Boost Productivity, Streamline Workflows, and Increase Revenue with UNIVERGE BLUE® EXTEND Integrations for CONNECT & ENGAGE

Business environments have evolved significantly over the past decade. Enterprises are moving at a relentless pace with new technologies, applications, and CRM tools playing a vital part in the customer and employee experience. Thanks to this digital transformation, successful companies must embrace integrated technologies, applications, and tools in order to be competitive.

Employees now have the option to communicate and collaborate with their co-workers, customers, and other business counterparts in a variety of ways across their preferred platforms with methods such as chat, SMS, video collaboration, voice, social media, and more. Customers also have multiple ways, such as those listed above, to communicate with companies making it easier to reach out and connect.

With increasing availability of new technology, cloud applications, and customers that demand information in real time, there are more and more applications and tools that need to exchange information constantly. The risk of not engaging with these tools is high and the opportunities afforded by integrating them could be great.

Juggling multiple applications can be time consuming and extremely hard to manage if the tools are not properly connected, which is why it is in the best interest of companies of all sizes to determine how to integrate their systems so they can work together as a functioning, well-oiled machine.

Introducing UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND Integrations for CONNECT (UCaaS) and ENGAGE (CCaaS)

The new UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND integration platform allows organizations and their employees to take advantage of UNIVERGE BLUE’s powerful communication, collaboration, and contact center functionalities within and in combination with everyday business applications. The UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND integration platform was designed specifically to help organizations boost productivity, streamline workflows, and increase revenue. EXTEND is built into NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT Unified Communications (UCaaS) and ENGAGE Contact Center (CCaaS) and is available to all CONNECT and ENGAGE customers without additional licensing or cost. With EXTEND, employees can communicate and collaborate more effectively no matter their geographical location.

The Value of EXTEND Integrations for CONNECT Unified Communications

Effective, integrated communications are essential to enabling employees and increasing their productivity. Deploying EXTEND integrations directly influences the behavior of employees, their level of performance, and the speed it takes them to find the right information and provide the best possible customer service – every time.

According to a survey conducted by Gartner, 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work post COVID-19. As telecommuting becomes the new reality, organizations will need to ensure their systems are tightly integrated to prevent slowing productivity in their remote workforce.

With UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND Integrations, organizations can embed UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT Unified Communications into their everyday business applications and CRM tools across various teams to streamline workflows, improve communication speed, and maximize employee productivity, no matter their location.

EXTEND Integrations allow you to leverage CONNECT’s 100+ enterprise-grade calling features including auto attendant, call queuing, automatic company-wide call recording, and more. Click-to-call phone numbers from contact or web pages, quickly and easily add virtual meeting details with UNIVERGE BLUE MEET to any new or existing calendar event and click to start virtual meetings with MEET directly from the web browser or calendar event.

EXTEND integrations are readily available for commonly used business applications like O365®, Outlook®, G Suite™, Microsoft® Teams®, SugarCRM®, ZOHO®, Slack®, Salesforce®, Zendesk®, ServiceNow®, Oracle® Netsuite® and Microsoft Dynamics®. Don’t see your business app? Easily deploy custom screen pops to virtually any web-enabled application with UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT (UCaaS) EXTEND Integrations.

  • Increase productivity: Embedding UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT into productivity applications helps automate business workflows and maximize employee efficiency thus generating revenue or protecting your existing customer relationships. Additionally, integrations allow you to enhance the CONNECT unified communications solution for remote workers in home offices and other dispersed locations, transforming the way employees get business done.
  • Drive customer retention and increase revenue: Combine powerful communication capabilities with relevant customer data to ensure sales and support teams have the right information at the right time. Contact Center Agents and general business users can offer an improved customer experience when they are more insightful and efficient.
  • Streamline workflows: EXTEND integrations for CONNECT and ENGAGE help to improve the speed and performance of employee’s work as well as their responsiveness to customer inquiries. With the different functionalities tightly integrated to scale to a higher level of efficiency, less time is spent switching between applications and a greater amount of work can be accomplished faster.
  • Easy to use: Deploy and use with no extensive training or implementation costs. With such easy deployment and simplicity, IT processes are seamless which allows your IT staff to focus more on the core business and allows users to quickly access important data.

The Value of EXTEND Integrations for ENGAGE Contact Center

According to a SelectHub Article, 84% of customers consider the experience with a company as important as the product or service and 66% of customers will actually pay more to get a top-notch customer experience. Clearly organizations need to offer the best possible customer experience in order to be competitive in their market – relying solely on a product and/or price will no longer keep businesses afloat.

With UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND Integrations for ENGAGE Contact Center, it is easy for businesses to leverage popular business applications – or even home-grown apps – to deliver smarter and more efficient contact center customer experiences.

By connecting the powerful contact center capabilities of UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE with your existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Helpdesk systems, you can help drive customer retention through enhanced customer experiences and drive revenue with increased agent productivity.

With EXTEND Integrations you can easily annotate and capture key details from a call and save the call outcome/classification to the customer’s account. Screen pops for incoming calls provide agents with existing customer account records for a better customer experience.

Take notes and log call details for new or existing customers directly within an application or CRM while on an active call. Route customer calls more efficiently by using advanced call routing and IVR with UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE Cloud Contact Center. View presence of contacts along with screen pops of existing customer information for incoming calls.

The ability to capture audio and screen recordings of interactions with customers and automatically store them in their account contact record helps ensure a complete history of interactions. Your agents will also be able to access case status for clients or build a call flow that lets them self-serve.

  • Alert and adapt in real-time: Keep an eye on the overall pulse of the ENGAGE contact center by delivering alerts and updates from applications to agents. With UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND integrations for ENGAGE, customers will have the ability to deliver time-sensitive alerts and updates to selected channels that allow them to take rapid action before situations become problematic.
  • Increase agent productivity: Streamline workflows and maximize agent efficiency as UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND Integrations embed ENGAGE contact center functionalities into everyday business applications. Combining streamlined workflows and simplified data retrieval processes allow agents to focus on resolving the customer’s issue rather than spending time searching for customer data.
  • Easy to use: Deploy and use with no heavy training or implementation costs required. This allows agents to quickly adapt and begin offering exceptional customer experiences as soon as the solution is implemented.
  • Improve customer journey and experience: Access relevant customer data quickly and at the right time to deliver a more personalized and seamless experience to each customer. More effective and efficient call center systems result in more effective customer contact scenarios, which leads to the desired result of customer satisfaction.

NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND Integrations allow organizations to seamlessly connect with the most well-known tools being used today such as Salesforce®, ZenDesk®, Microsoft® Dynamics®, Zoho®, ServiceNow®, NetSuite®, SugarCRM®, and more. We also offer easy-to-implement custom integrations using custom API’s for the ENGAGE Contact Center solution.

Get Connected with UNIVERGE BLUE EXTEND for CONNECT & ENGAGE

Don’t let your business suffer due to not having the proper connections between important business systems. You can enhance employee productivity and customer engagement with additional communication functionality built into the everyday business applications you are currently using.

UNIVERGE BLUE is designed to meet the needs of business of all sizes. Whether you’re a startup of 10 employees or an enterprise of thousands around the globe, NEC specializes in providing flexible options and integrations for every type of business. We will grow with you and provide a comprehensive unified communication and contact center solution for the future.

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NEC’s I:Delight platform is taking flight with SITA partnership

When airport checkpoints move smoothly, travelers have more time to shop, dine and relax before their flight. NEC’s biometric facial recognition technology is the quickest and simplest way to authenticate a passenger’s identity, letting them fast-track through every process from bag check to boarding.

NEC has developed a unique partnership with SITA, a global provider of IT and communication infrastructure for 80% of the world’s airports. NEC’s Advanced Identity Matcher – Edge Source (AIM-ES) technology uses the most accurate face matching algorithms as validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), along with our NeoFace® algorithm, to deliver an all-in-one solution capable of creating recognition galleries and templates as well as providing identity matching and scoring. It easily integrates with the SITA Smart Path whole-journey identity management solution, which creates a specialized application for airport travelers.

Using the application, travelers can choose to use their digital identity for paperless boarding passes. A simple facial scan validates their identity at check-in and continues to authenticate passengers throughout the airport experience.

Implemented fully, a traveler can enable facial recognition in NEC’s I:Delight identity management platform to approve purchases in airport shops, on airlines, for hotels and transportation. Because it uses an individual’s unique ID, it is more secure than other online money transfer services.

No explanation required—in any language

Facial recognition is intuitive and transcends language barriers: Everyone knows how to take a selfie, so it’s natural to look at a screen for a snapshot. The results are also extremely quick. The photo hits the cloud, finds a match, then flashes a red light or green light—a universal signal for a person to stop or go ahead.

By comparison, other forms of biometric identification require the individual be at an exact distance and use a precise gesture—both of which involve an explanation and require more time. In addition, face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic raise a new challenge, but NEC’s NeoFace biometric algorithms gather enough data from the visible part of the face to verify a traveler in the database.

Travelers simply opt-in to the platform to access the application. If they want touchless fast-tracking, they download an app to their phone, save an image of their face on the day of travel, and their image and secure travel documents are linked in a database for travel checkpoints. Travelers maintain self-sovereign identity, meaning each traveler selects who they will share their information with, such as an airline, hotel or retail service.

Customized for airlines, compliant with security

The partnership also streamlines adoption of the technology for airlines and airports. SITA Flex enables airports and airlines to build their own mobile applications for passengers, and NEC’s digital identity management software enables developers to overlay their interface with the NEC I:Delight platform.

Biometric verification can also be used for security and customs checkpoints. Each country has distinct requirements for security screening, and SITA has both the relationships and the extensive local workforce to customize our platform for compliance and scale at each location. All systems adhere to country and local policies, and NEC is completely transparent about how data is used. For example, data for international travelers in the U.S. is stored for six hours, then expunged.

Delta Air Lines is already using the NEC facial recognition platform in Atlanta to fast-track passengers. The hygienic, touchless system is ideal during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Delta will expand this streamlined process to other U.S. airport hubs.

Internationally, NEC and SITA have a project in Thailand, at multiple airports in India, and Star Alliance is rolling out NEC I:Delight in Europe. Star Alliance plans to enable travelers to use their travel reward points system as a purchasing method—in flight as well as at the airport, hotel and transportation.

The NEC-SITA partnership creates an opportunity to scale NEC biometrics technology to more than 460 airports running on SITA’s infrastructure around the world.

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Reach Sky-High Communications with UNIVERGE BLUE

Businesses today are rapidly migrating to the cloud. But with upfront costs, unforeseen challenges and the process of getting employees up and running, transitioning to the cloud can feel daunting at times. In fact, 50% of IT professionals say that lack of skills is the top challenge their organizations face in adopting cloud-based infrastructure.

What if there was a simple and reliable solution that could help you transition to the cloud?

Meet UNIVERGE BLUE® CLOUD SERVICES. NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE provides customers with a frictionless, comprehensive and enhanced set of fully integrated, cloud services ranging from integrated phone system, video conferencing, messaging and contact center to backup & disaster recovery.

UNIVERGE BLUE is completely customizable, with no one-size-fits-all solution. So, no matter where you are on your cloud journey, UNIVERGE BLUE is here to fit your unique business needs.

Your Business is Constantly Evolving – So Should Your IT

How we communicate in the workplace has changed significantly over the last decade thanks to rapid advancements in technology. Communications technology was forced to evolve in order to support the growing number of remote employees across the globe. Even before the current COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to support a remote workforce was already becoming a top priority for many businesses.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a new perspective on the importance of being able to adapt at a moment’s notice. In just a relatively short period of time, technology teams were tasked with addressing remote users, enabling multiple devices, building out new locations, implementing cross-channel solutions and more.

On-premises hardware simply cannot keep up. As the world continues to change and business needs continue to evolve, businesses need a solution with the flexibility to adapt and grow with them.

Don’t Fall Behind Because of Your IT

Maybe you’re experiencing increased operational costs for overhead and maintenance. Or, perhaps you’re struggling to balance multiple technology solutions spread across various locations and are at risk of your infrastructure becoming complicated, unmanageable and outdated.

And, further complicating things is security. As the number of detrimental data breaches continues to grow, many IT teams are becoming saturated and overwhelmed with risk management and they could be struggling to keep up.

Read our latest ebook, ‘Reach Sky High Communications’ to learn more about how NEC UNIVERGE BLUE can provide you with a simple and reliable path to the cloud.

Transition to the Cloud with NEC

UNIVERGE BLUE is designed to meet the needs of business of all sizes. Whether you’re a startup of 10 employees or an enterprise of thousands around the globe, NEC specializes in providing flexible options for every type of business.

With UNIVERGE BLUE, business can achieve the following:

  • Remove internal barriers to communication and scalability
  • Keep up with ever-increasing customer demands
  • Connect employee engagement with customer satisfaction
  • Enable remote employees to be efficient and connected
  • Automate maintenance and updates
  • Protect organizational data and reduce risk

UNIVERGE BLUE not only meets your needs today, but it will grow with you and provide a comprehensive solution for the future. It’s time to reach for the clouds with NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES.

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Ready to get started on your journey to the cloud? Schedule a demo and speak with one of our cloud experts today!

Hawaii Department of Transportation selects NEC thermal solution for screening travelers

Business and travel shutdowns and mandatory 14-day quarantines have proven to slow the spread of COVID-19, albeit at great cost to local economies. States are now challenged with reopening commerce without causing a spike in infections, which could again overwhelm hospitals and lead to further lockdowns.

Looking for a safe way to bring travelers back into the state and reduce delays and bottlenecks in the deplaning process, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) ultimately chose an NEC-led team for deployment of a thermal screening solution at all five state-run airports. The HDOT project award includes equipment, installation and a 10-year maintenance plan that will keep airport traffic flowing safely into the future. Approximately 90 percent of the deployment and maintenance will be completed by local Hawaiian businesses.

The NEC solution leverages thermal sensing and facial recognition technologies to detect elevated body temperature (EBT) and alert screeners to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or greater. The system, which is being deployed in three phases before the end of 2020, can detect faces wearing masks covering the nose and mouth, allowing a thermal sensor to screen passengers for elevated body temperature so that they can be called aside for additional health screening.

Prior to deployment, members of the Hawaii National Guard were manually scanning deplaning passengers for elevated body temperature. The new thermal screening system speeds the process and reduces potential exposure of pathogens from infected passengers to human screeners.

As travel volumes ramp up in Hawaii, the facial recognition component of the system will temporarily and anonymously track passengers who screen positive for elevated body temperature until a human screener is able to meet the passenger for a secondary evaluation. Passenger image and temperature data collected by the system is deleted after 30 minutes.

NEC NeoFace® Thermal Express technology empowers both government agencies and private commercial entities to check temperatures of foot traffic, without having to create long lines or bottlenecks for individual identification and temperature checks. In a time when social distancing is needed, the flow-through system promotes safety and hygiene by isolating EBT and identifying the source on the move.

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Livescan That’s Truly More Efficient, Hygienic, and Affordable

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a higher priority has been placed on creating more hygienic workplaces and public spaces to prevent the spread of the disease. Corrections and law enforcement officers, public safety workers, courtroom professionals, and all employees supporting law enforcement and legal systems must take greater measures to protect themselves and the public.

For instance, potential COVID-19 outbreaks in our nation’s jails and prisons can put incarcerated individuals, the correctional workforce and surrounding communities at risk. In response to this danger, leaders and employees of correctional facilities have been tasked to combat the crisis in a way that protects the health, safety, and well-being of all individuals.

SmartScan®, NEC’s livescan solution, helps improve and verify the quality of biometric images, including fingerprints, palmprints, faces, irises, and even scars, marks, and tattoos (SMT). In addition to providing law enforcement with the most accurate and easy-to-operate solution in the industry, SmartScan also offers a hygienic user experience through our optional NEC NeoFace® face recognition technology for biometric logon and identity verification. With multiple configuration options to meet various budgetary requirements, NEC’s SmartScan truly is the most affordable, hygienic, and intuitive solution on the market today.

DID YOU KNOW… NEC’s SmartScan has a proven track record in numerous livescan deliveries, including Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Texas Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Huntsville Police Department, Alabama Atmore Police Department, and Alabama Mobile County Sheriff’s Office!

Automated, Accurate, and Efficient

The problem with livescan systems today is that they haven’t changed much in 20 years. They suffer from an obsolete design, outdated user interface, lack of security features, and poor maintainability.

NEC’s SmartScan is different. It has an intuitive user interface leveraging the built-in capabilities of Microsoft® Windows® 10, such as modern pinch-and-zoom and swipe features that effortlessly guide livescan operators through the image capture process. Other benefits include:

  • Auto-capture function – Dramatically speeds up the image capture process.
  • Superior image quality – Captures high quality images for accurate search.
  • Rapid processing – NEC’s biometric image processing tool provides immediate feedback, making it easy and fast for operators to review and ensure the quality of captured images.
  • Intuitive user interface – Visually guides operators through the capture process, making it easier, faster, and more automated.
  • Easy integration – Can be integrated into existing criminal history, records management, and jail management systems.
  • Convenient and flexible web client – Facilitates system administration and configuration management.

A closer look at NEC’s SmartScan

DID YOU KNOW… NEC’s SmartScan offers face recognition as an option to create a touchless, more hygienic experience, even with face masks on!

Hygienic and Safe

With the awareness brought about by COVID-19, public safety workers are seeking potential ways to reduce the spread of coronaviruses and other pathogens that may surface in the future. NEC’s SmartScan supports this goal by offering a more hygienic approach, including:

  • Flat (4-4-2) fingerprints instead of rolled fingerprints – Speeds the process and reduces contact time for livescan operators and the individuals being processed.
  • Responsive touchscreen – even while wearing gloves.
  • Optional use of face recognition to avoid contact
    • Operator biometric logon
    • Subject verification
  • Built-in foot pedals – Provides another option in the capture of fingerprints, palmprints, and other biometric images instead of touching screen, making it more sanitary for operators.

Affordable and Solid Return on Investment

Most agencies are facing budget constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic. NEC is proud of the affordability of our SmartScan solution, offering flexible options to meet budgetary and operational demands. For example, SmartScan is available in multiple configurations, including a ruggedized cabinet with a large display. Desktop and portable options are also available to meet all funding requirements.

Taking it one step further, through our flexible leasing programs, NEC can not only help eliminate the need for a large upfront payment, we can also help deliver the solution with affordable monthly payments. Furthermore, NEC offers GSA pricing and other intermediary pricing schedules to avoid the cumbersome procurement process, making it easy to own a SmartScan.

Working within your funding constraints, NEC offers flexible customer support and service options, including onsite, remote, or assist-as-needed, to better meet your operational and budget needs.

Why NEC’s SmartScan

NEC’s award-winning solutions are backed by rigorous research and development (R&D), including more than $1.2 billion invested in R&D annually. Our biometric algorithms have been validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in comprehensive evaluations, including:

  • Eight consecutive wins in NIST evaluations for fingerprint matching
  • Five consecutive wins in NIST evaluation for face recognition
  • Ranked number 1 in NIST evaluation for iris recognition

As a Fortune Global 500 company with 120 years of experience and technology expertise, NEC offers the fastest and most accurate face recognition and fingerprint matching algorithms. In addition, our face recognition technology is the most resilient for low resolution and poor-quality images. We currently have over 64,000 patents and over 700 large-scale biometric solutions installed in more than 70 countries. We are here today and tomorrow to support your mission-critical operations!

NEC’s SmartScan solution streamlines processing and captures superior quality digital biometric images in far less time and with fewer rejected scans. To learn more about SmartScan, you can explore here.