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The truth about the environment
brands have come up purely based on the environmental impact of those who dominate the shelves. Sustainable brands in coffee, laundry detergent, and even water filters are gaining traction with a society that is more conscious about their impact on the planet. What’s also frustrating is that the money that can be saved in becoming a more sustainable business. The original outlay for solar panels is a classic example, although there is an original outlay and lots of businesses rent office spaces, the fact is the sun’s rays are free! Similarly in the Second Hand Market feature in this issue, we discovered that savings could be anywhere from 15 to 85% when using refurbished technology. On top of this the risk can be mitigated by working with a reseller you trust. To round off my lecture, in our piece about Reducing Businesses’ Carbon Footprints, energy efficiency is one of the key ways in which businesses could instantly start to decrease their environmental impact. On top of this we have reports from AWS Summit and Zoom’s Work Transformation Summit, we speak to Holger Graeff at Vivitek about the way they view collaborations from an AV perspective, and we discuss the public sector, cloud storage, and how to keep data safe.
The ice caps are melting, the sea levels are rising, forest fires are raging, and even Essex isn’t safe. It’s been a topic that we’ve known about for a long time now. The climate is changing, despite the tedious tweets from deniers, but it would seem that a lot of us are only just starting on our journey. I myself am no angel when it comes to the environment. Aside from the thankless task of cleaning out yoghurt pots and jam jars in order to recycle them, I still drive a petrol car, make sure my home is nice and warm, and I refuse to go vegan; although I can cook a mean dhal from time to time.
Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne Editor
Q2 · 2023
Every quarter we make an award for the best campaign run in the magazine. This quarter Ingram Micro has been chosen as the winner. Thanks for the support.
I expect we are all the same, and what little the individual does can surely not contribute much to the saving of the ice caps. Those who I would expect more from though, are businesses. Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems that this effort to become carbon neutral has only come about once the generation most likely to be affected by rising sea levels has joined the workforce. In other words, it’s only now that corporate social responsibility has become a factor in attracting talent that businesses care about. Similarly, in consumerview, challenger
As always give me your feedback, it’s been great hearing your thoughts on the magazine, it seems like you are as excited as we are about it which is a great place to be in. If you have any news, views, or contributions please don’t hesitate to drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
CALLING ALL BRANDS
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While most of the industry has clamoured for collaboration-specific devices, Vivitek is looking at the whole solution.
News You should know p6 New in the Channel Hot products p10 Thought... Leveraging UCaaS p19 All-in-One Creating B2B solutions p20 Sustainability Time to take action p24 Public Sector Maintaning quality p29 Second Hand Grading yesterday’s technology p32 Interview: Vivitek Filling the gaps in B2B AV p36 AWS Summit Partnering to scale p42 Zoom Summit Takeways p44 Thought... AI in the insurance sector p47 Thought... Employee experience p49 Thought... Legacy challenges p50
While you may know that you should be doing something about emissions, it can be difficult to know what exactly what action to take.
As productivity trends move towards working from home, what are the challenges in the public sector?
Following quarterly revenues of over £120 billion in March, AWS addressed partners in London with a key message: “We need you.”
Streamlining efficiency sounds like an easy win for all involved but there are a few concerns along the way
Editorial Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 email@example.com Dan Parton 07941 979 845 firstname.lastname@example.org Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 email@example.com Online Content Manager Harry Hendrie 07813 585 212 firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 email@example.com Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of UC Advanced can be reproduced. © 2023 In the Channel Media Ltd.
With device prices continuing to rise, the second hand, or graded, market has become a more enticing proposition for consumers and businesses alike.
Communication is still key according to Martin Taylor, Co-Founder and Deputy CEO of Content Guru
Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street,
Takeaways from Zoom’s Transformation Summit
Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:
Looking out for the little guys
DWS, or Gaicom as they are to be known now, has decided to make a splash in the unified communications industry. After splitting from the Daisy Group a couple of years ago, operating under Digital Wholesale Solutions, took the opportunity this month to reveal their grand plan for the reseller market, pursuing a £10 billion SMB opportunity. In short, Gaicom is now looking to supply the resellers with what their customers are asking from them. That is a one-stop shop. “SMBs face a significant problem when it comes to adopting UC because, according to a survey we conducted, less than 1% of all SMBs have any dedicated IT employees in their business,” said Nathan Marke, Chief Operating Officer at Giacom. “Even in the 50 to 250 employee SMB space, less than 30% of those businesses employ somebody dedicated to looking after their IT. As a result of that, small businesses get hacked all the time. “The one-to-50 employee business market is the most hacked sector of all the UK economy. Forty percent of those businesses get hacked every year, and 10% of those businesses that get hacked never recover, because they lose their data and they go out of business. That’s a huge problem, relating to the fact that they don’t have somebody to help them to deliver technology properly.” Cloud Market To fix this problem, Giacom revealed the launch of Cloud Market, a groundbreaking partner portal designed to provide a seamless platform experience across its complete product lineup. Cloud Market marks a significant milestone as it integrates the capabilities of DWS’ four existing platforms into a single, user-friendly interface. With intuitive navigation, enhanced performance and comprehensive access to all the company’s offerings, Giacom aims to empower partners to deliver a diverse range of products and services to their customers across cloud, connectivity, mobile and software. With Cloud Market, Giacom is aiming to enable resellers to educate SMBs about the B2B technology market, improve the
technology they use and make up for being “poorly served by vendors directly.” “SMBs aren’t looking for point solutions, they want solutions to these problems, they just want to get on with their job,” said Marke. “Our surveys show that SMBs are increasingly looking for a one-stop shop, they’re increasingly looking for one hand to shake. “But one of the questions that we asked in that survey was, ‘Are you aware of somebody who could come and help you with your technology?’ Sixty percent said they’re not, so a lot of SMBs don’t even know that MSPs exist.”
Nathan Marke Chief Operating Officer
Plugging the Gap On top of the struggles of the small
businesses, Marke laid down the challenges resellers have to serve them, and why he believes Cloud Market is the answer to these challenges. “We know that SMBs want all the brilliant stuff that the likes of Microsoft and Apple can provide. The problem is in the UK, smaller businesses have always been poorly served by these vendors directly. “Then the problem for resellers is that if they’re trying to deliver a one-stop shop, they have to work with many carriers and vendors. They have to strike a direct deal with Microsoft, O2, Vodafone, BT, Aronis and Sophos. A small reseller or MSP hasn’t got time to do deals with all of these different players. That’s where we see the gap for Cloud Market.”
With Cloud Market, Giacom is aiming to enable resellers to educate SMBs about the B2B technology market, improve the technology they use and make up for being “poorly served by vendors directly.”
BT CEO to step down within a year
BT Group plc’s group chief executive Philip Jansen has announced his intention to step down from his role within the next 12 months. This announcement sets in motion a formal succession process conducted by the Nominations Committee of the Board. Adam Crozier, Chairman of BT Group, commended Jansen’s contributions, stating: “Philip has done an excellent job during his tenure at BT, and the Board fully supports the long-term strategy pursued by him and his team. While we are still in the early stages of our transformation, we are on track to deliver the outlined objectives.” The Board, well-prepared for this succession, is actively considering all suitable candidates and expects to provide updates on the progress made throughout the summer. Crozier assured stakeholders that it would be business as usual in the interim, with a continued focus on executing plans and
meeting the needs of all stakeholders. Jansen expressed pride in the progress made during his four and a half years in the role. He highlighted BT’s significant investments in both its own future and that of the United Kingdom. The company has successfully expanded its fiber coverage to more than 11 million homes, achieved 68% 5G service coverage across the country, and notably improved its customer service. Jansen emphasised his unwavering commitment to driving the business forward until he hands over the reins to his successor. BT Group remains dedicated to its growth trajectory, delivering value to investors and the UK while further strengthening its position in the market. The upcoming transition of leadership marks an important milestone in the company’s journey, signaling continued progress and a renewed focus on fulfilling its ambitious vision.
Philip Jansen CEO, BT Group
Vodafone testing quantum computing
Vodafone is actively testing quantum-safe defenses to protect customers, governments and society from the potential risks posed by quantum computing. Collaborating with technology partners and industry body GSMA, the telecommunications company is exploring new cryptography algorithms and strategies to address the evolving quantum threat. Public-key cryptography, which underpins secure communication channels and protects sensitive data, is at risk due to the emergence of powerful quantum computers. These advanced machines have the potential to crack current codes, compromising the security on which modern technology relies. To stay ahead of these risks, Vodafone is playing an active role in transitioning to a quantum-safe world. Together with SandboxAQ, a spin-off from Alphabet, Vodafone conducted a proof-of-concept test for a quantum-safe Virtual Private Network (VPN). By adapting standard smartphones with cryptography algorithms from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Vodafone evaluated the latest standards
in a real-life telecommunications setting. This proactive approach allows Vodafone to anticipate and safeguard against future threats, including the Store Now, Decrypt Later (SNDL) attack. The SNDL attack involves stealing encrypted data with the intention of decrypting it in the future using quantum computers. Although cryptographically relevant quantum computers may still be years away, the threat from quantum- empowered attackers already exists. Vodafone is actively exploring and testing new cryptography algorithms to provide protection against potential quantum-enabled attacks in the future.
Improving customer trust: top priority for AV professionals, finds Kinly study
According to a recent study titled “Trusted Connections 2023” conducted by AV solutions provider Kinly, nearly 70% of AV professionals prioritise enhancing customer trust when selecting new collaboration and communication technologies. This aspect takes precedence over other options such as increasing efficiency (69%) and boosting productivity (68%). The study surveyed 150 AV professionals working across various sectors in the UK, including banking, finance, healthcare, energy and the public sector. It also revealed that
44% of AV professionals believe that the right communications technology can make or break the customers’ experience. Maintaining positive and seamless communication with internal and external stakeholders is crucial for organisations operating in high-trust sectors. Approximately 41% of the surveyed professionals stated that their choice of technology plays a vital role in securing customer trust. Moreover, 46% believe that communications technology is also vital for building employee trust. Despite the recognition of the pivotal role played by communications technology in high-trust sectors, many professionals express concerns about the quality of their current tech. About 73% of AV professionals believe that their communication workflows still have room for improvement in terms of interoperability, while 64% feel that their workflows could be more efficient. Taj Ghere, the UK region Managing Director of Kinly, said: “All too often, businesses see AV as just about productivity and efficiency, but it’s so much more than that. The tools we use to communicate can seriously impact a customer’s long-term trust in an organisation.”
Taj Ghere Managing Director
Trusted Connections 2023 The workplace collaboration index for high-trust organisations
Working together. Everywhere
8x8 launch new partner ecosystem
8x8 has launched the 8x8 Technology Partner Ecosystem, a program enabling organisations to enhance customer experience by integrating advanced technologies into the 8x8 platform. The ecosystem includes more than 30 partners offering AI-powered solutions. It eliminates the need for complex development and high costs, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes. Built on the 8x8 XCaaS platform, the program encourages innovation and provides tools for exceptional customer experiences. Benefits include collaborative strategies, new customer use cases and revenue opportunities. The integration simplifies handoffs between systems, allowing organisations to focus on customers. Overall, the 8x8 XCaaS
platform provides a comprehensive cloud communications solution with high reliability.
Zoom: strengthening data protection measures to deliver limitless human connection
Zoom, the leading video conferencing platform, is committed to delivering limitless human connection while prioritising data protection, particularly in Europe. To achieve this, Zoom collaborates with renowned experts from the European Economic Area (EEA) and partners with organisations worldwide to gain diverse perspectives on data privacy issues. The European Patent Office and Oracle Red Bull Racing are among the prominent organisations leveraging Zoom’s services for their specific needs. A significant partnership is with SURF, a collaborative organisation for IT in education and research in the Netherlands. They conducted a detailed Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to identify risks and provide recommendations for mitigating them. The University of Amsterdam acknowledges Zoom’s efforts to address privacy concerns highlighted by the DPIA. Zoom has also obtained certifications
and attestations from various government agencies and official institutions. Notable certifications include Italy’s ACN, Germany’s BSI C5, and Spain’s ENS High, affirming Zoom’s compliance with stringent security, efficiency and reliability standards in each country. To enhance user control, Zoom offers features such as EEA-based data storage options for paid customers, data subject access request tools, a marketing preference center, audit log tracking and increased visibility into data retention and deletion policies. Zoom maintains a steadfast commitment to privacy and security in Europe. The company continuously refines its platform, engages in strategic partnerships and introduces new initiatives to meet customer and regulatory expectations. Zoom promises to announce further news and initiatives, ensuring secure and connected communication for users worldwide.
SAS Report: private cloud the way to go
A recent SAS report has emphasised the importance for businesses to consolidate their operations to a single private cloud instead of using multiple cloud providers. Currently, businesses that spread their operations across multiple cloud platforms face challenges in extracting data and insights efficiently. The report found that 70% of businesses use different analytics platforms for each cloud, leading to time-consuming processes to access insights due to data being stored in different clouds. The report surveyed more than 200 decision-
makers in the UK & Ireland in data, analytics and cloud services. It also revealed that 42% of businesses rely on at least two public cloud providers, resulting in wasted time and costs. Cloud proliferation was identified as the main cause of operational challenges in extracting insights from data. Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer at ALSO Cloud UK, warned of the increased cybersecurity risk of using multiple cloud platforms. He advised businesses to consolidate their environments into a single cloud platform to achieve streamlined operations and enhance network security.
Mark Appleton Chief Customer Officer
70% of businesses use different analytics platforms for each cloud, leading to time-consuming processes to access insights
Vivitek launches new projectors
Vivitek has introduced the DU4381Z- ST WUXGA laser projector, designed for galleries, museums, education and commercial applications. With 6,100 lumens of brightness, a 3,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and a laser light source lasting up to 30,000 hours, the DU4381Z-ST offers exceptional performance and durability. Its short-throw lens enables large projection sizes in limited spaces, achieving an image size of 185 inches from just two metres away and 300 inches from 3.23 metres. The lightweight design and 360-degree positioning options provide flexibility in projector placement. The projector utilises DLP DarkChip3 and
BrilliantColor technologies for bricolour-accurate images. It includes a 3D synchronisation
port and HDBaseT and CAT5e/6-LAN interfaces for long-distance image signal transmission. The laser light source allows for continuous 24/7 operation, with an advanced fan error auto protection system ensuring uninterrupted functionality. The projector supports Crestron RoomView software for network monitoring and the Vivitek PJ-Control tool for remote control and management. Vivitek aims to deliver a projector that excels in performance, brightness, value, and durability, meeting the demands of its target market.
Vivitek DU4381Z-ST WUXGA
Video Bar to make communications BOOM
Boom Collaboration has launched the intelligent Boom AURA video bar, designed for superior meetings. The video bar features 4K Ultra HD quality, 10x digital zoom and a wide 120-degree field of view. AI functions like facial detection and voice tracking enable intelligent auto-framing. The AURA has six digital array high-fidelity audio. Fredrik Hörnkvist, co-founder of Boom Collaboration, sees video bars as popular for huddle rooms but acknowledges their limitations in larger spaces. For such cases, they recommend PTZ cameras with optical zoom and their GEMINI wireless audio system. The new Boom GOJO multi-camera controller enhances conferences and live events. Boom Collaboration aims to provide solutions for all room types, raising the bar in performance and convenience with their all-in-one video bars and PTZ camera technologies.
Vestel uncover PR+ range
Vestel Visual Solutions has launched the PR+ series, a new range of commercial 4K UHD displays. The displays offer impressive brightness, 24/7 operation capability and an Android 9-powered system-on-chip core. Available in 43”, 50”, 55” and 65” screen sizes, the PR+ series provides a brightness of 700cd/m2, reducing the risk of screen burn. It features wide viewing angles, a dynamic contrast ratio of 70000:1 and various connectivity options. Ideal for retail, corporate, control rooms and transportation, the PR+ series offers high-
impact signage and durability. It simplifies setup with a user-friendly interface and provides an open platform for flexibility. The displays use a quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 SoC CPU and support cloud-based and offline content. Installation features include adjustable tilting, portrait or landscape modes, and the ability to daisy-chain content. The new models come with cosmetic updates like an ultra- narrow bezel design. Vestel Visual Solutions plans to release the PR+ series in the UK from July through its distributors and resellers.
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS WESTCOAST ARE LOOKING TO CHANGE THE UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS MARKET FOR MODERN WORKPLACE
Read on to find out more about where we think the Unified Communications market is going and some key insight from our Business Manager, Sam Armstrong.
FLYING INTO THE CLOUD
The growth in businesses using cloud platforms saw a rise of 12% in two years, from 81% in 2020 to 93% in 2022. A major factor in this has been the move to home or hybrid working.
93 % 2022
Similarly, growth in UC usage has seen a global rise of just over 29% 1 to $113.48 billion in 2022. Predictions are that the market will continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 17.4% (reaching $417.86 billion) between now and 2030. 2
1 billion 2021
1.9 billion 2025
UC IN THE UK
At current projections, the UK market remains modest in comparison to the US and Europe. Figures for 2021 put the UK market value at £1 billion with forecasts estimating growth to £1.9 billion by 2025 . 2021 saw the UK market enjoy 26% growth, which looks good until compared with the 66% expansion in Spain, 90% in Germany and 124% in France for the same period. This underlines the significant opportunity for growth in UC business in the UK over the next few years .
THREE TRENDS WE ARE WATCHING OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS
AI ENHANCING UC Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been with us for years now, its recent dramatic advances have brought it to the fore in just about every technology discussion. UC is no exception here and the utilisation of AI on UC platforms is growing fast. This is going to shape communication technology far into the future.
THE MOBILE FUTURE With the implementation of 5G and satellite connection bringing cloud communication access from literally anywhere on any connectable device, it’s hardly surprising that 84% of the UK’s working population believe the concept of work from anywhere (WFA) will soon replace work from home (WFH).
UNIFYING THE CLOUD More businesses are moving more of their crucial processes and tools to the cloud and enjoying the agility, security and flexibility of the environment. Those adopting cloud-based, hybrid work environments are reaping the benefits, but they are still in a minority.
UC solutions are revolutionising internal and external communication processes, allowing organisations to foster a more connected and agile approach within today’s dynamic business landscape. In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, effective communication is the cornerstone of success for individuals and businesses alike. As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented rate, traditional communication methods are rapidly being replaced with more efficient and streamlined alternatives.
If you haven’t already heard, BT will be closing down the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in 2025. With the switch-off imminent, there’ll soon be a rush of businesses wanting to migrate to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. This ultimately means customers will be prioritising capabilities – not hardware. They’ll expect their partners to help them transition smoothly to the cloud and accomplish more when they get there. As with any digital transformation, there are several considerations associated with implementing UC solutions, such as security, scalability, and integration with existing infrastructure .
Cloud-based unified communications offer plenty of opportunities in this changing landscape. Here are some key advantages businesses can gain by adopting a UC model:
By migrating to the cloud, businesses can stop relying on on-premises hardware for communications. A unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution, can make growing capacity easier and more cost-effective too. LOWERING RISKS AND COSTS
SECURITY THEY CAN COUNT ON
With the PSTN system, organisations don’t rely heavily on additional factor security measure in their voice estate. But as the end of PSTN nears, increasing cybersecurity spend is becoming a growing priority for many businesses, despite current market conditions. With cloud-based UC platforms, businesses get robust security built in, with apps that protect data at the point of receipt, making them a great option for security-conscious customers. Communication is the key to good business – so making sure organisations have tools that keep them connected is essential. UC platforms that utilise artificial intelligence (AI) and automation features can help businesses streamline their communications and services, powering improved customer experience (CX) as a result. INNOVATION-POWERED COMMUNICATION
Download our full trends report for a comprehensive view on the industry and some vital reseller tips >
Probably the most influential innovation in UC is AI and the automation it brings with it. When we think of UC, we think of hybrid meetings, file sharing and multiple device access to centralised data. With AI software, UC can do a lot more in these arenas. The UC-driven workplace means rooms can be booked, schedules confirmed, and software loaded the moment people enter the meeting room. AI-assisted cameras and mics can identify who is speaking and focus on them. Transcriptions can be prepared in real time, while translations are made and minutes of the meeting are produced and sent to designated members of staff.
EASING THE EVERYDAY
These are all realities that, if not here already, are just a step away. What AI-driven UC can already do is relieve the burden of mundane admin tasks & meeting rooms challenges. Schedules and reports & meeting bookings can be prepared automatically, whether company-wide or for the individual. While morning briefs outlining yesterday’s activities and today’s calls to action can be waiting for workers as they boot up their devices.
A big area of growth for the UC market is making this tech available for everyone. Physical impairment shouldn’t be a hindrance to work. The technology is available to make sure it isn’t – and it’s improving all the time. Audio has seen a lot of growth in this area, with plugins for voice assistance in hearing aides and implants, and text-reading functions. As well as instantaneous subtitles, dictation software and screen enhancements. The AV market has changed extensively in the past 5 years & the experience for meeting rooms has improved massively with the introduction of smart AI features.
Westcoast isn’t looking to just take part in the UC marketplace. Using our mastery of multiple market sectors & dominance in the IT space, we aim transform the modern workplace infrastructure & inspire change. We are committed to developing a leading solution offering within Unified Communications, supporting our broader infrastructure across Client, Cloud & Mobile. With customer experience & specializing in outcomes at the heart of our offering, we will focus on providing the best solutions for the converging market.
With many exciting things to come from Westcoast in the following months, watch this space & stay up to date with us .
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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1 https://www.uctoday.com/market-guide/unified-comms/uc/ 2 https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/unified-communication-market#:~:text=The%20global%20unified%20communications%20 market,17.4%25%20from%202023%20to%202030. 3 https://www.computerweekly.com/microscope/news/252500996/Unified-communications-market-up-significantly-so-far-in-2021
How SMBs can leverage UCaaS to maximise efficiency
Julien Rio, Associate Vice President, International Marketing at RingCentral discloses how to negotiate modern challenges
Modern-day SMBs have an array of challenges to overcome. For example, macro- economic pressures such as rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis have caused SMBs to remain conscious of costs. Another factor that is slowing down SMBs to greater efficiency and growth is the technology gap. Typically, SMBs have less resources to spend on technology that can streamline operations and aid growth plans. Indeed, inflation and recessionary pressures are dampening SMB tech spending, with recent research finding that only 36% of SMBs plan to increase technology spending this year. It’s therefore important that SMBs maximise the technology that they are investing in. The switch from traditional office-centric workforces to the hybrid working model has only deepened this technology gap, making it difficult to maintain operations as usual and attract new customers. As 40% of SMBs will continue to work from home in some capacity throughout the duration of 2023, it’s imperative SMBs look at how solutions like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) technology can support levelling up operations.
without the need for an in-house admin team to manage it. Cloud technologies now allow virtual numbers to be assigned to employees, making them available whether they are physically in the office, on the go, or working from home, without ever having to transfer calls from one device to the other. It also removes the need for maintaining a stock of hardware in one location, as this technology is accessible from any phone or computer.
Business Benefits of Cloud Technology
Julian Rio Associate Vice President, International Marketing
Cloud technology isn’t just a step forward for companies, but a victory for employees. With the right cloud UCaaS technology, it is easy to set specific working days and hours. This translates into a better work-life balance for employees. Small businesses can then also employ a distributed workforce across multiple countries but still easily collaborate without the complexity or cost of traditional “on-premises” solutions. This enables smaller businesses to better compete with larger corporations. With cloud- based capabilities a SMB workforce can have private or group messaging conversations, share files and tasks, track projects and join a group call or video conference with just one click. Consolidation is frequently regarded as the holy grail of any IT department, as it brings technologies together, lowering the number of providers, avoiding silos and complexity. Companies of all sizes can now access what was previously only available to a select few large enterprises with a CIO and a sizable IT team. Cloud technology now makes it possible for everyone to integrate their communication system with their CRM so that they can engage with customers effortlessly within their browser and make phone calls with just one click. To maximise efficiency, SMBs should consider the potential of UCaaS.
Today, even a sole trader can deploy IVR without the need for an in-house admin team to manage it.
Utilising UCaaS to Meet Consumer Demand
One challenge for a small business is customers demanding frequent
communication whilst staff are working from a remote location. There are several UCaaS solutions available to support this. One solution is for SMBs to utilise the right interactive voice response (IVR) for customer calls. Receiving inbound calls from potential customers can be tricky to manage without an IVR in place, and collaborating with colleagues spread out across multiple locations is more difficult without technology that is designed to enable it. Today, even a sole trader can deploy IVR
Creating an all-in- one solution for B2B communication resellers
Streamlining efficiency sounds like an easy win for all involved but there are a few concerns along the way
ones, as we are finding with our clients. The primary reason our clients are going with us for an all-in-one solution is pricing. We at 4Voice can provide all they need more affordably than the client using two or three vendors. “One solution can streamline everything to flow together and work far more effectively than going with two or three vendors. Some programs are incompatible and then businesses must change to something compatible. Going with a vendor like our company eliminates that possibility, which also eliminates the hassle and extra cost.” Addressing Departmental Preferences During their recent summit, AWS revealed that around half of the people who purchase services from them do not work in IT, a trend that is felt throughout the collaborations sector. Particularly since the pandemic, departments have chosen the platform they work with, regardless of whether other people within the company can adopt it. As a result, IT departments are having to tackle the problem and mandate company-wide platform adoptions. As a result, departmental preferences can hinder the adoption of all-in-one solutions from the point of view of the business. As Murabito said: “Departmental preferences can pose an obstacle to the adoption of all-in-one solutions. “However, there are strategies, like creating in-house development platforms, that can address these challenges. These platforms allow for greater customisation and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each department, while still ensuring company- wide consistency.” Laxman added: “Departmental preferences could be a hurdle for using an all-in-one solution. The trick is to choose a platform with customisable preferences that can
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, effective communication is key to success. B2B communication resellers play a vital role in providing the necessary tools and platforms for businesses to connect and collaborate seamlessly. However, the question arises: Should resellers rely on a single vendor to deliver all the technology and services, or should they consider building their own solution? Simplicity vs. Flexibility: The Allure of All-in-One Solutions Many companies are initially drawn to all- in-one solutions due to their simplicity and consistency. The idea of having a single vendor provide all the necessary technology and services can be appealing, as it minimises the complexity of managing multiple vendors and ensures a consistent user experience, as Michel Murabito, Developer Advocate at end- to-end platform builder Mia-Platform, explains. “Many companies may be drawn to all-in-one solutions for their simplicity and consistency,” said Murabito. “However, the growing complexity of business needs might push them to look for more flexible approaches. “For example, techniques like Platform Engineering allow for developing in-house solutions or integrating products from multiple vendors, while still ensuring a uniform interface and overall consistency.” Amruth Laxman, CEO of 4voice, also cited practicality as a key reason why a one-stop- shop approach is becoming popular. “Businesses do like a one-shop-stop for many tech elements ranging from computer and cloud tech to communications,” said Laxman. “The reasons behind this are practical
Many companies may be drawn to all-in-one solutions for their simplicity and consistency
Michel Murabito Developer Advocate at end-to-end platform builder
accommodate different departments including call forwarding to cell phones, ID masking, and being able to monitor calls in real-time.
tools and services at their leisure, keeping pace with technological innovations without compromising the integrity of their technological ecosystem. “Similarly, they can decide to phase out some systems without compromising the coherence and functionality of what remains.” The Power of Customized All-in-One Solutions Creating an all-in-one solution for B2B communication resellers presents a unique opportunity to streamline efficiency and differentiate in a competitive market. While the allure of simplicity and consistency offered by single-vendor solutions is undeniable, the growing complexity of business needs and the need for flexibility and innovation necessitate a more customised approach. According to Mains, by developing in-house solutions and integrating products from multiple vendors, resellers can supply customers with a uniform interface, consistent user experience, and the ability to adapt to evolving requirements in order to get ahead. “It is crucial to acknowledge that the process of constructing an all-in-one solution demands meticulous preparation, proficiency and ample resources. Resellers must thoroughly evaluate their capabilities, financial constraints and the demands of the market before venturing into such an endeavor. “By adopting a well-thought-out strategy, resellers can develop a solution that distinguishes them from competitors and confers a competitive advantage.” It is with this well thought out strategy that resellers can begin to overcome some of the hurdles that are placed in front of them. Departmental preferences may pose challenges, but with in-house development platforms and inclusive decision-making processes, these hurdles can be overcome. Businesses must also be mindful of the risk of technological “lock-in” and choose vendors that provide open standards and APIs to maintain flexibility and future-proof their technological ecosystem. In the ever-changing world of B2B communication, resellers have the opportunity to create all-in-one solutions that combine simplicity, flexibility and enhanced security. By carefully considering the advantages and challenges of both approaches, resellers can position themselves as trusted partners, providing comprehensive solutions tailored to their clients’ unique needs.
“Companies can use the equipment it already owns and can have multiple
extensions to accommodate each department. Some businesses could be locked into one provider’s tech depending on the contract. It depends on the supplier.” But Johan Holmstron, Head of Marketing at Mediatool, might have put it best when he said: “departmental preferences can create hiccups, with different teams having their preferred tools. “The way around it is an inclusive decision- making process that considers the broader needs of the organisation.” There’s a real risk of vendor lock-in when businesses look for an all-in-one provider. Despite the allure of convenience and integration, such dependency
Amruth Laxman Founding Partner
can stifle flexibility and innovation down the line.
Mitigating the Risk of Technological “Lock-In” One of the significant risks associated with relying on a single vendor is the possibility of technological “lock-in.” This occurs when a business becomes heavily dependent on a specific vendor’s technology, making it difficult to switch to alternative solutions in the future. According to Holmström, a long-term mindset can help prevent any lock in. “There’s a real risk of vendor lock-in when businesses look for an all-in-one provider,” he said. “Despite the allure of convenience and integration, such dependency can stifle flexibility and innovation down the line. “It’s essential to weigh the long-term impacts, like the cost of vendor-switching. I’d advise businesses to lean towards vendors that offer open standards and APIs for flexibility and ease of integration with other platforms.” “Strategies such as the aforementioned Platform Engineering can provide companies with a way to maintain a certain degree of flexibility,” said Murabito. “Thanks to these techniques, companies can integrate new
Johan Holmström Head of Marketing
Unleash the Power of Communication with Poly Voyager Headsets: A Closer Look at the Free 60 and Surround 80 Models In the fast-paced world of communication and technology, the need for reliable, high-quality headsets has become increasingly important. Poly has consistently delivered cutting-edge solutions, and their Voyager series of headsets are no exception. In this article, we will take a closer look at two standout models from the Poly Voyager lineup: the Free 60 and Surround 80, exploring their features and functionalities that make them popular choices for professionals and enthusiasts alike.
Poly Voyager Free 60 The Poly Voyager Free 60 is a wireless Bluetooth headset designed to provide users with a seamless and hands-free communication experience. Its lightweight and ergonomic design make it comfortable to wear for extended periods, ensuring that users can stay connected without any discomfort.
Key Features: l Impressive Battery Life: The Free 60 boasts an exceptional battery life, allowing for up to 12 hours of uninterrupted talk time. This is ideal for professionals who need a reliable headset throughout their busy workday or for individuals who require long-lasting communication during travel or leisure. l Advanced Noise-Cancelling Technology: With a focus on clarity, the Free 60 features noise-cancelling technology that effectively blocks out background noise. This enables users to enjoy crystal-clear conversations, even in noisy environments, enhancing overall communication efficiency. l Voice Commands and Controls: For added convenience, the Free 60 integrates voice commands and controls, allowing users to answer or reject calls, adjust volume, and access digital assistants hands-free. This seamless integration of voice commands makes multitasking effortless and improves productivity. l Secure Fit and Durability: The headset comes with a secure-fit earpiece design, ensuring that it stays in place even during movement. Moreover, the Free 60 is built to withstand daily wear and tear, making it a reliable companion for users on the go.
Poly Voyager Surround 80 The Poly Voyager Surround 80 is a premium stereo headset designed for immersive audio experiences. Whether used for conference calls, virtual meetings, or entertainment purposes, the Surround 80 delivers exceptional sound quality and comfort. Key Features: l 3D Surround Sound: The standout feature of the Surround 80 is its impressive 3D surround sound capability. Powered by advanced audio technology, this feature creates an immersive sound environment, making users feel as though they are in the midst of their audio content, whether it’s a business call or a favourite movie. l Hi-Fi Stereo Audio: The Surround 80 is engineered to deliver high-fidelity stereo audio, ensuring that every sound, from the tiniest whisper to the booming bass, is reproduced with utmost clarity. This makes it an excellent choice for audiophiles and professionals who require superior audio quality. l All-Day Comfort: The headset is equipped with plush memory foam ear cushions and an adjustable headband, ensuring a comfortable fit even during prolonged use. This design element is essential for users who spend extended hours wearing headsets, preventing discomfort and fatigue. l Intuitive Controls: The Surround 80 comes with intuitive on-ear controls that allow users to manage calls, adjust volume, and mute the microphone effortlessly. This intuitive interface ensures easy accessibility, freeing users from the hassle of fumbling for controls.
Find out more about the power of Poly Voyager Headsets Contact AVSolutions@exertis.co.uk for more information
Time to take action While you may know that you should be doing something about emissions, it can be difficult to know what exactly what action to take.
Along with which football team is best, whether that dress is blue or gold, and Brexit, the climate emergency can be one of the more contentious topics of conversation. But when 40-degree heat sparked grass fires that burnt down houses in the southeast of the UK, 2022 may have been a tipping point in public opinion. In fact, almost two- thirds (64%) of adults in Great Britain said they were worried about the impact of climate change in the past 12 months, according to the Climate Change Insights, Health and Well- being in the UK published by the Office for National Statistics in May this year. With this change in public opinion comes a need for businesses to adapt. The same research found some 64% of adults in Great Britain have taken action to help tackle climate change in the past 12 months. Among these, the most common actions were making changes to shopping habits (40%) and travel (31%). As a result, businesses will be looking to adapt as environmental literacy becomes a unique selling point. There are quick wins out there, as Filip Bech-Larsen, CTO at Umbraco, said: “In the simplest terms, to reduce their carbon footprint, businesses need to take three key measures, consume less energy, use green for the energy that they can’t do without, and offset the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions.” Mike Cameron, founder of SMOKO, agreed, adding: “When it comes to businesses reducing their carbon footprint, there are several measures they can take.
“One of the key things is to implement energy-efficient practices. This means using appliances and equipment that are designed to consume less energy. For example, businesses can switch to LED lighting, optimise their HVAC systems, and even consider using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. These small changes can make a big difference in reducing carbon emissions.” Efficient Emissions Retrofitting offices has been a hot topic since the turn of the decade, with conference rooms and hot desking being discussed endlessly over the past couple of years by the B2B media. It should come as no surprise then that sources of energy should also be contenders for a retrofitting. On top of this, Roman Khavronenko, co-founder of VictoriaMetrics, said that the efficiency of working practices should also be assessed. “To reduce energy consumption businesses need to either do less work (optimise processes) or do the same work efficiently. Doing less work could be making smart meters report data every minute or hour instead of every second. “Doing work efficiently would be like running more efficient software or hardware to do the same job but with fewer watts consumed. For example, modern cars consume less fuel compared to older generations in the same range.” Part of this efficient working involves working from home. According to research from Green Journal, staying at home for four days a week can reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide emissions by 10%, and even when lockdown rules were lifted nitrogen dioxide emissions fell by 20%. On top of the environmental benefits, working from home can also improve the bottom line. “By employing a remote or hybrid workforce, you’re lowering your electric bill each month,” said Andrew Meyer, CEO at
Filip Bech-Larsen CTO
Businesses can switch to LED lighting, optimise their HVAC systems, and even consider using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. These small changes can make a big difference in reducing carbon emissions.
Arbor. “You can also rent out a smaller office space, which allows you to spend less on lighting, office equipment, and heating/cooling costs. “As a result, your employees won’t be driving into work, which decreases the amount of greenhouse emissions released into the atmosphere. You can also go paperless, which has another eco-friendly benefit. “Also, if employees are working from home, they’re eating from home, which means less plastic consumption. These are just a few of the myriad benefits that transitioning to a remote work setting can have on the environment.”
process, even if this means reinventing the whole idea. It’s the difference between spending millions of dollars to develop a pen that can write in zero gravity versus handing out pencils. “As an example, I know of a man who built a near-zero energy home in the cold Colorado Rockies all the way back in 1984. He funded the energy improvements by leaving out old- fashioned irrelevant systems like a furnace. His house stays warm and comfortable enough to grow bananas inside, so why would he need a furnace.” “What gets measured gets changed,” said Michelle Li, founder & CEO of Clever Carbon. “If businesses have budgets to measure their emissions that would be the best place to start. Otherwise, companies should aim to reduce energy usage in their office, buildings and manufacturing operations, as well as their fuel consumption if they have a fleet of vehicles. “Where reduction is difficult, companies can look to vendors that use renewable energy. “Education of employees is critical because employees can help find creative ways to reduce consumption and look for more planet-friendly vendors.” Knowledge is Power These practices are all well and good but knowing what to cut down on and what to scale up is a different issue. In a technology landscape dominated by AI, data is clearly the most important aspect of any situation. It stands to reason then that the answer to this climate change conundrum also lies in the analysis of data. Khavronenko said that one of the key problems with tackling climate change is the question of “how environmental change works when the businesses are being told they need to continue growing? “More data requires more processing power, which increases the impact on the environment. By gaining a deep understanding of how data flows within a business, and what data is essential, you can start making changes to ensure energy efficiency. Simply put, less storage, less RAM usage and less CPU usage equals less carbon footprint.
Mike Cameron founder
Where reduction is difficult, companies can look to
vendors that use renewable energy
Smarter Consumption Working from home may well be the start of a more efficient future for businesses. However, the work can’t stop there. According to Shel Horowitz, Green Business and Marketing Strategist at GreenAndProfitable.com, to get the best results, cutting emissions needs to be a part of all business decisions. When a business successfully addresses climate change and other environmental and social crises, the solution is bespoke. It will be different in every situation. Still, certain principles hold true in defining and determining that solution. “Specifically, reduction of energy, raw materials, waste, but also holistic thinking that looks at the problem to be solved, rather than how to plug a partial solution onto an existing
Roman Khavronenko co-founder
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