Monday, February 28, 2011

Wireless Home Security Monitoring .... Overview Of FrontPoint Security Solutions

Get the best in wireless monitoring with FrontPoint Security Solutions. Interactive Monitoring is the 24/7 monitoring plan that gives you everything included with Protection Monitoring plus the high tech benefit of system accessibility when you are away from home.

Including .......

Remote Access -

Control your home security system from your web enabled mobile devices. Login to your system online and arm and disarm remotely. Customize your own settings, control user codes, and even see a summary of your system's activity.

Instant Alerts -

Aside from the phone calls you would receive in case of an alarm emergency, you can choose to receive an email or text message of system activity, including if a door was or was not opened at a specific time. Great for monitoring kids coming home, babysitters, and many other possibilities.

Video Monitoring -

Use your web access to view live streaming video from your home security camera. You can even have timed video clips emailed to you for a customized time, alarm, or system change.

For more information go to .... Wireless Home Security Monitoring

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

8x8 Complete Contact Center Overview

Want to improve your call center performance ..... and save money doing it?

Forget the big hardware and software fees.

With Complete Contact Center, they take the software-as-a-service or hosted approach which allows you to immediately launch your contact center for a low monthly fee with no hardware expense (except phones), no software licensing fees, and no implementation or maintenance team to hire.

* It’s fast and easy to implement.
* Your sales or support agents can be located anywhere you need them to be.
* Use its advanced features to route inbound callers quickly and appropriately

With 8x8, you can turn your contact center into a productivity center that gets better results from your agents.

Sound good so far?

Read On ......

8x8 Complete Contact Center is a hosted call center solution that delivers greater agent productivity and flexible call center management, at a fraction of the cost of traditional call center solutions. The 8x8 Complete Contact Center works with 8x8 Virtual Office VoIP phone service to give you an easy-to-use yet extremely powerful contact center.

The Fastest, Easiest Way to Deploy a World-Class Contact Center

* Low start-up costs, low monthly fees—Implement with no hardware (except phones) to install or manage, just one low monthly fee.

* Advanced call center features—Empower your team with advanced capabilities like skills-based routing, multimedia queuing, and realtime monitoring and reporting.

* Your agents, anywhere—Unite local and remote agents under one virtual call center. All information is routed through our hosted call center application, so you can establish routing rules and agent groups without limiting you to a single physical location.

* Get started quickly—Deploying a call center is now fast and easy; their jumpstart program gets you up and running fast.

* Change is good—Configure your call center or make changes on the fly, without any assistance from your IT department. If you have a telesales group, a technical support helpdesk, or a customer service department, we have a solution for your business.

8x8 Complete Contact Center Benefits .....

* Route callers to the agent with the right skills—Customize and use 8x8’s multi-media queue to quickly route customers to the most appropriately skilled agents, reducing the number of times customers are transferred. Callers will never feel "lost" or talk to someone who cannot help them.

* Improve your customer service—Customizable reporting functions as well as call monitoring and SLA management allow you to set and consistently meet your service levels for your customers.

* Start immediately—Start taking calls in as little as six hours. 8x8’s hands-on Jumpstart training program gets your contact center up and running quickly. 8x8 Complete Contact Center requires no hardware, software, or technical team to run the call center.

* Simplify operations—Changes are simple and easy so can you spend time on customer service, not on call center configuration.

* Grows with you—No need to pay for more seats than you need. Start small and grow with 8x8’s scalable solution and the pay-as-you-grow pricing model.

* Use a distributed workforce—Employ at-home agents. Use multiple locations. No matter how spread out your workforce is, your 8x8 contact center functions as seamlessly as a single entity.

* Security—Through the use of professional data center facilities, encryption protocols, and world-class security procedures, 8x8 provides higher security levels than most traditional on-premise solutions.

Watch the Demo ==> 8X8

Learn more about it here .... 8X8 Complete Contact Center

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Telecom Provider News For February

Here's Telecom provider news for February .... with a heads up on special deals, new offerings, and added capabilities for you to take advantage of for your business voice/data network.

1. AT&T -

AT&T is entering 2011 with a new generation of mobile broadband products and services. The telecommunications titan announced plans to accelerate the development of its fourth generation, or 4G, network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

2. Ernest Communications -

Effective immediately, Ernest will only accept orders with a minimum of $250 MRC (approximately 5 lines).

3. Level 3 Communications -

* Level 3 Communications, Inc. announced that, building on the company's extensive experience offering its Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and virtual private network (VPN) service portfolios in North America, it will make the services available in several European markets, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

* Level 3 Communications, Inc. announced that it has launched the MyLevel3 portal, an enhanced customer Web portal designed to streamline business transactions with Level 3. With a new dashboard homepage, expanded functionality and simplified navigation, MyLevel3 offers enterprise and wholesale customers improved control and flexibility to manage their services with one comprehensive tool.

4. Qwest -

* Qwest Communications International Inc. launched a new low-latency Ethernet private line solution, Qwest iQ E-Line service.

* The CenturyLink-Qwest Communications deal passed a key regulatory hurdle this week, gaining support from the Washington State Attorney General's Office and after the companies agreed to invest at least $80 million in broadband infrastructure in Washington over the next five years, as well as freeze basic residential telephone prices for three years.

5. Smoothstone -

Smoothstone announced the availability of Smoothstone's cloud-based voice solutions combined with Mobile Integration delivered over the Sprint Global MPLS network to provide unprecedented flexibility and performance for the most dynamic and demanding businesses.

6. Telx -

* Interconnection and colocation specialist Telx will deploy its Ethernet Exchange service at three more of the company's data centers, the company said. The new sites are located in Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles, which will join existing locations in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco.

* Telx, a leading interconnection and colocation provider in strategic North American markets, announced that leading voice and data networking company One Source Networks has joined the Telx Ethernet Exchange.

* Telx, a provider of colocation and interconnection services filed for an initial public offering in which it hopes to raise up to $100 million. The company intends to use the money to accelerate the growth of its business through expanding and upgrading its data centers, and possibly acquisitions. The company is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol TELX.

7. Time Warner Cable Business Class -

Effective immediately, Time Warner Cable Business Class' sales partners will begin using market-based pricing which mirrors the rates utilized by their direct sales teams.

8. XO Communications -

* XO Holdings Inc. announced that it formed a special committee of its board of directors to evaluate a proposal by an affiliate of billionaire Carl Icahn to acquire the telecommunications company for 70 cents per share in cash.

* BridgeWave Communications announced that XO Communications, one of the nation's larggest communications service providers, has deployed BridgeWave's FlexPort80 links to provide high-speed wireless network connectivity for customers not directly connected to the XO nationwide fiber network.

To take advantage of any of the items listed for the Telecom providers above .... simply request assistane and a free quote here: Network Deals

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

4G Or Not 4G .... That Is The Question

I am questioning the truth in advertising ..... for example:

1) Coverage .... a friend lives in the Los Angeles area and has connected to 4G twice in six months. It is truly fast. What is going on with all this coverage advertising when the largest metropolitan area in the nation has relatively no coverage?

2) 4G standards are very specific as they relate to speed. It is very fast. In many cases the carriers run on the same network in different areas. What is all this BS about I am faster than you???

3) iPhone/Verizon is only offering 3G which is somewhat fast and totally available. They will sell over 10 million phones in less than six months. It appears this is the only truthful offering in the business.

What is going on?

At the moment, 4G is really not that much better than 3G; it is faster but like you have seen coverage is very spotty still. Carriers lie, thats all there is to it about the coverage areas.

Yes, they may run on the same towers but the actual frequencies are different and transmission rates (from my understanding of towers).

The end of it, carriers lie or are very good at putting a spin on their network. I personally still am really angry about how the USA decided to setup its cellular network. Why are we not using a single standard like most of Europe? We really need to address coverage overlap before we start getting to gigabit type speeds on a cell phone.

What good is a 1Gbs data connection if you don't get any signal?

You are encouraged to leave a comment with your own opinion and experiences. The more comments the better ... and maybe we can share these insights to help others equally frustrated.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Medical Imagery Bandwidth Solution

A series of questions need to be answered before you can really get close to a "final" solution addressing medical imagery bandwidth.

First question you need is to determine your scale. Some typical questions are:

1) Average File Size to be sent
2) Number of files sent / time (day, hour, min)
3) Time Critical Nature of transmission (Immediate, Few Hours Late, Day Late)

This will give you an understanding of your bandwidth needs both from a Max Size and Total Volume standpoint.

After you've determined that, you need to outline the geographic nature of your sites. Are they regional in nature or national. This will help identify whether a Local provider (ie Cable/MSO or Small CLEC) or a National provider is a better fit. Local providers are usually less expensive, but you run into challenges in using them nationally (b/c they are usually going to have to use 3rd parties for the backhaul/transport) especially when it comes to outage management. Local providers are often less likely to have systems to verify SLA'a and be able to give you an end-to-end view.

Next set of questions to be answered relate to the capabilities of the IT organization supporting these sites and the CPE. If they are bare bones, then you want either a relatively simple solution (ie Ethernet focused). If they are more advanced, then a TDM solution may be acceptable.

Finally, once you've determined the answers to the above, now you can consolidate those into a set of requirements for bid. My recommendations follow for 2 scenarios:

Case 1 .....

- Medium Sized Bandwidth needs (<10MB ave file size, 100-200 files/day, hourly delays acceptable)
- Regional Focused with limited IT resources.

Recommendation: Business Class Ethernet/Metro Ethernet offering from local Cable/MSO or CLEC

Case 2 .....

- Large Bandwidth Needs (500 MB file size, 1000's of files/day, real time transfer). - National Focused with well skilled IT resources.

Recommendation: DS-3 or similar Fiber Based Bandwidth solution from National CLEC or ILEC.

What I have found is that the best solution for any company has to be specific to their needs. How big the facility is, in the case of a hospital, how much of their records are currently and in the future will be digital, must they send MRI and X-Ray images out to other sites, etc. Do they use VOIP for their phone system. All of these can determine what the best solution for their specific needs. If they use a lot of bandwidth, like an average of 80 to 90mbps right now, then fiber optics is the way to go. If they currently have a single T-1 but project that in the next 1 to 3 years they will need to have 5 T-1's then I would recommend upgrading to a DS3. If fiber is available and easy to get access to, then that is always the best route, as it is far easier to scale it up to higher bandwidth needs than you would find with traditional copper (T-1/DS3).

Transmitting images over a network backbone is all about speed. If fiber optic is available in the area, that would be my first choice for medical imaging applications. Fiber is very scalable and the prices are can be dirt cheap compared to copper lines, such as T-1.

Although slower, the T1 lines come with an SLA (service level agreement) and regular line monitoring. You may need to check if the FTTH comes with a similar SLA.

High resolution image files are the the most common larges files used in medical imagery. Are these files being moved across a WAN? This is the usuall set up. What is the baseline usage for this link or links? What is the criticality for real-time viewing, in other words do you need this to be viewed by other persons as the images are being produced .... or can you move the images during less bandwidth intensive periods?

You can have as much bandwidth as what you want to pay for. But if you only need it to be at a new location the next day .... then your options are increased and become BOTH application and bandwidth based.

I would not bother beginning such a project without a realistic estimate for the amount of traffic the link(s) will need to support, and drafting SLA requirements. Data size, reliability/DR requirements, and SLA metrics will drive the technical choices.

In practice, if you need to link small clinics to a data bank ..... especially if the remote locations will accept best-effort link ..... than a "business" T1 should provide enough bandwidth for transfers.

If you need to link large sites or data banks, try as much as possible to get ethernet (metro) links .... if those aren't available at a minimum look for a DS3 bandwidth or Sonet solution (e.g. OC3 bandwidth).

Generally speaking .... the best method for medical imagery applications depends on volumes of information and timescales for transmission, storage, processing.

Any organization which spans multiple continents would do well to chose the optimum solution for each geography .... and either the operators interconnect via NNI or the medical organization can do the same (chose carrier neutral facilities to achieve this cost effectively).

The advent of VPLS raises the question as to who should offer / own the connectivity.

Because VPLS supports multiple Layer 2 logically separate interconnects, it is possible for medical imagery to be just one of many applications available.

Therefore other applications can run "for free" across the same connectivity. Patient management systems, GPs (local doctor surgeries) can easily be added ..... even interconnects with public telephony and video applications so that patients can be visited by friends and relatives from home.

It will be interesting to see whether the medical imagery networks that are extending outwards also get used for other applications. Or whether networks for patient information and similar applications get upgraded to also support the medical imagery.

The answer is going to depend largely on the type of image. Each image type has different characteristics. The worst 'offender' in terms of bandwidth will be cardiology type images which offer essentially full motion video of th heart at very high resolutions. Secondly, it depends on what is being done at the site - diagnostic reading requires the absolute highest resolution where as consulting can often be done through a web server with lower resolution.

Finally, understanding reading patterns are key. In a large organization where the reading may be done at a different location than the image acquisition, a cloud type of network may be desirable rather than a traditional hub/spoke.

The problem with PACS is that once users start using it, the usage will increase and the usage patterns will become almost completely unpredictable unless you have very detailed information on referral patterns within the organization.

In general, metro ethernet is a relatively cheap solution that can allow for scalable bandwidth. Some providers are also providing Metro E over DOCSIS which can be very appealing for small sites.

For help in walking through all of the questions, options, pros and cons .... saving you time, effort, and money ..... I suggest taking advantage of the free support offered through: Bandwidth Solutions

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Internet Fax Services ... Who Do You Recommend?

I always recommend RingCentral when asked this question .... top reputation, very cost effective, feature rich, and great customer support.

For more information please go to:

Ring Central

Feel free to add your own recommendations as a comment below. Please include your reasoning and any personal experiences so others may benefit from your insights.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Product overview: ConnectFirst Hosted Call Center Infrastructure - Baltimore customer service | Examiner.com

Product overview: ConnectFirst Hosted Call Center Infrastructure - Baltimore customer service | Examiner.com

An article reviewing ConnectFirst's hosted call center platform was just published online on Examiner.com. The article was written by Michael Barbagallo, a 20 year contact center industry veteran who is a freelance industry analyst and consultant focusing on contact centers and unified communications in contact centers.

Droves of contact centers are moving away from owning and managing expensive equipment (pbx, acd, dialer, etc.) to hosted call center platforms. Hosted solutions are more versatile, flexible, scalable and have built-in disaster recovery benefits.

ConnectFirst is the premier provider of hosted contact center solutions. I invite you to read Michael's review of the ConnectFirst platform at http://exm.nr/fD11T9.

Please leave comments and share the article with your friends and associates.


Best regards,

Darren Prine
Connect First Inc.
E: dprine@connectfirst.com
www.connectfirst.com


Monday, February 07, 2011

Leased Line Vs ADSL & SDSL Technologies

What are the differences between ADSL and SDSL vs a leased line? Would it solve downtime and slowdown issues, and is it worth the extra premium it costs?

ADSL is asymmetric - since the tunnel flows across both links, your best throughput each way depends on the slowest "hop" - the upstream part of the ADSL. Since you have 2 links, and possibly different speeds on each, 1 direction is likely slower than the other.

Typically ADSL Internet feeds come with a "worst case" contention ratio, but give much lower rates in the typical case. In any case the underlying "plumbing" that gives rise to contention is symmetric, so contention normally doesnt bite in the upstream direction.

If you have consumer ADSL feeds, then the provider may be rate limiting them on top of any contention. This is put in place to control traffic flows for files sharing, but depending on who you use and how they implement it, it could decide your tunnel needs to be limited.

If you share the Internet feed for the tunnel with other general Internet traffic, you could be contending with yourself - the simplest fix for that on consumer circuits is just to have 2 links per site and split the traffic by function.

Finally consumer ADSL feeds come with a fairly slack availablility SLA due to price tradeoffs, and a 24 or more hour repair time due to the copper / DSLAM infrastructure being mainly there for consumer stuff. By default it is based on business hours - any / all may be an issue for your downtime.

SDSL is normally a business service, so you can expect ....

- a higher price
- a better SLA
- some control over price vs contention ratio.
- the higher upstream / lower downstream may improve your tunnel performance.

Both ADSL / SDSL could be used as access lines to other services - another option is MPLS.

A leased line is the classic symmetric "bit pipe" for telecomms services - here it could be a point to point link between the sites, or 1 at each site as an Internet access line. They come in different flavours and speeds - likely option here is T1 at approx 2 Mbps.

You will get higher availability and a fixed SLA of 4 or 5 hours, but higher charges.

In many countries the new high speed, higher reliability access line is a Ethernet link (lots of names for these depending on the provider and service flavour). Again - a bit pipe for access to different services like a leased line.

These come in different speeds 10 / 100 / 1000, and most providers will give some sort of "soft limit" for some services in 2Mbps steps say.

So 1 option not mentioned is an Ethernet direct llink between the sites. This will be economic if the sites are with in a few Km. If they are further apart then Ethernet access into an MPLS service will probably work out cheaper. Or get Ethernet based Internet access at each site.

If you go for any sort of private link between the sites, then keep the tunnel as a backup and you can use that if your main link is down.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

What Kind Of Broadband Do Consumers Prefer .... Fixed Line Or Wireless?

To be perfectly honest .... The consumer doesn't care about the technology used. Wired Services including Fiber to the House (FTTH) or Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) + VDLS (Very high bit rate DSL) & Wireless including 4G (4th Generation) or LTE (Long Term Evolution) are of no concern to consumers.

Consumers are concerned about speed (more download speed than upload in most cases), reliability & up time, cost and customer service.

If all things were equal, consumers would prefer a wireless technology (4G or LTE), because of the advantages of not needing a wire brought to their home. Ideally they could bring the device home and it would be Plug & Play. BUT, it would have to have the same speeds, cost and reliability as a wired service. Wireless technology isn't quite there yet.

To use an analogy, think of the broadband technology as gasoline for your car. You want it to be inexpensive (cheap), good quality so your engine runs reliably, and available whenever you need it.

To put it bluntly ..... consumers really don't care about the technicalities. They want something that works well, fits with their circumstances, is easy to set up and operate, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

For help finding the best fit broadband service for you simply go here:

Broadband Services

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