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Do I Need a Remote Answer Device When I Buy My Wireless Headset?

9/9/2014 - 0 Comments
 
The wireless headset is a great tool to increase productivity and worker satisfaction. The decrease in neck, back, and shoulder pain and strain has been proven in several studies. On its own, a wireless headset is a great thing. With the addition of a remote answer device you are able to achieve true wireless freedom by being able to answer and end calls up to 450 feet away from your desk!

Remote answer devices come in two different styles: Remote Handset Lifter and Electronic Hook Switch Cable.

What is a Remote Handset Lifter?

A remote handset lifter (RHL) attaches to the top of the phone, underneath the handset, with adhesive mounting strips. It will then connect to the headset base with an included cable.

When the phone rings, the RHL sends a tone into your wireless headset to alert you of the incoming call. Simply press the answer/end button on the wireless headset and you’re connected to the caller. When you answer the call, the RHL lifts the handset up; when you end the call, the RHL lowers the handset into the cradle to disconnect the call.

RHLs are compatible with the majority of office telephones.



What is an EHS cable?

An electronic hookswitch cable attaches to your phone and headset base, and electronically allows you to answers and ends calls away from the desk. It’s important to note that with an EHS cable in place, the phone’s handset does not physically move up or down. There are a myriad of EHS cables, and the one that’s right for you depends upon your office phone’s make and model.

How do remote answer devices work?

Typically, handset lifters respond to sounds within a certain frequency range. The Sennheiser HSL10 has a unique ring tone detection via a high quality microphone. Jabra’s GN1000 RHL (pictured) senses the magnetic field the speaker generates when your phone rings, which means it’s virtually foolproof.

The EHS cable passes predefined signaling to either answer or end the call.

Phone Compatibility

Each of the manufacturers offers a Headset Compatibility Guide on their web site to help determine whether you will need an EHS cable or a remote handset lifter.
Jabra Compatibility Guide
Plantronics Compatibility Guide
Sennheiser Compatibility Guide
VXi Compatibility Guide

If you’re curious about a wireless headset and the true freedom you can experience at work, give us a call at 1-866-998-9991. To read more about why we love wireless headsets, read our blog post here: Why Avcomm Loves Wireless Headsets (And You Should Too!).

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Show Me the Money

8/29/2014 - 0 Comments
 
The movie “Jerry Maguire” features a great scene with Cuba Gooding, Jr., as an aging professional football player telling his agent Jerry Maguire that he needs to “show me the money” – Jerry needs to negotiate a high-dollar contract for his client.


This phrase is easily applicable in industry and government, where shareholders, stakeholders and more are scrutinizing the bottom line. ROI (return on investment) is a much discussed term that attempts to determine the value of something and its impact on the company’s overall financial health.

Scaled-down budgets and budget cuts are forcing many to stretch their limited resources. It can be a temptation when looking at a reduced budget to quickly make decisions based upon price alone. You have X amount of dollars, and so you look for a low price, giving you (theoretically) more product for the money. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for.

A high quality headset may have a higher price tag, but over the long run, offers a better value and costs less – equaling happier customers and employees. How?

  1. Durable construction – Corded headsets can clutter a workstation. Chairs roll over the cords on the floor, feet can get tangled in them, and the general use of corded headsets can cause cords to break, snag, and fall off. Headsets offered by Avcomm Solutions have been tested by the manufacturers for user-proof adoption.

    The recent trend in headset manufacturing has been the inclusion of Kevlar cords. We know that Kevlar bullet-proof vests in the law enforcement community stop bullets, and the Kevlar reinforced headset cords add a layer of protection to the cords, so they aren’t easily broken down.

    High quality, heavy duty materials – plus design features that minimize the damage that can come from repetitive and sometimes hard use – will keep your agents on the phones.

  2. Reliability – With call centers running sometimes continuous 24-hour shifts, appropriate agent coverage is a necessity. Can you rely on your headsets to work when your agents need them? Increase first call resolution, improve engagement, and reduce hold times with a reliable headset.


  3. Comfort – The fit and feel of a headset can contribute to your agent’s job satisfaction. Heavy phone users – those on the phone for the majority of their workday – will appreciate a comfortable headset that doesn’t pinch or fall off their head and ears. A happy agent makes for a happy customer!


  4. Excellent sound quality – The ability to hear and really listen to the person on the other end of the call is critical. Cisco has identified and categorized voice quality problems including echo, tunnel, soft, loud, or tinny voice, and absolute silence, as just some of the voice quality problems during phone calls: Recognizing and Categorizing Symptoms of Voice Quality Problems.

    Companies that specialize in designing headsets for call-centric environments have value-added features. Audio technologies and hearing protections such as SafeTone (Jabra), ActiveGard (Sennheiser) and Sound Guard (Plantronics) ensure the safety of headset wearers. To read more about these technologies, check out our blog post: Say What? The research and development necessary to produce the best headsets for call-centric environments is a continuous evolution of excellence for our headset manufacturers.

  5. Noise cancelling microphones – If you are in a busy, crowded or noisy office environment, noise-cancelling microphones are a must and definitely worth the added cost. Colleagues and other background noises (copy machines included) are filtered out and therefore not transmitted to your caller through the microphone. Companies dealing with highly sensitive data, including credit card information, will provide peace of mind to callers who won’t hear other customers’ conversations in the background of their agent’s microphone. For a more detailed listing of microphone types, read our blog post.

  6. Warranty replacement – A warranty replacement policy is another standard for high quality headsets. Sometimes, due to carelessness, or other issues, headsets can break or fail. Our manufacturers offer a 2-year, and sometimes 3-year warranty replacement, on their corded headsets. You won’t be purchasing replacement headsets regularly with this safeguard in place!
Let us know how we can help you increase your profits, and impact your bottom line, with the top quality headsets that we offer here at Avcomm Solutions. Our job is to help you find the best solutions for your office’s unique needs and environment. Contact us!

Source: Choosing the best direct connect headset solution for your contact center. Plantronics whitepaper. 1/23/08.

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Out With the Old, In With the New

8/26/2014 - 0 Comments
 
Jabra has announced that the GO 6430 and 6470 headsets have been discontinued, with limited stock available. So, what replaces these headsets?

Jabra proclaims the new MOTION OFFICE as the only headset you’ll ever need! The MOTION OFFICE connects to desk phone, mobile phone and your PC, and features a touchscreen base. It’s part of the MOTION series, which began with a Bluetooth headset and included USB dongle. Now the series has become an office standard. There are two versions of the award-winning MOTION OFFICE: the standard UC version for use with most soft phone applications: #6670-904-105 and a certified Microsoft Lync version : #6670-904-305.

The MOTION OFFICE wearing style is different than that of the GO 6400 series. The curved earpiece contours to your ear. The speaker housing arm height can be adjusted, and three different sizes of ear gel tips are included in the box. Calls can be answered by flipping the microphone boom arm down, or voice commands. End calls by pressing the button in the center of the earpiece.

The flexibility allowed with the MOTION OFFICE lets you bring your headset into work, sync it with any available MOTION OFFICE base at the office, and make calls from the desk phone. A business with multiple mobile workers who enjoy a flexible office environment and use the same office space at different times will appreciate the ease of this hot desking feature. This Jabra video explains hot desking and is incredibly helpful:

    Other great features of the MOTION OFFICE:
  • Up to 8 hours talk time
  • The intuitive ‘Power Nap’ mode makes the headset power down when not in use to give you more talk time.
  • Dual Microphones, with Noise Blackout™. Microphones with this feature have an aggressive noise filter coupled with two microphones utilizing Digital Signal Processing (DSP) software to remove noise.
The free Jabra PC Suite should be downloaded and used to keep your headset updated. Firmware updates and fixes are pushed through PC Suite to ensure your headset is at optimal function. Click here to download the PC Suite software.

The Jabra MOTION OFFICE product video highlights some of its many amazing features:

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Wah wah ... WHAT are you saying? Get clear conversations with the Jabra LINK 850

8/19/2014 - 0 Comments
 


There’s nothing more frustrating than a phone conversation that is difficult to understand. Perhaps it’s because of static, low volume, echo or garbled sounds, similar to the Charlie Brown teacher in the "Peanuts" episodes. It’s easy to end the conversation feeling as though you didn’t necessarily connect ... and may even cause sleepiness similar to Peppermint Patty's predicament in this short clip from YouTube!

A great tool to help with this dilemma is the Jabra LINK 850, a digital audio processor that connects your Jabra headset to your desk phone and PC. The benefits of the device include clear communication, noise protection, and premium sound quality for calls.

At the top of the LINK 850, the Handset/Headset switch (disabled when the LINK 850 is in PC mode) easily slides back and forth –giving you the option of answering via the phone’s handset or from your Jabra headset. Below that switch is the volume dial to adjust what you hear, and then at the bottom of the device, a mute button. When your headset microphone is muted (with a quick press of the button) the center of the button turns red.

No more batteries! The LINK 850 charges via USB with an included cord, or an optional AC power adapter (GN14203-05) (micro USB to AC power) is available for purchase.

Underneath the LINK 850, there is a Microphone Volume Control Dial (1-9), Switch settings (A-G) for clear dial tone with your specific phone, Desk Phone / Computer Switch, Noise at Work Switch (offering protection from acoustic shock and noise exposure), and Equalizer (treble or normal). A faceplate to cover these settings comes in the LINK 850 box with a tiny screw, which is helpful for applications where specific settings are required and shouldn’t be accessible for the user to change.

Sound quality is important to Jabra, and that shows with the LINK 850. Jabra included the following technologies in the LINK 850:

•DSP (Digital Signal Processing) - Advanced technology that delivers crystal clear sound without echoes or artifacts so agents can have more effective conversations.

•Dynamic Volume Control - Automatically adjusts call volume to a comfortable level with no distortion.

•Tone Control Equalizer - Enables agents to adjust the sound of their headset to the optimal level of crispness and clarity.

•PeakStop - Acoustic shock protection that removes potentially harmful sound spikes before they reach the headset. Protects the user by keeping the absolute sound level and the energy of the peak in the safe zone at all times providing safe, comfortable sound to your agents (max 118dB RMS).

A convenient feature of the LINK 850 is the dedicated Guest Headset Port located on the side of the LINK 850,

which allows supervisors to directly connect to a call using the Supervisory Cord with inline mute switch (GN8800-01-20). This video demonstrates the functionality:

Also, an optional busy light indicator can be attached (GN 14207-10) to the LINK 850 as well which helps others in your office know when you are on a call and when you are available.

To ensure your LINK 850 doesn’t leave the building, the device can be mounted to a desk with the circular attachment plate and small screw that come in the LINK 850 box. This handy illustration (below) shows how easy the mounting process is.

Other items that come in the box with the LINK 850: a Quick Start Guide; Micro USB to USB power cord; and a coiled QD (quick disconnect) cord.

And, as with all Jabra USB devices, Jabra PC Suite can be downloaded to your PC so that you can customize and update the LINK 850 easily. Download PC Suite from Jabra here.

Statistics have shown that tone of voice often holds more importance than the words used in conversation. Misunderstandings, escalated calls and unhappy customers can result when your calls aren’t clear. The LINK 850 clarifies your conversations and comes with a 2-year warranty!

For more information about the LINK 850, visit the Jabra website: http://jabra.com/link850.

Do you use a LINK 850 with your Jabra headset? Tell us about it on our Comments tab, above.

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SP 20 Brings Sennheiser Sound Together With Conference Capabilities

8/6/2014 - 0 Comments
 
The Sennheiser brand has produced another award-winning product in the SP 20 Speakerphone, receiving both the 2014 iF Product Design and RedDot awards. Ease of use, quality craftsmanship and a discrete profile recommend the Sennheiser SP 20 and SP 20 ML (the version certified for Microsoft Lync) for conference and huddle rooms, as well as individual use.

Douglas Bowersox, Business Development Manager for Sennheiser, said that the company has been anticipating the release of the new personal speakerphone for some time.

“Feedback from our strategic seeding and early market samples only further elevated our eagerness for the release of our new SP20 personal speakerphone product,” he reported.

The positive buzz surrounding the release of the SP series of speakerphones (which also includes the SP 10 models) caused early sell-outs and product shortages.

“Many times new product releases struggle to grab market interest early on, not the case with the Sennheiser SP series. Fortunately/unfortunately our SP series speakerphone garnered so much interest pre-release that we quickly sold through our initial expected stocking order and several very large companies placed orders worldwide that quickly depleted our initial production stock,” he said.

“The good news is production has been ramped up and stock is available. If you have not already experienced the premium audio performance of the Sennheiser Telephony, UC and Collaboration products we are confident the SP series of personal speakerphones will not disappoint.”

Let’s meet the SP 20

When you open the SP 20 box, the speakerphone is zipped inside its convenient tailored neoprene carrying pouch – making this speakerphone easy to travel with.

The SP 20 weighs in at a mere 7.35 ounces. The composite metal face and surrounding side lend a designer touch to the otherwise black plastic speakerphone. The mute button, indicated by a microphone with a slash through it, is in the middle of the speakerphone; surrounding the mute button are 8 LED lights; they indicate volume (in green); mute (red); and remaining battery power (blue). At the bottom of the device, red and green handset buttons answer and end calls. Volume buttons, - (decrease) and + (increase) are anchored to the left and right of the device.

The USB and 3.5 mm cords wrap around the middle of the device and stay connected to the SP 20, so there’s no fear of loss. Connect either the USB cord to a PC/softphone, or the 3.5 mm cable to a mobile phone or tablet. When you’re not on a call, and the device is connected to your mobile phone or tablet, the mute button becomes an equalizer: simply press the mute button for 5 seconds, and you get the world-renowned Sennheiser sound quality to listen to your music. Charge via USB for up to 20 hours of talk time; when connected via USB, get unlimited talk time.

The simplicity of use does not translate into a simple device: The dual talk feature allows for natural conversation and echo cancelling removes sound reflections. You can merge your PC/softphone and mobile calls into one conference across the devices. The illustrated Quick Start Guide shows this functionality at a glance.

At an MSRP cost of $199.95, this speakerphone won’t break the bank. There are a variety of situations where the SP 20 would be the perfect product - personal offices, huddle rooms, conference rooms, and more - and with a two-year warranty, Sennheiser gives you peace of mind.

Do you have questions about how the SP 20 or SP 20 ML would work best for your office needs? Give us a call at 866-998-9991 and Sara, Amber or Carey would be happy to assist you!

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