How do you choose the right headsets for your organization? Part III

Series by Danny Hayasaka

In Part I of this series we discussed who the top headset manufacturers are and why. In Part II we covered why it’s important to choose an Authorized Partner. Now…let’s get into it. How do you choose the right headsets for your organization?

Back in the day, it was so simple; Plug Prong or Multipurpose Amp, single ear, dual ear or convertible wearing style headset. That’s it.

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How do you choose the right headsets for your organization? Part II

Series by Danny Hayasaka

7/13/18

In Part I of this series I listed reasons why Plantronics, Jabra and Sennheiser are currently the leaders in the headset space.

Now I want to focus on choosing the right partner/vendor/reseller. Every headset brand/model is available via the interwebz. If you are looking for one or two headsets and don’t value service or support, take a chance online.

If you value your role and want to do what’s best for your company keep reading.

Most enterprise customers have complex voice, video and collaboration landscapes along with budgets and deadlines. They can’t take a chance and certainly can’t make decisions willy-nilly.

You’ll want to choose a vendor who offers a true partnership. They value your role and will help guide you through the myriad of options so you select the right compatible devices, stay within budget and meet deadlines.

It’s important you start your search by looking for “Authorized” Partners. In the early days, pretty much anyone could be an “Authorized Partner/Reseller”. The internet especially helped give rise to literally thousands of headset vendors. Some “authorized” however many not.

These days the headset manufacturers are becoming more discriminating of “who” is representing, promoting, offering and supporting their brand.

Beyond being able to sell a certain volume, headset manufacturers are now requiring partners to complete various certifications for UC, Contact Center, SMB, SaaS, etc. and a list of other pre-requisites and requirements to ensure their partners are committed to providing end-user customers with the best possible overall solution and experience.

Each manufacturer provides a list of “Authorized” partners on their websites to help end-users validate status of vendors and/or certifications they poses.

https://www.plantronics.com/us/en/where-to-buy

https://www.jabra.com/where-to-buy/partner-locator

https://en-us.sennheiser.com/telecommunication-sales-partners-where-to-buy

Depending on partner, some have direct relationships with headset manufacturer field sales teams, inside sales teams, tech support teams and even leadership teams. This is extremely important especially for larger organizations and enterprises. Having that added layer of service and support can be very helpful.

Since I’m writing this blog I’ll go ahead and plug Call One, Inc.

First, Call One, Inc. has been in the headset industry for over 30 years and we believe in the fundamental principle that people do business with people. Our passion is helping people do their business better.

In 1987 Call One, Inc. started selling four brands: Plantronics, GN Netcom, Unex and ACS. Our portfolio has expanded to include hundreds of best in class brands for the business communications and collaboration space, however our main area of expertise is headsets. Call One, Inc. is authorized for all the major brands: Plantronics, Jabra and Sennheiser. We are also partnered with and can provide headsets from: Logitech, Cisco, Microsoft, ClearOne, Addasound, JPL, and more. Our Sales and Customer Service Teams are required to complete individual certifications and recertify as needed. Call One, Inc. Sales Reps typically have two to five different headset models at their desks at any given time as they test multiple models. I personally do my best to test every new model that is introduced by the leading headset manufacturers plus post videos to our CallOneInc YouTube Channel

I approach each new headset (product) in the same manner:

  • What is it?
  • What does it do?
  • Most Importantly: Why should anyone give a shit?
    • How does this benefit customers?
    • What known or unknown problems does it solve?
    • What gaps does this bridge?
    • Are there current, less expensive options that can do the same thing?

I have the fortune of traveling to see first-hand how the products are being used. I’ve been to small one-man offices, boiler rooms, dispatch centers, contact centers with five to thousands of agents, cubicle jungles, open office spaces, training rooms, private offices and everything in between.

I’ve asked end-users questions about their daily activities, how they use headsets today and what they would like to see. Typically customers don’t know what they don’t know. Often times there are headset solutions that exist today that would make their lives easier.

The challenge is, they’re unaware. Some customers continue ordering what they’ve been ordering until they can’t. Why? Most customers don’t have time nor resources to research every single brand and model of headset that is available. Many don’t even know where to start. It can be overwhelming.

This is why it’s important to choose an authorized partner/vendor/reseller that is a subject matter expert in this space. If they are Authorized Partners for all major brands like Call One, Inc., that’s a strong benefit for you. This typically allows them to offer unbiased recommendations. They can help customers save time and money by narrowing down the options or guiding them to the right solution.

Plus most authorized partners are aware of special incentives, promos and programs that can be extremely beneficial to customers.

Now you know the top headset manufacturers and the importance of going with an authorized partner. We can now get to why I’m writing this series to begin with, choosing the right headset for your organization. Part III coming soon…

How do you choose the right headsets for your organization? Part I

Series by Danny Hayasaka

7/9/18

Having been in this industry for over 19 years I’ve had the opportunity to see the evolution of headsets. Some dismiss headsets as commodities however they are becoming increasingly critical to an organizations business processes and their overall business communications and collaboration strategies.

The headset is how your company’s voice is transmitted to the world. In addition to customers and partners, clear communications are also important internally amongst peers and colleagues. More emphasis should be placed on selecting the right headset if listening to your customers and being able to be heard clearly matters to you and your business.

In the world of business grade headset manufacturers, there are three main players (Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser) with Plantronics and Jabra currently dominating the space globally.

They are the top vendors for these reasons:

  • Global presence
    • All three brands are available to customers globally through distributors and channel partners in their perspective regions.
    • Global, National and Territory reps
  • Compatibility with all major voice, UC, Contact Center, and collaboration platforms
    • All three manufacturers work hand in hand with the major platform providers to offer solutions that are compatible and include features and functions end users need for optimal experience
  • Service
    • Warranty service (1-3 year coverage) is available depending on brand and model
    • Varying turnaround options available
    • Additional services available for large and global enterprise customers
  • Support
    • Pre- and Post-Sales Support available directly and through channel partners
    • Demo/Eval/Proof of Concept units
    • Wireless Density Surveys
    • Mass deployment support
    • Onsite support
  • Accessories
    • Doesn’t seem like that big a deal, however, “shit happens”. The AC Adapter for your multi-connectivity wireless headset has an unfortunate vacuum cleaner incident which renders your headset useless. It’s important that you are able to purchase a replacement.
    • Some organizations “share” headsets. The ability to issue each employee their own set of ear cushions and headset cleaning towelettes is important
    • What about training-y’s, replacement interface cables, mic screens, voice tubes, charging cables, USB cables, ear tips, etc
  • Large Portfolio
    • One size does NOT fit all
    • Each brand works very hard to develop solutions to support the multiple Use Cases, Personas, Work Styles, User Types & Environments
    • Corded and Wireless Headset options
    • USB speakerphone options
    • Multi-Connectivity options
      • Brands offer solutions for any combination of Desk Phone, Softphone and/or Mobile device
      • DECT, Bluetooth, NFC, USB-A, USB-C, 3.5mm, RJ9 options
    • Different wearing styles
      • Single and dual headband options
      • Over the ear
      • In the ear
      • Behind the neck
      • Convertible options that include multiple wearing styles
    • Security
      • All three brands make security a priority. Government, Financial, Healthcare and other industries that require the highest levels of security can rely on Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser.
      • All are members of the DECT Forum and have solutions that are Security Certified
    • Support all budgets
      • All brands offer value to premium options
    • R&D
      • Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser are continuously investing heavily in R&D to produce better solutions beyond headsets to support the ever-evolving communications and collaboration landscape.
    • Headset Management Software
      • As headsets become more prevalent, it’s become more critical to manage them.
      • IT Help Desks are experiencing an increase in help desk tickets requesting support for headsets
      • Headset Management Software can help IT Departments mitigate many issues before they arise
      • Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser all offer Headset Management Software

Above are some of the reasons why Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser are currently the top vendors however there are a plethora of other headset manufacturers/brands. Some notable brands: Logitech, Microsoft and most recently Cisco.

Other brands: Addasound, Accutone, Axtel, ClearOne, JPL, Yealink, VTech, Spracht

Point is there is no shortage of options however you should consider bullets I listed before you begin your journey to choosing the right headset for your organization…