How to Maximize Telecom Profits

Our whitepaper on How to Make More Profit was downloaded so many times that we decided to make a video presentation too!

Tune in as Gary Audin of Telecom Reseller interviews Account Manager Kevin Langford on our ideas and techniques to growing profit. Or if reading is more your thing, download the free PDF.

Just visit our website to watch or download.

more-profit

In our experience, subscribing to an integral solution that supports and sustains growth will lead to increased profit.

Benefitting from more tools than ever before, our partners are drawing more leads, making more sales, earning more from each sale, retaining more customers, and ultimately growing more.

Learn all about this growth-inducing solution and how it can be your at www.bicomsystems.com/more-profit

Can Your Mechanic Do An Oil Change? (Thirdlane Support)

thirdlaneWe have been working with a company that was wavering between PBXware and Thirdlane. They have demos running of each option and are testing all of the features before making a final decision.

When testing inbound faxing (fax-to-email), the company ran into an issue on the Thirdlane demo. They reached out to Thirdlane support – it is worth mentioning here that their support department is just one person – who had no idea that their system even included inbound faxing. So much for troubleshooting the issue.

Fortunately, the testers were savvy enough to resolve the issue themselves, but left with a feeling of wariness about the utility of Thirdlane support.

Our Account Manager on the case made this poignant comparison: “If you bring your car in for an oil change only to find that the mechanic didn’t even know your car had an oil filter, you will be peeling out of there faster than you can say ‘rip-off’.”

In all seriousness, no platform is perfect and you are going to need support well beyond the initial purchase and installation. Don’t settle for anything less than an experienced, knowledgeable, and dependable team of support professionals.

New Year’s Network Issue

We had an interesting support issue within our own network on New Year’s Eve. The developer in charge tells his story below:

Right after 1:00am CET, I started to receive notifications that the Resource Limit matched the network for an average load >10. First I thought it was a scheduled task, but quickly realized that nothing that “heavy” would be scheduled at midnight (GMT). So I decided to stop watching my boring movie and look into what was going on.

I found a lot of failed calls with the same reason – that CAC was exceeded. I also realized that there were a lot of calls, even though it was New Year’s Eve and most of our customers businesses were closed for the holidays.

The top command showed all FreeSWITCHES processes and mysqld had >100% CPU usage. It was a mystery because there were no hard SQL queries and even FreeSWITCH had zero calls and the CPU was >100%.

First, I restarted the FreeSWITCHES one-by-one and tried different switches for the RT clock and clock sync. Nothing helped. FreeSWITCH compiled 2 years ago and nothing changed. How had it passed last New Year’s Eve?

1

The reason that FreeSWITCH was rejecting calls was a constraint that the minimum idle CPU must be 5% to ensure transcoding quality. I decided to disable this and left 3 FreeSWITCHES working to keep the load less and allow calls to pass. FreeSWITCH would occupy 3 cores and have room for calls.  I tried several calls and had no problem with quality. It seemed that would be enough while I tried to find the problem and solve it.

This is how it looked in the morning when I finally had to get sleep, unable to solve the problem.

2

Later that day I decided to try a new FreeSWITCH 1.6 and 1.8. I compiled, prepared, and tried, but it did not help. The CPU usage was >100% again. Then I compiled a debug version and added it as the fourth FreeSWITCH in production to get the core dump and figure out why the idle FreeSWITCH was eating the CPU. I realized that FreeSWITCH had a problem with timers. I tried a different one, but it did not work. There were problems with the nanosleep function in FreeSWITCH, but it was fixed already. Somehow FreeSWITCH squeezed time and jumped into a loop.

Then I checked the time on the host, it was correct. Even /proc/interrupts looked correct.

My last option was to try adjusting the time on the host and sync with NTP. Restarting the ntp-client failed. Fortunately it was a problem with the DNS. Actually, the host was unable to access our local DNS resolver. I changed it temporarily to an external nameserver to resolve the NTP server and correct the time.

At the same moment when the NTP finished syncing, all processes went back to <5% CPU usage.

I realized that it was a problem with the leap second bug on an old kernel and it affected FreeSWITCH and MySQL, but it was corrected with NTP when NTP synced the time.

What is the Difference Between a Session Border Controller and a SIP Proxy?

session border controllerWe 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.

Download our SIP Proxy PDF to learn more. Or For a more detailed and technical explanation, visit Likewise.am.

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Bicom Support

Bicom Systems support techs are always prepared to respond to errors as quickly and effectively as possible. Recently we found reports that the Outcall2 Plugin had an issue with Outlook 32-bit on Windows 10 x64.

One of our support techs was able to quickly rebuild the plugin to support the 32-bit version and update the release. He responded to error reports with the update and instructions to reinstall the new version.

One user responded with the following:

After reinstalling, the Outlook add-in does work perfectly on my Windows 10 x64 with Outlook 2016! I’d like to know, are you with the OutCall Project or with Bicom? If Bicom’s support is this responsive and effective, I can only imagine how awesome their support is on products they actually sell!”

If you encounter any issues or bugs like the above, please contact us for a solution!

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