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.

Benefits of Selling SaaS

selling-saas

According to Forbes, the Cloud Computing Market is expected to reach $411B by 2020 and the Software as a Service (SaaS) market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 16%, growing from $58.6B in 2017 to $99.7B by 2020 (source).

Service Providers abound in today’s marketplace, however it is yet to be seen how many will successfully capture this opportunity and expand their existing offerings to meet the demand for Cloud and SaaS Add-Ons.

SaaS – Software as a Service – is just a fancy name for all of those cloud and software-based add-ons that increase the value of your existing solutions. For example, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

Have your customers and prospects started requesting these new services yet? Have you had to turn down any feature requests? Turn away any prospects looking for a one-stop-shop?

As evidenced by the financial data, contemporary technologies like UCaaS and CCaaS are quickly becoming expectations rather than extras. If you do not yet provide them, you are missing opportunities to grow your business and secure your future.

Adding these new technologies to your existing offering will enable you to:

1. Reach more customers

SaaS add-ons are in high demand. Offering those services allows you to say “yes” to whatever your next prospect may request. The more services you offer, the more customers you will reach.

Not only will you win more customers in your existing niche, these additional solutions will allow you to enter new markets. For example, the Contact Center as a Service sphere is growing rapidly and offers a whole new group of prospective customers.

2. Generate more profit

Any kind of addition to your existing product line opens up the opportunity for more return on each sale. You are making your products more valuable. Best of all, customers are willing to pay for it. These softwares are powerful tools that will improve business and are worth the price.

Expanding your product line is an important step to building your brand. As your customer base grows, your brand will grow too.

3. Future-proof your business

Adopting SaaS will prepare your business for the future in a few ways. First of all, the monthly subscription models fosters a long-term commitment that reduces customer churn. Becoming a one-stop-shop discourages customers from leaving for greener pastures.

Second, in our innovation-obsessed industry, it is important to keep pace with the technological trends and evolve to meet demand very quickly. Adopting the cloud and SaaS is a step in the right direction. Partnering with a vendor of contemporary technologies ensures that you have someone in your camp looking out for the next trends.

This all sounds great, so… Where to start?

We would love to chat with you about your business and how to seize this opportunity. Meet Bicom Systems this fall at WISPAPALOOZA or AstriCon to learn all about the latest technologies and how to add them to your business offering.

WISPAPALOOZA
October 8-12
Las Vegas, NV
Booth #117
Learn more

ASTRICON
October 9-11
Orlando, FL
Learn more

Our first Bicom Systems User Group Meeting will be on Monday October 8th at WISPAPALOOZA in Las Vegas. It is a free event and open to ALL WISPS (you do not have to be or become a customer to attend). Join us from 9:00 to 4:00 for a behind-the-scenes look at VoIP, UCaaS, and CCaaS with networking and presentations from:

– VoIP Marketing Guru Suzanne Urash of CR8 Group who will share her secrets to getting your phones ringing off the hook

– ThinQ, the best kept secret in the carrier space, who will explain how their toolset has greatly increased their partners’ Quality of Service for customers

– Kris Twomey, from the Law Office of Krisopher Twomey and Carol Lisowski, who will speak on telecom compliance and the most recent regulatory issues.

Lunch will be served at noon. Space will fill up quickly, register now at bicomsystems.eventbrite.com.

See you this fall!

The Top 3 Reasons why Trade Shows are Important to Attend

3-benefits-of-trade-shows (1)Trade shows are extremely important events to attend whether you are there as an exhibitioner or attendee. These conventions provide you with opportunities to grow, expose yourself, or even cement your position in an industry. Below you will find the top three reasons why you should definitely be at every trade show possible this year.

Branding and Networking Opportunities
There are many advantages to attending a trade show but by far the top advantage comes from the many branding and networking opportunities you are given. By just being on-site, you are able to increase awareness about you business and make yourself known.

Another major advantage to attending a trade show is having the chance to meet like-minded individuals. These individuals can come in the form of current customers and meeting with them for the first time, potential new customers, and suppliers that are interested in your product. Finally, there is huge press exposure that comes along with trade shows, that, if done right, can have a major positive impact on the company.

Assessment of Environment
The second reason why trade shows are important for your company is the opportunity they give you to assess the climate of your industry. This way you are able to know your options as either a supplier or reseller, you are able to get the best deal on whatever it is you may be looking for – as competition is a lot higher in trade show environments – and it simplifies the search in terms of needs fulfillment.

Positive Sales Environment
Lastly, trade shows are an instrument in creating a positive sales experience for both the exhibitor and attendee. The exhibitor is there in the hopes of creating a meaningful connection with the aim of positively selling whatever brand they are representing. This face-to-face interaction helps the exhibitor better gauge how their audience is reacting, allowing for the creation of better sales tactics. This is extremely helpful since those in attendance are currently in the “active search” mode, which means they are far more interested now than they will ever be again. As for the attendee, they avoid the trap that is direct sales, as the act of face-to-face selling is met with far less apprehension than other forms such as sales calls.

Exhibiting, or even just being an attendee, at a trade show is a fairly simple way to grow and improve your business. The three aforementioned benefits to trade shows should be utilized properly in order to reap maximum payoff.

Jump into the UCaaS Market this Fall at TelcoFest

UCaaSThe UCaaS market is projected to grow in North America at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 25 to 30 percent until 2020, with a total user base rising from 11.6M (2016) to over 27M by 2020. Barriers to entry into this market have been set exceedingly high, but our latest releases are designed to support your transition into this lucrative market.

Join us for lunch this September or October as we travel across the country giving presentations on the newest Cloud UC technologies, services, and strategies to help your business establish a presence in the UCaaS market and offer services that customers are increasingly demanding.

From coast to coast we will hit 17 different locations during TelcoFest, including WISPAPALOOZA and AstriCon, click here to find a local venue near you and connect with us.

Bicom Systems, with over 15 years of experience delivering success, has developed a formula to increase revenue, profits, and customer satisfaction by:

  • Adding more value to existing solutions by merging multiple technologies like Unified Communications, Key Systems, the Cloud, and more into one stable, marketable product.
  • Reducing customer churn by stimulating long-term commitment, nourishing partners even after the sale, and constantly innovating upgrades & custom solutions based on the newest technology.
  • Future proofing your business by keeping pace with industry trends with a team of dedicated account managers, technical support engineers, telecom experts, and marketing professionals.

Learn more about TelcoFest here and join us at an event near you!

Bicom at ITEXPO

itexpoBicom Systems had a great few days at ITEXPO in Ft Lauderdale last week. We met long-term partners, made new connections, had fun, and talked business. We’re already looking forward to ITEXPO 2018 next year.

In addition to our booth and private room, two of our partners hosted booths with gloCOM on display. It was fun to walk around and see the familiar images and faces.

Are you wishing you hadn’t missed ITEXPO? Join us at Channel Partners in less than two months!

Channel Partners will be held in las Vegas from April 10 to 13th. Contact us to learn more and get a pass today!

If you cannot make it to Las Vegas, we will be attending several other conferences in 2017 including:

itexpo 2017

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