What Do We Mean by UCaaS?

ucaasIt is easy to pick up buzzwords and start throwing them around without fully understanding the implications. Words like Integration, The Cloud, and Collaboration appear in marketing materials for most telecoms today, but often without full understanding or definitions.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is another one. So what exactly do we mean by UCaaS?

I think CommsTrader defines it best:

UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service is a solution in which all of the collaboration and communication tools that an employee must use can be accessed through a third-party, provided by an integrated cloud platform.”

UCaaS is, at its heart, a singular platform that simplifies and enhances communication through a plethora of tools. It’s almost an oxymoron: nearly innumerable features and capabilities in one single product.

So what are some of those features? Basically anything that makes communicating easier and better. To name a few:

  • Voice
  • Instant messaging
  • Presence
  • Conferencing
  • Video calling
  • Collaboration
  • File sharing
  • Desktop sharing
  • Integration
  • Mobility

It is easy to see how these tools would bolster efficiency and productivity in the workplace. UCaaS will go over well with the accounting department as well since it gives you so much bang for your back. Perhaps best of all, Unified Communications as a Service is flexible and scalable, easily molded to fit the existing business structure.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today or watch for yourself all that gloCOM, our UC app, can do:

Learn more about gloCOM here.
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Don’t Play Jenga with Your Customers and Profits

multi-tenantDo you remember the game Jenga? Popular in the 80s and 90s, kids everywhere tried to keep their hands steady as they gently slid blocks out of a teetering tower and continued building upwards until it all fell down. Hmm, sounds familiar in more way than one.

It is starting to come up with more frequency: customers dedicating a VM for each of their FreePBX instances per customer, trying desperately to attain some form of multi-tenant or multi-office PBX. Sure, it works at first and seems a simple and easy solution. But as you add more and more customers, it begins chewing up more and more IPs. Eventually you have a mile long list list of logins and IPs for each system and customer. One wrong move and your Jenga tower will crumble.

With the inevitable collapse comes the nightmare of migrating all of your customers and settings to a new platform. Just what you were trying to avoid, right?

The good news is that bona fide multi-tenant solutions do exist. With the right solution, you can build from the ground up on a firm foundation instead of playing Jenga with your customers and profits. For example, Bicom Systems offers both rented and hosted multi-tenant PBX solutions that support rapid and sustainable growth.

To learn more, contact us or visit our website today!

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5 Ways Unified Communications Saves You Time

unified communications timeWe all know the struggle of managing our time at work. The hours in the day are never quite enough to get everything done. But Unified Communications can save time on mundane tasks, letting you focus on whatever is most important to you and your business.

Below are just five UC features that will save you time.

1. Multi-tasking

Most Unified Communications apps support instant messaging and text messaging. Aside from being instantaneous, IMing allows you to multi-task. You can communicate via text even while on a call or working on something else.

2. One-click calling

UC lets you call anyone in the world with just the click of a mouse. Whether that means clicking on a contact within your UC app or enabling click-to-call with your browser, no more time will be spent looking for numbers and working out country codes.

3. Drag-and-drop conferences

Drag-and-drop conferencing is a favorite feature and it’s easy to see why. UC apps like gloCOM let you grab as many contacts as you want and drag them into an instantaneous conference. Gone are the days of scheduling conferences and dialing in to conference bridges with PINs and passwords.

4. Continuity

Unified Communications works on whatever device you have, wherever you are, so no time is lost due to travel, weather, power outages, or other unexpected bumps in the road. Remote workers have all the same capabilities as coworkers in the office.

5. Contact management

Compile all of your contacts and phone numbers in one secure place. UC apps like gloCOM will integrate with your existing address books so that no time is wasted scrambling to find a contact or phone number.

gloCOM is a Unified Communications app with all of the above and much more. Learn more about gloCOM here: www.bicomsystems.com/products/gloCOM-Desktop-Mobile-Communicator

Amazon Connect Review

amazon connect call centerKnowledge is power, especially in the fast-paced world of technology where things are changing so quickly. At Bicom Systems we like to research and even test new products as they come out so that we know what we are up against. One of our developers recently spent some time looking at the Amazon Contact Center solution and wrote a review for all of you:

Amazon Connect: A Review

GUI

The GUI is not anywhere near where it should be. The content is breaking out and overflowing. Components take up too much space that you do not needed. Everything is fixed, you cannot adjust the window size, etc.

Contact Flow

Creating call flow logic is very easy with their graphical interface. You have components in which you add and connect with wires and then make logic. The starting position is the number which callers will dial and then enter into the system. I tried some custom, it was not too complex and it worked. But the question is how it will behave in a more complex situation. There are still some GUI problems. For example, when you move or edit a component, the connection is lost and you have to wire it again. After publishing it will show you errors and where you should fix it.

Prompts and Text-To-Speech

Prompts have the capability to use text-to-speech or recording. Text-to-speech is great for building small prompts, but of course it only works only with English.

Statistics

Amazon went with customizable reports, so it allows you to choose fields from a list and then you can save and run it again. This sound nice, but as I tried making a few reports – BAM – I would run into errors or fields that showed no data. If you want to talk optimization, well we know there is none. Even with little data, it requires a couple of seconds to build every report. And if you add fields, it takes longer and longer. So handling large data may not be possible.

The most annoying thing that I ran into was that when I was expecting certain data, it would not show at all or would show lower values than expected. So data accuracy is a big issue.

Also, unlike in our statistics, you cannot filter by time, for example from 8:00 to 11:00. You cannot break the data down to see all the CDRs an agent had at that time.

So statistics gets a big thumbs down. Though it may have plenty of filters and features, everything comes down to speed and accuracy.

Conclusion

Amazon took the approach of making everything customizable. But even with that in mind, there are too many things missing. First of all, you cannot create any queue strategies. You could create flows, but you cannot achieve automatization. Also, there are many instances of queue configuration on our system which would require big flows or be impossible to make. Statistics covers a lot of fields, but accuracy and speed are big problems here.

They have this simple WRTC softphone that works for simple functions – dial, hangup, transfer – but real call centers agents often need to see with whom they are talking. For now, the agent is put in this “after call work” state for every call, so there are no options like wrap-up time, auto pause, etc.

In conclusion, this software does not yet provide a good solution for large call centers. And even for small call centers, there are lot of bugs and GUI problems that need to solved.

If you would like to learn about our own call center solution, please visit our website.

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Unified Communications: Beyond Telephony

unified communicationsUnified Communications works great for telephony and voice. It makes communicating fast, easy, and efficient. But a good UC solution should be doing much more than just telephony. Unified Communications can support and improve your business in many aspects.

Collaboration

More than just a buzzword, collaboration is key to productivity in the workplace. Unified Communications solutions support collaboration with features like screen sharing, file sharing, and presence. gloCOM, our UC app, offers all of these features and more. Learn more by reading 6 Unified Communications Features that Promote Collaboration.

Billing

Integrated billing software automates invoicing, rate-setting, and other accounting tasks to free your time and concentration. Unique to our Unified Communications suite, TELCOware is a provisioning platform that performs billing, ticketing, accounts, shopping cart, and more, so that you do not have to.

Security

The issue of security is heavy on the minds of most VoIP users today. Our Unified Communications solution goes beyond telephony to help secure your network. sipPROT is an advanced SIP security module that protects against SIP attacks. Unlike other solutions, sipPROT works with live traffic, protecting the system even while it is in use.

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