Keeping up with Trends: The Desk Phone

do you still need a desk phoneHow can we stay ahead of the advancing technology curve? This is a pressing question for many telecom professionals, particularly in the wake of a few major industry players closing up shop this year. One way to stay ahead is by keeping a pulse on current technology trends, for example, the future of the desk phone.

Will the desk phone continue to persist as it has for well over a decade? Or should we be preparing for its imminent death?

Join us as we take a look at how and why the desk phone has survived so long and what may be next for the phone sitting in your office. Here’s a hint: Frost & Sullivan project that IP desk phone sales will continue to increase for the forseeable future, but that more than half of those telephones will be deployed in the cloud by 2021.

desk phoneOur whitepaper and video presentation Do You Still Need a Desk Phone? takes you through the latest alternatives and complements to the desk phone, including mobile phones, softphones, smartphone docking stations, and Unified Communications.

Learn more and download your free copy today: www.bicomsystems.com/do-you-still-need-a-desk-phone

3 Ways UC Increases Call Resolution Rates in Call Centers

call centerWe have talked about Hosted VoIP in call centers as well as PBX Call Center software, but today is specifically about Unified Communications. What is the general purpose of any call center? Call resolution. That is exactly what a call center is created for – to answer and resolve calls.

Unified Communications contributes to improved Call Resolution Rates in a number of ways. Three specific features are:

1. Presence – Call Center agents that are on call can use Presence to quickly identify colleagues that are available to join the call or provide advice in another way like IM. This way the agent can stay on the call while seeking a solution rather than putting the caller on hold or sending them to unavailable extensions or voicemail.

2. Collaboration – Unified Communications makes it possible for Call Center agents to work together more quickly and seamlessly. Tools like IM, screensharing, or drag-and-drop conferencing mean a resolution is reached more quickly and efficiently. Agents that are on another call can still be reached through alternative methods.

3. Remote Agents – The ability to work from home or on the road means increased availability and flexibility. When more agents are available at more times, it becomes easier to resolve calls efficiently.

These and many other features make Unified Communications an ideal solution for Call Centers that wish to increase their call resolution rate. Our gloCOM app is the piece that ties together the rest of our telephony solution, putting all of our UC tools in one simple interface for your desktop or mobile phone. Learn more about gloCOM on our website.

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7 Collaboration Tools You Should Be Using

collaborationOne of the most valuable features of Unified Communications is increased collaboration. A plethora of UC tools make collaboration possible outside the confines of an office or meeting room. Below are just a few collaboration tools you should be using

  • Presence – Colleagues can interact as if they were in a physical office when using presence.
  • Screensharing – A fast way to convey ideas and information without miscommunications or long explanations.
  • Recording – Users that miss an important call or presentation can catch-up with a recording as soon as they are available again.
  • Conferencing – One of the older tools, conferencing with unified communications can be spontaneous and quick.
  • Mobile – Most unified communications tools are now available on mobile, putting collaboration in the palm of your hand. 
  • Messaging – Instant messaging can get quick answers even when users are busy or on call.
  • Integration – Email, CRMs, and more can be integrated with unified communications to bring more tools to your fingertips.

Tools like the above can increase productivity and save time on a daily basis. Get these tools and more in an application like gloCOM.

5 Ways to Validate a VoIP Purchase

voipWhat do you think of when you hear the term MARKETING? I think of drawing prospective clients in with features, promised benefits, and catchy phrases or images. But there is a whole other facet to marketing that we often forget: Purchase Validation.

Our advertisements and websites and other marketing techniques will not only be seen by prospective VoIP clients, but also by current customers, giving us the opportunity to validate and reinforce their decision. Combat buyer’s remorse and encourage customers to take pride in their VoIP purchase, thus telling others about it, through marketing.

How do we do this? Ziff Davis brings us 5 Ways you’ll Know that VoIP was the Right Decision which we summarize below:

#1 – COST SAVINGS

You likely promised lower costs to prospective clients, so now is the time to remind them how much they’re saving. Ziff Davis shares eight areas in which business save costs with VoIP:

  1. Monthly Line Charges – less than Legacy costs
  2. Domestic Long Distance – no longer an additional cost
  3. International Long Distance – lower rates and/or plans
  4. Enhanced Features – now FREE with VoIP
  5. Reduced Need for Toll-Free Numbers – no longer spend on Toll-Free
  6. Phone Systems – no large capital investment
  7. Less Need for TEM – less complex, less need for management
  8. Trunking – shift from PRI trunks to SIP trunks

#2 – EMPLOYEES LOVE THE NEW FEATURES

Users that had been using the same Legacy system for their entire career will be impressed with the vast features available with VoIP – and the easy learning curve. Ziff Davis gives us four of the most popular features among users:

  1. Visual Voicemail – users can access their voicemail anywhere with an Internet connection and easily share messages with others
  2. Ad Hoc Conferencing – advanced conferencing features such as drag-and-drop, recording, etc.
  3. Click-To-Call – simply click on a contact on a PC or mobile device to call
  4. Customization – users can control many features from their PC including ring tones, personal greetings, call forwarding, etc.

#3 – NETWORK IS EASIER TO MANAGE

The previous two benefits of VoIP will please management and employees, but what about the IT team? The following three examples will benefit IT:

  1. Streamlined Operating Environment – legacy systems involve two separate networks that need IT management, but VoIP converges them in to one network
  2. Self-Provisioning – VoIP is more flexible and user-friendly so IT will have a lighter workload and be less dependent on the carrier
  3. Budget-Friendly – due to the lower costs of VoIP the IT team will no longer be under budget constraints and can freely make changes without seeking budget approval

#4 – ACCESS TO A RICH ECOSYSTEM

While Legacy Telephony is a tried & true and long-lasting solution, VoIP is dynamic and opens the door to a large ecosystem of developers and innovation. VoIP will continually benefit users over time in two ways:

  1. Added features & functions that go beyond Legacy’s capabilities. For example, High Definition voice.
  2. Integration with other communication features such as video, presence, messaging, and ultimately Unified Communications.

#5 – STEPPING STONE TO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

While VoIP may be a passing trend that gives way to text or other methods of communication, it is the first step towards Unified Communications. Companies that purchase a VoIP System will be getting a foot in the door to Unified Communications and will be able to gradually add the other pieces.

 

In short, companies with VoIP will reap many benefits for years to come. We can use marketing to validate their decision and get them excited about the future. Want to read more? Visit Ziff Davis and 5 Ways you’ll Know that VoIP was the Right Decision.

2014 State of Unified Communications – Part 3

In our first and second posts in this series on the 2014 State of Unified Communications we discussed the overall growth of the market, premise vs cloud deployments, collaboration, and what users are looking for in Unified Communications.

We’ll start off our final post talking about what IT Teams need to do in Unified Communications…

With the growth of the Unified Communications market in 2014, IT teams have more pressure than ever to develop and maintain an excellent solution.

uc market

IT Teams must acquaint themselves with the vendors on the market. Aside from all of the large business providers, consumer and cloud providers are gaining traction and represent real competition in the world of Unified Communications.

They must also recognize that Unified Communications are an essential part of telephony today. The market is growing and the competition has already adopted Unified Communications.

WHAT TO DO WHEN STARTING OR EXPANDING A UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION

After hearing those statistics and expectations for the Unified Communications market in the year to come, are you ready to start or expand your UC development? If so, follow these guidelines for a smooth transition:

  1. Target the deployment, at least at first. Provide UC to only those users that will most benefit to begin a slow transition.
  2. Evaluate all of your PBX options. You may not have to upgrade your PBX equipment. Unified Communications is more about virtual features and capabilities than equipment.
  3. Seek a vendor with plans for federation. As the world of telephony moves to 100% Unified Communications it will be important to connect with suppliers and business partners that have different systems.
  4. Do not minimize the importance of voice. While Unified Communications has many benefits to offer, voice continues to be the most fundamental service. Ensure that the new solution will allow maximum quality voice features within your company.
  5. Take full advantage of training. Less important is how to actually use Unified Communications – that tends to be self-explanatory; but teach users the value and benefits of using those features in order to get the most out of the system.
  6. Market your UC solution to its full extent. Unified Communications has so much to offer – show users and potential clients why it is so indispensable. From increased efficiency, to reduced cost, to employee productivity, UC practically markets itself with a little effort.

Not sure where to start? Bicom Systems Account Managers would be happy to talk to you. Contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com, browse our products, or watch our gloCOM Unified Communications app video:

In summary, the world of Unified Communications has made vast improvement in the past year, but there are still several areas that could use some work for the remainder of 2014.

Want to keep reading? Download the full report from Information Week

What are your thoughts on how the Unified Communications Market is going? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!