Waazzzup? WaaS – Work Space as a Service!

Prime Telecommunications, Inc., an industry leader in unified communications, announced today the release of their newest technology deployment, which is their WaaS (Workspace-as-a-service) program that is being offered to the SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses). The program is designed to help businesses make the proverbial jump to the cloud. As the number of executives increase, so does the demand for more flexible and secure applications, hardware, software and virtualized components. WaaS takes this a step further, by taking office technology to new heights by running every component through a virtualized network, instead of requiring local device management. Prime Telecommunications is very excited to announce this program and to share the value-adds with their existing client base.

In layman’s terms, WaaS virtualizes every component on a desktop computer. So instead of having a physical component such as servers on-site, which can become obsolete, security-breached or malfunctioning, all components are run through the cloud. For end users, this means that every single component of an employee’s workstation will be available to them, regardless of where they’re located or which device they happen to have with them. Everything resides in the cloud including all software, data, file sharing capabilities, Microsoft programs, and line of business software.

“We’re so excited to offer our WaaS program to SMBs,” stated Vic Levinson, President at Prime Telecommunications. “The majority of businesses will be transitioning the bulk of their IT infrastructure to the cloud and our WaaS solution enables them to do it in a secure manner without compromising their need for flexible access to all of their software tools and programs. Most businesspeople don’t have access to all of their technology at any point in time and WaaS eliminates this problem forever. Furthermore, the complete virtualization of the IT network into the cloud bolsters security. For example, in a WaaS environment, employees can BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) onto the network without any hassle and if that employee leaves the company, their access to the cloud can simply be deactivated, drastically reducing the risk of data loss, systems-breach or malicious use. The case for WaaS is quite clear, because it increases employee flexibility and company security. Over time, these combine to drive productivity and boost the bottom line, which is the core reason for any technology to reach popularity in the business community.”

Who’s Stealing Your Bandwidth?

Prime Telecommunications, Inc., a leading provider in unified communications, announced today that the company is educating its customers on the recent expansion of bandwidth monitoring and management solutions. Essentially, bandwidth monitoring is the practice and policy of tracking the utilization of company bandwidth between all employees, software applications and desktops. The growth of bandwidth management solutions in recent years is due primarily to growth of company provided and personal devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.) connected to an organization’s network.

According to Vic Levinson, President of Prime Telecommunications, “Any company that provides cloud-devices, software or applications that run over a data network, need to ensure that bandwidth is being consumed properly.” This notion reflects the current state of most solutions, which are simply being strained to the point where many business owners notice that the devices, applications and software underperform. In essence, it’s like siphoning out all of the gas from a car, and then blaming the car for running on fumes. The problem lies with poor policy making and a lack of guidelines for employees on how to properly utilize the Internet at a place of business.

“On many occasions, we’ve found that up to 40% of a company’s employees are choking bandwidth and making it harder for other people to do their work,” Levinson added. “We conduct quarterly reviews with our customers where we assess the performance of all of the technology that we provide. It gives our clients a global perspective on their network and what its performance is and how it can be better. Our overarching goal is to make sure that our customers’ businesses are performing at more productive levels and this is how we quantify productivity. This is why we lead these meetings with device performance audits. With bandwidth being the central resource upon which nearly every technology relies, we have to make sure that this is being consumed in accordance with best practices before any other steps are taken.”

In addition, to the underperformance of the network and the drain on productivity this can cause, many business owners appreciate technology audits, like the one provided by Prime Telecommunications, because they uncover how much time employees are spending on various sites that have nothing to do with their job. This gives tremendous insight on the productivity, or lack thereof, with certain employees. One of the quickest ways to immediately boost customer profitability is to restrict the bandwidth of employees to sites to those that are exclusively productive in nature, as opposed to entertainment-based sites.

“In some cases, employees simply don’t know that their bandwidth consumption is slowing the rest of the team down. New parents can put their children in day care and want to stream the video from time to time to see how their child is doing throughout the day. Inherently there’s nothing wrong with this, if done on occasion. However, when a parent leaves one of these streaming videos up while they begin working on other things, the rest of the team will notice the lag time that slows down their own desktop. The network is simply a shared resource that needs some guidelines in place, especially in the new employee handbook. With a comprehensive bandwidth consumption policy in place, business owners can rest assured that their software, hardware and online tools will all function at optimal levels.”

It is all about a well planned and well executed recovery and continuity plan

National Preparedness Month was this September and already Hurricane Joaquin is here. We should remember that it is crucial to know how to recover when disaster strikes. It’s serious stuff: the economy takes a damaging hit, and some businesses suffer financial loss so great that they never reopen.

Gartner estimates that the average business loses $5,600 per minute of downtime. Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy have devastated local communities almost to the point of no return, costing billions in reparations to infrastructure, businesses and the lives of those personally affected.

The graphic below illustrates the states most prone to such incidents. September falls in the middle of hurricane season when many coastal businesses keep careful watch on developing storms such as the recent Tropical Storm Erika. However, storms are not the only crises with high potential to harm business continuity. More commonplace disruptions, such as equipment failures and critical employees calling in sick, can also have major business impact over time.

States Most Prone to Natural Disasters

National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder to businesses across the country of how critical it is to assess their readiness to handle disruptions and create a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan. As B2B businesses conduct continuity assessments, they should pay particularly close attention to the reliability and capability of their technology.

According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Brandenburg, “Well-architected cloud [private branch exchange] or [Unified Communications as a Service] offerings can provide a high level of protection during a disaster event, as well as significantly reduce or almost eliminate the time it takes to recover after a disaster.”

In an effort to ensure disaster-related downtime is kept at bay, businesses should proactively back up data, move servers to the cloud and keep communication a top priority.

Back Up Business Data

The first step in disaster preparedness is backing up all relevant data and ensuring that there are replicas of important files and information in case the primary data is lost, corrupted or inaccessible. From personal business files on PCs to sensitive corporate data on servers, this information is a company’s lifeblood and powers day-to-day business decisions, large and small.

To maximize security, businesses should look for cloud-based solutions where information is stored in multiple data centers. This geo-diversity ensures access to backup files in case a regional disaster affects one of the data centers.

One of the most important factors in preparing a backup solution is the time it takes to recover your data. Businesses will want to start recovering time-sensitive materials immediately, and for companies with large volumes of data, this could take days, weeks or even months. Work with a provider who will prepare and ship a physical hard drive so that businesses continues as normal as possible.

Move Servers to the Cloud

Moving infrastructure to the cloud protects businesses far more effectively than relying on outdated, on premise solutions. Cloud service providers should be able to guarantee 99.99 percent uptime.

This reliability is the top consideration that draw businesses to the cloud, according to a Frost & Sullivan survey of IT decision-makers. From a disaster preparedness perspective, scalability is also a key consideration in transitioning servers to the cloud. The ability to increase off-site server capacity at a moment’s notice through a web-based portal makes organizations even more nimble in responding to business disruptions.

Such a level of access makes it easier to get these resources up and running quickly, regardless of location, without any capital investment and with minimum additional IT resources. Beyond reliability and scalability, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based UC solutions is yet another strong factor in forcing businesses to reconsider their disaster preparedness solutions. All three factors interconnect to offer a high quality, effective solution to ensure business continuity.

Keep Communication a Top Priority

Clear, timely communication is more critical than ever during disruptions. To keep lines of communication open, businesses should look for cloud-based IP phone systems. Features like mobile twinning, which sends inbound calls to mobile and desk phones simultaneously, ensures employees are available at any location at a moment’s notice.

Businesses should also invest in voice services that use a dedicated circuit with automatic failover in order to reduce dependence on the Internet, proactively identify potential issues with the primary line and seamlessly switch to alternate lines without downtime.

To keep business functioning optimally, it is best to house 100 percent of communications in the cloud. While hardware such as phones and desktops are key for in-office productivity, any programming stored in a physical phone increases the odds of disruption when the unexpected occurs.

Keeping phone communication settings in the cloud allows businesses to leverage features like softphones, which aid mobile workers by allowing any Internet-connected PC, iPad, iPhone or Android device to be turned into another phone extension.

B2B companies must be able to address the needs and concerns of the businesses they serve – even in the midst of a disaster. Town Residential, a New-York based real estate company that deals in both commercial and residential properties, lived that reality during Hurricane Sandy. When businesses across Manhattan were shutting down, Town Residential did not miss a single phone call. In fact, the day after the hurricane hit, they closed their single largest deal of the year.

Too many businesses settle for surviving disaster, when the right technology would enable them to thrive despite it. Town Residential ensured business continuity in advance to the disaster by choosing the right provider and the right solutions.

While National Preparedness Month places business continuity at the forefront of business planning, companies should prioritize preparedness year-round. Backing up and moving critical data, servers and communications into the cloud, and ensuring open communication are foundational steps to reducing vulnerability.

Putting the right technologies in place today is critical to navigating accidents, failures and disasters in the future that might otherwise disrupt operations. With proper planning, businesses may never need to recover from disasters – because they will avoid them altogether.

Prime Telecommunications wins 2015 Cloudy Award from Channel Partners

Channel Partners magazine, a resource for indirect sales channels offering IT and telecom solutions, is pleased to announce that Prime Telecommunications, Inc.  has been selected as a winner of the 2015 Cloudys Cloud Channel Innovation Awards.

Twenty-five winners were honored at a reception at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, in Boston. These winners were featured in Channel Partners’ September digital issue.

“Winners of this year’s Cloudys awards run the gamut from IP telephony to shifting a customer’s entire IT infrastructure into the cloud,” said Lorna Garey, Editor-in-Chief of Channel Partners. “We have cloud brokers, desktop and backup as a service providers, and more. This program recognizes the array of business-focused cloud offerings that partners are delivering, and we were pleased to invite our innovators to share success stories with first-time Cloud Partners attendees.”

Prime Telecommunications partnered with Zultys and CTS Technology Solutions to provide a hybrid cloud solution for the Lyric Opera of Chicago that combined the Zultys Hosted Communications Solutions as well as an on premise Zultys MX system to provide integration with the analog sets on site as well as full back up and redundancy of functionality.

This is one of the first major implementations of the Hosted Zultys Cloud platform and an on premise chassis. It enables the use of SIP trunking, IP sets and analog sets across a single seamless platform. Now all users, whether analog or IP set based, have access to soft phone functions, voicemail to email integration and call center agent are able to use integrated functionality between their phones and their CRM for ticketing.

The Lyric Opera was able to use existing primary and secondary fiber bandwidth, element costly TDM circuits and fully integrate all users onto a single platform with enhanced functionality. The integration of Tessitura CRM software, Clearfly SIP trunking and Zultys Hosted Services as well as on premise Zultys hardware were instrumental in the deployment. Teams from CTS and Prime Telecommunications worked with the Lyric Opera IT department to successfully integrate all aspects of the cutover.

The Cloudys Awards were open to VARs, MSPs, agents, integrators and consultants. To determine the Cloudy winners, providers completed an application that asked them to demonstrate how they are used innovative cloud solutions to help customers grow their businesses.

Channel Partners editors evaluated and scored all applications to determine the 25 candidates that best exemplify the spirit of innovation.

 

 

Cloud Drives the Future of Automotive

The auto industry relies on the availability of a customer’s perfect car. When you have the ability to search inventories on the spot and stay connected, you close more sales and have more happy customers.

The cloud can impact the industry from start to finish – all the way from design to aftermarket solutions. It’s adding collaboration, cost efficiency, advanced analytics, scalability, safety, visibility and much more to a complex area of business. And as the industry internally benefits, consumers will also benefit from advanced technological features and enhanced safety measures.

Vehicle Engineering

Cloud computing enables better vehicle engineering. Thanks to advanced analytic capabilities, design teams can deliver exactly what customers want. The manufacturers become more flexible and can easily adapt to changing market demands.

They are also able to create more efficient designs, as better engineering will lead to less necessary hardware. This could result in less hardware under the dash, more leg room, and the implementation of unique features like heated and ventilated seating, or heating and cooling for mirrors, windshields and wipers.

Supply Networks

Automotive supplier networks are worldwide networks – they’re huge! Cloud computing allows those in these networks to feel a bit closer, as they can experience faster, better collaboration. This leads to efficient product development with greater visibility in management and shipping.

And speaking of collaboration, it’s often difficult for suppliers and manufacturers to maintain efficient communication, due to different software infrastructures. A cloud environment creates a common service interface, allowing these two parties to more easily share data and information.

Cloud leads to lower costs in inventory planning, forecasting, replenishment, and transport scheduling and optimization. It also leads to scalability, allowing supply chains to adjust to sudden, unexpected growth.

The Retail Side

Cloud computing certainly impacts the retail side of the automotive industry. Businesses have the opportunity to gather more detailed consumer insights through enhanced analytics and real-time monitoring of consumer behavior. This data is extremely valuable and comes from numerous sources, like social media, dealership sales, maintenance records, and online vehicle configurators. If the sales team has this information, the result can be higher sales and more loyal customers.

Additionally, the cloud supports advanced dealer management systems, automated servicing and more efficient management of orders and dealer training. Automotive companies must remember that they have to maintain a consistent brand face to consumers, and this is difficult for an industry that relies on thousands of dealerships around the globe. Cloud computing helps automotive companies get closer to consumers.

After Purchase

And it doesn’t stop at vehicle purchase. Consumers deal with service after purchasing a vehicle too, and the cloud can have a significant impact in this area. Through more targeted communication and analytics, the cloud helps consumers remain ahead of service issues and creates more loyal customers.

Additionally, infotainment technologies are becoming increasingly popular for automobiles and range from smartphone-enabled solutions to fully embedded solutions. Consumers are able to connect their devices to their car, gaining information about fuel consumption, locations and service alerts, while also enabling innovations like vehicle-to-vehicle communication services and mobility-related services. Today’s consumers want built-in connectivity, and the industry is moving in this direction. Volvo worked with Apple to create Apple CarPlay, while Nissan has its Connect system, linking cars to the Web. 150 million passenger cars will be connected to the Internet by 2020, according to Gartner. 60% to 75% of these will be capable of consuming, creating and sharing Web-based data.

Safety Features

Cloud computing is allowing for the development of safer vehicles, transforming them into extremely aware and engaged machines. Drive-assist technologies are already being implemented, with dozens more on the horizon. These include pre-collision warnings, lane departure warning systems, hands-free parking assistance and driver attentiveness monitoring. Together, these technologies can save lives, protecting both drivers and passengers. The future is already here with developments like the Google driverless car, which has already covered more than 300,000 miles without an accident.

Green Technology

The automotive industry constantly faces environmental issues, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and look to alternative forms of transportation. With the cloud, the industry can embrace green technology to make driving more efficient and help reduce CO2 emissions. There’s a huge movement towards electric cars today. Cloud computing can help lead the way to developing these systems and processes to make it easier to design and build electric vehicles.

This was another great article by Sommer Figone from Rapidscale that I had to share!

Want some more information? Learn how to increase your dealership’s CSI right here!

5 Pain Points Found in SMB VoIP Deployments

Sometimes small and medium-sized businesses focus too much on cost and not enough on deployment details.

In deploying VoIP, small and medium-sized businesses often experience pain points in five critical areas, Adtran found in examining its Custom Extended Services deployments. The troubles crop up for a variety of reasons, from poor equipment choices to shoddy installation work.

Is Somebody Managing the Switch?
Large enterprises may take managed networks for granted, but to many SMBs the concept of a managed switch doesn’t take hold until comparing a $119 stripped-down appliance lacking in features and performance to a fully managed switch appliance costing $1,000 or more. Throw in Power over Ethernet (PoE) and associated costs, and many SMBs will ask, “Why should we pay so much for a switch?”

In the answer to that is an old problem: value-added resellers (VARs) installing cheap retail solutions. While these “trusted” partners initially may garner kudos for providing low-cost deployments, they aren’t really helping their customers in the long term. Unfortunately, issues will eventually surface for any number of reasons, including when customers attempt to deploy VoIP, call recording, or a local server supporting voice recognition. Trying to troubleshoot a LAN without managed switches is akin to chasing your tail — and this can become very costly as VARs bill for time and material.

When installing managed switches back in the mid 1990s, we used to tell customers they had 10 days to cancel their orders. None ever did, because the managed switches resolved the target issues; business owners place value on solutions that address their problems.

During this same era, we had arguments with plenty of IT and non-IT people about ripping out hubs and replacing infrastructure with managed switches. Today, the argument spills over to managed vs. non-managed, with the inaccurate but deep-rooted perception that a switch is just a switch.

Got Enough Capacity on That LAN?
Insufficient bandwidth certainly impacts SMBs with streaming video requirements, but a sluggish switch is going to bog down performance for low-bandwidth applications, too. An unmanaged switch is going to allow havoc to occur on that customer network, and the ability to isolate core problems greatly diminishes.

When these off-the-shelf unmanaged switches are uplinked to other retail appliances, problems compound. “A switch is just a switch” — well, no, it’s not. This argument from the IT perspective isn’t only lame, it is ill founded. How much backplane bandwidth a switch supports matters just as much as which features it includes.

Making cost the key consideration is where many SMBs err. They shouldn’t be evaluating on price alone, but factoring in considerations such as productivity and ability to operate on a network with a degree of consistency. A user experience that involves constant rebooting as a “fix” is not a good one. A managed network can boost productivity, streamline business processes, and improve customer relationships.

You Really Think Your Cabling Infrastructure Is Ready?
In some cases, Adtran found that SMBs thought their cabling infrastructures were ready when they weren’t. It would find, for example, that materials in use were not appropriate for the type of job or environment. With such errors comes problems like reverse polarity; in general, shoddy work on cabling infrastructure can end up costing an SMB in repairs and lead to lost revenue and even lost customers. Yet, it’s totally avoidable.

portable

Sometimes I find cabling infrastructure that’s not just not ready, but a mess of old and new layers of cabling added in over the years. Different contractors touching the cable plant coupled with bad work or inferior or misaligned products spell trouble.

One of my favorite cabling anecdotes involves the men’s room of a certain establishment — its telephone connections are vulnerable and the work is shoddy. Even more importantly, who would hang a network interface over the men’s room door?

How Much Value Is in That Low-End Solution?
Customers cite the benefit of being able to log in to their IP/SIP telephone sets from anywhere in the world, but when it comes to logging into their LAN infrastructure locally or from any other location there’s a gap. Unmanaged LANs are troublesome and carry security and other risks. On the other hand, a managed switch can help an SMB meet compliance mandates and lock down the network and endpoint assets.

Many retail locations utilize low-end Wi-Fi to serve customers; however, these often uplink to unmanaged switches and a poorly secured LAN. These companies are putting themselves at risk and, when security issues arise, they disconnect and abandon the Wi-Fi. They utilize off-the-shelf products and, again, trusted partners or IT staffers throw in low-cost solutions that result in high-end problems.

The value of logging into a telephone is highly overrated; how often do employees really need this capability, and what are the real benefits of providing it? If the answer were to save on expenses for moves, adds, and changes, then I’d question that because most phones in most SMBs remain static for years or at least until there’s a turnover. Even then, some SMBs simply don’t manage or pay to manage these changes, and many users simply don’t care so long as they can utilize the desk phone for what they want to accomplish.

Got the Right Power?
Adtran found switch ports suffering damage and other issues caused by the use of local power supplies for endpoints. This timeless problem is completely avoidable, too. Local power bricks create the potential for a wired lightning rod of sorts. Investing in a centralized managed PoE switch that is power protected and backed up with an uninterruptible power supply pays off.

These issues are real, but some SMBs with whom I’ve engaged head on at times don’t fully understand the need to address them and the benefits in doing so — until they experience low latency and high availability after deployment. Adtran offers free pre-sales engineering services, including heat mapping for Wi-Fi deployments, and this should entice the many if not the few SMBs that move from off-the-shelf appliances and step into solutions that managed PoE switches offer.

Adtran has incorporated power protection into its Netvanta 1550 series switches to prevent damaged ports from the numerous transients that occur on LAN infrastructures. LANs and local power infrastructure married together equate to increased risk and loss from local power disturbances. Unless you mitigate those risks you will continue to have losses.

The was originally published on NoJitter. As a service to our readers-I thought to repost it here. Matt Brunk did a good job writing about this. Here is the link to the original post! http://www.nojitter.com/post/240170322/5-pain-points-found-in-smb-voip-deployments

 

Cloud For Non Profits

Cloud for non ProfitsThe cloud comes with many benefits such as ease and convenience for organizations with little-to-no IT staff, cost efficiency, and the reduction in CapEx due to the eliminated need to purchase hardware. Non-profit companies can realize many of these benefits by moving their infrastructure and computing from on-site to off-site, eliminating a lot of the responsibility, hassle, and cost from managing in-house hardware.

According to Nonprofit Technology Network1’s survey,over 90% of respondents use some kind of cloud-based software, and 80% use more than one cloud solution for non-critical applications. But the benefits of cloud computing technology can expand beyond that.

Why the cloud?

So how can cloud computing address the issues and obstacles that organizations have to deal with? There are multiple ways.

Cloud computing leads to improved efficiency, which is useful for any type of organization. Additionally, moving to the cloud can reduce costs by eliminating the refresh cycle of hardware as well as management and monitoring. The cloud can help increase visibility, and allows organizations to benefit from the latest advancements in technology, especially when it comes to security, compliance and data privacy.

Cloud computing has already been proven as a valuable resource for organizations, but of course, it takes some preliminary research to get the best solution. Choosing a great provider is key, as is defining organizational strengths and weaknesses. Cloud computing can address the specific needs of a nonprofit, due to its wide range of benefits and customizable nature. What’s better than fixing your exact problems while saving money and re-focusing your team?

Now, let’s delve deeper into the benefits of cloud computing.


Mobility

The cloud allows organizations to benefit from flexibility and accessibility, but this is especially beneficial for nonprofits. These organizations have people working everywhere – there are constant off-site projects happening, remote writers or participants, and board members who are constantly on the road. With cloud computing, it’s easy to access data from any location, at any time, using any computing device. That means 24x7x365 access to necessary information. Better yet, it’s easy to collaborate and share data with users, regardless of location. These organizations have to be flexible, and with the cloud, they can be. This will improve efficiency and allow for real-time communication, action and insight.

Cost Savings

With cloud computing, nonprofit organizations can eliminate hardware, software and IT costs, lowering their Total Cost of Ownership and moving their focus to more important things. Things like older hardware that may be closer to replacement time can have it’s life extended since the cloud operates independently from the physical hardware. The cloud provider handles the equipment, installation, maintenance, upgrades and time commitment of the necessary computing resources. The nonprofit, on the other hand, simply pays to use these resources via a pay-as-you-go plan. This means a nonprofit organization can use the resources it needs, when it needs them, while scaling back whenever necessary.

Security

In a TechSoup survey of nonprofits, 45% of respondents cited data security as a major concern about cloud computing.Just like any other organization, nonprofits need to make sure they’re secure! Nonprofits face increased compliance and privacy requirements, so security is top of mind. With the cloud, organizations have availability to enterprise-level hardware and security without the expense of purchasing it all. By consuming their “piece of the pie” an orgnaization is able to experience high-level security within some of the best data centers in the country. Thanks to the cloud, organizations of all sizes and all backgrounds can experience the benefits of top notch security, backups and disaster recovery, regardless of budget.

Nonprofit organizations don’t always have availability to resources when it comes to IT and data security. Cloud providers can become that resource. They invest a lot in computing and security expertise and resources, allowing nonprofits to benefit from higher levels of security than they ever could have previously been able to access.

Rather than using a few resources, or picking and choosing what’s absolutely essential, nonprofits can have it all. They can access everything they need for at budget-friendly prices. The cloud vendor simply helps incorporate the latest standards and controls.

Focus

Thanks to the scalability, reduced costs, security and mobility that the cloud provides, nonprofit organizations have a chance to re-focus and strengthen their efforts. With cloud computing, nonprofits can better manage outreach and fundraising and focus both their attention and resources on their causes, advocacy and extremely important work.

According to Blackbaud, the majority of nonprofits are already using the cloud for common tasks like file storage and email, but only about 15% are using it as a greater resource than that. Few nonprofits currently use the cloud for accounting, fundraising database resources or mission-critical applications. And it’s time to change that! The cloud model allows nonprofits, along with other organizations, to take advantage of the greatest IT services and resources without needing sophisticated technology knowledge or huge budgets. Instead, nonprofits are able to focus on their mission, while the provider handles the rest. 

Looking Back to Move Forward: Recent Communications Trends

Often, in order to know where you are going, you have to see clearly where you have been. And when it comes to staying competitive in business, it’s all about having the edge and accurately placing your own company.

Looking backwards

Take a look at several of the communications trends that dominated the scene in 2014, and consider how your business played into that landscape. By assessing what standards you did or did not meet in past quarters, you can ensure you are ready to take a strong stand in the newer zones in the next months.

 

"Bandwidth"

The world of Business Communications

Managed Internet Demands

The end of 2014 saw cloud-based phone services take over as the expectation, and as a result, businesses began to demand Internet services that could deliver optimal performance to meet those needs. Private companies became highly desirable for their tightened security and increased data protection.

 

All in the Cloud

Companies began to focus on network and applications to connect employees and exerted less control over the specific devices themselves. This made it easier for workers to follow company procedures, get updates on new systems, and stay connected to resources and schedules.

Multiple devices

Decreased Need for Desktops

As devices became increasingly more powerful, more employees began to work entirely from their smartphones or tablets. Last year even saw many business software suites, one being OpenOffice, transition their operations to include mobile versions of their platforms. This added accessibility bridged another gap between a mobile workforce and increased business demands.

 

Cloud is maturing

Get your Free Cloud Guide

Remote Integration

Before, staffing needs were solved by outsourcing to workers in other countries, often without sufficient training. Now businesses have begun to incorporate the skills of workers from far away into their company, giving them information and authority to deliver ideal customer experiences from the inside rather than attempt to connect from afar. This trend has added talent without creating extra distance or dissonance in the branding message.

 

Greater Global Operations

By embracing the talent spread across greater geographical locations, businesses lengthened their own reach overall, many seeing for the first time a presence in countries where there previously was not. By taking a more comprehensive approach to talent acquisition and perceiving the possibilities for expansion in a new way, those who were ready to reach for more, achieved it.

GLobal integration

So how does your company look? Are you up-to-date with the newest trends in communication? Do you feel confident that your business is poised to take on the next set of challenges and opportunities? Look for trends of the very near future while keeping in mind lessons learned from the not too distant past, and soon your company will see itself leading the industry.

 

Five Major Phone System Trends of the Future

cloud scalable solutions

 

Growth in technology now happens in leaps and bounds, and it doesn’t take long for news to be old news. In order to keep up with trends of the present, know what is coming in the near future and avoid being left in the past.

 

Once just a platform for the most advanced companies, unified communications is now being used by small and medium businesses, education, hospitality, healthcare, and across other industries. And with every advancement, the standards to which phone systems must adhere raise a little bit higher.

Multiple devices

1) Mobile Access Emphasis

The expectation for constant connectivity, anytime and anywhere, is only increasing. As businesses continue to build in ways for mobile workers to communicate more effectively, platforms will need to continue to innovate and extend even more office applications to devices as they travel. From executive to entry-level, workers now demonstrate productivity through constant availability.

Visimeet video conferencing

2) Increased Web Real Time Collaboration (WRTC)

Communication barriers that had previously prevented true collaboration continue to disappear, as WRTC becomes the standard. Employees and clients can enter video and phone conferencing on a single platform and tools for group chats, screen sharing, and other collaboration allows companies to communicate better than ever before.

increased_security

3) Unified Communications

So many businesses of all sizes are using unified communications to cut costs and simplify their communications infrastructure. In the coming year, enhanced collaboration will be seen through improvements in unified messaging, presence, instant messaging, and web conferencing.

Smiling technician at work

4) Outsource Telephony

As IT departments become more and more overwhelmed maintaining network security, application development and other inner technology demands, businesses will look for systems that can maintain business phone systems for them. This will allow internal departments to focus on business-centric missions and will remove an unnecessary burden from the company’s time and energy.

Click Here

5) Social Integration

Still at the beginning of its importance, organizations will continue to learn how maintaining a strong social media presence can benefit their business, and what that even will look like. In the past, social media sites have been perceived as highly distracting, and it is only recently that companies have begun to see the benefit of integrating communications. Companies who find new ways to communicate instantly with social media sites via UC applications will find themselves at the forefront of this long-lasting trend.
The ability to realize and react to upcoming trends happening in your industry and affecting your company will set you apart as a business and open up new possibilities. And when it comes to communications trends and changes, it is especially important to be among the first to join the most cutting edge technologies and stay connected to the rest of the world.

 

 

3 Major Trends in Global Telecommunications

The competitive market of telecommunications creates a constantly changing global landscape. With all of the shifts and new technologies, following the trends as closely as possible is the best way companies can anticipate future demand and be better prepared.

What does that look like for the next couple months? Three major trends will take center stage to dictate the industry priorities and work to redefine the standards for years to come.

Data Management

Rather than storing huge amounts of data on overloaded infrastructure and software—weighing down internal departments with security and maintenance measures—businesses will begin to seek out more realistic ways of managing data.

Cloud deployments and analytics will play a big part in redefining how business leaders and managers view the location and security of their data. The flexibility of cloud architecture—and growing demand from businesses and across employee groups—will outweigh the skepticism and win companies over by showing benefits of convenience, cost effectiveness, and increased productivity.

Analysts anticipate the decline of small data centers as large ones grow and expand. As businesses determine how much of their data can be entrusted to the cloud and whether they should maintain private data centers, they must consider the investment in technologies and weigh the energy consumption, along with IT costs and the physical footprint.

Wireless Networks

One of the largest and most innovative sections of the market, the wireless network is also one of the founders of modern technology, and so will have to continue to deliver at the highest level in order to maintain its status. These operators must increase efficiency in order to provide the coverage, capacity and quality that will be expected of them.

Modernization of equipment will be evident in comprehensive upgrades to LTE and through the discovery of improved infrastructure. In order to be successful, operators will add capacity by cell splitting and via a metro layer, according to experts.

Mobile Accessibility

Experts anticipate mobile app development will double in 2015, with some 35% of big enterprises investing in the creation and production of these applications.

Mobile applications, once sufficient if produced for smartphones and tablets, will rise in demand to include the Internet of Things and wearable devices. The ability for apps to sync across multiple applications will be essential, and consumer expectation for high quality content and functionality across each platform will remain high.

Newer and better designs of small devices will soon appear on the market, and rather than picking and choosing, consumers will add to their mobile access points. Companies must meet these new needs with an increase in syncing capabilities and on-the-go accessibility.

Key trends will continue to shape the industry in 2015. The way in which companies respond and react will determine how effectively they can manage these trends and where they will stand in the resulting new normal.

 


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