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Is VoIP driving business away from you?

Written by Saulio Reyes on . Posted in Business PBX, Call Center PBX, IPPBX, Multi-Tenant PBX, PBX, PBXware, Unified Communications, VoIP

voip

Over the years I have noticed that more and more of our new customers are no longer VoIP Entrepreneurs wanting to join the telephony provider venture. Seems like the more VoIP becomes the present and defines the future of communications, the more industries it touches.

These days, any business that provides IT industry related services is somehow related to, or forced to be related to, the communications infrastructure of their customers. Even better if the customer has some knowledge or is at least aware of the unified communications experience.  

Industries like Internet service provides, cable services, and/or fiber providers have already joined, are planning to join, or at least know the future is to integrate in order to gain and retain customers. To mention a few of the most common that will ring my desk, I should start with hosted service providers. Either hardware, software, or a mix of the two, is something that, sooner or later, VoIP has to become an integrated part of. Either a multi-tenant platform like ours in order to centralize all hosted PBXs, or separate Call Center/Custom environments, this is something that, along with other value-added features, a hosted service provider will get asked for pretty often.  

Other industries, less related to network services or hosted services like IT Managed Services, will encounter themselves one way or another supporting an IP Phone, a local PBX, or a PBX hosted by someone else. They will notice the additional revenue and increased customer retention will come as soon as they can also take care of the telephony needs. 

Many of my customers will often express how VoIP service may be just one service out of many, and maybe not the one that bring the most revenue in from customers. But VoIP is an essential piece of the relationship since it is the part that allows their customers to unify their communications, in addition to the suite of services it provides.

This article is a ‘heads up’ to all those out there that think VoIP services ‘could be’. Soon VoIP will be a ‘major’ part of any one proposal because it will become part of the request. The end-user likes to feel a level of unification that provides them the security that a single provider can serve, understand, and support all their technology components.

VoIP is so flexible that anyone that has a customer base and provides any type of service, even non-technology, could find a way to integrate it into their suite of services with a huge value and even bigger retaining element. Make it drive business towards you, not away from you. At this very moment deals are been turned down because the competitor shows a unified set of services with telephony, or impressed the customer with an additional service made possible by VoIP.

Just because everyone related is getting involved does not mean that it is easy. We still hear horror stories. Even that the voice quality is not working out, loss of RTP, but less. More and more it’s ‘how do I?’ Whether CRM integration or producing better reporting and so control of daily lives.

If you would like to explore your options, whether you are related to technology services or not, Bicom Systems would be happy to assist with whatever ideas you may have. We have not seen it all yet, but with the many we have worked with already, I’m sure you are at the right place for finding a solution. Our IPPBX PBXware comes in a Single Tenant Business Edition, Multi-Tenant Edition, and Call Center Edition, and the mix of all of them is as customizable and flexible as it comes.

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VoIP vs IP PBX

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IPPBX, PBX, PBX System, VoIP

voip

VoIP and IP PBX are terms that we use all the time, but despite similarities, they are not interchangeable. VoIP has evolved to be a very broad term covering a whole range of technologies, while IP PBX is more specific.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – describes any telephony system that uses Internet rather than PSTN. The term is used for many types of modern telephony that have replaced legacy systems.

IP PBX – Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange – is a specific type of telephony system that switches calls between an internal data network and external networks.

IP PBX is a type of VoIP system.

To learn more, visit our products page or contact us today.

 

More posts like this one:

  • On-Premise vs. Cloud IP PBX Systems

  • What is a PBX System?

ivr

What is IVR?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in IVR, PBX, PBXware

ivr

Going back to the basics – what exactly is IVR?

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response and describes the technology that lets humans communicate with computers via voice.

In the world of telephony, IVR is an automated system that can interact with users to effectively process their requests. This may mean routing calls, providing information, or many other things.

Bicom Systems PBXware has an IVR feature.

 

More posts like this one:

  • 5 VoIP Features for Business Efficiency

  • What is a SIP Proxy

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Hosted PBX vs On-Site PBX

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IPPBX, PBX

pbx

The Hosted PBX vs On-Premise PBX debate is a recurring theme on this blog, so when we saw an elaborate infographic on just that topic we knew we had to share it here!

No Jitter shared a Hosted PBX or On-Site infographic with some great information. View the graphic here.

In summary:

Hosted PBX is a great option for SMBs, low budgets, or companies that do not want to dedicate time and resources to the phone system. Cloud PBX systems have lower costs, though they are ongoing as monthly payments. They are simple and easy to use and the provider will manage all maintenance, upgrades, and expansions. Read more about the benefits of Hosted PBX here.

On-Site PBX is a good option for larger enterprises or companies that need complete control at all times. An on-premise PBX is housed within the office and will involve more time and money up-front. Maintenance, upgrades, and expansion will be the responsibility of the company, but on-going costs will be relatively low. Read more about the benefits of On-Site PBX here.

More posts like this one:

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5 VoIP Features for Business Efficiency

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in gloCOM, PBX, PBXware, VoIP

voip

VoIP is constantly evolving and new features emerge faster than we can use them. VoIP News wrote an article highlighting five VoIP features that increase business efficiency. Let’s take a look at the features:

1. IVR – Interactive Voice Recognition is all about efficiency for the customer. A VoIP solution like PBXware will offer IVR so that customer calls can be attended and routed as quickly and painlessly as possible.

2. Less time on calls – Similarly, VoIP solutions handle and route calls more quickly, cutting the time spent on calls. Businesses of all sizes and industries appreciate less time on the phone! VoIP apps like gloCOM can reduce time significantly.

3. More communications options – From voice calls to video calls to screen sharing, VoIP offers more types of communication for increased efficiency and productivity. You will find all of these options and more in our gloCOM app.

4. Integration – Most VoIP solutions can integrate with your other software and solutions. Better yet, Bicom Systems offers all of the pieces so they created to work together seamlessly, saving time, money, and effort.

5. Cost-effectiveness – Finally, VoIP is cost-efficient, reducing up-front and long-term costs. VoIP can open the door for even the smallest businesses and level the playing field.

Thanks to VoIP News for reminding us of these great features. Learn more about a real VoIP solution on our PBXware page.

More posts like this one:

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.

More posts like this one:

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.

More posts like this one:

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Are All Prospects Worth the Sales Pitch?

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

sales pitch

The short answer: Yes.

Anyone in telecom sales knows the importance of prioritizing leads and allocating your time wisely. Of course there will always be prospects that are clearly worth extra attention and time. But no prospect should be ignored if you are still interested in growing.

The reasons are obvious: you never know who will surprise you, ignoring a lead may hurt your brand image, etc. But we have a prime example of the value of every lead.

A few days ago we were contacted by a company that wanted our gloCOM unified communications softphone app. They already had an Asterisk-based PBX system and were not interested in making any changes. They just needed that one last piece to tie the whole solution together.

Rather than writing them off as satisfied with another provider, the assigned Account Manager started a conversation to see where it went. In just 15 minutes the contact had become interested in our philosophy of “all the pieces” and signed-up to test Multi-Tenant PBX.

Moral of the story: Even a prospect that is 100% satisfied with their current provider can be swayed with even a short, open conversation.

So the answer is yes, ALL prospects are worth the sales pitch.

More posts like this one:

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.

More posts like this one:

pbx system

What is a PBX System?

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IPPBX, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Virtual PBX, VoIP, VoIP Phone System

pbx

PBX System (Private Branch Exchange System) is a telephony solution that connects internal users to one another and to an outside PSTN telephone line. PBXs are used within organizations or enterprises to simplify communications and lessen costs.

As with all technology, PBX systems have evolved with new trends. IP PBX uses Internet Protocol or VoIP technology to make PBX systems more feature-rich, scalable, and affordable.

PBX systems are available in two different delivery formats: on-premise or hosted/cloud. This gives us several combination options:

  • On-Premise PBX

  • Hosted PBX

  • On-Premise IP PBX

  • Hosted IP PBX

  • Hybrid PBX

  • Hybrid IP PBX

We will explore the differences between some of these PBX solutions in our next post: On-Premise vs Cloud IP PBX Systems.

In the meantime, visit our website to learn about a real IP PBX System or read some of our related posts:

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Huawei Handsets & PBXware

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Huawei, PBX, PBXware, Support, VoIP Phone

huawei

One of our newest partners ran into a problem with Huawei phones and PBXware, so we did interop testing and were able to fix the problem.

They were testing with a PBXware demo and nearly ready to make the purchase, but there was one problem: They could not register their Huawei PBX handsets.

Our support team quickly set up a test extension and the customer was able to successfully register and use two phones. At first, the handsets had no sound, but this was fixed quickly by adding huawei.com to the whitelist.

Moral of the story? If you are having any trouble, just ask! We are more than happy to discuss any problems and will do whatever we can to create a workaround.

Contact us today!

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WiLogic

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Case Studies, Custom Work, Partners, PBX, PBXware, Press Releases, Unified Communications, VoIP

Bicom Systems is excited to announce its partnership with WiLogic in California to offer a more advanced and feature-rich VoIP phone system to their customers.

After experiencing rapid growth, WiLogic found themselves in need of a more powerful platform to satisfy customer demands. They found their solution in PBXware.

Since then, WiLogic has obtained and retained more customers than ever thanks to a plethora of VoIP telephony features.

To read more about this business partnership, read our WiLogic Case Study.

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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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IP PBX System Part 1: Introduction

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud Services, Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Virtual PBX, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, 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 ONE

INTRODUCTION

As the IP PBX market has evolved in the past ten years, it has grown to include more ‘virtual’, ‘internet-based’, and ‘in the cloud’ solutions. IP PBX support infrastructure has become increasingly reliable and hosted options have become a real option. Today, more than ever before, end users are able to choose the exact features and services they want at an afforded price.

In the past, hosted solutions were typically limited to Centrex – they were based on a central system that was controlled by the local incumbent service provider. Remote extensions or branch offices had to be linked to the central system by the service provider using their copper lines. However, IPPBX systems based on VoIP and using Internet as the transport have caused a paradigm shift in the telecommunications industry both on-site and hosted.

The following paragraphs will outline the different types of IP PBX systems available for end users today and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. While hosted systems are a new and exciting option with many advantages, there still remains a significant need for onsite systems. Given the increasingly varied end user setups, requirements, and often unique requests, any solutions provider needs to be able to offer all possibilities if they are to remain in business; you simply do not know what your next customer will want.

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