The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-03-12T04:23:30Z Soprano Announces Strategic Partnership with Philippines Mobile Network Operator Smart Communications 2019-03-12T04:23:30Z soprano-announces-strategic-partnership-with-philippines-mobile-network-operator-smart-communications 12 March 2019 – Australian based Soprano Design, a global leader in cloud-based enterprise messaging solutions, has reached a strategic agreement with Smart Communications, the Philippines leading mobile network operator. Entering the Philippines market for the first time, Soprano will be making its Soprano Enterprise Messaging Suite (MEMS) available to Smart’s diverse portfolio of enterprise customers. In the Philippines, the Soprano messaging service will be branded Smart Messaging Suite. Currently, Smart controls nearly 50 per cent of the estimated 130 million mobile connections in the Philippines, and has rightly earned its reputation for being a market innovator, offering enterprise customers access to a diverse portfolio of Smart Enterprise Business Solutions powered by the latest transformational technologies. By choosing Soprano’s enterprise messaging solutions, Smart can now offer its customers a ‘best-of-breed’ mobile messaging solution that is flexible enough to suit the diverse needs of Philippines enterprise customers, from banks to education providers and Government services to microfinanciers. Robin Ng, Soprano’s Senior Vice President for APAC, said that this agreement is significant as the Philippines is a strong SMS market with enormous potential. Commenting on the deal, Ng said: “Smart has earned a reputation for delivering the most innovative technologies to its customers. Soprano is proud to be partnering with Smart in the Philippines, enabling its customers to have access to our market leading enterprise-grade mobile messaging application platform.” Chet Alviz, AVP & Head of PLDT Enterprise’s Wireless Business, said: “Soprano offers a highly flexible and competitive messaging solution, which allows us to provide a differentiated mobile messaging solution for customers in traditional large-enterprise and government sectors, as well as for customers that are underserviced today in the Philippines market such as microfinancing, outsourcing/offshoring, and local retail.” This agreement with Smart is significant for Soprano Design, entering the Philippines marketplace for the first time, as part of its accelerated growth plans across the Asia Pacific region. Ng explains: “The Philippines market is technology savvy and like many regions within Asia Pacific, is experiencing a lot of rapid-fire technology change. Businesses are looking for effective enterprise-grade messaging solutions that are flexible, secure and easy to deploy. SMS technology is the principal communication channel in the Philippines and Soprano is expecting to send more than one-billion enterprise messages for Smart customers each year using Smart Messaging Suite.” Within Asia Pacific, Soprano is seeing a surge in demand for enterprise-grade messaging platforms as businesses look to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve. This agreement with Smart is Soprano’s sixth major APAC telco partnership. Other APAC markets where Soprano is seeing strong growth include Australia and Singapore. According to a recent market study conducted by Infoholic Research, the Asia Pacific A2P (application to person) SMS market is expected to grow during 2016-2022 at a CAGR of 6.34%. Soprano Chairman, Richard Favero, added that Soprano has become a leading global expert in Application to Person (A2P) business and government messaging, helping many of the world’s largest mobile network operators including AT&T, BT and Vodafone leverage their size and reputation through a white-label software solution that gives them and their customers a competitive advantage. These international partnerships have seen Soprano’s overseas revenues in the past year grow by nearly 20%. Soprano MEMS is currently deployed in some of the most complex enterprise and government IT environments in the world, enabling large A2P mobile messaging deployments in a variety of industries including finance, banking, insurance, retail, hospitality, automotive, transport & logistics, workforce management and government. Smart’s customers in the Philippines will join the more than 1,000 enterprises including 30 plus Fortune 500 companies that benefit from Soprano’s platform and software. Soprano is located in 13 countries worldwide and provides a ‘follow the sun’ technical service and support model. -ends- About Soprano Design: Founded in Australia in 1994, Soprano Design is an award-winning global software design firm that delivers trusted mobile interactions via its powerful cloud-based mobile communication platform, which has revolutionised the way enterprises and governments around the globe do business. An array of smart applications, programmable interfaces and sophisticated governance controls allow organisations to integrate using little or no code and to automate communications (and audit all interactions) to become more productive and make life easier and safer for their customers. Over 70% of Soprano’s business is conducted offshore. https://www.sopranodesign.com. NEW STUDY SHOWS EXPLOSIVE GROWTH OF VIDEOCONFERENCING SECTOR AND WHY PROLIFERATION OF CHOICE IS DRIVING NEED FOR EASIER, CONSISTENT SOLUTIONS 2018-11-19T00:19:10Z new-study-shows-explosive-growth-of-videoconferencing-sector-and-why-proliferation-of-choice-is-driving-need-for-easier-consistent-solutions AUSTRALIA – November 19, 2018 – Today, Polycom, a part of Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE: PLT), released Streamlined Videoconferencing Strategy Drives Business Results, a November 2018 study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Polycom. The study found that videoconferencing is growing in usage, in the number of solutions, and in overall complexity for end users and IT alike. These findings showcase the need for consistent, simple experiences to fast track the start of meetings and simplify IT’s job managing the solution infrastructure. Key findings of this new global Forrester Study of IT decision makers and professionals include: ·        74 percent say video conference calls have increased over the past two years·        84 percent reported using two or more cloud-based video conference solutions·        78 percent reported having two or more video conference endpoints in their conference rooms. With the study finding the majority of companies surveyed are using multiple vendors for both endpoints and video cloud applications, complexity is increasing, not decreasing, as new solutions continue to enter the market. In fact, the study showed 96 percent already face challenges managing their video conferencing solutions. The result: a web of services for IT pros to manage, poor user experiences, and mounting frustration for IT and employees alike. According to a Forrester study on call quality, delayed video calls can cost a company more than $1 million in lost productivity annually.[i] A Closer Look at Australia The Forrester study revealed that 78 percent of Australian companies say that video conference calls have increased over the past two years and 83 percent reported two or more cloud-based video conference solutions. Not only that, 83 percent of Australian companies now have two or more video conference endpoints in their conference rooms. In line with the global findings, 96 percent of Australian companies faced challenges like connectivity issues and poor sound quality when managing their video conference solutions. One solution for IT professionals to manage this growing complexity already is available – Polycom Trio. Polycom Trio family are simple, familiar communications devices that support multiple video conferencing cloud solutions with a consistent experience. Polycom announced support for Cisco WebEx on Polycom Trio this week adding to the growing catalog of cloud-based video systems which includes Zoom, Microsoft, BlueJeans, and Videxio. All these solutions can be accessed, used, and managed through Polycom Trio in any conference room using the same simple experience.    “Customers are relying on videoconferencing to make employees more interactive, collaborative, and efficient—the technology and services they use need to streamline, not complicate, the experience, but this can only happen if videoconferencing is a simple, easy, and consistent experience,” said Tarun Loomba, Executive Vice President, Product and Solutions Management at Plantronics. “Polycom Trio is the simplest way to connect, communicate and be productive using video conferencing, with flexibility for IT professionals and  great video conference experiences for their employees.”   The Impact on IT According to the study, globally, IT professionals are facing increased costs and challenges of managing multiple cloud-based videoconferencing systems. Those challenges include difficulty in connecting from conference rooms to calls, delayed video calls, poor call quality, and inconsistent user experiences. To combat productivity challenges specifically, 77 percent of IT pros want a consistent user interface and experience across video conference systems.  Within Australia, the findings were similar, with 75 percent of IT professionals calling for a consistent user interface.  Flexibility for IT pros was another key finding. With 68 percent of companies seeing increases in the number of videoconferencing applications being used in their infrastructure, 67 percent want increased flexibility from all the solutions for employees and partners. The flexibility is critical to productivity, as the pace of innovation in the collaboration space is at an all-time high with new competitors, solutions, and features coming to market at a rapid pace.  Polycom Trio is the leading conference room experience that offer customers this flexibility with a great user experience. Polycom Trio’s hybrid registration feature lets users toggle between ITSP providers to legacy call control platforms to its increasing array of cloud-based videoconferencing services instead of being locked into using a single provider.  Known for legendary HD voice quality, powerful video and content performance, the Polycom Trio is a perfect smartphone for every size meeting space—from the smallest huddle room to the largest auditorium. The Polycom Trio features high-end video capabilities needed by large meeting rooms, such as facial tracking, dual monitor support, superior audio coverage, and easy content sharing.  To access the entire Forrester study, click here and for more information on Polycom Trio, visit Polycom Trio. About PlantronicsPlantronics is an audio pioneer and a leader in the communications industry. Plantronics technology creates rich, natural, people-first audio and collaboration experiences so good ideas can be shared and heard—wherever, whenever and however they happen. The company’s portfolio of integrated communications and collaboration solutions spans headsets, software, desk phones, audio and video conferencing, analytics and services. Our solutions are used worldwide by consumers and businesses alike and are a leading choice for every kind of workspace. For more information visit plantronics.com. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. [i] “Brief: Start Your Videoconferences on Time,” Forrester Research, Inc., October 24, 2016 Air New Zealand named New Zealand’s most attractive employer for second consecutive year 2018-06-18T19:57:44Z air-new-zealand-named-new-zealand-s-most-attractive-employer-for-second-consecutive-year New Zealand’s appreciation of its national airline has been reinforced today, with Air New Zealand being announced as the most attractive employer in the 2018 Randstad Employer Brand Research, for the second consecutive year. Air New Zealand has now won this award five times in total. Air New Zealand was recognised for its financial stability, focus on technology and strong reputation. The Public Sector also performed strongly in 2018 with The Department of Conservation being ranked second most attractive employer in New Zealand for the second year in a row, valued for giving back to society, providing interesting job content and reputation. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment took out the third spot and was valued for being financially healthy, job security and career progression. Education and training was named as the most attractive industry (36 per cent) in New Zealand, followed by professional services and public services (33 per cent) in joint second place, with information technology and telecommunications coming in third (31 per cent). The rankings reiterate the importance of organisations being financially stable, investing in technology while also providing interesting job opportunities and maintaining a strong public reputation.  It’s these attributes that are engaging to employees and attracting job seekers.  “I am excited to announce Air New Zealand as the most attractive New Zealand employer and education and training as the most attractive sector.  Air New Zealand is an iconic brand and continues to set the standard for what a great airline should be.  It’s no surprise that New Zealanders have reacted so positively for the second year in a row,” said Katherine Swan, Country Director of Randstad New Zealand. The Randstad Employer Brand Research is the largest piece of employer brand research in the world and this independent survey of 30 countries includes insights from 3,757 New Zealanders. It recognises the top employers and industries in New Zealand, as well as employee sentiment about attractive qualities in a job. Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says recognition for the airline’s strong reputation and focus on technology is particularly meaningful for its staff.  “This is the fifth time we’ve won this award, which clearly reflects the efforts of our nearly 12,000 employees who play an integral role in upholding our strong reputation. “Our focus on innovation and technology is very much driven from within the organisation, and our employees play a huge part in consistently improving the way we do things for our customer,” said Luxon. Randstad’s research also identified what job seekers and employees look for in an employer. While financial stability and reputation are increasingly important to Kiwis, work-life balance is the single most important reason for employees to choose their employer (46 per cent).1   It is most highly valued by workers aged 25-44 (57 per cent) compared to their younger and older peers.2 Here, women (57 per cent) place more value than men on good work-life balance (52 per cent) which corresponds with NZ Ministry for Women[1][2] research which states that one in three employed women work part-time. “In 2018, achieving greater work life balance was one of the most important factors for employees when choosing a career.  This ‘work to live’ employee mindset reinforces the importance of companies having solid policies in place for flexible working, if they want to remain competitive and retain great people,” said Swan.  As companies work to present a more human face to their brands, it’s no surprise that an alignment of personal values with a company’s culture is a key factor in employee satisfaction working there, with research indicating 80 per cent of Kiwi employees have left a company specifically because of its culture.4   Randstad’s latest research indicates that Kiwi workers believe employers are more focused on financial deliverables and technology compared to their preferences of salary and benefits and work-life balance. This reflects an opportunity for employers to align their branding with jobseeker values. Swan called on companies to take heed, “With 30 per cent of New Zealanders planning to change roles within the next year,5 a marked increase from last year, we are calling on businesses to revitalise their employer value propositions. It’s crucial that companies present a true image of who they are and commit to it. That is the secret to the success of New Zealand’s most attractive employers.”   New Zealand’s Top 20 Most Attractive Employers 1. Air New Zealand 11. Coca Cola Amatil 2. Department of Conservation 12. Massey University 3. Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment 13. University of Otago 4. Healthcare of New Zealand 14. New Zealand Police 5. TVNZ 15. Ara Institute 6. House of Travel 16. Dept. of Internal Affairs 7. Deloitte 17. Fonterra 8. AUT University 18. Victoria University of Wellington 9. New Zealand Custom Service 19. Ministry of Education 10. Flight Centre NZ 20. Millennium and Copthorne Hotels     What employees in New Zealand seek vs. what employers in New Zealand offer 1.Salary & Benefits: 57% 1. Financially healthy 2. Work-life balance: 55% 2. Latest technologies 3. Job security: 46% 3. Job security 4. Pleasant Work atmosphere: 44% 4. Good reputation 5. Career Progression: 40% 5. Career progression       New Zealand’s Top 10 Most Attractive Industries Awarded by Randstad in 2018 1. Education & Training Services: 36% down 3% 2. Professional Services: 33% no change 2. Public Sector: 33% up 3% 4. Information Technology & Telecommunication: 31 % down 1% 5. FMCG: 30% down 2% 6. Wholesale & Retail Trade: 29% up 2% 7. Media: 29% down 4% 8. Healthcare: 29% up 2% 9. Transport & Logistics: 28% (no change) 10.Banking & Financial Services: 28% down 1%     The full Randstad Employer Brand Research report will be available from 9:00am NZST on Tuesday 19 June 2018 here. [1]  http://women.govt.nz/work-skills/utilising-womens-skills     Randstad Urges Employers to Bridge New Zealand’s ‘Diversity Divide’ 2018-06-11T23:07:06Z randstad-urges-employers-to-bridge-new-zealand-s-diversity-divide New Zealand, 12 June – 2018 - While diversity and inclusion are firmly on the agenda for New Zealand workplaces, 2018 Randstad Employer Brand Research reveals that less than one in two employees (46 per cent) believe that NZ businesses have successfully developed a diverse and inclusive culture. The research also revealed a significant gap or ‘diversity divide’ between what employees and employers consider a diverse and inclusive work environment.  Surprisingly, less than one fifth (17 per cent) of New Zealanders see diversity and inclusion as an important factor when choosing an employer.  However, it was a different story once they were employed by a company. More than half of NZ workers (53 per cent) stated that employers needed to provide clearer channels for communication and feedback in relation to addressing diversity and inclusion issues.  This apparent diversity divide suggests that issues related to diversity and inclusion are only important to employees once they have joined a company, reiterating the importance of getting it right during the recruitment process.  Katherine Swan, Country Director, Randstad New Zealand explains, “Right now there is a significant gap. If we’re to bridge this diversity divide, then more action is needed.  Employers need to improve how they communicate their specific policies on issues like work life balance and mental health to candidates during the recruitment process.  Employees also need to get better at doing their own homework, asking the tough questions upfront to ensure cultural alignment and avoid any surprises down the track.”  This was further evidenced in the research which found that that 96 percent of respondents agreed that alignment of personal values with company culture is a key factor in achieving workplace satisfaction.   Swan continues, “New Zealanders need to feel respected in the workplace, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Across the world we are seeing people speaking out against issues like workplace inequality to effect change. Closer to home, we are also starting to see progress with groups like the NZ Law Society[1] taking steps to address diversity issues within the legal sector. Improving workplace policies and communication to ensure greater transparency and understanding of what’s acceptable and what’s not OK will help ensure genuine progress is made.” Randstad’s Employer Brand research reinforces a recent NZ Diversity Survey[2] where work-life balance was identified as an issue by 66 per cent of respondents. In the same study stress was a challenge in 62 per cent of organisations surveyed, and 50 per cent of respondents noted concerns about the mental health of staff or colleagues. The first wave of Randstad research findings also revealed: Close to two thirds (62 per cent) of New Zealanders feel the greatest sense of inclusion when an employer offers flexible work options, regardless of circumstance More than one third (34 per cent) of employees said work life balance (or lack of) was one of the top five reasons to leave their current role Women seek out companies offering a good work life balance when choosing their new employer and women are more likely to leave an employer due to a lack of flexible work options.  The Randstad Employer Brand Research recognises the top employers and industries in New Zealand as well as employee sentiment about attractive qualities in a job. The full Randstad Employer Brand Research report, including naming New Zealand’s most attractive employers, will be available from Tuesday 19 June 2018 here.   ENDS Note to editors About Randstad Employer Brand Research The 2018 Randstad Employer Brand Research explores New Zealand workers’ perceptions of employer brands, providing a unique understanding of employee and job seeker drivers. The largest piece of employer branding research in the world, the independent survey provides insights from over 175,000 respondents and companies in 30 countries worldwide including 3,757 New Zealanders.  About Randstad Randstad is a global leader in the recruitment and HR services industry. The company's Australian business has been supporting people and organisations in realising their true potential, helping find the best permanent and contracting talent across industries. Human connection is at the heart of the business. A personal approach, supported by state-of-the-art technology, is what sets Randstad apart in talent acquisition. Randstad is uniquely Human Forward. Visit www.randstad.co.nz to discover a new way to recruit.   [1] NZ Law Society: http://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/latest-news/embracing-the-power-of-real-disruption [2] Diversity Works: https://diversityworksnz.org.nz/work-life-balance-a-challenge-for-nz-businesses/ . The NZ Diversity Survey is carried out twice a year by Diversity Works New Zealand, in partnership with the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and is supported by Massey University.