Enterprise Communications: How to Avoid a Traffic Jam (Part I)

nec-unified-communications-traffic_managementThere’s no question that your organization’s communications system is critical to your business. But did you know that traffic management is a key component to ensuring your unified communications solution is running at its peak performance? While trunking is a common “fix” and contributes to the functionality of your UC solution, if not done properly it can be both costly and damaging to your organization. Read ahead to learn more about identifying and fixing common traffic problems that could very well be inhibiting your communications solution, and ultimately your business.

First, identify your problem…

Is your route Over-Trunked?

If so, then you have too many voice channels dedicated to a particular trunk route. This is costly for your organization because you are paying for service and equipment that is not needed.

Is your route Under-Trunked?

If so, then you have too few voice channels dedicated to a particular trunk route. Under-trunking can lead to a loss in productivity by your employees because those needing to dial out won’t be able to. Additionally, when customers are trying to dial into your office, they may hear a busy signal, which could potentially frustrate and cause them to take their business elsewhere – this can damage your company’s brand reputation or customer loyalty.

Are you experiencing VoIP Traffic Problems?

Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic problems are the result of a lack of bandwidth across a routed network link. This will lead to bad quality calls that are choppy or have a great deal of delay. None of these symptoms are at all desirable because they lead to garbled and confusing phone conversations and generally poor perception of the communications solution.

Traffic related problems are also costly for your business because you’re paying for equipment and service that you don’t need. They can also lead to the following problems for your organization: lost potential revenue, lost brand reputation, lost customer loyalty and lost productivity.

Now that you’ve identified the problem, how will you fix it?

Stay tuned for the next post where we’ll discuss how to resolve your traffic problems.

Hotel Room Control With Voice

content-1268960291It’s been a while since the last blog post.  Sorry about that.

What do you get when you combine a great software-based voice platform and expertise in the hospitality industry?  A single interface device in your hotel room where you can make phone calls, video calls, order room service, turn up the heat, and yes……order more towels!!!

CLOVERIS is an all in one software that connects to your hotel room’s HVAC control, property management system, reservations system and phone system to provide a new experience for the guest.  Since I’m a visual person, check out the video demo we did at the HiTec conference.

YouTube Video

Get Out Your 3D Glasses…for LTE troubleshooting

There has been a lot of technology advancements in LTE/4G wireless as of late. And leading that front is NEC. They can add another innovation feather to their cap. On the heels of announcing the world’s smallest LTE transmitter, NEC can now look at LTE transmission patterns in 3D. If you want to see the wave patterns of radio devices (like cell towers, WiFi access points, etc) you would usually have a tool that showed you the top-down (2D) layout. However, if you are trying to fine tune for better reception to the top of a high-rise building, 2D just isn’t going to cut it. NEC’s software gives the user both the horizontal and vertical patterns. And no 3D glasses are required J

Press Release


Small and Fast – LTE Wireless

NEC has been doing a lot in the LTE (4G Wireless) space as of late.

If you happen to be in Spain next week, stop by the Mobile World Congress show and see the NEC LTE base station that weighs in at only 26 pounds and is 16in x 9in x 5in. In addition, it has no fans and therefore uses 75% less power.

Also at the NEC booth…HD resolution video streaming over LTE. Thats right; we can now watch football in HD no matter where we are at!!! Life is good.

Compact LTE Base Station

HD LTE Streaming

Thin Clients Are Like Bell Bottoms…

alt…they’re coming back.
Remember the good old days of working with green text that connected back to the “mainframe”?  No hard drives, no internet, no Twiiter.  Then Bill Gates created an OS that would change computing for the next couple of decades with the adoption of the desktop.  Now we’ve gone 360 back to the thin client days.  Although not near the adoption rate of desktops, thin clients are not only growing in popularity (due to their TCO and “green” benefits) but growing in capability.

Quick 101 on thin clients:

That old “mainframe” was what was doing your primary processing for whatever program you were working with.  It was centralized and easy to get to.  The “dumb terminal” was simply an interface from your screen to the mainframe.  More than likely it had no fan, hard drive, little memory and certainly no Blu-ray DVD player.  The downside was you always had to be on the network for it to work.  Remember, it had to have a constant connection to the mainframe.

One of the big reasons for the desktop’s success was it could be ran locally.  No need for a network connection if I want to run a program.  This theory still holds true today.

Thin clients started to make a comeback 8 or so years ago with Microsoft Terminal Services and Citrix.  These setups still had the green and TCO benefits, but the user experience was not that of the desktop experience.  End-users were frustrated that the programs they could run on their desktop wouldn’t work on a thin client.  Microsoft Office would work great, as long as you stayed away from graphics, movies and sounds.  The experience was not a substitute for the desktop hence the lack of tremendous adoption………..until now!

Today’s thin clients are getting closer and closer to being comparable to the desktop experience.  You can watch movies locally or on YouTube.  You can stream audio from Slacker radio.  You can use USB drives.  And you can use VoIP via a softphone application.  Today’s thin client is becoming a more attractive option to IT departments looking to provide basic IT services with little management costs.  You still need that constant connection to the server farm, but your connection options are greater.  For example, LAN, WAN, WiFi or even 3G.

Check out the latest press release on NEC’s thin client product.  And make sure to check out the product itself.  We have a couple of demo units here in the EBC and we have been doing some amazing this with it.

Michael Ballard is the Director of Strategic Marketing for NEC Corporation of America.  You can follow him on Twitter @mballard5574 and @NECEBC.