Thursday, April 29, 2010

Best Hosted VoIP Phone System For A Small Business

There is one thing you should keep in mind before deciding on which one is best. Most hosted VoIP applications have the same features and about the same monthly/annual cost structure. Most will also provide a softphone (residing on your laptop) for your traveling needs.

The biggest determining factor in whether or not you will be happy with whoever you select is the Quality of Service issue and that is ultimately controlled by who your ISP is going to be and how well their network meshes with the VoIP provider's platform. This is a technical hinge not often considered by small businesses (or telecom consultants, for that matter). Go ahead and compare features and pricing, but only after you determine how well each option you're considering will mesh with whatever Internet line you'll be running it over. Hosted systems means you will be running things over the open Internet, not an MPLS (for example). This will ultimately be the deciding factor of what level of Quality of Service you get.

You definitely need to look beyond features and price points since most providers are very similar. Quality of Service (QoS) including the customer support piece .... as well as synching with your ISP are the real difference makers in a decision such as this.

That said .... of the many options available to you I recommend that you consider Packet8 (also known as 8X8) and Ring Central for your short list. Both meet the sniff test for features and price points .... and more than hold their own in those arenas. In fact I'd say they're both more than competitive. What sets them apart is the QoS aspect and ability to "play nice" with most any ISP. Even the lesser quality internet providers.

Packet8 has won numerous industry awards for their various business packages. They also are built around Uniden phones (top of the line hardware there) …. Plus they have video phones as an option if that's of interest.

My experience is that a hosted VOIP solution works best in a very small office, say four to twelve users but after twelve users the monthly expense starts going up and a premise based solution would cost you just about as much as a hosted solution.

The benefits of a hosted solution are obvious; smaller initial start up costs and many ‘big-boy’ features for the dollar. The problem is scalability, management, service and on-going costs. Another hidden cost is bandwidth. I have a customer that purchased a T1 of internet access and then purchased 25 phones from a hosted IP provider. The problem was when all of his agents were on the phone, there was no bandwidth left to access their hosted CRM. So now they needed to purchase another T1 to accommodate their Voice and Data traffic and BAM, there goes the ROI for hosted IP.

If you have a small office and a reliable internet connection, go for it. Otherwise I would recommend you look at a premise based solution.

Keep in mind ... again ... that ultimate quality rests with your ISP not your VoIP provider. Internet connectivity is the limiting factor ... what makes or breaks VoIP call quality and performance.

I suggest looking over the other Hosted VoIP Providers listed on the link provided below ... side by side with Packet8 and Ring Central (also listed) .... and decide from a fact based position. Just don't forget to test with your ISP for true compatibility and desired performance levels.

Hosted VoIP Phone System Providers

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Much Does SIP Trunk Calling Cost?

There are two types of SIP trunking, private and public - private is a direct line (T1, Ethernet, etc) to the carrier network, and public SIP uses the internet as transport.

If an internet SIP trunk provider were to charge their clients the same way as they themselves are charged for wholesale SIP... then they would usually charge a flat fee per inbound simultaneous SIP trunk. They don't get any minutes on inbound calls which is why they need to make money on the trunk. Typically between $10-$20 per inbound trunk.

Outbound on the other hand shouldn't cost anything per trunk, you just pay for minutes. If 100% of your traffic was outbound and you do a lot of minutes, I know providers who would give you an unlimited number of outbound SIP trunks and simply charge per minute which can range from $0.015-$0.04 per minute for LD and Local.

Private SIP trunks carry different costs. You need to pay for the loop and port for the circuit first. Some carriers sell SIP based on bandwidth... so if you need 3megs worth of SIP calls you just pay for the appropriate port size and you can do whatever you want over it (SIP, internet, data). Other carriers charge for the loop and port, plus per simultaneous SIP session and they productize every little thing you want to use. Private SIP sessions can range in cost from $12-20. It's almost highway robbery to charge per SIP trunk on a private circuit because by the time you pay for the loop and port (which are usually the only costs associated with a PRI).. you then have to pay per channel. A T1's worth of private SIP trunks... usually about 17 simultaneous calls unless you use G.729 will cost roughly $500-$600/mth including loop and port.

With private SIP, you also have to make sure that your phone system is supported by the carrier.

SIP services are all being charged in different ways by different carriers, it's very confusing.

In the US, CLEC's don't usually charge for inbound calls. My clients haven't paid per call charges for inbounds calls (LEC or CLEC) on any type of dedicated trunks for years (except 800 numbers, which is the LD rate - a couple cents).

For help sifting through all the options and potential price points … and to find the most cost effective solution for your specific needs … I recommend taking advantage of the free assisitance here:

Cost For SIP Trunking

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Video Security Software ….. Video Surveillance System

VISEC is a powerful video surveillance system that allows you to watch your home or office from anywhere in the world, even a cell phone. Who can use this product? Anyone! Install it at your elderly parents’ front door so they can see who is there, keep an eye on your pet during the day, and even remotely monitor your office to see who is coming in and out.

Any small businesses that CAN’T afford an expensive monitoring system can certainly afford VISEC. Also, those large businesses that do have a sizeable budget and CAN afford a large monitoring system can opt for a Visec commercial system that is comparably rated to a military grade system. With VISEC there are no limitations. You can login from anywhere in the world and know what is happening.

One of the more frightening and potentially dangerous crimes that can occur to a family is a home invasion robbery. A home invasion is when robbers force their way into an occupied home, apartment or hotel room to commit a robbery or other crimes. It is particularly frightening because it violates our private space and the one place that we think of as our sanctuary. Home invasion robbers work more often at nights and on weekends when residences are more likely to be occupied. The home invaders will sometimes target the resident as well as the residence. The selection process may include a woman living alone, latchkey kids, or a senior citizen for example. It is not unheard of for a robber to follow you home, based on the value of the car you are driving or the jewelry you are wearing. Many home robbers have been in your home before as a delivery person, installer or repair vendor. Home robbers rarely work alone and rely on an overwhelming physical confrontation to gain control and instill fear in their victims. The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. They hope that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that. If you have a Visec camera installed anyone can simply view the person standing outside of the door before opening it and call for assistance.

Again ……. what is VISEC?

VISEC is an amazing computer program that turns your computer into a powerful security system. It's simple to use, and available for an immediate free trial download.

VISEC can run on a PC 24 hours a day, even while you work on your computer. Use your existing computer and web camera and be notified to your cell phone, home or office when motion is detected. Log in from anywhere in the world, including your cell phone.

The VISEC program can be set to record all VIDEO activity, or just when motion appears. The program can email you when it detects motion and even upload all images to different websites. With the Internet, you can connect directly to your personal computer and see in real time, live and historical video. VISEC even makes it possible to send out email alerts with surveillance recordings included.

This allows you to remotely whenever and whatever activity your camera captures. VISEC utilizes a breakthrough in motion detection technology that incorporates complex and advanced algorithms (without the need of separate sensors) allowing an operator to just record only when motion is detected, saving you time and the cost of continuous recording as in traditional CCTV Systems.

This product is applicable for residential as well as business customers. Check it out and see for yourself by visiting ……. Video Surveillance System

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Telecom / IT VAR Partner Program … Perfect Strategic Marketing

Would you like FREE Leads For Your Telecom Equipment Sales & Installation Services ..... AND Earn Commissions On Dedicated Bandwidth Circuits Too?

There is zero cost to become a VAR, and we offer you a percentage of the commission on any circuits that are sold via a lead that you originated, which is a monthly payment for the duration of each circuit’s term. The percentage of commission split is commensurate with the number of sales that you bring to the table.

As a VAR, you can have as much or as little involvement with the bandwidth sale as you desire. From one extreme of being totally involved from beginning to end, to the other extreme of basically “throwing the lead over the fence” to be closed. We are an agent for over 30 top/first tier carriers nationwide, offering bandwidth from T1 (full, fractional, voice, integrated, data) to DS3 to Point-To-Point to Frame Relay to MPLS to collocation to GigE and OC-3 to OC-192. The lead comes in through your specific website so it is tagged with your ID, and then we work with the customer, the carrier Channel Managers, (and/or you, as you desire) to get the best possible price and solution for the customer’s requirements. This then frees you up to be able to suggest and provide your value-added services to your clients, without spinning your wheels to find the best deal on bandwidth for your client.

It really does work out to be a win-win-win situation. Your client wins because they have gotten the best pricing possible from a top tier/first tier carrier. You win because your time is freed to be able to concentrate on providing your value-added services to your customer, as well as sharing the commission on the circuit sale, as well as having found excellent bandwidth value for your client. And we win because this additional sale helps to reinforce our Platinum agent status with the carriers we represent.

We only represent Top/First Tier carriers. Based on the volume of business that we provide to each of our carriers every month, these carriers allow us to *guarantee* our customers the lowest price possible that they will offer for the same circuit/term/location. We back this up with our Low Price Guarantee, which states that if a customer gets a lower price from one of our carriers or another reseller for the same service at the same term at the same location, we do 2 things upon verification of the quote: (1) we match that price with that same carrier, and (2) we pay 20% of the customer’s entire first month’s bill, up to $500.

We are an agent for ACC Business, AT&T, Sprint, MCI/Verizon, BellSouth, TelePacific, Netifice, Xspedius, USLEC, Megapath, Nuvox, Telnes, AireSpring, Qwest, PowerNet Global, UCN, Paetec, Level 3, TW Telecom, New Edge, One Communications, Broad Sky, Cavalier, Covad, Network Innovations, Broadwing, and many more. And again, each of these comes with our Low Price Guarantee.

Our web sites also have a “VAR Lookup Tool” function for customers. Frequently a customer needs bandwidth AND an application solution, or perhaps only needs a network application solution such as colo or VOIP or perhaps the customer is looking for a router or IT consulting services. Using this tool, the customer can search our VAR database, specify what they are seeking, and find contact information for YOUR company ..... as well as a description of the types of products/services YOU can offer, with your contact information readily displayed for them to contact you directly. We negotiate with you for a percentage of the charges for that client that was referred to you through us.

As one of our VAR’s or Strategic Marketing Partners, you get a website very similar this one. Your customers can go into this website 24x7 and get REAL TIME and instant pricing information for:

* T1 (full, fractional, dedicated, integrated, local voice, long distance voice).
* DS3 (full, fractional).

And since we are aware the very second that a customer visits your website, we can be in touch with your customer and/or you (as you desire, your choice) .... to provide additional information on this circuit request and/or other circuit types; i.e., frame relay, point to point, MPLS, VOIP, OC3 through OC192, VPN, collocation, etc.

If you any have questions .... or are interested in getting started as a VAR - Strategic Marketing Partner ..... simply register your interest here:

Telecom VAR Partner Program

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Is A DS3?

To meet the ever-expanding need of high-end IP throughput for today's large enterprise, tier-one providers are rapidly expanding their DS-3 footprint, making this carrier-grade Internet connection a viable option for more and more corporate buyers.

A DS-3, also called a T3, is a dedicated circuit delivered by a LEC via traditional local copper networks and, in some cases, over fiber. In its full rate form, a DS-3 has the same capacity of 28 T1s. Like a T1, a DS-3 can be channelized to deliver voice as well as data. When channelized for voice, a DS-3 can hold 672 individual 64 kbps POTs lines. When connected to a tier-one carrier edge router however, it delivers 45 Mbps of bi-directional Internet connectivity.

Who Buys A DS3? …..

Likely buyers of DS-3 service consist of enterprise-size business with high data demands, such as large scale VPN, video conferencing, and corporate-hosted application servers. Software development firms will often require throughput above and beyond the capability of a T1 to handle client upload and download traffic as buyers log onto FTP servers to access patches and newer versions of their product. Hospitals and clinics who share a large number of electronic images such as MRI will require bit rates in excess of the 1544 kbps available on a standard T1. The print industry is a voracious consumer of bandwidth also, as they pass large graphics files to and fro. Local and regional ISPs themselves will use DS-3 circuits as the backbone of their consumer-oriented broadband delivery. Just about any user of tier-one, carrier-grade bandwidth that has outgrown T1 and NxT1 options is a likely candidate for DS-3 service.

What To Consider For DS3 Cost …..

While a DS-3 will always incorporate a full 45 Mbps access Loop, a typical deployment of a DS-3 circuit rarely begins with a full rate Port. Most corporations expanding beyond the limits of their T1 and NxT1 service opt to make the jump to fractional DS-3 such as 6 or 9 Mbps. Often times, a 6 Mbps fractional DS-3 will be more expensive from a monthly recurring cost standpoint than simply bonding more T1s. Corporations who jump from a dual bonded T1 or higher NxT1 speed to a 6 Mbps DS-3 will typically incur a larger monthly price than that of just adding more T1’s. The draw to DS-3 is found in its scalability properties. Upgrades are a matter of resizing the port, which will rarely take more than a few days, and growth to full 45 Mbps can occur at a pace with which the corporation is comfortable. As users scale above 9 Mbps, the DS-3 begins to become the better priced option. Additionally, the cost of CPE required to implement large-scale T1 bonding, along with lowering per megabit prices of the DS-3, begin to sway in the favor of the DS-3.

For assistance finding the most cost effective DS3 Bandwidth solution solution for your business today … I recommend taking advantage of the free support provided through this online resource: DS3 Bandwidth Solution

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Future Of Business VoIP

The future of business VoIP holds the potential for much improvement …. Especially if the pace of positive change and innovation holds to it’s current course.

In the next few years, we will see the completion of the integration of voice, video and data networks within corporations. The TelCos will be a bit slower to replace TDM systems completely.

That said, we will see improvements in reliability and the expansion of soft applications for voice/video related functions. We are currently learning what possibilities may arise with new systems - new features that will improve business and increase revenue if implemented correctly. These will include mobility applications, data integration such as with ERP systems data and many more. We see the growing significance of 'Data Warehouses'. Voice integration possibilities with Data Warehouses applications appears to be limitless. Look at what has happened with Smart Phones. Expect that to expand. Expect to see better VoIP integration with cellular services.

Look to companies that know these areas best with the most experience in any given area. They will be the pioneers.

Bottom line is that I do not see an end to innovation. The sky is the limit.

Now regarding cost ….. Phone systems and phone services will always cost money, but costs may come down as efficiencies improve with better SIP services and more seamless integrations. However, do not count on slicing your telecommunications budget. Although new features such as Mobility and Telecommuting will result in lower costs for corporations, they will likely result in rising Telecommunications budgets. Particularly in light of the current economic woes across the globe.

Enterprise VoIP has begun to make great progress over the last several years. To achieve this in difficult economic times proves the genuine commitment to VoIP. Still the larger organizations are deploying VoIP in migratory phases while continuing to maintain the TDM network until timing and budget is right for further conversion to VoIP. A remote office, new location or renovated department will be converted to VoIP but existing departments and locations can remain TDM for some time moving forward. VoIP at the Enterprise level has been heavily promoted since 2000 yet it is still in its beginnings ten years later.

For the smaller client Hosted IP solutions provide a compelling product with many features offered at a low entry-level price point. These customers must remember when committing to a hosted solution that you are only as good as the Service Providers network and when systems are down you at the mercy of their staffs ability to remedy the situation. Some Hosted Solution providers are more heavily leveraged than others. This can result in greater susceptibility to future staff reductions, network failures and eventual deterioration in customer service. Always remember when committing to a Hosted Solution that the providers network reliability and customer service is your lifeline to an up and running VoIP Solution.

If you do need assistance finding the the most cost effective business VoIP solution solution for your business today … I recommend taking advantage of the free support provided through this online resource: Business VoIP Solution

Note ……. If you are talking about the convergence of voice, video and data onto a single network architecture with built in redundancy, then the future looks good. If you are talking about voice over an IP network, then you are talking about a service that is becoming more of a commodity by the minute.

The value in the future is in the total management of on-premises and hosted voice, video and data. A total solution set is necessary for long term viability of any company and any sales organization.

We are quickly moving past the arguments of hosted or on-premises PBXs. If you are not talking total communications and technology management, you are missing the real wave of change.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

DS3 Bandwidth … What It Is And What It Does

As bandwidth increases beyond 10 mbps, the price per meg decreases. i.e. an average price for one T1 now averages about $500 per month. With full DS3, the price per T1 typically averages about $125 per month or less. The monthly savings for larger bandwidths such as fractional and full DS3 result in significant savings on a per meg basis.

A DS3 or T3 bandwidth connection will handle the most bandwidth-intensive applications. A DS3 (or T3) is a digital communications link that supports data transmission rates of about 44 Mbps. A DS3 line consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbps. DS3 services allow cost effective connectivity from 15Mbps to 44Mbps.

If you do need assistance finding the most cost effective DS3 Bandwidth solution solution for your business today … I recommend taking advantage of the free support provided through this online resource: DS3 Bandwidth Solution

DS3 Bandwidth Solution also includes a Low Price Guarantee .... they guarantee that the rate quotes you receive will not be beaten by any "inside salesman", websites, or agents for that service provider. If you find a better deal, theye will match that price and send you a refund check for 20% of your 1st month's bill (up to $500)!

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

DS3 Line .... How To Get The Best Price

Keep in mind that a DS3 line is an ultra high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at rates up to 45 Mbps. A DS3 line is equal to approximately 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is fast enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network.

We deliver a real time preliminary DS3 line rate quote via email with a "1st blush" run through of our database .... and follow up personally with more detailed analysis based on your submitted network requirements and comments. The follow-up is also to answer any questions you have ... and especially to go over all options that will lower your costs and ensure optimal network performance. We want to make sure you get the absolute BEST DS3 bandwidth solution for your network application(s).

Our solutions emphasize all factors such as capability, QoS, SLA, reliability, scaling, infrastructure, and cost effectiveness.

When researching the best fit to meet your company's DS3 bandwidth application requirements....the process can be extremely frustrating, costly, and time consuming.

Too often this entails individually contacting each DS3 bandwidth provider in the intended area of installation ..... at least that you know of. Negotiating "in the blind" .... not knowing exactly where you can push for a better deal .... also puts you at an extreme disadvantage. Plus not knowing for sure if the DS3 bandwidth package they offer you will really cover your specific network application needs. The entire effort can take days, weeks, or even months to find just the right DS3 line and provider solution.

But there is an easier way. MUCH easier.

Simply take advantage of our FREE services!

We'll find the best cost effective DS3 bandwidth solution for your network application.....whatever it is. The entire process is done FOR you. Saving you time, effort, money, and headaches. NOTE: you can't get better pricing than we can get for you .... even if you go directly to the provider for DS3 bandwidth yourself. We guarantee it!

For assistance finding the most cost effective DS3 Bandwidth solution solution for your business today … I recommend taking advantage of the free support provided through this online resource: DS3 Bandwidth Solution

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Business VoIP And Hosted IP Today

Enterprise VoIP has begun to make great progress over the last several years. To achieve this in difficult economic times proves the genuine commitment to VoIP. Still the larger organizations are deploying VoIP in migratory phases while continuing to maintain the TDM network until timing and budget is right for further conversion to VoIP. A remote office, new location or renovated department will be converted to VoIP but existing departments and locations can remain TDM for some time moving forward. VoIP at the Enterprise level has been heavily promoted since 2000 yet it is still in its beginnings ten years later.

For the smaller client Hosted IP solutions provide a compelling product with many features offered at a low entry-level price point. These customers must remember when committing to a hosted solution that you are only as good as the Service Providers network and when systems are down you at the mercy of their staffs ability to remedy the situation. Some Hosted Solution providers are more heavily leveraged than others. This can result in greater susceptibility to future staff reductions, network failures and eventual deterioration in customer service. Always remember when committing to a Hosted Solution that the providers network reliability and customer service is your lifeline to an up and running VoIP Solution.

The above is not meant togo into in depth excruciating detail of the state of VoIP and hosted IP. If you do need assistance finding the right business VoIP or hosted IP solution for your business today … I recommend taking advantage of the free support provided through this online resource: Business VoIP Solution

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