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Focus on: Business Headsets

For the last four or five years the business headset market has benefited from a big increase in the use of unified communications (UC) in the enterprise. Other market sectors are growing too

Over the last decade the business headset market has mushroomed to the point where there is now a headset for virtually every application imaginable.

The most common types are corded and cordless, both of which are either directly or indirectly ‘attached’ to a deskphone. Within this grouping, there are monaural and binaural models with either one or two earpieces and, unless the device is purely for monitoring purposes – say for a call centre management training application, a microphone.

The rapid growth in call and contact centre applications in often hectic and noisy environments has also led to the adoption, frequently at a price premium, of so called noise-cancelling headsets that filter out much of this ambient noise, as well as mitigating the dangers of being on the end of high volume spikes.

Another market that has seen steady growth in recent times as organisations recognise the importance of business agility is that associated with remote or home working, where the user is frequently using voice over IP for telephony via a mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

While employees are demanding more flexibility and autonomy than ever before and forcing employers to adopt mobile-first strategies, recent research suggests that flexible working does lead to improvements in productivity and, importantly, company profits.

Team-based applications, such as Slack and Teams, provide a fusing together of web chat, email and instant messaging, adding to the mix of on the move unified communications.

At a more strategic level, this is also being driven by cloud-based applications, notably Office 365. More organisations are moving towards the cloud because it can dramatically cut CAPEX costs and improve efficiency. When you tie this into a move towards collaborative working, the need for high-quality headsets becomes even more imperative.

The right headset For the reseller, all these applications present a wide array of opportunities. To make the most of them, it’s important to choose the correct headset.

Corded USB headsets tend to be used for more desk-centric working; DECT wireless headsets enable hands-free roaming around an office; while Bluetooth headsets are ideal for users seeking the convenience of hands-free with the flexibility to connect to different types of device (some headsets come with a 3.5 mm jack and USB plug so users can easily connect to a PC, as well as a smartphone or tablet).

Wireless headsets have grown in popularity as they provide the freedom to roam untethered to a host device and the convenience and efficiency of true handsfree working.

These benefits are recognised across a range of sectors and today wireless headsets are common in all major verticals in both the public and private sectors, including finance and banking, commercial services, government, healthcare and the blue-light services.

Wireless addresses the different usage patterns of an increasingly agile workforce and, as such, adoption is growing in all areas including the erstwhile corded headset fortress of the contact centre.

In recent times, we have all become aware of the extent to which consumer technology is influencing the workplace, and with headphones the crossover is highly visible. So called ‘prosumer’ markets, where users have high value headset units to listen to their music, are making the transition from the Spotify playlist on the 08:05 train to Waterloo to become an essential business tool in the office.

JPL headset guide

A dedicated brochure on headsets
A dedicated brochure on headsets

Nimans has developed a dedicated brochure to showcase the latest range of headsets from JPL. The 12-page guide features a wealth of wearing styles and solutions, from entry level to professional grade, including sustainable options that can significantly reduce the cost of longterm ownership. Jason Welsh, UC Devices Business Manager at Nimans, said: “JPL is a global innovator in the design and manufacture of professional headsets for the Contact Centre and Unified Communications. Working together with global technology and platform partners, they are developing industry firsts in sustainable and future-proof wearables. They have a wide range of professional telecom headsets, ranging from entrylevel office use headsets to professional call centre use headsets in wired and wireless DECT styles, providing a real alternative to the current brand leaders.”

He added: “It is JPL’s mission to revolutionise the headset industry to make an industry first sustainable range of headsets. Their focus is to create a sustainable headset on which, if an ‘element’ was to break, the customer would not have to buy a whole new headset, just replace the part that was broken. JPL offers resellers lots of compelling ways to clinch more sales. Its aim is to minimise wastage and reduce overall technology spend; at the same time as doing great things for carbon footprints.”

Wear & Tear
Penny-pinching in the headset market rarely pays dividends – it frequently leads to more breakdowns and poor user experiences. Resellers should have more confidence today when it comes to promoting higher value products to users as the audio quality is paramount in maintaining that user experience. Today, price has been overtaken by performance.

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2018