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.

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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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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skyswitch

Skyswitch: Imitation as Flattery?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Skyswitch

They say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but in the world of business, imitation suggests a lack of experience. It was brought to our attention that a company called Skyswitch created paid Google adverts to appear above searches for “Bicom Systems”.

While we are flattered, we have asked them to remove their adverts. Growing their own brand would be a much more effective use of resources.

Screenshot:

skyswitch
freepbx

How to Upgrade from FreePBX

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in FreePBX, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX, PBX System, PBXware

freepbx

A variation on the non-fairy tale we wrote about last week, we recently spoke with a business-owner that struggled with FreePBX for a year before throwing in the towel. Costs were through the roof, far too much of the work and configuration was falling on his shoulders, and support was all but non-existent.

In the process of shutting down his business, he was about to give up entirely when he realized that maybe a different PBX system would make all the difference. Perhaps an effective GUI and supportive provider would free him up to continue taking his business forward.

Research led him to Bicom Systems and PBXware.

Multi-Tenant PBX was designed specifically for entrepreneurs like him. With a simple yet comprehensive interface and vast features, our PBX system enhances business rather than restricting it. Best of all, our platform is scalable and flexible – it grows with you.

To upgrade from FreePBX or any other PBX system, contact us today or visit the PBXware page to learn more.

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multi-tenant

Take Back Your Time With Multi-Tenant PBX

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in FreePBX, IPPBX, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX, PBX System, PBXware

multi-tenant pbx

Once upon a time, a telecom start-up chose the least expensive PBX system and began to build. As the hard work began to pay off, the telecom grew while the PBX system stayed the same. Each new sale was progressively less exciting because of the time and effort it would take to purchase and host a dedicated solution.

Far from a fairy tale ending, we have heard this story time and again. That is exactly why we created the Multi-Tenant edition of PBXware

With unlimited users, Multi-Tenant PBX takes away the busy work and gives you back your time. Unlike competing solutions – specifically FreePBX has been brought to our attention repeatedly lately – Multi-Tenant is 100% scalable and flexible. Growing up (or down) is as easy as the click of a button. 

Upgrade today to reclaim your time and start getting excited about each sale again! Learn more on our Multi-Tenant page.

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thirdlane

Thirdlane vs PBXware, Part 1 : Limitations

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, IP Telephony, ITSP, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Thirdlane

thirdlane

It is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with Thirdlane, given how respectfully Alex Epshteyn at Thirdlane has always spoken of PBXware.

I am often asked why to choose PBXware over Thirdlane and it seems only right to write.

Curious about this question is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories:

  1. Existing users of Thirdlane’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further.

  2. New Providers looking to start a business line with very little resource

  3. Well established businesses – either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems

For the first group, Thirdlane customers have dial tone. However, their ITSP is now so busied with the running of the business that the cost of maintaining the system takes on greater importance.

thirdlane

It is very noticeable how few subscribers the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a handful of customers. These, still quite new, Service Providers are also considering how to automate the monthly invoice run and, ideally, the provisioning of services.

A customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… Surely this should take no more effort than checking boxes to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out, right?

There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x, y, z?’ questions and, less often, bugs or critical failings.

Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses.  Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms, the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next.

What has also been learned by bitter experience is problems that may be caused by trying to piece-on a third-party software just because you don’t have it yourself. This could be an Operator Panel, for example, that can be strung through the Asterisk Manager. There’s no choice, you have to do it. The customer is screaming at you. So you spend an hour to download it, install it, try it yourself, and another hour to read the manual. You repeat that with the customer. Next day, the customer wants something that is missing … it is crashing … whatever happened to your sales plan that week?

thirdlane

For some though, there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.

Stay tuned for Thirdlane vs PBXware, Part 2: Cost of Entry and check out these other posts in the meantime:

If you found this useful or can add, please feel free to post and of course visit our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP or watch the video below.

swyx-header

Bicom Systems Works WITH You

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Swyx

About a year ago a UK company contacted us for a quote, but their executive decision makers were persuaded by an option with more abundant representation. They went with another company called Swyx.

Unfortunately their experience with Swyx has been negative and they find themselves needing to make another change. In their words, “calls aren’t routed correctly, calls sometimes don’t transfer, calls [get] cut off mid-call as Swyx can only route traffic via VPN.”

Bicom Systems is happy to roll up our sleeves and work with companies that are not entirely satisfied with our offerings at first glance. Just signing up for an account will get you a FREE Account Manager who can offer advice and even a custom solution. Please contact us today to get started.

nortel-header

Still have a Nortel System?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Nortel

If your company still has a Nortel system such as the Meridian or the B200, it is long overdue for an upgrade. With Nortel out of the picture and Avaya’s future looking uncertain, now is the time to take your company forward with a new telephony system.

Whether you are hesitant to leave behind your pricey PBX or anxious to try something new, moving to a VoIP system will have a positive impact on any company or organization.

Nortel systems were well built and long lasting, but the world of telephony has evolved into something entirely new and different. Gone are the days of expensive hardware and physical telephony systems. VoIP, based on software and data, boasts many advantages.

From increased productivity to economic savings, VoIP will not disappoint. Ready to get started? Sign up for a free account and take the first step beyond Nortel.

Additional Reading:

diassatisfied-ipsmarx-header

Dissatisfied IPsmarx Customer

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IPsmarx, PBX System

We received the following from an IPsmarx customer recently and thought it may be of interest to others:

“We are a small calling card company based in Mexico and currently using IPSmarx. Ever since we started using them, we have had ongoing issues with them and when we decided to start selling IPPBX solutions, the things just got worst.

After we installed the IPBPX, a project, which by the way was a nightmare, we started noticing some strange things in our traffic.

All of a sudden, our numbers started to go up, not by much but little by little. Obviously, I was really pleased about it first but then when the sales weren’t going up the same speed, I got little worried and started to investigate it little more. Need to mention that we had a pilot project for IPBPX ready so all we needed to install and start invoicing them.

I noticed that there were many calls through our IPBPX testing accounts and when started asking around, no one seemed to recognize those calls. And in top of that they were to strange destination like Russia and Somalia.

Anyway, I took several weeks to understand that our system had been hacked and someone was passing traffic through the IPBPX we had installed.

We contacted IPSmarx but they are not supporting the version we are using so nothing could be done there. We also contacted the person who kindly has been helping us with the earlier problems without IPSmarx’s authorization but seems like she is not working there anymore.

Obviously we had to put our IPPBX project on hold, can’t really sell  a product with security issues.

I started to google and I found lot of similar cases and I noticed your blog and your writings and just decided to get in touch to if the is something you could do to help us.

Mind you, we’ve spend quite a lot in our platform and really haven’t got much left but any help is welcome.”

sip-attack-header

SIP Attack Protection

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in 4PSA, Competitors, IP Telephony, sipPROT, Support, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Software

sip attack protection

Recently we’ve been hearing of several hacks and attacks on 4PSA VoIPNow. It’s a worst nightmare come true for some users.

In one example a hacker managed to make €80,000 worth of calls before being caught! This user had no idea that VoIPNow was experiencing security vulnerabilities.

Another user did not experience an attack, but was kind enough to share some light on the situation.

These attacks are sure to cause financial loss, service downtime, password theft, and more.

Want to avoid being the next victim?

SipPROT is an extremely effective telephony app that provides real-time protection from SIP attacks.

Unlike the competition, sipPROT works with LIVE traffic, dynamically blocking and unblocking IP addresses that threaten the system.

SipPROT utilizes pattern recognition, brute force detection, and SIP protocol anomaly detection to detect all attacks.

Start using sipPROT today to protect your network, resources, and customers!

Learn more at our website or contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com

 
fonality-down-header

Fonality Down For Several Hours

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in CLEC, Competitors, Fonality, ITSP, Unified Communications

fonality

We’ve been hearing that Fonality was down for several hours this week and offered no support to customers. Were you affected by this? We’d like to help.

Bicom Systems products piece together natively to form and grow turnkey telephony entities including Service Providers, CLECs, governments, ITSPs, and more. Bicom Systems takes unified communications to the next level by providing not only software and hardware, but also support and advice based on years of experience, ensuring a complete telephony solution from start to finish.

We will also provide a transition roadmap to assist with the process of upgrading from another provider.

Sign up today and ask for a call from a dedicated and experienced Account Manager. Or email us at sales ‘a1’  bicomsystems d01 com

If you don’t want to feel alone in this process, please feel free to ask for references and not least how much money was saved!

sip-attack-header

Is SIPWISE really this easy to hack?

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, PBX System, Phone Systems

Prospect just wrote me, “We are looking to setup a SIP Trunk in two locations in the US for customers running our PBX. We have trunk interop finished with two phone carriers – was running SIPWise but was hacked.”

Anyone out there know if SIPWISE is really this easy to hack?

Guess they have nothing like sipPROT to keep the gremlins at bay.

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Is Microsoft Lync Taking us back to the 1960s?

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Microsoft, PBX System, Phone Systems, Softphone, Unified Communications, Virtual PBX

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PBXware collaborate:

An office phone system of any size usually consists of multiple inbound lines mapped to a larger number of phones sitting on desks and is supposed to meet all telephony needs for the organization.

Lync is undermining that assumption and taking us back to the situation in the 1960s and 70s where organizations operated internal phone systems, ‘PAX’, and an externally facing ‘PBX’.

Because Lync is being introduced via the MS desktop estate, it reaches a market that’s currently poorly served from the PBX and circumvents the traditional voice management and procurement routes.

Out of the box, Lync offers IM, presence, screenshare, internal extension to extension calling, and an audio bridge. Call Recording? Possibly a few other features. Leaving aside the difficulty to install it and get it going compared to many other Unified Communications clients such as our own gloCOM. The missing feature is inbound DDI and outbound calling.

The use case is as follows:

Virtual teams within an organization will use presence and IM and screenshare and a combination of mobile and desktop audio. They’ll make use of the onboard audio conferencing for internal discussions but have to use a traditional audio service and some other to another service if external parties are involved.  This undermines the whole thing as the Lync audio client is now redundant, although landline and mobile are available, as soon as you consider the need for a headset it gets messy.  A user would need 3 headsets.

Apart from the power of Microsoft – why does anybody bother?

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Five Reasons to Upgrade from Nortel to PBXware Key System

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Nortel, PBX System, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Software

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Are you a customer trying to decide where to go next? Are you faced with more options than ever before and unsure which is the best after leaving Nortel Networks and BCM 50? Have you considered PBXware Key System?

PBXware Key System is the logical next step after Nortel, also known as Nortel Norstar or Meridian Phone Systems, for several reasons…

1. Fast & Easy Set-Up Migrating to a new telephony system is difficult enough without the added-in stress of a lengthy installation and steep learning curve. PBXware Key System boasts the fastest phone system set-up on the market.

2. VoIP Telephony The telephony market has been inundated with VoIP offerings in recent years. With more features, bigger sales, and less costs, most telephony companies have already made the move to VoIP. It is not a passing trend, VoIP is the telephony of the future and of today.



3. Account Managers Bicom Systems PBXware Key System goes above and beyond the features and capabilities you would expect by giving you an experienced Account Manager that is prepared to walk you through the transition and even beyond. Rest assured that your Account Manager will understand your business and ensure you receive the best possible system and support available.

4. Unified Communications PBXware Key System is part of a turnkey Unified Communications system that will make communicating easier, faster, and more efficient for your company. Our software trio and additional desktop and mobile applications give users flexibility and constant connectivity. Simplify your telephony migration by switching to a company that can offer you everything from the same place.

5. Extensive Features One of the most impressive aspects of PBXware Key System is its extensive feature-set. Make this telephony upgrade worth it by increasing employee productivity and efficiency through useful telephony features.

Additional Reading:

Or talk to an experienced Account Manager by emailing sales@bicomsystems.com

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How to Choose a New Provider after Nortel

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Nortel, PBX System, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

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Are you ready to move on from Nortel and BCM 50 but unsure how to choose a new provider? Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist from Ziff Davis provides five guidelines to keep in mind as you compare providers after leaving Nortel Networks (also known as Nortel Norstar or Meridian Phone Systems):

1. VoIP Pedigree The VoIP market is full of newcomers with offers that will dazzle and impress. Be cautious and look for an experienced company that has a long and positive track record. Read case studies and ask for references.

2. Core Business Most telephony companies have more than once focus; look for a company that is committed to phone systems and that shares your outlook on telephony. Find a company that will innovate and progress but continue offering what you need.

3. Range of Features As you dive into the world of VoIP for the first time do some research on the options and features available. You are going to want to stay with the same telephony provider for a long time, so make sure they have everything you need and want.

4. Customer Base Does the provider usually serve large enterprises? SMBS? Is there niche a specific industry like hospitality, medical, or government? Seek a provider with customers similar to your own company so that they will understand your business needs and obstacles.

5. Viability This is going to be a big move – go with a provider that will be around for many years to come. Ask about the provider’s financial situation and their plan for the next several years. Pay attention to how the company is doing and choose one that appears to be viable in the world of ever-changing technology.

Ready to get started? Talk to one of our experienced Account Managers about upgrading to PBXware today! With a fast & easy setup, PBXware encompasses the most advanced technologies and unified communications features along with an understanding Account Manager to help you with the transition and beyond. Just email us at sales@bicomsystems.com today!

Additional Reading:

What Happened to Nortel?

How to Move On From Nortel

Five Reasons to Upgrade from Nortel to PBXware KeySystem

Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist by Ziff Davis.

There’s Life After Your Nortel PBX from VoIP News

Or talk to an experienced Account Manager by emailing sales@bicomsystems.com

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How to Move On From Nortel

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Nortel, PBX System, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

nortel

Nortel (also known as Nortel Norstar or Meridian Phone Systems) customers are facing a crossroads and must begin making decisions about their future. The world of telephony is overwhelming and many leaving Nortel Networks and BCM 50 are unsure which direction to move. The decision is made a little easier by Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist from Ziff Davis.

The whitepaper from Ziff Davis lays out several options and roadmaps and encourages companies to take the initiative to make a decision before their competition gets ahead of them. The move from TDM to VoIP may be intimidating but it is necessary and ultimately beneficial.

Ready to move forward? You have three options:

  1. Stay with Nortel
    If your company is satisfied with its current system and is still reaping the benefits from its initial investment with Nortel, it could stay on board for another year. Avaya will continue supporting Nortel customers until October 2015. However, keep in mind that the competition is beginning to make the move to VoIP and will be leaps and bounds ahead a year from now.

  2. Transition to Avaya
    Avaya promises a seamless move to their VoIP system for current Nortel customers. The move would be relatively painless and your company would not lose its support system along the way. Avaya is big and has a good reputation; making it a viable option for your company. But as long as your company is going through a migration, consider all of your options.

  3. Switch to a new provider
    If you are ready for something completely new, delve into all of the new telephony options on the market today. Perhaps you want the latest technology; maybe you want to switch to a smaller company that will give you more personalized attention; or maybe you want to spend less on telephony – you are sure to find something that meets your needs.

Ready to switch to a new provider but unsure how to choose? Stay tuned for our next post How to Choose a New Provider after Nortel.

Or talk to one of our experienced Account Managers about upgrading to PBXware today! With a fast & easy setup, PBXware encompasses the most advanced technologies and unified communications features along with an understanding Account Manager to help you with the transition and beyond. Just email us at sales@bicomsystems.com today!

Additional Reading:

What Happened to Nortel?

How to Choose a New Provider after Nortel

Five Reasons to Upgrade from Nortel to PBXware KeySystem

Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist by Ziff Davis.

There’s Life After Your Nortel PBX from VoIP News

Or talk to an experienced Account Manager by emailing sales@bicomsystems.com

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What Happened to Nortel?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Nortel, PBX System, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

nortel

Nortel, also known as Nortel Norstar or Meridian Phone Systems, was one of the best in the world of telephony; an industry giant. Unfortunately, after its initial transition from PBX to IP PBX, Nortel Networks and its famous BCM 50 (Business Communications Manager 5.0) did not keep up with the evolving industry and trends like Cloud or VoIP.

It was ultimately broken apart and sold in pieces to different companies. The carrier aspect went to Genband, wireless to Ericsson, metro Ethernet to Ciena, and telephony to Avaya who will only support Nortel customers for so long.

With the Nortel brand and BCM 50 essentially gone, their customers are facing a crossroads and must begin making decisions about their future. The world of telephony is overwhelming and many are unsure which direction to move.

So how do we move on from Nortel? Read about your options in our next post How to Move On From Nortel.

Or talk to one of our experienced Account Managers about upgrading to PBXware today! With a fast & easy setup, PBXware encompasses the most advanced technologies and unified communications features along with an understanding Account Manager to help you with the transition and beyond. Just email us at sales@bicomsystems.com today!

Additional Reading:

How to Move On From Nortel

How to Choose a New Provider after Nortel

Five Reasons to Upgrade from Nortel to PBXware KeySystem

Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist by Ziff Davis.

There’s Life After Your Nortel PBX from VoIP News

Or talk to an experienced Account Manager by emailing sales@bicomsystems.com

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Kolmisoft

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Kolmisoft

I was speaking recently with a Distributor. His reseller had been using Kolmisoft but found he was as the end of the road. I asked why the reseller was moving. He replied to his own experience and then the reseller’s:

I used Kolmisoft. Three years ago before you developed Dialer. I used many programs to have experience, and then asked your developers to develop accordingly. Kolmisoft Dialer is good, however, it is basically a softswitch. There are no good PBX functions at all.

So it can’t be done with Kolmisoft.

This is what I know from 3 years ago experience.

What I got from our partner:

I asked him how many customers do they have, he couldn’t give any number, however he replied they need a good solution to make customers etc. So in my opinion they tried with Kolmisoft (they did so because they used the dialer module of it) but it did not satisfy in terms of PBX functionalities, so they are looking for a Multi Tenant product.

Anyone else able to add to the knowledge base?

   
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Multi-Tenant Comparison Table

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, IP Telephony, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBXware, Support, VoIP

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Are you looking for a Multi-Tenant Telephony Platform and overwhelmed by all the options?

Tired of clicking back and forth between websites and trying to remember which features go with which company?

Search no further. We have compiled a Comparison Table just for you.

Click on the image to the right or Download the PDF and weigh your options today.

Bicom Wiki

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4PSA VoipNow: How to Upgrade

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in 4PSA, Competitors, PBX System, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Software

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We have been approached by many 4PSA VoipNow customers that are so dissatisfied that they are wishing for refunds. We are shocked at the number of customers coming to us looking for IP-PBX system upgrades, and that number is rapidly increasing.

Many 4PSA customers that come to us are about to make a decision while others have already placed a deposit. Some already have established customer bases.

At first we could not understand why this was so prevalent. However, the more we speak with 4PSA VoipNow customers, the more we understand that sooner or later they are hitting a wall and there seems no way around or beyond.

A good example is Unified Communications. The market wants it, is insisting on it, but there’s just a big gap.

  • Where’s the Global Communicator app?

  • How does one scale?

  • Where’s the billing integrated or held together somehow?

  • What about a provisioning platform?

It is the cost of maintaining 4PSA that seems to hurt the worst; the cost of support.

We’ll leave you to come to your own conclusion comparing 4PSA with the following:

To see is to believe.

The problem is that the longer this goes on, the more 4PSA IP-PBX customers will be stuck in one set of infrastructure and dissatisfied to the point they must look elsewhere.

So – what can we do to help?

This is our offer:

If you purchase PBXware TELCO Solution from Bicom Systems, we will refund any deposit paid to 4PSA in the past three months.

Any existing deployment : we will provide conversion credits to assist.

We will also provide a transition roadmap to assist with the process.

Sign up today and ask for a call from a dedicated and experienced Account Manger.

Want to read more? Read some of our customer’s reviews of 4PSA. Or a third-party review of 4PSA.

If you found this useful or can add, please feel free to post and of course visit our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP or watch the video below.

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Fonality HUD vs gloCOM

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Softphone

We recently received an email from a customer that uses Fonality HUD but was looking for an alternative.

He came across our gloCOM video and liked what he saw. According to him, the biggest advantages of gloCOM over HUD were Group Chat and compatibility with Linux, Mac, and Windows.

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Bret Fisher and IPSMARX

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, PBX System, Support, VoIP, VoIP Software

The story repeats. We had a prospect Mr. Bret Fisher who, deciding between us and IPSMARX, made the choice to place his trust in IPSMARX some twelve months ago. As we know all too well, ‘customers always come back’.

This time, though, his experience was so bad that he requested I provide his contact details to prevent anybody having to suffer the same experience. Please feel free to make contact :

Bret Fisher

Caller-IP

239-340-1679

bret@caller-ip.NET

 

Other Articles on IPSMARX:

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IPSMARX’s Deception Seems to Have No Limits

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, VoIP, VoIP Software

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This latest advert claims “Contact the Only Total, One-Stop, Global VoIP Solution Provider Now!” Given that they seek to pass off as Bicom Systems they know well there is at least one other provider of similar qualification yet who could really be sure there are none other in this wide world?

Maybe it is just themselves they are trying to deceive?

We shall see.

Other Articles on IPSMARX:

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PortaOne broke up a phone company over PBXware Multi-Tenant

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, PortaOne

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While choosing a software platform is a decision free of emotion for most, in some cases it is enough to break up over. Such is this case of PortaOne.

A phone company like many others began the search for a software platform and found both Bicom Systems PBXware Multi-Tenant and PortaOne. The company quickly split into two “teams” – the Bicom supporters and the PortaOne supporters. They became so divided that a third party had to be called in to evaluate both options and make a non-biased decision.

Consequently, the third party chose Bicom Systems PBXware.

We began moving forward with the implementation, happy to see the company progressing.

Meanwhile, ‘Team PortaOne’ was behind the scenes attempting to influence the third party and make them retract their decision. Sadly, they succeeded.

Progress came to a halt as ‘Team Bicom Systems’ was outnumbered by the allegedly non-biased third party.

After a long and painful 6 to 9 months of this back-and-forth struggle, one of the owners made the decision to split up. He sold his portion of the company to the other owners and broke off on his own to create a new company.

I’m not sure this can be seen as a matter of software, but rather of ideology. PortaOne comes from Calling Cards and really deserves its accolades of mastery in this area if the price is affordable in such a cut-throat market.

If, though, you wish to build a sustainable monthly value revenue with truly integrated communications, there are other options.

Ready to get started? Contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com today!

For a comparison of PortaOne and Bicom Systems, see PortaOne vs Bicom Systems

UPDATE : One customer emailed us the following :

Started messing around with the Multi Tenant PBXware and it looks quite nice and excellent features for the tenant side – as I said, our current PortaOne does not come near this with client features.

If you found this useful or can add, please feel free to post and of course visit our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP or watch the video below.

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PortaOne dividió una compañía de telefonía por PBXware MT

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, PortaOne

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Elegir una plataforma de software no es una decisión emocional para algunos, pero para otros es suficiente para dividir una empresa, como en el caso de PortaOne.

Un cliente potencial inició la búsqueda de una plataforma de software y encontró Bicom Systems PBXware y PortaOne. La compañía rápidamente se dividió en dos “equipos” – los partidarios Bicom y los partidarios PortaOne. Llegaron a ser tan dividida que un tercero tuvo que venir para evaluar ambas opciones y tomar una decisión no sesgada.

Al final el tercer grupo eligió Bicom Systems PBXware.

Comenzamos a seguir adelante con la ejecución, feliz de ver a la compañía progresar.

Mientras tanto, el ‘Equipo PortaOne’ estaba detrás de las escenas tratando de influir el tercer partido y hacer que se retracten de su decisión. Lamentablemente tuvieron éxito.

El progreso se detuvo como ‘Equipo Bicom Systems’ fue superado en número por el tercero supuestamente no sesgada.

Después de un largo y doloroso 6 a 9 meses de esta lucha de ida y vuelta, uno de los propietarios tomó la decisión de separarse. Él vendió su parte de la empresa a los otros propietarios y se rompió por su cuenta para crear una nueva empresa.

No estoy seguro de que esto puede ser visto como una cuestión de software, sino más bien la ideología. Para asegurarse PortaOne viene de tarjetas de llamadas y realmente se merece todos los elogios de la maestría en esta área si el precio es asequible en un mercado tan feroz.

Pero si usted desea construir un ingreso mensual de valor sostenible en las comunicaciones verdaderamente integrados, hay otras opciones.

Listo para empezar? Contacte con nosotros en sales@bicomsystems.com ahora!

Para una comparación de PortaOne y Bicom Systems, vea PortaOne vs Bicom Systems

ACTUALIZACIÓN: Un cliente nos envió lo siguiente por correo electrónico:

Probé Multi Tenant PBXware y se ve bastante bien y con excelentes características para inquilino – como ya he dicho, nuestro producto actual, PortaOne, no se compara con PBXware con las características del cliente.

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What next after Trixbox? How do I upgrade?

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, Softphone, Virtual PBX, VoIP, VoIP Software

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The rise, fall, and last hurrah of Trixbox (the community PBX system based on Asterisk) has now played out. The nomenclature of confusion between Trixbox CE and Trixbox Pro does not cloud the simple fact that what thousands or hundreds of thousands downloaded as Trixbox is no more. Both privileges of support and the forum are gone and it’s time to look for a new way forward.

But if we first take a moment to look at the past it gives some valuable lessons that will help customers make a decision on the next step. We all knew the day was coming. From the moment Kerry Garrison and Andrew Gillis sold their interest to Fonality it was hard to see that such a corporate affair was going to continue to support another free project. Betrayal is easy to sense when you have committed so much time and faith to a product. However, there are always two sides to each story. It takes a lot to run a project like Trixbox and it is very possible that Kerry & Andrew felt they simply could not push further.

Fonality had shareholders to answer to and I doubt Chris Lyman left as things were rocketing ahead. For sure, there’s not been as much noise on the street since. It would appear the company is simply trying to make a return on capital. With the cost of maintaining a project like Trixbox surely escalating and fast, Elastix came along and one can see why we got to where we are. This is where this post starts to get interesting to anyone looking to go forward.

Still, some more truths to face first. 2012 is not the same as 2004. The sheer expectations from customers escalate. They even ‘expect’ voice quality to be perfect – Yes, if you have forgotten, that was not always the case. The days of getting some leftover P4 server and stringing together a Sangoma Card, then the nights of playing with all the options to the final dawn chorus of “I’ve made it work”, have been replaced by the need to meet office rents, have customers that are not breaking things and, oh yes, soon there will be mobile.

Let’s face it. It’s time to upgrade.

If you have been stringing Trixbox together on virtual servers then it is high time you get a MultiTenant. To help you with the transition we have a Bicom Systems Trixbox offer on Hosted Solutions. Quite simply, we’ll provide the software to cover your existing customers provided you take one of our packages.

If, however, your customers are onsite and hardware is an issue, we have our M1000 & M2000 and for Q3 2013 you will see hardware of a kind you will just wish to hug – For a cost of hardware and software that will be less that that P4 server!

Really, though, the future is Unified: gloCOM

gloCOM goes way beyond HUD and, once mobile, will do what the world has not seen before: produce an experience to the mobile user that is the same as though they were in their office. Whether presence or chat or sharing – everything comes together.

Still, even this is not the real difference in Bicom Systems. It’s not just the software. It’s the people, the team that supports you. Your Account Manager will always be there to provide pre-sales support to help you win business.

Don’t wait any longer, upgrade today by contacting us at sales@bicomsystems.com or visiting us at www.bicomsystems.com/products.

 

Other Competitor Comparisons

Our Multi-Tenant wiki.

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Why should we choose PBXware MultiTenant PBX vs IPSMARX Multi Tenant PBX? (Part I : Limitations)

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, IP Telephony, ITSP, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers, VoIP Software

It is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with IPSMARX, given how IPSMARX has positioned itself ‘as’ Bicom Systems. I have though wondered more and more why they do so up against PBXware MultiTenant PBX. Here are some reasons that might help with understandings:

I am demanded to reply to this question orally on a weekly basis and it seems only right to write. Curious about this question too is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories: i) Existing users of IPSMARX’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further ii) New Providers looking to start a business line with little resource iii) Well established businesses either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems.

For the first group, customers have dial tone. However the Service Provider’s hands are now so filled with the running of their business that the cost of keeping the system becomes all consuming. Very noticeable is with how few extensions on the system and the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a pocketful of customers. A customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… then “surely this should need no more effort than a check-box selection to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out ?” Surely it should not need custom programming from the switch provider for each small tweak? There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x,y,z ?’ questions and less often bugs or critical failings. Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses.

Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next. Not just a breeze blowing softly but rushing winds. A simple SIP client is not where the world will be. Mobility means the user should be an integral part of the local switch.

What has also been learned through the school of hard knocks is problems that the next customer wants something unique. You never quite know what and unless the system is inherently flexible you will be left just listening to the screams. For some though there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.

If you found this useful or can add please feel free to post, Parts II (Cost of Entry) & III (It has to work and it has to do more) are to follow and of course our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP.

Other Articles on IPSMARX:

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Necesita Ser Rescatado de QIcomm?

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Qicomm

Recientemente se puso en contacto conmigo un cliente que tiene 0843 números no geográficos en el interruptor QIcomm. Me parece que su comprensión es ‘He estado estafado por QIcomm’. Después de haber sido un proveedor leal a QIcomm durante años acogiendo 0843 los números no geográficos en el interruptor QIcomm, QIcomm no ha pagado sus sobornos por unos pocos miles y ahora está en la administración.

Para ver las cuentas de QIcomm sobre DueDil, es difícil ver que este situación se vió obligado a QIcomm y que más bien huele como si la empresa va a ‘vender sus activos a sí mismo’ después de barrer a los activos de distancia.

https://www.duedil.com/company/05422551/qicomm-limited

Afortunadamente para el cliente, hemos sido capaces de hacer bien con el 0843 no-geográfica para tratar de evitar la pérdida del servicio o la pérdida adicional de ingresos.

Si alguien más necesita ayuda, por favor no dude en ponerse en contacto conmigo.

steve ‘a1’  bicomsystems d01 com

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QIcomm: Need Rescuing?

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Qicomm

qicomm

A QIcomm customer that has 0843 non-geographic numbers on a QIcomm switch recently contacted me. They feel they’ve “been stiffed by QIcomm.”

Having been a loyal supplier to QIcomm for years by hosting 0843 non-geographic numbers on the QIcomm switch, QIcomm has not paid their kick-backs for a few thousand and now is in administration.

To see the accounts of QIcomm on DueDil, it’s hard to see that this sitatuion was forced on QIcomm and does rather smell as if the company is going to ‘sell its assets to itself’ after sweeping the assets away.

An article on QIcomm from The Register sums it up nicely: “Too late to save the business, though”

Fortunately for the customer, we have been able to make good with the 0843 non-geographic to try to avoid loss of service or further loss of revenue.

If anyone else out there could do with assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com.

Ver este blog en español

Read about Pat Nabhan of QIComm.

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IPSMARX as Bicom Systems

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, PBX System, VoIP, VoIP Software

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Thirdlane: How to Upgrade?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Softphone, Thirdlane, Unified Communications

thirdlane

After our previous Thirdlane post, we were slightly taken aback with the response we had. Some Thirdlane customers were so dissatisfied they wanted refunds. We are hearing from an increasing number of dissatisfied Thirdlane customers.

The more we speak with these Thirdlane customers, the more we come to understand that sooner or later that wall is hit and there seems no way round or beyond.

A good example is Unified Communications. The market wants it, is insisting on it, but there’s just a big gap. Where’s the gloCOM? How does one scale? Where’s the billing integrated or held together somehow?

What about a provisioning platform? It is, though, the cost of maintaining Thirdlane that seems to hurt. The cost of support.

However we’ll leave you to your own conclusions compared with:


To see is to believe.

The problem also is clear that the longer this goes on the more IPPBX customers will be stuck in one set of infrastructure and dissatisfied to the point they must look elsewhere.

So – what can we do to help ?

Here’s our offer:

Any deposit paid to Thirdlane in the past 3 months we will refund on purchase of a PBXware TELCO Solution from Bicom Systems.

Any existing deployment: we will provide conversion credits to assist.

We will also provide a transition roadmap to assist with the process.

Sign up for a free account today and ask for a call from a dedicated and experienced Account Manger.

Other posts on Thirdlane:

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IPSMARX vs. PBXware and How to Upgrade

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Support, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Software

We received an email from a customer a few days ago asking how the IPSMARX product compares to our own? (IPSMARX offers an IP-PBX solution similar to our Multi-Tenant PBX and has even tried to pose as Bicom Systems.)

Our response: while the two products may appear similar at first glance, we’ve noted some significant differences.

  • IPSMARX is not open standards, Bicom Systems is.

  • IPSMARX may appear simply an adapted prepaid calling system turned into a Multi-Tenant Service Platform, we have created a specialized product to give SMBs huge feature functionality, not adapted.

  • IPSMARX platform does not always integrate with other platforms via SIP trunks, ours does. We know – that’s why their customers have come to us !

  • IPSMARX being closed means that sooner or later to do things that open systems allow requires their intervention and payment.

  • IPSMARX does not have the largest Telco’s driving their development. A good example is the softphone that has delivered a simple dialler but not taken communications to a unified extreme.

To find out more about the difference with PBXware and GLOCOM … please contact us : sales@bicomsystems.com

UPDATE: How to upgrade from IPSMARX?

Since I posted the above blog we have been slightly taken aback with the response we have had. Some customers of IPSMARX were so dissatisfied they asked for their monies back. Credit must be given where it is due. For example, Ikon Telekom in Turkey felt their investment in IPSMARX was a huge mistake.

IPSMARX came forth and were very honourable about the matter. However the numbers of customers contacting us seems to be growing a quite a rate. Many at the brink of decision, some having just placed deposits, others already with established customer bases. One such company claims that IPSMARX is a fraud.

At first we could not understand why this was so prevalent. However the more we speak with customers the more we come to understand that sooner or later that wall is hit and there seems no way round or beyond.

The Breeze Unified Communications offering is a good and recent example, certainly it makes a first attempt. Beyond the basics there seems though no further goal plan. However we’ll leave you to your own conclusions compared with :

gloCOM

To see is to believe.

The problem also is clear that the longer this goes on the more customers will be stuck in one set of infrastructure and dissatisfied to the point they must look elsewhere.

So – what can we do to help ?

Here’s our offer:

Any deposit paid to IPSMARX in the past 3 months we will refund on purchase of a PBXware TELCO Solution from Bicom Systems.

Any existing deployment : we will provide conversion credits to assist.

We will also provide a transition roadmap to assist with the process.

Sign up for a free account today and ask for a call from a dedicated and experienced Account Manger.

Other Articles on IPSMARX:

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Elastix Multi-Tenancy

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Support, VoIP

So, I follow on Twitter and there is this event in Madrid: www.voip2day.net

And of course Elastix, and apparantly the new “3.0” version, will have Multi-Tenancy.

So off I go to elastix.org to try it.

I downloaded ~650MB and installed it in VMware. Well guess what? It didn’t even create a database for Asterisk PBX in the end and I cannot even add Extensions or anything. There is no sign of any Multi-Tenancy. You just login to its Web interface and it says in Spanish (this is complete lack of consistency) – cannot login to database.

All I am saying… Open Source and everything. Steve, if they ever come to you and say we are going back to Elastix.. just tell them – good luck with that.

Sergej

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Customer Testimonials on MS Lync

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, gloCOM, PBX System, Phone Company, Softphone

MS Lync is the flavor of the month out here – when I read the architecture guides and system requirement guides I just don’t understand 🙁 GloCOM and  PBXware are a much better combination IMO.

Lync has more  features  –  but I like the simplicity and standard approach  of gloCOM and PBXware. Being able to integrate easily with other environments like Google is a good move. A mobile client would also be good.

-John

 

“We’re firing up a major logistics company here in the Southeast US (160 extensions) that is also switching off of Microsoft Lync and onto gloCOM. Early indications are they’re liking it.”

Specific features they liked: “Direct integration with their shiny new phones. Plus chat. Plus desktop faxing.”

– Mike Rathburn, IntelaCloud

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PortaOne vs Bicom Systems

Written by Saulio Reyes on . Posted in Competitors, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, PortaOne, Softphone, Virtual PBX

Were you born a vampire or someone just bite you to become one? (A comparison of Bicom Systems and PortaOne)portaone

Many customers interested in our Multi-Tenant platform come to me asking the difference between Bicom Systems PBXware Multi-Tenant edition and switches out there that one way or the other are advertising ‘multi-tenant’ capabilities such as PortaOne.

Well I believe the answer is as simple as the vampire fact : if you were not born as a vampire but rather turned into one you will never be as good as a born vampire. In brief, without digging more into science fiction, let’s discuss my explanation to terms we are all familiar with : if a system is not born as an IPPBX but rather adjusted to act like one the end user will never experience the real deal and the service provider will never accomplish complete satisfaction.

Several popular switches out there, like PortaOne, claim to include a Multi-Tenant IPPBX, but when all is done they are ‘Centrex’-like simulations or service providers landing in the middle of ongoing development on something that was not designed to be an IPPBX and/or a Multi-Tenant.

Bicom Systems PBXware was born as an IPPBX and comes in 3 editions: Multi-Tenant, Call Center and Business.

I suggest that customers test our product and experience a real Multi-Tenant IPPBX. To test, use the following login details:

http://mt.bicomsystems.com/ email: mt@bicomsystems.com password: mtdemo

I recently compiled a comparison chart with PortaOne wholesale switch and Bicom Systems PBXware.

Key Feature Bicom PortaOne Comments
Call Shops YES YES Call Shop / Calling Card Edition Available in PBXware
Calling Cards YES YES Call Shop / Calling Card Edition Available in PBXware
WholeSale Billing YES YES Available in PBXware integrated with TELCOware Billing Platform
100% Multi Tenant Platform YES NO Centrex Alike Emulation
Full Featured IPPBX YES NO PortaONE is a Wholesale Switch not a fully featured IPPBX
Virtualization YES NO Not present in PortaONE
Basic Call Center Features YES NO Not present in PortaONE
Advance Call Center Edition YES NO Not present in PortaONE
Dedicated Virtual Enviroments YES NO Not present in PortaONE
Desktop Apps YES NO Windows, Linux and MAC Applications including free unified messaging client
Mobile Apps YES NO IPhone, Android and Blackberry Softphone
Onsite Deployments YES NO What will you do when the customer requires a deployment on site ?
Onsite to Cloud Redundancy YES NO What will offer when customer ask for on site with redundancy in the cloud?
Real Time Reports / Statistics YES NO Via Desktop Applications and Web Interface, graphics and recordings access
Call Instant Recording / Barging / Monitoring YES NO PBXware can do call recording in multi-levels
Tenant Level Admin Access YES NO Tenant Administrator or Client has access to his own hosted PBX
Auto Provisioning to ATA, IPPhone, Softphones YES NO PBXware provisions Cisco, Polycom, Aastra, YeaLink, Snom, Linksys, Sipura
Custom Design YES Limited Limited to PortaONE only

Also see PortaOne broke up a phone company over PBXware MT

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What happens after METASWITCH?

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, Press Releases

Metaswitch has, in many ways, helped build many of today’s Rural ISPs that have supported ‘Jack & Diane … in the Heartland’. There is no doubt that it has proven a rock solid and reliable platform to date.

The question must follow though – what next?

I have been looking through their web site trying to find answers. I do not see many, if any.

As the ditty chimes, “Long after thrill of dialtone is gone … Oh yeah the light goes on.” Unfortunately that’s where the vinyl gets stuck.

What happens after Metaswitch is installed and the customer is making calls? There are no options visible for desktop integration, CRM integration, or mobile integration. There are no options for “more”.

So what to do next?

Go and invest a similar amount of capital again for the next twenty years before having paid off the last? Clearly NOT!

Do please check out our PBXware; it’s easily integratable and packed with features. So much so that even NEC now use it.

The roadmap goes forward to a full integration of Mobile. Not just dialtone & presence, but really much further.

Even if you have only ‘one’ customer now that needs something a little different, we’d be glad to help.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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Yealink Completes Interoperability Testing with Bicom Systems

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, Phone Systems, Press Releases

Bicom Systems is excited to announce our partnership with Yealink, the professional designer and manufacturer of IP Phone and IP Video Phone.

After working closely with Yealink to develop customer solutions, we decided to celebrate our success with a joint Press Release announcing the partnership.

For more information, visit our Yealink Press Release.

Also see: Our Verdict on Yealink Phones & our Yealink Products

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How to Compete with SHORETEL Phone Systems

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Competitors, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems

In order to compete with Shoretel Phone Systems, you need to get a bit more creative. They have a great phone system that may very well be better in some ways than our own PBXware. To compete with that, Bicom Systems shifts the customer’s focus away from the phone system and to the big picture.

Get your customer to look 2-3 years ahead and think about what they want. Remind them that this sale isn’t just about a brand new phone system today, but about a solution that works for them for years. Don’t just give them hardware, give them a new and improved lifestyle.

If you want to compete directly with Shoretel’s phone system, add plenty of applications onto your own. Even simple applications can be huge money and time savers for clients and entice them away from competitors’ systems. Show them how your applications will have true value to their company.

Shoretel has a great system, there’s no denying it. But customers need something more than just a great system. They need tools to make life easier for them and a plan for the future. Bicom Systems offers a number of Desktop Applications to customers to give our phone system that extra push. We also work with customers through each and every step to push and inspire their company ahead.

Do not be fooled by Shoretel’s “1000% redundancy promise.” It requires 1000% more boxes to support, one for each service. Bicom Systems delivers five nines simply and efficiently.

This post is part of a series: Read the others be clicking below:

How to Win More PBX Sales

How to Compete with Alcatel Lucent

How to Compete with Microsoft

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How to Compete with MICROSOFT Phone Systems

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Call Center PBX, Competitors, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems

Microsoft Phone Systems may seem like a huge, intimidating competitor, but it’s actually not that difficult to win sales against them. Bicom Systems has determined that they have three major weaknesses that we can easily compete with.

1. Microsoft phone systems are based on IT-applications, not just voice communications. They are not specialized in voice and don’t understand all that goes with it. For them, it’s just one application among many. Your company can compete with this by showing the customer that you’re specialized in voice communications – the most important component. Bicom SystemsPBXware has excellent speech quality and high reliability, as seen in our projects involving Lync where the VAR had to drop using Lync.

2. Microsoft is more expensive in the long-run. Ask your customer to think about the next 3-5 years and prepare a cost comparison for them to look at. With Microsoft, software needs constant upgrading which is much more costly than the simple hardware upgrades or add-ons they’ll have with a voice-centric business. With Bicom Systems customers can simply add-on to PBXware as they wish without spending on constant upgrades and ‘newer’ software.

3. Stability. The simple fact is that every major vendor chooses the Open Source base of Linux upon which to build their phone systems. Do you want to be rebooting your phones as often as you do your Microsoft PC?

4. Finally, everyone has some sort of pre-formed opinion about Microsoft. Take advantage of this. If your customer has had bad experiences with Microsoft, it will be easy to win the sale against them! Start by asking your customer about their experience and take the opportunity to respond to any issues they’ve had. For example, if one of our potential customers has had breeches of security with Microsoft, Bicom Systems tells them about our built-in security features.

Don’t let Microsoft’s big name intimidate you. They may be a huge player in the industry, but they’re not specialized in voice communications and can’t compete with the higher performance and lower price of specialized companies.

This post is part of a series: Read the others be clicking below:

How to Win More PBX Sales

How to Compete with Alcatel Lucent

How to Compete with Shoretel

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How to Compete with ALCATEL PBX Telephone Systems

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, IP Phone, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems

Alcatel Lucent is a large industry leader that may be intimidating to competitors at first. But the secret to winning a deal against Alcatel PBX telephone systems is to take advantage of their weaknesses.

For example, Alcatel Lucent has big promises and plans but does not offer much when it comes down to the details. If you’re up against them, provide plenty of information about details to the customer. Offer them a clear road map about where your product will take them over the next few years, explaining each step of the process in detail. Bicom Systems utilizes our Account Managers to walk customers through each step in the buying and installation process and even beyond. Clients have someone to turn to with questions and doubts even after the sale has been completed.

Another weakness is Alcatel Lucent’s lack of partnerships and alliances. They may be a giant industry leader, but they work alone. Make your product stand out by highlighting your partners and the features that they integrate. Although Bicom Systems is still a very young company we have already struck up with some of the industry’s giants and will continue to do so.

Alcatel Lucent is also held back by cultural confusion. Lucent is clearly no longer American, but it is hard to see that Alcatel Lucent has embraced itself as a ‘world company’ in the manner that Bicom Systems was incepted.

Don’t even try to compete with Alcatel Lucent on price or functionality, it’s a waste of your time. On price, their handsets are given away to compensate for the 1 million functions that do not quite come together. Instead, convince customers that you are the best choice by offering them a complete product with complete support.

This post is part of a series: Read the others be clicking below:

How to Win More PBX Sales

How to Compete with Microsoft

How to Compete with Shoretel

Want to read more on Alcatel-Lucent’s strategies, check out Telecom Lead’s Alcatel-Lucent strategies: What’s missing?

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GENTOO vs CentOS or REDHAT for PBXware

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors, PBX System, Support

PBXware uses Gentoo. Below find some of our reasons as we compare Gentoo with others. Maybe you have your own experiences to comment on OSs ?

GENTOO allows us to customize everything and to build it the way we want, such as the build flags, compile time flags.

GENTOO is also used by google for their chromebook

GENTOO usually has packages for latest packages, that is if new version of anything comes out, the script that allows compiling is usually there in a few days

GENTOO allowed us to integrate vserver technology properly, for serverware that is

GENTOO with pbxware was chosen as we could, as I said, choose our own compile-time flags deciding what goes in and what goes out

There is also no version for GENTOO, that is something others are jumping to as well, it is basically just releases.

We do not use CENTOS because CENTOS seems like an abandoned project, it is based on rhel5 which is built like 2006, so the core libraries/kernel is basically from that year 2006-2007.

CENTOS is fixed so if you want to run some new software the latest and greatest that relies on stuff from later period you cannot.

There is no CentOS 6 yet.

REDHAT rhel is closed which brings up royalty issues, it is forked in almost all cases with their own patches

REDHAT patches for everything and their kernel is different and everything else is different to stock version

RHEL 6 looks good, but as I just said, it is REDHAT-way and no other way

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Thirdlane vs PBXware (Part II : Cost of Entry)

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Competitors

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The idea that Thirdlane is more cost effective or at least cheaper than PBXware is the single largest misconception that we have to deal with when customers are considering a choice between Thirdlane and PBXware MultiTenant with its softswitch capability.

To be clear, this is an issue confined uniquely to VoIP Entrepreneurs starting new businesses and facing many unknowns of how much market they will obtain. For Old Hacks, who have a little more certainty of their markets, revenues & ROIs, the issue has long passed onto minimising the pain of managing a real business and getting the features that matter to customers.

Curiously the point at which this turn seems to take place – is so low. 100 extensions and the burden of managing the Thirdlane platform appears to have overwhelm Service Providers. Suddenly the original Investment that will never be recouped is gone. References available.

Here are some, well actually many, items to consider about costs. Combined we really do believe you will come to the agreement that notion that Thirdlane costs less, simply is not true:

  • ASSUMPTION that because PBXware MultiTenant PBX has more features in a professionally orgnaised manner – “it simply must be a greater cost– just because PBXware has more features and functions that does not mean it must be a more expensive product. Our business model is based around ‘Starting Partnerships’. We wish to work with those who have the local presence to take us further faster and will gladly work with you to get you started in your endeavour. Increasingly we have many more products that can be put through distribution channel to help us both build later business.

  • The wish to get started at the lowest “base” becomes blinding. Almost as above but we have time again seen Start-ups so preoccupied with their status of ‘starting out’ that they seem almost compelled to try to ‘associate’ themselves with the most barebones infastructure they can possibly find. Even though options are available for no more cost and possibly less cost that would provide them a base to reach to the stars and have in place the necessary architecture and structure that their businesses might move forward.

  • Bicom Systems simply has more : if you start to add up the options that Bicom Systems has : Telcoware Provisioning Platform, Integrated Telephony Billing, Desktop Applications, Call Center PBXs … then the total will increase. Like for like to ‘just the Thirdlane’ multitenant pbx product to PBXware … PBXware’s entry offer can be less upfront capital to get started !!!

  • Future Proof 1: Once your first server is filled, how to then expand the network in a seamless manner so that it is clear where each customer registration group is being kept.

  • Future Proof 2: The investments needed to stay in this market are not decreasing. Mobile Integration, Desktop Integration, CTI, Alarm Monitoring, Call Center, Video … each need dedicated teams and to sustain this requires large revenues that are only possible with the distribution of large systems.

  • Marketing : Any new business needs marketing material and ideally support in generating business. Bicom System provides extensive marketing material at source to its partners as well as market research and suggestions of positioning. Through case studies and internet marketing we have also been able to promote partners.

  • Support : Bicom Systems does not charge $175.00 / hour for support, it is a flat rate, unlimited support. $175.00 is of course no money at all to a startup ITSP – ‘if you assume you do not need support’. If however it is after your exisiting budget is eaten up and the customer is screaming at you and … that customer is paying you $20 per month, the problem takes six hours to solve, then … suddenly … you don’t even have a business model and all the investment to date is beginning to look like sunk costs.

  • And then what … : it does not start and stop with getting a bit of software. The whole operation of running an ITSP raises questions. Not least ‘what the next customer wants’. Bicom Systems Account Managers exist to advise on that next customer and if necessary provide custom work.

  • Telcoware : The customer comes to your web site, they choose their subscription, enter their details, the monies are taken, the account is provisioned, the order is sent to get the phones out in the post and you are still in bed. Not yet ready for this dream, possibly – but it would be good to know it is ready for you when you are.
  • Making a Quick Decision does not mean Making a Bad Decision : as said above – Bicom Systems simply can give more either today or as your business grows. We are very used to getting you started. We implore you, take a breath and let us do what we do best and find you a way to have the best platform from which to move forward. It may just save you from putting all your savings down sunk, then spending the next two years trying to work back to the same start position through agony, before having the investment to start again. If the words seem harsh – the references are available.
 

So what is the answer ? No idea 🙂 until we talk to you and get to know your business fully and properly.

For those reading this looking for further reading, you may wish to try : How to Start an ITSP

Read the first part of this series here.

UPDATE 12/12: We reviewed the Thirdlane website again in hopes to update this post. Unfortunately the only update to their website is the removal of their prices.

Other posts on Thirdlane: