Opus Codec. VoIP’s New Best Friend.

opus codec

 

Opus Codec.

No, it’s not a spell like hocus pocus. It is actually something you use everyday! To best explain it in layman’s terms, let’s start with some definitions.

Codec: a device or computer program used to encode or decode a digital data stream or signal. (digital signal / language)
Audio Codec: also known as a ‘sound codec’ is a codec that encodes or decodes audio.
Opus: an audio coding format

Now that we have the definitions, lets tie them together in an example.

When you go on YouTube and watch a video, Codec is working behind the scenes. If you do not have a strong internet connection, YouTube is going to deliver your video in the best possible quality. The graphic display resolution will depend on what your internet connection can handle. However, the quality of the audio will not be affected. Even though you have a low quality resolution video, you will still have good quality audio. The worse the internet connection, the smaller the codec needed.

YouTube engages with your internet capabilities and chooses the best resolution for you. Audio quality is a little bit different. Desk phones communicate with different codecs and Opus is an audio codec for phones. Opus Codec is capable of handling a wide range of audio applications like VoIP and video conferencing.

Another example to explain how Opus Codec works:

Say you are in a hotel. Often, the wifi in a hotel is slow, unstable or has a weak signal because so many consumers are sharing it. You are grasping for a good connection to make a phone call through your VoIP phone or UC application. Opus Codec is able to optimize the audio codec with the given bandwidth to provide the best call experience possible with the resources you have.

Sometimes audio on a mobile device is good and then bad and then the call drops. Opus is smart and does what YouTube does and adjusts the audio quality instead of dropping the call. It automatically adjusts based on the network, service range and other factors affecting the connection.

Another example would be talking on Bluetooth in a car. If you are driving at a fast speed, if it is raining or windy outside, or if there are other outside noises affecting your ability to hear, your Bluetooth will adjust the audio for you. Opus will help when you’re driving and will shift from one tower to another to ensure the best quality of your network connection. It will change minute by minute, without you knowing, and will adapt to give you the best possible quality for your current situation. Unfortunately, it can’t help with back seat drivers.

Opus Codec is very smart and adaptive to what your internet’s capabilities are. It gives you the best possible outcome for what you are capable of. This automatic adjustment is something that often goes unnoticed or taken for granted.

Although the concept is relatively new for the telecommunication industry, Opus Codec is a feature found in Bicom Systems PBXware and gloCOM version 5.2. Bicom Systems seeks to provide the best products for our customers. Poor audio quality is not considered ‘the best’.

To learn more about PBXware and gloCOM visit our website or contacts our sales team at sales@bicomsystems.com.

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 3 Customer Loyalty

customer loyaltyIn this series, we have been going through three indispensable goals to telecom success:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Increased profit
  3. Loyal customers

First we talked about scalable platforms and how to future-proof your business; then we looked at how added-value solutions are the key to increasing profit. Today we’ll cover the final goal to telecom success: earning customer loyalty.

The drawbacks of the dreaded “customer churn” are clear: loss of revenue, lost opportunities for growth, a damaged reputation, the task of re-marketing, etc. So how can we avoid these things and increase customer retention? There are a few ways.

The first step is to provide a complete solution. If you provide just one piece of your customer’s end solution, they are not wholly committed to you. They will be relying on other providers for the other pieces and could be wooed away by any of those without greatly interrupting their service.

Contrarily, if you provide all the pieces they need, your customer will commit fully to your company and solution. There will be no compatibility issues and no other providers with sales pitches or lucrative offers. Best of all, if they are getting everything from you, switching providers would be a radical and disruptive change that they will not want to make.

So what are the “pieces” we are talking about? Anything that goes beyond basic telephony. Starting with VoIP and going on to UCaaS, mobility, billing, security, etc. (See also: One More Card for Your Hand).

The biggest mistake that we see telecoms making with their customers is neglecting them after the initial sale. Once you have them committed to your complete solution, do not assume that they will glide along happily for years. Customers become partners when you invest time and energy into them. Excellent customer service must extend beyond the sale. And not just when they have problems or need technical support; by then it may already be too late. If you do nothing else in this series, this is vital to keeping your customers: Call them before they call you.

Check in with your customers on a regular basis. Ask how things are going, what their latest goals are, what issues they are seeing. By nurturing your customers before they have trouble, you are practically guaranteeing that they will remain loyal when the problems do come. No technology is perfect and issues are inevitable, but if you are a consistent source of support, advice, and inspiration, they will stick with you.

There are more strategies to earning customer loyalty, but they are too numerous to cover all of them in this series. If you would like to learn more, watch our (free) video presentation on 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty for ITSPs & Telcos at www.bicomsystems.com/customer-loyalty

Concluding this series on goals to telecom success, we would like to invite anyone that wants to pursue one or all of these goals to give us a call today. We are happy to chat with you – no strings attached – about your business goals and ideas and how to attain them today. Whether you have a thriving business or nothing more than a dream, we have something for you. Contact us at: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 2 How to Increase Profit

In our previous post we identified three key goals to success for any modern telecom:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Increased profit
  3. Loyal customers

We covered the first one with ideas like using a scalable platform from the beginning, future-proofing your business, and building your own brand. Today we are moving on to number two: how to increase your profits.

Of course there are innumerable ways to increase profit, but many of them really come down to making more sales. We believe there is a way to increase your profit with just the sales you are already making, so that is our focus today.

The secret to earning more is in added-value solutions. We see this happening in everyday situations. Here’s an example: You walk in to McDonalds and order a burger. The sale is initiated and they will automatically make X amount of profit. The cashier asks if you want cheese on your burger and you accept, that profit just became X + cheese. Pickles? Sure. X + cheese + pickles. What about fries and a soda? That base profit very quickly shoots up without much effort on their part. Value is being added to your burger and to their profit.

You can do the same thing with telephony. If you are offering basic voice services right now, why not add Unified Communications? Or Billing? What about Security? Some telecoms don’t even have VoIP yet – that’s your first step.

If you are a VoIP provider, you already know the benefit of value-added solutions. The transition from traditional telephony to VoIP telephony increments profit easily. If you have made that step, why not make another? VoIP is a great service and it’s not going anywhere, but frankly it’s old news. Newer, complementary technologies have emerged like UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), Mobile Apps, Integration, etc.

Today’s successful telecoms are selling not only products, but bundles and complete solutions that are worth more both up-front and on a month-to-month basis.

Not sure where to start? Partnering with a provider that offers all of these pieces is really the best option. There are so many technologies and options available today that trying to research and obtain each one individually would take all of your time. Bicom Systems has all of the pieces starting with the telephony and provisioning platforms and expanding to all of those extras that will add value to your existing solution.

Better yet, our partners are backed by a team of technical support engineers, telecom experts, and marketing professionals. From a custom-tailored solution to meet your specific needs, to engineers that achieve functionality on your behalf, to free marketing materials for your own customers, we are invested in the success of our partners.

If you would like to speak with an Account Manager about how to add value to your current profits, please contact us today: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

Stay tuned for the final post in this series: Earning customer loyalty.

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 1 Sustainable Growth

telecom growth15 years of conversations with partners and clients have taught us a thing or two about succeeding in the world of telecommunications. Three things, really.

In our experience, no telecom will succeed without pursuing these three goals:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Increased profit
  3. Loyal customers

These may sound mundane enough, but how many of us actually know how to increase our profit? We can talk about earning customer loyalty all day, but can we actually attain it?

In our next few posts we’ll tackle these issues one by one and offer realistic suggestions on how to actively pursue these goals.

Jumping right in: Sustainable Growth. Key word being sustainable. Short-term growth can be great and exciting, but if it doesn’t extend into the long-term, what was the point of it?

The first step to sustainable growth is a simple one: you need a platform that will support growth. There are too many providers out there that will give you a functional, cheap – maybe even great – platform, but once you start to grow it fails you. Before even thinking about growth, find a platform that supports scalability with unlimited extensions and tenants, great customer support, and an upgrade plan already in place (see also: How To Grow Your Telecom with a Multi-Tenant PBX).

Once your growth-friendly platform is in place, it is time to create a plan to future-proof your business. You are about to start growing, let’s make sure you know what to do next. Ideally your provider should have a working roadmap in place and offer customized support for your company specifically.

A large part of this future-proofing is following the trends: both current and future. Failure to jump aboard the latest trends will not only decelerate growth, it can throw you off the tracks entirely. Now is the time to adopt popular technologies like UCaaS, integration, or mobility (see also: One More Card for Your Hand). The benefits of add-ons like these are twofold: one, to start growing now; and two, to sustain that growth into the future.

It goes without saying that adding more technology to your offering will enable you to widen your customer base, expand to new markets, and make more sales. But the real value is that these add-ons will enable your solution to compete with newer, more modern options into the future. Partnering with a provider that researches and stays ahead of the trends (so that you don’t have to!) is simply invaluable.

A final way to extend growth beyond the temporary is to take matters into your own hands. Stop the monotonous routine of selling someone else’s solution day after day and year after year; start building and investing in your own brand. Yes, by all means partner with a great provider, but choose one that invests in your success as a company. By shifting the focus from earning sales for someone else to your own paycheck, you will be much more aware of – and in control of – your growth.

If these methods of generating sustainable growth sound like something you want for your own company, please reach out to us today. Our experienced account managers would love to chat and learn all about your unique situation. Contact us here: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

Stay tuned for the next post in this series: How to increase profit.

 

Telecommuting Benefit 5: Continuity

telecommuting continuityThis is the final post in our series on Effective Telecommuting with gloCOM. Today we’ll discuss our fifth and final benefit of telecommuting: continuity.

Having workers in different geographic locations with a VoIP tool like gloCOM ensures constant and consistent service both within the company and in customer relations.

Different workers in different locations can deal directly with customers or supplier in their area, eliminating issues with time zones or travel. It allows companies to do business locally across the country or the world.

gloCOM also allows employees to work remotely with no warning in the case of being snowed in, staying home sick, or other emergency situations. It opens the door to employees that need a few weeks or months away from the office for whatever reason.

The best part? Customers will be none the wiser. gloCOM replicates your office anywhere in the world so work is not interrupted.

To learn more or get started with gloCOM, visit our website or contact us today!

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