A Solid Platform for a Touchless World

In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, fundamentally altering social paradigms and prompting governments, businesses, and the public to seek new ways of interacting. Even after the current crisis passes, it will take time to recover, and many aspects of daily life may never be the same.

In the “new normal” to follow, we expect the current emphasis on public health and safety to continue unabated, making the ability to travel, shop, and work without the use of tangible identification or credit cards, touchscreens, or digital signature pens higher priorities. To individuals and organizations alike, technologies that support both frictionless access and social distancing measures are now more important than ever. Solutions that satisfy these emerging needs will require two components:

1

Making touchpoints “touchless” to reduce the spread of infectious diseases

2

Providing an advanced, robust, and scalable platform to support hygienic customer experiences

Combined, these components offer a new, revolutionary approach to Digital Transformation (DX), which will enable personal identification via digital technologies to interconnect people—including corporations and local and national agencies—and processes. Participants who opt in to DX technologies can benefit from enhanced digital services that securely, efficiently, and hygienically permeate all facets of life.

Through many years of work with governments and enterprise partners, NEC
has developed technologies that can eliminate the need for physical interaction
when identifying individuals. Although we began our journey toward touchless technology long before the current crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a new perspective on the importance of our solutions to essential workers who are on the frontlines to ensure our safety and security. Our commitment to support these workers is one of many factors that have driven the implementation of our biometric and AI solutions for multiple purposes, including aviation and immigration.

NEC sends its heartfelt thanks to essential workers and first responders who put their own lives on the line to keep us all safe.

An example of our touchless technology at work in aviation is NEC’s implementation of the first curb-to-gate biometric terminal in the U.S. with Delta Air Lines, in partnership with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Our curb-to-gate solution enables rapid identification and real-time screening of passengers. Travelers flying to an international destination can choose to use face recognition technology to check in at the self-service kiosks, drop bags at the check-in counters, go through the TSA checkpoint, and board a flight without requiring a physical ID card or boarding pass. Not only are our solutions more efficient, they are more hygienic with reduced risk of contamination, and they help streamline and secure customer interactions.

While integrating thermal sensors is the first step in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of secure, touchless access requires sensor fusion. NEC’s award-winning biometrics solutions, including face and iris recognition, coupled with our cutting-edge technologies in behavior detection, body recognition, video analytics, and artificial intelligence, provide the tools to ensure successful implementation of touchless technologies.

Please see NEC’s “Vision of a Touchless World” exclusive whitepaper below.

How can we help?

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Fill out the form, and we will get back with you.



NEC Extends Special Offers to Customers During COVID-19 Outbreak

As we all attempt to come to terms with the effects that the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is having on our nation, protecting the safety of our communities, medical professionals and those that are working to provide essential services must be an unwavering priority. For those organizations that have found themselves struggling, NEC is here to help as best as we can with communication needs. As a global leader in advanced communications and collaboration technology, we are working with customers who provide essential public services to keep the lines of communications and cooperation open. We stand by our corporate pledge to deliver solutions and services of social value to provide safety, security and operational efficiency—and this commitment has never been more relevant.

In support of nationwide efforts to keep those working safe and connected, we can assist in solving communication issues as they arise, as well as provide economic and cost-effective remote communication tools to keep businesses operating and employees contributing when working from home.

As part of NEC’s commitment to our customers, partners and society, we are extending a variety of offers to our existing customers to provide relief to those affected by COVID-19. These offers aim to assist those who are on the front-line and those working remote by providing organizations and employees with the resources needed to stay connected, efficient and safe during these unprecedented times; and we are pleased to announce that we have already been able to assist hundreds of customers through these programs. While today’s circumstances have created many societal and professional challenges in the world, NEC is committed to helping organizations minimize the effect of communication restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus.

Supporting Remote Workforces

While many organizations have implemented mandatory work-from-home policies to adhere to local social-distancing guidelines, effective and flexible remote voice communications is a requirement now more than ever. To help support the massive number of organizations whose employees suddenly transitioned towards a work-from-home environment, NEC is extending special offers to help keep remote employees safer, more connected and efficient while working at home.

IP Station and Softphone Licenses:

An IP station and soft phone capabilities can turn an employee’s PC into a virtual business telephone. A softphone and IP station are ideal for those working remotely and now have the need for alternative and additional means of communication.

NEC is offering customers the option to utilize IP Station and Softphone Licenses on their NEC voice communications platform systems now through June 30, 2020 with the option to return these licenses with no restocking fees. This offer includes all of our softphone offerings including the UNIVERGE SP350 softphone, UNIVERGE ST500 smartphone client, Multiline Client Mobile (MLC) and UNIVERGE 3C soft media phone (SMP).  If you are an existing NEC IP communications platform user, your system already has the technology to immediately begin deploying remote softphone clients.

NEC will waive the add-on Software Assurance (SWA) requirement for these licenses at the time of purchase. Licenses may be returned to NEC for credit at any time prior to June 30, 2020 and NEC will waive all restocking fees.

Reduced Collaboration Pricing:

NEC Meeting Center (NMC) provides a ‘suite of applications’ which includes, audio conferencing, web collaboration, predefined dial-out conferencing and mass notification for all of NEC’s communications platforms. This comprehensive suite equips your employees with the tools they need to help them remain connected, efficient, and informed. Your employees can remain responsive and productive through real-time sharing of information and most importantly, remaining safe while servicing customers from their own home.

We have reduced the price of NEC Meeting Center (NMC) conference and collaboration solution in order to support those who had to make the sudden transition to a remote work environment. NEC Meeting Center (NMC) special discount offer is available through July 1, 2020 in response to COVID-19.

Protecting in-office workers

In industries such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, food service, manufacturing, non-profit organizations government agencies and critical infrastructure, there are employees who do not have the luxury to transfer their work to their home. For roles in these industries such as nurses, doctors, warehouse personnel, store managers, government personnel and restaurant staff – the need for on-campus mobile devices still exists.

Reduced IP DECT Handset Pricing:

NEC’s IP DECT i766 and G577 handsets have an IP65 rating (IP65 Enclosure Rating – IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against water projected from a nozzle), meaning they are water spray protected. As such, they may be cleaned easily without concern of damaging the units. This rating is not common for on-campus mobility solution devices.

NEC is currently offering an introductory bundle at a significantly reduced price to help protect those who are on-campus providing essential services. We are extending the IP DECT intro offer through June 30, 2020 in support of the men and women that are going into work every day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please let us know if we can assist you in anyway during this unprecedented time and if you would like more information about NEC’s communication and collaboration solutions. If you would like to learn more about the special offers, please reach out to your NEC account manager. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with any relevant information as it becomes available. The safety and health of everyone concerned is NEC’s main priority. On behalf of every NEC employee, stay healthy and thank you!

How can we help?

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Fill out the form, and we will get back with you.

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, 2020

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.

How can we help?

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Fill out the form, and we will get back with you.

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!

What’s the best backup solution for my environment?

In May 2019, a ransomware attack held the city of Baltimore’s computers hostage, preventing its citizens from paying water bills or parking tickets. City leaders say that fully restoring systems takes months and even then, data may be corrupted or unusable. In efforts to employ more technology in city infrastructure, cyberhackers are infiltrating city operations more than ever before.
If you’re reading this, chances are highly likely that you’re unsatisfied with your current backup solution. According to CommVault, the statistics around backups and data restores reveal:
• Only 57% of IT managers have a backup solution in place, of which 75% were not able to restore their data.
• 81% of ransomware victims felt confident in their ability to restore completely from backups, but only 42% could restore their data fully.
• Sixty percent of organizations shut down after a data loss disaster and the average cost of downtime is $250,000 per hour.
Perhaps you’re all too familiar with these statistics and are wondering how to implement a quality backup solution that works for your budget and environment.
Answer these questions and read on to determine the best backup solution for your environment.

How Much Am I Really Paying for Protection?
Consider the true cost of backups and disaster recovery for your organization. You may be paying for hardware and software licensing, network hardware infrastructure, management costs, disaster recovery location, environment management and more. How much are you paying in staff to manage everything and training on the skills required for equipment maintenance? Are you paying for full-time use of expertise or technology that you only use part of the time? Can you put a cost on unreliable backups, slow backups and restores, low service levels, downtime or noncompliance?

NEC Solution Simplifies Backup Complexity – NEC/B&A Case Study:

UNIVERGE BLUE Backup as a Service Case Study: B & A from InteractiveNEC

How Complex is My Environment?

If your IT environment keeps changing, includes multiple applications, legacy systems or other complex infrastructure, you’re already familiar with the cost of owning several different software and hardware licenses. Changes in public policy may require technology updates or backup reliability to maintain compliance with new regulations. Data loss, intrusion and cyber threats add another layer of complexity requiring continual management, monitoring and updates. You may also manage this environment on your own, in reactive mode and in silos, increasing the cost and inefficiency of your IT staff.

NEC Backup as a Service Reduces Administrative Tasks, Helping IT Departments Help Their Organizations

What’s Your Data Worth? from InteractiveNEC

The Benefits of Backup as a Service (BaaS)

While considering the cost of adding a full-service disaster recovery solution, consider how Backup as a Service creates a better IT employee experience. By implementing a fully-managed and hosted system, NEC manages all the data, licensing, network and infrastructure, mitigating the risk of data loss and increasing your IT staff’s efficiency.

BaaS also adds to a better customer experience. Complex environments may require maintenance to ensure a fully compliant data center. With NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE BaaS solution, your employees have data when they need it, without fail, in fully regulated data centers with fully compliant software.

Why Choose NEC for BaaS?

Regardless of your business size or the complexity of your data and storage environment, NEC has a solution for you. NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE BaaS is a full-service backup infrastructure, fully managed and at a lower cost of ownership. In fact, your organization will no longer be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure or backups unless you choose to do so. UNIVERGE BLUE BaaS also incorporates the cost of disaster recovery, creating a cost-effective, secure solution. When your business needs a data restore, NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE BaaS is available at a moment’s notice:

  • Built and optimized on NEC Storage infrastructure
  • Reliable, managed backup and recovery available anytime
  • Fully staffed network operations center to manage the process
  • Daily or monthly performance and status reports
  • AEC 128-bit encryption for virtual servers, physical servers or database applications
  • Personalized retention and recovery time objectives

NEC will also offer a personal consultation with your organization to accurately assess your current backup solution and determine if a new one is needed.

NEC’s UNIVEGRE BLUE BaaS Deployment Options

With NEC, BaaS is available from self-service to fully managed backup and disaster recovery services:

  • NEC appliance in your local data center (on and off premise and fully managed): Your servers will be backed up to the appliance and then sent to the off premises NEC cloud.  Your organization pays for the appliance and it can be self-managed or fully managed by NEC.
  • Backup to the NEC cloud (fully hosted): Your existing servers are directed to backup to NEC’s cloud over a secure link. Your organization only pays for the space and services you need.

In a fully hosted system, NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE BaaS solution delivers security and performance and is powered by industry-leading CommVault® backup software. The infrastructure is placed in highly secure and compliant IronMountain® data centers offering fully automated, cost-effective and easily scalable backup solutions. Network operations and restores are available 7x24x365. The system integrates with multiple applications and legacy systems including SAP, CRM systems and more. This scenario is best for complex storage and data environments such as healthcare, hospitality and education.

The on-premises appliance is built using the optimal NEC infrastructure platform to meet the requirement.  This includes NEC’s HYDRAstor Physical and Virtual appliances, as well as NEC’s Storage Rich Servers configured with the appropriate software to easily handle the needs of SMB to enterprise businesses.

Is Your Backup Solution Slow or Outdated?

To protect your data, ensure a positive customer experience and create a more efficient employee experience, it may be time to consider a better backup solution. With enormous amounts of data that are changing at rapid speed, tape backups could be outdated as quickly as a backup is finished. Migrations, maintenance and unplanned downtime can disrupt production and reduce the efficiency of your IT staff. Inconsistent and often incomplete backups can cost your organization, including hurting the bottom line dramatically.

NEC’s HYDRAstor, recognized as 2015’s Best of Interop in Storage and with a Network Products Guide Gold Award in Storage Solutions, is widely regarded as the most scalable and fastest dedupe appliance. NEC’s powerful award-winning infrastructure and technology is available and customizable for your IT environment.

Learn more at https://www.necam.com/Cloud/BaaS/ or schedule a no obligation consultation with an NEC backup expert to determine which solution fits your needs and budget. Just fill out the form below, and we will get back to you soon.