InfinityOne - User Interface Options

Overview

InfinityOne can be accessed in a multitude of ways, ranging from web browsers, desktop applications, and Mobile device apps. This section describes how to access the different user interfaces, and the the types of user applications where they are best suited.

There are three primary user access methods or interfaces for InfinityOne.

  1. Desktop Application
  2. Web Browser (Google Chrome preferred)
  3. Mobile application (iOS and Android)
Warning: Both the Web Browser and Mobile client interfaces operate in a software environment that can be updated without any specific actions being taken by the user. Occasionally those changes lead to issues with the InfinityOne user interface, potentially causing issues such as loss of speech path (in either direction), changes to audible call alerting or other impacts to call handling or feature operation that is outside of E-MetroTel's immediate control. E-MetroTel makes every effort to update our software as quickly as possible when these planned or unexpected third party changes occur. Note that the InfinityOne Desktop Application was developed to minimize the potential for these types of third party changes or software updates to impact the user interface. 

Comparison

User Accounts

The three primary interfaces for InfinityOne are able to be deployed across your organization on an as-needed basis. From an Administrator perspective, there is no difference in how accounts are established, and the same account can be accessed by any of the user interface methods. Chat and Group messages created by an account while using one access method will appear to other users as coming from the same user, and messages sent to a user will appear on any of the interfaces they are logged into. Subscribed Channels, Starred Messages, Pinned Messages, and uploaded files are all accessible from any of the interfaces. All three interfaces support the softphone application.

Ease of Use

Minor differences in operation between the interfaces should also be noted. The Web Browser interface is accessible immediately on any pc platform with the preferred Google Chrome browser, while the Desktop Application interface must be downloaded and installed prior to use. However, the Desktop Application can run in the background so that it is always able to provide appropriate message notifications and alerts for incoming calls, whereas the Web Browser interface requires a browser window to be kept open in order for message notifications to occur.

Performance

When using the InfinityOne interface via the web browser the performance of the messaging and softphone are tied directly to the performance and capabilities of that web browser.  Many users configure their browsers to receive automatic software updates, and may load many different extensions meant to enhance the browser operation for specific applications.  This variability across browser applications and operating systems can have significant impact on the operation of the InfinityOne user interface.  In contrast, the InfinityOne desktop application provides a more stable environment for running InfinityOne functionality, ensuring that you, as an Administrator, will have fewer support issues.  The same user account can be used on any of the interfaces.

Capabilities

The following table shows the capabilities of each of the three user interfaces.

Functionality Desktop Browser Mobile
Personalization      
Avatar
Y Y Y
Name
Y Y Y
Email
Y Y Android only
Password
Y Y iOS only
Messages      
Send / Receive
Y Y Y
User @Mentions
Y Y Y
Send / Receive Attachments
Y Y Y
Edit
Y Y Y
Delete
Y Y Y
Star
Y Y Y
Pin
Y Y Y
Emojis / Reactions
Y Y Y
Channels      
Public Channels
Y Y Y
Direct Message Channels
Y Y Y
Private Groups
Y Y Y
N-Way Groups
Y Y Y
Favorites
Y Y Y
Create
Y Y Y
Invite, Join, Leave
Y Y Y
Hide
Y Y Y
Notifications      
Desktop Notifications
Y Y Y
Email Notifications
Y Y Y
Sound
Y Y Y
Channel Details or Actions      
Search
Y Y  
Members List
Y Y Y
User Info
Y Y Y
Files List
Y Y Y
Mentions List
Y Y Y
Softphone      
Outgoing Calls
Y Y Y
Incoming Call Notification
Y Y Y
Answer from Background
Y   Y
Presence Info
Y Y Y
Click-to-Call
Y Y Y
Bluetooth Headset
    Y
Corporate Directory
Y Y Y
Operate in Background
Y Y Y
Wallboard Y Y  
Wiki Pages Y Y  

Typical Deployment Scenarios

One of the biggest differences in user functionality between the InfinityOne interfaces is in dealing with real-time telephony.  While the Messaging component of InfinityOne by itself offers significant value for corporations by providing almost-instant access to the most up-to-date and historical information on topics of interest to individuals and teams, each of the InfinityOne interfaces provide essentially the same level of access to that information.  Accessing messaging information does not present the same real-time constraints of telephony calls, however, where the ability to always be connected or be alerted to incoming calls or to answer those calls immediately is often critical.

Initial Deployment and Validation

When you first install InfinityOne, E-MetroTel recommends that the desktop application be used to validate all functionality, both within the internal corporate network and from the internet.  By using the desktop client for network testing purposes, you are able to isolate the test environment from the unpredictable nature of the browser behavior in general.

Desktop Phone Replacement

For full-time office workers or even full-time home-based office workers that want to solely rely on their PC for communication, E-MetroTel highly recommends accessing InfinityOne with the Desktop Application interface as it offers significant advantages over the Web Browser based interface. The primary advantage is that because it is a standalone application, it can run in the background and immediately answer incoming calls by simply clicking on the desktop notification banner. Similarly, it can run in the background with the window closed and still be able to receive desktop notifications, and the window can be closed at anytime, even while on a call. This is in contrast to the Web Browser interface, which needs to always be open in a browser tab; if the tab or browser is accidentally closed, the user will not receive notifications of messages or calls and any existing calls will be immediately dropped.
Note that in this scenario, E-MetroTel recommends a USB headset for optimum audio performance (particularly minimizing echo and fan noise) and configuring the InfinityOne softphone with a dedicated Directory Number. 

Desktop Phone Adjunct

For full-time office workers or even full-time home-based office workers that will have dedicated desktop devices that support Hotdesking (i.e. E-MetroTel Infinity 5000 series XStim phones or Nortel/Avaya Digital or IP/Unistim based sets) and wish to primarily use InfinityOne for its messaging or Wallboard components either the Desktop or Browser interface could be used, although E-MetroTel would still recommend the InfinityOne Desktop interface for the same reasons listed above.  However, if the intent is to rely almost exclusively on a desktop telephone for telephony, then the Browser softphone configured to allow Hotdesking to the desktop device will provide value for periods of time when users are not at their desk. 

Road Warrior

If your employees are always on the move and not tethered to a desk, then the InfinityOne mobile app, or a combination of the InfinityOne mobile app and either the Desktop or Web Browser interface is a perfect solution.  The InfinityOne mobile app will allow calls to be placed or received from anywhere - either on WiFi or Cellular networks. Users can also use all the chat functionality from the mobile interface, but they can also switch back and forth between the mobile app and either of the computer platform interfaces if they want the luxury of a full feature keyboard. In this scenario, one directory number can be assigned to the mobile interface, which can be hotdesked from either of the two PC-based interfaces..

The mobile app supports not only normal mobile phone front (to the ear) and back (handsfree) speaker modes but also standard bluetooth headset operation.

Occasional Access

The Web Browser interface is perfect for users who only occasionally work out of the office, perhaps due to sickness or inclement weather.  Since all that is needed to securely access the InfinityOne server is a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC with a Chrome browser, any device in the users home could be used to provide temporary telephony access by hotdesking into their desktop directory number.