Posts Tagged ‘RedBoard Biz’

Reducing telephony costs while increasing conferencing reliability

Minacs croppedMinacs is a business solutions company that partners with global corporations in the manufacturing, retail, telecom, technology, media and entertainment, banking, insurance, healthcare and public sectors. With offices all over the world, Minacs was incurring prohibitively high charges for its frequent use of conference calls through an external provider—some of these bills were running to upwards of $60,000 each month!

Conferencing is vital to their everyday business operations, but Minacs needed to maintain—or better yet, improve upon—their current level of conferencing technology, availability and service. They also needed their core office and IT staff to have constant access to connected technologies, such as conferencing, chat and mobility, to facilitate productivity and collaboration—all without breaking the bank.

Having already invested in Microsoft Lync 2013, Minacs decided to activate its Lync Dial-In conferencing capabilities. But they needed a partner to help them understand the detailed technical requirements and efficiently put all the pieces together, to be up and running by September 2014.

Rogers worked with Minacs to determine a solution that would meet and exceed the company’s requirements. Rogers then helped Minacs put the new platform through extensive testing, ensuring both system integration and site failover were seamless. Once testing was completed, Rogers also helped Minacs train their end user community to use the conferencing solution.

Geoff Whalley, Windows and Unix Enterprise Systems UT Manager at Minacs, sums it up: “We really needed a solution that would save us money, and Rogers helped us find one. But Rogers also went beyond delivering cost efficiencies; their end-to-end support ensured the whole process went smoothly and will remain effective for the long term.”

But these changes weren’t only about saving money; Minacs is also reaping a number of other crucial benefits from partnering with Rogers. The company is enjoying increased conference call reliability as theirdaily business activities are supported by geo-redundant availability and carrier-level failover between their primary and secondary data centres. Conference calls are also more easily and efficiently accessed because as the moderator logs on, all relevant conferencing information automatically becomes available to all participants, no matter where they are and using almost any device or platform.

Check out the case study here.

How does your organization use technology to reduce everyday operating costs?

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Building the foundation for the Internet of Things: Interview with Eric Simmons

Eric Simmons M2M Manager Rogers CommunicationsAn often-acknowledged benefit of the Internet of Things (IoT) is all the data it can provide for businesses. Whether you’re capturing customer data from a connected consumer product or collecting operational data from an automated manufacturing process, you can potentially use the information to find new ways to delight your customers or gain an important competitive advantage.

Harnessing the power of this data is not easy, however; in fact it’s unlikely unless you ensure that you have the right infrastructure in place to properly support your IoT initiative.

We recently interviewed Eric Simmons, Senior Director, Internet of Things for his perspective. Below are excerpts from that conversation.

How is business decision-making being impacted by connected technology?

We’ve really hit an inflection point in history where companies are having a harder time making business decisions than they ever have. Business intelligence has been a core focus of many organizations, and the data has come in from multiple disparate data sources. That data then needed to be aggregated and often manually manipulated in order to see true value for that organization. Today, technology allows the information to be delivered automatically and in real time. It’s both predictive and intelligent….

What’s enabling these changes in business intelligence?

There are really two key things that are enabling this transformation. The first one is the Internet of Things, and the second one is Big Data. The Internet of Things is really the interconnectedness of centres and devices between two different machines, leveraging the wireless network to send information. An example might be a smart vending machine, where there’s a wireless modem and a sensor inside … and it sends an alert when the vending machine is running low on inventory to allow somebody to come and restock that machine.

Tell us more about the role Big Data plays.

Big Data’s all about collecting the information from the various sources that we talked about, pulling it in and aggregating all of that data, and analyzing it in near real time. By doing so you can do things like predictive analytics, you can provide operational efficiencies for organizations. The data can also be used effectively for new customer loyalty programs.

How can businesses realize this potential?

Businesses can really harness the power of Big Data and the Internet of Things by building the right foundation. And there’s really four key things that we’re seeing that enable this….

To learn about the four key requirements for a successful IoT solution, watch the interview with Eric Simmons.

How is the Internet of Things changing decision making in your organization?

 

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Rogers Talks: 5 questions with Peter Van Stolk

Peter-van Stolk-HiRes 1

In honour of small business month, Rogers is hosting  Rogers Talks™, a series of breakfast events across the country with experts in social media, marketing and more. Marketing maverick and Jones Soda founder Peter Van Stolk will take the stage at our Vancouver, B.C., event on October 29.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry! Stolk, whose work has attracted the attention of the New York Times, CNN, People magazine, and Inc. magazine, answered a few questions for RedBoard Biz readers.

1.Why do you think small businesses need to have an online presence?

An online presence in today’s business world is not an option…it’s a reality! It’s a cheap effective way to share your story and values. It’s your business card without the paper.

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge right now for small business?

Creating connections. Small businesses with limited funds need to have passionate advocates telling the company’s story, and creating those relationships in today’s over stimulated environment is difficult and requires discipline, focus and humility (because we all screw up).
We tend to get distracted by shiny marketing opportunities and when you have a small budget those distractions are expensive in time and money.

3. How do you think consumer expectations have changed as social media has become more mainstream? How must small businesses adapt?

Today the expectation is instant access to your business (brand) and also to employees. They want to be a part of and shape their brand experience and the job of the small business is to facilitate this in a manner that is true to the company’s values using the best available social media tool. Creating Community for your consumers is critical. The challenge with modern social media for small businesses is the balance between product offering and lifestyle content. Companies need to sell product as well as being relevant and interesting.

4. How can small businesses use social media to appeal to the different needs of Generation Y customers and Baby Boomers?

First step is understanding your customers and what it is that gets them excited. It’s all about the “why!” Why do they care. The more you know about your customers and why they are even at your site, the more chance you have of appealing to their needs regardless if they are Boomers or Gen Y.

5. If you were to offer a small business owner just one piece of advice, what would it be? Why?

Your core audience appreciates your values so stay true to your values, and follow the Smarties model “eat the red ones first”!

For more information visit, rogers.com/rogerstalks.

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Bars & Restaurants are the real winners during the NHL season

gridWhat’s a fun, wholesome way for restaurants to triple their food and beverages sales on a slow weeknight? Think Phil Kessel or Henrik Sedin.

With so much live hockey on TV this season, it is time to turn your bar or restaurant into the ultimate hockey destination. Finding and navigating your bar or restaurant’s sports channels has never been this simple.

With NHL Centre Ice, you’ll be able to show up to 37 regular season, out-of-market NHL games every week in both SD and HD. Bundle your internet, phone and TV, you’ll receive one season of NHL Centre Ice™ for free – that’s more than a $1200.00 value. Whether your customers are looking to follow their favourite team, players, or just a game featuring the league’s best stars, they’ll know your establishment is the best place to do it.

For more information about NHL Centre Ice™ contact your local Small Business Specialist today.

 How do you use television programming to bring in new customers or keep existing ones engaged longer?

 

 

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Transforming business with the Internet of Things: interview with Mansell Nelson

The InMansell Nelsonternet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic these days. It seems everyone is talking about the growing numbers of consumer products and business systems that are being connected wirelessly. The potential business upside is huge; a recent Wall Street Journal article cites an IDC prediction that the value of the global IoT market will hit $7.1 trillion by 2020.

A lot of attention is paid to the end benefits for consumers. Connected home appliances, wearable technologies and even cars have the potential to save time and money, provide valuable information and make people’s lives a lot easier. But there are many important advantages for businesses as well, not the least of which is the vast quantity of data that IoT solutions can provide for business intelligence.

We recently interviewed Mansell Nelson, Senior Vice President, Products and Solutions at Rogers for his perspective on IoT and why it matters for business. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Why is the Internet of Things an important topic today?

I believe we’re at a transition point in history where the Internet of Things is soon going to connect all machines up to the Internet, and it’s going to fundamentally change the way we work and play.

How will IoT have an impact on businesses in the near future?

Businesses need to start thinking about the Internet of Things. I don’t think any company is immune. If you’re a manufacturer or a service company, it’s going to have a material impact on your company, be it the way you manufacture your goods, you support [them], your front line workers… it’s going to impact all parts of your value chain.

Can you provide examples of how businesses are using IoT today?

A great example of the Internet of Things is on-street parking meters.  Most cities in Canada now have their parking meters connected….  So it takes fewer people to maintain these systems now, and the city actually also makes more revenue by making it convenient for customers.  Many cities are now moving to [allow you] to top up your parking meter with your cell phone, really adding to that convenience for the end user.

Another great example is the logistics industry, where I think there’s a lot of wastage today…. So today we could put a sensor in [a drop box] and fully automate that chain of events and have the closest vehicle go by and pick it up when there’s something in there, enabling the company to be more productive and… make sure that the package arrives on time….

Watch the interview with Mansell Nelson now.

How are you using or planning to use IoT to transform your business?

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

BlackBerry Passport redefines productivity for mobile professionals

BB PassportAs the mobile workforce trend becomes entrenched in how businesses operate, it is becoming increasingly important for employees to have the right tools to do their jobs at the highest levels of efficiency to remain competitive in today’s fast-moving business world.

Starting next week, Rogers™ will be carrying the new BlackBerry® Passport, a smartphone that complements a busy work schedule and arms mobile professionals with the tools to make them more productive on-the-go. Check out the features below:

  • The 4.5 inch square touch screen is designed for a better web browsing, reading, editing, and maps experience
  • With 30 hours of battery life the BlackBerry Passport can be used from the early hours of the morning to late evening dinners or networking events.

The BlackBerry Passport comes ready with the latest version of BlackBerry 10.3 OS that includes great features:

  • Blackberry® Blend  brings messages and documents from your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet so you can access work materials from any device. Get instant notifications, read and respond to your work and personal messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry.
  • BlackBerry Assistant keeps you organized by letting you manage emails, contacts and calendar through simple voice and text commands
  • BlackBerry Passport comes equipped with the company’s unique security and encryption feature for emails and messages.

The Passport is now available with Rogers business reservation system and will be available in retail stores and at Rogers.com starting on Wednesday, October 1.

For more information about this device contact your local Rogers Small Business Specialist.

How do you use your smartphone to keep you connected to your office?

category iconCategories:
share this 2 Comments

Mobilizing Customer Engagement

customer engagement post Oct 2014Mobility has profoundly changed our customers’ habits and expectations, and companies are hustling to keep up. In the mobile marketplace, the biggest business challenge isn’t connecting to potential clients—it’s figuring out how to form stronger, more dynamic customer relationships.

And the stakes have never been higher. Today’s omni-channel customers carry their mobile devices everywhere and expect instant access to information, transactions and support. They also have increasingly high expectations that their customer experiences will be consistent across all channels.

To succeed in this environment, businesses need to develop a compelling mobile engagement strategy, one that continuously earns them the privilege of residing in customers’ mobile devices and be carried around in their pockets. Two important components of your mobile engagement strategy could include building metrics around customers’ mobile activities and providing employees with the tools to make the most of the new mobile paradigm.

Use Metrics to Better Understand Your Customers

Using a Wi-Fi network and location sensors can capture valuable metrics that can form the basis of powerful sales campaigns. Customer data typically remain anonymous and are aggregated in reports, and enable marketing and customer experience strategists to:

1. Understand traffic patterns in and near their stores, and plan accordingly

2. Better understand consumer behaviour and the preferences behind it

3. Focus marketing campaigns by location

4. Deliver relevant mobile offers in real time

If a customer agrees to share information (through a loyalty program or other offer, like guest Wi-Fi), metrics can be associated with that individual and used to target them with personalized messaging suited to their tastes.

Equip Employees to Better Serve Customers

Employees can also use mobility’s vast potential for customer engagement to transform the in-store experience. Mobile tools and applications like mobile clienteling can help employees make the right decisions, instantaneously. The benefits of employees having access to real-time information include:

1. More personalized service, which enhances customer satisfaction

2. Significantly improved save-the-sale capabilities

3. Better on-shelf product assortment, which both improves the customer experience and increases sales

4. A more efficient supply chain through more timely inventory counts

Mobile consumers are redefining the customer experience, and businesses can do more than simply respond—they can consciously, strategically and directly engage with mobile consumers and be central to this transformation.

How is your business using mobile and wireless solutions to engage with customers?

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Tough enough for any user: the Samsung GALAXYS5 Active

00-G870A_Galaxy_S5_Active_Gray_v_front_EN-LRIf you work in harsh conditions, you know how easy it is to damage or ruin your mobile phone.

Built strong to withstand harsh conditions and rough handling, a true rugged device is substantially less susceptible to damage than non-rugged devices. The Samsung GALAXY S5 Active meets military standard specifications for dust, shock, vibration, rain, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, and extreme temperatures.

Now you can have a device that holds up against the rigor of your job site while still meeting all your smartphone needs:

Take on the Elements: designed for Canadians who work in the field, and in tough weather conditions With the GALAXY S5 Active withstands the effect of dust and the effect of water immersion of up to 1 m for 30 minutes.

Stay connected from anywhere: When access to power outlets are a luxury, the Ultra Power Saving Mode feature conserves battery life when you need it most by switching to a black and white display and limiting app options, getting up 24 hours on just 10% battery. Severe weather alerts are also available to keep users updated on extreme conditions.

Separate Work and Play: Like having two devices in one, Samsung KNOX Workspace creates a virtual, separate and more secure space on the GALAXYS5 Active that lets users keep business data more safe and maintain productivity on the road.

Business On-The-Go: Turn your Samsung GALAXY S5 Active into the ultimate mobile office with Locqus Field Service Management solution. Locqus makes it easy for field service businesses – like electricians, contractors, home repair service technicians and others – to schedule and dispatch jobs, track employee location and get real-time status.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 Active is now available in stores and on Rogers.com. For more information contact your local Small Business Specialist.

Do you work in an outdoor or harsh environment? What device are you using to stay connected?

 

 

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Money in the bank: Time is the new currency

Time is the new currency imageIn June, Rogers CEO Guy Laurence delivered a speech at the Canadian Telecom Summit called Time Is the New Currency. Near the beginning of this speech, he asked, “Have you noticed that people now talk about spending time…the same way they talk about spending money?” and “ Why are we so willing to open up our wallets to buy time?” We simply have many more demands on our time. Canadians are working harder and more hours than ever. On top of this, the demands of family and home are becoming increasingly complicated—and become even more intense in September, as annual strategic planning winds up and we all rush to meet our goals, deadlines and budgets; and as the kids go back to school and their lives become increasingly busy, so too do their families’.

In our increasingly connected and complex world, it seems that time is the only thing we have less of than we’d like. Guy Laurence sees technology as a way to buy us more of this precious commodity. Whether through streamlining business processes or by helping people work more productively and efficiently, technology is the key to people in myriad different industries and roles, all over Canada, getting more time back.

Read Guy’s full speech here.

Here a few of the ways people and businesses can buy themselves more time by adopting the right technologies:

These are just a few of the ways Rogers is working to help businesses like yours save time.

How does technology save you time now? How do you think new technologies will give you back even more time in the future?

category iconCategories:
share this 0 comments

Go from mom-and-pop to mega-shop with Engage from OutRank by Rogers

engage imageAs small business owners, you recognize the power of social media and online reviews to engage customers, but it can be hard to know where to start.

In fact, 84 per cent of Canadian small businesses believe it is important to find, keep and earn new customers through digital and social channels but cited no budget (44%), little in-house expertise (42%), and lack of resources (34%) as the main obstacles to adoption according to recent survey conducted by Rogers.

To help small businesses master these powerful digital tools, today Rogers OutRank launched Engage, a cost-effective tool that helps small businesses grow, while getting a comprehensive picture of their marketing results, online reputation, and website performance, all in one place. Users can confidently track performance and manage reviews across desktop, tablets, and mobile devices with a dedicated customer support team, this allows business owners with limited resources to spend more time focusing on their core businesses and less time buried in multiple interfaces and spreadsheets.

“As a very small business, we are strapped for resources and Engage helped us build and manage a website that we use to connect with our customers on a daily basis,” says Chad Leibel, Owner of Leibel MacMillan Insurance and Engage customer.   “With the Rogers OutRank platform, we can easily add or remove photos, reviews, and other things without a big IT department. It’s a minimal investment for a potentially huge return.”

We asked over 250 Canadian small businesses about their challenges and triumphs integrating social media and digital marketing into their operations.  Here’s what we found:

  • Driving sales and increasing brand awareness are the most important objectives for marketing their business in the digital sphere.
  • 60% of Canadian small businesses agree social media and email channels are crucial to attracting new customers, but don’t have the time or resources to manage them.
  • 1 in 3 Canadians believes that word of mouth through online reviews is the primary driver of new business
  • 40% of Canadian small businesses believe they would save time and gain new customers if they had a tool to manage their social media and online presence.

For more information about Engage and OutRank by Rogers, visit rogersoutrank.com.

How are you using online reviews and social media to benefit your business?

category iconCategories:
share this 1 Comment