TMC Labs UC Innovation Winners Offer Innovative Ways to Unify Communications

By TMCnet Staff  |  November 22, 2022

The 2022 TMC (News - Alert) labs Unified Communications Innovation Award has been awarded to a range of companies spanning the UC spectrum. The Blitzz live, app-free video support and inspection platform won because it brings the benefits of FaceTime (News - Alert) – or Skype if you are old school – to sales and support desks. Mobile 911 (M 911) from 101VOICE immediately notifies on-site personnel within a given school or agency when any 911 call is made on a mobile phone. SharpenCX is an all-in-one CCaaS/UCaaS/Telco, cloud-native platform, empowering every agent to deliver engaging customer experiences from anytime, anywhere. Volli Communications works with Fortinet solutions and provides high-quality audio, end-to-end support and complete flexibility, enabling its customers to deliver reliable and high-performance communications, comprehensively secured, across their environments. Regroup Mass Notification is a solution for emergency and daily communications use. With the ability to leverage geofencing for targeted messaging, the simple GUI allows users to send emails, texts, calls, AlertMe Mobile app messages and more. We hope you find these selections useful and consider them when making purchasing decisions.

Blitzz

Blitzz is a live, app-free video support and inspection platform designed to help field service teams and contact centers fix problems remotely. Blitzz was designed to offer customers five-star assistance from anywhere in the world. The company’s target market is any company of any size that wants to leverage remote, app-free video support to help their customers and support agents solve problems faster.

The pandemic disrupted what used to be in-person customer service. House calls became riskier and the need for virtual customer service became (and remains) more important than ever. Blitzz facilitates millions of minutes of AR- and AI-powered video calls every month across a range of industries, including telecom, automotive, construction, power and utilities, insurance, and more. Many companies use Blitzz to enhance their customer service and solve problems faster.

For end users, Blitzz’s high-resolution video calls and on-screen markup editing via augmented reality make fixing a car stereo, appliance, or printer easier than ever. Using a link texted to their smartphones, customers can access the video platform and connect with a support person right away – and never have to download an app or have a repair person with them. The AR-powered markup feature allows customers and support agents to highlight/point out areas on the screen that are of interest, making communication more effective and reducing the need for verbal cues.

For a variety of companies and support centers, Blitzz makes it possible to address more service calls in less time. That’s because company representatives don’t need to leave their homes or offices to solve problems – like a broken energy meter or malfunctioning oil pipe. They can do it all over video, leveraging the markup functionality to clearly communicate with end users, supervisors, or clients. Because businesses can solve these problems virtually, they don’t need to send service vehicles out, helping save on gas, transportation time and capital expenditures. Ultimately, companies can even start to make a dent in their carbon footprints.

Blitzz is entirely cloud-based, which allows for quick and easy scaling across entire businesses without the need to install apps. For end users, there’s no app download – all you need is an internet connection. Blitzz uses Azure, so nothing sits at the hosted location. It integrates with cloud-based CRMs and Field Service Management platforms, so those users can seamlessly use Blitzz within the platform they are used to working in. The visual and collaborative data that Blitzz generates during the video calls is sent to the CRM or workflow platform for a totally seamless experience.

In order to ensure SMS delivery across a multitude of carriers, Blitzz uses multiple back-end SMS delivery services to ensure automated redundancy in case one service fails, and thus ensures a very high delivery success rate. Blitzz also has a pool of dedicated phone numbers and its system automatically spreads the outgoing SMS traffic over multiple numbers for higher delivery rates. These numbers are geographically selected to Geo-Match recipients and create a local, familiar experience. This ensures that SMS messages are delivered to end users’ phones, no matter where they are or what carriers they use.

Every video call is recorded and saved for future reference. Blitzz also uses machine learning to identify what technicians should do the next time, for example, the printer breaks. Every time an agent solves a problem, those resolution steps are logged into a data set. The data set grows over time with make and model numbers, several problems, and their resolution steps. If another customer calls with a specific make/model and a problem, the machine learning has learned enough to be able to recommend a solution based on the past historical data set. This allows support agents to resolve issues even faster. It’s similar to the way Pandora (News - Alert) learns about music preferences over time, or the way Amazon recommends products.

Recent improvements include:

  • Sort by upcoming sessions: Allows business users to better prepare for upcoming sessions.
  • Request participant name: Prior to joining the remote video call, end users can enter in their names, creating a more personalized and human experience with the support agent.
  • Auto transcription and translation: Blitzz is beta testing this feature, which transcribes a number of languages and can even translate one language into another automatically.
  • Measurement: Blitzz is also beta testing a feature where a user can measure object dimensions and physical dimensions over video to better assess customer needs.
  • Image recognition: Blitzz is beta testing a feature that will recognize certain pieces of equipment and provide relevant repair tips for the equipment owner. All they have to do is point their phone camera at the piece of equipment.

Blitzz is really like FaceTime on steroids; it really helps companies help their customers. It’s a full-featured app-free solution that keeps improving and this is why it won a 2022 TMC labs Unified Communications (News - Alert) Innovation Award.

101VOICE

Mobile 911 (M 911)

Mobile 911 (M 911) from 101VOICE immediately notifies on-site personnel within a given school or agency when any 911 call is made from a mobile phone. They establish a geofence of the property and submit it to the RapidSOS database, which is used by most PSAP/ECC call centers. Then, without requiring an end-user smartphone app, they initiate a notification workflow process.

If a 911 call is made on iOS 12+ or Android 4+ device, the GPS information of the caller is transmitted along with the call header and CBN (Call Back Number) to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), or Emergency Call Center (ECC). The system reads that information and overlays mapping technology to then notify on-site personnel of the location of the call with a pin-drop on a Google (News - Alert) map as a text URL. The service is hosted in AWS and no software is needed for either the end-user calling 911, or the on-site personnel receiving the Text/SMS URL link with the caller’s location map.

In 2016, 101VOICE deployed “911 Realtime Notification Alert” for its VoIP/ UCaaS customers to be able to inform the onsite personnel of any 911 call made within their site in an SMS, email and audible format in real-time. (This function is now part of Kari's Law as of 2020). Over the last six years, the importance of “911 Realtime Notification Alert” for VoIP handsets became apparent and now this same type of service is available to mobile phones.

Recently, the company has started to provide two-way communication between on-site personnel and first responder teams to expedite clear communication and full transparency of the current situation.

We chose the Mobile 911 from 101VOICE to win the 2022 TMC labs Unified Communications Innovation Award due to its ability to bring 911 enhanced location functionality and other important features to schools and government agencies in emergency situations, when every second counts.

SharpenCX

SharpenCX is an all-in-one CCaaS/UCaaS/telco, cloud-native platform, empowering every agent to deliver engaging customer experiences from anytime, anywhere.

A cloud-native platform, Sharpen is hosted in AWS, providing access to the platform independent of a user’s physical location. Users can log into Sharpen from anywhere, ensuring continuity of business operations. SharpenCX offers a holistic AI environment where customers can use AI to automate processes and interactions throughout the entire customer journey – pre-interaction, in-interaction, and post-interaction.

SharpenCX empowers customers with incredible visibility into their data and insights. SharpenCX offers a native, robust platform capable of creating custom metrics and reports. Customers use this data to automate coaching tools, helping agents meet their goals faster. Management can cut through the noise of unnecessary data and build reports with metrics they are most interested in, enabling management to streamline operations. Customers do not have to guess how to build reports or interpret their data; customers can take advantage of SharpenCX’s low-code/no code interface and free consulting with SharpenCX’s data science team.

SharpenCX offers Agent Performance Tiles on its platform. Performance Tiles is a tool on the agent’s interface that shows the agent, in real time, how they’re performing against the goals and metrics they’ve set – all without leaving their queue. When Performance Tiles are turned on, customers see ROI through agent efficiency within the first 60 days.

SharpenCX also created new metrics, such as Active Contact Resolution (ACR), which measures the percentage of agent’s interactions that don’t require a customer to call back within a given time frame, for example, three, five, or seven days. By tracking this metric, it’s easier to assess if customers are dealing with repeat issues or not getting a resolution to their problems.

It is an all-in-one solution with all features built-in and native to the platform and the robust data and analytics allows customers to build reports with the insights they want to see. They can build day-to-day operational reports or big picture reports so executives can easily see the contact center’s ROI. When customers need assistance with their data, they are able to leverage SharpenCX’s data science team for free. Also, customers have incredible flexibility with bots on the platform and are able to trigger custom bots to streamline any step along the customer journey.

SharpenCX is an inbound/outbound omnichannel platform, allowing agents to flex between channels seamlessly. Customers benefit from self-service options, cutting out redundant tasks for agents and allowing them to stay focused on more complex tasks. Recently, the company improved their Agentless Digital Outbound Campaigns, allowing customers to automate inbound and outbound communications through any channel.

We chose SharpenCX to win the 2022 TMC labs Unified Communications Innovation Award because we were impressed with its holistic AI, free consulting with he data science team, low/no code interface and customer resolution inspection tools.

Volli

Volli Connect (formerly SIPmadeeasy)

Volli Communications is a SIP provider with a proven network architecture, providing secure backbone communications for its customers. Volli Communications provides high-quality audio, end-to-end support and complete flexibility, enabling its customers to deliver reliable and high-performance communications, comprehensively secured, across their environments.

Volli Communications employs multiple highly available and redundant SIP switches across multiple data centers with RTP Proxy clusters dispersed across geographic areas for NAT traversal, crystal-clear voice and other RTP stream relays without increased latency or jitter. Volli allows IP Auth customers to send outbound termination through two data centers using whatever schema those customers want to employ, such as load balanced or primary/secondary to ensure uptime via SRV, IP, or FQDN. Origination inbound also can be delivered to multiple customer endpoints the same way. For registering customers, Volli, has the ability to register clients to its BGP-controlled IP addresses, ensuring seamless next call failover without re-registration delay. Backed by industry-leading carriers, Volli provides telephone numbers in virtually every rate center in North America.

The company was first to fully secure its SIP connections through the Fortinet Security Fabric, adding a brand-new layer of protection for voice systems that otherwise may not be the most secure. Traffic is routed through Fortinet architecture for extra security. With the partnership of Volli/Fortinet, the offering has the backing of one of the world’s largest cyber security companies, allowing Volli to leverage all the assets of Fortinet to improve and continue to break ground on new technologies.

One major differentiator is SBC Direct routing with ELIN/PIDF-LO technology and, recently, the company added SBC Direct routing, full BGP deployment, full STIR/SHAKEN compliance.

We chose Volli Connect from Volli Communications to win the 2022 TMC labs Unified Communications Innovation Award because of its feature set and ability to natively work with Fortinet’s solutions.

Regroup

Regroup Mass Notification

Regroup Mass Notification is a solution for both emergency and daily communications use. Using the simple GUI, users decide how to send a message – email, text, call, AlertMe Mobile app, etc. They then choose individual or groups of recipients. They can also send geofenced posts, allowing messages to be seen only by people within a specific geographic area.

Users then get to review settings and draft their messages. Prerecorded templates can be used as well, for things like “Active Shooter,” “Class cancellation,” “Tropical Storm,” or other events. Message recipients are able to reply with important information or provide safety status checks. Unlimited quick post templates allow messages to be sent with only a few clicks from the web or mobile app.

The advanced reporting dashboard shows delivery rates and insights. Automated alerts from FEMA and the National Weather Service are built in, as are integrations with Blackboard + learn, Ellucian Canvas, PowerSchool, ALERTUS, Code Blue and Inova Solutions.

The solution can have unlimited admins, access to 24/7 client and tech support and more.

We chose Regroup Mass Notification to win the 2022 TMC labs Unified Communications Innovation Award because of its simple approach to communications, which also excels in emergency situations.




Edited by Erik Linask