Truly Open, Truly Trusted at Identity Week 2022

In the spirit of “asu,” the Japanese word for tomorrow, NEC was proud to be the title sponsor for Identity Week as we look forward to the future of digital identity and biometrics.

Formerly known as Connect ID, Identity Week connects identity professionals from across government, finance, retail, eCommerce, health care, and travel. More than 1,000 attendees from around the world were at the event in October at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Kicking off Identity Week, David Pekoske, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), shared staggering numbers. On Labor Day weekend, 8.76 million travelers were screened by TSA. That’s up 102% from pre-pandemic levels. To effectively screen the growing number of passengers, TSA will deploy more biometric technology so that travelers have safe and seamless experiences.

Administrator Pekoske also gave us insight into the TSA Innovation Task Force’s plan for an upcoming “innovation doctrine” that will help guide future technology projects to integrate new hardware and software. This forward-thinking approach to digital transformation will ensure that travelers have a safe and convenient “curb-to-gate” travel experience in airports.

Mind the Trust Gap
I was honored to present the opening keynote, “Mind the Trust Gap,” spotlighting digital ID within the federal and aviation sectors.

NEC’s vision of being truly open, and truly trusted is one of our strengths as a 123-year-old company. We continuously look to asu (tomorrow) and the possibilities of the future, prioritizing trust, security, and seamless experiences. I challenged the audience to not only build on current technologies but to also widen our aperture and think about the threats of tomorrow. Asu is NEC’s commitment to outside-the-box thinking to develop solutions at the speed of need.

Convergence of Online and Offline ID
“Decentralized ID is our vision for secure, self-sovereign, and standardized digital ID.” NEC Vice President Micah Willbrand gave the summit speech on the convergence of online and offline identities, the evolution toward decentralized digital ID, and how it’s being used in retail, aviation, and other applications. He stressed that the public sector should look toward the private sector as more consumers demand streamlined experiences.

Digital-Enabled Citizen Experiences
Austin Park, Director for NEC National Security Systems (NEC NSS), participated on a panel about digitally enabled citizen experiences. Austin predicts, “Decentralized identity will become much more prevalent in the next five years due to its privacy-by-design nature.”

Beyond Digital Identity
NEC Labs President Chris White led a seminar pointing out the importance of “applying real-time methods of sensing people and the environment to make accurate and efficient authentication systems.” NEC Labs is the U.S.-based center for NEC Corporation’s global network of research laboratories. NEC NSS and NEC Labs work in tandem on innovative biometric solutions.

Harnessing AI to Enhance Customer Experience
NEC Labs also invited attendees to try their luck with our AI-driven golf putt analyzer. Executive Vice President Keith Terreri demonstrated his golf skills and got an insight into his swing, body movements, and positioning. It was a fun, interactive way to showcase the technology and how it can be applied to enhance digital ID, security, and customer experience.

Being with our peers at Identity Week was inspiring and energizing. There were spirited discussions about Next Gen identity verification, which reinforces our mission at NEC NSS to apply scientific curiosity with the flexibility to rapidly prototype custom solutions. We look forward to next year’s event!

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Your Face. One ID. One Platform.

Known as the “CES for aviation,” Future Travel Experience Global (FTE) brought together leaders from airlines, airports and their partners to experience the latest innovations and solutions advancing tomorrow’s customer journey.

Building on the theme of Identity Reimagined, NEC sponsored the Biometric & Digital Identity Summit, featuring a panel discussion that looked at the dynamic approaches to digital identity innovations for the travel industry.

A key focus point was on the integration of SITA Smart Path at Miami International Airport (MIA), powered by NEC I: Delight, along with insights and key learnings about the adoption of biometrics and digital ID from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) and Lufthansa:

  • Nael Samha, Acting Executive Director, Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Directorate, U.S. CBP
  • Maurice Jenkins, Chief Innovation Officer, Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Sherry Stein, Head of Technology Strategy, Americas, SITA
  • Patrick Sgueglia, Product Manager, Regulatory Services & Biometrics, Lufthansa

Onsite interactive demonstrations of NEC I:Delight, encouraged attendees to create their digital ID and try to ‘Fool the System’ by using fun props to change their appearance to further show how a single digital ID can empower a seamless journey using various methods of authentication and verification.

Additionally, the global aviation partnership and integration of NEC I:Delight with SITA Smart Path was recognized. With an emphasis on personalizing the customer experience, to provide faster identification, shorter lines, and touchless services—all while allowing users to manage their digital identity to ensure privacy and security.

Our experience at FTE reinforced our commitment to continuously innovate our touchless technology, elevate the customer experience and create safe, secure journeys.

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How Artificial Intelligence Can Take Customer Service to New Heights

A Look at the New Interaction Analytics and Evaluator AI Features in UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE

You have probably heard some of the recent buzz around Contact Center Artificial Intelligence (AI) – how it is the wave of the future for Contact Center technology and smart business. Emily Potosky, Senior Research Principal for Gartner’s Customer Service & Support practice, describes in the 2022 Gartner report entitled “3 Ways AI Benefits Customer Service Organizations” that “Customer service and support leaders are optimistic about the value AI can provide and plan to substantially increase their adoption of AI capabilities over the next two years.” At the same time, she explains how there are conflicting messages about the real benefits of AI and the right solutions in which to invest. According to the report, insights, user experience, and process improvement are three key ways that AI can benefit customer service organizations going forward.

Contact Centers as Critical Touchpoints

As you certainly know, your business thrives on creating and retaining satisfied customers. Your Contact Center is a critical customer touchpoint, where the quality of your interactions can determine whether a customer becomes a passionate, lifelong company advocate or chooses to exit your customer base forever. This is why the power of AI to offer accurate insights into your Contact Center’s daily customer interactions is an appealing way to maintain oversight and drive continuous improvement for customer service, experiences, and processes.

Consider the immense value it would have if your organization could gather meaningful, actionable insights from the voluminous inbound and outbound calls your agents handle each day. Your collection of customer conversations holds tremendous value. However, no one in your organization has the time to review each and every customer conversation manually, and random sampling will simply provide an incomplete picture. The beauty of AI is that it makes the impossible possible.

Gather Actionable Insights and Enhance Customer Experiences with UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE

UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE from NEC is a Contact Center as a service (CCaaS) solution offering not only the benefits of enhanced call center functionality and remote-office flexibility for a low monthly fee per user, but also a powerful suite of AI features that are reason enough to move your entire Contact Center to the cloud today.

The Interaction Analytics feature for ENGAGE uses Artificial Intelligence to enable Contact Center supervisors and your leadership team to easily identify and focus on those conversations that matter the most to your business. By analyzing and tagging customer conversations for sentiment and designated keywords, the guesswork eliminated. Supervisors can gather powerful insights about customer experiences, review recorded and transcribed conversations of interest, act quickly to address trends or issues they see, and move your business ahead of customer demands and expectations. Insights from ENGAGE Interaction Analytics can also be leveraged to help with coaching and training employees and improving customer satisfaction overall.

Evaluator, another AI-powered tool for ENGAGE, utilizes sentiment analysis to monitor the performance of frontline agents and helps supervisors to easily identify those agents requiring additional training or coaching, allowing them to act instantly on specific conversations as needed. The tool also allows supervisors to provide constructive feedback to agents and for agents to respond to this feedback within the application, as a way to build employee skills and improve customer service levels and retention rates.

The benefits of AI can extend to every area of your business, through an effective keyword tagging strategy. For example, a customer service manager could stay informed of any conversations containing keywords like “cancel” or “unhappy,” to see how frontline users are handling these difficult conversations. Sales and marketing could flag competitor names or review conversations that have been flagged for positive or negative sentiments to identify new product value propositions or customer pain points. Product development could tag for keywords like “broken” or “missing,” to identify opportunities for product improvements or new features.

ENGAGE: Real Benefits, The Right Solution

Salesforce quote

According to a recent research study conducted by Salesforce, 88% of customers indicate that the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services, and 94% indicate that a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to purchase again. These customer statistics are really not surprising, but definitely help to explain why the right AI solution for any Contact Center needs to offer the real benefits of insights, user experience, and process improvements – as the Gartner report mentioned earlier explains. ENGAGE Interaction Analytics and Evaluator AI are the right solution for tapping into the wealth of information that is currently hiding in your daily customer interactions – insights that will allow your Contact Center and business to continually improve, create positive customer experiences, and soar to new heights.

Ready to learn more about UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE?

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NEC and SITA bring Mobile-Driven Airport Journeys using Biometrics and Digital ID

With restrictions easing across the globe, airports and airlines must meet soaring demand for travel with fewer resources. According to SITA’s 2022 Passenger IT Insights research, travelers are willing to embrace mobile, biometric and touchless technologies to make their journeys easier.

As the aviation industry begins accelerating the transition to a digital travel experience, it’s important to choose the right partner. There are many factors to consider when creating a biometric and mobile-driven passenger journey including accuracy, scalability and cost-effectiveness.

See how the SITA-NEC partnership is opening a whole new world of digital travel possibilities that are safe, secure and easy to use. SITA Smart Path, powered by NEC I:Delight, is creating the future of travel…today.

Learn how SITA-NEC technology is paving the way to expand touchless journeys at airports across the world in SITA’s blog post, “How do we prepare aviation for the next generation of travel?”

For more information about the NEC I:Delight platform and our other aviation solutions, visit www.necam.com/I:Delight/Aviation or complete the form below to speak with an NEC expert to learn how our partnership with SITA is helping to refining the travel experience.

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How the Hybrid Workforce Has Brought Cloud-Based Phone Systems to the Forefront of Business

Cloud-based phone systems have exponentially grown in popularity over the past few years. Improved ROI, decreased cost, and easy scalability are just a few of the many benefits they offer.

With the recent increase in work-from-home employees, cloud-based business phone systems are now an indispensable part of the hybrid workforce.

Workers can utilize the same phone system tools as their office counterparts, no matter where they are physically located—through their laptop, IP phone, tablet, or cell phone.

Are you like many of our customers and wonder, what is a cloud-based phone system? Read on to learn more about how the hybrid workforce has affected cloud-based phone systems and the value you’ll get from installing one.

What are Cloud-Based Phone Systems?

Traditional phone systems (PBX) require expensive on-site servers and annual software subscriptions. When something goes wrong, it becomes a 911 rush to find a qualified technician to come out and fix the problem.

Cloud-based phone systems, such as UNIVERGE BLUE from NEC, offer a fully-featured phone system with high-definition (HD) audio and a wide range of features, such as:

  • Call Park
  • Call Forwarding
  • Find Me/Follow Me
  • Hold Recordings or Music
  • Conferencing
  • Messaging Applications

The cloud-based phone system provider handles the server and software maintenance. This helps eliminate the huge monthly expense of on-premises servers and software licenses as well as helps reduce on-site maintenance and management labor costs.

We have found that our customers can save an average of 15-25% over the life of the phone system when making the switch from an on-premises system to a cloud-based system.

Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone System

Cloud-based phone systems offer a wide range of benefits, such as:

  1. Reliability—cloud-based phone systems offer a 99.999% uptime backed up by a Service Level Agreement.
  2. They’re easy to scale without a huge investment. When you need to add new lines, simply call the company hosting your system and inform them. They’ll make the changes on their end without any effort on your part.
  3. Reduced hardware and labor costs—you don’t need an on-site control box, and all maintenance is done in the cloud. This means that your equipment is continually updated with the latest security patches/etc. When updates are available, the phone will let you know, and updating is as simple as clicking a button on your phone.
  4. Easier to connect with customers—you can place phone calls and send text messages that appear to come from the company regardless of if the app is installed on an employee’s personal cell phone.
  5. Some systems, such as UNIVERGE BLUE, come with a transcription feature. If someone misses a phone call, they can look at their email and see who left the voicemail, along with a transcript of what they said.
  6. A cloud-based phone system is much more secure than a premises system. For example, an old premises-based phone system can be hacked—attackers will randomly call and recognize the voicemail prompt, and from there, they can tell what system it is.

The hacker can then enter the user’s system, start making international calls, and racking up substantial long-distance bills. With the cloud, that’s eliminated because everything is encrypted, and NEC and their security specialists handle all the security stuff.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems Have Evolved Due to the Hybrid Workforce

According to many sources, the hybrid workforce is not only here to stay—workers and job applicants will start actively seeking companies that offer it. Cloud-based companies have seen the increased demand and are now offering a wide range of additional features and benefits such as:

  1. The ability to connect to the cloud from any internet-connected device. If you’re working in the office in the morning and pack up to go home after lunch—you won’t have to bring any additional equipment to work from home or in the field. When using a cloud-based phone system, you won’t have any concerns on having to take work equipment with you to stay connected.
  2. You can also work from a cell phone signal instead of a traditional home or office internet connection. Workers will still have access to the cloud-based phone system when power outages occur, provided they can receive a cell phone signal.
  3. With UNIVERGE BLUE, employees have a choice when using their personal cell phone. They can choose to take and make calls from the mobile client where the caller ID shows up as coming from the company or they can call directly from their cell phone where their personal caller ID is displayed to the person on the other end. System administration is super easy with the cloud-based phone system’s web-based portal.
  4. Many applications have also been developed to help people in the hybrid work environment. These include messaging, productivity, and collaboration tools such as call flip, SMS text, file sharing, team chat, and web meeting.

Is a Cloud-Based Phone System Right for You?

The value and benefits offered by cloud-based phone systems have far-surpassed traditional PBX on-premises phone systems. You and your employees will experience increased productivity, flexibility, and productivity, while employers will save money by being able to effortlessly scale up or down as needed.

UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT is an easy-to-use cloud-based communications platform that helps employees to be more productive and collaborative. It includes a full-featured phone system combined with chat, web/video conferencing, basic contact center functionality, and file sync, share, and backup capabilities.

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