The "Cloud" is everywhere today in technology. Whether it is data storage, or communicating with colleagues and friends, many apps and devices interact with the cloud. But what makes up the cloud? Cloud computing can be broken up into three main services: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
With increasing data breaches happening every year at major companies like Kohl's, Abercrombie and Fitch, Cigna and Anthem, it is more important than ever to know if your company is HIPAA compliant or not. Federal law requires companies dealing with private health information, or any business that hosts this information on their servers, to be HIPAA compliant.
Even if your company does not need to comply with HIPAA regulations, it is a good idea to protect other sensitive information like credit card numbers and customer employment information as strictly as private health information. Anthem's data breach in March exposed the records of more than 80 million people, many of whom were not even Anthem customers.
The term "triple bottom line" may be familiar to some, while unfamiliar to others. In terms of business, it can be a very common concept. Essentially triple bottom line is a term that allows an organization to measure their sustainable growth, since this can be very difficult. First conceptually discussed by Freer Spreckley in the early 1980s, and more full by John Elkington in the mid 1990s, the triple bottom line allows organizations to measure three different aspects of their performance: social, environmental, and financial.
In a previous blog post, we discussed how important it is to have a variety of contact options for today's consumers, based on findings from the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. However, many companies are finding it difficult to integrate these new options into their contact centers.
As expected, a majority of call centers have the capability to support customers over the phone and through email. These capabilities line up with the previous generation's expectations in a support center, as most customers over the age of 40 prefer support over telephone or email. However, the next generation's first choice of webchat is only supported by 45% of organizations, and 35% of organizations without webchat have no plans of offering it in the future.
According to data from the Report, an average of 79% of companies are afraid that their systems will not meet demands in the future. However, the cost of integrating a new support system can be expensive, and new software may not be compatible with older machines. One solution that the Report proposes is hosting contact centers in the cloud, which can reduce the cost of integrating a brand new system greatly while expanding support options.
In fact, the Report found that 89% of organizations currently using cloud architecture agree that it has reduced costs. Other benefits from cloud technologies noted in the Report include access to new functionality, improved flexibility, and better reliability. Yet half of the organizations surveyed do not even use hosted technologies.
Giva's customizable cloud technologies are easy to use and can save your company time and money. Read about how the Giva Difference has changed the way many companies handle customer contact on Giva's case study page!
With today's mobile workforce, the ability to access answers to important questions quickly is a must. Meghan M. Biro at Forbes says there is a "need to maintain a corporate culture supportive of - and with technical and communications systems in place - to enable remote employees to be successful."
Saint Elizabeth Health Care has long been a leader in incorporating technology to support new and innovative ways of delivering care, information and improvement of health care practices. Many of Saint Elizabeth's 6,500 employees work remotely providing health care services in clients' homes and other community settings.
Because of this, Saint Elizabeth has been an innovator in the private cloud and was the first health care organization in Canada to offer employees a full suite of applications in a private cloud over ten years ago. Saint Elizabeth was looking for the newest generation of IT service desk functionality and a long-term vendor partnership to respond to rapid organizational growth. Following an evaluation of other service desk vendors, the organization identified concerns that replacing the current IT service desk tools would be highly disruptive. In their search, they found Giva to be what they were looking for.
"Giva has provided Saint Elizabeth with a solution that makes extraordinary economic sense and has achieved a high ROI in a very short period of time. The organization was looking for a true cloud-based service with multi-tenancy to avoid the cost of dedicated servers," said David Burne, IT Leader.
Upon switching to Giva, Saint Elizabeth realized the following ongoing benefits:
- 40% increase in productivity of the IT service desk team by using Giva reports and dashboards
- 50% lower TCO (total cost of ownership) over a three year period
- 90% reduction in the time required to configure/customize Giva
- 100% application uptime using Giva nearly 24x7
According to David Burne, "Giva does not wait years or even months to launch new product improvements. The stream of improvements is ongoing. Giva is very proactive in that they take time to carefully listen to feedback. Saint Elizabeth has never worked with a vendor that listens and delivers as well as Giva. This is one of the key ways that Giva is very unique!"
Learn more about the benefits of Giva at Saint Elizabeth Case Study.
What is your challenge? Let Giva be your solution!
As shown by the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, businesses having a strong social media presence is important to the next generation of consumers. However, with so many different social media options available, it can be overwhelming to even think about getting your company started with any social networking site.
John Rampton in Forbes suggests identifying your social media goals and objectives before setting up a social media account. He also suggests businesses take the time to learn how their target platforms work and figure what their target audience is. Knowing your audience can help you understand what they need, which will allow you to deliver the content they want to see and make them more interested in your business.
Once you have established a social media account, be sure to post often – but not too often. Make sure your posts are timely and relevant to any current events. For example, if your company attends a local event, post pictures from that event as soon as possible. Using tags and hashtags effectively will also help others find your posts easily.
If you branch out to multiple types of social media, Rampton advises to treat each as its own entity, and post unique content to each. It may seem tedious to update multiple accounts, but followers will feel rewarded and in the know when they see information exclusive to one platform.
As more customers turn to social media for support and help, it is important to respond to and resolve customer complaints on social media pages in a timely and professional manner. When other customers see that you were listening and willing to respond to complaints, they will feel more important and valued.
Each business will use social media in different ways, but outlining your goals, understanding your audience, being active on multiple accounts, and staying professional in all customer interaction can greatly benefit everyone trying to grow their social media presence.
Giva is pleased to announce its new membership with TechConnex, a Canadian-based industry association, bringing together tech companies to share best practices, business insights and bright ideas.
Giva has successfully established itself in the Canadian business market and continues to deepen its roots through TechConnex via learning, collaborating, and leading with the best.
TechConnex is the only member-directed industry association in the Greater Toronto Area representing great strength and network with its 30-year history. Offering a vast and versatile array of programs, training, events and synergistic networking opportunities to its members, TechConnex provides a foundation on which companies and recognized leaders in business and technology can perch, meet, grow and contribute with unlimited potential.
"Giva is excited to become a member of TechConnex in Canada, and we look forward to engaging with local peers and leaders towards mutual benefit and success for our collective industries and customers," commented Ron Avignone, Giva Founder.
Patrick Shaw, Executive Director of TechConnex, said, "We welcome Giva and look forward to facilitating and assisting in their success and presence in the Greater Toronto region, as well as benefiting from their extensive knowledge and expertise in the cloud industry in Silicon Valley."
A help desk must be the proper catalyst for a client's business goals by providing the assistance, analytics, or software necessary for growth. Whether new or well-established, an underrated obstacle in achieving successful business results is the maturity level of your help desk. Thankfully, Giva has crafted a 25 question assessment spreadsheet designed to help gauge the functionality of your help desk.
It is important for a service desk to be a productive business partner. The assessment is divided into five categories: processes and best practices, organizational integration, technology optimization, staff development, and information management. Analysis questions cover everything from incident reports and stakeholders needs to use of IT and employee advancement.
Here is how it works. You rate your organization on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) for each question, equaling a total of 125 points maximum. You are then provided a Maturity Index scale, ranging from "actualized" to "non-existent," with descriptive sections corresponding to your possible scores. These helpful evaluations provide guidance on improving the functionality and value of your service desk.
Giva strives to be a leading example in productivity and customer satisfaction. Our 25 Question Service Desk Assessment is fashioned by professionals with all of the best techniques in mind. It is quick, painless and a highly valuable tool towards the optimization of your help desk.
This year, Paul M. Dooley of Optimal Connections reported six trends for customer service and support, particularly that more people than ever are accessing the Internet from a mobile device.
In 2011, the International Data Corporation predicted that mobile internet use would surpass desktop internet use by 2015. However, mobile grew quicker than anticipated, surpassing desktop use for the first time ever in January 2014, and now Americans spend an average of 34 hours a month on their mobile devices. Pew Research reports that nearly two-thirds of American adults own a smartphone, and 46% of smart phone owners say they could not live without one.
Mobile devices are clearly becoming a mainstay in the American lifestyle, so it is worth the time and effort to integrate mobile support in all aspects of business. This integration could be as simple as being active on social media or as complex as creating a new app. However, the Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report notes that 6 in 10 contact centers do not have the capacity for social media, when the industry best-practices indicate that having multiple methods of communication, rather than just phone support, is important to improving the customer service experience.
Equally important is the look and functionality of the mobile version of a business' website. A mobile customer could be deterred by a difficult-to-use website, or choose a competitor whose website is more mobile-friendly. When creating apps for a business, it is also important to make sure the app is available and fully functional on all major smartphone operating systems.
The future of smartphones and other mobile devices is constantly changing, but one thing is very clear: support for mobile devices will be key in making any business more accessible to all customers.
Social enterprises are, to put it quite simply, about people. These are organizations that, rather than placing their main focus on making a profit, seek to partner their revenue with something that benefits people in communities, the environment, etc. They are not required to be a strictly profit or nonprofit organization, as they could be either. In some cases they may make a profit and then re-direct it back to make a change in the surrounding communities.
Why might they be considered to be important? In a world where commercials and advertising dominate most any medium for the sake of profit, these organizations' main focus is to create and enable change for something better. Rather than wanting to make a profit or keep all profit for themselves, these businesses purpose to use the revenue from a product or service in order to make the world a better place.
People of action say that if you want to see a difference in your life you need to make a change, small or large. Social enterprises go that one step farther than normal and put all of their energies into parlaying their business concepts into benefiting the world around them in some way.
One such example is D-Rev out of Palo Alto, California, a nonprofit product development company that designs and delivers products to low-income people around the world living on less than $4 a day. They own the research, design, and development of their products and then partner with industry leaders to manufacture and scale for maximum impact. Their mission is to "to create world class products at an affordable price." One sector of their company provides equipment they have developed to treat newborn jaundice conditions. According to their website, to date, 51,925 babies have been treated with their equipment, 43,554 of which would not otherwise have received effective treatment, resulting in 676 newborn deaths and disabilities averted.
Another example is TROSA, (Triangle Residential Options For Substance Abusers, Inc.) out of Durham, North Carolina. "TROSA is an innovative, multi-year residential program that enables substance abusers to be productive, recovering individuals by providing comprehensive treatment, work-based vocational training, education, and continuing care." There is no cost to the individual receiving treatment at TROSA. Their funding comes from three primary sources: revenue generating businesses which provide vocational training for residents; donations from individuals, companies, and foundations; and modest government support. TROSA is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status and is governed by a board of directors.
These are just two of many social enterprises realizing their goal of bettering the world and changing lives, creating long-lasting ripple effects, now and into the future.