Saturday, February 17, 2018

PBX Vs VoIP...Making Sense Of Today's Business Phone Systems


For the past few years, VoIP has quickly become a part of people's vocabulary. It has been touted as a convenient and cost-effective way to stay in touch with your business network and is used to optimize internal call flow. Before VoIP, however, analog PBX systems were the go-to business phone systems of choice.
PBX relates more to the traditional analog phone system that relied on the presence of large equipment and complex cabling. It also wasn't as cost effective since expenses would accumulate due to maintenance and long distance fees, and expansion was time consuming. PBX is still being utilized for business communications today, but users are quickly realizing the downsides to this technology in comparison to VoIP.
Reliability
Some will say that a PBX system is more reliable than a VoIP system because of VoIP's dependability on an internet connection. That may have been true a few years ago but just as technology has quickly evolved in the last few years, VoIP has also evolved to bypass these emergency situations with simple call forwarding features.
VoIP indeed uses your internet connection to operate but implementing a fail over strategy that involves back up endpoints allows you to continue receiving calls to a mobile device with or without internet or electricity so your customers can reach you whenever they need to regardless of your connectivity status.
Cost
If you're running a business you'll want to take any chance to save on expenses, so investing on business phone systems that can reduce your monthly phone bill should be a no brainer. With traditional analog PBX business phone systems, the initial cost can be significant when you factor in equipment and installation costs, as well as the maintenance and long distance fees which can become significant over time.
Implementing a VoIP business phone system is known to alleviate the strain of monthly bills because there is virtually no cost in setting the system up. If your office already has IP business phones, all you need to do is have the provider implement their system, which usually won't take more than a few minutes once all the documentation and ports have been completed, and you'll be ready to make calls in no time.
Even if you don't have the proper phone hardware, you can find business phones for sale at great prices that meet most budgets. Other than hardware and service, there are no maintenance fees or pricey long distance fees.
Expansion
Like most business owners, you probably intend to expand your business. Even if you don't have any immediate plans to expand your business locations, internal expansion is on every business owner's mind. With a traditional PBX, expansion meant having to install more cables, purchase the hardware, and additional maintenance costs.
With VoIP business phone systems, adding extensions is easy and affordable. With some providers, all it takes is getting in touch with a preferred agent and notifying them of the changes you want to make to your system. Some hardware may be necessary if you're adding a physical phone but it still won't add up to the spend levels of a traditional PBX.
Improvements to the PBX Phone System Over Time
Before the technology we know today, businesses hired receptionists and secretaries to physically connect communication lines to their desired destinations using switchboards. By the 1990s, VoIP started to become more popular with its ability to exchange voice data on other devices such as PCs. Fast forward to today's communication methods and we're surrounded by endless ways to stay in touch with each other right at our fingertips. In an effort to modernize business communications, the traditional analog PBX phone system is becoming more cloud based, evolving into what is known as IP PBX and Hosted PBX. Now, there is no need for excess equipment since this communication technology is making its way to the cloud.
If you're not quite sure yet that VoIP is the best option for you and you want to continue using your traditional PBX phone system, it is possible to use VoIP with your traditional PBX phone system. This hybrid option can reduce your costs just as well and make the transition to a more modern communication system smoother.
Ready to Upgrade to a VoIP Phone System?
If you're looking for a modernized VoIP phone system, be aware that VoIP and IP PBX have become similar technologies and getting the most out of these communication methods depends on the quality of the provider. With the rapid development of multi-channel communication tools and devices, it's easy to get lost in the novelty and endless list of features but always remember your specific VoIP phone system needs and the value that your new communication strategy can bring to your business for longevity and growth.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What You Should Know About Fixed Wireless Broadband Access

Fixed wireless is a method of transmission of high speed data traffic via a wireless connection between two fixed points. Subscriber service consists of a microwave antenna and radio on customer's rooftop for transmitting and receiving RF signals. The customer's antenna points to the service provider's RF transceiver (Access Point) located on the radio tower or tall building. Fixed wireless connection with customer has clear Line of Sight (LOS) to the Access Point can reach distance up to 50 miles and data rate up to hundreds of Mbps.
Fixed Wireless has two configurations, point-to-point (PtP) or point-to-multipoint (PtMP). PtP networking connects two locations by using two radios and two antennas dedicated to only each other. PtMP networking refers to communications between one access point and multiple customer radios. Fixed wireless can use frequency either in licensed band or unlicensed band. Unlicensed band frequencies of 900MHz (902-928), 2.4GHz, 5.3GHz, 5.4GHz, 5.8GHz, 24GHz, and 60GHz are exempt from FCC licensing requirement. Unlicensed wireless systems, although quick to deploy, do not promise exclusive use of the band and are susceptible to potential interference. Licensed microwave wireless systems operate within parts of the radio spectrum (VHF, 900MHz, 2GHz, 3.65GHz, 4.9GHz, 6GHz, 7GHz, 11GHz, 13GHz, 18GHz, 23GHz, and 80GHz) designated by the FCC. To operate a licensed microwave fixed wireless radio system, one must apply for a license from the FCC. Licensed operators are permitted exclusive use of part of the band over an assigned geographic area.
Fixed Wireless Broadband is designed to emulate coaxial cable connection and support both TDM and packet traffic such as T1, T3, frame relay, Ethernet and ATM. High-capacity carrier-grade wireless backhaul radio combines TDM with Ethernet to provide smooth evolution to advanced, packet-based radio performance and facilitating cost effective, risk-free migration to IP/Ethernet. Enhanced Fixed Wireless can deliver Internet, Voice and MPLS, all with guaranteed Service Level Agreements. The advantages of fixed wireless include lower costs, greater flexibility, and faster deployment. Reliability is on a par with wireline networks and can be engineered to achieve 99.999% availability. Service carriers go to great lengths to ensure secure data transmission through the use of high-gain directional antennas tightly focusing the signal and directing it precisely at the customer's CPE. Fixed Wireless Broadband transmits and receives encrypted signals from specific, authenticated devices only. It employs the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is the standard adopted by the U.S. government to protect its data. Hence, fixed-wireless data transmission using AES are as secure as any transmission in the world.
Latest technology innovation has made fixed wireless a competitive mode of broadband delivery in increasingly high density environments such as the suburban, urban, and enterprise customers. Multiple Input Multiple Output or MIMO technology has enabled the rapid growth in bandwidth capacity by continually improving spectrum efficiency with the addition of more and more MIMO streams and smart antenna array technologies. Antenna beamforming is a crucial technology enabling the spectrum used by an access point to be reused by multiple clients simultaneously. Beamforming uses precise geoposition information from each wireless client to focus wireless antenna transmit signals towards each unique client, achieving improved focused wireless signals, and significantly reducing interference in the spectrum. Because beamforming isolates client signals, it creates spatial opportunities in the spectrum for additional MIMO streams to be used simultaneously using SDMA (Space Division Multiple Access). This is called Multi-User (MU-) MIMO. When downstream traffic arrives for multiple clients, the access point identifies geolocation based beamforming opportunities to service those clients simultaneously, drastically improves the capacity of the radios. MU-MINO enables fixed wireless to deliver fiberlike broadband connectivity at a fraction of the cost of traditional wireline solutions, in any environment, from low-density rural broadband to high-capacity, high-reliability business connectivity for the enterprise.
Paul Ngai, P.E. is a telecom consultant specialized in RF and Fiber Optic Networks. He is also the principal of Network Systems Technologies LLC http://www.nstecs.net, a telecommunications consulting firm provides planning, analysis, design, testing and operation support services.

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

6 Tips To Follow While Using VPN

VPN is obviously extremely useful if you have given all your trusted employees and also the key contractors a remote access to your network with the help of a client VPN or a virtual private network. There are so many cost benefits and productivity related benefits of using a VPN. Below are some useful tips that you can follow while using a VPN.
1. You must use a strong authentication method
This will surely depend upon the infrastructure of your network. You should also be able to check your VPN and documentation of your operating system in order to determine all your options.
2. A strong encryption method should be used
An L2TP or a layer two tunneling protocol can be very helpful when used. This is a network with certain types of Microsoft Servers. For example, a Point to point protocol can be termed to be very weak unless the password of your clients are guaranteed to be very strong.
3. Limit your VPN access to all those with a valid reason for business
Any VPN connection is a door that can be used to enter the LAN. You should only keep it open when it essentially needs to be open. The remote contractors and employees should any time be discouraged from connecting to your VPN to download the files that are required on a common basis.
4. Access to the selected files through extranet and intranet
If you have a secure HTTP site that comes with a safe password and authentication, it will expose only the selected files on one of the single servers and not your entire network.
5. Email access should be enabled without requirement of VPN
On all the servers of Microsoft Exchange, you must set up a server for Exchange proxy in order to allow the Outlook to access this Exchange by using an RPC or remote procedure call. This is obviously protected with the help of an SSL encryption.
6. Enforcing and implementing a strong password
There should be a very strong policy for a password. You must also understand, that your network is only as secure as the weakest of password that is in use. There should not be anyone that can be allowed to keep a password on a permanent basis. Use a word, a number or any other alphanumeric combination of password. This can help you to secure your VPN on a long term basis.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

5 Things To Understand About VPN Speed

The speed of a VPN is an important thing to consider, and may also be a determining factor for many people when deciding whether they should use a VPN at all. Speed really does matter when it comes to the Internet. Even if a VPN provides improved online security and can help get around blocked content, if the service is slow, the overall experience will be far from ideal.
In this article, I will look at several factors that can influence the speed of a VPN, and how they can be mitigated.
1) The VPN Server Location
Typically, establishing a connection with a VPN server closer to your location will result in better speed. This is because the complexity of Internet traffic goes up as the distance between you and the VPN server increases. The more complex the traffic, and the greater the distance data has to travel, the slower the VPN speed.
If you don't have a good reason for connecting to a particular VPN location, picking the one closest to you is the best option. For example, if you live in Texas and want to log into a US VPN server, use one in Houston or Dallas instead of one in New York. Similarly, if you're located in China and need a US VPN server, find one that is available on the West Coast over one somewhere in the east.
2) The VPN Protocols
Different protocols can be used to establish a VPN connection. Some of the more popular ones include OpenVPN (over UDP or TCP), SSTP, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. Everything else being equal, each protocol can result in a significantly different VPN speed. For example, using OpenVPN over UDP typically results in a faster connection than OpenVPN over TCP.
There are no hard set rules as to which protocol will give you the best speed. OpenVPN over UDP is a good default to try. If you find yourself having issues, try switching to a different protocol to see if your VPN speed improves.
3) Encryption Level
Stronger encryption is often more complex and can, as a result, slow down a VPN. A 128-bit encryption will in most cases lead to a faster connection than a 256-bit one.
On the downside, lowering encryption strength will make the VPN connection less secure and the transmitted data more vulnerable. So, you can try playing around with the encryption level, but unless you see significant speed improvements with weaker encryption, it is best to stick to the stronger versions.
4) VPN Server Load and Bandwidth
How powerful the VPN server is will have a significant impact on the speed. Overloaded servers with a bandwidth that cannot keep up with the demand will result in a much slower experience.
The client software you use to connect to a VPN service will usually tell you how many IP addresses and how much bandwidth a server has. The higher those numbers, the more powerful the server. Those same clients sometimes even show real-time usage. If the server you're connected to is overloaded, switching to a different one is usually as simple as a couple of mouse clicks.
5) Your Network Setup
Whether your device is on a wired network and physically connected to a router or using WiFi can affect VPN speed. This distinction is especially relevant if you have a fast connection to the outside world. Because a wired connection is often quicker than WiFi, the latter can be a limiting factor. You can try plugging your computer directly into the router to see if there is a speed improvement.
Ultimately, not all VPN providers are created equal. Even under ideal conditions, the speed and reliability they offer may be drastically different. If you have tried implementing several of the methods mentioned in this article but are still not seeing speed improvements, it may be time to consider switching VPN providers.
Visit http://www.fastestvpnguide.com/ for tests, reviews and comparisons of the fastest VPN services around. Let us help you pick the right one for your specific needs.

To take advantage of FREE real time quotes and support for voice and/or data networks...simply ask at the following link...easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Saturday, February 03, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About VPN Services

What is VPN? VPN is an abbreviation for virtual private network. It can be defined as the method that is usually applied so as to add to the privacy and the security into the public and private networks, the internet and Wi-Fi hotspots.
VPNs are usually used by different kinds of corporations so as to enable them to protect any sensitive data that they may have. There has however been an increase in the use of the personal VPN option today. This can be attributed to the different transitions that are facing the internet today.
When you use a VPN, then the privacy is improved to a very large extent. The reason why you get better privacy with a BPN is the fact that the initial IP address you may have been using is replaced with one that is provided by your VPN provider. This is a great way for subscribers to get an IP address from the gateway city that they may want, provided that it is offered by the VPN provider. You can use VPN to alter your location. You may be living in New York, but you can use VPN to make it look like you are in London and so on. Each VPN provider offers different gateway cities that you can select from.
Security
The security features that are offered by VPNs are what attract most people. There are lots of methods that one can apply so as to intercept any data traveling to a given network. Firesheep and Wi-Fi spoofing are easy ways applied to hacking any information that is needed. The analogy is the fact that the firewall will protect the data in the computer while the VPN will protect data even on the web.
Usually, the VPNs use highly advanced encryption protocols and the techniques that guarantee tunneling techniques that are secure so as to encapsulate different data transfers. Anyone who considers themselves as a savvy computer user may never use the internet without having a firewall as well as an antivirus that is updated.
Security is becoming very important to most people because the security threats seem to be increasing. More and more people are also relying on the internet which makes VPN even more attractive because they are well rounded for purposes of security. There are different integrity checks that can be applied so as to make sure that data isn't lost and that the connection isn't hijacked in any way. All traffic is well protected and the method is greatly preferred to the proxies.
The VPN setup
Setting up a VPN is a process that is quite straightforward. Usually, you only need a user name and the server address. There are smartphones that are quite dominant and they can actually configure the VPN using PPTP as well as L2TP/IPsec protocols. All the major OS can also configure the PPTP VPN kind of connections. Getting a VPN may be the best idea that you may have for your business. Usually, the protocol numbers and the features that are offered grow as time passes. You may select the kind of VPN you need depending on what you require it for.
There are lots of VPN providers out there. Some may offer free services while others may offer their services at a cost. There are different advantages and disadvantages of using either of the two. https://switchvpn.net will give you an insight on this topic and also offer Fast VPN Service.
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Stop Worrying About Your Phone System

To have a custom Hosted VoIP or Unified Communications solution designed for you by Jive...simply ask at the link below.
Jive Communications provides enterprise-grade Hosted VoIP and Unified Communications to businesses and institutions. Jive’s hosted services run on Jive Cloud, a cloud-based platform built on open industry standards. The Jive Cloud architecture has been purpose-built to deliver the most reliable, powerful, and economical hosted communication services available to the enterprise market.




Jive helps put businesses on the map with better communications through its enterprise-grade Hosted VoIP and Unified Communications. Make the changes you want, forget about system maintenance, and focus on why you got into business in the first place.






Recognition
Jive is the recipient of many industry awards, including Frost & Sullivan’s Entrepreneurial Company of the Year





Jive is the highest-rated 
Cloud voice platform.
Jive consistently rates highest on third-party customer review sites. When world class technology meets professional implementation and dedicated support, everything jives.




Simple
Users can take advantage of Jive’s simple online interfaces and quick setups. All Jive Voice phones come preconfigured for easy plug-and-play installation. Jive also has intuitive, drag-and-drop controls that allow administrators to control all aspects of their system with a single click.





Affordable
It’s clear. Jive Voice offers a lower total cost of ownership when compared with traditional on-premises or legacy solutions. Jive eliminates the need for expensive licensing fees, annual maintenance contracts, separate service plans, costly upgrades, and proprietary premises-based equipment. 



 With Jive, you’ll always have the latest technology delivered seamlessly via the Cloud.



Reliable
Jive solutions are delivered via Jive Cloud, our hosted services platform. Born in the Cloud, Jive doesn’t have legacy or premises-based distractions. Jive Cloud has industry-leading:

Performance. Housed in multiple SSAE16 datacenters across the world, Jive Cloud provides redundancy and high availability on a full distributed platform. 

Scalability. Jive can serve thousands of users on a single, consolidated system that has unlimited capacity for growth. 

Flexibility. Control all system configurations and make moves, adds, and changes in real-time using Jive’s online administrator portal. 

Interoperability. Based on open standards and commodity hardware, Jive provides API access and integrates seamlessly with leading CRM, ERP, and other third-party software.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why Cloud Brokers Are The Future

cloud-brokers.png"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes,” goes the aphorism by Mark Twain. Looking at historical examples can be instructive. As an example, railroad development in the 1800’s was very similar to the network buildout of the 1990s and consolidation of today. We had only to look at history to see that overbuilding, lack of interchangeability, subsequent regulation and consolidation, and in some cases nationalization might be factors in national network build outs.

The Romans used to say, "to see the future, look to the past,” and it’s in the past we learn why the Cloud favors the broker model and will continue to do so. In 1771 Richard Arkwright assembled the first modern factory in Derbyshire, England.  Arkwright was known as the father of the industrial revolution not because of his textile related inventions and patents, but because of the factory system he created centralizing people and equipment. This centralized system turned out to be extremely efficient when compared to the cottage spinning and weaving each family or town craftspeople performed.  Centralized machinery meant fewer machinists were needed, spare parts were on hand, and the work was uniform and of high quality.


BREAK FIX REDUCED

Just like a factory, services in the Cloud do not require presence at the customer location to perform services. Service issues, settings adjustments, and upgrades can largely be performed by the provider which significantly reduces the need for on-site personnel. VAR models based on break/fix are now suffering because of this reality.


EMPHASIS ON MARKETING AND SALES

Factories created so much efficiency that by 1812 the cost to manufacture cotton yarn had dropped by 90% http://industrialrevolution.sea.ca/innovations.html!. The challenge now was how to sell the abundance of surplus produced which would require marketing and sales efforts. The Cloud has created a similar situation of abundance.  Software and computing cost almost nothing; the challenge providers have is selling and marketing their plentiful, high-margin product.
Cloud brokers focus on relationships and selling which are the primary services needed in a Cloud sales environment. These are the competencies of a partner that will be of primary importance to a Cloud services provider.


NOT EVERYTHING IS AUTOMATED

Some may argue the sale of cloud services will also be automated, and while that’s true for many apps you may buy personally, whenever there are complexity and choice, advisory services will appear.  As an example, look at the recent rise of “robo-advisors” like Betterment and Wealthfront which use algorithms to execute trades on behalf of customers.  Betterment has now added an advisory network as have the “robo” advisory services provided by Personal Capital, E-Trade, Vanguard, and others. While many things can be automated, not even Amazon has been able to automate the relationship provided by a trusted advisor.  


ADDITIONAL BROKER SERVICES

Customers will need additional services from third party advisors such as implementation and  customization services which will largely be advisory, software integration, and monitoring and management services. Some of these services may be provided by implementation specialists who will work with providers to create a custom fit for the customer.  Cloud brokers will either partner or will add this type of services to their offering as well as provide ongoing monitoring of service to ensure the quality of a customer’s experience and to ensure adoption and retain and grow customers.  

The modern factory’s product is purchased through marketing channels based on customer choice. lCoud services will be purchased through the channel the customer desires and based on the historical precedent and the trends we see today, that channel is increasingly the broker channel.
To have a custom cloud computing solution designed for you and YOUR specific needs...simply ask at the link below.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

With The Demise Of Avaya....The Savior For Contact Centers Is This



I'm a contact center boy. 20 years ago, I was an agent with Sears taking orders for socket sets out of the catalog. Along the way, I have been a contact center trainer, sales leader, operations supervisor, and more. Over my career, I have spent time in over a dozen different countries building and supporting contact center operations. Even today, I get excited when there is an opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest technologies. When the folks at inContact invited me to their sales kickoff in Houston in January 2017, I jumped at the chance.

The contact center space has changed dramatically as cloud has overtaken on-premises equipment. Today, even the smallest of businesses can take advantage of the efficiencies contact center technology offers. It doesn’t matter whether your business has five employees or 5,000. It only matters that you get the customer to the person who can solve the problem. 





LEARNING FROM THE MASTER

inContact is one of the original cloud contact center providers. In fact, they are one of the few that is solely focused on cloud. What does that mean to you? First of all, no on premises equipment. Second, a scalable and adaptable solution that can sit on top of any telecom platform. inContact is one of the true cloud pioneers.

Last year, NICE systems acquired inContact. Although NICE specifically stated they wanted inContact to operate independently, there were some fears that inContact would lose momentum. Thankfully, after attending this kick-off, I can safely say inContact has held its course. Even better, with support from NICE, inContact has had a solid cash infusion and looks to be better than ever.

Last week I learned NICE/inContact has over 1,300 people focused on research and development. This is a team committed to contact center functionality through the cloud. With this type of investment, they will only get better.


CHANGES BRING OPPORTUNITIES


With Avaya filing Chapter 11, one of the mighty has fallen. That sucking noise is the vacuum they left behind. There are only a few contact center cloud players that can fill this void. inContact is one of those major players.
Mark these words… Today there are thousands of companies with Avaya equipment that are now being pushed down the creek without a paddle. There are CIOs sitting in boardrooms across the country who aren’t entirely sure what to do yet, but they know they will have to move sooner than later. To put that into opportunistic terms – There are now more contact center opportunities for critically needed improvements than ever before.

PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS

Not only will these CIOs be looking for contact center solutions, they will be looking to replace the Avaya infrastructure with cloud-based solutions. One great thing about inContact is they’ve built an ecosystem of over 75 trusted, industry-leading partners. Clients can easily integrate supplemental solutions and services that fast track customer experience and business goals. Because this technology sits on the switch, they can lay on top of nearly any solution - especially those in the cloud. 

NO HEAVY LIFTING REQUIRED

The beautiful thing about inContact is the team is more than willing to do the heavy lifting. A simple referral is all that is required to register a need and engage the team. I was sold on inContact before I went to the event. 

To have a custom InContact call center solution designed for you...simply ask at the link below.  It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
By Bryce Hayes, Telarus

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

How To Spot An Opportunity To Improve Your Contact Center Operations....Efficiency And Effectiveness

A contact center is an integrated, and usually automated, communications system that coordinates all telephone and electronic contacts between an organization and the public. The goal when talking about contact centers has always been to connect your business to your customer. Some of the questions you should consider as a business with a contact center are:
  • What do you want your business to look like?
  • How do you want your business to be perceived?
  • How will people talk to you? Who should they talk to? How do you connect them?
  • How do you measure your effectiveness?

HOW TO SPOT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT TO YOUR CONTACT CENTER OPERATIONS

Customer experience has become the new battleground for competitive differentiation. When you look at customer needs they involve social media, self-service, mobility, texts, chats and email. These are all newer methods of communication, not usually associated with call centers, but nowadays call centers are really contact centers. In the past businesses have competed through products and pricing, but they now find themselves having to compete through service. One of the key factors for a business is the need to be able to interact with its customers in a manner which makes the customer want to interact with them. Therefore, the cloud contact center industry is expected to grow within the next three to five years as more businesses start to move into the cloud in order to be able to offer the features, functionality, and the type of customer experience their customers are demanding.

If you are unsure whether you have a contact centers with opportunities to improve operations, or if you don’t know what an opportunity looks like, the tips listed below will help you. 

contactcenter.PNG
  • Most contact centers will have an 800 number, and this will be one of the easier ways to find out if there is a functioning contact center behind your business. By simply calling the number you will be able to figure out what what your functionality looks like, feels like, and if it makes sense. If the logic and the routing makes sense to you then you are most likely in good shape, but if it is confusing to you just imagine how it would be for a regular customer who is not technically inclined.
  • If your business has a website, specially with chat or email functionality, that is another sign a contact center exists with an opportunity to improve.
  • If your business uses a large amount of bandwidth it's likely Your existing contact center consumes a good portion of that...this is another opportunity for improvement.
Some other tips to consider when evaluating your contact centers for improvement:
  • Contact centers are more of a business outcome discussion. This mean you will want to have this discussion with somebody in the C-Level or someone who is in operations.
  • Always remember that moving contact centers to the cloud is a business culture, economic, and business outcome decision.
  • If during your discussions you find you are moving other items to the cloud, the contact center might make a compelling argument supporting shift to the cloud.
  • With AVAYA filing for chapter 11, there are a lot of businesses who are nervous about this and what it means. Many businesses might have antiquated AVAYA architecture in this premise space, so moving off of a premise system and into the cloud makes more sense.
  • Some of the benefits of moving to the cloud for a contact center are:
    • an increase in revenue;
    • cost reduction;
    • customer satisfaction improvement;
    • true business agility.
If you are comfortable when it comes to looking for the opportunity to improve, and know what to look for but don’t know how to start the conversation, here are some conversation starter tips: 

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 5.45.28 PM.png


WHY INCONTACT? 

The inContact business model consists of having professional contact center experts in their direct sales and engineering departments who team up with their client partners. 

Q&A 

Q: What is it that the cloud provides to contact center and to SMB that perhaps people don’t know about? 
A: When you move the contact center to the cloud, much like other missing business technology services, you get tremendous efficiency gains. Often times when you look at a premise space contact center, you’ve got a lot of people that are tasked with running it. They are tasked with break fixes, upgrades, and more, in order to keep the contact center running. All of this is very labor- and cost-intensive so that when you need to make upgrades or changes it will take days or even weeks as opposed to the cloud where these can be made instantaneously. In the cloud you can scale your business up and down based on business demand, which means that you are paying for what you are using as instead of overbuying technology. For companies with multiple locations or at-home agents, the cloud is an ecosystem for the contact center and enables greater efficiency. Another great thing about the cloud is that it gives you the capability to right-size your business based on customer demand.

Q: What can inContact bring to the table to help a client determine an ROI story their company leadership? 
A: Part of inContact’s sales model is providing an ROI analysis. This analysis consists of looking at what the client currently has, finding where the gaps in efficiency are, and using that information to put forth inContact’s proposal for service. You can see right away what the you have been paying, what you are using, what you are getting for your investment versus what inContact can do. Some of the cost savings associated with the cloud deployment are so sizable that the ROI is almost immediate.

To have a custom InContact call center solution designed for you...simply ask at the link below.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Every Global Business Can Find The Right Voice/Data/Cloud Network Solution For Them...Anywhere In The World

If you're an international business, doing business around the globe, then International Carriers are something that has become more important to your business in this age of a global economy. Below we'll talk about some key differentiator and questions you need to be thinking about when deciding just how to design the right international voice/data/cloud network for YOU. 

Your best options for these carriers have been split up into two different groups for this discussion, United States based carriers and international carriers.

UNITED STATES BASED CARRIERS



When we say “United States based”, we are referring to companies with the nexus of the ownership structure in the United States. These carriers are important because these companies will bill you directly, so if you want your bill in the United States and in US dollars, these will be your best option. Typically one portion of the solution you’re going to buy through them is going to be tied to the United States...so whether it’s a network, or a few locations for broadband access, you are going to have some type of nexus in the US when dealing with these US carriers.
  • AT&T - Serves thousands of customers on six continents, including all of the Fortune 1000.
  • Verizon - Provides businesses and governments around the world with leading IT, security, communications, network, and mobility services.
  • CenturyLink - Provides data, voice and managed services to business, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers.
  • Level 3 -  Strong international player especially in Canada, Europe, and Asia as a result of their acquisition of Global Crossing a few years back. Global Crossing was almost entirely focused on the international market space.
  • Masergy -  Owns and operates the largest independent Software Defined Platform in the world, delivering hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communication solutions to global enterprises.
  • Cogent - A multinational, Tier 1 facilities-based ISP, consistently ranked as one of the top five Internet backbone networks in the world.
  • Zayo -   Provides lit and dark fiber bandwidth infrastructure solutions and carrier-neutral colocation. Currently providing their services in seven countries.
  • Global Capacity - Multi-site, multi-state, multi-country network solutions – Global Capacity’s One Marketplace network takes the headache out of sourcing and managing multiple suppliers across divergent geographies - delivering services with one MSA, SLA, and invoice no matter the location or access solution.

INTERNATIONAL CARRIERS


The second group is made up of carriers who are truly international, meaning they are not US based. These companies have headquarters in foreign countries with maybe a field office in the United states. They can bill in foreign currency and directly,  they can also set up a network in those countries. These carriers usually don’t buy wholesale from other places. They operate around the world and also have domestic presence in their respected countries.
  • China Telecom - They have a huge presence in South America, and China along with the best rates.  
  • NTT Communications -  Known as the “gateway to Asia” with total ownership of submarine cable infrastructures and the lowest latency from APAC to the US. 80% of the Global Fortune 100 use NTT for their mission critical global infrastructure and IT needs.
  • TATA - If you have Data Centers or Contact Centers in India, Tata is the one you’ll want to talk to. They also have a huge presence in the Philippines.
  • Telia -   Also called Telia Company, Telia Carrier is a company that  provides network infrastructure and services to more than 1,200 customers in 80 different countries worldwide. Their IP network, AS1299, has grown from being the largest IP network in Europe to being the second largest IP network in North America and the second largest in the world.
  • GTT -  A global network integrator providing a broad portfolio of Wide-Area Network (WAN), Dedicated internet access and mobility services. GTT combines multiple networks and technologies such as traditional OC-x, MPLS and ethernet, to deliver cost-effective solutions. Their focus is on voice and cloud-based services
  • Expereo - Expereo manages over 2500+ providers across 200+ countries to provide fully managed internet services with standard Ethernet handoff, static IPs, feet on the street, SD-WAN, in a single partner to help support you in the US or globally. They are headquartered in the Netherlands.
  • Telstra -  A leading telecommunications and technology company offering a wide range of services globally, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. They have around 3,000 employees based in 22 countries outside of Australia providing services to hundreds of business and government customers. Telstra provides technology solutions for business and government customers, including data and IP networks, network application services such as managed networks, unified communications, cloud, industry solutions and integrated services.
These are the companies that can get you access, which means internet access, MPLS, SD-WAN, and field techs. The second group of carriers we discussed are the ones who will have the most field techs, while the first group of carriers are going to be the ones that rely on their foreign partnerships to get some of this work done. It’s important for you to know that because a lot of the times when work orders are handed off from one provider to another provider it creates some issues, but when you go right to the provider who is providing the service, everything happens a lot faster. 

MAIN CONSIDERATIONS 

Below we have listed some of things you should take into consideration when you’re deciding the design for your international network.
  • Point to Point - Is one of those locations in the United States or not? For example if you’re going from Dubai to Japan then you have to look at the second group of carriers who are the true international carriers. If at least one of those points is inside the United States then the first group of carriers who are United States based will be your best bet.
  • MPLS- If most of the locations are in the United States and just a few outside you will want to go with one of the United States based carriers. If majority of the locations are foreign and you only have one or two connections in the United States, the second group made up of truly international carriers will be your best choice. Of course than after the choice is made you will have to look into which carriers are available in the specific area you are in. The best way to start it out is just to narrow it down by country.
  • Stand-alone Internet Access - If you’re looking for stand-alone internet access anywhere outside the United States you almost always have to go directly to the second group of international carriers. It is very rare to get stand-alone DIA because that's regulated under the local government regulations according to the particular country. Stand-alone internet access has to be done by a carrier who is native to that country or a carrier that has Nexus in that country.
  • Last Mile - There are two different ways that carries can get last mile overseas... 1)  A type two connection, which means they have network to network interface agreements with that company. This is very expensive and technical. Companies like Level3 and Global Capacity have a lot of NNI’s.  2)  If you want to go from dozens to hundreds of options you actually have to just buy the last mile, in some cases retail which means the customer will have to go out and buy the last mile and route that back to their network. This opens them up to a lot more options.
  • In-Country DID Numbers - There are many countries that will allow DID Numbers so your client can have an in-country number, but there are also many countries that do not. There are carriers in the portfolio above that don’t offer voice at all or local DID number. A good way to figure out which carriers offer DID numbers and which don’t....just ask us.  {see link below}
  • Billing - If you’re a company that does not want to pay their bill in U.S. dollars you will have to find a carrier that has a nexus in your country. Nexus meaning an operating unit that has been registered with the local government that can actually bill in native currency.  Again, for help just ask us at the link below.
  • SD-WAN - Some of the carriers don’t have their own native SD-WAN or even resell it yet. It’s important for you to understand what companies can do it and which can’t, specifically which carriers have equipment on standby so if something breaks you don’t have to FedEx a new unit out to the country.  Again, just ask us at the link below.
  • Cloud and Colo Access - We talk a lot about Comcast, Level 3, CenturyLink and their ability to provide cloud connectivity directly into Azure or directly into AWS. What that is code for, is the ability to deliver connectivity directly into the data center in the United States where Amazon and Microsoft are co-locating their equipment. This applies overseas.

PUBLIC CLOUD ZONES 

All previous cloud connectivity discussions have been focused just on the North America, but as you can see from the image below Amazon has cloud zones in Brazil, Europe, and now they’ve also brought in Indonesia, Australia, China, and Japan. It’s important to know what you are intending to do in the public cloud, be we can also help build private clouds {just ask at the link below}.


In the image below you can see the zoning for the public clouds in the Microsoft environment. You’ll see that they’ve got a pretty comparable footprint with Amazon.  Microsoft has locations in Silicon Valley, Central US, North Central US, South Central US, and East US. They also have Brazil, Ireland, Amsterdam, and a good footprint across Asia, China, Japan, Australia, Singapore.


It is very important for you to be aware that today there is more need for connectivity internationally than there ever was before because internet and cloud access is worldwide technology upon which everyone is standardizing. Knowing the different types of international carriers, and what they can and can’t offer, is a great way to differentiate your network and help your business grow.

To take advantage of FREE quotes and support for design of international voice/data/cloud networks anywhere in the world...simply ask at the following link...it's easy as 1, 2, 3.

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