Is VoIP driving business away from you?

voipOver the years I have noticed that more and more of our new customers are no longer VoIP Entrepreneurs wanting to join the telephony provider venture. Seems like the more VoIP becomes the present and defines the future of communications, the more industries it touches.

These days, any business that provides IT industry related services is somehow related to, or forced to be related to, the communications infrastructure of their customers. Even better if the customer has some knowledge or is at least aware of the unified communications experience.  

Industries like Internet service provides, cable services, and/or fiber providers have already joined, are planning to join, or at least know the future is to integrate in order to gain and retain customers. To mention a few of the most common that will ring my desk, I should start with hosted service providers. Either hardware, software, or a mix of the two, is something that, sooner or later, VoIP has to become an integrated part of. Either a multi-tenant platform like ours in order to centralize all hosted PBXs, or separate Call Center/Custom environments, this is something that, along with other value-added features, a hosted service provider will get asked for pretty often.  

Other industries, less related to network services or hosted services like IT Managed Services, will encounter themselves one way or another supporting an IP Phone, a local PBX, or a PBX hosted by someone else. They will notice the additional revenue and increased customer retention will come as soon as they can also take care of the telephony needs. 

Many of my customers will often express how VoIP service may be just one service out of many, and maybe not the one that bring the most revenue in from customers. But VoIP is an essential piece of the relationship since it is the part that allows their customers to unify their communications, in addition to the suite of services it provides.

This article is a ‘heads up’ to all those out there that think VoIP services ‘could be’. Soon VoIP will be a ‘major’ part of any one proposal because it will become part of the request. The end-user likes to feel a level of unification that provides them the security that a single provider can serve, understand, and support all their technology components.

VoIP is so flexible that anyone that has a customer base and provides any type of service, even non-technology, could find a way to integrate it into their suite of services with a huge value and even bigger retaining element. Make it drive business towards you, not away from you. At this very moment deals are been turned down because the competitor shows a unified set of services with telephony, or impressed the customer with an additional service made possible by VoIP. 

Just because everyone related is getting involved does not mean that it is easy. We still hear horror stories. Even that the voice quality is not working out, loss of RTP, but less. More and more it’s ‘how do I?’ Whether CRM integration or producing better reporting and so control of daily lives.

If you would like to explore your options, whether you are related to technology services or not, Bicom Systems would be happy to assist with whatever ideas you may have. We have not seen it all yet, but with the many we have worked with already, I’m sure you are at the right place for finding a solution. Our IPPBX PBXware comes in a Single Tenant Business Edition, Multi-Tenant Edition, and Call Center Edition, and the mix of all of them is as customizable and flexible as it comes.

VMware PBX on the VMware Solution Exchange

vmware pbxWe are pleased to announce our new VMware PBX image that allows you to test PBXware in a VM workstation or ESXi host.

Our developers created this by installing a VMware Workstation on a separate PC which ran Windows 10. We made a virtual machine that had 1 Vcpu, 1 GB of RM, 30 HDD (which was thin provisioned, meaning as the need for storage arises the HDD will expand) and open-VMware tools were added to this image for it to work properly. 

This was tested on the Windows machine first with up to 20 concurrent calls and 100 extensions. After that test was a success, we moved to testing ESXi hosts. ESXi hosts were tested with the same image with up to 30 concurrent calls and we did not encounter any problems. The test included Vmotion too, which was done while 30 concurrent calls were active. No calls dropped, the only thing we noticed was that 3 seconds before the virtual machine services started on the other ESXi host, we had 3 seconds of silence. Other than that, everything worked fine. 

The second test was VMware’s HA (High Availability) which worked as well. After the host that was running VM goes down, the other host takes over and keeps VM up with no downtime. 

After these tests were a success, we created a VMware marketplace account (as developers) and set it up with our company’s logo, information, and our PBX solution. The image was uploaded and sent for approval. It was approved 24 hours later. Check it out here: solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/pbxware–2 

Just click the “Try” button to download this image for usage with a VMware Workstation or VMware Player PRO and Vsphere client.

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Official Press Release

How to Win More Telecom Sales

telecom salesYou 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.

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VoIP vs IP PBX

voipVoIP and IP PBX are terms that we use all the time, but despite similarities, they are not interchangeable. VoIP has evolved to be a very broad term covering a whole range of technologies, while IP PBX is more specific.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – describes any telephony system that uses Internet rather than PSTN. The term is used for many types of modern telephony that have replaced legacy systems.

IP PBX – Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange – is a specific type of telephony system that switches calls between an internal data network and external networks.

IP PBX is a type of VoIP system.

To learn more, visit our products page or contact us today.

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What is IVR?

ivrGoing back to the basics – what exactly is IVR?

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response and describes the technology that lets humans communicate with computers via voice.

In the world of telephony, IVR is an automated system that can interact with users to effectively process their requests. This may mean routing calls, providing information, or many other things.

Bicom Systems PBXware has an IVR feature.

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