Prime Telecommunications sponsors a hole at the Action Sertoma Golf Outing!

Prime sponsors a hole

 

The Action Sertoma Club would like to thank all of our supporters of our 2016 Golf Outing Fundraiser which was held on July 13th 2016, at the Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park, IL.

 The event was a tremendous success, the weather was perfect, over 230 golfers and guests attended the event, and it would not have been such a great success without your support.

 We thank you for being a  Hole Sponsor.

 Each year our club attempts to raise more funds then the previous year. This year was no exception.

 All of the funds raised at this event will be donated to the Sertoma Centre, Inc. The Centre since 1971 has been assisting people with personal challenges, including mental health, developmental, mental and physical disabilities.

 This year over 1,200 people with disabilities are being served daily.

 Again we thank you for your support, without you we would not be able to assist in the donations we make to the Sertoma Centre, Inc.

 

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Prime Telecommunications wins 2015 Cloudy Award from Channel Partners

Channel Partners magazine, a resource for indirect sales channels offering IT and telecom solutions, is pleased to announce that Prime Telecommunications, Inc.  has been selected as a winner of the 2015 Cloudys Cloud Channel Innovation Awards.

Twenty-five winners were honored at a reception at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, in Boston. These winners were featured in Channel Partners’ September digital issue.

“Winners of this year’s Cloudys awards run the gamut from IP telephony to shifting a customer’s entire IT infrastructure into the cloud,” said Lorna Garey, Editor-in-Chief of Channel Partners. “We have cloud brokers, desktop and backup as a service providers, and more. This program recognizes the array of business-focused cloud offerings that partners are delivering, and we were pleased to invite our innovators to share success stories with first-time Cloud Partners attendees.”

Prime Telecommunications partnered with Zultys and CTS Technology Solutions to provide a hybrid cloud solution for the Lyric Opera of Chicago that combined the Zultys Hosted Communications Solutions as well as an on premise Zultys MX system to provide integration with the analog sets on site as well as full back up and redundancy of functionality.

This is one of the first major implementations of the Hosted Zultys Cloud platform and an on premise chassis. It enables the use of SIP trunking, IP sets and analog sets across a single seamless platform. Now all users, whether analog or IP set based, have access to soft phone functions, voicemail to email integration and call center agent are able to use integrated functionality between their phones and their CRM for ticketing.

The Lyric Opera was able to use existing primary and secondary fiber bandwidth, element costly TDM circuits and fully integrate all users onto a single platform with enhanced functionality. The integration of Tessitura CRM software, Clearfly SIP trunking and Zultys Hosted Services as well as on premise Zultys hardware were instrumental in the deployment. Teams from CTS and Prime Telecommunications worked with the Lyric Opera IT department to successfully integrate all aspects of the cutover.

The Cloudys Awards were open to VARs, MSPs, agents, integrators and consultants. To determine the Cloudy winners, providers completed an application that asked them to demonstrate how they are used innovative cloud solutions to help customers grow their businesses.

Channel Partners editors evaluated and scored all applications to determine the 25 candidates that best exemplify the spirit of innovation.

 

 

Invest in a cloud phone system because…

Cloud technology makes it easier than ever for companies to work from wherever their workers are most comfortable. There really is not much difference between taking a call at home, on-the- go, or in the office if you have the right technology to support your team. Need more convincing? Here are some of the positive aspects of integrating a cloud phone system for use with remote workforces:

 

  • Everyone can share the same phone system – With a cloud based system, everyone who works for your company can access their phones from anywhere. Many cloud phone systems are intuitive for workers to learn and use in their daily work schedules. Scheduling, setting up, and conducting meetings is easy and workers can feel just as connected outside the office as they do when they’re sitting just a few doors down from the team.
  • Flexibility for workers – In a truly synergistic work environment, managers and employees trust one another to get a job done and not work a set number of hours and quit. That means that if someone needs to get to the airport or head home with a sick child, they can still perform vital job roles without putting additional stress on others. Although workers and companies must be more attentive to work-life balance policies, many workers prefer the ability to come and go from the office as needed, and cloud technology is one of the few ways a company can offer that type of flexibility.
  • Improved scalability and adaptation – The same cloud technology that allows workers increased flexibility also allows companies to become more flexible. With cloud phone services, they can expedite installation and setup processes to accommodate a growing workforce with ease. Traditional technology would box new employees into a certain location and may not be as easy to setup. Cloud phone systems are inexpensive to maintain and can be tailored to different companies and work environments.

 

Now is a great time to learn more about what cloud phone systems have to offer to improve company culture and productivity levels. With no capital investment and an easy installation process,we have a history of excellence in the field of cloud telecommunications technology. Request your consultation today.

 

Cloud Drives the Future of Automotive

The auto industry relies on the availability of a customer’s perfect car. When you have the ability to search inventories on the spot and stay connected, you close more sales and have more happy customers.

The cloud can impact the industry from start to finish – all the way from design to aftermarket solutions. It’s adding collaboration, cost efficiency, advanced analytics, scalability, safety, visibility and much more to a complex area of business. And as the industry internally benefits, consumers will also benefit from advanced technological features and enhanced safety measures.

Vehicle Engineering

Cloud computing enables better vehicle engineering. Thanks to advanced analytic capabilities, design teams can deliver exactly what customers want. The manufacturers become more flexible and can easily adapt to changing market demands.

They are also able to create more efficient designs, as better engineering will lead to less necessary hardware. This could result in less hardware under the dash, more leg room, and the implementation of unique features like heated and ventilated seating, or heating and cooling for mirrors, windshields and wipers.

Supply Networks

Automotive supplier networks are worldwide networks – they’re huge! Cloud computing allows those in these networks to feel a bit closer, as they can experience faster, better collaboration. This leads to efficient product development with greater visibility in management and shipping.

And speaking of collaboration, it’s often difficult for suppliers and manufacturers to maintain efficient communication, due to different software infrastructures. A cloud environment creates a common service interface, allowing these two parties to more easily share data and information.

Cloud leads to lower costs in inventory planning, forecasting, replenishment, and transport scheduling and optimization. It also leads to scalability, allowing supply chains to adjust to sudden, unexpected growth.

The Retail Side

Cloud computing certainly impacts the retail side of the automotive industry. Businesses have the opportunity to gather more detailed consumer insights through enhanced analytics and real-time monitoring of consumer behavior. This data is extremely valuable and comes from numerous sources, like social media, dealership sales, maintenance records, and online vehicle configurators. If the sales team has this information, the result can be higher sales and more loyal customers.

Additionally, the cloud supports advanced dealer management systems, automated servicing and more efficient management of orders and dealer training. Automotive companies must remember that they have to maintain a consistent brand face to consumers, and this is difficult for an industry that relies on thousands of dealerships around the globe. Cloud computing helps automotive companies get closer to consumers.

After Purchase

And it doesn’t stop at vehicle purchase. Consumers deal with service after purchasing a vehicle too, and the cloud can have a significant impact in this area. Through more targeted communication and analytics, the cloud helps consumers remain ahead of service issues and creates more loyal customers.

Additionally, infotainment technologies are becoming increasingly popular for automobiles and range from smartphone-enabled solutions to fully embedded solutions. Consumers are able to connect their devices to their car, gaining information about fuel consumption, locations and service alerts, while also enabling innovations like vehicle-to-vehicle communication services and mobility-related services. Today’s consumers want built-in connectivity, and the industry is moving in this direction. Volvo worked with Apple to create Apple CarPlay, while Nissan has its Connect system, linking cars to the Web. 150 million passenger cars will be connected to the Internet by 2020, according to Gartner. 60% to 75% of these will be capable of consuming, creating and sharing Web-based data.

Safety Features

Cloud computing is allowing for the development of safer vehicles, transforming them into extremely aware and engaged machines. Drive-assist technologies are already being implemented, with dozens more on the horizon. These include pre-collision warnings, lane departure warning systems, hands-free parking assistance and driver attentiveness monitoring. Together, these technologies can save lives, protecting both drivers and passengers. The future is already here with developments like the Google driverless car, which has already covered more than 300,000 miles without an accident.

Green Technology

The automotive industry constantly faces environmental issues, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and look to alternative forms of transportation. With the cloud, the industry can embrace green technology to make driving more efficient and help reduce CO2 emissions. There’s a huge movement towards electric cars today. Cloud computing can help lead the way to developing these systems and processes to make it easier to design and build electric vehicles.

This was another great article by Sommer Figone from Rapidscale that I had to share!

Want some more information? Learn how to increase your dealership’s CSI right here!

IT Buzzwords that Need to STOP!

Anybody who spends more than about 5 minutes with me professionally knows that I have an aversion (understatement) to buzzwords and meaningless techno-jargon. Imagine my delight when I came across this blog post from  Stephanie Moncayo that riffed all over my allergy. It is a great- and humorous read.

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Buzzwords, also known as pretentious jargon devoid of meaning, can easily drive anyone crazy! Although most users and administrators are familiar with Macbooks, Androids and Fitbits, few are actually familiar with the underlying technology that make their lives easier. Often, IT buzzwords are used to oversimplify the complex work that technicians, MSPs, and programmers do everyday. It’s no wonder they’re so frustrating. If you have ever had to explain to someone that “you’re not an app designer [so do] not confuse the program that saves entire organizations on a daily basis with Snapchat,” then you will certainly appreciate this post.

We’re back with another IT Community post! We’ve again browsed online communities like Spiceworks and Reddit to find the most irritable buzzwords you wish would just die. After filtering through hundreds of responses, which might I add was very entertaining (big kudos to HardLuckMike for his own thread), I’ve narrowed it down to these few notorious buzzwords that make every person in the tech industry lose it. Enjoy!

The “Cloud”

So by now, everyone and their mom knows about the Cloud, but who can actually explain it? If you’re in the tech industry, you hear this word and probably more than 50% of the time it’s being misused. One of our respondents described this anomaly, claiming that “people think the cloud is some magical place, but for our clients I could tell them the exact street address of where the cloud is lol.” More or less, you wish people could take five minutes to Google the definition.

Here are some more awesome responses to the “Cloud”:

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Synergy and Stuff

This next series of responses is my personal favorite because everyone can relate to hearing corporate business jargon for fifteen minutes straight. Your eyes gloss over and you walk away thinking, “what in the world was that?!” Well, now there’s Buzzword Bingo, a game that captures these irksome phrases. The Bingo card includes buzzwords like: innovative, giving it legs, strategic partnerships and integrate. Basically, the first person to call out five in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins Bingo! Yes, we shared the gameboard below for you to play along.

I’ll let the Spiceworks participants take it from here. The first response below received 208 spices. You aren’t alone, Digital Man!

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Another paragraph without meaning:

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More business jargon you love to decipher:

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As promised, the Buzzword Bingo Game!

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The Internet of Things

Huh? This is a buzz “phrase” that really ticks people off probably because it doesn’t make any sense. A lot of our respondents feel very strongly about this phrase. Many of you feel that the Internet of Things is a vague phrase that encompasses all too much, making it a useless term in itself. According to one definition I found, “the Internet of Things (IoT, sometimes Internet of Everything) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software,sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices based on the infrastructure of International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative.” So…on to the comments?

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Unfortunately, I can’t make the buzzwords stop! That being said, these Spiceworks and Reddit responses serve to remind us all of the solidarity within the tech community, especially as it relates to these overused words. I hope you had as much fun posting responses as I did reading through them. A special thanks to everyone who participated. It’s nice to see comments like the one below, which reminds us we aren’t alone. That’s why we write these posts. We are here to hear you out!

3 Major Trends in Global Telecommunications

The competitive market of telecommunications creates a constantly changing global landscape. With all of the shifts and new technologies, following the trends as closely as possible is the best way companies can anticipate future demand and be better prepared.

What does that look like for the next couple months? Three major trends will take center stage to dictate the industry priorities and work to redefine the standards for years to come.

Data Management

Rather than storing huge amounts of data on overloaded infrastructure and software—weighing down internal departments with security and maintenance measures—businesses will begin to seek out more realistic ways of managing data.

Cloud deployments and analytics will play a big part in redefining how business leaders and managers view the location and security of their data. The flexibility of cloud architecture—and growing demand from businesses and across employee groups—will outweigh the skepticism and win companies over by showing benefits of convenience, cost effectiveness, and increased productivity.

Analysts anticipate the decline of small data centers as large ones grow and expand. As businesses determine how much of their data can be entrusted to the cloud and whether they should maintain private data centers, they must consider the investment in technologies and weigh the energy consumption, along with IT costs and the physical footprint.

Wireless Networks

One of the largest and most innovative sections of the market, the wireless network is also one of the founders of modern technology, and so will have to continue to deliver at the highest level in order to maintain its status. These operators must increase efficiency in order to provide the coverage, capacity and quality that will be expected of them.

Modernization of equipment will be evident in comprehensive upgrades to LTE and through the discovery of improved infrastructure. In order to be successful, operators will add capacity by cell splitting and via a metro layer, according to experts.

Mobile Accessibility

Experts anticipate mobile app development will double in 2015, with some 35% of big enterprises investing in the creation and production of these applications.

Mobile applications, once sufficient if produced for smartphones and tablets, will rise in demand to include the Internet of Things and wearable devices. The ability for apps to sync across multiple applications will be essential, and consumer expectation for high quality content and functionality across each platform will remain high.

Newer and better designs of small devices will soon appear on the market, and rather than picking and choosing, consumers will add to their mobile access points. Companies must meet these new needs with an increase in syncing capabilities and on-the-go accessibility.

Key trends will continue to shape the industry in 2015. The way in which companies respond and react will determine how effectively they can manage these trends and where they will stand in the resulting new normal.

 


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5 Best Practices for Seamless Video Conferencing

Video and web conferencing has become more affordable and provided better quality in recent years. Video conferencing has also become a critical method of business communication in the face of decreasing travel budgets. Here, I explore some of the best practices you can bring to your video conferencing deployment to ensure that you have a reliable way for your employees to communicate with your customers, other employees, and peers.

Use Unified Communications Tools with Your Video Conferencing Tools

Whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, a dial-in conference call, or a video conference, participants complain about the amount of time spent in meetings. Meetings are a necessary evil, bringing team members and leaders together to collaborate on ideas, deal with problems, and develop solutions.

In response to the growing need and desire for video and web conferencing systems, some enterprise video conferencing vendors have expanded their relationships with other unified communications (UC) companies to deliver more integrated tools to meet the need. Ideally, a company would be able to combine its existing high-definition (HD) video, UC, and voice over IP (VoIP) tools and environments into one that’s easy for everyone to use. Currently, few successful solutions offer a complete packaged solution like this, so to improvise, you could find ways to bring your UC and video tools together.

Manage and Control

Any IT system requires full control and management to be effective. When you install management systems, you need to ensure that they will work effectively for everyone. This means that any video conferencing system must be accessible to any employee at any given time. To achieve such control, centralize your video conferencing equipment into dedicated conference rooms available on a reservation basis only.

Future-Proof Your Communications

It is essential that you select a solution that is compatible with your current software and an future upgrades of that software. As VoIP, web conferencing, and other IP-based technologies evolve, make sure that upgrades are as painless and seamless as possible with the technology you currently use. Your current IT vendor may have solutions and suggestions for how to achieve this. The vendor may also partner with other vendors that have a compatible solution.

Mobility

Many employees are highly mobile, so you want to make sure you include mobility when selecting a video conferencing solution. If your employees need to be present in a meeting but are on the road, you need to ensure that they can dial in at a minimum, but the optimal goal is for them to be able to use the video aspect to gain the full effect of the meeting. Some solutions offer compatibility with iOS, Windows Phone, and Android mobile devices.

Select the Best End Points

Desktop video, executive desktops, and room-based systems are all examples of video conferencing solutions that allow users to join a video call. Desktop and executive desktop solutions are designed to be used at a workstation with high-end HD cameras. Computer-based video conferencing software contains integrated voice, web, video, presence, and chat capabilities, which makes it easy for employees to join a video conference even if they are tied up with other work. Room-based systems provide video conferencing to large conference rooms, where participants can collaborate and bring desktop users in as needed, whether they are in the same building or across the country.

 

Visimeet video conferencing

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This was originally posted here by Anthony Ortega
About the Author
Anthony Anthony Ortega has extensive IT support and systems engineering experience in government environments. A solutions-focused professional, he has led staff; worked in network operations support, information assurance, and change management; managed project software and licenses; and provided quality assurance. He has also developed coursework for VoIP, unified communications, and cloud computing for online colleges. Anthony is working on his Ph.D. dissertation in Organizations and Management, with a specialty in IT Management. He is an analyst with Studio B.

Stop Buying Technology…The Wrong Way!

There are a few things in life that will remain constant till the end of time.  They include death, taxes, and the ever-changing world of technology.  As soon as we make a technological purchase today it unfortunately becomes outdated tomorrow.  Ignoring your company for a moment just think about the last time you bought a car.  The moment it was driven off the lot the value dropped instantly by a few thousand dollars.  This same scenario occurs in every technological purchase made by a company.  As a result, more and more owners and chief financial officers are being slapped in the face with a basic business 101 concept – why buy a depreciating asset.

The method of buying technology on a lease agreement is not new or even earth shattering.  Historically, both business communications providers and equipment manufacturers have offered leasing options.  However, within the last year or so, subtle changes by a select group of providers across the country have made leasing versus buying the right decision for any business.  These changes have eliminated technology’s two greatest risks – obsolescence and price (also known as outright ownership).

Voice and data communications is the heart and life-blood of every company and having the latest technology has a major impact on an organization’s efficiency, profitability, and competitiveness.  As a result, Prime Telecommunications launched the Prime Simple IP – Current Technology Assurance Plan (C-TAP) with the assistance of Technology Assurance Group (TAG), an organization of independently owned North American business communications providers with combined revenue of over $400 million in voice and data products and applications.

C-TAP ensures that the communications environments are refreshed with the latest advancements and value added solutions, thereby eliminating technology’s obsolescence.  For instance, updates (also known as refresh) to a company’s voice and data system can occur anytime after 24 months with no change in their monthly payment.  Additionally, both labor charges and software upgrades are waived.  If a product was purchased the old fashioned way from say Cisco or Avaya the business owner would get hit with thousands of dollars in software upgrade expenses.  A program like C-TAP prevents this type of situation.

Here’s a simple example that illustrates how C-TAP works. Companies are losing significant amounts of money on a daily basis because they don’t have sufficient technology to effectively manage their organizations.  For example, many businesses do not have data back up, message on hold, or unified messaging while others are utilizing antiquated desktop PCs.  Under C-TAP, companies that could not afford this technology before can now simply add it with no change in their monthly commitment.

Furthermore, C-TAP focuses on the cost of technology rather than its price, thus eliminating the second risk.  This is a mind set change for owners and many business communications providers not engaged in a program of this sort.  Because of C-TAP, companies are able to transfer technology costs from a capital expense to a fixed monthly expense absorbed by an organization’s operating budget.  This enhances the financial health from both tax and budgeting standpoints.

Programs like C-TAP have changed the way technology is purchased now and forever.  It has successfully eliminated the traditional risks associated with technology –  obsolescence and price.  By taking control of the purchase process in this manner, the owner is finally experiencing a true win for their business because they now have the means that will increase profitability, while giving them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Better protect data in event of natural disasters, power outages, employee errors or emergency situations

Nearly every business, especially in recent years, has become so inextricably reliant upon their data in order run their company. Simply put, data must be available to anyone who needs it and it must be available at the exact right time. Unfortunately, most companies still use an inferior form of data backup such as tape or external hard drives. Furthermore, lost or misplaced data creates unnecessary company downtime dragging operations to a screeching halt, which is out of the question for most of today’s businesses.

With nearly everyone depending on a strong IT infrastructure, it’s no wonder why businesses are scrambling to find the ideal form of data protection and backup. With plans ranging from manual disk backup to off-site backup to sophisticated cloud-based disaster recovery programs, the demand for this technology is clearly evident. The overarching goal of any disaster recovery program is to ensure that in the event of any natural disaster (earthquake, fire, flood, tornado) power outage or user error that a company’s data remains undamaged and is immediately retrievable. Prime Telecommunications’s cloud-based disaster recovery program, takes this technology one step further, in that it allows businesses to continue running smoothly, even during the midst of a disaster or employee error like deleting a crucial folder off the LAN. Essentially, for the first time, Prime Telecommunications’s customers can now shrug off a disaster, and continue running their business as normal.

Business owners have been quick to recognize the massive value associated with a disaster-proof business and the drastic reduction, if not elimination, of company downtime. This evolution in cloud-based disaster recovery has been heavily anticipated and Prime Telecommunications is proud to be among the few organizations leading the charge for this powerful technology. They are actively deploying their cloud-based disaster recovery program in the offices of many of their customers, across a multitude of industries.

At the end of the day, it’s about keeping our customers protected. When we can deliver a proactive, redundant, cloud-based program like this, we can keep our customers connected with their data so that they can keep running no matter what life throws at them. It’s such an overwhelming competitive advantage to eliminate company downtime and we’re absolutely thrilled to deliver this to our loyal customer base.

We believe that by providing our customers with competitive advantages, it gives them a leg up in their industry. Perhaps that’s why we’ve been fortunate to continue growing over the years, because of our outlook on ensuring mutual success.

What do you do? 

Unified Communications for the New Year

As mobile technology and remote accessibility continue to evolve, businesses, their employees and their customers now have a variety of devices, media types and communication platforms to choose from when building or growing their mobile workforce. While these different technologies and platforms provide effective communication on their own, full efficiency cannot be achieved – both technically and financially – if there is a lack of integration among them. As a result, the demand for multi-device connectivity to enterprise systems has grown substantially.

So, how do you meet these expectations to increase productivity, quality and efficiency for a modern workforce? Unified Communications, of course.

Bridging the Gap

Unified Communications bridges the gap between VoIP and other computer-related communication technologies. Through the real-time integration of both voice and data networks, business are able to manage every aspect of their communications in one entity, versus several – including the integration of email, voicemail, instant messaging technologies, fax, Short Message Services (SMS), web/video conferencing, screen sharing and more.

Through these real-time collaboration features, UC not only empowers people to communicate and make decisions at the rapid pace that is demanded in today’s business environment (users can save up to 20 minutes per day,) but it also reduces common communication barriers, such as the need to return missed calls and manage multiple email threads.

UC also provides businesses with the flexibility to choose and tailor the amount, and what types of communications platforms they would like to integrate, depending on what works best for their specific needs.

Consolidated Communication Tools on any Device

With UC, users can communicate with colleagues and customers from a business VoIP number on any device, including smartphones, tablets, PC desktops and desk phones, regardless of location. This means that personal numbers can be kept private, and communication delays are eliminated.

Integrated Voice

In UC strategies and solutions, hosted voice and Internet-delivered telephony services can be integrated. Hosted solutions, such as Hosted Voice, are becoming an increasingly popular choice as more companies adopt VoIP communications due to its inherent cost savings over traditional telephony, as well as the added convenience of fully managed services. These communication and collaboration features speed up almost every aspect of the business cycle, as well as provide workers with more freedom and flexibility in how they communicate and manage their communications.

Additionally, UC’s hosted voice services are a cost-saving, feature-rich, and scalable alternative to traditional and expensive phone services and equipment. With features such as self-service call routing, voicemail transcribed as email, call recording, and audio conferences, supporting a more mobile and productive work style is easily achieved.

Supporting the Needs of a Changing, Mobile Workforce

Having the ability to communicate and collaborate in real-time, no matter where you are, is advantageous for businesses of all sizes. From reduced total cost of ownership and travel time, unparalleled freedom, flexibility and productivity enhancements and more, UC solutions are an efficient way to embrace and benefit from the mobile, multi-device work style of today’s workforce.