How Today’s Touchless Technology Gives Customers Options and Control

Creating a digital profile streamlines online shopping in significant ways. The convenience promotes future orders and customer loyalty. Imagine how delightful it will be when brick and mortar stores enable the popular option for in-person shopping. Today, creating a Digital ID is possible with NEC’s I:Delight platform.

For example, when a shopper saves their preferences and payment information to a personal profile accessible from their mobile device and provides authorization with rapid and accurate facial recognition, stored customer loyalty information can be instantly applied. Thus, empowering customers to control their digital data and how it is used, while their customer experience is enhanced with fewer touches and less risk.

All of this can be achieved with NEC I:Delight, a highly secure and scalable Digital ID management platform. Using NEC’s award-winning face recognition algorithms, this robust, cloud-native platform streamlines ordering and payment at quick service restaurants; facilitates check-in at next-generation hotels; and provides expedited entry and payments at entertainment venues and stadiums.

NEC I:Delight also enables touchless passenger checkpoints from curb-to-gate at airports, provides streamlined access to office buildings, and verifies patients and authorizes staff at healthcare facilities. The platform is interoperable, scalable and can be used by many industries to provide long-term value, transforming the customer experience.

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, which includes a coalition of 26 member airlines, uses NEC I:Delight to power its growing biometric passenger processes and modernize its entire travel ecosystem. In addition to curb-to-gate verification, passengers who opt-in through the Star Biometrics app will be able to use their Digital ID for VIP lounge access, wayfinding, airport purchases, transportation fares, hotel check-in, attraction passes and more. All without showing a boarding pass or opening their wallet.

With NEC I:Delight, the customer maintains control of their Digital ID and its uses. Customers can change profile settings as needed and opt-out just as easily.

For more detail check out this three-page preview our whitepaper that provides more in-depth information about NEC’s Digital ID platform.

Click here to learn more or fill out the form below to download the entire whitepaper.

See how Digital IDs can work for you. Take a guided virtual tour and discover the frictionless, touchless capabilities of I:Delight by visiting our Virtual Customer Experience Center.

Hitting the Customer Journey Fairway with NEC I:Delight

It was exciting to join Dan Shube on the “Golf and Travel Show” to talk about the latest innovations making travel safer and airport security more effortless.

Most golfers enjoy traveling to take on new challenges at golf courses in the U.S. and around the world. Unfortunately, air travel has been chaotic and challenging the past couple of years, which has impacted these avid golfers’ ability to enjoy their favorite activity.

Safe and seamless air travel

i:DelightDan and I discussed advancements in Digital ID management, biometric technology and touchless transactions to make traveling safe and seamless.

Instead of fumbling with bags, tickets and passports, NEC’s biometrics and Digital ID management elevates the customer experience from curb-to-gate. Frequent flyers can eliminate paper boarding passes, as well as reduce wait times at airport security using our opt-in advanced face recognition technology.

NEC is continuously upgrading the biometric algorithm to meet health and safety guidelines, including face recognition while wearing masks. On the show, we shared a laugh about the innovations enhancing the customer journey and leaving the tech from “Star Trek” and “The Jetsons” in the dust. So, while air travel may never be “fun”, we are working hard to make it as stress free as possible.

Specifically, we talked about NEC I:Delight, a complete Digital ID management platform that enables touchless traveler verification and secure transactions. Using I:Delight, airports and airlines increase:

  • Privacy controlled by passengers who opt-in and choose how their Digital IDs are used.
  • Safety for travelers and employees, verifying identity with face masks in place.
  • Efficiency enabled by processing passengers faster with fewer touches and interactions.
  • Interoperability with existing technologies at airports, as well as iOS and Android apps.
  • Scalability to expand capabilities, including retail and restaurant purchases at the airport to car rentals and hotel check-in.

Listen to our conversation on the Golf & Travel Show here.

Learn more about the ways NEC is reshaping the aviation experience with a seamless, safer customer journey.

See how Digital IDs can work for you. Take a guided virtual tour and discover the frictionless, touchless capabilities of I:Delight by visiting our Virtual Customer Experience Center.

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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.

Contact Us Today

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

New Photorealistic Virtual Tour Offers Immersive Experience of NEC’s AI and Biometric Solutions

Introducing the brand-new NEC Virtual Customer Experience (VCX) center!

Designed to connect customers and partners directly with our latest AI and biometrics technology in simulated environments, the VCX is a 360-degree photorealistic and interactive virtual tour of the technology featured in NEC’s Customer Experience Centers

Here, visitors can virtually explore NEC’s identity management and CX platform in four different vertical market settings without traveling to our physical centers in Texas or California.

  • Aviation: Experience a frictionless and hygienic travel journey through a simulated airport using the NEC I:Delight platform.
  • Federal Government: Observe first-hand how NEC’s digital identity platform promotes the safety and preservation of public and national security.
  • Healthcare: Learn how hospitals can achieve a safe return to normal operations while managing employee and patient expectations through NEC I:Delight.
  • Retail: Visit the virtual restaurant and discover how NEC I:Delight can help retail businesses increase revenue, lower operating costs and improve the quick serve restaurant customer experience.

Ready to Tour NEC’s VCX Center?

Schedule a guided virtual tour with an NEC sales executive or our VCX Program Manager and learn how NEC’s solutions can help provide world-class service to your customers.

Unlock a seamless, hands-free experience that is secure, frictionless, and personalized using our award-winning biometrics and AI technology. Schedule your tour today and see what is possible!

Partner Success Story: How Folkerson Communications was able to solve customer’s challenges with UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES

Introducing UNIVERGE BLUE® Early Adopters Series – NEC Corporation of America (NEC) honors Channel Partners who were early adopters of UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES and are improving customer care, employee engagement, and business operations. Hear the stories of why our early adopters chose the UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program and why partners recommend UNIVERGE BLUE for their customers.

The Background

From the time founder Greg Folkerson began his career as technical writer in 1976, Folkerson Communications was built around providing exemplary service in all facets of communications to customers in the Central Texas and Austin area. Greg’s commitment to customer service and employee training has positioned Folkerson as an industry leader.

The company offers 5 key services — Phone/VoIP, Carrier Services, Network Solutions, Structured Cabling and 24/7 Customer Service — and handles everything from purchasing and deployment to networking and troubleshooting.

Folkerson Communications became an authorized NEC Channel partner almost 25 years ago, and for several decades that meant providing clients with NEC’s on-premises communication servers and IT technology. Around 2015, Folkerson responded to a growing demand for VoIP and non-traditional communications technology.

I recently met with Greg Folkerson to discuss the partnership with NEC and his experience being an early adopter of the New Generation UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES.

The Challenge

As cloud and hosted solutions grew in popularity, Folkerson knew that it needed a rock-solid cloud solution that would provide the reliable and dependable services that his clients had come to associate with Folkerson. Before UNIVERGE BLUE, Folkerson tried other cloud vendors, but finding a highly reliable solution that met Folkerson’s stringent standards, and one that allowed them to own their customer relationships, proved to be nearly impossible. NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE Customer Ownership Partner Model was unique in allowing Folkerson to maintain full ownership of billing, bundling, adding services, and supporting a customer’s environment — preserving the customer confidence upon which Folkerson has built its reputation.

Greg Folkerson explains some of the challenges he faced with other cloud providers, “The industry is changing. There are now non-interconnect companies selling voice services, and many of these vendors do not understand that for most of Folkerson Communications existence we were a traditional interconnect company – we have technicians, we roll trucks, we train customers – and we built a reputation around providing this type of hands-on customer service. While selling cloud services has immensely simplified the programming and implementation, the need for human-like customer service has not gone away, and that is what our customers expect from us. NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program has been great for us because it allows us to own our customer relationships, and NEC is always there to provide significant sales, marketing, and service support. NEC always answers our questions and is always there when we need them.”

Greg continues, “Our customers trust us and the relationship we have built with them over the years. It was imperative that we offer a reliable and dependable solution that meets our customers’ needs and one that reinforces our reputation of providing exceptional customer support.”

The Solution

Now Folkerson Communications sells UNIVERGE BLUE® CONNECT – NEC’s Unified Communications As A Service (UCaaS) solution and UNIVERGE BLUE® ENGAGE – NEC’s Contact Center As A Service (CCaaS) solution. Unlike other providers, UNIVERGE BLUE has allowed Folkerson to maintain their customer relationships and expand their service offerings into existing and new areas of their customers’ businesses.

While customers certainly enjoy ENGAGE’s full-featured contact center (CCaaS) capabilities and CONNECT’s (UCaaS) features, which includes a full-featured phone system, video/web conferencing, team chat, file sharing & backup — Greg says the flexibility and simplicity that UNIVERGE BLUE provides is key. “Many of our customers found it challenging to manage the complexities associated with maintaining a phone system in multiple locations – with UNIVERGE BLUE, we were able to solve these challenges by offering our customers a centralized, fully managed, and scalable phone system hosted in the cloud.”

Greg continues, “UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT has reduced complexity for our customers, minimized telecom costs, improved communication and collaboration, and even enabled remote work environments, which would have been difficult to do with a hardware-based solution.”

On Folkerson’s end, the UNIVERGE BLUE Administrative Portal has allowed Folkerson to easily monitor and troubleshoot customers’ voice services and contact center features. Greg was able to retrain his existing staff to handle UNIVERGE BLUE UCaaS and CCaaS implementations.

“Because of the competitive solutions UNIVERGE BLUE offers, the great sales, marketing and service support NEC provides coupled with the ability to set our own margins, we are able to focus more on selling and building relationships with our customers and less on other ancillary activities often associated with hardware that cut into our profits. The margins with BLUE are very attractive, and it didn’t take long to adjust to a monthly recurring revenue model.” Folkerson explains.

The Result

Folkerson Communications is now an exclusive NEC dealer, “Becoming an exclusive NEC dealer was a no-brainer decision based on the success we have seen with NEC’s hardware solutions and now with the business growth we are seeing with UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES.”

Folkerson Communications is embracing a new role – a complete cloud technology provider who offers end-to-end cloud solutions, committed to being a trusted advisor, adding value across every customers’ lifecycle. Greg notes, “The UNIVERGE BLUE Cloud partnership has allowed us to keep pace with the external marketplace and everchanging demands of our customers. We are starting to see significant growth in our cloud-business and do not see it slowing down any time soon.”

NEC and Folkerson will continue to partner together to provide solutions to customers’ unique needs. The future of Folkerson’s business includes a combination of both cloud-based and on-premises solutions, creating a hybrid IT and UC portfolio that balances the scalability and flexibility associated with cloud and the security associated with hardware. NEC will continue to be an integral part of what Folkerson does in the IT and Communications space.

NEC is committed to providing Channel Partners the opportunity to expand their offerings with customers and profit from delivering cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions. If you are a technology provider who is interested in partnering with a market leader who helps build on capabilities to drive sustainable and profitable growth, reach out to an NEC representative today or visit www.univergeblue.com/partners.

For any questions about the program or to meet with a UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program Representative, submit your information and we will get back to you shortly.