Prime Telecommunications Informs Small to Mid-Sized Businesses of the Top 5 VoIP Audio Issues

Expert in Unified Communications Shares Reasons Why Many Organizations Are Not Benefiting from VoIP

5 Factors Affecting Voice Quality

Prime Telecommunications, Inc., a leading provider of unified communications, has been informing small to mid-sized businesses of the top five VoIP audio issues so they can maximize utilization and reap the rewards of this technology. Unfortunately, many companies that have made the investment in VoIP have experienced subpar performance, particularly in the area of call quality. This is due to a variety of factors and left untouched, will cause frustration for everyone associated with the phone system including employees, customers and vendors. Prime Telecommunications has been educating customers on the five most likely culprits of subpar VoIP performance and what steps an SMB can take to fix these issues quickly and simply.

1) Disable The “Comfort Noise” Setting. This is a setting on many VoIP systems that inhibits the flow of data that simply doesn’t need to be turned on. Usually, its default setting is “on” but it’s as unnecessary as jazz music in an elevator. It’s especially important to turn off when users are having call quality issues, as this directly affects performance. Imagine an elevator that doesn’t stop at every floor because it’s running low on power, but you still are expending power on soothing jazz music.

2) Make Sure Your Firewall Isn’t Accidentally Blocking Out VoIP. Nowadays, intelligent CIOs are erring on the side of overprotection, and one of the byproducts of that aggressive approach is that sometimes firewalls block out mission-critical applications, like VoIP. Firewalls are built specifically to keep things outside of a network and SMBs would do well to make sure that VoIP audio packets aren’t being blocked from access. In other words, VoIP audio data packets should be treated like VIP data coming into the network, instead of having to wait in line to be let in. This often results in one-way audio.

3) Ports Aren’t Open or Are Misdirecting Data. Take a look at your gateways and ports on your network. If the correct configuration isn’t set up, your incoming data has no choice but to get mixed up, like an air traffic controller who has no idea which gates are open and which already have planes at the gate. This is happening all the time, but we notice it with audio because we can hear it immediately.

4) Make Sure Your Codecs Match. Since VoIP data is real-time-transport protocol (RTP), both sides of the interaction must be set to the same codec, otherwise the audio packets won’t function properly. It’s like one person speaking through a cell phone and the other using a walkie-talkie. Since, they’re not using the same frequency, there will be distortions even if they can vaguely hear what the other party is saying.

5) Make Sure You Have Enough Bandwidth to Avoid Jitter and Latency. Everyone has experienced spotty conference calls that sound crystal clear one minute, and then very choppy the next. The big culprits here are jitter and latency, which are the result of too much traffic on a network. Just like traffic, instead of focusing on optimizing the car, it’s best to just add lanes to your freeway so that all the data functions better. This is accomplished simply by purchasing more bandwidth for all your devices. It should be a last resort, after you’ve tried everything above.

“This is how we differentiate ourselves,” stated Vic Levinson, President at Prime Telecommunications. “We conduct all of this assessment up-front, instead of waiting until our customers report issues with call quality. Our clients can’t afford to have poor quality calls with their prospects, employees, and vendors so we take care of this with every customer. We take a consultative approach and become a trusted IT advisor to our customers so they can focus on their business, instead of IT and telecommunications.”

So Your Company Wants to Adopt VoIP… How Do You Know If Your Network Is Ready to Make the Transition?

While the cost savings and new applications of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are rapidly attracting many small to mid-sized companies to this popular communication solution, it may come with a significant price to your network.  Not only must your network carry more traffic, but VoIP traffic demands very high performance and is more sensitive to normal network problems like delays and choppy communication.  Even modest levels of impairment, unnoticed by users of most data applications, will cause significant caller frustration and will not sit well with your customers, business partners, or even your own employees.

Before investing in a large-scale VoIP deployment or even in a small trial, you need to know how well your network infrastructure will handle the additional, quality-sensitive voice traffic.  Many seemingly well-planned trials encounter delay after delay, exceed cost estimates, and are eventually cancelled when the network proves unable to meet the unique requirements VoIP places on it.  However, these business issues can easily be avoided if your telecommunications provider properly assesses your network ahead of time to truly understand the scope and type of work required to ensure a successful transition to VoIP.

Gartner reports that 85% of networks are not ready for VoIP.  What’s even more shocking is that 75% of companies that do not perform a pre-implementation analysis of their network infrastructure will not realize a successful implementation.  These are astonishing statistics because without conducting a network assessment with a quality assessment tool, the potential for wasting time and money is extremely high.  In order to increase the likelihood of a successful VoIP implementation, an evaluation of the network must be properly executed and should include the following four steps.

  1. Pre-Deployment Assessment

The pre-deployment assessment step analyzes the current capabilities of the network, evaluates its ability to support VoIP, identifies potential problems, and determines the requirements needed to handle expected call traffic.  It is strongly recommended that the pre-deployment test is conducted prior to the purchase or installation of any VoIP equipment.  The analysis should include such items as bandwidth, utilization, jitter, throughput and latency.

  1. Post-Deployment Assessment

The purpose of the post-deployment assessment is to gain a complete understanding of VoIP quality and network efficiencies prior to turning it on.  This step determines the level of success and prevents issues with call quality or dropped calls.  Whenever new equipment is introduced to a network the chance for unexpected issues rises; therefore, it is critical that post-deployment assessment is not overlooked.  This assessment should be immediately performed so any changes can be made in a timely manner.

  1. Regular Maintenance Assessment

As you’re probably aware, your network is dynamic and constantly evolves.  New devices such as IP phones, laptops, switches, and routers are added or removed.  Whether it’s a minor change or a major one it will impact your network.  Therefore, it is important to re-evaluate your network regularly to identify any faults so they can be corrected as soon as possible.  Conducting ongoing assessments will help your organization increase quality, optimize system infrastructure, and reduce costs.

  1. Break/Fix Strategy

Unfortunately, unforeseen things may happen to a network that’s not readily identified by your IT department.  The situation may be brought to your company’s attention by a customer, an employee or business partner.  The Yankee Group has reported that some companies’ labor costs grew 30 to 40 percent with VoIP because of dealing with network problems.  Having a network assessment tool in place enables one to take action quickly, diagnose the problem, and resolve it, while minimizing its impact to the system as a whole.

Essentially, these four key steps have illustrated the primary objective and the many benefits of conducting network assessments.  Whether your company is about to take the plunge into VoIP or has already gone down that path, it is critical to deploy a tool that can accurately analyze your network.  Surprisingly, most companies overlook this integral component of the VoIP implementation process and the research clearly shows its negative impact.

As you tap into this relatively new communication solution that’s changing how business gets done, make sure you ask yourself this question.  What is my telecommunications provider doing to create a network environment that enables my company to take full advantage of VoIP? If network assessment is not included in the response then something is definitely wrong.

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.

IT Buzzwords that Need to STOP!

Anybody who spends more than about 5 minutes with me professionally knows that I have an aversion (understatement) to buzzwords and meaningless techno-jargon. Imagine my delight when I came across this blog post from  Stephanie Moncayo that riffed all over my allergy. It is a great- and humorous read.

IT_Buzzwords_That_Need_to_STOP.jpg

Buzzwords, also known as pretentious jargon devoid of meaning, can easily drive anyone crazy! Although most users and administrators are familiar with Macbooks, Androids and Fitbits, few are actually familiar with the underlying technology that make their lives easier. Often, IT buzzwords are used to oversimplify the complex work that technicians, MSPs, and programmers do everyday. It’s no wonder they’re so frustrating. If you have ever had to explain to someone that “you’re not an app designer [so do] not confuse the program that saves entire organizations on a daily basis with Snapchat,” then you will certainly appreciate this post.

We’re back with another IT Community post! We’ve again browsed online communities like Spiceworks and Reddit to find the most irritable buzzwords you wish would just die. After filtering through hundreds of responses, which might I add was very entertaining (big kudos to HardLuckMike for his own thread), I’ve narrowed it down to these few notorious buzzwords that make every person in the tech industry lose it. Enjoy!

The “Cloud”

So by now, everyone and their mom knows about the Cloud, but who can actually explain it? If you’re in the tech industry, you hear this word and probably more than 50% of the time it’s being misused. One of our respondents described this anomaly, claiming that “people think the cloud is some magical place, but for our clients I could tell them the exact street address of where the cloud is lol.” More or less, you wish people could take five minutes to Google the definition.

Here are some more awesome responses to the “Cloud”:

cloud_1.png

could_2.png

cloud_3.png

Synergy and Stuff

This next series of responses is my personal favorite because everyone can relate to hearing corporate business jargon for fifteen minutes straight. Your eyes gloss over and you walk away thinking, “what in the world was that?!” Well, now there’s Buzzword Bingo, a game that captures these irksome phrases. The Bingo card includes buzzwords like: innovative, giving it legs, strategic partnerships and integrate. Basically, the first person to call out five in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins Bingo! Yes, we shared the gameboard below for you to play along.

I’ll let the Spiceworks participants take it from here. The first response below received 208 spices. You aren’t alone, Digital Man!

best_synergy.png

Another paragraph without meaning:

synergy.png

More business jargon you love to decipher:

synergy_3.png

synergy_4.png

synergy_5.png

As promised, the Buzzword Bingo Game!

Screen_Shot_2015-07-21_at_1.46.19_PM.png

The Internet of Things

Huh? This is a buzz “phrase” that really ticks people off probably because it doesn’t make any sense. A lot of our respondents feel very strongly about this phrase. Many of you feel that the Internet of Things is a vague phrase that encompasses all too much, making it a useless term in itself. According to one definition I found, “the Internet of Things (IoT, sometimes Internet of Everything) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software,sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices based on the infrastructure of International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative.” So…on to the comments?

internet_of_things_1.png

internet_3.png

internet_of_things.png

Unfortunately, I can’t make the buzzwords stop! That being said, these Spiceworks and Reddit responses serve to remind us all of the solidarity within the tech community, especially as it relates to these overused words. I hope you had as much fun posting responses as I did reading through them. A special thanks to everyone who participated. It’s nice to see comments like the one below, which reminds us we aren’t alone. That’s why we write these posts. We are here to hear you out!

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.

 


Cloud Hosting Icon

 

 

5 Best Practices for Seamless Video Conferencing

Video and web conferencing has become more affordable and provided better quality in recent years. Video conferencing has also become a critical method of business communication in the face of decreasing travel budgets. Here, I explore some of the best practices you can bring to your video conferencing deployment to ensure that you have a reliable way for your employees to communicate with your customers, other employees, and peers.

Use Unified Communications Tools with Your Video Conferencing Tools

Whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, a dial-in conference call, or a video conference, participants complain about the amount of time spent in meetings. Meetings are a necessary evil, bringing team members and leaders together to collaborate on ideas, deal with problems, and develop solutions.

In response to the growing need and desire for video and web conferencing systems, some enterprise video conferencing vendors have expanded their relationships with other unified communications (UC) companies to deliver more integrated tools to meet the need. Ideally, a company would be able to combine its existing high-definition (HD) video, UC, and voice over IP (VoIP) tools and environments into one that’s easy for everyone to use. Currently, few successful solutions offer a complete packaged solution like this, so to improvise, you could find ways to bring your UC and video tools together.

Manage and Control

Any IT system requires full control and management to be effective. When you install management systems, you need to ensure that they will work effectively for everyone. This means that any video conferencing system must be accessible to any employee at any given time. To achieve such control, centralize your video conferencing equipment into dedicated conference rooms available on a reservation basis only.

Future-Proof Your Communications

It is essential that you select a solution that is compatible with your current software and an future upgrades of that software. As VoIP, web conferencing, and other IP-based technologies evolve, make sure that upgrades are as painless and seamless as possible with the technology you currently use. Your current IT vendor may have solutions and suggestions for how to achieve this. The vendor may also partner with other vendors that have a compatible solution.

Mobility

Many employees are highly mobile, so you want to make sure you include mobility when selecting a video conferencing solution. If your employees need to be present in a meeting but are on the road, you need to ensure that they can dial in at a minimum, but the optimal goal is for them to be able to use the video aspect to gain the full effect of the meeting. Some solutions offer compatibility with iOS, Windows Phone, and Android mobile devices.

Select the Best End Points

Desktop video, executive desktops, and room-based systems are all examples of video conferencing solutions that allow users to join a video call. Desktop and executive desktop solutions are designed to be used at a workstation with high-end HD cameras. Computer-based video conferencing software contains integrated voice, web, video, presence, and chat capabilities, which makes it easy for employees to join a video conference even if they are tied up with other work. Room-based systems provide video conferencing to large conference rooms, where participants can collaborate and bring desktop users in as needed, whether they are in the same building or across the country.

 

Visimeet video conferencing

Click me now

This was originally posted here by Anthony Ortega
About the Author
Anthony Anthony Ortega has extensive IT support and systems engineering experience in government environments. A solutions-focused professional, he has led staff; worked in network operations support, information assurance, and change management; managed project software and licenses; and provided quality assurance. He has also developed coursework for VoIP, unified communications, and cloud computing for online colleges. Anthony is working on his Ph.D. dissertation in Organizations and Management, with a specialty in IT Management. He is an analyst with Studio B.

Stop Buying Technology…The Wrong Way!

There are a few things in life that will remain constant till the end of time.  They include death, taxes, and the ever-changing world of technology.  As soon as we make a technological purchase today it unfortunately becomes outdated tomorrow.  Ignoring your company for a moment just think about the last time you bought a car.  The moment it was driven off the lot the value dropped instantly by a few thousand dollars.  This same scenario occurs in every technological purchase made by a company.  As a result, more and more owners and chief financial officers are being slapped in the face with a basic business 101 concept – why buy a depreciating asset.

The method of buying technology on a lease agreement is not new or even earth shattering.  Historically, both business communications providers and equipment manufacturers have offered leasing options.  However, within the last year or so, subtle changes by a select group of providers across the country have made leasing versus buying the right decision for any business.  These changes have eliminated technology’s two greatest risks – obsolescence and price (also known as outright ownership).

Voice and data communications is the heart and life-blood of every company and having the latest technology has a major impact on an organization’s efficiency, profitability, and competitiveness.  As a result, Prime Telecommunications launched the Prime Simple IP – Current Technology Assurance Plan (C-TAP) with the assistance of Technology Assurance Group (TAG), an organization of independently owned North American business communications providers with combined revenue of over $400 million in voice and data products and applications.

C-TAP ensures that the communications environments are refreshed with the latest advancements and value added solutions, thereby eliminating technology’s obsolescence.  For instance, updates (also known as refresh) to a company’s voice and data system can occur anytime after 24 months with no change in their monthly payment.  Additionally, both labor charges and software upgrades are waived.  If a product was purchased the old fashioned way from say Cisco or Avaya the business owner would get hit with thousands of dollars in software upgrade expenses.  A program like C-TAP prevents this type of situation.

Here’s a simple example that illustrates how C-TAP works. Companies are losing significant amounts of money on a daily basis because they don’t have sufficient technology to effectively manage their organizations.  For example, many businesses do not have data back up, message on hold, or unified messaging while others are utilizing antiquated desktop PCs.  Under C-TAP, companies that could not afford this technology before can now simply add it with no change in their monthly commitment.

Furthermore, C-TAP focuses on the cost of technology rather than its price, thus eliminating the second risk.  This is a mind set change for owners and many business communications providers not engaged in a program of this sort.  Because of C-TAP, companies are able to transfer technology costs from a capital expense to a fixed monthly expense absorbed by an organization’s operating budget.  This enhances the financial health from both tax and budgeting standpoints.

Programs like C-TAP have changed the way technology is purchased now and forever.  It has successfully eliminated the traditional risks associated with technology –  obsolescence and price.  By taking control of the purchase process in this manner, the owner is finally experiencing a true win for their business because they now have the means that will increase profitability, while giving them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.