Wavelink Blog

Digium IP Phones Training Videos for D6X series

These videos will review your Digium IP Phone’s physical interface.

The Digium D6x series IP phones are VoIP business phones designed specifically for Asterisk based phone systems.

All models include HDVoice, feature unprecedented plug-and-play deployment, and are available at a price to fit any budget. With multiple line appearances, contextual soft keys, and advanced applications, you can access the information you need instantly.

Digium®, Inc., provides Asterisk custom communications and Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) business phone systems that deliver enterprise-class features at a price businesses can afford. More information is available at: www.digium.com and www.asterisk.org.

SOTI MobiControl 13.3 Product Update

soti-mobicontrol-13.3-learnmore

SOTI deepens remote support and Windows 10 management with the release of SOTI MobiControl 13.3. This release adds support for the Windows 10 Anniversary update, and simplifies Windows 10 management by allowing organisations to take advantage of both Windows 10 MDM APIs and the SOTI MobiControl Agent’s capabilities, which includes enhanced remote control. It also expands our industry leading remote support for Android devices by adding remote view support to Google Android devices, and full remote control for Sony mobile devices. SOTI continues to be the preferred EMM vendor with our best-in-class remote support.

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Adopting technology for operational efficiency in aged care

Aged care facilities can utilise emerging hardware and software to drive improved business and care outcomes, but this requires investment in infrastructure, writes Paul Craven.

Paul Craven

Paul Craven

Aged care residents are gaining more control over their own care and experience through the increased use of technology.

Instead of pressing a single button to summon a carer, regardless of whether they require urgent medical attention or simply a cup of tea, residents can now use smart devices to communicate their specific needs.

This may include the use of menu options via a smart device.

The care team receives the message and the closest and/or most appropriate person can respond, which can lead to more timely responses and improve team productivity.

As well as enabling residents to communicate more effectively with care staff, as well as family and friends, smart devices also facilitate greater access to entertainment options.

Technology also delivers convenience for aged care providers. By giving staff access to the people, equipment and information they need when they need it, organisations can save time, reduce employee angst and improve satisfaction and morale, which results in a more positive resident experience.

Furthermore, when technology automates basic tasks, carers are freed up to engage more with residents.

However, putting residents in more control of their own care via technology requires a lot of infrastructure to facilitate.

To enable a true resident-centric experience, aged care providers need to provide staff with a mobile device that uses healthcare mobile apps and handsets designed for aged care, and have the Wi-Fi infrastructure and software to make sure these all work together.

Role of software

But as well as hardware and ICT infrastructure, software will also increasingly play a key role in modernising aged care workflows.

Take a simple example like nurse call. In addition to the traditional button on the wall or bed, nurse call could be a menu item on a smartphone, tablet or resident entertainment system application.

This becomes powerful when it is integrated with resident monitoring, which can alert nurses and physicians to take specific action from a particular data output – for example, testing blood sugar levels.

Add to this location services for aged care professionals and asset tagging for equipment, and staff can easily know who is closest to the resident to assist and where the nearest required piece of equipment is located.

Key priorities

Migrating from paper-based processes to automation technology in a high-pressure environment like aged care can be overwhelming. Aged care organisations looking to take the leap to digital should do so incrementally, starting simply to create a technological ecosystem that can grow over time as things evolve.

The focus should be on key priorities such as:

  • how to keep residents and staff safe and secure
  • how to effectively know what condition residents are in
  • how to decide who should do what, and when
  • how to communicate relevant information quickly to all necessary parties, and
  • how to keep track of everything that needs to be done; who did each duty and when they did it.

By keeping those priorities paramount, it should be easy to decide what additional technology to adopt, such as wireless, integrated communications platforms, location services, alerting and alarming services, tagged equipment, and smart portable and mobile devices.

Paul Craven is health practice lead at Wavelink.

Fortinet Wave 2 Wireless

Sky’s the Limit with ExtremeWireless™ WiNG

Extreme Networks is Excited to Introduce the NEW ExtremeWireless WiNG!

 

 

Wing

ExtremeWireless WiNG instantly opens the doors to key growth verticals such as retail, hospitality, transportation and logistics providing you with new revenue opportunities.

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Mitigating the risks posed by wireless devices in the healthcare industry

Healthcare organisations are reaping value from the ability to use wireless devices but it is essential to ensure Wi-Fi and networks are secure to avoid security risks, according to Wavelink.

Paul Craven, Health Practice lead, Wavelink, said, “Wireless networks have now reached speeds where it makes sense to rely on them for healthcare applications. Untethering healthcare providers from wired devices lets them provide a better quality of service and cuts down on the time spent on administrative tasks. This means frontline providers can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork, for example.”

Some healthcare facilities are encouraging employees, including professionals like doctors and nurses, to bring their own devices (BYOD). Others have mandated which wireless medical devices should be used or have brought in reliable, high-quality tools designed for their environment, such as the Spectralink PIVOT, to communicate on the job. And in some organisations, different departments within the hospital make different decisions regarding which devices to adopt. All of these different situations can lead to chaos and increase the risk of security breaches.

Paul Craven said, “Technology decision-makers in healthcare organisations must use risk management techniques and thoroughly test each device that will be deployed on the Wi-Fi network. If any of the devices cannot meet minimal security requirements, they need to be identified and rectified.”

There are three key considerations for healthcare organisations looking to implement wireless medical devices:

1. Confidentiality. Since medical devices can access patient information, it is essential to ensure confidentiality. This means ensuring unauthorised people cannot access patient data via BYOD devices or other wireless devices.

2. Interference. Wireless networks can be subject to interference from a myriad of other devices and networks. It is essential to thoroughly test the network and ensure potential sources of interference are removed or mitigated. This is particularly true when it comes to lifesaving wireless devices where interference can have catastrophic consequences.

Managing interference also includes considering the other devices that may come into the hospital. This can include guest devices on the facility’s network as well as devices using public networks such as those used by patients or visitors.

3. Policy. Healthcare organisations need to understand and comply with federal, state and local policies regarding the use of wireless medical devices. This includes everything from federal privacy legislation to state government regulations on the use of Wi-Fi-enabled devices that can interfere with wired medical equipment.

Paul Craven said, “Healthcare organisations should consider using industry-specific mobile devices that are easier to manage for healthcare applications and provide better performance and security as well as a wireless network that delivers a better patient experience coupled with uninterrupted connectivity.”

Extreme Networks’ Solution Guide 2016

ec_solution_guide2016

Preparing your network for the unknown

There is no doubt that the size, severity and complexity of cyber threats is increasing, and mobile applications and the Internet of Things (IoT) present a perfect opportunity for cybercrime.

According to the Information Security Forum (ISF), smartphones and other mobile devices are creating a prime target for malicious actors in the IoT: “The rapid uptake of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the introduction of wearable technologies to the workplace will increase an already-high demand for mobile apps for work and home in the coming year. To meet this increased demand, developers working under intense pressure and on razor-thin profit margins will sacrifice security and thorough testing in favour of speed of delivery and low cost, resulting in poor-quality products more easily hijacked by criminals or hacktivists.”

Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink, said, “Unexpected network challenges put businesses at risk by introducing security threats to company-approved devices and corporate information. They also take network bandwidth away from mission-critical business applications. Organisations need to be prepared for the potential risks of any app installed on a personal device that is used for work, or that is accessing the corporate network.

“With cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated and collaborative, it is impossible for IT departments that are short on skill, time or both to prepare for the next unknown security attack. It is critical for organisations to know their current security situation to be able to prepare for the unpredictable, and have the resilience to withstand unforeseen, high-impact events.”
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Prepare Your Network for the Unknown

Prepare Your Network for the unknown

As Mobility Increases, So Do Security Threats

Mobility is a necessity of doing business in this day and age and according to the ISF, smartphones and other mobile devices are creating a prime target for malicious actors in the Internet of Things (IoT): “The rapid uptake of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the introduction of wearable technologies to the workplace will increase an already high demand for mobile apps for work and home in the coming year. To meet this increased demand, developers working under intense pressure and on razor-thin profit margins will sacrifice security and thorough testing in favour of speed of delivery and low cost, resulting in poor quality products more easily hijacked by criminals or hacktivists.”

Take for example the wild success of the popular mobile app Pokémon Go. Coming out of nowhere the location-based augmented reality game became the most popular game in mobile history after only 5 days. For instance in the U.S., this viral craze has claimed 25 million daily users and surpassed Facebook and Twitter in average daily usage. However, alongside the impressive stats come the news headlines of security and privacy breaches, demonstrating that popular apps don’t come without strings attached.

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VoIP, UC and Education: The Perfect Fit

Group of teenagers sitting in classroom with raised hands.

Several times over the years I’ve been asked by analysts, customers, and others, “What types of companies or organisations are the best fit for VoIP or Unified Communications?”  There are many possible answers to that question, as both technologies offer so much to so many, but the most simplified answer I can conjure up is this:  VoIP and UC are perfect for organisations where communications is vital to their success, they are not averse to technology, and cost savings is a key driver for change.  I would have to follow that description up by saying that a perfect example of an organisation that fits the use case extremely well for VoIP and UC is a school.

Schools, from K-12 to small colleges and Universities, easily meet all three of the qualifications I outlined above.  Quality communication between the administration and staff, administration and parents, and teachers and parents/students are the most important factors to success for schools.  Any breakdown in these relationships can lead to safety concerns, legal ramifications, and create roadblocks to student learning.  Schools have quickly become early adopters when it comes to technology as web-based education, and interactive learning tools are now the norm for most schools at every level.  These advancements make the adjustment of moving to a mobile application (and a web-based Switchboard) simple.  And, of course, there is likely not a more budget conscience organisation on Earth than a school.

Since education is the perfect place for UC and VoIP, let’s take a closer look at what communications problems are solved with a modern phone system like Switchvox:

Problem #1:  Cost

Schools today are dealing with shrinking budgets and vanishing government funding that make it very difficult to even consider a new phone system.  Over the past couple of years, E-Rate funds have changed from being available for all phone systems to only Cloud-based systems, and funds are now being further reduced.  Starting in 2015, funding for phone systems is dropping 20% over the next two years as the primary focus of the funding is on broadband and Wi-Fi services.  These reductions, in part, have forced schools to consider settling for their current legacy systems and deal with subpar features and outdated communications tools.

The Answer:

What many schools do not realise is that it is very possible for a modern phone system, like Switchvox, to pay for itself in a short amount of time.  Consider the savings a school will incur when getting rid of costly, dedicated voice circuits like PRI, T1, or analog lines and switching to SIP Trunking. Not to mention, additional savings from the much lower annual renewal, support, and maintenance fees that UC brings compared to older, legacy equipment. The new phone system can be paid for in less than 24 months. Not to mention the reduced expense that is realised from ongoing phone service costs when using SIP Trunking. It is often 70% less than traditional phone service.   So even with dwindling budgets and vanishing funding, UC and VoIP are possible with a strong ROI.

Problem #2:  Inefficient Call Routing

It’s surprising how many schools are being forced to live with the limited features and complex administration of older, legacy phone systems.  These disadvantages make basic call routing and call management extremely difficult.  Consider a typical elementary school, for example. They are often stuck with a single person responsible for answering all incoming calls regardless of call volume and limited auto-attendant capabilities that are so complicated to set up and change when needed that they end up being more trouble than they’re worth.  All outgoing calls to parents for attendance issues must be done manually and teachers receive hand-written notes because they don’t even have voicemail.  Schools today are also bound to the same archaic intercom and overhead paging systems that disrupt class time to summon people like me to the office over 25 years ago.

The Answer:

Today’s UC systems provide so many options for schools to be more efficient with call handling and management and can do so in a very simple way.  Switchvox can allow schools to create queues, or groups of people that can easily handle incoming traffic with one person, or balance calls with an entire office of people. This ensures no one is overwhelmed and parents are taken care of, as needed.

Auto attendants have been replaced by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems that can allow schools to not only set up basic automatic call trees and menus, but can handle traffic with interactive experiences for parents.  A great example for this is by allowing a parent to call in to an automated option that asks for the students name and reason for absence and the phone system automatically sends that information to the student management software for logging.  Imagine how much time that could save the front-desk employee in the mornings?

Outbound activities can be automated as well to save time and eliminate tedious and monotonous tasks.  Switchvox, when coupled with an auto-dialer, can make all of your outbound calls to let your parents know if a child was absent or to notify parents of a school delay or closure.

Combine these few examples with the wide range of other call routing features available in Switchvox and schools can improve the way the communicate overnight.

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