Stay up to date on the latest in business technology, IT services, and AV solutions.
Stay up to date on the latest in business technology, IT services, and AV solutions.
Camera Corner Connecting Point recently installed a new sound system for Acuity Insurance for its new 2,000-seat theatre-in-the-round.
“Acuity will use the theater for ongoing staff training and its quarterly, company-wide town hall meetings,” explained Scott Tomashek, lead engineer on the project for CCCP. “Acuity is also an excellent corporate citizen and will make the space available to the community for debates, chess tournaments, school events, and so on. It’s not for rent, per se, but they’ll make it available. They were previously holding their meetings in a combined six-room conference-center-style, so the theater-in-the-round is a massive upgrade.”
Congratulations to Acuity on their newest addition!
Read the full article here.
Green Bay—History was made as a new accessibility icon was revealed Nov. 17 in the joint parking lot of Camera Corner Connecting Point and Associated Bank in downtown Green Bay.
CCCP and Associated Bank are the first businesses in the state of Wisconsin to use this new icon, which has only been adopted in two other states as of Nov. 2016.
The new icon shows a person leaning forward out of a wheelchair, navigating themselves in the world.
Representative of the No Limits team of Aspiro, CP and Curative Connections Nicole Hoffman explained what this new icon means to the community.
“This is so much more than an icon,” Hoffman said. “It’s about the perception of disability in a public space. And it’s about a cultural change in the way disability is understood.”
Rick Chernick, CEO of CCCP, is a member of the committee for Aspiro. He explained how the new icon came to be through a resource development meeting Hoffman was also at.
At this meeting, Hoffman had explained the new icon. CCCP was renovating a new building at the time, and Chernick realized it was the perfect opportunity to introduce the icon in the new parking lot, as well as the current retail store lot. After the meeting, Chernick contacted Philip Flynn, president and CEO of Associated Bank.
“Without any hesitation at all (Flynn) said ‘it’s wonderful, let’s do it,” Chernick said. “We’re so excited that this can be done.”
Flynn spoke at the event as well, and said Associated Bank is very serious about diversity and inclusion in his company.
“Anything we can do to promote the folks who are disabled to move to a more modern and forward-looking logo is something we’re delighted to do,” Flynn said.
Chernick also expressed how he hopes the rest of the state, especially Green Bay and Brown County, will follow CCCP and Associated Bank’s lead with adopting the new icon. Northeast Asphalt has the new icon available to any businesses that would like to integrate this into their business.
To congratulate the businesses, Hoffman gave Chernick and Flynn each a statue of the new icon as the leaders in the new initiative.
Green Bay—Camera Corner Connecting Point held a Symposium with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) Nov. 1, at Lambeau Field.
Over 100 IT men and women attended the event to learn more about products, services and practical application of new hot technologies offered for today’s businesses. There were a total of five sessions offered: ‘Are you satisfied with your network? You shouldn’t be,’ ‘Delivering today’s expected storage environment,’ ‘HPE software defined storage and hyper converged solutions,’ ‘Windows 10’ and ‘What is your mobility solution going to look like in a year or two?’
Each session had a different speaker, with applied expertise in the field they spoke about. Four of the speakers were with HPE, and one representing Microsoft.
The first speaker, Chris Young, has over 20 years of experience serving customers across North America. His session was about networks and the continual changes in the industry. Young spoke about building a strong wired and wireless network to support a businesses critical applications. He also provided information about the strong security needed to support the Millennial Bring Your Own Device program needs. In addition, he spoke about ways to simplify management to free up a businesses IT team.
Wayne Machovec spoke for the second session. Machovec has assisted midwestern clients for 35 years in the IT industry. His session focused on all-flash datacenters, a up-and-coming solution for businesses servers. This new technology is available thanks to the flagship HPE 3PAR StoreServ family of all-flash and converged flash arrays. These systems deliver 99.9999% uptime, with built-in protection and affordability for any application.
The third session speaker, Tony Lagera, has significant experience in data center and communication aspects of IT. Lagera’s session focused on hyperconverged solutions and how to transform a business’s current IT environment into general purpose virtualization, virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI), ROBO and cloud. These solutions feature simplified upgrades, increased uptime and service levels at a lower cost.
Dave Priebe, a 25-year veteran with Ingram Micro, has spent years presenting and training for Microsoft’s many products useful to businesses of all kinds. Priebe spoke about Windows 10 and the new features available on powerful, modern devices. The best Windows brings businesses innovative tools to get things done, fast. He explained that Windows 10 delivers more built-in security features and safer authentication than ever.
The last speaker was Dan Schneider, an employee of HP for over eight years. His session focused on mobility solutions. As technology continues to change, the workforce, workplace and work styles are changing with it. Schneider explained the days of IT standardization have moved to employee-influenced personalization. He made suggestions on how to best adapt to these changes and implement them.
After the sessions, lunch was served and clients had the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of the speakers about the products and subjects of the sessions from the morning. Camera Corner plans to offer Symposiums in the future to continue offering best-in-class service and information to its customers.
Executing New Initiatives Required a Modern Telephony Solution
Elevating the customer experience by treating store guests as part of the family is ingrained in the
Festival Foods culture. The grocery chain invests in technologies that ensure PCI compliance and
make guests feel that employees care about them and the products that its two dozen stores sell.
Plans for eCommerce, and a centralized call center to take phone orders, are on the drawing board.
Added Functionality Eliminates Expensive Support and Service Delays
Festival Food’s legacy PBX solution was cumbersome and antiquated. Functionality was limited to making basic phone calls and it was unable to integrate with the POS system. Only one company in the area could handle support. The system also didn’t have a user manual, so basic operations were confusing. The phones had nine buttons—push them in the wrong order and calls were dropped.
The cost of support was also a concern. Resolving any technical issue was expensive, whether the work was done onsite or remotely. Most of the time it was handled onsite, so the company incurred travel charges as well. The support organization also didn’t offer 24/7 support. If the phones went down, the issue could not be resolved until the next day, which was unacceptable to this customer-focused company.
ShoreTel Integration with Key Systems Makes Good Customer Service Great
Camera Corner Connecting Point (CCCP) implemented the ShoreTel VoIP UC phone system
across the majority of Festival Food locations in less than a year. By integrating with Festival Foods’ POS, the company is now able to provide faster customer service.
“We integrated the phone system with radio handsets in our stores. When issues arise,
managers and employees can answer the call right on the floor,” explained Festival Foods IT Director Mike Nomland. “We also tied the phone system into an overhead paging network. Employees push one headset button to talk on one frequency and another button to talk over outside speaker or microphone.”
Every Festival Foods location has its own switch because of the need for low latency. ShoreTel VoIP UC also enables the company to deploy a SIP trunk and PRI allocations to multiple sites.
“That would’ve been more complicated with other, more expensive VoIP systems,” said Nomland.
Since Festival Foods offers Wi-Fi for customers and accepts credit cards, security is extremely
important to comply with PCI DSS regulations. The entire network must be secure on every device, the guest network and production network. ShoreTel ensures that every component of the system is bulletproof.
CCCP Exceeds Expectations in Service and Support
On CCCP’s recommendation, Festival Foods chose ShoreTel VoIP UC. It was less expensive than other vendors, and offered more flexibility and redundancy. With ShoreTel’s easy-to-use, intuitive
interface, there was no need for extensive training either. ShoreTel’s reputation for excellent security and regular updates has given IT peace of mind.
“CCCP has been a great partner of ours. They are almost an extension of our company. They’ve
just been absolutely wonderful and honest,” said Nomland. “We ask them to do more than you
could ever expect, and they deliver. Having CCCP as a partner is another reason we went with
the ShoreTel system. We knew they could help with the implementation and handle the support
“CCCP’s deployment of the ShoreTel solution went flawlessly. It was very affordable. ShoreTel provides all of the features we need now, and it leaves us the option to add capabilities later,” said Nomland. “I’m very happy with CCCP and ShoreTel.”
Written by Pam Bednarczyk, Content Marketing Manager at ShoreTel
Want to increase customer loyalty and overall happiness? Help your customers to help themselves.
As a recent Forrester survey demonstrated, there’s a new breed of customer and a new set of customer expectations when it comes to service delivery. Today’s customers not only want accurate responses; they also want them as quickly as possible. And they’re more than happy to take the lead in seeking out those answers themselves.
“We’re definitely seeing an increase in the number of individuals who use self-service options,” said Ken Sax, ShoreTel’s manager of knowledge management. “Over time, people have become more accustomed to searching for answers online. In fact, the expectation now is that they will indeed be able to find the answer online.”
Millennials in particular are increasingly inclined to seek self-service options like a knowledge base. Something to consider, no matter your business or its market. Even if Millennials are only a small portion of your business today, that percentage is guaranteed to grow as those aged 18 – 34 years old now make up the nation’s largest living generation.
According to Sax – who has almost two decades of technical support expertise – those are just some of the reasons why it’s important to have a strong knowledge base in place. But beyond helping your customers, it can also help improve the responsiveness of your customer support staff as they, too, can use this tool to uncover answers and share insights.
What’s a Knowledge Base?
A knowledge base is an online, centralized repository of information that provides a myriad of insights and answers about your product or service. The goal is to provide easy and intuitive access to information that will enable both your customers and your employees to find answers quickly, without having to call customer support.
And, according to Sax, if those ‘do-it-yourself’ customers either can’t find what they’re looking looking for or find inaccurate information, it can directly impact your bottom line.
“As a customer, by the time I have to file a case or contact a person, I am already dissatisfied,” said Sax. “You can lose sales because of bad support.”
Given the growing popularity of self-service options such as a knowledge base, Sax recommends constant surveillance and updates to make sure the information is relevant and current. Continue to hone the information as your offering evolves, and incorporate additional insights based on questions and concerns from your customers. Track what your competition is doing (or saying) about your offerings. Make use of input from social channels and other forums as all are valuable sources of additional perspectives. Plus, beyond having the most accurate and complete information online, make sure it can be found by employing strong keywords.
“The best article in the world is no good if no one sees it,” said Sax. “Examine not only what they’re looking at, but what they’re not looking at as well. If you see content that has not been viewed in a while, consider taking it out to make room for more pertinent information that people are searching for.”
And, when it comes to your most-viewed content, Sax emphasized the need for ongoing oversight.
“Continually identify and review the content that is most-used,” said Sax. “You want to ensure that it is of the highest quality in terms of accuracy and recent updates.”
For many companies, a knowledge base has become an integral component of customer service delivery. It can not only improve speed of answer for your customers and your support staff, but ultimately, improve your bottom line in the process.
Written by Pam Bednarczyk, Content Marketing Manager at ShoreTel
Cost effective, easy to set-up and scale… if you’re already sold on the benefits of cloud communications, but aren’t yet ready to make the leap, SIP trunking might be just what you’re looking for.
SIP Trunking is a way to deliver telecommunication voice services over the Internet. If your current phone system or PBX can connect to the Internet and use the SIP protocol to make calls over the Internet, then SIP trunking can be a means of delivering high quality, reliable digital voice services for your business without the cost of additional hardware or the need to switch phone systems.
Certain business dynamics are well-suited to SIP trunking. If you see your business in one or several of the five scenarios below, a SIP trunking solution may be right for your organization:
1. Growth or Seasonality. SIP trunking is a great way to support anticipated growth or seasonal fluctuations in call volume without overpaying for lines that you won’t use right away. By pairing SIP trunks with your onsite system, you’ll be able to add capacity on-demand with no guessing about how many lines you might need in the future. Plus, since adding capacity requires little effort from your end, you’ll save time and money by eliminating the need for onsite installations to support growth.
2. Nearing End of Contract. If the contract for your current phone system or connectivity service will be coming to an end, there’s no better time to re-evaluate your current telecom needs as a whole. SIP trunking is a great way to address common quality, cost and management issues. By switching to SIP trunking, you’ll gain instant savings with usage-based pricing and uptime you can depend on. Top SIP trunking providers are able to work with multiple carriers to deliver competitive pricing and lower implementation fees.
3. Looking for Cloud Benefits. Cloud phone systems offer scalability, improved business continuity and less maintenance. If your business would benefit from these cloud-based features, but you’re not ready to make the switch, SIP trunking can be your intermediary solution. It allows you to scale on-demand so you’re not paying for more telecom capacity than you need. Plus, it improves business continuity by delivering redundancy and automatic failovers to ensure your phone system is always running.
4. Office Locations Worldwide. Top SIP trunking providers work with numerous international carriers to deliver a large global footprint of services and localized phone numbers. By running your voice and media data through SIP trunks, you can deliver a seamless communications experience regardless of location. Additionally, it becomes easier to maintain your telecom connectivity throughout the different offices since all services can run through the same network with the same provider.
5. The Need to Simplify Telecom Management. By eliminating the need for hard wires and the maintenance associated with them, your teams will have one less thing to worry about. SIP trunking providers frequently offer other communications solution as well, which may allow you to consolidate vendors and have a single source for all your communication needs.
Want to learn more about Shoretel’s SIP Trunking solution? Contact us here.
Time is money.
So, how much time / money do your employees spend in meetings?
Chances are, it’s more than you think. According to research conducted by management consultants Bain & Company, about 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings.
That percentage has risen steadily since 2008, so it’s unlikely we’re going to see the end of the meeting culture anytime soon. All the more reason to take steps now to improve productivity and efficiency. Unified communications (UC) make collaboration simpler and faster by eliminating the complexity and problems associated with disconnected devices and technologies.
The end result – You spend less time trying to get things to work and more time working together.
Every Minute Counts
How often have you led or participated in a conference call that was delayed because another participant didn’t have the correct dial-in information or had difficulty viewing the presenter’s shared desktop?
With UC, keeping meetings on time, productive and cost-effective becomes naturally embedded in your workplace culture. Below are six ways UC can improve meeting efficiency and effectiveness:
1. Join with a single click. With UC, employees don’t need to enter dial-in numbers or passcodes. A click of a button gets them directly into the web, video or audio conference.
2. Work from any device or location. One of the biggest obstacles to a prompt start is the use of different devices to join a conference call. Incompatibility inevitably leads to hiccups – plug-ins need to be downloaded at the last moment or the meeting app isn’t available on a particular platform. UC can eliminate such roadblocks because it’s designed to work across all iPhones, Android devices, and both Mac and Window platforms.
3. Use an agenda to stay on track. What’s the top piece of advice for having a productive meeting? Create an agenda and stick to it. This sets clear expectations about what will be accomplished and acts as a guide for keeping the meeting running efficiently. UC can help you stay on target by tracking the amount of time spent on each topic.
4. Share ideas – visually. One way to help facilitate understanding is to use visual presentations. When others can see your screen, you can more easily convey your ideas. Cut down on the amount of time spent explaining and increase comprehension in the process. Screen sharing also facilitates collaboration, making meetings highly productive.
5. Control side conversations. UC can help you keep the conversation on track via a group messaging feature that enables attendees to comment without interrupting the meeting. Feedback is discussed only after the presenter has finished, a far more efficient method than constant interruptions. Plus, by capturing questions in a conversation pane, the speaker can prioritize and address them in a logical manner.
6. Record, share and save time. Another efficiency driver is the ability to record your meeting. It can be used for reference, especially if key decisions need to be revisited. And if a key player missed the meeting, he or she can get up to speed without impacting fellow team members’ time.
If a team can save just five minutes a day by using these features, organizations can shave hours of wasted time each month. The numbers are compelling because time is money. With solid UC tools at their fingertips, your employees can better focus on what really matters – working together to get the job done.
Learn more about ShoreTel here.
Implementing a new VoIP phone system is a high-profile project that will impact every aspect of your organization. With stakes like that, you’ll want to identify the steps that will make the switch a huge success.
Start the process by asking these five questions. They’ll provide a solid framework for a practical and thorough project plan.
1. What features do your employees want?
Before defining your business needs, it’s critical to get internal feedback up front. Employees are your best source of information about current processes and can help you understand obstacles to seamless communication. All this provides a solid foundation for your project requirements.
Start by understanding each team’s goals. While employees may not immediately see the connection between better results and specific VoIP features, it’s certain you will.
It’s a big task to collect requirements across the organization, which could encompass a dozen or more departments, groups or teams, each with its own set of needs and expectations. But this is absolutely the most important step in making the switch. Without a clear understanding of what each group needs from the new VoIP phone system, you’ll have difficulty getting employee buy-in.
2. What are the system requirements?
Conduct an audit of your organization’s existing systems and equipment, including routers, wiring, switches, phones and local area networks. Your quality of service depends on these elements, so be sure to identify what’s missing and what needs to be replaced or upgraded. The wrong equipment can impact performance significantly. A weak spot in your LAN, for example, can ripple across the entire system.
3. Who will handle system administration and technical support?
To remain competitive, your business should be agile. You need the flexibility to make administrative changes, such as adding users, on the fly. Ideally, you should be able to make routine changes and updates without having to call the vendor.
You also don’t want your IT team to be mired down troubleshooting technical issues. Look for a vendor that can provide both an administrative portal to ease day-to-day management, while also taking on the responsibility for keeping your VoIP system up and running.
4. What are the project goals and how will we define success?
Define and measure three types of goals: technical, project and business outcomes. For example:
5. How do we support a mobile workforce?
In all likelihood, much of your workforce is already using mobile phones to perform daily duties. Your new VoIP phone system should enable employees to use collaboration and productivity apps through their preferred mobile devices. Plus, all users should have the same features and functionality, no matter their location or their device. The bottom line: It’s essential for the vendor to have mobility baked into their solution.
Switching to a VoIP phone system will be a game-changer for your organization, especially if you’re jettisoning legacy telecommunications technology. With lower costs and greater flexibility, VoIP can offer your company a tremendous competitive advantage as your workforce becomes more nimble and responsive.
Learn more about ShoreTel’s VoIP phone system here.