Wavelink Blog

Cerner 2019 Australian Regional User Group (RUG) Conference

Five common missteps on the path to enterprise mobility

In virtually every industry, mobility is helping organisations achieve key strategic goals, from improving customer service or patient care to enhancing productivity, operational efficiency and competitive advantage. Yet, even as more organisations embrace and prioritise a mobility strategy, many are falling short of their desired outcomes and goals, according to Wavelink, Spectralink’s ANZ distributor.

Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink, said, “There are common challenges, or missteps, that often limit or derail mobility success for organisations at various stages of solution planning, implementation and support.

“Although every organisation’s goals and challenges are unique, there are some guidelines for organisations to consider when developing an enterprise mobility strategy or assessing their current solution.”

Five common missteps on the path to enterprise mobility

1. Under mobilising the enterprise. Many organisations don’t think broadly enough when it comes to mobilising staff and workflows, focusing instead on only the most obvious users and needs. By limiting the mobile strategy and solution to only a select few employees and workflows, organisations also limit the benefits and return on investment the organisation can achieve. To optimise outcomes and capitalise on the full potential of enterprise mobility, organisations need to conduct a thorough assessment that identifies all potential use cases, and then consult with managers and other staff from across the organisation. They need to determine the right mix of mobile devices, features and apps to effectively support and enhance these different roles to optimise outcomes at every opportunity.

2. Providing inadequate user training. Many organisations assume that all employees will know how to use mobile devices of any kind. However, there is often a wide disparity of user familiarity and comfort levels with enterprise-issued mobile devices. Even regular smartphone users may not be familiar with the type of phone issued. iPhone users, for example, may know very little about using the Android operating system or functionality. In addition to teaching the basics of how to use a new mobile device, training also needs to address another important goal: helping employees understand how specific features, functions and work-specific applications can support and enhance their work.

3. Being overconfident in the current network. Even the best, most advanced mobile devices can’t deliver the connectivity and capabilities an organisation requires if the network isn’t designed to support its specific voice and data needs. In hospitals, for example, clear and reliable voice communication is typically the number one priority. Ensuring that voice calls are prioritised within the wireless network is critical to the overall design. A thorough network assessment can help identify any issues, including optimising network security and minimising potential gaps in Wi-Fi coverage.

4. Using consumer devices for enterprise needs. Deploying consumer phones or relying on a bring your own device (BYOD) approach may seem like a fast and easy way to mobilise staff, however these devices come with inherent limitations and risks that can contribute to higher long-term costs and potential compliance concerns. Managing and supporting multiple consumer devices, platforms and carriers and coverage models can be both costly and time-consuming for IT staff, while additional charging components can quickly escalate costs and downtime. What’s more, cellular coverage is often spotty at best, a concern that is only intensified by the fact that consumer phones are often more susceptible to interference from machinery, medical equipment and other wireless devices. And, while some consumer smartphones are capable of utilising the Wi-Fi network, they are not able to roam across the network, and will experience dropped calls, latency, and jitter. Plus, they often incur higher repair and replacement costs because they are not purpose-built for specific work environments.

5. Looking for the perfect app versus the ideal partner. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits all app, and trying to create or deploy one can end up doing more harm than good by limiting staff’s capabilities and effectively encouraging employees to rely on older technology or tools to address unmet workflow needs. Instead, take inventory of the specific workflow requirements of each mobile user, and identify the tools and capabilities needed to support and enhance their efforts. Most importantly, choose a solution partner that offers the flexibility and ecosystem you need to address the full range of workflow needs and mobility goals.

Ilan Rubin said, “To ensure a successful mobile strategy organisations should steer clear of potential pitfalls while leveraging best practices to accelerate success and optimise mobile outcomes across the enterprise, both today and in the future.”

A new approach to assessing Wi-Fi health

The performance of wireless client devices and applications on the network at any given time is a crucial element of Wi-Fi that is constantly overlooked. And, significant deficiencies exist with today’s available wireless LAN (WLAN) assessment tools to analyse these.

Current monitoring tools view problems from the vantage point of the access point (AP) rather than the client device or application. An analysis can be done to produce heatmaps to highlight signal coverage, interference and channel overlap, but they don’t reveal anything about the performance of network devices and applications. Factors like rogue APs, radio frequency (RF) contention, beam forming and hidden service set identifiers (SSIDs) combine to make for incredibly complex issue resolution.

Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink, said, “Most vendors focus only on assessing the performance of their branded devices, while others focus solely on the network itself with little to no regard for the client devices running on it. Organisations are either using a combination of tool sets or hiring a professional services firm with wireless specialisation to troubleshoot their WLAN.

“Because most wireless troubleshooting is reactive by nature, network teams are often under tremendous pressure to restore a service that has already reached a compromised state. Yet often, there is no clear trail of the problem and frequently the problem cannot be recreated. This results in numerous wireless support tickets, many of which go unresolved.”

A client-first approach that focuses on both the device and application performance, rather than just network performance, can help address these shortfalls.

This involves identifying the type, variety and density of the expected client device and undertaking a thorough evaluation of the physical environment, which includes assessment of signal-to-noise ratio, multi-path propagation, RF contention / collision domains and air contention. These findings can then be combined to identify the network requirements that will provide effective and reliable connectivity for the most demanding client devices. These requirements are then modelled to arrive at a recommendation of the best hardware solution and the installation design that supports the devices and applications in the unique WLAN environment under assessment.

With a client-first approach, organisations can realise key benefits that improve their overall Wi-Fi health and business outcomes, including:

  • enabling reliable and consistent interoperability between devices, applications and systems, regardless of wireless network or client devices
  • increasing and optimising network airtime use, without adding additional wireless APs or other hardware)
  • proactively identifying network issues prior to an outage.

Ilan Rubin said, “For organisations and environments where mobility is mission critical, optimising Wi-Fi health and wireless device and application performance is essential.”

Insights On Innovation

Last week, Spectralink received three prestigious 2019 Mobile Star AwardsTM, recognizing our organization’s leadership in product and solution innovation. I was honoured to be among them as the recipient of the Mobile Development Innovator award.

This recognition gave me an opportunity to reflect on how companies like Spectralink best approach innovation overall. With technology disrupting and redefining markets and business models at every turn, innovation has become a strategic priority for organizations in every industry. But what drives true innovation? What makes it work?

To help answer these questions, I reflected on my own experience leading innovative product and technology solutions as well as Spectralink’s approach to innovation in mobility solutions. I came away with three key insights that I think are core to innovation success for any organization: maintaining a customer-first focus, optimizing technology trends, and establishing a team approach.

Focus on customer-first innovation
Effective, meaningful innovation doesn’t happen by chance. It is the result of a very intentional approach to business that centres on continuously understanding and addressing everyday customer needs. The goal of innovation, in other words, isn’t to simply develop new technology for the sake of technology. It is to solve real customer challenges and limitations that affect critical strategic goals such as business growth, profitability, customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. In the world of enterprise mobility, that involves addressing issues that affect workflow efficiency, team collaboration, management oversight, and so on.

A customer-first focus means innovation must always start with a thorough exploration of current customer needs and concerns. The goal is to not only identify what issues create problems for workers, but also why. This means digging down to the root cause or causes of each specific challenge, so that you can determine how best to resolve or improve upon it.

For example, poor voice quality is a significant and costly problem for customers in healthcare and manufacturing. In healthcare, it can lead to serious miscommunications among clinicians that can compromise patient care quality. And in manufacturing, it can reduce productivity by disrupting team communications that delay equipment maintenance and repairs.

At Spectralink, we worked with customers in each of these industry verticals to fully identify and assess the specific factors that disrupt voice quality among mobile workers; in short, we looked at the “why” behind the problem. Our findings became the catalyst for a number of critical innovations in our new Versity enterprise smartphone, including advanced voice quality features such as improved Wi-Fi roaming, noise reduction and echo cancellation. These advancements directly address many of the environmental challenges that disrupt voice quality in these demanding and noisy work environments.

Innovate to optimise technology trends
Innovation should never happen in a vacuum. Technology is constantly evolving and advancing, and a new development in one industry can create new opportunities for organizations in many others. This is particularly true in the era of digital transformation, which centres on the continuing convergence of new and emerging technologies to empower new possibilities in just about every industry. In enterprise mobility, for example, innovations in cloud, analytics, AI, IoT and other technologies can have a direct impact on current and future solution capabilities.

At Spectralink, our engineering and product teams are continuously monitoring the latest technology trends and advancements to inform our own solution innovation. We have dedicated teams, for example, that are focused on technologies in voice quality optimization to track new advancements and determine how those can apply to our products. We also have a team focused exclusively on application integration that stays on top of development trends, while also looking for opportunities to enhance and expand interaction across the entire application ecosystem.

These concentrated efforts and areas of focus allow us to leverage innovations from multiple industries and areas of technology to enhance and inspire our own solution set for customers.

Tap into the power of the team
The previous section leads naturally to this one because it highlights the diversity of ideas, experience and expertise that are needed to truly achieve successful innovation. Just as innovation can’t happen in a vacuum and ignore current industry trends, it also can’t happen in a silo excluding critical input and perspectives.  Innovation requires a broad, cross-functional team of experts that include engineers, product managers, network specialists, operations managers and other professionals—to assess, troubleshoot, refine and execute on each new opportunity. Groundbreaking products like Versity only happen through the collaboration of a dedicated team.

And let me add, innovation is enhanced by extending your team beyond your own organization. At Spectralink, we work closely with our Application Integration and Management Solutions (AIMS) to continuously advance the mobile functionality and capabilities of our enterprise mobile solution partners. At the same time, our partners are able to leverage our unique device innovations to deliver their solutions to mobile workers.

This all leads back to the importance of customer focus, because ultimately, customers are a critical part of your team as well. Together we’re all working toward a shared goal of enhanced mobile communications, capabilities and outcomes.

No matter what your role or title may be, all of us, ultimately, are innovators.  So don’t be afraid to question what is and to ask “what if?”  Every time you do, you push the boundaries of what’s possible and help pave the way to what’s next for our organizations, our industries and our future.

How to combat human error in cyber risks

According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, more than one third of companies that had data breaches in the past quarter passed on private customer information because of simple human mistakes. This won’t come as a surprise to many in the security industry; human error has long been known to be the weakest link when it comes to IT security, and it’s time for businesses to act on this vulnerability, according to Wavelink.

Hugo Hutchinson, Wavelink’s national business development manager for Fortinet, said, “Businesses need to have the right protection measures in place but, if that doesn’t include educating employees about the ways they can mitigate risk, for example with Hertfordshire IT Support Services you can manage the security, then the business is likely to fall victim to an attack no matter how good their technology is. It’s therefore crucial for businesses to understand the ways in which employees contribute to risk and, therefore, how to combat this.”

Wavelink has identified five ways employees contribute to security risks:

1. Lack of attention

Employees are busy trying to do their jobs. Social engineering campaigns known as phishing attacks use this to their advantage. They send emails that look like they’re from a legitimate source, tricking employees into paying money into accounts, providing password details, or divulging other sensitive information without realising they’ve been hacked.

2. Lack of understanding

When employees are trying to be productive, they can feel stymied by good security policy if they don’t understand why that policy is in place. They can look for workarounds that help them move faster but open up the organisation to risk. For example, they may use Dropbox or another unsecure service to share documents instead of sharing them through secure channels. Or they may share passwords with others to expedite a project. It’s essential to ensure that employees understand the reason for security policies that they may find cumbersome to increase the chance that they’ll comply.

3. Lack of hygiene

Good security hygiene demands that employees don’t connect unsecured devices to the network, don’t insert unknown USB drives into laptops, and don’t click on suspicious links in emails. Yet, every day, organisations catch their employees doing all of these things. Doing so opens up the company network to attack, so it’s imperative to put in place specific policies around these actions and communicate them regularly and clearly to employees so everyone knows what not to do.

4. Lack of complexity

One of the weakest links in an organisation is passwords. Staff members can become overwhelmed with the number of unique passwords they need to remember, so they opt for simplicity when it comes to updating their passwords. This could mean they use the same password across multiple accounts, or that they use easy-to-guess passwords. This makes it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to the network posing as an authorised user, which can make it harder to detect and remediate the attack. Employees must use complex, hard-to-crack passwords, change them regularly, and use multi-factor authentication when it’s available.

5. Lack of device management

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies have been appreciated by employees who prefer using their own device for work. However, this can blur the lines between personal information and corporate information. And, if the employee downloads or accesses sensitive customer information on their own device, it creates potential for non-compliance with privacy legislation. Companies that do allow BYOD must ensure that devices are properly secured and segmented on the network, and must insist that employees protect these devices with biometric security and remote wiping features. Better yet, companies should consider providing purpose-built devices for employees to eliminate the risk posed by employee-owned devices.

Hugo Hutchinson said, “Being aware of these people-based risks is the first step in mitigating them. Organisations must embark on a sustained, consistent campaign of staff education to ensure that employees know their role in keeping the organisation secure. Regular reminders and updates on security will help keep this important issue top of mind for team members, so companies can reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks that prey on human weakness. Minimising user risks, when combined with implementation of the appropriate network security measures will ensure the highest degree of protection in an increasingly risky environment.”

Wavelink celebrates 20 years of success in Australia and New Zealand

November 15, 2018 – Wavelink, a leader in providing enterprise solutions to the channel, is celebrating 20 years of operation in Australia and New Zealand with more than 10,000 communications, wireless and network security systems sold during this time.

Wavelink started out representing a single vendor with a handful of partners and has grown to become a technology aggregator selling a range of hardware and software solutions encompassing mobility, messaging and network security from Fortinet, Spectralink, Spok, Olinqua, CenTrak and Digium, with more than 500 partners.

Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink, said, “To survive 20 years in this industry is a great achievement in itself. While we have had our share of ups and downs, our ongoing success is testament to our ability to adapt and embrace a changing market. This is particularly true when it comes to the ongoing evolution of technology from hardware to software and the increased uptake of ongoing annuity revenue via renewals for licenses, maintenance support, and subscriptions. The cornerstone to our success has been our fantastic team, coupled with long-term relationships with both key vendors and partners.”

Over the past three years, Wavelink has invested significantly in developing a health practice, which has led to it supplying complex solutions to public hospital groups in all states via its channel partners.

Ilan Rubin said, “This has also opened the door for Wavelink to deal with most of the major tier one systems integrators, bidding on and fulfilling major health tenders.”

Wavelink has also established, from a zero base, a rapidly growing network security arm in the last 18 months.

In late 2017, Wavelink opened its new state-of-the-art head office in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, which included a custom fit-out to meet its current and future requirements. This includes dedicated demonstration and training facilities.

Ilan Rubin said, “We have also invested significantly in our backend systems and processes to give us the ability to scale, while controlling our overhead and providing enhanced levels of service and responsiveness to our partners in a competitive environment. Wavelink has recently launched a refreshed webstore and will launch a completely new website for our channel partners by the end of 2018.

“Our expectation is that Wavelink will grow by between 50 per cent and 100 per cent in 2019 versus 2018. We will also continue to expand our vendor line-up with complementary offerings. The business is now exceptionally well-positioned to be a true provider of total solutions to channel.”

Wavelink and Everlea team up to present the Spectralink Versity at HiNZ

October 30, 2018Wavelink, a leader in providing enterprise solutions to the channel, is teaming up with its New Zealand partner, Everlea, to showcase the Spectralink Versity clinical smartphone in Wellington at HiNZ, New Zealand’s largest digital health event.

The Spectralink Versity clinical smartphone will be available for sale in Australia and New Zealand in November, coinciding perfectly with HiNZ. Wavelink and Everlea will showcase it for the first time in New Zealand at the event.

The Spectralink Versity is the industry’s first purpose-built smartphone for clinical use. It features best-in-class voice and data quality, application integration, and durability. The slim, lightweight device is ideal for healthcare workers and the truly hot-swappable battery means there’s zero downtime.

Recent research by Frost & Sullivan confirms that healthcare organisations should avoid relying on consumer-grade devices and instead, invest in purpose-built devices that offer better Wi-Fi connectivity, longer and more versatile battery life, tested integration with industry-specific applications such as nurse-call apps, and other features that support the specific needs of healthcare workers. (1)

Alan Stocker, health practice lead, Wavelink, said, “The healthcare industry has been looking for a mobile communication device with all the ease-of-use and familiarity of a consumer smartphone plus the unique clinical features of healthcare-grade device.

“Putting all this functionality into one smartphone-like device that’s easy to use will help practitioners save time, especially if they’re in a time-sensitive or emergency situation. They need a device that feels familiar and offers the functionality they need, from communications, emergency or duress notifications to the ability to manage medications and patient transfers.”

Visit the Spectralink stand at Booth 87 at HiNZ from November 21-23 to see the Spectralink Versity in action.

Overcoming myths around RTLS to achieve successful implementation

While some hospital employees may initially resist the prospect of a real-time locating system (RTLS), hospitals that use them can achieve significant efficiencies and operational improvements. The secret to introducing an RTLS successfully is to effectively communicate with employees regarding the information that will be collected and how it will be used, according to Wavelink.

Alan Stocker, health practice lead, Wavelink, said, “RTLS-enabled staff badges can make some employees feel like they’re being watched and distrusted. However, one of the biggest benefits of this technology is that it can actually improve staff safety. The World Health Organisation estimates that up to 38 per cent of health workers experience physical violence in their career. (1) Reducing this number is essential and RTLS technology is one way to do that.”

With RTLS, staff members can call for help by simply activating the staff duress badge, which lets them get help without drawing attention. Because RTLS lets healthcare organisations see where staff are to a high degree of accuracy, there are no unnecessary delays in providing help when it’s needed.

RTLS can also help improve workplace efficiency by enhancing workflow and communication. Therefore, teams can provide faster response times, deliver a better patient experience, and even locate equipment the moment it’s needed. The time saved could be lifesaving.

Containing infection in healthcare facilities is another area where RTLS can provide benefits, since it provides real-time tracking of medical equipment, staff, and patients. Being able to see which people and equipment have been in contact with each other, and when, makes it easier to control the spread of infections.

However, due to a number of myths regarding RTLS, healthcare employees are reluctant to embrace it. These myths include that RTLS can be used as a punitive monitoring tool, that it requires significant extra work, that implementing it means facilities need to shut down rooms and units, that it interferes with medical equipment, or that it includes bulky badges. None of these are true.

Alan Stocker said, “In fact, RTLS can enhance staff safety and reduce manual work. Infrastructure is installed in minutes. Facilities that choose the right RTLS solution needn’t worry about it interfering with medical equipment. Badges are thin and lightweight, and safe enough for users with a pacemaker or stent, and even pregnant and breastfeeding women. Communicating these benefits to employees could help overcome their fears regarding this technology.”

Wavelink has identified five ways to promote RTLS buy-in among staff:
1. Communicate. Discussing the change can help address specific concerns among staff and neutralise any fears.
2. Educate. Giving staff lots of information about RTLS will help them understand how it will affect their usual routines and the ways in which it will make their job safer or easier.
3. Train. It’s important to provide training so team members know how to use it. This also provides an additional opportunity to dispel myths about RTLS.
4. Answer. Team members are bound to have questions and it’s important to answer these honestly and openly. It can also be worthwhile to compile FAQs for the staff intranet or a company-wide email.
5. Follow up. Let staff know their opinion is important by following up with surveys and taking action to improve.

Alan Stocker said, “Successfully implementing RTLS technology depends on having each member of the team on board with the technology and why it’s being used. It’s therefore important to communicate openly about the technology and, in particular, to let employees know how it will improve their work environment.

“Wavelink has partnered with CenTrak to provide low-impact, high-return RTLS solutions to Australian healthcare organisations. Using RTLS solutions effectively helps healthcare providers streamline workflows, drive higher patient and staff satisfaction, and reduce costs.”

(1) http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/workplace/en/

How to Find Your Next Phone System: Part 2 – Maintenance & Usabillity

In part one of our blog series, How to Find Your Next Phone System, we explored how features and functions play a large role in the search for the right phone system for your company. And, we discussed how what works for your competitors’ businesses may not be right for your business. In this blog, we’ll discuss why usability and easy maintenance are critical factors to consider when purchasing a business phone system.

Challenge Two: Maintenance and Usability

The telephone service industry used to sell business phone systems knowing that it was such a specialized device they would be back time and time again for all sorts of add-on work. If someone needed a phone moved from one desk to another, they would say, “Sure, we can do that for you for $150.” Or, if someone needed to assign a phone to a new employee, that would be another $150. If a customer wanted to alter how or where their calls were directed during holidays, the phone company would say, “We can send someone onsite to set that up for you for $75/hour.”

Sadly, in today’s marketplace, there are still voice vendors and manufacturers who operate under a similar process. Administration menus are difficult to access or not available to the end customer, keeping them from being able to make quick updates to their system and requiring them to be reliant on their telecom vendor. The legacy model works great for additional revenue for your installer and the manufacturer, but it’s not a wonderful choice for most businesses.

In a world where mobile apps, web services, and click-to-build web-based applications are the norm, it makes sense that most business-critical applications, appliances, or servers follow suit with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that are designed to ease administration and guide even non-tech personnel to make simple moves, adds, changes, and more.

Why should you bother with self-service and internal (or partner provided) maintenance? Aside from the fact that new features, functions, and enhancements are often available to phone systems these days, it can save your business countless hours of missed opportunities waiting for a vendor to respond or resolve an issue. And every savvy business manager and owner knows that time is money.

The most cost-effective phone system solutions are those that utilize smart GUIs through a website or dedicated application so that even non-telephony managers can easily make simple changes to the way the phone system operates. Re-assigning a phone or extension from one desk to another, for example, shouldn’t take a team of engineers or a few hours of wait time for a vendor to become available to make the change. Unified Communications (UC) solutions do require experts to design and initially configure, however, the day-to-day operations and common chores that can nibble at your bottom line should be easily managed in-house.


A great example of a UC solution designed to be easy to administer is our very own Switchvox platform. From the easy-to-navigate, browser-based interface to the built-in help system, it makes it clear that the nickel-and-dime vendor support model is outdated and ultimately unnecessary for most business solutions.

In the final part of this blog series, we’ll explore why choosing between cloud and on-premise phone system deployments is a huge factor in today’s Unified Communications buying process and how choosing the correct solution deals with more than just the upfront and ongoing costs.

For 8 specific tips about finding a phone system that is easy to use and maintain, check out this blog.

How to Find Your Next Phone System: Part 1 – Features & Functions

With all the buzzwords, technobabble, and specialized, proprietary keywords that manufacturers use to describe the same features, it can be a seemingly daunting task to find your next phone system. And, if you’re in a non-IT role, the task can seem even more difficult.

When finding a new phone system (or making any IT purchase), the underlying question you’re trying to answer is: “Is this the right solution for my company?”

There are three main challenges that every business should overcome when replacing their phone system. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a three-part blog series addressing these three challenges in order to help your company thrive and grow by utilizing the tools in today’s Unified Communications (UC) solutions. Today we’ll address the first challenge: features and functions.

Challenge One: Features Functions

Feature parity among UC solution providers has never been closer. With each vendor primarily offering the same types of features and functions, how you access those functions can be monumentally different.  For example, many vendors bundle certain packages together and charge extra for them. Or, they offer a stripped down version of a package and charge upsell fees in order to activate the full feature.

Let’s say you run a dental practice and you would like to have six staff members making outbound calls to patients for follow up and scheduling. Those same six staff members also receive inbound calls from patients looking to reschedule appointments, confirm appointment times, and inquire about the duration of their procedure. It might not be a traditional call centre or helpdesk, but in order to fully optimize how quickly and effectively patients and staff are able to communicate in this way, call centre features are really necessary.

Some UC solution providers may charge extra to include call centre type features. Or, some may include a base package with a single call queue with up to five agents (staff members) and charge you to add additional queues or agents. Others, like Digium’s own Switchvox UC system, include it without licensing limitations in their base product.

So, what’s the underlying point about challenge one? It’s not just about whether a phone system has a feature you’re looking for, it’s also about how you access it and how much you must pay for the privilege to fully utilize it. For a small set of features, maybe an add-on cost is not a large factor. But, if you need to add multiple features, these fees can add up more quickly than you might suspect.


The most cost-effective solutions are those that include the features and functions your company could use to improve its business processes, streamline your call functions, and maximize the benefits to both your employees and callers alike.

To help narrow down the phone system features your company needs, download the New Phone System Checklist now!

Stay tuned for part two of this blog series where we’ll explore Challenge Two: Maintenance and Usability.

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