COVID-19 / Coronavirus Update

Disclaimer: This blog post reflects the latest available information regarding NEC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. We will periodically update this post as new information becomes available.

Updated March 25, 2019

Like all companies, NEC Corporation of America has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 / novel coronavirus outbreak. The health of our customers, partners, employees and their families are of paramount importance, and we are actively aligning our response based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

While COVID-19 has not had a direct impact on NEC’s operations, we are taking the necessary precautions to help promote the health and wellbeing of our employees while maintaining the highest level of satisfaction and support for our customers and partners.

In the best interest of the health of NEC customers, partners and employees, NEC has implemented two measures regarding business travel and teleworking for our employees. These measures are designed to curtail the spread of the virus, while remaining as responsive as possible to our customers’ and partners’ needs.

  • Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all domestic and international business travel by NEC employees must be deemed mission-critical before it will be approved.
  • Through at least April 3, NEC is instituting voluntary teleworking for all employees that are able to do so, except for those who live in areas affected by “stay at home” orders where teleworking is mandatory.
  • For employees working in critical on-site functions, such as those in our distribution warehouse, no non-essential visitors will be admitted for the safety of our employees.
  • For any NEC employees who must work on a customer’s location, we will continue to provide the level of support that they’ve come to rely upon from us. In some cases, employees who fall into the category of high-risk as defined by the CDC will be given the option to work remotely.
  • NEC office locations currently impacted by “stay at home” orders have been closed to outside visitors and are only open to mission-critical staff. All other NEC office locations will remain open and accessible unless otherwise required to close. To date we have had no employees impacted and no contamination issues. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines for regular cleaning and disinfecting of these locations.

We very much appreciate your trust and partnership with NEC and hope that you are taking similar precautions to keep your employees healthy and safe. If you have any concerns, requests or needs that NEC can address for you during this time, we are here to listen and help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your NEC contacts.

Meanwhile, we will update this blog post as needed on the COVID-19 situation, and as any new decisions are made.

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Reduce Telecommunications Costs with NEC Network Connect

The cost of enterprise telecommunications are staggering as many organizations are forced to rely on multiple vendors to achieve network redundancy, availability and cost effectiveness.

Today, NEC is introducing an artificial intelligence (AI) powered call-routing solution that automatically matches each call with the most efficient and cost-effective carrier solution available. Network Connect Intelligent Call Routing is simple to deploy, provides unmatched reliability and reduces telecommunications spending up to 30%, or more.  What’s equally exciting is that Network Connect provides users unprecedented visibility and control of their voice activity through a single dashboard across the entire enterprise. For the first time, enterprise customers are in complete control of their telecommunications voice networks.

Imagine if you assembled hundreds of telecom carriers in a single room and asked them to compete for your business on every call. With Network Connect by NEC, if one carrier is having an issue, it’s removed automatically and another carrier bids to earn your business. If a carrier raises their price, another carrier may choose to lower theirs to earn your business. All of this happens transparently while each call is transmitted through the most effective and best quality path offering a ‘pay per what you use’ pricing model.

Why limit yourself to the vulnerabilities that come with depending on one single carrier when NEC’s Network Connect gives you access to the entire wholesale telecom marketplace?

Network Connect cuts enterprise telecommunications costs up to 30%, or more annually.

What does Network Connect do?

Together NEC and 46 Labs developed a call routing solution that provides enterprise customer’s access to the wholesale telecommunications market and where calls are routed to the lowest cost carrier. In simple terms, each call goes to the lowest bidder, in real time, improving operational efficiency while reducing telephony costs. Annual cost savings are dramatic versus using a standard carrier that may charge retail fees or round up call times to unnecessarily high phone bills.

How does Network Connect work?

The Network Connect intelligent call routing solution uses AI and machine learning to establish the most optimal call path. Once you have access to Network Connect, you will receive instant access to hundreds of global carriers.  Calls are routed between carriers the same way your current carrier manages your call traffic. Businesses establish a SIP Trunk connection to the platform, through the internet and a PBX, and Network Connect will automatically handle all carrier selection, taxation, security, cost and quality optimization.

What information does Network Connect provide?

With Network Connect, IT staff will finally have the visibility and control to monitor and remediate voice network traffic issues.  Additional benefits include:

  • Full access to an up-to-the-minute assessment of telephony usage
  • The option to set daily and monthly spending limits
  • Integration of multiple sites globally in a single dashboard
  • The ability to set alerts, identify issues and automatically remediate network issues
  • Next generation reliability and redundancy
  • A single US based 1.800 number for customer service and support

Hundreds of voice carriers compete on a call-by-call basis to earn your business, so you are not locked into any single carrier and are always getting the best possible price and quality.

How is Network Connect different from using a single carrier?

Network Connect is essentially offering wholesale network prices. Your calls will still be routed via many of the same carriers you may use already but these telecom voice carriers will be working collaboratively and competitively to send and receive your phone calls. Much like the Internet, a call may take multiple paths and touch multiple carriers to go between sender and receiver. With more carrier options, the paths get shorter and call delivery is less expensive.

NEC’s Network Connect also offers a single point of management across a multi-site or multi-national voice network. Automatic intelligent failover is built-in, as well as diversity in voice networks to virtually eliminate outages. When your business seamlessly integrates this call routing solution, you will experience no business interruption, improved voice quality and flexible licensing options.

Why should you choose NEC as your communications provider?

NEC has been providing communications solutions since 1899 and satellite communications since the 1960’s. A proven leader in telecommunications and recognized as a Top 100 Global Innovator, we ship more unified communications around the world than any other provider. NEC holds over 64,000 worldwide technology patents and our submarine cabling provides global telecommunication connectivity. NEC has been an innovator and communications provider for over 120 years. Network Connect continues the tradition of delivering excellence in communications through innovation, with a single point of contact.

How can I become a customer for Network Connect?

The next step would be an assessment of your current carrier plan and existing costs. An NEC Network Connect Solution expert, will work with your implementation team to define a path forward. You do not have to invest in additional infrastructure or change anything about your business operations. Simply make the switch to Network Connect from your current provider and start saving. If you are locked into a current contract with your network provider, you have the option to cap your existing spend with your carrier and grow it with NEC’s Network Connect. Many non-bundled items, like international calling or toll-free service can be moved into the Network Connect system while still maintaining your existing obligations.

Learn more about NEC’s Network Connect, the first call-routing solution that gives enterprises access to the wholesale telecom market.

Contact us and find out how NEC’s Network Connect can work for you!

NEC at NRF 2020: Seamless Retail Customer Experiences with Greater Operational Efficiency

NEC was one of the early pioneers in biometrics technologies since the 1970s. Today, NEC is the world’s leading provider of biometric solutions to both governments and commercial entities, which include air travel, theme parks, stadiums, casinos and more. Next stop: retail, where we are leading new initiatives to transform the Customer Experience (CX).

Looking Customer Loyalty Right in the FaceAt NRF 2020, visitors to NEC’s booth got a glimpse of how retailers are using facial biometrics to deliver an improved CX and achieve tangible business benefits.

Several years ago, we deployed a Customer Experience initiative aimed at transforming the way consumers transact in physical spaces, from entering theme parks and stadiums, to boarding planes, accessing benefits and making payments, interactions that require security as well as streamlined convenience. Today, we see this visionary concept in several very high-profile implementations. And what we saw at NRF this year, is that the retail space is ready to embrace this trend, with facial recognition as the enabler for an item-of-interest to become an item-in-hand with minimal effort and delay. Our leading technology makes it possible to deliver on this promise.

Customer Experience Starts with Fast, Frictionless Transactions

To kick off their booth experience at NRF 2020, visitors self-registered by simply taking a picture of their face, creating a digital ID on our facial identity management platform, NEC I:Delight. This one time enrollment enabled multiple touchpoints and experiences throughout the booth, providing for faster, more secure transactions for applications such as loyalty and payment.

As customers progressed through the booth, they experienced our facial recognition enabled Self-Checkout solution. This self-checkout lane recognizes the items a customer has placed in their shopping bag via RFID, calculates payment and then activates the charge without the customer ever stopping or swiping a credit card. As they walk through the lane, the customer has the option of scanning a QR code on their device or using their face as the “method of payment." NRF attendees also had the opportunity to interact with NEC’s technology partner, POP ID, a Cali Group company. POP ID’s self-ordering kiosk makes recommendations based on past food orders for faster decision-making, reducing wait times, increasing customer loyalty and revenue opportunities. Customers simply register once on their mobile device, and then use the kiosk to choose items and pay without pulling out a wallet or device a second time. Available at numerous quick-service restaurant (QSR) locations today, POP ID’s “Face-pay” concept is enabling unique and memorable customer experiences and generating a fast return on investment.

Experience Advanced Analytics

NEC also showed how facial technology can be applied to enhance data analytics and assist retailers behind the scenes to improve business operations. By analyzing key aspects of the shopper population, either in-store or in front of a particular display, retailers are able to send offers or engage customers in real time based on their individual interests. These types of up-to-the-minute data analytics help retailers survive and thrive in this competitive marketplace. Reliable sales data enables tailored in-store offers to customers, plus aids in managing inventory and staffing.

Retail … the Next Facial Recognition Frontier!

Finally, visitors could see NEC’s next-generation, modular point of sale (POS) design. Our POS design includes a space-saving footprint that can transform from a manned-POS station into a self-service POS just by turning around the peripherals. The embedded facial recognition option enables seamless payment. Both single and double-display versions are available.

Which of these retail trends does your organization plan to embrace in the coming year? Talk to an NEC expert to hear more and engage in our Biometric CX Discovery & Strategic Planning Process as a first step in realizing your vision. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch!

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