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Kuando Busylight: an Easy-to-Use Solution for Presence Notification

3/3/2016 - 0 Comments
 

When the Ministry at Foreign Affairs Denmark deployed Lync for 2,400 staff members, they also provided their staff with Kuando Busylights. The ministry’s CIO, Jess Pilegaard, said “Busylight has improved the user experience in Lync. And it has created awareness of the presence concept. Our employees are now more aware of colleagues’ availability as well as their own status in Lync.”

The concept of presence notification is not new – Mitch Friend of Plenom reports that he has heard of workers using red and green flags or even red and green Solo cups to alert co-workers of their availability; however, with the Kuando Busylight, user presence is automatically updated and is always reliable.

The Kuando Busylight from Plenom provides 3 main functions:
  1. It rings and flashes on incoming calls, preventing missed calls.
  2. The free Busylight software provides hot key functions for call handling.
  3. It provides visible presence in the open office, preventing interruptions.

Plenom offers two Kuando Busylight designs: the Alpha (MSRP $44.95) can be attached to a desktop monitor or laptop with the included double sided tape. A magnet, also included, can be used to attach the Alpha to the top of a metal cubicle wall.





The Omega (MSRP $44.95) is ideal for a cubicle arrangement, as it has a larger light. It attaches to the top of the cubicle with double-sided tape.

Download Plenom’s free software when you’re ready to set up the device: Plenom Software. This software is used with both Kuando Busylights, as well as the KuandoBOX.

Kuando Busylight supports the colors of Skype for Business/Lync:

Red: On a Call; Do Not Disturb
Pulsing Red: Busy in a call
Blue, Purple or Pink: Do Not Disturb
Green: Available
Yellow: Away/Inactive

There are 8 different ringtones to choose from, including traditional telephone sounds and a dreamy melody called “Fairy Tale.” These sounds are built into the Kuando Busylight so there is no conflict with the PC’s sound settings.

And, it is easy to quickly adjust the volume of the ringtone. Click on the Busylight icon on your desktop and the menu will pop up (see image to the left). Choose your preferred volume level, or choose Mute to silence the ringer altogether.

Kuando Busylights are currently compatible with Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business and will soon be compatible with Cisco Jabber (March release). System requirements for Kuando Busylight: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8; Microsoft Lync 2010/2013 or Skype for Business; .NET 3.5 framework. Kuando Busylight is not compatible with Mac.

The modern workplace can be a very social environment, a positive place for collaborating on projects and supporting comaraderie; however, studies show there is a loss of productivity in open offices that can result in employee frustration and stress. The chance for uninterrupted work time is greatly reduced when barriers such as walls and doors are removed. With the proliferation of Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business, as well as the pervasive open office environment, workers are exposed to interruption and missed calls. Plenom has provided the perfect solution with the Busylights: Alpha and Omega. A one-year warranty gives you peace of mind.

If your staff has complained that they can’t focus on their work; they don’t hear calls or IM notifications on Skype for Business/Lync, then Kuando Busylight is the right solution for you. Give us a call and we can choose the best Busylight for your office environment!

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Sorry I Can't Help You Right Now ... I'm Too Busy Reading!

2/18/2016 - 0 Comments
 
It’s Monday morning, and Avcomm team members are grabbing cups of coffee, and settling in for a discussion … about a book. Maybe not a typical business discussion, but here at Avcomm Solutions, we continually search for ways to best serve our customers. We’ve found one way to serve customers is to educate and inform our employees. Training sessions, weekly meetings, and our latest venture, a book club, all serve both customers and employees by bringing knowledge to the table.

We have begun our book club with “Monster Loyalty” by Jackie Huba. Sara brought the excitement about Huba back to the office after seeing her speak about Monster Loyalty at the 2015 SOCAP Annual Conference in October. “Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Fans Into Fanatics” likens Lady Gaga’s rabid fan base to creating and maintaining a strong customer base at the business level.

Huba’s main premise: Lady Gaga’s core fans, called the One Percenters, are her primary focus; as a business, you need to be focused on your One Percenters, too. How do we create advocates for our business, who will in turn evangelize for us?

Gaga, known for wild costumes (meat dress, anyone?) and completely “out-there” stage makeup and hair, can be off-putting to some. When you look past her appearance and stage antics, her raw talent and incredible marketing ability ensure that Gaga will survive the “pop star” test of time. By sharing core values, building a community, being transparent, connecting to emotions, and other innovations, Gaga is an exemplary entrepreneur.

Each week, our book club members complete the assigned reading (approximately a chapter a week) and then come together as a group to discuss what we read. Our book club is a small group of about 8 people who represent marketing, social media and upper management. We felt that it was important to not limit the book club to management only, which has proven to be very valuable. It has been interesting to not only discover others’ takeaways from the readings, but to also cultivate new ideas and learn about what is happening within our own organization.

With only two chapters discussed, there are plenty of more good ideas that are bound to surface as we delve deeper into the material in the months to come.

Tell us: do you have a company book club, or another way to meet and discuss ideas within your organization? Do you have suggestions for Avcomm’s next book selection? Share them with us on the Comments tab.

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Working for the Weekend? Tips to Keep You Motivated, Energized and Excited Each Work Day

2/9/2016 - 0 Comments
 
When your alarm rings each weekday morning, what is your typical response? Do you rush out of bed, excited for the day; or do you tend to “snooze” the alarm a few times, dreading what’s coming next?

If you’re in the latter category, this blog post is for you. Fear not and take heart! We will attempt to help you find hope in your workday. Seven tips from bayt.com just may be the inspiration you need to keep going back to the 9-5 grind (or, the best 8 hours of your day!).

The first is a big picture tip: Clarify your goals. Before you begin, ask yourself what you want to achieve.

Next, establish a game plan to reach those goals. How can you reach your goals? By creating a series of manageable steps that are achievable, provides not only a sense of success, but also a forward momentum that will lead to the ultimate goal. Be sure to ride the wave of success when you reach your goals. It’s easy to forget about the steps that led to your success, and the amount of time it took to get there. This positive wave can then provide the energy to continue onto the next goal. In celebrating success, don’t forget to reward yourself. When you reward yourself, the anticipation of that reward is culminated and a sense of excitement is felt!

As with everything in life, it’s important to keep things in perspective, maintain a healthy work/life balance and most importantly, THINK POSITIVE. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions; a great way to “stay positive” is to recall a moment of success at work, a compliment from a co-worker, or an upcoming day off. Visual reminders, such as displaying positive quotes in your cubicle, can also remind you to think positive.



Tell us what keeps you motivated and excited to go to work each morning on the Comments tab, above!

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Revolabs FLX UC Conference Phones: Conference with Confidence

2/1/2016 - 0 Comments
 
Today, more companies are separated by distance and can be drawn together with conference calling and videoconferencing. Clear and precise communication is always the goal for business success. Conference units are an essential piece of the conferencing puzzle and these devices are replacing the built-in computer microphone and speaker, especially for meetings and videoconferences when excellent, high fidelity, sound is mandatory. Revolabs’ FLX UC line of conference phones fits into this niche perfectly.

“From enterprise to education, and government to healthcare, organizations are taking advantage of UC systems to be more productive and efficient. But no matter how sophisticated the hardware and software, people have to be able to hear each other in order for a UC system to reach its full potential. That’s where Revolabs comes in,” said Jim Fairweather, executive vice president of global sales at Revolabs. “Our products play a critical role in an integrated system by providing pristine audio quality.”

FLX UC 500

How does this conference phone provide great sound? It starts with a subwoofer and tweeter, and has four omnidirectional microphones built into the corners of the FLX UC 500. The full duplex allows for both audio capture and audio playback at the same time – so your sound does not cut out or break up, for a more natural conversation on both sides. Integrated acoustic echo cancellation is another great sound feature.

An included AC power adapter provides power to the FLX UC 500. Connect via USB to any PC, Mac or Chromebook, and it works with any collaboration software you choose, such as Skype for Business, Cisco Jabber, Vidyo, and more.

This device is ideal for huddle rooms, executive offices, and conference rooms for up to 10 people and is available in two colors: black and white. MSRP is $399. Watch Revolabs’ video on YouTube: Revolabs FLX UC 500.

In addition to the FLX UC 500, Revolabs offers two additional models that combine a VoIP phone with USB conference calling. These devices connect to IP PBX’s and integrate with conferencing applications. They are powered via Ethernet cable.

FLX UC 1000

This device bridges USB and SIP calls with the included dial pad that has a 3.5 inch color display and easy to use functionality. You can manage up to 2 SIP calls, 1 USB call, and the user, at the same time.

This solution works best in a conference room for up to 10 attendees. The FLX UC 1000 MSRP is $799. Watch the video about the FLX UC 1000 here: Revolabs FLX UC 1000.

FLX UC 1500

The FLX UC 1500 has the same pieces as the FLX UC 1000, and also includes two expansion microphones, providing coverage for up to 18 people in a room. With an MSRP just shy of $1,000, this device gives a lot of bang for the buck!

Revolabs suggests downloading the conference phone’s latest firmware once you receive the product, to ensure best use. The complete User Manuals for these products are also available for download on the Revolabs web site.

Warranty on these devices is 1 year.

Are you perplexed about your conference room configuration? We would love to speak with you about these 3 options from Revolabs, as well as other solutions that will best meet your requirements. Don’t leave your conference room audio to chance and risk poor meetings; Contact us today!

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How to Reduce Distracting Background Noise

1/21/2016 - 0 Comments
 
Today’s consumers are fortunate to have many different avenues to contact businesses: via mail; social media; chat, email; and of course, by phone. Companies are expected to provide stellar customer service in an efficient, expert manner and every communication with the customer provides the opportunity to build relationships, provide excellent customer service, and promote your brand and its message. No pressure, right?

In a webinar hosted by Plantronics, Neil Hooper from Plantronics stated, “100 percent of customer interactions will be in the public domain (due to social media).” If you are not providing an awesome experience to your customers, this is a terrifying thought!



A key component to exceptional customer care is acoustics in your contact center. Colin Rawlings, the Tech Director of Acoustics by Design in the United Kingdom, shared some valuable information about good acoustics in your contact center. Background noise costs money. Simply put, when you provide a quiet and professional work environment where background noise is managed:

  • Stress is reduced
  • Absenteeism is reduced
  • Errors are reduced
  • Misunderstandings are reduced

Also: staff retention, call quality, productivity and customer satisfaction are improved.

To improve acoustics in your contact center, Rawlings suggests the ABC principle:
  • A – Absorb noise close to the source – the use of sound panels, wall panels, and freestanding office screens will provide noise absorption.
  • B – Block the direct path of sound – this can be accomplished by computer screens, desks and walls.
  • C – Cover/mask unwanted sounds –pipe in soothing water sounds, or electronic white noise.
And, a 4th item:
  • D- Discipline – correct microphone placement is critical: 2 finger width’s away from the mouth is ideal.
Other things to consider:
  1. Replace the voice tube regularly (they do get blocked) or, even better, use headsets with noise-cancelling microphones.
  2. Replace the ear cushions on the headsets regularly. With regular use, the cushions can be broken down and can be uncomfortable.
Put these principles into play in your contact center and see if they are the differencemakers with your customers. Let us know if you have any additional ideas for good acoustics at your organization!

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