02 August 2017

Embedding communications in mobile applications

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

Think about how much time you spend on mobile devices through the day. For many people, the answer is “a lot,” but the actual number might be more than you think. One study showed that the average U.S. consumer spends 5 hours per day on mobile devices1. Because of this, the mobile experience is becoming increasingly natural to consumers, with mobile apps dominating their focus. In fact, 92% of users’ time on mobile is spent within apps1. Consumers are so familiar with their mobile devices that switching to another platform feels unnatural- even having to switch to a mobile browser is an unusual experience, as mobile browsers only occupy 8% of mobile activity1.

As consumers use mobile devices more frequently, they expect to be able to do everything on mobile that can be done on desktop devices. While smartphone ownership experiences a massive uptick, desktop/laptop device ownership is beginning to slow2. With this shift, businesses need to be focused on mobile to provide an optimal customer experience. What does it mean to be mobile-focused? The answer is not so simple. Below, we will outline the three stages of mobile integration. The depth of this integration often corresponds with your customers’ adoption of your mobile application.

08 May 2013

Showcasing Microsoft Lync 2013 on Office 365 cloud

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Lync, Unified Communications, Microsoft

At the recent Lync release Derek Burney (Corporate VP, Microsoft Lync & Microsoft Office Data) took the center stage showcasing Microsoft Lync 2013 fully running on Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. This integration will be implemented across the service within the next 18 months.

Here are the highlights of the items demonstrated at the release event:

  • The ease with which a new user can be added to an Office 365 account with whatever Office application license.

  • Using Lync on array of mobile clients. Starting obviously with a Windows phone to Android and iPhones. He expressed that the client retains its “Lync-ness” while still adapting to the design of each mobile operating system. Creating ease of use and comfort.

  • Discussion of Lync Web app for browsers. Allowing any user join a meeting from a PC or Mac browser

  • WebRTC – the Web Real Time Communication and the premise to support this exciting initiative in the near future once standard is ratified

  • Focus on moving Microsoft Lync into the conference room. Using two large touch-screen displays, Burney demonstrated how with single-touch to join a meeting and then designate one screen to video and the other to electronic virtual whiteboard. This allowed for note taking of the meeting eliminating the need to take pictures of the old-fashioned whiteboard.

While the demo wasn’t groundbreaking, the overall delivery signified the fulfillment of the vision Microsoft had for Lync. They have delivered a UC system that can provide voice as well as IM/Presence, video, desktop sharing and overall all elements of modern communications system. It can run on all the major platforms whether desktop or mobile and now is moving into conference rooms. The success and popularity of Microsoft Lync keeps on growing and enhancing.

Contact us if you need help implementing Microsoft Lync and Office 365 with your contact center.

02 May 2013

Unified Communications gains incredible popularity and usage

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

86 percent of organizations allowed BYOD in 2012

Unified Communications gained incredible popularity and usage since the inception of the first multi-modal smartphone in 2007. With the wide adoption of mobile smartphones and tablets in the market now, UC market has just exploded. It is clear that UC-enabled mobile communications (MCEBP) is at the top of everyone’s list for tablets and smartphones. The only concern is its security and how it’s handled for consumer usage vs. work usage.

There are several factors and perspectives to consider such as mobile operating systems, multi-modal mobile applications, support and access security privacy controls. Overall, UC mobility has value for any end users, no matter if it’s an individual consumer or an employee within an organization but both will shape where the market is going with new online and mobile technologies. This requires strategic planning for migrating into more “virtual” and hosted services in private and public “clouds”.

A recent survey by a recently formed consortium of enterprise software companies focused on mobility, the Enterprise Device Alliance, confirms some mobile impacts and trends for internal IT organizations. These include the following:

07 March 2013

Challenging trends in fully deploying unified communications platform

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Unified Communications, ComputerTalk

To fully deploy an enterprise-wide unified communications (UC) platform is not an easy task albeit the advantages it brings. Enterprises continue to wrestle with moving their deployment from pilot phase into full-scale production. For easier deployment, it’s been identified that enterprises should blend the traditional option of on-premises Microsoft Lync deployment with optimization provided through hosted deployment. This allows the core infrastructure and applications to remain in the enterprise while media, edge and federation portions of the environment are hosted in the cloud.

23 January 2013

Managing mobility in 2013

Written by Martin Borowski

Jabra and Frost and Sullivan recently conducted a study to evaluate strategic use of UC in 302 companies. The report found that more and more companies are looking to embrace UC tools in 2013 by utilizing increasing mobility for efficiency and retaining top talent.

It found that workers are increasingly asking to use mobile devices to help them be more productive. Nearly 67 per cent of workers (Australia) currently use smartphones for business purposes. Unfortunately, so many end up using their personal devices amounting to almost 30 per cent.  For companies to separate themselves from the pack would be best served by maximizing their workers mobility. Invest in mobility-enabling devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

16 December 2012

Outsourcing Productivity with Unified Communications

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Unified Communications

Businesses use office phones, mobiles, computers, instant messaging, emails and video calls to conduct work therefore it’s not surprising so many look to technology advances to reduce technology overload.

Unified Communications (UC) is seeing a huge uptake as companies realize the benefits that it can bring. It creates huge flexibility when implemented within a business, as employees can see exactly when and in what way to contact a colleague.

For example, presence information is displayed for every individual on the system. This way availability of colleagues is displayed and the best way to reach them. This eradicates the email waiting game or phone call tagging.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows the computer to be used as a phone. This significantly reduces the cost of call charges, especially if they are long distance. VoIP also allows face to face video conferencing making meetings more flexible and faster as travel is not required. Basically meetings can take place anytime, anyplace even if thousands of miles apart. Such collaboration across a team network has always been sought after and with UC easily conducted. It’s now possible for this ‘virtual network’ of co-workers to share their screen with colleagues, pull together thoughts and ideas on a single document and update documents in real time. Saving the time and hassle of sending drafts back and forth before the document is finalized.