One2Call Blog

HOW TO: Convert Web Chats to Free Voice Calls with a Single Click.

Apr 5, 2019 1:28:54 PM / by Alex Hodgson posted in 3cx, customer service, SME, UC, Unified Communications, Website, Wordpress, SEO

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3CX web chat screen record - v3

3CX is the software-based communications platform (or PBX in old parlance) that's been taking the business world by storm by bringing advanced features within the range of even the smallest SMEs.

It was one of the first platforms to adopt WebRTC, a new web standard that allows voice and video communication to take place direct through the browser removing the need for dedicated apps or applets.

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Avaya IP Office R10: Top 5 new end-user features.

Oct 9, 2016 5:30:31 PM / by One2Call posted in Avaya, business, News, Telecoms, Unified Communications

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Avaya has just released it's latest major release of it's mega-selling communications platform for SMEs, Avaya IP Office. Here I pick out what I think are the 5 best new features from an end-user's perspective.

It's probably fair to say that Avaya IP Office (in all it's historical guises) is a bit of a legend in our industry, and as the 10th major release approaches it's now way past 500,000 units sold worldwide. As such, a new major release is big news not just for the industry, but also for it's many thousands of business users in the UK.

As an Avaya Partner we were invited to an in-depth briefing recently in Manchester where we were given the lowdown on a whole host of upgrades, improvements and feature enhancements that will be coming out in Release 10 (R10), but it's fair to say a lot of them were a bit 'techhie' and behind-the-scenes, so I wanted to focus in on why this latest release is important to end-users, and why you should make the effort to upgrade from your earlier version of IP Office on to R10.

Here is a video I did straight away after the briefing on my initial thoughts, and underneath I've focused in even further and picked out the Top 5 features of Avaya IP Office R10 that will be of interest to end-users.

Top 5 new end-user features in Avaya IP Office R10.

1. Workforce Optimization Select

This is number one because it has the power to revolutionise the right type of business. Any company with a heavy-traffic customer contact centre who is committed to giving the very best customer experience should take a look at Avaya's Workforce Optimisation Select. This was developed first for Avaya's larger Aura platform, and is now available to SMEs via IP Office.

It's way too deep a solution (it's really platform a a suite of features) to cover here, but the things that jumped out at me were:

  • PCI Compliant Voice AND Screen recording
    Centrally record and playback an agent call and see what they were doing on screen at the same time. A powerful way to quality check agent performance and compliance.
  • Speech analytics
    Allows you to search for certain words within recorded speech audio. An incredibly powerful tool saving time searching for specific calls, and allowing you to ensure your agents are using the right kind of language with your customers.
  • Forecasting analytics
    By monitoring and learning your call patterns, staffing patterns, peaks and troughs, this powerful software can help you plan your business more efficiently, ensuring agents are deployed where they will be needed, as well as where they are needed.

Workforce Optimization Select really is a powerful suite of programs for the modern contact centre, so if you're interested I urge you to find our more.

2. Fewer Restarts

Currently there are lots of areas within IP Office where changes to the programming requires a system restart to apply. This is annoying for end-users who risk full system downtime, and it's annoying for us service providers because we can't just make necessary changes whenever we need to!

Not only have Avaya reduced the number of instances whereby a system reset is required, they have also committed to moving towards a zero restart system, so there should be fewer and fewer restart instances with each new software upgrade.

3. Webmeeting via WebRTC

WebRTC is still a relatively new technology but has the ability to revolutionise the telecommunications world over time.

It essentially is a method which allows web browsers to connect to each other directly for voice and video calls, with no fiddly and potentially dangerous little bits of software to install. Basically, it makes initiating a web conference much smoother and more reliable, and will also over time be platform agnostic (eg/ it already works on almost any device you can have a Chrome browser on).

In R10 WebRTC can be used to conect to collaboration calls via Avaya Communicator, but for internal calls only at this stage. Eventually, though, it is expected to be rolled ot to external users too.

4. More diagnostic tools

This may seem like something more for the engineer than the end users, but anything that helps your support service provider diagnose issues more quickly also gets your system running more smoothly more quickly.

The key new tools added to R10 are:

  • More line diagnostics
    Added diagnostic tools to test voltage and return loss can help your support engineer dive deeper into line issues and get a more detailed idea of exactly where the issue lies.
  • Voice Quality Monitoring
    Based on software supplied by VOIP monitoring specialists Prognosis, these additional tools should help support engineers investigate call quality issues more thoroughly, and without necessarily having to recreate what may have been an intermittent fault. Call quality is a common pain point for end-users so any extra tools to fix these issues are welcome.

5. New top-of-the-range handset

Well, we say handset, Avaya say "Video Collaboration Station", and for once I think that's not just marketing bull!

Here's what makes this more than just a handset with a screen:

  • The HD 1080p camera is detachable, allowing for greater 'show and tell' in web meetings
  • HDMI output allows for meetings to be 'cast' to a large TV screen when several people are present.
  • Several connection options - built- in WiFI, dual Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI input allows almost any device to be connected.
  • Cordless handset and USB and bluetooth peripheral support means you can be truly free to roam if need be!

So, that's my Top 5 anyway. There's lots more than that on offer, this is just a snapshot!

Please take a look at the video above and leave me any comments you have and I'll answer them when I can.

If you're interested in moving your business to IP Office or upgrading your existing installation to R10, please get in touch.
 

Post written by:

Alex Hodgson

Business Development Manager

0114 230 0081

alex@one2call.net

Specialism:

Marketing. Web, Social Media, Avaya & Mitel pre-sales.

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Panasonic releases UC Pro app for KX-NS series telephone systems.

Sep 15, 2016 2:00:37 PM / by One2Call posted in News, Panasonic, pbx, UC, Unified Communications

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Unlike similar apps from some other vendors, Panasonic's app will be compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android and Apple iOS.

Panasonic's communications arm in North America has announced the release of a new app called UC Pro to enable business users to connect to anyone anywhere across multiple devices.

Designed to integrate with the Panasonic KX-NS series of IP-based communications platforms, including the KX-NS700, KX-NS700G or KX-NS1000, it is flexible enough to serve the needs of small to medium-sized business (SMBs) or larger enterprises, according to the company.

A single id allows users to bring all the functionality they would have on their desktop phone on their smartphone or tablet, including access to stored contacts and the ability to place calls through the application. The interface is designed to be user-friendly and fully customisable and brings with it features such as text chat, video conferencing, one-click calling and an integrated calendar.

At the touch of a button, users can share their location and save time chasing down unavailable colleagues by seeing their status and location.

Text, audio and video chat functionalities let users hold meetings at remote locations with video conferencing capabilities, and instantly connect to one or more colleagues through the text or audio chat functions.

Our reaction

"UC apps like this are a great way to extend the functionality of your phone system beyond the office, and to make your workforce more mobile.

We also find that customers like UC smartphone apps because they can, for instance, find out who is currently available in a vital department when they are in an important meeting with a client, rather than be sat reaching voicemails or nervously awaiting callback.

It can also help you get rid of separate work and personal smartphones since users get the benefit of being connected to the business whenever they want to be, but being in control of their presence status, they can send calls to voicemail or other extensions whenever they want to.

They are pretty much essential for any modern, mobile and flexible company."

The Panasonic UC Pro application is currently available through Panasonic authorized resellers, with downloads for both desktop and mobile clients available through the Panasonic Partner Portal, Google Play and the Apple Store.

Source: <a href="http://www.eweek.com/small-business/panasonic-launches-uc-pro-unified-communications-platform.html">http://www.eweek.com/small-business/panasonic-launches-uc-pro-unified-communications-platform.html</a>
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Avaya and Plantronics team up to improve contact centre performance.

Nov 23, 2015 11:48:29 AM / by One2Call posted in Avaya, call centre, News, Plantronics, Unified Communications

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Two of the world's leading telephone system and headset providers are teaming up to create a better overall experience for contact centres.

Avaya and Plantronics are teaming up to provide simplified communications in contact centre and unified communications environments.

Their first initiative will focus on focuses on ensuring compatibility and integration between selected Plantronics headsets and Avaya's Chrome-based contact-centre apps, including Avaya Agent for Chrome and Customer Engagement OnAvaya – Google Cloud Platform. The combination provides voice and non-voice interactions with customers, including chat, email and SMS.

"The No. 1 requirement our customers look for is simplicity and ease of use," said Mark Monday,Avaya ’s vice president and general manager of team engagement solutions. "Increasingly, our customers come to us asking how Plantronics and Avaya can collaborate to create a better engagement experience. Through this partnership, Avaya and Plantronics are integrating multi-channel collaboration capabilities with business processes and applications for an effortless engagement experience for our customers."

According to a recent survey by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), 71 percent of contact center leaders believe that difficulties with systems and inefficiency of tools are top contributors to call-center agents' workday stress. The report also noted that being equipped with the necessary resources to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently had the greatest positive impact on performance.


 

Source: Channel Partners Online
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No more 'car park conferencing' with Avaya and Plantronics' 'Seamless UC' hook up.

Jan 27, 2015 11:50:16 AM / by One2Call posted in Avaya, News, Plantronics, Unified Communications, Headsets

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If you've ever sat in your car in a car park for 45 minutes because you're in an audio conference and you don't want to the hassle embarrassment of the signal breaking up and then logging back in when you get to the desk, then you'll love the new tie up between Avaya and Plantronics as featured in the video below.

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How O2 saved money and increased productivity with flexible working.

Jan 12, 2015 11:33:14 AM / by One2Call posted in Blog, business, BYOD, Telecoms, Unified Communications, flexible working

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In 2012 O2 conducted on of the UK's largest-ever flexible working experiments and discovered a win-win situation for the company and it's employees.

In 2012 O2 asked all of the 2,500 workers at it's Slough headquarters to work away from the office for a day. It was a bold experiment, and here's what they found:

  • Almost all staff said they were at least as productive as usual
  • More than a third said they had been more productive
  • In one day employees saved 2,000 hours of commuting time
  • Water usage was cut in half
  • Electricity consumption was cut by 12% saving 12.2 tonnes of carbon emissions (equal to 42,000 miles in a diesel car)
  • O2 have also since calculated that each worker saves 127 hours every year by eradicating needless journeys

As a result of the trial O2 have created a permanent culture of smarter working with all employees encouraged to work out of the office for at least one day a week, with big effects on productivity.

Commenting on the trial in a recent TechRadar article their Business Director Ben Dowd said of flexible working;

"Despite the on-going economic recovery, UK productivity remains well below every one of our G7 peers, so we need to take advantage of the technology we already have to help us become more a productive, competitive workforce. The future of our economy depends on organisations of all sizes ensuring they have a digital way of operating that's fit for the future; smarter, flexible working is a great place to start."

One2Call is also backing flexible working to help boost the British economy and the quality of life for British workers. If you're company needs help and advice on the technology to help this to happen, contact us and speak to one of our experts.

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Cisco, Avaya, NEC and Mitel lead worldwide business telecoms market.

Dec 16, 2014 11:48:16 AM / by One2Call posted in Avaya, Cisco, News, Panasonic, Telecoms, Unified Communications, Mitel, NEC

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Infonetics Research have revealed that Cisco, Avaya, NEC and Mitel led the world in business voice revenue in Quarter 3 of 2014, sharing two thirds of the global market between them.

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One2Call adds Cisco and Avaya to complete 'Top 5 ' line up.

Dec 15, 2014 12:56:40 PM / by One2Call posted in Avaya, Cisco, News, Panasonic, pbx, Telecoms, UC, Unified Communications, Mitel, NEC, networks

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>> More about Avaya
>> More about Cisco

One2Call is proud to announce that has added the world's 2 biggest players in business telecommunications, Cisco and Avaya, to it's phone systems and business communications portfolio.

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FIRST LOOK: New NEC Univerge SV9100 business communications platform (phone system)

Oct 15, 2014 5:12:04 PM / by One2Call posted in Blog, business communications, BYOD, Phone, SV8100, SV9100, Telecoms, Unified Communications, univerge, NEC

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One2Call was kindly invited by NEC to their preview roadshow in the Long Room at Nottingham's historic Trent Bridge Cricket Ground to get a first look at their new Univerge SV9100 business communications platform, the successor to the SV8100. Here's a quick run down on some of the things we found out.

Handsets - New vs Old

Firstly, a game of spot the difference (pic below). The phone on the right is from the NEC SV8100, the phone on the left is from the new SV9100 range (and has a 12 button hot key expansion module attached). Can you spot the difference?

Well, the answer is, there aren't that many! But that's no bad thing. There was nothing inherently wrong with the old SV8100 handsets, and this also means legacy handsets are fully compatible with the new system, keeping upgrade costs low.

    In case you didn't spot them, the main changes are:
  • Backlit keypad buttons
  • White on black keypad buttons
  • Segmented toggle in the bottom left, making selection easier
  • Some slight differences in materials you can't quite see from the picture
  • Call alert light in the middle (top) rather than over to the right.

There were some other changes I don't have notes for! We'll update these when we add a page to our website on the NEC SV9100.

Handsets - Revolution vs Evolution

The presentations talked a lot about 'evolution nor revolution', but there were 2 new handsets which caught the eye, both of which act as regular system handsets, but also run Android OS to allow for a greater use of apps by the business (like productivity apps, email apps etc...).

NEC UT880

 

Pictured (below right) this is the new top of the range phone which is essentially a phone receiver bolted to a 7" Android tablet with built in camera and hands-free capability. Ideal for companies or executives looking to embrace video conferencing, as a CCTV linked door entry phone, or for customer-facing employees who just want a really impressive handset! They can presumably even play Angry Birds on it if they so wish.

NEC DECT G966

DECT (or wireless) phones are useful in all kinds of environments where mobility is essential; from hospitals and schools to hotels and warehouses. However, the look of traditional DECT phones are uninspring to say the least, usually resembling the manufacturers cheapest cordless phone from 5 years previous.

Which makes it all the more refreshing to see this new smartphone-inspired DECT handset from NEC. This is not a smartphone as there's no SIM slot (thereby ensuring calls are kept of costly mobile networks) but it does, like the UT880, run Android OS to allow web browsing and app use also. Disappointingly it didn't seem to have a camera, so using barcode scanners in a warehouse environment is ruled out, but nonetheless we can see this being a popular option where DECT is necessary, especially as we were advised that costs will not be too dissimilar to existing DECT models.

 

The PBX - Specs

The SV9100 has been beefed up in a number of areas over the SV8100, the takeaway message of which from NEC was that it is "5 times more powerful" than it's predecessor. Obviously on a short introduction like this it's difficult to really test what affect this has, but can't really be a bad thing.

It's also good to see the SV9100 is handling 400 SIP trunks, and from multiple carriers (against the single carrier SV8100), thereby offering a greater deal of flexibility during setup, more resillience, and a greater range of potential customers.

>> More about the SV9100, including brochure download



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Can your business survive without flexible working?

Sep 19, 2014 11:16:12 AM / by One2Call posted in Blog, cost saving, doncaster, efficiency, Unified Communications, virtual desktop, flexible working, home worker

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If, as a new survey suggests, flexible working can improve staff morale, productivity, competitive advantage AND save money, can your business survive without it?

A recent survey from office space provider Regus polled 2,200 business owners and senior managers for their opinions on flexible working. The findings included:

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