AT&T Offers an Update on Its Toggle BYOD Solution

It’s been years since the rise of the bring your own device (BYOD) trend. Many companies have since introduced solutions aimed at helping businesses get a better handle on the challenges created by BYOD while retaining their employees’ ability to benefit from the enjoyment, flexibility, and productivity that using the devices of their choice enable.

AT&T was among the early entrants to this space with its AT&T Toggle solution, about which MobilityTechzone wrote back in 2011.

More than three years later, we’re circling back with AT&T to see how AT&T Toggle has progressed. Here’s what Sundhar Annamalai, executive director of big data and advanced solutions at AT&T, had to say in a recent interview with MobilityTechzone.

Why do we need AT&T Toggle?

In today’s business world, mobility is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity. In order to take full advantage of the changing culture, organizations need to implement solutions that address employee privacy while providing a highly secure platform that helps protect proprietary information. We understand the importance of that need, and offer AT&T Toggle as the answer.

With AT&T Toggle, a company’s IT department can manage work-related functions remotely, applying mobile and security preferences based on employee responsibilities. This ability enables CIOs to help protect business data – one of their top priorities – while simultaneously saving on the costs of issuing separate devices to employees.

Who is the AT&T Toggle target customer?

AT&T Toggle is an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes and industries. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2020, 85 percent of organizations will adopt BYOD in some form. Small businesses are able to adopt AT&T Toggle more quickly than larger organizations, as they were more advanced in the mobile management environment. Companies in the health care and education industries are also big adopters.

Who specifically is using AT&T Toggle?

For example, health care institutions are moving to BYOD to reduce costs and increase productivity and convenience. Using Toggle will allow their communities to use their personal devices for work with a high level of security – which is of the utmost importance in the health care industry. Their staff will be more mobile and connected.  As a result, they can improve workflow, and ultimately, patient experience and outcomes.

We can’t disclose what are sales are, but we’ve found that a lot of companies – especially those in health care and education – are interested in BYOD.  

Our readers in Calfornia may be interested to know about a court ruling earlier this year and how it relates to their interests and to AT&T Toggle. Explain.

Providing access to corporate assets via an employee’s personal device isn’t just a technology issue – it’s a policy and a people management issue as well. Therefore, successful deployments involve stakeholders from across the organization, including HR, lLegal, business executives as well as IT, in developing the policies and the people strategies to effectively deploy a BYOD strategy.

The California Court of Appeals has ruled that companies must reimburse employees for work-related use of personal cellphones. The ruling is placing pressure on CIOs to modify their BYOD programs.

With AT&T Toggle, organizations have a BYOD management tool which helps them to meet the requirements of that ruling and helps satisfy the critical security concerns of CIOs while supporting growth strategies for CEOs and enabling today’s always-connected employees to efficiently balance their personal and professional lives.

What makes AT&T Toggle unique in the sea of BYOD solutions?

AT&T Toggle has helped shape the market for BYOD workspace solution. When deploying a BYOD solution, the separation of personal and professional data is critical for both the company and its end users. Thanks to new innovations in the industry, some of the dual-persona solutions can segregate corporate data from an employee’s personal data.   

AT&T Toggle even takes it one step further by offering a second dedicated voice line that can be used for business calls and enables the company to purchase AT&T wireless data plans for business use. These enhancements help companies to manage corporate data while providing peace of mind to employees that their personal information won’t be shared or inadvertently erased. We believe it is an incredibly powerful offering.

With the availability of dual-persona solutions like AT&T Toggle, organizations finally have a BYOD management option that helps satisfy the critical security concerns of CIOs while supporting growth strategies for CEOs and enabling today’s always-connected employees to efficiently balance their personal and professional lives. AT&T Toggle is also complementary to many traditional device management solutions.  

How does AT&T Toggle integrate with other corporate solutions?

AT&T Toggle administrators can wrap and manage corporate and available third-party apps and make them highly secure for distribution through AT&T Toggle hub, a custom enterprise application store. And a third-party application ecosystem – application developers and vendors – can enable their commercially available applications for use within the AT&T Toggle workspace.

Edited by Alisen Downey

Microsoft Names Crayon Group as Licensing Solution Provider in UAE

Microsoft Names Crayon Group as Licensing Solution Provider in UAE

November 13, 2014

By Tara Seals, Software Licensing Contributor

Microsoft just gained a new-but-old ally in the Middle East: Crayon Group’s subsidiary in the region has been appointed as a Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider (LSP) in the United Arab Emirates.

Crayon offers software asset management (SAM), cloud services, volume licensing and associated consulting offerings, and is already a Microsoft top 10 global LSP overall (LSPs were formerly known as Large Account Resellers, or LARs). It’s also the Microsoft Global CA LSP Partner of the Year 2014, having beaten out more than 700 license resellers at the Microsoft 2014 World Partner Conference earlier this autumn.

This most recent accreditation reinforces the business's position within the Microsoft universe, execs said.

"Crayon and Microsoft have enjoyed a history of mutually successful achievements and a long-term worldwide partnership for more than a decade,” said Joachim Hagstrom, Crayon’s Middle East CEO. “The Licensing Solution Provider status in the United Arab Emirates confirms our alignment with Microsoft's innovative approach towards the local market and we look forward to jointly support our customers with cost-effective licensing solutions to ensure the finest transformation of any business operation at all levels."

The local LSP status will serve UAE mid-to-large enterprises, with relevant agreements to be transacted by Crayon's Middle East operation as of November 2014. Crayon Middle East will manage Microsoft volume licensing programs in the UAE, including enterprise agreements, select, select plus, government, academic and GGWA for large organizations and MPSA & enrollment for the education sector.

Crayon's go to market solutions comprise service delivery; relevant logistics, compliance fundamentals, solutions development and consultancy, advisory and legal compatibility.

“The specialized know-how and expertise within the software licensing team at Crayon Middle East, who have a profound understanding of customers' needs within the local dynamic market, allows the business's MEA private and public sector client's access to some of the best skills and tool sets in the world to facilitate true optimization of their IT estates,” the company said.

Edited by Alisen Downey

LiveOps Announces Agent Recruitment Platform Update

LiveOps Announces Agent Recruitment Platform Update

November 13, 2014

Cloud contact center software provider LiveOps (News - Alert) recently announced the launch of its new agent recruitment platform and its intention to provide a subsequent release of the new LiveOps University 2.0 that will allow existing call center agents to improve skill sets.

According to a LiveOps news release, the new platform includes an agent website that makes it possible for interested parties to apply for work opportunities that align with their interests. That can be anything from sales to customer service. Vasili Triant, the CEO of LiveOps, said in the company announcement that the update to the platform focused on the needs of potential agents and the value they can bring to LiveOps and their business clients.

“LiveOps has supported the independent contractor for more than a decade by investing in, empowering and providing income opportunities for professionals who want to work from home,” Triant said. “When redesigning our agent recruitment platform, it was imperative that we focus on the needs of potential agents, underscoring the value that working at home as an independent agent can bring to their lives.”

The agent recruitment webpage states that potential agents can search for job opportunities in inbound sales, insurance sales and claims, healthcare, and customer service. It asks people to define their passions and follow those passions to employment opportunities.

LiveOps University 2.0—planned for launch by the end of this year—will allow employed agents to improve their standing by engaging in training sessions such as calling simulations. An online portal will present them with tasks where they can improve their skills. The University will also include links to an online community that will connect agents with one another for further learning and social opportunities. It will include a discussion forum, blogs, a system for chatting with fellow agents, and a course rating system.

Presently, LiveOps reports that it connects more than 20,000 home-based independent agents that work for a variety of companies throughout the U.S. Those employees all connect through the LiveOps cloud contact center that has operated for more than a decade.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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New Jersey Helpline Emphasizes That Support is Just a Call Away

November 13, 2014

It’s hard to express the importance of mothers without sounding like a cliché, but the truth of the matter is that mothers play such a crucial role in a child’s life. From basic needs to emotional support to playmate, moms wear many hats. But when moms need support, especially when it comes to raising a special needs child, sometimes it has to come from outside of the family circle. That’s why New Jersey-based Mom2Mom opened up its lines – to connect mothers to other mothers in similar situations.

“The Mom2Mom program is designed to provide a compassionate and encouraging environment for mothers of children with special needs to come together and share support,” writes the organization’s website.

This highlights the importance of a call center and how call center technology isn’t exclusive to the business world. Many organizations rely on call centers to act as a hub for those in need and for those who otherwise wouldn’t have another means to reach out.

Helpline call centers often the first point of contact for individuals who are seeking help, support, and information. The need for emotional support or referral assistance is something most individuals encounter at some point in their lives.  Such is the case with Mom2Mom, the hours are 24/7/365 to help individuals discover the help available to them.

The modern-day call center is a business imperative, offering services such as order collection, telemessaging and customer-service support from representatives that speak several languages.

For organizations, the importance is congruous to that of a business; call center helplines no doubt rely on the technologies to help their callers much in the same way an agent helps a customer.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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Yahoo Announces Pending Acquisition of BrightRoll Video Ad Platform

Yahoo! Inc. announced Tuesday that it will be acquiring the leading video advertising platform BrightRoll, Inc. Yahoo's business strategy focused on search, communications, and digital content through growth in mobile, social, native and video advertising will be significantly furthered by this acquisition, growing the company’s video advertising platform into the largest in the U.S.

“Video, along with mobile, social, and native, is driving a surge in digital advertising. Here at Yahoo, video is one of the largest growth opportunities, and BrightRoll is a terrific, strategic and financially compelling fit for our video advertising business,” said Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo. “As with every acquisition, we have been extremely thoughtful about our approach to the video advertising space. This acquisition will accelerate the growth of both companies – we can help BrightRoll scale to even more advertisers globally and they can bring their tremendous platform offering to Yahoo's advertisers. The combination builds positive momentum for Yahoo's broader display advertising business in 2015.”

BrightRoll’s platform reaches audiences across desktop, mobile and connected TV and served more video ads in 2014 than any other, according to comScore. Some of the world’s largest brands and agencies are powered by its platform including 87 of the AdAge Top 100 U.S. advertisers, all of the top 15 advertising agencies and all 10 of the leading demand-side platforms. This year’s net revenues are expected to exceed $100 million.

“We believe the next step for programmatic video advertising as an industry is to extend and standardize globally, make cross-device buying simple and measurable, and complement and integrate with TV,” said Tod Sacerdoti, CEO and Founder of BrightRoll. “We are excited to join Yahoo to materially advance efforts in each of these areas. We're still in the early innings as an industry, and together, BrightRoll and Yahoo are committed to the vision of helping grow the entire video advertising ecosystem.”

BrightRoll will continue to offer its current suite of products and services with Yahoo's additional investment and global support, which both companies hope will allow the platform to continue improving and expanding. BrightRoll’s team of approximately 400 employees will remain with the company and continue focusing on digital video advertising.

The acquisition will cost Yahoo $640 million and is expected to be completed in Q1 2015.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

AT&T Offers an Update on Its Toggle BYOD Solution

It’s been years since the rise of the bring-your-own-device trend. Many companies have since introduced solutions aimed at helping businesses get a better handle on the challenges created by BYOD while retaining their employees’ ability to benefit from the enjoyment, flexibility, and productivity that using the devices of their choice enable.

AT&T was among the early entrants to this space with its AT&T Toggle solution, about which MobileMarketPortal wrote back in 2011.

More than three years later we’re circling back with AT&T to see how AT&T Toggle has progressed. Here’s what Sundhar Annamalai, executive director of big data and advanced solutions at AT&T, had to say in a recent interview with MobileMarketPortal.

Why do we need AT&T Toggle?

In today’s business world, mobility is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity. In order to take full advantage of the changing culture, organizations need to implement solutions that address employee privacy while providing a highly secure platform that helps protect proprietary information. We understand the importance of that need, and offer AT&T Toggle as the answer.

With AT&T Toggle, a company’s IT department can manage work-related functions remotely, applying mobile and security preferences based on employee responsibilities. This ability enables CIOs to help protect business data – one of their top priorities – while simultaneously saving on the costs of issuing separate devices to employees.

Who is the AT&T Toggle target customer?

AT&T Toggle is an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes and industries. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2020, 85 percent of organizations will adopt BYOD in some form. Small businesses are able to adopt AT&T Toggle more quickly than larger organizations, as they were more advanced in the mobile management environment. Companies in the health care and education industries are also big adopters.

Who specifically is using AT&T Toggle?

For example, health care institutions are moving to BYOD to reduce costs and increase productivity and convenience. Using Toggle will allow their communities to use their personal devices for work with a high level of security – which is of the utmost importance in the health care industry. Their staff will be more mobile and connected.  As a result, they can improve workflow, and ultimately, patient experience and outcomes.

We can’t disclose what are sales are, but we’ve found that a lot of companies – especially those in health care and education – are interested in BYOD.  

Our readers in Calfornia may be interested to know about a court ruling earlier this year and how it relates to their interests and to AT&T Toggle. Explain.

Providing access to corporate assets via an employee’s personal device isn’t just a technology issue – it’s a policy and a people management issue as well. Therefore, successful deployments involve stakeholders from across the organization, including HR, lLegal, business executives as well as IT, in developing the policies and the people strategies to effectively deploy a BYOD strategy.

The California Court of Appeals has ruled that companies must reimburse employees for work-related use of personal cellphones. The ruling is placing pressure on CIOs to modify their BYOD programs.

With AT&T Toggle, organizations have a BYOD management tool which helps them to meet the requirements of that ruling and helps satisfy the critical security concerns of CIOs while supporting growth strategies for CEOs and enabling today’s always-connected employees to efficiently balance their personal and professional lives.

What makes AT&T Toggle unique in the sea of BYOD solutions?

AT&T Toggle has helped shape the market for BYOD workspace solution. When deploying a BYOD solution, the separation of personal and professional data is critical for both the company and its end users. Thanks to new innovations in the industry, some of the dual-persona solutions can segregate corporate data from an employee’s personal data.   

AT&T Toggle even takes it one step further by offering a second dedicated voice line that can be used for business calls and enables the company to purchase AT&T wireless data plans for business use. These enhancements help companies to manage corporate data while providing peace of mind to employees that their personal information won’t be shared or inadvertently erased. We believe it is an incredibly powerful offering.

With the availability of dual-persona solutions like AT&T Toggle, organizations finally have a BYOD management option that helps satisfy the critical security concerns of CIOs while supporting growth strategies for CEOs and enabling today’s always-connected employees to efficiently balance their personal and professional lives. AT&T Toggle is also complementary to many traditional device management solutions. 

How does AT&T Toggle integrate with other corporate solutions?

AT&T Toggle administrators can wrap and manage corporate and available third-party apps and make them highly secure for distribution through AT&T Toggle hub, a custom enterprise application store. And a third-party application ecosystem – application developers and vendors – can enable their commercially available applications for use within the AT&T Toggle workspace.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Call Center Sees Disabled Vets as Valuable Asset

Call Center Sees Disabled Vets as Valuable Asset

November 06, 2014

It seems like a good fit: Disabled American veterans looking for work and an industry in need of workers that would welcome a job and stick with it for the long haul.

That’s what inspired Direct Interactions President and co-founder Matt Storey to utilize a cloud-based virtual contact center solution to create home-based employment opportunities for disabled veterans and military families.

“I wanted to prove that with the right technology and opportunities, I could compete as a knowledge worker in today’s economy,” said employee Tom Gonzalez, a seven year veteran of the Navy SEALs. “With Direct Interactions, I am part of a team solving problems for customers and setting an example that just because a person had a disability, it doesn’t mean we can’t excel in the modern workforce.”

The story begins back when Storey and and his business partner, CEO Jonas Nicholson, had set up a number of offshore call centers in the 1990s and realized the same technology could empower Americans with disabilities and military families by enabling them to work from home.

Today, the company’s 200 agents do work from home, providing customer support for technology companies, city governments and organizations interested in demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility. But they’re not stopping there, not by a long shot.

Over the next three years, Nicholson plans to expand its workforce to 1,000 agents nationwide. He also said he hopes other companies will be inspired by Direct Interactions, which has been recognized by the State of Washington and various nonprofits for its efforts in creating jobs for people with disabilities.

“Working from home is a winning trend, and so is hiring people with disabilities,” said Nicholson. “We would like to see more companies copy us.”

All it will take is someone with vision, and a desire to help.

Frontier Secure Inks $100M Support Agreement with Intuit

November 06, 2014

Frontier Secure, a division of Frontier Communications, has announced that it has inked a new expanded strategic agreement with Intuit (News - Alert) to provider customer support for business customers using QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Payments and Payroll.

"Our working relationship with Intuit is strong. We have core alignment around a flexible workforce, a culture of experimentation, and executive decision-making based on data and analytics,” Frontier Secure senior vice president and general manager Kelly Morgan said. “This is a transformative customer service model where quick response to Intuit customer feedback improves service delivery and proactively demonstrates 'we care' excellence in solving problems.”

The three-year agreement is worth approximately $100 million in revenue. Even better, that amount can grow based on incentives and other business opportunities.

Frontier Secure will focus on supporting small businesses and accountants. These users depend on Intuit software but generally don’t have the resources to employ expert dedicated IT staff to troubleshoot their problems they way large companies can.

The company has been working with Intuit since 2012. Frontier Secure said it focuses on solving problems quickly and letting customers focus on their core business, establishing what it calls a “trusted neighbor” relationship.

In other news, its parent company, Frontier Communications, has also released its third quarter financial results. Frontier posted a net income of $42.0 million or $0.05 per share. “"We are very pleased to have achieved sequential growth both in residential and in business customer revenue in the third quarter," said Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO. "This represents continuing progress in our objective of improving our revenue trajectory.”

The company also cited the Intuit deal as one of its major successes. Wilderotter said the company improved its market share in 81 percent of local markets. Frontier serves residential and business customers in 28 states and employs approximately 16,400 people.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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Wheelings & Dealings: Vonage Holdings to Acquire Telesphere Networks for $114M

Wheelings & Dealings: Vonage Holdings to Acquire Telesphere Networks for $114M

November 06, 2014

Vonage (News - Alert) Holdings Corp., a global provider of cloud-based communications services for consumers and enterprises, has announced its acquisition of Telesphere Networks Ltd. for $114 million in cash and stock. Telesphere’s suite of cloud voice and Unified Communications (News - Alert)-as-a-Service (UCaaS) solutions have served larger enterprises in the small and medium business (SMB) sector since 2006.

Vonage Business Solutions (VBS) is the chief component of the company to benefit from the acquisition, as Vonage can now provide a wider range of cloud-based solutions to enterprises. With an average seat size of more than 40 per customer and monthly recurring revenue per customer averaging nearly $3,000, Telesphere (News - Alert) is expected to reach around $40 million of revenue in 2014. Additionally, over $50 million of revenue is already contracted for 2015, with Vonage paying a multiple that is two times or less estimated 2015 revenues.

“A year after Vonage moved into the rapidly growing UCaaS market, we are substantially expanding our presence within the sector through the Telesphere acquisition. This is an important next step in the continued execution of the Company's long-term growth strategy,” said Marc Lefar (News - Alert), former CEO of Vonage. “As we have demonstrated, the use of Vonage's scale, brand, balance sheet and cash generation to invest in the acquisition of growth businesses has been very successful. Vonage Business Solutions' annual revenue growth has accelerated from 38 percent to 52 percent in a year, and we are confident in our ability to accelerate growth at Telesphere as we bring it under the Vonage umbrella."

“Vonage already has a strong leadership position in hosted cloud communications and SaaS (News - Alert) solutions through Vonage Business Solutions,” said Clark Peterson, CEO of Telesphere. “Our two businesses complement each other well and will fortify Vonage's scale in the high growth market for unified communications. As UCaaS continues to evolve and adoption grows among businesses of all sizes, Vonage and Telesphere will be at the forefront of this growth. I am very excited about our future together.”

Peterson’s new position after the acquisition is completed will be President of Telesphere, a Vonage company.

Current Telesphere shareholders will receive approximately $91 million in cash and $23 million in shares of Vonage common stock. Vonage will further discuss details of the transaction during the company’s Q3 2014 earnings conference call, Nov. 10 at 10:00am EST.

“Through the acquisition of Telesphere, Vonage is well positioned to provide an expanding range of unified communications services beyond those offered today, and to further penetrate the large and rapidly growing UCaaS market,” commented Alan Masarek, CEO of Vonage as of today. “We welcome the Telesphere team to the Vonage family and look forward to working together on our mission to become the premier provider of communications services for consumers and businesses.”

Edited by Alisen Downey

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