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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

IP Communications

Yamaha Brings Audio Expertise to UC

October 17, 2018

"People don't always understand the value of audio in meetings," said Randall Lee, Director Strategic Channel Marketing at Yamaha Corporation when speaking about the company's UC solutions.

This reminds us... We were once an amateur audiophile ourselves. In the days when we had to drag a diamond over a spinning plastic disc to produce quality tunes. And even back then, we knew about the Yamaha legacy.

They have actually been in the U.S.



Phone.Com adds Enterprise Features and HIPAA Compliance

October 10, 2018


As Phone.Com crossed the 30,000 customer mark we decided to have an exclusive interview with Alon Cohen, CTO and Executive VP. Alon is credited with being a founder of the VoIP market as a co-founder of VocalTec, the Israeli company which sold PC software and gateways allowing calls to traverse packetized IP networks for the first time.



Alon was very excited to discuss the company's new cloud architecture - the serverless solution allows the company to focus more on business logic. In fact, they can now respond to requests for changes quite rapidly as a result. He said, "We can respond in a day or two if a big customer needs a feature."

Telecom systems were once famous for being extremely slow when new features were needed.






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. 








SnapLogic: The Universal Translator of Digital Transformation and AI

September 14, 2018

Companies have a never-ending list of cloud applications they rely on with crucial data becoming ever-more siloed. Yet, in order to make sense of all this information, they need IT to manage exporting, massaging and importing data from various platforms to effectively make data-based decisions. IT of course is spread thin and decisions often need to be made in real-time, meaning one-time imports and exports get old, quickly.



This is where SnapLogic comes in. Their simple and fast IaaS-based enterprise integration platform empowers enterprise IT organizations and lines of business to connect apps, things and data. 



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.





























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.





Nerdio ITaaS Helps Maximize MSP Profits

June 5, 2018

As customers continue to embrace cloud, MSPs and IT providers can look at the transition as an opportunity or a competitor.

One of the biggest challenges for MSPs is dealing with the increased cost of employees without being able to pass these costs on easily to customers. When benefits are factored in, increases can be 5-10+% each year.

One option is to hire less expensive workers but you get what you pay for many MSPs don't want the cheapest workers they can find servicing their customers.

Another way to handle the challenge is to automate but there is a limit to how much automation can be applied to installing servers and desktops.

This is where Nerdio comes in. They provide easy IT automation for managed service providers and their customers. Nerdio for Azure provides IT automation technology that delivers pricing, provisioning, management, and cost-optimization of hybrid and full IT environments on the Microsoft Cloud, allowing MSPs to build and rapidly grow their IT practices in Azure.

In a telephone interview, Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy said, "Many MSPs are looking to add advanced cloud services to their offerings and find alternatives to continued investment in their own infrastructures.










ZiipRoom Intros Must-Have Videoconferencing Solution

June 5, 2018



Friction or resistance is generally used to slow things down. In fact, a car's braking system is a great example of something very small - brake pads, reducing the momentum of a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds.

A learning curve is friction. Multiple ways to accomplish the same outcome causes friction. In technology, one example of friction was Microsoft Windows phones around the 2005 timeframe.



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