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So far froggdesigns has created 247 blog entries.

With a Mobile App, Growing Businesses Answer Every Call

2018-05-21T09:57:09+02:00May 21st, 2018|

It’s a slow weekday morning at the local auto dealership, so the junior salesperson steps out to pick up lunch for the office. He’s barely down the road, when a big family with several rambunctious kids steps into the showroom. The senior salesperson is quick to usher them to the back lot, where there are several big SUVs. Of course, this is the precise moment when the phone rings. Back in the service bay, one of the mechanics has a car on the lift and can’t maneuver fast enough to pick up the call. The service manager is on another line, checking on delivery of a specific part. No problem, he thinks. The caller will leave a voicemail. Instead, the impatient prospect hangs up the minute he hears the recorded greeting. For growing businesses like car dealers and service companies, an unanswered phone is a missed opportunity for sales revenue. According to research by British firm, BT Business, the estimated cost of a single missed call is £1,200. But decision makers say the cost of b..

Four Ways Giving Machines a Voice Boosts Customer Experience

2018-05-17T11:32:03+02:00May 17th, 2018|

As technology raises consumer expectations for smarter, faster and more productive communications, more executives are making customer experience a top priority. Much of the burden falls to the contact center and IT teams, who must put in place the most effective tools, processes and standards. That’s not an easy job, especially when their mandate includes delivering a personalized experience to millions of individual customers. That’s a difficult task, but not an impossible one—thanks to machines. When businesses give machines a voice, they can scale an intimate experience and deliver a higher level of service quality. By handling routine issues, machines free up contact center agents to focus on complex problems and higher-value customers. This means customers save time too. Curious about how to get started with IoT in your business? Check out the white paper. > Business leaders already recognize the possibilities here. In a survey by Opinium Research, 85 percent of IT decision-m..

Collaboration Tools Build Productive Campuses

2018-05-16T09:27:09+02:00May 16th, 2018|

Just as in every other corner of the world, the pace of life on university campuses is speeding up. Students, faculty and administrators are always on the move, rotating among classrooms, campuses and even off-campus events and internships. Today’s tech-savvy students use several devices to speed their work and be more productive. In a recent survey, the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research found that almost a third of students own a laptop, smartphone and a tablet. What’s more, they expect instructors to leverage more technology in the classroom. Video conferencing and messaging are in constant use. These collaboration tools streamline communications and keep students and faculty in the know. Unified communications enables universities to blend collaboration tools into the campus network. By doing so, they provide students and faculty with numerous ways to communicate across devices and networks. Creating an environment that makes collaboration easy is the key to a productive c..

As Call Commerce Rises, Are Growing Businesses Mobile Ready?

2018-05-14T10:01:30+02:00May 14th, 2018|

In an increasingly digital world, phone calls are still very important. Who’d have thought? Despite the myriad ways consumers can connect with local companies today, those who are ready to buy increasingly want to have questions answered by telephone. For growing businesses without the staff to work the phones continuously, this presents a real challenge. In 2016, mobile calls represented 60 percent of inbound calls to businesses – or about 85 billion global mobile calls annually, according to the researcher BIA/Kelsey. By 2020, the firm expects that volume to grow to 169 billion, mostly through click-to-call. Most mobile calls originate from searches, although consumers also launch calls from banner ads, social media, apps and email. Growing businesses can’t ignore this trend. According to Dialogtech, 62 percent of searchers believe it’s extremely or very important to be able to call a business during a critical stage in the buying cycle: when they’re ready to purchase. Looking t..

How, and Why, Governments Must Act on Customer Experience

2018-05-10T09:22:09+02:00May 10th, 2018|

Is it time for government employees to start thinking of constituents as customers? Should they begin to consider actions in terms of what the private sector refers to as customer experience? And what will this look like for government services? “Technology has progressed so much that residents have higher expectations of access to information, the type of information, the frequency of communication, customer service,” says community consultant Kim Newcomer of Slate Communications. “And frankly, local government has struggled to respond.” The Challenges Because governments operate on a different model than commercial entities, they face some unique challenges when it comes to improving the customer experience: Lack of overall strategy. Many public service leaders cite a lack of vision when attempting to create a modern digital experience for their constituents. It can be difficult to make the business case in an environment where every dollar spent is scrutinized and when new electe..

6 Ways Sports Venues Can Elevate Fans’ Customer Experience

2018-05-08T17:31:50+02:00May 8th, 2018|

Nothing electrifies fans as much as a winning team, so it’s no surprise that sports organizations profit from that seasonal excitement. But when it comes to fan engagement, sports teams and venues know they need to play a long game. As technology advances, fans’ expectations rise. So to continue selling season passes and filling stadiums, sports organizations must improve the fan experience all year long – not just at a single event. During a recent panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, participants described the ideal venue playbook for enhancing the fan experience: “a comprehensive strategy, a deep understanding of [fans’] backgrounds and interests, and a robust technology infrastructure to support engagement efforts.” Communications technology is the linchpin of customer experience because it connects with fans at every point of their relationship with the team. To deliver a stronger, holistic experience, teams and venues need to tap into every fan touchpo..

Cloud Communications: The Future of Manufacturing

2018-05-07T10:05:09+02:00May 7th, 2018|

Not only do today’s customers expect innovative products that fill unforeseen needs, they expect to receive those products within days of ordering them. To make that happen, manufacturers can deploy cloud communications across complex supply chain nodes. That will increase efficiency, drive profits up and keep costs down. Consider this scenario: An online retailer based in New York prepares to launch several new shoe designs in time for the spring and summer season. The new product is approved, manufacturers and suppliers are in place, distribution centers are ready and the ad campaign begins. But while customers are clicking through the website, reading product details and moving toward the shopping basket, they don’t know about the supply-chain problem that’s arisen. It seems that while customers were doing all that clicking, one of the manufacturers based in China discovered problems with the raw materials that impact the shoe’s design. It can be fixed, but the issue could delay p..

Why More CFOs Are Shifting IT Investment from Capex to Opex

2018-05-03T16:40:35+02:00May 3rd, 2018|

The bottom line is always the focal point in any company. Where to spend money is a constant tug of war but it’s not the only battle being fought. How to spend the money can be just as contentious. CFOs have to consider multiple factors to determine expenditures and every year might bring with it a host of changes and market conditions that impact those decisions. Traditionally for technology investments, CFOs most often preferred capital expenditures over operating expenses because they could take advantage of amortization and depreciation of those investments over an extended period of time. There’s a growing argument, however, that operating expenditures (opex) have distinct advantages over capital expenditures (capex) that have made it a favored investment approach by finance departments and CFOs. The growing role of opex in IT spending There are plenty of hard costs that require large, upfront investments and should be a part of the approved budget (capex). They are costs that ca..

Why Mobility Comes First in Customer Experience

2018-05-02T09:42:09+02:00May 2nd, 2018|

How, exactly, does a business become “mobile first?” Obviously, it gives mobility a high priority. Yet at the same time, it must undertake more than a simple shift toward incorporating mobile devices into its business activities. Simply put, the company must make its products and services mobile-centric — not desktop centric. Mobility has changed expectations about the user experience. Where employees and customers were once tied to desktops and landlines in a single location, now they’re performing increasingly complex tasks on their mobile devices. As a result, they’ve come to expect mobility’s convenience and personalization to come along with the flexibility of a desktop. Why mobility must be a priority Mobility is emerging as an important trend in business communications systems not only because employees and customers expect it, but also because companies profit from it. People spend more and more time on their mobile devices – both when they’re off the clock and when they’re w..

API Integration Helps K-12 Schools Get More from Existing Tools

2018-04-30T13:21:49+02:00April 30th, 2018|

Two related trends are converging in the current K-12 education landscape. The first concerns parents’ evolving preferences for school-to-home communications. Parents believe messages should be personalized and timely, according to a recent survey by Project Tomorrow and Blackboard, Inc. Most especially, they value convenience: they don’t want to waste time looking for important updates and they expect information to be pushed directly to them. The second trend is the explosion of learning management systems (LMS) in the classroom. Google Classroom, Canvas, Schoology and Blackboard have created robust learning environments that make it easier to store content and stay on top of student performance. In fact, the LMS global market is expected to more than triple by 2025, reaching $18.44 billion, according to Insight Partners. Because these platforms are the source of critical information about student performance and workload, school districts must make it as easy as possible for teacher..

Public, Private or Hybrid? 5 Questions to Pick the Right One

2018-04-27T09:16:09+02:00April 27th, 2018|

How do you educate 30 baseball teams about new policies – and make sure they follow them? That was the challenge Major League Baseball faced as it moved toward implementing “pace of play” rules aimed at shortening the length of games. As part of the plan, the MLB installed phone lines in every stadium, connecting the dugout, the bullpen and the video review rooms, which teams use to prevent sign stealing but can contribute to excessive visits to the pitcher’s mound. Now the league can centrally monitor, review and record every time a coach picks up the phone. The league’s solution was in the cloud – specifically, a private cloud, securely accessed through the public internet, that all stadiums can count on. Of course, every business has its own needs. As you consider which cloud environment makes sense for your company – public, private or hybrid – ask these questions. What level of privacy and security do you need? If you’re in a highly regulated industry – like financial services..

Keep Minor Business Changes from Becoming Big-Time Setbacks—with Unified Cloud Communications by Guest Author Evan Kirstel

2018-04-25T09:17:56+02:00April 25th, 2018|

Business processes enable the basis of everything your business does day to day. Basics like how an order is placed, closed, tracked, organized, delivered, and paid for and how revenue is realized are at the heart of any business. But even a small business that wants to do something simple like add mobile workers can get stymied by change if it doesn’t have the right processes in place. Without the right processes, that small business that’s simply adding more mobile employees to the number of communications pathways until the number skyrockets and overwhelms it, resulting in delayed orders, customer service logjams, and more. Unified communications (UC) can help businesses avoid things like that by simplifying communications so that small changes won’t so easily cause big business setbacks. What UC does for any size business is provide a multi-view approach to communications. By integrating voicemail into emails, communications can be shared, distributed to the right person, and arc..

How API Integration Earns Your Hotel Five-Star Ratings

2018-04-23T09:30:06+02:00April 23rd, 2018|

What’s the first stop on the itinerary for today’s travelers? Online review sites. Before they book their next trip, consumers inevitably read what others have to say about your hotel properties. In fact, it’s a near-universal activity. According to research by Cornell University, 93 percent of travelers use online reviews before choosing a hotel. Hospitality management knows all too well the impact this can have on reservations and their average daily room rate. But how do they turn a review that starts like this: “The front desk clerk was not super friendly…” To one like this: “Chic, tranquil, green and luxurious oasis. Friendly, helpful and yet unobtrusive service…” Traveler expectations are high, and hospitality managers know they need to deliver a flawless experience. With a tightly coordinated and capable staff, they can stay on top of the details and provide a five-star customer experience. But they also need technology to streamline employee workflow and anticipate each cu..

How to Create a Path to Virtual Healthcare With Mobility

2018-04-20T09:42:23+02:00April 20th, 2018|

What’s on your phone? Today’s personal devices have an app for everything, from tracking fitness to recording meals to improving mindfulness. In 2018, Accenture reported that 75 percent of consumers believe technology is important to managing their health. And almost half – 48 percent – use health-related mobile or tablet apps, a dramatic rise from 2014’s 16 percent. In the same period, the use of wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit has jumped from 9 percent to one-third of consumers. Accenture also found that patients are more willing to share their health data with physicians (90 percent) and nurses or other healthcare professionals (88 percent). So consumers are ready. But are healthcare organizations? Why go virtual? While many industries have embraced mobile and virtual communications technologies, healthcare has lagged. That may not come as a surprise, considering it’s an area in which people equate in-person communications as higher in quality than virtual options. But ..

In the Moment: How Technology Improves the Travel Experience

2018-04-18T09:24:23+02:00April 18th, 2018|

Travelers are shifting their spending from products to experiences in what’s become a major industry trend. According to Deloitte, experiential spending is rising on recreation, travel and eating out even while it drops on durable goods such as cars, household items and even clothes. This is good news for hospitality companies, but it also presents a challenge. The emphasis on experience means travelers have higher expectations, so every step of their journey has to be stellar. Not surprisingly, hotel managers want that too. After all, happy travelers give five-star reviews, while disgruntled guests are far less generous. Fortunately, hotels have plenty of tools at their disposal to help them deliver innovative and exceptional service at key moments. As Deloitte points out, “Technologies such as AI and machine learning, IoT, and near field communication (NFC) are coming of age, and together share the potential to create personalized moments that matter and bring joy to a travel expe..

Engage University Alumni with a Personalized Customer Experience

2018-04-16T09:15:09+02:00April 16th, 2018|

Universities depend on gifts and volunteer support from alumni, local organizations and partners to keep their programs running. That means keeping alumni informed of important university information and soliciting donations, jobs that fall to a school’s advancement and development office. These call centers face a unique challenge when it comes to creating a positive customer experience: Neither their customers nor agents fit the traditional customer experience mold. Since they're not receiving anything physical in return, alumni, local organizations and businesses need more than the usual sales pitch. They need to be inspired. We all know how quickly some folks will end a call when they’re being asked to make a donation. The key to keeping them on the phone is personalization, and this rests in the hands of your contact center agents. But agents in university call centers aren’t full-time, professional staff. They’re volunteers, usually students. While they know the universit..

5 Benefits of Cloud Communications People Can’t Stop Talking About

2018-04-13T09:15:09+02:00April 13th, 2018|

1. How you can enable a mobile workforce with cloud communications We’re all busy today, but we’re not always productive. For example, we spend several hours every week checking emails, schedules, text messages, and voicemails in multiple applications and on multiple devices just to make sure we’re not missing something. But ironically, managing multiple collaboration tools on multiple devices is a sure way to miss something. Cloud communications opens up and unifies collaboration so businesses begin thinking outside their inboxes. It brings employees, customers and partners into the conversation from wherever they are, on whatever device they’re on. And it lets them pick up the conversation quickly, by organizing everything into a single cloud‐based application where voicemails, videos, chats, and more can be stored and easily accessed whenever they’re needed. The key to better collaboration is through your mobile phone. If you’re like most of us, it’s the first thing you check in t..

Seven Ways Giving Machines a Voice Will Transform Field Services

2018-04-11T09:23:57+02:00April 11th, 2018|

Science fiction scriptwriters relish in giving machines a voice. Just look at 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and Interstellar. Their movie robots are know-it-alls, quick to voice opinions, and act as foils, usually in the midst of a life-or-death repair. It's a good thing real machines aren’t as villainous as Hal the supercomputer. Today, the opposite is true: machines are do-gooders, more likely to make users happy. In a recent survey, 85 percent of IT decision-makers say they believe machine-to-people interactions will positively transform the customer experience. But it’s not only customers who stand to benefit. When you give machines a voice in field services management, you create a world of possibility, from more efficient scheduling to opportunities for new revenue streams. Here are just a few of the ways giving machines a voice will transform the industry. A chatbot solved my problem. The 80/20 rule applies to field services management: your teams will spend 80 percen..

Eight Ways Giving Machines a Voice Will Transform Field Services

2018-04-11T09:23:57+02:00April 11th, 2018|

Science fiction scriptwriters relish in giving machines a voice. Just look at 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and Interstellar. Their movie robots are know-it-alls, quick to voice opinions, and act as foils, usually in the midst of a life-or-death repair. It's a good thing real machines aren’t as villainous as Hal the supercomputer. Today, the opposite is true: machines are do-gooders, more likely to make users happy. In a recent survey, 85 percent of IT decision-makers say they believe machine-to-people interactions will positively transform the customer experience. But it’s not only customers who stand to benefit. When you give machines a voice in field services management, you create a world of possibility, from more efficient scheduling to opportunities for new revenue streams. Here are just a few of the ways giving machines a voice will transform the industry. A chatbot solved my problem. The 80/20 rule applies to field services management: your teams will spend 80 percen..

Seamless Collaboration Is the Future of Retail Supply Chains

2018-04-09T10:51:42+02:00April 9th, 2018|

Today’s consumer wants a retail shopping experience that’s fast, easy, flexible and on their own terms. For instance, some want to shop online and pick up their purchase in a store. Others expect items to be delivered on the day and time that’s most convenient for them. And many consumers like to research products at home before buying them in person. Ideally, consumers want retailers to deliver a unified shopping experience. “Customers don’t think in channels anymore,” Mike Griswold, research vice president of Gartner's Consumer Value Chain team, said at the Retail Industry Leaders Association conference last month. This shift in expectations means retailers are dealing with more complexity, just as the industry is facing strong headwinds. Toys “R” Us, for example, is folding because heavy debt prevented it from executing changes that would have made it more competitive, including improving the shopping experience, both online and in-store. Meeting customer expectations, such ..

How Technology Improves Customer Experience in Healthcare

2018-04-06T11:09:04+02:00April 6th, 2018|

In today’s healthcare environment, creating a positive customer experience isn’t any longer just a nice thing to do. Providers literally can’t afford patient dissatisfaction. It’s about more than avoiding a low rating on a survey. Poor patient-to-provider communications can result in more – and more serious – illness, and that translates into higher healthcare costs. In the U.S., poor clinical outcomes can also result in lower reimbursement rates for healthcare entities. Where’s the pain? When people are sick, they don’t want to wait. Whether it’s in an emergency room, physician’s office, on the phone or even at home waiting for test results, they want to communicate with their healthcare professional as quickly as possible. In a world where there seems to be an app for everything, patients expect technology to handle almost any issue in their everyday lives. They want reliable electronic access to records and information, self-service in scheduling appointments, WiFi in waiting room..

The Benefits of SIP Trunking for Hotels

2018-04-03T13:03:08+02:00April 3rd, 2018|

Hotel guests' expectations haven't changed much over the years: They want clean rooms, a nice pool and a welcoming bar. At the same time, today's travelers have a new set of priorities, all rooted in the need to connect. Hotel guests now expect to interact with hotel staff and services, from booking to check out, through their smartphones and other mobile devices. This highly connected guest experience is driving the industry's investment in IT. According to Hospitality Technology's 2018 Lodging Technology Study, nearly half of hoteliers say digital customer experience is their main strategic goal for the year. Yet many hotels face a major challenge: Their legacy phone systems don't support even basic digital features, such as mobility or self-service. And with substantial investments in current infrastructure and equipment, hotel management may be understandably reluctant to invest in new communications technology. SIP trunking provides a cost-effectiv..

Make the Business Case for Cloud Communications

2018-04-02T10:44:57+02:00April 2nd, 2018|

When trying to determine which communications option – on-site or cloud‐based – is right for your business, ROI (return on investment) and TCO (total cost of ownership) comparisons inevitably come into play. Which type of solution drives better value for your business? Unfortunately, this can be a difficult question to answer. ROI and TCO models are typically designed to compare similar options—for example, two similar on-site communications systems built by two competing vendors. On-site and cloud‐based communications solutions are not similar options. Plus, there are lots of costs and assumptions that you must determine when evaluating your options. Ultimately, the answer to the question “Which solution is better for our business?” may depend on more subjective measures, like the value your organization places on flexibility and risk avoidance. It’s somewhat analogous to purchasing an airline ticket: Which is better? A non‐refundable $325 ticket or a refundable $466 ticket that ca..

Managing Your Sports Team While on the Go

2018-03-30T09:59:25+02:00March 30th, 2018|

If there's one constant in sports, it's that all the major players – both those on the field and those in the back office – are constantly on the road. There's no shortage of reasons to travel, whether it's away games, spring training or international scouting events. Although they're integral to beating the competition, this very mobility challenges a team's ability to communicate seamlessly and effectively. Just how complicated can it get? Consider this as just one example: It's not unusual for a typical day to include travel delays. When flights are delayed or buses run late, the team's travel coordinator must notify dozens of players and coaches quickly while coordinating with the airlines or bus lines at the same time. Meanwhile, they're also performing the routine tasks that keep team travel running smoothly, like updating hotels with changes and special requests. Here’s another example: In the back office, executives must collaborat..

Field Techs Use Automation to Become More Efficient

2018-03-28T10:21:03+02:00March 28th, 2018|

Are field service teams overdue for workflow improvements? Plenty of executives think so. In a recent Forbes Insights and Microsoft survey, more than 80 percent of executives say “empowering first-line workers with the tools and platforms they need has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, growth and worker job satisfaction.” And there’s good news in this regard: technologies like field services management applications, automation and embedded communications have the potential to transform both the workflow and the customer experience. How? To start, let’s look at how service calls have traditionally worked. They start when a customer calls a support line and talks to an agent, who captures the details of the service request by typing it into both the CRM and the field service management application. Next, the dispatcher reviews the order and schedules a technician for the next day. Let’s say the technician is unable to resolve the issue on their own at the customer site. They pl..

Breaking Down Communications Silos in Manufacturing

2018-03-23T15:45:12+02:00March 23rd, 2018|

The simple t-shirt begins its life in the cotton fields of the American South. After harvest, cotton bolls travel across an ocean to spinning facilities in Indonesia. From there, the resulting thread is sent to Bangladesh to be knitted, dyed and sewn. The t-shirt then returns to the U.S. for printing, packaging and distribution to retailers. That’s just a rough sketch of the journey from field to finished product. Obviously, the reality is much more complex, involving hundreds of people, communicating across geographies, working across functional boundaries and joining disparate hardware, software and communications devices. Those involved in this fast-paced manufacturing environment must be able to problem-solve and make timely decisions that benefit their organization and its partners in the supply chain. In many ways, the process is one big collaboration. How can communications technology make life easier for everyone involved? Collaboration within the organization Businesses nee..

How Omnichannel Customer Experience Gives Retailers an Edge

2018-03-23T10:45:27+02:00March 23rd, 2018|

For shoppers, the path to purchase is no longer as simple as clicks to bricks or bricks to clicks. “Clicks to bricks and back” may be a more accurate description. As the 2017 Retail Dive Consumer Survey showed, shoppers are embracing an omnichannel customer experience. Retail Dive also found that more than 65 percent of consumers research products online before heading to a store, while over 55 percent say they visit stores before buying. Because every buyer’s path is different – and can change from day to day and place to place – retailers must integrate digital and deliver a seamless omnichannel customer experience to compete more effectively against the eCommerce giants. Although merchants might hesitate to deploy a communications solution capable of handling such complex interactions, today’s omnichannel contact center solutions have leveled the playing field. Here are just a few of the ways retailers can leverage technology to enhance the omnichannel customer experience. In eve..

Collaboration Tools Help Medical Teams Improve Patient Outcomes

2018-03-20T14:09:45+02:00March 20th, 2018|

On a Friday night, a cancer patient is admitted to the hospital with severe pneumonia and fluid-filled lungs. Through most of Saturday she gasps for breath before the doctor on-call arrives. Though she is in pain, the physician is hesitant to call in the pulmonologist, who's busy with a more critical case. By evening, though, he requests a consult. The nursing staff tries to reach the specialist but can't connect with him for several hours. When he arrives at last, he immediately orders the patient's lungs be drained. What went wrong here? One could argue a lot of things, but inefficient communications and poor collaboration top the list. Would putting better communications tools in the hands of medical professionals have made a difference? How would it have changed the patient outcome? Replay Let's rewind and see. With more robust communications tools, the staff admits the patient on Friday night and immediately sends an emergency text to the patient's pri..

The Secret to Managing Multiple Hotels? Unified Communications

2018-03-16T10:28:36+02:00March 16th, 2018|

The ink is barely dry when you get the call that your hotel brand has just acquired a competing chain, and now your IT team needs to transition dozens of new properties to your communications technology. Fortunately, there is a proven way to ensure a smooth transition and simplify the integration of hundreds of properties: deploy unified communications (UC). The hospitality industry has undergone a wave of mergers and acquisitions. In 2017, Marriott International, the largest hotel company in the world, acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts, expanding its portfolio to 30 brands. Meanwhile, Hilton launched its 14th brand, the Tapestry Collection. And the Wyndham Hotel Group kicked off 2018 with its acquisition of La Quinta. As hospitality companies add to their portfolios, their IT teams must integrate the new properties seamlessly and cost-effectively into the brand's existing operations. One of the major challenges they face is handling the often-incompatible communications tech..

Frost & Sullivan: Mitel A Growth Excellence Leader in UCC Market

2018-03-13T16:38:06+02:00March 13th, 2018|

The right unified communications & collaboration (UCC) partner understands that your communications technology needs to grow with your business, in ways that make sense for you. As a leader in UCC, Mitel understands how important it is to build long-term relationships with our partners as we continue to grow and expand. Mitel is pleased to receive Frost & Sullivan's 2017 North American Growth Excellence Leadership Award. After analyzing the UCC industry for excellence in growth and customer value, superiority of products and services and overall customer, purchase, ownership and service experience offered, Frost & Sullivan identified Mitel as the winner. The Growth Excellence Award "lauds the growth, diversification, and sustainability strategies" of the company it is bestowed upon as part of Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices awards program, which recognizes companies that demonstrate superior performance and achievement. Frost & Sullivan conducted its analysis by comparing..

Customer Experience Is All About Contact at Sports Venues

2018-03-12T17:01:10+02:00March 12th, 2018|

Ask any C-suite executive in the business, and they'll tell you the key to a successful sports venue is creating an outstanding entertainment experience. And as in any other sector, success boils down to sales — selling tickets to games and promotional events, club memberships and merchandise. Growing these sales means creating the kind of personalized experience that makes fans flock to events again and again. The reality is fans are made, not born, and it takes work to build loyalty and nurture relationships. Customer service must excel at every level, engaging fans both at home and in the stadium. So, it's no surprise sports organizations run some of the largest contact centers around. An advanced contact center built with a robust unified communications solution is at the heart of a winning customer experience. Let's take a closer look at how innovative contact center technology facilitates customer retention and makes fans feel like a part of the team. Rewriting ..

The 411 on Mass Notifications for Schools and Governments

2018-03-12T12:34:23+02:00March 12th, 2018|

Every moment counts in an emergency, so getting help should be as simple as dialing 911. In Kari Hunt Dunn's case, that phone call proved impossible — her hotel room didn't allow guests to directly dial emergency services. As Dunn's estranged husband attacked her in 2013, her young daughter made several attempts to call authorities for help. None went through because she didn't first dial "9" for an outside line. But a new federal law will make a difference for the next victim. Kari's Law requires multi-line phone systems to have a default configuration that enables users to dial 911 directly. While the law doesn't require mass notification, it recommends organizations deploy on-site notification – which automatically sends alerts to executives and on-site emergency responders – if the communications solution in place supports it. As a result, government agencies, universities and K-12 schools need to be sure their communications solutions comply with th..

Giving Machines a Voice in Manufacturing

2018-03-08T22:03:43+02:00March 8th, 2018|

It's 10 p.m. on a Friday. The production line is running full-tilt to meet the commitment you've made to a key customer. On a die-cutter, Sensor 8a records a malfunction and, in seconds, sends the information via SMS text to the technician on call. Within the hour, they're on the factory floor fixing the problem. Internet of Things (IoT) in Manufacturing Just as smart devices have become more common in the consumer space, they're proliferating in the manufacturing environment, enabling businesses to operate more nimbly and efficiently. Decisions once made by people can now be settled autonomously or semi-autonomously by cyber-physical systems or individual machines. "[IoT] allows us to do things that previously would have been very difficult, like monitoring, sensing, looking at situations, automating the triggering of special conditions and really allowing people to work more efficiently," said Tony Pereira, Mitel's Vice President, Business Accelerator. "So ..

What is Unified Communications and Collaboration and Why Should I Care?

2018-03-02T17:34:49+02:00March 2nd, 2018|

What does unified communications and collaboration (UCC) mean? Unified communications and collaboration brings together multiple forms of communications, like voice, video and data services, and software applications into a single environment, improving business processes making it easier for employees to connect. Unified communications and collaboration can include components like: Instant messaging Presence – knowing if a contact is free or busy Unified messaging – the ability to retrieve all your messages from one central location Conferencing applications – to connect larger groups and allow them to share information and ideas Teamwork applications – to coordinate work on group projects Video conferencing – on your PC, mobile device and using room-based systems Mobile applications – extending unified communications and collaboration to smartphones and tablets What impact does unified communications and collaboration have? Hyper-connected. 24/7. Always-on. Pick your adjectiv..

IoT Gives Machines a Voice in Manufacturing

2018-02-28T12:07:29+02:00February 28th, 2018|

It’s 10 p.m. on a Friday. The production line is running full-tilt to meet the commitment you’ve made to a key customer. On a die-cutter, Sensor 8a records a malfunction and, in seconds, sends the information via SMS text to the technician on call. Within the hour, they’re on the factory floor fixing the problem. Internet of Things (IoT) in manufacturing Just as smart devices have become more common in the consumer space, they’re proliferating in the manufacturing environment, enabling businesses to operate more nimbly and efficiently. Decisions once made by people can now be settled autonomously or semi-autonomously by cyber-physical systems or individual machines. “[IoT] allows us to do things that previously would have been very difficult, like monitoring, sensing, looking at situations, automating the triggering of special conditions and really allowing people to work more efficiently,” said Tony Pereira, Mitel’s Vice President, Business Accelerator. “So the secret is, how do you..

Taft School Saves Money, Moves to Cloud Communications

2018-02-26T11:04:43+02:00February 26th, 2018|

Connecticut’s Taft School, a private boarding and day school founded in 1890, was founded by Horace D. Taft with the goal of helping students not to be served, but to serve. The school’s mission is to create well-rounded, engaged students, often focusing on service-based programs and many different types of abilities, including academic, artistic and athletic. Taft School is comprised of a diverse group, with 595 students from 44 countries with 129 faculty members. And just as the school encourages its students to be forward-thinking and prepared for a changing world, its IT leaders are dedicated to doing the same for the school’s technology. Looking for change A long-time Mitel customer, Taft School had an analog system that served it well. But feeling the need for digital transformation, Taft School’s systems administrator, Frank Trosky, started exploring potential upgrades and the possibility of utilizing cloud communications for its schools. Trosky realized the school might wan..

How Schools Can Lower Total Cost of Ownership of Communications Systems

2018-02-21T17:54:04+02:00February 21st, 2018|

Many K-12 schools cope with antiquated phone systems that don’t offer now-standard features like mass notification and mobile support. To meet district needs and keep the systems running, they often have to bolt on piecemeal solutions. What’s more, these older systems can end up costing schools more money to maintain over time, even as they fail to deliver on ease of use and functionality. But replacing an aging phone system is fraught with challenges. How can administrators balance the need for a flexible and robust communications solution while also lowering the total cost of ownership? It’s a tough but unavoidable question, because at some point that old, inadequate system is going to have to be replaced. Fortunately, K-12 administrators today have options. Advances in communications technology, such as unified and cloud communications, make it possible for you to quickly and easily deploy a more feature-rich solution. On top of that, today’s systems result in a lower TCO. This fr..

UC Tops the Class for Lowering K-12 Schools’ Total Cost of Ownership

2018-02-21T17:54:04+02:00February 21st, 2018|

Many K-12 schools cope with antiquated phone systems that don’t offer now-standard features like mass notification and mobile support. To meet district needs and keep the systems running, they often have to bolt on piecemeal solutions. What’s more, these older systems can end up costing schools more money to maintain over time, even as they fail to deliver on ease of use and functionality. But replacing an aging phone system is fraught with challenges. How can administrators balance the need for a flexible and robust communications solution while also lowering the total cost of ownership? It’s a tough but unavoidable question, because at some point that old, inadequate system is going to have to be replaced. Fortunately, K-12 administrators today have options. Advances in communications technology, such as unified and cloud communications, make it possible for you to quickly and easily deploy a more feature-rich solution. On top of that, today’s systems result in a lower TCO. This fr..

How Does a First-Time Fix in Field Services Affect Customer Experience?

2018-02-16T13:45:08+02:00February 16th, 2018|

Every field services company wants to provide a good customer experience, so you're likely to schedule appointments quickly and make sure your tech arrives on time. And while you hope that the matter is resolved on your first visit, you may expect a service call to take a second trip before it's fixed. After all, the tech has to figure out what's going on, assess the problem and see if the parts are on the truck, etc. If that describes your approach, I've got bad news. You're emphasizing the wrong standards. Customers care more about getting the job done right the first time than anything else. In fact, a report from the Aberdeen Group suggests that the biggest complaints customers have is that the repair didn't get fixed the first time (61 percent), with fewer complaining about waiting to get an appointment (51 percent) or the technician showing up on time (41 percent). In other words, your customer experience will stand out from the competition more i..

It’s Time for Healthcare Communications to Move to the Cloud

2018-02-14T11:34:57+02:00February 14th, 2018|

As healthcare enterprises -- including hospitals, retail or hospital-based clinics, physicians’ practices and the myriad of other healthcare-related businesses -- move away from on-site PBX model of communications to a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) model, many IT/telecom decision-makers are increasingly asking themselves—and asking Mitel—why they should move to the cloud. Concerns about security top the list of issues, although we also hear that companies are not ready to give up on the expensive PBX systems that were purchased not all that long ago. These are legitimate concerns. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, Mitel and its partners work closely with organizations to aid in the transition to a UCaaS solution, helping them protect their investments and make the change on their own terms, according to their own timeline. Bottom line: In addition to offering further functionality such as mobility, switching to a UCaaS model saves healthcare enterprise..