telecom sales

How to Win More Telecom Sales

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, SERVERware, TELCOware, Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP

telecom sales

You step into the car dealership and look around at all of your options. Red convertibles, little sports cars, all-terrain trucks. In your mind, you’re already flying down the highway, the breeze in your hair, music pouring from the car’s speakers, when the salesperson interrupts your thoughts with his mundane descriptions of the type of rubber in the car’s tires and the new fuel injection system.

When customers buy a car, they want to know how it’s going to feel driving it, not all the little mechanical details. The same idea applies to Unified Communication sales. At Bicom Systems, we’ve learned that in order to win more customers, you must give them an experience, a feeling, not just a description of each component of a phone system.

Start by getting to know your potential customers. Understand their visions, their plans for the future. Ask them about their current expenses and problems and get them to look forward two or three years and tell you what they’d like to change. Get into the mind of the customer.

The next step is to shift the customer’s focus away from the phone system to the bigger picture. Don’t describe the features, describe how those features will change their lives. How they’ll be saving time and energy. How they’ll be making sales left and right. How the system practically runs itself. Bicom Systems products piece together to create a seamless system for customers. We tell customers that our PBXware, TELCOware, and SERVERware combination will free up their time to win more sales while the technical operations go on in the background.

Finally, don’t forget to include a number of applications. Potential customers can find “good phone systems” among your competition. But if you have a “good phone system” with additional applications to make life easier for the customer, that will set you apart from the crowd. Even the most simple application can make all the difference if it is incredibly useful. Bicom Systems offers gloCOM, our Unified Communications desktop and mobile app, as the icing on the cake. gloCOM and our other applications speed up otherwise laborious tasks and give our clients that extra push that they need to sign on.

In short, don’t get lost in the competition by just offering a phone system. Or even a good phone system. Stand out from the rest by offering a lifestyle.

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continuity

Telecommuting Benefit 5: Continuity

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

telecommuting continuity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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telecommuting retention

telecommuting collaboration

telecommuting savings

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Telecommuting Benefit 4: Savings

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

telecommuting savings

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

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

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

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

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

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collaboration

Telecommuting Benefit 3: Productivity & Collaboration

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

telecommuting collaboration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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customer retention

Telecommuting Benefit 2: Employee Retention

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

telecommuting retention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Telecommuting Benefit 1: Better Employees

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

telecommuting employees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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telecommuting retentiontelecommuting collaborationtelecommuting savingstelecommuting continuity

auto provisioning

Auto-Provisioning: How It Works & Why You Need It

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, PBXware

auto-provisioning

Auto-provisioning is a time-saving feature of IP telephony solutions like PBXware. How does it work? The administrator creates an account in the user interface then the IP phone is restarted and receives the configuration file via Internet. That’s it!

Aside from the obvious savings in time, auto-provisioning has a few other benefits:

  • All telephones can be configured from any location

  • Does not require IT personnel or support

  • Updating can be done on all phones regardless of location

  • Custom configurations are quick and easy

  • User errors are less common

If you would like auto-provisioning for your own office and your customers, check out PBXware or contact us today! 

More posts like this one:

  • What is IVR?

  • What is a Session Border Controller?

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Effective Telecommuting with gloCOM

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

telecommuting

While telecommuting has existed for years and years, it has never been as effective and productive as it is today thanks to VoIP and Unified Communications. With benefits to both employees and employers, telecommuting is a real option today using UC tools such as gloCOM.

A few major trends have made effective telecommuting not only possible, but maybe even the best option for many companies: The Internet, Mobility, and Globalization.

Nowadays there is Internet access virtually anywhere, whether via Wi-Fi hotspots or LTE data. That plus the constant presence of smart phones, tablets, and portable laptops means that anywhere can become an office in just moments.

Telecommuting is not only plausible; it’s advantageous to many companies today. Globalization means that companies have customers, suppliers, even competitors across the world. It only makes sense to have employees with just as far a reach.

gloCOM softphone enables users to work effectively anywhere with an Internet connection. From crystal clear individual or conference calls to file and screen sharing to group and individual chat, gloCOM will convert into a virtual office anywhere in the world. It overcomes archaic barriers to remote working such as the inability to communicate or technical difficulties. It even monitors productivity and keeps management up-to-date and involved.

Telecommuting provides several benefits to both employees and employers in the following ways:

  1. Better employees

  2. Increased employee retention

  3. Increased productivity & collaboration

  4. Savings

  5. Continuity

Ready to get started? Contact an Account Manager today!

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

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telecommuting employeestelecommuting retentiontelecommuting collaborationtelecommuting savingstelecommuting continuity
moving-voip

5 Considerations to Moving Your Business VoIP System

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Support, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

voip system

Moving a business is often a lengthy and complicated process. While VoIP technology certainly means less hardware and cables to move, it still involves some planning and forethought. So the big question is : to take the VoIP System along or start over at the new address?

Take It or Leave It : Moving Your Business VoIP System from Ziff Davis addresses that question and offers five considerations to take into account when making the decision.

1. Circumstances Around Your Move

Take the VoIP System if : The move is well organized or planned in advance. The business is being merged or relocated to somewhere without a VoIP System.

Leave the VoIP System if : The move is spur-of-the-moment or disorganized. The business is being merged somewhere with a better system.

2. Type of Environment

Take the VoIP System if : The new environment is similar or smaller than the current.

Leave the VoIP System if : The new environment is a shared space or an expanded space.

3. Your Phone System

Take the VoIP System if : You are still satisfied with your system and it is still a newer system. The system includes better applications than the competition.

Leave the VoIP System if : You are no longer satisfied with the system or have been wanting to change or expand. The system does not include the newest applications and capabilities.

4. Changing Communications Needs

Take the VoIP System if : The current system will continue to serve you for the next several years; if it is flexible and expandable.

Leave the VoIP System if : The move is about making change or growing and expanding.

5. What VoIP Vendors Can Offer

Take the VoIP System if : Your VoIP Provider offers options and deals to migrate the system to your new location.

Leave the VoIP System if : Other VoIP Providers are offering something more lucrative.

To read more, see Take It or Leave It : Moving Your Business VoIP System from Ziff Davis.

on premise pbx

5 Reasons to Choose On-Premise PBX

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

on-premise pbx

We discussed some of the benefits of a Cloud PBX System in a previous blog post, so today we’ll discuss the benefits of choosing an On-Premise PBX system.

#1 OWNERSHIP

Traditionally, phone systems have always been purchased and owned. If this precedent has worked well for your business, there is no reason to change now. Owning an on-premise system gives control and peace-of-mind to the company. It is one more company asset that cannot be changed or taken away.

#2 CONTROL

Along the same lines as ownership, an onsite pbx system puts the control into the hands of the company. The in-house IT team can manage and customize the solution to fit current needs and even specific users. With all of the new features offered by VoIP, it only makes sense to have the control to use and change them as you wish.

#3 COST

While some companies will shy away from the larger up-front cost of an on-premise system, others will appreciate making a one-time investment. Unlike hosted systems, on-premise will not require monthly rent or other fees. On-Premise VoIP is less expensive than Legacy because it is software, rather than hardware, based.

#4 PARTNER RELATIONSHIPS

If you already have a good relationship with your providers there is no reason to change now. Your provider already has experience and knowledge of your company, users, and communication patterns. An onsite PBX solution allows you to stay with the same provider rather than start from scratch with a new vendor.

#5 IT TEAM

Companies switching from legacy to VoIP likely already have an experienced IT team in place. An on-premise system allows them to continue their current duties and carry the company through the transition to VoIP. Entrusting the new system to the current IT team will ensure a smooth transition.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to choosing an On-Premise Based PBX system. However there is a caveat; VoIP systems are inherently more complicated than legacy systems. They come with the advantage of an interface GUI to deal with this; however, the core skills to manage the network remain critical. The provider of your legacy system may not be familiar with these skills.

There are benefits to both On-Premise and Hosted systems depending on the needs of your company. To learn more, read 5 Reasons to Deploy a On-Premise Based VoIP System from Ziff Davis.

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What is an ITSP?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, ITSP

itsp

ITSP stands for Internet Telephony Service Provider and describes companies that provide IP telephone communications.

With gateway servers connected across the globe, ITSPs make it possible to connect phones via Internet. ITSPs are essentially VoIP providers that serve other businesses and end users.

Even more important than the question of ‘what is an ITSP’ is the question of ‘how to become an ITSP’. We addressed this question in our Start Your Own ITSP whitepaper. Learn more and download the free PDF here.

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What is a SIP Proxy?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, IPPBX, SIP Proxy, VoIP

sip proxy

A SIP Proxy is, in the simplest terms, an intermediary between two SIP devices. Also called a SIP server, a SIP proxy routes calls on a SIP network and is responsible for tasks such as registration, authorization, and other call functions and features.

A key part of any IP PBX, the SIP Proxy makes calls possible for users. Not to be confused with a SBC, SIP Proxies are unique and probably all you need.

Bicom Systems offers a SIP Proxy product, learn more here.

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ip pbx

On-Premise vs. Cloud IP PBX Systems

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud Services, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, IPPBX, PBX, PBX System, PBXware

cloud ip pbx

Last month we learned what exactly “PBX System” means and some of the different deployment options. The two most common options – and hardest to choose between – are on-premise IP PBX and hosted or cloud IP PBX.

On-premise solutions are owned and managed by the user. The physical IP PBX is stored on-site and all of the technology is set-up and maintained in-house.

Hosted or cloud solutions are rented out by a service provider for a monthly fee that covers service, maintenance, and upgrades. The user needs only IP Phones that connect to the cloud PBX system via Internet.

Both are good options depending on the size and type of your business.

Let’s look at the benefits of each system:

On-Premise IP PBX System

  • No monthly fee

  • More control over the solution

  • Long-term investment

  • No reliance on a service provider

  • Can integrate with other solutions

  • May have more features

Hosted or Cloud IP PBX System

  • Low or no up-front costs

  • No additional maintenance or upgrade costs

  • More flexible and scalable

  • No need for IT expertise or personnel

  • Less employee training needed

  • Advances in technology will come in automatic upgrades

Clearly both systems have benefits and drawbacks. In general, hosted deployments are better for SMBs, organizations limited by budget, or companies expecting to grow in the future. On-premise systems make sense for very large companies that are prepared to own and support their own PBX.

PBXware is an example of a hosted IP PBX solution. Learn more on our website.

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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.

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4 Ways Voice is Still Better than Video

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

voice call

While video calling is gaining traction in the world of VoIP, voice calling is still the best choice in most business circumstances.

What makes voice better than video?

1 – Voice Eliminates Distractions

Traditional voice calls appeal to just one sense (hearing) and allow both parties to focus on simply listening to a voice. Video calling, on the other than, brings in a whole other sense (sight) and opens the door to distractions. For example, delays between the sound and image will distract the viewer and slow down communication. Video also brings in other factors such as clothing, expressions, or things in the background that distract and detract from the speaker.

2 – Voice Has Lesser Requirements

Video calling necessitates more hardware and a better network than voice calling. Aside from needing a camera and device that processes sound and video, video calling uses more bandwidth. Most VoIP voice calls use 8 to 24 Kbps while video calls can use from 128 Kbps to over 1 Mbps. Video calls have other consequences to equipment such as lower battery life.

3 – Voice is Easier to Setup

Whether VoIP or PSTN, voice is easier and quicker to setup than video calling.

4 – Voice is More Compatible

VoIP Voice calls are almost always automatically compatible between different parties, offices, and even parts of the world. Different software and/or hardware work together seamlessly. Video, on the other hand, results in endless compatibility issues. Both parties must be using the same video tool on the same type of device to ensure an easy connection and optimal quality.

For a Unified Communications Voice application, check out gloCOM.

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5 VoIP Technology Basics That Increase Value

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Systems, Support, Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Software

voip

We all know that VoIP reduces telephony costs, but we don’t necessarily know why. Understanding the technology behind VoIP allows us to better appreciate and market the value that VoIP brings to SMBs.

Ziff Davis explains the technology in their recent article entitled VoIP Primer – Five Technology Basics SMBs Need To Understand. 

Five VoIP Technology Basics:

1. VOIP IS DATA
The first thing to understand is that VoIP is data just like emails or files or instant messaging. While PSTN was a dedicated technology meant only for voice, VoIP turns voice into another form of data. Data is a much more efficient and cost-effective technology.

2. VOIP USES THE DATA NETWORK
Legacy systems require two separate networks – one for voice and one for data. A desk telephone uses the voice network while the computer uses a separate data network. VoIP integrates voice technology into one data network, resulting in a less expensive and easier to manage solution.

3. VOIP IS PACKET-SWITCHED
For VoIP to be transmitted over the data network it must be digitized and transferred as packets. The advantage of packets is that they travel across the most efficient route resulting in high-speed and lower costs.

4. VOIP IS REAL-TIME
Legacy telephony has always offered high quality voice in real-time because that’s what it was made to do. This has been VoIP’s biggest challenge but after over 20 years it is finally a worthy opponent of PSTN. With an optimized network and good VoIP software voice calls can be in real-time just like traditional telephony.

5. VOIP IS STILL EVOLVING
While Legacy telephony is a tried-and-true solution, it is no longer evolving and improving. On the other hand, VoIP is not yet a complete solution meaning it still has infinite potential. As technology continues to improve, VoIP will improve along with it. For example, Unified Communications opens a world of options to users and is only going to get better.

In conclusion, understanding these 5 pieces of VoIP technology gives us a greater appreciation of the value of VoIP. To read more, visit VoIP Primer – Five Technology Basics SMBs Need To Understand.

 
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Yealink T2X Compatibility

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Press Releases, Unified Communications, VoIP, Yealink

Bicom Systems is pleased to announce that the new Yealink T2X telephones are fully compatible with our system.

We now support the T2X telephones in all of the ways that older telephones are supported. This includes auto-provisioning.

The new telephones can now be found in the PBXware GUI as new UADs.

Supported telephones are: T21P, T21P E2, T23G, T27P, T29G, and T19 coming soon!

Please contact us with any questions at support@bicomsystems.com

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Four Ways to Get Started with Mobile VoIP

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

Do you use mobile VoIP at work? If your answer is no, you should start! And if your answer is yes, keep reading, you still may learn a thing or two.

The following are four things to think about as you get started using mobile VoIP in your business.

1. Choose a Data Plan

The cellular data used by mobile VoIP when outside of a WiFi zone can add up quickly. Before getting too far, ask your carrier about data plans and choose the right one for your company.

2. Make it Secure

As with any other business calls, VoIP or not, security is an important issue to consider. Whether your company will use MDM (Mobile Device Management), EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management), or a VPN (Virtual Private Network) app, do not skip this step and open the company to potential security breaches.

3. Skip the Consumer Apps

Though consumer VoIP apps are common and free, it’s not a good idea to mix business with consumer software. From Skype to Viber to WhatsApp, these applications serve their purpose well enough outside of the office, but seek a business solution for your business.

4. Take Advantage of Features

One of the things that makes VoIP so popular today is its plethora of features. This is no different in the case of mobile VoIP. Take time to learn the features and take full advantage of them.

Ready to get started? Check out our softphone gloCOM.

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Paying Too Much for a Telephony System that Doesn’t Even Give You Results?

Written by Kevin Langford on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, IP Telephony, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Products, Softphone, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

voip phone system

Support and maintenance cost you an arm and a leg. Your telephony system operates like something straight out of The Flintstones. You’re itching to make more sales and grow, but an old system is holding you back. Worst of all, you’re losing customers to companies that offer ‘cool new features’.

We’ve heard the story over and over again… It’s time for a change! Forget the Flintstones – let’s become Jetsons!

Bicom Systems helps telecom resellers update their telephony system and take the first steps toward more sales and growth. We cut the support and maintenance costs so you can focus your budget on what really matters – a powerful and feature-rich system that opens the door to unlimited growth. With a variety of hosted and rented options, there is no need for large up-front investments or mortgages. Growth doesn’t have to be expensive anymore!

The best part? Fun and cool features. From Call Detail Records to Customizable Queues to IVR, your new features are sure to attract and retain customers. gloCOM, the most advanced softphone on the market, brings the latest in Unified Communications to desktop and mobile devices. gloCOM will give your users all of the tools they need for effective communication, including click-to-call, instant messaging, drag-and-drop conferencing, call records, file and screen share, faxing, voicemail, and more!

What are you waiting for? Leave Bedrock behind and give us a call today!

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4 Ways VoIP Adds Value to SMBs

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

voip

As we discussed in VoIP Selling Points, VoIP and cloud services are about so much more than just saving money. It is about more than telephony, too. VoIP is an entire integrated communications experience that is capable of adding value to businesses in many ways.

So how do VoIP and application like gloCOM softphone add value?

Head over to Telecom Reseller to read our full post!

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Paying Too Much for Call Center Software that Doesn’t Even Give You Results?

Written by Kevin Langford on . Posted in Call Center PBX, gloCOM, Hosted PBX, IP Phone, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Software

call center software

Support and maintenance cost you an arm and a leg. Your call center software operates like something straight out of The Flintstones. You’re itching to handle more calls and grow, but old software is holding you back. Worst of all, you’re losing calls and customers for a lack of ‘cool new features’.

We’ve heard the story over and over again… It’s time for a change! Forget the Flintstones – let’s become Jetsons!

Bicom Systems helps call centers update their software and take the first steps toward higher call volumes and growth. We cut the support and maintenance costs so you can focus your budget on what really matters – powerful and feature-rich software that opens the door to unlimited growth. With a variety of hosted and rented options, there is no need for large up-front investments or mortgages. Growth doesn’t have to be expensive anymore!

The best part? Fun and cool features. From Call Detail Records to Customizable Queues to IVR, your new features make it possible to efficiently handle a much higher volume of calls. gloCOM, the most advanced softphone on the market, brings the latest in Unified Communications to desktop and mobile devices. gloCOM will give your angets all of the tools they need for effective call handling, including click-to-call, instant messaging, drag-and-drop conferencing, call records, file and screen share, faxing, voicemail, and more!

What are you waiting for? Leave Bedrock behind and give us a call today!

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4 Reasons VoIP Will Save You Money

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Support, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

In today’s economy most businesses are looking for ways to cut costs and save money wherever possible. One great way to save money is your phone bill. Switching to VoIP will cut your monthly expenditures drastically.

VoIP is less expensive than traditional telephony in a few ways:

  1. Cost of calls – traditional calls go over copper wires and analog circuitry while VoIP calls go over your network at a much lower cost.

  2. Hardware – most VoIP systems will integrate with your existing hardware at no extra cost.

  3. Maintenance – a VoIP Telephony Service Provider will take care of maintenance and upgrades as part of your monthly fee.

  4. Features – VoIP includes a myriad of built-in features that do not require an additional fee like traditional telephony would.

Whatever size your company, VoIP is guaranteed to lower your phone bill and monthly communications expenditures. To read more, visit Looking to Shrink Your Company’s Phone Bill? Look at VoIP for Business from the IT Toolbox.

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5 Reasons Why Even SMBs Should Use VoIP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

All too often it is large businesses that have all the advantages and many SMBs assume the same is true when it comes to VoIP. But Ziff Davis brings us 5 reasons why SMBs should be using VoIP too.

#1 VOIP IS A SERVICE

VoIP is a service, not a product, which makes it accessible to any kind of business. Unlike legacy systems that came in a one-size-fits-all (or does NOT fit, in the case of many small businesses), VoIP solutions are flexible and can be customized to fit even SMBs.

#2 VOIP DOES NOT REQIURE A SWITCHED SYSTEM

Many SMBs incorrectly assume they will need an expensive switched system to use VoIP. While this may be the best option for larger businesses, it is not necessary. Other options like a Key Telephone System are available for small business at a significantly lower price.

#3 VOIP DOES NOT REQUIRE A FULL IT TEAM

Legacy systems necessitate a fully trained IT team to manage the separate voice and data networks and implementations. VoIP eliminates the need for a voice network and can be run without much IT support. Hosted or Cloud systems take implementation and support out of the hands of the SMB and allow individual users to manage their own line.

#4 VOIP DOES NOT REQUIRE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT

SMBs that are hesitant to make large purchases with a long-term commitment can use VoIP on a month-to-month basis without a contract. This removes the risk of being stuck with a system that is not working for your small business. VoIP allows you to back out at anytime if it is not working.

#5 VOIP OPENS MORE OPTIONS

Incumbent providers have always catered to large businesses with SMBs as an afterthought. VoIP has so many options that even the smallest businesses can find a perfect-fit. With VoIP the customer is in charge of their solution. VoIP also opens the door to non-local solutions that can be purchased and maintained online.

In conclusion, there is no reason for SMBs to feel left out in the world of VoIP. With a solution available for any size of business, now is the time to make the switch! To learn more visit Why Your Business is Not Too Small for VoIP from Ziff Davis.

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Custom Work: Call Shops

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, PBX System, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

call shops

Given the popularity of call shops around the world, it was only a matter of time until we created a custom solution for call shop functionality.

This solution was developed for Apio Technologies in Colombia to allow functionality with Call Shop booths, operators, receipt printing, API, and more.

Our Call Shop multi-tenant custom work can be duplicated anywhere around the world with a VoIP PBX telephone system.

Read more in our Apio Technologies Case Study.

 
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Custom Work: PIN-Based Dialing

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Custom Work, IP Phone, IP Telephony, PBX System, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

telephony security

Companies today report that security is one of their top concerns. One of the many ways we’re able to help protect you is by preventing unauthorized calling.

With this custom solution, once a handset is picked up, the telephone will automatically dial the access code and ask the user for the extension/PIN combination.

After the call is done, the user extension will be billed.

Security is important to any VoIP PBX telephone system. Contact your Account Manager today!

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5 Ways to Validate a VoIP Purchase

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Marketing, Phone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

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What do you think of when you hear the term MARKETING? I think of drawing prospective clients in with features, promised benefits, and catchy phrases or images. But there is a whole other facet to marketing that we often forget: Purchase Validation.

Our advertisements and websites and other marketing techniques will not only be seen by prospective VoIP clients, but also by current customers, giving us the opportunity to validate and reinforce their decision. Combat buyer’s remorse and encourage customers to take pride in their VoIP purchase, thus telling others about it, through marketing.

How do we do this? Ziff Davis brings us 5 Ways you’ll Know that VoIP was the Right Decision which we summarize below:

#1 – COST SAVINGS

You likely promised lower costs to prospective clients, so now is the time to remind them how much they’re saving. Ziff Davis shares eight areas in which business save costs with VoIP:

  1. Monthly Line Charges – less than Legacy costs

  2. Domestic Long Distance – no longer an additional cost

  3. International Long Distance – lower rates and/or plans

  4. Enhanced Features – now FREE with VoIP

  5. Reduced Need for Toll-Free Numbers – no longer spend on Toll-Free

  6. Phone Systems – no large capital investment

  7. Less Need for TEM – less complex, less need for management

  8. Trunking – shift from PRI trunks to SIP trunks

#2 – EMPLOYEES LOVE THE NEW FEATURES

Users that had been using the same Legacy system for their entire career will be impressed with the vast features available with VoIP – and the easy learning curve. Ziff Davis gives us four of the most popular features among users:

  1. Visual Voicemail – users can access their voicemail anywhere with an Internet connection and easily share messages with others

  2. Ad Hoc Conferencing – advanced conferencing features such as drag-and-drop, recording, etc.

  3. Click-To-Call – simply click on a contact on a PC or mobile device to call

  4. Customization – users can control many features from their PC including ring tones, personal greetings, call forwarding, etc.

#3 – NETWORK IS EASIER TO MANAGE

The previous two benefits of VoIP will please management and employees, but what about the IT team? The following three examples will benefit IT:

  1. Streamlined Operating Environment – legacy systems involve two separate networks that need IT management, but VoIP converges them in to one network

  2. Self-Provisioning – VoIP is more flexible and user-friendly so IT will have a lighter workload and be less dependent on the carrier

  3. Budget-Friendly – due to the lower costs of VoIP the IT team will no longer be under budget constraints and can freely make changes without seeking budget approval

#4 – ACCESS TO A RICH ECOSYSTEM

While Legacy Telephony is a tried & true and long-lasting solution, VoIP is dynamic and opens the door to a large ecosystem of developers and innovation. VoIP will continually benefit users over time in two ways:

  1. Added features & functions that go beyond Legacy’s capabilities. For example, High Definition voice.

  2. Integration with other communication features such as video, presence, messaging, and ultimately Unified Communications.

#5 – STEPPING STONE TO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

While VoIP may be a passing trend that gives way to text or other methods of communication, it is the first step towards Unified Communications. Companies that purchase a VoIP System will be getting a foot in the door to Unified Communications and will be able to gradually add the other pieces.

 

In short, companies with VoIP will reap many benefits for years to come. We can use marketing to validate their decision and get them excited about the future. Want to read more? Visit Ziff Davis and 5 Ways you’ll Know that VoIP was the Right Decision.

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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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2014 State of Unified Communications – Part 2

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Systems, Unified Communications

In our first post in this series on the 2014 State of Unified Communications we discussed the overall growth of the market, premise vs cloud deployments, and the new buzzword: Collaboration.

While this year’s statistics make it clear that companies are pleased with Unified Communications in general, the numbers also identify the areas that need some work over the next year…

SECURITY

A group of IT Executives were provided with 11 Technology Initiatives and asked which they were implementing or planning to implement. The number one response was ‘improving security’ with 88% of the participants.

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Image source: http://www.networkcomputing.com/

Security is clearly a big concern for businesses today. Of all participants that use Unified Communications, 81% invest in security. More specifically, 80% have data firewalls, 55% have voice firewalls, 37% have UC security appliances, and 33% have session border controllers.

Participants say their primary security concerns are:

  1. ‘An attacker getting access to the data network through the UC system’ – 54%

  2. ‘Smartphone malware entering the network’ – 52%

ANALYTICS

Analytics is a newer idea in Unified Communications that could become an immensely useful feature. With analytics, the UC system will remember certain details about the user and be an interactive software.

For example, the system could respond to user requests based on recent activity, upcoming calendar events, etc.

TRAINING & HOW-TO

Unified Communications users are disappointed that the solutions are not always as user-friendly as promised. The idea of Unified Communications is that anyone can use it without extensive training. If business products are too complex, businesses may elect more user-friendly consumer options.

The most popular method of training is still computer-based, use by 33% of participants.

SOCIAL INTEGRATION

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While the Unified Communications market seemed to be moving toward Social Media integration, it did not get anywhere in the past year.

According to participants, Social Networking is at the bottom of the list of beneficial features of Unified Communications, with only 3% of the vote.

The idea would be essentially a large business directory and discussion board that would provide a resource for employees throughout the world.

FEDERATION

Federation is about getting varied Unified Communications platforms to work together. Clearly there are many platforms on the market and that number will continue to increase over the coming years. These platforms must find a way to function together so that users from different companies, or even within larger enterprises, can work together via Unified Communications.

BANDWIDTH & CONNECTIVITY ISSUES

cloud unified communicationsOne of the largest complaints from Unified Communications users is the connectivity issues. While Unified Communications has so many benefits to offer, it does require a constant connection to the Internet. Some of the new features like video and live collaboration require even faster and more dependable connections.

In some ways, IT and developers cannot do anything about this issue. However there are new ideas and technologies emerging that make this a valid topic of discussion in 2014.

Also check out Part Three where we discuss IT team’s responsibilities in Unified Communications and what to do when starting or expanding a UC solution.

Want to keep reading? Download the full report from Information Week

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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2014 State of Unified Communications – Part 1

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, IP Phone, IP Telephony, Marketing, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Unified Communications

In April of 2014, InformationWeek conducted a Unified Communications Survey with 488 Business Technology Decision Makers in North America. The results are in and the news is good for Unified Communications. The market has seen significant growth over the past year. However, this means that user expectations are at an all-time high and vendors have work to do this year.

OVERALL GROWTH FOR 2014

Of all survey participants, 70% have a Unified Communications solution or plan to deploy one in the future. These systems are being used by vast numbers of users – 34% of those participants provide Unified Communications to 76% or more of their users.

These numbers have increased since previous years. The percentage of participants that have a UC solution has increased from 38% to 44%. Additionally, those that do NOT plan to deploy a UC solution has decreased from 32% to 30%.

unified communications

Image source: http://www.networkcomputing.com/

Not only are more companies using Unified Communications, they are also using their systems more extensively. The number of participants that provide UC to 76% or more of their users increased from 21% to 34%.

As could be expected with a growth in Unified Communications, the traditional desk phone is losing popularly. This year 14% of participants have no desk phones whatsoever. Only 30% have desk phones for 76% or more of their users.

PREMISE VS CLOUD

While there is no doubt that Cloud has made its presence known in the Unified Communications market, premise is still the more common deployment.

Companies with premise or premise-based deployments make up 64% of all participants. Complete Cloud set-ups account for only 3% of participants, though 17% have hybrid set-ups with some sort of Cloud component.

unified communicationsImage source: http://www.networkcomputing.com/

According to the participants, this trend will not change in the near future. Of all participants, 52% envision themselves with all or primarily premise deployments two years from now.

However, this means that a large amount of the participants are still open to the idea of Cloud. While premise set-ups may be less expensive in the long run, Cloud Providers could, and should, promote the benefits of Cloud. Features like ease-of-use, mobility and BYOD, and a low capital investment may make the long-term investment worth the price.

COLLABORATION

A new buzzword has emerged in the world of Unified Communications: Collaboration. Companies that use Unified Communications have expressed great satisfaction with the increased ability to collaborate within companies and teams, whether in the same office or on opposite sides of the world.

The market study provided 12 ways that Unified Communications helps business and asked participants to name the top three for their company. The most popular response was “improve employee collaboration” with 62% of the vote.

unified communicationsImage source: http://www.networkcomputing.com/

Two of the most loved collaboration tools are audio conferencing and video. These tools give teams a way to effectively and efficiently communicate regardless of location.  Other tools that UC users enjoy are unified messaging, instant messaging, and the corporate directory.

Also check out Part Two where we discuss what users are looking for in Unified Communications today and Part Three where we discuss IT team’s responsibilities in Unified Communications and what to do when starting or expanding a UC solution.

Want to keep reading? Download the full report from Information Week

What are your thoughts on how the Unified Communications Market is going? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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5 Steps to Migrating from Legacy to VoIP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Support, Telephone Systems, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

While VoIP has been around and available for over a decade, many businesses have yet to make the jump from a Legacy Telephony System to VoIP. Legacy Systems were a significant investment and were expected to last, so many businesses are hesitant to abandon them for the newest trend. However, VoIP is quickly becoming the mainstream choice in the world of business telephony, so it is time to take the leap.

Fortunately Ziff Davis wrote a guide that will walk you through the process step-by-step: Migrating Your Business to VoIP: Five Key Success Factors. We outline those steps for you below:

  1. RECOGNIZE THIS IS A JOURNEY
    The first step to transitioning from Legacy to VoIP is simply understanding that VoIP is constantly evolving and preparing yourself for constant change. But recognize that this change is not a bad thing; on the contrary, it means ever improving service and increased features. Moving to VoIP will entail some risks but we are confident that the benefits outweigh any roadblocks along the way.

  2. ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF 3 STAKEHOLDER GROUPS
    Once you are prepared to begin the journey of VoIP, your company must define its goals.  VoIP will impact three major players in your business and each can potentially benefit:a) Employees – Your employees will be the primary users. VoIP can increase their efficiency and effectiveness. For example, VoIP features like a softphone will encourage employees to quickly and efficiently communicate with coworkers or clients.

    b) Executives – The ultimate decisions will be made by the company executives. Points of interest to them will be the cost-effectiveness of VoIP, the increased worker productivity, and the ability to integrate the telephony system into a complete Unified Communications solution.

    c) IT – Company techs will be responsible for the VoIP system. They will enjoy the fact that VoIP is more user-friendly and most features and updates will not require their assistance, freeing up time for other matters.

  3.  CHOOSE THE RIGHT DEPLOYMENT MODEL
    VoIP gives you three deployment options:a) Premise – This is basically a continuation of your legacy system. It would mean a smaller change and more control of your system, but is more expensive and requires a comprehensive IT team.

    b) Cloud – The opposite of a premise system, a cloud system would save money by outsourcing management or hosting. This option is becoming more common as the cloud gains popularity.

    c) Hybrid – A hybrid system combines the best of both premise and cloud. A company that is not ready to part with its legacy system may choose a hybrid solution that will VoIP-enable their older system.

  4.  CHOOSE THE RIGHT VENDOR
    The next step is deciding whether to continue with your Legacy provider or shop around for a new provider. If you have a positive business relationship with your current provider and they offer an enticing and affordable VoIP transition plan, that may be the best option.However this may be the time to move on to a smaller company that is more specifically suited to your company’s needs. Nowadays you will find many options, even outside the world of telephony.

  5.  PREPARE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
    The move to VoIP will be a big change and your company must be prepared.

    Step 1 – Review your phone system contract and determine whether you can replace your telephones and system.

    Step 2 – Create a timeline with specific goals and targets. Assign responsibilities to specific people.

    Step 3 – Perform a network assessment to decide if your system is ready for VoIP. This will also help in the decision between Premise or Cloud.

    Step 4 – Determine what will change for your employees and prepare them for those changes.

    Step 5 – Test the new system with a specific group of users to ensure it is working as promised, particularly during busy times.

Transitioning to VoIP may sound like a daunting task, but thousands of companies have made a successful transition with great benefits in the short and long term.

Want to read more? Check out Migrating Your Business to VoIP: Five Key Success Factors from Ziff Davis.

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5 Benefits of Hosted VoIP (Cloud VoIP)

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

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As companies today make the move to VoIP telephony, they are faced with two options: Premise or Cloud.

While premise is a popular option because it is similar to legacy systems and gives more control to the company, Hosted VoIP offers several benefits to SMBs.

Ziff Davis shares give benefits of Hosted VoIP in Five Implications that make Hosted VoIP Good for your Business. We outline those benefits below.

1. SIZE DOESN’T MATTER – ANYONE CAN DO IT

While bigger often has the advantages in business, Hosted VoIP levels the playing field and represents an opportunity that even the smallest business can deploy.

A Hosted VoIP system means that a third party is taking care of most aspects of the communications system like managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, etc. SMBs that do not have extensive IT abilities will still be able to use the system.

2. YOU’LL GET CLOSER TO YOUR CUSTOMER

While legacy systems were primarily focused on giving employees a means of internal communication, VoIP opens the doors to customers on the outside. Hosted VoIP offers extensive features such as softphones, video calls, chat, and mobile. These open up the lines of communication with customers and ensure their satisfaction. While this is plausible with premise VoIP as well, it would require a comprehensive IT team to carry it out.

3. YOU’LL GET MORE LEVERAGE AS A CUSTOMER FOR TELEPHONY

The Hosted VoIP market is a consumer’s market that boasts several choices. Legacy systems were not built for SMBs and required costly investments for a less-than-ideal products. Hosted VoIP, on the other hand, is available in many different packages with varied prices and features. SMBs can shop around and choose a provider that meets their needs and budget.

4. CLOUD IS A BETTER BUSINESS MODEL FOR VOIP

Hosted VoIP provides a better model for SMBs that are on a budget. Expenditures are reduced via a lesser initial investment and lower usage costs. Monthly fees are a fixed rate that fit into SMBs budgets.Additionally, Cloud VoIP means more reliable service that is not susceptible to local weather conditions or power outages. Employees can work from home or anywhere with an Internet connection.

5. GROWTH-FRIENDLY FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Hosted VoIP is a good decision for long-term growth. While legacy systems were an investment, they did not drive growth or improve with time. Hosted VoIP can scale and evolve at a low cost as the company grows. It is simple to add new offices or work-from-home employees.

In summary, Hosted VoIP can do so much more for SMBs than simply save money. To read more, visit Five Implications that make Hosted VoIP Good for your Business from Ziff Davis.

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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

nortel

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

nortel

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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3 Steps to Testing Hosted VoIP Systems

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Support, Telephone Systems, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

cloud telephony

Is your company upgrading to a Hosted VoIP Phone System? With the clear financial and functionality benefits it probably was not difficult to reach that decision. But narrowing your options and making a final choice is more difficult.

Use this simple 3 step test from Ziff Davis to compare your three favorite vendors.

  1. Assign three users to test three separate phone systems.

  2. Choose an IP telephone that is compatible with all three candidates and configure one for each user.  Give the same telephone to each user so that the only variable is the phone system, not the hardware.

  3. Have each user test one system for an entire month, making note of what they like and dislike. While call quality and basic operations will not vary greatly between hosted systems, there are a few important things for the user to pay attention to:- Support from the provider

    – Reports

    – Voice mail

    – Billing

    – Competence of the provider’s back end systems

    Make sure the test lasts a month so that the test users have time to become comfortable with the system and fully appreciate the differences from the current phone system.

To read more, visit Ziff Davis’ Simple Ways to Test a Hosted VoIP System

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Polycom vs Aastra

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, PBXware, Phone Systems, Polycom, Support, Telephone Systems

polycom

We recently received an email from a customer debating the pros and cons of Polycom vs Aastra telephones. They were going to begin using Polycom telephones but one employee brought up his poor past experiences with Polycom and pushed for Aastra.

He shared three reasons he preferred Aastra telephones:

  1. Autoprovision – handsfree, fire and forget setups – reduces time and increases customer satisfaction

  2. Ease of use – as above

  3. Robust

In his experience, Polycom was slow and cumbersome – taking too long to reboot between changes and lacking an extensible interface to extend the functionality of the telephone.

They asked us for some advice on the benefits of Polycom phones. We responded with the following:

Polycom changed a lot with firmware v4.x. You should trial that first.

It can now update ‘some’ of its configuration without rebooting. For instance, if you send a SIP NOTIFY packet, it will re-download the config files and not require full reboot (this depends on which options are changed).

There is also a new web interface (although I do not recommend to use it in combination with auto provisioning) which allows for the modification of almost all options (previously this was not the case).

Yes, it is more complex. You need to read its Admin guide from beginning to the end to truly understand the concept.

Sure, they still boot slowly and you may have some trouble until you set it up, but it is the type of device that once you setup, you don’t tweak around constantly. It is not a perfect ‘dev’ device (where you have to constantly add/remove accounts etc).

See also: Our Verdict on Polycom & our Polycom Products

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Call Back Option

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Products, Support, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

It is often difficult to provide lucrative and cost-effective solutions to end users in more distant or remote locations. Whether it’s a lack of infrastructure, government-regulation of VoIP, or a major difference in costs, these discrepancies and distances sometimes lead to a loss of potential clients. Unless you use Bicom Systems Call Back Option, that is.

Our Call Back Option gives Service Providers a way to offer inexpensive calling options to end users without the installation of hardware and phone lines in their home country. By using the Call Back Option, end users in other countries can still access the U.S. or Europe-based solution without special equipment or phone lines.

To start saving and reaching more customers today, contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com.

 
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IP Phone: Top 10 Considerations Buyer’s Guide

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Softphone, Support, Telephone Systems, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System

The costly and uniform telephony systems that dominated businesses for years are quickly becoming a thing of the past. IP Telephony is a more economic and flexible option that makes sense for most companies today. Whether you are looking to start fresh with a brand new IP Telephony system, or simply to upgrade your current system to better fit your needs, IP Phone: Top 10 Considerations, Buyer’s Guide from Ziff Davis is a must-read article. Below we highlight their top ten points that companies must consider when shopping for an IP Phone System.

  1. Usage – While legacy phones were solely meant for voice calls, IP phones have a much wider range of capabilities and options. From video to conferencing to messaging, considering how the phones will be used allows you to get the most out of the system.

  2. Who – We used to choose one type of phone and all employees would use the same one. IP phones, on the other hand, come in many varieties and can be used in more places. Now more employees can have phones and each type of employee can have a certain type of phone.

  3. Type – Desktop phones were the only option in the past, but IP phones come in a number of forms. Decide whether your employees need traditional-looking desk phones, softphones, or even wireless devices.

  4. Budget – Telephony systems are no longer a major investment expected to last for years. The cost of transitioning to VoIP has dropped greatly and the overall cost of telephony and equipment is lower as well. Different budgets may be assigned to different employees or departments.

  5. Voice – Traditionally, telephony was only used voice. And voice is still the number one use today. While VoIP may not offer the same quality of voice as a legacy system, it is a less expensive option. HD voice is an emerging market to consider.

  6. Features – Your company should weigh its required features and desired features. Choose a system that offers everything you ‘need’ and then look for extras.

  7. Display – Different systems offer all different kinds of display options. From basic text to bigger and better screens to camera and video, your company must think about what kind of display it needs.

  8. Video – Along the same line, video is now an option with IP telephony. If some or all employees need video, they will need video-enabled devices and a network to support it. However, IP phones can only take you so far with video.

  9. Mobile – If desk phones are no longer a necessity at your business, you may begin shifting towards mobility. Some IP phones are compatible with mobile phones or can help the company begin to shift in that direction.

  10. Power – It is no longer a requirement to use AC power and keep telephones close to outlets. Your company may opt for Power over Ethernet (PoE) which allows power and connectivity to use the same cable.

To read more, see IP Phone: Top 10 Considerations, Buyer’s Guide from Ziff Davis.

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How to Choose Between VoIP and Unified Communications

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, IP Telephony, Phone Company, Support, Unified Communications, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, VoIP Providers

As the world of telephony has evolved over the past few decades we are faced with an ever increasing number of decisions on what kind of system to use. The move from legacy telephony to a VoIP or Unified Communications is a big jump that requires thought and understanding. How to Choose Between VoIP and Unified Communications from Ziff Davis discusses the difference between the two options and is an important tool to making an informed decision.

The article discusses 5 considerations to keep in mind when choosing between VoIP and Unified Communications.

  1.  What is driving the need in your business?
    If your business is looking to cut costs, VoIP is the clear choice. It will mean a much lower cost while not causing a huge change for users. The savings are seen almost immediately.On the other hand, if your business is looking for the newest features and capabilities in order to increase productivity and efficiency, Unified Communications is a good option for ‘the latest and the greatest’.

  2.  What is driving the need for IT and your network?
    The switch to VoIP can be adjusted according to your company’s budget. If the budget allows for it, you can do a gradual shift to the new system and even get new hardware. But if the goal is to save money, you can do a minimal switch.Unified Communications will almost certainly involve a financial investment to get started, but be more feature-rich and effective in the long run. UC will require more support from IT to maintain and run.

  3. What are the needs of your employees?
    If your company does not want to make a major change for users and plans to continue user desk phones, VoIP is the best choice. It allows the company to take a step forward while not causing a drastic change for the employees.If employees are ready for more usability and change, Unified Communications will offer them a more features and tools. With training employees will adapt quickly.

  4. What are the needs of management?
    As we’ve repeated again and again, VoIP would be the best option of management is considered with saving money. Costs can be cut drastically and quickly.But if management is interested in increasing employee productivity, Unified Communications will allow more options and features. This is a strategic decision not based directly on price.

  5. What are the needs of the vendor?
    Vendors and service providers are gradually moving towards Unified Communications, but VoIP is still the more common offering. This is an opportunity to become the incumbent vendor.Always remember that you ‘get what you pay for.’ Choosing an extremely inexpensive system will probably come back to hurt you in the end.

Overall, it is important to learn as much as possible about all the options and make an informed decision. To read more, see How to Choose Between VoIP and Unified Communications from Ziff Davis.

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IP PBX System Part 5: Conclusion

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Whitepapers

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series.

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART FIVE

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the past decade has opened the doors to a new era in which end users have various options of IPPBX systems. While on-site solutions remain a large part of the market, providers now have the option – and responsibility – to offer hosted solutions as well. Those who will make best headway will be those that can offer the best solution to whoever their next client is. Take this opportunity to begin offering more solutions today.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion

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IP PBX System Part 4: Selling an IPPBX System

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Virtual PBX, Whitepapers

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART FOUR

SELLING AN IPPBX SYSTEM

Today, end users have the flexibility to choose from on-site and hosted solutions as described above. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of those options and how they relate to the end user. The ultimate goal is to market a solution to end users that is most appropriate to their business and requirements.

The following are methods of comparing IP PBX features:

ROI Calculator An ROI calculator can be used to convince potential customers of the financial benefits of the IP PBX solution. By preparing a calculation, the provider can demonstrate the literal savings from using their method. For example, an on-site IP PBX will include the following costs:

  • Initial cost of the equipment

  • Firewall

  • SIP Security software

  • Storage software & equipment (back-up)

  • Maintenance

  • Salary for administrators and technicians

The ROI calculator shows the total up-front and maintenance cost which can be compared to the low, flat-rate associated with a hosted solution.

Performance After price, most end users’ top concern will be performance. The provider must prove to potential clients the impressive speed, reliability, and scalability of IP PBX solution. For example, a provider may outline the amount of time it would take to install and configure an onsite system for the client’s needs. This could take weeks on end. However, a hosted system is ready to use so the customer’s new solution could be ready in mere hours.Another point to demonstrate is increased scalability. If the customer is planning to grow or expecting any change in the future, a hosted solution will make those changes much more easily.An on-site solution offers more flexibility and control which appeals to some end users and will convince them of the superiority of an onsite solution.

Security Finally, the security of hosted IP PBX solutions is a common concern among end users. The idea of a dedicated, on-site system sounds much more secure than a remote or virtual one.Providers must explain the enhanced security options that they offer. Solution providers should have security technology in place that is superior to that of companies with on-site solutions. This will prevent SIP attacks and hacking.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion

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IP PBX System Part 3: Example Scenarios

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

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series.

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART THREE

EXAMPLE SCENARIOS

The difference between hosted and on-site solutions is not black and white; there is no absolute rule to dictate which type of IPPBX solution is superior. The following scenarios illustrate the differing needs and situations of end users and their appropriate solutions. Read these examples to understand when to use hosted, on-site, or combination solutions.

Scenario 1 A company including 50 local workers that speak to each other on the telephone extensively. However, the company has limited bandwidth that only supports five concurrent calls.ip pbx systemSolution: an on-site system that will route internal calls locally, freeing up the bandwidth to support incoming and outgoing non-local calls.

Scenario 2

A large national provider has branches in many different cities, several of which are in remote locations.ip phone systemSolution: a large hosted infrastructure with dual location redundancy for the headquarters and many of the branches, in addition to on-site PBXes for the remote locations that do not have bandwidth, preferably with the same software as to provide continuity and minimize training efforts.

     

Scenario 3 A manufacturing plant of 200 staff members with 100 pre-existing cabled analog handsets already patched. The company does not wish to lose their investment in the 100 handsets and cabling.ip pbx systemSolution: an on-site hybrid system linking the existing handsets and adding new IP possibilities.

Scenario 4

A small business that employs four home workers, none of whom take responsibility for IT matters.ip pbxSolution: a hosted solution that gives users communication abilities without any need for maintenance or installation.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion

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IP PBX System Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Whitepapers

ip pbx system

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series.

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART TWO

IPPBX SYSTEM OPTIONS

On-site SystemsOn-site PBX systems are owned or leased and maintained by the end user with the physical equipment installed at their location.ip phone systemOn-site systems involve a higher up-front cost and more maintenance than hosted systems, but offer certain advantages that appeal to some end users. For example, on-site systems give the owner complete control, allowing more customization and updates or upgrades at will. They are also integrable via API/network. End users with a large number of extensions probably have better access to competent internal resource and, as such, may find on-site solutions to be worth the extra initial cost and maintenance for the additional flexibility and control. On-site systems will not involve monthly commitments or supplier risk and can be added to balance sheets.Advantages ●  More control ●  Customizable ●  Direct access ●  Compatible with PSTNDisadvantages ●  Responsibility for maintenance and updates ●  Higher up-front cost Hosted SystemsHosted IP PBX systems are ideal for end users that need reliable service without the higher costs and responsibility of an on-site system. Hosted systems do not require any hardware purchase or installation, creating a less expensive and more streamlined solution for end users. The service provider will be responsible for backups, upgrades, etc., freeing the end user to focus on his business.ip pbx systemThe service provider is able to offer bundles to end users with more features and flexibility than they would be able to obtain by their own means. Adding or removing extensions is simple and easy.Advantages ●  Inexpensive setup ●  Maintenance and support from host ●  More features available ●  Costs are more flexible to requirement.Disadvantages ●  Less control over the system ●  Upgrades depend on the host

Other posts in this series: Part 1: Introduction Part 2: IP PBX System Options Part 3: Example Scenarios Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System Part 5: Conclusion

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Cisco IP Phones

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IP Phone, Phone Systems, Support

cisco ip phone

Cisco IP phones are the worst phones to be used with our system.

Perhaps they are ‘the best’ phones in your mind, but apart from having the ‘Cisco’ brand name and good hardware, the software is nothing but a problem.

We do have customers using this phone, but they control their network fully.