Category Archives: Blog

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IT and UC – Industries in Profile

Category : Blog

Since its first rollout, Unified Communications (UC) technology has made quite the impact on the world of business communications. The leap forward UC represents has revolutionised the industry, and the effects of its ripples are felt in almost all areas of the business world.

 

The momentum of mobility-enhanced technology – and the huge array of its applications – is just gaining more and more speed. It’s important to note that UC complements and adds value to existing IT services.

 

Looking back

 

Let’s take a step back into the past and try to recall the heady days when email first appeared. Email represented another major step forward, turning conventional operations pretty much upside down.

 

The professional IT sphere is much wider in scope than most people realise – almost anyone specialising in computers and the internet could be considered to be connected to the IT industry in some way or another. Naturally, IT professionals have enjoyed an ever-increasing position of necessity to nearly any high-functioning business.

 

UC technology has freed most enterprises from needing to have – or lease into – their own extremely expensive suites of hardware, physical lines, and more; however, it pays for any business to have IT professionals on hand to manage the back-end and advanced functionality of these services.

 

Let’s have a look at a few of these important factors:

 

  • PBX integration
  • Dynamic CRM
  • Compliance and Security testing
  • Training
  • Rollout
  • Upkeep and Testing

 

So we can see, even with this brief glimpse, that IT professionals still are in a robust demand to keep things running smoothly – not many managers or executives have either the time or the know-how to integrate these things into a smoothly running operation.  In fact, an executive that simply doesn’t ‘get’ it can throw a wrench into implementation in a way that few things can, much like the way that so many companies have suffered and lost out by ignoring – or again, simply not understanding the value of – the benefits of a robust internet marketing plan.

 

 

What’s ahead

 

With our eyes tuned to this fresh way of seeing things, we can more easily set aside our previous misconceptions that there need be some core hostility between IT and UC. Indeed, this new picture paints a much more friendly synthesis. UC and IT really are very much two dynamic sides of the same coin.


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Essential Data and Voice wins Mitel Global Award for Excellence in Cloud Migration.

Category : Blog

Sydney, Australia; Tuesday 13th March 2018

Mitel® (Nasdaq:MITL) (TSX:MNW), a global leader in enterprise, real-time business, cloud and mobile communications has awarded Essential Data and Voice the Top Migration to the Cloud Partner 2017 at Mitel Next Munich 2018.

The award for Top Migration to the Cloud Partner 2017 was presented to Essential Data and Voice (EDV) by Rich McBee, Mitel CEO and was accepted by David Turnbull, Director of EDV. The Cloud Migration award is one of only eight global awards presented on the night and the only one for the APAC region.  The award recognises EDV’s commitment to using innovation and their experience to successfully migrate thousands of users to cloud based unified communications and contact centre.

The awards presentation held during the Mitel Next 2018 conference in Munich, Germany was an opportunity for Mitel to recognise the achievements of their partners.

“This is a great result for the team at EDV. The award recognises another successful year for EDV as we continue to focus on our customers and their changing communications needs. The focus has driven growth across our Mitel solutions portfolio. It’s a result of outstanding performance from our sales and service delivery teams.  I am proud of the team for their dedication to our solution and customer support delivery”, Turnbull said.

“In today’s cloud-driven world, offering communications on an as-a-service basis has never been more important or relevant,” said Mitel VP ANZ Frank Skiffington. “This award is testament to EDV’s long-term commitment to cloud-based technologies and support structure designed to deliver positive digital transformations for their customers. This recognition is an extraordinary way to close a transformational year for EDV”.

At this year’s Mitel Next conference, attendees learned how they can provide an omni-channel customer experience that will help businesses gain and nurture their customers through their own evolution. Focusing on Mitel’s world-leading solutions, partners are able to offer an avenue for businesses to achieve a next-generation customer experience from any platform: on-site, cloud or hybrid.

About Essential Data + Voice

Essential Data + Voice are a National Systems Integrator working within the UC, hosted telephony and contact centre environment. With a national partner network, Essential specialises in the design, implementation and ongoing management of converged voice and data networks. The company has over 21 years of experience in tailoring solutions to the medium and larger enterprise market and then providing those customers with ongoing support. Essential is one of only 2 Platinum Partners of Mitel in Australia. We sell and support the entire range of cutting edge communication applications manufactured by Mitel.

About Mitel

A global market leader in business communications powering more than two billion business connections, Mitel (Nasdaq:MITL) (TSX:MNW) helps businesses and service providers connect, collaborate and provide innovative services to their customers. Our innovation and communications experts serve more than 70 million business users in more than 100 countries.

For more information, go to www.mitel.com.au and follow Mitel on Twitter @Mitel_AU

Mitel is the registered trademark of Mitel Networks Corporation.

For further media information contact:

Shehara Kannangara

Marketing Manager

sheharak@edv.net.au

02 8879 6847


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Going Mobile – Is your company ready?

Category : Blog

We have two things on the table: workforce intelligence and mobility. These keywords are becoming increasingly more important to the modern enterprise for very good reasons. Now ask yourself:

Does your company embrace mobility? If so, in what ways?

Do you know the workforce intelligence rating for your enterprise?

These are pretty important questions, and here’s why: within the next decade the millennial generation is going to be coming to the majority – comprising over 60% of the workforce. It is well known – and often bemoaned – that millennials do things differently. Your opinions may vary, but one thing remains unchanged: these up-and-coming professionals are not bound to traditionalism for its own sake. In fact, more often than not, they have very little hesitation to casting off the bounds of “it’s always been done this way”, which paves the way for fully embracing every new application, technology, and operations paradigm. 

Further, with today’s diverse workforce, communications solutions must conform to the needs of individuals and organisations, not the other way around. Whether desk workers, on-premises mobile workers, teleworkers, or fully-mobile workers, users demand the same feature-rich communications experience they have in the office, no matter where they are or what device they are using.

So, what’s the best answer to the previous questions – why should you embrace mobility and changing paradigms of the workforce?

Because it’s already happening all around us.  

Obstacles into Opportunities

No two enterprises are the same, even those that operate within the same markets. It follows then there must be a certain leeway in expectations and collaboration – some change in our expected end result for a given project or venture is almost inevitable, and very few things work out exactly as we had hoped or expected. That’s perfectly alright. We are all different, and we – people, that is – are the core building blocks to any and every business. To gain a sense of how your company is going to ride the changes of an increasingly mobile workforce, you should look to the people in charge. Not everyone is aligned with the rapid change that is part-and-parcel of doing business these days.

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, this is largely the reason we’ve seen such a varied response to the meteoric rise of UC technologies – some for the greater, some for the unfortunate worst. The persons in front of the company need to be able to face these changes and advancements head on, be able to take in the new information and make the operational changes needed to adapt and thrive. Remember, fighting and railing against the inevitable rarely has a positive outcome, in the short or the long term.

A Good Example

It’s time for some practical relevance in a larger context.

We’re going to have a look at one of the top new mobile technologies of the year – one of the many that’s raising eyebrows and making people take notice.

To paraphrase a Gartner article: moving beyond the limitations – a pretty amusing conventional term for something as dynamic as the subject – of smart devices, we will soon be seeing a wave of smart, mobility-enhanced objects. What does this mean? That a host of objects, from household items like light bulbs, domestic appliances and necessities, to sports items and medical devices will soon be interconnected and controllable by your smartphone or tablets. This advent allows for a host of dynamic functionality, allowing you to quantify consumable patterns, analyse information, and extend mobile control over many more facets of your daily life.

The Takeaway

In essence, and especially in contrast with the previous example, we see a pattern emerging. And it points irrevocably to the need for your company to be able to adjust and transform to the evolution of technology. Smart business embraces the tenets of evolution: transformation and strategy. The trends are blatant and the intelligent executive is well-prepared at the helm of the ship to embrace the waves in a world of technology that is continually changing how business is done.

 


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What matters to your Customers Most – Communication

Category : Blog

As we’ve touched on before, your business communication choices are the keystone to your enterprise. But what matters more than the fact of your practices, is that they’re quality – that your communication is good.

There are two fundamentals to consider here that comprise good communication: trust and active listening. Active listening is vital because it is the practice by which your customers actually recognize they’re being heard and that what they’re saying matters to you. So how can you ensure your business is reflecting these values? Well, in this day and age of internet communications and social media, it’s easier than ever before.

Though basic, the following two measures allow a broad-based understanding of your customer’s reactions to your methods of communication:

Negative Feedback:

● Despite being relatively uncomfortable for most people, an intentional analysis of negative feedback can be far more useful than any other kind. Granted, it’s not complimentary, but that’s half the point; this is feedback being delivered about your operations on a silver platter: what are you doing wrong, what – by proxy – are you doing right, what specific points require improvement and more attention. There is nothing more valuable than being told in frank terms how you could be providing better service.

Positive Feedback:

● Everyone’s natural preference. However, unlike negative feedback, customers don’t always take the time and effort to address this to you directly. As often as not, if you’re doing your job well you’ll never hear a word about it. This issue is now surmounted by the proliferation of social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, all of them – because now it just takes a bit of knowledge and a choice keyword search to find a treasure-trove of useful comments. This remains, however, a passive attribute unless your company has seen the wisdom and ROI value of having a well-funded Internet Marketing department. If your company does, then you stand to benefit greatly by utilizing these positive feedback findings to directly engage with happy customers – and their own networks – and promote new services, promotions, and information.

The Takeaway

We all prefer to think that common sense, grounded thinking, and rationality are our primary decision-making guides, but the actual case demonstrates that people’s preferences and choices are determined by emotions – or generally worse, an emotional reaction. The savvy executive will be more than a little mindful of these patterns and their long-lasting effects. Understanding emotional impulses is the key to short and long term consumer decisions, as well as your ace to a robust marketing plan.

The Harvard Business Review conducted studies around this very issue in their search for what makes a consumer likely to follow through with a purchase decision. The study was broad and very insightful, but the pertinent takeaway here is this: consumers are so inundated with virtual marketing efforts that now over-engagement may be more dangerous to sales than no effort at all. In the end, people respond to decision simplicity more than any other current factor. Which for us, is perfect; after all, what company could be in a better position to provide that streamlined simplicity than one that actually delivers simplified communications as their product? Cutting down the tedium, streamlining the process, and optimizing communications and operations -our actions speak far louder than our words, and we deliver.


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Three ways UC Solutions can be Profitable – Immediately

Category : Blog

If there is one thing that can be said to be at the very heart of business operations, that thing would Communication. Historically, and up to present day, business and human ventures have moved forward in direct correlation with the speed and scope of our ability to communicate with one another. The progress of history – in this context – can be seen to leap forward with the advent of every new technology that advances this ability, from the telegraph to the internet, we find this holds true. Now, we live in a time where the speed of exchange would have been literally incomprehensible to previous eras.

To bring this into relevance, consider just how your situation would fair if your business’ communications went down for one day. Gives you goosebumps, doesn’t it?

As we know, the transition from traditional communications – in modern times – has gone from huge floors of hardware, miles of phone lines, massive call centers, and so on, to the amazing new technologies that are almost entirely virtual – epitomized by UCaaS.

Cloud and UC services have come to such prominence for many reasons, three of which we’ll touch upon now:

1. Mobility
a. Mobility is an exceptionally dynamic feature that brings a spectrum of flexible solutions to your enterprise. And not only for employee-level personnel, but for management and right up to executives. UCaaS services allow your company to utilize many new advances, such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and lets you integrate them directly into your daily operations. This widespread compatibility eliminates the need for extensive costs for supply, office needs, and more. Your business is no longer placed in the position of needing to rollout an entire suite of new phone lines and servers for every expansion or relocation.

2. Lower Operational Costs
a. This represents an advantage to any business. The elimination of long-distance costs, excessive wait times for callers, and inelegant call trees that come with standard telephony services renders an immediate reduction in costs for your business. The digital networks UC technology offers instantly evaporates those issues, which allows you to not only lower costs immediately, but frees up your budget in ways that allow you to put funding forward to aspects of your enterprise that were previously suffering.

3. Employee Productivity
a. When your business relies upon external services, so many things can go sideways that are completely out of your control. You essentially have to utilize the systems that are handed to you, despite their many drawbacks. Your employees bear the brunt of this issue – as do your customers. When you can design your communications to tailor your customer’s needs, your employees will thank you. UC offers a host of functional systems that not only make your employee’s lives easier, but ensures you won’t be losing customers over endless wait times, useless call trees, bulky wait lines, and dead-end hangups. Calls are far harder to miss when there is a UC system in place and is synced to ring their desk, then office phone, then finally their personal cell phones. Efficiency and morale-boosting is what UC offers your workers.

There are so many points that give evidence to UCaaS superiority. What we can see clearly are the illustrative points in the contrast between the past and present, and how those businesses that have not yet made their transition can benefit – greatly and immediately – by doing so.


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The Essentials of Collaboration

Category : Blog

The story of business has come to be as well known as many of our oldest cultural stories, and like every defining story it evokes a good deal of imagery. Suits and crisp ties, pressed slacks, firm handshakes and, for some reason, the occasional monocle are all representative of good business. And the big one: competition.

We touched briefly on traditionalism in a previous article and the role it can play in modern business – often in a rather negative way, unfortunately. Now we touch upon another core concept that has a great deal to do with an enterprise’s ability to ride the markets, be innovative, and stay ahead of the curves – and to see the sharp corners ahead in time to flex with them. Now we’re talking about paradigms.

While global business is often the setter and maintainer of trends, it must also be fluid enough to adapt to them or be swept away by the inability to do so. Many folks become deeply uncomfortable with an ongoing deluge of new concepts and ideas while others not only handle the challenge well, they find it enervating.

The Big Picture

We have two conceptual keystones to have a good look at here: Competition and Collaboration. At first thought, these two paradigms seem to contain and reflect very different values and methods of doing business. But let’s peel away some of the more obvious considerations and take a hard look into a few practical applications.

Enterprises are no more or less than the people that comprise them. As such we can turn to the behavioral sciences to help us examine the relevance of our own ethos and principles. It’s exceptionally hard to stay solvent, reap good margins, and please shareholders when you’re operating off of unexamined assumptions and shaky premises.

By utilizing the newest research and understandings of human behavior, we place ourselves in a position to cast off the detritus of old paradigms that would otherwise muck us down to travelling in a muddy, rutted circle.

In Context

We’ve always considered the following equation to hold true – that incentive equates to productivity and profit for the enterprise. Indeed, much of our philosophical acumen comes from this truth. But how true is it? Hopefully it holds some relevance, given how very much we’ve based our systems upon it.

This is one of those scenarios by which our common sense may prove to be a slippery slope on the side of a very tall cliff. But in all, it’s fairly understandable; after all, excellent rewards should generate excellent performance – this is completely reasonable. Science, however, is constantly taking us by the shoulder and firmly telling us that no matter how we may wish a thing to be true has no bearing on observable and tested fact.

RSA Animate produced a video detailing the findings relevant to this article. This research was produced by some of the top people in economics, behavioral studies, and psychology. These individuals hailed from some the top schools: Carnegie Mellon, the University of Chicago, and MIT. It was funded by the US Federal Reserve, so despite the conclusions of the studies we can rest assured the following summary has nothing to do with a slanted political agenda of any sort.

The Findings

The science is clear: when a given task moves beyond the most rudimentary need for cognitive skill and creative thinking, increased incentives have an inverse impact on performance. Again and again, in an array of scenarios, the scientists determined that our classic carrot-and-stick approach to labor and business is – and has been – an incredible hindrance to innovation, creative thinking, and real productivity.

The studies also speak to solutions and a new way of doing things: in order to help replace our fallacies, they promote standards that are far closer to what truly motivates us all. People want to be financially stable, undoubtedly; however, what matters most to people is to be treated as people – people find satisfaction in pursuing creative projects, having a sense of purpose, a sense of real contribution that is valued and appreciated, and to achieve mastery of their skills and abilities.

There are so many opportunities in this new collaborative paradigm that are out there, just waiting for us to catch up. Let’s step up to the plate and grasp them together.


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How to think about what it means to be Big

So much has changed in the last half-century – humanity has made strides forward that were simply inconceivable to previous eras. This dizzying whirlwind of progress is largely due to one breakthrough advancement – technology. Some of the most impressive events in recent history have been the rise and fall of the largest organizational ventures ever seen – namely, the international corporation. Taken in context, there really is nothing that holds a candle to these monoliths, excepting perhaps the great empires of the past. The key component to this comparison lies in the definition: empire is largely considered to be a result of lands held and the size of one’s army; now, we have international corporations that hold more economic power than many countries.

The question stands: what causes giants to fall? Sometimes all it takes is unexpected circumstances and an inability to adapt.

This distinction, while seemingly nebulous at first glance, presents a fascinating take on looking forward to the future of the Telecommunications and UC industries.

Point of fact, the biggest companies are not always the most innovative. The capacity to endure the test of time and sheer power – military or economic – are not always a measure of longevity. Indeed, it more often comes down to the strategic fluidity of the enterprise in question.

The Comparison

If you take a moment to draw a comparison in light of “biggest” vs “innovative”, several names come to mind:

Biggest Companies (by profits):

  • Walmart
  • Hon Hai
  • Volkswagen
  • Petrochina
  • G4S

What about innovative? Let’s have a look at a few that stand out:

  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Disney

The most notable distinction here is obvious: the easily understood metric in play allows for the first list to be categorically numbered, while the second does not. This isn’t just a stylistic choice, it’s a reflection of a bigger issue: profits are easily ranked – innovation is not. Anyone can decide to make such a list, but what it comes down to is how you prefer to define “innovation”. The interesting thing here is that in most cases, whatever metrics you end up using to achieve your definition, odds are many of the same companies will still come up.

Bringing it into focus

We now have enough groundwork laid to bring these ideas into focus and discuss a directly relevant example: the Cloud. The cloud may be the most revolutionary advancement of the last few decades. Amazon came forward with this amazing new concept: let’s offer a series of services to the world’s businesses, but entirely online. The true selling point was, again, revolutionary: that these businesses wouldn’t have to have their own hardware. With a reliable internet connection and a decent computer, the world’s businesses now had access to nearly – and certainly comparatively – unlimited processing power that would previously have required floors of private servers.

This advent completely rocked the tech monoliths of their day. Naturally, as they now found competition across the board where previously they need only be concerned with others on their massive level of operations and capabilities. Unsurprisingly, there was a slue of ‘concerns’ that hit the public arena about the cloud’s potential drawbacks. Claims of unreliability, security issues, outright skepticism, even “it will destroy the economy!” arguments were all over the airwaves. Today, we can be gratified to see that the majority of this nonsense is fully laid to rest.

The final takeaway lesson here is plain: companies that can embrace the inevitable evolution of technology sit themselves in position to benefit from change. Those that scramble to maintain adherence to tradition for tradition’s sake will find themselves fighting a losing battle, every time.

In our modern times, and looking ahead, these are good lessons to bear in mind.