Author Archive

Laura Espinosa

Laura Espinosa

Laura oversees Content & Inbound Marketing, spending most of her time organizing marketing projects, editing, or immersed in Google Analytics. Her favorite part of the job is writing, so you will find her on the blog as often as time allows. Contact her at laura@bicomsystems.com
crm integration

How to Sell… CRM Integration

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Integration

crm integration

To conclude our series on “How to Sell…”, let’s talk about integration today. Of course there are many softwares and applications to integrate with VoIP, but for the purpose of this post we’ll focus on CRM.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me repeat the overriding strategy from our previous two posts (on how to sell UCaaS and Mobility): Show your prospects the benefits and features through real-life examples that would actually impact their day-to-day lives. This strategy remains relevant when selling CRM integration.

CRM Saves You Time

The major benefit of using a CRM is the time saved. The organization, efficiency, automation – all of those values ultimately come back to saving time. So the key to selling it is demonstrating how this will save time for your prospect.

Let’s go through seven of the primary points you will want to cover:

1. Call & email logs

Integrated CRM software tracks all calls and emails to contacts. Forget flipping through your calendar or racking your brain to remember your last call with a specific lead or customer – an integrated CRM will give you that information and more in seconds.

2. Click-to-call

Now more an expectation than a perk, click-to-call with CRM integration makes it easy to call leads or customers as you are reviewing their account. Cut the time it takes to get through a list of sales calls by doing everything from one screen.

3. Call pop-ups

If click-to-call simplifies your outbound calling process, call pop-ups greatly enhance inbound calling. CRM integration puts the caller’s name and detailed information on your screen before you even lift the phone receiver. No more pressure to remember details or asking the caller to wait while you change gears and catch up.

4. Marketing campaigns

Your CRM is no longer just for the sales department. Marketing teams will find an integrated CRM invaluable for creating, sending, and tracking marketing campaigns. Responsive marketing that targets audiences based on past behavior and interests shown is more effective than passive, mass marketing.

5. Marketing automation

All the buzz in 2017, marketing automation is quickly becoming standard practice. An integrated CRM makes it possible to automate marketing campaigns on multiple levels without forgoing a dynamic, responsive approach. In fact, the data collected by your CRM will make marketing efforts even more responsive to lead behavior.

6. Data organization

Arguably its primary function, it goes without saying that your CRM organizes contact data. But an integrated CRM will go even further in placing pertinent information exactly where your company needs it.

7. Lead Tracking

An integrated CRM goes beyond contact information and call logs, you can now track website visits, social media behaviors, downloads, and much more. Both the sales and marketing teams can get better results when they have more information at their fingertips.

Armed with those features and any others you can think of, it will be easy to paint a picture throughout your sales conversation.

Not Just for the Sales Department

Another point to make during any conversation on CRM integration is that it will go beyond the sales department and benefit the whole company. Numbers 4 and 5 above are for the marketing teams, and CRMs can certainly reach just about any department in any company. The benefits are boundless.

Implementation Roadmap

Finally, walk uncertain clients through the upcoming implementation process. Assuage any fears about the transition and learning curve – you can always roll out the new software in stages.

We are confident that with these tips and stable service, you will be selling CRM integration in no time.

If you are interested in learning more about CRM integration and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

This series was in response to a previous series with 3 Steps to Telecom Success that covered a variety of ways to achieve sustainable growthincrease your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

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mobility

How to Sell… Mobility

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM GO, Mobility

mobility

A few weeks ago we did a blog series on 3 Steps to Telecom Success, with a variety of ways to achieve sustainable growthincrease your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

Perhaps you have made the decision to add Unified Communications, mobility, or something else to your solution, but what’s next? How do we sell this new service?

This series is on “How to Sell…” Last week we covered UCaaS and this week we are moving on to mobility.

At first glance, mobility seems like an easy thing to sell. Nearly every one in our industry has a cell phone and uses it both at home and at work. And for many of your customers and prospects, it may be as simple as saying “Hey, we have a mobile app now” and they will immediately jump on board.

But for others, the prevalence of cell phones in the workplace may in and of itself may be our greatest stumbling block. If your customer has been using their cell phone effectively for years, they may think they don’t need your mobile services or app. So how do we convince them otherwise? Similar to UCaaS, we show them the benefits.

Benefits

If you give your prospect a few real-life examples of how they could use your mobile app or service, they won’t be able to pass it up. This comes back to Unified Communications and the ways it makes work simpler, easier, and more efficient.

Here’s an example: With our own gloCOM desktop and mobile app, calls can be passed seamlessly from device to device without interruption. Imagine that you are on an important call at your desk, but if you don’t leave the office now, you’ll be late for your next appointment. What are your options? Ask the person on the other end to reschedule and risk losing their interest. Ask them to hang up and wait for you to call back from your cell phone and risk losing them to another task. Stay on the phone and lose your next appointment. Lose, lose, lose. Or you could grab your cell and bluetooth headset, seamlessly transfer the call from gloCOM desktop to gloCOM mobile, and walk out of the office with the caller none the wiser. Which would you choose?

That is just one example of many. Similar to our strategies to sell UCaaS, be sure to walk through both benefits and features with your prospects. Other examples could stem from:

  • Presence, conferencing, and other favorite UC features available out of the office

  • Continuity in the face of natural disaster, outages, traveling, etc.

  • BYOD with consistency

  • Information and contacts go anywhere with you

So how do we achieve those kinds of benefits? It is important to get your mobile app just right.

Mobile App Features

If you want to be able to give a handful of enticing real-life examples of benefits like the above, you are going to need a feature-rich app. Some features that are important include:

  • Multiple platform support

  • Integration with a variety of softwares

  • UC functionality

  • Phone callback

  • Notification system

In today’s world, a mobile app will practically sell itself if it offers a bounty of useful features. Really, many of your customers are probably just waiting for you to offer it. To learn more about our desktop and mobile UC app, visit bicomsystems.com/products/gloCOM-Desktop-Mobile-Communicator.

If you are interested in learning more about mobility and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

Stay tuned for our next How to Sell post where we’ll talk about integration.

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desk phoneOur whitepaper and video presentation Do You Still Need a Desk Phone? takes you through the latest alternatives and complements to the desk phone, including mobile phones, softphones, smartphone docking stations, and Unified Communications.

Learn more and download your free copy today: www.bicomsystems.com/do-you-still-need-a-desk-phone

ucaas-header2

How to Sell… UCaaS

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Unified Communications

ucaas

In our previous blog series on 3 Steps to Telecom Success, we discussed a number of things that you can do to realize sustainable growth, increase your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

Perhaps you have made the decision to add Unified Communications, mobility, or something else to your solution, but what’s next? How do we sell this new service?

Our next series is on “How to Sell…” We will cover UCaas, Mobility, and Integration to start. If you want to learn about how to sell other services, please give us your suggestions in the comments below.

In the meantime, we’ll start with how to sell Unified Communications as a Service.

What is the main reason your customers do not purchase UCaaS? According to the research, it’s probably a lack of information about how UC will benefit their company and how to make the transition.

An Osterman Research study found that 48% of businesses do not understand how UC will benefit their business. They may understand and even want Unified Communications, but are unable to make the leap to the direct benefit to their business. Research also shows that “39% of businesses are intimidated by the migration process.” They may need a little hand-holding to get started. (Source: www.eweek.com).

In the face of these facts, your best tool will be education. If you want to sell UCaaS, you have to teach your customers about UC, thus assuaging their uncertainties and fears.

Benefits

Start by showing what UCaaS can do for your customer – what value will it bring to their business. Be careful not to confuse benefits with features. Features like presence and click-to-call and instant messaging are important and you will want to show those too, but not quite yet. Benefits are big picture values like:

  • Saves time so you can focus on selling

  • Eases stress in the office

  • Supports productivity in workers

  • Enables you to provide better customer service

These are all about how UC will improve the day-to-day lives of your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what issues they face, where are they wasting time everyday, what frustrations do they express. They will identify with these benefits and instantly want to know how to attain them.

Features

Which brings us to features. You have explained what they will get from Unified Communications, now show them how they will get it. Go back through your list of benefits and add at least one feature that supports each. Those are the features that you will show your customers. Some examples are:

  • Click-to-call

  • Drag-and-drop conferences

  • Presence

  • Call transfers

  • Screen-share

  • Voicemail to email

  • Fax to email

  • Multichannel communication

  • Video calling

The list goes on and on. You will know best what types of benefits and features your customers would value.

Transition

Finally, show a clear transition roadmap to your customers from the very start. You now know that they may have fears when it comes to migrating, so bolster their confidence right from the beginning. Take care of as much of the transition from your end as you can so that they have less to worry about. If you are confident, they will become confident as well.

With all three of these areas, demos will be your best friend. Rather than trying to explain the benefits and describe the features over the phone, get them on a free demo and illustrate it. Once they get started, they won’t want to stop.

As you go through the demo, use clear, specific examples to make your points – things that they will immediately identify with and latch on to. For example, you could say “Have you ever been on the phone with a colleague and needed the quick input of someone else? How did you handle it? Did you have to hang up and then come back to the call later? Shoot an email and wait for the response? What if it was as easy as grabbing that third person with your mouse and dragging them in to the call?” as you are doing just that in a demo. If they have ever faced that problem, they will be sold.

One more selling technique to consider: UC makes it so even the smallest businesses can act like enterprises. This is a huge selling point if they fully grasp it. Show your smaller customers that they will have the same capabilities and tools as large enterprises, leveling the playing field for the first time.

If you are interested in learning more about UC and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

Stay tuned for next week: How to Sell… Mobility

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kotor-header

It’s a Small World After All (Bicom in Montenegro)

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Bicom Conference

bicom

As many of you know, last month we held our annual Bicom Systems conference with staff and partners in Budva, Montenegro. Part of the weekend was spent cruising around the beautiful Bay of Kotor.

Funny story – while on the boat, someone noticed that the safety equipment was from the North of France – near where another staff lives. It seemed quite a coincidence. But then a partner from Italy, also on the boat, noticed that it was manufactured by an Italian company (Eurovinil Survitec Group). Just a week beforehand, Eurovinil had signed up for PBXware.

Small world.

Speaking of Montenegro – our 2017 Conference was a blast. We got down to business the first day and all attendees say they learned more than ever before. (You can now view and download our conference presentations.) The weekend was spent seeing the sights, relaxing, and getting to know one another. We hope you will join us next year!


bicom
skyswitch

Breaking the Silence on Skyswitch

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud, Cloud Communications, Skyswitch

skyswitch

Though we have discussed our competitors a number of times on this blog, it is never something that I like to do. I am a firm believer in “rising above,” especially in a professional setting. But the “marketing” efforts coming out of a company called SkySwitch have pushed even me to the point of breaking my silence.

SkySwitch is again using the search phrase “Bicom Systems” in an attempt drive traffic to their website. (A piece of advice – if your own brand name is not bringing in enough traffic, there are thousands of industry-relevant keywords to focus on before resorting to other companies’ brand names.)

This time they are proclaiming that “it’s time to cheat on Bicom Systems.” At the risk of stooping to their level of using immature, inflammatory language in what should be a professional setting – dare we throw out the phrase “if they will cheat with you, they will cheat on you.” Of course business partnerships are not really like marriages, but trust is an important part of both. Our advice to you: choose a partner that values integrity and trust.

As far as I can tell, SkySwitch is claiming that subscribers of all major communications providers (the document I was given is clearly not specific to Bicom Systems) should switch to them on the basis of nine reasons. I will respond to each of these as concisely as possible and include evidence so you can come to your own conclusions. (Yes, we are confident enough in our own solutions and partners to transparently discuss potential issues.)

1. “You know there are problems before you (SIC) provider does”

Their first claim is that your business may be in trouble and no one will notice. Bicom Systems developed SIP Monitoring and SIP Security modules for this exact purpose. Issues will not only be identified, but even fixed automatically.

2. “No escalation procedure in place”

You can see our escalation procedure here: www.bicomsystems.com/support (I guess SkySwitch didn’t do their research before putting pen to paper.)

We whole-heartedly agree with their claim that “problems happen”. No provider is perfect and bugs will arise with Bicom Systems or SkySwitch or any other provider. However, after 15 years of experience, our team of technical support engineers and telecommunications experts responds to support tickets quickly and efficiently. But don’t take our word for it – check out our customer reviews here: blog.bicomsystems.com/customer-reviews.

Going one step further, SkySwitch claims that your platform is “connected to many carriers and third-party providers.  While most problems within your service provider’s own platform should be easily solved, those that originate outside their platform may require cooperation among a number of companies.” On the contrary, Bicom Systems partners typically do not require other carriers or third-party providers as we have all of the pieces in-house, thus avoiding many compatibility issues in the first place.

3. “Poor Processes = Poor Performance”

“There are reasons to have solid procedures in place when customers report issues or open trouble tickets.” Again, see our support procedures here: www.bicomsystems.com/support

Our support team put together efficient support and escalation procedures years ago. This is not something that occurs naturally in a company, but rather something that needs dedication, organization, and experience to perfect.

4. “Poor SLA Delivery”

We sign an SLA (Service Level Agreement) with all of our partners. You can see it here: www.bicomsystems.com/files/public/corporate/SLA.pdf.

May we also point out that we have more staff in our Support Department than SkySwitch has total staff. Our support team is spread across three continents for maximum reach and availability.

5. “Data Leakage Among Clients”

SkySwitch expresses a concern that data may be leaked between partners in the absence of a true multi-tenant platform. Fortunately for us and our partners, Bicom Systems actually developed one of the first multi-tenant platforms with unlimited extensions and tenants. We guarantee 100% scalability and elasticity to our partners and resellers, so of course we have the same capacity internally by default. Learn about our Multi-Tenant platform here: www.bicomsystems.com/products/multi-tenant-pbx

See our Privacy Policy here: www.bicomsystems.com/legal/policies/privacy_policy

6. “Tax Compliance Failure”

Our partners typically use our in-house billing software and integrate it with the Tax Provider of their choice. Again, we are more than happy to work on an individual basis and develop custom solutions when necessary. Read more in our TELCOware manual.

7. “More Iron to Support Growth”

SkySwitch points out an interesting difference between hosted and cloud solutions. “In a hosted solution, there is often hardware and servers specifically dedicated to servicing a particular client. Servers may need to be added to address the growth of that client or support premium features such as on demand call recording.” Not to worry, Bicom Systems offers true, high-availability cloud solutions that support scalability – both up and down – with just the click of a button. Read our definition of “cloud” here: blog.bicomsystems.com/what-is-cloud-communications

And we’ll add here that we are not limited to the cloud, but also have hosted, premise, and even Key Systems. Growth can happen however is best for your company.

8. “Insisting on Long-Term Contracts”

We offer our hosted and rented solutions with 30-day contracts. It never occurred to us to make them longer – to date no one has stopped paying.

9. “Provider Diversity is Met With Dismay”

On the contrary, many of our customers come to us from legacy situations. We always value the knowledge gained by working with other providers. With partners around the globe, diversity is no stranger to Bicom Systems and we have developed custom solutions to ensure compatibility with third parties many times.

In conclusion, if you are interested in Bicom Systems or already a partner and experiencing any issues or discontentment – just give us a call. To date, we have not lost any of our partners to SkySwitch. We are happy to chat about what’s going on and work together to a solution. It is not unusual for us to develop custom solutions for individual partners to ensure they are getting exactly what they need. Check out some examples here: blog.bicomsystems.com/category/custom-work 

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thirdlane

Can Your Mechanic Do An Oil Change? (Thirdlane Support)

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Support, Thirdlane

thirdlane

We have been working with a company that was wavering between PBXware and Thirdlane. They have demos running of each option and are testing all of the features before making a final decision.

When testing inbound faxing (fax-to-email), the company ran into an issue on the Thirdlane demo. They reached out to Thirdlane support – it is worth mentioning here that their support department is just one person – who had no idea that their system even included inbound faxing. So much for troubleshooting the issue.

Fortunately, the testers were savvy enough to resolve the issue themselves, but left with a feeling of wariness about the utility of Thirdlane support.

Our Account Manager on the case made this poignant comparison: “If you bring your car in for an oil change only to find that the mechanic didn’t even know your car had an oil filter, you will be peeling out of there faster than you can say ‘rip-off’.”

In all seriousness, no platform is perfect and you are going to need support well beyond the initial purchase and installation. Don’t settle for anything less than an experienced, knowledgeable, and dependable team of support professionals.

customer retention

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 3 Customer Loyalty

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Phone Company, Steps to Telecom Success

customer loyalty

In this series, we have been going through three indispensable goals to telecom success:

  1. Sustainable growth

  2. Increased profit

  3. Loyal customers

First we talked about scalable platforms and how to future-proof your business; then we looked at how added-value solutions are the key to increasing profit. Today we’ll cover the final goal to telecom success: earning customer loyalty.

The drawbacks of the dreaded “customer churn” are clear: loss of revenue, lost opportunities for growth, a damaged reputation, the task of re-marketing, etc. So how can we avoid these things and increase customer retention? There are a few ways.

The first step is to provide a complete solution. If you provide just one piece of your customer’s end solution, they are not wholly committed to you. They will be relying on other providers for the other pieces and could be wooed away by any of those without greatly interrupting their service.

Contrarily, if you provide all the pieces they need, your customer will commit fully to your company and solution. There will be no compatibility issues and no other providers with sales pitches or lucrative offers. Best of all, if they are getting everything from you, switching providers would be a radical and disruptive change that they will not want to make.

So what are the “pieces” we are talking about? Anything that goes beyond basic telephony. Starting with VoIP and going on to UCaaS, mobility, billing, security, etc. (See also: One More Card for Your Hand).

The biggest mistake that we see telecoms making with their customers is neglecting them after the initial sale. Once you have them committed to your complete solution, do not assume that they will glide along happily for years. Customers become partners when you invest time and energy into them. Excellent customer service must extend beyond the sale. And not just when they have problems or need technical support; by then it may already be too late. If you do nothing else in this series, this is vital to keeping your customers: Call them before they call you.

Check in with your customers on a regular basis. Ask how things are going, what their latest goals are, what issues they are seeing. By nurturing your customers before they have trouble, you are practically guaranteeing that they will remain loyal when the problems do come. No technology is perfect and issues are inevitable, but if you are a consistent source of support, advice, and inspiration, they will stick with you.

customer churn

There are more strategies to earning customer loyalty, but they are too numerous to cover all of them in this series. If you would like to learn more, watch our (free) video presentation on 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty for ITSPs & Telcos at www.bicomsystems.com/customer-loyalty

Concluding this series on goals to telecom success, we would like to invite anyone that wants to pursue one or all of these goals to give us a call today. We are happy to chat with you – no strings attached – about your business goals and ideas and how to attain them today. Whether you have a thriving business or nothing more than a dream, we have something for you. Contact us at: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

profit

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 2 How to Increase Profit

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Phone Company, Steps to Telecom Success

telecom profits

In our previous post we identified three key goals to success for any modern telecom:

  1. Sustainable growth

  2. Increased profit

  3. Loyal customers

We covered the first one with ideas like using a scalable platform from the beginning, future-proofing your business, and building your own brand. Today we are moving on to number two: how to increase your profits.

Of course there are innumerable ways to increase profit, but many of them really come down to making more sales. We believe there is a way to increase your profit with just the sales you are already making, so that is our focus today.

The secret to earning more is in added-value solutions. We see this happening in everyday situations. Here’s an example: You walk in to McDonalds and order a burger. The sale is initiated and they will automatically make X amount of profit. The cashier asks if you want cheese on your burger and you accept, that profit just became X + cheese. Pickles? Sure. X + cheese + pickles. What about fries and a soda? That base profit very quickly shoots up without much effort on their part. Value is being added to your burger and to their profit.

You can do the same thing with telephony. If you are offering basic voice services right now, why not add Unified Communications? Or Billing? What about Security? Some telecoms don’t even have VoIP yet – that’s your first step.

If you are a VoIP provider, you already know the benefit of value-added solutions. The transition from traditional telephony to VoIP telephony increments profit easily. If you have made that step, why not make another? VoIP is a great service and it’s not going anywhere, but frankly it’s old news. Newer, complementary technologies have emerged like UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), Mobile Apps, Integration, etc.

Today’s successful telecoms are selling not only products, but bundles and complete solutions that are worth more both up-front and on a month-to-month basis.

Not sure where to start? Partnering with a provider that offers all of these pieces is really the best option. There are so many technologies and options available today that trying to research and obtain each one individually would take all of your time. Bicom Systems has all of the pieces starting with the telephony and provisioning platforms and expanding to all of those extras that will add value to your existing solution.

Better yet, our partners are backed by a team of technical support engineers, telecom experts, and marketing professionals. From a custom-tailored solution to meet your specific needs, to engineers that achieve functionality on your behalf, to free marketing materials for your own customers, we are invested in the success of our partners.

If you would like to speak with an Account Manager about how to add value to your current profits, please contact us today: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

Stay tuned for the final post in this series: Earning customer loyalty.

sustainable growth

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 1 Sustainable Growth

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Phone Company, Steps to Telecom Success

telecom growth

15 years of conversations with partners and clients have taught us a thing or two about succeeding in the world of telecommunications. Three things, really.

In our experience, no telecom will succeed without pursuing these three goals:

  1. Sustainable growth

  2. Increased profit

  3. Loyal customers

These may sound mundane enough, but how many of us actually know how to increase our profit? We can talk about earning customer loyalty all day, but can we actually attain it?

In our next few posts we’ll tackle these issues one by one and offer realistic suggestions on how to actively pursue these goals.

Jumping right in: Sustainable Growth. Key word being sustainable. Short-term growth can be great and exciting, but if it doesn’t extend into the long-term, what was the point of it?

The first step to sustainable growth is a simple one: you need a platform that will support growth. There are too many providers out there that will give you a functional, cheap – maybe even great – platform, but once you start to grow it fails you. Before even thinking about growth, find a platform that supports scalability with unlimited extensions and tenants, great customer support, and an upgrade plan already in place (see also: How To Grow Your Telecom with a Multi-Tenant PBX).

Once your growth-friendly platform is in place, it is time to create a plan to future-proof your business. You are about to start growing, let’s make sure you know what to do next. Ideally your provider should have a working roadmap in place and offer customized support for your company specifically.

A large part of this future-proofing is following the trends: both current and future. Failure to jump aboard the latest trends will not only decelerate growth, it can throw you off the tracks entirely. Now is the time to adopt popular technologies like UCaaS, integration, or mobility (see also: One More Card for Your Hand). The benefits of add-ons like these are twofold: one, to start growing now; and two, to sustain that growth into the future.

It goes without saying that adding more technology to your offering will enable you to widen your customer base, expand to new markets, and make more sales. But the real value is that these add-ons will enable your solution to compete with newer, more modern options into the future. Partnering with a provider that researches and stays ahead of the trends (so that you don’t have to!) is simply invaluable.

A final way to extend growth beyond the temporary is to take matters into your own hands. Stop the monotonous routine of selling someone else’s solution day after day and year after year; start building and investing in your own brand. Yes, by all means partner with a great provider, but choose one that invests in your success as a company. By shifting the focus from earning sales for someone else to your own paycheck, you will be much more aware of – and in control of – your growth.

If these methods of generating sustainable growth sound like something you want for your own company, please reach out to us today. Our experienced account managers would love to chat and learn all about your unique situation. Contact us here: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

Stay tuned for the next post in this series: How to increase profit.

yealink

New Devices Coming to PBXware

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Htek, Obihai, VTech, Yealink

pbx phones

In anticipation of the upcoming release of PBXware 4.1.2, we have been busy testing and certifying new telephones for you. In an effort to widen your choices, we have partnered with Htek, Obihai, VTech, and Yealink to certify several new devices.

From innovation to quality, unified communications to efficiency, reliability to cost-effectiveness, these phones have it all. We are confident that PBXware subscribers will be able to find a perfect-fit device from our selection.

New devices include:

For a list of existing certified devices, please see our website.

Stay tuned for the release of PBXware 4.1.2. In the meantime, check out our IP Key Systems.

one-more-card

One More Card for Your Hand

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Unified Communications

telecom

If the telecommunications industry is a game of cards and your offering is made up of the playing cards clutched in your hands, would you want one more card?

In games of strategy – and we all know business is the ultimate game of strategy – power is earned by having more cards (or chips, or pieces) to leverage yourself above the competition.

Telecom add-ons like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), seamless integration, mobile apps, billing software, and more will give your business leverage to sell more often, sell at a higher value, and keep customers happier for longer.

The more services you have, the easier it will be to make the next sale. Imagine being able to say “yes” to all prospect queries. Or satisfy customer requests on the spot. You will quickly become the most popular business on the block.

Our partners sell not only products, but bundles and complete solutions that are worth more both up-front and on a month-to-month basis.

Want another card or two for your hand? Contact us today to discuss your business model and how we can help you strategize to beat the competition.

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ucaas

What Do We Mean by UCaaS?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, Unified Communications

ucaas

It is easy to pick up buzzwords and start throwing them around without fully understanding the implications. Words like Integration, The Cloud, and Collaboration appear in marketing materials for most telecoms today, but often without full understanding or definitions.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is another one. So what exactly do we mean by UCaaS?

I think CommsTrader defines it best:

UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service is a solution in which all of the collaboration and communication tools that an employee must use can be accessed through a third-party, provided by an integrated cloud platform.”

UCaaS is, at its heart, a singular platform that simplifies and enhances communication through a plethora of tools. It’s almost an oxymoron: nearly innumerable features and capabilities in one single product.

So what are some of those features? Basically anything that makes communicating easier and better. To name a few:

  • Voice

  • Instant messaging

  • Presence

  • Conferencing

  • Video calling

  • Collaboration

  • File sharing

  • Desktop sharing

  • Integration

  • Mobility

It is easy to see how these tools would bolster efficiency and productivity in the workplace. UCaaS will go over well with the accounting department as well since it gives you so much bang for your back. Perhaps best of all, Unified Communications as a Service is flexible and scalable, easily molded to fit the existing business structure.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today or watch for yourself all that gloCOM, our UC app, can do:

 
Learn more about gloCOM here.
 

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telecom exchange

Bicom Systems Hits the Big Apple

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Telecom Exchange

telecom exchange nyc

This June Bicom Systems will exhibit at the Telecom Exchange conference in New York City with a strategy on How to Grow Your Telephony Solution. If you plan to attend the conference or you live in the Big Apple, contact us today to set up a time to chat!

Through years of experience we have found that one of the most pressing challenges for any telecom company is how to initiate and sustain growth. This is especially difficult in a world of ever-advancing technology where it is all too easy to miss the boat on the latest trends.

Our growth formula works for partners around the world by staying ahead of trends, adding more value to your existing solutions, and reducing customer churn. Learn more about each of these on our website: www.bicomsystems.com/telecom-exchange

We have limited meeting spots available at Telecom Exchange, so set up your appointment through the TEX Appointment Portal ASAP. Or to schedule an off-site appointment or have us visit your office, email us directly at sales@bicomsystems.com.

Can’t make it to Telecom Exchange this time? Don’t worry, we will be at TEX in Los Angeles this November. And before that, AstriCon in Orlando and Wispapalooza in Las Vegas this October.

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desk phone

Keeping up with Trends: The Desk Phone

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Do you still need a desk phone?, Unified Communications

do you still need a desk phone

How can we stay ahead of the advancing technology curve? This is a pressing question for many telecom professionals, particularly in the wake of a few major industry players closing up shop this year. One way to stay ahead is by keeping a pulse on current technology trends, for example, the future of the desk phone.

Will the desk phone continue to persist as it has for well over a decade? Or should we be preparing for its imminent death?

Join us as we take a look at how and why the desk phone has survived so long and what may be next for the phone sitting in your office. Here’s a hint: Frost & Sullivan project that IP desk phone sales will continue to increase for the forseeable future, but that more than half of those telephones will be deployed in the cloud by 2021.

desk phoneOur whitepaper and video presentation Do You Still Need a Desk Phone? takes you through the latest alternatives and complements to the desk phone, including mobile phones, softphones, smartphone docking stations, and Unified Communications.

Learn more and download your free copy today: www.bicomsystems.com/do-you-still-need-a-desk-phone

unified communications

5 Ways Unified Communications Saves You Time

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM GO, Unified Communications

unified communications time

We all know the struggle of managing our time at work. The hours in the day are never quite enough to get everything done. But Unified Communications can save time on mundane tasks, letting you focus on whatever is most important to you and your business.

Below are just five UC features that will save you time.

1. Multi-tasking

Most Unified Communications apps support instant messaging and text messaging. Aside from being instantaneous, IMing allows you to multi-task. You can communicate via text even while on a call or working on something else.

2. One-click calling

UC lets you call anyone in the world with just the click of a mouse. Whether that means clicking on a contact within your UC app or enabling click-to-call with your browser, no more time will be spent looking for numbers and working out country codes.

3. Drag-and-drop conferences

Drag-and-drop conferencing is a favorite feature and it’s easy to see why. UC apps like gloCOM let you grab as many contacts as you want and drag them into an instantaneous conference. Gone are the days of scheduling conferences and dialing in to conference bridges with PINs and passwords.

4. Continuity

Unified Communications works on whatever device you have, wherever you are, so no time is lost due to travel, weather, power outages, or other unexpected bumps in the road. Remote workers have all the same capabilities as coworkers in the office.

5. Contact management

Compile all of your contacts and phone numbers in one secure place. UC apps like gloCOM will integrate with your existing address books so that no time is wasted scrambling to find a contact or phone number.

gloCOM is a Unified Communications app with all of the above and much more. Learn more about gloCOM here: www.bicomsystems.com/products/gloCOM-Desktop-Mobile-Communicator

toshiba

What Happened to Toshiba Telecom?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Toshiba

toshiba telecom

On March 21 Brian Metherell, VP of Toshiba, announced in a letter that the Toshiba Telecom System Division was shutting down. Dealers have until May 22 to place any final orders before the doors close for good. Warranties and contracts will be honored, but those are finite and will reach an end.

Long story short: Toshiba phone dealers have some big decisions to make, and sooner rather than later.

What Happened to Toshiba?

But first, what happened to Toshiba? The news came as a shock to many. Sure, their financial struggles were no secret and the Avaya bankruptcy a few months ago had opened many eyes to industry changes, but still, this is Toshiba. The truth is many industry experts were anticipating this news. Toshiba made a few irreversible mistakes that sealed their fate years ago.

In the wake of Toshiba’s announcement, the telecommunications world is abuzz with talk of the cloud. But to really understand Toshiba’s demise, we have to go back even further to the advent of IP. We can all agree that Toshiba’s telecom products were stable and functional. The issue has never been with the products themselves, but rather with the timing. When IP technology began to permeate the market in the early 2000s, Toshiba developers may have taken note and even set out creating an IP product, but they took too long. IPEdge hit the market a full ten years too late in 2011.

Enter: The Cloud. By the time Toshiba caught up and released an IP product, the cloud was already beginning to trend. Their earnest efforts to grab on to the wave of IP products were for naught. Not to mention the fact that IPEdge was subpar to the more quickly-advancing IP alternatives.

By that time, they had missed not only the IP boat, but the Cloud boat as well, and it was just too late to catch up. They would have needed a cloud offering a few years back to prevent their demise.

toshiba telecom

The Latest Trends

We are beginning to see a pattern of legacy and on-premise providers either closing shop or doing a major overhaul and switching to the cloud. Many believe that the technology is simply better. It is more flexible, feature-rich, and economical. If Toshiba is one of the first in a long line of on-site providers that will close, perhaps now is the time to consider the cloud.

But even more importantly: What will be next after the cloud? Surely technology is not going to stall and cease to advance now. Now is not only the time to move to the cloud, but time to move to a provider that has a pulse on past, current, and future trends. After all, Toshiba’s products were once the latest technology, but their failure was in moving on to the next trend.

Speaking of missing trends – what about Unified Communications? Amidst all the discussion of Toshiba and the cloud, I have heard little buzz about UC. A trend that is here to stay, Unified Communications brings a unique and powerful feature-set to the table of any modern telecom. The best part about UC is that it can be yours regardless of deployment, which brings us to the next point…

Premise is Not Dead

Premise is far from dead. There is still real value in on-site deployments for many telecoms, Toshiba dealers included. On-premise deployments are a traditional, long-term investment that gives the owner full control over their system. (Read more about the benefits of On-Site PBX here). If your customers are asking for on-site options, then by all means, give them on-site options.

hybrid premise cloudAnother too often ignored consideration is the capacity to integrate cloud and Unified Communications applications into on-site solutions. There is no need to choose cloud or premise; you can have the best of both worlds. A perfect example of this is a Key System that can be deployed both on-site and in the cloud. Hybrid is another excellent option, particularly for telecoms like the Toshiba dealers that are entering a phase of transition.

First, let’s define what we mean by hybrid in this scenario. Say a large organization wants to centralize its distribution in a redundant cloud infrastructure. However, they may have remote offices that do not have reliable bandwidth and need an onsite premise or are handling data that requires TDM connections. Why provide two different solutions to them when a combined offering makes for easy deployment and support?

Now humor me for a moment – let’s think of hybrid options in terms of cake. Premise is a good, solid cake. It is undecorated, but it still tastes great and serves its function as dessert. It has been served for years and years to the delight of everyone at the table. But what if you added frosting to it? A nice thick coating of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate frosting. What about icing around the edge? Maybe some fruit on top? Or a scoop of ice cream on the side? This is the hybrid cake. It still has the same, delicious base, but the extra ingredients turn it in to something extra special. In the same way, Unified Communications can empower a premise solution to be better than ever before.

What’s Next After Toshiba?

toshiba phone systemSo the question of the hour is what is next for Toshiba telecom dealers that are losing service? As we mentioned above, now may be the ideal time to migrate to the cloud. The benefits are undeniable. But what about those dealers that simply do not want to move to the cloud? Well, premise is not dead. We know that the cloud just does not make sense for some companies. The good news is that there are still many premise offerings on the market. The best option would be an unbiased provider with both on-site and hosted offerings that keeps ahead of the trends, but without cleaving on to only one type of product.

If you are a Toshiba dealer that has lost or will lose service, we encourage you to consider us as a partner. We have both hosted and on-site solutions and are anxious to roll up our sleeves and put together a best-fit solution for you.

For more information and to chat with an experienced Account Manager, please contact us today:

1-954-278-8470 (U.S.)
1-647-313-1515 (Canada)
sales@bicomsystems.com
www.bicomsystems.com/contact www.bicomsystems.com/toshiba-telecom

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toshiba

Where to Go After Toshiba Telecom Closing

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Toshiba

toshiba telecom

The Toshiba Telecommunications System Division announced last month that they are closing. Current Toshiba Telecom Dealers will lose service on May 22.

If you are a Toshiba dealer looking for a new partner, Bicom Systems has a promo going just for you. If you have not received an invitation letter from Stephen Wingfield yet, download your copy here.

We have noticed many providers jumping on the chance to grab up Toshiba dealers and move them to the cloud. While we are big proponents of hosted solutions, we know that many companies still prefer premise deployments. Whether you want to stick with a legacy system, are ready to move to the cloud now, or are considering inching into the cloud with a hybrid solution, we will come up with a solution that fits your specific situation.

Bicom Systems supports telecom companies around the world with both On-Site (PBX, Call Center, IP Key System) and Hosted (Multi-Tenant) solutions. Established in 2003 with the first ever open-standards, turnkey telephony platform, Bicom Systems is the only Unified Communications provider with all of the pieces including telephony, mobility, security, and billing.

toshiba phone systemOur seven highly featured products integrate seamlessly to boost sales, growth, and profit. Some of our partners include Telecom Italia, NEC Australia, and Iridium Satellite Services.

Based on the input of existing partners, we compiled a list of ten reasons to move to Bicom Systems. Learn more and download the PDF at

www.bicomsystems.com/toshiba-telecom

For more information and to chat with an experienced Account Manager, please contact us today:

1-954-278-8470 (U.S.)
1-647-313-1515 (Canada)
sales@bicomsystems.com
www.bicomsystems.com/contact
www.bicomsystems.com/toshiba-telecom

amazon

Amazon Connect Review

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Amazon Call Center, Call Center PBX

amazon connect call center

Knowledge is power, especially in the fast-paced world of technology where things are changing so quickly. At Bicom Systems we like to research and even test new products as they come out so that we know what we are up against.

One of our developers recently spent some time looking at the Amazon Contact Center solution and wrote a review for all of you:

Amazon Connect: A Review

GUI

The GUI is not anywhere near where it should be. The content is breaking out and overflowing. Components take up too much space that you do not needed. Everything is fixed, you cannot adjust the window size, etc.

Contact Flow

Creating call flow logic is very easy with their graphical interface. You have components in which you add and connect with wires and then make logic. The starting position is the number which callers will dial and then enter into the system. I tried some custom, it was not too complex and it worked. But the question is how it will behave in a more complex situation. There are still some GUI problems. For example, when you move or edit a component, the connection is lost and you have to wire it again. After publishing it will show you errors and where you should fix it.

Prompts and Text-To-Speech

Prompts have the capability to use text-to-speech or recording. Text-to-speech is great for building small prompts, but of course it only works only with English.

Statistics

Amazon went with customizable reports, so it allows you to choose fields from a list and then you can save and run it again. This sound nice, but as I tried making a few reports – BAM – I would run into errors or fields that showed no data. If you want to talk optimization, well we know there is none. Even with little data, it requires a couple of seconds to build every report. And if you add fields, it takes longer and longer. So handling large data may not be possible.

The most annoying thing that I ran into was that when I was expecting certain data, it would not show at all or would show lower values than expected. So data accuracy is a big issue.

Also, unlike in our statistics, you cannot filter by time, for example from 8:00 to 11:00. You cannot break the data down to see all the CDRs an agent had at that time.

So statistics gets a big thumbs down. Though it may have plenty of filters and features, everything comes down to speed and accuracy.

Conclusion

Amazon took the approach of making everything customizable. But even with that in mind, there are too many things missing. First of all, you cannot create any queue strategies. You could create flows, but you cannot achieve automatization. Also, there are many instances of queue configuration on our system which would require big flows or be impossible to make. Statistics covers a lot of fields, but accuracy and speed are big problems here.

They have this simple WRTC softphone that works for simple functions – dial, hangup, transfer – but real call centers agents often need to see with whom they are talking. For now, the agent is put in this “after call work” state for every call, so there are no options like wrap-up time, auto pause, etc.

In conclusion, this software does not yet provide a good solution for large call centers. And even for small call centers, there are lot of bugs and GUI problems that need to solved.

If you would like to learn about our own call center solution, please visit our website.

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channel partners

Countdown to Channel Partners

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Channel Partners, Telecom Conferences

channel partners

Channel Partners starts in just THREE days – are you ready?

Our preparations are well underway. We’re unpacking boxes, putting together furniture, and mounting TVs. We cannot wait to open up our booth to all of you next week.

Listen to our podcast with Telecom Reseller to learn more about our booth and plans for Channel Partners:

 

The 20th anniversary of Channel Partners will be held at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas from April 10th to 13th. Learn more and register for Channel Partners here: www.bicomsystems.com/channel-partners-2017

As an exhibitor, Bicom Systems is offering free and reduced passes to Channel Partners with promo code: BicomSys

Click here to Register Now!

unified communications

Unified Communications: Beyond Telephony

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, sipPROT, TELCOware, Unified Communications

unified communications

Unified Communications works great for telephony and voice. It makes communicating fast, easy, and efficient. But a good UC solution should be doing much more than just telephony. Unified Communications can support and improve your business in many aspects.

Collaboration

More than just a buzzword, collaboration is key to productivity in the workplace. Unified Communications solutions support collaboration with features like screen sharing, file sharing, and presence. gloCOM, our UC app, offers all of these features and more. Learn more by reading 6 Unified Communications Features that Promote Collaboration.

Billing

Integrated billing software automates invoicing, rate-setting, and other accounting tasks to free your time and concentration. Unique to our Unified Communications suite, TELCOware is a provisioning platform that performs billing, ticketing, accounts, shopping cart, and more, so that you do not have to.

Security

The issue of security is heavy on the minds of most VoIP users today. Our Unified Communications solution goes beyond telephony to help secure your network. sipPROT is an advanced SIP security module that protects against SIP attacks. Unlike other solutions, sipPROT works with live traffic, protecting the system even while it is in use.

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voip softswitch

5 Benefits of the VoIP Softswitch

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in PBXware, Softswitch, TELCOware

voip softswitch

We have come a long ways since the manual telephone switchboard. 139 years, to be precise. From the days of manual telephone operators to PBXs to modern solutions that tap into VoIP technology to do more than just call routing.

We have written previously about what a VoIP softswitch is and even the difference between Class 4 and Class 5, but we had yet to actually delve into why you should use one. Let’s look at just a few of the benefits of using a VoIP softswitch…

1. Scalability

As a software-based solution, a VoIP softswitch can be scaled both up and down relatively easily. It will grow with your company so you can start as small as necessary. Upgrades are done by downloading new software.

2. Versatility

Routing, billing, reporting, and monitoring are just some of the functions that can be done on a VoIP softswitch. Integrated apps and software create a very comprehensive solution for maximum efficiency.

3. Billing

One of the most valuable functions of the VoIP softswitch, billing software is very accurate and gives you the ability to customize call rates and invoices for individual users. It takes the busywork out of billing so you have more time for what matters.

4. Cost-effectiveness

With no additional hardware to purchase, VoIP softswitches are more cost efficient than traditional switches. Upgrading via software is also much less expensive than purchasing new hardware.

5. Flexibility

Finally, with all of the aforementioned functions and capabilities, there is no denying that VoIP soft switches are very flexible. This makes them an ideal solution for all kinds of businesses and organizations.

An example of a VoIP softswitch is PBXware. Our integrated billing module is TELCOware. Visit our website to learn more today.

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call center

Call Center PBX: An Enhanced Software

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Call Center PBX, gloCOM, PBX System

call center pbx

I recently stumbled upon an article claiming that PBX phone systems cannot replace call center software. My initial reaction was to scoff and dismiss it, but the article kept coming back to me as a response formed in my mind.

Rather than replying: “Yes, PBX can replace call center software”, I began to wonder why it has to be a question of one or the other – is it necessarily a replacement?

A PBX phone system that is dedicated to call centers is essentially enhanced call center software. Not a replacement, per se, but an improvement.

The aforementioned article challenged PBX phone systems on the basis that they do not offer the following features: Advanced routing, Call queueing, Live call monitoring, and Live reporting. The article further criticized PBX systems as less scalable than traditional call center software. Let’s go through these allegedly absent features one-by-one…

1. Advanced routing

Call centers are, by definition, dedicated to call management, so advanced call routing is essential. Call Center PBX solutions like PBXware offer skills-based routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Automated Call Distribution (ACD). Our skills-based routing supports the following criteria: skill level, training level, performance, availability, call priority, and queue load. Additionally, should a call need to be manually transferred, gloCOM shows the real-time status of other agents and supports instant drag-and-drop transfers to whoever is available.

2. Call queueing

Queues are, without a doubt, indispensable in any busy call center. PBXware supports not only unlimited queues and optional callback, but also real-time queue monitoring and statistics. Live wallboards with real-time queue stats enable call center agents to monitor and keep up with call traffic. Queue reports enable supervisors to achieve better customer service by forecasting call volumes, calculating agent requirements, and comparing results with expectations.

3. Live call monitoring

Constant call monitoring ensures optimum customer service quality and satisfaction. PBXware supports real-time agent monitoring and barging. Supervisors can drop in on calls unannounced and unnoticed to verify that call quality standards are being met. Alternatively, they could jump on a call to provide input or assistance without ever placing the caller on hold or transferring them. Call center agents perform more consistently when they know that a supervisor could be listening in at any moment.

4. Live reporting

Real-time reporting of call center statistics inspires agents to perform better and keeps supervisors informed on progress. PBXware gives data on queue statistics, call detail records (CDR), actions logs, and system CLI messages. Many call centers put these stats on wallboards so that progress is at the center of attention throughout the day. Detailed reports can also be run after the fact and delivered at a specified interval.

5. Scalability

One of our primary goals at Bicom Systems is to enable partners to grow. Your success is our success and we have helped entrepreneurs start from the ground up as well as large corporations expand even beyond what the knew they could. PBXware is highly flexible and can scale both up and down fluidly. Bicom Systems is committed to giving you a solution as small or large as you need to get started. We are confident you will grow, so we are happy to start slow and grow with you.

Call Center PBX solutions do not need to be an alternative to call center software, but an enhancement of the traditional software. PBXware Call Center PBX is a powerhouse under-the-hood with all of the features and technologies that busy call centers need, but wrapped up in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Learn more about our Call Center PBX solution on our website.

 

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telecom sales

Making the Next Sale: 8 Tips for Telecom Sales Teams

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How to Increase Customer Loyalty, Marketing

telecom sales

The average sales person makes 8 dials per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to set 1 appointment. [Source: Ovation Sales Group]

One appointment, not one sale. As a job description, that is a bit depressing. In 2017 no one wants to spend nearly a full business day hard at work with little to no results. Or what about this one?

Nearly 57% of B2B prospects and customers feel that their sales teams are not prepared for the first meeting. [Source: IDC]

Talk about constructive criticism. With that kind of success rate and feedback, this last one is no surprise:

Sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads. [Source: The B2B Lead]

Despite these disheartening statistics, the sales profession is here to stay. Particularly in B2B situations, sales people are simply the best way to convert prospective customers into partners. So it is high time that we have a discussion about sales and support our sales teams in the valuable work that they do.

Today we have Sheila Belzil from our Sales Department sharing a few strategies to make telecoms selling easier.

Strategy tip #1: Know your stuff

Before you ever pick up the phone to make a sales call, you must know your product inside and out. Prospects are naturally going to ask questions before committing to your company, so you better have the answers ready. And not just the product, you need to know your company, your employees, your partners, and even the market in general. Leads will be more likely to trust and listen to you if you establish yourself as an industry expert.

Strategy tip #2: Stay ahead of the game

According to Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers do research online before making a decision. We are living in a buyer’s market and in the age of Google. Most prospects are going to know plenty about what is new in the industry and what your competitors are offering. As a sales person, you need to stay ahead and know what is new and what is coming so you are not caught off guard by questions. Again, that knowledge will make you more trustworthy.

Strategy tip #3: Attract consumers with content

This tip will be fulfilled by the marketing team, but sales reps that want to sell should be pushing for it. If 94% of your prospects are researching you online, what are they going to find? There better be plenty of interesting content for them to read and look at before something – or someone – else steals their attention. The sales team will know best what type of content interests their prospects, so they should be contributing to the conception of marketing ideas.

Strategy tip #4: Nurture your leads

Your marketing team put all that great content out there, prospects are finding and consuming it, but they are probably still not ready for you to swoop in with a sales pitch. Their interest is piqued, but they still need more information. Now is the time for engagement through targeted content. Modern softwares and technologies can track what exactly your leads are looking at so that know what to send them next.

Strategy tip #5: Listen before you speak

You are finally on a call with a lead and itching to delve into your sales pitch. But before you start talking all about your company and your products, ask about theirs and then really listen. Aside from validating the lead and making them feel valued, you will gain insight into the types of problems they face. Even if you do not win the sale, the information gained will make you a better sales person for the next one.

Strategy tip #6: Be organized

Any successful sales team knows the value of organizing leads. A good CRM is a must to get through the sales cycle as painlessly as possible (check out: 7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need). Aside from the obvious benefits of more efficient lead management, organization helps nurture leads through the buying process and makes automated personalization possible.

Strategy tip #7: Dedicate account managers

A smooth sales cycle takes a number of dedicated staff to keep the pieces moving. From the early stages of marketing to making a sale to a dedicated account manager, each person plays an important, and often personal role. Do not let any leads feel like just another pawn coming down an assembly line. A dedicated account manager will get to know each lead on a personal level and ensure individual satisfaction.

Strategy tip #8: Making the sale is just the beginning

You made it through the sales cycle: your prospect became a lead and then a customer. Take a moment to celebrate, but then get right back to work because this is only the beginning. Supporting your customer after the sale is every bit as important as making another sale. Stay in touch and be a familiar presence; you want your customers talking to you before anything goes wrong. Keep them confident in your solution so they stick around for years to come. (Check out our video: 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty for ITSPs & Telco).

Would you like help improving your telecom sales or marketing strategy? Please contact your account manager or create a free account for expert advice and tools.

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crm integration

7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, Marketing, PBXware, Unified Communications, VoIP

crm integration

CRM software is great for business. VoIP solutions are great for business. Integrated together, they create a powerhouse that will support both your sales and marketing teams.

Lead management is a core part of any business and getting it right can make or break your success. A standard, efficient workflow to apply to all contacts and individualized nurturing for each lead are of equal importance to get through the sales cycle.

The balance can be reached with CRM integration through the following features:

1. Call & email logs

Integrated CRM software tracks all calls and emails to contacts. Forget flipping through your calendar or racking your brain to remember your last call with a specific lead or customer – an integrated CRM will give you that information and more in seconds.

2. Click-to-call

Now more an expectation than a perk, click-to-call with CRM integration makes it easy to call leads or customers as you are reviewing their account. Cut the time it takes to get through a list of sales calls by doing everything from one screen.

3. Call pop-ups

If click-to-call simplifies your outbound calling process, call pop-ups greatly enhance inbound calling. CRM integration puts the caller’s name and detailed information on your screen before you even lift the phone receiver. No more pressure to remember details or asking the caller to wait while you change gears and catch up.

4. Marketing campaigns

Your CRM is no longer just for the sales department. Marketing teams will find an integrated CRM invaluable for creating, sending, and tracking marketing campaigns. Responsive marketing that targets audiences based on past behavior and interests shown is more effective than passive, mass marketing.

5. Marketing automation

All the buzz in 2017, marketing automation is quickly becoming standard practice. An integrated CRM makes it possible to automate marketing campaigns on multiple levels without forgoing a dynamic, responsive approach. In fact, the data collected by your CRM will make marketing efforts even more responsive to lead behavior.

6. Data organization

Arguably its primary function, it goes without saying that your CRM organizes contact data. But an integrated CRM will go even further in placing pertinent information exactly where your company needs it.

7. Lead Tracking

An integrated CRM goes beyond contact information and call logs, you can now track website visits, social media behaviors, downloads, and much more. Both the sales and marketing teams can get better results when they have more information at their fingertips.

PBXware and gloCOM integrate with Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar, Zendesk, and Microsoft Dynamics. We can integrate with other CRMs through custom solutions. Learn more about gloCOM or contact us today.

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channel partners

Free & Reduced Price Passes to Channel Partners

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Channel Partners, Telecom Conferences

channel partners

Will you join us and 5,000 of your telecom peers at Channel Partners in Las Vegas? Deadlines are approaching and hotels are filling up, so register today!

As an exhibitor, Bicom Systems is offering free and reduced passes to Channel Partners with promo code:

BicomSys

 

If you would like to start or grow a telecom company, you won’t want to miss Channel Partners. During the conference you will be able to:

  • Get your name and brand out there in the worldwide telecom industry

  • Network with prospective customers

  • Take advantage of great conference sales and promotions

  • Learn about hot topics at the keynotes

  • Connect with peers to discuss and compare notes

  • Meet and try out providers in person

The 20th anniversary of Channel Partners will be held at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas from April 10th to 13th. Learn more and register for Channel Partners here: www.bicomsystems.com/channel-partners-2017

Don’t forget to enter promo code BicomSys for free or reduced prices.

Click here to Register Now!

linkedin

6 Things Telecom Companies Should be Doing on LinkedIn

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in LinkedIn

linkedin

Did you know that 64% of all visits from social media to company websites come from LinkedIn? And that 4 out of every 5 LinkedIn users are decision makers at their companies?

A massive and sales-ready audience is waiting for you on LinkedIn. Now is the time to join the 3 million other companies on LinkedIn. Start reaching your current and future clients on LinkedIn with the following simple steps…

1. Make a plan

Ready to get started creating or growing a company page on LinkedIn? Congratulations! We know you’ll be happy with the end result. Before getting any further, sit down and make a plan. Carefully read through the following steps and then choose someone to be in charge of LinkedIn and map out a timeline of when and how each of the following steps will be done. Begin thinking about analytics and setting expectations. When you start checking items off and seeing the results you’ll be grateful you made a plan!

2. Fill in and optimize your company page

Taking the time to fill in all the fields on your company page with keyword-rich text and descriptions will pull your page up in the LinkedIn and Google search engines. With three million other companies competing to be found, be sure to take full advantage of each of the fillable spaces on your page.

Fill in your description with engaging text that will capture the attention of visitors, lacing your most important keywords throughout. Use the Specialties field to add up to 20 keywords related to your company’s products, services, and general purpose.

Images are worth a thousand words and videos are worth even more. Add a profile photo – your company logo – and a company banner. Add images and videos wherever possible to make your company page more visually engaging.

3. Get followers

linkedinNow that your company page is optimized for search engines and visitors, it is time to grow your network and accumulate followers. This may take some initial effort, but as your company page and network grow it will start attracting followers without extra effort. Try some or all of the following techniques to get started:

  • Add a Company Follow Button to your company page, blog, newsletters, email signature, and anywhere else you can! LinkedIn will even generate the code for you

  • Ask your employees to follow the company page and share its posts and content with their networks

  • Send out an email to your mailing lists advertising your new LinkedIn page. Get even better results by providing an incentive like a giveaway or promise to follow them back

  • Advertise your new and improved company page on your blog and/or website

  • Follow other company pages and interact with them to get your company’s name out there

4. Post on your company page regularly

As soon as you have even a few followers it’s important to be consistent about posting and interacting. If your company page sits quietly for too long it will be difficult to entice followers back. Make a plan to post at least a few times a week, if not every day.

Get creative with your posts – ask yourselves what would interest your followers and get them clicking, commenting, and sharing. LinkedIn researchers found that status updates with questions received nearly 50% more comments. Try asking your followers for their thoughts or feedback to encourage a response.

Videos are another great way to grab viewer attention and interest. LinkedIn says that posts with videos lead to followers liking, sharing, or commenting twice as much as on posts without videos.

Don’t forget to respond to your comments and return the favor by visiting other company pages. If your followers are trying to interact but being ignored they won’t be back.

5. Participate in groups

With around two million industry-specific groups, LinkedIn has a niche for everyone. Search through the groups and find a few that fit your company’s purpose and products. As you browse through groups in your industry and search based on keyword, check how active the group is – don’t bother joining a group that looks more like a ghost town than an interactive discussion. Take a look at how often new discussions are started and how many response they tend to get. Your company may benefit from a few large groups where brand exposure is high as well as a few smaller groups where relationships and connections can be formed.

We recommend you start with the Telco Service Providers Network. TSPN is a great place for all kinds of telecom professionals to ask questions, discuss hot topics, and make connections.

6. Track statistics

Great job! You’ve made it through most of the steps – you have a fully optimized profile and an ever-increasing network! But don’t let all your hard work go unmeasured. Track your progress in the Analytics tab on your company page. There you can find statistics on your page, posts, and followers. Additionally, use Google Analytics to track visitors from your LinkedIn page to your company website.

Want to start simple? Bicom Systems would love to be your first or next follower! Connect with us today!

 

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itexpo

Bicom at ITEXPO

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in AstriCon, Channel Partners, ITEXPO, Telecom Conferences, Telecom Exchange, Wispapalooza

itexpo

Bicom Systems had a great few days at ITEXPO in Ft Lauderdale last week. We met long-term partners, made new connections, had fun, and talked business. We’re already looking forward to next year.

In addition to our booth and private room, two of our partners hosted booths with gloCOM on display. It was fun to walk around and see the familiar images and faces.

Are you wishing you hadn’t missed ITEXPO? Join us at Channel Partners in less than two months!

Channel Partners will be held in las Vegas from April 10 to 13th. Contact us to learn more and get a pass today!

If you cannot make it to Las Vegas, we will be attending several other conferences in 2017 including:

itexpo
  • AstriCon

     in Orlando on October 3-5

  • Wispapalooza

     in Las Vegas on October 9-12

  • Telecom Exchange

    in NYC on June 20-21

  • Telecom Exchange

    in LA in November

 

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  • Learn More about the Telco Service Providers Network

  • AstriCon 2017

telco service providers network

Learn More about the Telco Service Providers Network

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in ITEXPO, Telco Service Providers Network

telco network

Have you joined TSPN yet? The Telco Service Providers Network is a community for telecom professionals to discuss, share, and learn together.

TSPN had its first in-person meeting at ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale last week. If you missed the meeting and want to learn more, listen to Sheila Belzil’s interview with Telecom Reseller below:

 

Sheila, the TSPN administrator, talks about how the group got started, how members benefit from the community, and what’s coming up in the future of TSPN.

Join the network at www.linkedin.com/groups/7067017 or by typing “TSPN” into your LinkedIn search bar. We’ll see you there!

More posts like this one:

  • Telco Service Providers Network

  • 7 Things Telecom Companies Should be Doing on LinkedIn

telecom trade shows

2017 Telecom Conferences

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in AstriCon, Channel Partners, ITEXPO, Telecom Conferences, Telecom Exchange, Wispapalooza

ASTRICON 2017

Bicom Systems is having a blast at ITEXPO 2017 in Ft Lauderdale today.

We wish you were here!

If you missed ITEXPO, don’t worry – there are still several other telecom conferences coming up in 2017.

Bicom Systems will be attending each of the following this year:

Which one will we see you at?

More Posts about Telecom Conferences

vmware

Bicom Systems Releases VMware PBX Image

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Press Releases

vmware pbx

MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 3, 2017 – Bicom Systems recently released a VMware PBX image on the VMware Solution Exchange, making it possible to test PBXware on a VM workstation.

PBXware is a turnkey IP-PBX communications platform with unmatched scalability, flexibility, and reliability. Already available in a CD and USB version, Bicom Systems added the VMware option for advanced testing. Dedicated Bicom Systems developers created the image and tested it extensively before submitting to the VMware Solution Exchange. It was approved in less than a day. The downloaded image can be used with a VMware Workstation or VMware Player PRO and Vsphere client.

Learn more about how the VMware PBX Image was created or download it now.

About Bicom Systems

Bicom Systems is the world’s first and most mature Professional Open Standards Turnkey Telephony Platform. Since 2003, Bicom Systems has deployed flexible, reliable, and scalable New Generation Communication Systems to SMBs, enterprises, and governments worldwide by unifying the most advanced of latest technologies. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today.

desk phone

Do You Still Need a Desk Phone?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, gloCOM GO, IP Key Systems

desk phone

Not many years ago, this question would have sounded absurd. Traditional desk phones were the primary mode of business communications. Even as the Internet brought new options like email and instant messaging, these couldn’t truly replace a voice conversation.

But now, with VoIP at work in most offices across the world, the question arises: do you still need your desk phone?

VoIP and Cloud Communications have enabled the development of voice tools that transcend the desk phone. Softphones are now available for desktop computers, laptops, and even smartphones and tablets. In their earliest days, softphones were convenient for some kinds of calls, but would not have been sufficient to entirely replace the desk phone. Softphones today can do everything that a desk phone can do – and often much more.

Concerned about a local presence? Softphones can still give you a local number, as well as a global reach.

For me, the answer to the question is “no.” I said goodbye to my desk phone years ago when I started using gloCOM. Available for both desktop and mobile, gloCOM offers everything my desk phone did, and much more.

Others will not be ready to remove the phone from their desk. The good news is that unified communications apps (like gloCOM) often integrate with desk phones for the best of both worlds.

Still there are others that do not want to bother with modern technology and learning something new. After all, if it’s not broke… To them I would suggest IP Key Systems. A traditional key system that “just works”, but with some powerful technology hidden away under the hood.

What about you? Do you still have a desk phone? Would you give it up today?

avaya

Is Avaya the new Nortel?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Avaya, Nortel

avaya

Everyone is talking about the Avaya Bankruptcy and what it means for the future. No Jitter had a very interesting piece on the bankruptcy that we thought was worth sharing: Avaya Bankruptcy: Good or Bad for Customers?

The author, Phil Edholm, believes that the speed of the bankruptcy process is of great importance. He compares the bankruptcies of Nortel, which was a long and painful process, and that of Aspect, who reached a much quicker conclusion.

Edholm explains that “Chapter 11 is designed to enable continued operations and return to normal business (versus the total liquidation of Chapter 7), creditors have claims to all of a company’s assets and cash. Those claims can prolong the bankruptcy process, and often lead to liquidation, which is what happened in the Nortel case.”

On the other hand, Aspect was able to avoid this by securing the support of creditors and developing a plan before filing.

Reports from Avaya indicate that they do not have a plan and are only beginning the process of negotiations.

With the outlook looking so uncertain, this seems to distract from the essential issue – why did they get into this position in the first place?

 

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avaya

Avaya Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Nortel

As you’ve probably already heard, Avaya has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. This startling fact reminds of us Nortel.

When we first got started, we had to reassure our partners of our financial stability; that we were no Nortel. We have proven this stability through 14 years of growing business.

What will be next for Avaya? Only time will tell.

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vmware

VMware PBX on the VMware Solution Exchange

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in PBXware, VMware

vmware pbx

We are pleased to announce our new VMware PBX image that allows you to test PBXware in a VM workstation or ESXi host.

Our developers created this by installing a VMware Workstation on a separate PC which ran Windows 10. We made a virtual machine that had 1 Vcpu, 1 GB of RM, 30 HDD (which was thin provisioned, meaning as the need for storage arises the HDD will expand) and open-VMware tools were added to this image for it to work properly. 

This was tested on the Windows machine first with up to 20 concurrent calls and 100 extensions. After that test was a success, we moved to testing ESXi hosts. ESXi hosts were tested with the same image with up to 30 concurrent calls and we did not encounter any problems. The test included Vmotion too, which was done while 30 concurrent calls were active. No calls dropped, the only thing we noticed was that 3 seconds before the virtual machine services started on the other ESXi host, we had 3 seconds of silence. Other than that, everything worked fine.

The second test was VMware’s HA (High Availability) which worked as well. After the host that was running VM goes down, the other host takes over and keeps VM up with no downtime.

After these tests were a success, we created a VMware marketplace account (as developers) and set it up with our company’s logo, information, and our PBX solution. The image was uploaded and sent for approval. It was approved 24 hours later. Check it out here:

solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/pbxware–2 

Just click the “Try” button to download this image for usage with a VMware Workstation or VMware Player PRO and Vsphere client.

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Official Press Release

collaboration

6 Unified Communications Features that Promote Collaboration

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud Communications, gloCOM, Unified Communications

collaboration

9 out of 10 business executives believe that cloud-based collaboration is good for business, according to a study done by Forbes.

In an age when many companies have already embraced unified communications, our persuasion tactics must change from “why you should adopt UC” to “how you could be getting more out of UC.”

Everybody wants more collaboration in 2017 and unified communications features are one practical way to get it.

1. Screen sharing offers an instantaneous way to share exactly what you are working on with no room for error.

2. Video calling prevents miscommunications and gets things done as quickly as face-to-face meetings.

3. Instant conferencing brings the whole team together with the click of a button for quick problem solving.

4. Presence makes it abundantly clear who is available so no time is lost tracking someone down.

5. Instant messaging is the perfect way to get a quick answer even if one or both parties are on the phone.

6. Mobility takes collaboration beyond the office so the team can stay in contact despite geography.

These features are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Your unified communications or cloud-based solution should be supporting collaboration with all of the above and more. If you think you should be getting more from unified communications, we encourage you to check out our gloCOM Unified Communications app.

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network

New Year’s Network Issue

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Support

We had an interesting support issue within our own network on New Year’s Eve. The developer in charge tells his story below:

Right after 1:00am CET, I started to receive notifications that the Resource Limit matched the network for an average load >10. First I thought it was a scheduled task, but quickly realized that nothing that “heavy” would be scheduled at midnight (GMT). So I decided to stop watching my boring movie and look into what was going on.

I found a lot of failed calls with the same reason – that CAC was exceeded. I also realized that there were a lot of calls, even though it was New Year’s Eve and most of our customers businesses were closed for the holidays.

The top command showed all FreeSWITCHES processes and mysqld had >100% CPU usage. It was a mystery because there were no hard SQL queries and even FreeSWITCH had zero calls and the CPU was >100%.

First, I restarted the FreeSWITCHES one-by-one and tried different switches for the RT clock and clock sync. Nothing helped. FreeSWITCH compiled 2 years ago and nothing changed. How had it passed last New Year’s Eve?

freeswitch

The reason that FreeSWITCH was rejecting calls was a constraint that the minimum idle CPU must be 5% to ensure transcoding quality. I decided to disable this and left 3 FreeSWITCHES working to keep the load less and allow calls to pass. FreeSWITCH would occupy 3 cores and have room for calls. I tried several calls and had no problem with quality. It seemed that would be enough while I tried to find the problem and solve it.

This is how it looked in the morning when I finally had to get sleep, unable to solve the problem.

freeswitch

Later that day I decided to try a new FreeSWITCH 1.6 and 1.8. I compiled, prepared, and tried, but it did not help. The CPU usage was >100% again. Then I compiled a debug version and added it as the fourth FreeSWITCH in production to get the core dump and figure out why the idle FreeSWITCH was eating the CPU. I realized that FreeSWITCH had a problem with timers. I tried a different one, but it did not work. There were problems with the nanosleep function in FreeSWITCH, but it was fixed already. Somehow FreeSWITCH squeezed time and jumped into a loop.

Then I checked the time on the host, it was correct. Even /proc/interrupts looked correct.

My last option was to try adjusting the time on the host and sync with NTP. Restarting the ntp-client failed. Fortunately it was a problem with the DNS. Actually, the host was unable to access our local DNS resolver. I changed it temporarily to an external nameserver to resolve the NTP server and correct the time.

At the same moment when the NTP finished syncing, all processes went back to <5% CPU usage.

I realized that it was a problem with the leap second bug on an old kernel and it affected FreeSWITCH and MySQL, but it was corrected with NTP when NTP synced the time.

voip trends

5 VoIP Trends in 2017

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM GO, Unified Communications, VoIP

voip

2017 is officially here and it is going to be a great year for telecommunications. Let’s start off the year with 5 VoIP trends for 2017 from VoIP-News:

1. Mobile VoIP – According to VoIP-News, there will be more than 1 billion mobile VoIP users by the end of 2017. How many of your customers will be joining that number? Bicom Systems released gloCOM GO, our Unified Communications mobile app last year – check it out today!

2. Security – VoIP security has become a growing concern in recent years, and Forbes names it as one of the top three concerns for businesses in 2017. To start protecting yourself and your customers, download our free PDF: VoIP Security: The Risks and How To Prevent Them

3. Integration – Sure to be a buzzword in 2017, “integration” refers to the ability to incorporate other business services into a VoIP solution. This is at the heart of Unified Communications and Bicom System’s suite of VoIP software. Visit our products page to learn more.

4. 5G – While less directly relevant to our products and services, the potential emergence of 5G in 2017 will only contribute to the growth of mobility in the workplace. Our gloCOM GO mobile app shifts seamlessly between WiFi and 4G and we greatly anticipate the speed of 5G.

5. Network Strain – Ending on a more concerning note, experts predict a network strain in the coming year. We believe this possibility is all the more reason to partner with an innovative, customer-focused company that is constantly researching and improving. Join us today and gain an experienced Account Manager that will navigate with you in whatever 2017 may bring!

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itexpo

ITEXPO 2017

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in ITEXPO

itexpo 2017

Bicom Systems is hosting a booth AND a dedicated room at ITEXPO in Florida this February! We added Room 114 so we can meet more people, dedicate more time to each of you, and present our products and features in more detail than ever before.

Our Booths

Our main floor booth is 420 and will be a perfect place for you to meet our staff, learn about our products, and take advantage of our ITEXPO Sale.

To kick off the EXPO, we will host an informal Meet n’ Greet on Wednesday, Feb 8 from 5-7 PM in Room 114 (next to Exhibit Hall B). Refreshments will be provided. Then on Thursday, Feb 9 we will give a presentation on How to Grow Your Profit in 2017 at 2:00 PM in Room 114.

Our Products

Bicom Systems has all of the pieces needed to build and grow your Telco. We have 7 key products and one ‘secret weapon’ for insiders at the EXPO.

pbxware telcoware serverware glocom sipprot sipmon ip key systems

We will also present BRAND NEW releases and features at ITEXPO – stay tuned for more information!

Our ITEXPO Sale

And now what you’ve been waiting for: the sale. ITEXPO attendees will have six deals available to them at our booth:

itexpo itexpo 2017

Attending ITEXPO

ITEXPO is February 8th to 10th at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We want to see you there! We have two reduced pricing options:

  • Super Pass for $399 with meals included

  • Platinum Pass for $299 with meals included

To purchase a pass, please contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com.

For even more information, download our Conference Brochure.

Official Press Release

holidays-2016-header

Happy Holidays & 2017

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in AstriCon, Channel Partners, ITEXPO, Telecom Conferences, Telecom Exchange, Wispapalooza

itexpo

Bicom Systems would like to thank you for your business in 2016 and wish you the best for this holiday season and a successful 2017!

Looking towards the new year, we at Bicom Systems are very excited about some new projects and plans. We will be attending several conferences and expos in 2017, including:

ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale

February 8-10, 2017

Channel Partners in Las Vegas

April 10-13, 2017

Telecom Exchange in NYC

June 20-21, 2017

Wispapalooza in Las Vegas

October 9-12, 2017

AstriCON Orlando,

October 3-5

Telecom Exchange in LA

November

 
 

Which one will we see you at?

Many warm wishes this holiday season!

telco service providers network

Telco Service Providers Network

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in CLEC, Telco Service Providers Network

telco service providers network

The Telco Service Providers Network is the place for Service Providers, CLECs, and all other kinds of Telcos to come together and discuss everything from how to get more sales to how to reduce costs to how to run your business more efficiently.

Whether you are hosting with someone else, trying to create your own software, renting, or invested in a large system, this is the place to find new ideas.

Join the network today and we will start a discussion with any questions or ideas you have. We can’t wait to see you there!

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wallboard

Wallboard at ZeroPlex

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in PBXware

zeroplexWe received a photo from one of our partners that is worth sharing with all of you. ZeroPlex in the Netherlands, a PBXware user, created an impressive wallboard in their Network Operations Center.

Described as “the beating heart of our organization”, the wallboard was created by ZeroPlex‘s software development department. Data comes from their PBXware MySQL database. They say this is one of the things they like about PBXware: “the ‘standard’ and freely accessible database makes it easy for us to create custom features.”

Their wallboard displays statistics such as number of calls, number of active SIP registrations, number of call minutes per day and per week, etc.

wallboard

Want one in your business? Contact your Account Manager to discuss how PBXware makes it possible.

key system

What is a Key System?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Key Systems, IP Telephony, Telephone Systems, VoIP

key system

A Key System – also known as a Key Telephone System (KTS) – is a very basic and traditional form of telephony primarily used by small and medium businesses.

Ideal for businesses with less than 30 users, traditional Key Systems include a central controller and multiple telephones. Each telephone has a button for every phone line.

Key Systems have been around in some form since the 1930s, but remain in use today despite new technologies. Many businesses decide to keep their Key System because they are simple and “just work”. By opting out of the VoIP trend, they are missing out on modern features and advantages.

For this reason, Bicom Systems created the IP Key System – Tradition Reinvented. Learn more about IP Key Systems here.

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ip key systems

Key Systems

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Key Systems, VoIP

key systems

It seems at times as if Key Systems have been around since before Alexander Graham Bell, certainly the dust that has grown up on them over the years is proof of this. And still they work. Well – almost!

For sure, I can still get the spare parts from Panasonic and Nortel’s BCM. However, my service provider is apparently stopping all TDM service in 2020. I asked my dry cleaner this morning as I picked up the laundry what he’s going to do.

His reply, as with just about everything he does, as he runs back and forward between the shop counter and the storage, was simply, ‘clean-up’.

Understandable, but not exactly with much direction, and this seems to be the case with about a quarter of the country. Here’s the news, to repeat some puns, “You’re going the cleaners!”

It’s a problem though. He’s not got time for a VoIP system. He just needs something to carry on working.

The Key System has a glorious history in Telecommunications using Line Presence as a feature that every customer could understand.

For this reason, we sat down and tried to find a solution. With Bicom’s Key Systems, we sought to provide tradition re-invented. You are able to use modern VoIP capabilities without having to retrain your customers on how to use their phone.

You have shiny new phones, yes. You have a choice of providers for your calls with much less cost. But for the user, they can still just pick up and make a call. Pick up and receive a call then transfer the line. It works.

Features, such as auto provisioning for your phones along with true Plug & Play capability, creates a winning combination.

Download our IP Key Systems brochure here. Or watch the trailer below:


cloud communications

4 Ways Cloud Communications Saves Money

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud, Cloud Communications

cloud communications

The trend of moving communications to the cloud has many incentives, the most enticing of which is saving money. After all, businesses of all sizes and in all industries are interested in saving money. Below are four ways that cloud communications will save you money.

1. No installation fees – Right from the start, your company will save money. Because cloud communications is off-site, there will be no installation of equipment or hardware.

2. No maintenance fees – Similar to no installation fees, cloud communications products do not necessitate maintenance or upgrades as an on-site service would. Maintenance will be taken care of by your provider.

3. No extra IT costs – Cloud communications are simple and easy to manage, so your current IT department will suffice. There is no need for a dedicated administrator or personnel with special expertise.

4. No downtime losses – Continuity is one of the prime benefits of cloud communications. Your hosted solution will not be effected by your local weather, power outages, or other complications. Redundancy should prevent any downtime all together.

With four ways to start saving money, now is the time to move to Cloud Communications. Visit our website or contact us for more information today.

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continuity

Telecommuting Benefit 5: Continuity

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Telecommuting, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

telecommuting continuity

This is the final post in our series on Effective Telecommuting with gloCOM. Today we’ll discuss our fifth and final benefit of telecommuting: continuity.

Having workers in different geographic locations with a VoIP tool like gloCOM ensures constant and consistent service both within the company and in customer relations.

Different workers in different locations can deal directly with customers or supplier in their area, eliminating issues with time zones or travel. It allows companies to do business locally across the country or the world.

gloCOM also allows employees to work remotely with no warning in the case of being snowed in, staying home sick, or other emergency situations. It opens the door to employees that need a few weeks or months away from the office for whatever reason.

The best part? Customers will be none the wiser. gloCOM replicates your office anywhere in the world so work is not interrupted.

To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

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telecommuting employees

telecommuting retention

telecommuting collaboration

telecommuting savings

telecommuting-savings-header

Telecommuting Benefit 4: Savings

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Telecommuting, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

telecommuting savings

We’ve now discussed three benefits of VoIP telecommuting: better employees, increased employee retention, and productivity. Today let’s take a look at the savings that results from telecommuting.

Supporting individual telecommuters is much more cost-effective than supporting entire offices that require more hardware, furniture, even office space.

VoIP telecommuting via gloCOM makes it even more cost-effective with less spending and lower rates. It is simple to set-up gloCOM anywhere in the world with no need for special equipment or services. This is especially beneficial in countries where the company is not physically present or familiar with service providers.

Finally, telecommuting is often temporary, allowing companies to scale up and down as the budget allows.

To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

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telecommuting employeestelecommuting retentiontelecommuting collaboration telecommuting continuity

collaboration

Telecommuting Benefit 3: Productivity & Collaboration

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, Phone Systems, Softphone, Telecommuting, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

telecommuting collaboration

Our previous post in the Benefits of Telecommuting series looked at increased employee retention. Today we’ll discuss how a VoIP application like gloCOM causes productivity & teamwork to increase as well.

The biggest factor in guaranteeing productivity and collaboration among remote workers is presence. Using the presence feature on gloCOM, supervisors and coworkers are able to monitor who is online and available in real-time.

Supervisors can use this feature to ensure employees are online and active during working hours. Teams can use it to quickly monitor the availability of other team members and initiate spur-of-the-moment meetings.

Another feature essential to effective telecommuting is reliable communication in real-time. gloCOM provides several methods of communicating that always work with just the click of a button. From instant messaging to voice calls to screen share, telecommuters are available all the time in real-time.

Finally, telecommuting eliminates commutes and distractions that may decrease productivity in an office setting. With no idle chat around the water cool or slipping out of the office early to beat rush hour, employees will be productive for more hours in the day.

To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

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telecommuting employeestelecommuting retention telecommuting savingstelecommuting continuity

customer retention

Telecommuting Benefit 2: Employee Retention

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Telecommuting, Unified Communications, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

telecommuting retention

In our previous post we talked about telecommuting offering better employees. Today let’s discuss how it also means happier employees which translates to increased employee retention.

Supervisors and business owners have long known that happy employees = productive employees.

While not all individuals will appreciate the telecommuting environment, many will thrive working from home. The increased flexibility and balance between work and home leads to more satisfied employees.

That satisfaction with work will make them more likely to stay at the company longer.

VoIP tools like gloCOM allow employees to happily work from home with all of the communication and collaboration tools they would find in the office. It allows management to supervise and communicate with remote workers to guarantee maximum productivity.

To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

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Telecommuting Benefit 1: Better Employees

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, Phone Systems, Softphone, Telecommuting, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

telecommuting employees

In this post we opened the discussion of the effectiveness of telecommuting with VoIP, and specifically with gloCOM, our unified communications app. In the next few posts we’ll delve into some of the specific advantages.

Let’s start by talking about the employees. Telecommuting workers are actually better workers.

With no geographic boundaries, companies can find best-fit employees from a much larger selection, and often at a lower rate.

Rather than settling for the local best, companies that use telecommuting can demand specialists or experts from around the world.

Can’t afford to have a specialist on staff? Telecommuting means the position can be part-time, temporary, or even on a consulting-basis.

And of course, gloCOM is the invaluable tool will keep all these experts in touch. To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

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