How to Choose a Virtualization Platform

My Post (5)How to choose a Virtualization Platform
Understanding what a virtualization platform is can be difficult, then having to choose the best platform for your business can be exhausting. Even though it has been around for a while, the virtualization concept is relatively new for some small-medium sized businesses and the big ones are still considering making the switch.

Below you’ll find 5 basics questions that will help you jump on the virtualization band wagon! Keep reading if you want some tips on How to Choose a Virtualization Platform.

To start,
What is a Virtualization Platform?
It is a virtual (not actual, not real, not tangible) machine that acts like a real computer with an operating system. So, instead of owning a physical server, you have a virtual one that can be hosted online. Cool right? It has virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices and computer network resources. Everything you need in one place minus all the extra hardware.

Why should your business go Virtual?
We all know the old saying, ‘why fix it if it isn’t broke’ right? Although that may be common, the truth is that businesses have to stay innovative for their customers and clients! Going virtual has so many benefits such as:

–        Reducing IT Expenses
–        Boosting Efficiency
–        Better Disaster Recovery
–        Simplified Data Management
–        Reduction of Physical Servers (Goodbye to the days of ‘server rooms’)
–        Cooling and Power Costs are Reduced
–        Increasing Productivity

The list goes on…

Now we know the ‘what’ and ‘why’, but let’s focus on the ‘how’. (The real reason you clicked on this post).

How do you choose and switch to a Virtualization Platform?
Some companies may offer services you may not need and some may offer services you never thought existed.The trick is, to figure out what you need or want to get from your Virtualization Platform and find a company that does just that. When researching ask yourself the following:

–        Is their software user friendly?
–        Do they offer a free trial?
–        Will they be present at a trade show near you? That way you can meet their team!
–        Will they be compatible with the equipment your office already has?
–        How much is this going to cost?

And remember, ‘popular’ brands aren’t your only option. There are many fish in the sea of vendors and there will be the perfect one out there for you!

Although there are many options, in our unbiased opinion – we believe Bicom Systems to be one of the better choices. Which brings me to my next topic, the ‘who’.

Who do you choose?
Bicom Systems of course! The Virtualization Platform that Bicom Systems offers is called SERVERware. It is the only Virtualization Platform dedicated to Hosting Telephony & Unified Communications in the Cloud. Bicom Systems offers three different editions, so companies can choose what works best for their operations. If you want to learn more about SERVERware check out our website!

Ok maybe you don’t choose Bicom Systems. We won’t be that sad. But you may need to choose someone, which leaves this blog post to its final ‘w’ the ‘when’.

When do you choose a Virtualization Platform?
NOW! There is no time to waste in the virtual world.

What is a PBX System?

PBX System (Private Branch Exchange System) is a telephony solution that connects internal users to one another and to an outside PSTN telephone line. PBXs are used within organizations or enterprises to simplify communications and lessen costs.

pbx

As with all technology, PBX systems have evolved with new trends. IP PBX uses Internet Protocol or VoIP technology to make PBX systems more feature-rich, scalable, and affordable.

PBX systems are available in two different delivery formats: on-premise or hosted/cloud. This gives us several combination options:

  • On-Premise PBX
  • Hosted PBX
  • On-Premise IP PBX
  • Hosted IP PBX
  • Hybrid PBX
  • Hybrid IP PBX

We will explore the differences between some of these PBX solutions in our next post: On-Premise vs Cloud IP PBX Systems.

In the meantime, visit our website to learn about a real IP PBX System or read some of our related posts:

How to Increase Call Center Productivity & Efficiency

PBX Call Center Software

call centerThe goal of any call center is to handle the maximum call volume as efficiently as possible. This means answering and resolving all calls favorably and quickly. While this may have been more difficult in the past, PBX call center software makes this possible for call centers across the globe today.

Call Center Productivity Tools

By enabling call center agents with the right tools, you can ensure maximum efficiency and productivity. Modern call center software allows agents to:

  • Solve caller problems more quickly – The primary purpose of call center agents, problem solving can be done more quickly with the right software. Call center applications like gloCOM enable agents to find a solution without hanging up or putting the caller on hold. Whether this means using instant messaging with coworkers or supervisors, instantly conferencing in another party, or transferring the caller to an available agent, the call will be brought to resolution more quickly.
  • Route calls more efficiently – Sometimes it just is not possible to resolve a call in one step, so the next best option is to get the caller to the right person as quickly and painlessly as possible. A good call center app will show the real-time status of other agents and support instant drag-and-drop transfers to whoever is available. Some PBX solutions will also offer skills based routing and more advanced queue options.
  • Stay more motivated – Agent burnout is a real problem in many call centers, so it is worth it to keep agents happy and motivated. Software like PBXware Call Center PBX can show real-time stats on a wallboard to encourage friendly competition and inspire agents to work more quickly. And a complementing app like gloCOM allows for monitored breaks that will keep agents energetic and happy. Supervisors can see which agents are inactive too often and take action accordingly.

More Productivity Means More Profit

The three ideas above are a starting point to making your call center more productive and, in turn, more profitable. The best part is that most PBX call center solutions will be scalable and allow you to keep up with the growth that is sure to follow.

To learn more about call center software solutions, check out our Call Center PBX page or contact us today.

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2014 State of Unified Communications – Part 3

In our first and second posts in this series on the 2014 State of Unified Communications we discussed the overall growth of the market, premise vs cloud deployments, collaboration, and what users are looking for in Unified Communications.

We’ll start off our final post talking about what IT Teams need to do in Unified Communications…

With the growth of the Unified Communications market in 2014, IT teams have more pressure than ever to develop and maintain an excellent solution.

uc market

IT Teams must acquaint themselves with the vendors on the market. Aside from all of the large business providers, consumer and cloud providers are gaining traction and represent real competition in the world of Unified Communications.

They must also recognize that Unified Communications are an essential part of telephony today. The market is growing and the competition has already adopted Unified Communications.

WHAT TO DO WHEN STARTING OR EXPANDING A UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION

After hearing those statistics and expectations for the Unified Communications market in the year to come, are you ready to start or expand your UC development? If so, follow these guidelines for a smooth transition:

  1. Target the deployment, at least at first. Provide UC to only those users that will most benefit to begin a slow transition.
  2. Evaluate all of your PBX options. You may not have to upgrade your PBX equipment. Unified Communications is more about virtual features and capabilities than equipment.
  3. Seek a vendor with plans for federation. As the world of telephony moves to 100% Unified Communications it will be important to connect with suppliers and business partners that have different systems.
  4. Do not minimize the importance of voice. While Unified Communications has many benefits to offer, voice continues to be the most fundamental service. Ensure that the new solution will allow maximum quality voice features within your company.
  5. Take full advantage of training. Less important is how to actually use Unified Communications – that tends to be self-explanatory; but teach users the value and benefits of using those features in order to get the most out of the system.
  6. Market your UC solution to its full extent. Unified Communications has so much to offer – show users and potential clients why it is so indispensable. From increased efficiency, to reduced cost, to employee productivity, UC practically markets itself with a little effort.

Not sure where to start? Bicom Systems Account Managers would be happy to talk to you. Contact us at sales@bicomsystems.com, browse our products, or watch our gloCOM Unified Communications app video:

In summary, the world of Unified Communications has made vast improvement in the past year, but there are still several areas that could use some work for the remainder of 2014.

Want to keep reading? Download the full report from Information Week

What are your thoughts on how the Unified Communications Market is going? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Is Microsoft Lync Taking us back to the 1960s?

lyncPBXware collaborate:

An office phone system of any size usually consists of multiple inbound lines mapped to a larger number of phones sitting on desks and is supposed to meet all telephony needs for the organization.

Lync is undermining that assumption and taking us back to the situation in the 1960s and 70s where organizations operated internal phone systems, ‘PAX’, and an externally facing ‘PBX’.

Because Lync is being introduced via the MS desktop estate, it reaches a market that’s currently poorly served from the PBX and circumvents the traditional voice management and procurement routes.

Out of the box, Lync offers IM, presence, screenshare, internal extension to extension calling, and an audio bridge. Call Recording? Possibly a few other features. Leaving aside the difficulty to install it and get it going compared to many other Unified Communications clients such as our own gloCOM. The missing feature is inbound DDI and outbound calling.

The use case is as follows:

Virtual teams within an organization will use presence and IM and screenshare and a combination of mobile and desktop audio. They’ll make use of the onboard audio conferencing for internal discussions but have to use a traditional audio service and some other to another service if external parties are involved.  This undermines the whole thing as the Lync audio client is now redundant, although landline and mobile are available, as soon as you consider the need for a headset it gets messy.  A user would need 3 headsets.

Apart from the power of Microsoft – why does anybody bother?