Be heard in business: The new norm demands conversations with clarity and security
EPOS ups the ante with enhanced audio technology solutions for the new work era.
Business as usual? Not quite. The hybrid workplace is emerging as a global new norm ushered in by COVID-19 and its restrictions. Even as restrictions lift, businesses are finding it beneficial to keep to the model, attracted by increased productivity.
In its latest 2021 report, Accenture noted that “63 per cent of high-growth companies have already adopted a ‘productivity anywhere’ workforce model”.
A huge part of remote work centres around connectivity, and as companies settle into virtual meetings as the new standard of collaboration and networking, quality integrated audio and video solutions are fast showing up as indicators of professionalism.
ARE YOU ON MUTE?
According to a 2021 report by IPSOS Denmark, poor-quality virtual meetings are pervasive. The market research firm recorded that 89 per cent of respondents experience difficulties in virtual meetings from bad audio or visual tech, and the effects are manifold.
Common issues include misunderstanding what is being said in a meeting (26 per cent) and missing out on critical information (21 per cent). A further 17 per cent admitted that they appear unprofessional because of poor sound quality.
EPOS – which provides high-end audio solutions designed for enterprise and gaming – confirmed this with its own studies. Its survey, titled Bad Audio is Bad Business, showed that 95 per cent of respondents admit to a dip in concentration and efficiency at work due to sonic setbacks, with 69 per cent spending extra time on their work tasks due to poor sound quality. In fact, findings revealed that respondents are losing 29 minutes per week on average, resulting in companies wasting up to US$725.21 (S$981) per employee in a year.
Mr Seah Hong Kiat, vice president of Enterprise Solutions Sales APAC for EPOS, said: “There is a strong consensus among decision makers and end users alike that reliable and crisp audio provides the answer to this productivity drain and source of frustration.”
THE SONIC BOOM
Thankfully, business leaders and decision makers are turning the corner on this technological gap. The same IPSOS studies revealed that 60 per cent of decision makers believe better sound will help retain clients, while 71 per cent believe that it will help prevent lost pitches in the future.
“Hybrid working has become a part of everyday life for many people,” shared Mr Seah. “As a result, access to quality audio and video collaboration tools is important. In many cases, these solutions are the only viable options for communicating and staying in touch with colleagues, partners and customers.”
Emerging as its own entity from Sennheiser Communications and as part of the Demant Group, post-demerger EPOS is optimistic that it can “build on its duality of past and future, pairing founded knowledge with forward-thinking technology” to create relevant audio solutions for today’s working norms.
“EPOS caters to enterprises, gaming, as well as to the air traffic control segment,” said Mr Seah. “Our goal is to become a leader in the audio and video conferencing solutions space and continue to pioneer new technology and innovation to develop products that are relevant for the market.”
Staying crystal clear without latency makes for better conversations. EPOS believes that quality collaboration solutions will determine the success of hybrid workplaces.
Said Mr Seah: “EPOS audio devices empower you to not only hear, but fully understand everything that is being said – from explicitly stated information to implicit details carried by pauses and tone of voice, thanks to EPOS noise-cancelling microphones that filter out background noise and enhance speech intelligibility.”
The ADAPT line showcases the intricacies of headset needs with wireless Bluetooth headphone models, each designed to fulfill specific professional needs.
The ADAPT 660 is an over-the-ear headset that is optimised for unified communications and with EPOS AI for superb clarity and quality, along with adaptive active noise-cancelling (ANC) capabilities.” If you’re presenting most of the time, the 560 features a discreet boom mic for excellent speech intelligibility. For those who are always on the move and prefer in-ear solutions, the ADAPT 460 is built into a neckband that vibrates, so you’ll never miss an important call, all the while enjoying minimal disruption from noisy surroundings with the advanced four-mic ANC system.
With its compelling portfolio, EPOS has received healthy reception from its growing clientele. Software company Delaware shared in a 2020 Frost and Sullivan survey that “the initial reaction of our employees was very positive, and it got even better during the COVID-19 crisis when they discovered that the ADAPT 600 series is also very suitable for filtering out domestic noises such as children playing”. After a 40-day trial, hearing aid manufacturer Oticon stated that “participants experienced a significant improvement in their concentration and focus at work” and that some even “experienced a feeling of saved energy”.
SECURITY FOR PEACE OF MIND
The constant connectivity and sometimes very public scenarios throw up one added layer of concern for hybrid work – security. Mr Seah explained that “the possibility of audio conversation being tapped or crossed, density constraints limiting quality of calls are some of the reasons why companies should pay attention to the security aspect”. This security is crucial in information-sensitive industries such as healthcare, insurance and the legal services sector.
“To prevent such an occurrence, EPOS recommends the adoption of Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) based audio devices where the wireless frequency has secured channels for transmission and does not interfere with Wi-Fi networks,” he shared.
Available in the IMPACT line, DECT technology protects your communications with a stepped security chain, using the three main processes of pairing, per call authentication and encryption.
The one-time pairing establishes a registered binding between the headset and base station for secure authorisation, while with every use, the headset and dongle crunches a random number algorithm with the master security key for authentication. And for maximum security, the over-the-air data is encrypted between EPOS app users, so every conversation is kept private.
As businesses continue to widen their networking through this virtual norm, EPOS looks set to have checked all the boxes for the new enterprise audio experience.