With the introduction of the MDA200, Plantronics asserted itself as a leader in Unified Communications for hardware solutions.
The device, and its sister, the MDA100 QD, are complementary audio switchers that function with a variety of headsets to ensure smooth communication, whether it's on your desk phone, soft phone, and even smartphone! Plantronics has replaced the MDA200 with the new MDA220 USB, which features improved echo cancellation and enhanced headset compatibility.
Simple, intuitive, seamless
Our testing of the MDA220 USB found that the device is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread! This device enables corded USB headsets and UC-enabled Bluetooth headsets (those with USB dongles) to be used with a desk phone and gives the user the option of switching between the desk phone and computer. When using a Bluetooth headset with the MDA220 USB, it allows for triple connection to your smartphone, desk phone and computer. It’s ideal for Unified Communications environments where desk phones are still present. And, what we really love about the MDA220 USB is that is now gives us the ability to use an active noise cancelling headset with our desk phone.
As office designs are quickly converting to open floor plans, we have received many inquiries from customers who are looking for a desk phone compatible headset that will provide active noise cancellation in the speakers. While Plantronics and Jabra both offer ANC headsets, they are strictly USB connection and unless you have an MDA220 USB, you won’t be able to use them with your desk phone.
We did thorough testing with several headsets, and did not need to stay within the Plantronics brand. As a disclaimer, Plantronics only guarantees the use of the MDA220 USB with a specific list of headsets that is continually updated.
The MDA100 QD is used with corded Quick Disconnect headsets and enables the user to toggle back and forth from USB to desk phone. There is a Mute button at the top of the MDA100 QD. When the mute is activated, the button is depressed and the area surrounding the button is red. Release the button and the mute is turned off.
Plantronics recommends this product for customer service centers who are transitioning from desk phones to softphones and unified communications (UC), and require users to manage audio from two sources with a single headset.
The MDA220 USB and MDA100 QD audio switching devices utilize the headsets you already have in place and connect them to audio endpoints for the best use of your resources. Interested in learning more about the MDA family? Contact us!
The term "all-in-one" brings to mind 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner, sporks, and other consumer products. Dictionary. com defines "all-in-one" as something that combines two or more items or functions in a single unit. The very term implies simplicity.
When applied to headsets, the term all-in-one refers to the headset and the USB call control unit together forming a single solution that does not require an additional piece for functionality. For USB connection, there are two types of corded headsets: Quick Disconnect (QD) and All-in-One. Quick Disconnect headsets end in a proprietary connector and require a QD cable to USB adapter cable for softphone. All-in-one USB headsets plug directly into a USB port. Call controllers are standard in these all-in-one solutions, for user-friendly one-touch call answer/end, mute, and volume.
There are benefits to all-in-one headsets: easier inventory management (1 piece rather than 2 or more); easy distribution to staff; and set up on softphones can be controlled from the IT Manager's desk, depending upon which brand of headset is used. One issue that must be examined is how side by side training and monitoring will take place. All-in-one USB headsets DO NOT allow a second headset to plug in anywhere. You must use QD setups for training which allow two headsets to be connected to one station.
Here are some of the training set-ups that we recommend to our customers: 2 QD headsets used with a standard QD Y-cord and a QD to USB connector cable; wireless headsets; or when using Jabra headsets, 2 QD headsets, with a Link 265 USB Y-cord.
Contact us today for help determining the very best headsets for your environment and budget: 1-866-998-9991.
A steady uptick in headset use, and the rise of unified communications platforms such as Skype for Business, Lync, Cisco Jabber, (and many more), have contributed to the need for Busylights in office environments around the world, especially in the prevalent open office design.
It rings and flashes on incoming calls preventing missed calls.
It provides visual presence to the open office, stopping interruptions.
The Busylight software (Skype for Business only) provides valuable hot key functions for easy call handling.
Plenom has announced that it recently updated the free software for the Busylights and KuandoBOX. The new software features include:
Mute on Away – When in the ‘Away’ state, Busylight will not ring – nice for your neighbor!
Brightness Setting – Easily control the brightness of your Busylight
Default volume for Omega will now be set at 25%
Default brightness for Alpha is lowered from high to normal.
What's the difference between the Alpha and the Omega? The Alpha Busylight has a smaller profile and features a smart click On/Off system for monitors/ laptops. The Omega Busylight has a larger light and is ideally suited for cubicles. KuandoBOX unifies your presence by connecting to both desk phone and computer, to update user’s status to "Busy" in Skype for Business / Lync when talking on the desk phone.
Download the FREE software on the Plenom website: Software Download.
Plenom is currently at work on a NEW Busylight for Apple Mac computers. We will let you know when these are available!
Are you using Cisco Finesse contact center software with Jabra headsets?
If you answered "yes," then the new Jabra CC Agent App is essential for your organization! The app integrates with both Jabra call controllers and Cisco Finesse contact center software. This app eliminates extra steps on the desktop, so that contact center agents are able to completely focus on calls – with the touch of a button. Software offerings such as this continue to push Jabra to the forefront of the headset market, and with its acquisition of VXi, looks to give Plantronics (currently the #1 headset brand in the United States) some fierce competition.
Jabra CC Agent App is a small application that, when installed on the Cisco Finesse Call Center softphone server, enables agents to control these three Finesse softphone features directly from their Jabra headset control boxes:
•Ready/Not Ready state (toggle) When changing the Ready/Not Ready state from the control box during an ongoing call, the contact center agent can, after the call, see the Ready/Not Ready state change in the Finesse browser.
•Record Call (if call recording function has been enabled in Finesse). Quickly choose to record the call with the press of a button, which is crucial for sensitive calls and for training purposes.
(Note that only two functions can be available at a time, which are selected by the Cisco Finesse server administrator, when installing the Jabra CC Agent App.)
The CC Agent App is compatible with Jabra Biz 2300 or Biz 2400 II headsets, or any Jabra headset when connected to a Link 260.
This software download is FREE and available at Jabra’s web site here: Jabra CC Agent App.
Why do we love these headsets? Many of them are wireless, lightweight, comfortable, and offer flexible connections. Whether we're on phone calls, streaming music, participating in webinars or videoconferencing, in the office or traveling, the headsets provide quality sound, noise cancelling mics, and in the case of the Voyager Focus, Active Noise Cancelling in the ear speakers that can be switched on and off.
The choice between corded or wireless; Bluetooth or DECT; single or duo ear; wearing style; desk phone, PC or mobile phone connection, and so much more means that you are getting a custom headset for your unique situation. The technology in these headsets is also top-of-line: hearing protections, wideband audio, and in the case of USB or UC headsets, firmware updates.
By no means is this an exhaustive list of our favorites; however, it is indicative of the size and scope of headsets that we offer.
Turning our attention to conference phones and speakerphones, we are again fortunate to test most of the units that we sell. Some of our favorites include the Jabra Speak 510+, Konftel 300 and Sennheiser TeamConnect Wireless.
For smaller room conferencing needs, the Jabra Speak 510+ (both UC and MS versions) is perfect for those break-out sessions (less than 7 people). The 510+ comes with a Bluetooth dongle that will connect your PC to the Speak unit. It is also Bluetooth-enabled for conferences via smartphone or tablet, and can be hard-wired to a PC with the included USB cable that wraps underneath the speaker. This USB cable is connected to the Speak 510, so that it can never be accidentally misplaced.
For analog conference lines, the Konftel 300 is a top choice. Its sleek design looks great on any conference table, and the large buttons on the unit make call dialing easy. We also love its versatility, since it can also be connected to PCs, and with the purchase of an accessory cable, the unit can also be connected to smartphones and tablets. Expansion mics are available as an optional purchase to increase the coverage area of the Konftel 300. The final selection in this category is the Sennheiser TeamConnect Wireless system, which we use every week for our Monday morning meetings. With our work-at-home staff calling in, and the staff here in the office spread throughout a large-sized room, TeamConnect Wireless satellite mics can be placed strategically to pick up voices, no matter where they're located! The handy, hard-sided charging case that comes with this system truly makes the TeamConnect Wireless the most diverse conference unit that we offer.
We are fortunate that our local Mountain Man representative keeps us stocked with candy, nut and snack choices. Passing through the break room, you're bound to find something yummy to munch on! A staff favorite: Cherry Sours candy. For salty snacks, our local popcorn company, Le-Vi Kettle Corn, delivers a variety of popcorn flavors that please most everyone.
We cannot forget about the beverages that keep us going, including our morning pot of LaRue Coffee, based out of Omaha, NE. The variety pack delivers deliciousness on the daily ... and offers such delectable choices as Chocolate Hazelnut, Jamaican Me Crazy and French Vanilla ... what more could an office staff want? After lunch, our beverage choices turn to our basket full of (caffeine free) Bigelow Teas. From Ginger Snappish to Girl Scout Thin Mints, the selection of choices keeps us nice and warm, especially during our cold Nebraska winters!
What do you love about your office? Leave us a comment on the Comments tab, above.