Get Ahead in the Cloud: A Case Study with The Maynard Group

the-maynard-groupThe Maynard Group started out 27 years ago in California as a small interconnect company. Today it is a comprehensive Telephony Provider with Cloud, VoIP, Unified Communications, and Mobility based solutions.

How did The Maynard Group find its success? Their mission statement is to “end the hassles of managing multiple vendors” and to save time and money by simplifying telecommunications management. We have been talking quite a bit lately about one-stop-shops and providing all of the contemporary solutions that the modern market demands. By following this strategy and offering outstanding customer service, The Maynard Group grew quickly through the referral network to several thousand customers.

But let’s take a step back, about five years ago The Maynard Group was new to VoIP and had not yet adopted the cloud. They were feeling the pressure to offer a cloud solution and began the process of updating their product models and searching for a partner that could support them in expanding to full support of the cloud.

In 2016, The Maynard Group signed on with Bicom Systems to take their business to the next level. Read their story at www.bicomsystems.com/the-maynard-group

 

 

 

 

A History of Self-Destruction in the Telco Business

In recent years we have seen several providers struggling financially or even closing up shop. Starting with Nortel, then Avaya, next Toshiba Telecom. These were all industry giants with successful products. What went wrong?

Certainly the issues were complex and there were many contributing factors that we will not discuss today. But one overriding point catches our attention as a vendor:

The failure to adjust to meet contemporary market demands.

Innovation is everything. There is no doubt that our industry has embraced The Cloud, SaaS, and other software- and Internet-based technologies with vigor and certitude. The Cloud PBX market is growing at an Compound Annual Growth Rate of 14.9%. The UCaaS market at a rate of 25-30%.

This leaves providers with two choices: adjust to meet demand or get left behind.

telco-trends

Nortel

Nortel was one of the best in the world of telephony; an industry giant. Nortel on-premise systems were well built and long-lasting. The quality of their product is not in question. However with the emergence of the Cloud, the industry as a whole began to evolve. Consumers no longer wanted expensive hardware and physical telephone systems. The advantages of VoIP, the Cloud, and other modern software-based technologies are simply too enticing.

While Nortel did make the initial transition from PBX to IP-PBX and even developed a Business Communications Manager (BCM 50), that was as far as they went in evolving to meet customer demand.

Sadly it was not enough and well, we all know what happened next.

Read our other posts about what happened to Nortel. 

Avaya

Avaya, another industry giant with a solid product, came to the rescue and bought out Nortel. However their success quickly turned to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Their mistake was similar to that of Nortel – a failure to evolve with current trends.

The Wall Street Journal puts it best:

“Avaya illustrates the potential pitfalls of buying big, established technology companies at a time of near-constant innovation. Private-equity firms often use borrowed money, or leverage, to buy a company with the hopes of juicing their gains on an eventual sale of the investment. But if economic conditions worsen or the competitive landscape changes, the buyout debt can become difficult to manage.” (Wall Street Journal)

Avaya’s corporate telephone systems worked great and scooping up what was left of Nortel only strengthened their offering, but when VoIP and other internet-based services hit the market the competition became overwhelming.

“The [Avaya] bankruptcy underscores the challenges telecommunications companies face as they transition to software and services from hardware” (Retuers)

Toshiba Telecom

Along the same lines as Nortel and Avaya, we can all agree that Toshiba’s telecom products were stable and functional. The issue has never been about the products themselves, but rather their failure to adjust according to market demand.

To be fair, Toshiba did make attempts to evolve with the industry, but unfortunately it was too late. By the time Toshiba released an IP product, the cloud was already beginning to trend. Despite their best efforts, it was just too late to catch up.

Read more in our blog post What Happened to Toshiba Telecom?

We keep seeing this pattern of legacy and on-premise providers either shutting down, going through financial trouble, or ultimately doing a major overhaul and switching to the cloud.

But our concern goes beyond that. These companies failed because they were not prepared to adjust as soon as the cloud hit the market. So the question is – what is next?

Everyone is abuzz about the cloud, but technology is certainly not going to stop innovating now. The cloud is the top technology of today – what about tomorrow?

Success in this industry is dependent on the ability to anticipate future trends and adopt them as soon as – or before – they hit the market.

What about your provider? Do they offer the latest trends? Do they have a plan for the future?

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7 Reasons You & Your Customers Should Switch to Hosted

hosted pbxTransitioning to a hosted model will enable you to sell more, earn more, and enter the future with peace-of-mind.

And you will not be alone – the value of the global Hosted PBX is expected to double from $4.73 billion in 2018 to $9.5 billion by 2023.

7 Reasons You & Your Customers Should Switch to Hosted will take you through the top seven benefits of a Hosted PBX for both you and your customers including more sales, more profits, and a secure future.

Leading ICT Company in Practice with Bicom Systems

icon-bicom-systemseing the best requires working with the best. ICT is not readily available in every corner of the world. And where it is, it is more often than not missing the specifications your company needs to be a leading competitor in the industry. For Centracom, this was their primary headache. Founded in South Africa in 2008, their goal was to be the chief providers of ICT through replacing obsolete technology by the more advanced VoIP.

In order for Centracom to achieve objective, they needed to find a vendor of unified communications solutions that was reliable, efficient, and highly responsive due to the nature of the industry they operated in and their location.

Through a simple Google search, Centracom’s IT Manager found Bicom Systems with perfect ease. What made Bicom the optimal choice was the competitive advantage it possessed by having representatives worldwide, being transparent enough to grant Centracom a trail period with it’s products, and being able to customize the offering to their customer’s needs.

Centracom was so pleased with this service, that they have decided to continue the partnership with Bicom Systems, and even grow it further.

Read the Centracom Case Study here:

https://www.bicomsystems.com/uploads/case-studies/centracom/centracom.pdf

Breaking the Silence on Skyswitch

skyswitchThough we have discussed our competitors a number of times on this blog, it is never something that I like to do. I am a firm believer in “rising above,” especially in a professional setting. But the “marketing” efforts coming out of a company called SkySwitch have pushed even me to the point of breaking my silence.

SkySwitch is again using the search phrase “Bicom Systems” in an attempt drive traffic to their website. (A piece of advice – if your own brand name is not bringing in enough traffic, there are thousands of industry-relevant keywords to focus on before resorting to other companies’ brand names.)

This time they are proclaiming that “it’s time to cheat on Bicom Systems.” At the risk of stooping to their level of using immature, inflammatory language in what should be a professional setting – dare we throw out the phrase “if they will cheat with you, they will cheat on you.” Of course business partnerships are not really like marriages, but trust is an important part of both. Our advice to you: choose a partner that values integrity and trust.

As far as I can tell, SkySwitch is claiming that subscribers of all major communications providers (the document I was given is clearly not specific to Bicom Systems) should switch to them on the basis of nine reasons. I will respond to each of these as concisely as possible and include evidence so you can come to your own conclusions. (Yes, we are confident enough in our own solutions and partners to transparently discuss potential issues.)

1. “You know there are problems before you (SIC) provider does”

Their first claim is that your business may be in trouble and no one will notice. Bicom Systems developed SIP Monitoring and SIP Security modules for this exact purpose. Issues will not only be identified, but even fixed automatically.

2. “No escalation procedure in place”

You can see our escalation procedure here: www.bicomsystems.com/support (I guess SkySwitch didn’t do their research before putting pen to paper.)

We whole-heartedly agree with their claim that “problems happen”. No provider is perfect and bugs will arise with Bicom Systems or SkySwitch or any other provider. However, after 15 years of experience, our team of technical support engineers and telecommunications experts responds to support tickets quickly and efficiently. But don’t take our word for it – check out our customer reviews here: blog.bicomsystems.com/customer-reviews.

Going one step further, SkySwitch claims that your platform is “connected to many carriers and third-party providers.  While most problems within your service provider’s own platform should be easily solved, those that originate outside their platform may require cooperation among a number of companies.” On the contrary, Bicom Systems partners typically do not require other carriers or third-party providers as we have all of the pieces in-house, thus avoiding many compatibility issues in the first place.

3. “Poor Processes = Poor Performance”

“There are reasons to have solid procedures in place when customers report issues or open trouble tickets.” Again, see our support procedures here: www.bicomsystems.com/support

Our support team put together efficient support and escalation procedures years ago. This is not something that occurs naturally in a company, but rather something that needs dedication, organization, and experience to perfect.

4. “Poor SLA Delivery”

We sign an SLA (Service Level Agreement) with all of our partners. You can see it here: www.bicomsystems.com/files/public/corporate/SLA.pdf.

May we also point out that we have more staff in our Support Department than SkySwitch has total staff. Our support team is spread across three continents for maximum reach and availability.

5. “Data Leakage Among Clients”

SkySwitch expresses a concern that data may be leaked between partners in the absence of a true multi-tenant platform. Fortunately for us and our partners, Bicom Systems actually developed one of the first multi-tenant platforms with unlimited extensions and tenants. We guarantee 100% scalability and elasticity to our partners and resellers, so of course we have the same capacity internally by default. Learn about our Multi-Tenant platform here: www.bicomsystems.com/products/multi-tenant-pbx

See our Privacy Policy here: www.bicomsystems.com/legal/policies/privacy_policy

6. “Tax Compliance Failure”

Our partners typically use our in-house billing software and integrate it with the Tax Provider of their choice. Again, we are more than happy to work on an individual basis and develop custom solutions when necessary. Read more in our TELCOware manual.

7. “More Iron to Support Growth”

SkySwitch points out an interesting difference between hosted and cloud solutions. “In a hosted solution, there is often hardware and servers specifically dedicated to servicing a particular client. Servers may need to be added to address the growth of that client or support premium features such as on demand call recording.” Not to worry, Bicom Systems offers true, high-availability cloud solutions that support scalability – both up and down – with just the click of a button. Read our definition of “cloud” here: blog.bicomsystems.com/what-is-cloud-communications

And we’ll add here that we are not limited to the cloud, but also have hosted, premise, and even Key Systems. Growth can happen however is best for your company.

8. “Insisting on Long-Term Contracts”

We offer our hosted and rented solutions with 30-day contracts. It never occurred to us to make them longer – to date no one has stopped paying.

9. “Provider Diversity is Met With Dismay”

On the contrary, many of our customers come to us from legacy situations. We always value the knowledge gained by working with other providers. With partners around the globe, diversity is no stranger to Bicom Systems and we have developed custom solutions to ensure compatibility with third parties many times.

In conclusion, if you are interested in Bicom Systems or already a partner and experiencing any issues or discontentment – just give us a call. To date, we have not lost any of our partners to SkySwitch. We are happy to chat about what’s going on and work together to a solution. It is not unusual for us to develop custom solutions for individual partners to ensure they are getting exactly what they need. Check out some examples here: blog.bicomsystems.com/category/custom-work 

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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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