A Modern, Cloud-Based Communications Platform Simplifies Everything For Higher Education Institutions

Universities, community colleges, and vocational schools are under constant pressure to increase services, do more with less, and make sure every constituent group – from students to staff to alumni – feels informed and engaged. A fully integrated cloud unified communications platform goes a long way toward improving student, staff, alumni, and community experience, outreach, and engagement – regardless of whether classes are in person or online.

That’s where NEC and UNIVERGE BLUE come in. NEC has been in business for 120 years, expertly navigating the evolution of communications technology and UNIVERGE BLUE is just the latest in a long line of innovations.

UNIVERGE BLUE’s cloud services offer several key benefits that higher education institutions can take advantage of to both simplify and modernize their communications infrastructure. Streamlined collaboration allows users to communicate more efficiently and resolve issues faster. Cloud-based unified communication systems offer superior scalability which saves budget and additional resources. Robust security measures help protect critical data and information from unauthorized access.

Streamlined Collaboration

A cloud-based unified communications system like UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT facilitates seamless collaboration by integrating phone/voice, chat, video, file management, and more into a single platform. Users can easily switch between voice and video calls, instant messaging, and file sharing, enabling real-time collaboration among different departments. This streamlines communication, minimizes delays in responses, and simplifies collaboration across campus – and beyond. By fostering a culture of collaboration, higher institutions can better serve their students, faculty, and staff. Easy to setup, manage and use unified communications, with no phone system to buy, install, upgrade or replace as your university grows.

Cost Efficiency and Scalability

Traditionally, on-premises phone systems have required lengthy, expensive installations that, once in place, can be very difficult to maintain and update when needed. That’s why UNIVERGE BLUE offers one simple, flat monthly rate that’s based on the number of users with no hidden fees added. This makes it simple and easy to plan for future budgets without sacrificing features and functionality. Cloud-based unified communications allows organizations to easily adjust their communication resources based on demand, such as during times of emergencies or peak activity based on variable schedules throughout the year.

Robust Data Security

The safety and security of data is a critical concern for all educational organizations. Hackers and other bad actors are constantly testing safeguards put in place to protect confidential, sensitive information. All levels of education need to ensure they are safe from these threats. Reputable cloud providers like UNIVERGE BLUE employ advanced encryption techniques, firewalls, and authentication protocols to safeguard data from unauthorized access. Additionally, cloud-based platforms ensure high availability and reliability, with built-in redundancy and disaster recovery mechanisms. It’s critical for higher education institutions to carefully consider who they trust with their sensitive data and information.

As higher education institutions adapt to the ever-changing communications landscape, a cloud-based unified communications system emerges as an indispensable tool. NEC and UNIVERGE BLUE offer a trusted platform that academic organizations can deploy to provide their students, faculty, and staff with the means to spend more time pursuing their missions and less time grappling with outdated, unsupported technology.

Contact one of our experts today to learn more about how UNIVERGE BLUE can help your organization/department modernize your communications infrastructure to better serve your institution’s key stakeholders.

When Time Is Of The Essence … But Lasting Value Matters Too

A Wichita Public Schools Case Study

Certain circumstances demand swift action. And there is nothing wrong with getting results when pushed by necessity. But real value comes when there are benefits that extend well beyond the original situation.

Take for instance our customer – the Wichita Public Schools. As the largest school district in the state of Kansas, it supports nearly 50,000 students and 7,000+ teachers and staff across more than 90 schools and special program sites.

NETWORK CONNECTWhen the pandemic hit, the school district needed to quickly switch to virtual learning and remote work. It was only natural for them to turn to NEC. After all they were already a customer and were successfully using our on-premises Unified Communications solution.

In just 4 weeks after the request for help came in, we were able to deliver a modern approach to hybrid accessibility and academic achievement with our Microsoft-certified NETWORK CONNECT for MS Teams intelligent call routing solution.

Teachers and staff could route calls directly to specific numbers in Teams as well as to their NEC UC platform’s desk phones, providing seamless accessibility regardless of location. Additionally with unmatched carrier redundancy, regulatory compliance and failover assurance, our solution successfully delivered rich and reliable home teaching, remote advising and simplified teacher-parent support.

Read the complete experience: Download your free copy of this case study or read our press announcement.

NETWORK CONNECT For MS Teams Long-Term Effect

But what started from necessity has also become a long-range win for the school district.

“The silver lining during these difficult times is that we’re better prepared for disruptions, weather emergencies and other fast-changing circumstances thanks to our partnership with NEC,” according to Rob Dickson, CIO of Wichita Public Schools.

Take a closer look at the Wichita Public Schools experience

NETWORK CONNECT Has So Many Uses To Keep Your Organization Up & Running

Interested in exploring what NETWORK CONNECT could do for your organization?

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How Can a Visitor and Employee Management System Redefine Safety and Productivity as Your People Return to the Workplace?

In today’s security and highly health-conscious environment, businesses must offer a safe and comfortable experience for employees returning to work and visitors who will soon be entering on-site offices. In some areas, organizations are legally required to implement workplace policies to limit transmission of viruses to maintain healthy business operations and work environments.

While many businesses remain remote, those who decide to reopen do so with the health and safety of their staff and customers as their highest priority. Enabling contactless processes in your lobby can go a long way toward reducing the spread of infectious diseases and making your visitors and employees feel more comfortable as they enter your office building and check in.

NEC’s Robust Visitor and Employee Management System

NEC Front Desk Assistant (FDA) employee and visitor management system is an easy to use solution that manages the flow of on-site visitors and employees, from check-in to check-out, helping to create a safe and health-conscious environment for employees and visitors in your building.

Read on to learn how FDA is taking on a new role in safety and productivity at the workplace.

Thermal Scanning for Elevated Body Temperature

Many businesses are screening the temperature of employees and visitors to help detect and identify those that have fevers and may be sick – a high-contact and labor-intensive task. With Front Desk Assistant’s thermal tablet, this can now be automated, private and touch free.

FDA’s optional thermal tablets include a built-in thermal imaging camera to identify individuals with elevated temperatures. When the Front Desk Assistant application is loaded onto a thermal tablet, the application integrates with the tablet’s thermal imaging capabilities resulting in touch-free screening and temperature monitoring.

Pre-Registration

Allowing visitors to pre-register their visit helps prevent congestion of people in lobby areas, reduces unnecessary human interaction, and speeds up the overall check-in/out process for visitors and employees.

FDA offers pre-registration QR access codes for visitors, employees and other individuals who plan to enter your building. Visitor codes are valid for a single visit while employee and others can be set to never expire for touch-free single or repeat visits. Bulk invite preregistration can be sent to up to 500 people for large meetings and events.

Contactless Check-in and Check-Out

FDA utilizes NEC’s leading biometric facial recognition technology or QR codes along with thermal screening to provide safe, touchless and fast identification of employees, visitors, guests, patients and/or students entering an organization or event.

Those employees or visitors who have preregistered simply display their code or face to the tablet’s camera upon arriving at your building. Once the person is checked in, a notification is automatically sent to the person that they have come to meet with. Facial recognition and QR codes eliminate manual processes during check-in and out for a truly contactless check-in method.

Capacity Limits

Keeping track of how many individuals are in your facility is just as important as knowing who is in your facility. The Front Desk Assistant (FDA) allows you to input a maximum occupancy rate and keeps count of check-in activity. When the occupancy rate reaches the maximum number, alerts are immediately sent via Email and/or SMS. Additionally, at maximum occupancy no additional check-ins are permissible.

Activity Logs

Creating a more health-conscious environment in your organization includes defining the number of allowed individuals into the facility, capturing individuals’ temperatures, presenting company compliance agreements, tracking and monitoring access to a facility and keeping records of visitor’s and employees time spent on the premises. However, tracking all of these processes manually can be very time consuming and negatively affect your receptionist’s productivity.

NEC’s Front Desk Assistant records all visitor and employee entries and can easily be downloaded in a detailed report in Excel. This information is easily retrievable for occupancy compliance confirmation, employee management, and verification of visitor status. Easy to read dashboards delivers information instantly and accurately, helping to improve workplace productivity and safety.

Front Desk Assistant is the ideal solution for organizations with employees returning to the workplace that are committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health and welfare of employees and visitors. With NEC’s Front Desk Assistant, you can offer peace of mind for your employees and visitors at your workplace.

If you would like more information about NEC’s Front Desk Assistant and how it can help your organization, reach out to your NEC representative today or visit NEC’s Front Desk Assistant website.

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Calling All Resellers: 8 Great Reasons to Become a UNIVERGE BLUE® Channel Partner

Earlier this year, NEC introduced the new generation UNIVERGE BLUE® cloud unified communications, collaboration, and contact center portfolio for our Channel Partners in the US and Canada. As a company that has always prided itself on building strong relationships with our channel partner community and delivering true innovation, the launch of UNIVERGE BLUE was an exciting move to deepen our roots in the cloud market and provide new revenue streams for our channel partner community.

There has never been a better time to become a UNIVERGE BLUE Channel Partner. For starters, the demand for flexible, adaptable Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS), web based Collaboration, and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is stronger than ever. NEC’s award-winning UNIVERGE BLUE features a full suite of cloud services ranging from integrated phone system, video conferencing and collaboration, webinar, chat, file sharing, and omni-channel contact center to backup & disaster recovery.

In addition, NEC recognizes that a successful partnership needs to positively impact our channel partner’s bottom line. NEC’s unique, award-winning channel partner model is designed to enhance our channel partners’ profitability and provide enough flexibility to win against your competitors.

Here are 8 great reasons to become an NEC UNIVERGE BLUE Channel Partner today:

  1. On-premise, cloud, or hybrid – the choice is yours. NEC is committed to providing the best solutions for our end users and channel partner resellers. With on-premise, cloud, or hybrid solutions, we make sure it is always the best fit for our channel partners and their customers.
  2. Your success is our success. NEC provides channel partners with a dedicated UNIVERGE BLUE team whose sole purpose is to seek out opportunities to pass along to you. NEC’s large on-premises customer base provides a ready-made market for transition to UNIVERGE BLUE.
  3. Choose the partner business model that works for you. With three different go-to-market models (Customer Ownership, Revenue Share, and Agency), UNIVERGE BLUE channel partners can choose the model that fits best for their business. Unlike other vendors, you can choose to control your branding, your billing, and your pricing. You can maintain ownership of your customers.
  4. Own your relationships, maximize your profits and increase the value of your business: By owning the customer relationship, you create real business value (5x) over getting commissions alone. By building a monthly recurring revenue stream, while owning the customer relationship, the value of your revenues could increase by up to 30x over an on-premise model.
  5. Gain access to one of the broadest cloud services platforms globally. With over 10 cloud service offerings, UNIVERGE BLUE is a simple, reliable, and cost-effective solution. In addition to UCaaS, UNIVERGE BLUE offers CCaaS, BaaS, UCaaS with file sync, chat, video collaboration, webinar, CRM integrations, BACKUP & RECOVER as a service, and more.
  6. Ensure your customers are safe and secure: NEC provides transparent, up-to-date information on network operations, security, privacy, and compliance. Our 99.999% uptime guaranteed SLA offers a 100X better uptime commitment than most other providers.
  7. NEC makes it easy – from quote to cash. NEC’s specialized, cloud and vertical industry subject-matter experts actively assist channel partners across the entire customer lifecycle: marketing, sales, support, deployment, integrations, migration, + more.
  8. When you partner with NEC, we have your back. As a trusted global technology leader, NEC Channel Partners have access to our expertise and world-class technology solutions. Our channel partners’ success is always our priority – NEC works for you.

NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE® CLOUD SERVICES are tailor-made for Channel Partners to sell, install, and support. UNIVERGE BLUE was designed from the ground up with input from Channel Partners and with the goal of making it easy for Channel Partners to sell cloud services and become more profitable.

With UNIVERGE BLUE our channel partners can control their prices, own their customer relationships, and maximize their recurring revenue. To learn more about becoming a NEC UNIVERGE BLUE Channel Partner, visit https://www.univergeblue.com/partners.

NEC Visionary Week: Insights from Global Problem Solvers and Tech Influencers

For 20 years, NEC’s iEXPO showcased solutions for society, attracting more than 30,000 attendees from around the globe.

This year, NEC is reimagining the iEXPO and introducing NEC Visionary Week as a virtual event, Tuesday, December 1 – Friday, December 4, 2020. In addition, NEC is making the highly relevant conference free to attend as a gift to clients and industry colleagues. With greater access, safety and convenience, the flagship forum is expected to draw a record number of attendees worldwide.

Agenda Highlights: December 1 and 4, 2020
Packed with powerful insights that will fuel future decisions, registration is open now for NEC Visionary Week. Be inspired by ideas for conquering COVID-19 and carving out a new normal, harnessing AI, 5G and digital transformation to improve economies, business operations and our societies.

Key sessions featuring solutions from NEC Corporation of America, include:

How Star Alliance Biometrics Will Significantly Improve the Travel Experience
December 1, 4:50 – 5:25 p.m. CST
This fireside chat spotlights the newest technologies elevating customer experience, while focusing on safety and security to rekindle the love of travel and restore travelers’ confidence in the post-COVID 19 world. Learn how Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and NEC are working together to speed airport transit touchpoints, including seamless, touchless airline check-ins.

Join an enlightening discussion about the latest facial recognition technology and encrypted personal identification. Find out how the biometrics solutions protect personal data and maintain compliance as the customer journey becomes more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Speakers:
Jeffrey Goh, Chief Executive Officer, Star Alliance
Raffie Beroukhim, SVP & Chief Experience Officer, NEC Corporation of America
Jason Van Sice, Vice President, NEC Corporation of America

Cloud Communications Helps U.S. Major League Soccer Club Bring Fans Back to the Stands- VIRTUALLY
December 4, 12:40 – 1:15 p.m. CST

Despite the pandemic, one Major League Soccer team has been able to stay connected with fans. How? Using advanced cloud communications solutions.

NEC and Intermedia Cloud Communications have partnered to bring cloud communications and collaboration solutions. From business phone and chat to video conferencing and file management, the solutions are flexible and scalable in bringing teams and people together.

Join the lively panel discussion about keeping fans engaged and excited! Experience the cloud services and how the tools empower communications and remote collaborations.

Speakers:
Michael Gold, Chief Executive Officer, Intermedia Cloud Communications
Ram Menghani, President, NEC Enterprise Communication Technologies Inc.

The robust speaker lineup also includes:

How Artificial Intelligence Will Conquer the Coronavirus, And Beyond
December 1, 11:35 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. CST

Keynote speaker, Dr. Michi Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics at City College of New York, says AI will conquer the coronavirus. Analyzing vast quantities of raw data from social media, cell phones, drones and search engines, AI will detect super-spreaders and stop the virus in its tracks. Dr. Kaku will describe the Fourth Stage in technology with artificial intelligence and biotechnology. Join us to find out why Dr. Kaku is promising a brighter and more prosperous economy and way of life!

5G Open vRAN: Delivering Innovative Digital Services & Sustainable Social Life
December 1, 3:30 – 4:20 p.m. CST

As 5G networks become more widely deployed, operators are looking at the Open & Virtualized RAN architecture to better support next-generation networks. Learn how Telefónica is creating social values based on Open RAN that will increase automation, bring services to market faster, improve security and enable business efficiencies.

Speakers:
Enrique Blanco, Chief Technology & Information Officer, Telefónica
Akihiko (Kiko) Kumagai, Senior Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation
Nozomu Watanabe, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation
Mayuko Tatewaki, Service Provider Solutions General Manager, NEC Corporation

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NEC Future Creation Forum: New Commons – New Values Towards a Sustainable Future
December 1, 5:30 – 6:25 p.m. CST

Mr. Jeremy Rifkin, American economic and social theorist and author of The Zero Marginal Cost Society, presents the “NEC Future Creation Forum.” Join an eye-opening discussion on the new value standards. Envision a future that achieves a prosperous human society, while maintaining a sustainable planet—beyond the next normal.

NEC Visionary Week will offer insights from global problem solvers, technology innovators and thought leaders. Join us to propel our world and industries forward!

For more information and to register, visit https://global-event.nec.com/nvw2020