‘…as a Service’ Part 2: UCaaS

What is “…as a Service” and how can it help your business?

Welcome back to Part Two of our ‘as a Service’ and how can it help your business?’ blog series. In our last post we introduced Software as a Service, also known as SaaS, and if you have not got a chance to read it, check it out here! Today we will be learning about UCaaS, better known as Unified Communications as a Service and what it can do for your business.

Unified means ‘to make or to become united’. So, UCaaS connects all the methods you or your company uses to communicate, such as chat, messaging, conferencing etc. with all the devices you use to communicate like, mobile phones, desk phones, and laptops seamlessly.

UCaaS can help your business greatly!

  • It can help employees and businesses stay connected and productive across the globe.
  • It can be accessed from any internet connection, allowing employees to work remotely.
  • It is:
    • BYOD friendly
    • More reliable
    • Easily scalable
    • And collaboration has never been easier!

Everything you need to communicate is connected through a cloud-based system and the ‘as a service’ part is that you have it all together, like a bundle. Companies who offer communication software link all their products to integrate together to ensure for a seamless transition. It is like setting up your Home Phone, Internet and Cable through a telecommunications provider and they offer you a bundle. It is not mandatory to use the same provider for your telecommunication needs, but it would be cheaper, easier and more sensible.

UCaaS is helping businesses all over the world stay connected but it also is benefiting resellers! Customers will be able to ‘bundle’ their needs and wants from one vendor, aka you, and this will ensure a bigger payoff. By adding UCaaS solutions to your offering, you will strengthen your brand awareness and customer loyalty. The UCaaS industry is growing and companies are looking for new ways their employees can stay connected. When you offer all the products they are looking for, you will see long-lasting partnerships.

As mentioned above, the UCaaS platform is easily scalable for customers. This benefits reseller’s because they have the ability to add or remove applications when needed for their customers. Customers and vendors will grow together, maximizing productivity for the customer and profit for the reseller.

Organizations today are discovering the many benefits “as a service” technologies. Companies are reaping the benefits by purchasing services through providers. The company will only have to pay for the services they need, resulting in easier flexibility, scalability and a reduction in expenses. Resellers are gaining long-term, quality, commitments from their customers and ensure earnings more frequently.

If you want to learn more about Bicom Systems UCaaS applications like gloCOM or gloCOM GO, visit our website. Thanks for reading and we will see you on Part 3 of our ‘as a Service’ series when we learn about CPaaS.

Needed Hardware for 2600 Extensions

Hardware compatability

Requirements for the project are to find a possible server configuration that should be able to cope with 2600 extensions usage. We must take into account that each extension will use gloCOM and have a deskphone as well.

Since time was a limited resource and the fastest server that we had was the HP DL360 G7, we decided to use that server as a quick testing scenario where we would try to come as close as possible to the technical setup needed for the project. Once we had the minimum needed result numbers, we could now compare to some use cases with our servers and the performance of servers that are new on the market.

G7 specs are as follows:

  • CPU: 2x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5630 @ 2.13GHz (4 core/8 threads)
  • RAM: 24GB DDR3
  • DISKS: Combined 500GB of space SAS drives
  • OS: Serverware 3.0 with 1 PBXware 5 VPS instance

This server managed to run approximately 750 extensions with a  total of 230 calls, 750 gloCOM connections, 15 SIP registrations per second, and 375 OPTION packets per second. This was all done on one VPS.

Bicom Systems has a production server with about 3700 extensions split between 24 VPSs with maximum number of extensions per VPS at 750. Keeping in mind this server is running older versions of Serverware and PBXware, with much less features than our newly available versions. The configuration of said server is:

  • CPU: 1x Xeon D-1541 with 8 cores
  • RAM: 32GB
  • DISK: 1x 1.6TB SSD
  • OS: Serverware 1.9 with 24 PBXware 4 instances

Now, taking into account the new Xeon CPUs, which perform much better than servers such as the G9 and G10, we came to a possible configuration that will satisfy project needs:

  • CPU: 2x Xeon E5 with 8 cores each
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Disks: if we consider recording considering you do not go under 1TB, the number of disks would depend on the type of Serverware. We would also recommend a solution with call recordings being stored on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), while the system and all else that accompanies it be stored on a Solid-State Drive (SSD).

One thing that needs to be mentioned is that we can’t be sure if all of 2600 extensions would be able to coexist on a single PBXware VPS, so it is recommended to start out with one VPS and if you run into issues, split them into other VPSs. This should resolve those issues.

For more information, visit our wiki

Creator Bio:

Eldar Avdic,

UADs & Appliances Manager and Developer. Maintains Bicom Systems’ UAD support and keeping appliances up to date.

Dino Mesic,

UADs & Appliances Engineer and Developer. Develops support for UADs, maintain technical documentation and test new UADs and appliances.

How to Sell… Mobility

mobilityA few weeks ago we did a blog series on 3 Steps to Telecom Success, with a variety of ways to achieve sustainable growthincrease your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

Perhaps you have made the decision to add Unified Communications, mobility, or something else to your solution, but what’s next? How do we sell this new service?

This series is on “How to Sell…” Last week we covered UCaaS and this week we are moving on to mobility.

At first glance, mobility seems like an easy thing to sell. Nearly every one in our industry has a cell phone and uses it both at home and at work. And for many of your customers and prospects, it may be as simple as saying “Hey, we have a mobile app now” and they will immediately jump on board.

But for others, the prevalence of cell phones in the workplace may in and of itself may be our greatest stumbling block. If your customer has been using their cell phone effectively for years, they may think they don’t need your mobile services or app. So how do we convince them otherwise? Similar to UCaaS, we show them the benefits.

Benefits

If you give your prospect a few real-life examples of how they could use your mobile app or service, they won’t be able to pass it up. This comes back to Unified Communications and the ways it makes work simpler, easier, and more efficient.

Here’s an example: With our own gloCOM desktop and mobile app, calls can be passed seamlessly from device to device without interruption. Imagine that you are on an important call at your desk, but if you don’t leave the office now, you’ll be late for your next appointment. What are your options? Ask the person on the other end to reschedule and risk losing their interest. Ask them to hang up and wait for you to call back from your cell phone and risk losing them to another task. Stay on the phone and lose your next appointment. Lose, lose, lose. Or you could grab your cell and bluetooth headset, seamlessly transfer the call from gloCOM desktop to gloCOM mobile, and walk out of the office with the caller none the wiser. Which would you choose?

That is just one example of many. Similar to our strategies to sell UCaaS, be sure to walk through both benefits and features with your prospects. Other examples could stem from:

  • Presence, conferencing, and other favorite UC features available out of the office
  • Continuity in the face of natural disaster, outages, traveling, etc.
  • BYOD with consistency
  • Information and contacts go anywhere with you

So how do we achieve those kinds of benefits? It is important to get your mobile app just right.

Mobile App Features

If you want to be able to give a handful of enticing real-life examples of benefits like the above, you are going to need a feature-rich app. Some features that are important include:

  • Multiple platform support
  • Integration with a variety of softwares
  • UC functionality
  • Phone callback
  • Notification system

In today’s world, a mobile app will practically sell itself if it offers a bounty of useful features. Really, many of your customers are probably just waiting for you to offer it. To learn more about our desktop and mobile UC app, visit bicomsystems.com/products/gloCOM-Desktop-Mobile-Communicator.

If you are interested in learning more about mobility and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

Stay tuned for our next How to Sell post where we’ll talk about integration.

More posts like this one:

desk phoneOur whitepaper and video presentation Do You Still Need a Desk Phone? takes you through the latest alternatives and complements to the desk phone, including mobile phones, softphones, smartphone docking stations, and Unified Communications.

Learn more and download your free copy today: www.bicomsystems.com/do-you-still-need-a-desk-phone

5 Ways Unified Communications Saves You Time

unified communications timeWe all know the struggle of managing our time at work. The hours in the day are never quite enough to get everything done. But Unified Communications can save time on mundane tasks, letting you focus on whatever is most important to you and your business.

Below are just five UC features that will save you time.

1. Multi-tasking

Most Unified Communications apps support instant messaging and text messaging. Aside from being instantaneous, IMing allows you to multi-task. You can communicate via text even while on a call or working on something else.

2. One-click calling

UC lets you call anyone in the world with just the click of a mouse. Whether that means clicking on a contact within your UC app or enabling click-to-call with your browser, no more time will be spent looking for numbers and working out country codes.

3. Drag-and-drop conferences

Drag-and-drop conferencing is a favorite feature and it’s easy to see why. UC apps like gloCOM let you grab as many contacts as you want and drag them into an instantaneous conference. Gone are the days of scheduling conferences and dialing in to conference bridges with PINs and passwords.

4. Continuity

Unified Communications works on whatever device you have, wherever you are, so no time is lost due to travel, weather, power outages, or other unexpected bumps in the road. Remote workers have all the same capabilities as coworkers in the office.

5. Contact management

Compile all of your contacts and phone numbers in one secure place. UC apps like gloCOM will integrate with your existing address books so that no time is wasted scrambling to find a contact or phone number.

gloCOM is a Unified Communications app with all of the above and much more. Learn more about gloCOM here: www.bicomsystems.com/products/gloCOM-Desktop-Mobile-Communicator

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?