My name's Stephen and for more years than can count I have been struggling to Liberate the World from Traditional Phone Systems and Traditional Phone System Vendors.
That means working closely with partners around the world in English and French with the purpose of seeing how best we can approach local markets. Making sure that marketing and sales support are in place. Above all though giving tips and preparing quotes and proposals to make sure that customers get a 'best-fit solution' and often for the cost of 'off-the-shelf'.
A lot of my purpose in contributing to this blog is to provide from these experiences and what made the difference that made the difference. Whether you are already working with Bicom Systems or not yet please feel free to add your own comments or ask your own questions. There should be much to learn for us all.
Headline News! Washington D.C. (11 January 2017) – The true status of recent electoral polls suggested a failure in the accuracy of information routing.
Why remains of mystery, though some speculate that dropped packets on inferior phone systems are the culprit.
We recently obtained some evidence from what appears to be Bicom Systems investigating the White House’s telephone system followed by arms crossed and lips tight.
We tried to poll opinion. Would PBXware be installed before the New Administration of Donald J. Trump takes office?
At this point, not Bicom Systems, Donald J. Trump nor the White House would comment…..perhaps their phone lines are down as well or maybe they’re just waxing lyrical?
About BICOM SYSTEMS
Bicom Systems is the world’s first and most mature Professional Open Standards Turnkey Telephony Platform. Since 2003, Bicom Systems has deployed flexible, reliable, and scalable New Generation Communication Systems to SMBs, enterprises, and governments worldwide by unifying the most advanced of latest technologies. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today.
You step into the car dealership and look around at all of your options. Red convertibles, little sports cars, all-terrain trucks. In your mind, you’re already flying down the highway, the breeze in your hair, music pouring from the car’s speakers, when the salesperson interrupts your thoughts with his mundane descriptions of the type of rubber in the car’s tires and the new fuel injection system.
When customers buy a car, they want to know how it’s going to feel driving it, not all the little mechanical details. The same idea applies to Unified Communication sales. At Bicom Systems, we’ve learned that in order to win more customers, you must give them an experience, a feeling, not just a description of each component of a phone system.
Start by getting to know your potential customers. Understand their visions, their plans for the future. Ask them about their current expenses and problems and get them to look forward two or three years and tell you what they’d like to change. Get into the mind of the customer.
The next step is to shift the customer’s focus away from the phone system to the bigger picture. Don’t describe the features, describe how those features will change their lives. How they’ll be saving time and energy. How they’ll be making sales left and right. How the system practically runs itself. Bicom Systems products piece together to create a seamless system for customers. We tell customers that our PBXware, TELCOware, and SERVERware combination will free up their time to win more sales while the technical operations go on in the background.
Finally, don’t forget to include a number of applications. Potential customers can find “good phone systems” among your competition. But if you have a “good phone system” with additional applications to make life easier for the customer, that will set you apart from the crowd. Even the most simple application can make all the difference if it is incredibly useful. Bicom Systems offers gloCOM, our Unified Communications desktop and mobile app, as the icing on the cake. gloCOM and our other applications speed up otherwise laborious tasks and give our clients that extra push that they need to sign on.
In short, don’t get lost in the competition by just offering a phone system. Or even a good phone system. Stand out from the rest by offering a lifestyle.
We often find that our customers have a misconception of Session Border Controllers (SBC). Customers that request a SBC often times need a SIP Proxy rather than a true Session Border Controller.
In general, people think of SBCs as a proxy that can be used for routing, security, and
other types of network administration. Customers seeking some sort of routing
administration – Least Cost Routing, for example – will request an SBC, thinking that is
the solution to their need.
However, an SBC is actually a back-to-back user agent SIP application with a wide variety of other uses such as policy-based access control, transcoding, topology concealment, call accounting, QoS, and call quality statistics.
On the other hand, a SIP Proxy is an IP PBX component used for call functions such as routing. A SIP proxy will send SIP requests to the appropriate destination and return a response. SIP Proxies may also be used for registration, authorization, security, network control, and other call functions.
It is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with Thirdlane, given how respectfully Alex Epshteyn at Thirdlane has always spoken of PBXware.
I am often asked why to choose PBXware over Thirdlane and it seems only right to write.
Curious about this question is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories:
Existing users of Thirdlane’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further.
New Providers looking to start a business line with very little resource
Well established businesses – either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems
For the first group, Thirdlane customers have dial tone. However, their ITSP is now so busied with the running of the business that the cost of maintaining the system takes on greater importance.
It is very noticeable how few subscribers the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a handful of customers. These, still quite new, Service Providers are also considering how to automate the monthly invoice run and, ideally, the provisioning of services.
A customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… Surely this should take no more effort than checking boxes to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out, right?
There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x, y, z?’ questions and, less often, bugs or critical failings.
Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses. Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms, the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next.
What has also been learned by bitter experience is problems that may be caused by trying to piece-on a third-party software just because you don’t have it yourself. This could be an Operator Panel, for example, that can be strung through the Asterisk Manager. There’s no choice, you have to do it. The customer is screaming at you. So you spend an hour to download it, install it, try it yourself, and another hour to read the manual. You repeat that with the customer. Next day, the customer wants something that is missing … it is crashing … whatever happened to your sales plan that week?
For some though, there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.
Stay tuned for Thirdlane vs PBXware, Part 2: Cost of Entry and check out these other posts in the meantime: