Hosted Phone Comparison: Figuring Out Which Features You Really Need


You know it’s time. Your phone system is a mishmash of hardware and software. Your staff is making business calls on their personal phones. And the third-party service you use for conference calls is clunky and unreliable.

You also know if you’re going to grow your business, you’ve got to improve how your team communicates and collaborates. Buying new hardware isn’t in the budget and, besides, you’re worried it would have to be upgraded by the time it was installed.

Why Hosted VoIP Phone Service?

With the bandwidth and reliability of internet service today, more small- and medium-sized businesses are turning to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services like MiCloud Connect. This unified communications solution is hosted in the cloud, giving SMBs the power and functionality that in the past only large companies could afford.

But as with any major change – especially ones involving technology – things can get confusing. Because many communications providers offer an à la carte approach to features and pricing, not spending time researching up front can waste time and cost you more in the long run.

Hosted Phone Comparison — Where To Begin?

It’s a little like buying a new car. You know the features you like most, the “must haves” that you’ve come to love in your present car, things like heated seats or hands-free phone. But slide into the driver’s seat of a late model vehicle and you can be overwhelmed. Lots of new bells and whistles. How do you decide which are important, which are distracting and which just aren’t worth the money?

To start, think about where your company is now. Answer these questions and you’ll begin to zero in on the features most important to your business.

  • Which features of your current system are most useful?
    For instance, speed dial or call forwarding?
  • Who are your users?
    Do you have team members on the road, in the warehouse, in conference rooms, at their desks or in a contact center?
  • What are the communications needs of each of these user groups?
    Do they need better collaboration tools? Mobile solutions?
  • What are the pain points for these user groups?
    Or put another way, what’s the current system not providing? If employees are using their own mobile devices or third-party apps, find out why. What do they offer that your current communications system doesn’t?
  • What part of your current system do you want to keep?
    Most hosted phone service providers can customize solutions to sit on top of your present infrastructure. Why reinvent the wheel, or buy a new one, if you’ve got pieces that still work?

With this information in hand, you’re ready to consider all the features available with a hosted phone service. Which is good, because there are a lot of features. And like that new car, some you need and some you don’t.

Example #1: Law Firm

Barbara is the managing partner of a law firm with over 70 lawyers in three locations. Their telecommunications system has been creaky for some time. Consequently, they’re not as customer responsive as they need to be in a very competitive marketplace. Barbara chose these features when the firm moved to a hosted phone service.


Attorneys and staff are on the move all the time – at client’s offices, in court or at offsite meetings. With VoIP they can communicate seamlessly with any device that has an internet connection – smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops. Users access the firm’s communications system via a secure, proprietary web portal. The interface is also consistent across all devices.

Conference calls.

Whether they’re on audio or video, staff can easily manage conference calls with the click of a button. All participants can share screens and files. And with a quick text, they can even pull another colleague into the call.

Call recording.

Another useful feature is the ability to record both individual calls and conference calls. Now staffers can easily go back over the details of any phone conversation.

Visual voicemail and email. When attorneys are running between meetings, catching up on voicemail is challenging. Now voicemails are transcribed and sent to the email box of the receiver. It’s easy to listen again to a long voicemail, forward it to another staff member or file it for future reference.

Presence management. 

Ever tried to hunt down a colleague when you needed a quick answer? Leaving voicemails just doesn’t do it. To really close the loop, you need to know where they are and if they’re even available. With presence technology, a receiver can notify others of their availability. Maybe they can’t answer the phone but can reply to a text or email. It all helps get an answer to the client that much faster.

Example #2: Software Start-Up

Nicolas started his software business five years ago with three friends from college. Now, with almost 200 employees across three continents, it’s time to choose a telecommunications system to meet the needs of the growing company. You don’t want bumpy conference calls when that venture capitalist calls.

Like Barbara’s law firm, mobility was near the top of Nicolas’s “need to have” list of features. For too long, the company had relied on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), but inconsistency and poor responsiveness became major issues. Here are the features Nicolas’s IT manager chose when they set up their hosted phone service.

Collaboration and teamwork. 

Central to the business’s success is the ability of employees to work together easily, no matter their location. As part of the new hosted phone configuration, collaboration and teamwork software helps engineers in Bangalore, San Jose and Riga work on projects across time zones. This feature provides a shared workspace where team members can communicate, share files, chat, set up conference calls, track progress and assign tasks.

Call center.

Before implementing hosted phone service, the company was losing almost 40 percent of customer calls. Now calls are routed to the right person the first time. Agents can communicate with customers via live chat, phone or email. The new system also enables supervisors to monitor calls in real time and coach agents on how to improve.

Remote workers.

Employees working outside the company’s main offices can now connect easily and reliably via a dedicated web portal. Using VoIP, they can respond to colleagues and customers anywhere in the world. That also means the company can recruit talent from all over the globe.

Integration with third-party software.

A key feature for Nicolas’s growing company is the ability to integrate third-party applications into its communications tools, like customer relationship management (CRM) software. Call center agents can respond to customers more effectively and sales can see real-time metrics. By integrating other applications like browsers and Microsoft Outlook, employees can make calls with one-click.

Choose the right vendor.

After you’ve decided which features are most important to your business, be sure to choose a vendor that can make things happen easily and within your budget. Look for these capabilities in a hosted phone provider.

Support from beginning to end.

Many vendors talk a good game when the sale is on the line. Many even do a good job during installation and training. But ask around. Is their customer support available 24/7? Via phone, live chat and email? They need to be there when your customers and employees need them most.

Industry leader.

Has the vendor led the way in innovation and product development? Or has it only recently jumped on the wagon? Look into how stable the company is and how long it’s been in the communications business.

Flexible and responsive.

Choosing a hosted phone service is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. Quite the opposite. You want a vendor who will create a solution unique to your company.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Making sure your communications investment will lead to a stronger and more successful business. Mitel offers a suite of hosted phone service products that will make your business the best it can be.

This article was first published by Mitel.


Healthcare Health Check: How To Stabilise Your Business Vitals With UC

Healthcare Health Check: How To Stabilise Your Business Vitals With UC

To do more with less, the NHS and many private clinics delay upgrading their communications technology if their legacy system continues to function. And limited budgets and staffing shortages provide easy excuses for large hospitals and small clinics alike to continue putting off upgrades year after year.

But the emergence of innovative technology – robust cloud solutions, next-gen apps and more – provides incredible new opportunities. When leveraged strategically and cost-effectively, these technologies can help the NHS and private healthcare providers tackle challenges like the growing elderly population and the upcoming ISDN shutdown, among many others.

How Unified Communications Can Help

Investing in different solutions that don’t work together or with your existing infrastructure can be costly. For better patient care and overall performance, deploy a Unified Communications (UC) solution at your own pace that addresses multiple staff and patient needs and fully integrates with your existing system.

Ensure the solution delivers in all key areas including:

Increased staff responsiveness

Mobile collaboration apps integrated with your organisation’s telephony make staff easier to reach and collaborate with. By reducing wasted time and miscommunication, the apps enable staff to focus more on personalised patient care. In addition, you can mobilise staff and other experts in an instant if there’s an emergency with a patient.

Improved resiliency and security

A modern UC solution on a resilient network minimises system downtime and disruption, saving IT staff valuable time and effort while also keeping patient medical records more secure. This provides peace of mind and ensures your organisation complies with regulations.

Greater cost control

Maintaining obsolete equipment, finding replacement parts and staffing a large IT department to handle everything – including resolving frequent issues – is extremely expensive. The right UC solution for your unique needs, whether that’s on-site, in the cloud or a hybrid, requires much less maintenance and effort.

No matter if you’re a small private clinic or a public hospital with hundreds of scattered sites, a modern and robust UC solution enables you to provide better patient care, ensure resiliency and stay within budget. Look for a communications vendor with a long history of experience in healthcare that can help you digitally transform at pace that’s right for you.

Upgrade At Your Own Pace

Most importantly, find a provider like Mitel that lets you move at your own pace, upgrading and adding functionality gradually and cost-effectively. No need to rip and replace—and face an enormous price tag. Plus, this method is easier on your IT staff because it enables them to do their due diligence and get trained on each new technology without being overwhelmed and over-worked.

This article was first published by Mitel.


AI Is Revolutionising The Customer Experience

AI Is Revolutionising The Customer Experience

Like it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Sometimes it’s obvious—like when a chatbot pops up on a website and offers help. But AI is being used in ways we may not even realize. The question isn’t when AI will begin to play a role in our everyday lives; it already is. Rather, we should be asking whether or not we are using it to its full capacity.

Everyone Wants It: Consumers, CIOs, CMOs

Consumers are increasingly aware of AI-powered tools and say they’ll use them if they save time and money, reports Gartner. In a recent study, 58 percent of respondents said they’ll use AI if it makes tasks more efficient. Over half (53 percent) said they’ll use AI if it will save them money, and 47 percent are on-board if it gives them easier access to information.

This willingness to engage with AI-driven services has caught the attention of IT leaders and marketing executives alike. Forty-one percent of IT professionals believe AI and machine learning (ML) will help their organizations improve the customer experience (CX), according to a study by Adobe. Respondents also cited other technologies that will have an impact, including the Internet of Things (22 percent), voice (14 percent), virtual and augmented realities (12 percent) and chatbot technology (11 percent).

Companies already using AI in digital commerce are rather pleased, reports another Gartner study. About 70 percent of digital commerce businesses say their AI programs are “very or extremely successful.” In fact, respondents reported a 19 percent increase in customer satisfaction and a 15 percent improvement in both revenue and cost.

Personalizing The Customer Experience

Most of us are familiar with targeted advertising that tells marketers what shoppers are looking for. But AI is now used to aggregate a wide range of data to personalize interactions with customers. AI programs collect information about location, search history, time (days, dates, time of day) and product to then suggest items to consumers. Catering to each person is the next frontier—and not only in advertising.

Within the context of a self-service customer experience, AI is capable of handling the type of personalized interactions that humans have usually handled, such as sales, service or support. When a customer visits a business website, they are greeted with customized options powered by the company’s AI analytics.

Faster Customer Service

Chatbots are also an example of AI-powered tools that are speeding up human-machine interaction. As they continue to grow in sophistication and effectiveness, these bots have the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize and learn from past experiences.

For example, tapping into customer data, an intelligent chat or speech bot is capable of holding a personalized – and human-like – conversation with the customer.

With machine learning, chatbots recognize common words and phrases related to specific issues, and then recommend help articles that are most useful to the customer or agent. They are also able to route the user toward the human most qualified to answer their query.

Even when the virtual agent seamlessly hands off the customer to a human agent, it does so with all information intact. The human agent picks up where the virtual agent ends, and the customer doesn’t need to repeat themselves.

Crunching The Data

Probably the most obvious and powerful use of AI is to analyze the enormous amount of data captured through technology today. Businesses are using AI to improve CX by evaluating interactions and integrating data from numerous sources. Predictive AI-driven analytics helps track and analyze customer trends and behaviors faster.

One example is reinforcement learning, an AI/ML tool that “rewards” the algorithm when it achieves the best behavior or action, enabling it to learn quickly on its own. It continuously tries different actions to figure out which delivers the best outcome in the long term, explains Tiffany Carpenter, head of customer intelligence for SAS UK & Ireland. It even performs random actions intermittently to test the model and be sure it is up-to-date.

Humans + Machines

Thought leaders agree that the human element is essential when working with AI. It’s not an either/or proposition. Humans are needed to create the core marketing messages, draw insights from data and make decisions. “The future lies not in a battle between people and machines, but in a synthesis of their capabilities, of humans and AI working together,” notes Helen Poitevin, research senior director at Gartner.

For many technologies, the future seems far in the distance. Yet, AI is already enhancing customer interactions today. The most competitive organizations are pushing the boundaries of the technology. That means the revolution is well underway—and stellar customer experiences are closer than you might think.

This article was first published by Mitel.


5 Best Practices For Digital Transformation Success And Speed


Originally published by Information Management.

Digital transformation, or DX, is everywhere—from hospitality to retail to the enterprise. But because technology implementation moves quickly, it’s no secret that speed is the currency for companies undergoing digital transformation.

In actuality, moving business operations to more digital and user-savvy functionality is much easier said than done. So, without getting lost in the process, how exactly can companies execute this transformation swiftly and successfully?

Companies should consider the following best practices when looking to implement a successful and speedy organization-wide strategy:

1. Engage People From The Beginning

Digital transformation is about people, data and technology. The people factor, if overlooked, can be dooming for a DX strategy. Businesses need to excite and inform their employees about these objectives by including them from the start.

As a natural driver of cultural change, digital transformation stands to impact not only the way a business operates, but also the way the business thinks about operations. It requires a culture that is open to change and continuous improvement.

First and foremost, companies must work with employees to connect them with tools that foster productivity and a collaboration platform that enables efficient communications. This keeps projects on pace by enabling employees to leverage the power of their combined knowledge to increase productivity.

Another way to improve productivity is by automating processes where possible to relieve some of employees’ workloads. This will give them more bandwidth to spend time doing meaningful work, such as collaborating with colleagues and interfacing with customers.

Organizations enacting these kinds of changes will have higher chances of success if they make the effort to involve employees from the get-go and clearly communicate how the changes stand to improve day-to-day work.

2. Align On Objectives And Establish Clear Goals

This is a consideration not talked about in the industry nearly enough. It’s easy for this step to slip through the cracks, but it’s essential for teams to establish a baseline and determine what they’re hoping to accomplish with their DX initiatives.

Companies that have an agreed upon answer to the question, “what is the end goal?” will have a strong foundation for determining focused next steps. Identifying the end goal helps companies prioritize their projects and next steps, which subsequently informs the roadmap they will use to track their projects.

It is also helpful for keeping individual teams on track throughout their projects by serving as a reference point to remind them of what their project should ultimately achieve. Is it about customer success, or partner enablement? By doing this up-front, companies will have less internal friction, which in turn will give them room to act on multiple parallel initiatives within the program that all map back to the same goal.

Once an initiative is complete, this also provides a clear benchmark that will serve to prove whether the initiative was a success and help to identify any outstanding needs.

3. Think Business-First

CIOs and IT departments are best-equipped to lead technology transformation as a trusted arm of the business; however, it is extremely important for them to approach this with a business-first mindset.

Companies should create a balanced IT department that includes both technology experts and business-minded professionals. By combining business with IT, the team will have both the technical skills required for the project and the necessary business context to keep the team focused on the end-goal (i.e. customer needs and organizational goals). This enables more efficient processes, which is something we at Mitel discovered very early on when undergoing the beginning stages of our own digital transformation.

To combat this, we created the IT Business Technology group to combine the strengths of IT experts and business-minded professionals to move our digital transformation forward.

4. Synchronize Efforts

With speed as the currency for a successful digital transformation, business leaders should expect to have many projects happening at once. They are tasked with managing multiple projects in parallel streams to further increase speed and ensure teams are staying on track to meet deadlines.

Understanding this is extremely important, particularly for global companies that need to be cautious not to discount added synchronization challenges that come with working across regions and addressing customer needs that vary accordingly.

At any organization, there are also bound to be times when projects compete for the same resources from both the IT and business sides. Additionally, teams need to work together to proactively address potential availability issues with key systems and platforms that need to be operational for the project’s go live date. This is a smart way to avoid issues both as multiple teams are completing projects and when they reach the Go Live date.

A big factor to success with synchronized efforts is enabling employees to work together throughout the process of managing multiple projects at one time (another reason communication and collaboration are crucial for success). It will be key for business leaders managing a number of DX projects to keep these factors in mind.

5. Make It Easy For Customers And Partners

With many DX initiatives – including ours at Mitel – the end goal is customer success. While a company’s product or solution is traditionally considered the most important factor in customer satisfaction, the customer’s experience reaching out to support during or after the purchasing process is just as important.

Companies need to ask themselves, “What kind of tools can we give our customers/partners to improve their experience doing business with our organization?” Whether it’s a customer or partner portal or an online store or ticketing system, companies need to assess whether they are effectively providing customers and partners with an efficient way of doing business with them. What is their experience on the platform? What kinds of automation tools would improve their experience?

Companies should provide customers and partners with an easy, automated way to interact with them if they want to buy a service or need support.

Organizations need to consider all of the above best practices for a successful, speedy digital transformation. As with any technology implementation, a full organization-wide DX effort requires that business leaders establish goals, give employees the tools they need, and always keep customers and partners top of mind.

This article was first published by Mitel.


Why Businesses Are Migrating To The Cloud More Than Ever


Across industries and time zones, businesses are increasingly leveraging the cloud to meet customer expectations, with cloud communications growing roughly 25 percent year over year. With quicker updates and the latest applications, the cloud offers businesses unprecedented ability to improve flexibility, scalability and efficiency while saving on costs. And yet each journey to the cloud is as unique as the business―and is dependent on the unique patchwork of technology investments and acquisitions it has in place.

The fastest-moving businesses are spending time, money and energy to assess their current infrastructure and plan the best way to proceed. They are looking to gain the benefits of cloud without having to start all over, become burdened with expensive deployment models or get locked in for years with a specific vendor.

Mitel understands this well. Its next-gen cloud offering uniquely provides choice: public, private or hybrid. And this is an approach that businesses across the globe have responded to. According to Synergy Research Group, Mitel is #1 in total cloud seats worldwide for the seventh consecutive year. With nearly 4.7 million users globally, Mitel is over 1.5 million seats ahead of the next closest competitor.

Since Synergy Research Group’s Cloud Market Growth Report began in 2012, Mitel has dominated the top spot as the communications and collaboration vendor of choice for organizations worldwide.

“As we have been saying for a number of years now, Mitel has a compelling value proposition in the UC industry by being able to offer multiple cloud migrations for its customers,” said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group’s founder and Chief Analyst. “This strategy has been successful, as evidenced by Mitel’s continued leadership in the combined market of private and public cloud for nearly a decade.”

Built on the Google Cloud Platform for optimum security and reliability, Mitel’s cloud solutions provide advanced AI, machine learning and analytics. With robust public, private and hybrid cloud options, Mitel is uniquely positioned to help each customer deliver the cloud communications and collaboration they need to achieve their business goals.

“Organizations are increasingly moving applications to the cloud and looking for ways to harness the benefits of the cloud to collaborate more seamlessly and compete more effectively,” said Mitel CEO Rich McBee. “With Mitel’s solutions, businesses can choose the deployment model that’s right for them, whether that is a public, private or hybrid environment. We’re honored that so many businesses continue to trust us to guide them along their journey to the cloud.”

This article was first published by Mitel.


When Artificial Intelligence Meets Collaboration: Intelligence Everywhere


There’s no doubt artificial intelligence is transforming the very concept of work and, when combined with effective collaboration, the possibilities are endless.

Artificial intelligence continues to be integrated further into our everyday lives, but to be effective in the business world it must be combined with collaboration and leveraged in the right ways. Once that happens, companies will have achieved “intelligence everywhere,” which is exactly what it sounds like: all aspects of business operations optimized with intelligence. Today, artificial intelligence is the life-changing technology that’s transforming our access to new information and insights, whether it’s Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.

How to integrate AI with collaboration in the right places – beyond just meetings – to achieve the future state of collaboration all forward-thinking businesses strive for? Start by considering where meaningful work occurs.

Collaboration Environment

When you think of all the projects and conversations occurring within your company’s collaboration environment, artificial intelligence’s ability to draw connections between everything occurring across the organization is key. From identifying available resources to discovering what relevant work has already been done by others, artificial intelligence can help businesses achieve true context-aware collaboration.

Email Servers

As the catchall for most text-based communications, email servers are an ideal place for AI. Just as Google offers you response options in your Gmail, AI-integrated email connects you to the collaboration environment to make sure all communications are unified and centrally located. Since calendars are often kept in the same application as email, AI assistance can also set up meetings or make sure team members don’t accidentally get left off useful emails.

Employee Computers

Having AI on your computer is a useful way to ensure files that support projects – often stored in sub-folders like Russian nesting dolls – don’t get buried forever. After all, there is an important place in the project world for works-in-progress and old versions of great ideas. When there’s AI in place to identify what you may have forgotten or can’t find, all available data is kept at your fingers to use and share.

Employee Phones

Desk phones are another excellent place for AI. We’re all accustomed to having our calls recorded when we contact support, but AI can take that one step further by capturing and transcribing conversations for indexing. This ensures everything discussed about a project is available for easy review, including by those outside your project team.

Conference Rooms

In a video or audio conference, most things are captured as quick bullets and action items. For companies with the resources to purchase smart boards or other types of wall-scanning devices, AI can automatically capture this content. Other companies will have to resort to taking photos of the screens with their phones and uploading it to the collaboration environment. In these environments, treating the AI like a team member and dialing it in to the meeting ensures all dialogue is captured, there’s context around the drawings on the board and nothing slips through the cracks.

Work Management Applications

Arguably, most work is done in a work management application, such as JIRA or Workzone. When AI is present in these apps, it can track the progress of work and bridge any gaps created by disparate tools and apps. For example, comments, concerns and statuses made in the work management app would also present in the collaboration space, adding valuable context. As you begin to understand the connections between groups and how one workflow influences or initiates another, these applications are gold mines for providing insight into the flow of work in an organization.

I can imagine AI providing visibility to the various statuses of work in the collaboration environment. Comments made in the tool would also present in the collaboration space and vice versa. Basically the AI would have awareness of work progress and bridge any gaps created by the disparate tools.

Everywhere You Want It

Ultimately, you control the reach of AI-assisted team collaboration in your organization. Adopting a “do what makes sense” strategy will ensure your AI integrations work for your unique culture and operations. When leveraged in the right places, the “intelligence everywhere” concept ensures your best chance of achieving optimal workflows and delivering the productivity promise team collaboration solutions have been making for decades.

This article was first published by Mitel.


The Surprising Way Wireless VoIP Conference Phones Can Help You Get Into a Productive Rhythm

The Surprising Way Wireless VoIP Conference Phones Can Help You Get Into a Productive RhythmThe Surprising Way Wireless VoIP Conference Phones Can Help You Get Into a Productive Rhythm

Listening to music at work is a great way to get into a productive rhythm. It can affect your mood and focus – or a whole team’s. What does that have to do with a phone? Some wireless VoIP conference phones (like our Mitel S720 Bluetooth conference speaker) can actually be used to play music over Bluetooth when you’re not using it to hold calls with your colleagues. That means when you’re done with a productive conference call, you can keep the productivity humming with some choice tunes. Read on to find out how to get the most of out this little-known productivity hack.

How Does Music Affect Productivity?

Music is a great way to add energy to your office space. Music evokes feelings of happiness, which leads to focus and productivity. This feeling can help repetitive tasks feel less monotonous. According to an article on Business News Daily:

“Music can have a dopaminergic effect on the brain, meaning it creates dopamine…Dopamine is what stimulates the prefrontal cortex, which is the center of the brain responsible for planning, organizing, inhibition control and attention.”

You don’t often hear wireless VoIP conference phones and music mentioned in the same sentence. But that changes when you introduce the right wireless conference phone speaker. When you’re not on conference calls, you can use a Bluetooth speaker (like the Mitel S720) to play music while you work and to be more productive. Productivity and focus produce work that’s worth sharing when you’re conferencing.

Using Music To Keep Your Office Grooving

A busy day at the office can be tough to get through smoothly. To stay focused and productive, you must be able to balance your mood. Productivity can be thrown off balance if you don’t take control. Listening to music is a great way to balance your mood. As your mood changes, the music you listen to should change as well.

“When learning new information, music without lyrics is preferable to lyrical music. However, if we complete this task at work and need to switch to a more repetitive, well-known task, we may benefit emotionally and productively from listening to music with lyrics.” —

Making sure your team is happy, focused, and productive is important for any business. Music can help you optimize these factors. Curated playlists are a great way to boost productivity among your team.

Staying On Beat All-Day

Your day (and your team’s day) is filled with a mix of tasks. You may be developing web content in the morning and crunching numbers in the afternoon. Think of your brain as a computer. No matter how powerful, both take time to load and update between tasks. Music is a great tool to use when transitioning from one task to another, which some experts call context switching. While you must take time to readjust when switching tasks, it’s important not to lose focus. Music can help keep your brain active and ready to take on the next task.

“Teresa Lesuik released a study from the University of Windsor, Canada that examined 56 developers working at a Canadian software company. The findings showed that positive affect and quality of work were at their lowest when music wasn’t present in the working environment and that tasks generally took longer.”— Anchor small business advisors

Context switching is a term that was first used to refer to the time it takes a computer to switch from one process to another. Computers must load memory maps and update data when switching process’. Our brains function in a similar fashion, which is why people have started using context switching to describe the effect of changing tasks on people’s brains. Each task we do requires a different set of skills and way of thinking. Readjusting your focus on a new task can take some time.

Location In The Office

With music, everybody prefers different types. Each department executes different kinds of tasks. Different departments also have people with different personalities, which will probably affect what type of music they prefer to listen to. That means the location of the speaker in the office can change what music makes the most sense to play. For example:

  • A sales department may prefer energetic music to get them hyped up
  • An accounting department may favor calm music that helps them focus on details
  • A creative department may thrive on off-beat music that helps inspire them

This works for individuals as well as teams. A change of setting is sometimes necessary while working. Moving to a new spot in the office can help you to get focused again when you feel a drop in your productivity. Don’t worry—our Bluetooth conference speaker is wireless and can go wherever you do.

Which Music: Location/Region

The music your employees enjoy can vary as much on your office demographic and regional location as it does on department or type of task. On platforms like Spotify, curated playlists are geared towards getting you focused and productive. Playlists like these are made with an assortment of tunes with different moods. No matter your preference, these playlists help to keep your productive groove going.

People listen to all different types of music around the world. It’s a universal language that we all can appreciate and benefit from. Curious to see what is popular in your region or want to explore what is listened to around the world? Check out this interactive map that includes playlists from cities across the globe!

That’s A Wrap

Music isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Bluetooth conference speaker. What comes to mind is a powerful productivity tool for collaboration. But you can defy the expected and hack your personal and team productivity by using the dynamic ability of our conference speaker by playing music on it when you’re not using it for conferencing.

Music is a great way to increase productivity in the workplace when used properly. And when you’re not using your wireless Bluetooth speaker to groove through your task list, you can use it to talk with customers, team members and vendors to get real work done with fantastic sound quality.

This article was first published by Mitel.


For Small Teams, VoIP Phones Are Productivity Game-Changers

For Small Teams, VoIP Phones Are Productivity Game-Changers

The pain is real – growth pain, that is. When you’re a small organization undergoing rapid expansion, it’s especially hard to maintain high productivity when communications among employees and clients isn’t flowing smoothly. If you’re experiencing this now, this story about Minnie’s Food Pantry will strike a chord.

Minnie’s Food Pantry is a non-profit that delivers healthy meals to families experiencing food insecurity. It started with a 500-square-foot facility, but as demand increased, it grew to occupy almost 17,000 square feet. By the time it was delivering almost 8.5 million meals, Minnie’s was struggling to communicate with employees, donors and the families it served. Yes, the organization’s reach expanded—but so did its gaps in communications.

The non-profit needed a way to close these gaps, and VoIP phones proved to be the answer. An all-in-one hosted VoIP solution provided Minnie’s with the collaboration tools and mobile apps it needed to keep its team connected and increase productivity. Today, it’s able to meet the growing demand for its services in a highly efficient way.

As Minnie’s experience demonstrates, VoIP phones can be game-changers for small teams and businesses. An integrated VoIP phone solution that enhances collaboration with intuitive, easy-to-use technology, like MiCloud Connect, will improve business outcomes and also help SMBs compete with the “big guys.” Here’s a deep dive into how VoIP phones help Minnie’s and other small businesses close their communications gaps.

Enhance Collaboration Without Sacrificing Mobility

With VoIP phones, everyone in your company stays connected no matter where they work. Using a smartphone mobile application, your employees take their in-office phone capabilities wherever they go.

For instance, VoIP phones allow employees to seamlessly transfer calls across devices and tap into features such as audio, web and video conferencing, group messaging and SMS to instantly connect to the office. With an integrated VoIP phone system, remote workers can communicate and collaborate as if they’re standing in the same room as their HQ colleagues.

Even better, they can immediately serve customers and clients whether they’re in the office, at home or traveling.

Focus On Business, Not Your Phone Service

Because VoIP phones are easy to deploy, your employees will transition to your new system with minimal disruption and an expedited timeline. The modern and intuitive user interface is easy to manage for administrators and users, so minimal training is required. That means your staff will spend more time on the big picture and less time on menial tasks. With new technology that’s updated regularly, frustrating service problems and dropped calls become things of the past.

And, your VoIP phone system will never miss a call, whether it’s from a customer or an important business partner. It enables your business to keep track of call data in an automatic, stress-free way. On top of that, native integrations with the leading CRMs mean your contact center can run at full throttle. For example, call and customer histories are integrated so you can analyze the data and uncover insights that will help your team make more meaningful connections with customers and prospects.

As your small business expands, your VoIP phone solution adapts to your changing needs. You can add functionality, employees or locations as needed. Because there are no physical landlines required for VoIP phones, the systems are incredibly cost-effective to scale.

Improve Your Bottom Line

VoIP phones also deliver the benefits of unified communications without a steep investment. When you move your phone system to the cloud, you can manage your IT budget as an operating expenditure (OpEX). Instead of incurring hard costs for equipment that may become obsolete within a couple of years, you pay only for the capacity you need at the moment. Thus, as requirements change, it’s easy to scale – a huge advantage if you’re undergoing rapid growth.

Another benefit of the OPEX model? Your VoIP phone provider is responsible for technical support, reducing the need for your IT team to manage upgrades and maintenance. As a result, they’re more productive.

For small businesses and teams on the cusp of greatness, the pain may be real, but not necessarily something they have to live with. With an integrated VoIP phone solution, you’ll close your communications gaps and start operating – effortlessly – just like the big guys.

This article was first published by Mitel.