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MicroCorp Continues to Grow in SD-WAN, UC, Cloud and MPLS

October 26, 2018

As global enterprises are embracing SD-WAN and the move to the cloud, we decided to reach out for an exclusive interview with Trish Kapos – VP Marketing & Strategic Relationships at Microcorp.

This 32-year-old company is getting into large enterprise deals – the channel's largest SD-WAN deal as far as anyone knows, and even a  Fortune 5 account in their portfolio. The award-winning organization has over 80 providers, from AT&T to Zayo.

As a premier value-added distributor of telecom and cloud solutions, they have simplified the purchase and management of telecommunications services for business customers. Today, the MicroCorp People-Powered Network is a powerful combination of back-office systems, people and support offerings in the industry.

MicroCorp prides itself on being your whole back office or an extension of your current team, allowing customers to focus on growing their business profitably. In addition, their collaborative back office portal, Nautilus helps position them as a trusted, skilled partner for a national network of agents, MSPs and VARs.





Trish explained their growth areas are SD-WAN, UC, cloud and even MPLS is growing.

In terms of differentiation, the company prides itself on providing flawless commissions the first time to minimize or eliminate the need to recover them later.

Trish said, "MicroCorp is making huge investments in the area of automated tools as we continually see that self-service tools are what drive partner engagement."



She continued, "We are focused on the ecosystem and assist our partners in building a network of experts around them, along with programs that protect their customers and commissions as they open their customer doors to these experts."

Finally, MicroCorp’s Cloud Elements division is quickly filling the funnel with cloud opportunities.












Telestax: Carriers Must be Ready for CPaaS 2.0

September 24, 2018

A massive shift took place in telecom with the advent of VoIP and SIP. Carriers who initially downplayed the reliability of both, eventually got on board after 2003 when Vonage started to take residential share and Skype started to become a more obvious threat.

Eventually, SIP trunking became a way for communications service providers or CSPs to make money from IP communications.

Another transformation is taking place in telecom - this time it's CPaaS companies such as Twilio and Nexmo (part of Vonage). The space has high valuations and is taking away high-margin transactions from carriers. They are slowly morphing into CSPs themselves through software.

Carriers are now facing competition on the low-end in the form of consumer VoIP as well as on the high-end where CPaaS providers continue to take away enterprise business.

The solution is to use a white-label solution so carriers can quickly  compete with CPaaS vendors and protect their turf according to Kevin Nethercott, VP of Business Development at Telestax who spoke to us in an exclusive interview.







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.




























PGi Aims to Become Heart of Digital Transformation and UCaaS

September 19, 2018

60% of companies are behind on digital transformation (DX) and 34% of business owners say half their workers will be remote by 2020. Companies have to change and quickly to be able to keep up with a workforce which is increasingly working from remote locations.

Sure, (DX) is a term we use a great deal - perhaps even overuse but if the market considers itself behind and competition and a changing workforce require it, then perhaps it needs even more press coverage to ensure decision-makers are taking the competitive threat and opportunity to excel, seriously.

iPhone XS and XS Max Benchmarked: World's Fastest Phones (Again) https://t.co/2Knzy2iFrC pic.twitter.com/41ik34t4jQ

— Rich Tehrani (@rtehrani) September 18, 2018

We know not only is change happening more quickly but the pace of change is increasing as well. Apple's iPhone XS to be released tomorrow, is the fastest smartphone on the planet and increases the pressure on enterprise services to keep up with all the amazing things the latest generation of handheld devices can achieve.

A major thought leader in the DX space PGi CTO Patrick Harper recently wrote a compelling piece on a TMCnet sister-site detailing six considerations for enterprises adopting a UC&C strategy. In it, he had this to say:

Uptake of collaboration tools continues to grow as companies using this technology report higher productivity. Those with effective internal communications achieve 47% higher returns for shareholders, which makes effective communication and collaboration technology highly prized, while failure to promote effective communication and collaboration can be expensive - $37 billion is lost annually due to employee misunderstandings and poor communication. 








Pareteum Lets Carriers and Companies Quickly Integrate Global Mobile Services

September 11, 2018

Abstraction in tech adds value. Look no further than portable document format or PDF for an abstraction format for documents that revolutionized the way they were shared and printed. Before PDF, lots of energy was spent on installing printer drivers, exporting and importing documents - and quite often, retyping.

The packet network is an abstraction in the simplest sense - we send packets and they generally arrive at their destination, taking numerous possible routes.

The cloud is yet another abstraction - an amazing one... We save our files and run our applications without worrying about where the hard drives are - or the processors, memory, disaster recovery, etc.

Telecom has seen tremendous abstraction take place over the decades.





Martello Offers Unique SD-WAN Solutions

May 17, 2018

Martello Technologies has become one of the more interesting players in the SD-WAN space - by purchasing Elfiq - one of the first if not the first players in the space. From there, they combined SD-WAN with service assurance... From quality management to remediation.



According to Tracy King, Director of Marketing, "The layer 2 approach makes it easier to install." She continued, "You just drop in the box and it works."

She continued by explaining the company has subsecond failovers, hybrid WAN solutions, a UC site qualification tool and more. Customers can see in advance how many calls the network can concurrently support.

In addition, they offer a STREAM VPN engine which encrypts per flow and offers zero-touch provisioning.

The LBX700 Link Balancer provides throughput of 800 Mbps, 512 VPN tunnels and support for up to 14 ISPs

Tracy explained there is no limit to how many sites which can be meshed with their new ATLAS SDWAN solution.











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.







Windstream Positioned between CableCos and Largest Carriers

April 26, 2018

Two months back at ITEXPO/SDWAN Expo, Windstream aligned its brands to simply Windstream Enterprise and Windstream Wholesale. The company explained the new brand strategy reflects the transformation the organization is undertaking in response to the demands of the business market for a more agile, innovative network and communication service provider. The organization distinguishes itself by leveraging the latest technology and a highly agile, customer-centric culture that positions Windstream as a trusted partner to its Enterprise and Wholesale customers.



“Enterprise IT is going through a tectonic shift, driven by rapid migration to the cloud and adoption of new technologies to address evolving customer needs,” said Joseph Harding (above), executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Windstream Enterprise and Wholesale. “This transformation directly addresses the specific challenges facing businesses today who’ve learned that conventional approaches can’t keep pace with the requirements of the digital economy,” said Harding.



MasterStream ERP Expands Carrier Offerings

April 24, 2018



MasterStream, the complex quoting engine of many of today's carriers has been successful at working with enough carriers that they provide 15 million quotes per month. Part of what differentiates the company is they provide complex quotes - based on specifications of the carrier and customer. They are leveraging this success and expanding into new and exciting adjacent spaces.



Their first new product, CarrierAccess allows a wholesale carrier to just manage their product catalogue for their provider customers. Instead of using a spreadsheet or portfolio can now have a single portal for everything they need.





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