We’re Ready: Introducing Our HP Partnership

2020 has been challenging for businesses and people. We have all shifted, changed, and implemented new strategies to try to get through Covid-19 and the impact it has had on all our businesses. As businesses start to open their doors again, and teams begin to utilize meeting spaces; their office and the technology in place needs to be as ready as they are. We’re ready.

What We’ve Been up to 

We took this time to focus on our AV capabilities and strengthen our partnerships with some of the leading tech companies that are charging their way though this storm. We focused our efforts over the last several months by narrowing in on the best solutions that will help our customers get back to work as quickly, easily, and cost effectively as possible.  This effort resulted in a new relationship that we are extremely excited about. 

HP Certified Collaboration Partnership 

SENSUS is proud to announce that we are officially an HP Partner.  We’re also proud to be the only Certified HP Collaboration Partner in Canada!  This partnership has been in the works for some time now but was accelerated during the pandemic as the need for cloud-based video reached unprecedented demand.  

The Cloud-Based Video Norm 

Organizations have been scrambling to equip their teams with cloud-based solutions like Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, or Zoom to enable a more collaborative work environment while working from home during physical distancing. Cloud-based video is the new norm for effective communication. When back in the office, our teams will expect to have a similar user experience that they’ve become accustomed to at home.

HP Slice 

Introducing HP Slice: a solution that provides one-touch collaboration, crisp clear audio, and highly secure business performance in your meeting rooms.  With a few flavours and configurations to choose from, Slice is a great way to get your teams collaborating quickly again without the need for intensive user training.  

As Canada’s only Certified HP Collaboration Partner, we will pre-configure your HP Slice to work with your video application of choice and ship it to you for a simple plug-in-play installation.  When you’re ready we also provide remote installation and training support to ensure you’re up and running in no time.  

 

 

 

To learn more about the HP Slice or if you’re ready to discuss your project, we’re ready. 

sales@sensusinc.com  

Acoustic Treatments in Your Office – Do you need them?

Should you consider acoustic treatment?

The short answer is YES!!!  That is if you have two concerns: excessive reverb or echo in the meeting room, or when the conversations inside a meeting space is easily understood to adjacent areas.  Nothing is worse than being on the far end of a video or audio call while trying your hardest to make out words due to excessive echo or reverberation.

Over the years, we have been able to solve almost all audible issues relating to acoustics.  Most of the time, your audio issues can be solved with professional room treatments.  Its not always your technology.  Good news, right?

This blog will focus on speech intelligibility in the office environment.  We get a bit technical here, but that’s the point of this blog.

Room design plays an important factor in room acoustics.

When considering specific materials in your space the harder the surface the higher its sound reflection will be.  This is also especially true for transference between spaces.  In most cases the meeting room space is constructed with three primary components, glass, drywall, and concrete.

For example: concrete is a very reflective surface, creating echo’s or in audio terminology reverberance.  In typical multiple office construction, concrete is both the floor and the ceiling and as such, there is little transference of speech.  By contrast, low frequencies, e.g., music, will transfer easily. It is the density of the material that creates the resonances path.

In respects to a ceiling to lower the reverberance of speech caused by exposed concrete, T-bar and ceiling tiles are installed leaving an air gap between the workspace and the floor above, diffusing sound.  Carpet is a common material for reflective concrete floors.

If either of these are not present, a wide variety of products have been developed, to help overcome these audio issues.

With today’s open concept ideas and environments this introduces some trade-offs between the appearance and audio functionality.

An adjacent room can leak sound into your meeting space.

Conversations in respect to material sound transference, is referred to as the STC (Sound Transmission class,) which roughly reflects the decibel reduction of noise that a partition gives.

Steel Stud, with airspace STC 48. A 25 gauge or lighter, steel-stud reduces the mass for transference hence its higher STC level.

Glass, ‘single laminate’ ranges between STC 37 for 10.5mm (3/8in) to STC 40 for 16.2mm (5/8in) Transference is reduced but increases interior reflections.

Concrete, 1.2m thick (4 inch) equals 47 STC.  Speech intelligibility in the other room but increases reflections inside main room space. Low frequencies transfer easily.

Additional construction materials, i.e., adding a Res-channel spacer and 5/8 drywall to each wall side will achieve a higher STC and should be considered before adding acoustic panels. After this has been completed, before and after audio measurements in each room will help determine the amount of room acoustic treatment required.

Open office

The floor to ceiling height in commercial offices range between 3.3m (10.8ft) to 4m (13.1ft) in height. H-Vac is generally requiring 50cm (20in) of space. Depending on system complexity these do not cover the entire ceiling space. However, in some instances the system operations introduce its own level of audio masking. Cubicle dividers are generally 1.2m (4ft) -1.8m (6ft) in height.  If the overall ceiling level is 3.3m (10.8ft) a 1.2m (4ft) of open airspace where sound can travel freely through. If the area is reflective the sound will travel further than if the ceiling is treated. Although, if the cubicle floor space is quiet even a lower level of spoken word will be easier to make out. Sound masking may be required to reduce clarity of the meeting room spoken word. Solving the source issues is preferred than to introduce more noise into the environment. However, sound masking provides certain advantages especially in office to office conversation transfer. See articles on simple sound masking options.

Interior room reverberance

Walls and Ceilings

Material reflections are the main primary cause of room reverberations. This is calculated by its RT-60 levels, which translates to the number of seconds for the room reverberance to drop 60db.  Room size determines which test bands, full octave or 1/3 octave are used. This then determines the thickness of acoustic treatment required. In the case of ceilings an oval or circle, referred too as a ‘cloud’ can be either suspended by adjustable aircraft wire or attached directly to drywall or concrete. Panels that are suspended has the benefit of absorbing reflected sound on the back as well as the initial sound wave. This especially helpful in open office environments.

Walls and some ceiling applications have direct surface connections only and uses one side of the panel for absorption.  In the case of concrete ceilings limitations regarding clean installation points when working around lighting and metal conduits.  As well, it is not recommended to cut and fit acoustic panels on site as the fibreglass filler will have to be sealed after install.  Health issues may occur if the panels interior filler is left exposed.

Example: If a ‘wall’ between rooms is found to be rated at STC 25, it is considered a low resistance surface. This means any conversation in one room above this 25 Db level, will be clearly understood in the next room.  Optimally we require a number between 52 – 60 STC as a good resistance level.

Db (Decibels) is simply a numerical measurement assigned to a sound level.

Typical environments and associated decibels:

  • 40- 20db Quiet office or low conversations.
  • 60- 40db General office conversations.
  • 80- 60db Cocktail party, noisy office, average street noise.

Room to room transfer

The structural mass of specific material will affect the transfer of an audible sound better than others.

These include:

Drywall

A common building material has a STC rating of 34.  This is a low level as it allows clear voice transfer through the mass of the material.  Although, even though is has a STC of 34 in most construction having ½ inch drywall on both sides of a partition does not double the STC level. Resonance and airspace factors into the measurements. Compared this with a double layer of ½ inch drywall, on each side of staggered 2X4 wood studs, with fibreglass batt insulations in between studs, the STC rating is 55. The specifically designed and trademarked, ‘Quiet Rock’ has a STC rating of 52.  This would make normal speech much harder to understand in the adjacent room. This product comes with specific protocols for decoupling the wall material from the studs.

Wood construction: range between 40-54 STC levels depending on construction methods. Wood (2X4) for example, is considered a (solid) material. If drywall is connected directly against this surface, it creates a resonance path for transference between surfaces. Even adding insulation (fiberglass) between studs will not significantly increase the STC resistance level. Staggered stud construction and doubling up is one option but the preferred method is the addition of Res-channel (Resilient Channel) spacing.  This greatly reduces conductivity of the wall board.

Staggered Stud

Assists greatly in increasing STC values.  This added wall thickness results in slight reduction of interior floor space and is the preferred method when wood construction is used.

Panel sizes are as follows, 12X12, 12’X 24, 12X48, 24X 24, 24X48, 48X48. Your choice of smooth or textured surface appearances. Standard colors; white, off white, black, and grey, as well as a paintable version.  Print services available for company logo or specific artwork requests. To note if a partition wall has been determined to be of a low STC level, it is recommended to apply acoustic panels on both sides.

Glass walls interior & exterior

Traditionally, audio reflections from glass have been difficult to control, until now.  One manufacturer that has found a unique way to solve this issue. Clearsorber panels trap reflected sound between the existing glass wall and its trademarked clear micro-perforated panels.  This product retains the view as well as 95% of incoming light.  Typical installation would be suspension by thin durable aircraft wire, or framed in then walled aluminum extrusions so to not detract from any exterior view.

When applying a clear Plexiglas solution for conference room, atrium or large space that require clear lines of sight, we recommend a minimalist approach, with a focus on interior sound reductions as apposed to worrying of external leakage.

How are your acoustics?

Email sales@sensusinc.com to have SENSUS perform acoustic tests, and make expert recommendations to help you achieve the best sounding office as possible.

Update on Headset Supply : COVID-19

As you are aware, Canada is taking necessary precautions against the spread of COVID-19.  These precautions have sent many workers home to work.   

In the last 72 hours, we have experienced an unprecedented volume of headset and peripheral orders to accommodate work-from-home strategies and organizational backup supply plans to get customers through the next 6 months or longer.  In addition, organizations are purchasing headsets for employees that are currently sharing headsets which poses a health and safety risk.

The supply of headsets globally is being diminished extremely quickly.  As Canada’s largest headset distributor and reseller (with the largest on-hand inventory in Canada), we are doing everything we can to ensure that our customers are taken care of in a timely fashion. 

In order to supply large volume orders, SENSUS has been working on all cylinders to acquire and stock as much inventory as possible from our manufacturers and other distribution partners to minimize disruption. 

Given our experience, we strongly encourage you to work with your Account Manager to plan for your short and long-term peripheral needs, substitutions and fulfilment requirements.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and your ongoing support.

SENSUS Leadership Team

Do You Have a Remote Workforce?

Work is becoming less of a place you go to and more of a thing you do. Is this something that you see happening at your company?

As more organizations encourage their employees to work from home or from the road, demand for solutions that support this new form of working is higher than ever. At home, on the road or in the office, it is important to have reliable ways to connect, collaborate and communicate with others.

SENSUS has built an exclusive bundle kit with a FREE extended warranty plan. 

Be cautious when purchasing headsets online. Watch out for non authorized re-sellers.

Sometimes, “too good to be true” comes with consequences. That “great deal on headsets” may end up costing you more money, and frustration in the long run.

Before your next headset purchase, be sure to complete your due diligence to ensure you are purchasing from an Authorized Reseller.

 

We have seen many creative and dishonest practices that unauthorized sellers do to pass on a ‘great deal’ including:
  • Selling wireless headsets with expired or near expired batteries
  • Selling off old, discontinued or overstocked product
  • Pairing wired headsets with fake / knockoff cables (voiding any warranty that headset had)
  • Purchasing product from overseas and shipping product in with serial numbers that are not supported in your region. (unsupported grey market sales)
  • Simply selling knock off headsets

Obviously, any of the above practices make for a bad experience especially, when you call on your reseller for support when something does go wrong with your purchase.

To avoid future complications, be sure to check that the company you are buying from is an Authorized Partner like SENSUS.

 

Authorized partners must follow and adhere to:
  • Pricing policies: All Authorized Partners must adhere to advertised pricing guidelines
  • Authentic accessories: All Authorized Partners must supply only OEM accessories
  • Warranty: Offer the manufacturer warranty to end users
  • Certification: All partners must complete detailed training on all products, services, solutions
  • Promotions: Honour manufacturer promotions and incentives

It is important to check manufacturer websites to ensure that the company you are dealing with is in fact an authorized reseller / distributor.

The SENSUS Advantage:

SENSUS has built solid relationships with our manufacturer partners built on trust, loyalty, friendships and ethical business practices.  Buying from SENSUS guarantees that you are buying authentic products directly from one of the most respected headset companies in Canada.

In addition to honouring manufacturer warranty, SENSUS is one of the only headset resellers / distributors that has direct returns and advanced replacements – We even have optional extended warranties, so you are never left in a situation with an unequipped team member.

Our team of Inside Sales Associates and Account Executives are fully trained and certified in all required training and certification programs available from our headset partners.  We are here to guide you in your purchase so that you get exactly what your organization needs at the best possible pricing available.  Our customer care team is here to help you if for whatever reason you are unsatisfied with your purchase, or if you have any post purchase questions about your headsets.

Hidden Features: The Jabra Panacast Huddle Room Camera

The Jabra Panacast is a plug-and-play device, designed to improve meetings in huddle rooms by using three 13-megapixel cameras and real-time video stitching to give a full 180° view. Enjoy a natural, inclusive human perspective, with no blind spots. Let’s learn about some of the hidden features you’ll find in the Jabra Panacast that make this camera a great choice for your huddle room.

180 Degree Video capturing

Traditional ultrawide cameras offer only 120 degrees of viewing which is fine if you have only a few people in the room and can afford the extra 3-4 extra feet of camera clearance needed to capture everyone in the frame. 

The Panacast however, offers a 180-degree view by stitching together three cameras seamlessly without that distracting ‘fish-eye’ look that you would expect.  Even the person right next to the camera can be seen, while saving valuable square footage. (even in very small huddle rooms)

Let’s compare:

Intelligent Zoom™ and Optimized Video

Traditional cameras require constant adjustments to capture that perfect video experience. Whether closing blinds, using digital zooming features, or adjusting your chair position – all can be a distraction when starting a video meeting.

The Jabra Panacast is equipped with Intelligent Zoom™ that automatically includes everyone in the conversation through facial recognition, while Vivid HDR ensures a great video experience, even under widely varying lighting conditions. Think of it as built in videographer, director, and lighting controller.

 

Plug-and-play with minimal setup required

Plug-and-play capability makes collaborating fast and easy; simply plug the Jabra PanaCast into your laptop or computer’s USB port, and you’re ready to go. There are no settings to fool around with, no fuss, no muss. PLUG-AND-PLAY.

 

Works with everything, everywhere

Jabra PanaCast works with all leading video and audio-conferencing solutions and is certified for use with Microsoft Teams. Be confident that your team can connect, whatever equipment they’re using.

 
Video & Sound

The Jabra PanaCast is engineered to be the world’s first 180° Panoramic-4K plug-and-play video solution. It is the perfect partner for the Jabra Speak Series, offering an unrivalled combination of crystal-clear audio and Panoramic-4K video.

5 Reasons To Buy Poly Studio X – Video Conferencing Meets Radical Simplicity​

IT teams worldwide are helping their organizations adapt to new workplace rules—and new business realities. Companies are using multiple UC platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, for video collaboration while new platforms continue to join the mix. If mergers and acquisitions are part of your reality, this can get even more complex. Plus, businesses are embracing new collaborative spaces like huddle rooms and open offices, which present their own unique challenges when deploying technology that needs to be flexible and scalable.

When virtual collaboration issues arise, meeting experiences can be challenging—even frustrating—for all.

 

Poly Studio X provides a better way giving IT teams users a powerful yet radically simple solution that empowers them. Say NO MORE to…

 

1.  Mess of cables and managing a room PC.

IT teams can get rooms up and running in less than two minutes with an all-in-one, turnkey set-up process. There are only two components—the video bar and touch controller—that are immediately paired right out of the box. No extra cords, cables, USB peripherals, or PCs to hide somewhere.

 

2.  Running from room to room to check equipment.

Centralized and secure remote management is critical to deploying at scale. For IT teams, this means: Less time, less money, and more control.

If you’re planning to open new locations or deploy new meeting room concepts, this will help your team move fast—without all the stress. On the back end, you’ll get powerful analytics about what’s happening in your environment, including room utilization, so you can get the most out of your video meeting solutions. 

 

3. “HELP! How do you operate this thing?”

How many times have you been pulled into a meeting room because a co-worker needs help dialing into a video call? 

With Poly Studio X, native integration with leading cloud video services like Zoom allows users to get started at the touch of a button. They can enjoy the same experience they have on their desktop and share content wirelessly, leading to a more engaging and collaborative meeting experience. 

 

4. Background noise Bingo

Studio X’s Poly MeetingAI innovations such as Acoustic Fence & NoiseBlockAI can intelligently differentiate between essential sounds, like speaker voices, and unnecessary noise. An innovative acoustic chamber design and next-gen beamforming microphones help meeting participants hear and be heard, sparking some serious
meeting mojo for all.

 

5. Guessing who’s speaking

Wide-view 4k cameras are smart enough to show just the people in the room and adjust automatically, helping co-workers from points afar feel like they’re in the same room. Whether colleagues are together in a huddle room or working from home, they feel closer than ever and can accomplish more.

Helping Contact Centres to Enhance the Customer Experience

Many challenges, one aim – Contact centres making many feel like one.

Many customers contact you in many different ways. And you’re talking to agents in increasingly more places. But every time a customer interacts with you, they need to feel that they have your complete attention. And that they’re getting one complete response.

But shifts in technology and the behavior of both consumers and workers can make the job of meeting expectations difficult. New engagement channels. Remote working. The move to cloud. They all pose challenges.

Conversely, using the right digital endpoints—and management software—for your center can quickly give you an edge. How well your agents can serve customers affects satisfaction levels. And this, in turn, affects reputation and revenue.

It’s clear that your choice of communications technology is critical to creating the right conditions for quickly solving customer queries. From headsets to cloud management tools, the models you choose and how you deploy and manage them can be the difference between smooth calls and tricky conversations.

In this blog, we look at some of the key trends that are creating challenges and opportunities in the contact center. And how you can stay one step ahead.

 
Shifting to the cloud – Reliability is key.  That’s long been the mantra of the contact centre.

The result? A tendency to wait and see, and to stick to on-premises servers and agents at desks.

But the visibility, agility, and scalability of cloud platforms are too much to ignore. With cloud-based tools and smart endpoints, contact centers can unify their communications devices—connecting disparate technology, data, and people better.

Contact center partners should demonstrate how they can help you erase distance and complexity through their cloud-ready devices, so that every interaction feels as natural as a in-person chat.

 
Moving from multi to omni – Web chat, Emails, Social channels.

They’re all typical ways to speak to customers, alongside voice. But consumers now expect more than just choice. They want to flow between channels with nothing getting missed. Contact centers need systems that are smart enough to bring everything together, so that the backstory is always there and the customers don’t need to repeat themselves.

The number of customer interactions is growing exponentially. You’ll need technology that takes advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to make you more efficient—building a future-proof platform to help you make smarter decisions.

 
Raising your voice – The rise of Omnichannel has raised the status of live agent voice.

People tend to first self-serve through web and apps, and only speak to agents if they cannot answer the questions they may have. That’s why voice has become a priority with major implications to your brand. This creates the goals of:

  • Creating ideal conditions for your calls
  • Finding and retaining talented agents.

 

Neutralizing noise

Noise distracts. Noise irritates. Noise harms. So, the headsets you choose and the way you manage them matter. Whether it’s the stress it could cause to staff (e.g., leading to absences) or the irritation it can cause in customers, failing to deal with noise damages your business.

It’s best to take a comprehensive approach to noise mitigation. This includes active noise-canceling technology and born-in-the-cloud management platforms—helping you spot issues before they’re problems.

 
Remote control

Working remotely can work well for both agents and contact centers. Agents don’t have to be in a busy office or commute. And contact centers can save on office space.

But a disparate workforce risks creating disparate experiences for customers. The noise-canceling headset and the visibility that comes with a cloud management tool can offset this, letting you accommodate the many needs of a diverse workforce.

Video can prove an important tool here, too. Not necessarily for customer-agent conversations (unless this is a channel you want to open), but more for training or team building. Seeing each other—and using body language—can help offset the fact that people are working in different places.

A move to more remote workers can go hand in hand with a shift to softphones. It’s a good idea to ask your provider if their solution supports leading CX softphones and CRM systems, so agents have the detail they need wherever they are.

 
Hearing the difference – 5 things to ask an endpoint provider
  1. Do you have a proven track record supporting contact centres?
  2. Is your technology compatible with industry-leading platforms?
  3. Can you support us at every stage, from setup to servicing?
  4. Are your devices and endpoints cloud-ready?
  5. Do you offer a cloud management tool that gives insight based on data and analytics with a single view?
 
Making meaningful connections – The technology you choose for your contact centre can be the difference between productive calls and challenging conversations.

It’s key to adopt a complete solution, one that combines headsets built specifically for voice agents, a cloud management tool to get the most out of them, and the support services that let you focus on your customers.

With the right cloud-ready devices, you can turn the many moving parts of your contact center into a more cohesive whole. That’s more efficient, more flexible, and more responsive.

The many benefits add up to one thing: a better experience for you, your people, and your customers.

Introducing the New Jabra PanaCast

Introducing the new Jabra PanaCast camera. A plug-and-play camera perfect for small meeting rooms.

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