AstriCon 2018 Recap

AstriCon

Bicom Systems is in full swing this year for trade shows! We attended WISPAPALOOZA and AstriCon at the same time. How you ask? By dividing our best and brightest and conquering in Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida!

If you have not gotten a chance to read our WISPAPALOOZA Recap, click here.

What is AstriCon?
AstriCon is a 3-Day user conference and exhibition that has been continuously running for the past 15 years. The event stimulates networking, education, expands awareness and discusses the future of the communications industry. AstriCon is used as a learning opportunity to hear from developers, customers and integrators. The whole event is dedicated to Asterisk.

Now you are probably asking, well what is Asterisk?
Asterisk is the most widely used Open Source Communications platform in the world! It is an open source framework for building communication applications, so it basically turns your ordinary computer into a communications server (Source: Asterisk). The project started back in 1999 and is now used by businesses, call centers, carriers, government agencies etc. across the globe. It is free and powers IP PBX Systems, VoIP gateways and much more.

The AstriCon Expo Floor gives businesses in the Asterisk community an opportunity to showcase their products and services. So, off to AstriCon we went!

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Q: Has Bicom Systems Attended AstriCon before?
A: Yes! Bicom Systems has been present in one way or another every year since AstriCon has begun.

Q: As a repeating attender, how was this year’s show different from in the past?
A:
This was the first year Sangoma ran the AstriCon event. The ‘curiosity’ types of attendees are slowly fading out because Asterisk is no longer ‘new’ and we are developing a mature crowd of guests. We noticed there were many opportunities to create new curiosity, for example in private conversation Bicom Systems expressed that the show would benefit hugely from a ‘hack-a-thon’.

The location of the show was held in the same place as last year, which may play a factor in number and of conventioneers that attended. With every trade show, there are always room for improvement and we are looking forward to seeing what Sangoma does next year!

Q: What did Bicom Systems do at AstriCon?
A: This year we were a Gold Sponsor for the event and an exhibitor. We had our own booth and showcased our new features and latest products. The attendees had a chance to meet our team and learn more about us as a company and the industry. As a guest, Bicom Systems had the ability to listen in on presentations, meet potential customers and network with other businesses in the communications industry.

Q: Did Bicom Systems have a key note slot this year?
A: No. Unfortunately, we did not reserve a key note slot for this year’s trade show. We anticipate making more contributions next year with our new products and services offered with our SERVERware.

45341035352_df0597df09_hQ: What kinds of companies attend AstriCon?
A: In the beginning, AstriCon attendees were primarily technicians. We then seen an increasing number of business owners beginning to attend. In the past years there has been a decline in business owners as mentioned before the event attracts a mature crowd and primarily the ‘same’ people.

Q: What is the best thing you get out of AstriCon every year?
A:
It is always interesting to speak with other businesses and learn new ways they are using Asterisks. The information sessions are always useful. This year Simon Woodhead, from Simwood, spoke on security and ‘Why We Must Prioritize Privacy’. The session was very informative, educational and hilarious. Also, the familiar smiley faces are always a plus!

Q: What was your main takeaway?
A:
  This year the event was smaller than in the past. It was intimate, but we realized we enjoyed when everyone was new and unfamiliar vs veterans and mature with the topics. Technology is changing and becoming more challenging, it would have been great to see those changes at AstriCon this year.

Q: What would you like to see differently next year?
A: 
A bigger event in a new location. Different and more presentations. New topics like ‘How to Increase Communication Sales’ or other suggestions from the Asterisk community.  This was their first year running the event and they have not had a chance to reflect. They still have a chance to improve it and we are looking forward to seeing their new ideas for AstriCon 2019!

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We would love to hear your thoughts from AstriCon! Leave a comment below and tell us what you thought about the conference. Feel free to contact us with suggestions for AstriCon.  We have the resources to research and deliver.

If you did not attend AstriCon or any trade show this year, read this previous blog post on ‘Why Trade Shows are Important to Attend’.

If you want to learn more about AstriCon User Conference, check out their website here.

The Junctions of Bicom Systems

Junction-connectionsJunction Connections is a cloud solutions service provider based in Delaware. The company was founded in 2010 and was using their own customizable system based on asterisk. Ever since their founding, the company started growing immensely, more than they were able to foresee. Since they were using their own customizable system, operations began to get too complicated, and the COO now needed something more simple that still served the same need.

When Junction Connections heard about Bicom Systems, they were ecstatic to be working with us. The similarities that Bicom and Junction had were imperative in this partnership. Firstly, both offerings were based on asterisk, which is an idea the COO of Junction liked. Having a common platform simplified operations for the COO, since there was no need to rewrite code. The fact that the system was also flexible meant that there would be no disruption of business.  

This partnership has been an asset to both companies, with the reaping of mutual benefits.

Read the full case study here:
https://www.bicomsystems.com/junction-connections

Are All Prospects Worth the Sales Pitch?

sales pitchThe short answer: Yes.

Anyone in telecom sales knows the importance of prioritizing leads and allocating your time wisely. Of course there will always be prospects that are clearly worth extra attention and time. But no prospect should be ignored if you are still interested in growing.

The reasons are obvious: you never know who will surprise you, ignoring a lead may hurt your brand image, etc. But we have a prime example of the value of every lead.

A few days ago we were contacted by a company that wanted our gloCOM unified communications softphone app. They already had an Asterisk-based PBX system and were not interested in making any changes. They just needed that one last piece to tie the whole solution together.

Rather than writing them off as satisfied with another provider, the assigned Account Manager started a conversation to see where it went. In just 15 minutes the contact had become interested in our philosophy of “all the pieces” and signed-up to test Multi-Tenant PBX.

Moral of the story: Even a prospect that is 100% satisfied with their current provider can be swayed with even a short, open conversation.

So the answer is yes, ALL prospects are worth the sales pitch.

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Microsoft Lync Integration

microsoft lync integrationDid you know that PBXware supports Microsoft Lync Integration? And in answer to a recent customer question – yes, even for Lync Server 2013!

Once integrated, you have a few options:

  • Set up PBXware to forward incoming calls to a given extension to a Lync extension simultaneously or after a set number of rings.
  • Send all incoming PBXware calls to Microsoft Lync simultaneously.

Of course this is not without a few inconveniences. For example, a call answered on Lync will leave a ‘Missed Call’ notification on the PBXware extension where it rang. Also, Caller ID is different in PBXware and Microsoft Lync.

Ready to get started? Contact your Account Manager today!

Custom Work: IMAP Syncing

imap voicemailAsterisk IMAP Voicemail system too slow? Not a problem!

Our custom workaround speeds things up with one way syncing between the IMAP mailbox and telephone system.

In this solution, voicemails are stored on the file system and monitored for deleted folders or voicemails. As soon as a voicemail is deleted from the email account, it is also deleted from the file system.