What’s New with UNIVERGE BLUE? Now Announcing General Availability for U.S. Partners

Last month, NEC announced the launch of the new generation of our UNIVERGE BLUE™ cloud communications portfolio.

Today, I am extremely excited to share that UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and ENGAGE are now generally available for NEC’s U.S. Business Channel Partner Community. This is phase 1 of a global rollout during 2020 that will ultimately include partners around the globe by 2021.

What is NEC UNIVERGE BLUE™ CONNECT and UNIVERGE BLUE™ ENGAGE?

Businesses need the ability to communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time, both internally and externally. They need tools that are easy to deploy and use, and provide users with an integrated experience. The need for a flexible and adaptable solution to support a remote workforce will extend beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic and we built this solution with this in mind.

UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE are born-in-the-cloud solutions designed specifically for businesses of all sizes and the channel partners who serve them. Built on innovative and proprietary technology, the solutions are elegant, reliable and easy to deploy, while remaining highly scalable and extremely cost-effective.

Our cloud-based unified communications platform, UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT, combines a full-featured cloud-based phone system, team chat, video conferencing and online meeting plus file backup, sync and share, all available to users through desktop, web and mobile applications. CONNECT helps improve the communications and collaboration of businesses, while being easy for channel partners to sell, install and support.

Our fully featured Cloud Contact Center as a Service solution (CCaaS), UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE, combines robust functionality with carrier-grade reliability and world-class deployment and support services. It’s designed to fit business needs from the small, single channel to the large and sophisticated omni-channel environment, and can help any business differentiate from the competition where it matters most – the customer experience.

Brought to Market Exclusively through NEC’s Business Partner Community

NEC prides itself on its commitment to building strong relationships with our channel partner community and delivering true innovation, and our new generation of UNIVERGE BLUE strengthens this commitment.

Last month, we spoke with industry analyst Elka Popova, Vice President at Frost & Sullivan, about the news. “NEC has the opportunity to accelerate the conversion of its vast and entrenched customer base to cloud services such as UCaaS, CCaaS, meetings, and file sync and share,” said Popova. “The partnership will also greatly improve NEC’s and its dealers’ competitive positions as they will be able to capitalize on the ongoing customer migrations to cloud services. This will result in new revenue opportunities, more predictable revenue streams and stickier customer relationships for NEC and its channel partners.”

Available today through NEC’s Business Partner community, UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and ENGAGE complement NEC’s existing offerings, while creating new opportunities for partners to earn increased revenue through new programs designed to facilitate deeper customer relationships.

NEC Channel Partners can choose between three different go-to-market models:

  • Customer Ownership
  • Revenue Share
  • Agency Model

The Customer Ownership and Revenue Share models are now available for Channel Partners located in the United States, with the Agency Model being available in June. For NEC’s loyal Canadian Channel Partners, a launch date will be announced very soon.

Here’s What Our Partners are Saying

NEC gave a handful of exclusive partners early access to UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and ENGAGE. The partners were able to test the product first-hand and get it in front of select customers. In just the past month, NEC has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “Forerunner Technologies is extremely excited about NEC UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and the NEC/Intermedia relationship. Our clients have a pent-up demand for this dynamic delivery model and the migration to the cloud with advanced collaboration applications. This model is unique in comparison to other UCaaS offerings and allows Solution Integrators better ability to control the end user experience while keeping costs in line. Congratulations to NEC on this move!” – Paul Diesu, CEO of Forerunner Technologies

  • “We’re excited to take part in the full launch of the new NEC UNIVERGE BLUE! This will be a turning point in the future of NEC UCaaS solutions and sales, and looking forward to presenting the fresh new look to our current customers and new prospects.” – Scott Ellman, Director of Sales, Advanced Communication Solutions

  • “NEC Blue delivers a complete public, private and hybrid cloud offering to NEC SI Partners. The NEC Blue allows the SI to deliver this offering in an Ownership, Revenue Share or Agency Model. NEC Blue Team provides Inside Sale Support, Marketing and technical support to the SI, allowing the SI to engage in any opportunity. DTC has engaged NEC Blue Team in multiple call center opportunities. NEC Blue can provide a simple to very advance call center solution. A truly SI centric model.” – Gordon Maccani, President, Digital Telecommunication Corp

I couldn’t be more excited for NEC and our partners as we deepen our roots in the UCaaS and CCaaS markets and help our customers transition to the cloud. So come join us, it’s going to be a fun ride! For more information on UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and ENGAGE, visit http://univergeblue.com. Or, if you’re interested in learning more about our Channel Partner Program, reach out to us via the form below.

Become a Partner

We welcome your interest in our products, solutions and services. If you have any questions about the Channel Partner Program, please submit your query below.

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.

Introducing the New Generation of UNIVERGE BLUE

This week, I’m extremely excited to share that NEC has entered a global partnership with Intermedia, a leading provider of cloud-based communications solutions.

Together, we are introducing an NEC-branded suite of fully integrated, born-in-the-cloud solutions to help businesses communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time. It’s the new generation of our UNIVERGE BLUE™ cloud communications portfolio, built on Intermedia’s innovative and proprietary technology and backed by its world-class support.

The way businesses work has changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic will forever change the way businesses think about work. It’s not enough for businesses to accommodate a few remote workers. Businesses now must be flexible and ready to adapt to teleworking at a moment’s notice.

Today, more than ever, businesses need the ability to communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time, both internally and externally. While recent headlines may highlight a seemingly smooth transition to a remote workforce at global scale, there are still tens of millions of workers who do not have the ability to work remote. This is largely because many businesses are still using on-premises solutions and haven’t found a partner that could help them seamlessly transition to the cloud.

As the current global market share leader in on-premises business phone systems, NEC understands the obstacles that many of these businesses face. We chose Intermedia because their platform offers our customers a seamless integration between premises-based and cloud solutions.

NEC’s commitment to cloud-based communications

Business communications is in our blood. For 120 years, NEC has transformed the way the world works through Information and Communications Technologies. As mentioned before, we are the global market share leader in on-premises business communications systems. In 2015, we launched our Smart Enterprise initiative which is committed to helping businesses meet the demands of today’s digital workforce, and helping customers migrate to the cloud is cornerstone to that initiative.

Businesses have been migrating to the cloud for years now, and the pace at which they are migrating only gets faster. While we had developed and deployed our own Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution in the United States, we came to understand that supporting and expanding this home-grown offering globally at the current rate of market expansion was unrealistic. We needed to align with a born-in-the-cloud provider, like Intermedia, and focus on expansion through our long-established global channel partner network, currently more than 2,000 strong.

We selected Intermedia for many reasons. For starters, our market research, channel partner feedback and customer feedback all conclusively pointed to Intermedia as the trusted market leader in cloud communication services. Additionally, Intermedia’s cloud platform is highly scalable with frictionless deployment options and simple user administrative tools, meaning a frictionless experience for our customers’ employees and better customer experience overall. Intermedia’s platform also provides seamless migration from on-prem to cloud – perfect for NEC’s customer base.

NEC and its global network of channel partners are already going the extra mile for our customers working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. This partnership with Intermedia will allow us to do even more to advance business continuity and allow more workers to work safely from home while increasing their productivity.

Introducing NEC UNIVERGE BLUE™ CONNECT, UNIVERGE BLUE™ ENGAGE

Businesses need tools that are easy to deploy and use, and provide users with an integrated experience. We built the new generation of UNIVERGE BLUE with this in mind. 

Built on Intermedia’s innovative and proprietary technology, UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE are born-in-the-cloud solutions designed specifically for businesses of all sizes and the channel partners who serve them. The solutions are elegant, reliable and easy to deploy, while remaining highly scalable and extremely cost-effective.

UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT is a cloud-based communications platform for business that combines a full-featured cloud-based phone system, team chat, video conferencing and online meeting and file sync and share, all available to users through desktop, web and mobile applications. It helps improve the communications and collaboration of businesses, while being easy for channel partners to sell, install and support.

UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE is a cloud-based contact center designed to fit business needs from the small, single channel to the large and sophisticated omni-channel environment. A fully featured Cloud Contact Center as a Service solution (CCaaS), it combines robust functionality, with carrier-grade reliability, and world-class deployment and support services. NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE helps businesses differentiate from the competition where it matters most – the customer experience.

UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and ENGAGE will be brought to market through NEC’s robust Channel Partner community. For more information on UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT and ENGAGE, visithttp://univergeblue.com or reach out to us via the form below.

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.

The New Normal Of Telecommuting

Whether self-quarantined or due to a shelter-in-place or company mandate, many of us within the corporate sector have found ourselves relocated from on-site environments to full-time telecommuting.

While the hope is that this will be short term and the threat of the Coronavirus will subside quickly, our current situation is definitely different from the occasional day or two working from home that some previously enjoyed.  Yet with planning, we can make the best of our circumstance and continue to work, collaborate and contribute from this new workplace norm.

NEC is a globally recognized provider of award-winning communications and collaboration solutions and services that enable a remote workforce.  We have gathered recommendations for work-from-home best practices from our customers and our own team members with personal experience.  We hope that the following will help in adjusting and perhaps even provide a couple of suggestions not previously considered.

Choose Your Workspace Wisely

If possible, pick a quiet location away from any major home activity where family members tend to gather, ideally with a door to limit noise and lessen distractions and interruptions.  Explain or even put up a sign when the door is closed to limit disruptions.

Follow A Normal Schedule

Before starting to answer email or sitting down at your work area, follow whatever routine you would normally do before leaving for the office – such as shower, dress, have coffee – then sit down and begin  your workday.

Explain Your Situation

This is especially important when younger family members are home or if the kitchen or dining room table is the only feasible workspace so things aren’t moved and equipment isn’t played with.

Make Things Pleasurable

Even if temporary, make your workspace your own with family photos, flowers and favorite tchotchkes.

You will find them comforting to look at especially when thinking, regrouping or taking a screen break.  Consider turning on office-appropriate music.  It helps to mask the background “home noise” and lowers your stress level.

Don’t Forget Furry Companions

Place their bed and toys nearby so they have a place to go instead of being underfoot because they will want to be with you and this will make them more manageable.  If you have any concern about potential noise from your pet while on phone calls, mute yourself and unmute when the time comes to speak.  For dog owners: if walks are possible, this is something to consider to minimize workday interruptions.

Think Ergonomic

Not everyone will have easy access to a suitable office chair.  So pick the most appropriate one available to ensure all day comfort.  Have a quality headset handy for making and being on calls as well as controlling ambient noise and keeping voice quality clear.

Share Daily Schedules

Be sure to communicate your agenda regularly, including planned meetings, intended breaks and general availability.  This will minimize potential interruptions.  It will also help younger family members by letting them know and look forward to when they can have your full attention.

Stay Organized

Try to replicate your office space at home, placing everything frequently needed within easy reach.  Jot down key priorities – whiteboarding is great for this – and rollover any unfinished items to the next day to ensure nothing gets missed or overlooked.

Take Regular Breaks

Eat lunch somewhere other than your work area.  During the workday, if you find you are sitting too long at your work area, set a timer as a reminder to get up and move.  If there are no constraints to being outdoors, schedule time for a short walk.  It will do wonders to reset the day by re-energizing you, and fresh air and sunlight are known to improve immunity.

Know Your Technology

Take the time to learn the tools available to you, taking tutorials when necessary to get up-to-speed or re-familiarize yourself with functions and capabilities so you are prepared. Take a bit of time to practice using tools with colleagues too.

Think When Conferencing

A webcam provides a window into your home.  Check what is behind you before every call, removing anything deemed too personal or visually distracting.  Lessen background noise by putting yourself on mute when not speaking.  Also, act as if you are in the office.  So no drinking, eating or multitasking.  Remember you are totally visible.

Don’t Be Tempted

Dress for the office – at least from the waist up – so you are always ready for those unexpected and ‘just can’t wait’ conference calls.

And lastly … secure company assets

Be sure company equipment and any printed documents remain safe and secured at all times. Your company trusts you to act responsibly. Should an incident occur, follow your organization’s protocol immediately.

NEC is committed to the welfare of our customers, our employees and their families and our business partners.  If we can assist you in anyway during this unprecedented time or if your organization would like more information on telecommuting solutions or services, let NEC be your resource.

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.

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.