Real-Time Messaging: To Be or Not to Be Productive

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

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO WEBRTC’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

BetterCloud, a blog community that periodically releases research data related to the Tech World, recently released findings of a survey covering the trends for cloud-related activity within the Enterprise realm. More than 1600 total IT professionals and end-users participated in the poll.

Of those surveyed, 76 percent of them came from small-to-medium sized businesses with 14 percent from large-sized organizations. Everyone else fell between the gaps. With such a gap in participants, it’s very interesting to see the correlation between both groups of adoption and the common denominators that fall in between them.

This survey focused on the data related to utilization of real time messaging, distractions and the overall organizational impact of real time communications. The end-goal was to help businesses make more intelligent decisions when it comes to choosing better business technologies.

With little need for additional phone services, most small-to-medium sized businesses choose not to increase investments for phone systems, as they are considered unnecessary to the organization. Yet, 57 percent of all groups surveyed use two or more real-time messaging applications for both internal and external communications.

Some organizations are using as many as five messaging services at a time, based on activity and client communication.  In fact, more than 20 percent of large enterprises admit that this is a very normal practice in their organization.

These same professionals strongly believe that real-time communications will totally replace e-mail as the primary method for immediate communication and collaboration. E-mail communications are still considered the preferred method for communications for obvious reasons, relating to storage, security and reference.

“As your company grows, expect the number of real-time messaging applications in your environment to grow too. This isn’t a phenomenon reserved only for real-time messaging either” said Scott Solomon of BetterCloud. He continued, “We’re seeing this trend unfold in many cloud application categories, from storage and collaboration to project management.”

Those three-fourths of professionals using Skype for Business and Google Hangouts tend to think highly of real time messaging platforms for collaboration, especially at a distance. Almost everyone using more a professional-grade platform confesses to drastic improvements in collaboration and workplace productivity through adoption.

There were 25 percent of users, including IT professionals, who said they feel their organizations are less productive due to real-time messaging services. It makes  you wonder if they are just telling the truth or if there is an internal issue, such as bad management or low-grade platforms, in the mix – or, if they just don’t know how to use them. Let’s not fail to mention, 13 percent of those surveyed aren’t even using real-time communications in the workplace.

When it comes to IT professionals and real-time communications, not only do they go outside the boundaries of approved real-time messaging platforms, they are also 12 percent more likely to adopt this form of communication for productivity’s sake.

Consensus rings in. With lack of training and discipline when using tools that connect people in real-time, there will obviously be distraction and loss in productivity. Let’s not label this as a technology fault. This is a factor that organizations need to take into consideration when implementing a power technology into their daily operation – period.

When we use real-time communications as a tool, we must remember to stay disciplined. It’s easier to gab when no one can hear us, but it’s not different than sitting next to your best friend when trying to meet deadlines for a major project.

In the future, it is most likely real-time messaging will be the primary choice for communication in the workplace. Some say, the future is already here. 

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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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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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Empire Access Ditches Legacy Systems, Implements GENBAND

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

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

GENBAND, provider of real-time communications solutions, recently announced the release of a Network Transformation solution through Empire Access, a state-of-the-art provider of fiber optics. The Network Transformation tool, a software-based solution, has implemented the GENBAND C15 Call Controller in maximizing and upgrading Empire’s communications systems, taking them into the new generation of telecommunications capabilities.

The C15 Call Controller has made a name for itself in the past, supporting a variety of standard protocols, interfaces and features that enable both IP and legacy servicing for its Class 5 predecessor that have allowed for better clarity, innovative video calling and call logging abilities and even mobility.

With the implemented Network Transformation rollout, Empire Access now finds itself with better network efficiencies and the ability to offer clientele advanced communications servicing. The addition of the C14 Call Controller allows the Network Transformation solution to consolidate network infrastructures and enhance all previous IP-based technologies.

Empire Access would now be able to facilitate applications servers, webRTC, wireless access gateways, intelligent messaging and session routing. They will now be able to engage virtualizing networking functions and implement cloud-based “as a Service” options. We all know the power of the cloud, especially on telecommunications in a globalized world.

In a world that relies on rich media content, the Network Transformation solution delivers rich communications servicing that “blend voice, video messaging and presence.” This solution allows previous tools and solutions to be integrated in order to facilitate an easier migration to the new system.

The GENBAND integrations will allow Empire Access to offer businesses with more complex and reliable scalability. They will now be able to offer new services to both residential and business customers, opening doors for new market potential for the company, as it enters a new playing field. Empire Access will also find that energy costs will be reduced through improved power saving efficiencies.

With the ability to provide customers with the latest in IP-based solutions, they can now ditch the dinosaur-based technologies and really ensure customer satisfaction through stronger connections, longer connection times and remote troubleshooting capabilities.

Because many clients are shifting from outdated systems, it has been important for GENBAND to focus on the improvements to current systems, while shifting to a totally new system altogether. The transition allows clients to protect previous systems and investments, while extending into new territories and making a complete shift in technologies. This is done while minimizing service disruptions to the end customer.

Less downtime means less impact on financials. It also keeps the customer from jumping ship at a time where companies are merging to offer the latest in technologies at more affordable pricing. For Empire Access, this was an important investment. It will pay off quickly, as previous expenses are replaced by savings.

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