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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.




























Jenne Becomes Leading UCaaS Value-Added Distributor

May 8, 2018

As resellers evolve from selling telecom hardware like PBXs to UCaaS, they often need help to figure out how to do it successfully. Beyond the financial challenges inherent in going from a CAPEX to a monthly recurring (MRR) model are the inherent difficulties in learning how to configure complete solutions which include the network and voice communications.

One company helping resellers and the channel making the switch is Jenne, Inc. They bill themselves as a truly value-added distributor according to Susan Elder, Senior Director of Marketing as she told us in an exclusive in-person interview.



In January of this year, TMCnet reported Jenne becoming a distributor of Zenitel Group. At the time, Patrick Howard, senior director of product management at Jenne said that Zenitel’s intelligent communication solutions for operational risk and resilience, as well as essential operational needs are critical to bridging the last mile in this market.

In February, we reported on a Jenne deal with Jive Communications. At the time, Patrick said, "Jenne’s high touch, fast response,’ model and UCaaS offerings will complement Jive’s scalable, flexible, and reliable cloud-based phone systems and unified communications services, and their stellar customer service." 

More recently, Jenne announced a new Cloud Master Agent Program for Avaya IP Office.









Bullseye Telecom Expands Channel Offerings

April 29, 2018



As telecom consolidation continues, a wave of mid-sized carriers are expanding their channel programs to take advantage of the opportunity to benefit from changes to these programs at the "big carriers."

One such company is BullsEye Telecom. Their  Channel Partner Programs offer three new opportunities for potential partners:
  • Referral Partner: best suited for IT consultants and those who are connected with organizations that may benefit from BullsEye’s full line of services.
  • MSP Program: ideal for Managed Service Providers, VARs and system integrators; provides an opportunity to grow a stable and predictable revenue stream by referring BullsEye’s portfolio of services to their clients.
  • Agent Channel: for technology solution providers with sub-agents or seasoned sales representatives with a track record of selling technology solutions throughout the U.S.

All of the Channel Partner Programs feature these and other benefits:

  • Priority BullsEye support
  • High commissions through BullsEye’s industry-leading compensation plan, offering upfront, residual and combo options
  • The ability to grow business services offerings – including VoIP, SD-WAN, Broadband and POTS – from a single provider
  • Dedicated, hands-on sales and marketing support to help drive business



In an exclusive in-person interview with Mark Sondergaard, national director of partner sales, BullsEye Telecom said, “With our robust offerings, industry-leading benefits and proven success system, we are laser-focused on helping our partners grow their businesses faster and more strategically than ever before.”

Mark explained they are adding pre-sales engineers, and have added 4-5 channel managers as well. He said they excel in providing multilocation service including POTs aggregation, broadband aggregation, various VoIP flavors and of course SD-WAN.

He told me, they are one of the few companies which can bring on a one-thousand location restaurant and first take control of the transferred numbers via a POTs to POTs transfer.







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.







CounterPath Now does Collaboration

April 15, 2018

President and CEO Donovan Jones



Years before it was fashionable, CounterPath had a soft-client, allowing an app to give mobile devices compatibility with virtually all SIP phone systems. The company's Bria softphone was so ahead of its time, it is pretty incredible that CounterPath hasn't become a household name.

Perhaps that will change as the company recently launched its Stretto Platform for collaboration. We aren't sure we are huge fans of the name Stretto but we are fans of the solutions the company offers. CounterPath can now overlay seamless collaboration on all PBXs. All this while, providing provisioning, battery saving technology, messaging, presence and more.

The benefits become clear when you think about it.







RingCentral UC is Eating the Enterprise

March 26, 2018

According to a RingCentral report From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace, when it comes to communications applications, workers today are using an average of four apps, with 20 percent of workers using six or more. This includes apps for phone calls, texts, web meetings, video conferencing, team messaging, and more. Sixty-nine percent of workers waste up to an hour each day navigating between myriad communications apps, amounting to a waste of 32 days per year.

To counter this app fragmentation, 66 percent of workers want a single communications platform that will bring a sense of productivity to their

 workplace.

The Real Reason Trump Blocked the Broadcom, Qualcomm Merger

March 13, 2018

U.S. regulators will often stop mergers and acquisitions because they are bad for the public in some way. Too much market control could inflate prices wildly, etc. When deals are killed it isn't always obvious why.

FCC CTO Eric Burger and TMC CEO Rich Tehrani to Keynote Ideacom 2018

March 4, 2018



The pace of change in technology continues to increase and if your company generates its income from helping customers deal with these advancements, it's up to you to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Moreover, you need a general awareness of the regulatory environment and what issues are being addressed by the federal government; now and in the future.

It’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Yours Truly (Rich Tehrani) will be giving a keynote presentation at the Ideacom 2018 conference in Washington DC, April 8-10, 2018. The focus of our presentation will be on what resellers and MSPs need to know to adapt to the changing technology landscape.

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.



Mitel Analyst Day 2018 Live Blog

February 26, 2018

We will be blogging away bright and early in the AM, tomorrow, Feb. 27, 2018 but for now congrats to the Mitel team for inking this deal with the MLB. Mitel gear will be in every dugout and bullpen as the season begins March 29th!





Also follow my tweets at @rtehrani.

8:00 am Feb 27th, 2018



CEO Rich McBee takes the stage and immediately discusses the MLB deal - they will be at every event up to the World Series. The new theme is Make the Right Call.

We sold the mobile division and purchased two companies focusing on UC&C - especially cloud migration. Accelerated UCaaS strategy.









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