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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Call Center PBX: An Enhanced Software

call center pbxI recently stumbled upon an article claiming that PBX phone systems cannot replace call center software. My initial reaction was to scoff and dismiss it, but the article kept coming back to me as a response formed in my mind.

Rather than replying: “Yes, PBX can replace call center software”, I began to wonder why it has to be a question of one or the other – is it necessarily a replacement?

A PBX phone system that is dedicated to call centers is essentially enhanced call center software. Not a replacement, per se, but an improvement.

The aforementioned article challenged PBX phone systems on the basis that they do not offer the following features: Advanced routing, Call queueing, Live call monitoring, and Live reporting. The article further criticized PBX systems as less scalable than traditional call center software. Let’s go through these allegedly absent features one-by-one…

1. Advanced routing

Call centers are, by definition, dedicated to call management, so advanced call routing is essential. Call Center PBX solutions like PBXware offer skills-based routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Automated Call Distribution (ACD). Our skills-based routing supports the following criteria: skill level, training level, performance, availability, call priority, and queue load. Additionally, should a call need to be manually transferred, gloCOM shows the real-time status of other agents and supports instant drag-and-drop transfers to whoever is available.

2. Call queueing

Queues are, without a doubt, indispensable in any busy call center. PBXware supports not only unlimited queues and optional callback, but also real-time queue monitoring and statistics. Live wallboards with real-time queue stats enable call center agents to monitor and keep up with call traffic. Queue reports enable supervisors to achieve better customer service by forecasting call volumes, calculating agent requirements, and comparing results with expectations.

3. Live call monitoring

Constant call monitoring ensures optimum customer service quality and satisfaction. PBXware supports real-time agent monitoring and barging. Supervisors can drop in on calls unannounced and unnoticed to verify that call quality standards are being met. Alternatively, they could jump on a call to provide input or assistance without ever placing the caller on hold or transferring them. Call center agents perform more consistently when they know that a supervisor could be listening in at any moment.

4. Live reporting

Real-time reporting of call center statistics inspires agents to perform better and keeps supervisors informed on progress. PBXware gives data on queue statistics, call detail records (CDR), actions logs, and system CLI messages. Many call centers put these stats on wallboards so that progress is at the center of attention throughout the day. Detailed reports can also be run after the fact and delivered at a specified interval.

5. Scalability

One of our primary goals at Bicom Systems is to enable partners to grow. Your success is our success and we have helped entrepreneurs start from the ground up as well as large corporations expand even beyond what the knew they could. PBXware is highly flexible and can scale both up and down fluidly. Bicom Systems is committed to giving you a solution as small or large as you need to get started. We are confident you will grow, so we are happy to start slow and grow with you.

Call Center PBX solutions do not need to be an alternative to call center software, but an enhancement of the traditional software. PBXware Call Center PBX is a powerhouse under-the-hood with all of the features and technologies that busy call centers need, but wrapped up in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Learn more about our Call Center PBX solution on our website.

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7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need

crm integrationCRM software is great for business. VoIP solutions are great for business. Integrated together, they create a powerhouse that will support both your sales and marketing teams.

Lead management is a core part of any business and getting it right can make or break your success. A standard, efficient workflow to apply to all contacts and individualized nurturing for each lead are of equal importance to get through the sales cycle.

The balance can be reached with CRM integration through the following features:

1. Call & email logs

Integrated CRM software tracks all calls and emails to contacts. Forget flipping through your calendar or racking your brain to remember your last call with a specific lead or customer – an integrated CRM will give you that information and more in seconds.

2. Click-to-call

Now more an expectation than a perk, click-to-call with CRM integration makes it easy to call leads or customers as you are reviewing their account. Cut the time it takes to get through a list of sales calls by doing everything from one screen.

3. Call pop-ups

If click-to-call simplifies your outbound calling process, call pop-ups greatly enhance inbound calling. CRM integration puts the caller’s name and detailed information on your screen before you even lift the phone receiver. No more pressure to remember details or asking the caller to wait while you change gears and catch up.

4. Marketing campaigns

Your CRM is no longer just for the sales department. Marketing teams will find an integrated CRM invaluable for creating, sending, and tracking marketing campaigns. Responsive marketing that targets audiences based on past behavior and interests shown is more effective than passive, mass marketing.

5. Marketing automation

All the buzz in 2017, marketing automation is quickly becoming standard practice. An integrated CRM makes it possible to automate marketing campaigns on multiple levels without forgoing a dynamic, responsive approach. In fact, the data collected by your CRM will make marketing efforts even more responsive to lead behavior.

6. Data organization

Arguably its primary function, it goes without saying that your CRM organizes contact data. But an integrated CRM will go even further in placing pertinent information exactly where your company needs it.

7. Lead Tracking

An integrated CRM goes beyond contact information and call logs, you can now track website visits, social media behaviors, downloads, and much more. Both the sales and marketing teams can get better results when they have more information at their fingertips.

PBXware and gloCOM integrate with Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar, Zendesk, and Microsoft Dynamics. We can integrate with other CRMs through custom solutions. Learn more about gloCOM or contact us today.

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Do You Still Need a Desk Phone?

desk phoneNot many years ago, this question would have sounded absurd. Traditional desk phones were the primary mode of business communications. Even as the Internet brought new options like email and instant messaging, these couldn’t truly replace a voice conversation.

But now, with VoIP at work in most offices across the world, the question arises: do you still need your desk phone?

VoIP and Cloud Communications have enabled the development of voice tools that transcend the desk phone. Softphones are now available for desktop computers, laptops, and even smartphones and tablets. In their earliest days, softphones were convenient for some kinds of calls, but would not have been sufficient to entirely replace the desk phone. Softphones today can do everything that a desk phone can do – and often much more.

Concerned about a local presence? Softphones can still give you a local number, as well as a global reach.

For me, the answer to the question is “no.” I said goodbye to my desk phone years ago when I started using gloCOM. Available for both desktop and mobile, gloCOM offers everything my desk phone did, and much more.

Others will not be ready to remove the phone from their desk. The good news is that unified communications apps (like gloCOM) often integrate with desk phones for the best of both worlds.

Still there are others that do not want to bother with modern technology and learning something new. After all, if it’s not broke… To them I would suggest IP Key Systems. A traditional key system that “just works”, but with some powerful technology hidden away under the hood.

What about you? Do you still have a desk phone? Would you give it up today?

6 Unified Communications Features that Promote Collaboration

9 out of 10 business executives believe that cloud-based collaboration is good for business, according to a study done by Forbes.

In an age when many companies have already embraced unified communications, our persuasion tactics must change from “why you should adopt UC” to “how you could be getting more out of UC.”

Everybody wants more collaboration in 2017 and unified communications features are one practical way to get it.

  1. Screen sharing offers an instantaneous way to share exactly what you are working on with no room for error.
  2. Video calling prevents miscommunications and gets things done as quickly as face-to-face meetings.
  3. Instant conferencing brings the whole team together with the click of a button for quick problem solving.
  4. Presence makes it abundantly clear who is available so no time is lost tracking someone down.
  5. Instant messaging is the perfect way to get a quick answer even if one or both parties are on the phone.
  6. Mobility takes collaboration beyond the office so the team can stay in contact despite geography.

These features are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Your unified communications or cloud-based solution should be supporting collaboration with all of the above and more. If you think you should be getting more from unified communications, we encourage you to check out our gloCOM Unified Communications app.

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