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You’re all talk

Mon 1 Nov 2010
FYI, this story is more than a year old

New Zealand is a world leader when it comes to adopting new technologies. Its diverse market allows it to be an ideal testing ground for innovation in areas such as electronic point of sale, the cellular phone or new LCD and plasma screens. In the headset technology space, the trend is no different with some of the largest organisations in New Zealand currently trialling and adopting Unified Communications (UC) solutions, where traditional telephony combines with digital communications.While the headset market has always been open to the traditional pressures of cost efficiency, regulatory impact and the need for supreme voice and audio quality in terms of clarity, tone and background noise reduction, new drivers are also bringing rapid change.Headsets entering the market are responding to developments in areas like wideband sound, future proofing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and softphone support. While improvements evolve the design and functionality of headsets, they also improve business results.Those people working in Contact Centres and offices, who are on the phone all day, can have problems with excess noise and poor ergonomics, which can lead to long-term hearing impairment, increased stress and general fatigue. Better industrial design in this regard brings health and safety benefits in the workplace and regulatory compliance.Headsets can protect against sudden noise spikes, sustained noise from loud machinery, or headset volume that is simply too high. Improved ergonomics combat the head and neck pain associated with traditional phones and they break sedentary activity at desks by facilitating mobility within the office, without losing the call.Latest headset technologies include a wide range of hands-free and ergonomically-designed solutions for mobile phones, Contact Centres, offices and unified communications (UC) as well as your mobile workforce. They utilise connection points ranging from Bluetooth, corded, wireless and UC-enabled headsets. Jabra research has shown eight out of 10 employees become more productive by replacing their handset with a headset. Better work processes and increased personal comfort create improved customer relations and employee satisfaction and, as a result, reduced staff turnover and higher earnings. Our research also shows that wireless headsets are more productive than corded as they create the freedom to work anywhere.The adoption of UC is impacting the use and features of headsets, in particular the strong growth in softphone adoption – using your PC as a phone through VoIP capabilities such as Skype – and is causing a marked uptake of high quality audio endpoint solutions, like wideband headsets. These are critical to maximising a user’s experience with UC and an employer’s investment into UC.Using headsets that can integrate seamlessly with all UC functions streamlines communication processes and increases personal productivity and collaboration. Touch screen docking sets and wireless mobility allow a range of up to 150m from a user’s primary location, all while maintaining high quality voice and audio. New UC feature ‘presence’, connects a user’s headset to audio conferencing and video conferencing, while giving real-time updates on his/her status and availability to colleagues, and vice versa. For businesses to fully realise the benefits of their UC solution, building a complete end-to-end voice solution that positively impacts on employee job satisfaction and productivity, investment must be made in hardware from multi-use headset suppliers such as touch screen base stations.

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