What's New

Click the thumbnails to view the newest collateral from OTG providers! 

Fusion Connect Data Sheet
Fusion Connect Service Guarantee
Fusion Connect Product Literature
FusionWorks with MS Teams
Masergy Presentation
Pitch Deck - Masergy SASE Solutions Overview
Masergy, Pitch, Presentation, SASE
AireSpring Brochure
AireSpring Managed SD-WAN Solutions
Cisco-Meraki, Fortinet, Meraki, MPLS Replacement, SD-WAN, sdwan, Velocloud, Vmware, WAN Optimization
AireSpring Product Literature
AireSpring IP Phone List
hosted pbx, Ip Pbx, Ip Phones, Poly, Polycom, ucaas, voip, Yealink
Masergy Case Study
Masergy SD-WAN Case Study - Entegris
Case Study, Entegris, Masergy, SD-WAN, sdwan
Masergy Partner Resource
Masergy + Fortinet: The Power of Partnership
Fortinet, Masergy
Masergy Product Literature
Product Sheet - Masergy Performance Edge for Managed SD-WAN
Managed, Masergy, Performance, Performance Edge, SD-WAN
Masergy Case Study
Masergy Case Study - Allied Electronics
Case Study, Customer Success Story
Masergy Product Literature
Product Sheet- Masergy Managed SD-WAN with Threat Monitoring Response
SD-WAN, Threat Monitoring, TMR
Masergy Sell Sheets
Solution Brief - Masergy SD-WAN Secure
Masergy, Overview, SD-WAN, Sell Sheet, Solution Brief
Masergy Presentation
Pitch Deck - Why Masergy Corporate Overview
Masergy, Pitch Deck
Masergy Presentation
Pitch Deck- Masergy Managed SD-WAN Secure
Deck, Masergy, Pitch, Powerpoint, PPT, Presentation, SD-WAN
Masergy Presentation
Pitch Deck: Masergy UCaaS Integration with Microsoft Teams
Cisco, Deck, Masergy, ucaas, WebEx
Masergy Presentation
Pitch Deck - UCaaS with Webex
cloud, Masergy, Pitch Deck, ucaas, unified communications
Masergy Presentation
Healthcare Vertical Pitch Deck
Healthcare, Pitch Deck, PPT, Vertical
Masergy Presentation
Financial Vertical Pitch Deck
Financial, Pitch Deck, PPT, Vertical
Masergy Presentation
Manufacturing Vertical Pitch Deck
Manufacturing, Pitch Deck, PPT, Vertical
Masergy Sell Sheets
Masergy Right to Win Managed Security
Masergy, Right To Win, security
Masergy Product Literature
Cobrandable Product Sheet: Masergy Calling for Microsoft Teams (Direct Routing)
Direct Connect, Masergy, Microsoft Teams
Masergy Product Literature
Product Sheet - Masergy SASE Solutions
Masergy, SASE
Masergy Product Literature
Masergy Managed CASB Product Sheet
CASB, Masergy, SD-WAN
Masergy Presentation
Pitch Deck- Masergy Managed Security
cybersecurity, Deck, Masergy, MSSP, PPT, security
Masergy Product Literature
Product Sheet - Masergy Managed EDR
Detection, Edr, Endpoint, Masergy, Response
Masergy Sell Sheets
Masergy Right to Win - CCaaS
CCaaSS, contact center, Masergy, Right To Win
Masergy Sell Sheets
Right to Win - Masergy Managed SD-WAN Secure
Masergy, Right To Win, SD-WAN
Masergy Brochure
Masergy Zenith Program Guide
Guide, Masergy, Partner Program, Zenith
Windstream Enterprise Account Management
Windstream Enterprise Channel Sales Coverage Map
Who is your Channel Sales contact at Windstream Enterprise? Download this coverage map to find out.
Account Coverage, Channel Managers
Who is your Channel Sales contact at Windstream Enterprise? Download this coverage map to find out.
Star2Star Blog Article
Where is business voice evolving to?
Last week I wrote about why voice seems to be making a “comeback” from a business perspective . And I wrote about people seeing the value of voice, of making phone calls since that is the lifeblood of a business. Making video calls to make appointments just isn’t needed right now. And ...
Business Voice, cloud, communications, ucaas, unified communications, voice
Last week I wrote about why voice seems to be making a “comeback” from a business perspective. And I wrote about people seeing the value of voice, of making phone calls since that is the lifeblood of a business. Making video calls to make appointments just isn’t needed right now. And we’ll probably keep writing these kinds of articles about voice for years and years, even though voice is kind of boring and gets passed over for more exciting technologies. But voice had its day as a “thing.” Some of you may remember 20 years ago; all the hype was about VoIP – different codecs, MOS scores, and all that. And VoIP has certainly changed telephony forever. And VoIP is now every day. But voice is still evolving. We all now understand how to use voice commands talking to a device – speech recognition is “normal” now. I’ve also written about AI and its impact on the contact center. These types of new functionality will soon find their way into the UC systems that run businesses and enhance the business’s voice experience. However, as intimated in this blog, voice is not the only way to communicate with a business. Video is a way, as is email, chat, social media, etc. In the context of business, what voice has evolved to is that it is one of the ways to conduct business, but not the only one. All the different real-time communication modes need to interoperate with each other. For the UC system running the “voice” part of the business, the UC clients need to ensure they can seamlessly switch to chat, collaboration, and video as part of the experience. And a system that can be used both internally for inter-employee communication and externally to talk to customers. Customers want to make an appointment or order something or whatever. Calling is efficient, so they call or use a self-service portal and perhaps text. And that’s why a company with a sole focus on video meetings or video calling, or just voice meetings or voice calling, won’t be able to service a small and medium business. A Unified Communication system that knows how to handle phone numbers, texting, and all kinds of call control, as is found in a “PBX,” is required. A Unified Communication platform, able to true multi-modal communications, such as Switchvox, PBXact, or Business Voice, will be required.
Star2Star Blog Article
Introducing Sangoma Meet Virtual Backgrounds
With remote work now a part of the norm, workers can meet from virtually anywhere. A feature-rich, reliable and secure video conferencing platform is a new necessity for businesses to continue collaborating with ease. But as with all new developments, some unanticipated results can materialize. For ...
cloud, communications, Sangoma Meet, Team Collaboration, ucaas, Video Conferencing, video meetings, Virtual Backgrounds
With remote work now a part of the norm, workers can meet from virtually anywhere. A feature-rich, reliable and secure video conferencing platform is a new necessity for businesses to continue collaborating with ease. But as with all new developments, some unanticipated results can materialize. For video meetings, this includes what’s in the background of your location.  Related: The Era Of Hybrid Work To help with this, Sangoma Meet now offers virtual backgrounds! Here are just a few of the ways virtual backgrounds can enhance your meetings experience: Working from home? Whether you’re on the couch, at the kitchen table, or in your home office, with a virtual background you can present a formal office environment, conceal your background with a blur option, or just switch up your setting for fun!On the go? Pretend you’re at the beach, in the mountains, or still working from the office with a variety of options from the Sangoma Meet background library.Want to personalize your background? We have an option to upload your own custom background image!Just want to have a little fun? We have plenty of backgrounds for that too! You can get started using virtual backgrounds today and elevate your Sangoma Meet experience! Reach out to your Sangoma representative today and request a video chat to learn how!  
Star2Star Blog Article
Voice Remains Important For Your Business
I’ve seen a few recent articles, and actually have had a few conversations lately about “voice”, basically about how voice remains important for your business, or how voice is making a comeback in business. Since we’ve all been on so many video calls the past two years, much ink has been ...
cloud, communications, ucaas, unified communications, voice
I’ve seen a few recent articles, and actually have had a few conversations lately about “voice”, basically about how voice remains important for your business, or how voice is making a comeback in business. Since we’ve all been on so many video calls the past two years, much ink has been used writing about video in the workplace. And rightly so given the huge impact video has been to the knowledge worker, and will continue to be, going forward. I mean video calls, and sharing screens, and collaborating remotely is here to stay. But anyway, recently, not so much ink dedicated to voice. Because it’s there, it’s boring, it works, we all know about it, etc. I’ve always advocated about the importance of voice for your business. Customers and prospects call you. You give out phone numbers on business cards. You put phone numbers on your website for people to contact your business. It is still the preferred communication mechanism for customers when they need real time interaction. Since many of us are very focused in a typical workday either internally or with close partners and contacts, many people seem to think the world revolves around video. And for internal type meetings, it sure does now. For instance all of our internal meetings are conducted on Sangoma Meet now. And I’m sure Sangoma is no different from other companies in that regard. However, with our customer base, phone calls are still important. And if you are operating a small business, your telephone number if your lifeblood. So what’s with these new articles about “voice”? Part of it is what I explained above – just the reality of running a business needs phone numbers and voice, and can’t be done solely on video meeting platforms. And analysts and journalists are seeing this, so they’re writing about it. Next week I will write more about where voice is going in the business.
Star2Star Blog Article
Sangoma Recognized By Channel Futures as the Top M&A of 2021, for Its Acquisition of Star2Star
About a year ago, Sangoma announced its intention to purchase Star2Star . And even though we were one of the first M&A’s in 2021, we were recognized by Channel Futures for the top merger and acquisition of 2021 . Channel Futures serves the information and communication technology (ICT) ...
Channel News, cloud, M&A, Mergers And Acquisitions, Sangoma, Star2star, ucaas, unified communications
About a year ago, Sangoma announced its intention to purchase Star2Star. And even though we were one of the first M&A’s in 2021, we were recognized by Channel Futures for the top merger and acquisition of 2021. Channel Futures serves the information and communication technology (ICT) industry channel and is part of the global Informa Tech business with over 1,000 subject matter experts and colleagues, including Omdia research. Channel Futures ranked the top 24 mergers and acquisitions of 2021 in the channel, placing Sangoma first. Sangoma’s acquisition stands out amongst the other M&A transactions as particularly strategic for the channel, because it now enables Sangoma’s channel partners to meet the needs of all customers, from SMB to enterprise, with the most comprehensive suite of cloud services available in the industry. Sangoma’s channel partners are then able to bring this full solution, all integrated together from a single cloud supplier, to their customers. Sangoma’s cloud suite includes Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Trunking as a Service (TaaS), Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), Video Meetings as a Service (VMaaS), Collaboration as a Service, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and Access Control as a Service (ACaaS).
Star2Star Blog Article
Premise UC Platforms Continue to Do Well
One year ago, I wrote a blog about Panasonic exiting the PBX business . As I wrote at the time, this was more about the PBX business changing into Unified Communications than it was about a decline in on-premise systems. And even though we see all kinds of press about the growth in UCaaS , which ...
cloud, On-prem, On-premises, Premise Uc, ucaas, unified communications
One year ago, I wrote a blog about Panasonic exiting the PBX business. As I wrote at the time, this was more about the PBX business changing into Unified Communications than it was about a decline in on-premise systems. And even though we see all kinds of press about the growth in UCaaS, which by the way is justified, we hardly ever see anything about on-premise systems. The presumption being that they are declining so why even write about a topic that no one really cares about. But are on-premise Unified Communication systems really declining? The benefits of Unified Communications, which include business communication systems that support not only voice, but also video, collaboration, file sharing and messaging, and includes support for office phone numbers to your laptop and your smart phone in addition to your deskphone, are not just limited to cloud-based UC systems. All these features can also be delivered via premise platforms. And with this in mind, lo and behold, we do find an article about “premise PBX is the largest selling UC platform in 2021”. This comes as no surprises to Sangoma, given we sell both on-premise and cloud-based UC. And as the article outlines, we understand the reasons why customers continue to buy on premise: excellent reseller/dealer support, security, and total cost of ownership. Of course, there are also excellent reasons to go cloud. Either way, Sangoma can provide your business with the best UC system for your business. Our UC systems include advanced collaboration and productivity-enhancing features for every user and can be deployed on-premise or through the cloud, allowing businesses to select the best option for their needs.
Star2Star Blog Article
Remote Work Adoption Challenges & Solutions with UCaaS and Connected Workspace
As we head into a new year, many of us reflect on the year before to see what we’ve learned and how we might apply those lessons to the year ahead. In terms of remote work adoption, one of the most salient lessons is that preparation and the right tools are essential for a smooth transition to ...
cloud, communications, Connected Workspace, Remote Work, ucaas, unified communications
As we head into a new year, many of us reflect on the year before to see what we’ve learned and how we might apply those lessons to the year ahead. In terms of remote work adoption, one of the most salient lessons is that preparation and the right tools are essential for a smooth transition to the future of work. In this article, we explore some of the common challenges and how we can overcome them in the year ahead. Related: Evolution of Email & Best Practices for Embracing Team Collaboration Software As we’ve all seen, remote work adoption is not without challenges. Issues related to lack of interpersonal connection and connectivity can stall even the best-laid telework plans. Potential complications include challenges to fostering effective communications, promoting collaboration, and monitoring productivity. Issue: Effective Communications For Remote Work Adoption Remote workers can experience disconnect from their long-distance peers, with logistical issues further complicating those matters. Common complaints include difficulty pulling together meetings, collaborating, conveying policy and viewing, drafting, and editing documents. Related: Sangoma Delivers Enhanced Experience To Partners & Customers Of course, effective communication and proper tech deployment are key. Other recommendations include promoting timely and transparent dialogue, establishing dedicated work-time schedules for staff and blocking certain periods each day for availability. It is also important to remember that, while ineffective communications can trouble any organization, that disparity is only magnified in a remote-work setting. UCaaS UCaaS represents a “fundamental shift in business communications” by expanding on traditional voice services. This consolidated cloud system supports videoconferences, faxes and messages. Plus, its accessibility from any internet-equipped location takes pressure off of the end-user adopter. Related: Does BYOD Impact UCaaS Clients? UCaaS includes features to bolster engagement, productivity and business continuity while requiring less physical hardware. With less equipment, it should be noted that the chances of end-user error in the remote work adoption process also go significantly down. Connected Workspace A Connected Workspace is a DaaS (Desktop as a Service) product with cloud-based workspaces to support remote storage, application use and other remote work needs. Connected Workspaces reinforce remote communications, promote employee engagement, extend productivity and reduce cost. Issue: Productivity Monitoring Without proper planning, companies with remote workers may struggle to manage productivity on a day-to-day basis. Given geographic, technological and logistical issues, proper telework policy requires both trust and understanding for the staffer; lack of productivity will always be exposed. Collaboration software includes administrative functions for tracking productivity and providing disclosure regarding day-to-day activities as well as regular reporting. Issue: Cybersecurity Unfortunately, cybersecurity is a more pressing workplace concern than ever, with instances of ransomware attacks alone up 151 percent Y2Y for 1H 2021. This worry is further amplified by the swell of at-home work policy that prevents the employer from seeing staff behavior and risk. Conveying security "best practices” and requesting information non-disclosure helps, but does not address ill-advised or malicious decisions. Other cybersecurity recommendations for remote work adoption include: Requiring VPN accessRestricting visibility and flexibility regarding certain docsPromoting awareness of smart password practices Issue: End-User Remote Work Adoption Digital remote work adoption can be problematic in a physical workplace; issues become compounded when the remote worker must provide his or her own tech support. Insufficient communication practices tend to lead to common deployment issues such as: Inadequate digital training, amplified by a lack of hands-on assistance for those in needReluctance to try new technology, paired with sloppy or outdated IT habitsIll-equipped digital remote work adoption policy or strategy Sadly, there is no definitive way to guarantee 100 percent telework productivity. Sure, many of the issues preventing effective remote work can be fixed with some attention. Ultimately, however, organizations need to be flexible and willing to invest in cloud software in addition to staff digital literacy training and “best practices.” Potential barriers to remote work adoption can usually be scaled if the company is willing to take that leap.
Star2Star Blog Article
Evolution of Email: Best Practices for Embracing Team Collaboration Software
With remote work on the continual rise, organizational reliance on team collaboration software is always growing. Team-based sharing, instant messaging and other forms of communication seemingly eclipse traditional email by the day, necessitating a comprehensive, all-inclusive application to close ...
BEST PRACTICES, cloud, communications, Email, Team Collaboration, ucaas, unified communications
With remote work on the continual rise, organizational reliance on team collaboration software is always growing. Team-based sharing, instant messaging and other forms of communication seemingly eclipse traditional email by the day, necessitating a comprehensive, all-inclusive application to close the miles between remote-work staff. Related: Does BYOD Impact UCaaS Clients? Traditionally, this software set supports VoIP telephony, video conferencing, cloud workspaces, channel management, real-time messaging and file management to improve communication, drive productivity and promote efficiency. According to Quantum Workplace, the business’ first and best move in eschewing traditional email in favor of more inclusive remote tools is to embrace new approaches that promote employee and organizational adoption. Best Practice: Improving Clarity in Communications Probably the most important aim is to foster an environment of complete communication and transparency. In this respect, team-based software offers several critical features that promote real-time interactions. Related: Common Trends In The Shift To Flexible Offices The employer and teleworker alike need to be able to communicate with one another on an as-needed basis. Despite a small learning curve in app adoption, users need to be able to express themselves in a face-to-face, direct manner, the same as would be in a physical office space. Official corporate policy should include: Clearer expectationsObjective fulfillmentDefined boundaries and channels for communicating concernsWritten correspondence to reinforce verbal communicationsTech accessibility, including Team meeting, videoconference, project management and document management software Best Practice: Fostering Open-Mindedness At the same time, it is advisable to create an official policy for issuing and collecting feedback over the various mediums of collaboration software. This can assist with supporting employee satisfaction, resolving conflict, fostering employer-employee trust and establishing camaraderie. Most importantly, it allows for active dialogue that outlines work-related expectations - on both the employer’s and employee’s part - to drive performance, improve understanding and meet expectations. For this reason, administrators should set regular, scheduled periods for inviting the suggestions of their remote-work staff. Best Practice: Establishing Common Availability Periods With physically dispersed talent, it is incumbent on the organization to promote times of common availability for meetings, collaboration or a quick chat. This consideration is especially important for businesses whose staff are spread out across multiple time zones. Best Practice: Defining Home and Work-Life Separation Crucial for remote worker success in a team-based collaboration environment is the establishment of a firm, hard balance between home and work life. Related: UCaaS & Its Benefits For The Modern Team Collaboration Tool With instances of remote work experiencing significant growth in the pandemic era, remote workers find themselves at a much significantly higher rate of potential burnout. In particular, the National Bureau of Economic Research recently indicated that teleworkers tend to extend their work hours by an average of as much as 48.5 minutes per day. With this statistic as a backdrop, it should be considered critical to begin and end the day exactly as if one is part of a physical office culture, factoring in considerations such as setting regular work hours, restricting off-time availability, scheduling breaks and working in a dedicated area of the home. Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected Workspace With some transparency regarding employee availability, organizations and their remote workers alike can maximize the use of collaboration software in order to: Promote more effective time usage, collaboration and workManage individuals, channels or groupsExchange and collaborate on documents, files and other contentOversee virtually all aspects of collaboration, communication and task completionPromote engagement and satisfactionImprove CRMCut costsBolster hiring potential while reducing worker turnover
Star2Star Blog Article
Checking in on Open Source Communications
I haven’t written about Open Source communications in a while. I’ve been meaning to, and now it’s near the end of the year, and since I’m on a plane right now (and people who know me know I write a lot on airplanes), I’m in the frame of mind to do it. For people who follow Sangoma, you ...
cloud, communications, Open Source, ucaas, unified communications
I haven’t written about Open Source communications in a while. I’ve been meaning to, and now it’s near the end of the year, and since I’m on a plane right now (and people who know me know I write a lot on airplanes), I’m in the frame of mind to do it. For people who follow Sangoma, you know that we’ve had a lot going on in 2021. We bought Star2Star and have been working diligently to integrate them. It’s going great, and for those of you who follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn, you probably noticed we recently completed a great Sales Kick-Off event with a fully integrated sales team.  Through all this, though, our Open Source commitment has not wavered. Our focus is still there, and you know that if you regularly go to Asterisk.org or FreePBX.org. In early November, we held another Virtual AstriCon. We had almost 1,000 attendees, which was similar to last year’s virtual conference. We intend to do it in person next time (just like we intended this time), and we’ll have more to say about that in the April timeframe. And right before AstriCon, we released FreePBX16 and Asterisk 19, both of which happened with Sangoma engineering working with numerous individuals in the community. We know we have a lot of people in the community counting on these new releases, as we still have the same number of downloads of FreePBX and Asterisk (both in the millions) this year as the past few years. And both of these products continue to have robust roadmaps for the coming year. We are also getting more interest in our PBXact Cloud offer from both our FreePBX prem and PBXact prem existing customers. This is not unexpected, given PBXact is a Sangoma product based on the solid foundation provided by FreePBX and Asterisk and follows the entire industry trend of moving UC to the cloud. Check it out if you have an interest.
Star2Star Blog Article
Does BYOD impact UCaaS clients?
As UCaaS users take advantage of smartphone clients more and more, sometimes we get questions from prospects about whether the types of smartphones their employees use will impact any UC functionality or performance. Essentially, the question comes down to whether we as a vendor enable and support ...
Bring Your Own Device, Byod, cloud, ucaas, unified communications
As UCaaS users take advantage of smartphone clients more and more, sometimes we get questions from prospects about whether the types of smartphones their employees use will impact any UC functionality or performance. Essentially, the question comes down to whether we as a vendor enable and support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or recommend a specific type of smartphone? By now, most businesses support BYOD, at least for smartphones. Employees have them, and they might as well use them. It costs the company less because they don’t have to lay out any money to buy them, and if there are issues, the employee has to deal with them (on their own time). So, from an employer perspective, it makes sense. And frankly, many employees don’t want to carry around two mobile devices anyway. However, the question we get is inherently less secure for the business, so that needs to be thought about as well. The question we really get is about Android devices vs. iOS devices. And there are definitely differences. And within Android, there are even definitely differences. So, it’s an excellent question, actually, and you should ask your UCaaS vendor about it. The UCaaS vendor should take care of ensuring their desktop and mobile clients work, period. And you should ask and see what the answer is. If it’s a bit wobbly, then that tells you something. The only caveats should be about older devices (i.e., we support back to version xyz).
Star2Star Blog Article
What does a supervisor really need to see in a Contact Center Application?
Given Unified Communications form the essential fabric of the modern business communication system, we’re starting to see contact centers merging more and more with Unified Communications. In fact, we’re seeing UC systems embracing contact center technology. Sangoma is no exception, and we’ve ...
ccaas, cloud, communications, contact center, ucaas, unified communications
Given Unified Communications form the essential fabric of the modern business communication system, we’re starting to see contact centers merging more and more with Unified Communications. In fact, we’re seeing UC systems embracing contact center technology. Sangoma is no exception, and we’ve had more customers using our contact center and contact center features that are part of our UC systems. That’s great! In practice, it also means that we’re seeing customers and admins that maybe were not using advanced contact centers before being exposed to them now. We’re getting some questions about if I’m managing a contact center or are a supervisor, what features are really important in a contact center solution? Let me review a few. First, as a supervisor, you want to see real-time monitoring of what’s going on – how the agents are performing, is there a long call going on, what is the average wait time, what is the average call time, are the call center SLAs being met, how many agents are on breaks and for how long, etc. And if there is that long call going on, can you listen to see what the problem is, or can you whisper to the agent to help them somehow? You also want to create different queues, assign/de-assign agents to the proper queues, and see how the other queues are performing. You might need to do some balancing. Reports are also going to be important so you can improve performance and efficiency. After all, there will be a lot of data generated, so what are you going to do with it? You need to understand what data is important for your situation and make sure the reports generated can be flexible, working for you. Sangoma provides contact center technology that is integrated well with our underlying UC systems.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Evolved Office & Artificial Intelligence Integration
As artificial intelligence enters the contact center, the business communication system can start making decisions based on context, past similar decision history, etc. One of the earliest examples of this is keyword spotting and change of tone of the speaker, for something called “sentiment ...
Ai, Artificial Intelligence, cloud, communications, Evolved Office, ucaas, unified communications
As artificial intelligence enters the contact center, the business communication system can start making decisions based on context, past similar decision history, etc. One of the earliest examples of this is keyword spotting and change of tone of the speaker, for something called “sentiment analysis”. Essentially, the computer could determine if you were upset when talking to an agent so you could be handed off to a more experienced person. Given enough data from thousands and thousands of past calls the computer could decide when you’re upset, or about to be upset. And from this something called a chatbot has emerged. The chatbot will engage you more, and take you further down the discussion as time goes on. Chances are you have talked to a chatbot and didn’t even know it. Like most contact center innovations, chatbots have been driven by the oxymoronic need to both reduce costs and provide better service. And as speech recognition and text to speech programs and computing power have both improved and come down in cost, the advent of computer driven speech into the contact center occurred. In fact, right now, both Google’s and Microsoft’s speech recognition claim to be 95% accurate, which happens to be as accurate as a human brain. Over time, the simple ‘talk to me’ instead of hitting buttons to drive through an IVR menu gave way to more and more computer driven tasks. And it was OK because you as the IVR caller were getting through the menu and you didn’t have to wait. But you always knew it was a computer because it sounded that way (probably on purpose). However, these more simplistic chats have evolved greatly and today, it’s very possible you are having a conversation with a computer and you don’t even know it. And you’re probably happier talking to this computer, because it might sound like a native language speaker and because the “agent” isn’t making any mistakes. Right now, you likely get handed off to a real person when more complex decisions need to be made but over time, the chatbot will take on more and more responsibility. Again, with artificial intelligence, the possibilities are endless. The system could predict who you might call based on past history, and how they might want to get connected, who might need to be on a conference call, and the system could ID you based on voice recognition.
Star2Star Blog Article
Enhance Your Communications With Custom UCaaS Packaged Applications
One of the core benefits of a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) system is its end-user adaptability. These platforms provide full access to on-demand communications and collaboration services, among them videoconferencing, chats, productivity apps and connectivity options, all via a ...
cloud, communications, Custom Development, Custom Integration, Integration, Packaged Applications, ucaas, unified communications
One of the core benefits of a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) system is its end-user adaptability. These platforms provide full access to on-demand communications and collaboration services, among them videoconferencing, chats, productivity apps and connectivity options, all via a consolidated cloud service.  Related: CPaaS is a Path to Applications as a Service (AppaaS) While any UCaaS system offers high levels of customizability, platforms that can support popular packaged applications provide an even deeper level of personalization and performance enhancement. Packaged applications are created based on the most common organizational workflow needs, and can be easily tweaked and applied to one’s own unique environment. Plus, implementing them requires no extensive technical understanding or ability! Related: IoT Connectivity In An Office Environment What Do UCaaS Packaged Applications Do? Typically, packaged apps offer software with scripts for supporting objects such as databases, images and seed data, as well as pre-installation validations, to offer “ready-to-go” options for extending communications system capabilities with minimal programming. These straightforward enterprise communication and collaboration solutions help customers maximize these areas to improve output. But even this level of detail isn’t required to implement packaged applications when they are provided and supported by your communications solution. Your vendor will have the technical expertise to configure your application for you, so all you need to do is benefit from your enhanced workflows. Related: The Era of Hybrid Work: Common Trends In The Shift To Flexible Offices Now let’s take a look at some of the most common packaged applications businesses need today. Urgent Notification The Urgent Notification packaged app is designed to improve communications by providing options for mass updates on “urgent” matters. Urgent Notifications can be used to issue warnings on weather conditions, system outages, crises and cancelled events, among other emergencies. Plus, the interface allows one to choose from individual contacts or contact lists, potentially covering employees, customers and other important persons by sending blasts via call, text or email. The implications for this are enormous. Users can keep subscribers informed on the latest threats and urgent alerts - including security threats, advisories and first emergency response details - in near-real-time. Mass Notification In a manner similar to Urgent Notification, the Mass Notification packaged application simultaneously sends text and email messages, en masse, to all of one’s contacts or groups. Additionally, the function can track critical responses and handle information flow. The multi-modal notification system specializes in two-way interactions, supporting secondary actions and history reports. Potential applications include closure and delay notices, marketing messages, invoice reminders, event updates, subscription renewals, employee collaboration, and fleet / transportation management. Employee Alerts Another subset of Mass Notification is Employee Alerts. This packaged app allows an administrator to reach out to employees via text or email, with support for dividing users by department or group. Plus, the software supports tracking for message receipt and elements to promote engagement. The app is also particularly useful in distributing memos, closure and delay information, schedules, health updates and human resources and other notices. CRM Integration The CRM Integration packaged application offers features to integrate specific CRM package options within your communications platform. By activating the software, one gains access to common features such as click-to-call, inbound “screen pops” and call-detail tracking, in turn reducing need for manual data entry while reinforcing visibility and managing calls and contacts. Whatever CRM you currently use, you can maximize its effectiveness when you integrate it with your UCaaS via this packaged app. Single Curbside Service The Single Curbside Service packaged app offers a frequently requested service for managing customer-employee interactions and providing “curbside messaging workflows.” The software is specifically designed to support restaurants, specialty and retail environments and other offices, providing support for “streamlined, convenient and safe customer service.” Organizations can maintain operational efficiency by accessing SMS text and web communications in order to support critical areas such as order fulfillment and pickup. Plus, key features include no requirements for customization, automated workflow, team management and tracking and reporting, among other elements.
Star2Star Blog Article
CPaaS is a Path to Applications-as-a-Service (AppaaS)
CPaaS (Communications Platform-as-a-Service) is an excellent thing if your organization is a software developer or has developer types in your organization. But in a general sense, if you are a reseller or an end-user of Unified Communications, you likely don’t have these kinds of resources ...
Appaas, Applications As A Service, cloud, communications, Communications Platform As A Service, CPaaS, ucaas, unified communications
CPaaS (Communications Platform-as-a-Service) is an excellent thing if your organization is a software developer or has developer types in your organization. But in a general sense, if you are a reseller or an end-user of Unified Communications, you likely don’t have these kinds of resources available to you. Or, if you do, and you don’t quite really want to get involved in API programming, you may not even try this route. But still, the benefits of CPaaS in the past 18 months are probably visible to you – it’s entirely likely your curbside pickup, your “we’ll text you before you can come inside,” and a message about delivery just happened were delivered via a CPaaS application done by said developer types. And you might have other great ideas on how to continue this kind of new communication, either to enhance the customer experience or enhance your business. As such, we’re seeing our customers asking us more and more for more complete “add-on” applications that can enhance their vertical experience. And so that’s what we’re going to do with our CPaaS technology. We will use it ourselves to deliver applications to augment our UC offerings and supplement our partner’s vertical solutions. We’ve already done this with urgent notification, mass notification, curbside pickup, and employee alert applications. Please visit our webpage to learn more.
Star2Star Blog Article
IoT Connectivity in an Office Environment
IoT connectivity, as it relates to enterprise communications, is really about the convergence of Unified Communications and IoT. You might think that UC and IoT do not have anything to do with each other, but there is natural overlap. With a UC admin dashboard, there are alerts and monitors. And ...
cloud, communications, Internet of Things, iot, ucaas, unified communications
IoT connectivity, as it relates to enterprise communications, is really about the convergence of Unified Communications and IoT. You might think that UC and IoT do not have anything to do with each other, but there is natural overlap. With a UC admin dashboard, there are alerts and monitors. And with IoT, there is data to trigger alerts and monitors. It’s a marriage made in heaven, like peanut butter and chocolate.With a UC system, there are mobile end points such as phones, tablets, and smart watches. But there could be other end points connected to a UC system, such as cameras. Or a doorbell with video that can also talk – like a Ring doorbell. So, think about all these kinds of sensors, communication devices, things connected to a UC system. Some of these obviously can be connected with either 5G or Wi-Fi. But some can be connected with LPWA as well. The enterprise business communication hub of the future will be able to handle all required signaling types.Any of these things that are particularly important to be tied to a UC/PBX system when there is RTC (real time communications) required as determined by the sensor / edge computing calculations can be set up to enable alerts in the form of a real time voice and/or video call to appropriate person.For instance, a sensor on the factory floor can make a VoIP telephone call based on predefined criteria that can automatically trigger specific workflows, such as the reordering of components, either because they’re running low or because of defects on a recent batch of products, for example. Or IoT devices that are in the office that are connected to the PBX (temp sensors, alarms, etc.) can accept voice commands over the phone. Or one can view a video feed of an IoT imaging devices by dialing its telephony number (SIP endpoint or mobile).There possibilities are enormous. But these RTC examples need to be tied to a UC business communication system to make this particular convergence of IoT and UC happen.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Era Of Hybrid Work: Common Trends In The Shift To Flexible Offices
The world as we know it seemingly changes by the day. Today’s businesses - whether due to regulations, logistics, convenience or some combination of the three - are increasingly adopting hybrid work policies for their employees. Related: The Evolved Office & Mobility According to recent ...
cloud, communications, Flex Work, Flexible Office, Hybrid Work, ucaas, WFH, Work From Home
The world as we know it seemingly changes by the day. Today’s businesses - whether due to regulations, logistics, convenience or some combination of the three - are increasingly adopting hybrid work policies for their employees. Related: The Evolved Office & Mobility According to recent data published by FindStack, today’s remote workforce has grown by 44 percent, worldwide, over the last five years, with 16 percent of companies running “100 percent remote” and nearly 60 percent of U.S. employees teleworking each day. Related: Top UCaaS Trends For Year’s End & Beyond Earlier in 2021, Forbes Magazine highlighted some of the top trends observed among enterprises shifting to remote staff. While this changeover reflects both positive and negative developments over time, it should be noted that companies continue to adapt to fluctuations with new approaches and developments as the global business landscape evolves around them. Increased Reliance on Hybrid Work Models The natural inclination of many organizations is to stagger in-office reporting with remote work, a concept that has become known as the hybrid work model. By dividing days between various physical locations, the concept is that workers can benefit from commute relief while still gaining the added benefit of office socialization, work-task clarity, and security. At the same time, many companies limit telework to hybrid options to increase their assurance that employees are where they say and completing the assignments upon which they agreed. Related: Your End-to-End UCaaS Guide It should also be noted that remote and hybrid work policy also has a drastic effect on overhead cost, with less need for expansive locations and fewer expenses, equipment investment and - in some cases - HR personnel. Cloud Services Adoption With remote work, far and away the most relied-upon software for communication, collaboration, file management and organization is the cloud. “As-a-service” options include Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), with more to come! Related: UCaaS & Its Benefits For The Modern Team Collaboration Tool Organizations tend to prefer these types of software because of the benefits that they offer in terms of capacity (no infrastructure investment), simplicity (fully supported and automatically updated) and functionality (connecting remotely dispersed workers and providing access to secure files). Altered Cybersecurity Perspective The basic concepts behind some cybersecurity tenets - for example, sound password management and employee “best practices” - have changed little over the years. Despite this fact, many of today’s enterprises grow increasingly concerned with remote employees’ activity. Are they diligently changing and protecting their passwords? Are they aware of the historic rise in malware, ransomware, and other cyberattacks? Related: Save Money, Cut Your IT Costs & Reduce Complexity With DaaS Compounding this issue is the expanded attack surface. With staff more geographically dispersed than ever, the organization’s network - and critical files - become more vulnerable each time a connection is made at each point of entry. Related: Future Of The Deskphone For Knowledge Workers Gone are the days when a business needed only to worry about securing the single-location network. As A10 Networks noted in a recent report, the corporate network “will only be as secure as the home networks they are on.” Consequently, much of today’s remote-work cybersecurity tends to fall on the service provider. Increasingly Asynchronous & Flexible With a shift to remote employment, today’s staffer finds it increasingly difficult to strike a home / work life balance. For example, recent estimates by Kentik noted that 51 percent of employees struggle with juggling day-to-day activity and establishing definitive close-of-business hours where the computer gets turned off for the evening. Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected Workspace In response to this issue, many businesses are turning to asynchronous platforms for collaboration. Whereas earlier in the pandemic, organizations frequently embraced massive videoconferences to replace face-to-face interactions, one shift that was observed in 2021 is that allowing employees to respond in their own time has been more effective and productive, especially for jobs that require much time on the phone or at a computer. As Forbes noted, asynchronous communication is particularly useful for companies that are spread across “multiple time zones” in that it allows staff to “better control their workflow.”  How Do You Hybrid? Has your company shifted to a hybrid workforce? If your current technology infrastructure is holding you back or you’re curious about how you can improve performance, enhance collaboration, and grow your business with solutions built for flexible work, learn more about Connected Workspace and our other business cloud solutions! Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Evolved Office & Mobility
Unified Communications (UC) has ushered in the second state of the Evolved Office, where mobility and collaboration take center stage. The mobile client enables more than just access, it enables real-time interaction via presence and messaging, and enhanced collaboration with other network users. ...
cloud, Evolved Office, mobility, ucaas, unified communications
Unified Communications (UC) has ushered in the second state of the Evolved Office, where mobility and collaboration take center stage. The mobile client enables more than just access, it enables real-time interaction via presence and messaging, and enhanced collaboration with other network users. This enabling of your “office phone number” on the smartphone, connected laptop, or tablet has been a key driver for the continued growth of UC. It truly enables your office to be borderless. Unified Communications is a natural evolution of the PBX as it combines voice/telephony, unified messaging, mobility, presence, desktop sharing, and conferencing/collaboration into a single integrated application. It also supports several modes of communication, including voice, chat, email, fax, and texting (SMS/MMS). It enables a user to switch between these modalities of communication as needed to enhance the exchange of information and ideas. All employees can benefit from UC, whether they are in the office, away-from-desk employees, on the road, or working from home. All the tools that are available to office workers, such as video conferencing, presence management, screen sharing, chat, etc. are available from the desktop, laptop, or mobile device. In addition to significantly enhancing team collaboration and productivity, UC can also improve engagement with customers, vendors, and sales prospects because it enables faster answers in a variety of ways.
Star2Star Blog Article
Top UCaaS Trends for Year’s End and Beyond
Today’s Unified Communications as a Service offerings represent a “fundamental shift in business communications.” This form of pay-per-use service embraces cutting-edge technology to go beyond traditional voice services, incorporating aspects such as video conferencing, faxing, and ...
cloud, communications, cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Trends, ucaas
Today’s Unified Communications as a Service offerings represent a “fundamental shift in business communications.” This form of pay-per-use service embraces cutting-edge technology to go beyond traditional voice services, incorporating aspects such as video conferencing, faxing, and messaging. These elements come via a consolidated cloud system that is available from virtually any location or for any internet-connected device. Related: Your End-to-End UCaaS Guide Of course, UCaaS tech has been around for years, and its implications on the teleworker are well documented. With an overall market presence of $47.64 billion (2021) that is expected to balloon to $210.07 billion within seven years, UCaaS has streamlined remote communications at a time when more users than ever are working and collaborating across many miles! What, then, are the top trends in UCaaS as we head to the latter part of the year? Need for Improved Cybersecurity Awareness Per estimates, 82 percent of IT teams faced some form of cyberattack since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. These strikes include instances of dangerous phishing and ransomware hits, in many cases due to the unmonitored or ill-informed remote worker using UCaaS tools. Related: UCaaS & Its Benefits For The Modern Team Collaboration Tool As employees make their return to a physical office in late 2021 and beyond, some execs believe there is cause for concern. Of note, 56 percent of IT leaders feel staff has learned “bad cybersecurity behaviors”, 54 percent fear inadvertent malware infection, and 69 percent see ransomware as a “greater concern” in a hybrid work environment. Recommendations include: Maintaining infrastructure updates and patchesEncouraging consults with IT security personnel, also involving them in company decisionsFostering a positive, productive work cultureDrafting policy reflective of the organization’s vulnerabilitiesEstablishing “Zero-Trust” architecture with restricted access and changing credentialsPromoting resources and training to reinforce employee cyber intelligence Need For Innovative Digital Transformation In recent years, UCaaS has proven its ability to adapt to changing collaboration and communications demands. Unfortunately, today’s remote staffer is far less flexible. Reluctance to adopt new technology, support cybersecurity practices and change bad habits can plague today’s enterprise and prevent growth. For example, Loopup recently reported that 61 percent of individuals prefer a traditional, dialup conference call to video conferencing. Related: Save Money, Cut Your IT Costs & Reduce Complexity With DaaS In the midst of so many changes, choosing the right technology setup is more crucial than ever to ensure successful adoption, productivity, and security. Businesses need to reevaluate the tools they are currently using, identify areas of difficulty and app overload, and consider new solutions designed to simplify today’s workforce needs. A system that can balance ease of use and flexibility with built-in security is quickly becoming the most popular solution for many companies in need of a technology upgrade. Increasing Need for Remote Solutions With more employees in telework than ever - and some estimates pointing to an 87 percent increase over pre-COVID numbers - growing reliance on UCaaS packages should likewise grow. With this growth in demand, however, users are reminded again to keep their software updated to ease the impact of remote worker error. Solutions such as mobile softphones, Desktop-as-a-Service, and connected workspaces are helping an increasingly remote workforce to adapt. Other UCaaS Trends In addition to the aforementioned factors, additional UCaaS market drivers could include: Consolidation, with top companies such as Zoom, Google and Microsoft Teams leading competitive offersAI (artificial intelligence) integration as developments warrantIncreasing reliance on interoperabilityReductions in guest-account sprawlDevelopments in presence technology Of course, many new UCaaS shifts should emerge this year and beyond. Business success will likely be most impacted by one’s ability to properly plan, adjust, promote tech comprehension and follow all prescribed software updates.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Sangoma is Recognized in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for UCaaS, Worldwide
Last week you may have noticed that Sangoma was positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide. Sangoma is one of only fourteen other companies to be evaluated and placed in 2021, and one of six companies to appear consecutively ...
Analyst, cloud, communications, Gartner, Magic Quadrant, ucaas
Last week you may have noticed that Sangoma was positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide.  Sangoma is one of only fourteen other companies to be evaluated and placed in 2021, and one of six companies to appear consecutively for the last seven years. Factors considered in the evaluation process included Sangoma’s value-based pricing, complete UCaaS suite, expansion of Sangoma’s reachable market, and CPaaS created applications that augment partners’ vertical offerings and customer experiences. “We are thrilled to be recognized in this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant,” said Bill Wignall, CEO of Sangoma. “Sangoma has grown rapidly for many years in the industry and is now among the top tier of cloud communications companies, so it’s very gratifying to be recognized in this manner. Our clients appreciate the industry’s most complete set of cloud communications services, cloud-based and on-premise deployment options, and exceptional customer service, so we believe this award will be reassuring to our customers and prospects alike.” To read the full report, fill out the form on this page.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Evolved Office
As we’ve seen over the nearly two years now, the office has evolved, and not just in a physical way. The way we communicate, using more video and instant messaging, has also been a change. Back only 25 years ago, there was only one way to get to most real-time / voice business communication ...
5G, Borderless Network, cloud, communications, Evolved Office, ucaas
As we’ve seen over the nearly two years now, the office has evolved, and not just in a physical way. The way we communicate, using more video and instant messaging, has also been a change. Back only 25 years ago, there was only one way to get to most real-time / voice business communication systems from outside the building. Call into it from the PSTN. The change I described above has been enabled because of a wide variety of rich and powerful networks. The incredible capability of modern networks enables us to imagine four states of an Evolved Office. These states don’t necessarily have to happen in chronological order and can also overlap. These states are simply there to help illustrate how enterprise communication needs will vary by company and will change, how they will continue to change, and how the Business Communications System will be playing a central role in these evolutions going forward. Borderless Network Most offices today are in at least the first state of the Evolved Office, the Borderless Network. The business voice communications system can now be accessed from various networks, no matter where you are. Whether the user is on a Wi-Fi, LTE, or 5G mobile network or from an enterprise ethernet network, access to your business voice communications is possible. The networks are so advanced that access to all your business systems, not just voice systems, is possible. This enables work to occur from anywhere, at any time. While more ubiquitous Wi-Fi is coming in the form of more and more hotspots, essentially extending your office to wherever a Wi-Fi hotspot can be found, 5G is the next frontier for enterprise communications. And not just because someone will be calling you at work or into your contact center from a 5G network. 5G also means faster speeds than any other wireless network, and it means your entire business could ultimately be connected to the outside world via a mobile connection. Think about the concept of mobile SIP trunking, if you will. Your whole business could be connected this way, and you can even have a 5G business network slice or dedicated bandwidth for you. All of this means that all different varieties of business communication systems, whether unified or not, do not have to be physically on premise. All of these systems can be driven by cloud architectures. In other words, the borderless network also means everything could be in the cloud if one so chooses. Next week I’ll explore further evolutions of the office.
Star2Star Blog Article
Your End-to-End UCaaS Guide
In recent years, organizations have been thrust into remote and hybrid work scenarios. Companies of virtually every size were forced to adopt new delivery models for how its employees communicate and collaborate over daily tasks, even when not commuting to a physical workplace. Today’s companies ...
cloud, communications, ucaas, unified communications
In recent years, organizations have been thrust into remote and hybrid work scenarios. Companies of virtually every size were forced to adopt new delivery models for how its employees communicate and collaborate over daily tasks, even when not commuting to a physical workplace. Today’s companies are always looking for new ways to make operations more productive and profitable in spite of geographic disparity.Related: UCaaS & Its Benefits For The Modern Team Collaboration ToolTraditionally, the day-to-day management of remote staff activity has been problematic, with factors such as workplace efficiency and cost-effectiveness limiting just how far the company could go.The good news? Even the technologically inexperienced can benefit from - and even thrive in - a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) environment.Let Us Be Your UCaaS GuideWhether you’re already familiar with UCaaS or just starting to learn about this mission-critical technology, it always helps to have a guide. Start at the beginning with the core purpose of UCaaS, and then see how finding the right platform and provider can make all the difference for your business.Related: What Is Unified Communications?UCaaS delivery models provide comprehensive access to communications and collaboration services on an on-demand basis. Tools such as chats, video conferences, productivity apps, and IP phone options are presented “as a service” through a consolidated, cloud-based platform that is accessible over virtually any device.Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace TechnologyAt the basic level, deployments streamline access to those and other features without passing along common headaches such as hardware and software installations, maintenance, staged updates, and migrations that tend to plague even the most experienced users. These technical needs are managed by your UCaaS provider.Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected WorkspaceFor just a simple subscription, the UCaaS service provider handles all aspects for the organization, allowing it to focus exclusively on work and productivity. Nightmares such as communication lags, cooperative barriers, and document security become a thing of the past!UCaaS FeaturesTraditionally, UCaaS deployments include these features:Voice Calling: From phones, VoIP softphones, and mobile devicesConferencing: Real-time video, audio, and web-based including in-browser video calls from any device without downloading extra softwareMessaging: Via email, with voicemail, chat, and SMS-integrated contact centers and customer call managementCollaboration: Through shared desktop apps and workspaces integrated into your communications system, plus the option to customize with third-party applicationsUCaaS BenefitsUCaaS offerings have numerous benefits to organizational operations, including options for:Working from Anywhere: Remote and hybrid employees can interact in real time, regardless of geographic barriers or the device they’re usingBusiness Continuity: Cloud infrastructure is securely housed off-site - and often with geo-redundancy - to promote business continuity and disaster recoveryScalability: App maintenance and updates are organized and pushed automatically via the cloud, while purchased capacity can be expanded by adding to the subscriptionProductivity: Promoted with increases to speed and efficiency in communications and document sharingCustomer Service: Features contact center elements to monitor call data and improve CRMCost: Eliminates hardware and software requirements, reducing IT spendingData-Driven Analytics: Leverages cloud-based insight to monitor employee work and correspondencesUCaaS As A Business AdvantageAt a basic level, UCaaS streamlines cloud-native dialogue to bolster efficiency and minimize concern and cost. Elements such as support for voice and VoIP, presence, SMS and MMS, analytics and cross-device alerts promote more effectiveness in both areas.Related: Save Money, Cut Your IT Costs & Reduce Complexity With DaaSIn today’s corporate landscape, more and more employers are utilizing the remote and hybrid work experience, not just for the staff member, but for the executive as well. Allowing workers to access communications and collaboration software from their location of choice, rather than within a dedicated physical office or cubicle, is becoming a more commonly accepted norm. It may even be argued that this is the new standard for businesses to follow.Related: How SD-WAN Can Help Your BusinessFor that reason, access to top-notch communications and work-share tools is an absolute necessity. With UCaaS, one gains quick and easy access to applications to bolster productivity, free worker availability, secure critical infrastructure, maintain assets, and decrease overhead cost.Contact our team today to discuss these and other benefits that UCaaS can offer to you! We will be your UCaaS Guide to choosing the right system for your needs!Contact Us
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: What kind of companies would use Desktop-as-a-Service?
What kind of companies might utilize a cloud-based virtual desktop (Desktop-as-a-Service or DaaS for short)? It could be any, but they would generally fall into a couple of categories: Companies that want to minimize laptop costs Companies that want to control employee data access have – ...
cloud, communications, Daas, Desktop As A Service, ucaas
What kind of companies might utilize a cloud-based virtual desktop (Desktop-as-a-Service or DaaS for short)? It could be any, but they would generally fall into a couple of categories:  Companies that want to minimize laptop costsCompanies that want to control employee data access have – i.e., no downloading of files to personal computers (financial institutions, government agencies, etc.)Companies that want to outsource “security of data” as much as possibleSeasonal or project-based businesses where giving laptops to contractors or seasonal employees isn’t practical Is this for every company? No. I certainly like my laptop, and I like the applications on it. I do a lot of work when I’m not connected to the Internet. But this might make sense for your company, especially as you move forward. How do I get this? The delivery and sales model are very similar to other cloud applications such as UCaaS. The DaaS provider sets up the service, and the business “buys” the service through a monthly subscription licensing model for its employees. Sangoma offers DaaS services today. We have customers big and small using our DaaS solution. Many of our customers come to us initially for our UCaaS solution, and then when in discussions with them, they’ve been open to moving everything to the cloud. Our DaaS solution offers them the ability to do this, with the emphasis we can give on UCaaS.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Benefits of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)
Last week we explored what Desktop-as-a-Service is, and this week we’ll get into some of the benefits. As discussed in last week’s blog , security is a benefit because your business won’t have to worry about it. Data is stored in the DaaS provider data center, and the DaaS provider must ...
cloud, communications, Daas, Desktop As A Service, ucaas
Last week we explored what Desktop-as-a-Service is, and this week we’ll get into some of the benefits. As discussed in last week’s blog, security is a benefit because your business won’t have to worry about it. Data is stored in the DaaS provider data center, and the DaaS provider must manage that. Presumably, they’d be able to do a better job than a smaller business with this. But beyond that, data on your laptop wouldn’t exist or wouldn’t be as deep. When I worked for Intel years ago, I remember that we had quite a bit of training regarding how to manage your laptop on business trips to minimize the risk of it being stolen (excellent training, by the way, which I still utilize today).  From an IT perspective, bringing on a new employee is easier. Decide which employee desktop template is required (i.e., the Product Management one, the Marketing one, the Sales one, etc.) for that employee and tie it to the new employee. Then the new employee logs in from the company device. In other words, someone can log into the virtual desktop anywhere, from any device, and the desktop will look the same. IT can also manage “pushes” of applications easier – it’s just done centrally. And updates of security patches or updates of any kind to whatever thin client is used can be managed centrally. And there are potential cost savings since thin clients are less expensive than laptops. Or even supports employees who may want to use their own laptop – they just log in to the DaaS system to get to their “employee” mode. I’ve also read some studies where virtual desktops or DaaS can lower energy used by your company. Are there any downsides? Like any cloud service, when a centralized server environment is used, there is potential for things to “slow down” since there isn’t enough computing power in the central environment. Graphics intensive applications are examples of this. But there has been much work done by infrastructure providers to resolve these issues, and they are less and less of a problem.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?
You may have heard of Desktop-as-a-Service, with its projections of 17% CAGR and $10B market size within a few years , and wondered, “what is this” and “is this for me”? Before we get to DaaS, it is essential to understand VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Virtual desktops are a ...
cloud, communications, Daas, Desktop As A Service, ucaas
You may have heard of Desktop-as-a-Service, with its projections of 17% CAGR and $10B market size within a few years, and wondered, “what is this” and “is this for me”?  Before we get to DaaS, it is essential to understand VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Virtual desktops are a way to access your company’s applications through your company’s data infrastructure, which might be managed on-prem or via an MSP. Or put another way, think about what applications you might use at your desktop every day at work – Microsoft Office, your CRM of choice, your desktop clients, etc. and these would be in your company’s data infrastructure instead of hosted on your computer. So, you have a virtual desktop because what you see via your endpoint is all virtual and hosted in a typical company data structure environment. Access to these applications occurs only via the endpoint that your company gives you. Your endpoint may be a laptop, or because your endpoint doesn’t need all the processing power it might have before, your endpoint can be more of a thin client. DaaS is a virtual desktop but totally within the cloud and outside of your IT infrastructure per se. A cloud service provider would deliver these virtual desktops to employees, customized to each employee’s needs, just like UCaaS does. As with UCaaS (compared to on-prem UC), the DaaS provider takes care of maintenance, updates, storage, and back-ups. Your IT department doesn’t need to do that. And your DaaS provider takes care of security as well. Security is a big issue these days. Weekly we read about security breaches and ransomware attacks. If you go a cloud provider route, typically, they will be on the leading edge of security compared to if you had to do it for your own business. In this way, any cloud provider or DaaS provider can be seen as providing a more secure environment. But additional security is also obtained because the endpoints are managed – i.e., various ways into the network are centralized. So, in a nutshell, DaaS is a cloud-based virtual desktop. And Sangoma offers it.
Masergy eBook
ZK Research: SASE Buyer's Guide
Ebook, EGuide, Guide, Masergy, SASE
Masergy White Paper
White Paper - Cutting Through the Acroyms - Finding a Path To Zero Trust
security, White Paper, Zero Trust
Star2Star Blog Article
UCaaS & Its Benefits For The Modern Team Collaboration Tool
The office landscape is constantly in flux. Whether workers are sitting down at a desk in a physical, in-office location or in the cozy confines of a workspace just feet from the bedroom, the need for enhanced forms of collaboration and communication tools are constantly growing. Related: Top 6 ...
Cloud Communication, ucaas, unified communications
The office landscape is constantly in flux. Whether workers are sitting down at a desk in a physical, in-office location or in the cozy confines of a workspace just feet from the bedroom, the need for enhanced forms of collaboration and communication tools are constantly growing. Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected Workspace For today’s team-based software, having access to a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform and other modern communications tools - such as cutting-edge team collaboration software - is an absolute necessity. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology Today’s brand of UCaaS solutions provide the vigorous communications system needed to increase productivity and efficiency, share joint work, quickly and accurately help customers, and enhance how the organizations of today operate. As the enterprise struggles to enhance these elements in a world where workers are often separated from across hundreds - or even thousands - of miles, organizations are discovering the many benefits of increasing worker engagement using a UCaaS environment. Related: Introducing Enterprise-Grade Calling For Teams At its core, UCaaS and other pay-per-use services promote almost limitless capabilities. With team-based software, the tech helps make the organization more flexible, and offers unique scalability options with virtually no ceiling as to their expansiveness. Plus, the as-a-service packages offer many of the standard options needed for employees to share information, co-draft documents, communicate with one another and boost operational output, regardless of geographic location. Team Collaboration For Every Business Today’s modern workforce is in need of a comprehensive team collaboration software set for “hyper” productivity that centralizes their toolkit and drives teamwork and projects. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance Team collaboration tools need to support all communication needs, including, to name a few: Direct messaging and video conferencing with collaborators both inside and outside of the organizationChannel, group, and private messaging capabilitiesSharing work on files and other contentCustomizable options to integrate third-party apps Integration with UCaaS for expanded communication and collaboration support Other features team collaboration solutions should also support include: browser-based access; guest user account support; channel and personal workspace management; support for telephony services such as third-party call control, fax and other elements; contact and file management; desktop and web-based notifications, and basic searches. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-Native Communications & Collaboration Essentially, this packaging guarantees that all workers are accessing the same resources, with fewer concerns related to storage and other logistics. This aspect is one of several positive effects that employing team collaboration software with a UCaaS element provides. Additional benefits are outlined below. Employee Productivity Team collaboration deployments also tend to streamline the employee experience, making them more productive in their daily tasks. By gaining access to on-demand communications platforms and software from the same interface, employees no longer need to navigate between multiple applications, saving considerable time and reducing app overload. A cloud-based phone system integration offers additional benefits as the central hub for all elements: collaborative software, video conferences, and screen-shares. Maneuverability UCaaS allows the teleworker and in-office employee alike to work under the same conditions, using the same services and accessing the same resources for collaboration and communication. By granting staff with tiered access to the same technology, there are marked reductions in both miscommunication and missed calls! Tech support is also more easily deployed, as all employees are using the same installation. Reduced Physical Maintenance & Security For the organization specifically, dependence on a cloud-based infrastructure translates to reduced overhead and maintenance cost related to software purchases, as well as physical equipment! Information and physical assets no longer need to be stored and maintained by the company, with those elements all covered by what translates to an automatically updated service rental. Related: Save Money, Cut Your IT Costs & Reduce Complexity With DaaS Similarly, the individual employee is no longer on the hook for necessary tasks such as patch management; all updates are pushed to the software automatically to maintain both optimal and secure systems. Aside from automated security, encryption and other tools, a UCaaS implementation also offers features to promote compliance with federal regulations governing document retention and management. Automated Analytics UCaaS tools offer numerous administrative features for determining bottlenecks and other issues, providing insight into remediation best practices in a consolidated dashboard that would otherwise not be available for disparate systems.
Star2Star Blog Article
Machi Minute: Hybrid Work & Increased Productivity with UCaaS
Last week, I wrote a blog about the benefits of UCaaS, and I wrote about the following benefits: mobility afforded to employees, the financial aspects to the business of an OPEX model, ability to scale easier, and uptime from a cloud architecture. I received a few comments regarding the fact that ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications
Last week, I wrote a blog about the benefits of UCaaS, and I wrote about the following benefits: mobility afforded to employees, the financial aspects to the business of an OPEX model, ability to scale easier, and uptime from a cloud architecture. I received a few comments regarding the fact that I did not write about the productivity enhancements of UC. Correct, I did not write about it this time. It does not mean I do not believe that – I have written about that in the past on more than one occasion. I just didn’t this particular time. It’s an excellent, timely comment, though. As more employers require employees to come back to work, at least for part of the workweek, it does not mean that there is necessarily reduced productivity from the remote work environment. I am just finishing up a trip to one of our offices, and it was great interacting with everyone. While the 1:1’s I did were essentially the same in person versus over a video call, the other interactions of asking someone a question who is down the hall, people popping in to ask me something, running into engineering at lunch, etc. don’t happen when you are remote. And that’s why employers are asking people to come back to work. To get that back because it does make a difference. Because of the productivity afforded by UC, increased productivity due to chat functions, ease of calling someone on different devices, video calling, and collaboration, perhaps there might be hybrid go-to work/work from home environments in the future. Or even if you need to go back full time, there will still be measurable productivity from using a UC system at work.
Star2Star Blog Article
Revisiting & Remembering the Benefits of UCaaS
In the past 18 months, many of us have lived one of the prime benefits of UCaaS – the mobility aspect, which is the ability to work anywhere anytime because your business phone number rings to your mobile phone or your desktop via the UC client. Additionally, we all now fully understand the ...
Cloud Communications, Cloud Computing, ucaas, unified communications
In the past 18 months, many of us have lived one of the prime benefits of UCaaS – the mobility aspect, which is the ability to work anywhere anytime because your business phone number rings to your mobile phone or your desktop via the UC client. Additionally, we all now fully understand the productivity increase from using UC collaboration and video applications. However, there are other benefits to UCaaS that you as an employee using UCaaS may not see. For instance, the move from CAPEX and an OPEX model is important for many companies because they don’t have to lay out the UC costs all upfront. This “pay as you go” model is attractive for many companies. And when the system is not having to be managed by the company, there are typically lower costs because the system updates are handled by the provider and not a dedicated company employee – meaning bug fixes and security updates do not have to be managed by the company. Plus, they get done automagically! Collaboration between tablet and mobile phone with VI Communication Service’s Voice for MS TeamsCloud systems should also have higher uptime because of the nature of a cloud architecture. Superior cloud-based UC providers offer built-in redundancies, auto-failover features, and more reliable networks, as well as the ability to access critical communications like email and voicemail in an emergency. Finally, a major benefit of having cloud UC is the ability to add or remove users when they are needed and grow in near real-time. There is no limit to growth potential in the cloud; plus, it’s the most cost-efficient platform for enterprise communications needs. Download the ultimate guide to UCaaS and cloud services here.
Star2Star Blog Article
Will 5G Fixed Wireless be viable to handle real-time UC?
Alright, I’m back to traveling pretty regularly, at least within the United States. And with that comes airport delays. Yep, I almost forgot about them. I was in a massive delay a few weeks ago, and I ended up working from the airport. The Wi-Fi wasn’t great there, and I ended up using my ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications
Alright, I’m back to traveling pretty regularly, at least within the United States. And with that comes airport delays. Yep, I almost forgot about them. I was in a massive delay a few weeks ago, and I ended up working from the airport. The Wi-Fi wasn’t great there, and I ended up using my hotspot the whole time. And if there weren’t video involved so people could see a different background, no one would even have known. It wasn’t quite as good as working from home, but everything worked OK, even the video calls that I did. But I started thinking about what would happen if I didn’t have great Internet at home and it went out a lot, and I needed to rely on mobile for my Internet, like a permanent hotspot. That’s 5G Fixed Wireless. My 5G hotspot when I was doing that work gave me 30Mbps download and 16Mbps upload. As I write this at home, I’m getting 123Mbps download and 120Mbps upload. And that works great. At $60/month for 5G fixed wireless, it could be problematic if I can only get 10Mbps. I might have to turn off the video. 25Mbps would much better. So, at 25Mbps it could probably work but at 10Mbps, it would only be a good backup if I had spotty landline service. Or if that was the only option to get Internet service. Anyway, since I hot-spotted fine, I feel like a fixed-wireless option will work (but check the speeds).
Star2Star Blog Article
Save Money, Cut Your IT Costs & Reduce Complexity with Desktop as a Service
Businesses are turning to Desktop as a Service (DaaS) in order to adapt to today’s modern, flexible, and remote workforce. It is the most secure method for staff to access their tools and applications from any location to do their work, when compared to traditional PC deployments. DaaS delivers ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
Businesses are turning to Desktop as a Service (DaaS) in order to adapt to today’s modern, flexible, and remote workforce. It is the most secure method for staff to access their tools and applications from any location to do their work, when compared to traditional PC deployments. DaaS delivers simplified IT that administrators are always looking for and cuts down on the CAPex of deploying PCs, since DaaS allows users to access their cloud-hosted desktops from any device. Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected Workspace While the benefits of DaaS are enticing, some businesses shy away as soon as they realize the price tag, which ranges from $20-$140 a seat depending on the provider. To see the full picture, however, it’s important to understand the return on investment (ROI) of DaaS, which can be more cost effective than existing deployed solutions. See how DaaS allows businesses to scale up on their remote capability demands and future-proof their digital operations without inflating IT budgets. What Are You Spending On IT Today? When evaluating a solution to support a distributed workforce, businesses should focus not on specific costs, such as hardware or licensing, but the total cost of ownership (TCO). It's important to factor in the cost of designing, building, and most importantly maintaining the infrastructure. Related: CCaaS & Its Role In The Contact Center’s Future Start by establishing a baseline for existing infrastructure costs and the state of end-user devices. This can help in understanding potential implementation and management costs, compared with an existing set up. Businesses should be asking themselves questions like: What are the costs around human capital?What are the average lifespans of endpoints?Will ongoing needs be met with my current licensing purchases? With a basic understanding of existing IT costs, businesses can then investigate how DaaS can alleviate or eliminate overhead expenses, with careful consideration to ongoing hardware management and support costs. Related: Prevent Data Breaches, Ransomware Attacks & More With Virtual Desktops To fully appreciate the TCO of DaaS we also need to understand where the demand for it came from. Don’t Get Left Behind With Old Technology! Physical desktop computer infrastructures no longer make sense in today’s corporate world. It’s difficult to secure, maintenance heavy, and inflexible in supporting today’s constantly changing IT landscape. Related: 4 Reasons Why Businesses Are Moving To Connected Workspace Desktop computing has become a major cost issue for IT departments. Workstations are eventually replaced once they reach their lifespan, or even sooner when new software requires newer hardware. While it is essential for delivering “must-have” applications and services to end-users, IT managers are increasingly concerned about the tremendous amount of time, complexity, and cost inherent in managing and securing physical PCs. What You Need to Know About Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) With VDI, businesses install virtual machine software onto in-house servers to deploy virtual desktops to all their users. Each user’s PC effectively lives on these servers and is accessed from any workstation, on-demand, even from outside the corporate network. This not only eliminates the need for dedicated workstations, it also makes it easier to patch, configure, and monitor the system as a whole since it has become centralized. Related: Star2Star’s DaaS Keeps You & Your Customers Safe Businesses can also deploy “thin clients”, which are low-powered end-points since all the computing is delivered from the virtual desktop over an internet connection. Thin clients are an attractive alternative to physical PCs as they have a significantly smaller power footprint, a longer life cycle, and are easier to manage as a near stateless device. Depending on the scenario, this can cut the workstation cost in half, per user. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology We can already start to see the benefits of a VDI environment over traditional PC infrastructures when comparing their capabilities: An example of the financial benefits of VDI come from a Forrester study of a school district saving $3.3 Million over a span of 3 years by investing in thin clients for their labs vs traditional PC workstations. The end result was 40% IT efficiency gains and $52,000 in savings on software licensing costs by deploying VDI over traditional desktops. Cut Down On IT Costs IT labor is a large portion of the expense for standard desktops, and an area where virtual desktops deliver significant savings as the desktops are now a centralized and controlled resource. Areas of cost savings include: Helpdesks where support personnel can resolve issues remotely instead of being tied to the physical deviceDesktop maintenance for support and maintenance of end user devices, since they are either BYOD or thin clientsGeneral labor involving OS patching, desktop infrastructure maintenance, finance, and application delivery Should You Invest In Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)? Deploying VDI does come with its challenges, requiring in-house IT to manage desktop infrastructure, servers, storage and hypervisors, as well as the virtual desktop images and applications. This is also true for MSPs who offer, or want to offer, VDI services to clients from within their data centers. Related: What Is WebRTC & What Are WebRTC Advantages? A key factor impeding the adoption of VDI is the upfront data center hardware costs needed to run the infrastructure for VDI, specifically servers and storage. A calculation of virtual CPUs and RAM are required, from a server perspective, and input/output performance and gigabytes for disk space, from a storage perspective, per user. From a footprint perspective, a business would assign 25-50 GB solely to run the Windows OS. Given the performance requirements of a virtual desktop, the internal storage of these servers is not recommended, requiring SAN or NAS storage, which adds to the TCO. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Overall, the datacenter costs are centered around: Floor, cooling, and rack space, on a recurring cost schedule Server hardware, along with support, and power consumptionCost for NAS solution, including power and racking, along with cost per GB per year Cost per GB per desktop image, per year Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance If you are an MSP hosting VDI services, then these costs balloon considering the size of your datacenter infrastructure in order to support your customers. Aside from hardware specifics, VDI also includes management and software overhead: Management overhead: Management servers and storage running Windows Servers and associated data. Typically a pair of them is needed to create a high availability setup in case one fails for any reason.Software overhead: Windows licensing for desktops, including licenses for virtual desktop access and other related licensing costs. The visual representation below shows more clearly how data center costs can pose a significant challenge and may not be suitable for some businesses. Hardware Software Don’t Throw Your Money Away On Bloated Data Center Hardware Costs It's a well known fact that businesses are over provisioning and underutilizing their VDI hardware infrastructure. A report by ControlUp indicates almost half of VDI servers in datacenters were deployed with too much RAM and 80% of general purpose machines over-provisioned. This appears to be the case because IT admins simply avoid right-sizing their hardware as it's a complicated process and it's simply easier to accept the architecture design of the vendor and pay the cost. Related: The Evolution Of Remote Work A VDI solution already saves money for businesses when compared to traditional PC infrastructure, whether it be an SMB, enterprise, or an MSP delivering VDI services to them from their data center, but there is still a lot of room to save even more cost, especially when it comes to RAM. To throw some numbers around, in the ControlUp study, about 26 GB of RAM was allocated for over 70,000 servers running an OS at a price tag of $69.3 million. Of that, ControlUp estimates over 75% of the servers were over-provisioned, leading to nearly $31 million overspent on RAM. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration Aside from analysing total cost of ownership from a pure hardware perspective, the operating system has an impact as well. Up to date operating systems run more efficiently, which can help save on hardware costs. However, as you run out of capacity, hardware vendors are more likely to sell more hardware resources than make software efficiency updates, so it's up to the SMB, enterprise, or the MSP to make sure their systems are up to date, further adding to the total cost of ownership. How Connected Workspace Can Transform Your Business It's important for businesses to find a solution that meets their total cost of ownership needs in an agile and dynamic, scalable way. And this is where Star2Star’s Connected Workspace can help. It's a Desktop as a Service solution that meets your compliance needs, mitigates risk, and reduces your total cost of ownership. Connected Workspace’s total cost of ownership is delivered at a fraction of the cost of VDI as there are no servers for you to set up in a datacenter running virtualized software and virtual desktop management infrastructure. Tying in with the aforementioned datacenter hardware and software costs of VDI, Connected Workspace cuts those down considerably: A recent case study shows how Connected Workspace saved a business up to 75% on costs from using their previous infrastructure. Related: Top Enterprise Technology Trends For 2021 As a cloud-hosted VDI solution with enhancements, Connected Workspace is delivered on-demand and within minutes from a web portal. The enhanced provisioning process right-sizes the solution for you so that you pay for exactly what resources and tools you need, and can be scaled at any time, saving you money. We can see in the table below how Connected Workspace continued to deliver greater benefits than VDI or PC solutions: Connected Workspace does not require any expertise in VDI or IT technology. Simply configure employees, or client user workspaces, from a dedicated online portal, along with the tailored tools and virtual desktops needed, and the Connected Workspace infrastructure is ready for users to access and stream their cloud-based office space within minutes, from any device. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace Connected Workspace is very easy to manage, and allows a single administrator to manage all their distributed offices and staff workspaces or thousands of clients. There are no sunk costs, no separate licensing, no physical hardware or software updates to keep in mind, and it creates a significant reduction of IT management workload to manage user tools and applications. Plus it’s enhanced security measures, such as built-in ransomware protection and multi factor authentication, make sure your business and customers are safe at all times. See how Connected Workspace can help your business with a free demo. Contact Us Today!
Star2Star Blog Article
How SD-WAN Can Help Your Business
As cloud-based communications become more of the natural fabric of business communications infrastructure, SD-WAN is becoming more important for the enterprise. And this is precisely the reason we chose an SD-WAN company (BigLeaf) to present the keynote at Virtual AstriCon , November 3-4, 2021. It ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
As cloud-based communications become more of the natural fabric of business communications infrastructure, SD-WAN is becoming more important for the enterprise. And this is precisely the reason we chose an SD-WAN company (BigLeaf) to present the keynote at Virtual AstriCon, November 3-4, 2021. It is an essential subject to customers who may want to use it or partners who likely will need to offer this as one of their solutions to help their customers. What is SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network)? First, let’s review how connectivity occurred before SD-WAN. A WAN for a company would be how a company connects different locations and sends data back and forth in a private manner (i.e., not using the open internet). Obviously, this has been happening for a long time via routers using MPLS. One could encrypt traffic over the MPLS network. All traffic back and forth between locations would use MPLS on this private network. However, public clouds such as AWS and Azure are being used now with enterprises. Interaction with these public clouds is occurring within the enterprise. With SD-WAN, one can intelligently route traffic – send the traffic either over private WAN links or the internet depending on policies set up. Since some traffic doesn’t need to be on the private WAN, or some traffic will be on public clouds anyway, SD-WAN can manage this. You can scale easier and faster, can drive traffic flows, etc. Firewalls also have to be set up when interaction with the internet occurs, and these are known as (believe it or not) NGFWs (Next-Generation Firewalls!). Some NGFWs have SD-WAN capability. And some do not, by design. And some SD-WANs have some NGFW capability, and some do not, also by design. To learn more about SD-WANs, go here. And as a reminder, the AstriCon keynoter is Jeff Burchett, co-founder and chief revenue officer at Bigleaf Networks, who will discuss demystifying SD-WAN.
Fusion Connect Case Study
Healthcare Solutions
Fusion Connect Case Study
Ganley Auto Group
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Lumen Partner Program Overview
Star2Star Blog Article
Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Keeps You & Your Customers Safe
Microsoft recently went through a bit of a frenzy releasing a round of updates to resolve a security vulnerability. They initially thought they caught it and posted a patch to fix an exploit where a Print Spooler could run code with System privilege, which would allow anyone to install programs, ...
Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, security, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
Microsoft recently went through a bit of a frenzy releasing a round of updates to resolve a security vulnerability. They initially thought they caught it and posted a patch to fix an exploit where a Print Spooler could run code with System privilege, which would allow anyone to install programs, create new users, or view/change/delete data. Unfortunately, weeks later, researchers determined that the patch didn’t address all of the exploit vectors, so Microsoft had to push another update to resolve, dubbed “PrintNightmare”, to fully address the public vulnerability. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is windows-based; as soon as we heard about the vulnerability, our team was eager to get this issue resolved to keep our customers happy. So eager, in fact, that Star2Star had already rectified the vulnerability even before Microsoft came out with the patch! Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace The ability for us, and our customers, to push configurations globally to all users, and with urgency, is just one of the many values of a DaaS solution. Since every user of DaaS accesses their desktop virtually, from the cloud, there are no patches that need to be manually installed, like is needed on every office worker’s PC. And with the current work-from-home remote working landscape, IT admins are not burdened with the countless PCs they would have to remotely manage, for any configuration change or security patch or policy update. Just one central cloud-based location to perform all changes. Learn more about Star2Star’s DaaS, a virtual desktop collaboration solution, backed by a dedicated team, and designed to connect to your other workspace services for an optimized productivity experience. Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
Future of the Deskphone for Knowledge Workers
With all the remote working going on, we’ve all started using different kind of endpoints. Maybe it’s a headset now connected to your computer, using your UC system’s desktop client. Or a speakerphone connected as well. Or just your mobile phone connected to your UC system’s mobile client. ...
call center, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
With all the remote working going on, we’ve all started using different kind of endpoints. Maybe it’s a headset now connected to your computer, using your UC system’s desktop client. Or a speakerphone connected as well. Or just your mobile phone connected to your UC system’s mobile client. Either way, if you have been working remote or from home, you’ve probably been using your deskphone less than you have been. But does that mean that deskphones are going the way of the horse and buggy? Not necessarily. The deskphone industry is still a multi-billion dollar USD industry and depending on what reports you read it’s either stagnant, growing a little, or declining a little. The message here is that the market is big and will stay big for a long while. Why? Well, first of all, if you are a SMB, it’s hard to work from home. Your business needs to be open. And your employees will have phones at their desk. Additionally, even for someone like me, who has a home office but also has a deskphone in my home office (connected to a Sangoma Cloud UC solution of course!) and while I have utilized different endpoints as per the first paragraph, I still use the phone for various reasons (4 digit dialing to others in Sangoma is easy, calls to/from customers, partners, etc.). For those that might work from home some of the time, they will still have an office. So, phones will be required for them. And even though phone usage per se may be less, as business grows and expands, companies grow and expand, and employees will still need phones. Because you still need to make and receive phone calls.
Star2Star Blog Article
CCaaS & Its Role In The Contact Center’s Future
The CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) movement continues to grow as contact center capabilities become increasingly outsourced. This popular model of app deployment allows organizations to buy tech capacity as needed to keep operations running smoothly. Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business ...
call center, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
The CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) movement continues to grow as contact center capabilities become increasingly outsourced. This popular model of app deployment allows organizations to buy tech capacity as needed to keep operations running smoothly. Related: Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected Workspace What Is CCaaS? Contact Center as a Service products such as Star2Star’s Contact Center offer cloud-based capacity on demand; the enterprise pays for access to contact center capabilities as part of a subscription. This model has implications on helping cut costs related to IT spending, maintenance, and support, while expanding integration. CCaaS also supports new features rollout, as updates are pushed automatically by the provider. Related: Prevent Data Breaches, Ransomware Attacks & More With Virtual Desktops With CCaaS, companies incur no investment, other than subscription costs, in infrastructure, maintenance, or physical overhead. Similarly, logistical headaches are also passed off to the service provider. Differences Between CCaaS & UCaaS Despite some functional overlap, CCaaS differs from the more common UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) due to varying applications. Contact Center as a Service supports customer communications, while the UC variant promotes inter-organizational collaboration. Related: 4 Reasons Why Businesses Are Moving To Connected Workspace On-demand contact center software includes call center features to assist sales and support staff, as well as the customer, whereas UCaaS options include functions such as video conferencing, messaging, email, and voice calling to streamline employee workflow and collaboration. What are CCaaS Capabilities? Outsourced contact center solutions are defined by several features. Automated Contact Distributor (ACD) The ACD routing engine intelligently queues self-service, AI chatbot CCaaS exchanges. The capability supports the omni-channel desktop, with features for handling context and designing contact flows. Managers can also pre-assign coverage areas to specific agents for intelligent customer call routing. For the service provider, this element provides critical coverage for handling customer inquiries and addressing concerns, streamlining customer relationship management (CRM) and experience management (XM). Related: Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Keeps You & Your Customers Safe Interactive Voice Response (IVR) The Contact Center as a Service function includes a customizable, interactive menu that allows callers to either speak a command or dial a number to enter a selection. IVR also integrates with ACD to support data sharing. From customers’ perspective, automated lines can be frustrating and repetitive. IVR technology streamlines the query process, helping to properly convey thoughts and questions to appropriate channels, extending customer satisfaction. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology Outbound Software / Predictive Dialer CCaaS outbound software – or “predictive dialer” – includes features to support outbound calling. This function supports proactive outreach, as well as features to help sales and customer service agents improve connection rates and function as if situated in a physical call center. For the remote contact center, the implications are numerous, as its features serve to drive sales, support connection rates, and eliminate lag time. Benefits of Using CCaaS Competitive CCaaS installation advantages generally focus on its ability to streamline and simplify operations management. Top benefits include: Scalability – CCaaS environments can be scaled up or down, according to organizational need. Infrastructure-related investments are tossed aside, as capacity and capabilities can be added / removed.Reduced Cost – Expenses associated with installing, testing, maintaining and using physical contact center solutions are eliminated using Contact Center as a Service. Organizations can restrict spending strictly to items deemed necessary for operational growth, and offset costs related to administering such infrastructure to the provider.Less Overhead – CCaaS deployments support reduced overhead spending, including personnel and technology investments. Physical infrastructure – and its often-costly maintenance – are reduced to practically nothing.Reinforced Customer Experience – CCaaS reinforces CX, with elements to streamline access to dedicated personnel, automate selections and obtain information without disruption.Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness – Data, as its maintenance no longer falls on the organization itself, becomes accessible on a 24x7 basis, and is backed up and secured against natural and man-made disaster. Additionally, data replication technology – whereby data is stored in multiple, geographically dispersed data centers – promotes accessibility even in the event of provider failure.
Star2Star Blog Article
Top 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Connected Workspace
Connected Workspace is a virtual desktop, Software as a Service (SaaS), and communications solution, securely streaming your Windows PC, along with all your apps, data and communication tools from the cloud, and to any device. Whether you’re working remotely, at the airport, on the road, or ...
Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
Connected Workspace is a virtual desktop, Software as a Service (SaaS), and communications solution, securely streaming your Windows PC, along with all your apps, data and communication tools from the cloud, and to any device. Whether you’re working remotely, at the airport, on the road, or anywhere with an internet connection, you have your office workspace with you. Related: Let’s Talk Virtual Desktop Security Why Should SMBs Adopt Connected Workspace? Let’s explore the ways Connected Workspace benefits SMB organizations. Benefit #1 - Keeping IT Staff Forward Thinking Small-to-Medium businesses will have 1 to 2 IT administrators, based on their staff size, and are typically focused on fixing problems with infrastructure and employee requests. Connected Workspace can increase the return on investment (ROI) for the business by offloading these tasks, enabling IT to focus on strategic investment and simplified management. Star2Star’s Connected Workspace platform engineers handle all the costs, from managing Active Directory and file servers to optimizing app licensing, on behalf of the business. And in the case of businesses relying on a managed service provider (MSP) for IT, then the MSP can benefit in a similar way as well. Related: 4 Reasons Why Businesses Are Moving To Connected Workspace Benefit #2 - Remote Employee Businesses with remote employees want to standardize how employees are interacting with the corporate infrastructure, how they access resources, what software they use, and have complete control over all of it. Connected Workspace allows businesses to easily configure the employee’s virtual desktop experience by selecting the features and type of access they can have, via a simple online portal. They can then have access almost immediately by simply signing into their account from the device they have with them, over a simple internet connection. Hiring staff also becomes much easier as businesses can hire based on talent rather than location. Related: Star2Star’s DaaS Keeps You & Your Customers Safe Benefit #3 - Acquisitions Connected Workspace helps businesses standardize IT infrastructure, making it easier for a company to be acquired as well as for the company who is acquiring the other. A business using Connected Workspace has a predictable cost per user, from an IT perspective, making it easy for companies to evaluate the cost of acquiring the company. Also, if both companies have very separate systems in place, it takes more time to integrate them, whereas Connected Workspace makes the integration more seamless and much quicker. This provides a single source that can be adopted across departments allowing strategic system decisions to smoothly transition in and out of the overall application systems, minimizing user impact and keeping productivity as high as possible. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology Benefit #4 - BYOD Aside from the benefits of hiring remote employees, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) enables today’s workforce to use their own existing devices that they use on a daily basis, that work for them in terms of comfort and productivity, and bring them to work in a seamless manner. Connected Workspace allows users to access the corporate infrastructure, while keeping the corporate data and security intact. It also allows users to be more productive, because they can access what they need from any device, at any time, so they don’t need to be chained down to a particular workstation. Their desktop exists in the cloud and is accessible through any device, removing the IT spend and simplifying the management of the local computer in depth. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Benefit #5 - Seasonable Business Seasonal businesses will scale up and down based on customer demand. At their busiest time, they’ll have the highest staffing levels and at their least busy, the lowest. The advantages of Connected Workspace for this type of fluctuation are: The ability to scale users very quickly, whenever needed, all from a web-based portalPredictability of costs during the peaks and valleys of user count Related: Star2Star Business Voice: Introducing Enterprise Calling For Teams Benefit #6 - Multi-Location Business Being able to standardize IT across every location of a business is ideal. Whether an employee is part of headquarters or a remote office, they all work in the same way, accessing the same applications and tools, under the same secured environment. And if there are any IT policy changes or software updates required, the changes are done quickly, from a central location, for all the locations at one time. Connected Workspace offers SMBs with the ‘any device, anywhere access’ type of workflow that increases the productivity of the business; the integration of Star2Star’s voice, messaging, and video applications further improves worker collaboration. For businesses that are compliance driven, such as financial, legal, healthcare, and hospitality, Connected Workspace is definitely a benefit. And with no seat minimums, businesses can adopt the technology right away when they hit the ground running. Want to see Connected Workspace in action? Sign up for a free 30-day trial, no strings attached to learn more! Request Demo
Star2Star Blog Article
Prevent Data Breaches, Ransomware Attacks & More With Virtual Desktops
You’ve heard the term DaaS or Desktop-as-a-Service before but didn’t really buy into it. But since the release of Microsoft’s Virtualized Desktop service, it seems to have grown into an actual discussion for many businesses now. You may be starting to understand the benefits businesses can ...
Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
You’ve heard the term DaaS or Desktop-as-a-Service before but didn’t really buy into it. But since the release of Microsoft’s Virtualized Desktop service, it seems to have grown into an actual discussion for many businesses now. You may be starting to understand the benefits businesses can achieve by virtualizing their desktop machines and moving them to the cloud, creating a central management point, with a significant reduction in IT hardware costs on workstations, and delivering high performing desktops to users from any device. Also how it eases IT management burdens and a total cost of ownership (TCO) from servers, storage, and network connectivity to desktop applications. Related: 4 Reasons Why Businesses Are Moving To Connected Workspace However, one of the major topics of concern regarding DaaS is security. Since customers’ corporate infrastructure is moved from on-premise into the cloud, there is a tendency to worry about losing control of private data. Let’s demystify these security concerns so that you can rest assured your customers are safe and protected. In-House IT vs. DaaS Service Provider IT While a business may have trusted and reliable in-house IT staff for their local infrastructure, it doesn’t compare to the far greater security resources of a cloud service provider. With a DaaS service provider, businesses can leverage their expertise to improve their security policies and compliance. Security is not a one time ‘set it and forget it’ process and requires constant attention with frequent software updates at all entry points to the network. All it takes is one exposed area, such as a security patch not installed on a device, to allow hackers in. Businesses tend to forget all this when things are going well, so making sure there are resources always dedicated to these types of things is a must. And, allowing the DaaS provider to take over enables in-house IT to focus on company strategy and forward thinking Related: Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Keeps You & Your Customers Safe Remote Working With the onset of the pandemic, remote working has risen and become of significant importance for IT departments to secure and manage. Users need to be able to access corporate and confidential information while outside the corporate network, from any remote location, which can be complex. Local routers, firewalls, or environmental factors can restrict a remote user’s PC from connecting with services at headquarters. It becomes a balance of flexibility vs. security; the easier you allow users to connect to the corporate network, the more businesses put themselves at risk of threats. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology A virtual private network (VPN) connection has been a typical way to address this need, however, it is not the best answer! While connected to VPN, any threats that are exposed to the user’s PC can travel through the connection and infect the entire corporate network, spreading viruses, malware, ransomware, and so on. If a user checks their personal email, for example, and downloads a file, which is unknowingly ransomware, it will now travel to headquarters. Malware and anti-virus protection on each user’s PC can help, but is not perfect and ends up being a burden for IT to manage. Furthermore, the requirement to maintain VPN servers, software updates, and the huge cost associated with intrusion detection and protection (IDS/IPS) services becomes problematic because the cost may go overlooked and creates another hole in the security protocols of the business. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration DaaS platforms take care of all this without requiring VPNs or worrying about user PC malware protection and allow users the flexibility to connect to the corporate network over any internet connection, from anywhere. User Credential Protection While it is true that businesses are more exposed to hackers being out in the cloud, they are at less risk of credential-based attacks when using a decent DaaS platform, than with in-house infrastructure. DaaS services will typically have one secured entry point for access to all of a business’ tools and applications, with single single on (SSO) from a web portal, whereas on-premise infrastructures have many. So hackers can attempt to steal user credentials for possibly many unsecured areas in a network. A DaaS platform should have at least two-factor authentication, but one with multi-factor authentication (MFA) is best as it makes it impossible for hackers to steal credentials. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance BYOD DaaS enables users to access all their tools and apps from any device, anywhere, using any internet connection, which is one of its major benefits. The security aspect is handled between the users’ connection to their DaaS account, not the hardware they are using. This isolation also prevents users from copy and pasting, downloading, or drag and dropping from, and to, their virtual desktop to the local machine. In other words, what happens in the cloud stays in the cloud. And if a user loses their device, there is no risk since no data is stored on the device and the user’s account can be remotely disabled, immediately. Malware, Ransomware & Viruses We hear about these threats happening every day, and growing in scale too. In fact, check out this report of the world’s largest ransomware attack, which includes businesses in the USA. Hackers are taking advantage of infrastructure not properly protected and with out-of-date security policies and procedures. They are skilled in getting into networks via exposed servers with weak credentials and via end user activity. Related: The Evolution Of Remote Work All it takes is a user to open an email and download an unsuspecting malicious file for a hacker to begin developing a ransomware attack. This can also happen in a DaaS environment that isn’t properly secured. In fact, in a recent event, one particular title company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which will remain nameless for confidential reasons, was one of many in the area hit with ransomware, being locked out of all their DaaS user accounts, crippling them for days. On a positive note, Star2Star ended up saving this business by migrating them over to our Connected Workspace DaaS platform. This is why checking the built-in protocols for mitigating risk is critical when choosing a DaaS platform; you need to know the work-arounds and restoration procedures in the unfortunate event of a successful attack. Star2Star’s Connected Workspace Connected Workspace is Star2Star’s DaaS service, bundled with voice and video collaboration tools, enabling businesses with the complete ‘office’ experience, wherever they are, from any device. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration Security protection is a key aspect of Connected Workspace, from multi-factor authentication (MFA) for our SSO web portal, to our fully dedicated platform engineers taking care of migration, monitoring, and maintaining of your customer’s service. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace To help mitigate the risk of malware, such as ransomware and viruses, all files opened on each users’ virtual desktops are scanned and virus definitions are updated and automatically applied if necessary every two hours. Email threat protection is also applied to all Star2Star Managed Office 365 accounts. We have proprietary policies, procedures, and processes in place that alert us upon user access attempts to unauthorized files. Additionally, we do not allow access to the platform outside of the Citrix Workspace connection (part of the Connected Workspace infrastructure) for any third party, as well as no tunnelling, direct connection, etc. allowed to our multi-tenant environment. All of these solutions are in place to ensure that all connections route through a single fabric ensuring that the platform is monitored for any potential anomalies that represent a threat allowing us to respond in kind to mitigate said threat. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System In the unfortunate event of a data breach or a ransomware attack, all files in your customer’s Connected Workspace storage, should they become compromised, are isolated in order to remove the threat of further corruption. A restoration to known safe media is performed in an isolated environment. All virtual delivery agents (VDAs) are shut down and forced to restart from Gold Image. The isolation environment is then migrated back, only after file remediation is completed in the isolation environment. We work diligently at all this and can get customers back online quickly, thanks to our dedicated platform engineers. For instance, based on standard data size of 1 terabyte, the mean time to recover is estimated at 4 hours. This is something to consider when customers choose a DaaS provider: is there support available when it’s needed the most? This is one such reason why the previously mentioned title company moved away from their previous DaaS provider to Star2Star’s Connected Workspace. Can I bundle my security services with Connected Workspace? You sure can! As a channel partner, you can implement a third party email security solution and for our private cloud offering (single-tenant service for customers looking for a more isolated set up) you can offer your existing ransomware, malware, and/or endpoint monitoring additions. Now that we’ve secured your understanding, connect with us to learn more about Connected Workspace and how it can help you communicate securely in the cloud! Learn More
Evolve IP User Guide
Microsoft Teams Best Practices
Microsoft Teams Best Practices can be a major help in taking advantage of this powerful business collaboration tool. Download this comprehensive guide to help your customers work efficiently anywhere with Microsoft Teams.
collaboration, communications, Direct Routing, Microsoft Teams, Teams, Teams Voice, uc, ucaas, Ucc, unified communications
Microsoft Teams Best Practices can be a major help in taking advantage of this powerful business collaboration tool. Download this comprehensive guide to help your customers work efficiently anywhere with Microsoft Teams.
Evolve IP Sell Sheets
Evolve Teams Enterprise Voice One Pager
Evolve IP is the leading global Microsoft Gold Partner that delivers enterprise-grade communication features and stability from Microsoft Teams & Cisco.
collaboration, communications, Direct Routing, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Teams, Teams Voice, uc, Ucc, unified communications, voice
Evolve IP is the leading global Microsoft Gold Partner that delivers enterprise-grade communication features and stability from Microsoft Teams & Cisco.
Evolve IP Data Sheet
Evolve Teams Enterprise Voice Data Sheet
Evolve IP combines the world's most stable Cisco Broadsoft PBX platform, with Microsoft Teams to deliver PSTN dial-tone, advanced PBX features, and contact center functionalities.
collaboration, communications, Direct Routing, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Teams, Teams Voice, uc, ucaas, Ucc, unified communications, voice
Evolve IP combines the world's most stable Cisco Broadsoft PBX platform, with Microsoft Teams to deliver PSTN dial-tone, advanced PBX features, and contact center functionalities.  
Evolve IP Press Release
Evolve IP Further Extends its Global Footprint into APAC and LATAM
As part of continued expansion, Evolve IP is extending its Global Evolved Office and International Teams Voice offerings in China, Mexico, and additional countries in Asia and Latin America.
Cisco, collaboration, Direct Routing, Global Teams, International, Microsoft Teams, Teams, Teams Voice, ucaas, unified communications
As part of continued expansion, Evolve IP is extending its Global Evolved Office and International Teams Voice offerings in China, Mexico, and additional countries in Asia and Latin America.
Star2Star Blog Article
Let’s Talk Virtual Desktop Security
You’ve heard the term DaaS or Desktop-as-a-Service before but didn’t really buy into it. But since the release of Microsoft’s Virtualized Desktop service, it seems to have grown into an actual discussion for many businesses now. You may be starting to understand the benefits businesses can ...
Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, security, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
You’ve heard the term DaaS or Desktop-as-a-Service before but didn’t really buy into it. But since the release of Microsoft’s Virtualized Desktop service, it seems to have grown into an actual discussion for many businesses now. You may be starting to understand the benefits businesses can achieve by virtualizing their desktop machines and moving them to the cloud, creating a central management point, with a significant reduction in IT hardware costs on workstations, and delivering high performing desktops to users from any device. Also how it eases IT management burdens and a total cost of ownership (TCO) from servers, storage, and network connectivity to desktop applications. Related: 4 Reasons Why Businesses Are Moving To Connected Workspaces However, one of the major topics of concern regarding DaaS is security. Since customers’ corporate infrastructure is moved from on-premise into the cloud, there is a tendency to worry about losing control of private data. Let’s demystify these security concerns so that you can rest assured your customers are safe and protected. In-House IT vs. DaaS Service Provider IT While a business may have trusted and reliable in-house IT staff for their local infrastructure, it doesn’t compare to the far greater security resources of a cloud service provider. With a DaaS service provider, businesses can leverage their expertise to improve their security policies and compliance. Security is not a one time ‘set it and forget it’ process and requires constant attention with frequent software updates at all entry points to the network. All it takes is one exposed area, such as a security patch not installed on a device, to allow hackers in. Businesses tend to forget all this when things are going well, so making sure there are resources always dedicated to these types of things is a must. And, allowing the DaaS provider to take over enables in-house IT to focus on company strategy and forward thinking Related: Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Keeps You & Your Customers Safe Remote Working With the onset of the pandemic, remote working has risen and become of significant importance for IT departments to secure and manage. Users need to be able to access corporate and confidential information while outside the corporate network, from any remote location, which can be complex. Local routers, firewalls, or environmental factors can restrict a remote user’s PC from connecting with services at headquarters. It becomes a balance of flexibility vs. security; the easier you allow users to connect to the corporate network, the more businesses put themselves at risk of threats. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology A virtual private network (VPN) connection has been a typical way to address this need, however, it is not the best answer! While connected to VPN, any threats that are exposed to the user’s PC can travel through the connection and infect the entire corporate network, spreading viruses, malware, ransomware, and so on. If a user checks their personal email, for example, and downloads a file, which is unknowingly ransomware, it will now travel to headquarters. Malware and anti-virus protection on each user’s PC can help, but is not perfect and ends up being a burden for IT to manage. Furthermore, the requirement to maintain VPN servers, software updates, and the huge cost associated with intrusion detection and protection (IDS/IPS) services becomes problematic because the cost may go overlooked and creates another hole in the security protocols of the business. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration DaaS platforms take care of all this without requiring VPNs or worrying about user PC malware protection and allow users the flexibility to connect to the corporate network over any internet connection, from anywhere. User Credential Protection While it is true that businesses are more exposed to hackers being out in the cloud, they are at less risk of credential-based attacks when using a decent DaaS platform, than with in-house infrastructure. DaaS services will typically have one secured entry point for access to all of a business’ tools and applications, with single single on (SSO) from a web portal, whereas on-premise infrastructures have many. So hackers can attempt to steal user credentials for possibly many unsecured areas in a network. A DaaS platform should have at least two-factor authentication, but one with multi-factor authentication (MFA) is best as it makes it impossible for hackers to steal credentials. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance BYOD DaaS enables users to access all their tools and apps from any device, anywhere, using any internet connection, which is one of its major benefits. The security aspect is handled between the users’ connection to their DaaS account, not the hardware they are using. This isolation also prevents users from copy and pasting, downloading, or drag and dropping from, and to, their virtual desktop to the local machine. In other words, what happens in the cloud stays in the cloud. And if a user loses their device, there is no risk since no data is stored on the device and the user’s account can be remotely disabled, immediately. Malware, Ransomware & Viruses We hear about these threats happening every day, and growing in scale too. In fact, check out this report of the world’s largest ransomware attack, which includes businesses in the USA. Hackers are taking advantage of infrastructure not properly protected and with out-of-date security policies and procedures. They are skilled in getting into networks via exposed servers with weak credentials and via end user activity. Related: The Evolution Of Remote Work All it takes is a user to open an email and download an unsuspecting malicious file for a hacker to begin developing a ransomware attack. This can also happen in a DaaS environment that isn’t properly secured. In fact, in a recent event, one particular title company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which will remain nameless for confidential reasons, was one of many in the area hit with ransomware, being locked out of all their DaaS user accounts, crippling them for days. On a positive note, Star2Star ended up saving this business by migrating them over to our Connected Workspace DaaS platform. This is why checking the built-in protocols for mitigating risk is critical when choosing a DaaS platform; you need to know the work-arounds and restoration procedures in the unfortunate event of a successful attack. Star2Star’s Connected Workspace Connected Workspace is Star2Star’s DaaS service, bundled with voice and video collaboration tools, enabling businesses with the complete ‘office’ experience, wherever they are, from any device. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration Security protection is a key aspect of Connected Workspace, from multi-factor authentication (MFA) for our SSO web portal, to our fully dedicated platform engineers taking care of migration, monitoring, and maintaining of your customer’s service. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace To help mitigate the risk of malware, such as ransomware and viruses, all files opened on each users’ virtual desktops are scanned and virus definitions are updated and automatically applied if necessary every two hours. Email threat protection is also applied to all Star2Star Managed Office 365 accounts. We have proprietary policies, procedures, and processes in place that alert us upon user access attempts to unauthorized files. Additionally, we do not allow access to the platform outside of the Citrix Workspace connection (part of the Connected Workspace infrastructure) for any third party, as well as no tunnelling, direct connection, etc. allowed to our multi-tenant environment. All of these solutions are in place to ensure that all connections route through a single fabric ensuring that the platform is monitored for any potential anomalies that represent a threat allowing us to respond in kind to mitigate said threat. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System In the unfortunate event of a data breach or a ransomware attack, all files in your customer’s Connected Workspace storage, should they become compromised, are isolated in order to remove the threat of further corruption. A restoration to known safe media is performed in an isolated environment. All virtual delivery agents (VDAs) are shut down and forced to restart from Gold Image. The isolation environment is then migrated back, only after file remediation is completed in the isolation environment. We work diligently at all this and can get customers back online quickly, thanks to our dedicated platform engineers. For instance, based on standard data size of 1 terabyte, the mean time to recover is estimated at 4 hours. This is something to consider when customers choose a DaaS provider: is there support available when it’s needed the most? This is one such reason why the previously mentioned title company moved away from their previous DaaS provider to Star2Star’s Connected Workspace. Can I bundle my security services with Connected Workspace? You sure can! As a channel partner, you can implement a third party email security solution and for our private cloud offering (single-tenant service for customers looking for a more isolated set up) you can offer your existing ransomware, malware, and/or endpoint monitoring additions. Now that we’ve secured your understanding, connect with us to learn more about Connected Workspace and how it can help you communicate securely in the cloud!
Star2Star Blog Article
Why a Video-centric Business Communication System is Problematic
Let’s examine a bit more why starting with a video-centric UC platform could be problematic for your business. First of all, most video calls are handled on the internet. High bandwidth enables 1:1 and large group video calls. And most of us have been on them – with a large group of friends, ...
Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Let’s examine a bit more why starting with a video-centric UC platform could be problematic for your business. First of all, most video calls are handled on the internet. High bandwidth enables 1:1 and large group video calls. And most of us have been on them – with a large group of friends, team meetings at work, etc. It’s a great tool to use at work. And since many people are using it at work, they’re thinking, “why don’t I just use this all the time to do the calls I need to make?” Well, precisely because it’s pretty much fully internet-focused, it’s “heavy lifting” for this class of communication type to be the PBX or UC platform for the business. For example, you need to set up phone numbers; you need to set up SIP trunking; there is network interoperability and least cost routing to be put in place. Your “phone” vendor has been dealing with this for years and knows how to do this. Your phone vendor also knows how to fax and send and receive text messages integrated into your UC clients. One of the hardest parts about telephony is when the company receives a call. Call routing rules need to be put in place, IVRs set up, etc. Telephony-centric vendors have been doing this as their business for years and years. They understand this ‘hard stuff.’ It is not easy to replicate. And as indicated above, the majority of customers are still calling you. You want to answer them with a telephony-centric, integrated system. Not a video-centric, non-call control centric system with add-ons galore. And what about physical phones? Many businesses, while using UC mobile and desktop clients, are also still primarily using physical phones. And many of those call control type functions described above, such as IVR, UC clients, and call routing, are deeply integrated with the physical phones. So, if you have a business to run, start with a UC system (such as provided by Sangoma) because you need to talk to customers, and then add on a video meeting service (such as also offered by Sangoma).
Star2Star Blog Article
4 Reasons Why Businesses Are Moving To Connected Workspaces
Digital transformation is creating significant changes in how businesses operate, as well as how partners sell into new markets. Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) plays a significant part in this. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of why businesses deploy DaaS and why it’s important for you to ...
Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, Cloud Computing, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Digital transformation is creating significant changes in how businesses operate, as well as how partners sell into new markets. Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) plays a significant part in this. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of why businesses deploy DaaS and why it’s important for you to sell into this market. What Is DaaS All About? Simply put, DaaS takes the end-user desktop environment and turns it into a cloud-hosted service. Users log into their DaaS workstation via an online portal, and using their internet connection, run the same productivity and collaboration tools as they would use on their traditional PC. Why Are Businesses Using DaaS In Their Organization? Businesses in all sectors are making the switch to DaaS. In fact, Gartner forecasts that the number of users for DaaS will grow by over 150% between 2020 and 2023, as more companies move their infrastructure to the cloud. Here are the top four reasons why: Secure Remote Working The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic rushed businesses to enable remote working capabilities within their infrastructure, significantly increasing the chances of threats and malware being introduced within their organization. Without the necessary preparation, a remote worker using a virtual private network (VPN) or remote desktop protocol (RDP) connection to the head office was also a target for malware that could infiltrate their local PC and exploit their connection to corporate infrastructure. Remote workers logging into corporate applications via their credentials from completely unprotected networks also posed serious risks. Related: Star2Star's DaaS Keeps You & Your Customers Safe DaaS solves these security concerns by enabling secure remote access with a fully encrypted connection, decoupled from the device. This allows users to log in from any device, over any network connection, from anywhere in the world, without worry. In the case of a security concern, the IT administrator can disable privileges or lock out the entire account instantly without further jeopardizing the company’s infrastructure. Disaster Recovery Since user desktops are hosted virtually in the cloud, in the event of device failure, fire, flood or other catastrophic scenarios, users continue to work, logging into any device of their choice, from anywhere, anytime. Simplified Management DaaS cuts down the time and hassle involved in having to manage and maintain individual users’ desktops, which is a big job the more employees there are. Users access their desktops via the cloud by simply logging into a web page to access all their tools. Software updates or security patches are performed from one centralized location, updating the entire infrastructure almost instantly. Users can conveniently log in with their personal devices, which is not a security problem because it’s the connection to the service that is secured. This can save the business on hardware costs too, by allowing users to log in to the service using their personal devices or by deploying Zero Client devices (cost-effective PCs with minimal hardware and software on them) where users simply log into their accounts and work through the cloud connection. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology Onboarding new employees is pain-free; with a few clicks, their accounts are set up and users can log into their environments and start working immediately, without waiting for a PC to get provisioned and possibly needing to be shipped to a remote worker. Enabling Remote Work Remote work is on the rise more than ever now that businesses are more comfortable hiring talent away from the office. DaaS makes it easy to collaborate, improve productivity, and allows workers to transition to and from the office, since their desktop follows them wherever they go on whatever device they have. Star2Star’s Connected Workspace In addition to all of the DaaS benefits discussed so far, there are other considerations as well when it comes to choosing the right solution for your business. For instance, our DaaS solution, backed by industry leading Citrix workspace technology, combines our award-winning UCaaS with the secure, device-agnostic DaaS platform. With their communications backbone built-in to virtual desktops and SaaS software, users can leverage high-quality voice, messaging, and collaboration tools right from their DaaS web portal, transforming DaaS into a unique “Connected Workspace”. Everything from our softphone apps, voice, fax and video conferencing services, contact center, Microsoft Teams integration, and more are available to DaaS users from any device and location. Related: Star2Star® Business Voice: Introducing Enterprise-Grade Calling For Teams This level of connectivity is unmatched in the industry. We even went a step further and integrated UCaaS within the SaaS and legacy applications customers use most frequently. For example, Salesforce users can make a phone call to their customer within Salesforce without needing to switch to another device or window, keeping them focused and productive. Connected Workspace is designed for ease of use. Users log into a Single Sign-On (SSO) web portal and simply click on the tile of the application they want to use, whether it be SaaS tools such as Salesforce, Office 365, their virtual desktop, or migrated legacy applications. Best of all, there’s no need to remember passwords to all these tools since the SSO takes care of logging users in, along with self-serve password resets. IT admins love the simplicity in that, as well as the ability to disable access on-the-fly, if needed. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance For the first time, users have everything they need, from productivity applications to voice, video, and messaging, accessible from any device and delivered via the cloud, without security, network problems, or IT assistance. Connected Workspace essentially eliminates the “office” and transforms the business into a flexible, adaptable hub for productivity no matter where employees are logging in. Why You Should Sell DaaS Now that you know all the benefits and why your customers want DaaS, here’s what that means for you. Are You a Managed Service Provider (MSP) selling IT Services? Great! You can add Star2Star’s DaaS platform or Connected Workspace solution to your IT offerings, and significantly increase your value to your customers. And the best part is you have nothing to manage, no on-site servers, or support to deal with. Star2Star handles all the hardware, software, support, you name it! You just handle the commission. Are You Hosting Your Own Cloud Services? Eliminate the time and cost of self-hosting data centers and customer support. Keep your existing infrastructure while you migrate to Connected Workspace. There are no large upfront hardware purchases or capital expenditure to deal with as your business grows. Want to Diversify Your Product Portfolio? Differentiate your business amongst your competitors and create additional revenue opportunities within your existing customer base when you add Star2Star DaaS and Connected Workspace to your portfolio. Simple Pricing Model & Flexibility Star2Star DaaS offers a simple and predictable pay-as-you-go subscription model, making it easy to scale up or down on-demand. The Connected Workspace is also highly configurable, tailored to the users’ needs based on the tools they use, effectively eliminating the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. This saves your customers a lot of money since they don’t need to choose between existing Office365, Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Teams, or Contact Center investments. Self-Serve Customer Management Portal The Star2Star DaaS portal lets you completely manage your customers. Add new customers, add new users, and adjust the features for each, whenever you want and have the changes take effect almost immediately.
Star2Star Blog Article
Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Keeps You & Your Customers Safe
Microsoft recently went through a bit of a frenzy releasing a round of updates to resolve a security vulnerability. They initially thought they caught it and posted a patch to fix an exploit where a Print Spooler could run code with System privilege, which would allow anyone to install programs, ...
Cloud Communications, Cloud Computing, security, ucaas, unified communications, voip
Microsoft recently went through a bit of a frenzy releasing a round of updates to resolve a security vulnerability. They initially thought they caught it and posted a patch to fix an exploit where a Print Spooler could run code with System privilege, which would allow anyone to install programs, create new users, or view/change/delete data. Unfortunately, weeks later, researchers determined that the patch didn’t address all of the exploit vectors, so Microsoft had to push another update to resolve, dubbed “PrintNightmare”, to fully address the public vulnerability. Related: The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology Star2Star’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is windows-based; as soon as we heard about the vulnerability, our team was eager to get this issue resolved to keep our customers happy. So eager, in fact, that Star2Star had already rectified the vulnerability even before Microsoft came out with the patch! Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace The ability for us, and our customers, to push configurations globally to all users, and with urgency, is just one of the many values of a DaaS solution. Since every user of DaaS accesses their desktop virtually, from the cloud, there are no patches that need to be manually installed, like is needed on every office worker’s PC. And with the current work-from-home remote working landscape, IT admins are not burdened with the countless PCs they would have to remotely manage, for any configuration change or security patch or policy update. Just one central cloud-based location to perform all changes. Learn more about Star2Star’s DaaS, a virtual desktop collaboration solution, backed by a dedicated team, and designed to connect to your other workspace services for an optimized productivity experience.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Case For Applications Supplementing The UC System Of Tomorrow
Besides a proper multi-modal communication system that handles all that voice entails, what else will be needed in tomorrow’s Unified Communication system? The system of tomorrow will need to be able to handle new business communication needs deftly. For instance, applications we all became ...
Cloud Communications, Cloud Computing, ucaas, unified communications, voip
Besides a proper multi-modal communication system that handles all that voice entails, what else will be needed in tomorrow’s Unified Communication system? The system of tomorrow will need to be able to handle new business communication needs deftly. For instance, applications we all became familiar with in 2020 were the “curbside pickup” application or the “ready to come up for your appointment” application. Many businesses scrambled to deploy them. And these applications needed to be tied into the communication system because they involved texting and maybe phone calls if there were questions. The ability of your system to create these applications linked to the UC system is critical for business success. Successful businesses discovered this. And successful companies are also thinking of ways to deploy other integrated applications to help them succeed even more. Tomorrow’s reality for business communication includes multi-modal communication, where voice and video are essential, connecting to all types of networks is a reality, and tight integration with all your business communication functions saves you time and money. And it will also involve business efficiency and nimbleness. Make sure your UC system can do all of that and all of that well.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Role of UC In Limiting Exposure For Essential Workers
We all owe a great deal of debt to the frontline/essential workers who are not able to work from home for the past 13 months, as a way of limiting their Covid exposure. Technology, and Unified Communications, has played a role in the past 13 months in the able to work from home crowd, due to the ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
We all owe a great deal of debt to the frontline/essential workers who are not able to work from home for the past 13 months, as a way of limiting their Covid exposure. Technology, and Unified Communications, has played a role in the past 13 months in the able to work from home crowd, due to the mobility (desktop and smartphone) aspects of UC. But it has also helped in unexpected, if only sometimes small, ways in limiting the exposure of essential workers, even as this group went to work. Like many of you, I’ve experienced various new procedures for things I took for granted my whole life. For instance, when going to the dentist I now get a text messaging telling me to come in. The dentist has a small waiting room and doesn’t want patients and their employees getting bottled up together. There are now pretty sophisticated curbside pickup apps that I, and most likely you, have used. I’ve also shown video to contractors who needed to work on my house – they looked at things on the video so they didn’t have to come in contact with me and are able to give me quotes like that. I even did a service call over video (successfully!) when in my city the pandemic was at its worst. I’ve also gotten a text message about an ‘event’ cancellation, even if the ‘event’ was an outside dinner at a restaurant and they sent a mass notification to those who had reservations. But more importantly, I’ve also seen some of the workers in my neighborhood at other houses come armed with mobile apps, where they didn’t have them before. Seems there is more info for them on the app, from when the appointment was set up, which ultimately limited their interaction with the homeowner. Safer for both parties. These are all small examples. But every interaction to limit exposure is important. But will these kinds of procedures continue in the future? If it helps with reducing costs or becoming more efficient, I would say yes. For example, curbside pickup is great. Sometimes restaurants get crowded so sifting through all the people to go pick up your order takes time from both parties. I’d say yes. Also, anything to reduce a service call – so use of video – yes, I’d say that will continue if possible. It certainly saves time and money for the business. And the example of the service person having more complete info on the service app – for sure that will continue. It’s faster, and maybe even more accurate as well. Sangoma offers a variety of UC systems to help you work remotely. And with our recent acquisition of Star2Star we pick up some packaged applications such as Curbside Pickup and Mass Notification.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Role of UC In Limiting Exposure For Essential Workers
We all owe a great deal of debt to the frontline/essential workers who are not able to work from home for the past 13 months, as a way of limiting their Covid exposure. Technology, and Unified Communications, has played a role in the past 13 months in the able to work from home crowd, due to the ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
We all owe a great deal of debt to the frontline/essential workers who are not able to work from home for the past 13 months, as a way of limiting their Covid exposure. Technology, and Unified Communications, has played a role in the past 13 months in the able to work from home crowd, due to the mobility (desktop and smartphone) aspects of UC. But it has also helped in unexpected, if only sometimes small, ways in limiting the exposure of essential workers, even as this group went to work. Like many of you, I’ve experienced various new procedures for things I took for granted my whole life. For instance, when going to the dentist I now get a text messaging telling me to come in. The dentist has a small waiting room and doesn’t want patients and their employees getting bottled up together. There are now pretty sophisticated curbside pickup apps that I, and most likely you, have used. I’ve also shown video to contractors who needed to work on my house – they looked at things on the video so they didn’t have to come in contact with me and are able to give me quotes like that. I even did a service call over video (successfully!) when in my city the pandemic was at its worst. I’ve also gotten a text message about an ‘event’ cancellation, even if the ‘event’ was an outside dinner at a restaurant and they sent a mass notification to those who had reservations. But more importantly, I’ve also seen some of the workers in my neighborhood at other houses come armed with mobile apps, where they didn’t have them before. Seems there is more info for them on the app, from when the appointment was set up, which ultimately limited their interaction with the homeowner. Safer for both parties. These are all small examples. But every interaction to limit exposure is important. But will these kinds of procedures continue in the future? If it helps with reducing costs or becoming more efficient, I would say yes. For example, curbside pickup is great. Sometimes restaurants get crowded so sifting through all the people to go pick up your order takes time from both parties. I’d say yes. Also, anything to reduce a service call – so use of video – yes, I’d say that will continue if possible. It certainly saves time and money for the business. And the example of the service person having more complete info on the service app – for sure that will continue. It’s faster, and maybe even more accurate as well. Sangoma offers a variety of UC systems to help you work remotely. And with our recent acquisition of Star2Star we pick up some packaged applications such as Curbside Pickup and Mass Notification.
Evolve IP Press Release
Evolve IP Recognized in 2021 Gartner Market Guide for Desktop as a Service for Third Consecutive Year
Best-in-class managed Desktop as a Service delivered through private or public cloud, integrated with Microsoft Teams and Contact Center to support remote and hybrid working.
ccaas, collaboration, Compute, contact center, Daas, Desktop As A Service, Gartner, Market Guide, Microsoft Teams
Best-in-class managed Desktop as a Service delivered through private or public cloud, integrated with Microsoft Teams and Contact Center to support remote and hybrid working.
MetTel Data Sheet
Mobility as a Service
We’re taking a simplified approach, to get your employees mobile devices, when, how, and equipped with the technology they need. Mobility is no longer defined as just a device and a plan; it’s a service and it’s where MetTel shines. MetTel’s Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a complete ...
MetTel Mobile, mobility, Mobility As A Service
We’re taking a simplified approach, to get your employees mobile devices, when, how, and equipped with the technology they need. Mobility is no longer defined as just a device and a plan; it’s a service and it’s where MetTel shines. MetTel’s Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a complete mobility solution across the lifecycle of your devices, offering cross-carrier access and pooling, access to our award-winning customer portal, device staging and kitting with MDM support, AI-powered order to delivery automation, our 24/7/365 customer service, device protection and secure device recycling.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Digital Workplace & Connected Workspace Technology
The concept of the “digital workplace” has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially as necessity dictates that organizations must increasingly rely on cloud-based services. This form of “as-a-Service” software supports virtual rooms for collaborating, communicating, and ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
The concept of the “digital workplace” has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially as necessity dictates that organizations must increasingly rely on cloud-based services. This form of “as-a-Service” software supports virtual rooms for collaborating, communicating, and sharing work with others during times when person-to-person contact is not practical or possible. Related: Introducing Enterprise-grade Calling For Teams Generally speaking, a digital workplace includes solutions like connected workspaces that support the tasks companies need to conduct business from various devices and locations. Connected workspaces offer many of the common tools, apps, and shared elements for working together while apart, and feeling continuously connected while doing so. Digital Workplace Security & Flexibility These cutting-edge productivity tools also feature embedded security elements to protect mission-critical workflows, including sensitive files and communications. This aspect--defending against network penetration--is almost universally crucial across any corporate environment. Related: Returning Back To Normal - Part One In spite of the importance of security, however, it is hardly the only necessary consideration for the remote workforce enterprise. Organizations require a collaborative environment that is device agnostic. Users need to be able to collaborate, regardless of their hardware – and, in some cases, software – of choice. A virtual workplace must also support specific, common connected worker apps and collaboration tools, while simultaneously backing up one’s vertical integration plans as the application is moved up the supply chain. Related: Returning Back To Normal - Part Two, How Cloud Is Enabling Retail Finally, there is always the need for automated provisioning to reduce and eliminate complexity within the day-to-day work environment. No longer are workers’ bound by extensive binders of notes when collaborating with their peers. Today’s workforce can have access to all of the tools and resources needed to accomplish complex tasks, potentially from a device no larger than one’s cellphone. Connected Workspaces Are The Future Of Work Of course, the benefits to deploying such a package are far more extensive than simply easing the burden of one’s remote workforce. One of the most practical reasons to use the software is to save money. Enterprises continually point to cost-savings benefits by eliminating physical facilities, overhead, and travel expenses. Plus, employees tend to be more productive and happy when they save money on gas, tolls, vehicle wear-and-tear, and other incidentals of travel. Related: Returning Back To Normal - Part Three, Restaurants This comfort has the added benefit of bolstering employee productivity. With all of the necessary tools and resources made virtually available (in addition to the added benefit of a full night’s rest), staffers can simultaneously work faster and accomplish more, regardless of their physical location. Related: Unified Communications & Going Back To Work As a result, whether the organization faces restrictions from a global pandemic, or simply needing a more personal touch from across the miles, digital workplace options are an effective answer to extending versatility.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Unified Communications & Going Back to Work
We’re starting to see companies calling their remote workers back to work. Some have been doing it quietly, and some have been doing it more publicly. Take a drive at rush hour in your city, and you’ll see this is already happening. In Dallas, where I live, it seems like it’s back to 2019 ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
We’re starting to see companies calling their remote workers back to work. Some have been doing it quietly, and some have been doing it more publicly. Take a drive at rush hour in your city, and you’ll see this is already happening. In Dallas, where I live, it seems like it’s back to 2019 already during rush hour. Yes, if vaccinated, you likely feel better about going back to work and interacting with people outside ‘your bubble’ again. But for a while, I think, it won’t really feel like normal. Many companies will likely still limit the number of people in a conference room, and many companies will probably not ask you to be in 100% of the time. We all know the benefits of Unified Communications when working remotely. Unified Communication systems that enable your office phone number to ring your smartphone and your laptop so you can interact with customers while remote along with chat and video will still play critical roles for remote workers. But for employees at the office, UC still plays a significant role. You can “leave” your office to work at a nicer or quieter part of the building and not worry about missing phone calls. You can still have video meetings and collaborate with co-workers via sharing files, no matter where they are. Make the UC system you got to know so much better over the past 15 months work for you.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Is a Video-centric Business Communication System the Right Way Forward?
While Internet-based communication such as social media, chat, video, chatbots and push-to-talk are gaining ground, and will continue to gain ground each year, at this time still the primary real-time business communication mechanism is still voice. As referenced in an earlier blog, video is ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
While Internet-based communication such as social media, chat, video, chatbots and push-to-talk are gaining ground, and will continue to gain ground each year, at this time still the primary real-time business communication mechanism is still voice. As referenced in an earlier blog, video is garnering all the headlines and video calls with partners and even some customers occur regularly now, and will certainly stay around to become a way to continue to communicate, but video-centricity as a way to communicate with customers is short-sighted. Because the primary real-time communication mechanism is voice. Making a phone call! And the making of a phone call, while sounding simple, has much that goes into it. For instance, there is a difference in making a domestic and international phone call. The dialing plans are different and the carrier interconnects are different. And call routing and setting up those rules within the business is also difficult. As such, when considering what type of UC platform to buy, choosing one with roots in voice, but that can also handle video, is critical right now. As discussed above, while video-based communication was all the rage in 2020, and as it continues to play a role going forward, your entire business needs to take into account its needs before your business marries a video-centric provider. Did you make that choice for your business for the long term, or are you doing it because it helped you this year? What about next year, when you need less video and more of voice and SMS?
Star2Star Blog Article
Sangoma Wins 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award For Digital Transformation
Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a trusted leader in delivering cloud-native Communications-as-a-Service solutions for businesses of all sizes, today announced that they were recognized as a 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award (VSA) winner by ChannelVision Magazine, presented by Beka Business Media. ...
Awards, Caas, Cloud Co, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Commuications, Unified Communication, voip
Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a trusted leader in delivering cloud-native Communications-as-a-Service solutions for businesses of all sizes, today announced that they were recognized as a 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award (VSA) winner by ChannelVision Magazine, presented by Beka Business Media. Related: Star2Star Wins 2021 Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award The 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award winners were recognized for their unique ability to navigate change, adapt to shifting buying patterns, and remain operational despite the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Sangoma’s highlighting achievement in digital transformation includes the expansion of their complete cloud portfolio to become the industry’s most complete UCaaS solutions provider. Sangoma’s product suite includes leading remote work technologies, custom development and integration options, and VDI for seamless connectivity to mission-critical processes from anywhere. Related: Star2Star Business Voice: Introducing Enterprise-grade Calling For Teams “On behalf of ChannelVision, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s VSA winners,” said Beka Business Media President and CEO Berge Kaprelian. “The companies on this year’s list are highly resilient and resourceful, having made it through the pandemic while remaining on the cutting edge of innovation.” Related: Sangoma Awarded 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award “We are honored to be recognized as leaders in digital transformation, especially in the midst of such difficult circumstances,” said Jim Machi, VP of Product Management and Marketing, Sangoma. “We owe it to our incredible Partners, Customers, and dedicated Employees for keeping us going. Our mission is always to move forward and create new and better technologies that help businesses thrive. We are pleased to have accomplished that and are looking forward to more exciting things on the horizon!”
Star2Star Blog Article
Going to ITEXPO 2021
Tomorrow I’ll be heading off to ITEXPO, an event I’ve been to countless times before. I may have even been to every single ITEXPO that TMC has ever held. Except this time, it will be different. There will be no shaking hands (for me anyway, still not quite there yet), and I’ll probably have a ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, Expo, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Tomorrow I’ll be heading off to ITEXPO, an event I’ve been to countless times before. I may have even been to every single ITEXPO that TMC has ever held. Except this time, it will be different. There will be no shaking hands (for me anyway, still not quite there yet), and I’ll probably have a mask on much of the time. And many of the people I know well from being in this industry a long time and typically see a couple of times a year wouldn’t have seen since the last ITEXPO. Because the last ITEXPO was the last event before we all shut down. And this ITEXPO is the first event since some semblance of normalcy is returning. And in that respect, this ITEXPO will be the same as all the other ITEXPOs I’ve been to. I’ll be in a lot of business meetings. And I already have many business meetings set up. And I’ll try and go to a few talks when I have time. Just like all the other ITEXPOs. I’m looking forward to it and looking forward to many more!
Star2Star Blog Article
The Continuing Journey Of Cloud Education Technology
School’s out for summer, so this is the perfect time to reflect on the learning technologies that help students and teachers succeed. With the chaos of an abrupt switch to virtual learning behind us, there are many opportunities to learn how we can overcome past challenges in adopting new ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, Education, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
School’s out for summer, so this is the perfect time to reflect on the learning technologies that help students and teachers succeed. With the chaos of an abrupt switch to virtual learning behind us, there are many opportunities to learn how we can overcome past challenges in adopting new technology. Related: Distance Learning Systems & Modernizing Education Technology With the switch to remote learning in various stages of adoption across the country, cloud-native solutions were an obvious choice for many schools. Although the COVID-19 Pandemic sped up the process for many counties and school districts, there are still many unknowns for fully adopting new technologies. Cloud Education Technology Integration Students in a K-12 setting are still learning about their own individual learning styles, and cloud-native solutions allow them to explore different learning styles in a setting which can give them the best chance at success. While there are plenty of challenges in an entirely virtual environment, students are learning new ways to adapt. The ability to learn from home and not be tied to a physical classroom offers increased flexibility, fewer logistical distractions and challenges, and may even help motivated students to learn at more advanced levels. Related: Returning Back To Normal A dual system, virtual and physical, can also be applied and with the help of CaaS. These systems of integration are important, not only for access to information, but also as a learning tool for the types of technologies that students will continue to encounter once they leave school. Familiarity with common technologies is a basic skill requirement for most workers. Higher Education More frequently than ever, people are entering higher education. As the number of students seeking higher education increases, the cost to both students and educational institutions follows suit. These costs are shouldered primarily by the students themselves, shown in increased tuition costs and debt. Cloud computing is a solution to this phenomenon, as it allows institutions to exponentially increase their offered technological solutions to their students and faculty with decreased costs rather than increased costs. Related: The Pandemic In Review: The Evolution Of Remote Work Technological solutions in higher education are now necessary; one of the major roadblocks for many higher education institutions is the necessary migration of their older systems to a newer, more streamlined and robust system. Fortunately, cloud-native platforms and knowledgeable solution providers can make the transition as painless as possible with little to no downtime. The Ongoing Challenge As more of the world turns to technology for its solutions to problems, the world of education is falling behind, struggling to keep up with emerging technologies. Both higher and lower educational institutions have not yet reached their full potential for technological advantages, let alone cloud computing. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration As virtual learning has taken a front seat with the current events of the world at play, robust technological solutions are more important than ever. Students have access to technology that can help them learn even in stressful situations and the skills they learn in navigating those technologies will help them as they continue to grow and learn. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Remote learning technology is here to stay, and cloud computing is a growing industry that has already had an impact on educational facilities across the globe. Slowly but surely, the rest of the educational world will begin to adopt these new technologies and learn how to use them to benefit students and faculty alike.
Star2Star Blog Article
Connecting with Customers and Co-Workers in Today and Tomorrow’s Reality: Part 2
Why is communicating with customers and co-workers different? Let’s start with connecting with co-workers. In a work environment, we all have the same tools, so it’s easy to chat / instant message, go to the Intranet, or place calls. Indeed, we’ve all been on a lot of video calls. You can ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
Why is communicating with customers and co-workers different? Let’s start with connecting with co-workers. In a work environment, we all have the same tools, so it’s easy to chat / instant message, go to the Intranet, or place calls. Indeed, we’ve all been on a lot of video calls. You can say video calls have replaced what we used to call “conference calls.” It’s to the point where setting up video calls in meeting invites is now de rigueur. Also, you can quickly start conversations with chat that might seamlessly switch to video calls because we’re so used to it now. We’ve been on so many video calls lexicon such as “video meeting fatigue” has entered everyday usage. With customers, it’s very different. Customers don’t have the same connected tools as you do and aren’t behind your firewalls anyway. So, a click on the same tool is not so easy. Connecting with customers is more varied. Many customers just want to make an appointment, call about an issue, or find out what time you are open (or even if you are open). As such, with customers, the name of the game is to offer as much self-help as possible and be available in real-time when needed. Thus, we see what at one time were genuine innovations such as phone apps, websites, and IVRs now become centerpieces of today’s customer communication. But there is also a need for real-time communications, and we see the need for multi-modal forms of real-time communications such as texting, chat, and apps, in addition to voice. In this case, video is part of the overall picture but not nearly as front and center as intra-company communication. As such, real-time business communication is pretty nuanced, and video is not the centerpiece. In next week’s blog, we’ll examine why video not being the centerpiece of customer communications could present a problem if you choose a video-centric business communication system.
Star2Star Blog Article
Star2Star Wins 2021 Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award
Star2Star is pleased to announce that they have been recognized as a winner of the 2021 Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award by TMC. The TMCnet Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award honors available products that help ensure remote workers have access to the same communications and other ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Star2Star is pleased to announce that they have been recognized as a winner of the 2021 Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award by TMC. The TMCnet Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award honors available products that help ensure remote workers have access to the same communications and other corporate resources as they would in the office. Related: Sangoma Awarded 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award Whether they are adjusting to new teleworking environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, or had previously adopted technologies in response to an already existing remote workforce trend, the products and services from winners of the 2021 Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award will enable businesses to effectively support their mobile and remote workforces. Related: The Quality Of Our Calls “We are thrilled to be recognized by TMC with these awards,” said Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Star2Star, a Sangoma company. “Star2star is committed to continuously improving the customer experience with more innovative technology solutions that streamline communications and enhance collaboration across all business channels.” Related: 6 Tips for a Smooth Collaboration Migration “The TMCnet Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award recognizes the best and the most innovative products that this industry has to offer. Star2Star has proven their commitment to quality and the further development of Teleworking Solutions industry through its Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration platform,” stated Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. Related: Star2Star Business Voice: Introducing Enterprise-Grade Calling For Teams “Congratulations to the entire team at Star2Star for earning this great honor. I look forward to seeing more innovative solutions from them as they continue to contribute to the future of Teleworking,” Tehrani added. Related: The Pandemic in Review: The Evolution of Remote Work The 2021 TMCnet Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award will be highlighted on TMCnet and INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine’s online news portal.
Evolve IP Press Release
Master Agent Bridgepointe Joins the Evolve IP Partner Program
Evolve IP is excited to announce that Bridgepointe has joined its growing partner program. Bridgepointe, with its best-in-class solution architects and strategy consultants, provides Evolve IP with a key strategic partner that has national reach and can expertly match clients with Evolve IP's full ...
Bridgepointe, ccaas, Channel, Compute, Daas, Evolve Ip, Microsoft Teams, Partners, Partnership, ucaas
Evolve IP is excited to announce that Bridgepointe has joined its growing partner program. Bridgepointe, with its best-in-class solution architects and strategy consultants, provides Evolve IP with a key strategic partner that has national reach and can expertly match clients with Evolve IP's full suite of communications, collaboration, and digital workspaces productivity solutions.
Digital Realty Partner Resource
Channel Partner Team
Contact Info, Sales, Sales Team, Territory Map
Evolve IP Press Release
Adoption of Evolve IP’s Microsoft Teams Voice Solution Outpacing Traditional Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
Evolve IP is experiencing significant OY growth of its Microsoft-based solution as businesses choose Teams over traditional phone systems.
collaboration, communications, Evolve Ip, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Teams, ucaas, unified communications, voice, Voice-enabled Teams
Evolve IP is experiencing significant OY growth of its Microsoft-based solution as businesses choose Teams over traditional phone systems.
Star2Star Blog Article
Star2Star® Business Voice: Introducing Enterprise-Grade Calling for Teams
Businesses are under increasing pressure to support remote and hybrid workers, with many now relying on tools like Microsoft Teams to help employees seamlessly collaborate. But in today’s hyper-connected world, some remote teams inevitably need robust native voice capabilities that go beyond the ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Businesses are under increasing pressure to support remote and hybrid workers, with many now relying on tools like Microsoft Teams to help employees seamlessly collaborate. But in today’s hyper-connected world, some remote teams inevitably need robust native voice capabilities that go beyond the basics. That’s where our voice integration solutions can help! Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Star2Star® Business Voice is a pure cloud deployment platform that works on the backend of Teams, boosting vocal quality while providing additional features for the modern workforce. Let’s look at a few of the ways Star2Star® Business Voice for Teams can provide unique benefits to your customers. Expanded Features For Greater Flexibility & Quality Our integration helps customers leverage powerful voice capabilities and features like extension-to-extension dialing, true one-number service with Find Me/Follow Me call forwarding and SMS text messaging for the same number. Your customers will enjoy expanded and streamlined capabilities with reduced TCO, while still making the most of their existing investment in Teams. A Cloud-Native, Unified Experience For All Business Voice for Teams is truly a best-of-both-worlds, cloud-native solution. Remote teams can leverage the enhanced reliability of a PBX and the agility of the cloud for crystal-clear calls regardless of their physical location and without purchasing expensive hardware. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance Business Voice also extends to Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop Workspaces, allowing you to access mission-critical communications, files and data from anywhere on any device. Your existing phone numbers and call routing can be performed between your business phone system and Microsoft Teams, unifying your call experience to drive productivity, accelerate ROI and deliver an end-to-end user experience second to none. Dependable & Robust Support Customers that shift to our voice solution can also rest assured that their operations will be fully supported. Our architecture is built with your business in mind. Business Voice operates over this proprietary network backbone, providing ultra-reliable and secure support for mission-critical voice communications. Give Your Customers the Star2Star Advantage Your customers need dependable, high-quality solutions for communication and collaboration. While there are many platforms dedicated to supporting team calling, few can match the Star2Star advantage of peerless quality, flexibility, functionality and support. We also offer “Three G’s,” our top guarantees that include 99.999% Uptime Guarantee, Guaranteed SLAs and 30-day Money Back Guarantee. Are you ready to better support your customers with the best voice solution on the market? Learn more at star2star.com/MicrosoftTeams.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Connecting with Customers and Co-Workers in Today and Tomorrow’s Reality: Part 1
In 2020, we all utilized new and potentially innovative ways to connect with co-workers and customers. And if we didn’t already use Unified Communication phone systems, we quickly learned that a key tenet of Unified Communication systems was the mobile and desktop clients, enabling your work ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
In 2020, we all utilized new and potentially innovative ways to connect with co-workers and customers. And if we didn’t already use Unified Communication phone systems, we quickly learned that a key tenet of Unified Communication systems was the mobile and desktop clients, enabling your work phone number to be used (calling in, calling out) from these clients. As such, you could take your work remotely. Perfect for 2020. And video literally entered the picture and became a primary connection mechanism. The fact that technology and today’s excellent broadband networks enabled video calls to happen enabled many businesses to continue operating and continue operating at a high rate. However, while video (rightly) garnered all the headlines, we should not forget about the other tried and true communication types because they are well “tried and true.” We have to remember that connecting with customers and co-workers is different. What works for co-workers likely does not work with customers. Let’s examine this more in next week’s blog.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Telecom APIs Move to the Next Phase – Packaged Applets
Telecom APIs in the form of CPaaS (access to telecom functions that reside in the cloud, paid for as you use them) have spurred much innovation and disruption in the communications industry. Developers can easily incorporate these functions to enhance an application (maybe voice enable or text ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Telecom APIs in the form of CPaaS (access to telecom functions that reside in the cloud, paid for as you use them) have spurred much innovation and disruption in the communications industry. Developers can easily incorporate these functions to enhance an application (maybe voice enable or text enable an existing application) or create a voice centric communications application from scratch. Looking at it from a different perspective, if the application is connected to the internet (via mobile, WiFi, or wired), which means most applications these days, access to these APIs is available. That’s powerful and that’s why this model was disruptive. As such, if you have any idea, it is easy to test and try things this way, it is easy to roll them out, and it is scalable as well. And while there are a few stand-alone CPaaS companies out there (such as Twilio), a few UCaaS companies (such as Sangoma) have their own CPaaS platforms as well. Why is that? Well, for one thing, the customer is already accessing the UC application in the cloud and they are comfortable with cloud-based communications. And we can better enable our UC customers with enhancements they might want to do on top of our UC platforms. But have we entered another phase in CPaaS, possibly predictable even, where we see more broad industry needs and thus create a catalog of applets / applications that our UC customers can use? Certainly, we see that. So, we have started to create a category of “connected worker” applications, and the incorporation of text messaging for connectivity. And that’s important so we can help our customers service their customers better. Sangoma is committed to helping our customers service their customers better, so this model is important to us. Expect to see additional applets and applications like this as we see general needs emerge.
Star2Star Blog Article
Sangoma Awarded 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award
Sangoma recently had the pleasure to announce that TMC , a global, integrated media company, and its TMC Labs product review division, named Sangoma’s end-to-end UCaaS suite as a 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award winner. Related: The Pandemic In Review: The Evolution Of Remote Work ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Sangoma recently had the pleasure to announce that TMC, a global, integrated media company, and its TMC Labs product review division, named Sangoma’s end-to-end UCaaS suite as a 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award winner. Related: The Pandemic In Review: The Evolution Of Remote Work Sangoma Technologies Corporation is a trusted leader in delivering cloud-native Communications-as-a-Service solutions for businesses of all sizes. Sangoma’s UCaaS suite, through Star2Star, a Sangoma company, provides leading cloud communications, collaboration, and integration solutions designed for the modern enterprise. Related: The Machi Minute: Sangoma Completes Acquisition of Star2Star Thanks to its cloud-native architecture, Sangoma’s platform was able to respond quickly and effectively to an abrupt change in working environments, and it was this excellent efficiency that paved the way for this award. Features for built-in security, redundancy, integrated chat, and exceptional voice quality across a range of devices allowed businesses to maintain as close to normal operations remotely as possible, replicating very closely how they would function in the office. Related: 6 Tips for a Smooth Collaborative Migration “We were built for flexibility,” said Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Star2Star, a Sangoma company, “It’s an honor to be recognized with the Pandemic Tech Innovation Award. Our dedication to providing the cutting-edge technology our customers need to rise above any challenge was a major factor in our response to the pandemic. We are proud to continue offering leading communications solutions to help our customers succeed and thrive!” The Pandemic Tech Innovation Awards recognizes hardware, software, devices, peripherals, applications, and services that help society and business function effectively in the face of challenges caused by Pandemics. Related: What is WebRTC and what is it good for? “Sangoma has displayed its commitment to quality and innovation in the development of their tech solutions contributing to managing and overcoming pandemic outbreaks,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “I look forward to more innovation from Sangoma and their continued effort toward improving the future of the current challenges faced by the most recent Pandemic.” The 2021 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award winners will be featured on Pandemic Tech News online and TMCnet.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Voice in a Video World – A Webinar with Omdia
On June 9th, Omdia will be hosting a webinar titled ”Making Sure Voice Is Heard In a Video World.” If you want to register, please go here . Omdia’s Diane Myers (Chief Analyst, Collaboration) will talk with myself and David Portnowitz of Star2Star, A Sangoma Company about this topic. ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
On June 9th, Omdia will be hosting a webinar titled ”Making Sure Voice Is Heard In a Video World.” If you want to register, please go here. Omdia’s Diane Myers (Chief Analyst, Collaboration) will talk with myself and David Portnowitz of Star2Star, A Sangoma Company about this topic. So, what are we going to discuss? As we all know, in 2020, we all got real familiar with video calling and collaboration platforms. And that’s great for internal communications and some partner and customer communications. But, is that the way forward in the world, especially as related to actual paying customers? Because customers use different methods to connect real-time with your business, the most common is voice calls. We’ll explore why a voice-centric platform that also does video, chat, and SMS is the way forward because of the call control and call routing features in such platforms and because of the tight integration with phones these platforms can provide. In other words, why a Unified Communication platform that has time-tested voice functionality is an excellent choice for today and tomorrow. Please register here for the webinar.
Evolve IP Press Release
Simplify Joins The Evolve IP Partner Program
Evolve IP is excited to announce that Simplify Corporation has joined its partner program. Based out of The Woodlands, Texas, Simplify has been helping large multi-location corporations simplify and optimize their communications life cycle management since 1997.
Channel, contact center, Digital Workspaces, Evolve Ip, Microsoft Teams, Partner
Evolve IP is excited to announce that Simplify Corporation has joined its partner program. Based out of The Woodlands, Texas, Simplify has been helping large multi-location corporations simplify and optimize their communications life cycle management since 1997.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Integrating Video Into Our Future Business Communications
I’ve been writing a lot about video lately, because I’ve been thinking a lot about video lately. As many people get vaccinated, we’re starting to see some businesses coming back to “working in the office”. I took my first business trip in a long time recently to our site in Huntsville, ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
I’ve been writing a lot about video lately, because I’ve been thinking a lot about video lately. As many people get vaccinated, we’re starting to see some businesses coming back to “working in the office”. I took my first business trip in a long time recently to our site in Huntsville, Alabama and had the pleasure of actually interacting with many of our folks face to face. And it got me thinking even more about video. Given video has been the ‘de facto’ way to hold a meeting, even a 1:1 meeting for over a year, how will we integrate video into our business communications going forward? I mean, think about meetings two years ago. Likely there were many people in a room and also likely there were 1 or 2 people calling in remotely. And let’s say someone went up to a whiteboard to draw something. If you were a remote person, you were lucky if someone remembered to even try to explain what people were talking about. This wasn’t a problem during the past year because everyone truly was equal – everyone was remote and everyone saw whatever everyone else saw, or if someone was sharing. Will everyone now, even those in the actual room, automatically go to video so everyone is still “equal”? It’s hard to know. That did happen with me when I went on that trip, with a group meeting where one other person was in the room, but we’re all still in our video phase now. Still very aware. But it was bizarre being in a room and people were all staring at their laptops. I’m guessing the meetings will occur on video, and people will be more aware. But we’ll start to turn cameras off, and we'll use the video for collaboration purposes. We’ll see. I’ll visit this topic one year from now. Should be interesting!
Star2Star Blog Article
Returning Back To Normal Part 3: Restaurants
Throughout this series, we have been exploring the impact of COVID-19 on various industries, and how organizations are recovering. Related: Returning Back To Normal: Part 1 One sector that was hit particularly hard was the restaurant industry. To date, about 17% of U.S. restaurants have ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Throughout this series, we have been exploring the impact of COVID-19 on various industries, and how organizations are recovering. Related: Returning Back To Normal: Part 1 One sector that was hit particularly hard was the restaurant industry. To date, about 17% of U.S. restaurants have permanently shut down, and many more are struggling to profit due to ongoing restrictions. Even more troubling is the fact that most new restaurants that closed were not new establishments. On average, they had been in business for 16 years. Related: Returning Back To Normal Part Two: How The Cloud Is Enabling Retail Restaurants that have managed to hang on throughout the pandemic are now facing uncertain times, as returning back to normal continues to be a slow process. Many organizations would not be able to survive another prolonged shutdown or unstable conditions much longer without taking drastic measures. How Restaurants Are Returning Back To Normal With Cloud A growing number of restaurants are now using cloud communications solutions to improve operations and lower costs. Here are some of the ways restaurants are benefiting from cloud communications in the post-COVID era. Cost-effective Voice Budgets have always been tight for restaurants dealing with high rents, exorbitant food costs, and a variety of operational challenges. Today, budgets are tighter than ever leaving less room for excess spending. Related: The Pandemic In Review: The Evolution Of Remote Work Many businesses are switching to cloud communications systems that use VoIP, to lower costs while maintaining open lines with customers, team members, corporate partners, and vendors. Switching to a cloud-based phone system is an easy way to cut monthly communications costs. Improved Communication & Collaboration Restaurant owners and managers can’t always be on-site to deal with questions and problems when they arise, like social distancing issues and health restrictions. However, running a restaurant can be very challenging due to the variety of restrictions that businesses are now facing. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration A growing number of businesses are now using mobile communication and collaboration apps to help team members work together and maintain operations. Team members can connect over one app for voice, SMS, and even image and video sharing. This type of system can provide a great framework for solving problems keeping restaurants running smoothly. Curbside Service One of the most popular cloud technologies to emerge during the pandemic was curbside service. In fact, curbside service kept many businesses running throughout the pandemic, enabling them to process orders and distribute them safely to customers. Related: Uses For Curbside Service You Might Not Have Considered Curbside service comes ready to use, guaranteeing easy deployment and management. Deploying curbside service can enable easy SMS and web interactions, with flexible, automated workflows for employees. See How Star2Star Can Help Star2Star offers a complete suite of cost-effective, flexible solutions designed to help restaurants thrive. Learn more today! Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
The Quality of Our Calls
We've all been on more than our fair share of video calls the past 14 months. And we've probably used all the different video calling platforms (including Sangoma Meet). Sometimes, we get some video quality issues such as the frames freezing or blocking out due to bandwidth reasons, especially when ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
We've all been on more than our fair share of video calls the past 14 months. And we've probably used all the different video calling platforms (including Sangoma Meet). Sometimes, we get some video quality issues such as the frames freezing or blocking out due to bandwidth reasons, especially when sharing documents. We've learned to live with the occasional problem. To me, this shows just how far IP communications have come in such a short period. What a long way from the early VoIP days in 1998. Even back then, we had visions of video and voice on the same call. I’m sure we’ve all been on a call with over 50 video users with unbelievable video and voice and file sharing quality! Even just a couple of years ago, we couldn’t have proceeded like we’ve proceeded the past 14 months. But the other day on a call was the first time I've experienced voice quality issues on such a call. These days, due to HD codecs and adaptive codecs, voice has stayed sounding consistently good. Really, voice sounds better than PSTN calls on all these video calls (if anyone even remembers what a PSTN call over G.711 sounded like anymore). On this call, I was talking from my house to someone at one of our offices. I have 1 Gig at my home, and I'm usually pretty good with quality. And obviously, we have good internet going into an office. It turned out the office was experiencing some wifi issue in the building, so it had nothing to do with the video calling platform I was using (Sangoma Meet). And I have to say; even when the video went black, the voice kept going. It got wonky and such, but it kept on going. That’s because voice requires much less bandwidth. Voice will continue to be essential.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: The Bill Wignall TalkingHeadz Podcast
In late March, once the Star2Star deal closed, Sangoma’s CEO, Bill Wignall, did a podcast with Dave Michels and Evan Kirstel . According to Dave, “You may not be that familiar with Bill or Sangoma, but both are industry giants that have outperformed their peers and the broader industry. Bill ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
In late March, once the Star2Star deal closed, Sangoma’s CEO, Bill Wignall, did a podcast with Dave Michels and Evan Kirstel. According to Dave, “You may not be that familiar with Bill or Sangoma, but both are industry giants that have outperformed their peers and the broader industry. Bill has guided Sangoma through tremendous growth and transformation, largely through acquisitions.” You can listen to the TalkingHeadz Podcast here. It’s a pretty all-encompassing discussion about Sangoma, but in particular, you can hear Bill riff on: Telecom divestitureBill’s life on social mediaM&A in general and M&A for SangomaWhy he felt this deal with Star2Star was truly transformational for SangomaHow are we going to go about integrationWhy Sangoma has been “under the radar,” even though now we are by all accounts a top 10 player in UCaaS. With well over 2M UC seats, including our prem solutions.What Sangoma provides that is different than our competition. Note: It’s about overall value, providing an end-to-end solution, having both Prem and Cloud, and caring immensely about our channel. And we also offer an entire Communication as a Service Portfolio (UCaaS, TaaS, FaaS, CPaaS, VMaaS, Desktop as a Service, CCaaS, ACaaS).Bill also talks about our vision of seeing the PBX / UC platform as basically the hub of business real-time communications, not just limited to voice or video. And why we’re getting into the Access Control market and other IoT innovations going forward. It’s a good listen if you want to understand more about Bill and Sangoma. Listen Now
Star2Star Blog Article
What Is WebRTC & What Are WebRTC Advantages?
WebRTC is…everywhere, but what is WebRTC? WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a technology that allows Web browsers to stream audio or video media, as well as to exchange useful data between browsers, mobile platforms, and IoT devices without requiring an intermediary such as a server. The ...
Caas, call center, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
WebRTC is…everywhere, but what is WebRTC? WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a technology that allows Web browsers to stream audio or video media, as well as to exchange useful data between browsers, mobile platforms, and IoT devices without requiring an intermediary such as a server. The Past: The World Before WebRTC Before WebRTC, the need to connect virtually and to have video conferences and communications via the web was a priority. In the past, you had to rely on plug-ins or an installable application on your PC – not just your web browser. This was very inconvenient as users were required to install additional, incompatible apps, and developers had to study complex stacks and protocols to make the magic happen. WebRTC was born Many of WebRTC technology’s underpinnings were first developed by Global IP Solutions (or GIPS), a company founded around 1999 in Sweden. In 2011, GIPS was acquired by Google, and the W3C started to work on a standard for WebRTC (real-time communication). WebRTC specifies a series of APIs for real-time communications (RTC) targeted at browsers. Since 2011, Google and other major players in the web-browser market, such as Mozilla and Opera, have been actively supporting WebRTC. Today companies trust WebRTC to offer them the leverage they need to deliver the user experience they strive for. Understanding WebRTC Advantages WebRTC is a set of plugin-free APIs that can be used in both desktop and mobile browsers. One of the WebRTC advantages is that it does not need any native apps for audio and video communication as it allows peer-to-peer communication on the web pages. So, what is WebRTC being used for in real time in real businesses? Some of the top companies like Amazon and Facebook are all leveraging this, but Google Meet (or more accurately, Hangouts) is probably one of the main reasons we have WebRTC today. Google had their own video conferencing service, working from Gmail, but it needed a plugin. Real-time video just wasn’t there in the browser, which is where and why WebRTC started. If this isn’t explanation enough as to why our technology is moving beyond VoIP systems, here are some of the main WebRTC advantages: WebRTC is free: Yes, free. WebRTC is an open-source application programming interface that is free of cost to the user. You only need a WebRTC-enabled browser. WebRTC is accessible through any device or platform: You don’t need any specific hardware, applications or operating system to use WebRTC. Any WebRTC-enabled browser can connect in real time to another WebRTC-enabled device. WebRTC video and audio is secure: WebRTC uses Secure RTP protocol (SRTP) at all time to authenticate and encrypt voice and video content to ensure there is no unwanted intrusions or recording. WebRTC has exceptionally high-quality media: Since WebRTC supports multiple types of media, there’s capability to produce the appropriate level of bandwidth and offer the highest quality voice and video. There are so many variables to the technological advancements surrounding WebRTC, these are just a few of the advantages we can name. Understanding these individual features gives a fairly comprehensive idea of what this technology can do, but next we’ll see how companies have started using it in real time. Examples Of WebRTC Now, what is WebRTC actually being used for in the marketplace? There are so many interesting use cases for WebRTC, but here are a few popular ones you may not have considered: WebRTC provides Simple Collaboration: How many times have you been invited to a meeting, and as soon as you clicked on the link, it asked you to sign up or download an app before you could join the call? It can be frustrating to open an account or download a platform to engage in a business meeting. WebRTC removes this barrier, providing a seamless, non-invasive way to connect and collaborate. Using WebRTC when communicating with colleagues, clients, and business partners is easier, simpler, and more convenient.WebRTC features enable Contextual Applications: You can use a third party API like OAuth to pull data from services like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. This API type makes it possible for customers to leverage their own social graph data to augment their experience within your websites and applications. You can then couple this data with WebRTC-powered features to enable rich contextual communications. This could enable easy sharing of the person’s Twitter handle, email address, or other public profile information, along with links to their most recent tweets or Facebook posts.Speed up File Sharing with WebRTC: Suppose you want to send a massive file to a colleague while working on a project. Instead of emailing the file or uploading it to a third-party cloud storage system (and waiting several minutes for the transfer to complete), you could send it directly through your web browser using WebRTC’s data channel, with very low-latency and the benefit of full encryption between the two endpoints.WebRTC supports clients on the move with Embedded Endpoints: ATMs. Vending machines. Bus stops. Retail store kiosks. All of these endpoints can be embedded with WebRTC engines. It’s an easy way to connect customers with live agents while they are on-the-go.WebRTC creates a personal touch using Sales Enablement: Websites and applications are key tools for sales enablement. Customers rarely make important purchases on impulse. Decisions are often made after speaking with a sales associate. Providing a website or application with a WebRTC audio or video contact channel is a great way to provide ongoing assistance throughout the purchasing process.WebRTC keeps communities safer with Emergency Response: In some cases, WebRTC is being used to increase public safety. SaferMobility streamlines real-time interactions with authorities by enabling video, audio, and text communications while utilizing location-based awareness. This use of the WebRTC data channel allows responding personnel to have deeper insight and better information by circumventing previously existing communication barriers when responding to emergency calls.Patient Management in a pandemic using WebRTC: Many health clinics are now using WebRTC based solutions to reduce in-office patient visits. This can be helpful during a pandemic like what we are living right now when doctors can perform check-ups over Web browsers. This allows them to allocate more time to higher priority patients while staying safe. WebRTC is also a great way for clinic staff to communicate with patients in-between visits as all the patient needs is a web browser and a URL.WebRTC enhances Audience Participation: Tap to Speak recently developed a WebRTC-based solution that turns smartphones into microphones during live events. The application was designed to improve communication between audience members and presenters, as it eliminates having to pass a traditional microphone around a room. WebRTC Summary In summary, pretty much any application that wants to share data or video between peers can use WebRTC. The reason for this massive adoption is that browser to browser communication is significantly cheaper than going through a server (up to 90% cheaper from Video Banking and the Economics of the Retail Business). Furthermore, users will no longer need to rely on dedicated hardware sets and applications to join a meeting and have a video conference call; browsers are always accessible to everyone! Sangoma Meet: A Great Example of Adopting WebRTC Sangoma Meet was launched in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis to help everyone stay connected and get through this challenging period. With WebRTC technology behind it, Sangoma Meet allows users to start a video call without downloading a plugin or installing an application. Unlike Zoom or GoToMeeting, where you have to install a plugin or an application, Sangoma Meet is simply using your browser to establish a connection with another peer. The ease of use and compatibility with common browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera makes it a great choice for different industries to adopt in different use cases, as mentioned earlier. Features like multiple participants video conferencing, 1:1 video calls, phone dial-in, screen sharing, recording the meeting (available on V3.0 and above), waiting room (coming soon), local chat, and moderation tools are all running on the web, and users can join the meetings from their mobile devices, laptop or simply from any device which supports web browsers. Explore WebRTC with Sangoma Meet - The WebRTC Advantages are Endless Have you tried Sangoma Meet yet? Check out this page and enjoy having a hassle-free call with your friends, family, and colleagues. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Original article by Setareh Nezami, posted on Sangoma.com
Evolve IP Press Release
Evolve IP Extends Its Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Solution To More Than 50 Countries
Evolve IP has expanded its existing international coverage for its Microsoft Teams and Cisco Voice solution leveraging Microsoft Teams Direct Routing. Evolve IP's multinational Teams voice solution delivers services in over 50 countries and features two-way calling in over 30 countries, making it ...
Cisco, collaboration, Direct Routing, Evolve Ip, Global, International, Microsoft Teams, Teams, ucaas, unified communications, voice
Evolve IP has expanded its existing international coverage for its Microsoft Teams and Cisco Voice solution leveraging Microsoft Teams Direct Routing. Evolve IP's multinational Teams voice solution delivers services in over 50 countries and features two-way calling in over 30 countries, making it ideal for businesses with North American headquarters and multiple international locations. 
Evolve IP Blog Article
Hybrid Work - 5 Keys to Building an Effective Hybrid Workforce
Now that organizations are beginning to move some employees back to the office they need to develop a permanent hybrid work strategy. To be effective, hybrid work solutions must employ technologies that are employee-focused, not driven by the end-points in a cubicle or on a desk. Here are five ...
Evolve Ip, Hybrid Work, Remote Work, WFH, Work Anywhere, Work From Home
Now that organizations are beginning to move some employees back to the office they need to develop a permanent hybrid work strategy. To be effective, hybrid work solutions must employ technologies that are employee-focused, not driven by the end-points in a cubicle or on a desk. Here are five considerations to start building a permanent hybrid work strategy. 
MetTel White Paper
How to Completely Modernize Your Voice Services with Microsoft Teams
Gartner finds that a top priority for CIOs in 2021 is digital workplace technologies to support work from home. Not surprisingly, Microsoft Teams (Teams) usage has grown exponentially during the 2020 shift to remote work. Employees find Teams an essential tool for collaboration, chat, internal ...
MetTel, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Teams
Gartner finds that a top priority for CIOs in 2021 is digital workplace technologies to support work from home. Not surprisingly, Microsoft Teams (Teams) usage has grown exponentially during the 2020 shift to remote work. Employees find Teams an essential tool for collaboration, chat, internal calls, and virtual meetings. Teams is so popular that it’s Microsoft’s fastest-growing app in the company’s history, with more than 330,000 companies worldwide using it. But there’s still a significant feature that most companies would love to see at their users’ fingertips: the ability to make outbound calls to public switched telephone network (PSTN) lines. That’s why MetTel has launched Microsoft Teams External Voice.
Evolve IP Blog Article
Hybrid Office: Compare Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Vendors
In a previous post, we discussed why the Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution is the best-recommended strategy for businesses looking to consolidate voice & collaboration services. In this post, we compare Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solutions and dive into "native integration".
collaboration, communications, Direct Routing, Evolve Ip, Microsoft Teams, Teams, ucaas, unified communications, voice
In a previous post, we discussed why the Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution is the best-recommended strategy for businesses looking to consolidate voice & collaboration services. In this post, we compare Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solutions and dive into "native integration".
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Edge Computing
cloud, Edge, Edge Computing, Edge Solutions
Evolve IP Blog Article
Hybrid Office Strategy - 3 Key Recommendations
If 2020 was the year that everyone went remote, 2021 will be the year that organizations adopt a hybrid workspace. Currently, most businesses are redefining their business & IT strategy to help their employees successfully transition to their post-pandemic setting. Here are some key recommendations ...
Evolve Ip, Hybrid Office, Remote Work, WFH, Work Anywhere, Work From Home
If 2020 was the year that everyone went remote, 2021 will be the year that organizations adopt a hybrid workspace. Currently, most businesses are redefining their business & IT strategy to help their employees successfully transition to their post-pandemic setting. Here are some key recommendations to consider when planning your post-pandemic IT strategy.
Evolve IP Blog Article
Hybrid Office & Microsoft Teams Direct Routing
When the pandemic hit last year, most organizations were forced to quickly spin up a patchwork of solutions to enable remote working. Fast forward to today and the result is that most companies have disparate solutions to communicate and collaborate, often overlapping meeting and messaging ...
collaboration, communications, Direct Routing, Evolve Ip, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Teams, ucaas, unified communications
When the pandemic hit last year, most organizations were forced to quickly spin up a patchwork of solutions to enable remote working. Fast forward to today and the result is that most companies have disparate solutions to communicate and collaborate, often overlapping meeting and messaging capabilities. Find out how Microsoft Teams Direct Routing from Evolve IP can help your customers.
Evolve IP Press Release
One Year of Working From Home - Five Key Findings from a Survey of 538 Business Professionals
Evolve IP recently announced our survey results from a remote work survey in which 538 business professionals answered questions about working from home during the pandemic and their expectations for the future of remote work.
Evolve Ip, Press Release, Remote Work, Survey, WFH, Work Anywhere, Work From Home
Evolve IP recently announced our survey results from a remote work survey in which 538 business professionals answered questions about working from home during the pandemic and their expectations for the future of remote work.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: You’re “Always” Starting a Call with Video, Really?
Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about video calling and starting calls with video. I got a few questions and comments about that, some saying “The future is all video all the time!” while some agreed with my point of view of “That’s not going to happen all the time”. So, let me write a ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications, voip
Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about video calling and starting calls with video. I got a few questions and comments about that, some saying “The future is all video all the time!” while some agreed with my point of view of “That’s not going to happen all the time”. So, let me write a little more about this. First, in that blog, I did talk about differentiation of use cases. In the case of a calendared meeting, where a link can go into your calendar, many meetings we’ve all been on in the last 12 months start this way. You click on the link; you go to the video meeting. You have a nice shirt on but maybe shorts or PJs, not that I’ve done that. But these are internal meetings, or meetings with partners and even key customers, and many people forget this is NOT the entirety of communications in a business. These are simply meetings where 3 years ago, we’d calendar a “conference call”. They are important parts of your communication plan but not the only way to communicate. People also said, “Hey I use video when I talk through my collaboration client”. Presumably these are to other employees, or to key partners. I remember “in the old days” I’d use Skype to talk to some of my partners in Europe. But you start with presence / instant message and then you move to a call. Many times the call is still voice, and sometimes it’s also video. I guess it depends on the person. But in any of these use case scenarios, you are not leading with video! What I’m really talking about though is interaction with your customers or prospects. These are people that are going to call your business to schedule an appointment, get a service person to your house, etc. Sure, because of the internet and having web pages, over the last 25 years, there has been less voice interaction / calls with this group. But with this group, a real call control / call routing engine like exists in UC platforms is really required. There are incoming calls that need routing, there are external calls (or texts) that need scheduling. These cannot be done via scheduling a meeting on a calendar. You need a real IVR, you need contact center features, you need voicemail, you need find me / follow me. You get the picture. To run a business and interact with external customers, a video first platform just won’t cut it. A Unified Communication system that knows how to handle phone numbers, and texting, and all kinds of call control as is found in a “PBX” is required.
Evolve IP Press Release
Paradigm Technology Group Joins the Evolve IP Partner Program
Evolve IP recently announced that Paradigm Technology Group, an IT services distributor, has joined our partner program. Evolve IP's integrated services will enable Paradigm clients to deploy award-winning, hybrid work technologies.
Channel, Evolve Ip, Partner Program, Partners, Work Anywhere
Evolve IP recently announced that Paradigm Technology Group, an IT services distributor, has joined our partner program. Evolve IP's integrated services will enable Paradigm clients to deploy award-winning, hybrid work technologies. 
Star2Star Podcast
Imposter Syndrome to Unconscious Bias with Pattie Grimm
EPISODE NOTES In this episode, we introduce the first show in a special series featuring Star2Star's President and CRO Michelle Accardi, focusing on women in technology. Michelle interviews Pattie Grimm, the President, and CEO of Advantage Training for an in-depth discussion about imposter ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
EPISODE NOTES In this episode, we introduce the first show in a special series featuring Star2Star's President and CRO Michelle Accardi, focusing on women in technology. Michelle interviews Pattie Grimm, the President, and CEO of Advantage Training for an in-depth discussion about imposter syndrome. Pattie shares what imposter syndrome is, how to identify it, and how to overcome this unconscious bias that has been found to affect high-performers, especially women. Show Links: $10 Copy of Pattie's book Quiet Women Never Changed History! http://womenkickingglass.com/bookTwitter: https://twitter.com/pattie_grimmLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pattie-grimm/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/womenkickingglass2/Advantage Training website: https://advantage-training.com/ https://headsinthecloud.simple...
Star2Star Podcast
Remote Monitoring & Remote Solutions with Shahar Milman
In this episode, David and Frederick get to chat with Shahar Milman, VP Business Development at Galooli Group, a leading innovator of remote management Industrial IoT solutions. From exciting tales of real-life burglaries to managing and monitoring solar energy for maximum efficiency, Shahar Milman ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
In this episode, David and Frederick get to chat with Shahar Milman, VP Business Development at Galooli Group, a leading innovator of remote management Industrial IoT solutions. From exciting tales of real-life burglaries to managing and monitoring solar energy for maximum efficiency, Shahar Milman shares various issues that the Galooli Groups' solutions have solved. Discover how remote monitoring helps companies use data to make the best decisions and even improve their carbon footprint. Show Links LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shahar-milman-974a5718/Website: http://www.galooli.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/galooli/Twitter: https://twitter.com/galooligroupFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/GalooliGroup  https://headsinthecloud.simple...
Star2Star Podcast
Practical UCaaS Applications & Best Practices for Distributed Enterprises by Steve Womer, Interface
EPISODE NOTES In this episode, David and John speak with Steve Womer, VP of Customer and Solutions Engineering at Interface Systems, a 13-year Star2Star partner. Steve shares stories learned through 26 years in business with roots in security integration that blossomed into a full-scale solution. ...
Caas, Cloud Communication, Cloud Communications, ucaas, Unified Communication, unified communications
EPISODE NOTES In this episode, David and John speak with Steve Womer, VP of Customer and Solutions Engineering at Interface Systems, a 13-year Star2Star partner. Steve shares stories learned through 26 years in business with roots in security integration that blossomed into a full-scale solution. Explore various use cases from retail, food services, and more industries as they've adapted to the COVID-19 landscape and learn how consumer behaviors are shaping the way businesses are communicating. Show Links: LinkedIn (Steve): https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenmichael-99/Website: https://interfacesystems.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/interfacesystems/Twitter: https://twitter.com/interface_sysFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterfaceSystems/ https://headsinthecloud.simple...
Star2Star Podcast
Modern Technology Solutions for Modern Technology Challenges with Dan Ziegler
EPISODE NOTES In this episode, David and John speak with Dan Ziegler, Transformation Advisor and founder of The Daniel Ziegler.co, an organization specializing in Unified-Communications-as-a-Culture. During their discussion, Dan covers how he approaches team integration within businesses, how the ...
Caas, Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications
EPISODE NOTES In this episode, David and John speak with Dan Ziegler, Transformation Advisor and founder of The Daniel Ziegler.co, an organization specializing in Unified-Communications-as-a-Culture. During their discussion, Dan covers how he approaches team integration within businesses, how the COVID-19 virus and security issues share a common denominator, and how the culture and approach to adopting a cloud strategy is highly important for boosting performance, profitability, and productivity! Join us and hear a little about Daniel's free 1-hour course "Everyone Communicates But Few Connect" for the perfect encore! Show Links: Website: https://www.danielziegler.co/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/daniel-ziegler-co/Daniel’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danziegler1/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielziegler.coFree 1 hour virtual course on Everyone Communicates, Few Connect https://danielzieglerco.leadingthebest.com/CL0002 https://headsinthecloud.simple...
AT&T Presentation
AT&T Switched Ethernet on Demand Customer deck- as sold by ACC Business
Customer facing deck for AT&T Switched Ethernet on Demand as sold by ACC Business.
ACC Business, AT&T Switched Ethernet On Demand, Ethernet, Switched Ethernet
Customer facing deck for AT&T Switched Ethernet on Demand as sold by ACC Business.
Star2Star Blog Article
What is WebRTC and What is it Good For?
WebRTC is…everywhere. WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a technology that allows Web browsers to stream audio or video media, as well as to exchange useful data between browsers, mobile platforms, and IoT devices without requiring an intermediary such as a server. The Past The need to ...
call center, Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
WebRTC is…everywhere. WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a technology that allows Web browsers to stream audio or video media, as well as to exchange useful data between browsers, mobile platforms, and IoT devices without requiring an intermediary such as a server. The Past The need to connect virtually and to have video conferences and communications via the web has been around for a while. In the past, you had to rely on plug-ins or an installable application on your PC – not just your web browser. This was very inconvenient as users were required to install additional, incompatible apps, and developers had to study complex stacks and protocols to make the magic happen. WebRTC was born Many of WebRTC technology’s underpinnings were first developed by Global IP Solutions (or GIPS), a company founded around 1999 in Sweden. In 2011, GIPS was acquired by Google, and the W3C started to work on a standard for WebRTC (real-time communication). WebTRC specifies a series of APIs for real-time communications (RTC) targeted at browsers. Since 2011, Google and other major players in the web-browser market, such as Mozilla and Opera, have been actively supporting WebRTC. Today companies trust WebRTC to offer them the leverage they need to deliver the user experience they strive for. Examples of WebTRC WebRTC is a set of plugin-free APIs that can be used in both desktop and mobile browsers. WebRTC does not need any native apps for audio and video communication as it allows peer-to-peer communication on the web pages. Some of the top companies like Amazon and Facebook are all leveraging this, but Google Meet (or more accurately, Hangouts) is probably one of the main reasons we have WebRTC today. Google had their own video conferencing service, working from Gmail, but it needed a plugin. Real-time video just wasn’t there in the browser, which is where and why WebRTC started. There are so many interesting use cases for WebRTC, but here are a few popular ones you may not have considered: Simple collaboration: How many times have you been invited to a meeting, and as soon as you clicked on the link, it asked you to sign up or download an app before you could join the call? It can be frustrating to open an account or download a platform to engage in a business meeting. WebRTC removes this barrier, providing a seamless, non-invasive way to connect and collaborate. Using WebRTC when communicating with colleagues, clients, and business partners is easier, simpler, and more convenient.Contextual applications: You can use a third party API like OAuth to pull data from services like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. This API type makes it possible for customers to leverage their own social graph data to augment their experience within your websites and applications. You can then couple this data with WebRTC-powered features to enable rich contextual communications. This could enable easy sharing of the person’s Twitter handle, email address, or other public profile information, along with links to their most recent tweets or Facebook posts.File sharing: Suppose you want to send a massive file to a colleague while working on a project. Instead of emailing the file or uploading it to a third-party cloud storage system (and waiting several minutes for the transfer to complete), you could send it directly through your web browser using WebRTC’s data channel, with very low-latency and the benefit of full encryption between the two endpoints.Embedded endpoints: ATMs. Vending machines. Bus stops. Retail store kiosks. All of these endpoints can be embedded with WebRTC engines. It’s an easy way to connect customers with live agents while they are on-the-go.Sales enablement: Websites and applications are key tools for sales enablement. Customers rarely make important purchases on impulse. Decisions are often made after speaking with a sales associate. Providing a website or application with a WebRTC audio or video contact channel is a great way to provide ongoing assistance throughout the purchasing process.Emergency response: In some cases, WebRTC is being used to increase public safety. SaferMobility streamlines real-time interactions with authorities by enabling video, audio, and text communications while utilizing location-based awareness. This use of the WebRTC data channel allows responding personnel to have deeper insight and better information by circumventing previously existing communication barriers when responding to emergency calls.Patient management: Many health clinics are now using WebRTC based solutions to reduce in-office patient visits. This can be helpful during a pandemic like what we are living right now when doctors can perform check-ups over Web browsers. This allows them to allocate more time to higher priority patients while staying safe. WebRTC is also a great way for clinic staff to communicate with patients in-between visits as all the patient needs is a web browser and a URL.Enhanced audience participation: Tap to Speak recently developed a solution that turns smartphones into microphones during live events. The application was designed to improve communication between audience members and presenters, as it eliminates having to pass a traditional microphone around a room. In summary, pretty much any application that wants to share data or video between peers can use WebRTC. The reason for this massive adoption is that browser to browser communication is significantly cheaper than going through a server (up to 90% cheaper from Video Banking and the Economics of the Retail Business). Furthermore, users will no longer need to rely on dedicated hardware sets and applications to join a meeting and have a video conference call; browsers are always accessible to everyone! Sangoma Meet a Great Example of Adopting WebTRC Sangoma Meet was launched in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis to help everyone stay connected and get through this period. With WebTRC technology behind it, Sangoma Meet allows users to start a video call without downloading a plugin or installing an application. Unlike Zoom or GoToMeeting, where you have to install a plugin or an application, Sangoma Meet is simply using your browser to establish a connection with another peer. The ease of use and compatibility with common browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera makes it a great choice for different industries to adopt in different use cases, as mentioned earlier. Features like multiple participants video conferencing, 1:1 video calls, phone dial-in, screen sharing, recording the meeting (available on V3.0 and above), waiting room (coming soon), local chat, and moderation tools are all running on the web, and users can join the meetings from their mobile devices, laptop or simply from any device which supports web browsers. Have you tried Sangoma Meet yet? Check out this page and enjoy having a hassle-free call with your friends, family, and colleagues. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Original article by Setareh Nezami, posted on Sangoma.com
Star2Star Blog Article
Returning Back To Normal: Part One
It’s impossible to say for certain that the pandemic is winding down. At this point, health experts are still trying to reign in COVID-19 and distribute vaccines to the public. The return "back to normal" is in sight, but we’re still in the thick of it. And in this period of transition, there ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
It’s impossible to say for certain that the pandemic is winding down. At this point, health experts are still trying to reign in COVID-19 and distribute vaccines to the public. The return "back to normal" is in sight, but we’re still in the thick of it. And in this period of transition, there is considerable debate over what "normal" will look like. Related: 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration Most businesses are looking forward and forming strategies to safely resume some in-person operations. This two-part series will explore some of the structural changes that are taking place across various industries, as companies pivot to the “next” normal of the pandemic. Back To Normal With A Twist: Shifting To Hybrid Work Despite the rocky transition to remote work at the onset of the pandemic, feelings about the trend appear to be mostly positive across the board. In a recent benchmark survey from PwC, 83 percent of employers said the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, up from 73% in June 2020. Related: Why Video Can’t Be Your Sole “Go to” Communications Platform Most companies have established at least base level remote connectivity and security, and are now in the process of upgrading their services and laying the groundwork for permanent remote work. That said, the future of remote work will most likely be much different. A gradual shift to hybrid work is already starting to take place, which is expected to accelerate in the coming months as more people get vaccinated. Eventually, hybrid work will be the new normal. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance Consider the fact that in PwC’s survey, only 13 percent of executives claimed they are ready to permanently ditch their offices. And 75 percent of executives believe at least half of their office employees will return to the office by June 2021. It’s clear that executives will need to tread lightly when asking employees to resume on-site operations though, or pushback will occur. PwC found that employees want to return back to normal more slowly than employers in regards to in-office operations, with 61% of employees expecting to spend half their time on-site by July. Hybrid work acceleration will largely depend on how the next few months pan out. Retrofitting Offices For Hybrid Work PwC also found that U.S. executives are planning many new investments to support hybrid work. Some of the top investments include tools for virtual collaboration (72%), IT infrastructure to secure virtual connectivity (70%) and training for managers to manage a more virtual workspace (64%). Additional investments include fitting conference rooms with enhanced virtual connectivity, and hoteling applications, among others. Related: The Pandemic In Review & The Evolution Of Remote Work Many companies have been forced to retrofit their office environments to enable social distancing. The majority of companies will also be using scheduling systems to limit on-site workers and reduce the spread of germs. Further, social distancing requirements are increasing demand for mobile solutions that enable workers to move around throughout the day, instead of being tethered to their desks. Some companies are also implementing hardware with antimicrobial components to limit the spread of COVID-19 on shared surfaces. Surging Cloud Adoption The cloud is more important than ever, as companies prepare for the “work from anywhere” trend that has become a standard business requirement in getting back to normal. Two trends to watch include multi-cloud adoption, which increased by 70% year over year during COVID-19, and cloud native growth. Many organizations are embracing modern cloud architectures built with microservices, which make it easier and cost-effective to build and manage applications. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration In addition, there is skyrocketing demand for UCaaS, which keeps teams connected and secure regardless of their location. By implementing UCaaS, companies can achieve reliable communication at all times for both on-site and remote workers. Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, which will focus on cloud computing and the return of retail in the transition of returning back to normal.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Why Video Can’t Be Your Sole “Go to” Communications Platform
I’m sure we can all agree that the year 2020 changed all of us in different ways, and for many of us it changed the way we communicate. It’s not uncommon for me to have multiple video meetings every single day . We get those video meeting invites in our calendar and we just go to ...
call center, Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
I’m sure we can all agree that the year 2020 changed all of us in different ways, and for many of us it changed the way we communicate. It’s not uncommon for me to have multiple video meetings every single day. We get those video meeting invites in our calendar and we just go to them. We start in video and end in video. While I used to be on many audio conference calls, those are becoming less frequent and a thing of the past. I am on our video meeting platform, Sangoma Meet, all the time. It’s now like my best friend. I know its personality. And since it’s so integral to communications these days, that is why we are incorporating our video meeting platform, Sangoma Meet, into our mobile and desktop client, Sangoma Connect. Sangoma Connect will incorporate a talk aspect, a collaborate aspect, and a video meeting aspect. You’ll be able to move seamlessly between all three and launch a video call from our collaborate app for instance. It’s critical that we offer our customers the ability to communicate via voice, chat, or video. And to have our customers choose which one they want to “start” with. To me, this is just an evolution of the PBX. While the PBX notion is very voice centric, as Unified Communication features started to get incorporated, such as mobility, and the ability for the office phone number to ring on your smartphone or desktop, the notion of a “PBX” became antiquated. Unified Communication systems are what this industry has evolved to. And if the UC vendors want to survive, the UC systems will continue to need to evolve. And that means integrating video and chat as if it is native voice. And that is what we are doing. You want voice. Check. You want chat. Check. You want video. Check. But what about this concept of “video first” that I described in the first paragraph? I think in some use cases, like I was describing above with internal employee team calls, or calls with your channel, sure video meetings are good, and you will start and end with that. But for many small businesses, their customers are people – someone wanting to make an appointment or order something or whatever. Calling is efficient, so they call, or maybe use a self-service portal and maybe text. And that’s why a company with a sole focus on video meetings or video calling won’t be able to service a small and medium business. A Unified Communication system, that knows how to handle phone numbers, and texting, and all kinds of call control as is found in a “PBX” is required. A Unified Communication platform, able to do true multi-modal communications, such as Switchvox, PBXact, or Star2Star Business Voice will be required.
Star2Star Blog Article
6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration
Communication and collaboration platforms skyrocketed in use following the outbreak of Covid-19, among organizations across all verticals. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance For example, by March 2020, Microsoft Teams, an integration option we offer to our clients , ...
Cloud Communications, security, ucaas, unified communications, voip
Communication and collaboration platforms skyrocketed in use following the outbreak of Covid-19, among organizations across all verticals. Related: Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance For example, by March 2020, Microsoft Teams, an integration option we offer to our clients, shot up to 44 million users. By April 2020, Teams reached 75 million users. And by October, it climbed to 115 million — and remains one of the leading enterprise platforms for connecting users across remote locations. Organizations are also relying heavily on programs like Zoom, Slack and Webex to keep team members in touch and productive. At this point, your organization may be considering migrating to one of these platforms. Yet, there are some important considerations to keep in mind to ensure optimal results. 1. Round Up Your Admins & Users Chances are your enterprise has a fragmented messaging framework in place, with teams utilizing a variety of platforms to communicate. This is a good time to do a gut check and determine what your organization is currently using, and where and if any of these solutions can be extended. For example, sales may be using Zoom for video, while customer support uses Microsoft Teams for chat collaboration, and you may have yet another solution for your voice communications. You may be able to leverage a full suite of communications and collaboration from these vendors versus single solutions once you understand the use cases. A proposed tool may or may not be the most cost-effective solution so it's essential to understand how your business needs to communicate and collaborate. Related: The Pandemic In Review & The Evolution Of Remote Work Bring your users and IT administrators together and form a deployment committee to determine where various platforms could make sense in the enterprise. You may find that some platforms perform better in certain environments and user groups than others. For example, some teams may be able to get by using a bare-bones platform with limited tools. Other teams may require advanced collaboration hubs for sharing files and notes and collaborating with each other. During this meeting, you should also outline potential friction points and technical considerations to ensure a smooth migration. 2. Set Policies You may wind up with a situation where multiple teams can create and manage deployments. Set clear governance policies to avoid running into operational and security issues down the road. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration For example, Microsoft provides various governance tools for Teams, enabling you to control things like how Teams are named and classified, who can create Teams, and whether guests are allowed. Competitive solutions may offer greater or lesser capabilities, so it’s important to decide what kind of oversight you will need prior to evaluating tools. 3. Optimize & Secure Your Cloud Next, you’ll want to analyze and optimize your overall cloud environment. Talk to your admins about where emails and files live — and consider correlating specific platforms with appropriate cloud systems. Make sure your new platform has the right supporting cloud environment. If you still have applications you are hosting in your own data center or in a third-party data center that require your employees to VPN to access, there may be a better way to enable their productivity. Related: Top Enterprise Technology Trends For 2021 If this is the case you should consider using a desktop as a service (DaaS) solution to securely deliver your app to any location. This way, end-users can log into a secure portal and access apps and data instead of having them live on their machines or by leveraging complicated secure VPNs to access. 4. Upgrade Your Voice Quality, Workflow Integrations & More Look for opportunities to enhance the platform for better results. For example, Microsoft makes it very easy to integrate additional services into Teams and there are hundreds of apps to explore. One thing to consider is that the platform doesn’t offer great native voice functionality, and users often complain about poor quality on calls. We've found that you can easily augment Teams by using third-party enterprise business voice services in conjunction with Microsoft’s infrastructure. In doing so, you can ensure crystal clear calls and achieve much greater flexibility. Related: 2021 Business Goals For Success It’s also important to understand if you need any IoT integrations to manage your business. This could be anything from integration with overhead paging systems, to door strike/telephony integrations, or integration to older analog devices. While these may not come natively in a potential solution, if you need to support these, they can be managed by choosing a telephony partner that works with the solution you end up choosing. Connected worker apps may include urgent notifications, mass notifications, employee alerts, curbside service, and CRM integrations, and are designed to provide better control over your unique workflows via your communications. These applications are not necessarily natively supported in your solution of choice. However, by leveraging solutions from companies that work to integrate tools, you can further extend productivity and responsiveness for your business. 5. Test Your Platform Before Deploying Before deploying a platform across the enterprise, it’s a good idea to test it in a small and controlled setting. Approach various user groups, and identify users that may benefit from the new platform. Have your IT department deploy it, and test the platform for quality and reliability. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace If the platform is a success and the users enjoy the experience, consider integrating the platform into that unit and move onto another one. This accomplishes a few things. First, it lets your IT team educate users and explain the reason for the migration and the benefits that the platform offers. It also gives administrators the ability to identify possible areas of friction and make changes to avoid potential disruptions. 6. Deploy Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, the only thing left to do is deploy across your entire organization. Your employees will be more comfortable and productive when you take the time to migrate to a new collaboration solution according to these guidelines. And for the long term, you will have set up your business for ongoing success as remote work and team collaboration become even more critical to daily operations. Article originally featured on Forbes.com.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Machi Minute: Sangoma Completes Acquisition of Star2Star
On January 29th, Sangoma announced a definitive agreement to acquire Star2Star , a cloud-based Communications as a Service provider with a leading UCaaS offer. We’re pleased that the deal closed last week . So why did we do this deal? First off, Star2Star targets medium and large enterprise ...
Cloud Communications, Events, ucaas, unified communications, voip
On January 29th, Sangoma announced a definitive agreement to acquire Star2Star, a cloud-based Communications as a Service provider with a leading UCaaS offer. We’re pleased that the deal closed last week. So why did we do this deal? First off, Star2Star targets medium and large enterprise and managed service providers, with channels that don’t really overlap with Sangoma, so the “fit” is very nice. Star2Star has almost 10,000 business customers with tens of thousands of locations. We feel like now we can confidently go after and win the full spectrum of UC prospects, from small business to large enterprise. Together, we will have increased scale, and given both of us are profitable, we will remain a profitable entity with approximately 70% recurring revenue. As a Channel Partner or end-customer, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether we’ll be around in the future. Whatever side you come from, the transaction represents a very positive development for the future of the new Sangoma (the combined company) since there will be benefits from the improved scale/financial stability, a broader portfolio of products, expanded global services, and a continued commitment to invest in innovation. We feel we’ll have the most complete UC portfolio in the market: From on-premises to Cloud UC that can work in businesses of all sizes, with our own phones, headsets, gateways, SBCs and SIP Trunking. As such, a business would be able to deploy Sangoma products across their entire enterprise, avoiding any interoperability “finger pointing” which crops up sometimes. Additionally, we’ll have a full suite of Communication as a Service offers, from UCaaS to Video Meetings to Collaboration to Wholesale Voice Services to Access Control. Truly all that a business needs from a single vendor, obviating the need to put all kinds of different communication products into your enterprise network. During the past few months, when we were not yet closed, we understandably received questions about the future of the different UC platforms. Yes, we understand them. We got the same ones when Sangoma merged with Digium and we said both Switchvox and PBXact would remain. And both have remained. So we certainly understand. And all UC platforms will remain now. As I intimated above, the target market overlap was not that great. Switchvox and PBXact predominantly served the SMB. And both are also on-premise products in addition to cloud products. And Star2Star predominately services the mid-size enterprise to MSP market, with a cloud offer. Because of that, all platforms with remain as long as there is market demand for them. We may choose to do work to consolidate to a single mobile and desktop client, like we have done with Sangoma Connect for Switchvox and PBXact, and other similar things, but there are no plans to announce any of that in the short term. And Sangoma plans to continue to sell, develop and support our hardware business including phones, cards, gateways, SBCs, and UC appliance businesses. And we also plan to continue to be the stewards of Asterisk and FreePBX. So, no big changes. Right now, we need to integrate the teams and that will take some time. Customers on both sides will continue to receive the same products, quality and service they have come to expect from both companies. If you are a partner, we are looking forward to growing with you. If you are a prospect or customer, we look forward to serving you in the future!
Star2Star Blog Article
How Virtual Travel & Cloud Communications Are Changing The Travel Industry
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry took a considerable hit. It could still be a while before we see travel resume to pre-pandemic levels. Even then, many people may still be deterred from venturing out of their homes. So far, COVID-19 has cost $492 billion in cumulative ...
call center, Cloud Communications, CRM, security, ucaas, unified communications, voip
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry took a considerable hit. It could still be a while before we see travel resume to pre-pandemic levels. Even then, many people may still be deterred from venturing out of their homes. So far, COVID-19 has cost $492 billion in cumulative losses for the U.S. travel industry alone and counting. And as with many other industries, new trends are emerging from the effects of the past year; in this case, virtual travel. Related: How To Prepare Your Company For Telecommuting To recover from recent events, the industry is shifting gears and looking for different ways to recoup revenue and keep people thinking about travel. Virtual travel could see a major uptick in the coming years. Virtual Travel Takes Off With The Cloud Let’s take a closer look at this opportunity, and how cloud communications providers can play an enabling role in this emerging market. What is Virtual Travel? Just as the name suggests, virtual travel is the combination of virtual reality and travel. The idea is to use virtual reality to provide immersive and interactive digital experiences for participants, right from their living room sofas. Related: UC Solutions For Every Industry Through the use of VR, customers can enter into amazing virtual worlds where they can move around, discover new areas, and experience sensations using audio and visual tools. Cloud communications tools, such as voice over IP, video meetings, messaging applications, and custom integrations to IoT devices allow virtual travellers and companies to stay in sync both during and after the experience. How Travel Companies Can Use VR & Cloud Communications Here are some of the exciting things that you can do with virtual travel technologies. Host Virtual Tours Travel companies can create digital renderings of scenic areas and historic attractions, giving attendees the ability to walk through and experience what it’s like to be on-site. Related: Key Market Drivers In Cloud Communications One thing to consider is that with VR, companies can bend reality. They can enable participants to travel back or forward in time, for a different way of experiencing a destination. For example, imagine visiting ancient Egypt or Greece. This is possible through the use of VR; plus, when integrated with a cloud communications platform, the VR experience benefits from cloud communications tools such as unified messaging and seamless connectivity to travel providers. Partner With Retailers Tourism companies can partner with local retailers for a virtual shopping experience. For example, picture visiting a digital version of a store in another country, and being able to walk around and look at digital samples of new products — and then have the opportunity to order them directly from an online store, or interact with on-site employees using video. Retailers can also track customer engagement, follow up with CRM integration workflows, and facilitate a streamlined communication channel through their cloud communications platform. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration Tour Properties Virtually Imagine being a customer and planning ahead for a trip and being able to log into a portal to take a virtual tour of a timeshare, house, or coastal property. Even before you’ve purchased tickets, you can start to imagine the experience and get excited about your plans. Related: The Characteristics Of A True Global Communications Company As you can see, opportunities abound for virtual travel. It’s not meant to replace actual travel, but keep customers thinking about moving around and inspiring their imagination. By creating these types of immersive experiences, the travel industry can remain relevant and keep people actively interested in visiting new places — even if they can’t leave their homes just yet. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits Anyone who has travelled or facilitated travel also knows how crucial communications tools are to ensuring a smooth trip. The right communications platform allows travellers to plan their experience, keep track of important travel details, and stay connected to travel coordinators at any point of their trip. Plus, travel providers can leverage their communications tools to ensure a superior customer experience at every stage of the journey. Why Virtual Travel Needs Cloud Communications The cloud communications industry has a central role to play in enabling next-generation virtual experiences. Simply put, virtual travel can’t work without a strong underlying communications infrastructure. Star2Star provides a unique cloud offering that can support virtual environments, with strong built-in security, full-featured voice and mobility, seamless connectivity, and custom development and integration options. Contact the team to learn more today! Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
Work From Home Tips For Keeping Work-Life Balance
We’re in year two of the work from home experiment, but that doesn’t mean everyone has quite managed to master the art of remote work. One widespread problem facing workers today is there is no separation from home and work. In the past, you could go to work in the morning and leave at the end ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
We’re in year two of the work from home experiment, but that doesn’t mean everyone has quite managed to master the art of remote work. One widespread problem facing workers today is there is no separation from home and work. In the past, you could go to work in the morning and leave at the end of the day, but this is no longer the case. In fact, in one study, 42 percent of respondents said they miss the separation of work from home. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace That said, there are some easy workarounds to establish boundaries and maintain space while working out of the house. Here are a few of them. Set Up A Dedicated Office Space A dedicated office area that you can go to during the day may help create the necessary separation of space that many people feel they are lacking. This could be a garage, spare room, or even a part of your living room that’s sectioned off with a room divider. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits The point is, you should have a dedicated area that you can leave and not look at when the workday is over. Using your living room sofa as an office isn’t the only solution! Rent A Private Office Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you need to actually work out of the house. Maybe it’s time to consider renting a private office if you can afford it. Related: Forecast Trends For The Post-COVID Workplace Chances are you can rent a decent office without paying too much right now, as companies are desperately trying to rent unused space to tenants. Or, split the cost with some co-workers. Poke around for a place that’s affordable and allows you to work in private while remaining socially distant. Get Noise Cancelling Headphones Headspace is very important when you’re working from home. It’s not easy to concentrate when kids are running around, dogs are barking, doorbells are ringing, and televisions are blaring. Related: Distanced Learning Systems & Modernizing Education Technology Getting a pair of noise cancelling headphones might be a good idea. They can help tune out the world around you, with the added benefit of helping to eliminate distractions in your vicinity. Some headphones also come with light indicators, alerting family members or friends not to bother you while you are working. Maintain Work From Home Collaboration You shouldn’t feel tied to an office phone or even a device anymore, when considering the abundance of remote workspaces that are available. Thanks to unified communications as a service (UCaaS), you can jump from device to device with ease, without losing a step. For example, you may need to leave your living room desktop and move to a laptop in a private office setting for a call. With a remote collaboration solution, this should be a breeze. Related: How To Have More Effective Video Meetings As an added bonus, UCaaS comes with presence indicators that you can use to let team members know when you’re available and when you’ve checked out for the day — so you don’t get work texts and notifications when you’re in the middle of dinner with family or watching your favorite show at the end of a long day. Do you have any suggestions to make remote work a breeze? We’d love to hear them. And remember: We’re all in this together. Learn more about how Star2Star can help improve your work from home experience! Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
The Pandemic In Review: The Evolution Of Remote Work
It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago that the pandemic broke out, turning the world completely upside down. In a matter of days, travel stopped, teams dispersed, and most of the world went into lockdown to escape the pandemic. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting Now year two ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications, voip
It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago that the pandemic broke out, turning the world completely upside down. In a matter of days, travel stopped, teams dispersed, and most of the world went into lockdown to escape the pandemic. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting Now year two of the pandemic has come and the fight against COVID-19 continues. So much has changed in the enterprise communications space with the work from home trend that it’s worth taking a step back and analyzing its evolution. Phase I: Utter Chaos By the end of February 2020, it was clear that a global crisis was brewing. COVID-19 took about a month to set in, and by the end of March most businesses were on full alert and working from home. Offices were shut down, and workers were asked to log in from home or remote offices for health and safety. Related: Telehealth Trends In Response To COVID-19 The result was utter chaos, as most companies were unprepared to manage remote work at such a scale. Many lacked remote desktops, and had large amounts of team members accessing sensitive data and files from insecure home networks. From an administrative perspective, there was little time to worry about such details. The main priority was transitioning to a remote environment to maintain operational stability, regardless of its impact. Phase II: Staying Afloat During the summer months, businesses focused on maintaining business continuity, and adding communications solutions to strengthen collaboration across remote environments. Concerns about the economy and spending caused budgets to freeze, delaying projects and resulting in widespread layoffs. Related: Enterprise Collaboration For A Remote Workforce At this stage, many companies also realized they had glaring weaknesses in their remote communication and collaboration strategies. The enterprise communications space was highly fragmented, with users accessing a variety of freemium apps and cloud services to maintain productivity and communicate across distances. Many critical problems began to surface during this stage. For example, shadow IT reached an all-time high as network and security teams lacked visibility into devices and home networks. Related: The New Normal: How UCaas Can Help Teams Transition In addition, connectivity remained a major issue, as local service providers were unable to keep up with large amounts of at home users. It would take months for providers to catch up and make structural changes to support changing usage patterns, and even now there are hiccups. Phase III: Reflection By the fall, it was clear that the pandemic was not going away. For companies that were still standing, it was time to step back and reflect on the previous months and all the changes that had taken place and then to look ahead at what was still to come. It was clear that the enterprise communications landscape was forever changed. For example, the standard 9 to 5 workday was ancient history. The shift to remote work created an always-on environment, with many employees choosing to work early mornings or into the evenings. Related: Business Texting Is The Next Trend The way employees communicated had also changed. Voice calls were suddenly a thing of the past, with most interactions taking place over video. There was also a massive uptick in business texting, as employees switched to SMS and chat to stay in touch throughout the day. Perhaps most importantly, a shift in mindset had taken place. Many business leaders began to see that remote work was not only possible, but advantageous. Teams slowly but surely learned how to work from home and maintain productivity and customer support. A lot of mistakes were made early on, and key communications lessons were learned, but ultimately enterprises emerged stronger, more connected, and more resilient than ever before. Phase IV: Optimization At this point, we’re in stage four of the work from home trend. The pandemic is still raging, but now many companies are anticipating opening offices again at some point in 2021 and returning workers to their desks at least on a part-time basis. For many companies, questions are now arising about what the post-pandemic business environment will look like once the country is fully vaccinated. It’s still difficult to say when travel will resume and events will open. Related: 3 Tips For Seamless Cloud Adoption During & After COVID-19 In the meantime, businesses are sorting through key lessons from 2020 and looking for ways to optimize their remote work strategies. Once the pandemic is finally in the rear-view mirror, work from home will most likely turn into work from anywhere. As such, businesses are continuously seeking ways to enable secure, cost-effective, and reliable communication across all their locations. This stage is all about optimizing and enhancing communication and collaboration. Take this time to think about how your organization is communicating, and consider whether your workers have the same communications and collaboration capabilities from their home networks as they do on-site. Learn how Star2Star can help optimize your company’s remote strategy. Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
Uses For Curbside Service You Might Not Have Considered
Curbside service is one of the hottest technologies to emerge from the pandemic. In fact, last year curbside service at retail stores increased by 208% between April 1 and April 20 , compared with the previous year. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration Many ...
Cloud Communications, ucaas, unified communications
Curbside service is one of the hottest technologies to emerge from the pandemic. In fact, last year curbside service at retail stores increased by 208% between April 1 and April 20, compared with the previous year. Related: The Benefits Of Cloud-native Communications & Collaboration Many organizations are still in business thanks to this critical technology, as it’s helped facilitate safe and secure transactions throughout the darkest days of the pandemic. Let’s take a closer look at curbside service, and explore some of the ways it can help drive business. What Is Curbside Service? Curbside service enables businesses to connect directly with customers via SMS or the internet. A robust curbside service app makes it easy to facilitate online ordering and pickup, from one user-friendly application. Teams can use it to establish flexible, automated workflows with robust tracking and reporting and single click responses to customers. Related: Top Enterprise Technology Trends For 2021 The result is a seamless pipeline for customer communication, which is perfect for short-staffed, socially distanced organizations that need to act with high levels of autonomy and efficiency throughout the day. Creative Uses For Curbside Service When you think of curbside service, restaurant and retail environments may come to mind. Additional verticals include hair salons, and healthcare facilities. However, there are many more ways to use this exciting technology. Here are some creative use cases for curbside service apps. 1. Warehouse Environments There is a growing need for digital communication in the shipping and logistics industry, which is still largely paper-based. Warehouse managers can use curbside pickup apps to communicate with drivers and enable service and inventory-related requests throughout the day. Related: 2021 Business Goals For Success For example, a busy shipping bay can use a curbside service app to enable drivers to check in and form a queue for loading or unloading. This system can enable efficient and socially distanced deliveries. Or, a driver can use the app to process a request for an item from the warehouse. 2. Transportation Environments Airports and bus terminals often struggle to load passengers. The process is typically crowded and chaotic, and not at all conducive for social distancing. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace Curbside service apps can be used to enable passengers to check in at a gate or terminal, and receive notifications informing them when it’s safe to come forward and board. 3. Pet Services Pet service providers can also use curbside pickup apps to communicate with owners. For example, a dog groomer can use this technology to SMS-enable reservations. Related: Why Small Business Phones Systems Need Service Insight The app can also be used to provide updates or ask questions during a visit. Pet owners will appreciate the advanced convenience and level of communication that it offers. 4. Stadiums & Arenas Stadiums and arenas are slowly but surely opening back up again. For example, the latest Super Bowl drew a crowd of over 60,000 people. We’re bound to see more large-scale events resume, as more people get vaccinated. Related: The Evolution Of VoIP Services In A Changing Market Stadiums and arenas can use curbside service apps to communicate with crowds and enable efficient movement during games. For example, they can be used to order food or merchandise from seats to prevent unnecessary foot traffic. These apps can also be used to send mass notifications with offers and promotions, and even content to supplement on-field activities. Imagine watching a baseball game and receiving notification on your phone that a player is about to set a record. This type of content can enrich the fan experience. Learn more about Curbside Service and how Star2Star can help your organization connect and communicate with customers.
Evolve IP White Paper
Ground Your Workspace Strategy in Cloud-based Virtual Desktops
This cloud brief explores the reasons for changing traditional desktop computing strategies, why cloud-hosted virtual desktops and applications are a compelling solution for many businesses and the important questions to ask to aid you with your decisions.
Cloud Computing, Compute, Daas, Desktop As A Service, Digital Workspaces, VDI, Virtual Desktops, Vmware, Workspaces
This cloud brief explores the reasons for changing traditional desktop computing strategies, why cloud-hosted virtual desktops and applications are a compelling solution for many businesses and the important questions to ask to aid you with your decisions.
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Business WiFi
Business WiFi, Connectivity, Wifi
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Edge VM
Edge, Edge Solutions, Edge VM
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Converged Services
Converged Services
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Managed Premises Firewall
firewall, Managed Premises, security
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Edge Private Cloud
cloud, Edge, Edge Solutions, Private Cloud
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Network Storage
cloud, Edge, Edge Solutions, Network Storage, Storage
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Web Application Firewall
firewall, security
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
SD-WAN w/ VMware
Adaptive Networking, Lumen, SD-WAN
Evolve IP Research Report
2021 Remote Work Technology Survey
In early 2021, Evolve IP surveyed 538 individuals about their remote work experience over the last year and post pandemic work expectations. Checkout our survey results in this document.
Access Management, ccaas, collaboration, Compute, contact center, Daas, Evolve Ip, Microsoft Teams, Remote Work, Survey, Work Anywhere
In early 2021, Evolve IP surveyed 538 individuals about their remote work experience over the last year and post pandemic work expectations. Checkout our survey results in this document. 
Windstream Enterprise Brochure
4G Wireless Backup Fact Sheet
Remain operational if your primary network connection fails. Network connectivity is critical for every business today. Whether you have multiple locations, retail stores, ATMs or point-of-sale applications, lost connectivity means lost revenue. Maintaining network connectivity is essential to ...
4g, Backup, Wireless
Remain operational if your primary network connection fails. Network connectivity is critical for every business today. Whether you have multiple locations,retail stores, ATMs or point-of-sale applications, lost connectivity means lost revenue. Maintainingnetwork connectivity is essential to your daily operations, and your bottom line. Wireless failover solutions from Windstream Enterprise enable you to stay connected inthe event of a network outage. Coupled with our 4G service, we provide secure and reliable,multi‑carrier protection against the disruption of network services. Download this fact sheet to learn more.
Windstream Enterprise Data Sheet
Fixed Wireless Fact Sheet
Windstream Enterprise Fixed Wireless Protect your network from wireline outages and get more redundancy vs. fiber, copper, coax or cable. Find out more in this fact sheet on Windstream Enterprise Fixed Wireless, available in more than 50 markets nationwide or learn more on our Fixed ...
Diversity, Fixed Wireless, network
Windstream Enterprise Fixed Wireless Protect your network from wireline outages and get more redundancy vs. fiber, copper, coax or cable.  Find out more in this fact sheet on Windstream Enterprise Fixed Wireless, available in more than 50 markets nationwide or learn more on our Fixed Wireless solutions page. 
Windstream Enterprise Brochure
UCaaS Solutions Brochure
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) from Windstream Enterprise empowers your employees with the communication and collaboration tools they need - like voice, chat, presence, SMS text messaging, web/audio/video conferencing and more - on any device, so they can remain connected and ...
AVAYA, Gartner, Mitel, OfficeSuite, uc, ucaas
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) from Windstream Enterprise empowers your employees with the communication and collaboration tools they need - like voice, chat, presence, SMS text messaging, web/audio/video conferencing and more - on any device, so they can remain connected and responsive wherever they are. Backed by a world-class network and supported by a 99.99% uptime SLA, UCaaS ensures your employees remain available and connected no matter what. Whether your organization has a staff of 100 or 10,000, our highly scalable solutions—from Avaya, Mitel and our own OfficeSuite UC®—empower you to focus on your core business goals while WE manage your communications needs. Download this brochure to learn more.
Windstream Enterprise Brochure
OfficeSuite UC Brochure
Why OfficeSuite UC? Comprehensive services: OfficeSuite UC provides a complete portfolio of cloud‑based voice, collaboration and contact center solutions. Quality and control: Windstream is unique in that we provide both unified communications and network services which means we can not ...
Cloud Communications, Gartner, OfficeSuite, uc
Why OfficeSuite UC? Comprehensive services: OfficeSuite UC provides a complete portfolio of cloud‑based voice, collaboration and contact center solutions. Quality and control: Windstream is unique in that we provide both unified communications and network services which means we can not only measure quality we can guarantee it with our advanced suite of SD‑WAN and network services. User experience: Our award‑winning customer portal and applications make it easy for administrators and end users to manage communications. Security and compliance: No information or data is stored on vulnerable local servers. Our databases are stored on secure servers in our cloud infrastructure—all protected by industry‑standard firewalls, in a hosted carrier‑grade data centers with strong security controls and compliance audits to make sure your data is protected. View or download this OfficeSuite brochure to learn more!
Windstream Enterprise Brochure
OfficeSuite with SD-WAN
Taking cloud-based unified communications to a new optimized level of performance.
OfficeSuite, SD-WAN, uc
Taking cloud-based unified communications to a new optimized level of performance.
Windstream Enterprise Data Sheet
OfficeSuite Partner Demo Program
The OfficeSuite UC Partner Demo Program offers channel partners an easy and interactive way to demonstrate OfficeSuite UC to their prospective customers, as well as familiarize their sales representatives with the platform, increasing their overall confidence when selling the solution. See flyer or ...
Demo, OfficeSuite
The OfficeSuite UC Partner Demo Program offers channel partners an easy and interactive way to demonstrate OfficeSuite UC to their prospective customers, as well as familiarize their sales representatives with the platform, increasing their overall confidence when selling the solution. See flyer or contact your channel manager for more details!
Evolve IP Data Sheet
Open Seating Data Sheet
Evolve IP helps businesses offer greater flexibility and mobility by allowing users to log into any phone available in your office. Users can turn any phone into their primary personal work phone. This maximized a workspaces environment and increases productivity.
call center, ccaas, contact center, Evolve Ip, Flexibility, mobility, Open Seating
Evolve IP helps businesses offer greater flexibility and mobility by allowing users to log into any phone available in your office. Users can turn any phone into their primary personal work phone. This maximized a workspaces environment and increases productivity.
Vonage Webinar (Recorded)
ServiceNow and Vonage Contact Center
contact center, Service Now
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Ransomware Assessment
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Welcome to Lumen
Evolve IP Data Sheet
Cloud IVR Data Sheet
Evolve IP's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) reduces cost per call while dramatically increasing productivity and improving customer service. Our Cloud IVR is delivered through easily customized pre-built scripts that deliver the exact call flows and features you need.
call center, ccaas, Cloud IVR, contact center, Evolve Ip, Interactive Voice Response, IVR
Evolve IP's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) reduces cost per call while dramatically increasing productivity and improving customer service. Our Cloud IVR is delivered through easily customized pre-built scripts that deliver the exact call flows and features you need. 
Evolve IP Data Sheet
Workforce Management (WFM) Data Sheet
Call Centers can optimize all aspects of their workforce by adding Monet Live Workforce Management (WFM) to Evolve IP's award-winning contact center solution. This unified WFM platform significantly improves service levels, increases productivity and delivers a fast return on investment.
call center, ccaas, contact center, Evolve Ip, Monet, Omnichannel, Wfm, Workforce Management
Call Centers can optimize all aspects of their workforce by adding Monet Live Workforce Management (WFM) to Evolve IP's award-winning contact center solution. This unified WFM platform significantly improves service levels, increases productivity and delivers a fast return on investment. 
Evolve IP Data Sheet
Evolve Recap (Speech Analytics) Data Sheet
Evolve Recap is our speech analytics platform, which takes your calls that are recorded and creates an interactive script. It delivers actionable insights that can be used to enhance decision making, support training initiatives, and transform customer experience.
Call Recording, ccaas, contact center, Evolve Ip, Recap, Speech Analytics, ucaas, unified communications
Evolve Recap is our speech analytics platform, which takes your calls that are recorded and creates an interactive script. It delivers actionable insights that can be used to enhance decision making, support training initiatives, and transform customer experience.
Evolve IP Product Literature
Evolve Recap (Speech Analytics) One Pager
Evolve Recap is an AI-driven call recording, transcription, and analytics platform for Unified Communications & Contact Center that provides businesses full visibility into all calls regardless of location.
Call Recording, ccaas, contact center, Microsoft Teams, Recap, Speech Analytics, Transcription, ucaas, unified communications
Evolve Recap is an AI-driven call recording, transcription, and analytics platform for Unified Communications & Contact Center that provides businesses full visibility into all calls regardless of location.
Evolve IP Case Study
Johnson Investment Counsel Case Study
Johnson Investment Counsel (JIC) is one of the Midwest's largest investment firms with over 3,500 clients across 49 states. JIC stayed strong during the COVID-19 pandemic due to Evolve IP's Work Anywhere office.
Case Study, Financial, Investment, WFH, Work Anywhere
Johnson Investment Counsel (JIC) is one of the Midwest's largest investment firms with over 3,500 clients across 49 states. JIC stayed strong during the COVID-19 pandemic due to Evolve IP's Work Anywhere office.
Evolve IP Video
Case Study Video - US Dermatology Partners
With the help of Evolve IP, US Dermatology Partners deployed a cloud integration strategy to increase pace of acquisition, improve both the top and bottom line, and ensure HIPAA/HITRUST compliance. In doing so, one of the nation's largest fastest-growing dermatology businesses estimates savings of ...
Case Study, Complaince, Evolve Ip, Healthcare, Hipaa, HITRUST, Vertical
With the help of Evolve IP, US Dermatology Partners deployed a cloud integration strategy to increase pace of acquisition, improve both the top and bottom line, and ensure HIPAA/HITRUST compliance. In doing so, one of the nation's largest fastest-growing dermatology businesses estimates savings of $6.45 Million over 5 years. 
Evolve IP Data Sheet
Clearlogin Identity Management Data Sheet
Clearlogin is a cloud-based Identity Management platform designed to unify all of business applications into one centralized dashboard with Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication, greatly simplifying IT administration while dramatically improving the log-in experience for end-users.
Access Management, Clearlogin, Evolve Ip, Identity Management, Multi-factor Authentication, Single Sign-On
Clearlogin is a cloud-based Identity Management platform designed to unify all of business applications into one centralized dashboard with Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication, greatly simplifying IT administration while dramatically improving the log-in experience for end-users.
AT&T Brochure
AT&T Internet Back Up
Customer brochure for AT&T Managed Internet Back-up as sold by ACC Business. For just $15/month, customers can ensure they have back-up connectivity in the event their broadband fails.
ACC, ACC Business, At&t, Back-up, Backup, Failover, Internet Back Up, Redundancy
Customer brochure for AT&T Managed Internet Back-up as sold by ACC Business.  For just $15/month, customers can ensure they have back-up connectivity in the event their broadband fails.
Digital Realty Data Sheet
Digital Realty Global Map
colocation, data centers, Global, interconnection, Location, platformdigital
Digital Realty Battle Card
Digital Realty Channel Program Summary
Battlecard, Digital Realty, interxion
Evolve IP Video
Case Study Video - Ogletree Deakins
Ogletree Deakins, an international law firm, leverages Evolve IP's integrated communications solution for IP Phone System, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and Contact Center. Ogletree drives communications reliability across 60+ worldwide locations, resulting in savings of over $300,000 a ...
Case Study, ccaas, collaboration, communications, contact center, Evolve Ip, Ip Phone Systems, Law Firm, ucaas, unified communications, Vertical
Ogletree Deakins, an international law firm, leverages Evolve IP's integrated communications solution for IP Phone System, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and Contact Center. Ogletree drives communications reliability across 60+ worldwide locations, resulting in savings of over $300,000 a year.
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Hyper Wan
Digital Buying Experience, Hyper WAN, Wan
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
DDoS Hyper
DDOS, DDoS Hyper, Digital Buying Experience, security
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Fiber+
Fiber+, Internet, Networking
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Data Access Accelerator
Data Access Accelerator
Evolve IP Video
Case Study Video - Johnson Investment Counsel
In this case study from Evolve IP, you'll see how Johnson Investment Counsel enabled all of their employees to work from home using Work Anywhere technologies like collaboration, voice/communications, desktop as a service, and more. Today, they are consulting with clients and managing the business ...
Case Study, Cisco, collaboration, Daas, Desktop As A Service, Evolve Ip, Microsoft Teams, ucaas, unified communications, voice, WFH, Work Anywhere
In this case study from Evolve IP, you'll see how Johnson Investment Counsel enabled all of their employees to work from home using Work Anywhere technologies like collaboration, voice/communications, desktop as a service, and more. Today, they are consulting with clients and managing the business seamlessly, just like they were in the office with the help of Evolve IP.
MetTel Data Sheet
COVID-19 Business Strategies: How Agents Can Help Protect the Health of Clients’ Businesses in the New Economy
Within a few weeks of COVID-19 being seen as a threat, most US organizations went from “business as usual”—conducted in offices, classrooms, and stores—to almost entirely remote operations. After the initial scramble to support employees and customers in this new remote environment, ...
covid-19, mobility
Within a few weeks of COVID-19 being seen as a threat, most US organizations went from “business as usual”—conducted in offices, classrooms, and stores—to almost entirely remote operations. After the initial scramble to support employees and customers in this new remote environment, businesses are recognizing the benefits of a work-from-home workforce, both during and after the pandemic. This rapid shift has driven companies to adopt more mobile technology, from supporting teleconferencing capabilities to adopting touchless payment methods for in-person shoppers. MetTel helps organizations navigate a complex mobile landscape of multiple carriers, devices, and software. The result is that businesses have the right technologies and the lowest costs to support mobile technologies in the new economy.
Evolve IP Video
Case Study Video - Friedman LLP
Friedman LLP, an international accounting firm, increases productivity by 30% during COVID with fully integrated Work Anywhere solutions. Friedman leveraged Microsoft Teams, Digital Workspaces, and Unified Communications from Evolve IP to deliver 100% uptime with seamless collaboration for users ...
Accounting, Case Study, collaboration, Daas, Evolve Ip, Finance, Microsoft Teams, Saas, Teams, ucaas, unified communications, WFH, Work Anywhere, Workspaces
Friedman LLP, an international accounting firm, increases productivity by 30% during COVID with fully integrated Work Anywhere solutions. Friedman leveraged Microsoft Teams, Digital Workspaces, and Unified Communications from Evolve IP to deliver 100% uptime with seamless collaboration for users and clients.
Momentum Telecom Brochure
Momentum Telecom Voice-Enabled MS Teams
collaboration, Direct Routing, Microsoft, mobility, Remote, Teams, voice, WFH
CallTower Press Release
Top 10 VoIP Solution Providers
Calltower, ccaas, Enterprise Networking, Provider, Solution, ucaas, voip
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Edge Bare Metal
Bare Metal, Edge, Edge Solution, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Edge Computing Solutions
Edge, Lumen, Solutions
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
CDN Edge Compute
Cdn, CDN Edge, Edge
CallTower Brochure
Microsoft Teams Brochure
Calling Plan, Calltower, Direct Routing, Microsoft, Native, Office 365, Teams
Evolve IP Press Release
OneNet Global Joins Evolve IP's White Label Partner Program
Evolve IP is excited to announce that OneNet Global, a provider of managed IT services, business communications, and security, has joined its white label program.
ccaas, contact center, Direct Routing, Microsoft Teams, Omnichannel, Private Label, ucaas, unified communications, White Label
Evolve IP is excited to announce that OneNet Global, a provider of managed IT services, business communications, and security, has joined its white label program. 
Star2Star Blog Article
The Benefits of Cloud-Native Communications & Collaboration
Cloud-native technologies will continue to power digital transformation strategies, says a new report from Forrester. According to the report, by the end of 2021, 60 percent of companies will leverage containers on public cloud platforms, while 25 percent of developers will leverage serverless ...
cloud, Cloud-native, collaboration, communications, uc, ucaas, unified communications
Cloud-native technologies will continue to power digital transformation strategies, says a new report from Forrester. According to the report, by the end of 2021, 60 percent of companies will leverage containers on public cloud platforms, while 25 percent of developers will leverage serverless architecture. Related: Top Enterprise Technology Trends For 2021 What Is Cloud-Native? If you’re new to the term, cloud-native refers to the building and running applications that live in the public cloud as opposed to on-premises data centers. The “native” aspect comes from the origin of these applications as uniquely cloud-based and optimized for cloud computing. Related: 2021 Business Goals For Success Cloud-native technologies are typically containerized and based on microservices, and are designed to run on distributed cloud computing platforms. They are designed to be highly scalable, resilient, and easy to manage. Top 3 Benefits Of Cloud-Native Communications & Collaboration Wondering whether your business should be taking advantage of cloud-native communications and collaboration tools? Here are some of the benefits to consider. Unify Operations By deploying powerful cloud-native services, your business can easily unify voice, chat, mobile, and other mission-critical operations across the entire enterprise. These technologies empower your business to operate as seamlessly in the cloud as though you were back in the office. This is especially useful in today’s remote work setting, with your employees most likely spread out and telecommuting from home offices with varying internet connections, equipment, and security. With cloud-native tools, you can create a cohesive, secure, and cost-effective communications environment for everyone. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace Increase Productivity A robust cloud-native communications and collaboration system increases productivity in a few different ways. First and foremost, it reduces app overload by keeping communications centralized and prevents employees from having to move back and forth between programs. Related: The Evolution Of VoIP Service In A Changing Market As a result, your company will experience less downtime and fewer productivity gaps. Native cloud applications that come with full business continuity and disaster recovery features ensure further protection from lost productivity. Deploy & Maintain With Ease Cloud-native solutions can be seamlessly delivered to end users across any global location, making deployment quick and painless. Updates can also be automatically handled from a centralized location. When your maintenance activities are managed by a secure provider, you alleviate one more thing from your plate and can focus more confidently on your business. Want to learn more about Star2Star’s leading cloud-native communications and collaboration offerings? See The Difference
Evolve IP Press Release
Evolve IP & Tenfold Partner to Deliver Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Integrated with Leading CRM Solutions
Evolve IP's Microsoft Teams direct routing solution, which natively integrates Cisco enterprise voice services, now delivers CRM solutions directly to a user's Teams instance on any device thanks to a partnership with Tenfold.
ccaas, Cisco, collaboration, CRM, Evolve Ip, Integration, Microsoft Teams, Partnership, Teams, Tenfold, ucaas, unified communications, voice
Evolve IP's Microsoft Teams direct routing solution, which natively integrates Cisco enterprise voice services, now delivers CRM solutions directly to a user's Teams instance on any device thanks to a partnership with Tenfold.
CallTower Article
UCaaS Hidden Costs and Gotchas
Calltower, Pitfalls, Solutions, UC Buyer's Journey, ucaas
Star2Star Blog Article
Top Enterprise Technology Trends For 2021
With all the focus on COVID-19 right now, it’s easy to lose sight of just how quickly the enterprise is changing from a technology perspective. For instance, worldwide IT spending is forecasted to increase by 6.2% from 2020, after declining 3.2% last year due to the pandemic. Related: 2021 ...
2021, cloud, collaboration, enterprise, Enterprise Technology, Remote Work, Technology Trends, uc, ucaas, unified communications, Work From Home
With all the focus on COVID-19 right now, it’s easy to lose sight of just how quickly the enterprise is changing from a technology perspective. For instance, worldwide IT spending is forecasted to increase by 6.2% from 2020, after declining 3.2% last year due to the pandemic. Related: 2021 Business Goals For Success “CIOs have a balancing act to perform in 2021 — saving cash and expanding IT,” explained John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “With the economy returning to a level of certainty, companies are investing in IT in a manner consistent with their expectations for growth, not their current revenue levels. Digital business, led by projects with a short Time to Value, will get more money and board level attention going into 2021.” Enterprise Technology Trends: What You Need To Know Here's a breakdown of what to expect as we move deeper into 2021. Migrating To The Cloud COVID-19 significantly accelerated global cloud migration, as companies moved to remote and hybrid work environments. Looking forward, it’s clear this trend is just getting started. According to IDC, 80 percent of enterprises plan to speed up their shift to a cloud-centric infrastructure. Businesses are increasingly abandoning legacy technologies in favor of cloud systems that can be accessed from any location. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace "The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to unplanned/foreseen business disruptions will be a clearer determiner of success in our increasingly digitized economy," explained Rick Villars, IDC group vice president for worldwide research. "A large percentage of a future enterprise's revenue depends upon the responsiveness, scalability, and resiliency of its infrastructure, applications, and data resources." Shifting To Microservices As enterprises continue their shift to the cloud, they will also continue to abandon monolithic application architectures in favor of microservices. More and more enterprises are realizing that their monolithic architectures are holding them back from achieving agility and flexibility in the cloud. Related: The Evolution Of VoIP Services In A Changing Market Microservices offer many advantages for enterprise applications, as they are much easier to build and maintain. They can also reduce coupling and drive innovation. Look for this trend to take off in 2021. Tightening IAM The shift to the cloud has led to an explosion in human and non-human identities. Now more than ever, enterprises need to clamp down on identity management to protect sensitive data and workloads, and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to sensitive systems and wreaking havoc. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits In 2021, expect more enterprises to tighten their identity access management (IAM) strategies, using automation, AI, and secure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to gain better visibility and control over their systems and processes. Automating Workflows Recent advancements in AI, machine learning, and optical character recognition (OCR) make it easier than ever to automate backend workflows. Over the next year, enterprises will continue to push forward on the automation front to streamline laborious and time-consuming tasks like data entry. Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools Organizations that fail to embrace workflow automation risk being displaced in the coming years by digital competitors that can move faster and more efficiently. Putting Data To Use Over the last several years, enterprises have been collecting unfathomable amounts of data and feeding it into data lakes and warehouses. Now, the focus is shifting from merely collecting data to putting it to use. Related: How To Have More Effective Video Meetings Enterprises are now building robust data pipelines, and focusing on tracking how information moves and changes from point to point. There is a growing demand for systems that can turn raw information into real-time analytics. Enhancing Communication & Collaboration In 2020, most IT administrators were focused on migrating workers to home environments and establishing base level connectivity, communication, and collaboration. For many companies, the process was rushed and completed haphazardly. This year, much of the focus in the enterprise arena will be centered around refining the way teams work together. For example, it’s not just about using a platform like Teams anymore, but looking for ways to enhance the end user experience. In case you missed the headline, Star2Star recently announced that the company is fully integrated with the Teams platform — demonstrating the company’s ongoing commitment to evolving with the changing enterprise technology landscape. Learn More About Star2Star® Business Voice for Microsoft Teams
Star2Star Podcast
076: Everything From 5G to Flying Teslas With Zeus Kerravala
In this episode, David and John welcome back Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research, for the third time by popular demand! Listen as Zeus provides information on the industry's most buzz-worthy topics, get answers to questions about workforce management, find out some of ...
5G, cloud, Cloud Communications, collaboration, Technology, Tesla, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John welcome back Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research, for the third time by popular demand! Listen as Zeus provides information on the industry's most buzz-worthy topics, get answers to questions about workforce management, find out some of UCaaS's major players' growth strategies, and catch up on the current disruptors in the industry! Join us and challenge the statements that are popping up in the news and hear Zeus's expert take on it all! Listen Now
Star2Star Blog Article
Redefining The Remote Workspace
In many ways, 2020 was a wakeup call for global businesses regarding remote work. Countless organizations learned the hard way that remote work requires having much more than just a laptop and an internet connection. It requires having a robust framework in place to grant access to applications and ...
cloud, collaboration, Remote, Remote Work, Remote Workspace, uc, ucaas, unified communications, Work From Home
In many ways, 2020 was a wakeup call for global businesses regarding remote work. Countless organizations learned the hard way that remote work requires having much more than just a laptop and an internet connection. It requires having a robust framework in place to grant access to applications and services securely and reliably. Related: The Evolution Of VoIP Service In A Changing Market Throughout 2020, Star2Star helped businesses transform their approach to remote work. We responded swiftly to the pandemic, introducing new solutions that deliver cutting-edge user experiences from home environments. As we enter a new year, we thought it would be beneficial to reflect on how our work routines have changed and what steps we can take to continue success in 2021. Star2Star Extends Remote Work Solution for COVID-19 In March, Star2Star announced an expanded Remote Work solution in direct response to the pandemic along with cost reductions and incentives for customers and partners. Related: Why Small Business Phone Systems Need Service Insight The Remote Work solution contains an enhanced cloud communication capability, enabling businesses to leverage multiple channels like desktop softphones, mobile apps for Android and iOS and business SMS and chat messaging for a highly efficient and cost-effective solution suite. Related: Are You With The Right VoIP Provider? “We are dedicated to helping our partners, customers, and businesses in need of remote working solutions as they deal with the threat of COVID-19,” said Star2Star President and CRO Michelle Accardi at the time. “We understand that this is an uncertain and stressful time for many companies, which is why we have made it a top priority to create offers of assistance that help companies of all types, not just those in Healthcare, Education, and Government. We will be here every step of the way to ensure the continued health and safety of our partners, customers, and communities.” Learn More About Our Remote Work Solutions Star2Star Launches Citrix Ready Meetings Following the release of Star2Star’s expanded Remote Work Solution, the company announced that its Video Meetings platform is now Citrix Ready — meaning Star2Star’s solution can integrate directly with Citrix technology. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System Video Meetings completed Citrix’s stringent testing and verification process, to ensure compatibility with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix Workspace. Star2Star’s voice solution is also Citrix Ready, for true end-to-end digital communication and collaboration for end users, service providers and channel partners. As video conferencing technology has become indispensable since many businesses were required to create work from home arrangements, having a flexible and reliable platform such as Video Meetings empowers companies to meet that need. Check Out Video Meetings From Star2Star Star2Star® Business Voice For Microsoft Teams Most recently, Star2Star announced an exciting integration with Microsoft Teams. Throughout the pandemic, many organizations have been leveraging Teams to communicate and collaborate from remote locations. Businesses love Microsoft Teams because the platform makes it easy to collaborate as a group. Related: The Benefits Of Packaged Applications Yet, while Teams is great for communication and collaboration, the service does not have strong native voice functionality. And Microsoft’s calling plans are expensive to implement. Now, companies can use Star2Star’s leading Business Voice service to integrate with the Microsoft Teams softphone client for superior voice quality. This capability allows businesses to maximize their technology investments and enjoy the highest quality communications possible. Learn more about Star2Star® Business Voice for Microsoft Teams How Can Star2Star Help Your Business? Star2Star has everything your business needs to thrive in this new and uncertain era of remote work, from video meetings to enterprise-grade voice service. And best of all, Star2Star is now offering cost-effective bundles for customers. Learn More About Plans & Pricing
Star2Star Blog Article
2021 Business Goals For Success
Congratulations — your business made it through 2020, proving that it’s resilient and capable of handling a variety of challenges. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace Now, a new year is upon us, and while there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the air due to the lingering ...
2021, 2021 Goals, Business Goals, Business Success, cloud, Cloud Communications, collaboration, New Year, New Year Resolutions, uc, ucaas, unified communications
Congratulations — your business made it through 2020, proving that it’s resilient and capable of handling a variety of challenges. Related: Redefining The Remote Workspace Now, a new year is upon us, and while there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the air due to the lingering pandemic, there are plenty of things that your business still has control over — one of the most important being your communications strategy. How you prepare your organization for the year ahead could make all the difference. 2021 Business Goals To Consider The best way to start out the new year is by setting some goals, so we’ve compiled a few suggestions for how to make the most of 2021. Improve Collaboration Chances are your employees are still operating from remote or hybrid environments. Stop and reflect on the tools that they’re using, and inquire if you’re using the best possible solutions. Many organizations rushed into collaboration platforms following the outbreak of the pandemic, and are now looking for alternative options. Related: The Evolution Of VoIP Service In A Changing Market Your best bet is to invest in a high-quality collaboration platform that can serve as a one-stop shop for voice and video meetings. It should be secure, scalable, and capable of meeting your business’s unique needs. Strengthen Your Communications Security Posture How secure are the tools that your business is using for meetings? The truth is that not all platforms can provide a strong level of security, and using them could put the company at risk. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System Take this time to clamp down on the communications services that your employees are using, and make sure your systems are protected with data encryption, around-the-clock monitoring, packet filtering and range checking, and firewall protection, to name just a few features. Enhance Voice Tools For Teams If you’re already using a team collaboration tool, you may have noticed the voice communications side has room for improvement. Many collaboration tools don’t offer the level of voice services you’d like, or if they do, it comes at a high premium. Ask your team members how the quality has been on calls, and whether they’ve had any performance issues. Then take their feedback to a voice provider who offers integrations for your tool, or can customize a voice solution for you to maximize your team collaboration investments. Related: Are You With The Right VoIP Provider? Integrate Your CRM System The customer experience (CX) is more important than ever heading into 2021. Make this the year your company gets serious about taking CX to the next level. Start by integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) database with your communications system. This will enable your company to organize and manage all your customer information and activities across all touchpoints. Related: The Benefits Of Packaged Applications Check Out Star2Star’s Plans Star2Star offers a variety of bundles to help your company reach its communications goals. With the help of Star2Star you can improve communication and collaboration, strengthen security, and lower costs. View Plans & Bundles
Star2Star Podcast
075: The Communications Chronicles with Graham Potter
In this episode, David and John are joined once more by Heads In The Cloud's own Graham Potter as they congratulate him on his retirement. Listen in to hear Graham's full story of what brought him to Star2Star and his array of expertise. You'll also be taken on a tour of voice communications' ...
cloud, collaboration, communications, telecom, telecommunications, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John are joined once more by Heads In The Cloud's own Graham Potter as they congratulate him on his retirement. Listen in to hear Graham's full story of what brought him to Star2Star and his array of expertise. You'll also be taken on a tour of voice communications' journey and see how much has changed over time, as well as rapidly over 2020 alone. Ponder with us over which form of communication is most critical (voice, text, or visual) and decide which you'd want if you could just have one! Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
074: Expanding Sales Through Social Media with Janet Schijns
In this episode, David and John interview Janet Schijns, CEO of JS Group, a Top 10 Women in Tech honoree, and 2019 Channel Influencer of the Year, to learn what it takes to grow sales through social media channels in 2020. Analyze how the digital landscape has skyrocketed, hear the best practices ...
cloud, collaboration, Sales, Sales Tips, Social Media, uc, unified communications
In this episode, David and John interview Janet Schijns, CEO of JS Group, a Top 10 Women in Tech honoree, and 2019 Channel Influencer of the Year, to learn what it takes to grow sales through social media channels in 2020. Analyze how the digital landscape has skyrocketed, hear the best practices for connecting with prospects and sharing content on social media, discover your Social Selling Index score, and harness some new skills and resources to boost your online presence! Hangout to the end for some fun celebrating Mandalorian Day and Janet's birthday. Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
073: The Road of Remote Work with RE-INVIG
In this episode, David and John chat with the whole RE-INVIG posse! This show welcomes the most guests hosted to date by starring Ryan Ybarra, RE-INVIG's founder, Anil Sohani, Sr. Channel Account Executive, Craig Sweasy, Vice President of Sales, and Dan Ziegler, Enterprise Account Manager. During ...
collaboration, Remote Work, uc, ucaas, unified communications, Work From Home
In this episode, David and John chat with the whole RE-INVIG posse! This show welcomes the most guests hosted to date by starring Ryan Ybarra, RE-INVIG's founder, Anil Sohani, Sr. Channel Account Executive, Craig Sweasy, Vice President of Sales, and Dan Ziegler, Enterprise Account Manager. During this friendly conversation with this technology consultant and Star2Star partner's team, you'll pick up cloud transformation insights and opportunities for the Legal, Insurance, Education, and Healthcare industries. See how remote work is working out for these verticals and learn what technology is paving the way for current and future success! Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
072: Conversations of the Cloud with Nick Lippis
In this episode, David and John chat with Nick Lippis, co-founder of ONUG, the Open Networking User Group. Discover the founding story of how this influential group came to be, and hear many of the tech topics being talked about as cloud transformation pushes its way across the market. During the ...
cloud, Cloud Communications, Cloud Technology, Cloud-native, collaboration, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John chat with Nick Lippis, co-founder of ONUG, the Open Networking User Group. Discover the founding story of how this influential group came to be, and hear many of the tech topics being talked about as cloud transformation pushes its way across the market. During the discussion, you'll also hear what valuable information real companies share during ONUG conferences for an unbiased look at how different verticals are tackling cloud governance and other enterprise business needs. Listen through and hear what exciting events are on the rise for ONUG, and hear what cars have John's and Nick's hearts. Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
071: Championing Channel Sales with Kevin McGrath
In this episode, David and John catch up with Star2Star’s own Kevin McGrath, Regional Account Director. Travel back with us to the early days, way before Coronavirus, for some fun memories of when John and Kevin traveled together for sales trips and learn how Kevin has evolved his sales process ...
Channel Sales, collaboration, Sales, Sales Tips, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John catch up with Star2Star’s own Kevin McGrath, Regional Account Director. Travel back with us to the early days, way before Coronavirus, for some fun memories of when John and Kevin traveled together for sales trips and learn how Kevin has evolved his sales process over his many years of experience. Kevin shares a few examples of his technique in building relationships for large healthcare businesses as well as smaller, less complex opportunities, and gives his advice and insights for effective and efficient sales. Don’t miss catching the big indicators for “when to walk away” in sales, or how many meetings add up to TOO many meetings in a world that is limited to mainly virtual meetings. Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
070: Summing Up UCaaS Today with Dave Michels
In this episode, David and John are joined by Dave Michels, communications protagonist, for the second time. The conversation kicks off on the topic of enterprise communications needs and how the UCaaS industry will have to adjust itself to meet them. This packed episode also explores Dave’s ...
collaboration, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John are joined by Dave Michels, communications protagonist, for the second time. The conversation kicks off on the topic of enterprise communications needs and how the UCaaS industry will have to adjust itself to meet them. This packed episode also explores Dave’s expert take on Microsoft’s stance in the UCaaS industry, the continual rise of security’s importance and why it is accelerating, disruption from the Coronavirus, and what it takes to go “off the grid” today. Stick around to hear what Dave has in the works on Talking Headz and his upcoming publications, and what he could not be without if he were stranded on a remote island! Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
069 - Then This Happened: A Leadership Discussion About Managing Through Our New Normal
A leadership discussion about managing through our new normal moderated by Michelle Ragusa-McBain interviewing CEO of JS Group, Janet Schijns, and President and Chief Revenue Officer of Star2Star , Michelle Accardi, to discuss: The journey to the top as two powerful women and leaders in tech ...
collaboration, covid-19, Leadership, New Normal, Pandemic, uc, ucaas, unified communications
A leadership discussion about managing through our new normal moderated by Michelle Ragusa-McBain interviewing CEO of JS Group, Janet Schijns, and President and Chief Revenue Officer of Star2Star, Michelle Accardi, to discuss: The journey to the top as two powerful women and leaders in techOvercoming challenges of COVID-19 and being successful in our new normalOpportunities in UCaaS, remote technology, and the future of remote work Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
068: iTelecom, Insights, iAgent, & Exceeding Agent Expectations with Micah Bevitz
In this episode, David and John welcome back Micah Bevitz, CEO and Founder of iTelecom for his second podcast appearance. Micah shares some exciting news from iTelecom: the launch of the new iAgent program and platform! Micah shares his experience curating the ideal MSP Master Agency program, and ...
Agent, collaboration, ITelecom, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John welcome back Micah Bevitz, CEO and Founder of iTelecom for his second podcast appearance. Micah shares some exciting news from iTelecom: the launch of the new iAgent program and platform! Micah shares his experience curating the ideal MSP Master Agency program, and the pain points for agents that he's identified and alleviated that make iTelecom stand out from many of the large Master Agents' programs. Listen to learn about the iAgent app, how iTelecom helps businesses save money to afford the tech they need, the good and the bad amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, and how to make your own hot chocolate ice cream from scratch -no churn needed! Listen Now
Star2Star Podcast
067: Present Pandemic: Decoding the Digital Pulse, with Evan Kirstel
In this episode, David and John chat once again with Evan Kirstel, Social Media Digital Influencer in the B2B enterprise space. As we continue to cope with the disruption of the Coronavirus, listen in on the pulse of the cyber world. Gain insight into the digital realm from someone who spends 12+ ...
collaboration, Digital Transformation, enterprise, Pandemic, Podcast, uc, ucaas, unified communications
In this episode, David and John chat once again with Evan Kirstel, Social Media Digital Influencer in the B2B enterprise space. As we continue to cope with the disruption of the Coronavirus, listen in on the pulse of the cyber world. Gain insight into the digital realm from someone who spends 12+ hours a day engaging on social media. You'll discover Evan's take on virtual events, distance learning, and hobbies that don't require venturing into crowded public places. Stay tuned till the end for a little road trip inspiration as we crave New England seafood together from our couches! Listen Now
CallTower Case Study
BloomsToday Case Study - Rock-Solid Stability and Call Quality
Call Quality, cloud solutions, collaboration, contact center, CT Cloud Contact Center, CT Cloud Voice, Global Network, ucaas, unified communications
CallTower eBook
UC Buyer’s Journey
Adoption, Calltower, Desicion, Discovery, Ebook, Implementation, Requirements, Strategy, UC Journey
Evolve IP Video
Case Study - Charitable Adult Rides and Services (CARS)
CARS needed to find a truly integrated communications solution that could match the custom aspects of their organization's requirements. The system would also have to provide the latest features and capabilities via automatic updates so CARS could count on their systems staying current going ...
Case Study, Cloud Communications, Evolve Ip, ucaas, unified communications, Use Case, voice
CARS needed to find a truly integrated communications solution that could match the custom aspects of their organization's requirements. The system would also have to provide the latest features and capabilities via automatic updates so CARS could count on their systems staying current going forward. See how Evolve IP was able to deploy the exact solution CARS needed.
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Lumen DIA Data Sheet
Dia, Internet Services, Lumen
Evolve IP Video
The Future of Work Anywhere with Coach Jay Wright
Having a blueprint for the future has never been more important and how we work is going to be much different than before with the adoption of the "Hybrid Office". Hear what Coach Jay Wright has to say about Evolve IP's Work Anywhere Office and it's integrated Teams, Virtual Desktop, Identity ...
ccaas, collaboration, communications, Compute, contact center, Daas, Desktop, Identity Management, Microsoft Teams, Virtual Desktop, Voice-enabled Teams, Work Anywhere, Work From Home
Having a blueprint for the future has never been more important and how we work is going to be much different than before with the adoption of the "Hybrid Office". Hear what Coach Jay Wright has to say about Evolve IP's Work Anywhere Office and it's integrated Teams, Virtual Desktop, Identity Management, and Contact Center capabilities. 
CallTower Brochure
CallTower Contact Center Solutions
ccaas, cloud contact center, cloud solutions, collaboration, ip voice, ucaas, Unified Commuications
CallTower Brochure
CT Cloud Analyze
cloud solutions, Data Analytics, Data Monitoring, Network Solutions, ucaas, unified communications, Voice Monitoring
CallTower Brochure
CT Cloud Unite_Brochure
Calltower, Collateral, CT Cloud, ucaas, UNITE, voice
CallTower Brochure
CT Cloud Boost vs VeloCloud
Calltower, Communication, CT Cloud Boost, ucaas, Velocloud
CallTower Brochure
CT Cloud Boost
cloud, cloud solutions, collaboration, Network Optimization, ucaas, unified communications
CallTower Brochure
CT Cloud Meeting powered by Zoom
collaboration, conferencing, CT Cloud Meeting, Online Meetings, Video Conferencing, Webinars, Zoom
CallTower Product Literature
CT Cloud Contact Center
Business Communication Technologies, ccaas, cloud contact center, cloud solutions, collaboration, contact center, ucaas, unified communications
CallTower Product Literature
CT Cloud SIP
911 Notification, cloud solutions, collaboration, Fax, sip trunking, unified communications
CallTower Product Literature
CallTower's Native for Skype for Business
Domestic & International Expansion, Hosted Cisco Solution, Hosted Skype For Business Enterprise Voice, Office 365 Enterprise, Robust Contact Center Solution, US-Based 24x7 Support, Web And Video Conferencing
CallTower Brochure
CT Cloud Solutions
Calltower, cloud, Communication, CT Cloud, Solutions, ucaas
CallTower Press Release
CallTower Unveils CT Cloud Solutions
CallTower Unveils CT Cloud Solutions Delivering comprehensive business communication solutions August 7, 2018 South Jordan, UT, and Boston, MA – CallTower , a global leader in delivering cloud-based enterprise-class unified communications and collaboration solutions, ...
Business Communication Solutions, Business Communication Technologies, cloud solutions, collaboration, CT Cloud Solutions, hosted pbx, sip trunking, unified communications, voip
CallTower Unveils CT Cloud Solutions Delivering comprehensive business communication solutions August 7, 2018  South Jordan, UT, and Boston, MA – CallTower, a global leader in delivering cloud-based enterprise-class unified communications and collaboration solutions, announced today their new CT Cloud Voice and SIP solutions.  CT Cloud solutions are designed to enable workforces to connect through our private cloud delivering a scalable and secure, quality voice solution that is far superior to traditional PBX systems, at a fraction of the cost. CT Cloud brings together powerful cloud PBX, UC and collaboration features in one platform that's connected to CallTower’s secure, geo-redundant global network and supported by award-winning US-based customer support. With customers and employees interacting through the CT Cloud, enterprises can now easily optimize workforce engagement throughout multiple locations. The results include faster time to resolution, lower cost and better overall experience for customers and employees.  “We are thrilled to unveil our CT Cloud Solutions,” says Chief Revenue Officer, William Rubio.  “Delivering an exceptional customer experience is key to CallTower.  With this cost-effective business communications and collaboration solution, we offer more than a VoIP phone service or traditional PBX.  CT Cloud delivers unified voice, video, conferencing, messaging and collaboration, SMS, contact center and mobility, plus more."  About CallTower CallTower exists to enable people to easily connect to transact business communications. Since its inception in 2002, CallTower has become a leading provider of cloud-based, enterprise-class Unified Communications solutions for growing organizations worldwide. CallTower provides, integrates and supports industry-leading, cloud-based, Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions, including Cisco® Unified Communications Manager, Microsoft® Skype for Business, CT Cloud, Office 365 and Zoom Video Communications for business customers. CallTower enhances our clients’ strategic and operational capabilities by integrating VoIP service, mobile applications, email hosting, unified messaging, instant messaging, audio, web and video conferencing, collaboration tools, contact center, cloud services and global networks solutions into one reliable platform. For more information contact [email protected]   www.calltower.com
CallTower Partner Resource
CallTower's Microsoft Managed Partner Network
Why get your Office 365 licensing from Calltower?
Business Communication Technologies, cloud services, cloud solutions, collaboration, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Skype For Business, ucaas, unified communications
Why get your Office 365 licensing from Calltower?
CallTower eBook
Microsoft Teams Calling Plans Partner Guide - eBook
collaboration, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, Microsoft Teams Ebook, Partner Ebook, ucaas, unified communications
CallTower Brochure
CallTower UCaaS & PBX Solutions
Calltower, Communication, Pbx, Solution, ucaas
CallTower Brochure
Upselling via Solution Selling_eBook
Calltower, cloud, Communication, ucaas
CallTower Brochure
CallTower Connect Brochure
cloud solutions, collaboration, Customer Experience, ucaas, UCaaS Provisioning, Unified Communicaitons, Voice Solutions
CallTower Sell Sheets
Aligning with CallTower
Cisco UC, collaboration, Microsoft Voice Solutions, ucaas, unified communications, Zoom
CallTower Data Sheet
CallTower Sweet Spot
ccaas, Cisco, Cisco HCS, cloud solutions, collaboration, CT Cloud Meeting Powered By Zoom, Hosted Voice, ip voice, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, ucaas, unified communications, Zoom Video Conferencing
CallTower Battle Card
CallTower General Battle Card
collaboration, ucaas, unified communications
AT&T Brochure
AT&T Business Fiber Promo Flyer- Customer
Customizable customer flyer for AT&T Business Fiber Flyer
At&t, AT&T Business, AT&T Business Fiber, fiber
Customizable customer flyer for AT&T Business Fiber Flyer
Evolve IP Video
Case Study - Johnson Investment Counsel (JIC)
In this case study, you'll see how Johnson Investment Counsel enabled all of their employees to work from home using work anywhere technologies from Evolve IP like collaboration, voice/communications, desktop as a service and more.
Case Study, collaboration, communications, Compute, Daas, Desktop As A Service, Microsoft Teams, Use Case, voice, Work Anywhere, Work From Home
In this case study, you'll see how Johnson Investment Counsel enabled all of their employees to work from home using work anywhere technologies from Evolve IP like collaboration, voice/communications, desktop as a service and more.
CallTower Product Literature
CT Cloud Voice
Business Communication Solutions, Business Communication Technologies, cloud solutions, collaboration, hosted pbx, unified communications, voip
CallTower Case Study
Del Mar - Case Study
Cisco, Hosted Solutions
CallTower Case Study
Allen Press Case Study
AllenPress, Calltower, Case Study, Direct Routing, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Teams, ucaas
CallTower Case Study
Northwestern Mutual - Case Study
Call Manager, Cisco
CallTower Case Study
LendingTree Case Study
O365, Voice Enable
CallTower Case Study
Allen Press Case Study - Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Case Study
collaboration, Microsoft, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, unified communications
CallTower Case Study
USPS Case Study
Calltower, Case Study, Clarity Connect, USPS
CallTower Case Study
Velcro - ACHIEVING COST AND RESOURCE SAVINGS WITH UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS
24/7/365 Support, Cloud-based, data centers, Office 365, Skype For Business, World-class Solutions
CallTower Case Study
Pepper Construction Case Study
Calltower, Case Study, Pepper Construction, Skypee For Business
CallTower Case Study
Franklin Sports Case Study
Calltower, Case Study, Communication, Direct Routing, Franklin Sports, Microsoft Teams, Native, Teams, ucaas
CallTower Case Study
Syska Hennessy Group Case Study
Calltower, Case Study, Microsoft, Sfb, Skype, Solution, Syska
CallTower Case Study
Tourneau Case Study
Calltower, Case Study, Cisco, Solution, Tourneau
Evolve IP Blog Article
Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Digital Workspaces for Your Business
Since COVID-19 drove workers home earlier this year, adoption rates of workforce mobility solutions have skyrocketed. This article will examine the rise in popularity of Workspace solutions and help your customers determine which one is best for their business.
Access Management, Cloud Computing, Desktop Computing, Desktop Services, Digital Workspaces, Hosted Applications, Identity Management, Saas, Workspaces
Since COVID-19 drove workers home earlier this year, adoption rates of workforce mobility solutions have skyrocketed. This article will examine the rise in popularity of Workspace solutions and help your customers determine which one is best for their business.
CallTower Brochure
Microsoft Hosted Solutions
Business Communication Technologies, CallTower Private Cloud, Cloud Solutuions, collaboration, Hosted Skype For Business, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Teams Calling Plans, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, Native Skype For Business, Office 365, Turnkey Microsoft Solutions, ucaas, unified communications
CallTower Press Release
CallTower Announces 2020 Power Partner of the Year Awards
2020, Agile IT, Awards, C3 Integrated Services, Calltower, ccaas, Cnsg, collaboration, Innovation, Lancaster Communications Group, Meridian Network Services, Power Partner, Simplified Communications, ucaas
Evolve IP Video
Digital Workspaces from Evolve IP - a Better DaaS Solution
Gartner expects spending on DaaS to more than quadruple by 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the explosive demand for remote-work solutions. With Evolve IP's Digital Workspaces, businesses have the ability to mix and match user types to deliver just the tools their users need while enabling ...
Access Management, Cloud Computing, Daas, Desktop, Desktop Computing, Desktop Services, Digital Workspaces, Hosted Applications, Identity Management, Saas, Workspaces
Gartner expects spending on DaaS to more than quadruple by 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the explosive demand for remote-work solutions. With Evolve IP's Digital Workspaces, businesses have the ability to mix and match user types to deliver just the tools their users need while enabling employees to work anywhere.
AT&T Data Sheet
ACC Business Colocation Incentive Ts&Cs
Terms & Conditions for the ACC Business Colocation Incentive.
ACC Business, colocation, Incentive
Terms & Conditions for the ACC Business Colocation Incentive.
Evolve IP Video
Voice-Enabled Microsoft Teams from Evolve IP
Evolve IP delivers Microsoft Teams direct routing integrated with enterprise voice services from Cisco to deliver the productivity tools, communication features, business collaboration, and business continuity your customer's need. Evolve IP's Teams solution integrates natively with our Unified ...
Cloud Communications, collaboration, Evolve Ip, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MS Teams, ucaas, unified communications, Voice-enabled Teams
Evolve IP delivers Microsoft Teams direct routing integrated with enterprise voice services from Cisco to deliver the productivity tools, communication features, business collaboration, and business continuity your customer's need. Evolve IP's Teams solution integrates natively with our Unified Contact Center and Digital Workspaces solutions.
CallTower Account Management
Channel Sales Territory Map
Channel Managers, collaboration, ucaas, unified communications
CallTower Brochure
Microsoft Teams Contact Center Guide
Calltower, contact center, Direct Routing, Guide, Microsoft Teams, Teams
CallTower Press Release
CallTower Appoints New Channel Director for Illinois
Read more: https://www.calltower.com/call...
Calltower, Channel, Director, Interesting, News, Press Realease, Sales Team
Read more: https://www.calltower.com/call...
Star2Star Blog Article
Socially Distant Holidays: VoIP Phone Essentials
This is shaping up to be a holiday season like no other, as the surging pandemic is forcing shoppers to make online purchases from the safety of their homes. According to one study, online shopping could top $200 billion this holiday season, representing 33 percent YoY growth. Related: The ...
covid-19, Holiday Season 2020, Online Shopping, Social Distancing, voip, Voip Phone, Voip Phone Service
This is shaping up to be a holiday season like no other, as the surging pandemic is forcing shoppers to make online purchases from the safety of their homes. According to one study, online shopping could top $200 billion this holiday season, representing 33 percent YoY growth. Related: The Evolution Of VoIP Service In A Changing Market As a result of the widespread shift to online shopping, new customer experience challenges are arising. For example, online shoppers are more apt to pick up the phone and call customer service with questions about products or services — putting more pressure on companies to provide fast and reliable phone support. Related: Are You With The Right VoIP Provider? Companies that can’t provide efficient phone service are liable to lose customers to competitors. Making matters more complicated, companies are tasked with providing strong service from distributed remote environments. One way that companies can streamline service is by leveraging VoIP. VoIP Phone Essentials VoIP — or Voice over Internet Protocol — is a technology that converts analog voice signals into digital signals and transmits them over a broadband connection. Related: Customer Service Tips For A Pandemic By leveraging VoIP, it’s possible to make calls from a computer or VoIP-enabled phone. Businesses no longer need to rely on the outdated and expensive publicly switched telephone network to make calls and communicate with customers. How VoIP Phone Service Can Help During The Holiday Rush VoIP is an essential technology that can help businesses respond to customer needs during the busy holiday months. Here are a few key benefits to keep in mind for the holiday season. Scale Faster Scalability is critical during the busy holiday rush. Businesses need to be able to get temporary seasonal agents up and running quickly, and from a distance. Related: Choosing Cost-effective Communications By leveraging VoIP, businesses can scale rapidly — giving remote agents immediate access to the tools they need to start working from home environments. And when the holiday season is over, accounts can be quickly deprovisioned. Enable Anywhere Access Companies can also use VoIP to allow employees to work from any location. A VoIP account can be easily accessed from a home environment, or on-site — providing maximum flexibility and convenience. Provide Enhanced Security Companies need to go above and beyond to secure customer interactions over home networks. VoIP can help by offering full encryption, along with enhanced security measures like real-time monitoring. Companies can use VoIP to protect data in transit. Related: How UCaaS Can Help Teams Transition To The New Normal Achieve Social Distancing In The Workplace Of course, not all teams are working remotely right now. Companies that are operating from office environments need to be extra careful about social distancing, to keep COVID-19 from spreading among workers. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For With VoIP enabled tools for team collaboration, video conferencing, customer engagement, and contact center solutions, businesses can operate normally while maintaining safe distance protocols. Interested In Upgrading Your Communications? Learn more about Star2Star’s VoIP and Remote Work solutions.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Evolution Of VoIP Service In A Changing Market
VoIP was first invented back in 1995, as a solution to help companies circumvent expensive long-distance calls. With the advent of VoIP service, it suddenly became possible to make calls over an internet connection, using dial-up links and leased lines — a groundbreaking innovation that forever ...
cloud, Trends, ucaas, unified communications, Voice Over Ip, voip
VoIP was first invented back in 1995, as a solution to help companies circumvent expensive long-distance calls. With the advent of VoIP service, it suddenly became possible to make calls over an internet connection, using dial-up links and leased lines — a groundbreaking innovation that forever changed the way that businesses communicate. Related: Are You With The Right VoIP Provider? Fast forward 25 years, and dial-up is ancient history while the publicly switched telephone network (PSTN) — which used to be required for VoIP — is also going by way of the dinosaur. Yet, VoIP service remains more popular than ever as organizations across all industries are still relying on it to make local and international calls. COVID-19’s Impact On VoIP VoIP adoption was already surging prior to COVID-19. In fact, one study from 2019 predicted that 90 percent of IT leaders would stop purchasing on-premise based UC solutions by 2021, believing that the future of communications would center around the cloud. Related: Forecast Trends For The Post-COVID Workplace Then, the global pandemic hit, accelerating digital transformation for companies across all verticals, and pushing organizations into the cloud. And as a result, VoIP service has become even more popular due to its ability to provide reliable and flexible service from any location — aligning with the needs of budget-conscious organizations that are adopting remote work. At present, the VoIP market is now hovering around $82.5 billion and is on pace to reach $102.4 billion by the end of 2026. What To Look For In A VoIP Service Platform While VoIP as a technology has come a long way over the years, there is still a big difference in quality among today’s providers. Not all vendors offer the same level of quality, meaning companies need to be especially careful when vetting providers and implementing solutions into their environments. Here are some things you should consider when searching for VoIP service: Reliable service: Don’t settle for anything less than 99.999 percent uptime in a VoIP platform. Look for a solution that comes with a demonstrated ability to maintain uptime, along with real-time monitoring and seamless failover. Around the clock support: Even the best system will sometimes require service and support. So in addition to a maximum uptime guarantee, make sure the VoIP service comes with around-the-clock helpdesk service and next day parts replacement. Full collaboration: Voice service is only one part of the equation when it comes to enterprise communications. Look for a VoIP product that integrates with a large unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering, providing access to video, text and live chat. VoIP In 2021 & Beyond As businesses continue to adapt to the new normal, and their adjustments become part of the standard landscape, VoIP will continue to be an integral part of communications. Methods and communications needs may change, but reliable VoIP service is here to stay. Want to see how Star2Star’s VoIP solutions stay on the cutting edge? Try a demo today.
MetTel Data Sheet
Microsoft Teams External Voice
Microsoft Teams is a great solution for collaboration and intra-company voice communications but falls short of satisfying a company’s voice needs. Since employees can’t use standalone Teams to make outbound calls, companies are forced to supplement Teams with additional voice plans or with ...
MetTel, Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a great solution for collaboration and intra-company voice communications but falls short of satisfying a company’s voice needs. Since employees can’t use standalone Teams to make outbound calls, companies are forced to supplement Teams with additional voice plans or with expensive flat-rate packages that you may not need. MetTel’s Microsoft Teams External Voice provides a unified solution to enable external calling from the Microsoft Teams application.
MetTel Data Sheet
SD-WAN Home Office
Make the most out of the secure, seamless and reliable SD-WAN network you are currently using in your organization. Optimize your power users’ and executives’ remote work experience by extending your existing SD-WAN network to their home offices. MetTel’s SD-WAN Home Office product sits in ...
MetTel, SD-WAN, vpn
Make the most out of the secure, seamless and reliable SD-WAN network you are currently using in your organization. Optimize your power users’ and executives’ remote work experience by extending your existing SD-WAN network to their home offices. MetTel’s SD-WAN Home Office product sits in your employees’ homes behind a cable modem or between their modem and router to prioritizes business-related traffic for their corporate devices. This solution also offers an always-on connection to internal applications and files, without the extra step of establishing VPN connection on a daily basis.
CallTower Brochure
Why a Microsoft Teams cloud voice solution is better with a hosted SBC
Calltower, cloud, Cloud-based, collaboration, Communication, Direct Routing, Microsoft, SBC, Solutions, Teams, ucaas
Five9 Blog Article
Partner with Five9 to Make a Difference!
In the true spirit of the upcoming holidays, we are asking our exceptional partner community to help us spread holiday cheer and goodwill. Five9 will be donating to a select group of worthy charitable organizations and we'd like you to partner with Five9 to help determine the donations. CLICK ...
ccaas, Charity, Five9, Giving, Holiday
In the true spirit of the upcoming holidays, we are asking our exceptional partner community to help us spread holiday cheer and goodwill. Five9 will be donating to a select group of worthy charitable organizations and we'd like you to partner with Five9 to help determine the donations. CLICK HERE to select the nonprofit you'd like to support. Your vote counts and together we can make a difference. Thank you for a great 2020. Happiest of holidays to you and your family!
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Voice and UCC Portfolio
Lumen, Solutions, Ucc, voice
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Zoom delivered by Lumen
Lumen, Ucc, Zoom
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Zoom delivered by Lumen
Lumen, Ucc, Zoom
Lumen Technologies Presentation
SD-WAN w/ Cisco Meraki
Lumen, Meraki, SD-WAN
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
AVS
AVS, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Security Solutions Overview
Lumen, security, Solutions
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Edge Computing
Compute, Edge, Edge Compute
Star2Star Blog Article
Why Small Business Phone Systems Need Service Insight
The customer experience has emerged as a top business driver in recent years. This is a trend that was already picking up steam heading into 2020, and was greatly accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19. Now more than ever, companies are expected to provide first class experiences at every turn. ...
Customer Experience, Customer Service, CX, Service Insight, Small Business, Small Business Phone Systems
The customer experience has emerged as a top business driver in recent years. This is a trend that was already picking up steam heading into 2020, and was greatly accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19. Now more than ever, companies are expected to provide first class experiences at every turn. Related: Are You With The Right VoIP Provider? Many small businesses today are struggling to implement strong CX measures into their customer touchpoints. Oftentimes, this is because small business phone systems lack integration with customer analytics — making it difficult to identify and improve service issues. Introducing Service Insight For Small Business Phone Systems Service Insight is an innovative twist on contact center capabilities that emphasizes customer engagement tools. A Service Insight solution provides extensive analytics and connectivity workflows to teams within an organization to help gain better visibility into the overall customer experience. For instance, tracking a customer’s experience across multiple departments, such as Customer Service, Billing, and Sales, is made easier with Service Insight. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System For the small business, this added layer of synchronization can improve the overall customer experience and give an impression of superior service. Another added benefit: Service Insight can integrate directly with a business’ existing communications platform for maximum value. As a cloud-based solution it ensures seamless and secure performance for multi-location businesses as well. Data Sharing With Service Insight, all team members have a unified overview of each individual customer experience. Customers will be able to receive consistent service from knowledgeable agents regardless of who they are communicating with. This is critical for customer journey mapping. Web-based Agent Desktop Service Insight’s web-based agent desktop allows for easy platform access, providing a better experience for both end users and IT administrators. Service Insight is a great platform to use with remote teams. Related: The Benefits Of Packaged Applications Full-featured Auto Attendant & Unlimited Queues Service Insight can also enable a better in-call experience, providing customers with a fully functioning auto attendant. Advanced Management Tools Supervisors will benefit from an advanced monitoring system, providing the necessary tools to supervise agents and call queues. Related: Tips For A Successful Fourth Quarter 2020 Post-call Review Supervisors will also benefit from a powerful post-call review feature, providing a wealth of helpful analytics about the customer experience. Historical Data In addition, Service Insight provides historical data to help teams understand customer trends over time. For example, Service Insight may indicate that large numbers of callers tend to hang up at a certain point in an IVR process — indicating that a change is needed. Related: How To Have More Effective Video Meetings Let Service Insight Transform CX Service Insight is a powerful tool that teams can use to take control over the customer experience. With the help of Service Insight, it’s possible to gain better visibility into how customers are interacting with your business and how you can better meet their needs. Learn More About Service Insight
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Rapid Threat Defense
Lumen, Rapid Threat Defense, security
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Breadth of Services
Breadth Of Services, Lumen
MetTel Case Study
FIS SD-WAN Case Study
MetTel helped Fortune 100 company FIS upgrade their voice and data network with Managed SD-WAN. The new, scalable architecture increased bandwidth and optimized traffic while improving customer satisfaction. Plus, the new SD-WAN helped FIS centralize network management and cut costs. (You can hear ...
MetTel, Network Management, SD-WAN
MetTel helped Fortune 100 company FIS upgrade their voice and data network with Managed SD-WAN. The new, scalable architecture increased bandwidth and optimized traffic while improving customer satisfaction. Plus, the new SD-WAN helped FIS centralize network management and cut costs. (You can hear FIS explain why they chose MetTel to be their SD-WAN partner in this video.)
MetTel Case Study
Rotech Healthcare Case Study
With better devices and connectivity, MetTel empowered Rotech Healthcare with an innovative mobile initiative that increased Rotech’s workforce productivity and customer contact by 140%, and patient care and personalization at healthcare facilities both measurably increased. (Want more? You can ...
Healthcare, MetTel, mobility
With better devices and connectivity, MetTel empowered Rotech Healthcare with an innovative mobile initiative that increased Rotech’s workforce productivity and customer contact by 140%, and patient care and personalization at healthcare facilities both measurably increased. (Want more? You can also watch Rotech’s customer story.)
MetTel Data Sheet
Network Scout Datasheet
IP voice, video, and UC apps are mission-critical to workplace productivity so when circuits go down it’s extremely disruptive. Unprecedented traffic with cloud and real-time apps makes for unprecedented performance problems when latency, jitter, packet loss, etc. affects user experience. ...
ip voice, MetTel, network, uc
IP voice, video, and UC apps are mission-critical to workplace productivity so when circuits go down it’s extremely disruptive. Unprecedented traffic with cloud and real-time apps makes for unprecedented performance problems when latency, jitter, packet loss, etc. affects user experience. Traditionally there has not been a way to monitor and verify network devices, such as broadband circuits, so when issues arise, they are difficult and time-consuming to troubleshoot and resolve. Troubleshooting circuit issues blindly will be a thing of the past with MetTel’s Network Scout. This service provides analytics on latency, bandwidth, cloud connectivity, and network KPIs—ensuring you get the best quality from your circuits with minimal downtime during repairs.
MetTel Case Study
FIS Mobile Services Case Study
Overview MetTel migrated 15,000 mobile devices from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to one bill, help desk and data pool. MetTel continues to enable and simplify FIS’s progress towards complete digital transformation. Featured Solutions Mobility : Cross carrier pooling and locked-in lower ...
Case Study, FIS, FIS Case Study
Overview MetTel migrated 15,000 mobile devices from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to one bill, help desk and data pool. MetTel continues to enable and simplify FIS’s progress towards complete digital transformation. Featured Solutions Mobility: Cross carrier pooling and locked-in lower costs for all future plansDelivered all devices with a standard kit including phone, screen protector, case, car mount and chargerBruin Platform: manage inventory, usage, spend, reporting and repairs
Star2Star Blog Article
Are You With The Right VoIP Provider?
Making the leap to VoIP isn’t always guaranteed to solve your communications challenges. Many companies migrate thinking it will lead to drastic improvements, only to wind up regretting their decision. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System The fact is there ...
collaboration, Communication, ucaas, voip, Voip Provider
Making the leap to VoIP isn’t always guaranteed to solve your communications challenges. Many companies migrate thinking it will lead to drastic improvements, only to wind up regretting their decision. Related: The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System The fact is there are many components that go into a successful VoIP migration — and not all vendors are able to guarantee strong results. VoIP Provider: When To Switch Checklist So, are you with the right VoIP provider? Here are some tell-tale signs it’s time switch companies: Poor Customer Service Customer service is integral to a smooth VoIP migration. It starts before the sale, by making sure the network is prepared to handle a VoIP transition. The VoIP partner then needs to continue working with the company throughout the transition and the entire lifecycle of the contract, providing on demand support and troubleshooting whenever it’s required. Related: Tips For A Successful Fourth Quarter 2020 If you’re not getting much or any assistance from your VoIP provider, it’s time to consider making a switch. Frequent Outages An unexpected VoIP outage can have a major impact on a business, shutting down communications and preventing customers from getting through to agents. And while VoIP outages can often result from internal issues, they can also stem from the service provider’s end. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits It’s important to carefully track and monitor VoIP performance, and to keep close tabs on where performance issues are originating from. If the service provider is continuously responsible, they need to be held accountable. High Prices One of the top reasons why businesses switch to VoIP is because they want to save money on calls and monthly maintenance. However, companies often wind up overpaying for VoIP due to taxes and hidden fees. Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools VoIP providers should be able to provide full transparency into pricing, and should never try to tack on extra charges into the phone bill. Limited Functionality Today’s customers — especially younger millennials — want access to a variety of communications options. Voice needs to be offered alongside SMS and video. However, not all VoIP providers offer this functionality. Many just offer standalone voice service, putting their customers at a disadvantage. Related: The Benefits Of Packaged Applications Look for a provider that offers high quality and affordable VoIP along with enhanced collaboration services for seamless team productivity. This will become increasingly important as businesses evolve in a post-pandemic landscape, with a need for reliable remote technology infrastructure. Want to learn more? Check out our Remote Work Solutions.
Star2Star Blog Article
The Latest Updates You Need For Your Business Phone System
The business phone system has evolved considerably over the last few decades, emerging as a foundational component for a variety of services including UCaaS, CCaaS, and more. Countless organizations today are now relying on VoIP for their communications needs. Related: Tips For A Successful ...
Business Phone System, collaboration, Communication, ucaas
The business phone system has evolved considerably over the last few decades, emerging as a foundational component for a variety of services including UCaaS, CCaaS, and more. Countless organizations today are now relying on VoIP for their communications needs. Related: Tips For A Successful Fourth Quarter 2020 That said, not all VoIP services on the market offer the same level of quality, support, and flexibility. It’s important to select a business phone system that can guarantee the highest level of service, along with the latest features. This is important for establishing first class customer and employee experiences. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits Another component for ensuring the highest quality experiences is staying up-to-date with newer technologies in the communications and collaboration space. Keeping in mind how VoIP has evolved so quickly in recent years, it may be a good time to reassess your current system for areas that need updates. This is even more critical this year, considering how crucial communications and collaboration tools have become to businesses with more employees working remotely than ever before. Business Phone System: Areas For Improvement So, what should you look for in a business phone system? Here are some of the top features that you will want to have in place: Cloud-native Architecture If you’re still leveraging a purely on-premise business phone system, consider moving to a cloud-native model. Particularly critical in the era of remote work, cloud-native architecture will enable your team to work from anywhere while leveraging the same tools they would in-office. It also helps you avoid the hassle of having to manage and maintain hardware which adds up to stronger service and more cost savings. Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools Intuitive Management Employees require intuitive, user-friendly and cloud-based controls for managing their communications tools. Make sure to prioritize the user experience when searching for a platform, and obtain a solution that your end users will enjoy navigating on a daily basis. A business phone system with intuitive management built in would offer seamless user experiences through well-designed UCaaS and collaboration tools, as well as the ability to integrate with third-party software for customized workflows. Related: The Benefits Of Packaged Applications Mobility Many organizations will be returning to physical offices in the coming months, requiring employees to social distance. It will help to have access to VoIP-enabled cordless devices, so that employees can move around the office while staying connected. For workers who will remain remotely connected, support for mobile phones is also a must, so make sure your business phone system offers tools for leveraging mobile devices. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting 4G LTE Failover Outages can happen at any time, crippling internet access and cutting off VoIP service. To protect against this, businesses need to have 4G LTE failover in place to kick in as soon as an outage is detected. 4G LTE failover is a critical component for any business phone system. Related: Forecast Trends For The Post-COVID Workplace Enhanced Collaboration The pandemic has forever changed the way that people communicate. Now more than ever, customers, partners and employees need to be able to seamlessly switch between audio and video during a call. Make sure to look for VoIP service that comes with enhanced, video-enabled collaboration. Mission-critical needs for staying on the cutting edge include persistent team messaging with individuals and group channels, file sharing and management, and productivity tools. Related: How To Have More Effective Video Meetings Interested in learning more about upgrading your business phone system now and for the future? See how we can help! Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
The Benefits Of Packaged Applications
Purchasing a cloud-based communication system should lead to automatic time and cost savings. Yet, businesses often invest in such platforms only to learn they need to go out and build or buy additional supporting applications to complete certain tasks — leading to additional costs and ...
collaboration, Communication, Crm Integration, Employee Alerts, Integration, Mass Notification, Packaged Applications, ucaas, Urgent Notification
Purchasing a cloud-based communication system should lead to automatic time and cost savings. Yet, businesses often invest in such platforms only to learn they need to go out and build or buy additional supporting applications to complete certain tasks — leading to additional costs and complexities. Related: Tips For A Successful 4th Quarter 2020 To avoid this issue, it’s important to consider whether a vendor offers packaged applications when looking for a communications platform. What Are Packaged Applications? Simply put, a packaged application is a ready-to-implement integration that can be used with a program or service. A packaged application will come pre-built and ready to go, for easy access and optimal efficiency, and often at a reduced cost to third-party applications or custom development. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits That said, some packaged applications can be customizable, allowing you to expand or modify them as needed to fit your workflows. The Benefits Of Packaged Applications Packaged applications can be used to extend the capabilities of a communications platform, allowing teams to get more out of the service without having to go through the hassle of designing or obtaining their own custom solutions. After all, application development is still beyond the reach of most companies, as they are complex and difficult to create. Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools In addition, packaged applications can have a direct impact on the customer experience, by enabling advanced communications and integrations. Here are some examples of what packaged applications are designed for: Employee Notifications During Emergencies An urgent notification application can be used to communicate with employees and partners during emergency situations like COVID-related outbreaks, security events, severe weather situations, and more. Recipients can receive real-time notifications via text and/or email. Sending Mass Notifications Businesses can use a mass notifications application to send messages at scale to customers, partners, and leads. Mass notifications can be used for things like bill reminders, marketing messages, fleet and transportation management, and general announcements like account changes or mergers. Integrating With CRM Systems CRM integration can be a massive headache. But with a packaged application, it can be a breeze. A CRM integration application can eliminate manual data entry, enable real-time screen pops for incoming and outgoing calls, and enable click-to-call functionality. How Star2Star Can Help Star2Star has a robust set of packaged applications to augment your communications platform. Star2Star’s applications can save time, reduce backend work, and make life easier for employees and customers. Learn More
Star2Star Blog Article
Tips For A Successful Fourth Quarter 2020
2021 is right around the corner. However, there’s one more big test that businesses will have to face before the year is over: The busy fourth quarter sales push. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting This promises to be a quarter like no other, as companies are still dealing with a ...
2020, collaboration, Communication, Q4, ucaas
2021 is right around the corner. However, there’s one more big test that businesses will have to face before the year is over: The busy fourth quarter sales push. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting This promises to be a quarter like no other, as companies are still dealing with a variety of supply chain and operational issues due to the pandemic. At the same time, many companies are also still adjusting to remote work — making for an especially challenging few months ahead. Here are some tips to ensure a safe, profitable, and successful fourth quarter. Keep Communication Open The fourth quarter is always a stressful time, especially for sales teams who are pushing to meet their quotas and make up for lost time. Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools Sales managers need to keep communications open with associates, using voice and video tools to exchange ideas and keep team members motivated. This is especially important for sales teams who are operating remotely for the first time. Managers should consider having regular check-ins, to offer support and keep team members on track. Set Firm Work Policies The fourth quarter typically has many distractions, with multiple holidays coming up. And this year, it’s going to be even more challenging. For example, many workers are dealing with kids who are either going back to school, or working from home. There are also more household distractions this time of year, like winter storms. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For Managers should consider addressing team members about acceptable work from home policies, to avoid running into awkward conversations down the road. It’s also worth going over topics such as after-hours communications and setting boundaries in this new remote era, as well as general availability and production requirements. Communication will be especially important this quarter. Two technologies that can help remote workers during this stressful time are presence indicators and Find Me/Follow Me call forwarding. These tools offer stress-free accessibility that is both flexible and connected to the office workflow. Use Secure Communications Tools The fourth quarter is always an active time for cybercriminals, who look for easy opportunities to exploit. This year, cybercriminals will be looking to take advantage of employees working remotely using insecure communications tools and unprotected networks. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits Administrators should make sure all employees are equipped with communications technologies that are encrypted, password-protected and tamper proof. It’s also a good idea to invest in remote security solutions like virtual private networks. Make Sure Your Business Is Available Companies are under more pressure than ever to be on and available for customers. All businesses should consider using cloud-based voice solutions with intelligent call routing and failover, so that customers can have access to agents whenever help is needed. Related: How To Have More Effective Video Meetings In addition, it’s a good idea to offer text messaging for customers. Customers should be able to have two-way text-based conversations with representatives, for speedy and efficient communications. Texting with customers is a great way to build trust and let customers know the company is committed to providing service. Star2Star has everything that businesses need to remain competitive during the busy fourth quarter. To learn more about how Star2Star can help, explore our remote work solutions. EXPLORE OUR SOLUTIONS
Star2Star Blog Article
Video Conferencing Guide: How To Have More Effective Video Meetings
Over the last few years, video conferencing has grown from an emerging technology into one of the most popular business communications tools. The pandemic has significantly helped, with video meetings becoming a core part of the “new normal.” In fact, the web and video conferencing SaaS market ...
collaboration, Communication, ucaas, video, Video Conferencing, video meetings
Over the last few years, video conferencing has grown from an emerging technology into one of the most popular business communications tools. The pandemic has significantly helped, with video meetings becoming a core part of the “new normal.” In fact, the web and video conferencing SaaS market is now on track to increase by 110.3 percent in 2020 according to ReportLinker. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For “With normal life disrupted and employees separated from their offices, video conferencing has emerged into a social and enterprise lifeline,” explains ReportLinker. “The accelerated pace of digital transformation and the massive forced migration to work from home (WFH) models represent the two major factors driving growth in the market. Home offices, remote networking, cloud computing, remote communication and collaboration, have all stormed into the spotlight as the world scrambles to find digital alternatives to being physically present.” As we prepare to head into the busy fourth quarter, companies should take the time to optimize their video conferencing strategies. 5 Video Conferencing Tips For Effective Meetings Here are five key ways to plan effective video meetings. Use A Browser-based Solution There’s nothing more frustrating for an end user than having to download a platform to join a video conference. Companies need to make it effortless for coworkers, partners, and customers to join meetings. The best way to do this is to offer a video conferencing solution that’s browser-based, providing seamless entry from any device without requiring any downloads. Related: Enterprise Collaboration For A Remote Workforce Focus On Flexibility Now more than ever, employees are using video conferencing to share content and collaborate with one another. Workers need access to platforms that make it easy to share content in any form — including documents, audio, presentations, and video clips. Related: How To Prepare Your Company For Telecommuting One thing to keep in mind is that the platform workers are using should be able to handle bandwidth-intensive media files, so that HD files can be transmitted without delays or performance issues. Security Is Critical For Success Employees shouldn’t have to worry about security issues when logging into meetings. Workers expect access to secure voice, video, and screen sharing from any device, which is something that many freemium video conferencing platforms are unable to provide. Make sure you protect your platform with adequate security measures, or find a platform that offers this feature built-in. Related: Is Your Remote Workforce Ready For Anything? Make It Easy To Schedule Meetings Another important feature to consider is scheduling. Employees should have access to simple yet robust scheduling solutions that make it fast and easy to set up meetings and invite attendees. With video meetings being a part of daily life now, reducing friction is key. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting Leverage User-friendly Controls When it comes to video conferencing, usability is one of the most important factors. Nobody likes having to poke around endlessly to find audio or camera settings, or a screen share button. Buttons and settings should be in plain sight and easily accessible. If your team is still getting used to your video conferencing platform, providing a short user guide and having a meeting just to discuss where to locate features can be a great help. Also consider issuing some internal best practices for how your teams should be using the platform, such as muting when not speaking, or when to ask questions via chat rather than over the microphone. Want to know more about Star2Star's Video Conferencing Solution? Learn about Video Meetings
Star2Star Blog Article
Distance Learning Systems & Modernizing Education Technology
The education sector is now in unchartered waters, as schools across the globe prepare to re-open for the 2020-2021 year via distance learning. COVID-19 is ongoing, and at this point it’s still not clear what the coming months will bring. Related: Is Your Remote Workforce Ready For Anything? ...
collaboration, communications, Distance Learning, Distance Learning Systems, Education Technology, Remote Learning, ucaas
The education sector is now in unchartered waters, as schools across the globe prepare to re-open for the 2020-2021 year via distance learning. COVID-19 is ongoing, and at this point it’s still not clear what the coming months will bring. Related: Is Your Remote Workforce Ready For Anything? Unfortunately, the virus is just one challenge that schools are facing this year. On the first day of school for many students on the US East Coast, Zoom experienced mass outages--not a good sign for distance learners relying on their tools. We are also in the middle of an extremely active hurricane season, as Hurricane Laura recently demonstrated along the Gulf Coast. This year is shaping up to be one of the worst hurricane seasons on record — and it’s only August. And once hurricane season ends, many schools will have to deal with unpredictable winter weather, potentially bringing more school closures and outages for distance learning systems. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For On top of this, many school districts are faced with tighter budgets this year due to the pandemic, and need to cut costs — while at the same time ensuring a reliable and efficient experience for students and faculty members. The above factors have heightened the need for digital transformation in the education sector, particularly with critical communications and distance learning systems. Communications For Distance Learning Systems Schools today need access to reliable communications technology. Distance learning systems will work smoothly if educational institutions keep these guidelines in mind: Flexible Tools Teachers need access to flexible communications services for staying in touch with other faculty members, parents, and students. The phone is just one tool that teachers will be relying on this year. We anticipate that in many areas, in-person parent teacher conferences will have to be replaced with video meetings. Teachers should also be able to text important messages to parents via SMS, keeping them in the loop with updates and information. Related: Choosing Cost-effective Communications Secure & Reliable Service This is a top of mind requirement for many educators, but is also one of the most difficult to achieve. The right service provider will be able to provide faculty members with communications services regardless of their location. Phone systems should live in the cloud, providing administrators and teachers with ongoing service whether they’re working on-site or from home. Schools should also avoid using freemium video conferencing platforms that can be exploited by cybercriminals, and instead provide distance learning systems with secure communications portals that are fully encrypted and enhanced with the latest authentication measures. Related: Remote Desktop Top Benefits Remote Collaboration The classroom environment has changed significantly, with many students now logging in from home. Students and faculty members require robust collaboration tools that allow them to communicate efficiently via voice, video, and text. Students also need an easy way to share documents and collaborate on projects. Remote collaboration tools such as video meetings, chat tools, and document sharing platforms offer seamless and intuitive user experiences that emulate the in-class interactive environment--even more so when these tools all come in a single platform! Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools
Star2Star Blog Article
Remote Desktop Top Benefits
Why You Should Invest in a Remote Desktop Connection for Your Company Over the last several weeks, we’ve been focusing on operational issues that businesses have been experiencing throughout the pandemic. It’s a very different world now, and companies have been scrambling to adjust to ...
collaboration, Communication, Daas, Desktop As A Service, Remote, Remote Desktop, ucaas
Why You Should Invest in a Remote Desktop Connection for Your Company Over the last several weeks, we’ve been focusing on operational issues that businesses have been experiencing throughout the pandemic. It’s a very different world now, and companies have been scrambling to adjust to the “new normal” of remote work. Related: Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools One of the top issues that companies have faced during the pandemic is enabling secure access to data and applications. The pandemic has forced organizations to spread out, from secure offices to home environments. This is troubling from a cybersecurity perspective, when considering how much sensitive data is now flowing over insecure and unmonitored networks. Related: The New Normal & Tips For Adapting Unfortunately, the full extent of the cybersecurity damage that the pandemic may cause is still unknown, as not enough time has gone by. It’s possible that many companies will be reporting data breaches in the coming months, as issues come to light. We could be in for a rough fourth quarter, and a long 2021. At this point, companies should be looking to secure their remote workforce in order to avoid messy issues. And one technology that can help is a remote desktop platform. What Is A Remote Desktop? A remote desktop is a secure portal to a virtual environment. A remote desktop connection enables end users to connect to their familiar office desktop, applications, and mission-critical files from any remote location, using an internet connection and a web browser. With a remote desktop, the end user machine, which could be a home desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, acts as a gateway to an encrypted private environment. How Can A Remote Desktop Improve Security? A remote desktop connection enables encrypted, password-protected cloud data storage. By using a remote desktop, employees can store sensitive data in the cloud instead of on their personal devices. This way, information can remain protected if a device is broken, lost, or stolen. Related: How To Leverage DaaS While Working From Home Password protection can be enhanced with multi-factor authentication for additional security. Plus, most remote desktop sessions operate over an encrypted channel, preventing interlopers from snooping in on private communications. What Are The Top Benefits Of A Remote Desktop? There are many advantages to using a remote desktop, apart from security. These include: Flexible End User Access Employees can access remote devices from any number of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, and smartphones. This in turn provides a flexible and convenient end user experience, which is increasingly necessary as workers acclimate to working from home. Remote Maintenance Traditionally one of the top challenges about enabling remote work has been performing routine maintenance and troubleshooting on employee devices. It’s very difficult for IT to troubleshoot when they can’t physically access a device. Yet, this becomes much easier with the help of a remote desktop connection. Administrators can log in through a remote portal, and correct problems from a distance. Fewer Compatibility Issues By using a remote desktop, businesses can invest in software regardless of the operating systems employees are using with their personal devices. A remote desktop connection eliminates configuration issues, allowing employees to access files and services regardless of the machine they are using. Now may be the perfect time to consider a Remote Desktop solution for your business. Make sure you and your private data are protected, no matter where employees are located!
Star2Star Blog Article
Why Your Business Needs Voice, Video & Collaboration Tools
Business leaders often want to know why they should go through the process of keeping up with the latest communications solutions. Do companies really need to be using top of the line voice, video, and collaboration technologies? And is it worth upgrading? Related: Choosing Cost-effective ...
collaboration, Communication, ucaas, video, voice
Business leaders often want to know why they should go through the process of keeping up with the latest communications solutions. Do companies really need to be using top of the line voice, video, and collaboration technologies? And is it worth upgrading? Related: Choosing Cost-effective Communications If you think about it, communication is one of the most important things that a business can invest in. It’s critical for just about every process, from customer service, to project management, to planning and problem solving, and everything in between. As such, all organizations should strive to build a multi-faceted communication and collaboration strategy. Here are some of the top advantages to using voice, video, and collaboration tools: A Stronger Customer Experience (CX) At the end of the day, all roads lead back to CX. Customers now demand fast, efficient, and reliable service with every interaction. What’s more, customers want service on their terms. One of the best examples is video, which in recent years has shifted from a differentiator to a basic expectation in customer service. Video usage has exploded during the pandemic, with no sign of slowing down any time soon. Related: Customer Service Tips For A Pandemic Using the latest voice, video, and collaboration solutions can demonstrate that a business is committed to engaging with its customers, and in tune with the changing technology landscape. An Attractive Work Environment In addition to CX, businesses today also need to pay attention to the employee experience (EX). Demonstrating an efficient EX is critical for attracting and retaining top talent. Workers need access to tools and services that help them perform at a high level. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For For example, imagine trying to recruit a top sales associate. This person will want to see a robust set of communications tools that will allow them to keep up with customers across multiple channels, throughout both the pre-and post-sales process. It may seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but this type of offering can send the message that a business is committed to empowering workers and enabling success. More Learning Opportunities By encouraging communication over voice, video, and collaboration channels, product managers and R&D teams can gain a world of insight that can be used to directly improve services and drive profits. Related: How To Prepare Your Business For A Communications Upgrade Many B2B organizations are now inviting clients to collaborate in persistent chat channels, third party collaboration hubs, and in video meetings. These channels can bring different teams together to share information, leading to mutual gains, new partnerships, and more breakthroughs. Improved Productivity Yet another benefit to investing in communication solutions is that they can lead to significant internal productivity gains. Related: Forecast Trends For For The Post-COVID Workplace In one famous study, researchers at Stanford University found that participants who were asked to act collaboratively stuck to their task 64 percent longer than their solitary peers, while also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels, and a higher overall success rate. These are just some of the benefits that companies can experience by upgrading communications services. All are worth considering in context of “the new normal”, which demands better communications and collaboration from a distance. The choices you make today for your business will greatly impact its future as we head into uncharted territory.
Star2Star Blog Article
The New Normal & Tips For Adapting
Businesses are now settling into the “new normal” of the pandemic. It’s a transitory time full of uncertainty and change, especially regarding workplace communications and collaboration. Related: Customer Service Tips For A Pandemic The pandemic greatly accelerated both digital ...
collaboration, Communication, Covid, covid-19, New Normal, ucaas
Businesses are now settling into the “new normal” of the pandemic. It’s a transitory time full of uncertainty and change, especially regarding workplace communications and collaboration. Related: Customer Service Tips For A Pandemic The pandemic greatly accelerated both digital transformation and cloud adoption, with many businesses rushing into deployments and adopting new tools and strategies to maintain business continuity. Now that we are in the latter half of the year, it’s a good time to do a communications gut check to make sure that all systems and processes are working optimally and serving the organization effectively. The New Normal Tips & Tricks Here are some tips to consider, based on some of the feedback that we have seen throughout the pandemic. Scale Back Meetings When Possible Following the pandemic, meetings spiked across the board, with one-on-one meetings increasing by 18 percent. Managers are holding more video meetings than ever to keep team members engaged, which is proving to be detrimental in some cases — contributing to video conference fatigue and time waste. Related: Forecast Trends For The Post-COVID Workplace Leaders should remember to embrace autonomy, and avoid unnecessary video conferences throughout the week. This can reduce burnout and increase output. Just because employees are at home, doesn’t mean they are always slacking off or misaligned. Trust is critical in any remote work arrangement. Plus, many meetings can be streamlined using chat or email. Discuss Collaboration As A Team The pandemic also led to a spike in third party app usage. Administrators should now be talking to employees about the collaboration apps they are using, to see whether they are helping or hindering productivity. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For It’s also a good idea to talk to employees about the technologies they want to be using daily. For example, a persistent messaging tool could prove to be very useful for certain groups. Set Acceptable Use Policies The pandemic has changed the way that teams are communicating. For instance, instant messages have increased between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight, which is an indicator that employees are working longer days with less rigid schedules. Related: Choosing Cost-effective Communications Managers should spend time determining acceptable use policies to govern communication while working from home. Some companies may be perfectly fine with messages running 24/7, while others may prefer to keep after-hours communication to email to respect privacy. It largely depends on the company’s culture. Offer Flexible Communications Workers should have a variety of communications options at their disposal, and the freedom to choose their preferred tools. For example, some workers may want to capitalize on the surging video call trend, while others want to go back to using traditional voice services. A unified communications platform can give workers the freedom to choose what works best for their needs. Related: How UCaaS Can Help Teams Transition To The New Normal If there is one thing we can’t stress enough, it’s that businesses should be fluid about their remote work policies. Companies should use this time to continue experimenting and working to enable an optimal remote system. Administrators should also regularly check in to make sure company policies are in tune with worker expectations.
Star2Star Blog Article
Customer Service Tips For A Pandemic
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. consumers were suddenly faced with widespread product shortages, which was something the public hadn’t really experienced in decades. People were scared, confused, and inundated with misinformation. Suddenly, basic details — like where to ...
collaboration, communications, Covid, covid-19, Customer Service, Pandemic, ucaas
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. consumers were suddenly faced with widespread product shortages, which was something the public hadn’t really experienced in decades. People were scared, confused, and inundated with misinformation. Suddenly, basic details — like where to get paper goods or fresh produce, or whether public areas were closed — were difficult to obtain. Related: Forecast Trends For The Post-COVID Workplace Making matters worse, many organizations were unprepared to handle the sudden spike in call volume, or the shift to remote operations. Organizations across all industries, from travel to finance to local governments, struggled with long wait times and service delays in their contact centers. Related: Telehealth Trends In Response To COVID-19 One of the most important takeaways from the pandemic is that companies need to have scalable customer service continuity strategies in place, to keep communication flowing throughout any situation. Pandemic Customer Service Tips Here are some customer service tips that companies should consider when it comes to disaster preparedness. Leverage The Cloud The days of using large, in-house contact centers are coming to an end. Customer service, like most other business processes, has gone remote. Companies can enable powerful remote customer service using the cloud, which allows agents to securely access tools and databases from their home offices. Every contact center should have a cloud-based communications and collaboration platform for agents and managers, which can connect to cloud CRMs and other business platforms. The cloud is a must-have technology for contact centers in 2020 — even organizations that have resisted it thus far. Related: Choosing Cost-effective Communications Offer Flexible Communications Unified Communications can streamline both customer-facing and internal communication, providing a mechanism for exchanging information in a way that is flexible and convenient. Look for UCaaS solutions that enable secure text messaging, voice, video, and digital fax between agents and customers. Related: The New Normal & How UCaaS Helps Teams Transition Implementing UCaaS and expanding your communications channels is a great way to reduce overall call volumes. This can help resolve issues faster, reducing complaints and lowering costs. Offer Extended Support During an extraordinary situation like a pandemic, when people are busy rushing around tending to emergency situations, they don’t always have time to tackle daily problems within normal business hours. Extended service hours should be offered, to accommodate customer requests and help people solve their challenges. This is especially true in critical industries like finance and lending, where customers may need to speak with representatives about making payments. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For Companies that cannot afford to offer extended support should look into using chatbots and automated attendants, which can help triage requests and assist customers with basic questions at all hours of the day. Analyze Customer Needs Some companies are throwing the towel in for 2020, and using the remainder of the year to rebuild, with a plan to hit the ground running and sale in 2021. This is a good time to reflect on customer feedback, and build services that are more in-line with end user needs. Related: How To Prepare Your Business For A Communications Upgrade This is where it pays to have a robust CRM service with UCaaS functionality, for recording conversations, sharing feedback, and strategizing as a group. After all, customers don’t typically hold back when speaking to customer service agents. Teams should be monitoring calls looking for small nuggets of insight that can be applied to products and services. The best solutions will also provide you with actionable data integrated with your communications, allowing you to continuously improve your customer experiences.
Star2Star Blog Article
Forecast Trends For The Post-COVID Workplace
As the pandemic continues to spread across the U.S., most companies are now hunkering down and refining their social distancing strategies. The “work from home” trend is just beginning. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For This has been a significant shift for the ...
Covid, covid-19, Trends
As the pandemic continues to spread across the U.S., most companies are now hunkering down and refining their social distancing strategies. The “work from home” trend is just beginning. Related: Team Collaboration Solutions & What To Look For This has been a significant shift for the U.S. workforce. Before COVID-19, just 7 percent of U.S. employees worked from home regularly. Now, roughly two-thirds of the U.S. workforce is working remotely. Post-COVID Forecast While it’s difficult to predict exactly how the virus will pan out over the next year, a clearer picture is emerging of the post-COVID workplace. We are on the cusp of a much different era, where workers are no longer tethered to their office desks. Here is our forecast for the changing workplace: Work From “Home” Will Expand Right now, the majority of companies are in the early stages of remote work. They’re experimenting, building trust with workers, and adjusting their strategies. It’s still very much a trial period. As time goes on, more places open, and the virus (hopefully) subsides, companies will start to expand their definition of work from home to include working from anywhere. Home offices, in other words, will become remote offices. Related: The New Normal & How UCaaS Can Help Teams Transition Companies that resist this trend, and force employees to return to “the way things were”, will likely face pushback, high turnover, and negative reviews. Collaboration Tools Will Become Essential Remote workers need to be able to communicate quickly with other employees throughout the day, exchanging ideas, obtaining status updates on projects, and resolving issues. Conversations that used to take place in the cubicle or around the water cooler still must go on. Related: How To Prepare Your Business For A Communications Upgrade For this reason, digital collaboration channels like chat, text, and video, have become the new standard for businesses — even in traditional organizations that have previously resisted using them. Public Cloud Adoption Will Accelerate Cloud adoption is surging, as businesses continue to expand beyond their physical borders. Even skeptics have come to see the cloud as a critical business enabler. We anticipate public cloud adoption will continue to accelerate in the coming months, as businesses continue to migrate core services away from legacy systems. The Gig Economy Will Grow According to Gartner, 32 percent of organizations are planning to replace full-time employees with contingent workers in order to save money. The gig economy is quickly growing, and teams are being forced to adapt. Related: Are Integrated Communications On Your Radar? For example, leveraging transient workers requires having both identity governance and access control policies in place. In addition, managers need flexible and convenient tools for training, communicating, and collaborating with new team members. Adding new team members without these systems can invite risk, and make it difficult to complete objectives and meet project deadlines. Engagement Will Become A Top KPI The pandemic is forcing managers to re-think how they approach productivity and performance monitoring. Some metrics that used to be effective in offices since become outdated, with more companies now embracing ideas like autonomy and flexible scheduling. Now, companies are starting to shift away from traditional productivity monitoring, and are instead focusing on monitoring engagement and well-being. Related: The Future Of Enterprise Technology & Where We're Headed “Even before the pandemic, organizations were increasingly using nontraditional employee monitoring tools, but that trend will be accelerated by new monitoring of remote workers and the collection of employee health and safety data,” explains Gartner. Is your business prepared for these forecasted events? Now is the time to prepare and set your future for success!
Granite Telecommunications Video
Stories From The Quarry Episode 3 - Quick SIP Trunk Additions
Channels, Granite, SFTQ, Sip, video
Granite Telecommunications Video
Stories From The Quarry - POTS and Cost Containment
Channels, Cost Containment, Granite, Pots, SFTQ
Granite Telecommunications Video
Stories From The Quarry - School Bus WiFi
Channels, Granite, SFTQ, Wifi
Granite Telecommunications Video
Pivoting in the Pandemic, How to Help Customers Through COVID-19 (InCompas 2020)
Channels, Customers, Granite
Granite Telecommunications Video
Granite : The Truth About SD-WAN
Channels, Granite, sdwan, telecommunications
Granite Telecommunications Video
Stories From The Quarry Episode 4 - SD-WAN Speed Round
Channels, Granite, sdwan, video
CallTower Brochure
Moving to the cloud is easy with CallTower
Calltower, Cisco, cloud, communications, Hcs, ucaas
CallTower Brochure
CT delivers customization & flexibility to Cisco's cloud communication solutions
Calltower, Cisco, cloud, Communication, Solutions, ucaas
CallTower Press Release
CallTower Delivers Five9 Intelligent Cloud Contact Center with Microsoft Teams Integration
Calltower, Communication, contact center, Contact Center\, Direct Routing, Microsoft Teams, Press Release
Lumen Technologies White Paper
DDoS: A Changing Attack Landscape Requires a Modernized Strategy
DDOS, Lumen Solutions, security, Whitepaper
CallTower Press Release
CallTower’s Native Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Solution Sales Skyrocket
Calltower, communications, Direct Routing, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Native, News, Press Release, Solutions, Teams, ucaas
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Lumen CCS Network Queuing
CCS, Contact Center Solutions, Contact Center Support, Lumen, Network Queuing
AT&T White Paper
Fortifying IT Against Disruption
New whitepaper available for co-branding! Fortifying IT Against Disruption, sponsored by AT&T and Equinix. Partners can add their logo by clicking in the top right and can enter their contact information on the last page.
At&t, cloud, Co-Branded, colocation, Equinix, hosting, Whitepaper
New whitepaper available for co-branding!  Fortifying IT Against Disruption, sponsored by AT&T and Equinix.  Partners can add their logo by clicking in the top right and can enter their contact information on the last page.
AireSpring Brochure
AireSpring Global Managed SD-WAN
AireSpring’s Global SD-WAN delivers the benefits of SD-WAN with a global private network (GPN), bypassing the unpredictability of the public internet over long distances and providing a reliable, holistic network. The Power of Global SD-WAN Cloud platforms, SaaS applications, video and ...
Cdn, China, Content Delivery Network, Global Network, GPN, Great Firewall, SD-WAN, sdn, sdwan, security, WAN Optimization
AireSpring’s Global SD-WAN delivers the benefits of SD-WAN with a global private network (GPN), bypassing the unpredictability of the public internet over long distances and providing a reliable, holistic network. The Power of Global SD-WAN Cloud platforms, SaaS applications, video and voice are all business-critical for modern global enterprises, producing an increasing amount of traffic to and from the cloud. AireSpring’s Global SD-WAN solution leverages our strategic partnership with VMware and utilizes VMware’s SD-WAN by VeloCloud™ which was named the leader in Global SD-WAN in Gartner’s 2018 report on Critical Capabilities for WAN Edge Infrastructure. Built on the layered strength of this industry leading SD-WAN solution with the power of the AireSpring Global Private Network, AireSpring’s Global SD-WAN advances connectivity to a new level, taking down barriers that formerly challenged multi-national enterprises, solving problems like quality of service (QoS) over longer distances and regulatory restrictions in some geographic locations. A combination of multiple low-cost carriers overlaid with SD-WAN allows most domestic businesses to achieve a cost-effective, enterprise-grade network solution. However, the power of Global SD-WAN will support the needs of most multi-national corporations with multiple offices and data centers in geographically dispersed locations.
Lumen Technologies Brochure
SD-WAN Technology Adoption Assessment
Lumen, SD-WAN
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Managed Enterprise Hosted Collaboration Data Sheet
Collaboration Solution, Hosted, Lumen, Managed
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Eliminating IT Sprawl
It, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Choosing the Right Ethernet Solution
Ethernet, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Customer Premises Equipment (CPE)
CPE, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Encrypted Wavelength
Encrypted, Lumen, Wavelength
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Adaptive Network Security
Adaptive Network, security
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Fiber+ Enterprise
enterprise, Fiber+, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Converged Services
Converged Services, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Adaptive Network Security Service
Adaptive Network, Lumen, security
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
IQ+ Financial Network
Finance, Financial, IQ+
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
CDN
Cdn, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Lumen: How Financial Services Firms Can Harness Disruptive Technologies
Finance, Financial Services, Lumen, Vertical
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Encrypted Wavelength for Healthcare Services
Encrypted Wavelength, Healthcare
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Adaptive Networking and IT Solutions for Pharmaceutical Firms
Adaptive Networking, It, Pharmaceutical
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Adaptive Networking for Healthcare Providers
Adaptive Networking, Healthcare, Lumen
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Lumen: Manufacturing in the Digital Age
Lumen, Manufacturing
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Lumen: Leveraging IT Structure as a Service
It, Lumen
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Lumen: Build a Hyper Connected Bank
Hyper Connected, Lumen
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Lumen: How Does a Multi-CDN Strategy Work for My Business
Cdn, Lumen
CallTower Brochure
Office 365/Microsoft 365 Licensing
Calltower, Deployment, Direct Routing, Features, Licensing, Microsoft, Microsoft 365, O365, Office, Office365, Teams
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Fiber+ Portfolio
Fiber+, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Managed Enterprise with Cisco Meraki
Lumen, Managed Enterprise, MECM
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Lumen Contact Center Solutions
contact center, LCCS, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution
Cisco, Hosted
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Lumen: Accelerating and Securing the Digital Experience
Digital, Lumen
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Lumen: 5 Best Business Practices for VoIP Transitioning
Lumen, voip, Whitepaper
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
SD-WAN with Versa Networks
SD-WAN, Versa
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Ethernet
Ethernet, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Presentation
Voice Complete
Lumen, voice
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Cloud Connect
Cloud Connect
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
DDoS Mitigation
DDOS, Lumen, security
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Lumen Voice Complete
voice
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
SD-WAN Solutions
SD-WAN
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections
Cloud Connect, Dynamic, Lumen
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solutions
Cisco, Lumen, Solutions
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
SD-WAN with Cisco Meraki
Cisco, Lumen
Lumen Technologies White Paper
Lumen: Global Trend Report
It, Lumen, Whitepaper
Lumen Technologies Brochure
Why Lumen: Harnessing the Power of the 4th Industrial Revolution
Lumen, Technology
AT&T Brochure
AT&T Cyber Risk Posture Assessment
Customer facing product brochure for AT&T Cybersecurity Consulting- Risk-Based Posture Assessment, which can be the first step in helping customers understand where they currently are in the cybersecurity journey. Starts at $6K NRC.
consulting, Cyber, cybersecurity, Posture Assessment, Risk, security
Customer facing product brochure for AT&T Cybersecurity Consulting- Risk-Based Posture Assessment, which can be the first step in helping customers understand where they currently are in the cybersecurity journey.  Starts at $6K NRC.
CallTower Press Release
CallTower named one of IndustryWired’s ‘Top 20 Companies with Most Disruptive Solutions in 2020’
https://www.calltower.com/name...
Calltower, IndustryWired, Press Release, Solutions, Top Companies, ucaas
https://www.calltower.com/name...
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Lumen Network Map
A map of Lumen fiber lines.
Lumen, Map
A map of Lumen fiber lines.
Lumen Technologies Data Sheet
Lumen Company Overview
CenturyLink, Lumen, Technology
CallTower Data Sheet
Technical Guide - Prepare your organization's network for Microsoft Teams
Calltower, Guide, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, Office365, Teams, Technical Guide, ucaas
MetTel White Paper
Three Lessons from Smart City Pioneers
MetTel is in a unique position to see many Smart City projects from proposal to implementation. We’ve put together recommendations for cities looking to learn from successful Smart City pioneers. Read the white paper to learn how innovative cities across the U.S. are implementing Smart City ...
Smart City
MetTel is in a unique position to see many Smart City projects from proposal to implementation. We’ve put together recommendations for cities looking to learn from successful Smart City pioneers. Read the white paper to learn how innovative cities across the U.S. are implementing Smart City initiatives. Interested in learning more about MetTel’s Smart City initiatives? Read our blog, Answers to Three Common Smart City Questions. DOWNLOAD
Vonage Webinar (Recorded)
Office Anywhere - The New Reality or a Trend that Ends in 2020
2021, Education, Office Anywhere, Work From Anywhere, Work From Home
CallTower Brochure
GCC High Environment with MS Teams Audio Conferencing
Audio, Calltower, conferencing, Direct Routing, GCC High, Government, Microsoft Teams, Teams, ucaas
CallTower Brochure
CT Microsoft Teams Buyer's Guide
Buyer's Guide, Calltower, Collateral, Direct Routing, Guide, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Solutions, Teams, ucaas
Vonage Webinar (Recorded)
Smart Numbers
Applications, Numbers, Programmable
AT&T Brochure
IoT Video Intelligence Customer Deck
Customer facing presentation for IoT Video Intelligence solution- includes thermal imaging & social distancing monitoring.
At&t, iot, Social Distancing, Thermal Imaging, Video Intelligence
Customer facing presentation for IoT Video Intelligence solution- includes thermal imaging & social distancing monitoring.
Vonage Webinar (Recorded)
Optimizing Patient Care with Triage Solutions
Cloud Healthcare, Healthcare
CallTower Press Release
CallTower Ranked Among World’s Most Elite 501 Managed Service Providers (MSP)
https://www.calltower.com/calltower-ranked-among-worlds-most-elite-501-managed-service-providers/
Calltower, CT Text, GCC High, Msp, Press Release, Service Provider
https://www.calltower.com/calltower-ranked-among-worlds-most-elite-501-managed-service-providers/