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

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Cloudonix Boosts its CPaaS Solution

November 5, 2018

CPaaS is an exciting space and Cloudonix is one of the growing players in the area, making it easier for developers to go-to-market and provide solutions for customers. As an interesting differentiator, the company espouses their support for smart devices, applications and web pages.

I recently met with Eric Klein at Astricon in Orlando, as a follow-up meeting we had earlier this year to the one at ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Some of the latest news from the company is a new ISO 27001 certification which aids in winning business from larger companies. 

In addition, Eric explained, many companies are happy about working with Cloudonix as they allow CPaaS functionality without per-minute, per-line, per-endpoint, per DID or transaction fees.

Customers buy blocks of 100 concurrent calls and add blocks as they grow.


Cloudonix supports almost 22,000 different smartphones and tablets. 












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.












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.



Cyara: Don't Forget the Customer Experience in Digital Transformation

October 15, 2018





As companies embrace digital transformation (DX), they shouldn’t forget about the customer experience (CX) says Elizabeth Magill, Senior Director, Product Marketing at Cyara in an exclusive interview. Cyara automates testing and monitoring.

We first introduced this company to you in 2011 where we told you this:

And what they did for the bank was to help them take disparate solutions handling IVR, speech, complex routing algorithms, Websphere, java apps and more and integrate them more efficiently to dramatically improve customer satisfaction.

In 2013 we explained how the company is improving service levels, specifically at Franklin Templeton. In 2016 we had a video interview with the company explaining how Cyara helps their customers innovate faster.

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. 








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.





























ZaiLab Powers the Contact Center via AI, ML and AWS

September 12, 2018

The breathtaking pace of technological innovation has meant that companies have been able to punch beyond their weight class. In other words, Moore's Law has allowed technology to improve at roughly by a factor of 2, every few years or so for the same price.

Couple this with numerous macro trends and the small to medium business of today is as advanced as the large company of a few years earlier.

In fact, you can argue the small business that is paying attention, can leapfrog a behemoth fairly easily.

Two technologies which make this possible are the cloud and app stores.

Because of these developments, a software developer can leverage an ecosystem of devices and solutions (iPads and iPhones for example) without having to ship products or even worry about having to deal with a server where they need to be downloaded from.

Then there is cloud. Developers can host applications of any size without worrying much about disaster recovery, generators, servers, massive IT departments, cooling systems, power, etc.

As software developers leverage today's tools, they are able to bring better products to market with new and innovative pricing models customers love.

For example ZaiLab has a fantastic cloud contact center offering which includes UC and is delivered via the Amazon cloud. They pass their flexible AWS server pricing on, meaning no per-seat license cost.













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