Monday, August 29, 2011

Who Is Broad Sky Networks?

Broad Sky Networks was founded by Telecommunication and Technology experts to provide a single source for the delivery of Business Class Broadband Satellite, 3G/4G , WiMAX and Optical Wireless Broadband services. In addition to offering superior wireless services Broad Sky also provides other ancillary services to fulfill service portfolio requirements to allow customers to stay focused on their business.

What You Should Know About Broad Sky Networks


Broad Sky Networks now offers Spectrum WiMAX, a fixed wireless solution in 60+ markets. Their Spectrum WiMAX bypasses the local telco, so installation can happen in days, it is easy to deploy and scale and offers bandwidth from 2Mbs to 1000Mbs for a fraction of the price. Our WiMAX guarantees 100% uptime, managed services as well as Point to Point offerings.

* Major Metropolitan Areas
* Primary or Redundancy
* Provides SLAs
* Large Bandwidth, 2Mb – GigE speeds
* Great for fluctuating bandwidth needs
* Point to Point services


Broad Sky now offers their Spectrum 3G Fixed Wireless service, covering 90% of the United States population. Broad Sky's 4G covers 38 markets coast to coast. Spectrum 3G/4G service is a great alternative to DSL, they use all 3 major carriers, offer innovative equipment bundles and flexible pricing options. Broad Sky also offer a fully managed 3G service perfect for retailers, banking, M2M, etc. with Mobility options as well.

* Primary, Redundancy, Mobile or Temporary
* Average 3G speeds of 1.5K x 384K
* Average 4G speeds of 5M-12M down 2M-5M up
* Flexible Equipment Plans and Service Plans
* Layer 3 or Layer 2 options
* Plans range from 50Mb to 10Gb, pooling plans also available
* Self Installs, ships in days


Broad Sky offers a large range of satellite broadband solutions accommodating tele-workers to large private networks. Broad Sky is unique, they offer broadband internet from six different satellite providers all backed by industry leading Service Level Agreements. Broad Sky's satellite supports internet access, IPSec VPN traffic, POS, VoIP and Video applications. They are experts at securely linking locations anywhere in North America, South America, Alaska and the Caribbean.

* Primary or Redundancy
* Speeds from 500K x 128K up to 8M x 2M
* Private Network available for primary or redundancy
* Coverage as long as clear line of site to Southern horizon
* Disaster recovery plans available

Optical Wireless

Broad Sky now offers an Optical Wireless Point to Point or Point to Multi-Point solution, iBeam providing a high bandwidth solution at a fraction of the cost of Fiber or Microwave. This solution installs quickly with no trenching or construction and provides 100M to 1Gb connectivity. This is idea for campus environments, healthcare and municipalities.

* Connectivity from 100M to 1Gb soon to go to 2.5Gb
* 1/10th the cost of Fiber
* Point to Point, Point to Multi-Point and Mesh configurations
* Installs quickly

To take advantage of what Broad Sky Networks has to offer .... simply request more information and a free quote here:

Wireless Services

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Statistics and Reasons to Participate in ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin

You Belong At ITEXPO If You Offer:

Prepaid calling
Branch Solutions
Presence-based apps
Cable Telephony
QoS/Network monitoring
Call recording/logging/monitoring
Network security
Cloud Computing
Service creation
Session border controllers
Data Center Applications/Technology
SIP trunking
Hosted telecom services
SIP solutions
Hosted contact center solutions
SMB solutions
IMS solutions
Smart Technologies
Industrial computing
Switching/Routing Technology
Interconnection facilities
Systems Integration
IP conferencing
SOHO Comms
IP contact center
IP fax
Telecom expense management
Test/measurement tools
IP endpoints
Triple play solutions (for carriers)
IPTV solutions (for carriers)
UC applications
UPS/Power solutions
Media servers
Video conferencing/Telepresence
Mobile Apps Devices
VoIP components (DSPs, SOC, Boards, Etc.)
Network Cloud-Storage
VoIP training
Open source solutions
Wholesale telecom service
PC-to-Phone solutions
VoIP IP Peering
Workforce management

^ A few pictures from the ITEXPO East 2011 above. Contact me Suzanne Bowen on Linkedin or Twitter for business development appointment or just to meet up and talk about what your company and you are doing. I will be in Austin, Texas from Sept. 12-16, 2011. I can talk with you on behalf of DIDX wholesale DID marketplace (USA), AstraQom from Canada (hosted pbx, home phone, co-location, fax to email ...), TelecomYou business/social network site for telecommunications providers, and PinoyKubo (Filipino social network with IP communications mixed in).

ITEXPO EAST 2011 Total Attendance:
Paid Conference         461
Exhibit Hall VIPs    6,142
Exhibitors                  889
Speakers                   419
Press                          83
Total:                   7,994

Service Providers: 23%
Resellers: 30%
Enterprise: 37%
Developer/Manufacturer: 10%

Corporate Management: 45%
Technical Management: 30%
Sales/Marketing Management: 18%
Other Management: 7%

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August Telecom Provider News

Here's the August Telecom provider news for August ....

AboveNet ....

* Provdotnet, LLC. a leading provider of data center solutions, announced that AboveNet has connected to their's data centers located in Providence, RI.

* AboveNet shares dipped into the red in mid-day trade (after trading up as much as 4.2 percent earlier) following headlines from Bloomberg which suggest the company suspended its search for a buyer as offers have been coming up short.

* AboveNet will soon connect to the Montgomery Westland Data Center in Alabama known as The Bunker.

AT&T ...

* AT&T says it is on track to receive regulatory approval of its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA by March 2012. AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said that the company has provided a second round of information requested by the Department of Justice and that meetings with the Federal Communications Commission are going as scheduled, the Washington Post reported.

Integra Telecom ....

* Integra Telecom Inc has expanded its network in major metropolitan areas of the western U.S. Integra has extended its fiber network to nearly 300 additional commercial buildings this year-marking a 20 percent increase in on-net buildings since the beginning of the year.

* Integra Telecom Inc. said this week it has installed a point-of-presence (PoP) within the Phoenix NAP data center and network access facility.

Level 3 ....

* Level 3 Communications, Inc. announced the launch of a new ultra-low-latency fiber-optic route to increase trading speeds between London and Frankfurt. The new route will also allow banks, hedge funds, brokers and other financial services institutions to execute trades with lower latency between additional exchanges connected to the Level 3 network including Zurich, Milan, New York and Chicago.

* Level 3 Communications, Inc announced that it is working with Microsoft Corporation to provide SIP (session initiated protocol) Trunking with nomadic E-911 (enhanced 911) designed to integrate with Microsoft Lync.


* PAETEC announced it has selected Ditech Networks' PhoneTag platform for voicemail-to-text transcription services. Using Ditech Networks' best-in-class transcription service, PAETEC Visual Messaging customers can read transcribed voicemail messages from their smartphones and mobile tablet devices just as they would with an E-Mail, making communications simpler than ever before.

PowerNet Global ....

* PowerNet Global unveiled a new high-speed Internet service for business customers in greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The wireless broadband service is powered by a high performance redundant network backbone that leverages PMP 320 fixed point-to-multipoint technology from Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI +1.59%.

Smoothstone ....

* Smoothstone IP Communications announced today that its MaxxConnect IP trunking services are certified to be compatible with IP telephony systems from ShoreTel.

Telx ....

* Telx announced that Level 3 Communications is expanding network services into Telx's 100 Delawanna Ave. data center in Clifton, New Jersey.

Time Warner Cable ....

* Time Warner Cable has launched its DOCSIS 3.0-based Wideband Internet tier in the Midlands area of South Carolina, including Columbia, Blythewood, Batesburg, Sumter and Orangeburg.

Windstream ....

* Windstream has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PAETEC Holding Corp.

* Windstream Corp. announces the expansion of its next-generation voice and data services into Columbus, Ga., giving local businesses a new choice for advanced communication services.

* Windstream announced it has begun a significant expansion to its Raleigh data center, one which will grow the facility's usable space by almost 50 percent to 32,000 square feet.

* Windstream Corp. this week brought its high-bandwidth Ethernet for businesses into 11 new markets. The service provider sells through channel partners, who now may offer Ethernet of up to 1gbps in Akron, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.; northwestern Arkansas; Augusta, Ga.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Mobile, Ala.

To find out more information and take advantage of any of the offerings described above simply request assistance here:

DS3 Bandwidth & Business Ethernet

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Monday, August 22, 2011

wizBANG! Communications Selects VoIP Provider IP5280 for Cloud-based Infrastructure and Service Delivery

Denver, CO (PRWEB) August 09, 2011

wizBANG! Communications, a leading provider of cloud-based phone systems for the family, friends, clubs and the virtual and mobile workforce, announced today that IP5280 Communications will provide the underlying IP network and service infrastructure critical in the delivery of the company’s wizBANG!phone product suite. IP5280 was selected among three other Internet telephony service providers following a series of technical evaluations conducted by wizBANG! which analyzed network infrastructure, high volume concurrent call processing capability and hosted application availability requirements.

“Our engineering team was highly focused on finding a company with the right mix of networking expertise, underlying infrastructure and IP experience to help support our upcoming launch of wizBANG!phone,” said Arnold Gonzalez, co-founder and principal of wizBANG!. “IP5280’s cloud-based technology will be at the core of our service delivery platform, and we’re proud to partner with the IP5280 team.”

wizBANG! offers a suite of cloud-based phone services for the virtual and mobile business world. Standard business-class features including phone number, business voicemail and auto-attendant greeting with wizBANG!’s flexible call-out route control capability, are available at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone systems. The new wizBANG!phone offers smaller organizations and work groups a professional “front door” to their company, and simplifies the interaction with the virtual workforce of today’s modern and mobile business.

“We’re pleased to have been selected by wizBANG! to help support their service delivery platform and technology,” said Jeff Pelletier, CTO of IP5280. “IP5280’s cloud-based network, CLOVER, is uniquely designed to enable wizBANG!’s product offerings and to meet the needs of their customers.”

About wizBANG! Communications....

wizBANG! Communications is a cloud-based IP phone service provider specializing in the service delivery of simple communication solutions for today’s modern family, friends, groups, and the virtual and mobile workforce. wizBANG! offers a complete portfolio of feature capabilities including phone number portability, unlimited local and long distance calling, convenient call control capabilities and online management. See

About IP5280 Communications ....

IP5280 Communications is a cloud-based global IP communication provider specializing in VoIP and converged IP voice, video and data services for business customers. Recognized by Inc. Magazine as a part of the prestigious 2010 Inc500 list as one of the country’s fastest growing companies, winner of the Technology Service of the 2011 CSIA Apex Awards, selected by ColoradoBiz Magazine as the Best Company to Work For in Colorado in 2011, and proudly ranked by the magazine as a part of the elite Colorado TOP250 Private Companies in Colorado, IP5280 provides businesses the most advanced IP solutions to meet a variety of networking and communication needs. See more at

Who Is Mosaic NetworX?

Mosaic NetworX is a carrier-neutral, data services provider specializing in high-availability, low-latency networks. Mosaic NetworX designs and delivers custom network solutions using: metro private line, IP transit, Ethernet, MPLS, dark fiber and more. Mosaic NetworX also provides data center and colocation solutions throughout the United States and globally.

What You Should Know About Mosaic NetworX

Mosaic is a global voice and data service provider. Mosaic executes and deploys their customers critical network needs. Their mission is to be neutral and objective, providing a positive customer experience; resulting in the best solution for you.

Mosaic NetworX Products include:

* Private Line Service
* Metro Service
* Internet Service
* Voice Origination
* Voice Termination
* DID Service
* Colocation
* VLAN Solution

To take advantage of what Mosaic NetworX has to offer .... simply request more information and a free quote here:

Global Voice And Data Service

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who Is Advantix Solutions?

Advantix Solutions Group is a global leader in Mobility Telecom Optimization and Management Services. Advantix delivers unparalleled solutions that empower customers to take control of their entire mobile telecommunications infrastructure.

Advantix Solutions

Their dedication to offering comprehensive, managed solutions is unique in our industry. As you will discover, they provide solutions, not software; solutions that are designed to eliminate the time you spend on wireless telecommunications management. Experience has shown that success in telecommunications management is determined as much by resources and expertise as tools. If you are evaluating a solution that emphasizes tools over resources, consider Advantix and see what sets them apart.

Advantix Delivers

Advantix offers services to fully manage the entire mobility telecommunications lifecycle. They focus on reducing the time and expenses associated with these programs so you can apply critical resources towards other key business objectives.

By allowing Advantix to manage your telecommunications, you realize lower internal administrative costs, expedited support and trouble ticket resolution, decreased spend, and greater accountability and visibility across your organization.

Advantages of Advantix’ Wireless Optimization and Mobility Management services:

* Projected customer savings 25-35% with a risk-free, no-obligation wireless analysis
* Reinvestment of customer savings into emerging telecom services
* Reduced or eliminated time spent in administration of wireless accounts
* Increase in mobility device counts
* Customized reporting and consulting, configurable to meet your customers’ specific requirements
* Ongoing management to maintain optimal service, support and savings
* Identification and elimination of billing errors and wasteful spending

Advantix Products:

* Wireless Optimization
* Enterprise Mobility Management
* Consolidated Billing
* Customized Reporting
* Help Desk
* RFP Management
* Data Strategy
* Carrier Contract Negotiation
* Assets & Inventory Management

To take advantage of all that Advantix has to offer your mobile telecommunications network ... simply request more information here:

Mobility Telecom Optimization and Management

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Who Is Level 3 Communications?

Level 3 Communications is an international communications company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. The company operates one of the world’s largest communications and Internet backbones over an IP-optimized network.

Level 3 operates one of the largest backbone networks of any Internet service provider. Interconnections between major cities are done via 10 Gbit/s Ethernet links. Its network covers the continental US, and most of Western Europe. But is also growing as well in Central and South America plus Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Level 3's primary focus is network stability and security. Level 3 also provides specialized services for businesses, such as VPN, metro ethernet, voice services, and Video Transport services. Level 3 provides the backhaul video services from stadiums and arenas throughout the US to network head-end service points for NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL events.

Level 3 currently has connectivity to every long-distance tandem office in the United States, as well as to a large and growing number of end offices. Their customers have the ability to terminate calls anywhere in the world over the Level 3 Network.

The Level 3 network was recently overbuilt with new DWDM, IP and private-line switching layers. Level 3 technology deployments have enabled new, market-leading services like 10 GigE LAN PHY and 40 Gbps Wavelength services.

Level 3 Products include:

* Data T1
* Bonded T1
* Frac/Full DS3
* Frac/Full OC3/12/48
* Ethernet over Copper
* Ethernet over DS1/DS3
* Metro Fiber Ethernet
* Gigabit Ethernet
* Integrated (SIP Handoff)
* Integrated (PRI Handoff)
* Integrated (Analog Handoff)
* Local Voice
* Dedicated LD (In/Out)
* SIP (Local/LD Trunks)
* Voice over MPLS
* Point to Point
* Ethernet WAN
* Colocation
* Wireless Backup (Spring 3G)

To take advantage of all that Level 3 has to offer ... simply request information and a free quote here:

DS3 Bandwidth

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who Is Ernest Communications?

Ernest Communications, Inc. is the nation's largest telecommunications company dedicated exclusively to serving large multi-location accounts throughout the U.S. As a certified local phone company, Ernest is the only local telephone company that can serve and manage 100% of your multi-location telecommunications needs. Some may come close in coverage but is that the core competency and mission of their company? At Ernest, there is only one market. Nationwide Multi-Location Accounts.

Ernest Communications, Inc. was incorporated in 1997, though its roots in telecom go back to 1984, when Joseph Ernest founded Ernest Telecom, a company devoted to the design and manufacture of printed circuitry for public communications equipment. Paul Masters joined Ernest Telecom in 1992, and over the course of five years held various sales leadership and senior management positions before becoming President in 1996.

Coincidentally, The Telecommunications Act was signed into law in 1996, the first major overhaul to telecommunications law in more than a half century. The groundbreaking legislation was aimed at spurring innovative technology for telecom consumers by allowing all qualified companies access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Recognizing the opportunity to gain access to the country’s nearly 200 million local lines, Mr. Ernest and Mr. Masters co-founded Ernest Communications, Inc. and the Company quickly became one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies dedicated exclusively to serving multi-location businesses throughout the U.S., building its reputation on 100% network coverage, incredibly simple, yet comprehensive billing, and unsurpassed trouble resolution and account management.

Headquartered in Norcross, GA, Ernest delivers approximately 4,000 accurate and timely invoices to its Clients each month, representing nearly 25,000 unique locations, including:

•Food Service
•Commercial/ Industrial
•Financial Services
•National/Regional Retail Chains
•Higher Education
•Managed Residential

Nationwide Coverage

Ernest is one of an elite few phone companies that provide coverage in all 50 states. More importantly, Ernest is the only phone company that provides service in every territory within every state, including Puerto Rico and Canada! Ernest lives by the motto, “No Line Left Behind”, and expertly handles all your local service needs, regardless of the state, or the market. A sample of Ernest’s Coverage Areas includes:

•Century Tel
•Cincinnati Bell
•Consolidated Communications

Consolidated Billing

Though Nationwide Coverage is important, what makes Ernest unique is the ability to deliver one single bill for all lines served. Easy to promise, very hard to deliver! However, Ernest Clients testify over and over again that the bill they receive, delivered electronically in a customized format, for each and every line they own, is the #1 reason they continue to trust Ernest as their phone company. Ernest Clients can expect their service to:

•Includes Intralata Toll as part of the local service charge
•Includes all feature charges (Remote Call Forwarding and Voicemail are billed separately)
•Block all Casual and Third Party charges
•Offer a nationwide blended rate for all locations
•Itemized List of charges for other services delivered by Ernest, ie Long Distance, Inside Wiring, xDSL, etc.
•Deliver easy to read, timely invoices in multiple formats, PDF, CSV, XLS or paper
•No hidden fees or charges

To take advantage of all that Ernest Communications has to offer .... simply request more information specific to your business needs here:

Ernest Communications Information

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Monday, August 08, 2011

The Benefits of Polycom RealPresence Ready

Is PBX The Future Of Small Business {SMB} Communication?

No, but I'm not saying it isn't the future either. It's part of the future, but not by itself.

If you believe the current marketing hype, you will no doubt be convinced that the future is "in the cloud." By this logic one would be led to believe that the PBX will die out in favor of the hosted solution. But, hosted solutions are no more than modern day Centrex equivalents with more functionality. We have seen it come to pass where the telcos ruled with Centrex, then PBX came into the scene and we could break away from the cost and monopoly of the Bell companies. The same goes for mainframe vs PC based computing. Now we're putting the mainframe in the cloud.

Each business is unique. If we treat them all like they are the same then we really aren't doing the best thing for our clients. By shoehorning them into the PBX or a hosted solution without looking at their actual needs we are doing them a disservice. In certain situations, the small business PBX will be the right solution, in other situations, a hosted solution may be a better option. With that, I see the small business PBX as part of the future where the choice depends on what the best fit is for the client.

Small Business PBXs are becoming much more highly advanced and often times can deliver enterprise class functionality on a smaller scale, especially in the more software oriented deployments happening today. Contrary to the marketing hype, the PBX may actually be cheaper than a hosted solution as well so that pricing consideration will also come in to play for the end user.

To see what kind of options may be available to you as a small business I suggest using the search and compare tool available here: Business Communications

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cloud Computing: Hype vs. Reality

This article, written by Mohit Manchanda, Managing Director of Services for FiberMedia Group was originally published as a 3-part series. The article, in its entirety below, focuses on the challenges faced by small and mid-size enterprises to adapt business applications and processes to utilize the obvious benefits promised by cloud technology and service providers (scalability, availability, low up-front investments, lower costs etc.).


As more and more large enterprises begin to utilize the power of the cloud – computing power as a pay per use utility delivered at a distance with inherent benefits of scalability and resilience – small and mid size enterprises see the need to utilize these services even more. However, lacking the resources to make large investments in developing or migrating applications and business processes that can truly leverage this new technology, they are faced with seemingly insurmountable practical challenges.

The advent of the cloud has been made possible by exponential growth (and lower costs) of high speed communication services. Compute capacity has been following Moore’s law with compute capacity doubling every two years (with an even greater increase in compute capacity per $ due to lowering costs). Storage capacity and costs have been following the same trends as compute capacity. All this has led to large compute utilities becoming a reality just like the 20th century saw the dawn of the electricity utility.

CIOs need to identify managed service providers who are focusing on providing enterprises the ability to run their existing applications on the cloud without having to make changes to the underlying application code.


Computing trends from legacy client server to cloud are easily described using the ice water metaphor – A few years ago we built application to run on discrete pieces of server hardware – typically web/ app/ database. Picture them as discrete ice cubes providing compute capacity. Utilization was in the 5-10% range since each server was sized for peak load.

Then came virtualization – offering better utilization since each virtual node could draw needed capacity from the physical server during peak load. And since every virtual node did not peak at the same time, you could run more applications from the same physical server. Just like crushed ice (denoting the smaller virtual nodes) providing quicker cooling (i.e. better utilization of server capacity).
The cloud, in concept, is like a glass of water where water molecules (compute resources) are available to be drawn through a pipe (bandwidth) over a distance. In addition, the capacity is scalable, with more water available to be drawn from a reservoir.

There are challenges of course. Migrating existing applications and business processes to cloud based infrastructure is the single biggest challenge faced by CIOs. With limited resources, enterprises are not in a position to rewrite their application (like many web 2.0 businesses did having started out creating their business using cloud services). Then is there are issues related to data privacy and security that are especially daunting.

CxOs are realizing that their dependence on IT infrastructure has increased manifold over the last few years with a majority of business processes assuming uninterrupted availability. Corner offices converted to server rooms don’t allow internal IT units to effectively offer uninterrupted services to their customers. Colocating in a secure data center, that was often looked at as an avoidable expense is now an imperative to meet compliance requirements and avoid costly downtime. Server and compute infrastructure needs to be more resilient too. Cloud technology offers resilience, since compute pools are built using redundant discrete physical infrastructure with load balancing – technologies that required large investments and highly skilled (read expensive) manpower to build and manage these environments.

Security is a huge concern, and rightly so. Ice cubes (discrete servers), and even crushed ice (virtual nodes), with their inherent discrete nature, allowed for walls to be built around with data flow and access controlled. Most public clouds do not allow a layered architecture to be built – requiring a rewrite of the application code if data needs to be secured (when does it not?!). Cloud offerings from industry leaders VMware, and emerging providers like Moolex offer layered architecture capabilities. Private managed cloud providers are helping small and mid size enterprises meet their security needs with these technologies.


The benefits of cloud computing are easy to grasp. While the initial set of services (from Amazon and a host of startups) was targeted for the developer community that took the existing platform and built new applications to take advantage on scalability, low up-front investments and truly variable cost structures. Businesses are demanding cloud services that are geared to run existing business applications as-is and a new breed of managed services providers are gearing up to fill that need.

There are few small and mid size enterprises effectively utilizing cloud technology and services. Private cloud services offer a realistic alternative where these businesses can start deriving the benefits of added resilience and scalability, while minimizing migration efforts. Private cloud solutions built using the products like VMware vCloud , offer seamless migration for the many who have already virtualized their environments. For those who have not, it offers an even more compelling ROI to migrate from physical to private cloud solutions.

CIOs need to decide on the level of outsourcing their organizations are best suited for, providing the best value to the business. Self provisioning and metering allow IT organizations that are comfortable performing managed services internally. As service level expectations from the business grow more demanding, fully managed private cloud solutions offer compelling value with 24x7 operations to augment stretched internal resources.

For more information about FiberMedia and its Managed Data Center-as-a-Service Solutions, visit or email

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Getting A Blackberry For Your Small Business .... Opposing View

First Blackberry is not out yet so don't believe all the tech blog hype. It's not as popular in consumer circles as the iPhone and Android phones and tech blogs lump all those together. Don't get me wrong, I love Android, but there are advantages to Blackberry brand: rugged phones, encrypted, compressed data so you use less bandwidth, typically cheaper, usually available as pay-as-you-go plans if you wish, and of course the keyboard is tops (I've used the slider type Android phones, they aren't nearly as good a layout as the Blackberry keyboard).

That said:

1) The ability to sync calendar and contacts depends on your email provider. I'm not familiar with them all, but I do know that GMail does this and works through Blackberries BIS service (free with your Blackberry) that is part of your phone's plan. It's pretty straight forward, any changes made on the phone/web/or stand alone email program that syncs contacts and calendars will show up on the other devices.

2) Your standalone email program has nothing to do with a smartphone. Both the phone and the stand alone program talk to the mail server at the same time. Again, your email provider and settings will determine if it's instantaneous or not (GMail setup with IMAP does this well).

3) Battery life stinks on most smartphones, but I've heard the current Blackberry Bold is decent. Personally anytime I'm in the car I have it plugged into a charger and use a Bluetooth headset to use the phone safely.

4) Admittedly the web browser in a Blackberry is not the best, but it does work. Android phones can utilize HTML 5 features and so they render the pages better, but the little browsing I do on my Blackberry is acceptable.

5) If you do decide to go with another brand, I'd personally choose Android over iPhone, but I'm a techie and a heavy Google user so that makes sense. The HTC Thunderbird on Verizon is good and the Sprint EVO is good. I'm not sure of the others models and carriers.

Couple of other things, you can use the Blackberry Desktop Manager to do syncing between Outlook and the Blackberry. It's free. The downfall is it has to be running to work.

Also YouTube videos play fine in the Blackberry Browser. There is even an app to play them as well. YouTube streams the video realtime. Also if you get a Blackberry with WiFi, that increases the speed to acceptable levels.

For help finding the right smart phone for you .... check this out:

Smart Phones

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Getting A Blackberry For Your Small Business

Just from a market perspective, I would look at phones other than the Blackberry. Apple and Android phones are on the way up, especially Android. Blackberry seems to be on its way out. Just look at the recent Gartner study to see what's what.

On an android it's easy to:

1. Find one with a hardware keyboard if you don't like touchscreen (EVO Shift for instance)

2. Sync e-mails, calendar and contacts either to a Google mail account, corporate e-mail server, or whatever. There's an app for whatever you want here if the feature isn't included on the phone. This WILL require lots of data though, so consider an unlimited data plan.

3. Google mail accounts will work with most any e-mail client. The e-mail address isn't tied to the phone in any way. If you want a personalized domain you can do that with Google mail as well.

4. Battery life is all over the board. Older models are worse than new ones. Smaller phones are better than larger ones. Read some reviews once you decide on a Telecom vendor and form factor. Most all phones will give you at least 6-8 hours of heavy usage though. If you plug in to your car charger then you're golden.

5. YouTube and web browsing work great on Androids. They even play Flash well... which Apple does not. I hear that Blackberry does Flash, but don't have personal experience using it on them.

6. Consider an Android. They come in lots of configurations and price points, have all the features you need, are easy to use and Android is a platform with a future, unlike Blackberry WebOS.

I need to clarify Google e-mail not being tied to the phone. A Google e-mail account is required to use all the features on Android phones. You don't need to actually use that account for e-mail though. Also, if you lose your phone or switch to another one or whatever you do not lose your Google e-mail account the way you would if you were using a Blackberry e-mail account and then drop the Blackberry service. You can access it though any number of other ways, not just through the phone.

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