If you’re a frequent flier to tech conferences then you probably know your way around an expo hall and the inside corridor of hotel ballrooms. Chances are, you don’t see or learn much about the host city other than the welcome brochure in the hotel room, or pictures in the airport terminals. But not at the 1COMM 2015 ScanSource Partner Conference.

1COMM showcased Greenville to conference-goers through the Southern cuisine (shrimp and grits? lobster mac and cheese anyone?), drink (not-for-the-weak moonshine margaritas) and CIOs from Greenville Health System, Greenville County Schools, the BMW Group and Milliken. Even the mayor was on-site to personally welcome attendees to this top-10 destination.

One common theme throughout 1COMM was the notion of collaboration. Breakout rooms mimicked boardrooms, while the Hyatt’s hallways were catalysts for impromptu meetings and business card exchanges. Regional craft beer at the brand-new Rapid Fire Flight Rounds paired well with different manufacturing partners discussing how to create revenue-generating solutions. Thursday morning’s Insight Sessions showcased the latest and greatest solutions, tips on how to grow your business and generate additional revenue, as well as prizes. Did we mention the epic prizes? GoPro cameras, iPads, Apple watches, golf clubs and Bluetooth headphones were up for grabs, thanks to our generous sponsors.

Attendees also vied for gift cards through interaction in the 1COMM app, which allowed users to keep up with not only the sessions and agenda, but also access promotions, products and resources from ScanSource and our conference sponsors throughout and after the event. Whether hearing about strategies and visions, or learning about customer service excellence from Jez Rose, our internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, the amount of information packed into 2.5 days was of encyclopedic proportions.

Yet the crux of 1COMM was the opportunity it provided for guests to network and learn from the best. As ScanSource Catalyst and ScanSource Communications President Rich Long said during general session, “our secret sauce is our people.” General Session also featured familiar names from Cisco (Richard McLeod), Polycom (Mark Arman) and Avaya (Joe Lohmeier), who spoke about the importance of collaboration, BYOD and the workplace of the future. ScanSource execs announced new web configuration tools, Total Coverage support news, subscription-based cloud solutions, and more. As a result of last year’s feedback, a new CIO panel closed the conference with IT-decision makers representing key verticals, such as manufacturing, K12 and healthcare. Attendees learned about their long-term strategies for transforming their organizations, including what they want in a reseller partner, how to win their business, and common errors resellers make during the bid process.

1COMM offered an action-packed agenda that included major announcements during General Session and unique learning opportunities from our sponsors. Couple that with an expo of who’s who in technology/communication vendors, gorgeous golf weather, and several mentions of million-dollar opportunities, and you’ve got a memorable three days with ScanSource partners.

1COMM 2015 was one for the books. As Jez Rose said, “People always remember how you make them feel,” and we hope our attendees felt the warm hospitality Greenville and ScanSource repeatedly offer.

Want to see what other people had to say about 1COMM? Check out our Storify collage!

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WebRTC—designed to deliver voice and video communications via built-in browser support—has emerged as an ideal way for business users to communicate in realtime with colleagues, partners and customers. In fact, 43 percent of enterprises either currently use WebRTC or plan to in the next 12 months, according to the “2014 WebRTC State-of-the-Market Report.”

Although the technology is gaining momentum at the enterprise level, questions continue to arise concerning the media capabilities that a browser can handle on its own. In other words, organizations will likely require additional technological assistance down the line to fully utilize WebRTC media. For organizations that have created Web applications with code written on the Web server (versus written on the client browser), a server-side media processing solution can significantly improve their WebRTC strategy.

WebRTC server-side media processing helps enhance browser-based user experiences (UXs) by streamlining processes like data retrieval, user identification and page navigation, leading to faster page load time and performance, essentially promoting a more interactive and enjoyable UX. Many major brands use server-side processing.Twitter, for instance, announced in 2012 that it would be moving user interface rendering back to the server to reduce initial page load times to one-fifth of what they were previously.

This is a very exciting time as we continue to see developers building WebRTC applications in order to meet the needs of a variety of business use cases. We are seeing, for example, WebRTC applications being developed for internal and external business collaboration, safety, as well as learning in higher educational institutions.

A great example of this type of WebRTC application is SaferMobility, a company that designed a smartphone safety application that directly connects users with security officials or law enforcement teams. The company developed the mobile WebRTC-based application for safety designed to be used on college, hospital and business campuses.

We’ve gone beyond the traditional collaboration use of WebRTC we have seen in many demos in recent years, and are now moving into a variety of exciting use cases. So what are the signs you may require WebRTC server-side media processing? Let’s take a look at the first indicator…

The Organization Has Multiple Devices

Cisco recently predicted that by 2017, the average American would own five Internet-connected devices. With today’s employees using smartphones, tablets and smartwatches (Apple Watch was released April 24), the criteria to ensure an optimal UX must involve these users being able to seamlessly engage in browser-based communications via any handheld smart device.

Transcoding is essential for ensuring a consistent, seamless UX for those engaging in browser-based communications over a smart device—regardless of which device they choose to use. For instance, let’s say a group of 10 geographically disparate employees plan to initiate a videoconferencing session. One user may choose to join via his tablet, while another uses her smartphone. Server-side media processing effectively converts the different types of codecs, or streams, from different sources who might be on different networks so that video and audio sessions can be launched quickly and seamlessly across any device.

It’s important to note that server-side media processing is not required for all WebRTC media. In Part 2 of this series, I will discuss the other three signs that WebRTC server-side media processing may be warranted for your organization, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about WebRTC server-side media processing, click here to access an information-packed white paper titled “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-side Media Processing,” written by Tsahi Levent-Levi, leading blogger at BlogGeek.me and sponsored by Dialogic.

It’s an exciting time in the world of WebRTC, where new applications are being created daily to meet a number of unique business needs. For instance, safety applications can immediately connect security officials and employees working on college, hospital or business campuses. Meanwhile, banks are working to implement voice and video communications within ATMs so that customers can learn about certain products or communicate with banking professionals in real time.

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According to Disruptive Analysis, over 6 billion devices will be WebRTC-enabled by 2019. Despite its potential, however, WebRTC is a relatively new approach to streamlining communication media. As such, there are some media capabilities that Web browsers may not be able to fully handle on their own, which could negatively affect the user experience (UX). WebRTC server-side media processing can help enhance WebRTC media performance and improve the UX.

So how do you know if your organization needs this powerful processing capacity? Earlier, I discussed one sign indicating that this may be the case, i.e., your employees have multiple devices they use to access your networks. Let’s explore the remaining three indicators…

1.    On-hold recordings: Customers should be able to engage in these recordings, which promote products, play music and more while waiting for a live representative, using any device, anytime and anywhere. In other words, dialing in using a smart device like a tablet or smartphone should not impact the quality of the on-hold announcement or negatively impact the UX. As an additional media channel that can be used to interact with customers, these announcements must be interactive and contribute to a consistent UX. Enterprises must have the capability to provide this UX, which WebRTC server-side media processing supports.

2.    Call recordings: Many enterprises have a requirement—either by law or for training and customer service purposes—to record conversations. This is commonly seen in contact centers, where a message is played informing customers that their calls “may be recorded for quality and training purposes.” Companies must be able to properly record, retrieve and manage these call recordings—regardless of which device the customer uses to make the call—and ensure optimal call quality while doing so. WebRTC server-side media processing facilitates this.

3.    Speech analytics: Speech analytics—the process of parsing key words or phrases within call recordings—is implemented within enterprises to make actionable business decisions, usually to improve the customer experience. These key words and phrases must be clearly audible, regardless of the calling device, in order for managers to make organization-wide improvements. WebRTC server-side media processing is capable of seamlessly analyzing these various media streams.

Want to learn more about WebRTC or server-side media processing? Check out this blog.

Check out Dialogic’s PowerMedia XMS Media Server Software

 

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From 0 to SIP: Driving Revenue Faster with Converged SIP Services

by Jeremy Burton May 28, 2015 Business

If you’re a communications service provider (CSP), you’re not talking about whether to move to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) communications, but when and what services to move. As an industry, we’ve already passed the tipping point: IP-based communications now outnumber legacy TDM (Time-Division Multiplexing) communications in the world. SIP is the future of communications. The […]

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Dialogic

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Just What the Doctor Ordered

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Dialogic

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Read what you missed at the WebRTC Conference & Expo

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Achieving International LTE Roaming

by Jeremy Burton May 20, 2015 Business

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VoLTE Performance

by Jim Machi May 18, 2015 Cloud Computing
Dialogic

One of my predictions for 2015 related to VoLTE and Value-Added Services (VAS) starting to appear in relation to VoLTE.  I wanted to give a little background on why I said that.  It basically comes down to VoLTE working. In the summer there was some buzz made when Signals Research Group put out a paper […]