Three Principals for Effective Hybrid Communications and Collaboration

Succeed with the New Hybrid Work Model

It’s been called everything from the “biggest shift to how we work in our generation” to “the new norm in 2021,” and many are sure it is here to stay. One thing is certain ― preparing for the new era is a business imperative.

One aspect of hybrid work is certain—the need for communication and collaboration tools that support continued productivity and business operations. Over 70% of executives expect to raise spending in this area, according to the PWC study. But along with the technology, you’ll need a vision for how your business’s hybrid work model supports communications and collaboration.

What is a Hybrid Work Model?

Let’s first define and examine the component parts of a hybrid work model—one that supports any and all combinations of worker types while ensuring no lapse in communication and collaboration either internally or with customers.

Your company’s breakdown of worker types will be different from that of companies in other industries, and the mix of worker types will constantly shift. Employees with shorter tenures may be required to start as in-office workers, while experienced veterans may find Work-From-Home (WFH) makes them more productive. As employees change roles, their work location may shift, and there is no doubt that worker types will evolve along with it.

Worker types could include:

  • In-Office Workers
  • Employees who choose to work at a remote location (such as coffee shop or library)
  • Work-From-Home Employees
  • Workers who are part time in the office and part time at home
  • Workers in Transit (working on the go)

The Keys to Hybrid Success

Designing a communications and collaboration solution for your hybrid work model shouldn’t be difficult, and won’t be if you keep three principals at the forefront: Flexibility, Business at the Center of All Communications, and Crazy Simple Communications and on-line meeting tools.

Flexibility

A hybrid work model requires your solution to stretch and expand, ebb and flow as the model takes shape and changes. Hybrid work isn’t a static concept—by nature it implies that where people work will change over time, so your communications solution has to embody elasticity.

Employees should be able to quickly and seamlessly collaborate with each other regardless of their physical location. Elastic communications technology doesn’t care about “where.” Location of either employee or customer is a nonissue. And it needs to be a central feature of your hybrid work model. Elastic communications and contact center solutions also support the unpredictability of a hybrid work model—when employees decide to move to a rural location where your business doesn’t have an office, customers and employees can still reach that employee without awareness of the move. A cloud-based contact center and unified communications allows your business to engage and support customers, no matter where agents or employees may be.

Keep Business At The Center

When your hybrid work model communications technology puts your business at the center of all communications and collaboration, customers reach you the same way they always have. Your business phone number doesn’t change, nor do your employees’ business phone numbers. Employees should never have to share personal phone numbers, because their business phone travels wherever they go. And all communications should be unified in the cloud such that you or your IT leader can measure, secure, and manage them regardless of location.

Management capabilities should let you add phone lines for unexpected growth or remove them when no longer needed. You should enjoy one console to manage permissions, set up hunt groups, set up auto attendants, and more, regardless of employee and customer locations.

Crazy Simple Communications & On-Line Meeting Tools

Let’s illustrate a bit further what we mean by “crazy simple,” at least for your communications and collaboration technology. One suite of tools should deliver all that you need—a business phone system with desktop and mobile applications, the ability to conduct virtual meetings with video, webinar, contact center solutions, security, chat capability, even secure and easy file storage and productivity applications. A central, single management platform and a service record that makes deployment easy. Uptime so good, so reliable, that the system rarely goes down. One system that delivers on whatever communications and collaboration need your employees may have, wherever they are.

NEC UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES – Designed for Hybrid Working

Flexible, business-centric, simple communications and collaboration technology is what NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE offers. A cloud-based unified communications and collaboration platform, UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT enables users to be more productive and share ideas and content though a single system, regardless of location. CONNECT seamlessly integrates all your communication tools—desktop and mobile phones and computers voice; video conferencing, on-line webinars, and chat; secure file sharing, and contact center— into one easily manageable solution oriented around your hybrid work model and its employee’s needs and workstyles.

Are you ready for the world of hybrid work? Don’t waste time and money on servers, app install, and security patches. With NEC’s cloud-based business productivity suite, your business is your focus, not your IT. UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES can help define your hybrid work model and ensure your employees have the tools they need to work better, from wherever they might be.

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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.

What’s New with BLUE? Introducing UNIVERGE BLUE BACKUP for Salesforce

Earlier this year, Salesforce announced the retirement of its Data Recovery Services, stating that “the data recovery process does not meet [its] high standards for customer experience due to the length of time and reliability of the process.” Now, many organizations are left without a solution to protect their valuable data against the ever-growing risk of a cyberattack.

To address this need, NEC recently introduced UNIVERGE BLUE BACKUP and RECOVER for Salesforce. With UNIVERGE BLUE BACKUP and RECOVER for Salesforce, organizations can consolidate and protect all data at the enterprise level. The solution provides reliable backup and protection of all Salesforce data, including standard and custom objects, documents and attachments, and Salesforce CRM content, files and metadata.

Salesforce identified two primary reasons for retiring its Data Recovery Services: restoration time and data integrity. The company stated that the restoration would take at least 6-8 weeks, and they were experiencing difficulty restoring data; therefore, it could not guarantee 100% data recovery.

NEC understands there are immense liability issues if the provider cannot guarantee the restoration and accuracy of data. Additionally, compliance standards, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018, requires that the proper compliance protocols are in place, including where data is located, who has access to the equipment and data, and the chain of custody of who has accessed the data.

UNIVERGE BLUE BACKUP and RECOVER for Salesforce ensures consistent corporate compliance through standardization and simplifies the overall backup and recovery processes. The solution ensures that all Salesforce data is backed up in accordance with the organization’s overall backup policy and reported through standardized corporate policies that ensure compliance. It also consolidates all server, application, client and Salesforce data into a unified environment – providing a better, more secure way to work.

UNIVERGE BLUE BACKUP and RECOVER is built on award-winning NEC HYDRAstor® Storage technology, industry-leading CommVault® BACKUP Software, Iron Mountain® Data Centers, and is complemented with daily reports and always-on monitoring. The solution is highly scalable and flexible, delivering backup strategies that can scale with an organization’s evolving needs.

Interested in learning how NEC can protect your Salesforce Data?

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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