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Rich Tehrani
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Microsoft

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. 



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.










Array Networks: Laser Focus on Private Cloud Security and Networking

May 24, 2018

Recently we shared how 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. They install software in the cloud - which could be their own data center, AWS, etc.



vXchnge Data Centers differentiate with Channel Program, Uptime

May 14, 2018

As the value of cloud grows and companies realize they need greater cloud continuity, vXchnge is becoming a major player in providing cloud with greater uptime as well as flexible reseller solutions for the channel and others. In an exclusive interview with Ernest Sampera, CMO, he explained that four nines is 45 minutes a year which is too much downtime. This is why the leading carrier-neutral colocation services provider achieves greater than seven nines.



In 2017 the company secured $200 million to fuel its data center growth and now, the results of its investments have enabled the company to go to market with various solutions.

One is in\site, a business intelligence system that provides the company's customers detailed views, tools and interactions for managing their businesses and compute deployments within vXchnge data centers.



in\site provides vXchnge customers with a single-pane view, providing real-time information to support business planning and compliance governance. Key metrics for bandwidth utilization, peak power usage, power monitoring and asset tracking afford customers up-to-the-minute actionable alerting.









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.







What We Got Wrong and Right in our 2017 Predictions

March 20, 2018



On December 9, 2016 we made the following predictions. Some we realized were ahead of their time but we figured, it was worth taking a risk. Topics ranged from tech to the economy and even the strength of the dollar. We've scrutinized our results.

External Battery Power Bank for Microsoft Surface Book

March 7, 2018



If you are looking for a large, external battery which can power a Microsoft Surface Book, we have good news for you. After hours of searching Amazon and Google we came across the Crave PowerPack CRVPP101 50000 mAh,Dual USB and Dual Laptop Ports Ultra-High Density Portable Power Bank.

(Exact product names used for your information).

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.

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