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Part 3 of Our 3 Part Series “An Interview With Ken MacDonald”

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Click here for Part 1 of our 3 Part Series “An Interview With Ken MacDonald”
Click here for Part 2 of our 3 Part Series “An Interview With Ken MacDonald”

[/fusion_text][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

We know Smart IP has some closely related partner companies. What is the difference between Xentrax, Meteor Telecommunications and SmartIP?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

Think about it this way. The Coles Note’s version is, Xentrax lives in the Enterprise space. They sell two product groups. They actually sell three, but two product families, call recording, workforce management. The critical difference in what they sell is, they’re enterprise-grade products. Fortune 100 companies. They don’t have any small players, because the products are so complex and expensive, that only enterprise-level companies can afford and have the need for that level of complexity. Drop down a notch, you’re in SmartIP, more of a suite of products, several more options, greater reach, greater depth, really known for service, because of the fact that it’s grown up in the space of dial tone and reliability. It doesn’t matter. Put it this way. You can operate a company without call recording. You can’t operate a company without a system, so the pressure is on 7/24 operation, trucks rolling every day, a different model. The space of the customers is as we describe is, the upper end of SMB. Get to Meteor Telecommunications, definitely the upper end of SMB, and considered Enterprise on the hospitality front. But the majority of their clients are smaller organizations.  A lot of 20 to 30 to 40 user-type systems, focused on one product family, that doesn’t have the full product suite of an Avaya. NEC is the primary product for Meteor Tel, not as known in the marketplace. It is a different sell. They’re really looking at customers that want basic UC applications. They want them reliable and they want them at the right price, is the key.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

From a sales perspective, for Meteor Tel, we’re talking anywhere between $10,000 and a $100,000?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

It really depends on what they’re buying, because they’re not buying as many applications, the deal size goes down. We sell systems in MeteorTel called the NEC 1100, which is $5000 or $6000. It’s satisfying 8 to 10 users, but the average sale is probably, what I would consider, anywhere from the $12 000 to $15 000, to the $30 000 to $35,000 range. That’s kind of their churn market. There is going to be highers and lowers than, but that’s majority of their churn.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

For SmartIP, what’s 2-5 years down the road?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

The company is going through a bit of a transition, and that’s not born by the fact that we want to, it’s what the market has changed. It’s placed the technology, the launch of IP and set base product lines have moved into Cloud services. Essentially its SmartIP is going to be in the Cloud business, we’re already in the Cloud business. But the key difference from SmartIP is that, it’s a part of our products suite. If it fits the customer and meets the customer need, it gives them the applications, to us it comes down to a financial decision. Do you have the money available now? It’s always cheaper to buy your products and take the hit early. But if a customer wants access to products, not sure of their direction and so on, the hosted and Cloud services are a lot better fit for a client like that, so what position either. Our future in the next two to five years is that, we expect to get a lot deeper into the data elements and more the IT like virtualization clients and so on. Even though today we do 50% to 60% of our installs through a virtualized environment, a lot of customers are separating into a multi-vendor shop. Our mantra is to go in there and say..[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusionslider name=”part-3-ken-macdonald” class=”” id=””][/fusionslider][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Difference between Cloud & PBX hosting?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

Cloud basically does nothing on premise. The customer really owns nothing. It’s a pay-as-you-go service. Customers, what they see is telephones on their desk, and essentially all the services and applications are being driven from a data center. There’s many models in it, could be our data center, could be a manufacturer’s data center, so we do many flavors of that. The only other aspect of that is, what we consider managed services, where we go in and we sell a turnkey solution for the client. Sometimes they would rather buy it over a period of time and have things like not just break-fix items, but even moves-adds-changes to be included in a one price per month component. It’s a service that we offer in that space as well.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

What we’re finding in these spaces that you’re seeing, that’s a lot for the analysts where a lot of the big manufacturers, whether they’re Cloud IT providers driving applications to the cloud, or guys like us that are more UC focused, essentially are showing these huge adoption rates, which we’re not seeing. We can clearly state that customers are looking at this option, but because it’s fairly new in the market place, they don’t understand the complexities associated to it. It’s just not a matter of making a single decision. The other thing that’s critical for them is, the fact that the true cost, savings when it comes to hosted is to remove the people that are involved in delivering those services internally today. It’s not just what bill they’re paying, it’s the people that deliver the service. The second is, what does the future look like, because when you go into a hosted type environment, you’re really giving the keys to somebody else. If your plan as a company is to grow through acquisitions, multiple offices, expand into new technology areas that you’re not touching today, like Wireless Voice, wireless data, all those things are elements that you have to be careful of. Because hosted is really giving them the keys to provide you that service to your desk, and essentially share all your network with that provider. A lot of it is, once we get in front of a client, they’ve already told us, we’re looking at two CP options, at least one hosted, to do at least a price comparison. But when we peel the onion back a couple of layers, it really focuses back on the financial model for them to do CPE. Smaller clients will go hosted, because they don’t have the internal IT brains to manage anything. We are seeing a change in the marketplace, but not as fast as what we’re yearning, as far as adoption rates go.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”0px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””][tagline_box backgroundcolor=”description=” shadow=”yes” shadowopacity=”0.7″ border=”1px” bordercolor=”” highlightposition=”top” content_alignment=”left” link=”” linktarget=”_self” modal=”” button_size=”” button_shape=”” button_type=”” buttoncolor=”” button=”Learn More” title=”Ken MacDonald, General Manager” description=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””]Ken Macdonald, General Manager Smart IP Business Phone SystemsKen is responsible for all aspects of the customer experience at Smart IP, including system implementations, order fulfillment, customer service and technical support. Among his many attributes, Ken has a proven track record as a senior leader with extensive hands-on business management and technology experience.

Management Team[/tagline_box][/one_full][/fullwidth][fusion_text]

We hope you enjoyed our 3 Part Series “An Interview with Ken MacDonald

Are you considering a phone systems upgrade in the next year? Talk to Smart IP’s expert staff and find out everything you should consider to get the full ROI on a phone system investment. Call or email today.

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Part 2 of Our 3 Part Series “An Interview With Ken MacDonald”

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Click here for Part 1 of our 3 Part Series “An Interview With Ken MacDonald”

[/fusion_text][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

I understand that these were late adopters?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

Exactly. Usually end of life products and so on, drive adoption for them. They’re more concerned about ”Is it going to work for me?” unlike ”What features can I use?” They are more concerned about just having dial tone, having it there for years of reliability. But they’re not worried about adopting the new technologies, cell phone usage, video, etc.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Unified messaging & unified communication?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

Exactly. Our mantra is that technology, depending on the agent of that client staff, usually depicts how quickly they’ll adopt the technology. We give them the forewarning that we’re going to sell it to you, but you have to understand how you are going to adopt that within your community. We usually give them guidance, because we have some best-in-class methodologies that we use to do this change management philosophy. But the main thing is that, once you tell a client the benefits that it means to them, the productivity enhancements to them, they usually will grab that and start to run with it. But if it’s just saying ”I need you to use this”, success is very low.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

You mentioned that about a hundred users is the tipping point. Is that about the break point when they start to move on-premise?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

We’re not seeing that as driver. That’s probably our most common client base. The one thing I didn’t build on, but let’s talk about the verticalization of our base. The two huge verticals that we work in, predominately is education and hospitality. Essentially the hundred users, it is what I considered a classic business size. When you get into the education space as an example, our biggest educational client is Toronto District School Board. Well over 500 schools, servicing thousands of endpoints. They’re in enterprise-grade conditions as far as the size and scope of the client, but their servicing is a very basic requirement. They just have telephones and dial tone and things to that nature. So no complexity to that client. Because of the fact that we play in that space, it’s really born on the fact that our service model is conducive to servicing larger clients. We have a large enough footprint. Those non-complex technologies, because we have a workforce that has a lot of experience, grew up with these product families. We’re not dealing with a lot of junior-type personnel.

In the hospitality space, it’s a little different play. They’re not as interested in the newer technologies. Hospitality has changed a lot. Most people don’t even use the phone in their room anymore. The cell phones have changed that. Essentially they’re looking for basic dial tone services. They’re looking at,… reliability is key. They’re looking about a way that their service can serve clients different to separate them from the other competitors, who are usually just down the street. In those spaces we have very large clients, thousands of rooms, etc. But they’re not our average. Really our average client is in around a hundred set range, but we do play into the bigger levels of enterprise, but it’s really based on the verticalization of that client.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusionslider name=”part-2-ken-macdonald” class=”” id=””][/fusionslider][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Let’s discuss the Avaya Product

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

Again we assumed the Avaya relationships through our original Nortel partnership. Essentially we’ve been really selling Nortel, now Avaya products for greater than 30 years. The one thing that separates us from the pack and the reason that we love Avaya is the fact that, it has a nice product family. It’s not specific to one application or one voice system, etc. It has many facets to it. If you look at the product road map that Avaya has, you’re talking about video technology, data infrastructure, your standard UC, and contact center applications and so on. That’s the sweet spot that we like to play in. It really leverages our one throat to choke approach, and the fact that we can go in with a full Avaya compliment and we’re doing everything, as I mentioned previously, except for the Desktop. They have one vendor to call and any issues there’s no more finger pointing between multiple vendors at that location. From our relationship with Avaya, we’re at a platinum level. We are at the highest level as partnership. It’s a space that we have to play in. A level of a status that we needed to achieve, so we can compete very strongly. When talking to clients, to get to platinum level, it’s not just about the amount of sales that we have with Avaya. But it’s the amount of products that we carry. The amount of certifications that we have internally with our staff. There is a big survey component to that, so how well our customers are feeling about, not only Avaya’s products, but how SmartIP is treating them, as we deliver those Avaya  products. Those are all key elements. We fit the strategy very closely with Avaya strategy, and that’s why the relationship has done very well for both parties over the last many years.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

It’s a very good fit. Avaya provides, a suite that goes end to end with the exception maybe workforce management call reporting, or is that included as well?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

They do it all. In the contact center space we’re currently cell 3, 3 other contact center products AECC, ACCS, and IP Office contact center. The way I’ve described them is really an enterprise level to small mom-and-pop shop. Essentially the bolt-on applications that go on to a contact center, workforce management, call recording, multimedia, etc. Experience portals and other product that would be in that family, those are all things that Avaya already has in the product suite.

You are satisfying a client no matter what the need is, and what the client size is, through Avaya, where in other manufacturers we sometimes have to walk away or retrench, because that product may be limited to either the amount of applications that it has, the size of the products, and comparing that to what the customer needs are.

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

It’s a very good fit. Avaya provides, a suite that goes end to end with the exception maybe workforce management call reporting, or is that included as well?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

Definitely. The big thing is that, if you take the Avaya compliment, it’s an evolution of products versus other suppliers are really greenfield opportunities. Meaning if a customer is looking to replace it’s a rip and replace, where Avaya has done a very good job to have an evolution of product families, where its certain components can be retained, even going to the new, more prevalent applications and so on, sets as an example can be retained across product families. Certain applications can be retained across product families, because no customer has a big pocket full of money. What we do as a company is, be able to look at their current environment, make a recommendation based on what they think is the key criteria. Some of it is price, but it’s not always price. Some of it is timing, access to specific productivity enhancements that they would get out of the actual system or applications. What we do is, we take those myriad needs of a customer and we say…

We live in this industry every day. This is what we do for a living. We don’t try to do anything else, but we think we’re very good at this.

For someone to come in to this industry, that’s uneducated and doesn’t live in it and breathe in it every day, they don’t know the dynamics of what’s available for them. This is where we try to separate ourselves from the pack to say…

As your trusted adviser we have to provide you with the best solution based on your key criteria and the thing is, that we’re not here to sell you anything that would be considered throw away in your future, etc. It’s based on what you’re telling us is your plan over the next three to five, and sometimes seven to ten years, so these products will work for you for the period of time that you determine that they should.

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Your focus on service and client relationships has been the growth model for Smart IP?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

I keep calling it the trusted advisor, because it’s the best description of what we do is that, we want the customer,… if Jose was here to give you an example to hear another way to describe it, is we sell comfort. Because once you start to do business with us is that, we take your issues as our own. We take those issues and say ”If we don’t do a good job with them, then we won’t have a happy client.” We go as far with our sales team as to say, we expect you to present something to a client that is so defined and meeting their key objectives, that they can socialize, take that single piece of paper or multiple pieces of paper, sending it to 10 people in the company and they’ll clearly understand what we wanted to accomplish, how we’re going to accomplish, the cost to accomplishment and the time frame it will be done in. That’s our job, so that’s where a trusted advisor says “We will make your job easier to do business with us”, and that would be a big separator compared to our competitors.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”0px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””][tagline_box backgroundcolor=”description=” shadow=”yes” shadowopacity=”0.7″ border=”1px” bordercolor=”” highlightposition=”top” content_alignment=”left” link=”” linktarget=”_self” modal=”” button_size=”” button_shape=”” button_type=”” buttoncolor=”” button=”Learn More” title=”Ken MacDonald, General Manager” description=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””]Ken Macdonald, General Manager Smart IP Phone SystemsKen is responsible for all aspects of the customer experience at Smart IP, including system implementations, order fulfillment, customer service and technical support. Among his many attributes, Ken has a proven track record as a senior leader with extensive hands-on business management and technology experience.

Management Team[/tagline_box][/one_full][/fullwidth][fusion_text]

See the last part of our 3 Part Series “An Interview with Ken MacDonald”

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Part 1 of Our 3 Part Series “An Interview With Ken MacDonald”

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Tell us a little bit about your background before coming to SmartIP.

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

I’ve been in the business for 25+ years prior to coming to SmartIP. Predominately in the Telco Space, I worked for Bell Canada.  I grew up throughout the whole realm of Bell Canada, I guess that’s what was known for. I started in the mail room and finished as the director. There’s not many jobs I didn’t touch throughout my career. I started with the very basic functions and ended with the very complex, of course.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Tell us a little background about SmartIP.

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

SmartIP, probably the best way to describe it is, why I came here. Working for a large organisation for many years, I had a couple of goals that I wanted to achieve in my second career path, which was number 1 – work for a smaller firm, giving me more flexibility and more responsibility right down to the PNL. What I loved about SmartIP is that, even though it was a smaller firm, it’s a very historic firm. The main things that it’s known for is its 35+ years. Great survivor in this space, which is a very competitive environment. A lot of change that the company has had to adapt to, including a rebranding exercise that it went through in late 2007 to become SmartIP from its former name Lexis Networks. Second of all, the important piece for me was the fact that, it was historically known as the first Nortel reseller outside of Telco to be awarded a Nortel distribution contract. It’s got some very unique milestones throughout its life and it was something that hit home with me.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

How has IP telephony changed the telecommunication landscape?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

From my point of view, I’ve been in the business so long that I’ve seen the birth of many technologies, IP being one of them. Essentially what IP has done for customers is similar to what the internet has done for customers, meaning that large enterprises always had an advantage in the investment and infrastructure and the complexities and the applications, that they were willing to purchase, that separated from their competitors. Now, most customers can buy enterprise-grade applications and technologies to compete with the big guys, and they can do it at a very low cost.  IP has really changed the playing field, so people can be a lot more competitive. They can use a lot of these tools now to be a lot more productive. Of course, that would lead them for stronger growth models in the future.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusionslider name=”part-1-ken-macdonald” class=”” id=””][/fusionslider][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Brief elevator pitch for SmartIP?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

SmartIP, I think the best way to describe the company is, because of our size is that we’re big enough to compete, we’re small enough to move fast. Decisions are made very quickly. Single owner who created the company through acquisitions, Jose Fernandez has managed the company through speed of execution and the ability to adapt to the changing environments of business and technologies. We don’t sit and fret about anything. We see curve balls either way from manufacturers or customers on a daily basis. Our ability to alter our business plan and take that curve ball and turn it into a fastball for our success, has really been the change in the company, that’s kept it moving in the right direction, which is growing every year. Maybe not always at the rates we wanted to, but it’s been a steady growth model, since the day I came here 8 years ago.

It’s not about trying to hammer on to somebody’s calendar. If it’s important for the business, it’s important for everyone in the company. We take that as our next priority.

For us the other thing that we were known for, for people that come and visit us, and our customers see is that, it is a family organization. We have more than Jose working here. There is internal relationships that make it a pleasant place to work, and the fact that as an example we have our own gym here. We try to enhance the employees’ lives through nutritional classes and so on, to make the customer experience less stressful, more what they’re used to and what they would like it to be, which is everything sold through a casual discussion.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Tell us about a typical client.

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

The sweet spot for SmartIP is the fact that everyone has a different philosophy on market. The two factors at our table is that SmartIP plays what I consider the mid-to-high end of SMB. Usually multi-site clients, usually a 100+ users in that organization. The reason that’s a sweet spot for us is that, essentially it gets them to a point where they’ve gone beyond the breadth of doing everything through an outsourced model. Essentially now they’re around where they have the higher internal IT staff, voice controllers, etc. to manage their business internally every day. That’s where SmartIP is a perfect fit for them. We go with the mantra that we want the ability to be the one throat that they have to choke to get the service complete. Essentially whether we are providing strictly voice services, or data infrastructure, video contact center, or our whole variety of products. It basically allows them to do everything through one vendor.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Q[/dropcap]

Do you also sell the maintenance plans and the support plans that go along with that?

[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”10px” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text][dropcap color=”#5cb85c” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]

When we talked about one throat to choke is, usually we’ll establish a relationship with a client. We’ll sell them their initial products. We will get those products in place.

The big thing about us is the other mantra that we state to our clients and we live with our clients, is that we want to be their trusted advisor. We’re not just selling you the products, we’re here to maximize the benefits of those products.

One of the things that we push at our clients is the whole change management philosophy. That is really built on what we call the 70-20-10 rule. Talking about the early adoption of technologies, our opening about IP is that we look at technology adoption as 10% of the early adopters. Not tough to sell them. They want the product. It’s like the people that will stand at every Apple Store, the day that they launch their next cell phone. There is that 10% in our base as well. The next chunk comes to the 70%. The 70% are clients that will come at their own pace. They’re interested in technology. They’d like somebody else to try it out, but essentially they know it’s part of their future. They’re more concerned about buying something and actually getting the right ROI on that product, over the life of the product overall. The 20% are the people that, it’s dial tone to them. They’re not real technology believers. It’s just a telephone. They don’t want it to be anything more than a telephone. It’s not something that’s going to change their business model, so we know that they are clients that we still have in our base, but essentially we let them just ride the curve as they see fit.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth][fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”0px” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””][tagline_box backgroundcolor=”description=” shadow=”yes” shadowopacity=”0.7″ border=”1px” bordercolor=”” highlightposition=”top” content_alignment=”left” link=”” linktarget=”_self” modal=”” button_size=”” button_shape=”” button_type=”” buttoncolor=”” button=”Learn More” title=”Ken MacDonald, General Manager” description=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””]Ken Macdonald Smart IP Phone SystemsKen is responsible for all aspects of the customer experience at Smart IP, including system implementations, order fulfillment, customer service and technical support. Among his many attributes, Ken has a proven track record as a senior leader with extensive hands-on business management and technology experience.

Management Team[/tagline_box][/one_full][/fullwidth][fusion_text]

Review – Part 2 of our 3 Part Series “An Interview with Ken MacDonald

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Smart IP provides businesses with a Contact Center Solutions

Smart IP provides a strong Contact Centre portfolio to suite different needs. Contact Centre is a full suite of “call” handling and routing applications with powerful real-time and historical reporting. Through CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), Outbound and Multimedia applications, businesses can improve customer interactions and are better able to manage their resource pool.

Call Routing Management

  • Respond quickly and effectively to callers by delivering sophisticated call routing and management capabilities for inbound and outbound voice, multimedia (e-mail, text chat, video), and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). Match the customer’s request with the most qualified agent for quicker “call” handling and customer resolution.

Real Time and Historical Reporting

  • Real time and historical reporting enable supervisors to optimize staff levels to accommodate fluctuating call volumes and to more efficiently manage the multimedia contact centre.

Monitoring

  • Smart IP quality monitoring and recording solutions will help ensure that your agents are delivering superior customer service.

Avaya Aura Contact Center 6.1 (AACC 6.1) is a context-sensitive, collaborative, voice and multi-media customer contact solution that allows enterprises to anticipate, automate and accelerate customer interactions. AACC 6.1 intelligently routes up to six simultaneous multimedia contacts to the most appropriate resource through a unified agent interface. By creating a complete view of the customer and the context of their interaction, AACC 6.1 allows enterprises and organizations to manage the customer experience in a way that consistently delivers a superior level of engagement. AACC 6.1 enables the ability to reach out to customers proactively, combines historic and real-time contextual information about a customer to improve the quality of interactions, optimizes agent utilization and productivity, and enhances supervisor performance to deliver superior customer experience and drive sustainable business growth.

Avaya Contact Center Express (CCE) 5.0

CCE 5.0 adds new capabilities described within this solution brief including enhancements to email routing, agent chat greetings, and integration with Avaya Voice Portal, Call Recording, and Workforce Management. CCE provides multi channel contact center capabilities that translate into tangible business results.

Avaya NES Contact Center

Avaya NES Contact Center significantly expands functionality while greatly simplifying the tools used to implement, maintain, manage and use the system on a daily basis. Your business gains the flexibility to exceed customer expectations while maximizing operational effectiveness. As a modular, scalable, standards-based solution, Avaya NES Contact Center delivers the advantages of an all-in-one solution without the drawbacks: you can purchase just what you need, when you need it.

So whether you’re starting a new center, looking to manage multiple channels of communication or want to integrate outbound customer campaigns, Avaya NES Contact Center is the better and easier way to meet your objectives.

Nortel Networks Symposium Call Center

Nortel Networks Symposium Call Center Server helps you respond quickly and effectively to callers’ constantly changing priorities by delivering superior call management capabilities and utilizing the latest in communications technologies. It provides the solid foundation you need to help build profitable, long-term customer relationships.

Symposium Call Center Server delivers the solution your business needs to build customer loyalty and meet expectations in today’s highly competitive marketplace, setting a solid foundation for an extraordinary customer experience.


ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center

ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center software provides advanced multimedia call center solutions for all organizations.

Sophisticated real-time management and reporting tools let organizations analyze their performance and measure the results.

The customer experience can be tailored to meet specific requirements with advanced routing, multiple service options, and tools that help deliver calls to the right agents and services at the right time.

Smart IP and Customer

Smart IP provides businesses with a Contact Center Solutions. Smart IP currently has Avaya, Nortel and ShoreTel Contact Center Solutions to provide to a clients. Smart IP is the dealer/distributor/provider/seller for Avaya, Nortel and ShoreTel Contact Center Solutions, we provide our services from several locations:  Brampton (head office), Ottawa, Hamilton in Ontario, and many other locations all over the Canada. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (905) 759-2660. We look forward to working with you and helping to decrease your communications costs.

Avaya Sets a New Standard for Simple, Effective, Engaging Collaboration and Communications

  • New software makes it possible to easily embed collaboration capabilities into other applications
  • Enhanced collaboration and communication platform provides a  comprehensive midmarket solution with the industry’s smallest footprint
  • New cloud service for enabling SMS text messages to any device takes mobile collaboration to the next level

Avaya unveiled a set of new software and cloud-based services designed to transform the way enterprises and organizations work. Avaya’s simple, intuitive solutions help employees to work more effectively, engage more easily, and make decisions faster so organizations can experience the advantages of a new age of collaboration.Today’s introductions are the latest developments in Avaya’s transformation: Six years ago the company began a  shift from a telecommunications company to a provider of mobile, open, scalable collaboration and communications solutions for companies of all sizes. These new offerings are part of the $2.5 billion investment in R&D made by Avaya during this time to reshape its portfolio for the future of collaboration.

Avaya makes it possible for companies and organizations of all sizes to begin collaborating in new ways. Avaya designed out the complexity from its software and cloud-based services so employees can get to work faster and to work smarter. Open platform technology in Avaya’s solutions removes many of the barriers that slow business innovation, customer service and revenue generation and allows employees and partners to act as a team whether they are mobile or in the office.
New software and cloud-based services simplify enterprise collaboration

The need to streamline the way people communicate and work spans companies of all sizes. Avaya’s new software and technology are earmarked for companies large to small. Avaya today unveiled:

  • Avaya Aura® Collaboration Environment: An all new software platform that dissolves the complexity of embedding collaboration and communications capabilities into business applications, making it possible to quickly develop creative new ways of doing business. For example, a healthcare patient monitoring system can automatically trigger a collaboration session between several doctors based on the vitals of a critical care patient that is being monitored 24×7.  As a result, new social, mobile or cloud-based collaboration capabilities can be added to business applications or processes generally without the cost and time previously required. (see separate release)
  • Avaya IP Office 9.0: The cornerstone of Avaya’s midmarket business collaboration portfolio, Avaya IP Office 9.0 offers increased scale, flexible deployment options, simplified management, and support for enterprise branch deployments. Avaya IP Office software extends Avaya innovation to the midmarket, delivering a seamless collaboration experience across voice, video, and mobility for up to 2000 users for the first time. With new virtualization capabilities, a feature-rich, collaboration and communication solution can typically be set up in under an hour. (see separate release)
  • Avaya Messaging Service (AMS): Real-time mobile collaboration and communications via the cloud for any size business, using any vendor’s platform.  SMS/text messages have typically operated as an application independent of enterprise communications – usually sent from one mobile device to another mobile device. Avaya Messaging Service extends SMS messages to and from smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktop devices, thereby enabling one-number communications via text messaging.  By flowing the messages through a corporate network, AMS brings the same level of security, compliance and quality companies expect in email to the world of text messaging.
  • Advances to Avaya Aura: The engine behind enterprise communications and collaboration, Avaya Aura users can now easily support both cloud and virtualized environments with the addition of multi-tenancy and enhanced virtualization capabilities.  Additionally, customers can now support up to 10 different mobile devices from a single phone number, enabling people to connect on a wide variety of devices quickly and easily.
Quotes
“Today, teams are located all over the globe, trying to work on a variety of devices as they move between meetings or connecting flights. It has never been harder to physically come together, and at the same time expectations have never been higher.  Avaya’s simple, intuitive software and cloud-based services are designed to be effective, efficient and transparent so people can focus on the task at hand and not the barriers that are too often present in today’s business technology.”
Kevin Kennedy, CEO and president, Avaya

Source: Avaya

4 Main Unified Communications Components and How They Help Achieve Business Results

02-Oct-2013

Unified Communications (UC) is a set of solutions that provide various tools such as: instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, call control and speech recognition with real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). The UC platform can be divided into several parts that can be used cohesively or stand-alone. Nevertheless, the majority of clients interested in UC solutions choose to implement the full UC suite to improve their organization’s productivity. It is to the customer’s advantage that some major UC manufacturers such as AVST adopt a corporate philosophy of developing solutions to cater to a large audience. This vision allows the development of products that permit clients to scale and add tools as they grow or identify the need for a specific UC component.

There are four major components of UC: Mobility, Voice, Business Process and Interoperability. Each of these components plays a major role in defining the need and the value for the organization. Companies who deploy UC solutions are not required to implement 100% of what is available and can choose to implement “a la carte” based on  their budget and network capability. Modern unified communications technologies deliver easy to deploy, out-of-the-box packages that do not restrict you to one vendor and permit connectivity to multiple PBX and IP telephony manufacturers. Learn more – Free Webinar.

1. UC Mobility: Identifying the Business Challenges for Mobility

Unified Messaging in an Evolving IT Environment

  • Unified messaging can deliver a diverse e-mail system, and can be both premise-based and public cloud based. It also can offer flexible storage options to enhance your organization’s security and integration compliance objectives.

Improve Mobile Workers Connectivity and Productivity

  • This component offers a Personal Assistant function with advanced features that help manage business communications efficiently. The Personal Assistant function can be used in hands-free, eyes-free mode while driving or in visual mode while in a meeting.

Hands-Free Communications

  • AVST has pioneered an intuitive voice recognition interface that has been in the market for more than 15 years. Simply saying, “Get new messages,” or “Call John Smith,” for voice-activated hands-free, eyes-free communications will allow users to interact through the device.

Securely Support Employee Owned Mobile Devices

  • Mobile security risk is a hot topic for many organizations. To overcome this threat, all business voicemails, contacts and call logs reside on the company’s voice infrastructure rather than the employee’s personal mobile device. This eliminates the danger of data leaks and/or other security breaches, while supporting the trend to BYOD.

Unify Fixed and Mobile Phone Networks

  • This is the ability to manage communications through the company’s voice infrastructure in order to provide mobile number protection, single number reach and a single mailbox. In addition, this feature enables savings on roaming fees and decreases high costs from international calls.

2. UC Voice: Identifying the Business Challenges for Voice

Unified communications is not always an open, plug and play, out-of-box solution. Although it has a simple and robust structure, it still depends on existing setup and network allowances. In some cases, in order for organizations to realize the full potential of their existing infrastructure and optimize future investments, they must be able to overcome some network infrastructure challenges to have a full present and future proof system.

Migrate Your Legacy Voicemail System

  • The “process” of the migration itself, is one of the major hurtles in transitioning from legacy technology to a UC platform. Although it can strike fear in the eyes of some IT personnel, it is one of the most flexible factors to manage. AVST’s solution seamlessly connects to multiple PBX and IP systems while mirroring the same functionality available on the legacy system. This permits IT departments to leverage new exciting technology while allowing organizations to save on user retraining. This also permits the retention of legacy PBX until budget to evolve to VoIP or IP is affordable.

Prepare for the Cloud

  • There are several approaches that are available on the UC platform: private cloud, public cloud, or a hybrid of the two to meet the organization’s IT initiatives, vision and architecture.

Centralize and Consolidate Voice Applications

  • When organizations decide to pursue the development of data centers in support of private cloud initiatives, the typical UC solution tackles three critical IT objectives: scalability to meet changing corporate business requirements; business continuity; and virtualization for efficiency and ease of data centre management. It creates a positive environment for cloud expansion and delivers streamlined communications between the implemented components of unified communications.

Support for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Initiatives

  • UC sets a new benchmark in reliability by combining high availability, remote disaster recovery, and virtualization deployment options to the enterprise. In addition, it optionally provides enterprise-class reliability and scalability for business critical applications.

Migrate to Network-Based Faxing

  • Another benefit is the resultant increased efficiency, flexibility and security to faxing and electronic document handling.

3. UC-Business Process: Identifying the Business Challenges for Business Process

While individual and group productivity continue to be the focus of UC implementations, the growing trend today is in enabling organizations to improve business process efficiency. By enabling customers to integrate communication with information, human latency is reduced and productivity is accelerated.

Learn more about the power of the UC platform – Register for Webinar

Automate Customer Notification

  • Easily manage outbound calling campaigns with sophisticated outcall notification capabilities. With notification features, you can record and deliver messages, appointment reminders, schedule changes and emergency notifications more efficiently than ever before.

Provide Information Access Around the Cloc

  • Accelerate the flow of information to your customers who expect 24/7 access to information and services such as checking account balances, paying phone bills, accessing event information, or scheduling appointments.

Enable Click-to-Call for Business Applications

  • Eliminate the tedious work of placing calls with Click-to-Call by integrating database content and voice solutions. This feature enables users to quickly communicate with others with just one click of the mouse.

Web Portal Communications

  • Enhance your company’s web portal to provide convenient access to corporate voice and fax messages. Presence application means turning contact information into communication by adding Click-to-Call to the corporate directory. Minimize the time to connect by utilizing user availability information to place calls to the right device on the first call.

Rapidly Create Custom Applications

  • This feature allows you to design your own custom applications to fit the specific needs of your organization. Applications can be developed using UCConnect, a Microsoft .NET open development framework. UCConnect leverages the extensibility of the UC platform to rapidly create unique custom applications. Core technology includes telephone call management, voice, fax and text messaging, database queries and updates, text to speech conversion, and audio announcements.

4. UC-Interoperability: Identifying the Business Challenges for Interoperability

Interoperability is key for any successful UC deployment. By participating in our webinar you’ll discover how UC solutions can help you realize the full potential of your existing and future infrastructure. No matter what challenge you face, there is a solution element that can solve it.

Interoperability in Your Multi-Vendor IT Landscape

  • A fully capable advanced UC solution seamlessly allows integration with all the major PBX systems, e-mail, presence engines and business applications. You will reap the benefits today by leveraging your existing investments and unlocking the full power of your communications landscape.

Deploy Unified Communications/VoIP at Your Own Pace

  • As enterprises planning to deploy VoIP over time, there is still a requirement to support hybrid TDM PBX/Centrex/IP-PBX environments. This application is your bridge to pure Voice over IP deployments, enabling the natural evolution of your communications.

Avoid Single Vendor Lock-in at the Initial and more Importantly the Future Stages

  • AVST’s UC product enables the flexibility to interoperate with other third-party Unified Communications vendor solutions of choice. Unlike virtually every other UC suite, this solution does not constrain customers with a single vendor lock-in approach. In fact, it’s the very opposite. The applications are built on open standards, providing the flexibility to round out your Unified Communications deployment with best-of-breed solutions.

To deliver more information about Unified Communications solution, network requirements and other important UC features we are hosting a free 45-minute webinar on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:00am.

8 Critical Unified Communications Features That Help You Succeed In Business

02-Oct-2013
Today, long hours, hard work and the “on-the-road” culture has become the norm in the business world. Numerous organizations from publicly traded corporations to SMB’s feel the increasing pressure to work smarter, faster and with more creativity on every front. The objective is to make the best decision in the shortest time period while utilizing minimum resources for the project of the day.

From the beginning of its development, the main goal of a unified communications (UC) solution was to increase productivity, maximize the end user’s ability to connect to the business world, and to provide access to messages on the go in the synchronized rhythm of the professional’s day. Unified communications has evolved since its inception, and now, these capabilities are there to meet these many needs.

Within the unified communications space, the complexity of the organization becomes somewhat irrelevant, as UC is built to bridge the differences. In one way or another, the typical organization has some sort of UC component that helps them unify messages, whether it is voicemail to email, fax to email, automated attendant or other UC features. The historical problems that numerous organizations experience across the globe are the same: lack of ease of use, difficult deployments, questionable reliability and poor cost effectiveness. Now, the best UC solutions provide an out-of-the-box set that utilizes the full suite of UC features that enable companies to work and respond more efficiently.

Many decision makers do recognize the need for a true UC solution; unfortunately they don’t know what components or features they should consider or why they are crucial to the company’s success. In this post we’ll go over 8 UC features that enterprise level companies must have to enable success in today’s corporate environment. Let’s start!

1. Unified Messaging – This is one of the most important features that any robust UC platform must have. A solid UM feature has several main components:

  • Ability to deliver unified messaging to multiple e-mail systems (premise-based and cloud) including Google Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and Office 365, Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise and any IMAP4 compliant e-mail system
  • Support multiple e-mail servers simultaneously
  • Integrated e-mail, voicemail, and fax into a single view
  • Access via mobile device, e-mail client, web interface, speech or DTMF telephone
  • Flexible storage model options to meet organizations security, compliance, and confidentiality needs; Server-based unified messaging, Client-based unified messaging, Secure unified messaging and Simplified unified messaging
  • Voicemail-to-Text
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Localized desktop clients

2. Speech Recognition – even from its early introduction, speech recognition became one of the most important features for the unified communications platform. It provides the ability for users to access an inbox on-the-go without limitations or a loss of productivity.

Key Benefits

  • Keep up with all voice, e-mail, fax messages and calendar anytime from anywhere – such as in the car, airport or hotel
  • Focus on profitable tasks rather than administrative call handling and unproductive rounds of phone tag
  • Access inbox and manage calls, by speaking commands to:
    • Access your messages (“Get new messages”, “Get new email”)
    • Navigate your message queues (“Next message”, “Previous message”)
    • Process your messages (“Delete message”, “Forward message”, “Reply to message”)
    • Place calls to other system users (“Call Smart IP”)
    • Place calls directly to phone numbers (“Dial 905.759.2660”)

3. Personal Assistant – helps you get through the day by fulfilling your communications and mobile needs. There are a very limited number of vendors who can provide this feature at an affordable price point while delivering true robust UC elements. This information will be expanded on during the upcoming webinar, register today!

This feature can be delivered in two ways:

  • Visual View of Personal Assistant on Android or iPhone
  • Speech-Driven Personal Assistant on Any Device

Some key benefits and features of Visual View Assistant:

  • Mobile Number Protection
  • Single Number Reach
  • Place, Receive and Manage Business Calls
  • Visual Call Screening
  • Visual Access to Enterprise Voicemails
  • Settings Management

Some key benefits and features of Speech-Driven Assistant:

  • Listen to, create, change, or delete meetings and appointments
  • Accept or decline meeting requests from others
  • Call and manage contacts
  • Route calls to the most appropriate telephone based on location and availability
  • Missed calls notification
  • Interactive call screening to divert an incoming call to another person, or acknowledge a call with a brief message that is played to the caller before they are transferred to your voicemail
  • Transfer calls from mobile phone to office phone and vice versa
  • Record a conversation

4. Presence (Location, Context-Aware, Information) – this component enables a location-based service that knows when you’ve arrived at the office, reached home or are anywhere in-between — and will deliver your calls to the optimal device. It is truly one of the unique features as it helps to reduce time between the caller and receiver of the call. This increases employee productivity and customer satisfaction as the individual is able to get the call at the moment of customer’s need.

5. Mobile Client and Mobile Administration – it used to be that applications only allowed you to have a limited set of communication features and even less administration features on the mobile device, however it is not the case anymore. A true UC solution now has full access to numerous administrative and user operations that make your day on the road as seamless as if you were at the office.

6. Segment Personal and Professional Workflows – Wouldn’t it be ideal to carry one mobile device instead of separate devices for your business and personal use? With proper mobile applications, you can efficiently manage business communications, leaving your device’s native applications to manage your personal communications. A UC mobile app helps you securely manage inbound and outbound calls, contacts, voice messages, and personal preferences, while keeping all business communication data off of your device.

7. Multilingual – a unique feature that allows you to have various language modules integrated to the system for various regional or cross country activities and language recognition.

8. Secure Access to Corporate Data – security is a hot topic for all organizations regardless the size, complexity or type of activity. Securing data is a key component for unified communications settings as messages get transformed from one device, client, or tool to single or multiple devices. Well-designed UC facilitates all business data securely on application servers behind the protection of the firewall. In addition, it allows single or mixed unified messaging architecture for various needs: Server-based Unified Messaging, Client-based Unified Messaging, Secure Unified Messaging, and Simplified Unified Messaging.

Unified communications is critical for many organizations. It’s crucial to do proper research analyzing the importance of UC elements to the company; feature set, ease of deployment, backbone limitations, requirements, process flow, provider limitations, delivery methods and many more important components.

To provide you with more information we are hosting a 45-minute educational webinar, which will be focused on numerous must-know aspects of the unified communications solution. Our mission is not to confuse and overwhelm you with info, but to simply provide solid in-depth and easy-to-digest material that is helpful to anyone interested in learning more about the benefits of unified communications.

Unified Communications and the Importance of Mobility Presence

02-Oct-2013

Mobile telecommunication technology brought a revolution to the way we communicate today. It strongly intervenes with both personal and work lives. In today’s world we are more mobile than ever before. Businesses can rapidly connect with clients, vendors, partners and other parties. Modern organizations striving for success face a challenging environment and must quickly adapt to the ever-changing business field. Mobility presence is an important component for many organizations that want their workforce to be highly productive and available seamlessly throughout the day.

 

Luckily many organizations heavily rely on the unified communications solutions with numerous functionalities that solve simple and complex business communication needs, while delivering unified messaging (voice, fax, and email) for all or selected staff, depending on their needs. UC users can easily access their voice mails and fax messages from their email inbox on their laptops and desktop computers, as well as use their telephone to listen to e-mail messages played back via text-to-speech. One of the main purposes of UC is to allow users to manage their messages regardless of the device. A reliable unified communications can also provide your mobile workforce with a virtual desktop via hands-free mobility applications, such as contact dialing, calendar access, message management, and find-me/follow- me service all supported by easy-to-use voice commands.

A part of mobility presence technology tracks an employee’s location and knows where to deliver messages when needed, whether it’s on the road, office or client meeting. UC also means that every time a new message is received, you are immediately notified via e-mail, pager, phone call, or SMS text message. In basic terms mobility presence simply means that user is available and can be reached almost any time and at any location. It is a solid application that is packaged into UC solution and is used by numerous businesses across the world. To learn more register for – Free Webinar

 

Trends and Stats

 

Presently, many organizations follow the BYOD trend allowing their employees to bring and use their personal devices for business use. In general terms it allows users to be more productive and have a preferred choice of device when deciding what is more convenient for them to use at work. With rapid changes in both telecommunications and IT industries new trends emerge regularly. Companies are now seeing a new drift that comes along with BYOD and is very similar, BYOA or Bring Your Own Application.

 

 

With more and more applications being developed every day, end users have a massive choice of applications that suite their personal and business needs. Many organizations are now developing their own internal applications that run natively on user devices in order to secure company’s internal infrastructure and data while allowing user productivity. Unified communications applications allow secure and protected environment for organizations that want efficient communications tools.

 

Benefits

 

There are multiple benefits that UC and Mobility Presence application can deliver. UC is a rich set that enables mobile workers to increase productivity and reachability.

 

Below are several UC benefits that enable mobile workers to:

 

  • Flawlessly convey desk phone features to the mobile device
  • Seamless access UC features across all communications devices
  • Protect and separate business and personal communications
  • Use personal device to work on business projects while safeguarding business identify

 

Importance to Business

 

Unified Communications is now in the huge demand. No wonder thousands of businesses choose to implement a powerful solution to respond to the market needs, as well as to satisfy business requirements. Unified Communications delivers Mobility Presence, which in turn is important to the business flow and organization productivity. Here are four reasons why it is important to your business today:

 

  • Synchronized single inbox. Unified messaging is made to deliver various types of messages to a single inbox, which permit users to access them on their mobile gadgets. Using single inbox decreases time spent on accessing messages and switching between various devices, allowing easier administration and inbox maintenance.

 

  • Efficient communication and personal assistant. Synchronized inbox means that users can communicate efficiently by having access to all communications. Personal assistant is a “Siri-like” service that enables live interaction with the mobile device. This feature allows hands-free access to the inbox, calendar and other applications installed. Users can simply say “Call John Smith”, “Schedule an Appointment”, “Check My Calendar” and other voice-enabled commands to continue the effectiveness of communications.

 

  • Flexible architecture. The architecture is made to be as flexible as possible, permitting organizations to choose how they want to deploy and use Unified Messaging. The solution lets administrators to implement any type and combination of Unified Messaging as well as to mix Unified Messaging and traditional voice mail users on the same system, via simple configuration changes. The solution supports all four of the popular Unified Messaging architecture types; Server-based Unified Messaging, Client-based Unified Messaging, Secure Unified Messaging and Simplified Unified Messaging.

 

  • Presence. A unique innovation of UC technology is the real-time presence interface, which allows you to view the availability of all other users and their communication preferences. This cuts wasted time tracking down available users and leaving messages. For example, a customer support specialist can use the presence application to identify an available expert qualified to answer a particular customer question.

To learn more about the Unified Communications and Mobility Presence 

Avaya Boosts Security for Enterprise Mobile Collaboration

13-Aug-2013
Avaya recently announced new security enhancements for enterprise collaboration, designed to protect today’s increasingly distributed businesses that have remote, home-based and mobile employees around the globe. The new release of Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise (SBCE) provides organizations with a simple, flexible and cost-effective solution to secure Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based applications across networks, enabling workplace collaboration to remain productive and protected from any location.

The Avaya SBCE helps companies more effectively manage ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) strategies—where employees use a single device for both work and personal use. This is essential as companies face mounting threats from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, viruses, configuration errors—along with the need to meet security compliance guidelines—as mobile collaboration continues its rise in the workplace. Key capabilities of the Avaya SBCE include:

•    Enhanced security for mobile collaboration is provided through new Avaya SBCE support for the Avaya Flare® Experience on Apple iPad* devices, as well as for Avaya one-X® Mobile applications on iPhones. By securing wireless unified communications (UC) over public data networks, workers have protected access to mobile UC capabilities (including instant messaging (IM), presence and video), helping to ensure privacy when using a mobile device.

•    VPN-less capabilities improves convenience for employees accessing rich UC functionality and simplicity from a remote location. Now, users can have a secure, business-dedicated deskphone or softphone that automatically authenticates to one IP address on a single SBCE, without connecting to a virtual private network (VPN). This approach reduces operational costs by eliminating the need for a VPN and optimizing IP address usage.

•    Secure SIP trunking and SIP-based remote worker applications enable companies to gain the benefits of SIP with greater protection. SIP extends rich UC features to distributed workers in a more efficient way, using an open standards approach to drive flexible architectures. This provides a safer way for employees to use presence, IM, voice, cloud-based services and other SIP-powered applications on multiple devices. As companies evolve their collaboration, the Avaya SBCE secures SIP traffic going in and out of a network.

Teleperformance Secures Their Place in the Collaboration Era

An organization that selected Avaya SBCE to secure collaboration is Teleperformance, a leading provider of outstanding customer experiences and contact center operations. With more than 138,000 employees across 260 contact centers in 46 countries, Teleperformance requires a sophisticated solution that can handle large volumes of calls with maximum security. The Avaya SBCE helps them achieve this in a cost-effective way, while maintaining high customer satisfaction. It enabled them to integrate with client networks easily and securely, protecting client and customer conversations, as well as overall call flow. Additionally, the Avaya SBCE significantly reduces the number of public resources (i.e. address space) that Teleperformance exposes, a key benefit that helps combat hacker attacks and other security breaches. The Avaya business partner for Teleperformance was Sunturn.

Executive Quotes:

“Customer service is at the heart of what we do, and as a leader in outsourced contact center services, our clients count on us to ensure superior functions and secure service. The Avaya SBCE delivers this, and does so with an eye towards cost-savings. We can reduce our hardware expenses, simplify implementations, and use fewer resources, saving us time and money. Avaya SBCE is critical in helping protect our network, while delivering the cost-saving benefits of SIP trunking.”

–Richard Blake, manager, IT Telecom, Teleperformance

“The Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise makes sense for businesses, as SIP connectivity grows and security becomes a critical requirement for BYOD implementations. As more companies deploy UC interfaces on smartphones and tablets, the VPN-less capability found on the Avaya SBCE will enable businesses to simplify, speed and ultimately increase collaboration across a remote workforce.”

–Diane Myers, principal analyst, Infonetics Research

“Advancements in enterprise collaboration are taking off, and with an Avaya Aura platform in place, businesses can accelerate their own collaboration evolution with speed and simplicity. But with threats to networks on the rise, the need to take action on security is essential. The Avaya SBCE brings the rock-solid security needed to ensure business collaboration and mobility initiatives are strengthened and protected against those with malicious intent.”

–Gary E. Barnett, senior vice president & general manager, Collaboration Platforms, Avaya

Additional Information:

•    51 percent of IT and IT security practitioners said their company experienced a data breach due to insecure mobile devices (smartphones, tablets laptops); 60 percent have seen a jump in malware infections over the past year due to insecure mobile devices.1

•    While 74 % of companies are very or extremely concerned about loss of company or customer data via mobile devices and 70% are highly concerned about mobile malware infections, more than half of firms with company-provided mobile devices have not installed security on their smartphones or tablets.2

•    According to IDC, tablets and smartphones will grow another 20% in 2013, with smart mobile devices as a whole representing 57% of the IT industry’s overall growth.3

•    This is version 6.2 of Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise, globally available in calendar Q2, 2013. A customized version is also offered for small and mid-size enterprises. For more information, visit here.

1Source: Global Study on Mobility Risks by Ponemon Institute LLC, sponsored by Websense, February 2012.
2Source: Webroot Study: Mobile Threats are Real and Costly
3Source: IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, November 2012, Doc #238044.

Avaya Introduces Comprehensive and Affordable Video Collaboration Solution for Small and Midsized En

  • Avaya Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office combines desktop, mobile and HD room system capabilities with rich data collaboration
  • Easy to deploy and easy to use, designed for Avaya IP Office, and provides HD experiences even on low bandwidth connections
  • Provides exceptional value with an all-in-one solution that helps SMEs improve productivity and efficiency and enhance customer interactions
Avaya (InfoComm13 booth no. 1859) announced the Avaya Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office, an all new video collaboration solution designed specifically for the small and midsize enterprise segment (SME).  The Avaya Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office provides simple, affordable yet comprehensive desktop, mobile and HD room-system video collaboration capabilities. Avaya IP Office is the company’s flagship unified communications solution for small and midsize enterprises.
According to research firm IDC, 30 percent of midsized firms are currently using some videoconferencing resources beyond simple webcams. Intentions are at roughly the same level, which sets the stage for significant growth – the number of small and midsized firms using video collaboration could potentially double in the next 12 months.
The Avaya Video Collaboration Solution is unique in its ability to deliver BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and HD room-system capabilities in a single, highly affordable and easy to deploy solution for SMEs. It delivers rich collaborative capabilities that help increase productivity, enhance customer service, and lower the overall cost of doing business.
The Avaya Video Collaboration Solution offers the following features:
  • Direct integration including a common dial plan with Avaya IP Office Version 8.1.
  • A “virtual conference room” for up to eight participants with click-to-join capabilities from any standards-based room system, desktop or mobile device.
  • Freely distributed desktop and mobile video clients for PCs, Macs and the most popular iOS and Android devices – enabling those inside and outside an organization to easily join a video meeting.
  • Low-bandwidth, HD multi-party video conferencing and rich data collaboration via native SIP/H.323.
  • The collaboration solution can also be deployed in an HD video conferencing room system configuration for maximum flexibility and value.
  • Automatic firewall traversal allows SMEs to engage with participants outside their network, enabling face-to-face meetings with customers and partners to help strengthen business relationships.
Supporting Quotes

“We now have Avaya video solutions in every office – London, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto – and our agents also use video while on the road, which is necessary in an industry where travel is a job requirement. Avaya video significantly enhances our ability to interact amongst colleagues, with musicians and with partners, and it adds a powerful new dimension to international calls. We tried other video solutions, but they just did not even compare to the high-quality and flexibility of Avaya’s technology. With Avaya’s simple, cost-effective and rock-solid video solution, our ability to share information and make fast, smart decisions is better than ever.”
–Howie Gold, CIO, The Agency Group
“Small and medium-sized businesses are looking to enhance productivity and improve their capabilities in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Video collaboration advances both of these goals by helping streamline internal discussions and strengthening external relationships with partners, suppliers, and customers. The challenge has been in finding an affordable solution with enterprise-grade capabilities, one that can also ‘play well with others’ to work effectively in diverse environments. The Avaya solution addresses these key SME needs while also providing the platform delivery preferred, whether through a mobile device, PC desktop, or high-definition conference room solution. Firms can extend video to outsiders with relative ease plus insure that the video resources can be they invest in today will be able to grow with them to continue adding value tomorrow.”
–Ray Boggs, Vice President, Small/Medium Business Research, IDC

“In a recent third-party report IP Office was recognized as the leading UC solution for small and mid-sized enterprises based on TCO, maintenance requirements and ease of deployment. By adding high-quality video collaboration capabilities to IP Office, we are raising the bar in terms of what customers should expect from their vendors. No one in the market offers a more comprehensive UC solution specifically designed for SMEs in the areas of features, simplicity, and affordability.”

–Mark Monday, Vice President, Product Management, Collaboration Platforms, Avaya

Source: Avaya

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