Unify Blog

In our recent study of 9000 knowledge workers across the US, UK and Germany, The Way We Work, one statistic caused great debate within Unify.  It was that overwhelmingly 70% of respondents want to always keep their work and life separate.

And this didn’t differ by age – even the much touted “always on” younger generation want to have separation with 64% of 16 – 24 year olds wishing to always keep their personal and work lives separate.  For over 55s, the figure jumps to 74%, which I think we would all expect.  It is also not such a question of country culture, we often have the image of our US colleagues always working all the time, actually 73% of US respondents always want separation.

So why did these figures cause such debate? Well I think working so deeply in a technology environment often means we get caught up in believing that everyone wants to be “on” all the time, and that our work and personal lives are merging so much they are effectively integrated anyway.

That maybe true at some points in time with the increasing pressures that we all have in our busy lives. However we all crave some degrees of separation and the study shows that we are managing that.  A heartening statistic that backs this up is that 95% of respondents conclude that they have a good work life balance and that 50% agree that that balance has improved over the last 5 years.

I put this down to the heightened use of communications technology and how it is no longer something to be feared. 74% of respondents in the study say that technology, the internet and social media has dramatically changed the working world and we are collectively getting much better at harnessing those tools to help us.

So what should we as a provider of communication and collaboration services take from these very clear views?

  • Let’s stop talking work-life integration – knowledge workers want to have separation and technology needs to enable that to be done cleanly
  • Knowledge workers recognise technology is an asset, and they will use both IT approved and non IT approved tools to enable them to work as they want to work
  • There will always be those times of work where work will cross into “personal time” but new technology should mean that it no longer requires a physical visit to fulfil the demand

Our products need to enable people to work the way they want to work – now and in the future.  22% of respondents still believe they don’t have the tools to do the work they do today – it is up to us to fulfil that need.

 

Posted in Millennials, Mobile Working, New Way To Work, Unified Communications

Not so long ago I shared a Circuit experience around event season, where we raced ahead of the competition to engage with new contacts before any scanner data was available –using Circuit and a wider, virtual team.

Well, event season hasn’t finished yet, and we are still making use of this swiss army knife of apps!

This time, Unify was at UC Expo in London, with a stand, a meeting room and 5 (yes – 5) speakers throughout the theatres.  As an events veteran, I am used to a few last minute ‘panics’.. It wouldn’t be a good show if there wasn’t a need for that power lead that was left on the desk 80 miles away.

This time though.. this was sent to test us!

Set up day, and we are all preparing  the stand when it creeps in – just that *tiny* niggle of ‘has anyone seen our first speaker’? That gets pushed aside aside we clamber over and under units, hiding cables, checking connectivity and taking a look to see who has what branded ‘goodies’. The team meets for dinner at the end of the day, and Circuit notification flashes on my phone: ‘Problem’. One of our Experts is appearing in a panel debate the next day – but is currently sat in A&E with his son – and won’t be able to get to London.  OK, not a problem, a little fast thinking and…. a message is sent to the organisers, ‘are we able to have our panellist join via Circuit as he cannot be there physically?’.  They reply the next morning with an ‘if the bandwidth is there to cope remotely, then it should be ok!’. Genius! The team go to the theatre and do a test run, and we are good to go.

All the while this prep is going on – that little niggle is becoming a bit of a shout.. ‘seriously… has ANYONE seen our first speaker….??’  His Circuit profile says unavailable, but does say he is travelling for a show, it also shows his location as London *phew*.  Just need to find him. Quick message on Circuit is delivered .. and a note comes back saying ‘am in a meeting – be with you in 10 minutes’.  Great news! Especially as calling had resulted in international ringing tone… GULP.

So.. the panel debate kicks off, and one of the stand team sits in the audience holding their tablet up in the room – so that our remote Expert could use video to see the audience and gauge their reactions and engagement.  No hiccups, everything is clear, two way dialogue is easily held as if he were in the room and not sitting in his home office.

Circuit 2 – 0 Events crisis

But that isn’t where it ends. A quite specialised expert that usually joins us on stand is unable to attend this year through illness – and we missed him! But.. you can’t get off that lightly when Circuit is around.  He may not have been able to travel – but that didn’t stop us from calling upon his knowledge when asked questions on stand – via Circuit of course!

Circuit 3 – 0 Events crisis

All this and using Circuit to send contact details and specific requirements to our wider, virtual team and have those conversations continued before the scanner info even hits our desktops.

You know, this product is good… And it seems to step up to every challenge and use thrown at it. Maybe I shall write a book.. ‘1001 uses for Circuit’. It would soon fill up!

Discover more at : circuit.com

Posted in Circuit, Events, Unified Communications

It is officially ‘silly season’ when it comes to events. As well as those April showers and the clocks changing to BST, the other thing that we relish is conferences and Expos – around the world.  In fact, this year, events have been like buses – there is always another one just around the corner.

Events are great for business. For networking, for exposure, for recruitment, for fresh ideas and for initiating those all-important conversations that create mutually beneficial business.  After all – that is why we do them!  We have to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) – one of the big business drivers.

For me personally, the last 6 weeks has been event after event after event. It has been a whirlwind of logistical madness, with some fantastic new conversations being had with our new (and current) contacts.  With still at least four more events to host/attend in the coming weeks, keeping on top of the many contacts and conversations that are being made is one challenge.  However, adding value to those conversations is the key – and in order to do that we need to strike whilst the iron is hot. Let’s face it – the competition won’t be waiting.

Scan data is invaluable. Adding as many notes as possible is vital.  This way we can add those prospective contacts into our nurture loop and we can keep them informed as to what we are offering, our news, our campaigns, our services. We can follow them up with calls and mails when the data is available after the show to start adding value. Brilliant!  But is it really helping you to stay one step ahead?

What if we could bring the wider events project team to each show… virtually.  We can.  And we did.

Whilst on stand, demonstrating Circuit on my phone and tablet I was easily multi tasking. As interest builds, I can share in our Project Team Circuit conversation a person’s details.  It is totally transparent, they are offering contact information. I can establish their needs and wants, timelines and budgets, and share this information in as long as it takes me to type (and to correct typos… Yes, even with aurocorrect!).  Instantly.

The wider team sees the message within moments and is able to respond immediately. ‘You would like a follow up meeting? No problem, we can offer you a meeting on Friday. It is in the diary’.  Done and dusted. Follow up meetings created before that contact has even left the Unify stand. This potential customer’s information is in an audit trail for the best member of the team to prepare for an informative and relevant follow up – we’ll be adding value from the start.  The contact has the meeting information on their smart device and in their calendar straight away. No to’ing and fro’ing. No missing each other for days after.

There are a thousand ways that Circuit can speed up process, can collaborate, can bring value.  This one? Well this one is saving time and securing future business relationships. It also saves me a heap of spreadsheets and csv files when I get back to the office!

Beat the competition. Strike fast. Use Circuit.

Posted in Circuit, Events, Unified Communications
Unify is exhibiting at UC Expo – taking place 19-20 April at London Olympia – here are five quick reasons to visit us

The Speakers

Unify is proud to announce that 5 of our resident experts will be speaking over the two days:

  • Jan Hickisch Takes to the stage on 19 April and says ‘Welcome to a New Way to Work’
  • Kathryn Penn will be speaking on 19 April at 14:40: ‘It’s the Age of the Customer – are you ready to meet their demands?’
  • Andrew Cheel features on 20 April at 11:20: ‘User adoption of new technology doesn’t have to be a challenge’
  • Paul Maddison will be in the Keynote Theatre on 20 April at 12:40: ‘Put usability into your UC’
  • Paul Barker features on the panel of the  Future of Security debate.

Discover The Power of Conversation

Jabra will be joining Unify at Stand MR2. Jabra is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of a broad range of innovative communications & audio solutions, producing corded and wireless headsets, plus mobile and in-office speakerphones.

Visit us on the Unify stand to see how we help make businesses more productive and find out how our intelligent communication solutions and New Ways of Working philosophy help improve workplace culture and productivity.

Conference calls made simple with the Jabra SPEAK 810 – Collaborate the easy way and connect conference calls in seconds.

Evolve the way you work – with the Jabra Evolve range of professional headsets that improve concentration and conversations.

Assured Services – let’s talk about headsets – Empowering employees with the right headset technology for their needs can significantly boost their productivity, improve customer relations and drive efficiency.

 The Show

UC Expo is UC EXPO is the largest Unified Communications and Collaboration event in Europe. The two day event encompasses the technologies that enable smarter working and a truly connected business.

5000 ICT Professionals - 100 Specialist Suppliers - 100 Free to Attend Seminars - World Class Education – and it is all FREE to attend by registering HERE before 6pm on 18th April.

It’s all about the way we work

Unify recently undertook a 9,000 ‘knowledge worker’ study. Join us on stand C309 to find out what they said about how we really work, and how we see work in the future.  You can read more HERE and continue the conversation with one of our experts by mailing us HERE and requesting an appointment either at UC Expo or at our Executive Briefing Centre at a later date.

There are free pens!*

And free advice ………… and demonstrations………….  and Circuit licenses.

Not heard of Circuit?  take a look for yourself at www.yourcircuit.com and find out more.  Register through the above link for FREE entry to UC Expo, and you can continue the Circuit conversation with us. Let us show you how Circuit can change the way you work, save time and money, and help you address a next generation’s workforce’s demands in collaboration technology.

We really look forward to greeting you on stand!

 

Posted in Circuit, Events, Unified Communications

Looking at the events occurring in our world, one must ask: “What can I do to help make the world a safer place for those who put their lives on the line to protect mine?”  While those bent on disruption of our civilized world through senseless acts of violence and chaos continue their reign of terror, nations have united to defend our ways of liberty and snuff out these cowards by use of force and superior intelligence tactics.  However, in a world where technology has become a weapon far more powerful than munitions, we would be remiss to ask another question, that being: “How can we put technology to work to provide intelligent services and security to empower not only the those risking life on the front lines, but those who serve each of us every day in the business world?”

By creating an ecosystem of intelligence and secure communications, our nation’s cities and high-threat venues can be transformed into “Rings of Steel”, modeled after some of our world’s most progressive economies.  Rather than solely focusing on securing cities and borders, we must concentrate our efforts towards securing both the physical and cyber elements of those entities within these respective “rings”.  Industries which comprise the backbone of our nation’s cities yet operate independently require the same level of security and risk management, configured specifically to address their respective operations and economic ecosystem.

By developing strategic industry solutions leveraging proven and scalable communications technologies, Unify is creating Empowered and Engaged Communities through integration and collaboration.  One example of such thought leadership can be found through the following example, one of many potential methods to address the operational nuances and industry-specific challenges faced by one of our world’s most communication-empowered sectors: airports.  These cities within cities operate with near full autonomy within their respective regions yet, on a daily basis, face the same criminal elements as any downtown financial district or neighborhood.  However, with the events of our world spanning the geographies, these economic hubs must now begin thinking well outside the norm and bring new tools and technologies to their constituents.

By placing a Unify OpenScape solution in place to mitigate risk and the advanced technology threats employed by today’s criminal elements, an airport can become an intelligent ring of steel without changing any of its operations but, rather, empowering its “citizens and visitors” through multimedia collaboration and mobility.  Unify’s OpenScape First Response can be used in airports to manage 9-1-1 calls, door alarms, notifications and video feeds.  As discussed, airports are cities within cities with the same needs as city fire and police departments.  As self-contained operations, airports must support police, fire, security personnel, TSA staff and customs personnel as part of their safety and security process.   If a crime is committed in a duty free store, the call to 9-1-1 from the store may go to the airport security desk or the county sheriff, a serious gap if that crime were a hostage situation or stabbing.   Depending upon the airport’s 9-1-1 call flow, wireless calls (which account for over 70% of all calls to 9-1-1 nationally) may be routed offsite to a police department Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) miles (and precious minutes) away.

In crisis situations, immediate access to real time information, collaborative data from the scene can be the difference between not only life and death, but also lead to significant delays in flight operations; securing the public and premises for airports while providing efficient emergency response is a critical factor towards their bottom line and that of every airline they serve.  The longer it takes for that police officer, medic or fireman to reach the scene of the emergency, the longer it takes for operations to resume to normal and income to resume.

Why let your emergency calls and critical data pertinent to an efficient and rapid response not be managed in a streamlined fashion so that airport personnel can be empowered with the tools they need to secure the public and staff, regardless of how a call for help originates?  By working with an airport’s emergency management, police, fire and risk management leaders, Unify can help improve their command and control operations through integrated communication solutions.  Using OpenScape First Response, airports can improve the way they serve their tenants, staff, visitors and stakeholders, providing them an unrivaled ability to share critical response information through applications on scene and in hand.  Should an airport wish to have wireless calls originating from within their domain route directly to their PSAP/control room, Unify can bring the necessary geo-fencing and services forward that will allow airports to more rapidly and accurately handle requests for assistance (emergency and non-emergency).

Additionally, to bring the power of Unify and our converged solution portfolio forward even further, utilizing Circuit as part of an airport’s communication ecosystem brings an entirely new value add to their operations.  With Circuit, airport staff can be triaged and dispatched to any incident, share critical information with security center staff, coordinate response activities while mobile and bring highly valuable video imagery from the scene to command authorities.  Powered by the same ecosystem of solutions by Unify, airport operations have the ability to mobilize resources without scrambling to determine which patch button to push or incident response scenarios to activate.  Using OpenScape as the common backbone and applications such as First Response and Circuit to manage operational dynamics, Unify is able to transform emergency communications and synergize operations into the Next Generation.

For more information on how your operation can become empowered and engaged through a Unify NEXTGEN solution, contact one of our team’s Strategic Business Unit SMEs.  Visit us on the web at www.unify.com.

Posted in Circuit, Public Sector, Security, Technology, Unified Communications

Our 2016 Global Partner Conference: 250 partners from across the world came to Barcelona for 2 days of conversations, networking and updates. Here is the twitter story of Mas Dinero!

Posted in Channel Updates, Events, Executive Blogs