AI is an unavoidable concept whether watching fallen world science fiction, talking about autonomous vehicles, data analytics, or even our personal assistants like SIRI or Alexa. Consumers are adopting the technology rapidly (most unwittingly) to improve and simplify their lives. Businesses are using it in a variety of ways including spotting trends, identification of weak points in their processes, and getting to market more quickly. The use of AI in customer interactions is one of the largest areas of growth and opportunity for businesses and consumers to get big returns.
The new normal of Work-from-Home has caused a significant shift in the way that organizations are communicating, both internally and externally. This has led to a massive spike in collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, G Suite, Slack, and Basecamp, none more dramatic than the increase in usage of MS Teams. The number of daily active users of MS Teams more than doubled from 32 million users in March 12, 2019 to 75 million as of April 30, 2020 (statista.com). Albeit a gigantic leap, the rise in Teams usage comes as no surprise. Microsoft reports that over 91% of large US companies use MS Teams. 91%!
Every office has a need for mobile workers, and whether that means talent in other regions, road warriors, expectant mothers or a case of the sniffles, the need is the same. It pays for businesses to invest in the technology that allows their workers to continue their jobs regardless of their physical locale with varying mobile devices and Internet connectivity. Although many of us have already rolled out some version of this, the need has become more widespread and crucial with the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has the risk of placing unprepared businesses in a tough spot, risking the livelihood of employees and the bottom line. It is critical we begin to prepare a business continuity plan in the event our communities are faced with school closures or even broader quarantines. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the technical considerations we must make in order to ensure our people are safe and our businesses remain afloat.
Matrix Networks, a leader in selection, deployment, and support of collaboration and networking technologies, announces that it has been named a Preferred Partner of RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE:RNG), a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, collaboration, and contact center solutions.
The tides of telco shift mightily as one of the last lumbering giants of telecommunications, Avaya, partners with the industry’s reigning superstar, RingCentral. In the agreement, Avaya will resell RingCentral’s services under the name Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral. As part of the deal, RingCentral will take a 6% stake in Avaya, and Avaya will hold a 3% stake in RingCentral.
In 2017 Mitel purchased ShoreTel in an all-cash deal worth $430 Million. Nearly 9 months later and seemingly just as the dust has settled from the ShoreTel acquisition, Mitel enters into a definitive arrangement to be acquired by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners for $2.0 Billion! What does this mean for Mitel customers? What does this mean for ShoreTel customers and the Partner Community as a whole? This article explains.
Launching a new phone system for your organization is not a simple project and while there is no way to ensure no problems will arise, there are several ways to improve the likelihood of success. With over 30 years of experience, Matrix Networks has learned a thing or two about business telephone deployments. Here are 5 tips for a successful new phone system launch and 5 mistakes to avoid during the process:
The task of selecting a communication solution for your business can be quite daunting. With over 40 vendors in the industry today, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed. But no matter where you are on your exploration of implementing a new phone system for your organization, it is important to start with the basics and identify what type of system is right for you. Outlined below is a brief explanation of what the basic types of phone systems are and why someone might consider one over the other.
So you hate your new phone system, huh? Well, you are not alone. As more and more businesses migrate from legacy technology to more modern, robust solutions, frustrations are bound to come up. Change is never easy.
So here you are, 2018 is a right around the corner, and you still haven’t done anything about that ancient phone system of yours. You know, the same one you were sure you'd replace before Obama left the Whitehouse… I understand, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? Wrong! Let’s face it, your duck taped digital dinosaur is causing more trouble than it’s worth. Your IT team is spending entirely too much time troubleshooting; your employees are working with 90s technology and expected to perform at 2018 standards, and you fear the system could crash at any time.
RingCentral is so much more...
As a species, we desire the feeling of connection, to each other, to our teams and to our communities. Evolving technology is playing a larger and larger part in fulfilling this need beginning with letters and telegrams, and now evolving to real-time communications like phone calls, messaging and video chat. As a consumer today, we expect to be able to easily connect to our friends and loved ones at little to no cost. The surprising reality of this revolution in communications is that despite the opportunity for huge productivity gains enterprise solutions haven't kept up. The majority of businesses are just now scratching the surface of this amazing technology.
Companies of all sizes are enjoying the benefits of Unified Communications platforms delivered from the cloud. The tools are fantastic for improving collaboration, integrating databases, providing Instant Messaging and much more. Unfortunately, these tools have limited application in a multi-site retail environment where call groups, parked keys, low cost solutions and simplicity still rule the day. This gap in vision has left many of our clients stuck on unreliable aging systems, with limited support and none of the UC features that could be useful, like SMS and large conference calls. In this article, we explore how Retail can take advantage of the new technology without breaking the bank.
Selecting a new cloud based phone system is complex, with many options, including regional providers, international pure cloud offerings and traditional phone system providers modified offerings. These products have broad overlap, making it difficult to determine the unique value of the different platforms. Our job at Matrix Networks is to help our clients understand their communication needs and match them with the appropriate provider. In this article we focus on 8x8, an industry leader consistently ranked at the top of Gartner's magic quadrant.
If you have explored replacing your communications solution in the last 2 years you have likely faced the question, Hosted vs Premise delivery? If you believe the industry hype, the only real option is moving your phone system to a cloud solution. There can be substantial value in moving to a cloud phone system, but to assume it is the right solution for every business is foolish. In this article we discuss why some organizations might choose one over the other, and using ShoreTel as an example, we will showcase one solution that has adapted well to the new market shift.
There are right ways and wrong ways to use Unified Communications (UC). The vast majority of companies and employees underutilize their UC platform in terms of how it can increase productivity. UC platforms such as ShoreTel, RingCentral and 8x8 are designed to optimize business processes. Do you really feel more efficient since you installed that application on your computer or mobile device? To truly get your money’s worth out of your communications platform, and experience all the benefits that were promised pre-sale, you need some pointers on how to use UC to work smarter, work faster, and work together. The ideas below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to functionality; they are written primarily to spark your creativity in bringing out the best in your UC platform.
Unified Communications has evolved rapidly over the last 15 years, redefined again and again. Initially if voicemail was received in your email inbox and the system included a basic communicator client it was considered UC, but as technology evolved so did this definition. This slow creep of features developed into a requirement for web/video collaboration, Instant Message, Fax, SMS, Calendar integration and much more. The result is a confusing mess of different clients and tools inhibiting adoption and creating a blackhole of communication. Intuitive integrations to your core tools are critical to gaining adoption and seeing value from a UC product set.
On March 21st of 2017 the Toshiba dealer channel received letters announcing the wind down of the Telecommunications System Division (TSD.) In plain English, Toshiba Telecom (Toshiba IP Phone Systems) is shutting down their operations, leaving their customers and value added resellers in a tough spot. This is an important lesson to learn as the industry continues to evolve to cloud-based platforms. The common belief across industry insiders is this is just the first domino to fall in the legacy phone system market as the new platforms and offerings continue to disrupt.
BrightMetrics is a reporting and analytics tool designed specifically to augment the ShoreTel phone system. At Matrix Networks we believe so much in this solution that we offer it as part of our Advantage+ ShoreTel Partner support, providing all the tools our clients need to gain insight and troubleshoot challenges. Although there are many reasons to use BrightMetrics and ShoreTel together here are three of our top reasons!
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last 15 years you have watched the evolution of SMS text messaging from the days of pagers to iMessage and GIFs. The SMS world has brought smiley faces, acronyms, and text speak into our world at a rapid pace. Simple, straightforward, fun, and aimed almost exclusively at personal relationships. As users across the globe have adopted SMS, our businesses have fallen behind, unable to grasp how to implement, control, or even understand the scope of how to position it for business use.
Contact Center Reporting tools defined. Everything you need to know about the tools you have as a Contact Center Manager.
Not everyone geeks out about reporting like I do. But even if you don’t get excited by schedule adherence, there is still a lot of cool stuff that reporting can tell you about your phone system and contact center staff. Critical data like identifying top performers and clients, contact surges and when people give up on you.
Communications is going through an unpredictable evolution. Ten years ago our businesses primarily communicated via a traditional desk phone and email. Today we use our cell phones and desktops to utilize SMS, LinkedIn, chat clients like Slack, face to face video, Facebook, Twitter, Email and much more to communicate with co-workers, family and clients. This has left many businesses struggling to keep the conversations going in the correct medium. The tools we deployed even 5 years ago are horribly out of date, meaning large swathes of your customer base are not connecting with your team, choosing a more modern competitor. This is clearly seen in companies like Amazon and ZOOM+ as they quickly gain market share, capturing their intended clients by embracing the new communications and technology shift. We must make this shift to meet our clients where they live, or risk losing the relationships we depend on.
If you have ever reviewed a phone bill you know it is written in a language that resembles Elvish rather than English. As the world transitions to phone systems offered as a service in the cloud, these bills and the corresponding pricing models will only become more complex and convoluted. As we evaluate any cloud solution, we are considering committing to paying monthly for a term typically one to three years in length. Small misunderstandings or oversights on pricing can have drastic effects on the long term cost of the solution.
More and more companies are deploying UC, and most hated the process of getting there. They enjoy the end result of having a cloud-managed IP phone system; they like the flexibility of adding and removing user features on the fly, but I dare you to ask them what the deployment was like. How did the migration go from an on-premises UC solution to cloud? Was the cutover smooth as butter? Did the vendor communication make you feel butterflies and rainbows deep inside? Were the users singing your praises after the incredible training experience? Hell no!
Warning: Content is not for the easily offended. Enjoy!
ShoreTel initiative that unified over 450 users across multiple locations for the Portland Trail Blazers. To read the full Case Study, click here.
Every day technology gets easier to use. From adding a wireless network to your home office, to upgrading your companies smart phones to new cloud-based solutions like Cloud Phones, the interfaces have never been easier for an end user to navigate. But if you’re a DIYer (Do It Yourselfer), it’s easy to be seduced by the marketing hype around today’s cloud phone systems and therefore skimp on preparing for a successful deployment. With any technology there should always be room for error. However, when it comes time for your business to make an upgrade to your phone system, here are 5 tips to making sure your deployment goes smoothly as possible.