Open Source Voip
Sangoma has concluded a thorough investigation into a misconfiguration of an internal, long unused customer support ticketing system historically used by Sangoma’s support and engineering departments to resolve IT and customer issues. As part of that investigation, we were obliged to comply with applicable legal requirements and procedures and have reported the incident to the appropriate legal authorities: we are now permitted to make this public.
While the investigation found no malicious use, we want to be transparent about this incident with all customers and reassure them that we are taking it very seriously and holding ourselves accountable.
Our investigation has determined that a permission change made to the two deprecated Jira projects, by the IT team, on Nov 12 2019 allowed public read only exposure of the data. In specific search phrases, the contents of those Jira tickets were being offered as part of search engine results. Individuals would have been able to click on the search result and enter into a specific Jira ticket offered by the search engine.
We became aware of the issue on Dec 17, 2019 and, on the same day, Sangoma IT remediated the configuration to restrict the jira access and prevent any further unauthorized access. This issue was specific to two internal deprecated Jira projects: INFRA & SIP, that have NOT been in-use for a number of years and were only used for internal support cases by IT and Cloud Services support teams.
Our investigation confirmed that substantially all of the records did not contain any personal or CPNI information in accordance with our standard practices. After reviewing the contents of all Sangoma INFRA & SIP Tickets that were exposed to the internet and cross referenced the tickets to the access logs, we determined that there were two cases of possible exposure. None of the data exposed was material and we informed our affected customers.
We are committed to the privacy and security of our customers and are taking action to prevent future occurrences of this issue. We have updated our procedures to make sure that such changes do not occur in the future: alerts will be triggered on configuration changes along with scheduled period reviews of public facing systems.
We want to sincerely apologize and reassure our customers that we are taking it seriously and working diligently to make sure that such mistakes do not happen again.
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The ability to capture leads and close a sale is firmly wrapped up in seamless communication through your dealership’s website, CRM, and business phone system; contact information should be prevalent. Even after a sale, customer retention and loyalty is based on the quality of customer satisfaction, which again, comes down to communications. Investing in solutions that enable seamless and effective communications is vital in this competitive industry, and the need spans beyond a traditional phone system.
The Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) system has been used in auto dealerships for years, benefiting every department’s unique communication needs. Switchvox boasts advanced and flexible features that work well across multiple locations, so multi-site dealerships can seamlessly connect to the same solution. Implementation of Switchvox is simple and can be done with little or no IT staff. Here is a quick look at the features within Switchvox that can help your auto dealership:
- Mobility: Switchvox Mobile enables the sales team to access every Switchvox feature and capability via their desktop or smartphone (iPhone or Android), including call controls (transfer, conference, send to voicemail), call recording, visual voicemail, and more. The customer only sees the dealership’s caller ID information, which keeps the salesperson’s personal contact information private, and also allows the brand of the dealership to be persistent in all customer communications
- CRM Integration: The Extend API lets users build integrations with CRM applications, which triggers “screen-pops” displaying important caller information, location, and notes from previous interactions. Salesforce CRM integration is available out of the box.
- Call Control Interface: The Switchboard allows the receptionist to have a call control interface on their desktop. This web-based application increases worker efficiency by allowing the receptionist to see who is or is not on the phone, click-to-dial, transfer, and instant message any employee, regardless of location
- Reporting: You can schedule call reports to be automatically emailed to track marketing campaigns or the productivity of your departments. See how long customers were on hold, with whom they spoke, and use high and low call periods to properly staff during the day
- Call Queues: These allow you to control the call flow of the dealerships. Queues enable calls to be delivered to the correct department or employee with little or no staff interaction. Queues ensure your customers are taken care of as quickly as possible based on your staffing levels.
- Call Recording: Managers have the ability to record calls to ensure that employees are handling situations as they were trained to do
- Personalized Call Rules: Users have the flexibility to set which of their phones ring, in what order, and what time of day. They can set up calls to automatically ring to their desk during work hours, to their mobile phones after hours, or to go straight to voicemail when needed. You can also have your status determine how your calls get routed so you have quick and dynamic control over you calls
- Training Tools: Switchvox provides several easy-to-use, yet powerful training tools, such as listening in on calls, being able to speak to the employee over the phone without the customer being able to hear, and helping troublesome calls by “barging in”
- Reduced Cost: Switchvox combines the communications of all your dealership locations into one. This can allow all incoming call traffic to be handled by one receptionist, instead of paying unnecessary salaries to several. Also, due to increased visibility, more locations can be run with fewer managers. Dealerships that implement Switchvox save an average of 40-60% on their monthly communications costs
Unified Communications is expanding and streamlining the way auto dealerships communicate- from the beginning of the sale to ongoing customer care. Access our Switchvox for Auto Dealerships guide for a detailed overview of every Switchvox feature your dealership can benefit from.
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SIP trunking is growing. According to the Eastern Management Group, the global SIP trunking market was approximately valued at $14.4 billion in 2018 and projected to grow 7.6% annually through 2020. The predominant reason for this is the growth of IP phone systems, which need to be connected to SIP Trunks.
But if you are a business, what types of SIP trunks should you buy – retail or wholesale?
Retail SIP trunks are designed for small to mid-sized businesses and are bought from a provider in much the same manner as the business buys other forms of telephony. Pricing is typically calculated per line, per month.
Wholesale SIP trunks are intended for service providers and large enterprises that consume large amounts of telephony service, either internally or as a provider. There is often a minimum commitment per month (in the form of usage) that you’d be required to sign up for, and after that, it would be metered. In other words, this is for organizations that utilize a lot of minutes, or intend to resell into the retail business.
There are many other considerations as well, including SMS, fax, and fraud protection. Please read our whitepaper for more information.
The post The Difference Between Retail and Wholesale SIP Trunking appeared first on Sangoma.
Educators and administrators are tasked with keeping students safe as they go through the school day. From homeroom to the car line, quick and reliable communication is of the utmost importance. Whether calling the nurse to care for a sick student or office staff connecting with a teacher on the other side of the school, all professionals in a school must be able to communicate efficiently to ensure safety.
Unified Communications (UC) presents a way for schools to streamline all forms of communication in a single platform, including email, voicemail, instant messaging, and more. This helps keep everything centralized and accessible for school officials.
Here are some of the best ways to improve school safety with UC:
Mobile softphones allow teachers to communicate from anywhere in the school
In the event of hazardous weather or other emergency, teachers are often confined to certain areas of the school, such as hallways, classrooms, or the gym. Mobile softphone applications allow office managers and administrators to contact teachers without relying on the intercom system or desk phones.
Instead, teachers can make and receive calls via a mobile phone – all through their office extension.
Integrations with programs like Quicklert help administrators keep parents informed
Today, many administrators use a variety of communications avenues to connect with parents and staff during an urgent situation. This might include using robocalls to inform parents of inclement weather or a delayed start to the school day, or notifying staff of an unauthorized visitor on campus.
A UC solution like Switchvox allows school officials to integrate with programs like Quicklert, which simplifies responses by detecting emergency situations and notifying the correct parties. Check out this article if you’d like to learn more about Quicklert.
Call forwarding rules ensure nurses and resource officers are easy to reach
Within a school, there are plenty of staff members who are on the go, such as nurses, paraprofessionals, and resource officers. These officials must be able to look after students around the campus without losing contact with staff.
Call forwarding rules allow users to have calls sent to softphones or other extensions after a certain number of rings. So, if someone is not at their desk, the call rules set in place can automatically direct the call to the office, a softphone, or another potential responder, helping officials maintain communication during urgent events.
Switchvox offers a complete UC solution for schools looking to implement an affordable, reliable communications system. If you’d like to learn more about the features your school can implement with Switchvox, download our free Switchvox for Education guide.
Sangoma Products’ Support for Kari’s Law / Ray Baum’s Act and How We Can Help You (and your Customers) Comply
On Feb 16, 2020, the federal version of Kari’s law goes into effect. It’s a complex but important topic, and justifies a comprehensive treatment in this update, something Sangoma is uniquely qualified to offer. But it is indeed complicated, so after reading this, if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us!
The new law applies to business phone systems manufactured, imported, offered for sale or lease, first sold or leased, or installed after February 16, 2020. A key requirement of Kari’s law is to ensure that persons in distress can reach a PSAP by dialing 911, even from a multi-line telephone system (such as exists in a typical business or hotel) that might normally need to dial a prefix such as a 1 or a 9 to get to an outside line.
The purpose of the regulation is to prevent a tragedies like the 2013 death of Kari Hunt that ultimately led to the federal version of Kari’s Law.
Moving forward, regardless of their location in the U.S. or where they are dialing from, persons will be able to immediately connect with emergency responders by dialing 911, with no need to dial a prefix such as 1 or 9. Just dialing 911 from a business phone system, like you would from a house phone or a mobile phone, would get the caller to a PSAP.
An additional requirement of Kari’s Law is that a notification of any E911 calls being made, be sent to a central location at the facility in which the phone system is installed. Ray Baum’s Act is meant to ensure location improvement beyond what currently exists in Kari’s Law by defining “dispatchable location” as “the street address of the calling party, and additional information such as room number, floor number, or other similar information necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party.” This is because identifying the exact location of the emergency for first responders is critical when dialing 911.
With VoIP, however, location isn’t at the heart of the call. There is no physical location per se such as when using a copper landline. As such, over time, laws were enacted to ensure VoIP landlines had physical locations and a PSAP could understand where a VoIP call was coming from. This law takes it one step further. The business phone system is associated with an address, but what if the system is installed in a large building? Where in the building is the phone where the 911 call is being made? What floor and what room for example? Notifications such as emails, text, or phone calls need to occur to more accurately pinpoint location, and this is at the heart of this law as well.
All of this means if you are a business purchasing a new phone system (or a Sangoma business partner implementing one for your ‘end-user’ customers), you need to ensure this new phone system supports these federal laws. And we’re here to help you every step of the way!
At Sangoma, we have a few lines of business phone systems such as FreePBX, PBXact, and Switchvox.
Sangoma’s on-premise phone systems (Switchvox, FreePBX, and PBXact) are all compliant with the location portions of the Ray Baum Act and Kari’s Law by supporting/requiring that the customer provide their location during initial set up of the phone system. With these systems, the system admin/user will need to configure the dial plan to allow for direct 911 dial. These systems shall also be compliant to the location notification requirements by the February 16, 2020 deadline. If these systems also use Sangoma’s SIPStation SIP trunking solution, they can also provide a quick method of updating their location (by completing an efficient online form).
Our Cloud (or hosted) PBX systems (FreePBX, PBXact, and Switchvox) also operate as a multi-line telephony business system. And these cloud systems are already compliant to the 911 dial directive and the main office address directive. As with our premise systems, we support/require customers to provide their location during the initial setup of the phone system and even for updating location via the online form (see below). Regarding the new ‘notification’ requirements, by February 16th, all new installations of Switchvox Cloud will comply. PBXact Cloud will also comply, but will do so via the end-user admin (or the Sangoma business partner) configuring the system to provide notification of these 911 calls to other onsite staff (as determined by our customers).
For additional information on Sangoma products and Kari’s Law/Ray Baum compliance, please visit https://wiki.freepbx.org/display/ST/E911+Service#E911Service-InitialSetupoftheMasterE911DID, https://support.digium.com/community/s/article/How-do-I-Set-Up-Switchvox-for-Emergency-Dialing, and here for the online location form.
Additionally, individual states may have more stringent timelines and requirements, so please consult with your legal counsel.
For “non-fixed multi-line telephony system” phones or devices which are off-premises, such as a remote-office deskphone connected to the company PBX, businesses have two years to fulfill the regulatory obligations. Another example of this would be the Sangoma UC client softphone called Zulu (installed on your computeror mobile phone). Businesses also have two years in this case.
Beyond the PBX itself, another implication of this law is on SIP trunking because the additional information needs to be carried on the SIP Trunk. It’s critical for your trunking provider to offer 911 services, either as a bundled package or on a standalone basis. The key is to find a service provider whose SIP trunks enable managing E911 effectively and offer the tools you need to be compliant. Sangoma has two SIP trunking solutions that do exactly that: SIPStation and our trunking service from VoIP Innovations, a Sangoma Company (VI).
First, for SIPStation, the trunk needs to know the location, and this is done via the online form as described above. Additionally, when using SIPStation, a user can dial 933 to find the location on record, and then, if required, change the location on record via filling out the form.
And second for our VI trunking service, we have the ability to automate new registrations, edit existing registrations, and remove outdated registrations on any number on any network without having to move your number either through an online portal or via API.
In addition to making sure your phone system is compliant, VI offers several additional solutions that can help achieve compliance for a comprehensive solution that not only takes the new law into account, but the reasons for the law in the first place: safety and the need for immediate coordinated response to assist in an emergency situation. VI’s new Location Monitoring solution provides immediate notification of any 911 call placed by triggering a text message to a group of contacts that allows them to communicate over text but more importantly provides the ability to listen to the 911 in progress. Once on the call, you can talk with the other members of the alert group to coordinate an immediate response.
At Sangoma, as stated above, we offer multiple business phone systems (both premise and cloud) and two SIP trunking services. The good news is Kari’s Law and Ray Baum compliance is possible with all of them. We would also be pleased to work with you to upgrade an existing phone system (if necessary) to ensure compliance. And as mentioned at the outset, this is a lot! So, if you have any questions whatsoever, just reach out to us by going here.
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I was walking through an airport towards the end of 2019 with my Sangoma backpack, and someone approached me and asked if I worked there. I said, “yes,” and the person then asked me if we still sold the Dialogic boards (since he knew Sangoma bought the Dialogic board and gateway business two years ago).
We got to talking a bit, and he said that he still needed a few boards for a call center solution he needed to upgrade. And we reminisced about him coming to the NJ HQ years ago.
I told him he could buy the boards he needed through the same distribution channels he always had used or to find a distributor from our website. And I told him we continue to provide operating system updates and other sorts of firmware upgrades where possible and are also in fact working on a new gateway. And I told him we still had an office in NJ.
So YES, we still sell them, and we still use a contract manufacturer based in North America to manufacture them. And we’ll continue to make them while we can and while there is still demand.
So why are they still required? Well, the whole world is not yet on VoIP (even though a lot of the people in the communications industry act like that). Some solutions are still connected to the PSTN and require these boards for that purpose. Some solutions are connected to a VoIP network through a gateway, but the solution does not need to be re-architected because of the existence of that VoIP gateway. So the boards are still used in the solution. That scenario was the case of the guy I met in the airport.
So, if you need Dialogic boards or gateways and don’t know where to go, visit our website or give us a call.
The automotive market is incredibly interesting. It is incredibly saturated, yet, with ups and downs, demand for new and used vehicles remains fairly steady. Millennials may not be lining up to buy houses, jewelry, or meals at fast-casual restaurants, but even they buy cars.
For the typical customer, buying a car sits at the intersection of needs and desires, both of which pull at their hearts and minds when they shop for their new vehicle. That’s why car buyers can feel clueless. More customers than ever know exactly how much they want to spend, either total or per month, but many do not know what brand or model is right for them.
And that’s exactly why dealerships still employ salespeople. If buying a car was a purely financial matter, salespeople would have been replaced by cashiers decades ago. But the road to the car deal is not purely logical. Many customers rely on the attention and dedication of a salesperson to help them find the car they’ll fall in love with…and ensure they don’t get wet feet when it’s time to splash out for their exciting new rides.
The Key to Selling Cars? Communication.
Every step of the car sales process relies almost entirely on the communication skills of the salesperson. And typically, most of that is done face to face. But it’s the time and effort devoted to communication with customers who aren’t on the lot or in the showroom that separates the sales legends from the run-of-the-mill top performers.
The best thing a dealership owner, general manager, or general sales manager can do to increase sales and create more sales legends is to invest in the technology that will facilitate faster and easier customer communications.
If you’re selling enough cars already, disregard this…
Unified Communications (UC) is the answer to the prayers of owners and managers nationwide who dream of seeing their dealership thrive and create opportunity for a new generation of sales professionals.
Business phone systems operating on a UC platform integrate all the various methods of communication into a single communications system that connects to CRMs and other business tools. This massively increases productivity by automating routine work and eliminating the time spent switching between tools.
How does UC increase sales and gross profit?
So, you’re probably wondering how improving your communications platform will increase both the quality and quantity of car deals being made in your dealership.The key to more sales: handling communications more efficiently.
Let me illustrate with a story. Jeff is a sales professional with several years of experience working for a decent-sized dealership selling three or four domestic auto brands. He’s focused, attentive, and knows the sales process backwards and forwards. His customer service skills are ridiculous, and he typically closes his deals on the second pencil without manager turn-over.
Jeff lives to sell cars and loves what he does. He’s a real car guy. He’s one of his dealership’s top performers, but every month, he feels a little disappointed because he keeps hitting what feels like a limit to his sales. There’s just not enough time in the day, even working well past “bell to bell.” He has the drive and the skills to become a sales legend, but he needs the tools to push it to the next level.Switchvox gives dealerships the tools they need to create more happy customers.
Then, his dealership deployed Switchvox, the fully-featured UC business phone system from Sangoma. Jeff understood how to use it from day one, and instantly, his performance was increased. For every two cars he was used to selling, he was now getting a third one out the door. Within a year, he was being awarded by the manufacturer as one of the brand’s top selling professionals in the country. How did Switchvox help him do it?
- Mobility: Switchvox Mobile enables Jeff to access every Switchvox feature and capability via his smartphone, including call controls, call recording, visual voicemail, and more. This means that Jeff can conduct all communication through his work extension on his personal device, no matter where he is. Walking the lot, pulling cars around, out to lunch, Jeff gets more opportunities to sell cars because it’s much easier for customers to reach him and there’s no confusion about which number is his.
- CRM Integration: The Extend API lets users build integrations with CRM applications, which triggers “screen-pops” displaying important caller information, location, and notes from previous interactions. Salesforce CRM integration is available out of the box. Jeff never had trouble remembering a customer, but now customers are happily reporting that every time they call, Jeff sounds like he was expecting their call, with no need to fill in old details. This personal touch not only saves time, but the impression it creates has been a huge source of referral customers.
- Call Queues: Queues enable calls to be delivered to the correct department or employee with little or no staff interaction. Queues ensure your customers are taken care of as quickly as possible based on your staffing levels. This has helped Jeff immensely because now incoming new customer calls are forwarded directly to the sales professional queue, with very few lost to the old system of parking calls for salespeople to pick up.
- Call Recording: Switchvox gives the ability to Jeff and his managers to record calls easily, with the press of a button. That means Jeff can easily record calls to review later, which means not a single detail is forgotten.
- Personalized Call Rules: With Switchvox, Jeff has the flexibility to set which of his phones ring, in what order, and what time of day. He can even have his status determine how his calls get routed, allowing him quick and dynamic control over his calls. This saves him and the customer time.
- Reduced Cost: With Switchvox, the communications for all of his dealership’s locations are combined into one. This allows for faster call handling as all incoming call traffic can be handled by one receptionist, instead of paying unnecessary salaries to several. Dealerships that implement Switchvox save an average of 40-60% on their monthly communications costs, which means Jeff is seeing a lot more spiffs for Saturday sales events.
Jeff has thrived since his dealership deployed the Switchvox UC business phone system, and so has the dealership which has increased sales by over 50% while saving significantly on communications costs compared to their older legacy phone system.
Are you ready to create your next sales legend?
Explore Switchvox, the UC business phone system designed for modern dealerships. With powerful functionality and productivity-increasing features, Switchvox is a true game-changer for every person involved in the car sales process.