Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

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ITEXPO #SuperShow: The One Event Tech Buyers Should Attend Each Year

December 12, 2018

Time is limited and the only constant in tech is change.

In this environment, our challenge at TMC has been to evolve our conference ITEXPO, into a #SuperShow.







We hope you’ll make it Jan 30th-Feb 1st, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Simply stated, we have spent years, making ITEXPO (photos) the one place where purchasing decision-makers need to go to learn everything they need for the new year.

Stack8: Achieving the Promise of UC and UCaaS

September 21, 2018



When it comes to UC, quite often, integrators leave when a system is technically up and running, not when it is optimally running. Stack8 was founded in 2010 to address this gap by bringing enterprise UC systems closer to what they could be doing from what they are doing.

The name Stack8 is interesting - it comes from the 7 layers OSI model starting at the bottom - the  physical layer carrying binary transmission all the way up to layer 7 or the application layer.

Stack8 refers to the human and business layer which runs on top.

CEO Steven Karachinsky explained in an exclusive interview, his company fights for customers to achieve the promise of UC and network - allowing users to communicate anywhere, anytime, on any device.
 

They work with companies using Cisco UC and fill in the gaps.

Sample customer list


For example - moves, adds and changes using a level 2 engineer is challenging as it's expensive, doesn't provide job satisfaction for the tech, zaps morale and is low priority, meaning a new employee could wait 48 hours for a new phone to be configured.

As a result, they built SMACS or the STACK8 Moves, Adds and Changes System so non-technical users can take over the task without errors. He explained ease-of-use is very important to them - there is no new terminology to learn, the logic is built-in and there are no templates needed like other solutions on the market.

"We try to make it as easy as smartphones," he exclaimed.

There is a Dial-Plan Manager which acts like an airplane seat selector, showing available numbers when you're assigning a new extension.



In addition, the IT administrator can:
  • Decide which fields or services should be shown to and hidden from the user.
  • Choose which fields are required.
  • Provide default values for any field.
  • Select and order the values of any drop down.
  • Customize text fields such as descriptions and labels to follow your company standards.
  • Set restrictions based on location (e.g. define a New York SMACS user and a Chicago user who can each do provisioning only for their office.)

Then you can authorize non-technical people in office administration, human resources or other departments to take over user provisioning.




























Hate Calling Companies? 10 Digit Communications Has the Answer

September 13, 2018

And that answer ironically is, not to answer - by voice anyway... 



If you have kids, are a kid or know kids (I believe that covers all of you ) you realize the amount of time we spend talking on the phone has been reduced as we spend more time texting.

Yet companies are not adapting to this change with the speed they should.

Sure, a business owner of a small company may text with customers, but what happens in an organization which has a call center, or needs one?

Typical contact center solutions may have the ability to handle texting but they certainly aren't designed for texting. CTO of 10 Digit Communications, Thomas Howe explains that legacy contact center solutions were designed in the time of he landline, not the smartphone.



Now of course the world has smartphones.

And even the premium smartphone brand, Apple, has new phones starting at under $500.

On September 17th you can order a wide price range of phones from #Apple

$449 to $1,099#iPhoneXS up to 30 minutes more battery, #iPhoneXSMax more than 90 minutes#AppleEvent #appleEvent2018 pic.twitter.com/0IPHORda0t

— Rich Tehrani (@rtehrani) September 12, 2018
Getting back to Thomas - he is one of the few people who is a telecom disrupter and a doer - he has worked in large and small companies and his new launch feels like it is really onto something.

10 Digit is already working in telcos, major car companies and a school- Bryan & Stratton College, a for profit institution.



As Thomas explained, this organization had a 1/2 percent connect rate with new students but when they used text, this rate went to 33% or a 66 time improvement!

Anyone who has kids could have likely predicted such a result so even though the improvement seems statistically far-fetched, our collective personal experience verifies that it makes sense.

The company was just granted a second patent on this texting PBX which is pretty exciting and a nice validation that Thomas is breaking new ground.

He said they are forklifting other solutions from companies which caused me to ask - what about the existing voice calls? He replied that when callers call in, they present them with the option to text.





























Cloudstudio with Your UCaaS, Would You Like Fries With That?

May 21, 2018



McDonald's is famous for asking customers if they want fries with their order and as a result, over the years, they have generated millions of dollars of extra profit. We can all learn a little something from this worldwide purveyor of fast food.

Far less tasty but far more profitable could be the sale of on-hold, music and messages to your customers buying a PBX, UC or UCaaS. Whether you sell Mitel, Avaya, Cisco or just about all other phone solutions, you can also sell an on-hold solution.



Recently, we had an exclusive phone interview with Mick Sakakeeny, Division President, Cloud Services at Spectrio LLC. We met the company at the recent Ideacom event in Washington, DC where Your's Truly was a keynote speaker.



Spectrio product lines include Intellitouch, Cloudstream and Cloudstudio.











With Yeastar, Becoming a Telecom MSP is a Massive Arbitrage Opportunity

May 4, 2018

Recently we wrote about how telecom resellers are becoming MSPs, providing UCaaS solutions on their own, without the need to rely on an OTT provider such as RingCentral or 8x8.

In our discussions with MSPs making the switch from reselling a hardware solution like Toshiba to providing service themselves, they tell us how happy they are. They are making great margins and have much more control over their destiny.



We just had an in-person interview with David L. Puckett, Director of Business Development at Yeastar and the opportunity just grew in our minds as we spoke.

The company has 100 engineers and recently devoted themselves to taking all their hardware smarts and converting it to software. The result is the Yeastar Cloud PBX which was launched a few months back at ITEXPO. It's a monster, based on the Yeastar Management Plane or YMP, supporting 100 PBX instances, 2,000 users, and 500 concurrent calls.







3CX Aims to be Top 3 in UC Software

May 3, 2018

MSPs and resellers in telecom are going in three directions. The first is business as usual. They continue to sell boxes and/or cloud services. Sometimes they'll just refer the business to the UCaaS provider and other times, they'll do the install themselves.

Another direction is the reseller becoming an MSP.

VirtualPBX Invented the UCaaS Space. This is What They're Doing Now.

April 24, 2018



In 1997, years before Skype, Vonage and before Cisco discovered VoIP, VirtualPBX was invented. To say the company was early is an understatement. Hundreds or thousands of communications companies didn't make it through the various bubble bursts between then and now.

Now though, the company is facing intense pressure from well-funded competitors coming at them from numerous directions. Here is how they are differentiating.



In an exclusive interview with CEO Paul Hammond, we discussed the company's latest platform, Dash - three years old and shiny new.







Nectar and Plantronics Ear-to-Ear Diagnostics to Boost Call Quality

April 2, 2018



The quality of phone calls varies for a variety of reasons from network congestion to weak headset batteries and wireless interference. This is why Nectar Services partnered with Plantronics to build an Ear-toEar (e2e) solution allowing the enterprise and carrier to track call quality across core networks, the internet/intranet and to agents answering phones.

With this new capability, service providers and enterprises can resolve issues faster, ensure superior call quality across the network and improve customer service. In an in-person interview with Tom Tuttle (right), SVP, UC Strategy & Global Alliances and Tim Armstrong (below), VP, Microsoft Practice at Nectar Services, explained they can measure call quality in real-time throughout the duration of the call.

They explained the increase in BYOD has become an issue which enterprises have to deal with when trying to provide superior call quality to workers and customers.

Nectar looks at the health of the platform, SBCs, clouds, network and endpoints, looking for router or WAN-segment issues.

“Correlation between user sessions and network health has always been our strength," said Tim Armstrong.

“As business communications services continue to evolve, it is paramount that the quality of those services remains superior. The last thing any business wants is to lose a potential customer or sale because of jittery VoIP,” said Jon Arnold, principal analyst, J. Arnold & Associates.











NEC Brings Tech Edge to UCaaS

March 27, 2018

NEC has been a technology leader in the communications space for decades and as the market has evolved to UC and UCaaS, they haven't kept up. That however is changing and NEC is bringing the power of it's tech portfolio to assist in sales of its telecom solutions.



In an exclusive in-person interview with Ram Menghani (pictured above), VP Product Management, he explained the company is seeing cloud at around 12-15 percent of revenue. To do better, they are building out their global data centers to remain competitive and perhaps leapfrog some of their UCaaS competitors.

Canada is currently supported via the U.S. In addition, they are building out in EMEA, UK, Germany, Milan and Australia. 





IPTechView RMM from ABP Fills Important MSP Gap

March 2, 2018

According to Robert Messer CEO of ABP, the company's new IPTechView RMM, launched at ITEXPO, February in 2018, gives MSPS and VARs the ability to monitor and control virtually all the devices on their customer networks. PBXs, switches, IP cameras, IP phones, IoT, etc. The highly secure system is compatible with the GPDR standard for cybersecurity in Europe which means it should be fine for use in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The solution is meant to be complimentary to software from SolarWinds, Kaseya, Autotask and ConnectWise as it does not manage the PCs like they do.

What we liked best about it was the ability to see real-time views from the cameras it manages.



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