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

Unified Communications

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.







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.





How Nuance is Powering the Voice Economy

April 16, 2018

It's no secret that voice interfaces have become one of the most successful product categories in recent years. With the price point of smart speakers dropping to the same level as a week's worth of Starbucks, many consumers have filled their homes with such devices.

All of this is great news for Nuance as they have been a leader in the voice recognition space for decades.

As this tech has evolved to become intelligent assistants, the company has invested in organic growth and acquisitions to stay ahead of the curve.

Speaking of acquisitions we remember when past ITEXPO keynoter Steve Wozniak mistakenly mentioned that Apple was going to purchase Nuance. Sometimes you can be correct but just early. This could be the case as Apple is failing in the Smart Speaker market with its overpriced HomePod. It may be forced to buy Nuance for its voice technology.





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.







NewVoiceMedia Brings Salesforce AI into the Contact Center

April 7, 2018

Artificial intelligence is permeating every sector of business including customer contact and NewVoiceMedia is doing its part to help improve productivity as you embark upon digital transformation.



John Eng (pictured above), CMO explained they make Salesforce Einstein real-time... They eliminate the need for batch processing meaning more rapid insights. In addition, built-in Einstein dashboards allow businesses to more easily analyze customer conversations which are automatically made available in Salesforce to unlock valuable insights across contact center and CRM data.

Conversation Analyzer uses speech-to-text to transcribe calls and deliver intelligent content categorization for actionable insights into the business. With built-in Einstein dashboards, businesses can refine how they boost their successes and manage challenges more efficiently, helping ensure every conversation is successful.





TetraVX Smooths UCaaS Complexity

April 7, 2018


In a recent in-person interview with Jimmy Carroll of TetraVX, he explained the company has an end-user centric approach to consulting with customers to provide superior UC solutions. TetraVX is a new brand of Netrix, LLC launched this past January.

They have an operating committee consisting of the following:

  • Samir Patel – Partner and Director of Unified Communications at Netrix, LLC for four years, Samir has over a decade of experience in the unified communications industry and will be leading delivery and development for TetraVX.
  • James Carroll – Partner and Director of Sales at Netrix, LLC for 11 years, James will be leading TetraVX’s sales and marketing.
  • Vytas Kasniunas – Partner and Director of Channel Relationships at Netrix, LLC for the last five years, Vytas has been with the organization for over 19 years in total and will be leading indirect channel sales and sales operations for TetraVX.


“With increased focus, investment and dedicated research and development, TetraVX will continue to build upon Netrix’s success and provide rapid innovation across the multiple integrated platforms. Supported by the broader Netrix family, TetraVX is poised well to capture the growing UCaaS market and be a leader in the market” said Rob Dang, Managing Director at Netrix, LLC.

In addition to developing its proprietary technology, TetraVX will retain its long-standing partnerships with Microsoft, Cisco, Five9, Nectar, and VOSS.

The company is a CLEC and works with eight tier-one carriers in the U.S.






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.











Sharpen adds AI and Cloud to Agent-First Contact Center

April 2, 2018

Sharpen provides a cloud-based agent-first contact center solution with simple pricing and AI-powered in-line training, microlearning, and conversational coaching.

The company hails itself as the solution to these problems:

  • Slow Release Cycles
  • Expensive New versions
  • Clunky/Confusing UI
  • No/Limited API’s
  • Expensive to maintain
  • Monolithic code base

By providing:

  • Fast Release Cycles
  • Free upgrades
  • Clean, efficient UX
  • Open REST API’s
  • No maintenance cost
  • Microservices architecture


Pricing starts at $99/contact center agent/month.

In an in-person interview with Cameron Weeks, CEO (top right) and Bracken Fields, CTO (bottom left), they told me the call center market hadn't been rearchitected for the cloud until they came along. The company has built a HIPAA and PCI compliant cloud in 14 regions with 100 ms replication time and AES 256 encryption. It works on Amazon, Azure and Google Cloud and customers can determine which of these to use if they like. This could come in handy as Walmart has encouraged customers to avoid Amazon AWS.

There is five nines uptime and an average 4.4 MOS score.









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. 





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.

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