Open Source Voip
SIP Trunking is important for any enterprise these days – this is the connection into your building that carries phone calls to an on-premise UC platform, or is the underpinning of any cloud communications service. It must be robust, be resilient, be able to offer a wide array of DIDs, and comply with local telephony laws such as location service.
However, in today’s world, that is not enough, especially if you are a wholesale SIP trunk provider. More and more, additional services are expected of the wholesale SIP trunking provider. Services now expected include:
- Fraud Prevention
- Emergency Services
- Cloud-based Management Portal, so the client can perform self-service on common functions
Frost and Sullivan’s whitepaper on this topic outlines what a modern SIP Trunking business needs to provide.
With today’s technology and analytics tools, businesses have more visibility into lead sources than ever before – to the point that it can quickly become overwhelming. You can measure everything from email open rates and promo codes used, to YouTube views and filled-out forms. But what about phone calls?
For industries outside of basic e-commerce, the vast majority of leads and sales come in via phone, so customizing and tracking their journey is vital. Implementing a Unified Communications (UC) solution is an easy, effective, and affordable way to do this.
Here are some of the UC features that help the most with your call campaigns:
- Intelligent call routing allows your employees to route calls to specific departments based on which campaign the customer is calling about. If you have separate numbers for each marketing campaign (for example, you have one for a digital billboard display and one for an email campaign), you can set up automatic routes to get customers where they need to be, without asking.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) lets your business record and play back additional information to callers as they reach your system. You can customize the message for each phone number used. If a customer sees your billboard ad for a free lawn evaluation and calls the number listed, you can tailor the message to appeal to that specific promotion.
- Caller ID control allows a business to customize the caller ID that the employees see, which lets them know which ad campaign likely triggered the call. For example, your employee will see something like 555-555-1212 billboard ad on their computer and phone when the incoming call is received. This enables the employee to answer the phone and be prepared to address the messaging in the ad.
- Mobility allows your employees to receive campaign calls from their mobile device and still see the proper Caller ID information. This means your traveling sales team has the same control as your in office team.
- CRM Integration makes it easy for employees not only to reference customer information when receiving calls but also to ensure that all details of a call are noted in customer records.
In addition to the features UC facilitates for your call campaigns, it goes even further by measuring the results of your efforts:
- Call Reports allow your business to run reports by incoming phone number so you can see exactly how many calls the custom call campaign generated, including which days and times were the most popular. This is valuable data for your next call campaign.
- Queue Reports allow managers to understand the performance of employees. These reports give metrics such as customer wait times, talk times, answered and abandoned calls, and much more. These are valuable insights that can be used in determining employee scheduling and performance reviews, as they provide a birds-eye view of how the campaign is being handled on your end.
- Call Logs allow you to track an individual call from beginning to end. Managers can see who talked to the caller, and if the caller was transferred or disconnected for any reason. These logs are especially valuable in customer complaint situations.
- Scheduled Call Reports can be set up to be automatically sent to a manager’s inbox on the day, time, and frequency that they choose. If you’re out of town but want to take a look at how well your half-off sale is performing (which you promoted with a unique phone number), you can view your custom reports anytime, anywhere.
Customers are increasingly using their smartphones for browsing websites, purchasing products and services, and calling companies directly. In fact, many mobile searchers call a business directly from search results, so tailoring the phone call experience for your customers is imperative. Unified Communications solutions have the features and tools your business needs for effective call campaigning and tracking.
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TADSummit Online Asia took place a month ago. The ‘TAD’ in TADSummit means Telecom Application Development. Seems under exciting. So what is Alan doing? And why is Alan actually even bothering to devote all of his time and energy to this concept?
Because telecom applications are truly at the heart of the growth (and one can argue the innovation, though there is plenty of innovation in the transport side of things as well) of the industry, and we all need to make sure innovation is not stifled or owned “by a few.” This has created Billions (yes Billions, if not Trillions) of dollars of revenue and wealth for startups (that are no longer startups now) that created useful, new, easy to use applications targeted to either subscribers or businesses. Everyday, we all use telecom applications that at one time were some cool innovation and foreign concepts to us. The rate of telecoms innovation has truly been amazing since the early 90’s. All driven by applications.
These companies saw some kind of interesting concept that could be evinced through the telecom or enterprise networks. Applications we take for granted today, such as texting, video, SMS, unified communications, speech recognition, location services…. you name it, were created by some innovative companies that had to figure out how to get their vision realized using some kind of available building blocks, or what Alan calls the “tech stack”.
The BIG guys really had (have) no interest in anything that’s different or not controlled by them. The more it stays the same, the better it is for them. No innovation, or controlled innovation (controlled by me), means no disruption. And the money keeps pouring in, to them. The big telecom guys would stifle the innovation by putting all kinds of roadblocks in place, using standards bodies to delay the inevitable. In the meantime, innovation continued and what was created outside their realm would become defacto standards. Another way to get to the same place, yet waaaaaaaaaay faster.
This is what Alan is championing and why TADS is important. Let’s not lose this developer focus. You guys, the ecosystem, are much smarter than anyone else. We need this innovation. No one or two or three or four (you get my point) companies are smart enough to see all new emerging needs. An ecosystem, though, can. And that’s why we’ll continue to see new cool innovative applications emerge. All powered by some kind of base core elements.
The ability to innovate using easy to use, cost effective building blocks is at the heart of these new innovative telecom applications. When you get down to it, I’ve devoted my telecom career to this. At Sangoma, we have all kinds of elements in the telecom stack (from open source toolkits, to CPaaS, to network integration). And that’s why Sangoma supports what Alan is doing with TADs.
Keep innovating. The underlying building blocks will be there. You guys will figure out how to use them in ways never imagined.
If you want either read a brief synopsis of my keynote, or watch it, please click the link here. There is a brief overview of our tech stack provided and you can listen to me explain it.
All businesses value scalability, but for seasonal and growing businesses, the need for scalability is paramount. And that’s why these types of businesses value the Cloud. By transferring communications to the Cloud, businesses can scale quickly while driving greater operational efficiency.
Scalability is an important need for some businesses because of the way their industry is set up or positioned in the marketplace. Seasonal businesses, such as florists, lawn care services, and tax preparation services, will have periods throughout the year where they need varying degrees of phone system support. After all, why would you want to pay for a service you only use part of the year? The flexibility of a cloud phone system helps solve this problem by allowing more lines to be easily added during peak season, and easily reduced during the off season. Seasonal scalability such as this facilitates the ability of businesses to better control their expenses, and ultimately improve their profit margin.
Growth and Decline of Business:
A phone system that is scalable may be essential to seasonal businesses, but any organization can benefit from the flexible nature of cloud phone systems. Whether dealing with growth or a decline in revenues, both can be equally unexpected and require an immediate response. Scalability allows a business to quickly adjust to fluctuating market conditions.
If you deploy a hosted phone system and you have 100 employees who need phones, then you pay for 100 users. Should your employee count drop to 75, you only pay for 75. When your business needs to scale up, it’s simple to add users and change your billing accordingly.
Plus, growing businesses value the fact that hosted phone systems represent an operational expense rather than a capital expense, meaning that hosted systems are deployed as a service with little upfront cost and no maintenance obligations. Using a cloud-based solution means you have flexibility and can free up your working capital through the immediate cost savings of a hosted PBX.
The need for flexibility when your business expands doesn’t just apply to the number of employees (or users) that you may be adding. Cloud-based phone systems also help minimize the headaches that can come with expansion or when adding multiple locations. Whether you have multiple buildings across a campus setting that fall under one internal calling network, or you have several office locations across a certain geographic area, a hosted PBX can provide an economical answer to your communications needs. Not only do you save money by not having multiple phone systems at each physical location, you also have the added convenience of allowing those offices in different locations to call desk-to-desk, as if they were in the same building.
Choosing a cloud-based solution doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the features and flexibility of a full-scale UC solution. And because award-winning platforms like Switchvox Cloud use the same source code as the on-premise alternative, you don’t have to sacrifice features when opting for the flexibility and cost savings of a hosted phone system.
The post Why Seasonal and Growing Businesses Value the Cloud appeared first on Sangoma.
What comes after a Unified Communications system? More unification of course! We are entering another phase in the evolution of the business phone system, where it is becoming an overall business communications system. And we’ll continue to see computing advances have a huge impact.
Let’s explore this a bit. From an architecture perspective, it’s not a big leap to continue an evolution towards adding more communications to the business communications system. Other outside networks, such as may be required for IoT interaction can be added to the mix. Other devices, that may have nothing to do with voice, such as building access control, cameras and sensors can be added. And the rules system and message broker brains also can get updated so that “voice” becomes just another type of communication method, not the method it was originally designed for years ago. As such, the Business Communications System is born.
And with all of this data coming from all of the business interactions, patterns and learning can be had and put to use in a positive way. The advances in compute power and the ability to analyze huge amounts of data swiftly and efficiently have given rise to elements of Artificial Intelligence entering the business phone system. In other words, the “rules.” And thus the Message Broker can get smarter. So the advent of Artificial Intelligence functionality with the PBX/UC platform has already started to occur.
The last mile to this Business Communications System will also likely be augmented. With 5G comes the ability to “network slice” or carve a portion of the network to be dedicated to an enterprise. In other words, a 5G wireless trunk.
The PBX has already undergone incredible evolution in the past 25 years. With much more to come. The office environment has also evolved from a single brick and morter facility to be a virtual, accessible at all times, and from anywhere environment. The PBX/UC platform branching out to become a more complete business communications system for the Evolved Office is a natural evolution for the PBX, and Sangoma is leading the way.
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Few things are more important to a SMB (small-medium business) than its reputation. Building rapport with your customers doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a relationship that builds over many years of dedicated service or quality products. One place where some businesses fall short is maintaining a basic, open communication channel with their customers. When customers call to see what your weekend hours are or if you have a certain item in stock, it should not turn into a long hold or a busy signal. A hosted phone system can ensure a “lack of communication” is never an issue. Here’s why:
RCF (remote call forwarding) is a business revenue saver and ensures that your customers always reach someone. If you set up notifications and call forwarding rules the call will cascade to the device of your choice, making that dreaded voicemail box less visited. You can leave to run to the post office or go grab lunch and calls can be forwarded to your mobile phone. The customers will have no idea you aren’t in the office, keeping them happy and content while you answer their questions. Need to take a break? Simply change your status to “away” and you can set up a call rule that will forward those calls to another co-worker or even a call queue, so you can take a much needed break.
Your business phone number is the face of your company. Think of all the commercials where people have made up jingles centering around their main phone number. Moving to a new hosted phone system doesn’t mean you should lose something that helps to identify your business. Keep your identity and port your number. Make sure to set up a number port with your current vendor before you cancel services and set up a paper trail with emails. Working hand-in-hand with your new provider will help ensure a smooth transition.
The Cloud is the way of the future, there is no denying that. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 90% of IT leaders will not purchase any new premise based UC infrastructure. Not only can hardware take up valuable space around the office or in server closets, but for many small businesses, having your IT person focusing on your phone system as well as day-to-day operations can be overwhelming and perhaps lead to burn-out. Not having a physical phone system in the office is ideal for businesses in areas where tornadoes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters are a threat. Everything is in the cloud, so less equipment to be damaged and replaced. With less equipment to worry about and maintain, you can focus on running your business and keeping your customers happy. Leave the phone system maintenance to your hosted phone service provider.
Switchvox Cloud is here for the long haul. We have all features included at one, low monthly rate. That’s your phone system and phone service rolled up into one bill. All you need is an internet connection, set up a few call rules, and you are ready to go. You can add extensions as needed, making Switchvox Cloud a flexible solution that is perfect for businesses that have busy and slow seasons. Updates come automatically, there is no bulky hardware in the server closet or around the office, and 24/7 support is there for you when you need it most. Contact our sales team today and see how Switchvox Cloud can help your business bring in more revenue, scale to your intended growth, and secure your business’s reputation.
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