Saturday, January 20, 2018

How To Spot An Opportunity To Improve Your Contact Center Operations....Efficiency And Effectiveness

A contact center is an integrated, and usually automated, communications system that coordinates all telephone and electronic contacts between an organization and the public. The goal when talking about contact centers has always been to connect your business to your customer. Some of the questions you should consider as a business with a contact center are:
  • What do you want your business to look like?
  • How do you want your business to be perceived?
  • How will people talk to you? Who should they talk to? How do you connect them?
  • How do you measure your effectiveness?

HOW TO SPOT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT TO YOUR CONTACT CENTER OPERATIONS

Customer experience has become the new battleground for competitive differentiation. When you look at customer needs they involve social media, self-service, mobility, texts, chats and email. These are all newer methods of communication, not usually associated with call centers, but nowadays call centers are really contact centers. In the past businesses have competed through products and pricing, but they now find themselves having to compete through service. One of the key factors for a business is the need to be able to interact with its customers in a manner which makes the customer want to interact with them. Therefore, the cloud contact center industry is expected to grow within the next three to five years as more businesses start to move into the cloud in order to be able to offer the features, functionality, and the type of customer experience their customers are demanding.

If you are unsure whether you have a contact centers with opportunities to improve operations, or if you don’t know what an opportunity looks like, the tips listed below will help you. 

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  • Most contact centers will have an 800 number, and this will be one of the easier ways to find out if there is a functioning contact center behind your business. By simply calling the number you will be able to figure out what what your functionality looks like, feels like, and if it makes sense. If the logic and the routing makes sense to you then you are most likely in good shape, but if it is confusing to you just imagine how it would be for a regular customer who is not technically inclined.
  • If your business has a website, specially with chat or email functionality, that is another sign a contact center exists with an opportunity to improve.
  • If your business uses a large amount of bandwidth it's likely Your existing contact center consumes a good portion of that...this is another opportunity for improvement.
Some other tips to consider when evaluating your contact centers for improvement:
  • Contact centers are more of a business outcome discussion. This mean you will want to have this discussion with somebody in the C-Level or someone who is in operations.
  • Always remember that moving contact centers to the cloud is a business culture, economic, and business outcome decision.
  • If during your discussions you find you are moving other items to the cloud, the contact center might make a compelling argument supporting shift to the cloud.
  • With AVAYA filing for chapter 11, there are a lot of businesses who are nervous about this and what it means. Many businesses might have antiquated AVAYA architecture in this premise space, so moving off of a premise system and into the cloud makes more sense.
  • Some of the benefits of moving to the cloud for a contact center are:
    • an increase in revenue;
    • cost reduction;
    • customer satisfaction improvement;
    • true business agility.
If you are comfortable when it comes to looking for the opportunity to improve, and know what to look for but don’t know how to start the conversation, here are some conversation starter tips: 

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WHY INCONTACT? 

The inContact business model consists of having professional contact center experts in their direct sales and engineering departments who team up with their client partners. 

Q&A 

Q: What is it that the cloud provides to contact center and to SMB that perhaps people don’t know about? 
A: When you move the contact center to the cloud, much like other missing business technology services, you get tremendous efficiency gains. Often times when you look at a premise space contact center, you’ve got a lot of people that are tasked with running it. They are tasked with break fixes, upgrades, and more, in order to keep the contact center running. All of this is very labor- and cost-intensive so that when you need to make upgrades or changes it will take days or even weeks as opposed to the cloud where these can be made instantaneously. In the cloud you can scale your business up and down based on business demand, which means that you are paying for what you are using as instead of overbuying technology. For companies with multiple locations or at-home agents, the cloud is an ecosystem for the contact center and enables greater efficiency. Another great thing about the cloud is that it gives you the capability to right-size your business based on customer demand.

Q: What can inContact bring to the table to help a client determine an ROI story their company leadership? 
A: Part of inContact’s sales model is providing an ROI analysis. This analysis consists of looking at what the client currently has, finding where the gaps in efficiency are, and using that information to put forth inContact’s proposal for service. You can see right away what the you have been paying, what you are using, what you are getting for your investment versus what inContact can do. Some of the cost savings associated with the cloud deployment are so sizable that the ROI is almost immediate.

To have a custom InContact call center solution designed for you...simply ask at the link below.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Every Global Business Can Find The Right Voice/Data/Cloud Network Solution For Them...Anywhere In The World

If you're an international business, doing business around the globe, then International Carriers are something that has become more important to your business in this age of a global economy. Below we'll talk about some key differentiator and questions you need to be thinking about when deciding just how to design the right international voice/data/cloud network for YOU. 

Your best options for these carriers have been split up into two different groups for this discussion, United States based carriers and international carriers.

UNITED STATES BASED CARRIERS



When we say “United States based”, we are referring to companies with the nexus of the ownership structure in the United States. These carriers are important because these companies will bill you directly, so if you want your bill in the United States and in US dollars, these will be your best option. Typically one portion of the solution you’re going to buy through them is going to be tied to the United States...so whether it’s a network, or a few locations for broadband access, you are going to have some type of nexus in the US when dealing with these US carriers.
  • AT&T - Serves thousands of customers on six continents, including all of the Fortune 1000.
  • Verizon - Provides businesses and governments around the world with leading IT, security, communications, network, and mobility services.
  • CenturyLink - Provides data, voice and managed services to business, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers.
  • Level 3 -  Strong international player especially in Canada, Europe, and Asia as a result of their acquisition of Global Crossing a few years back. Global Crossing was almost entirely focused on the international market space.
  • Masergy -  Owns and operates the largest independent Software Defined Platform in the world, delivering hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communication solutions to global enterprises.
  • Cogent - A multinational, Tier 1 facilities-based ISP, consistently ranked as one of the top five Internet backbone networks in the world.
  • Zayo -   Provides lit and dark fiber bandwidth infrastructure solutions and carrier-neutral colocation. Currently providing their services in seven countries.
  • Global Capacity - Multi-site, multi-state, multi-country network solutions – Global Capacity’s One Marketplace network takes the headache out of sourcing and managing multiple suppliers across divergent geographies - delivering services with one MSA, SLA, and invoice no matter the location or access solution.

INTERNATIONAL CARRIERS


The second group is made up of carriers who are truly international, meaning they are not US based. These companies have headquarters in foreign countries with maybe a field office in the United states. They can bill in foreign currency and directly,  they can also set up a network in those countries. These carriers usually don’t buy wholesale from other places. They operate around the world and also have domestic presence in their respected countries.
  • China Telecom - They have a huge presence in South America, and China along with the best rates.  
  • NTT Communications -  Known as the “gateway to Asia” with total ownership of submarine cable infrastructures and the lowest latency from APAC to the US. 80% of the Global Fortune 100 use NTT for their mission critical global infrastructure and IT needs.
  • TATA - If you have Data Centers or Contact Centers in India, Tata is the one you’ll want to talk to. They also have a huge presence in the Philippines.
  • Telia -   Also called Telia Company, Telia Carrier is a company that  provides network infrastructure and services to more than 1,200 customers in 80 different countries worldwide. Their IP network, AS1299, has grown from being the largest IP network in Europe to being the second largest IP network in North America and the second largest in the world.
  • GTT -  A global network integrator providing a broad portfolio of Wide-Area Network (WAN), Dedicated internet access and mobility services. GTT combines multiple networks and technologies such as traditional OC-x, MPLS and ethernet, to deliver cost-effective solutions. Their focus is on voice and cloud-based services
  • Expereo - Expereo manages over 2500+ providers across 200+ countries to provide fully managed internet services with standard Ethernet handoff, static IPs, feet on the street, SD-WAN, in a single partner to help support you in the US or globally. They are headquartered in the Netherlands.
  • Telstra -  A leading telecommunications and technology company offering a wide range of services globally, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. They have around 3,000 employees based in 22 countries outside of Australia providing services to hundreds of business and government customers. Telstra provides technology solutions for business and government customers, including data and IP networks, network application services such as managed networks, unified communications, cloud, industry solutions and integrated services.
These are the companies that can get you access, which means internet access, MPLS, SD-WAN, and field techs. The second group of carriers we discussed are the ones who will have the most field techs, while the first group of carriers are going to be the ones that rely on their foreign partnerships to get some of this work done. It’s important for you to know that because a lot of the times when work orders are handed off from one provider to another provider it creates some issues, but when you go right to the provider who is providing the service, everything happens a lot faster. 

MAIN CONSIDERATIONS 

Below we have listed some of things you should take into consideration when you’re deciding the design for your international network.
  • Point to Point - Is one of those locations in the United States or not? For example if you’re going from Dubai to Japan then you have to look at the second group of carriers who are the true international carriers. If at least one of those points is inside the United States then the first group of carriers who are United States based will be your best bet.
  • MPLS- If most of the locations are in the United States and just a few outside you will want to go with one of the United States based carriers. If majority of the locations are foreign and you only have one or two connections in the United States, the second group made up of truly international carriers will be your best choice. Of course than after the choice is made you will have to look into which carriers are available in the specific area you are in. The best way to start it out is just to narrow it down by country.
  • Stand-alone Internet Access - If you’re looking for stand-alone internet access anywhere outside the United States you almost always have to go directly to the second group of international carriers. It is very rare to get stand-alone DIA because that's regulated under the local government regulations according to the particular country. Stand-alone internet access has to be done by a carrier who is native to that country or a carrier that has Nexus in that country.
  • Last Mile - There are two different ways that carries can get last mile overseas... 1)  A type two connection, which means they have network to network interface agreements with that company. This is very expensive and technical. Companies like Level3 and Global Capacity have a lot of NNI’s.  2)  If you want to go from dozens to hundreds of options you actually have to just buy the last mile, in some cases retail which means the customer will have to go out and buy the last mile and route that back to their network. This opens them up to a lot more options.
  • In-Country DID Numbers - There are many countries that will allow DID Numbers so your client can have an in-country number, but there are also many countries that do not. There are carriers in the portfolio above that don’t offer voice at all or local DID number. A good way to figure out which carriers offer DID numbers and which don’t....just ask us.  {see link below}
  • Billing - If you’re a company that does not want to pay their bill in U.S. dollars you will have to find a carrier that has a nexus in your country. Nexus meaning an operating unit that has been registered with the local government that can actually bill in native currency.  Again, for help just ask us at the link below.
  • SD-WAN - Some of the carriers don’t have their own native SD-WAN or even resell it yet. It’s important for you to understand what companies can do it and which can’t, specifically which carriers have equipment on standby so if something breaks you don’t have to FedEx a new unit out to the country.  Again, just ask us at the link below.
  • Cloud and Colo Access - We talk a lot about Comcast, Level 3, CenturyLink and their ability to provide cloud connectivity directly into Azure or directly into AWS. What that is code for, is the ability to deliver connectivity directly into the data center in the United States where Amazon and Microsoft are co-locating their equipment. This applies overseas.

PUBLIC CLOUD ZONES 

All previous cloud connectivity discussions have been focused just on the North America, but as you can see from the image below Amazon has cloud zones in Brazil, Europe, and now they’ve also brought in Indonesia, Australia, China, and Japan. It’s important to know what you are intending to do in the public cloud, be we can also help build private clouds {just ask at the link below}.


In the image below you can see the zoning for the public clouds in the Microsoft environment. You’ll see that they’ve got a pretty comparable footprint with Amazon.  Microsoft has locations in Silicon Valley, Central US, North Central US, South Central US, and East US. They also have Brazil, Ireland, Amsterdam, and a good footprint across Asia, China, Japan, Australia, Singapore.


It is very important for you to be aware that today there is more need for connectivity internationally than there ever was before because internet and cloud access is worldwide technology upon which everyone is standardizing. Knowing the different types of international carriers, and what they can and can’t offer, is a great way to differentiate your network and help your business grow.

To take advantage of FREE quotes and support for design of international voice/data/cloud networks anywhere in the world...simply ask at the following link...it's easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Cloud Network Solution For All Seasons...Do You Know What It Is?

With the emphasis in today's world on a global economy, the demographics of the workforce continue to change. It’s very clear that more and more people are now working outside of their offices more often, which means people looking for ways to stay connected with their customers. An industry first, the 8x8 Communications Cloud empowers everyone in your enterprise to be more connected and productive no matter where they are....anywhere in the world.

The rapid shift to Cloud is happening because of a number of factors. The reality is on-premises implementations require IT teams to work on various activities at each location, but with cloud solutions administration is centralized. This saves time on daily activities allowing the IT team to focus on strategic efforts. Results-driven companies rely on the 8x8 Communications Cloud to reduce complexity and cost, improve individual and team productivity and performance, and enhance the overall customer experience.


As of 2017, there are about 400 million telephony users globally, by most estimates this market has been tapped into less than ten percent. From 2016 to 2018, Cloud Communications users will grow at 65 percent a year. This is a fifty billion dollar market which has forty billion dollars of UCaaS opportunity and ten billion contact center opportunities. It’s a very exciting time to be in the Cloud Communication space....for both providers and end users.

 

Back in 2002 when 8x8 began offering Cloud Communications, they catered mainly to small business customers, but soon they began to see interest growing within midmarket customers. About two years ago 8x8 noticed a real change in the market, it was no longer about whether the enterprise customer would go cloud or premise, but about which cloud. Today only 5 percent of the large businesses in the US  have adopted UCaaS, which means there is huge opportunity gap in this space.  Early adopters have leaped out in front of their competition.  That competitive gap widens more the longer an enterprise delays migrating to a cloud network environment.

WHY 8X8?

8x8 is a global communication provider with over 47,000 businesses and over one thousand employees mainly between their San Jose, CA headquarters and their UK, Romania and New York facilities. They are the only communication vendor that has been a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for five years running. 8x8 went public in 1997; they have been growing 20-25 percent a year since and have been profitable for about twenty seven consecutive quarters. They are the only Cloud Communications provider with a single solution. Some unique benefits only 8x8 provides:
  • Single Solution & Single Provider: Not Reliant on thirdparty. Seamless platform integrations and single source of resolution.
  • Global, Secure & Enterprise Grade: Most secure platform in industry (HIPAA, FISMA, PCI, and more), 12 data centers, 120 plue counties geo-routing, end-to-end SLA.
  • Advanced Reporting & Analytics: Every call scored, reporting from every device, and industry leading analytics (SFDC, supervisor, and more)
  • Quality Management: Intelligence from every call, quality management, address gaps in skills, surface issues.
Enterprise customers need integrations whether that’s with SalesForce or their proprietary CRM solution, 8x8 leads  the pack in the ability to provide these integrations. A very interesting market these days is the chat market. When you look at an enterprise customer base you will notice they use various chat vendors in different parts of the organization. 8x8 can now provide a conduit between all of those chats so all parts of the organization can talk seamlessly amongst themselves while still using their favorite chat platform versus trying to get them all converted into a single platform.   


To learn more about what 8X8 specifically can do for your enterprise cloud network efforts...and to learn what other options may be a good fit for your needs...simply ask us at the link below. Our assistance is free...and as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Cloud Network Solutions

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

If You're Not Using Office 365....Why???



WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD BE USING MANAGED OFFICE 365 

If you aren’t already using managed Office 365, you need to start doing so today. Most businesses have either already moved to Office 365 or are considering the move. Microsoft says 125 million people will adopt Office 365 over the next three to five years. As of today only 40 million of those people have already moved, which means there are over 85 million people still waiting to get Office 365. Are you one of those 85 million? The reality is that if they don’t get it now....you'll just fall farther behind your competitors who already have. 

It’s important to understand that a workforce that can work from anywhere on any device is much happier and far more productive. Microsoft sees this and recognizes that the cloud is changing everything, it is now all about mobility and they know Office 365 is without a doubt the single biggest tool that will drive that paradigm shift. Office 365 can offer the following:

  • SaaS Applications
  • Mobility and Remote Accessibility
  • Data Sharing and Security
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Endpoint Devices and Control Policies

Office 365 allows users to access it via the web, and pay for it on a monthly subscription instead of upfront. Users can also access it remotely on all their devices whether it’s a PC or Mac, on any device including desktop, laptop, tablet or with their smartphone. 

You can install Office 365 on up to five devices, each license enables five user devices and allows you to use them online or offline. It includes the latests version of all the office applications you’re familiar with like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more. But what good does that do you if you can’t get to your documents? With Office 365 your documents are all saved to the cloud by default so they are automatically backed up, meaning you now have a drive in the cloud called OneDrive for Business. This is where all the documents you are managing and working on reside, you can also share those documents with others. When your documents are saved to the cloud you can also sync these files to your laptop or mobile devices, that way you can still access and work on them when you’re offline. These documents will automatically resync back to the cloud when you get your connection back. This means you’ll always have the latest version of your documents available to you. All the files that you store in OneDrive for Business are private and only those who you decide to give permission to can access them.

Office 365 also enables communication. You can meet with your colleagues or customers whenever and wherever because Skype for business is an integrated part of Office 365. Now you can see your people's presence, which means you can right-click on their names to start an instant messaging session, and from that instant messaging session with a single click you can start a voice or HD video call, and you can also turn it into a conference call. All of this can be done without you ever having to leave that instant message window.

So why is Microsoft pushing everyone to Office 365? Because it is about mobility, collaboration, communication, and most importantly about staying connected.           
   

Q&A 


Q: When you combine Office 365 with the support that Navisite provides as well as the email security that Navisite offers, plus all of the subsidiary products and services, you really have a powerful combination that isn’t available anywhere else. Talk for just a second about why doing this through Navisite is so important. 

A: Office 365 is the tool that is going to lead everybody into the new connected world. The tricky part is that it’s not a plug-and-play scenario, you really need to either have an IT staff that is really good about managing Office 365 or you have to have partner who specializes in managing it. Navisite isn't that specialist on your team from an Office 365 perspective. Most Office 365 implementations fail when businesses try to install it on their own. Navisite offers a real-time proactive monitoring platform, this means that if anything happens to the network we will see it and fix it before you even know there is a problem. Navisite also offers a business continuity package that comes along with it, so if for some reason it does go down and they can’t fix it immediately they can restore all of your email in a matter of seconds, this helps prevent the loss of productivity while they try to figure out how to get your email back. They are also the only ones who have a very powerful SLA for support.

Q: How many seats have to be bought? In other words can you bring on single user or is there a minimum number of users that are required? How can businesses bring in new users as well as existing Office 365 users to navigate hosted management of that service? 

A: There is a 15 user minimum that Navisite requires, most of the very low SMB opportunities aren’t ones that will fit in their world. If you a license you bought directly from Microsoft they can certainly managed it for you, but they will not take over that license. Navisite will charge you a management fee, once your current term expires for your license with Microsoft you can then move that to Navisite, they'll then take a license and place the management on top of it, after that they will lower the cost of the management. The licenses are essentially the same cost, you can buy them from Microsoft themselves unmanaged, Navisite's management fee is about a dollar and a half above that, so you are going to pay a dollar and a half more per license to have Navisite management sit on top of the Microsoft product. If you want to keep your own licenses and have Navisite just manage your licenses it’s about four dollars or so per seat. When you bring your license over to Navisite they'll lower that four dollars a seat to their normal dollar and a half. 

Q: Can you talk just a little bit more about what Navisite offers those users who come on board?

A: The management package for Office 365 includes provisioning the email, 24/7 support, business continuity, and real-time proactive health monitoring in hybrid connectivity.  Additionally,  Navisite is a best in class cloud expert so once they've proven themselves and built some trust, you can start talking to them about your cloud strategy in general.

Q: Are there any potential users that would be considered protected accounts that might not be eligible to come over to Office 365 through Navisite? 

A: Yes, for example accounts that are already Navisite accounts are not eligible. Navisite will usually sell Office 365 to those who have between fifty and a thousand users. Anything below fifty doesn’t need a management package as robust as what they offer, and anybody above a thousand users generally has their own IT staff that is sophisticated enough to manage Office 365, plus they’re also getting volume pricing from Microsoft. The good news is that the majority of companies fit into the fifty to one thousand users category, which means they can come over to Navisite.

Q: Where can you find out more? 

A: You can learn more about your options for Office 365 and managed hosting for it by simply asking at the link below....it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Saturday, January 06, 2018

How You Can Have A Personalized Cloud Solution AND White Glove Service Anywhere In The World

RapidScale was founded in 2008 and is now known as the number one managed cloud services provider with a global footprint. They strive to be the most customer-oriented managed cloud services provider in the industry. Their objective is to understand your organization’s long-term goals around delivering, supporting, and managing IT. RapidScale’s personalized cloud solutions reflect the understanding that no two businesses are the same and their cloud solutions shouldn’t be either.

WHITE-GLOVE SERVICE

To make it easy for their customers, RapidScale has a full suite of white-glove services, not just from starting the conversation but also through service delivery. RapidScale provides exceptional attention to detail, assurance of a smooth transition and managed migrations. They also provide 24x7x365 support, with complete end-to-end management and monitoring of a client’s environment. Rapidscale is focused on building long-term relationships with their customers.

THEIR CLOUD SOLUTIONS

When people think about cloud, infrastructure as a service is one of the first things that comes to mind. For RapidScale, that’s what a lot of their customers go to them for, it is one of their number one revenue generating platforms.
Some of the CloudServer benefits are:
  • Simplicity - Replace on-premise servers, support, upgrades and backups with CloudServer.
  • Economics - Pay as you go consumption pricing.
  • Scalability - CloudServer services are hosted in multiple data centers in the United States, Europe, and Asia for maximum scale and geographic diversity.
  • Performance - Ability to add vCPU, vRam, and storage on-demand to ensure optimal application performance.
  • Security - Customers are isolated in protected resource pools and VLANs to ensure maximum physical and virtual security.
Detailed Service Description and Deliverables:  
  • RapidScale Provided Virtual machines
  • Virtual Machines include:
    • Operating system as specified on order
    • vCPU, vRam, and Storage as specified on order
    • Unlimited Data Transfer (Internet Bandwidth)
    • Public and/or Private IP Addresses
      • Public IPs must be justified per ARIN standards
    • Admin Access to operating systems and provisioning portal
    • Monitoring, emergency reboots, connectivity, 24x7 support
Standard and Management Features:

 

When you take the end user into consideration and how they interact with an environment and applications, you realize that more and more end users are working from home. RapidScale can provide a desktop as a service solution in a secure way across any device.
The Benefits:
  • Security - Lock down legacy PCs by forcing them to RapidScale’s CloudDesktop platform, and we take care of support, patching, backups, and virus protection
  • Productivity - Users can access their CloudDesktop from anywhere at any time, while administration is centrally controlled
  • Performance - RapidScale maintains the highest performance enterprise infrastructure available on the market today - 10G Core Network, Cisco UCS Compute, NetApp All Flash Storage
  • Scalability - CloudDesktops can be upgraded on the fly with little to no impact to the end-user
Standard and Optional & Management Features: 



CloudOffice is a bundled, multi-tenant virtual desktop solution that includes a Windows 10 desktop experience, company file share, user profile storage, Microsoft Office 2016, as well as many other common productivity applications. Self-service provisioning of desktops and applications via a robust portal is also a key feature of the CloudOffice service. 
RapidScale’s fully managed CloudMail offering allows businesses to enjoy the benefits of Hosted Exchange without the server management, troubleshooting, device setup, and much more. Managed cloud customers also have access to their 24x7x365 customer support for time help.
Features:
  • Benefit from the latest version of Microsoft Exchange
  • Automatic updates with ActiveSync across all devices
  • Built-in integrated email archiving, retention and discovery capabilities that save costs and simplify the process of preserving business communications
  • 50GB per mailbox
Standard and Management Features:


Benefits of CloudRecovery:
  • Increased uptime and data protection for business critical applications
  • No capital expenses
  • Predictable costs
  • Low RPO/RTO times
Standard and Optional Features:


To have a custom Rapidscale cloud solution designed for you simply ask at the link below....it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

When Considering Transitioning To A Cloud Based Network Infrastructure....User Experience Matters!



When it comes to transitioning to a cloud based network infrastructure, here is why you should worry about user experience first and think about price last because it takes care of itself. 


You can’t afford to not move your organization to cloud based collaboration.

The power of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCaaS) is becoming more and more recognized.  As companies consider the move to UCaaS, I see them starting with a financial model and a worry that the move might be too expensive to accomplish.  I understand cost is always a factor in business, but often the benefits of these solutions are under measured. In fact, at a recent meeting with RingCentral, they showed a success story with Box Inc. and the leadership at Box says they had achieved 80-90 percent of the cost of the solution in the savings they had achieved by consolidating the spend they were already making. 
57% of IT professionals surveyed who work in companies with 1,000+ employees said they believe the benefits of moving their communications to the cloud are either clearly identified or underestimated.
—The State of Cloud Communications, No Jitter Industry Insights Report
So, if cost isn’t as big of a factor as we may have thought, what should the factors in the decision be?  This answer makes sense if we consider one thing — How do we impact and monetize the workflow of our customer's organization? 

USER INTERFACE

Start with user interface! The user interface isn’t just one of the decision factors; it is the most important.  The user experience drives adoption, drives usage, and drives new ways to use technology that hasn’t been thought of before. It drives everything.  As you examine these solutions, make sure you are considering the mobile clients, the desktop clients, the desk phones, the headsets, the video applications, the collaboration engine, and the ability to connect to external applications and critical systems. 

INTEGRATION PLATFORM

After you get the interface selection right, the next step to consider is the integrations that will have the most impact on the organization.  As UCaaS is evolving, many of the leaders are creating platforms that will enable deeper and more custom integrations with company’s custom or purchased solutions.  The adoption of this is increasing quarter after quarter.  This critical component is easy to overlook if your trusted advisors are focused exclusively on voice replacement.
Over a quarter of survey respondents said their organizations already are or will be taking advantage of communications APIs and communications platform as a service (CPaaS) offerings in the next 12 months.
—The State of Cloud Communications, No Jitter Industry Insights Report

COLLABORATION

Collaboration is perhaps the most immediate benefit of installing a UCaaS solution in your business.  The ability to quickly share information, connect on customer issues, and communicate with team members allows employees to get out of their email inbox and back to the customers and projects that make the company successful.  The consolidation of other meeting, messaging and video solutions are often the place where cost savings are achieved.  The combination of the impact of standardizing on a single tool and eliminating alternative implementations creates huge value and benefit.  An effective video and document sharing component is crucial as more and more employees are traveling, working from home, or in other remote working situations.  Selecting the right tool reduces complexity and simplifies operational costs and provides a much more scalable and agile technology solution for users.

CALL CENTER FUNCTIONALITY

Call center functionality if often considered the domain of large organizations and brings visions of large cubicle farms of people in operator headsets.  While this is a good use for cloud-based communications, the agility of the cloud allows companies of all sizes to consider call center functionality to better support workgroups, sales groups and other teams small. There is also a benefit from the routing, measurement, and follow-up of a call center solution.  The integration of these features into a cloud based UCaaS solution lets organizations large and small benefit from the scalability and pricing of adding just a few call center seats to meet the needs of their customers and their business. It also allows partners to ensure value and increased adoption which drive the value of the solutions being offered.

PRICING

While it isn’t the first factor pricing is an issue and should be considered.  Cloud based pricing can be difficult to navigate, and fees and usage billing can be hard to estimate and understand.  As you shop for solutions, look for transparency and simplicity.  Ask about hidden fees and understand any items not included in the per seat price. Also understand toll-free pricing, international calling, and the included geographies.  Another factor is handsets; this diminishes if your company moves toward soft clients and web or mobile implementations, but handset cost can be monthly or one-time charges that need to be considered. 

USING AN EXPERT

The case to move communications and collaborations is strong and makes sense to achieve a more agile and modern approach to business communication.  The power of this also means that the selection of the right or wrong solution can have long and lingering implications either positive or negative.  Engaging an expert broker who knows how to navigate these solutions is crucial.  Our expertise and tools are unsurpassed in the industry.  A combination of selection technology and experience will be invaluable in helping your selection

For help designing a cloud based network infrastructure which best fits the needs of YOUR organization simply ask us at the link below.  It's as easy as 1, 2, 3....and our help is FREE. 


Custom Cloud Solution

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Why You Should Use Rackspace For Your Cloud Computing Services



WHO IS RACKSPACE?

Since 1999, Rackspace has been listening to their customers as they explore how technology can better serve their business.  Rackspace currently has twelve data centers around the world, which allows them to provide scale to customers. They are currently in 150 countries and the portfolio they provide includes dedicated, hybrid, and cloud services. Most importantly, Rackspace has over 6,200 employees who are there to support you and your customers.
So why Rackspace? Rackspace is very good at bringing on top talent from all the various aspects of IT. They currently have over 3,000 hard-to-find cloud engineers who have a combination of certifications across the board and real-world experience. Don’t settle for one-and-done, lift-and-shift support. Rackspace will architect, migrate, secure and operate your cloud while continually helping you optimize it for tangible business results. All of this expertise culminates in what they call Fanatical Support, which is their unsurpassed results-obsessed customer service that’s there when you need it without having to jump through hoops to get it. Their team will go above and beyond to support your business around the clock.

Rackspace will help you from start to finish. They can help you architect your infrastructure; they will let you know what it should look like and where you should go based upon the applications you're running and workloads. There’s also the choice of what type of environment will be the best because Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and OpenStack all have different reasons why that specific environment might be better for you than others. It might be that dedicated is this answer, regardless RackSpace will help you secure it, migrate it, operate and will then help you optimize it as well.    

We mentioned OpenStack previously, so what is it? OpenStack was founded by Rackspace with the help from NASA in 2010, they now operate the world’s largest OpenStack cloud and have experience scaling OpenStack clouds to thousands of nodes. Rackspace backs their OpenStack solutions with industry leading SLAs including a 99.99% API uptime guarantee for private clouds and a 100% network availability guarantee for clouds in a Rackspace data center. They deliver fully-managed OpenStack private clouds in any data center in the world. This enables you to maximize response times while meeting security, compliance and data sovereignty requirements. Learn more about OpenStack here.  

Rackspace was previously recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting, North America in 2014 and 2015. Now Gartner recognizes Rackspace as a Leader in their inaugural Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide.

WHEN IS IT A GOOD FIT? 

You might be wondering how you can tell if you are a good fit for a cloud computing solution, and when you should bring RackSpace in to help you. If you are running on old infrastructure, have older servers, storage and an old data center that needs updating, that’s a great opportunity to start talking to your organization leadership about moving your applications off your older infrastructure to an environment you don’t have to worry about managing. A few other ways you can tell if you might be a good fit for cloud:
  • Large number of custom applications
  • Venture capital backed
  • Private equity backed 
  • Acquiring companies
  • Divesting divisions
  • If you are an analytics based company 
  • If you are an eCommerce Company 
  • Asking about Office 365
  • Spending over $10,000 a month with AWS/Azure

Just like there are ways to tell if you are a good fit for cloud, there are ways to tell if someone isn’t. If you're a company that is looking for colocation and you are in a fairly stable environment, you are probably not a very good fit for Rackspace. A few questions that you should be asking to make it easier for you to tell if you are not a good fit are:
  • Does your company: 
    • Value capital IT expenses? (Depreciating Gear)
    • Have a large IT staff? 
    • Have highly specific regulatory requirements
    • Government (State or Federal)
  • Is your company’s Infrastructure usage: 
    • Very steady
    • Highly customized
A good thing to remember is that even though you might be a good fit for cloud, there are challenges that come along with cloud which you will have to address. In 2013, most companies were spending a huge chunk of their money on traditional IT. Nowadays the spending is going towards cloud services and having other people help them build their infrastructure. As we move more towards cloud services, there are challenges we have to deal with. Although challenges have been out there for years, there are now three that people are the most concerned about when it comes to cloud. One of those three main challenges is the lack of resources and expertise — there’s not enough people out there with the expertise to help companies do things on their own. Security is and has always been a concern. Lastly people are very concerned with managing their cloud spend. Regardless of this, Rackspace is here to help you through these challenges.

WHY RACKSPACE? 

The world today is multi-cloud and requires start to finish expertise. Rackspace is the only company with deep expertise. They have the world’s leading cloud technologies and are backed by a history of innovation and service. When it comes to the mission critical applications that you are relying on to run your business and make revenue, Rackspace can help you go to market more quickly. When you work with Rackspace you will see best in class custom designed cloud solutions AND flagship customer support.  


To have a custom Rackspace cloud solution designed for you...public, private, or hybrid...simply ask at the link below.


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How To Get The Right Technology Built Into Your Hotel/Resort/Casino Renovation Or New Construction Project


Technology deployment (including voice/data/internet) for a hotel/resort/casino property isn't a luxury....it's a MUST have. Don't worry, there's a resource available to help you get it right...and it's free to use.
Every hotel/resort/casino property MUST have a reliable and robust technology network built into it, including voice/data/internet (broadband)....it's as important as the walls, floors, roofs, windows, furniture, plumbing, electrical systems, furnishings, security, HVAC etc. But....how do you know what your options are AND if you are getting the right solution to meet your needs? 
When installing a broadband network for your hotel/resort you must consider the technology requirements of your staff, facility, AND your guests. What are their needs for back office operations, voice communications, data management infrastructure, financial/billing IT, reservation/accounting management, internet access, web/audio/video conferencing, business/conference centers, keyless room entry, IPTV, WiFi, multi-media use, security/surveillance systems, digital displays, engineering systems, IoT/smart building application control networks, etc. 
With that in mind, if you're looking to: 
* ....move into a new building with existing carrier facilities. 
* ....gather information that will be helpful in the planning stages of broadband system deployment for a planned new construction hotel/resort development.
* ....install broadband network connectivity into an already underway hotel/resort construction project.
Or....
* ....upgrade existing system capabilities as part of the renovation of a current property.
Than simply go directly to the link below and request their free assistance.....easy as 1, 2, 3:
Includes help in Voice/Data network design decisions, FREE independent circuit monitoring, fitting the right system to verified requirements, ensuring you get exactly what you need (no more, no less), finding the lowest cost for the right solution, comparing available providers at the desired location (by cost, quality, capability, & customer service), helping with paperwork, providing ongoing consulation, & MORE. 
See just how easy it is to get FREE real-time quotes on T1 lines, DS3 Bandwidth, Business Ethernet, Fiber, MPLS, cloud services, SDN, business VoIP, PRI, SIP, business phone service {wired landline, wireless, or VoIP}, conferencing capabilities, network management and monitoring, and MUCH more from available providers at any location you choose. 
All you have to do is ask.
One of the really attractive components of this no cost resource is the free independent circuit monitoring provided. The following article does a great job of explaining the benefits of that... 
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WORTH A LISTEN... this free resource was featured on a recent podcast of the Commercial Real Estate Pro Network focusing on the benefits to CRE Investor/Developers, Facility/Property Mgrs and Owners, and tenants {e.g. Hotels/Resorts, corporate work sites, office buildings, industrial facilities, mall complexes, etc}. 
Do you know how to make sure that you have the right technology backbone solutions in place to meet all of your voice, computing, and other technology requirements? Do you even know what your needs really are and what solutions are available to meet them? Do you know where to get help (free) if you need it? Listen to the podcast above from the Commercial Real Estate Pro Network to learn all this and more. 

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