|Over 18,000 Global Readers and Growing! September 20, 2011 - Issue 2-8 VoiceSpeak|
Can you believe it? It is less than two weeks before the 9th annual SMB Nation conference and folks are stampeding to register, fly-in, and secure their hotel rooms. Still time to get there and contact me offline at 206-201-2944 if you’d like a community discount/user group discount. J
This is the newsletter issue dedicated to all topics surrounding VoIP, unified communications and telecom in SMB. I highlight the “Hello Voice” speech at our fall show, our own move to new office space and how that is a demand trigger for telecom services, and I ask you: Is there excitement for the Office 365 Lync component in SMB?
BONUS: Be sure to join me for my weekly Pocket MBA webinar this Thursday, September 22nd at 10AM PDT. The topic is Business Continuity without Limits! Sign up here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/826135929
Have a great week folks!
PS – the new magazine issue is here…we’ve completely revamped and redesigned it – look and click below to get the PDF version in your hot little hands!
Demand Trigger: Moving
During my career as a ‘puter guy, more than once I’ve seen a small business move *and* migrate its technology at the same time. It only makes sense. When moving, you typically have the opportunity to upgrade your phone system at the same time. When I had the honor and the pleasure of participating in the Microsoft Response Point project, we found that moving was one of the greatest demand triggers for selling SMB VoIP.
This past couple of weeks, SMB Nation has completed its move into its new space. While this hasn’t resulted in implementing a new phones system, it did, however, result in rethinking our phone system mappings. That is, we took pause to ask ourselves how we use the phones. It also resulted in us asking questions about our space layout, etc. For example, we can now group our callers into a conference room for maximum synergy and productivity.
Figure 1: The happy and healthy new office space at SMB Nation on Bainbridge Island!
So I ask you: What are your stories about moving as a demand trigger for telecom?
Broadsmart is Cloud to the Core!
Did you know that Video Conferencing is in the Cloud? Broadsmart delivers Cloud Telephony (SIP Trunked/Hosted IP PBX products and services) nationwide, and the company considers the SMB and Enterprise business class customer as its core market.
As we know, the phone system and ‘lines’ are now virtual, lending to significant cost savings, and increased feature functionality that is inherent to cloud technology. The approach is to refine product lines, create a low barrier to entry, and maintain a market position so that Cloud Telephony soon becomes a common business tool.
The technology has changed the way phone companies serve customers on the network level. At the same time, the technology has changed the way customers use their telephone. Handsets now plug into an Ethernet connection, and can share the single user port, and the addition of Video capability is now available.
Benefits to Video Conferencing in the Cloud
Simple and Fast One-Touch Calls Access voice, video, applications and Web.
Quick Payback Lower travel expenses. Empower each employee for the cost of one business trip.
Highly Customizable Polycom’s XML API enables third-party applications for horizontal and vertical markets
Enhanced Productivity Integrate communications into business processes delivering faster decision making
Reduced Carbon Footprint Require less than half the power of similar products. Designed for lower power consumption using energy-saving PoE and smart motion detection technology to light the screen only when it detects movement. .
Our world has been waiting for the next generation of telecommunications services; Hosted Video Conferencing in the Cloud is quickly satisfying the appetite...
For more information, contact…
Robert Buffa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Voice & LAST CALL – SMB NATION FALL!
When I put out the request for “new-new” speakers for the SMB Nation Fall Conference, folks such as SBS Diva Susan Bradley and others responded with suggestions. We have three telecom speeches that I believe will be of great interest to those attending our fall show.
Offering both voice and data services to your customers can increase loyalty, profit, and customer retention-- or the exact opposite. Turns out there are reasons why voice and data were separate for so long; like oil and water. But it doesn't have to be. This session will cover the voice opportunity, customer expectations, the pitfalls and tech trends.
This session will take a look at why it is imperative to offer voice on the line card, and how to do it successfully and profitably. Topics include voice services in general, where the technology is headed, customer expectations, business models, and a look at how customer expectations are driving both premise and hosted solutions. Technical topics include firewalls, SIP, power, wireless, codecs, and QoS as well discussion around hosted, premise and virtual.
When done properly, a converged solution benefits the customer and the dealer. The session will also cover emerging solutions such as Lync and Skype. The tips learned may also apply to your own business.
This technical session will focus on how partners can extend value to their existing customers by integrating Windows Phone in specific discussions. We'll provide product demos, discuss B2B value props, review integration with Sharepoint 2010, Exchange and Office. Attendees also gain an understanding of the "consumerization of IT" dilemma that business customers and IT departments face and how Windows Phone can effectively mitigate its effect. BONUS: Technical review of MANGO – the newest version of Windows Phone! Create Groups and Threads, Local Scout, Live Tiles. DOUBLE-BONUS: Apps! The app marketplace is more dynamic than ever with very few solutions standing out and delivering strong business benefits. Attend this session and learn about proven strategies and best practices to successfully take your Windows Phone solutions to market.
Cloud, Mobility Solutions and Managed Services are important to both SMBs and Channel Partners. However, there is way too much noise in the market creating disillusionment and prompting the channels to ask "where is the money.” This session will cut through the noise and address many important issues that are facing Channel Partners of today in addressing the needs of SMBs of tomorrow. Both the Future SMBs and today's Channels are savvy but dazed and confused. An interactive presentation will shed light on issues such as:
What are the disconnects between SMBs and Channels?
What Cloud and Mobility Solutions should Channels be offering?
What should Channels be demanding of their vendor partners?
What messaging will work best for the SMBs?
What strategy is best to make money in this nebulous market?
Role of Lync in SMB – An Office 365 Update!
Many of you are following my Office 365 E3 journey over at www.cloudnation.co where I’m posting several installments on our internal migration at SMB Nation. To date, I have been focused on the Office 2010 Pro Plus implementation, Exchange Online and DNS settings. Soon I will undertake the implementation of the Lync component.
Figure 2: Lync is the second setup option in Office 365 E3.My question is simple. Do you have any Lync stories to share with me? Have you set up Lync in Office 365 E3 in an SMB environment? Reply to email@example.com with your observations for a follow-up article.
Cisco UC-320 Rocks!
Blast from the past! The Toronto show In June had a pre-day hands-on lab. Known as SMB Spring, over 20 IT Consultants fully setup the CISCO UC 320 in under an hour without a hitch. (15 had never installed a phone system) This system was the easiest install I have ever seen on a full featured UC product. There is a special website for you to engage with the UC 320 here. You can sign up to be a partner that will get you free training on the system and other goodies. There is no fee or certification cost for this program yet, so we urge you to be an early bird.
Here is what folks learned at the hands-on lab:
• For under $800 the UC 320 is a front runner for the very small business that wants to enjoy cost savings and a robust feature set.
• Fully installs, from opening the box to making calls, in under an hour
• Support for 24 users
• SIP trunking support to deliver clear, high-quality voice over IP services
• Interoperability with up to 12 public switched telephone network (PSTN) analog lines (4 FXO ports)
• Voicemail and automated attendant and Voicemail to email notification
• 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with VLAN support, to connect devices or expand
• Gigabit Ethernet WAN port that can be designated as the network edge
• Integrated 802.11n wireless access point for voice and data, so that employees can connect to the network while away from their desks
Why Do You Need to Partner with Cisco, Today?
Teaming with Cisco can be a profitable proposition. Here are the top five reasons to become a Cisco Registered Partner and benefits from the Cisco Small Business Advantage:
• Products: We have the broadest portfolio of solutions to help you meet your customers' needs.
• Profitability: You have the potential to realize greater profits when selling Cisco Small Business products by earning rebates with Partner Development Funds and taking advantage of rewards, promotions, and incentives, offered from programs such as Fast Track 2.
• Support: Get the help you need to sell, deliver, and support Cisco solutions with pre- and post-sales support and customized tools like SMART Designs.
• Marketing: Use co-branded materials to help drive sales; having ready access to free customizable marketing materials can help put more money in your pocket.
• Financing: We have EasyLease options for those who qualify. EasyLease may help you overcome customer budget objections and help eligible customers acquire technology solutions based on business needs.
It's easy to join. No training courses, exams, or additional costs required. Visit HERE.
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