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How to Choose Between a Microsoft Certified and UC Device

11/26/2019 - 0 Comments
 
As you are shopping the Avcomm Solutions web site, you may notice that many of our products such as USB headsets and speakerphones, are labeled as "Microsoft," "MS," or "Certified for Microsoft," while others are labeled "UC." We are often asked the difference between a Microsoft and UC (Unified Communications) product, and how to choose between them.

Our answer: If you are using a Microsoft platform (such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, or Lync), you should purchase the Microsoft certified variant.

What this means: the models certified for Microsoft support Microsoft platforms as a Plug and Play experience. The Plug and Play experience includes:
•automatic selection as the default audio device and
•features to answer and end calls, adjust volume, and mute.

If you are using another communications platform, such as Cisco Jabber, Ring Central, or other softphone, you should purchase the standard UC version of the headset or speakerphone. If you do use a model that is certified for Microsoft Skype for Business with a different computer softphone client, the product should work the same as a UC model regarding audio and features (such as answer and end calls, adjust volume, mute).

To set up your headset or speakerphone to work with Microsoft Skype for Business (or Teams, or Lync), install the headset manufacturer's free software:
Jabra Direct for Jabra products;
Plantronics Hub for Plantronics, now Poly, products;
and Sennheiser HeadSetup Pro for Sennheiser products.

All of these are free from the manufacturers.

For further help with your unique headset and speakerphone needs, reach out to our dedicated customer care team at 1-866-998-9991, via email, or Chat with us now.

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Which BlueParrott Headset Is Right for You?

11/19/2019 - 0 Comments
 
BlueParrott headsets, long the favorite of professional truck drivers, are strong and stable enough for life on the road, anywhere you go. Take calls safely with BlueParrott headsets and keep your hands free to drive. Here, we simplify the headset features and hopefully make the choice of which BlueParrott headset to buy, easier for you. With a range of features, and prices, you've got choices. All of these headsets will handle calls, and stream music and GPS directions.


B250-XTSB350-XTV450-XTB550-XT
IP54 Rated NoYesNoYes
Talk Time 20+ hours24+ hours24+ hours24+ hours
Standby Time150 hours (6 days)500 hours (20 days)500 hours (20 days)500 hours (20 days)
Wireless RangeUp to 66 ftUp to 300 ftUp to 300 ftUp to 300 ft
Voice ActivationNoYesYesYes
Parrott ButtonNoYesYesYes
Headset Weight2.52 oz3.5 oz5.44 oz5.8 oz
MSRP$99.99$139.99$149.00$199.99


All of the headsets come with leatherette and foam ear cushions, mic windscreens and USB charging cables. Additionally, a mobile charger is included with the B350-XT, B450-XT and B550-XT models.

Three of these headsets feature the popular Parrott Button, which lets you customize your favorite features at the touch of a button. Speed dial, mute, and Push-to-talk capabilities make for quick and easy access to what matters most: your conversations.

The IP54 rating means that the headset is water and dust resistant.

These headsets come with a one-year warranty. Ready to talk about a BlueParrott headset? Give our headset experts a call at 1-866-998-9991 or Chat them now, and they'll help you select the best headset for you.

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Alexa Built-in Enhances Headsets ... and Productivity

11/7/2019 - 0 Comments
 

Do more with your headsets, thanks to Amazon Alexa Built-in technology.

Specific headsets now offer Amazon Alexa Built-in, a voice-forward experience that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read news, and much, much more. With cloud-based Alexa, the offerings continually expand. Two of our brands are part of the Amazon Alexa Built-in program: Plantronics, now Poly, and Jabra.

Alexa Built-in is a category of devices created with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) that have a microphone and speaker. You can talk to these products direclty by saying "Alexa," and receive voice responses and content instantly. Alexa Built-in products work with Alexa Skills (which are like apps) and Alexa-compatible smart home devices, bringing familiar capabilities from the Amazon Echo family of devices to a range of new form factors — in this case headsets — developed by leading brands.

Headsets with Alexa:

With Alexa built-in to your Voyager headsets, you can link your work email with your personal Alexa account, so now you can tap and ask, "Read priority email." Yep, it's that easy.

Plantronics Voyager 5200 has a comfort-tested ergonomic design that feels as good at the end of the day as it does at the start. The ergonomic earpiece is designed to feel like it’s barely there. It’s a comfortable, powerful tool for all-day productivity. The included portable charging case features an integrated docking stand. Completely charge your headset up to two full times, so you’re always ready to talk. An included BT600 Bluetooth USB adapter connects this headset to your PC.


Voyager 4200 UC headsets are available in single and dual ear versions, with USB-A or USB-C adapters. In open office environments, you may want a stereo headset to listen to media — or you may prefer a mono headset to hear your surroundings. Count on vibrant and crystal-clear audio, whether you’re listening to multimedia or collaborating with colleagues, within the headset’s 98 ft/30 m range. Plantronics Voyager 4200 headsets make it easy to switch between PC/Mac and mobile devices, so you're always connected. A dedicated button gives you quick access to mute, while voice prompts alert you if you’re on mute when you start talking. Enhanced voice alerts tell you connection status, remaining talk time, mute status and more. Your colleagues will know when you’re talking to someone because of the red call indicator light.

Voyager 4210 USB-A
Voyager 4210 USB-C
Voyager 4220 USB-A
Voyager 4220 USB-C

To use Alexa with these headsets, you must have both Plantronics Hub and Amazon Alexa apps downloaded to your mobile phone. The Voyager 4200 headsets must have firmware version >271. Use the Plantronics Hub app to update your device if required.

Jabra headsets with Alexa Built-in are part of the Elite series: Elite 65t, Elite Active 65t, Elite 45e and Elite 75t. Contact us to learn more about these ear bud headsets.

Count on our brands to bring user-friendly technology and features to headsets that make your life easier, and more productive. Call us at 1-866-998-9991, and our dedicated team of headset professionals can provide recommendations for your headset requirements.

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Jabra Engage 50 Digital Corded Headsets

11/5/2019 - 0 Comments
 
Five years ago, it was proclaimed that customers would no longer call into businesses; that they would prefer to find support via email, social and Chat channels, and organizations scrambled to train and ramp up those areas in their call centers (updating the terminology to "contact centers").

Yet, here it is, almost 2020, and it turns out, customers are still calling businesses when they need help. Research has shown that customers start with online assistance for simple questions; however, as matters become more complicated, phone calls remain the preferred way to contact companies. This means that customer service agents are expected to know more detailed information and handle longer, complex calls. The pressure to produce results in a cost-efficient manner means that data analytics are crucial.

With this in mind, Jabra engineered a headset that meets these needs by offering digital sound, data analytics, Busylights on the ear speakers, and is comfortable to wear through long, demanding calls. The Engage 50 corded headset is available in both Mono and Duo versions and ends in USB-C. The generous-sized leatherette ear cushions have a conical design, so that the cushions rest securely on the ear.

How is the Engage 50 a Digital Headset?

A processing chip in the headset — rather than in a control unit or cord — makes the Engage 50 a digital headset. While most wireless headsets are already digital headsets, the Engage 50 is the first Jabra corded headset to have the chip in the headset itself. The Engage 50 uses the very latest chipset, and this, along with the positioning of the chip, delivers enhanced functionality and user experience. Along with Jabra Direct and Jabra Xpress, call analytics for the business, and on-screen microphone positioning guidance for the agents, are provided. A great headset, along with Jabra software, improves customer satisfaction.


Engage 50 Link Control Unit

The control unit improves call control and the ergonomic design helps agents work more efficiently. It is an optional accessory; however, it must be purchased in order to use the Engage 50 with USB-A ports. There are four variations of the control unit:
Jabra Engage 50 Link USB-A
Jabra Engage 50 Link USB-A Microsoft certified
Jabra Engage 50 Link USB-C
Jabra Engage 50 Link USB-C Microsoft certified


Data analytics and free Jabra software

Jabra Xpress 2.0 is designed for IT professionals to 100 percent remotely manage Jabra USB headsets and speakerphones with a set of smart tools. Xpress keeps different devices, across multiple locations and with numerous users, always updated with the latest firmware. Xpress offers easy mass deployment and agile maintenance. It works no matter the platform you work with, or whether you’re working from your own premises, your own cloud-based service, or the Jabra cloud. And, call analytics received from individual headset users help your management team make data-based decisions to improve agent productivity and the customer call experience. These comprehensive insights include background noise, speech analytics, headset usage analytics and audio exposure.

Jabra Direct is a user-friendly desktop interface offering complete integration of your softphone and headset. The Jabra Direct dashboard is a user friendly status menu available from the desktop notification area, typically accessed via the lower right corner of the desktop.The dashboard shows the status of your headset, if any updates are available, and if your softphone(s) are ready for use. By clicking your Jabra device in the dashboard, you will be linked into the Jabra Direct main application for managing setting preferences, start firmware updates or access applications that are available for your headsets.

And did we mention, these software programs are available at no cost, for both Mac and Windows platforms?

To learn more about Jabra Engage 50 headsets, call our Headset Experts at 1-866-998-9991.

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Social Media for Your Small Business: Begin Today for Success

10/31/2019 - 0 Comments
 
Six years ago, our woman-owned small business invested in a new form of marketing: a Social Media Specialist was hired to the Avcomm team. Carey McCoy was brought onboard and tasked with these missions:

1. Introduce Avcomm Solutions to key social media platforms by creating a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

2. Create a blog full of updated, original, and user-friendly content that will provide value.

3. Increase the number of visitors to the Avcomm Solutions web site and boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

4. Be seen as a leading reseller in the headset market.

Ultimately, these tasks together have built the Avcomm Solutions brand, increased customer base, and provided valuable knowledge of our products, solutions to common workplace issues, and more. For these reasons, we recommend that all small businesses dive into social media immediately!

If you don't know where to start (or, are afraid to begin), keep reading! The worst thing you can do is wait. Social media is here to stay, and most people today have social media accounts. Research confirms that Google is the #1 way consumers resolve issues, answer questions, and research products before purchase. This has been true for Avcomm Solutions, as visitors to our web site are searching for answers to questions that only we (as experts in our devices) can answer.

Some Advice as You Build Out Your Company's Social Media Presence:

1. Don't expect immediate results. Building a brand and gaining followers takes time. Give yourself permission to build a solid foundation of content and relationships.

2. Try new things. Maybe the social media sites that we've listed above aren't quite right for your business. Try Instagram; TikTok; Pinterest; or other platforms that will reach your specific customer set. Think about where and who you turn to, when you have questions about your products and services. Do your research, and also check out your competitors: what makes their accounts interesting? appealing? successful? Then get your accounts set up.

3. Keep the content coming. The very worst thing you can do is to start social media accounts (or a blog), post a couple of times, and then either sporadically post content, or abandon the accounts altogether. Think of social media as building a relationship; it's hard to count on someone when they are not frequent contributors to the conversation. We’d recommend using a social media management platform that allows you to manage content and schedule posts ahead of time and gives you one dashboard view into all of your company’s social media activities. Even if we're out of the office for a day (or a week!), scheduling posts ahead of time is a snap, and keeps the conversation going with our followers.

4. Hire experts. Take a look at our YouTube channel, and you will see the evolution of our videos. The first videos were self-filmed; most recent videos have been filmed by professional videographers. When we made the decision this year to focus on creating more content for our YouTube channel, we really wanted to find a company within close proximity to our office, who would also provide value beyond just the video quality. After exploring options, we decided to go with a local, up-and-coming small business who could bring our vision, words and products to life, in a professional way. We encourage you to seek out local companies in your area for the filming and editing of your videos. By letting the professionals handle the videography, it allows our staff to focus on content creation and messaging.

While this is most definitely not a comprehensive list, it does provide a quick overview of what we believe are the most important takeaways in six years of social media marketing at a small business. Our advice: Start now. Don't wait. Everyone else is doing it and reaping the rewards.

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