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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NEC’s Keith Terreri on the Intersection of CFO & CIO

Recently, Keith Terreri, NEC Corporation of America’s CFO and SVP of Corporate Operations and IT, spoke with Dan Larson, host of the ‘Count Me In’ Podcast from the Institute of Management of Accountants.

In his role, Keith has the unique advantage of overseeing finance and IT for NECAM. In this podcast episode, Keith describes the convergence of these two pivotal roles and provides important tips on cybersecurity that any organization can benefit from.

Key takeaways from the podcast include:

  • How converging the role of CIO and CFO helped increase collaboration, communication and visibility between finance, corporate operations, and IT teams.
  • Why cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, not just IT, and why cyber liability is a financial risk to all organizations.
  • How adopting the slogan, “We’re all IT now,” helped increase collaboration between finance, corporate operations, and IT and shift to a “one team” mentality.
  • Why cybersecurity awareness and good business judgement must be communicated to employees on a frequent basis
  • Why all businesses, no matter the type or size, need to prioritize cybersecurity and Keith’s four steps to get started.

Listen to the podcast now!

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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!

NEC UNIVERGE BLUE® ENGAGE: Everything a Modern Contact Center Should Be

Organizations have invested in cloud services to help employees stay engaged and efficient, while working remotely. Should you consider doing the same for your contact center operations?

Instead of a high-pressure, windowless room filled with frantic agents, NEC invites you to consider a highly customizable, cloud-based contact center solution: NEC UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE.

UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES platform renders UCaaS, Business Productivity Apps and CCaaS within a single pane of glass. UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE is the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) component, that improves your Customer Experience by enabling your agents to be better-balanced and more productive working in an office, remote or anywhere.

NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE makes the move to the cloud easy, as it can co-exist with your existing telephony service (PBX / Cloud telephony services) and support a complete replacement of older, disparate and wired cost centers. Consolidating equipment and applications reduces the need for time-consuming annual updates / upgrades and cuts the cost of maintenance. NEC’s CCaaS saves as much as 20% compared to other cloud communication services.1

Read on to discover how NEC UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE provides a seamless Customer Experience for healthcare, government, hospitality and education organizations.

Healthcare

UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE improves the patient experience by making communication more convenient and effective. Our best-in-class contact center:

  • Facilitates better schedule adherence with patients through automated communication channels
  • Increases team collaboration and productivity, ensuring anywhere, anytime access
  • Maintains high compliance standards across all communication and payment options
  • Leverages electronic health records to improve personalization and self-service

These options make it easier for patients to book or change appointments. Patients can quickly get in touch with the right doctor, renew prescriptions and stay engaged in care programs through secure communications channels like email, available at all times.

75% of consumers look forward to a consistent experience across multiple engagement channels–social media, mobile, online, in-person, or through the phone. 73% will likely change brands if they don’t get it. (Salesforce) 2

Government

Government organizations face stringent obstacles when evaluating cloud solutions that can provide superior service levels to the public. With NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE, government agencies, from small single offices to larger state or nation-wide service providers, solve common challenges such as:

  • Call volume spikes, by allowing for seamless scalability at any given time
  • Secure Access and flexibility between office and remote work with a fully cloud-based solution
  • Control costs with easy month-to-month billing
  • Meeting constituents’ demand for service with limited staff resources using call routing
  • Lack of disaster recovery and business continuity plans, with DR built right in

Skills-based routing and geo-routing help get callers to the right expert at the right time. SMS alerts can be sent automatically to help prioritize inquiries when staff bandwidth is limited. Disaster recovery and business continuity is built into the product, eliminating the need for another IT purchase.

33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. (American Express)3

Hospitality

Guest experience is the lifeblood of the hotel and hospitality industry. Exceptional customer service and loyalty is dependent on the interactions delivered.
UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE Contact Center offers:

  • Surveys and emails to measure guest satisfaction
  • Reporting library that integrates with the hotel CRM for enriched data visualization
  • IVRs offering confirmations, inquiries, check-ins, etc.
  • Call thresholds with distributed overflow
  • Streamlined reservation process with two-way communication and automated processes

Dynamic notifications can send reservation reminders, room ready notifications, and information about activities, special promotions, shopping, and restaurants to enjoy—greatly improving the guest experience.

34% of respondents surveyed stated that the most frustrating aspect of customer service is the Automated Telephone System (IVR) or inability to reach a live person for customer support. (Microsoft)4

Education

In the education vertical, students, alumni, donors, parents and staff need to interact across varying channels, with varying levels of urgency. Our CCaaS resolves these diverse interactions and communication requirements with:

  • Scalability, up or down, depending on seasonal fluctuations of staff and call volume
  • Ability to use wherever and whenever across dispersed departments and locations
  • Self-service options that are dependent on identification for accurate routing
  • Omni-channel and digital channel capabilities to address multiple communication preferences
  • Admissions, financial aid, housing and other planned or unplanned student body notifications
  • Alumni Campaigns (agent driven as well as fully automated configuration options)

When hundreds of thousands of individuals need to be connected, UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE is a proven solution for learning institutions across North America.

Want to Know More About NEC UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE?

UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE eliminates the large, upfront capital required to purchase, operate and maintain the enhanced Customer Experience outcome you require to be competitive.

UNIVERGE BLUE Engage

NEC has affordable and simplified pricing, as we offer two (2) unique packaged options, delivering on the promise to bring enterprise cloud communications and business applications at a price point that is approximately 23% less than the competition.1 Our Client Onboarding Services transitions you to the cloud at a pace, that you’re comfortable with, allowing your full participation in the actual setup and configuration. UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE is also one of a few enterprise cloud solutions that provides a “single pane of glass” for managing the complete communication and workspace experience.
Contact centers are at the front line of the customer experience. Investing in cloud services for a more modern contact center meets customers and agents where they are, with more features and functionality than ever before. Contact an NEC solutions representative to learn more about UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE.

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

References

1 NEC’s CCaaS saves as much as 23% compared to other cloud communication services, when comparing licensing and usage fees. The comparison jumps to 28% or higher, when factoring in implementation and onboarding, third party integrations (i.e. CRM, IVR), custom developed reports, Move, Adds and Changes (MAC’s) and continuing education.

2 State of the Connected Customer 4th Edition, Salesforce

3 American Express Customer Service Barometer

4 State of Global Customer Service Report, Microsoft

NEC Launches Foreign Ownership Mitigated Subsidiary to Deliver Advanced Technologies to US Government

As announced in May, NEC Corporation of America recently launched NEC National Security Systems (NSS), a Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI)-mitigated subsidiary under an anticipated Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Government that will allow us to provide world-class, advanced technology to the federal government.

Backed in part by NEC Corporation’s 122-year heritage and history of innovation and $1 billion in research and development, the new company’s mission is to deploy groundbreaking, end-to-end systems for access control and security, identify verification, scene processing, advanced analytics and intrusion detection.

Kathleen KiernanToday, I am pleased to share that Dr. Kathleen L. Kiernan will be joining NEC NSS as Interim President on July 1. As a 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement and one of the country’s foremost experts in threat detection, Dr. Kiernan will play a fundamental role in helping to lead NEC NSS into the next phase of development. Her extensive government experience and many accomplishments, coupled with her expertise in ID management and biometrics, make her an incredible asset to the future of NSS.

Currently, Dr. Kiernan is the CEO and founder of Kiernan Group Holdings (KGH), a women-owned global consulting firm specializing in intelligence, law enforcement and national security. She is a recognized expert in strategic thinking, strategy development, and facilitating critical incident management exercises for senior leaders across government and private sector organizations. She brings to NEC deep expertise in understanding the needs of federal governments and private sector organizations and creating common-sense approaches to society’s most complex problems.

On behalf of all NEC, I’d like to welcome Dr. Kiernan to NEC NSS! Under her leadership, paired with our distinguished Board of Directors and talented staff, the future looks bright for NEC NSS.

Stay up to date on all things NEC NSS by visiting www.necnss.com, and don’t forget to follow us on both LinkedIn and Twitter!

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Take a journey with us by accessing our 360 degree photo realistic tour in simulated real-world environments in Aviation, Federal Government, Healthcare and Retail.