructures will be replaced altogether.

Leveraging the power of flash, HCI and hybrid-cloud technologies, mutual customers will now be ale to apply the best infrastructure solution to each project in their ongoing workload. They will not only be able to mark each solution project with priority, but through this partnership, they will additionally have the capability to provide solutions directly within their application architecture and in conducting business services.

Optimizing infrastructures to become software-centric, costs are automatically lowered within the operating space. They are also made more productive through speed and organization. Because Gotham is dedicated to providing security within data, application delivery and mobile platform solutions, this partnership really comes as no surprise.

Partnering with outside vendors is actually nothing new to Gotham; its reseller network is continually expanding. Partnering with Pivot3, however, Gotham not only has access to their fully patented solutions, but they are also authorized to sell, service and support those same solutions. The mobile workforce becomes more efficient and more productive through virtualization and application development – both of with Gotham has demonstrated a high level of expertise within.

“Hyper-convergence is the next wave in the virtualization of the IT landscape and Pivot3’s unique architecture enables this transformation,” states Ken Phelan, CTO of Gotham Technology Group. This exclusivity will allow Gotham to be at the forefront of that wave.
 

Pivot3 allows stronger defense in protecting data, while allowing complex functions to take place very in a very simple interface. Big data, for example is collected within the system, saving weeks on end in just the planning and configuration of data collection processes.

Even while collecting so much data, in addition to storing it, software-solutions ensure efficiency in accelerated back up and recovery. Together, these processes save IT departments precious time that would be better spent focused on delivery, rather than setup.

In the case of a remote and mobile workforce, the ability to control infrastructure from a central location eliminates so many problems that businesses currently face.

Cloud technologies have opened the door for so much, but so often incompatible devices and connections interfere with certain elements in the system. Allowing an actual center to control this technology and make changes, virtually, businesses are finding better unification and stability in infrastructure, such as what Pivot3 offers.  With Gotham’s added services, customization of infrastructure and application builds will be a force to be reckoned with.

Pivot3 was recently in the news for acquiring NexGen Storage, as it shifts the hyper-converged market towards more dynamic solutions.

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Where is Mobile Content Management Headed?

Call Accounting, Telecom Cost Management, Telecommunications, ISI

ARTICLE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S CALL ACCOUNTING

We are consumers. Whether for work or play, we know exactly where to go to get the content we need to get the job done. We create. We embrace. We indulge. We share. So, is it really that hard to believe the 2016-2020 Global Mobile Content Management report forecasted a 21.8 percent CAGR growth in mobile content management, driven by mobile accessibility? By swiping screen to screen, we are leading rapid trends in the corporate world and forcing the mobile workforce to stay productive.

Flexibility in our schedules, cloud computing and a millennial workforce has proven a great mix for the corporate realm. Not only does it allow businesses to stay open past business hours, but it allows for a more productive organization. Better communication is cultivated and collaboration is easier to manage thanks to mobile solutions.

Because we can access our desks from the beach, we tend to be more proactive in getting work done. We no longer have to wait until 9 a.m. or rush around to make a 6 p.m. deadline. Furthermore, we no longer have to call in a favor just to have someone meet us at the office and let us in because we forgot something.

Thanks to integrated solutions that allow us to connect our work stations to our mobile devices, our documents are not only accessible at all hours of the night, but they are also safe and secure – shareable with only those that we allow to see them. There’s very little printing and scanning going on these days. Budgets are no longer sacrificed for unnecessary printing and shipping costs. Documents are quickly deleted, limiting the need to shred and discard once they are done for. These are actually the key drivers within the market.

By the end of 2020, ReportsnReports has predicted that cloud-based content management segments will become the largest segment in the market by the end of 2020.

Healthcare technologies, one of the fastest growing industries in today’s mobile IT revolution, have almost all implemented some form of cloud-based technology. Also, the world of marketing is not just utilizing the cloud for standard business operations, but they are also optimizing the cloud for platform delivery of content deliverables. This is especially true as adblocking continues to evolve.

Native and Content Marketing are quickly becoming the way of the world.

In fact, Facebook just announced the decision to allow all publishers to utilize the Instant Article platform, starting in April of 2016.

Originally making noise last May, Facebook (NewsAlert) strategically hit the “book” with a solutions that would allow publishers to implement their new and existing news content directly into a Facebook app without the need to visit another browser, ensuring speed and performance.  The current version of Instant Article is only available on iOS, and content is limited. In April, this will all change.

Because content management will become more social, and publishers are set to receive revenue from traffic on the site, the presented 21.8 percent growth prediction for mobile content management may actual find itself far exceeded.

From a conservative space, this number makes sense. But, the question should be how much more will this number be exceeded by. The power of social is often underestimated. And, once Instant Pages are unleashed, we will see LinkedIn’s Pulse (NewsAlert) step their own game up even further.

In fact, large enterprise firms are teaming up with smaller organizations and forging partnerships that will ensure better content creation and more impact in content management solutions. Will this mean potential competition for Instant Article or Pulse? Will these platforms employ partnerships to keep consumers hooked in to their content and content delivery tools?

With newly adopted entry into the mobile and cloud arena, traditional industries are now also joining forces with technology to meet the consumer where the consumer spends a majority of their personal time.  This is also not factoring in the European countries, who have faced barrier issues with lack of mobile connectivity that are now skipping 4G capabilities altogether and going straight for 5G. This adoption rate will continue to increases drastically.

High-definition (HD) content marketing will also drive innovation and demand for content management solutions.

Timeliness is key in content generation. Thanks to mobile capabilities and with rapid adoption of content management solutions, documents are quickly and immediately dispersed in mass. Reports are generated instantaneously based on personalized information. And, the workforce is now optimized. 

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Mitel Seeks to Enhance Mobile Productivity

WebRTC World | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S WEBRTC WORLD

Aimed to meet the growing requirements of a mobile-first world, Mitel has revealed new mobile solutions for real time communications.

The new Mitel Mobile Cloud Suite is empowering stronger communication and more productive collaboration amongst enterprise businesses, project teams and small firms. In fact, the suite allows Tier 2 and Tier 3 mobile carriers to provide more effective, rapid and cost-efficient hosting to VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi technologies, in addition to advanced messaging services.

The Multi-ID, for example, allows users to easily attach all contact numbers and means of communication to be streamlined into a single device. Users are able to open a native application on any mobile device to make calls, listen to voicemail, send and receive text messages.

Evolving to meet the ongoing needs of today’s Executive and Project Lead, Mitel has established the Embedded Communications solution, the first product to emerge from the Mitel Accelerator, allowing businesses to integrate voice, video and messaging directly into mobile business SaaS applications. This streamlines mobile communications by allowing team members to stay in one app, as opposed to many, while communicating and collaborating in real-time without delaying, missing or overlooking very important details.

The Embedded Communications tool was created to enhance the FieldAware experience, already adopted by many field service organizations around the world for field-service scheduling.

Other tools include the Mi-Team portfolio solution that allows collaboration between a team with the mobile-first mindset. This solution includes real-time voice and video meeting, in addition to mobile whiteboarding and integrations of business applications. This method of communication claims to drop the average need for e-mail engagement by 40 percent. This could mean a great deal for enterprise businesses that connect thousands of employees at once. Virtual conference rooms allow for topic-based discussion, corporate meeting space and project-centered meetings.

Within the Mi-Team solution, team members will also be able to approve and sign documents, voice tag archived meetings and integrate file sharing from external cloud storage. Integrating project management workflow into the Mi-Team solution, Mitel allows users to assign tasks within virtual rooms, screenshare and schedule future meetings.

Finally, the Mitel Mobile Cloud Suite presents the mobile workforce with a solution that expands new cloud services and enables productivity within business itself, arming both enterprises and small businesses with enterprise-level tools and resource to expand business initiatives and streamline daily tasks. This solution is called the Mitel Global Cloud Expansion. It’s what brings all solutions full circle and helps Mitel to reach its strategic vision. 

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FTC Success Elusive In Enforcing National Do Not Call Registry

elemarketing software, telemarketing, software, software telemarketing, lead distribution, auto-dialing, auto dialing, branch scripting, call productivity, list-based sales, list based sales

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON TMCNet’s TELEMARKETING SOFTWARE SITE

Every two years, the FTC (NewsAlert) is required to report to Congress on the use of a National Do Not Call Registry. This includes complaints and utilization by both businesses and consumers. Gauging how well companies are adhering to guidelines and finding loopholes surrounding current laws, Congress will have a better understanding on which laws are working and which need to be amended in eliminating telephone spam and fraud.

The checks and balances system aims at bringing the average American a little more peace of mind at the start of their work day and when sitting at the dinner table.

Based on reports covering the last two years, as submitted on December 31, the lawmakers on Capitol Hill have given the thumbs up, as the FTC has demonstrated satisfactory efforts in enforcing telemarketing rules within the business world. Many of us may disagree, especially if we are continuously hounded by those companies texting and calling us at all hours of the night, telling us to “stop what you’re doing…” and trying to get us to spend more on student loan forgiveness programs than we would be going directly to Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) ourselves.

In contrast to those pirates that seem to break all the rules when it comes to telemarketing etiquette and compliance, the FTC has been taking a strong stance against illegal telemarketing practices and undertaking initiatives to combat technologies that allow these lawbreakers to hide their true identity. Robocalling has been a huge priority to the FTC in the most recent of years. The Federal Communications Commission has also adopted this concern as a major priority for enforcing ethical business practices in telecommunication.

Every five years, consumers and businesses must relist their most recent number into the registry database in adding protection to their “Do Not Call” requests. Within this time, callers won’t necessarily stop, but efforts to keep them from calling will keep them at bay. Because everyone does not play fairly, the FTC and FCC (NewsAlert) are consistently trying to combat offenders, while allowing telecommunications companies to operate within the boundaries of the law.

Timothy P. Tobin, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells recently disclosed affirmations to DataGuidance, stating, “The real problem is where either the FTC or FCC, or private plaintiffs under the TCPA, go after legitimate businesses who are making good-faith efforts to comply with the law. For example, the FCC has made a total mess of the TCPA restriction on auto-dialed calls to cell phones with an overboard interpretation of what constitutes an autodialer and with unduly rigid consent requirements. This has had the effect of being extremely burdensome on many legitimate businesses, putting them at risk of multi-million dollar judgments and settlements for many types of calls and text messages that should not be restricted.”

Within each five year period, the FCC admits that they do scan phone numbers in prompting updated databases, ensuring newly listed numbers are adapted per request – and releasing those numbers that no longer belong to registered users. While it is easier having new numbers listed, because users tend to enforce this on their own, very few people are returning to the registry to remove their number once it is no longer theirs … prompting the five-year rule. After five years, numbers are automatically released from the registry.

Whether or not an uptick in unethical and illegal telecommunications practices subside, consumers are becoming more weary of answering telephones that are LAN line-based – if they even have one anymore. Consumers are also becoming weary of numbers that are not familiar and more hesitant to provide information on the Web that involves telephone number collection. This is one loophole that telemarketers have found in breaking the registry laws.

According to an undisclosed law firm, some of these numbers are hard to trace. And while many of them are able to be sued for upwards of $1500 a call, it may not be enforceable if you have filled out a form online and included your number for contact. Because filling in your number with a verified phone number is becoming increasingly required in submitting long, drawn-out forms. We are finding that even requesting a quote for a specific insurance company will return calls from multiple insurance companies that we have not permitted to solicit our phones.

Our data is being sold and the law is permitting it, because these unethical companies are asking our permission and requiring you to give up your rights to privacy in receiving information. While the FTC and FCC are doing a “good job” in enforcing the laws, the battle continues with these unethical companies. With new practices and the required two-year report, decision-makers in Congress will be able to find ways to continue helping our fight to enjoy dinner just one more day in peace.

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Smaller Devices and Motion Sensing: Is This the Future of Smartphones?

Information Technology, InfoTech, IT, Technology News, Tech Information, Application Performance Management, Defrag, Application Performance Monitoring, BPM Software, Cloud Communications,Cloud Computing, Cloud Storage,Data Center Network, Data Center Power, Environmental Montioring, Infrastructure as a Service, Load Balancer, Managed Networks, Network Access, Private Cloud, Projector Lamp, Virtual Tap

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S INFOTECH SITE

Every so many months, we see the release of the “newest, best phone on the market.” The only problem is that they are almost never better than the most popular phone on the market and they will cost some outrageous prices, additionally locking you into a 2-year contract with a major carrier.

Elliptic Labs is setting out to change the mobile marketplace with their new BEAUTY Ultrasound Proximity Software. Not only does this software aim to replace extra sensitive hardware-based sensors, but it will do so while causing the price of smartphone manufacture tot drop significantly. This would cause the pricing model of smartphones to change exponentially and marketplace competition to really get dirty.

An added value of this BEAUTY software is that it will also cause mobile devices to be much sleeker than they are at this point and allow manufacturers to add additional features to the internal guts of each smartphone device.

Many of our smartphones today include smart motion and motion gesture technologies. In fact, many of our devices – period – include this technology. This is a very similar to what the BEAUTY software actually powers.

One problem with most motion gesture technologies, however, is that so very often, they will drain our batteries very quickly and rarely capture motion at 180 degrees. What makes it worse is that actual proximity is in continuous need of calibration. And, when they go haywire, sometimes your phone finds itself “butt dialing” every body you haven’t spoke to for the last five years. 

In fact, hardware-based sensors have been designed to turn off touch functionality when a user holds a device to their ear to speak on the phone. But, very often this actually becomes more sensitive, allowing our “fat faces” (cheeks and ears) to attempt three-way calls and pull up apps that we rarely use. With so many apps allowing in-app calling, themselves, there’s no telling the damage that can be done with a hardware sensor that isn’t working properly.

With more accurate touchless gesturing, Elliptic has been working to create alternative methods for user navigation and how users access their content. Beaming in high-resolution and across several platforms, the BEAUTY product users operates under low power and is able to be integrated into anything from PCs to televisions to the latest wearables.

Focused not just on how the software operates, Elliptic also focuses on how this software makes an end product look. This ultrasound software eliminates the multiple sensors we have toted on our smartphones since inception, which means that our smartphones will not only be more attractive, but they will also be able to withstand more torture.

Those finding themselves constantly replacing that glass face on their smartphones will find that their sensors won’t take so badly to the change.

Elliptic’s software uses the earpiece and microphone from the smartphone to decide proximity based on sound, in addition to a plethora of other motion triggers and detection.  This means that software sensors are non-dependent of light and won’t rely on lighting to work.

One source speaks about this software’s ability to pick up notes made via paper and pen nearby the device. This almost tells us that this software will be able to sense 360 motion around the device. This is going to be interesting.

Optical sensor has been known to fail on devices, causing expensive smartphones to require repair. They are also unreliable in the cold or on rainy days. Much similar to the duraTOUCH technology in many of today’s top devices, Elliptic’s BEAUTY was also created to withstand certain weather conditions. Although one is all for touch, and the other is eliminating it, it would be interesting to see what the two companies could create in collaboration with one another.

Looking forward to adoption by many OEM manufacturers in 2016, we just may find ourselves holding a much more BEAUTY-ful device in the near future. Whether smartphones drop their price or not is something still to be said. Until then, we have something to be hopeful for. 

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Revolutionary Trends Shift the Customer Experience, Increasing Brand Loyalty for 2016

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY SITE

As the year ended, multiple technologies and integrations signified that this is a great time to be a tech or customer service professional. We are now living in a time when you can read social media posts on the sides of your shoes, while simulating a walk on the moon. As a tech professional, you might be striding through your day, because in our lifetime, we have seen technology evolve from prehistoric to futuristic – and it isn’t anywhere close to stopping.

As businesses adopt newer technologies and are able to increase quality and productivity they are learning that, just like in traditional business models, the customer experience is everything. We now have a host of new innovations making our day just a little bit better. Think of how far AI and mobile has come in just the last five years – and little over a year ago, there were a lot of people still confused over what IoT actually was.

According to the Interactive Intelligence (NewsAlert) Group, Inc. There are five trends that we need to look out for in 2016. This cloud services group, diligently works to improve customer engagement, communications and collaboration for its many global clientele. They have done their research, and we’re here to give you the breakdown.

“It’s clear that companies are making customer interaction experiences a priority, and the trends we’ve identified will be critical if businesses want to stay competitive,” said Dr. Donald E. Brown, Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO. “Of note is that all these trends rely heavily on the cloud, analytics and big data. These now form the underpinnings of nearly all things customer experience-related and will continue to be key components of any successful customer engagement strategy.”

  • Customer-Centricity Breaks the Ice and Creates Unity

Focused on an optimized customer experience, there is no one department instrumental in the success of customer relations. In fact, everyone — from the contact center to the external stakeholder — is to be held accountable for the experience and satisfaction of each customer, individually. Customers need to find ease in using a product, and if they can’t they need to be able to find someone, who can explain it to them.

How customers interact with the brand is extremely important. Whichever method they choose for interaction will stand as the mouthpiece for that brand. For this, digital workstreams powered by integrated user engagement, communications and collaboration – most communications platforms will also be powered by cloud technologies.

This will encourage better cross-department and multidisciplinary communications – both inside the workplace and externally. Everyone will be brought up to speed at once; and everyone can gauge needs for improvement – immediately.

  • IoT will Continue to Expand the Omnichannel Experience

One-third of companies are reporting to use IoT within their 2016 operations planning. Using always-connected wireless technologies has brought a ton of efficiency to the workforce. But, in 2016, organizations are using them as an additional means to interact with customers, internal groups and partners.

Companies are using this technology, as coexisting with locational-based prompts. Many of these prompts will direct customers to one-on-one interaction with a live person, social media, documentation and exclusive offers. The customer will continue to the forefront of office place efficiency and continue to improve the customer experience in 2016.

  • We Will See Artificial Intelligence Like Never Before

As every day objects begin to take life, we are literally seeing teddy bear’s learning our every move and having full-blown conversations with a non-existent person. But, how can this help the customer experience? As machine learning hits its prime, advanced speech analytics are able to trigger alerts and specific messaging. Companies can further identify patterns and predict customer behavior.

Engaging with machines directly, the customer will experience better self service options than in the past, as AI can intelligently identify a customer’s need and break down methods of utilization, repair or expansion. Algorithms are leading AI to understand not just what a customer is saying – but also what they are not saying. In cases where after-hours leave no customer service agent available and where customer service agents are unnecessary, AI is becoming increasingly prominent. Many times, customers do not know the difference.

  • Sophisticated Do-It-Yourself Customer Service Empowers Customers

While this goes hand in hand with all other methods, “do-it-yourself “ customer service is becoming more convenient, timesaving and preferred, especially amongst the tech savvy millennial crowd. Brands are also learning that providing DIY methods saves the company on staffing costs and keeping wait times down in the contact or call centers… also benefiting traditional customer service methods in keeping customers satisfied, who do not want to be on hold for longer than average periods of time. Customers are empowered when they feel good about their ability to use your product effectively and save time  and money on repairs.

 Brand loyalty and niche networks are actually being built upon DIY platforms, this would obviously attract more finance to the company, as well. Web, mobile and SMS platforms are excellent ways to reach millennials, as they regularly search for content based on their direct needs. Not only will this be a larger trend in 2016, but it will also be a great tactic for many companies, who are including it into their overall marketing plan.

  • Every “Take-Out” Ready Through Mobile

With the traditional business structure broken and many more professionals are entering the work-from-home revolution, remote access to company infrastructures is proving more beneficial to the business structure than previous methods. Millennials, leading this movement, are always on the go. They want to spend more time traveling and with family.

Mobile technologies have allowed a complete office space to travel with us; cloud technologies allow us to access the office. Collaboration, communication and productivity, are again, improving. Mobile apps are going to be more mandatory in the past. Not having an app for your business may actually leave your organization in the dust.

Allowing customers to interact with the brand, especially live, is extremely beneficial to every organization, which instituted into their 2016 operations action plan. In fact, conference calling, white boards, tech support and other forms of customer and client interactions are at the forefront of 2016 and one of the most integrated technologies of the year.

In wrapping up the list, improving customer engagement and experiences should absolutely be at the forefront of concern this year. Restructuring the face of your customer service methods can be life or death for many companies. Interactive Intelligence holds a weekly live webinar that can help your organization gauge your current customer service methods, as well as show you how to integrate these growing customer engagement trends into your own business plan. Find out how to attend by visiting this page.

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