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.”

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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.”

Using Internal Chat for Your Business

Internal chat apps have quickly become a must-have communication tool for businesses. If your business communications are still centered on email, or your team is using personal Skype, Google Hangouts or social media accounts to chat internally, it’s definitely time to get a team chat app.

I saw this article on the Broadview Networks blog. Since I am seeing a lot of private chat apps come out with various providers, I enjoyed the read. It was written by Nicole Yeager. Nicole is the Marketing Communications Specialist for Broadview Networks, a top 10 UC cloud provider in the nation, where she enjoys writing about the latest technology and cloud products businesses can leverage to maximize productivity, improve security and reduce costs.

Chat apps build a stronger working relationship amongst your employees, especially if your business operates in different locations or employees are on-the-go. The ability to chat in real-time increases productivity and builds a forum for your employees to feel comfortable sharing ideas.

Chat allows employees to share information effectively, while minimizing the disruption of work environments.  Employees who use chat are able to instantly engage with colleagues while on calls with customers or in meetings. As we all know, our email inboxes are inundated and emails typically cannot be answered immediately. Chat, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to send a brief message and provides a quick and easy method for others to respond.  Employees are able to successfully communicate at the touch of a button–eliminating the time needed to run messages across the office.

Team chat apps are perfect for customer facing and sales departments and improve the quality of service. Employees who are on calls with customers can seek assistance from their colleagues in seconds to provide more prompt and accurate service to their customers.

There are plenty of chat apps on the market to choose from, but it’s important that the platform you choose meets all of your needs and works across all platforms, anything less is sub- standard. For the best user experience and to accelerate adoption, make sure your chat app works on desktops; either as a standalone app or from the web or both, as well as having apps for Apple and Android phones and tablets. Broadview’s MyOfficeSuite application offers a unique integration of an entire communication platform: online presence, click-to-call extension dialing and company-wide chat functionality in one and is available on nearly every device you own.

Whichever chat application you choose, be sure that it offers cross-platform functionality to unify and simplify your communications across departments and your entire organization, no matter which device your team is using. This will allow you to keep you communications in one place for optimal efficiency and connectivity.

 

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.

 

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!

8 Signs You Should Invest in the Cloud

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The word “cloud” may have bounced in and out of conversations at your office, but you’re still not 100% sure it’s for you. You’re waiting for some sort of sign that it’s worth your time. Luckily, we have eight. If any of these sound like your business, it might be time to invest in the cloud.

You’re looking to upgrade your software.

With cloud software, the upgrades are automatic. You don’t need to repurchase the latest version every time you want to update. You pay for your business applications on a subscription basis – think of how you’d pay for a magazine – and updates are included! And when you want to add new software, you don’t need one of your IT guys running around installing it on every single device. Instead, it’s accessible through the cloud and can be ready to go in minutes, rather than hours or days. And if you realize you don’t need a certain application anymore, you can simply cancel the subscription and be left with no waste!

You’re in need of a hardware refresh.

In the cloud, the hardware becomes the provider’s job. When you want to be working on state-of-the-art hardware, but just don’t have the bucks to spend, cloud computing is the answer. You’re not the one who invests in and maintains the hardware – the provider is! You simply get the benefit of real-time, flexible storage and modern equipment that you don’t have to manage yourself. This frees up both time and money.

You want a data backup plan.

The cloud is able to protect data both virtually and physically, with a dedicated team in place that’s available around the clock. Despite some concerns about cloud security, it has proven itself over and over in recent years. Cloud providers are paid to keep client data safe. Support and backup become their primary focus, when it couldn’t always be yours. With the cloud, businesses avoid losing data in accidents. Redundant, geographically diverse data centers keep data up and running no matter what. It’s the best backup plan, protecting a business even if its primary location or one of the data centers is damaged.

You’re looking to cut down on CapEx.

Then you’re looking in the right place. Cloud moves much of CapEx to OpEx, thanks to the pay-as-you-go model. Businesses end up paying for what they need, as they need it, rather than spending a lot upfront for resources they might not even end up using. With the cloud, many costs shift to the provider, including costs of infrastructure and maintenance, so it’s easier for organizations to decrease spending.

You want your employees to have greater flexibility.

They should have immense flexibility, especially in today’s modern, mobile business world. The cloud provides employees with anytime, anywhere access to company data and apps, on any device. This includes laptops, smartphones and tablets. The user simply connects to the company workspace using their login, and they’re good to go. When employees can work remotely, opportunities open up for a business. It’s easier to expand geographically, that’s for sure. Users have an easier time computing, connecting and responding with this flexibility too. The cloud creates seamless access across multiple devices, which employees and businesses will certainly appreciate.

You’re interested in implementing BYOD.

BYOD not only adds flexibility, but it can cut down on costs. The “Bring Your Own Device” trend puts the responsibility into the employees hands. Rather than a business purchasing devices and updating them regularly, it’s up to the users. This can be empowering, as employees can use devices they’re comfortable with, and know that they have a choice in how they work.

You want to focus your IT resources in new or different areas.

IT was traditionally more of a maintenance role, but with the cloud, many of those responsibilities move to the provider. Instead, IT personnel can transition into leaders and strategists, leading your business towards innovation. They can focus more on ever-changing technology, delivering business value, focusing on growth and the competitive landscape, identifying problems and solutions, and choosing which new tools to implement.

You’re rapidly growing.

Scalability is a key benefit of the cloud. It’s always one of the first things you hear about, and that’s because it accommodates ever-changing business demands. If your business is rapidly growing, it gets really expensive and complicated to continue updating resources. With the cloud, when you need more resources, you get them instantly. There’s virtually unlimited space in the cloud, making it easy to get more when you need it, and then scale back down again as things calm down.

Why Enterprises Should Love the Cloud

Individuals and small businesses have been quick to board the cloud computing train. Enterprises, on the other hand, have lagged a bit behind. This is due to many reasons, one major one being security concerns. However, it seems that big businesses are finally finding their way to the cloud. A recent study by IDG found that 69% of enterprises have applications or infrastructure running in the cloud already. Furthermore, by the end of 2015, 24% of IT budgets will be allocated to cloud solutions.

Avoid major costs.

Businesses of all sizes inevitably end up facing the moment of needing to centralize or upgrade technology. This leads to major costs, including those of purchasing new hardware and software, installation and maintenance. The switch to the cloud not only saves the IT team time and stress, but also a lot of money, as the cloud vendor takes on the responsibilities of purchasing, installing, managing and maintaining the infrastructure powering your cloud solution.

Renting cloud applications will probably end up being cheaper than purchasing these programs outright – especially when you’re getting the latest updates along with your subscription. Energy costs will also go down because the big businesses won’t be powering huge server rooms. This leads to possibly millions saved in electricity costs. And by having the flexibility to choose which features and services you want in the cloud, enterprises avoid costs that don’t apply to their needs, because ultimately, it’s up to them!

Ubiquity is key.

Employee mobility is a huge driver to cloud adoption. Cloud allows data and programs to be available on any device, in any location, as long as the employee has their authorized login information and Internet access. This is huge! 73% of enterprises are already seeing improved business performance since implementing cloud-based apps and strategies. When employees can be as productive away from the office as they are in it, efficiency will increase substantially. And for large businesses that have multiple locations, possibly globally, this ability is key. It allows your users to remain collaborative and connected, no matter where they are. Better yet, cloud technology is easy for users to get a hang of, so they can get started right away.

Handle limitless data.

Cloud offers enterprises the ability to handle limitless amounts of data quickly and efficiently. If your business needs to expand quickly, cloud allows you to add the resources you need then and there. Companies can meet the needs and expectations of clients and employees, while adding competitive advantage and capitalizing on various business opportunities.

With the scalability of cloud computing, large businesses can meet demands in peak times, like holidays or during large projects. With traditional computing, there’s always the risk of not having enough capacity to meet these demands, or purchasing too much and not fully utilizing it. With the cloud, it’s much more flexible and accurate. You get the capacity you need, exactly when you need it. And when you want to scale back again, it’s easy.

Security is reliable.

Yes, this has been a huge obstacle for big businesses, but many are finally beginning to see that cloud security is reliable. The concern is understandable, as enterprises have to worry about company and customer data, as well as compliance with industry regulations.

However, let’s be clear: cloud security is not inherently less than the existing security of enterprises today. Cloud providers tend to have greater access to the necessary resources to provide great security, and they employ experts in the field. Client security is their top concern, as their business relies on it. They conduct continuous monitoring and auditing, and are able to address irregular activity right away without interrupting your daily operations. It’s on the enterprise to check that all criteria is met when it comes to security before moving to the cloud, and that relies on researching and choosing a reputable cloud vendor.

Take advantage of big data.

Big data allows businesses to conduct advanced analysis on their databases. Cloud computing and big data offer businesses the opportunity to crunch large amounts of data, and therefore react faster to any changes in the market. This quick response is possible within a reliable and secure cloud model.

Cloud computing allows businesses to store huge amounts of data, but it also provides the ability to sift through and analyze it all. This gives enterprises a competitive advantage and the chance to gain the intelligence needed to grow, innovate and create realistic business goals.

Implementing cloud computing into your large company doesn’t have to mean conducting a complete overhaul. The point of cloud technology is that you can apply it where it works best for you, whether you’re a big or small company.Most enterprises will begin with small steps and then pick up speed as they gain greater confidence in cloud computing.

Sommer Figone- Rapidscale

Five Major Phone System Trends of the Future

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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.

 

 

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.