Four Pillars of Digital Government Identity Solutions

As consumers, business professionals, government, military and law enforcement personnel require convenient and fast digital access to services, there’s a greater sense of urgency to ensure safety and security.

NEC is committed to investing in global digital government technologies to solve real-world problems.

Watch the video describing our four pillars of digital government identity solutions:

  1. Safety – solutions for law enforcement, justice and corrections
  2. Security – de-centralized digital identity, identity verification and fraud prevention, applicant background checks, access and border control
  3. Efficiency
  4. Quality

Through our partnership with Microsoft, we are bringing our products and services to the cloud, making them readily available and accessible to clients, along with law enforcement agencies around the world.

With more than 50 years of innovation in biometrics technologies, NEC invests $2+ billion annually in research and development. We hold more than 47,000 patents, while harnessing our 10 research labs across the world with a goal of continuous innovation.

Learn more about our digital government solutions by visiting www.necam.com/stateandlocal. Or connect with an NEC expert directly by filling out the form below.

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Partner Success Story: How UNIVERGE BLUE has been a welcomed change to DTC’s and their customers business

From the time DTC (Digital Telecommunications Corporation) was established in 1982, their commitment to providing solutions that help optimize business practices, drive workforce engagement, and create competitive advantages for customers has positioned DTC as market leader in the communications space.

Mike Maccani, General Manager of Digital Telecommunications recently sat down with us to explain his partnership with NEC and experience selling UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES.

The Challenge

As cloud and hosted solutions grew in popularity, DTC found it challenging to respond to customer’s needs with only an on-premises solution offering. DTC began exploring the market and after researching many options, they knew they needed a service provider who would let them own the customer relationship.

Before UNIVERGE BLUE, DTC tried other cloud providers, such as 8×8 and RingCentral, but these providers fell short when it came down to allowing DTC to maintain their own customer relationships and service their customers. Mike explains, “Right now, the big cloud companies are trying to gain as much cloud market share as possible, with aggressive sales teams and very competitive partner SPIFFs, they locked us in then wound up taking our customers who we worked really hard to build relationships with over the years.”

The Solution

The UNIVERGE BLUE partnership was a great fit for DTC because it allowed them to provide the great service levels that customers had come to associate DTC with, and a robust cloud-communications solution that customers loved. Mike shares, “Our customers trust us and the relationship we have built with them over the years. UNIVERGE BLUE is excellent because it’s reliable and dependable solutions meet our customers’ needs, and the partner program allows us to maintain our customer relationships, reinforcing DTC’s reputation of providing exceptional customer support.”

Cost-Effect and Simple Unified Communications

“We recommend UNIVERGE BLUE’s Cloud PBX [CONNECT] to all our customers. The whole experience of working with NEC is just easy. From the simplicity of quoting and ordering to deployment and system management through the administrative portal – everything is streamlined and simple. Plus, UNIVERGE BLUE has all the features our customers want at a very affordable price billed as an operational expense (OPEX).

Enterprise Level Contact Center Functionality

With UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE, DTC can provide SMB customers a call center solution with enterprise-level features that are not available with an on-premises solution. Mike explains why a recent customer chose UNIVERGE BLUE, “The customer chose UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE because of the enterprise-level features and flexibility to deploy ENGAGE in any location for agents, whether at home or an office environment.

Owning the Customer Relationship

Mike talks to the benefits of selling Cloud under the UNIVERGE BLUE Customer Ownership Model, “We’ve had great success operating under the customer ownership model. We love that we have full ownership of billing, bundling, adding services and support but don’t have to deal with any of the complex telecom taxation aspects since NEC handles all of that for us.” DTC provides the first level of technical support while NEC is always there is provide support if there is ever a need.

Sales and Marketing Enablement

“The UNIVERGE BLUE team itself is extremely valuable to us, they’re incredibly knowledgeable and understand our business. For most of our existence, we have been a tradition interconnect company who sells on-premises equipment. NEC understands this and helps us position UNIVERGE BLUE to our traditional and non-traditional customers,” Mike Shares.

Additionally, the UNIVERGE BLUE ROI Calculator has proven to be a great sales tool for DTC, in addition to the variety of marketing collateral and co-brandable campaigns NEC offers Channel Partners. Mike considers the ROI tool a critical element in discussing cloud with on-premises customers.

The Results

Having UNIVERGE BLUE as a reliable Cloud Voice partner has resulted in a steady stream of new Cloud PBX customers. Maccani explains, “We have never had service issues with UNIVERGE BLUE. Because of the simplicity of the system and overall ease of use, we spend less of our own resources. UNIVERGE BLUE also significantly reduces the upfront chunk of costs that customers need to spend on expensive on-prem PBX systems. It’s been a welcomed change to our business model, and a cost-savings that we’ve been able to pass onto our clients,” concluded Mike.

Mike explains the importance of technology providers introducing cloud to their customer base, “Whether it is with you, a technology partner, or a competitor, every customer will want to discuss cloud for their business. UNIVERGE BLUE allows us to start a dialogue with customers about their needs – staying on-premises, migrating immediately, or taking a phased approach to their migration – Regardless, DTC is a part of that conversation and will be ready to help them with their migration when the time comes.”

For more information on how you can become a UNIVERGE BLUE Channel Partner and begin realizing the unlimited benefits and high margins that come with being a cloud provider, visit https://www.univergeblue.com/partners today. For any questions about the program or to meet with a UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program Representative, submit your information to us and we will get back to you shortly.

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Please let us know if you have any questions about the program or to meet with a UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program Representative. Fill out the form, and we will get back with you.

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

Partner Success Story: How Forerunner Technologies was able to increase their operational efficiency and deliver a better experience to customers with UNIVERGE BLUE

Founded in 1989, Forerunner Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to business of all sizes and industries. Forerunner CEO, Paul Diesu and VP of Sales and Marketing, Rick Taylor have extensive experience in the telecommunications industry and helped build Forerunner’s reputation of providing tier-one customer service through personalized services and flexible solutions.

I recently sat down with Paul and Rick to discuss their partnership with NEC and selling UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES, here’s what they had to say:

The Challenge

“We take customer service very seriously. We have built the business around our reliability and providing a white glove experience to customers,” Paul explains.

Paul and Rick knew they needed to provide customers with a reliable, cloud-based UC offering, but feared that reselling another company’s cloud portfolio wouldn’t allow them to offer the white-glove service customers had become accustomed to. Forerunner white labeled another vendor’s cloud portfolio as their own but learned it would be near impossible to compete with the larger cloud companies that already had so much of the market share.

After attempting to white label another cloud solution, they tried reselling a cloud portfolio, but couldn’t find a solution to meet their customer’s needs. “Our customers needed more versatility in how, when, and where employees could communicate – our past offering could not meet their expectations.”

Forerunner continued to search for a cloud provider that could deliver a full suite of reliable, fully integrated, easy-to-use, and well-supported communications solutions, with a partner model more favorable to their business.

The Solution

Cost Effective and Feature Rich Unified Communications for Forerunner’s Customers
“When we were researching cloud providers, we knew we needed advanced unified communications (UCaaS) features at a reasonable price for our customers. That’s what we get with UNIVERGE BLUE,” Paul shares.
“By bundling all of the UCaaS features into one integrated application, customers no longer have to maintain relationships with different vendors to get all the features they need in a communications and contact center solution.” Rick adds, “In the past if a customer wanted file sharing, meeting transcriptions, auto attendants, and basic contact center functionality, they would have to use different solutions and vendors. Now, they come to us and we can provide them with all the features they want within one fully integrated solution, UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT.”

Customer Ownership Model with Local Support
Forerunner spent years building relationships with their customers, they did not want to lose touch with customers by reselling a cloud product in which the OEM would have control over customer service and local support. Luckily, with UNIVERGE BLUE, Forerunner was able to choose a partner model that fit their business.

“NEC allows partners to sell under their own brand and offer the local support that our customers have become accustomed to and enjoy. The Customer Ownership model is unique in comparison to other UCaaS offerings and allows businesses to better control the end user experience while keeping costs in line,” Paul Diesu shares.

Easy Administration and Quoting
The user-friendly interface of the UNIVERGE BLUE partner portal has helped Forerunner service customers quicker and easier. Paul says “We can go in and easily port over numbers, make adjustments, provision the account, and deploy changes very easily. This is something that has allowed our technical staff to be more efficient in deploying services to customers.”

Advanced End-User Portals
“The UNIVERGE BLUE Admin Portals are extremely intuitive and easy to use.” Rick continues, “Even the most non-technical clients are able to leverage the portal to make changes to their system. With an on-premises system, even the smallest changes can become labor intensive and costly for IT.”

The Results

Increased Operational Efficiency
“One of the greatest things we’ve seen come out of UNIVERGE BLUE from an operational perspective is shorter implementation timelines and the ease of delivering services to customers,” Rick shares. “UNIVERGE BLUE has enabled us to focus on the core business, instead of having to deal with tricky implementations associated with on-premises hardware and other less intuitive cloud providers’ products.”

A Better Customer Experience
“No matter what a customer or prospect needs in a UCaaS or CCaaS solution, UNIVERGE BLUE offers all the features customers need and want,” Rick explains. “With on-premises systems, it’s difficult and costly for customers to adjust licenses as demand grows. Now, with UNIVERGE BLUE, they can retract or add licenses on an as needed basis – this has benefited our customers greatly.”

Cost Savings
“UNIVERGE BLUE reduces support costs for us because the services are turnkey and don’t require a lot of troubleshooting.” Paul continues, “UNIVERGE BLUE makes us a lot more profitable in terms of our service margins by freeing up more time. Since we have lower administrative costs, we can focus on supporting our end users and on our corporate strategy going forward.”

The tradition of providing clients with reliable and flexible solutions continue as Forerunner transitions into a cloud service technology partner with UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES.

For more information on how you can become a UNIVERGE BLUE Channel Partner and begin realizing the unlimited benefits and high-margins that come with being a cloud provider, visit https://www.univergeblue.com/partners today. For any questions about the program or to meet with a UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program Representative, submit your information to us and we will get back to you shortly.

Contact Us Today

Please let us know if you have any questions about the program or to meet with a UNIVERGE BLUE Partner Program Representative. Fill out the form, and we will get back with you.

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.