Artificial intelligence to reshape VoIP

Incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in internet phone systems seems like the logical next step to improving business telecom. However, it’s only now that businesses are truly embracing such hi-tech advances in VoIP. AI developers are paving the way for automated processes that have the potential to significantly enhance VoIP performance.

Contact Center Operations

Thanks to highly automated VoIP technology, businesses can manage their call centers easily. It also reduces the need for human interaction without sacrificing service quality. So how else can AI help?

AI-integrated VoIP systems can add back that human element to call routing by determining a caller’s personality, mood, and other characteristics so calls are routed to the agent best equipped to handle them. This makes call-center operations more seamless and cost-efficient because it reduces the need to deploy agents with specialized skills.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems

An IVR system is an extremely useful tool for businesses that get a high volume of calls. Not only does it save them from having to deploy staff to address queries, it also saves customers time.

AI enhances this feature by working in the background, gathering all relevant customer data such as personal information and recent transactions to resolve a query. The AI ‘worker’ then sends this information to the business representative, who will be much better able to serve the customer. It’s easy to see how this feature would lead to an increase in customer satisfaction.

Conferencing Capabilities

Internet telephony makes multi-location communication possible, which is indispensable to most organizations. Web conferencing has improved over the years, with internet speeds and telecom technology constantly improving. AI advances it even further with real-time language translation and speech recognition technology, which greatly benefits businesses with multiple geographic locations and whose stakeholders come from diverse backgrounds.

Chatbot Functions

Chatbots are intuitive entities that receive instructions via textual or auditory means to perform automated tasks. They’re not to be confused with applications aimed to make processes easier. Apps differ greatly from chatbots in that they aren’t designed to simulate human interactions and they don’t have an ‘identity.’

Like IVR systems, bots are used by businesses to automate customer interactions. AI-powered chatbots go beyond regular bot duties by performing more complex tasks like setting up meetings, inviting attendees, managing schedules, and much more.

With AI-powered systems promising improvements in contact center operations, customers’ IVR experiences, web conferencing, and scheduling, businesses are understandably eager to adopt them. There’s so much more that VoIP systems can do for your business, and we’ve got the expertise to handle all your VoIP-related concerns. Call us today.

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How will AI impact internet telephony?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings to mind robots that can perform tasks and think like human beings. While that’s certainly possible in the future, AI today is simply an intuitive set of technology that automates business processes. It’s been around for decades, and now it’s poised to make significant improvements to VoIP technology.

Contact Center Operations

Thanks to highly automated VoIP technology, businesses can manage their call centers easily. It also reduces the need for human interaction without sacrificing service quality. So how else can AI help?

AI-integrated VoIP systems can add back that human element to call routing by determining a caller’s personality, mood, and other characteristics so calls are routed to the agent best equipped to handle them. This makes call-center operations more seamless and cost-efficient because it reduces the need to deploy agents with specialized skills.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems

An IVR system is an extremely useful tool for businesses that get a high volume of calls. Not only does it save them from having to deploy staff to address queries, it also saves customers time.

AI enhances this feature by working in the background, gathering all relevant customer data such as personal information and recent transactions to resolve a query. The AI ‘worker’ then sends this information to the business representative, who will be much better able to serve the customer. It’s easy to see how this feature would lead to an increase in customer satisfaction.

Conferencing Capabilities

Internet telephony makes multi-location communication possible, which is indispensable to most organizations. Web conferencing has improved over the years, with internet speeds and telecom technology constantly improving. AI advances it even further with real-time language translation and speech recognition technology, which greatly benefits businesses with multiple geographic locations and whose stakeholders come from diverse backgrounds.

Chatbot Functions

Chatbots are intuitive entities that receive instructions via textual or auditory means to perform automated tasks. They’re not to be confused with applications aimed to make processes easier. Apps differ greatly from chatbots in that they aren’t designed to simulate human interactions and they don’t have an ‘identity.’

Like IVR systems, bots are used by businesses to automate customer interactions. AI-powered chatbots go beyond regular bot duties by performing more complex tasks like setting up meetings, inviting attendees, managing schedules, and much more.

With AI-powered systems promising improvements in contact center operations, customers’ IVR experiences, web conferencing, and scheduling, businesses are understandably eager to adopt them. There’s so much more that VoIP systems can do for your business, and we’ve got the expertise to handle all your VoIP-related concerns. Call us today.

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Bloatware: From Annoying To Dangerous

Bloatware, junkware, trialware, third-party apps — whatever you call it. There’s now yet another reason to get rid of these annoying pre-installed programs and plugins indefinitely: security threats. Learn more about the other risk that might do more than slow down your computer.

Tavis Ormandy, a researcher from Google’s Project Zero, recently discovered that a compromised password management app, Keeper, had been installed with some versions of Windows 10. For a brief period, Keeper’s browser extension, when enabled, allowed websites to easily steal login credentials.

Users became exposed only if they have activated the plugin during Keeper’s setup process, or manually activated it in their browser. In response to Ormandy’s report, the Keeper team released a new version that fixes the security vulnerability, therefore addressing the issue once the software is up to date.

Although the issue was patched in a week, thousands of these third-party applications are added to laptops every day. This incident again highlights just how cautious individuals and businesses need to be in finding security vulnerabilities when purchasing computer hardware.

Why unwanted bloatware needs to go

Computer manufacturers make money installing third-party software along with Windows to laptops and PCs. Vendors pay to have their bloatware — such as trial versions of antivirus programs, video games, and browser toolbars — installed on new computers in hopes that people will purchase the full programs. In reality, bloatware slows down your computer, takes up disk space, and sometimes puts you at risk.
Thankfully, Microsoft has included an easy way to get rid of bloatware in Windows 10.

  1. Click the start menu, then the gear icon in the bottom right
  2. In the settings window, select Update & Security
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery
  4. Select ‘Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows’ and follow the instructions.

Bloatware not only clutters your PCs and laptops, but it can leave your business vulnerable to compromise as well. Don’t make this security mistake; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware, and save yourself from tons of headaches down the line. Call our team of IT experts today!

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Beware Of Apps Bundled With Your Windows 10

Have you recently purchased new laptops or computers? Don’t get too excited. A new report proves that pre-installed software such as free trials and web browser toolbars can pose high-security risks. So if you want to maximize your new investment, here are some things you might want to know:

Tavis Ormandy, a researcher from Google’s Project Zero, recently discovered that a compromised password management app, Keeper, had been installed with some versions of Windows 10. For a brief period, Keeper’s browser extension, when enabled, allowed websites to easily steal login credentials.

Users became exposed only if they have activated the plugin during Keeper’s setup process, or manually activated it in their browser. In response to Ormandy’s report, the Keeper team released a new version that fixes the security vulnerability, therefore addressing the issue once the software is up to date.

Although the issue was patched in a week, thousands of these third-party applications are added to laptops every day. This incident again highlights just how cautious individuals and businesses need to be in finding security vulnerabilities when purchasing computer hardware.

Why unwanted bloatware needs to go

Computer manufacturers make money installing third-party software along with Windows to laptops and PCs. Vendors pay to have their bloatware — such as trial versions of antivirus programs, video games, and browser toolbars — installed on new computers in hopes that people will purchase the full programs. In reality, bloatware slows down your computer, takes up disk space, and sometimes puts you at risk.
Thankfully, Microsoft has included an easy way to get rid of bloatware in Windows 10.

  1. Click the start menu, then the gear icon in the bottom right
  2. In the settings window, select Update & Security
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery
  4. Select ‘Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows’ and follow the instructions.

Bloatware not only clutters your PCs and laptops, but it can leave your business vulnerable to compromise as well. Don’t make this security mistake; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware, and save yourself from tons of headaches down the line. Call our team of IT experts today!

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When Pre-installed Apps Create Risks

Bloatware is generally considered harmless, but what about when these unnecessary apps turn into a security risk? A recent report shows that a pre-installed app in some versions of Windows 10 had an alarming plugin flaw:

Tavis Ormandy, a researcher from Google’s Project Zero, recently discovered that a compromised password management app, Keeper, had been installed with some versions of Windows 10. For a brief period, Keeper’s browser extension, when enabled, allowed websites to easily steal login credentials.

Users became exposed only if they have activated the plugin during Keeper’s setup process, or manually activated it in their browser. In response to Ormandy’s report, the Keeper team released a new version that fixes the security vulnerability, therefore addressing the issue once the software is up to date.

Although the issue was patched in a week, thousands of these third-party applications are added to laptops every day. This incident again highlights just how cautious individuals and businesses need to be in finding security vulnerabilities when purchasing computer hardware.

Why unwanted bloatware needs to go

Computer manufacturers make money installing third-party software along with Windows to laptops and PCs. Vendors pay to have their bloatware — such as trial versions of antivirus programs, video games, and browser toolbars — installed on new computers in hopes that people will purchase the full programs. In reality, bloatware slows down your computer, takes up disk space, and sometimes puts you at risk.
Thankfully, Microsoft has included an easy way to get rid of bloatware in Windows 10.

  1. Click the start menu, then the gear icon in the bottom right
  2. In the settings window, select Update & Security
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery
  4. Select ‘Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows’ and follow the instructions.

Bloatware not only clutters your PCs and laptops, but it can leave your business vulnerable to compromise as well. Don’t make this security mistake; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware, and save yourself from tons of headaches down the line. Call our team of IT experts today!

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New AI-driven Features For Office 365 Users

Enriching Office 365 with more everyday AI functionalities, Microsoft has introduced ‘Insights Preview’ to MS Excel, ‘Acronyms’ feature for MS Word, and a Text-in-image search feature to help its users to do their best work. Learn more about the recent upgrades to Office 365 products and the new Microsoft Whiteboard Preview app in this article.

Automatically Uncover Trends in Excel Data

Finding useful information lurking in massive tables of jumbled numbers and data can be quite a headache. Not with Insights Preview! This feature uses machine learning to analyze Excel data, highlight patterns, and create visualizations to make information easier to locate and digest.

Search Text Within Images

Thanks to Office 365’s Intelligent Search feature, any printed words in images uploaded to SharePoint and OneDrive are now automatically detected, extracted, and made searchable. This makes it possible to find screenshots, receipts, and business cards based on the text they contain.

Understand Company Jargon with Acronyms

Microsoft Word’s new Acronyms feature will help users understand workplace-specific acronyms. This feature uses machine learning to analyze your employees’ vernacular and automatically create a useful glossary of terms.

Improve collaboration with the Whiteboard Preview App

This real-time digital canvas makes interactions between team members easier, whether they’re working on a conference room screen or across different devices and locations. The app is equipped with freehand drawing tools, geometry recognition, data illustration tools, and more to improve both business and creative projects.

As Microsoft gears itself toward making AI accessible to every user and organization, we are excited to see more smart features rolling out in Office 365 products in the near future.

But how can these upgrades transform your business? Can it save time and cut costs? There’s no better way to understand these updates than to chat with our team of IT professionals. Give us a call to learn more or to set up the new Office 365 in your workplace today!

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Boosting Office 365 with AI Capabilities

In the past month, Microsoft has beefed up Office 365 with AI-driven capabilities designed to help businesses make the most of their data, company content, collaborative projects and more. Read on to learn about the new smart features you can expect in the Office 365 update.

Automatically Uncover Trends in Excel Data

Finding useful information lurking in massive tables of jumbled numbers and data can be quite a headache. Not with Insights Preview! This feature uses machine learning to analyze Excel data, highlight patterns, and create visualizations to make information easier to locate and digest.

Search Text Within Images

Thanks to Office 365’s Intelligent Search feature, any printed words in images uploaded to SharePoint and OneDrive are now automatically detected, extracted, and made searchable. This makes it possible to find screenshots, receipts, and business cards based on the text they contain.

Understand Company Jargon with Acronyms

Microsoft Word’s new Acronyms feature will help users understand workplace-specific acronyms. This feature uses machine learning to analyze your employees’ vernacular and automatically create a useful glossary of terms.

Improve collaboration with the Whiteboard Preview App

This real-time digital canvas makes interactions between team members easier, whether they’re working on a conference room screen or across different devices and locations. The app is equipped with freehand drawing tools, geometry recognition, data illustration tools, and more to improve both business and creative projects.

As Microsoft gears itself toward making AI accessible to every user and organization, we are excited to see more smart features rolling out in Office 365 products in the near future.

But how can these upgrades transform your business? Can it save time and cut costs? There’s no better way to understand these updates than to chat with our team of IT professionals. Give us a call to learn more or to set up the new Office 365 in your workplace today!

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Office 365 Update: New Tools You Need To Know

Yet again, Microsoft has released new AI-based features for Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, and more — a continuing trend since 2016’s launch of the Microsoft AI and Research Group. If your business is subscribed to Office 365, this article will acquaint you with the newest features!

Automatically Uncover Trends in Excel Data

Finding useful information lurking in massive tables of jumbled numbers and data can be quite a headache. Not with Insights Preview! This feature uses machine learning to analyze Excel data, highlight patterns, and create visualizations to make information easier to locate and digest.

Search Text Within Images

Thanks to Office 365’s Intelligent Search feature, any printed words in images uploaded to SharePoint and OneDrive are now automatically detected, extracted, and made searchable. This makes it possible to find screenshots, receipts, and business cards based on the text they contain.

Understand Company Jargon with Acronyms

Microsoft Word’s new Acronyms feature will help users understand workplace-specific acronyms. This feature uses machine learning to analyze your employees’ vernacular and automatically create a useful glossary of terms.

Improve collaboration with the Whiteboard Preview App

This real-time digital canvas makes interactions between team members easier, whether they’re working on a conference room screen or across different devices and locations. The app is equipped with freehand drawing tools, geometry recognition, data illustration tools, and more to improve both business and creative projects.

As Microsoft gears itself toward making AI accessible to every user and organization, we are excited to see more smart features rolling out in Office 365 products in the near future.

But how can these upgrades transform your business? Can it save time and cut costs? There’s no better way to understand these updates than to chat with our team of IT professionals. Give us a call to learn more or to set up the new Office 365 in your workplace today!

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Beware of what you save in web browsers

Passwords are a double-edged sword. If you make them too simple, they’ll be easy to guess; if you make them too complex, they’ll be impossible to remember. One solution is to create an uncrackable password and save it to your browser. Unfortunately, recent research suggests that tactic could drastically reduce your privacy.

Why auto-fill passwords are so dangerous

In 2015, the average internet user had 90 online accounts, a number that has undoubtedly grown since then. This has forced users to create dozens of passwords, sometimes because they want to practice healthy security habits and other times because the platforms they’re using have different password requirements.

Web browsers and password manager applications addressed this account overload by allowing usernames and passwords to be automatically entered into a web form, eliminating the need for users to hunt down the right credentials before logging in.

The process of tricking a browser or password manager into giving up this saved information is incredibly simple. All it takes is an invisible form placed on a compromised webpage to collect users’ login information without them knowing.

Using auto-fill to track users

Stealing passwords with this strategy has been a tug-of-war between hackers and security professionals for over a decade. However, it has recently come to light that digital marketers are also using this tactic to track users.

Two groups, AdThink and OnAudience, have been placing these invisible login forms on websites as a way to track which sites users visit. These marketers made no attempts to steal passwords, but security professionals said it wouldn’t have been hard to accomplish. AdThink and OnAudience simply tracked people based on the usernames in hidden auto-fill forms and sold that information to advertisers.

One simple security tip for today

Turn off auto-fill in your web browser. It’s quick, easy, and will go to great lengths to improve your account security.

  • If you use Chrome – Open the Settings window, click Advanced, and select the appropriate settings under Manage Passwords
  • If you use Firefox – Open the Options window, click Privacy, and under the History heading select “Firefox will: Use custom settings for history.” In the new window, disable “Remember search and form history.”
  • If you use Safari – Open the Preferences window, select the Auto-fill tab, and turn off all the features related to usernames and passwords.

This is just one small thing you can do to keep your accounts and the information they contain safe. For managed, 24×7 cybersecurity assistance that goes far beyond protecting your privacy, call us today.

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The risks of auto-complete passwords

If you’re disturbed by advertisements and “helpful” suggestions that are based on your internet browsing habits, recent research has found yet another source of online tracking. It’s a sneaky tactic that also comes with serious security concerns. Let’s take a look at what you can do to stop it from targeting you.

Why auto-fill passwords are so dangerous

In 2015, the average internet user had 90 online accounts, a number that has undoubtedly grown since then. This has forced users to create dozens of passwords, sometimes because they want to practice healthy security habits and other times because the platforms they’re using have different password requirements.

Web browsers and password manager applications addressed this account overload by allowing usernames and passwords to be automatically entered into a web form, eliminating the need for users to hunt down the right credentials before logging in.

The process of tricking a browser or password manager into giving up this saved information is incredibly simple. All it takes is an invisible form placed on a compromised webpage to collect users’ login information without them knowing.

Using auto-fill to track users

Stealing passwords with this strategy has been a tug-of-war between hackers and security professionals for over a decade. However, it has recently come to light that digital marketers are also using this tactic to track users.

Two groups, AdThink and OnAudience, have been placing these invisible login forms on websites as a way to track which sites users visit. These marketers made no attempts to steal passwords, but security professionals said it wouldn’t have been hard to accomplish. AdThink and OnAudience simply tracked people based on the usernames in hidden auto-fill forms and sold that information to advertisers.

One simple security tip for today

Turn off auto-fill in your web browser. It’s quick, easy, and will go to great lengths to improve your account security.

  • If you use Chrome – Open the Settings window, click Advanced, and select the appropriate settings under Manage Passwords
  • If you use Firefox – Open the Options window, click Privacy, and under the History heading select “Firefox will: Use custom settings for history.” In the new window, disable “Remember search and form history.”
  • If you use Safari – Open the Preferences window, select the Auto-fill tab, and turn off all the features related to usernames and passwords.

This is just one small thing you can do to keep your accounts and the information they contain safe. For managed, 24×7 cybersecurity assistance that goes far beyond protecting your privacy, call us today.

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