TMCnet: Fast Food Gets an Upgrade Thanks To Deltapath

For those of in IT and communications, well, if you are like us, anyway, you wonder about things like why do the speakers at drive-through restaurants and trains sound so awful. Actually, this seems to be a problem everyone wonders about.

At least that’s what comes to mind when we watch this scene from the Charlie’s Angels movie, Full Throttle.

The above came to mind when we learned Carl’s Jr selected Deltapath’s UCaaS solution.

“Upgrading with our existing provider involved large upfront costs, but didn’t offer the long-term flexibility we needed to meet our expanding communication goals,” says Stephen Mitchell, Telecommunications Manager at Carl’s Jr.

By choosing an adaptable UC solution, CKE Restaurant Holdings gained a competitive advantage in the quick-service restaurant industry. Starting in 2013, CKE oversaw a gradual, seamless migration to the Deltapath UC platform among Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s offices. The company expanded with Poly phones and connected Polycom/Poly video conferencing devices to the same platform, unifying the new equipment with existing UC architecture.  Numerous interactions also take place on the Deltapath built-in Dolby Voice Audio Conference bridge, hosting over 5,000 hours of conference calls a year.  Not only was there huge savings on conference bills but the noise filtering technology also helped to improve the conference experience significantly without having people to constantly mute and unmute themselves. 

We told you about Deltapath’s Dolby-powered solutions last year in fact. It’s great to see the progress the company has made.

While we aren’t sure the drive-through speakers have gotten the upgrade as well, we know they could certainly use an upgrade to better quality from Deltapath and Poly.

Internet Telephony: Carl’s Jr Streamlines Process Management with a Flexible Unified Communications Solution

Headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, CKE is the parent company of Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., Red Burrito, and Green Burrito restaurants, operating more than 3,600 franchises in the U.S. and abroad. CKE was looking for a cost-effective way to replace end-of-life phones for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. while consolidating communications across its administrative offices in Franklin.

When CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc., started planning a telecom update, it was clear the company needed a communications overhaul that would allow staff to take advantage of a cloud-driven, multi-device environment.

“Upgrading with our existing provider involved large upfront costs, but didn’t offer the long-term flexibility we needed to meet our expanding communication goals,” says Stephen Mitchell, Telecommunications Manager at Carl’s Jr.

CKE had a number of end-of-life phones from a leading vendor, which were no longer supported by the company’s Cisco (News – Alert) Unified Communications Manager (CUCM). Keeping the call manager server up-to-date was a top priority because, without essential upgrades, the server would be vulnerable to security threats. However, moving forward with a server upgrade would make the equipment obsolete, and replacing all the phones was the only option for CKE at the time. CKE also desired the versatility to deploy new features, such as call center capabilities and unified messaging, without complicating their existing telecom infrastructure.

Streamlining Restaurant Service from the Top Down

Customers who come to Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants expect premium food and quick service without complications. Every time customers leave unsatisfied, there’s a chance they won’t come back. That’s why slow or disjointed communications are more than a small hiccup for a large restaurant enterprise.

Franchisees need reliable administrative support for a successful launch. Quality assurance specialists have to keep managers up to date on health and safety best practices. Busy executives need conferencing tools that work consistently and provide quality audio or video. Analysts need accurate, real-time data to monitor how restaurants are performing. Call centers have to be fast and effective at responding to consumer issues. If information doesn’t get to the right people at the right time, back-end problems eventually trickle down to customers. As a result having a platform that fosters the flow of communication across the organization, with franchisees, and customers is very important to CKE.

Challenges of Updating the Communications Infrastructure

Staying with the current provider presented several challenges for CKE Restaurant Holdings. The typical starting cost to upgrade the call manager server was approximately $16,000. Each replacement phone cost an additional $200 with a shelf life of roughly five years. Using this service model, CKE could expect a limited return on investment before being forced to make expensive upgrades all over again with its current provider.

Simplifying the back-end workflow was equally important to CKE. With little or no new features offered with server upgrades made it difficult for the company to add more functionality in a cost-effective manner. To deploy new features, CKE was required to purchase additional servers.

Evergreen Solutions

By choosing an adaptable UC solution, CKE Restaurant Holdings gained a competitive advantage in the quick-service restaurant industry. Starting in 2013, CKE oversaw a gradual, seamless migration to the Deltapath UC platform among Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s offices. The company expanded with Polycom (News – Alert)/Poly phones and connected Polycom/Poly video conferencing devices to the same platform, unifying the new equipment with existing UC architecture. Numerous interactions also take place on the Deltapath built-in Dolby Voice Audio Conference bridge, hosting over 5,000 hours of conference calls a year. Not only was there huge savings on conference bills, the noise filtering technology helped to improve the conference experience significantly without having people to constantly mute and unmute themselves.

Beyond the basic enterprise telecom functions, the company is leveraging the Deltapath system to serve its hotlines.

“We have multiple hotlines serving employees, franchisees, as well as customers. Our administrative teams needed the freedom to grow beyond the boundaries of a phone system and integrate other technologies that boost productivity,” says Mitchell.

Because Deltapath uses an open API, the platform integrates well with other data aggregation tools. This gives CKE wiggle room for integrating with its business applications so call center agents have more awareness and insight about who’s calling, what to prioritize, and when to follow up. Using the Cinch Contact Center module, CKE has improved response time to all stakeholders by over 50%.

Internet Telephony: Why Background Noise Reduces Unified Communications and Customer Experience ROI

In today’s age of flexible work arrangements and mobile workforces, the ability to connect employees with colleagues, customers, and partners wherever they are physically located is more important than ever. It’s one of the reasons unified communications services continue see increased adoption.

Of course, you are all aware of the crazy time we’re in right now, with an unprecedented number of people working from home. It’s caused an immediate increase in the use of unified communications and collaboration tools and services so employees are able to remain productive.

But beyond the current health crisis, that will hopefully subside soon, the challenges businesses are facing and the ways unified communications and collaboration tools are helping overcome them highlight an important fact – working in non-traditional settings can mean having to deal with unconventional problems, like noise.

Even working from home, this can be an issue, and it can be disruptive to conversations. Just last week, I was on a conference call and had such an experience. One of the parties on our call had windows open, so when a town truck pulled up and began some street work. Because the window was open, we could hear the noise clearly, which made parts of the conversation difficult to hear. The obvious solution was to close the window, of course, which helped, though we could still hear the machinery at times. It was a bit distracting, to say the least.

Much of the UC conversation tends to focus on features and functionality to enable high levels of productivity and mobility. Call quality is part of the conversation, but other than reliable connectivity, HD-codecs, and such, it doesn’t account for background noise.

The truth is that, at some point, you’ve all probably been on a call with someone who is outdoors, at the airport, on a busy warehouse floor, convention center, or other noisy environment. It’s hard to have a productive conversation when you have to constantly ask them to repeat what they’ve said.

If you’re running a customer service team, think about how that can impact customer experience when your agents – or voice-driven AI tools – can’t clearly hear your customers. It’s a recipe for disaster, regardless of which side of a call the noise is coming from.

I recently had a great discussion about the problem of background noise and the impact it can have on business conversations. Whether it’s human conversations or AI interactions, conversation clarity is an important factor. Just think about the difference between a standard voice call and an HD quality call. The difference is not only noticeable – it’s remarkable.

During the discussion, I heard something that was even more remarkable, though. David Liu, CEO of Deltapath, which has developed a noise cancellation gateway for VoIP and UC implementations, had two of his team members place two separate phone calls. One was a standard call with the caller standing outside near a construction site, and the other was from the same location with the call running through the noise cancellation gateway. The difference was amazing – see for yourself.

In fairness, in this instance, the calls were pre-recorded due to the current coronavirus situation. But, when I first saw this demo conducted live several months ago, the experience was exactly the same. Suddenly, the background noise that can make it hard – even impossible – to hear a conversation, was gone completely. When you add this to the mobility and collaboration features of today’s UC solutions, suddenly you’re ensuring both your internal users and customers can fully enjoy the benefits and can have productive conversations that result in real, positive outcomes.

I encourage you to check out the on-demand webinar to hear more about how audio quality impacts business communications – and especially the growing trend of remote and mobile workforces. If you’re investing in the technology to enable employees to be productive, or your customer service teams to deliver great experiences, it doesn’t make sense to let controllable outside factors minimize the value of those investments.

Internet Telephony: Taking the Noise out of Your Voice Engagements to Deliver Consistent Voice Experience

In today’s age of flexible work arrangements and mobile workforces, the ability to connect employees with colleagues, customers, and partners wherever they are physically located is more important than ever. It’s one of the reasons unified communications services continue see increased adoption.

But, often, that is not in a quiet office setting, but in a public setting or job site where background noise can be a significant distraction. If you’ve ever been on a call with someone who is outdoors or on a busy warehouse floor, you know well how difficult it can be to clearly hear them.

Much of the UC conversation focuses on the ability to offer users choice of channels and other productivity features – those features that can eliminate a big portion of redundant communications and wasted time each day. Call quality is also a big part of the conversation. Businesses need to know their communications services are not only reliable, but the voice quality is superior.

What is often missing, though, is how to handle all the background noise during conversations that take place in non-traditional settings, short of using the mute feature. But, that doesn’t work when employees who are actively engaged in conversation are in those noisy settings.

The problem of background noise extends beyond the two-way conversation, though. With so much of customer service being directed towards AI-driven automated communication, which relies on voice recognition, background noise can render AI largely useless, creating a very negative customer experience. If you’ve ever had a speech-enabled experience where the voice recognition engine doesn’t accurately understand what you’re saying, you’re well aware of the frustration it can cause.

I’m moderating a webinar Thursday, March 26, that discusses the issue of background noise, featuring technology that can eliminate most background noise to bring conversation quality in noisy settings on par with a quiet office.

In addition to speaking to the need for noise cancellation for calls, the event will include a live demo of DeltaPath’s technology, which is quite impressive. The difference in audio clarity in a noisy setting between with the technology activated is remarkable.

Whether you’re running a sales team, customer service organization, developing or using voice-driven AI solutions, or simply using UC to deliver a better communications experience for your employees and customers, it’s likely background noise is a factor in many of your voice engagements.

During the event, you’ll learn:

  • How to cope with background noise while keeping up with the demands of business communication and work that takes place outside the office;
  • How to ensure background noise does not impact the integrity of the data harnessed from voice calls or voice inputs;
  • How to enhance your IVR, empower your voice assistants, decrease the amount of time call center agents spend with callers while improving customer service; and
  • What trends in the UC industry are impacting customer experience.

The highlight, though, is the live demo. But, don’t take my word for it. Join us for the webinar, Don’t Allow Background Noise to Hijack Calls or Impact Your AI Engine to see for yourself the difference noise cancellation can make in creating a consistent voice experience in any environment.

Webinar Announced: Impact Sales Metrics and AI with Deltapath’s Noise Cancellation Gateway

Shelton, CT, 19 Nov, 2019 – Deltapath and TMC announced a new Webinar, Impact Sales Metrics and AI with Deltapath and Dolby Technologies, to be held Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 2:00PM EDT/11:00AM PDT.  The webinar is dedicated to providing insight on how to offer good audio quality to employees who work and attend meetings outside of their offices, and how to impact sales metrics by ensuring prospects and loyal customers can clearly hear employees and vice versa.  The webinar will be presented by David Liu, CEO and Founder of Deltapath Inc. and moderated by Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director at TMCnet.

“Despite so many alternative channels, voice remains paramount to successful business communications and is the best way to engage when it really matters.   When calls suffer from poor audio quality or distracting background noise, the experience deteriorates and what should be a positive engagement quickly becomes a liability,” said Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director at TMC.  “With today’s technology, there’s no reason employees or customers should have to deal with anything but crystal-clear voice.”

During Deltapath’s multi-country Asia tour, which takes place in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China this month, the company will be introducing its noise cancellation gateway and providing a demonstration for attendees.  The noise cancellation gateway is available to all businesses and operates on different platforms.

“Background noise is an age-old problem that has been polluting conversations and data for years.  While we can all control background noise in our office, it is impossible to do so outdoors,” said David Liu, CEO and Founder of Deltapath.  “The work-from-anywhere trend that is picking up momentum across the nation has resulted in more employees working and attending meetings while outside the traditional office space.  Our company wants employees and customers to all have positive, fulfilling experiences whenever they are on a phone call, even outdoors.” 

What Attendees will learn:

  • Learn how to cope with background noise while keeping up with the demands of business communication and work that takes place anywhere, but in an office.
  • Learn how to ensure background noise does not impact the integrity of the data harnessed from calls
  • Hear about the trends in the UC industry that are impacting sales metrics and improving customer experience.

Registration for “Impact Sales Metrics and AI with Deltapath and Dolby Technologies” is now open.

About Deltapath

Deltapath liberates organizations from the barriers that prevent effective communication and revolutionizes the way organizations communicate through innovative technologies that meet the needs and the wants of organizations.

We specialize in solutions that unite different communication platforms, audio and video equipment, telephones, desktops, and mobile devices to make communication accessible and intuitive.

It is our belief that every solution should embody simplicity and offer users the right form of communication for the right occasion, right at their fingertips.

About TMC

Through education, industry news, live events and social influence, global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. As a result, leading technology vendors turn to TMC for unparalleled branding, thought leadership and lead generation opportunities. Our in-person and online events deliver unmatched visibility and sales prospects for all participants. Through our custom lead generation programs, we provide clients with an ongoing stream of leads that turn into sales opportunities and build databases. Additionally, we bolster brand reputations with the millions of impressions from display advertising on our news sites and newsletters. Making TMC a 360-degree marketing solution, we offer comprehensive event and road show management services and custom content creation with expertly ghost-crafted blogs, press releases, articles and marketing collateral to help with SEO, branding, and overall marketing efforts.

Media Contact:
Shirmattie Seenarine
Phone: 1 (408) 582-0408
Email: press@deltapath.com

TMCnet: Deltapath and Dolby Boosting UC Quality for 6 Months and Counting

Deltapath specializes in solutions that unite different communication platforms, audio and video equipment, telephones, desktops, and mobile devices to make communication accessible and intuitive. The company provides technology for collaboration, UCaaS, contact center, virtual workforce, virtual meetings, mobility, voice and video recording as well as call billing.

Deltapath’s inTeam application extends push-to-talk services to smartphones and tablets to provide another communication channel that offers one-touch, instant connectivity to one person or a group of people in time-sensitive and critical situations.

Deltapath’s Acute application, ensures healthcare institutions continue to deliver on their mission, increases operational efficiency, improves patients’ quality of care, and positively impacts job satisfaction for healthcare professionals.

Earlier this year, Deltapath announced a relationship with Dobly Voice.

“A decade ago, Deltapath was one of the first in the industry to bring HD voice and video to everyday business communications,” stated David Liu (pictured above), Deltapath’s Founder & Chief Executive Officer. “We have taken another big step forward to fill the gaps that are crippling communication and collaboration such as the inability to exchange information with customers from a noisy street, hear a person speaking from the back of a room when on speaker, and navigate conversations when voices overlap. Working with Dolby helps us deliver an exceptional experience in all of these scenarios by incorporating Dolby Voice and integrating the Dolby Conference Phone. Our new product line solves the longstanding communication and collaboration problems and answers the new demands of the ever-changing and increasingly mobile workplace.”

We wanted to learn how the collaboration has gone and had an exclusive interview with David Liu.

How has the response to the news been?

Deltapath’s partnership has been well-received. The press release alone was picked up by New York Times and Bloomberg, and editorial coverage from No Jitter. Channel partners were widely impressed with the partnership and see great differentiation with other UC vendors. In particular, they see Deltapath having a first-mover advantage being the first UC company to partner with Dolby and the first company to integrate the Dolby Voice codec into its end-to-end solution.

To gain more awareness of the partnership and to enlighten a huge audience about the problems this partnership would solve in the communication and collaboration space, we launched Spotlight 2019 in San Francisco, California followed by a multi-country Asia tour covering 11 major cities.

Are there any specific customer types embracing this more than others?

Communication and collaboration is at the heart of every relationship – business or personal. As a result, this partnership with Dolby was entered into by Deltapath so that we could improve communication and collaboration for everyone.

Companies that have offices in different geographical locations are often eager to harmonize their teams so they feel like they are all part of one company. Deltapath with Dolby Voice allows team members in different location feel like they are all in the same room with full room pickup of anyone’s voice, surround sound, and crystal clear audio while obliterating things like voice overlap so everyone is always heard. Users can truly be communicating anytime and anywhere regardless of their environmental condition and will still sound professional.

Because the workplace has transformed over the years into working anywhere at any time verses just from an office or at one’s desk, workers who take business calls anywhere from a subway platform or in front of a construction site, really appreciate the noise cancellation experience that is offered by the Dolby Voice codec on our mobile app. If both the caller and recipient are using Deltapath’s mobile app for their calls, they experience even more benefits from the Dolby Voice codec.

Dolby’s existing customers who already use the Dolby Conference Phone with Dolby Voice for their audio conference calls now have the opportunity to transform their conference phone into a fully operating phone that can make outbound calls and receive inbound calls.

Would all calls benefit from Dolby sound?

Yes, all calls benefit even PSTN.

Callers using the Deltapath mobile app to call into a Dolby Conference Phone will receive all that Dolby Voice has to offer – crystal clear audio, surround sound, noise cancellation, full room pickup, and no voice overlap.

Similarly, calls from Deltapath mobile app to another Deltapath mobile app user will receive all that Dolby Voice has to offer.

Other endpoint brands like Cisco or Avaya profit when they call into a Dolby Conference Phone or the Deltapath mobile app – they experience the noise cancellation feature curtesy of Dolby Voice.

Are there any drawbacks to this new partnership with Dolby for customers (more bandwidth needed per call, etc.?)

No, In fact, the average bandwidth consumption is less than G.722

Average bandwidth consumption: upload 12.46 kbps / Download 47.71 kbps

Dolby Voice kicks in automatically regardless of the type of call you are placing (PSTN, internal, speaker mode, conference)

This is all exciting news for the US market and one day soon we can hopefully expect all UC to be movie-theatre quality.