Top Features You Should Look for in Hosted Telephony

Top Features You Should Look for in Hosted Telephony

Hosted Telephony, also known as Cloud telephony or hosted VoIP, is where the provider hosts and manages the business phone system in a private data center. It gives the re-seller access to lower costs, free IP calling, and features like voicemail to email, on-hold music, call parking etc.

A private branch exchange (PBX) is a private telephone network within a company or organization. Hosted Telephony is run on a PBX and can be used over a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), over the Internet (Hosted IP PBX via Internet Telephony also known as VOIP), or both.

There are many benefits to having hosted customers rather than on-premise ones. When a company chooses the hosted deployment, they are relieved of the burden of purchasing and maintaining the hardware.

The future is in Hosted – let’s explore the Top Features You Should Look for in Hosted Telephony:

Women using a smartphone in the display and technology advances in stores. Take your screen to put on advertising.

Time
By switching to Hosted Telephony, you and your customers are ultimately saving a great deal of time.

How Do You Ask?
With Hosted Telephony, desktop and mobile communication apps make it possible to work from anywhere with internet. Your customers will love that when they aren’t in the office they won’t be unavailable or miss calls. But – unified communications mean so much more than just staying in contact.

You are also going to save time with installation. Installation can be done remotely in a matter of days or even hours. There is no hardware to install or set up and no physical problems that could arise. It all can be installed by clicks of your keyboard and mouse.

Customization
You can customize! Some companies who offer hosted telephony offer customization. The customization makes it easier for your customers to add/remove features at any point. Maybe they want to start out with the basics and get their feet wet. Then after experiencing rapid growth, they are ready to go all in. This feature is also possible with the click of a few buttons.

By offering customization, you can meet more customer requirements with less hassle and customers get what they want, when they want it, how they want it. This moves us into our next topic.

Expanding Your Target Market
By offering different features and customization packages you can reach an array of different types of customers. If you have hosted, you can gain different customers who have different budgets. It allows them to pick the features they want without taking a hit to their wallets. It is a win for them and you.

Month-to-Month Hosted Partnerships
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is the key to your company’s profit, growth, and sustainability. Vendors who sell on-premise software sell to their customers one time. Although it is a big one-time check, they are back to square one looking for more customers. If you offer hosted to your customers, you will still receive ‘one-time’ checks and they will be smaller, BUT they will come every month! This long-term commitment from customers will result in continuance profit for your business.

Not to mention the relationship you will build from a month to month hosted partnership. Your company will help its customers grow by supporting and working with them and you will grow with them offering upgrades, add-ons, etc. If you give your customer all the pieces they need to be successful, like staying innovative, offering updates and being supportive they will stick with you for the long haul. Your customer’s commitment to your company will guarantee financial security for your bottom line.

Ultimately, Hosted Telephony is just more convenient. By switching to Hosted, it removes the burden of IT maintenance and extra support from your customer. You don’t have to purchase any servers, it frees up physical space and gives you and your customers a piece of mind that in an emergency they are protected.

Bicom Systems product PBXware is an example of a product that has all these features and more. PBXware was the world’s first and is the most mature Open Standards Turnkey Telephony Platform. If you want to learn more about Hosted Telephony, download our book on ‘7 Reasons You and Your Customers Should Switch to Hosted’.

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If you want to learn more about Bicom Systems, visit our website or email us at: sales@bicomsystems.com.

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.

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

Is VoIP driving business away from you?

voipOver the years I have noticed that more and more of our new customers are no longer VoIP Entrepreneurs wanting to join the telephony provider venture. Seems like the more VoIP becomes the present and defines the future of communications, the more industries it touches.

These days, any business that provides IT industry related services is somehow related to, or forced to be related to, the communications infrastructure of their customers. Even better if the customer has some knowledge or is at least aware of the unified communications experience.  

Industries like Internet service provides, cable services, and/or fiber providers have already joined, are planning to join, or at least know the future is to integrate in order to gain and retain customers. To mention a few of the most common that will ring my desk, I should start with hosted service providers. Either hardware, software, or a mix of the two, is something that, sooner or later, VoIP has to become an integrated part of. Either a multi-tenant platform like ours in order to centralize all hosted PBXs, or separate Call Center/Custom environments, this is something that, along with other value-added features, a hosted service provider will get asked for pretty often.  

Other industries, less related to network services or hosted services like IT Managed Services, will encounter themselves one way or another supporting an IP Phone, a local PBX, or a PBX hosted by someone else. They will notice the additional revenue and increased customer retention will come as soon as they can also take care of the telephony needs. 

Many of my customers will often express how VoIP service may be just one service out of many, and maybe not the one that bring the most revenue in from customers. But VoIP is an essential piece of the relationship since it is the part that allows their customers to unify their communications, in addition to the suite of services it provides.

This article is a ‘heads up’ to all those out there that think VoIP services ‘could be’. Soon VoIP will be a ‘major’ part of any one proposal because it will become part of the request. The end-user likes to feel a level of unification that provides them the security that a single provider can serve, understand, and support all their technology components.

VoIP is so flexible that anyone that has a customer base and provides any type of service, even non-technology, could find a way to integrate it into their suite of services with a huge value and even bigger retaining element. Make it drive business towards you, not away from you. At this very moment deals are been turned down because the competitor shows a unified set of services with telephony, or impressed the customer with an additional service made possible by VoIP. 

Just because everyone related is getting involved does not mean that it is easy. We still hear horror stories. Even that the voice quality is not working out, loss of RTP, but less. More and more it’s ‘how do I?’ Whether CRM integration or producing better reporting and so control of daily lives.

If you would like to explore your options, whether you are related to technology services or not, Bicom Systems would be happy to assist with whatever ideas you may have. We have not seen it all yet, but with the many we have worked with already, I’m sure you are at the right place for finding a solution. Our IPPBX PBXware comes in a Single Tenant Business Edition, Multi-Tenant Edition, and Call Center Edition, and the mix of all of them is as customizable and flexible as it comes.

VMware PBX on the VMware Solution Exchange

vmware pbxWe are pleased to announce our new VMware PBX image that allows you to test PBXware in a VM workstation or ESXi host.

Our developers created this by installing a VMware Workstation on a separate PC which ran Windows 10. We made a virtual machine that had 1 Vcpu, 1 GB of RM, 30 HDD (which was thin provisioned, meaning as the need for storage arises the HDD will expand) and open-VMware tools were added to this image for it to work properly. 

This was tested on the Windows machine first with up to 20 concurrent calls and 100 extensions. After that test was a success, we moved to testing ESXi hosts. ESXi hosts were tested with the same image with up to 30 concurrent calls and we did not encounter any problems. The test included Vmotion too, which was done while 30 concurrent calls were active. No calls dropped, the only thing we noticed was that 3 seconds before the virtual machine services started on the other ESXi host, we had 3 seconds of silence. Other than that, everything worked fine. 

The second test was VMware’s HA (High Availability) which worked as well. After the host that was running VM goes down, the other host takes over and keeps VM up with no downtime. 

After these tests were a success, we created a VMware marketplace account (as developers) and set it up with our company’s logo, information, and our PBX solution. The image was uploaded and sent for approval. It was approved 24 hours later. Check it out here: solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/pbxware–2 

Just click the “Try” button to download this image for usage with a VMware Workstation or VMware Player PRO and Vsphere client.

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