Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cloud Computing Satire {VIDEO}

"Cybersatirist" Bob Hirschfeld lampoons cloud computing and virtualization as a keynote speaker at conferences.

After all that....if you're still interested in finding a cloud computing solution that fits your organization's needs you're in luck. You can get FREE assistance, including design, comparison of available providers, and rate quotes simply by asking at the link below....easy as 1, 2, 3.

Cloud Computing Solutions

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How Do You Get The Right Technology Built Into Your Commercial Real Estate Project?...Let Someone Else Do It

Getting The Technology Backbone Right For A Commercial/Corporate Real Estate New Construction Development Or Renovation Project Can Be Frustrating, Time Consuming, And Expensive...But It Doesn't Need To Be.

There's a free resource available to help you with all the design, planning, and installation decisions for any technology requirements you face in your new construction development or renovation projects .

You can have a dedicated technical staff search and negotiate "best rate" for all of your dedicated voice/data/internet requirements....saving you time, effort, and money. They'll do all the work FOR you....FREE.

Whatever that application need is...voice/video communications (business office phones, call center, video security, video conferencing, etc.) and data/internet (work stations, conference rooms, multi-media, wireless connectivity, data network management, data security, disaster recovery, supply chain management, etc.).

Covers fractional and full T1, DS3, OC3 thru OC192, business ethernet and fiber...voice, data, and integrated circuits. Also includes frame relay, MPLS, SIP, point-to-point, VPN, private line, co-located servers, business VoIP, wireless networks, SDN, cloud applications, independent circuit monitoring, network management, and more.

Leverage their time and effort to maximize yours....at NO cost to you.

This is ALSO a value added service you can provide your clients...at no cost to you or them. Definitely a selling point to set your agency apart from other corporate/commercial real estate agents.

Given the highly competitive environment of corporate/commercial real estate...and the potential high return to the agent for a successful project...anything that raises your worth in the eye of your client(s) is a business enhancer. All the more if it doesn't cost you a penny.

They'll provide this free consulting service to you and/or your clients for you...and YOU get the credit.

It's as simple as just asking for help at the link below. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Technology Backbone Solutions

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...

"You Mean You Don't Have Independent Circuit Monitoring?...Sucks To Be You"

WORTH A LISTEN... this free resource was also 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}. Technology Backbone Solutions For Commercial Development Projects

Do you know how to make sure that you have the right 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 this newest podcast from the Commercial Real Estate Pro Network to learn all this and more.

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Getting The Technology Backbone Right For A Hotel/Resort Renovation Or New Construction Project Is Absolutely Crucial

Voice/data/internet {broadband} deployment for a hotel/resort 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 property MUST have a reliable and robust voice/data/internet network built into it...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 voice communications, data management infrastructure, financial/billing IT, reservation/accounting management, internet access, web/audio/video conferencing, business/conference centers, keyless room entry, WiFi, multi-media use, security/surveillance systems, digital displays, engineering systems, 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:

Technology Network Backbone Solutions

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, 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...

"You Mean You Don't Have Independent Circuit Monitoring?...Sucks To Be You"

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}.

Technology Solutions For Corporate Real Estate Development Projects

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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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Satire On The Internet Of Things {VIDEO}

"Cybersatirist" Bob Hirschfeld presents a scenario of what the Internet of Things will be like, excerpted from his keynote presentation for conferences lampooning business and technology.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Don't Mess With Texas...Specialty Communications Services Done Right

The options for specialty communications services is limited for those businesses needing them. So where do retailers, restaurants and pubs, hospitals, hotels and resorts turn for enterprise entertainment/video services? Where do commercial real estate developers turn for fully integrated telecommunications solutions (TV, internet, voice) for their tenants?

The simple answer is Grande Communications...the hands down top dog for specialty communication solutions. To find out what they can do for you simply ask at the following link. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Specialty Communications Solutions

Enterprise Video Services

Grande offers video services for companies that want to offer multiple channels of financial, news, weather and sports programming in their business establishment. Grande also provides fantastic entertainment lineups for retailers, restaurants and pubs. They're also able to provide bulk channel agreements for hospitals, hospitality and hotel customers. The below video is an example.

Enterprise Commercial Development

With Grande's extensive metro fiber networks, they're ready to bring fiber directly to your new or existing building for timely and cost-effective delivery of a fully integrated telecommunications solution. This is the perfect solution for every CRE developer.

They provide a knowledgeable single point of contact who is responsible for knowing the specifics of your building's telecom infrastructure. They'll work directly with your tenants to simplify the ordering process and enable faster provisioning of services to improve the overall experience for everyone involved. The video below shares their Grande pledge for Texas sized customer service with a smile.

What You Need to Know About Grande Communications

Grande serve companies of all sizes: from mom-and-pop shops to large corporations. If your company needs twelve phone lines or less and/or a broadband Internet plan, you will find the services you need in their small business section. If more than twelve phone lines and/or dedicated data are required, then let their expert enterprise staff work with you to create a customized services package for your business.

Enterprise Services

In business, there is no time for downtime. Grande owns and operates an extensive network with over 5,000 miles of fiber in Texas. They manage their network with cutting-edge technology and support systems to ensure uptime and world-class customer support.

Value for Your Business

Grande provides the best value for data, cable and phone for companies of all sizes so that you can be sure you are getting the most “bang for your buck” and focus on what you do best: Growing your business.

Local Customer Care

With a 24/7 Texas-based customer care center, you will speak directly with a professional support staff who will respond quickly to any questions or concerns. They have local account executives in your region and are ready to help you find a plan that works best for your business.

Who Is Grande Communications?

Grande Communications is a Texas-based broadband communications company that offers a full suite of Internet, TV and phone services. they're proud of their independent, 'can-do' attitude that has enabled them to serve over 160,000 customers in communities big and small.

Grande launched over 10 years ago with a goal to give Texans a real choice in entertainment and communications providers while also offering meaningful savings through their early rollout of bundled services. They have built a state-of-the-art, high-capacity fiber optic network using the latest technological advancements in broadband communications. The net result is better value and flexibility in TV, Internet and phone services for their customers.

With their focus on their customers, they have held true to the belief that their support teams must be in Texas to provide the best help to the Texans they serve. Their 24/7 customer and technical support calls will always be answered by someone right here in Texas.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Optimized Cloud Access With SDWAN...The Perfect Network Solution Every CIO Drools Over

Access to the cloud is too important to rely on a single path. You shouldn’t have to worry about Internet connections, performance and outages. Bigleaf’s optimization platform is an Infrastructure-as-a- Service model that does not require the purchase of expensive or complicated equipment, and installs quickly with a simple self-install process.

Bigleaf Networks optimizes office Internet for cloud applications. They do this by providing a stress-free way to utilize multiple providers to build a higher-performance connection over commodity broadband. The end result provides:

• Intelligent load-balancing across connections from different Providers
• SLA-grade bi-directional QoS capability over any type of Internet connection
• Re-routing of critical application traffic (such as VoIP, VDI and VPNs) between circuits without dropping the session

To take advantage of what Bigleaf can do for your network....including free rate quotes AND independent circuit monitoring included with any package should you elect to purchase....simply ask for a Bigleaf solution at the below link. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Optimized Cloud Access With SDWAN

Watch these videos to learn more about Bigleaf networks....

Key Differentiators

Intelligent Load Balancing

Monitors circuit conditions, adapting load balancing in real-time to match application traffic needs to circuit performance.

Dynamic QoS

Prioritizes VoIP and other real-time traffic across commodity Internet connections, even with varying bandwidth. Same IP Address Failover

The benefits of BGP without the hassle and cost. All applications (even VoIP) stay connected when a circuit fails.

Plug-and-Play Provisioning

Simple setup and service charges, no complex configuration required.

How Bigleaf Works

Bigleaf’s service distributes monitoring and control across both their core gateway clusters in the Cloud and their router in your building. They encapsulate your traffic within tunnels that connect from your on-premise router, running across multiple ISP paths, to their core network. These tunnels efficiently and reliably move your traffic to and from the Internet, while providing the adaptation system with end-to-end visibility and control of each circuit. The Bigleaf monitoring system constantly measures circuit performance in both directions, evaluates traffic flows from your applications, and adapts to changing conditions in real-time based on algorithms and alarm thresholds.

This infographic shows visually How Bigleaf Works.

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What SDN {Software Defined Networking} Is....And What It Is Not

Tyler Smith, Telarus VP of engineering dives deep into SDN, Software Defined Networking and shares a few case studies. The entire call recording can be watched here.

To take advantage of free assistance to engineer and design a SDN solution for your network...including a comparison of available providers with rate quotes...simply ask at the link below. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Free SDN Solution Assistance

How to Define Real Software Defined Networking Solutions

Just one year ago at the annual Interop Expo, Software Defined Networking was barely discussed or promoted. Fast forward one year, and the 2016 expo had mentions of SDN in nearly every session and presentation. The SDN term has picked up momentum and is almost a marketing term thrown around like Cloud or UC.. Just like the term cloud is loosely defined, SDN has likewise started sharing the same unfortunate clarity.

When we talk about SDN or SD-WAN, there are a few minimum requirements to really qualify for the term.

- It is a network service or an overlay that is going to replace what is a more traditional type wan service like an MPLS service. Meaning a private network provided to a person from a networking provider.
- This solution is provisioned and you interact with it in some sort of portal or maybe even cloud driven.
- Automatic failover. If you plug in two connections, it needs to fail-over to the other.

With these three common denominators to define SDN, you can wash out all of those tricky claims many people are making about their “SDN solutions” and focus on the real solutions. It’s a hot and trendy term, so following this definition will save you a lot of frustration of wasting time with solution offers that are somewhat counterfeit or misleading.

Key SD-WAN Features

The providers that are offering legitimate SDN solutions are able to provide a key feature as it relates to performance. For example, let’s examine a scenario where you have your two internet connections. There is an application like hosted VoIP and a low-cost bandwidth solution like cable backed up with a DSL connection. Neither of those connections are bulletproof. A key feature functionality is the ability to adapt to performance of the environment in real-time. Look at latency with the cable and DSL along with jitter and packet loss as all three affect the voice quality. Good SDN solutions will be able to take those into account in real time and adapt a voice call as it relates to the real time performance of the network. When problematic connections arise, it could reroute to the secondary link without disrupting the call. All that is done without having to touch the box since it’s automated.

In a traditional router environment, you can load balance two connections as well as an automatic failover. But typically you will do that based upon hard downs. That will require manual swapping and restarting connections which cause interruptions. SD-WAN does all that without any perceived disruptions or manual servicing.

A bonus feature is the ability to alert. Set notifications to alert about an outage and gain visibility on who is doing what within your network environment.

Current SDN Carriers {more to come}

This is an evolving space, and while there are a lot of providers coming out with great SDN solutions, this is a list of who is currently available:

Freewire

They are network agnostic. Their solution is an overlay on top of bandwidth. The deal will have determined where to get the bandwidth, how much will be used, and then Freewire’s solution will be an overlay on top of that. It can be an MPLS replacement and have applications like voice perform cleanly even over an internet-type connection. They are transparent about using backend solutions from VeloCloud.

Vonage Business

They have great interest in having their application work properly across different types of connections. They have gone down the road of talking about SDN as it relates to voice. Vonage also uses VeloCloud. Vonage recently noted their trouble tickets have been significantly reduced since the deployment of their SDN solutions and they couldn't be happier about it.

BigLeaf Networks

BigLeaf is a homegrown application and they have their own offering. They have strategically positioned themselves to go after customers that want to retain their own firewalls. There are plenty of customers in this space that are required to retain their firewalls, so BigLeaf does a great job at offering a solution for them.

Where is SDN a Good Solution?

Case Study #1

In this example, the customer has the following description:

- Retail Store Chain
- Hundreds of branches
- Hosted VoIP customer
- Private cloud (everything remote to branch)
- Dual provider MPLS T-1 based WAN (failover)

The problems this customer faces are:

- Bandwidth starvation
- New applications
- Remain PCI compliant
- Retain similar cost structure

In the T-1 world, the only real other option is to add another T-1 which may be around $250/month extra. Now taking a look at the alternative, let’s say you grab a fiber connection with 100 megs. You have the opportunity to get some lower cost bandwidth. Then you back it up with a 25 meg 4G solution and have the 100 meg SDN overlay. They’ll have the new ability to run their new applications and even save a little bit of money.

Case Study #2

In this example, Telarus offers its experience with switching to SDN. Our situation was as such:

- Technology Company
- 70 employees
- Hosted VoIP customer
- Fairly heavy SaaS users for production platforms
- Office 365 customer
- Few internal servers hosting applications

The hosted VoIP solution is key to our environment. We had a 100 meg coax and a 100 meg fiber connection with fiber being primary. With testing the SDN solution, we experienced a bunch of outages lasting about an hour or two each. For most employees, no one even knew about those outages since the automatic failover kicked in. With doing the math, an hour of downtime for us is about $3,500/month. Within 8 or so business days, there were about eight of those outages which would have been about $20,000 lost based on productivity. So the auto failover is a key piece. The reduced down time will result in the service paying for itself over the period of a year had the SDN not been in place and those outages taking their toll.

You can also learn more about SDN by watching the following videos.

VXSuite Validation

We have a probe that goes out and VXSuite validates performance. A recent announcement revealed that two probes on opposite ends of the continental US are available for our free circuit monitoring on Telarus sourced circuits (see link at top of this article). This monitoring acts as a third party validation of the network performance in an SDN environment. Telarus has been monitoring our own calls and has been able to validate all of the performance factors across the multiple touch points in our network solution.

IT professionals everywhere are really starting to take interest in the SD-WAN space. The hope being two fold: replace an expensive MPLS with something less expensive and also the performance side.

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Industrial Internet Of Things....How Big Is The Opportunity? {VIDEO}

Watch Accenture Chief Technology Officer Paul Daugherty with panelists Greg Scheu (President, Americas, ABB), David Kirkpatrick (CEO & Founder, Techonomy Media) and Jeroen Tas (CEO, Healthcare Informatics Solutions & Services, Royal Philips) as they discuss the Industrial Internet of Things and its opportunities.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Explanation Of Your Options For A Multi-Site Network Solution

Multi-site deals come in many flavors. Think for a moment about going into a bakery to buy cupcakes. You can buy pre-made cupcakes, or you can buy the ingredients and make a more custom cupcake. First, we will explore the cupcakes made and sitting on the shelf ready to buy.

To take advantage of free assistance for engineering and design of a multi-site netowk solution...including comparison of available providers with rate quotes....simply ask at the link below.

Free Multi-Site Network Solution Assistance

Off-the-shelf Multi-Site Solutions

Aggregators are a quick and easy way to put together a multi-site solution. There are several different flavors available.

Extended WAN/ NNI

The network is going to be interconnected either through a direct Ethernet connection or an NNI handoff. Comcast Business is a fantastic solution for this. They can put you on fiber and through an EWAN solution, they can connect you to any other Comcast customer in the country and other places where they have friends like Spectrum, TWC, and others. Typically the rule of thumb when looking at these types of opportunities, is you need to go with a carrier to own the paper where the most number of sites are located. Same things apply to spectrum and some of our CLEC carriers like Integra, Windstream, and TelePacific.

MPLS with International Access

Expereo and Masergy are your go to here. Masergy can purchase retail any circuit from almost any international company out there. Expereo has over 2,000 international bandwidth providers. Note that Expereo is internet access only, so if you need MPLS, it has to be Masergy.

Domestic MPLS with Massive Access

When you walk into a retail opportunity, and they have locations just about everywhere, think of these carriers: Earthlink is awesome for restaurants and retail since they do MPLS and also point-of-sale systems with PCI compliance and insurance. MegaPath, AireSpring, Windstream, Level 3, and Global Capacity are others to consider. Global Capacity has a tremendous amount of DSL access if you don’t need to go super high bandwidth.

Resold Access (Internet Only)

If you don’t need networking, just internet connection at a lot of locations, then consider the following carriers. Netwolves will determine who has last mile access and negotiate in the wholesale market and buy it. They aggregate that into one bill, manage the circuit, and take care of the problems. Earthlink, MegaPath, and Global Capacity are also good choices for this need.

Building Your Solution: Ingredients

Bandwidth diversity is key for multi-site opportunities. Know your buckets.

Cable Access

Know who the cable access providers are and where they offer service. Comcast Business
Spectrum Business
Time Warner Cable Business Class
Optimum
SuddenLink
Bright House
WOW Business

Fiber Access

Know who the fiber access providers are and where they offer service.

Level 3 Communications
CenturyLink
AT&T
Frontier Communications
Lightower Fiber Networks
Cogent

Wireless Access

Where you cannot get cable, fiber or others, you can go wireless. Know who the wireless access providers are and where they offer service.

Exede Internet
Accel Networks
AT&T
T-Mobile
Verizon

Entry Level Multi-Site Internet

Sometimes the customer is looking for basic internet service at multiple locations and wants everything on a single bill. You can source, through the retail channel, different cable providers and bring them onto one bill. Provide your location to your Telarus partner support manager and they can run those locations through our bulk GeoQuote tool to identify which cable providers are best. Going through retail gets you SPIFs and other extra support and those circuits are not going to be marked up.

Aggregators always mark up circuits so they can include their support and billing costs. So, in many cases, you can save your customer money by going retail. Going retail will obviously create the problem of multiple bills. Advantix is a TEM company (telecom expense management) that will put all those onto one bill. The customer will still sign contracts with the cable companies, but they will put Advantx as their billing contact. The customer will still maintain the liability to pay the supplier in the event that there is no payment. Advantix should be contacted about price since they do charge per location.

Entry Level Multi-Site Internet with Break/Fix

What happens if one of the Comcast circuits goes down? Well, you can bring in an aggregation specialist that is also an MSP. MSPs are experts in break/fix and traditionally have NOCs (network operations center). Their only job is to respond to emergencies. Comm-Core is a group out of Ohio that can do break/fix and also aggregate bills into one bill. This can be your solution for one throat to choke.

Multi-Site Redundant Internet with Break/Fix

For bulletproof internet, you need redundant internet service at multiple locations, everything on a single bill, and break/fix all included in the price. Secondary internet connections have to be from a different bucket. Exede is perfect with their disaster recovery program that has their wireless internet idling on standby in case the cable or fiber goes down. Comm-Core provides the auto-failover router to make sure you have internet running continuously even if the primary solution goes down. The biggest expense to a business is probably the workforce in most cases. The math will be easy in justifying this connectivity insurance, so your workforce isn't forced to pause all work.

You can get a visual of how Multi-Site Reduntant Internet With Break/Fix works with the following infographic...

INFOGRAPHIC

If any solution surpass $30,000/month, then your go-to will be Unitas Global. They are the biggest MSP you have ever met. Super large accounts run well through Unitas Global since they can do everything COmm-Core can and also layer in additional services reserved for enterprise-level customers.

Monitoring These Solutions

With all of these solutions, you need to keep things transparent and be able to see what is going on at any moment. You can also ask that a network performance monitoring solution be included with your MPLS network at the link sited at the top of this article. Your options for this include....

VXPulse

Cost: $10/IP address/month

Circuit Monitoring
Bandwidth utilization
Customized alerting
MOS scores (VoIP)
Router performance
WAN performance

VXSuite Network Assessments

Cost: $1,000-$2,000 (one time)

VXPulse devices are sent and turned to ‘active’ mode, seeing how much the network can handle
Complete reports to the client, white labeled as the agent
Bigger networks cost more to access ($100/hour-your cost)

VXSupportLine

Cost: Free

VoIP self-assessments and diagnostics
No hardware required
Turns PC into a test caller
Tests to participating hosted carriers

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User Adoption – The Key To Hosted UC {Unified Communications} Advancement

Recently at the Technology Innovation Conference, we engaged a panel of experts from hosted UC providers. The conversation was insightful as the panelists discussed technology and the direction and future of this communication solution. Most agree it will be the direction of communication of the future despite the fact only about 10 percent of companies have switched to hosted UC.

During the discussion, I made a comment about the desk phone being dead. I haven’t had one for two years, which leads me to believe, in the future, less and less office workers will do the same. The features and advantages of having a computer-based soft client are numerous. The flexibility and richness of the experience do not compare. In fact, two years ago I called our VP of sales into my office and suggested our company should be a catalyst to the end of the desk phone.

Can We Change a Culture?

Fast forward to the conference, this innocent comment solicited a passionate response. Many of the hosted UC panelists disagreed the desk phone would go anywhere.

Their reasoning?

People are creatures of habit and people will refuse to give up their desk phones. While I can see their point, I think they need to reconsider their position. I think it is their job to help force the industry out of the comfort zone and into a new reality. Too often, users refuse to change existing systems to get to the other side of a chasm that is a richer and more enhanced experience. I think these same users are probably still using their Nokia cell phones and accessing their AOL email addresses.

The future of business phone systems is hosted UC. If companies want to stay competitive they will need to support things that only a smart soft communication client can enable. That said, not all use cases for the desk phone are dead. Many functional use cases will justify the desk phone for a long time. But, I never thought my Nordstrom attendant would check my purchase out on an iPhone and I would never stand in line, either. Let’s be the creative catalysts who allow our customers to truly experience the benefits of hosted UC, and avoid the temptation of keeping the experience the same and merely changing the cable to connect and the location of the same old technology.

How Do We Move to Hosted UC?

So how do we do it?

Focus on the user experience of hosted UC.

I was meeting with our VP of development recently and he was adamant about the idea of never going back to a desk phone. He just would not be able to get his job done anymore. He was reliant on the video conversations he was having with his partners, instant messaging, and desktop sharing with his employees, and the integrated experience of seeing a problem in a document and immediately seeing presence information from the user and sending an immediate invitation to discuss. Hosted UC was just too good.

As consultants in this space, I would challenge you to give your users a taste:

- Try to do only video calls for one day. Even if the customer cannot reciprocate, have your camera turned on.
- Convince your customers to enable a pilot project for collaboration—enable presence and IM and see how much time they save by not calling people who are already on the phone because they can see their status.
- Collaborate on a document, proposal, or meeting with them and share it using the rich tools you have available to you.
- Discuss with them the changes technology could make—even the ones who “don’t need anything but a traditional phone.”

The way we communicate can be rich, robust, rewarding, and effective. There is nothing wrong with a traditional phone call, but with new communications, you can get the nuances of so many other methods of communicating.

My daughter’s voicemail asks people to text her. My parents start calls with their grandkids on Skype or FaceTime first and then fall back to voice communications only when they have to.

I am excited to be part of the change to move to hosted UC in business. I fly around the country and meet with partners and suppliers and those relationships are better maintained with I video, text, and chat, in addition to our other conversations. I cannot accomplish the things I do every day without this robust experience. Let’s own our customers’ user experience and when we get it right our customers will reward us with the business, revenue, and success that comes with it.

If you'd like to see what Hosted UC Options are available to your business....including a free comparison of providers with rate quotes...simply ask at the link below. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Hosted UC Solutions

You can also watch these videos to learn more about Hosted UC.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Fundamentals Of MPLS {Multi-Protocol Labeling Switching}...Understanding Your Choices For A Multi-Location Network

This video is intended to give you an overview of basic MPLS usage, configuration, and verification. We start with a quick synopsis of the differences between routing packets based on Layer-3 header information as compared to switching PDUs via a Label (sometimes called a “Tag”). Then we dive into the structure of the MPLS Label and how each field is derived. You are introduced to the four protocols capable of generating, and distributing, MPLS Labels between routers, and then we go into a deep-dive of LDP (the Label Distribution Protocol) complete with lab examples and detailed sniffer traces. Other facets of MPLS are also discussed such as Penultimate-Hop Popping, MPLS TTL usage, and Conditional Label Advertisement. This course should serve as a great foundational MPLS course so that you’re ready to dive into more advanced MPLS courses such as MPLS VPNs and MPLS Traffic Engineering.

Armed with this information you can now request free assistance with the engineering and design of a MPLS solution for your multi-site network project....including a comparison of available providers with rate quotes....at the link below.

Free MPLS Network Solution Assistance

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

How The Internet Of Things Will Change The World {VIDEO}

What happens when the Internet of Things goes global, and what will we need to do for us to reach this vision of the future?

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Funny Technology Commercial {VIDEO}

A commercial for all those people in our lives who would somehow "die" without their precious little techie garbage.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Smart Buildings....The Future Of Building Technology {VIDEO}

A study on the future of building technology shows that requirements are undergoing lasting changes. Which changes are coming up and how Building Technologies is dealing with these changes is shown in this movie.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Technology In 2019.... What The Future Of Tech Looks Like! {VIDEO}

This video by Microsoft portrays a unique and interesting idea of what they think the future of tech is and what company's all around the world would like to achieve by 2019. Some say that this is too optimistic for 2019, and that even though technology is developing quickly only a small proportion of the initial ideas will be successfully accomplished at some undefined point in 2019.

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Saturday, June 04, 2016

10 Reasons Why Hosted Telephony Is Good For Businesses

I don't know exactly what the future holds or what phones are going to look like in a few years' time but I am pretty certain that in the near future more and more phone conversations are going to go over the internet. Desk phone systems, mobiles and soft phones are all using the internet more and more.

A Brief Background to Hosted Telephony

Hosted telephony has been around for ages, since the 1960's in fact. For many years it was run over ordinary phone lines and this type of system is known as Centrex. Some of you may have heard of BT's Featureline version of Centrex which is still being used today. Featureline or Centrex is a phone system housed centrally back at the exchange that you can access using special phones connected to it over ordinary telephone lines. Compared to today's internet phone systems it's a little clunky but it still works well enough.

Hosted telephony over the internet on the other hand has had a difficult birth but has grown up and works really well now. Some people call it a Cloud service which indeed it is. Its origins go back to the early 1970's but it took until around 2004 before this type of telephony became a credible service. With the advent of faster and more reliable broadband in the last few years it's now become a low cost and reliable service that is easily made available to domestic and business users alike.

I love Hosted Telephony

"There were around 155 million subscribers to internet based telephony in 2013"

I have been involved with Hosted Telephony for around 10 years and I think it's a brilliant service. I thought it was a fantastic concept the first time I was introduced to it. The trouble in the early days was that it didn't work very well and the broadband available just wasn't up to it. I have to say there were some very painful moments in the early days and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) based telephony was pretty flaky. VoIP soon gathered a bad reputation amongst the early pioneers such that you would hear "oh yes, VoIP, the business down the road had that put in but it was rubbish and they had to take it back out again, I'm not touching it".

I remember the unreliable early days of mobile telephony and my first analogue mobile phone. It's often the same whenever any new service or product comes out the early pioneers take the hits.

The Good News

Hosted Telephony over the internet has come of age.

The good news is that VoIP based Hosted Telephony is so much better now. Services are reliable, quality is high, systems are flexible and it's simple to set up. So much so that most providers can send you pre-configured phones that you can plug into your network like any other device and they will just work out of the box. Some networks need a few adjustments but most don't.

With emerging high definition audio the quality of calls is becoming much better than anything we have used before.

In some countries this type of telephony is set to be the dominant service in the near future. Take up in the UK is increasing with over 4 million subscribers in 2013 and it's likely that this figure has exceeded 5 million by now. Much of the main BT trunking of UK calls is now over internet services so it doesn't make a great deal of difference any more whether you use traditional telephone lines or not.

But I Still Don't Quite Get It, What Actually Is Hosted Telephony Over The Internet?

To explain more clearly...

Up to the last few years most businesses would go out and buy a phone system which they would install in their premises and attach phone lines and phone extensions to. A business would then have to maintain the system or more likely pay a telecommunications company to do it. When they wanted to change something they often had to get an engineer to do it. Capital expenditure was relatively high and they would have to get a new system every so many years as technology moved on and as manufactures stop supporting older systems. This cycle would usually run over 5 to 10 years.

Most domestic users wouldn't dream of owning a phone system. Instead they would usually have a phone line and phone that lets them access some of the services you get on a phone system such as voice mail or call redirection.

Hosted telephony is a phone system but one that is held in a computer server farm somewhere and maintained by the company that supplies the service to you. All you or your business needs to do is buy the appropriate phones with the service and that's it. If a phone goes wrong you can just get another one, change a few settings and off you go, as if nothing happened. You can much more easily control the phone and your phone system account from a web browser or plug-in widget... from anywhere. It's like many other apps we use these days. Maybe this sounds too simple but that's how it is nowadays and it works!

Here Are 10 Reasons Why I Like It So Much!

1 - Low Capital Investment

Cost is a big bottom line for many. There's very little equipment needed for IP based Hosted Telephony. You need the phones, a decent broadband supply and a switch, preferably a POE switch (one that can supply power to the phones).

Taking account of the lifespan of a phone system a traditional phone system might cost twice as much or even more once it's all installed. It's unlikely that a hosted system will cost more but even if it does it will most likely be more convenient to install and use which in turn saves time and therefore cost in a different way.

You can also use soft phones (use your computer to make calls) albeit they are not usually as good as a dedicated internet phone (IP phone).

Other Equipment

Just because I don't want to miss these things out; you can use conference phones and business or domestic class wireless phones with Hosted Telephony too!

Most suppliers will have a range of phones from one or more manufacturers that you can use depending on whether you want very simple phones all the way up to sophisticated colour display phones with touch screens.

2 - Scalable

This is one of the most flexible things about Hosted Telephony. Most Hosted Telephony systems are billed for monthly on a per subscriber basis so if you have 8 phone's you pay 8 subscriptions. This is like having 8 traditional phone lines... in fact it's like having more than 8 lines as you can put people on hold whilst you talk to another and hold 3 way conference calls so it's more like having 16 phone lines available for when you need them.

Typically subscription costs will vary depending on the provider and the features you want but this often works out less than a traditional phone line. With most providers you can change the number of subscriptions you have each month so if your business is 8 people this month, 12 people the next month and 6 the month after that you only have to pay for the number of subscriptions you use at those times. It's true that you may need to buy the extra phones but at least you only need to pay for services as and when you need them.

In a similar way extra features like call recording and operator consoles can be added and taken away as needed.

3 - Mobility

For Hosted Telephony mobility can mean quite a few things...

If you are based in London, you have a 0208 number for example and you want to move to say Nottingham, no problem, just unplug the switch and the phones, take them to Nottingham, plug it all back in again and carry on. You will retain your 0208 number and in theory if your move was to Australia the same applies.

Got an office with some people working from home? Maybe you have an apartment in Spain? That's no problem either, each can have their own phone or soft phone wherever they are and it's still part of the same system. It's worth mentioning that calls between phones on the same system are usually free, wherever they are but again this depends on the supplier.

Sometimes you are in the office, sometimes at home, sometimes at clients and sometimes in the car. Again no problem you can set Hosted Telephony to follow you by ringing each of your phones in turn until you answer or if you like all your phones can be rung at the same time.

Some systems might have a little app that goes on your mobile to make it part of the system. As an aside more mobile phones are becoming available that can make calls over the internet when available instead of the 2G mobile network.

Hosted telephony allows you to use numbers that are not in your area so if you are in London and want to have numbers for Bath and Brighton that's no problem either. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing but it does mean that area based numbers are losing their meaning, much as the mobile phone network by default means area numbers don't make any sense.

4 - Easy to Maintain and Great Support

If you have your own on premises phone system you often end up paying for support. Support for when you don't understand something, when you need something changed and for when something goes wrong.

With Hosted telephony much of that support comes with the subscription. The thing that you may need help with from your IT support is if there are problems on your network or broadband supply. Having said that Hosted Telephony support will overlap with your IT support and if your Hosted telephony supplier is supplying your broadband then this area is covered.

Support should be able to help you with how to do things yourself and will be able to do them for you if needed.

5 - A Uniform Experience Everywhere

Let's say you have a business with one main office and 10 branches. If you went down the traditional PBX route and you had opened the branches at different times you might have a variety of phone systems or maybe no phone system if the branch is very small. These systems might not talk to each at all or maybe partially. The different phone systems may work in different ways.

With hosted Telephony none of this matters, the system works the same everywhere, everyone can communicate with everyone else and it doesn't matter if there is 1 person or 100 people at any particular location.

6 - Backup and Fail-over

Because the main system is usually hosted in secure duplicated environments everything should backed up for you from the system configuration to any recorded calls you might have. If the computer with your system on it fails then another takes over and you will notice little or no difference, chances are you won't even know that anything happened.

But... what happens if your broadband goes down and some of your phones are disconnected from the system? That's also not so much of a problem. Depending on how you want things to work there are several ways in which inbound calls can still get to you. You can redirect calls to another phone in another branch, your own phone or a colleague's. If you already have calls following you or ringing your phones simultaneously then those phones will continue to ring.

7 - Control from Your PC

Most Hosted Telephony systems can be managed by yourself either at individual level or at system level. Some systems have a tool bar that is installed on Outlook which controls much of the phone configuration which many people find very convenient.

You can also control things by logging in from a web browser from anywhere, from menu items on your phone and through older style star codes e.g. *78 might activate Do Not Disturb mode.

From the web browser login you can get reports on the calls going in and out of your system:

You can control many things in the system easily from anywhere without needing an engineer and without having to know much about telephone systems or how they work. The phone system just becomes another piece of software for you to access.

8 - More Future Proof than Many Other Solutions

From time to time the system will be upgraded to fix any bugs that might still be in the systems (there are always some bugs in every computer system), to improve existing features and add new ones. This will all be maintained for you. Systems could be quite different in 10 years but you don't have to worry about it. The only hardware you might want to change is the phones and the switch but even those items can receive firmware and software updates so that they can go on doing their job for longer. Changing phones is a cost but at least any disruption is kept to a minimum and can be phased if necessary.

9 - Bolt-ons For When You Need Them

Depending on your business and how you run it you might want a few extra features such as call recording, call queueing, auto attendants, an operators console and maybe even a wall board for a call centre. You may need some of these only some of the time so again, you only need to pay for what you are using when you are using it.

10 - A Low Carbon Footprint

Last and not least, like many Cloud services you and your company will be doing your bit for the environment. The servers used with Hosted Telephony are usually high quality enterprise servers that use less energy than others and result in a reduced carbon footprint all round.

You will probably be using phones which will use some power but you won't have a phone system control unit to run so will be using less electricity than you would if you had a more traditional system.

Each user takes around 90kbps internet bandwidth per call running over your existing network and possibly your existing broadband supply. Even if you need a dedicated broadband supply this utilises less infrastructure than multiple analogue or ISDN phone lines and therefore uses less energy.

So What's Not To Like?

Well, there isn't much not to like but there may be situations where having your own system might be better. With most Hosted Telephony business models you pay by subscription so if you have 50 users then that might carry a significant cost per month once you take the cost of broadband into account. On the other hand a traditional phone system with maintenance, phone line rental and depreciation might cost the same, perhaps more, perhaps less. It depends on convenience and how phone active people using it are.

If you have other systems that integrate with your phone system that perhaps Hosted Telephony cannot integrate with then you may need an appropriate phone system in-house. Maybe you just like to have control of your phone system and run your own in-house Hosted Telephony tailored more specifically to your business.

Trying Out Hosted Telephony

Depending on your supplier you may be able to try Hosted Telephony out. At the very least you can start with 1 or 2 phones to see how it all works. Some suppliers might lend you a trial phone and a subscription for a couple of weeks if they think you have a serious intent. A demonstration is easily possible.

http://iwantrouters.com - Supplying routers, networking devices, lines, broadband, calls, hosted services and more.

Like my articles? Then please go to my blog site at http://iwantrouters.wordpress.com

By Stuart J Chalmers

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If you're looking for a hosted telephony solution for your organization there's a FREE service that will take the frustration out of your search and decisions. This free service includes comparing available providers with rate quotes. To take advantage of this service simply ask at the link below....easy as 1, 2, 3.

Hosted Telephony Solutions

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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Oh, The Possibilities....When The IoT Grows Up

The Internet of Things is something like a gangly, acne-covered adolescent with knobby knees and a clumsy gait. We can see the bright eyes, the long legs and strong hands, and we know it is chock full of "potential", but it sure is awkward right now.

Notwithstanding all of this awkwardness, however, this clumsy youngster has already made a tremendous difference in the world. The very thought of its possibilities has sent a tremor to the core of our civilization, touching every aspect of our material and intellectual lives. Just consider the fact that the sentence you just read - as blustery and over-the-top as it may seem - is not even inaccurate. Sure, a person can still live a simple life without all of the trappings of modern technology or communication media (I assume?), living only from sustenance won by his or her bare hands directly from the natural world, never interacting with another living soul. I suppose this is possible, and maybe this person could make a strong case that his/her life remains untouched in any way by the Internet of Things. This person, however, will not be reading this and need not be a part of the conversation.

So, to reiterate: the Internet of Things - or at least the thought of it - is influencing every component of our world today. This is because it is not simply an evolution of technology; it the sort of technological/philosophical movement that transforms civilizations. On the order of agriculture, kingship, or industrialization.

Yes, it is that significant.

That is to say, the technological/ philosophical movement started by the Internet itself is that significant. After all, the words, images, videos, and applications that inhabit the regular old Internet are themselves 'things'. The concept behind what we call the Internet of Things is simply the dawning of the realization that the Internet is not just about people communicating with people; it's about everything communicating with everything.

Consider what we already see happening to:

Cities

In Oskarshamm, Sweden smart building technology has helped reduce the city's power consumption by 350 MWh, reducing their carbon footprint by 80 tons of CO2. Houston, Texas has used new sensing technology to retrofit 40 municipal buildings for energy efficiency, delivering $3 million in yearly energy and water savings.

Entire cities are changing the way they govern their populations, the way they distribute resources, the way they police themselves. Cities are changing the way they transport goods and people, the way they measure and control their impact on their environments. Everything that defines what a city is and does is being transformed by not just new technologies, but the new ideas inspired the Internet of Things.

Agriculture

One of the foundational elements of civilization, a technological/philosophical movement that predates history itself, is being profoundly influenced by the Internet of Things. Farmers large and small are using networked data to maximize the already-known benefits of established practices (knowing what types of crops to plant when, knowing when and how much to water, etc.). Farmers have also had success safely and naturally controlling pests through the intelligent release of pheromones. Decreased resource consumption and increased yield are very tangible benefits that have the potential to solve some very serious problems related to food shortages and ever-increasing populations, while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact of farming and bringing the family-owned farm back into the global marketplace.

Industry

This is the realm of autonomous factories and self-healing machines. Through the convergent development of advanced computing power, sophisticated network technology, sensors, robotics, and analytic techniques, we are seeing the integration of industrial systems both vertically and horizontally. Machines to Machine communication, predictive maintenance, and continuous improvement programs are completely reinventing manufacturing.

Companies like Honda and ABB are using IoT technology to consolidate and organize their manufacturing and maintenance operations through systems of real-time communication and process automation. Companies are using advanced analytics to discover unknown opportunities for improved efficiency. Consider how Kennametal reduced their production cycle time by as much as %40 by simple modifications to their processes like changing the angle of a cut in a particular machining operation.

Real-time consumer data is helping companies be more responsive to the needs and expectations of their customers, and eliminating gaps between supply and demand. Predictive analysis is helping to reduce maintenance costs and incrementally improve production processes through systems of continual improvement. A unique quality of the impact the Internet of Things is having on Industry is its benefits extend beyond the marketplace. Whereas previously profit increases were sought by increasing the scale or speed of production, the new paradigm focuses on increasing efficiency, reducing resource consumption and eliminating waste. The new industrial landscape of smart, connected devices will incidentally lead to a cleaner, safer, more sustainable planet, which leads to the next item...

Environment

It is certainly possible to see new technologies as a double-edged sword in this arena. Historically, what humankind has deemed to be good for itself has quite often seemed to be detrimental to our environment. As the Internet of Things makes it easier for us feed and accommodate larger populations, and populations continue to grow, it is not difficult to see how this could negatively impact the environment. An interesting quality of the philosophical thrust behind most Internet of Things initiatives, though, is the tendency toward reduction and conservation. Use fewer resources. Create less waste. Do as much as possible with what is available to us. In a way that may be unprecedented, this worldwide technological evolution may actually improve our relationship with the natural world.

Yes, the Internet of Things is a gangly, awkward, stumbling bunch of possibilities right now, but it is already changing our world. And while we may not have reached that tipping point yet - the point where what is possible becomes what is necessary, and a movement truly transforms our civilization - I think most of us can feel the axis tilting.

There will inevitably come a time when what is happening becomes what has happened, and we will only recognize the revolutionary quality of it when we look back at it in retrospect. In the case of the Internet of Things, I think we have reason to be optimistic.

Today's most innovative IoT solutions are powered by companies like B-Scada and the proprietary software platform. Learn more at http://scada.com

By Rich Hunzinger

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