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Why Avcomm Loves Wireless Headsets (And You Should Too!)

4/9/2014 - 0 Comments
The phone rings. You answer the call. During the conversation, you need to access a file in an office down the hallway. Do you:

    a. Hang up on the caller and assure them you'll call back once you have found the file?

    b. Ask them to hold; place the handset on the desk, walk down the hall, visit with co-workers along the way, find the file, go back to your desk, and hope the caller is still on the line?

    c. Continue the conversation as you walk down the hall, grab the file, and walk back to your desk?

If you have a wireless headset, you can answer "c" with confidence! Corded headsets are the workhorse of the office headset world. Contact centers and offices may find that it's best for their employees to stay close to their desks when on the phone. In other situations, and increasingly more common (57 percent in a 2012 study), organizations have found that wireless headsets give workers freedom to conduct their jobs most efficiently and effectively.

Jabra and YouGov questioned more than 11,000 mobile and office workers in 12 countries about their office environments, and which office tools are most valuable for them. The study found that headsets increase overall work efficiency and job performance, with 75 percent of calls being answered when wireless headsets are used.

Workers using the traditional desk phone and handset "say they feel hindered in performing regular office tasks and would have the potential to be more efficient if they were equipped with a headset at work." High sound quality and comfort are key priorities for people using wireless headsets.

Wireless headsets are ideal for employees who need the freedom to roam from their desk without having to miss or terminate a call.

Organizations recognize the benefits of headsets that move with you, enhancing employee efficiency and productivity. Making the most of your time, and money, makes sense for any size organization, which is why we love wireless!

Interested in experiencing complete wireless freedom?

Here's what you'll need:
    1. Desk phone, soft phone, or mobile phone

    2. Wireless headset – With so many options and connectivity types available, it's important to consult with an Avcomm headset expert to be sure you choose the headset that best fits your environment and requirements.

    3. EHS cable or Remote Handset Lifter—This is an optional add-on device which alerts you of an incoming call by sending a tone into the headset. You can answer and end calls by simply pressing a button on the headset, all while being up to 450ft.* away from your desk!
*Actual headset range is dependent upon model of headset and user environment.

If we can help answer any questions you might have about wireless headsets, please let us know! Our dedicated team has been trained to discover and suggest the best solutions for your unique needs.


Communication is Our Business

3/12/2014 - 0 Comments
Here at Avcomm Solutions, Inc., we keep things simple. Are we giving you, our customer, what you need? We sure hope so.

Finding the very best solutions to your headset and conference phone dilemmas gives meaning to our days. From the home office in the center of the U.S., our customer care team of Sara Diaz and Carey McCoy work hard to give you answers, great products and fair prices.
How do we manage this? In a few ways, such as:

Our Midwestern Hospitality
Clichéd? Of course. True? You bet! Neighbors looking out for neighbors is a common theme around here, and one that we at Avcomm embrace. We’re always on the lookout for products and services that make sense for you. Once your products reach you, we expect to continue the relationship by answering any questions you may have about product setup, assisting with technical concerns and warranty repairs – and, of course, your feedback is always appreciated!

Strong Partnerships
By working with the best manufacturers in the headset and conference phone world, Avcomm Solutions offers products from Jabra, Konftel, Plantronics, Sennheiser and Yamaha. Partnerships with these companies allow us to get the essential support, resources, and information to you when you need it. You can rely on our expert advice!

A Commitment to You
We understand that you want to do your very best for your customers. We know that you want to keep your employees happy and productive. Sure, it’s a balancing act, but when you get it right, the results can be transcendent. We have great products that make communication clear and simple, and we’re here for you.

At Avcomm Solutions, Communication is Our Business.

We are very excited to announce some new ways to reach us: on Twitter: @AvcommSolutions, LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/avcomm-solutions-inc- and Facebook: Facebook/AvcommSolutions


Headset Microphones: Positioning the Microphone Part 2 of 2

3/3/2014 - 0 Comments
In our previous post, we shared the three main types of microphones found in office and contact center headsets: see Part 1 here. The type of microphone you choose depends on your work environment and job requirements. Another important element in audio quality is the placement of the microphone to assure that your voice is heard loud and clear.

According to Plantronics, the single biggest real-world cause of poor transmit audio is not technical; rather, it is poor microphone placement by the user. As microphones offer higher degrees of noise cancelling, they demand greater proximity and consistency of microphone placement so that the talker does not become part of the very background that is being cancelled.

Proper microphone placement is particularly important in directional microphones with noise-cancelling properties. These microphones reject background noise and bring the user's voice to the foreground. The microphone boom should be adjusted so that it is 2 finger widths from your bottom lip.

1. Flex boom models have flexible booms that are easy to bend and can be reshaped until they are near the user's mouth. Here, the Jabra PRO 9450 Mono Headset with Flex Boom is pictured.

2. Fixed boom arm models rotate from the receiver, and should not be bent. The boom arm should point directly at the user's mouth. Pictured here is Sennheiser's SC 660 USB CTRL Century Series Ultra Noise Cancelling Duo USB Headset with In-Line Call Controls.

Jabra reminds new headset users that they won't need to talk as loudly as when speaking into a handheld phone. When the microphone has been positioned correctly close to the mouth, your voice will be picked up clearly – even at a lower volume.

Headsets help you to communicate clearly and effectively. Research the right microphone for the work you do, and purchase a high quality commercial headset that meets your requirements. Take that extra step of assuring correct placement of that microphone with a simple adjustment and your caller will thank you!

For more information about the proper care of your headset, and correct microphone positioning, Jabra offers this handy one-page document.


Headset Microphones: Which One is Right for You? Part 1 of 2

2/13/2014 - 0 Comments
Office headsets, used for desk phones, computers and mobile phones, can keep your hands free, allowing you to talk while you work, type and even run errands! Choosing the right office headset can be an overwhelming task; by simplifying your choices and clarifying the options, we find the best solution for you. Part of the decision-making process is selecting a headset with a microphone that provides optimal communication.

There are three main types of microphones available on the market today. We've laid each style out for you below, according to their level of background noise-cancelling. This list begins with a minimum and progresses along the continuum to the most background noise-cancelling offered.

Voice Tube/Sound Tube/Omnidirectional

Each manufacturer uses different terminology for this type of microphone, which carries sound from your mouth to a microphone that's housed in the ear of the headset. This design allows for headsets to be manufactured at a reduced cost; the drawback is that the mic does not have any noise-cancelling technologies.

The microphone is equally sensitive to sound from all directions, so that background noises will be picked up and transmitted by this microphone; the headset user's voice may be difficult to hear because of this. Sound enters on one side of the diaphragm only. (All microphones have a diaphragm, so that when the diaphragm vibrates, it causes other components in the microphone to vibrate. These vibrations are converted into an electrical current which turns into the audio signal.)

The voice/sound tube or omnidirectional microphone style is ideal if you occupy your own private office with little to no background noise.

Plantronics EncorePro 510 Voice Tube and Sennheiser SH 200


The next step on the continuum is Noise-Cancelling. This microphone design eliminates the majority of background noise. Upgrading to a noise-cancelling microphone is well worth the minimal extra dollars, if your environment tends to have area noise. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is one technology used to largely reduce background noise, enhancing understanding as well as efficiency of calls. Colleagues, wind and other ambient noises are filtered out and therefore not transmitted to your caller through the microphone.

Noisy contact centers, open concept office environments and mobile workers are great candidates for these noise-cancelling microphones.

Wireless Solutions: Jabra Engage 65 Convertible, Plantronics Savi W445 and Sennheiser SDW 5033

Corded Solutions: Jabra Biz 2300 USB Duo MS, Plantronics Blackwire 5220 and Sennheiser SC 260 MS II

Ultra Noise-Cancelling

Ultra Noise-Cancelling microphones offer absolutely the best noise cancelling technology on the market. The placement of the micron components have been moved away from the entrance to the diaphragm, so the openings on both sides of the diaphragm are symmetrical. The effect is a near-elimination of background noise.

Take note that these microphones do tend to be a bit sensitive in regard to microphone positioning. The microphone should always be positioned precisely near the mouth in order to avoid the headset cancelling out all sounds - including the user's voice!

These microphones are best for extremely noisy contact centers and offices.

Jabra Biz 2400 II and Sennheiser SC 638

For more information about the importance of Microphone Positioning, read Part 2 of our blog post series.


Telecommuting: A Common Workplace Benefit for Best U.S. Companies

1/20/2014 - 0 Comments
Fortune Magazine recently released its ranking of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the country. In addition to such perks as compressed workweeks, job sharing programs, and subsidized gym memberships, telecommuting was offered at an overwhelming 85 percent of the companies.

Telecommuting, work at home, and work from home programs offer obvious benefits to employees (no commute, dress code, or office politics, among other matters); yet the organization can reap rewards, too.

In a study reported by the Harvard Business Review, Ctrip, the Chinese travel web site, gave its call center employees the choice to work from home or stay in the office. Half of the staff chose to go home. The result? Those working from home completed 13.5% more calls than the staff working at the office!

Increased employee retention, schedule flexibility (in essence, the business is open longer hours to the public), lowered overhead and program stability are additional organizational benefits.

To make working at home a success, the right tools are essential. Unified Communications allows for collaboration with co-workers, customers, and more, and is delivered through programs such as MS Lync, Cisco Jabber, and others. UC integrates video, email, documents, fax, phone and computer to create a fully functional and collaborative workspace.

As insignificant as this may seem, one of the most important tools that ensures an optimal user experience is the actual audio hardware device being used for the voice communication. These audio devices can be in form of a headset or speakerphone. Investing in a high quality UC platform is a no-brainer. The audio device is just as important!

This is commonly referred to as "the last 3 feet" in the communications continuum, and can make or break the success of your telecommuting solution. We recommend taking the time to work with a headset expert to evaluate your company's UC environment and hardware needs. Testing the products for comfort and high quality voice transmission is key. A good, high quality audio device must be used in order to achieve the optimal experience for everyone involved. Companies are investing significant amounts of money in UC platforms and must spend ample time evaluating their audio device options as well.

Fortunately, Jabra, Sennheiser and Plantronics produce high quality headsets for every situation. Here at Avcomm, our training and expertise allows us to match the best solution for each environment. Each organization is unique and we are prepared to work on your behalf.

Taking a cue from those 100 best U.S. companies, small and medium sized businesses can offer the telecommuting option to their employees as a viable benefit that doesn't cost a lot.

To see the entire list of best companies, and the benefits they offer, go to the CNN website.

BACKGROUND on the 100 Best Companies study: Forbes magazine, in conjunction with the Great Place to Work Institute, chooses the companies based on these criteria:
       1. Company must be at least 5 years old and have more than 1,000 U.S. employees
       2. Employees are randomly surveyed and 2/3 of the company's score is based on the Trust Index survey, which asks questions related to attitudes about management credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie.
       3. Responses to the Culture Audit (including questions about pay, benefit, training, recognition, diversity efforts, methods of internal communication, etc.)

Information on the benefits of telecommuting came from the Research Advisors article here.


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