Thursday, May 29, 2014

Important Things to be Considered while Choosing a Hosted PBX Service

VoIP technology and Hosted PBX services have a critical role in moulding the business communication strategies. To enjoy and exploit the full features and benefits of the hosted PBX system, a proper service provider should be chosen. Nowadays a number of VoIP service providers are available. In this competitive market, it is very hard to choose a right one that serves your business in the desired way. Hence it is not easy and simple to select a right service provider. Considering some factors will help you to select an appropriate hosted PBX service for your business.

There are many things to be noted or kept in mind for choosing the most appropriate hosted PBX service.

  1. Coverage Efficiency

A major thing to be considered is whether the service provider has coverage in your area. That is, find out whether the service provider can port your business telephone number to their service. If they couldn’t provide service in your area, then you cannot use their service. Some of the Canadian hosted PBX service providers deliver their service only to restricted local area. Hence it is crucial to make sure that the service provider you choose has service coverage in your area. It is better to be with a service provider who has a wide coverage area to support expansion plans.

  2. Satisfies the business requirements

Another important thing to be checked is whether the service provider is capable of satisfying your business and communication requirements. For this, first identify your business needs. The needs can be broadly classified into two; business features and call control features.

       Business features include the following;

The business phone system should support you in branding businesses and operations such as multiple phone numbers for marketing purposes, Possible to keep analytics of your call data, Call recording feature for ensuring customer service and also for further training, and additional features such as Multi-party Conferencing, Dashboard Application to control and modify your system, Call analytics, etc.

       Call Control Features consist of the following;

       Features like Call Forwarding, Call Holding, Call Transferring or  Diverting,Caller ID, etc are important nowadays. It is more efficient if the service provider could extend its services to incorporate big business features such as Call Queue’s, Ring Groups, or Apps for advanced phones.

  3. Infrastructure Facility

The Hosted PBX service provider should review your current network infrastructure for flexibility and compatibility. For example, many businesses lack PoE (Power over Ethernet) which transmits power to the devices plugged into the switch. This can be a phone, camera, wireless access-point or other similar IP device. If you don’t have a compatible switch, then collect one or more from the service provider to support the quantity of phones.

  4.  Security

Security is always a major concern hence ensure that the voice network is secure. There are chances of various hazards such as hacking one of your devices or providers devices and using to launch an international calling blitz can, external interruptions or crosstalk, signal failure, etc. therefore high security should be provided for voice transmission. So choose a hosted PBX service provider who can ensure the safety of communications.

  5.  Quality of Service

The most important factor that determines a best hosted PBX provider is the quality of service. A reliable internet connection and network are essential to support VoIP traffic. The key measures of quality are jitter, latency and packet loss.Jitter is defined as a variation in the delay of received packets. Congestion in IP packets causes jitter. The congestion can occur either at the router interfaces or in a provider or carrier network if the circuit has not been provisioned correctly.
Latency refers to a delay in a VoIP call that is, the time it takes for your voice traffic to go from one spot to another. Most companies recommend that the entire voice path, the Internet, the service provider and your own network should have a combined latency of less than 150 ms.
Packet loss is a dangerous thing and it affects VoIP networks very drastically. Even a 1 percentage of packet loss is intolerable.The good hosted PBX provider will have a fair balance of these three metrics. So choose a service provider who efficiently uplifts quality of service by reducing these measures.Selection criteria of a good hosted PBX service provider include many more factors. Taking into account of these factors will help you to get a fully compatible hosted PBX service for your business. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Major 5 Benefits of Using Cloud Based Phone System for Small Businesses

Phone systems are always an inevitable part of businesses. Businesses of all sizes are relied upon business phone systems for expanding their business communications. Business phone systems are of various types based on the underlying technologies used within them. One of the recent and most advanced technologies used with the phone systems is the Cloud PBX based business phone systems.
Cloud based phone systems are heavily suitable for all scale businesses such as small scale companies, medium scale organizations or even large enterprises. For small businesses cloud based phone systems offer a wide range of features and benefits. In the case of small size businesses cloud based phone systems provide a huge room for scaling their businesses by exploiting the features of the phone systems and the infrastructure.
Cloud telephony exploits the power and merits of the cloud technology for establishing business communications. The major benefits that a small size business can attain through cloud phone system are as follows;

   1. Cost Efficiency

A major problem faced by most of the small businesses is the lack of budget to manage internal IT departments or infrastructures. As a result any fault of the hardware based phone system will incurs considerable amount of money and time. Hence the employees have to suspend their works, contact the service provider for assistance and wait till the problem gets solved. The on-site management of the phone system and hardware causes unexpected cost and creates overhead for the business.
In the case of cloud telephony the phone system is kept off-site. That is, the phony system will be kept at the service provider side which may be far from the business sites. This helps the businesses to reduce the hardware cost, service charges, call costs, and many more miscellaneous expenses. The off-site management of phone system also saves time. Many repairs and modifications will be done silently at the remote locations by the cloud telephony service providers without harrowing the business activities. Most of the service providers offer free calls between the offices and sites. This helps businesses to save the money efficiently.

  2. Easy Implementation
An attractive feature of cloud phone system is that it is very easy to implement and maintain. This is so because it doesn’t require any hardware to be installed or maintained on-site. Also it doesn’t need to visit the company’s premises and all to set up the new business phone system and make it running. Hence the implementation and management of the cloud phone system quick, easy and effortless.

  3. Minimum Downtime
Another advantage of accessing the phone system from the Cloud is that one gets the maximum up-time available. There won’t be any issues such as the phone system going down, unable to make calls, network busy, etc. Cloud telephony ensures smooth and reliable communications over distant locations. If any disruption occurs with the cloud then the service provider will take care of it instantaneously.

  4. Cloud Telephony Expands With the Business
One of the important features of the cloud based phone systems is the ability of the cloud telephony to grow with the business. This proportional expansion of cloud telephony helps the businesses to easily add new connections with the existing cloud. This supports the dynamic growth of the businesses without worrying about upgrading the business phone systems. All sorts of additions and deductions are carried out remotely through a simple phone call or email to the service provider. This feature of cloud telephony promises the fast and reliable growth of businesses within short span of time.

  5. Multiple location servicing
Most of the businesses today are managing multiple offices or branches at different locations. Usually in such cases the company has to maintain multiple phone systems and contracts to coordinate the various branches. The Cloud phone system has the capability to service multiple locations with one phone system. This helps to considerably save the company’s money and time. Only requirement is to expand the Cloud system to the newer area. Almost all processes are carried out by the service provider based on the company’s requirement.
 These are the major benefits that small businesses can enjoy by using the cloud based business phone systems. The benefits are not ending here. Not only small businesses but also all size businesses are heavily depending on cloud telephony. This shows the real adequacy of cloud telephony. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Scopia Video Conferencing Solutions from Radvision, an Avaya Company

Video conferencing was often considered a technology of the future, but it's real, and it's here today. IT often worried about the costs associated with deploying and managing video networks. The good news is that Radvision, an Avaya Company, has overcome the cost barriers of video by implementing state-of-the-art technologies like H.264 SVC, H.264 High Profile, and NetSense -- all of which combine to deliver the highest quality video experience (1080p/60fps) at the lowest cost. Scopia is changing the way people connect.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Broadcom intros a new VoLTE chip

You may think smartphone data speeds are pretty fast now, but Broadcom is planting the seeds for even faster networks—along with clearer voice calls—in a year or so.

Broadcom claims that it has come up with the industry's smallest 4G LTE-Advanced modem for smartphones and tablets, dubbed the BCM21892. The modem supports download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50 Mbps, according to GigaOM.

The moden on a chip provides some other benefits too: It supports Voice over LTE, a technology that allows for clearer voice calls, and touts up to 25 percent power savings compared to what a phone typically consumes for data transmissions.

It's also compatible with existing 4G, 3G, and 2G networks, and can hand off transmissions to these older wireless standards without interruption. “Carrier aggregation” is supported as well, allowing wireless providers to combine frequency bands to achieve higher speeds.

Broadcom isn't planning to produce the chips until 2014, but wireless carriers still have their own work to do in the meantime. U.S. carriers are still rolling out their standard LTE networks, though AT&T has said that it will launch its LTE Advanced network later this year. Verizon is hoping to launch voice over LTE later this year.

Of course, Broadcom will have competition. Qualcomm, for instance, has been touting chipsets that support LTE Advanced for roughly a year now. Broadcom's new chip is just another sign that we're getting closer to having even faster data transmissions and crisper voice calls.

Source  Broadcom, Tech Hive, Engadget

Monday, January 14, 2013

How Hosted PBX Simplified Company Stress during the Holiday Season

Many businesses quickly realized exactly how hosted PBX phone systems simplified the stress of doing business, during the holiday season. The hosted PBX system provided the company the opportunity to use a single phone number that could be easily answered at a variety of locations, unbeknownst to their customers and clients.

During the holiday season, companies often experience a lack of employee resources, as many take additional time off to be with their loved ones. Using a hosted PBX system, their communication lines were simply rerouted to available employees on their landline phones, cell phones, smartphones or nearly any remote location.

Having the ability to offer a single point of contact, with one single phone number to represent the entire organization, was the easiest way for the businesses to operate their communication systems. It allowed each business to function completely without the need of a traditional main office. This could happen because the hosted PBX telephone system instantly linked employee personnel to the business, with complete functionality of all of the communication system’s features.

Relieving Holiday Business Stress

Offering an extensive multi-modal contact, each employee quickly gained access to the entire company network through a whole host of telecommunication devices including landlines, ISDN, cell phone and VoIP. The hosted PBX telephony system instantly provided phone extension ringing to a single location in succession, or to multiple locations at the same time. This allowed instant 24-hour phone support seven days a week, and relieved stress on the company by always providing an employee or employees to handle any situation, even during hectic seasonal times.

Lowering Costs

Because there is no need to purchase PBX equipment when using a hosted PBX service, these companies were provided an effective call routing service at no additional cost. All unanswered incoming calls for the business were managed automatically by the PBX system by providing numerous features including voicemail, call records, faxing, automated messages, and conference calls, along with call routing touchtone menus.

Without the need of any excess additional cost for expensive software or hardware, and no cost for upgrades to change existing phone hardware, hosted PBX telephone systems offer viable solutions for many small, medium, large businesses.

These companies saw the advantage of using a hosted PBX system through the holiday season as their business increased. It gave them the ability to expand lines, without additional phone numbers. With the added flexibility and reduced cost of 24-hour client phone support along with never missing a call throughout the holidays, the hosted PBX systems offer each a viable telephony alternative.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How Small Businesses Can Harness Social Media

Small businesses make up an enormous portion of the American economy, and in many ways, they represent the portion of the economy that is best situated to take advantage of social media. After all, many small businesses rely on close, personal relationships with their clients to sustain and grow their business. These relationships can be extended if the small businesses make proper use of social media. However, a recent survey found that fully 88 percent of businesses don’t believe they are making the best use of social media.

The problem often times is that these companies wade into the social media waters without a clear idea of how they should approach social channels, or which social channels are best for their needs. As a result, they end up using Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr, and doing none of them particularly well. The goal with social media should not be simply having a presence in all of the different channels that are available. Instead, it should be having an effect presence in one or two channels, and then perhaps expanding to others once the first channels have been mastered.

An important part of mastering social media is re-framing the way companies view it. Rather than looking at social media simply as another tool for broadcasting to consumers, companies should view it also as a means of gleaning information from their established customers and potential clients. Companies, especially small ones that stand to benefit from close relationships with a few clients, should use social media to learn about what’s happening with their clients, and then keep in touch based on those happenings. For instance, a small note from a business when a client’s birthday comes up on Facebook can make a big impression. Too many businesses miss out on such opportunities to talk to their customers.

The best part about a limited approach to social media is that it saves time. When a business spends time spreading itself thin across a range of social media, typically that’s just time wasted that could be better spent on other projects. By limiting their focus to just one or two social media channels, businesses will cut time lost to other channels, and encourage themselves to take full advantage of whichever channels they do choose to engage in. And whatever approach they choose, small businesses should always remember that the goal of social media is to strengthen their relationships and ties to customers.

When those customers start calling, you’d better make sure your phone system is ready to take on the new influx of calls! Have you looked into a Hosted PBX or SIP Trunking lately?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cisco planning to sell Linksys router division

Bloomberg reports that that Cisco is preparing to sell Linksys, the router company it bought for $500 million in 2003. Cisco is the world's largest manufacturer of computer network equipment, but has been steadily attempting to divest itself of its consumer businesses; it killed Flip just two years after acquiring the pocket camcorder maker in 2009. The company is said to be soliciting TV manufacturers who may be interested in Linksys' established brand and technology.
Bloomberg's sources say that Cisco has hired Barclays to help find a buyer for Linksys — reportedly the same financial firm helping Google sell Motorola's set-top box business — but the company expects to receive much less than it paid nearly a decade ago. While Flip never really made sense for such an enterprise-focused corporation, it's striking that Cisco was seemingly unable to find enough synergy with a company that operated in a similar space.

Source  The Verge