NEC Smart Workspace is a Millennial-Friendly UCaaS Solution

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NEC has transformed their portfolio with the NEC Smart Workplace, Ram Menghani, VP of Product Management explained in an in-person interview. We outlined the company’s progress last year and they come much farther since that meeting.

The company has solutions in UCaaS, team collaboration, contact center and SIP trunking via their UNIVERGE Integration Platform (UIP) RAM explained.

With 120 million global users and 20-30 million in the U.S., the company is looking to migrate the base to the cloud as soon as they can.

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NEC is very focused on employee experience or EX as studies show, better EX means happier workers which in-turn means happier customers and better CX. They refer to this as Extreme CX.

To this end, their NEC Smart Workspace powered by the UNIVERGE Integration Platform seems like the dream solution to keep workers happier.

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It’s an app which decides how people want to work, handles collaboration, books meetings, office parking, lockers and more.

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Think of it as Corporate America intersecting with WeWork – allowing flexible, customizable workspaces.

Ram said, “Customers have invested a lot of money in their business process such as CRM and our UNIVERGE Integration Platform is a very powerful tool with connectors that are APIs that function like an app store.” He continued, “This allows a quick drag-and-drop business workflow without needing a developer or integrator.”

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He explained these tools allow them to build vertical solutions very quickly in areas like hospitality and retail.

They are also adding biometrics and AI, allowing the further improvement of the employee experience. The goal is to ensure the employee has a better experience, so the customer does.

As alluded to above, facial recognition, allows workers and guests to quickly check-in. A worker can be notified via email; or text when a guest arrives. Likewise, the conference room can be auto-reserved and biometric authentication allows seamless logins of the in-room collaboration tools without the need for user input.

This technology also applies to communications endpoints in the office. “When you go the phone – your extension comes with you,” said Ram.

“It’s the Smart Workspace,” he exclaimed.

We asked how much of this is to be developed and how much is real today. We were told everything works as described but parking and locker reservations are in the works.

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Paul Aiello Sr. Director Sales & Solution Development said, ”In a retail application, you can get the age and other demographics of the people coming into your location.” He continued, “This is the biggest differentiator – especially UNIVERGE Integration platform allowing us to build quick vertical apps like patient check-in.” He concluded, “This can integrate with ERP, so people know who you are as you come in.”

Paul said, “We have 50 adapters for UIP. For Salesforce, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft and others. For example, In a construction site, a face rec scan can upload to the cloud to be sure the person is wearing glasses and a hard had,” He continued, “An alert goes to OSHA rep and others if something doesn’t seem right. The solution also allows for dual-authentication as well as a time-clock.”

In addition, NEC has standard adapters such as UC and biometrics which they provide.

Next, they plan to build more verticals such as a pilot at car dealerships. A Porsche dealer pilot allows reporting on people-count, gender, age, etc. You can also see where they spend the most time, known as “dwell time.”

Toyota is also using the solution with the ability to throw in coupons and pull records on service history.

“The concept is to go deep, not wide – to bridge our ecosystem together for seamless customer and employee experiences,” said Paul.

The bottom line here is NEC is doing an admirable job of fighting traditional UCaaS commoditization by providing more advanced and flexible solutions which tie into specific industries but more importantly, appeal to millennial workers who crave more workplace flexibility.

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