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.”

Got Cloud Voice? Don’t Let Your Competitor Beat You to It

Why cloud voice

It’s no secret that the business world isn’t what it used to be. Simply put, the old age of operating within the normal hours of 8-5pm is an outdated paradigm. The traditional workforce is no longer the norm and remote workforces continue to grow in number because of the drastic reduction in overhead and increases in employee satisfaction. While this level of flexibility was unavailable in years prior, expanded capacities offered by the latest in technology have made this new working environment possible. This new environment is also enabling businesses to keep their customers happier than ever before. Companies leveraging the latest technologies, like cloud voice, are able to keep their customers happy 24/7, which is leaving their competition in the dust. The business leaders who have shifted their mindsets in order to take advantage of these new opportunities are being rewarded handsomely.

One problem that virtually every company faces is the need for quick responses. This is especially true of inbound customer calls. In the past, when a customer would call-in and seek immediate support, companies would typically juggle the phone call between departments, until the customer was frustrated and then eventually transfer the call out to a manager’s cell phone, where they would usually have to leave a voice mail and wait for a call back. As you can expect, it didn’t take businesses long to realize that this way of conducting business was completely unacceptable and damaging relationships.

Companies have solved this problem with Cloud Voice phone systems. Since these systems operate “in the cloud” they are no longer tied to a single physical location and can accommodate the flexible workforce better than ever before. Best of all, the corporate experience is maintained all the way through and calls are handled with more elegance and professionalism than ever before. From the customer’s perspective, it’s as if these two were sitting right next to each other, collaborating on the issue at hand and resolving it as quickly as possible. The bottom line here is that when customers feel important and valued, they will continue to do business with any company. This is a rarity in today’s marketplace and technology is transcending these limitations better than ever before and this is making it much tougher for outdated companies to compete.

Also, today’s leading companies utilize cloud voice in order to assign “Find Me Anywhere” numbers to staff, which are essentially single numbers that will call the office phone, then cycle to their cell phone, then cycle to other staff members, so that customers can reach the exact department they need, without being stuck on-hold for long periods of time. These numbers can also be configured to all ring simultaneously, so anyone that can solve that exact customer problem can handle it immediately. Reduced wait times and instant connections with the right person are huge advantages for today’s organizations over their competitors. Imagine if your customers never had to wait on-hold again and that they got their problems resolved in only one-step. This is another way in which Cloud Voice is creating competitive advantages.

A superior customer experience is only one reason why more organizations are embracing this technology at an increasing rate. A significant reason that companies are utilizing this technology is because there is no risk. Prime Telecommunications, has created an innovative program to get this type of technology in the hands of business owners without making them invest in equipment which has required large, up-front, capital outlays in the past. Business owners can get access to all equipment and services without any substantial expense as cloud voice can now be acquired on a month-to-month agreement, which incentivizes performance and satisfaction across the board.

Since the barriers to entry for cloud voice are lower than they have ever been, it’s no surprise that this is gaining widespread adoption. Businesses need to be aware of these solutions and need to take advantage of these opportunities to get a leg up on their competitors as soon as possible, before they’re beat to the punch.

 

SNET Polycom Phones

Invest in a cloud phone system because…

Cloud technology makes it easier than ever for companies to work from wherever their workers are most comfortable. There really is not much difference between taking a call at home, on-the- go, or in the office if you have the right technology to support your team. Need more convincing? Here are some of the positive aspects of integrating a cloud phone system for use with remote workforces:

 

  • Everyone can share the same phone system – With a cloud based system, everyone who works for your company can access their phones from anywhere. Many cloud phone systems are intuitive for workers to learn and use in their daily work schedules. Scheduling, setting up, and conducting meetings is easy and workers can feel just as connected outside the office as they do when they’re sitting just a few doors down from the team.
  • Flexibility for workers – In a truly synergistic work environment, managers and employees trust one another to get a job done and not work a set number of hours and quit. That means that if someone needs to get to the airport or head home with a sick child, they can still perform vital job roles without putting additional stress on others. Although workers and companies must be more attentive to work-life balance policies, many workers prefer the ability to come and go from the office as needed, and cloud technology is one of the few ways a company can offer that type of flexibility.
  • Improved scalability and adaptation – The same cloud technology that allows workers increased flexibility also allows companies to become more flexible. With cloud phone services, they can expedite installation and setup processes to accommodate a growing workforce with ease. Traditional technology would box new employees into a certain location and may not be as easy to setup. Cloud phone systems are inexpensive to maintain and can be tailored to different companies and work environments.

 

Now is a great time to learn more about what cloud phone systems have to offer to improve company culture and productivity levels. With no capital investment and an easy installation process,we have a history of excellence in the field of cloud telecommunications technology. Request your consultation today.

 

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

 

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

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.

Unified Communications for the New Year

As mobile technology and remote accessibility continue to evolve, businesses, their employees and their customers now have a variety of devices, media types and communication platforms to choose from when building or growing their mobile workforce. While these different technologies and platforms provide effective communication on their own, full efficiency cannot be achieved – both technically and financially – if there is a lack of integration among them. As a result, the demand for multi-device connectivity to enterprise systems has grown substantially.

So, how do you meet these expectations to increase productivity, quality and efficiency for a modern workforce? Unified Communications, of course.

Bridging the Gap

Unified Communications bridges the gap between VoIP and other computer-related communication technologies. Through the real-time integration of both voice and data networks, business are able to manage every aspect of their communications in one entity, versus several – including the integration of email, voicemail, instant messaging technologies, fax, Short Message Services (SMS), web/video conferencing, screen sharing and more.

Through these real-time collaboration features, UC not only empowers people to communicate and make decisions at the rapid pace that is demanded in today’s business environment (users can save up to 20 minutes per day,) but it also reduces common communication barriers, such as the need to return missed calls and manage multiple email threads.

UC also provides businesses with the flexibility to choose and tailor the amount, and what types of communications platforms they would like to integrate, depending on what works best for their specific needs.

Consolidated Communication Tools on any Device

With UC, users can communicate with colleagues and customers from a business VoIP number on any device, including smartphones, tablets, PC desktops and desk phones, regardless of location. This means that personal numbers can be kept private, and communication delays are eliminated.

Integrated Voice

In UC strategies and solutions, hosted voice and Internet-delivered telephony services can be integrated. Hosted solutions, such as Hosted Voice, are becoming an increasingly popular choice as more companies adopt VoIP communications due to its inherent cost savings over traditional telephony, as well as the added convenience of fully managed services. These communication and collaboration features speed up almost every aspect of the business cycle, as well as provide workers with more freedom and flexibility in how they communicate and manage their communications.

Additionally, UC’s hosted voice services are a cost-saving, feature-rich, and scalable alternative to traditional and expensive phone services and equipment. With features such as self-service call routing, voicemail transcribed as email, call recording, and audio conferences, supporting a more mobile and productive work style is easily achieved.

Supporting the Needs of a Changing, Mobile Workforce

Having the ability to communicate and collaborate in real-time, no matter where you are, is advantageous for businesses of all sizes. From reduced total cost of ownership and travel time, unparalleled freedom, flexibility and productivity enhancements and more, UC solutions are an efficient way to embrace and benefit from the mobile, multi-device work style of today’s workforce.