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Unified Communications

How Unified Communications is Shaping the Business World

Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
How Unified Communications is Shaping the Business World

Long gone are the days where you have to pick up the phone to communicate with a coworker. Now there are a variety of mediums to collaborate and connect within a business environment. If your customer has a question, you can easily use features like presence and instant messaging to get the answers they need. Unified Communications (UC) describes the integration of multiple platforms for an enterprise organization. Here are some of the ways UC helps businesses function more effectively:

  • Presence allows you to view the status of each of your coworkers. You can see if they are on the phone or in the office by managing multiple statuses. You can also view if they are away from their desk or out of the office.
  • Instant messaging allows you to quickly communicate from any device. You can also add people to form a group message in the event that you need to communicate to multiple users simultaneously. It helps reduce the number of emails you send and receive when you need something quickly.
  • Integrated voicemail gives you the ability to check your voicemail on your email instead of having to listen to multiple messages to get to the one you want. If you need to forward the message to another user, it’s as simple as sending an email.
  • Video conferencing is made easier by being able to call through your computer, tablet or cell. You can also share screens for better collaboration without having to set up a conference bridge.

With UC you do not have to sit next to someone to get work done. Overhead is reduced by allowing employees to work from home. If your business expands rapidly, you can easily add user licenses without having to build out more office space. More and more employees are looking to use their personal devices and UC can easily be installed on any computer, tablet, or mobile phone while integrating with your phone system for voice calls. Want to learn more? Check out this short video about Unified Communications from Co-nexus.

 

Government Entities and Digital Transformation

Business Phone Systems, Contact Center Solutions, Network Solutions, Call Recording, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
Digital Transformation for Government Entities

Government entities are oftentimes behind the curve when it comes to technology due to having a limited budget.

Many states are beginning to make changes to the way their customers can communicate by developing an app similar to Alexa and Siri. The goal is to make it voice interactive so the public can access services throughout the community. According to Strategic Partnership Inc in this article there will be an array of types of services from digital drivers licenses to municipal services.

The idea is that most people carry their cell phone all day, everyday. The app will be deployed for citizens to access services on any device at any time. Apps are changing the way people communicate by giving them access to businesses and organization at their fingertips. No longer is it necessary to have long voice calls when there are so many services that can be accomplished with online tools. Although many states are evalutating apps to automate services there are several municipalities who have already implemented it. 

So what exactly is digital transformation? Digital transformation applies technology to streamline business or organizational processes to create a more efficient and effective environment. You can read more about how to develop a strategy to make a better customer experience, how to create a better workspace using digital transformation. Co-nexus works with many municipalities and government entities to provide better communications. Learn more about how we specifically help the government industry in this article.

Prepare Your Communications for Hurricane Season

Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing

Hurricane season is here! With tropical storms, depressions and hurricanes brewing, it's important to take time to ensure you have a disaster recovery plan in place for your communications. Hurricane Ike damaged an estimated $29 billion properties according the The Storm Report. Hurricane Rita caused over 3 million residents to be evacuated according to Hurricane Science. The list of people, businesses and property affected by natural disasters is long and more storms will be added this year. Let's take a look at how you can improve redundancy in the event your business is hit.

  • If power fails your phone system still needs to work. By putting a secondary failover into a data center in a different region, you can ensure you are up and running through the course of an unexpected event. 
  • Think about how your employees will be able to communicate with one another if they have to work from home. Give them a way to be able to chat, email and talk from their personal devices with unified communications. They will still be able to conduct business through collaboration tools on their cell phones, tablets or personal computers. 
  • Consider cloud as a fail over. If you have an on-premise phone system, you can have cloud services enabled as a back up. If your main location goes down, within a few seconds your communication lines will switch over to the cloud. As soon as you regain connection back at headquarters, they can automatically switch back.

Having a backup plan in place for your communications can help minimize the loss of customers and allow your business to make it through a catastrophe. If you are looking for help strategizing some of the different options on the market, reach out to us and we'll do a free technology assessment. 

Managing Remote Employees to Increase Productivity

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Having remote employees can help businesses grow without having to pay for overhead expenses that come with utilizing an office. Employees on the other hand save so much time by being able to avoid a daily commute which impacts their work life balance. Oftentimes, employees would prefer to be allowed to telecommute over getting a raise. But making sure that your team still stays connected and collaborates effectively requires having the right tools and management skills. Let's take a look at how to better manage remote employees:

  1. Give your employees technology that supports their communication - Start with the basics by giving your employees unified communication software. Unified communications give your employees multiple ways to use their various devices. It allows for them to instant message, email, share files, and use their devices as a soft phone.
  2. Talk to your team every single day - A key in managing your employees remotely is to stay connected with them. Entreprenuer talks about following up with them after meetings to give feedback. Ask them daily about what they are working on and how you can remove any barriers for them. 
  3. Have regularly scheduled meetings with face time - Use video conferencing to enhance your interactions for team meetings. Not only make it a point to meet as a group, but conduct one on one meetings individually regularly. This will allow more structure for your employees and help with them being able to bounce ideas off one another or you.

Make sure your team has what they need to get the job done effectively! Thinking about upgrading your phone system to make your employees more collaborative, check out this post on Five Things to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Phone System.

Going Digital to Create a Better Workspace

Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
Going Digital to Create a Better Workspace

Digital transformation is a topic noted mostly by how a business talks to its clients. However, an employee has to have the right tools to be able to make that interaction better. Transforming the workplace into an environment that makes an employee productive and upbeat creates a better customer interaction. That environment can be moved to a virtual workplace, or simply making changes to an existing office. Here are a few ways companies fail in creating efficiency within their workspaces.

  1. Underutilized assets - Oftentimes, companies have spaces that are underutlized or filled with poor equipment. Maybe it's a room filled with outdated items, an efficient layout or even bad heating and cooling. By upgrading your spaces to include the software, hardware and tools your employees use elevates the employee to work harder.
  2. Lack of available resources - In a traditional office conference rooms are oftentimes tied up. Being able to add a conference option with collaboration tools, gives an employee the tools they need when they need them to get the job done.
  3. Failure to leverage the BYOD trend - Employees like using their own tools like their cell phone or tablet. Companies that do not allow an employee to bring in their own device are creating an efficiency within the business.

Your company may be looking to fully embrace a digital workspace with virtual tools whether they are in the office or working remotely. If you'd like to learn more about transforming your space to a place that gives your employees the ability to work inside and oustide of the office, check out our recorded webinar on Five Ways to Improve Mobility in Your Workplace.

Three Reasons to Consider Buying an On-Premise Phone System

Business Phone Systems, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing

With all of the talk about cloud and hosted phone systems these days, there are fewer conversations about on premise solutions. However, there are still some cases where moving to a hosted environment is not in a business’ best interest. We’ve compile a brief list of a few benefits on premise communication systems offer. Remember, every business operates a little differently and it’s best to sit down and evaluate your needs to ensure you are making the right decision.

  1. Local Survivability – If the internet fails, you can still operate locally with an on premise phone system because it is not reliant upon the data network for your voice communications. This allows mission critical calls to still be placed.
  2. Security Concerns via Banking or HIPAA Regulations – Many organizations who have regulatory compliance concerns look to on premise solutions with a dedicated connection to prevent hackers from accessing their voice and network.
  3. Phased Migration and Tying in an Old System – If you are looking to change from an old system to a new system with a phased approach, then you would likely need to stay on premise. That way you can utilize your existing analog circuits or other equipment that needs to connect to a physical box.

Want to learn more about phone systems and benefits for your business? Check out a few of our other blog posts here and here for information on cloud phone systems. You can also reach out to us using the button below for more information.

What Exactly is Digital Transformation?

Contact Center Solutions, Business Phone Systems, Unified Communications, Network Solutions, Call RecordingCo-nexus Marketing

Digital transformation is a new phrase being blasted around the technology world these days. Being that we were once digital in voice, then moved to VoIP and now we are talking all about digital again... the question is, what exactly is digital transformation? Digital transformation is the accelerated growth of automating business processes, competencies and models to leverage growth within an organization. We've decided to compile a list of things that are currently influencing digital transformation and how these things could impact your current initiatives:

  • CRM Fusion - With software defined networks growing at a rapid pace and SalesForce being used by millions of organizations, communications must be infused with the capabilities to integrate fully with a CRM platform. An automated record is created when a call is placed or answered, or an email is tracked and added to the record within an account in a CRM program. All of these actions created a centralized spot for customer interactions to be deposited. 
  • Mergers and Acquisitions - With companies buying, selling and merging major decisions must be made. How will we marry the two companies? How will we streamline the processes to create a unified company? What technology will stay and what will go? How will networks integrate? How will we train our staff? All of these questions are relevant when companies merge and need careful consideration.
  • Artificial Intelligence - As machines are taking over more and more physical actions, data is growing. As data grows, it's important to have places to store and be able to locate it at a later point. Artificial intelligence is changing the way companies function. Instead of their staff being comprised of worker bees, now they have to consider someone who can analyze and monitor quality.
  • Internet of Things - From homes being rewired with electricity to credit card transactions being processed now over tablets, the world is changing dramatically. The internet is connecting and then gathering information for our everyday habits. That data allows companies to produce products and services that give us more value. Just look at what Amazon did with Alexa - this product will allow you to talk to it and then turn lights on or off or change the thermostat. 
  • Microservices - Modular and application based programs that allow us to process information in smaller increments. Microservices are growing rapidly right now. From cell phone applications to video streaming, microservices are on the rise and affecting the way we purchase items. 

All of these movements in technology are shaping the transformation from physical to digital. Communication is being impacted by all five areas and we'd like to discuss more with you about how digital transformation affects your current processes. Want to learn more? Download our whitepaper on the Journey to Digital Transformation.

What is Digital Transformation?

Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing

Digital Transformation is a buzz word right now. As technology continues to advance, it’s being used more and more every day. Think about it, ten years ago fax machines were in almost any operating business. Fast forward to today many companies have shifted to e-fax or eliminated faxing all together by replacing faxes with scanned documents attached to email. As technology shifts, so does strategy. So what exactly is digital transformation? In simple terms, it’s the displacement of hard copy materials and physical labor to automated electronic processes and documents. Here are four ways digital transformation affections our lives:

  • Decision Making – Technology has allowed business to gather more data to help a company make better business decisions.
  • Automation – Manual labor is being replaced with automated processes. Take for instance how virtual assistants route calls instead of using a physical person.
  • Connectivity – Communication shifted to text, chat, web inquiries, email and voice messages instead of traditional phone calls.
  • Innovation – Products and services are being rendered to make humans access information quickly and more efficiently.

Want to learn more about digital transformation and how it affects communications or contact centers? Reach out to us and we'll put you in touch with an expert! Or download our whitepaper on The Journey to Digital Transformation.

SD-WAN and the Impact on Voice Technology

Business Phone Systems, Unified Communications, Network SolutionsCo-nexus Marketing

Integrated networks are on the rise for this year. SD-WAN solutions allow technology to deploy and manage easily over multiple locations. SD-WAN (stands for software-defined wide area networks) allow branch locations to seamlessly connect via multiple connections to ensure optimal application performance. In short, it gives a company the opportunity to simplify their network and run applications through multiple carriers. Voice Technology is changing as more and more companies have hybrid and cloud environments along with an assortment of different types of users.

Some of these users are sitting at headquarters on the network while other users work in a remote location or a branch office. Providing a way to run voice on a software application opposed to legacy hardware based equipment offers more control from a management perspective. Here are three reasons to consider moving your voice communications to an application-based system:

  1. Resiliency – Voice virtualization provides multiple egress paths in the event a network or carrier connections fail.
  2. Application Focus – Moving voice to software provides a single pane of glass for centrally managing and configuring. This positively impacts how a company spends their time and resources.
  3. Flexibility – Regardless of location or network, all users can have the same features and benefits available to them through unified communications.

If you are anticipating changes within your business environment in the next twelve months, it’s a great time to reach out to us for a discussion. We can help you review your current services, provide network design for merging companies and start building a long term relationship to help your dynamic business. Reach out to us today and we’ll put one of our experts in touch with you!

Important Factors in Developing a Mobile Strategy

Business Phone Systems, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
Important Factors in Developing a Mobile Strategy

If you didn't have a mobility strategy for your business in 2016, then 2017 is the year to make a plan and put it in action. As industry experts in mobility, Co-nexus and Mitel are here to help. To get you started, here are important factors to consider when creating (or refining) your mobility strategy:

  • The strategy must be mobile-centric, not just mobile enabled. Think of devices first.
  • Analyze the security, risk, and compliance factors involved. Some businesses must be more stringent than others.
  • When possible, enable remote workers to increase productivity and cut financial losses.
  • Team and project collaboration can and should be mobile-enabled.

Don't wait: developing a holistic, mobile-centric strategy will enable your company's existing business mission to be far more effective and make entirely new business strategies possible. Looking for more tips on making your workforce mobile? Check this webinar out!

Cloud Corner: Difference Between Private & Public Cloud Voice

Business Phone Systems, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
Cloud Corner: Difference Between Private & Public Cloud Voice

Cloud offers so many different options these days! How do you even go about making a change?

What's the difference between public and private? What will be impacted when you choose a hosted solution? Co-nexus makes it easy for our customers to streamline their voice while providing customization to best fit their needs. We've created an handy downloadable explaining a few of the key differences between public and private cloud voice options.

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How Co-nexus Helps Universities

Unified Communications, Business Phone Systems, Contact Center SolutionsCo-nexus Marketing
How Co-nexus Helps Universities

From large widespread campuses supporting a hundred thousand students to smaller private colleges, universities have specific needs that are unique in the communication world. They have users connecting on campus and off, professors and students who need to collaborate, and the rise of technology with younger students create a demand for cutting edge communication features. Being able to keep the personnel and students secure, while giving them features to help them better work together – is the goal of a communications systems. Here are 5 ways Co-nexus helps universities:

  1. Tablets, on campus computers, PCs and cell phones can all connect anywhere anyway.
  2. Collaborative solutions create a more efficient environment for faculty, research and students to work together whether they are on campus or online.
  3. Having features like being able to chat or text keeps the millennial generation on task and in constant communication with their professors and other students.
  4. Mass Media Notifications in the event of natural disaster, emergency or campus wide communication.
  5. Providing a unified communication system that is mobile friendly – why wait to get back to your desk or phone to answer a question or reach out to someone.

If you are anticipating changes within your business environment in the next twelve months, it’s a great time to reach out to us for a discussion. We can help you review your current services, provide network design for merging companies and start building a long term relationship to help your dynamic business. Reach out to us today and we’ll put one of our experts in touch with you!

How Co-nexus Helps Municipalities

Business Phone Systems, Call Recording, Contact Center Solutions, Network Solutions, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing

Local governments and municipalities share unique purchasing requirements. Oftentimes, there are many decision makers and departments involved in making choices for the communication system. They also have limited budget and funding available. It's important to be able to work with a company with great experience and the ability to manage the project over an extended timeline. Co-nexus helps our government customers in a couple ways:

  • Experience - In the Dallas area, we have installed and maintain the following:  City of Rowlett, City of University Park, Town of Flower Mound, City of Terrell Police Department.  We have over 20 years of experience working with municipalities so we canshare how other cities are providing communications within their city.
  • Mitel is registered with the State of Texas with DIR and NJPA numbers - this provides a significant discount and also allows municipalities and school districts the ability to not have to bid projects because they have relationships already established with the State of Texas and NJPA.

If you are anticipating changes within your business environment in the next twelve months, it’s a great time to reach out to us for a discussion. We can help you review your current services, provide network design for merging companies and start building a long term relationship to help your dynamic business. Reach out to us today and we’ll put one of our experts in touch with you!

How Co-nexus Helps IT

Business Phone Systems, Unified Communications, Network SolutionsCo-nexus Marketing

The IT Director wears so many different hats these days. From being inventory control to managing multiple platforms and vendors. Multiple site locations with multiple phone systems can increase the amount of headaches an IT department handles. The more problems, the less time is spent on strategic moves within your business that can increase profitability. Co-nexus helps improve the bottom line in three ways:

  1. Single software based platform – One platform with easy to use features on any device.
  2. Get out of the hardware business – Because Mitel is a software based platform, the IT department doesn’t have to handle break fixes like traditional legacy phone systems. Updates are pushed remotely to the devices.
  3. Design and Support – Co-nexus has been in the phone business for over 25 years. We design all systems before shipping to ensure they work properly. Let us do the work so you don’t have the headache!

If you are anticipating changes within your business environment in the next twelve months, it’s a great time to reach out to us for a discussion. We can help you review your current services, provide network design for merging companies and start building a long term relationship to help your dynamic business. Reach out to us today and we’ll put one of our experts in touch with you!

How Co-nexus Helps Oil and Gas

Network Solutions, Business Phone Systems, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
How Co-nexus Helps Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas is one of the largest industries globally. Houston, TX is home of many headquarters to oil companies and stateside offices. This industry has its peaks and valleys with a dynamic market and growing needs. Co-nexus helps simplify technology within a very complex environment through unification, centralization and reduction in their communications services. Let’s look at a few ways we streamline technology for this complex business:

Global Unification of Communications

One of the things that makes this industry unique is the constant buying and selling of companies with various mergers and acquisitions. Larger enterprises purchase smaller entities creating a challenge to streamline how the two entities communicate (both internally and externally). Having multiple PBX and phone systems platforms, different service providers, and technical expertise to support the multiple models creates a pretty hectic environment. The frustration can quickly lead to disgruntled employees and have a huge impact on external communication with clients. By globally unifying both the subsidiary companies and mother ship, a business has the ability to run more efficiently to service their clients and maintain reliability during a dynamic business change.

Reduction of Recurring Carrier Costs

The Oil and Gas industry also faces the challenge of managing multiple bills, carriers, locations and types of services. Usually, networks of larger enterprises need redundancy, reduced latency and capacity all while encompassing resiliency on the communication side of things. Working with a single point of contact to help design a centralized network with multiple locations helps create a better network and reduce finger pointing. Ease some of your pain by working with Co-nexus to provide a design for rural, metro and international locations

Global Service and Support

Many oil and gas companies face another unique challenge of being in need of global support. Co-nexus has been in business for over 25 years deploying mulitiple locations on an internationally scale. We operate in both North America, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa. Furthermore, many of our clients have a presence in the Middle East due to the nature of the oil and gas industry. Being able to easily deploy and provide consistent support is a strong suit of Co-nexus.

If you are anticipating changes within your business environment in the next twelve months, it’s a great time to reach out to us for a discussion. We can help you review your current services, provide network design for merging companies and start building a long term relationship to help your dynamic business. Reach out to us today and we’ll put one of our experts in touch with you!

How Cloud Helps Minimize Cost to Your Communications

Business Phone Systems, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
Cloud Corner Reducing Costs.JPG

Communication Systems dramatically changed over the past few years. Where CIO's and IT Directors once preferred to maintain all hardware and software in house, are now faced with the challenge of managing mulitple devices, platforms, operating systems and applications. The stress of the old break/fix model limits time and energy for the shrinking personnel in an IT department. Instead of hiring more people to assist with troubleshooting, IT resources are being limited to do doing more with less time and money. That's where cloud technology comes into play. When you move from on-premise to a hosted environment, you shift the responsibility of making changes from onsite to the hosted company and have the option to deploy a unified communications system. Here are two ways cloud can offer advantages to help your business run smoothly:

Get Your Business Out of the Phone Business

These days, hardware troubleshooting a legacy phone system is a thing of the past. When was the last time you had to make a change in your environment? How much did it cost the company in time for an internal person to physically go onsite and make that change? The cost of labor is one of the most expensive costs to a business. When you move your phone system to the cloud, you aren't just replacing your hardware. You are transitioning to a software based model that will allow changes to take place remotely from a centralized platform. Moving multiple locations to the same platform allows a company to standardize, thus creating an easier way to manage your communications. 

Communicating Isn't About Just Making a Call

These days we communicate through a variety of channels from social media to chat. Sometimes sending a quick text is easier than making a phone call. Internal communication between employees is more efficient when time lapse betweeen messages is minimized. Making sure your employees are able to shoot over a quick instant message or group chat to get an answer for a client can be done with a unified communication platform.

Making calls from any device, using any platform will give your business the boost it needs to decrease overall expenses and increase production. Co-nexus helps our customers do just that, we take your old phone system from on-premise and help transition you to a unifed platform in a hosted environment. Many of our customers are surprised by the different financing options available when changing their equipment. We'd love to chat more about your current communication costs and how transitioning to the cloud will impact your bottom line. Reach out to us today and we'll put someone in touch to give you a call!

Cloud Corner: Recognizing the Benefits of Cloud - Supporting Multiple Locations

Business Phone Systems, Unified CommunicationsCo-nexus Marketing
Cloud Corner Reducing Costs.JPG

Communication systems must support remote works from different locations. Some of these include being able to operate as a teleworker, out of the country or even in a temporary office. They share similar requirements to in office desk workers but without the same support.

Legacy private branch exchanges are usually cost prohibitive for smaller locations of workers. Instead they are equipped with systems that do not have the same features of business communication system. Connection to the main office or a VPN tunnel can have an impact on the quality of voice calls. It’s important for remote workers to be able to be able to communicate just like someone sitting in the office.

Creating a virtual communication system across remote locations using cloud helps extend the same features a business location to all sites. Hosted cloud communication treats all customers the same. It completely eliminates location from the equation and gives them the features they need to be productive, efficient and give their clients great customer service.

Co-nexus provides on-premise, hosted cloud and hybrid systems to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Contact us today for more information!

How Do Your Customers Connect With You?

Business Phone Systems, Unified Communications, Contact Center Solutions, Call RecordingCo-nexus Marketing

The customer journey is key for sustaining a profitable business and keeping clients returning. These days some customers prefer to chat or email opposed to a traditional call. Being able to keep in touch with your customers the way that they need to be communicated with is the key to a successful customer journey. 

Co-nexus has a variety of solutions to help assist with customer communication. Contact center solutions are no longer reserved for only customer care. Omni-channel consumerization allows companies to leverage technology to improve the customer experience. As social media and chat are on the rise, it's so important to make sure your company is available to answer customer questions or be able to connect. 

Whether you are a help desk, call center, customer care department, or marketing team - being able to reach out to your consumers and clients in a multitude of ways seamlessly can improve your customer stickiness. Download this whitepaper discussing how contact center solutions can help your business. 

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