The concept of the “digital workplace” has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially as necessity dictates that organizations must increasingly rely on cloud-based services. This form of “as-a-Service” software supports virtual rooms for collaborating, communicating, and sharing work with others during times when person-to-person contact is not practical or possible.
Generally speaking, a digital workplace includes solutions like connected workspaces that support the tasks companies need to conduct business from various devices and locations. Connected workspaces offer many of the common tools, apps, and shared elements for working together while apart, and feeling continuously connected while doing so.
Digital Workplace Security & Flexibility
These cutting-edge productivity tools also feature embedded security elements to protect mission-critical workflows, including sensitive files and communications. This aspect–defending against network penetration–is almost universally crucial across any corporate environment.
In spite of the importance of security, however, it is hardly the only necessary consideration for the remote workforce enterprise. Organizations require a collaborative environment that is device agnostic. Users need to be able to collaborate, regardless of their hardware – and, in some cases, software – of choice. A virtual workplace must also support specific, common connected worker apps and collaboration tools, while simultaneously backing up one’s vertical integration plans as the application is moved up the supply chain.
Finally, there is always the need for automated provisioning to reduce and eliminate complexity within the day-to-day work environment. No longer are workers’ bound by extensive binders of notes when collaborating with their peers. Today’s workforce can have access to all of the tools and resources needed to accomplish complex tasks, potentially from a device no larger than one’s cellphone.
Connected Workspaces Are The Future Of Work
Of course, the benefits to deploying such a package are far more extensive than simply easing the burden of one’s remote workforce. One of the most practical reasons to use the software is to save money. Enterprises continually point to cost-savings benefits by eliminating physical facilities, overhead, and travel expenses. Plus, employees tend to be more productive and happy when they save money on gas, tolls, vehicle wear-and-tear, and other incidentals of travel.
This comfort has the added benefit of bolstering employee productivity. With all of the necessary tools and resources made virtually available (in addition to the added benefit of a full night’s rest), staffers can simultaneously work faster and accomplish more, regardless of their physical location.
As a result, whether the organization faces restrictions from a global pandemic, or simply needing a more personal touch from across the miles, digital workplace options are an effective answer to extending versatility.
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We’re starting to see companies calling their remote workers back to work. Some have been doing it quietly, and some have been doing it more publicly. Take a drive at rush hour in your city, and you’ll see this is already happening. In Dallas, where I live, it seems like it’s back to 2019 already during rush hour.
Yes, if vaccinated, you likely feel better about going back to work and interacting with people outside ‘your bubble’ again. But for a while, I think, it won’t really feel like normal. Many companies will likely still limit the number of people in a conference room, and many companies will probably not ask you to be in 100% of the time.
We all know the benefits of Unified Communications when working remotely. Unified Communication systems that enable your office phone number to ring your smartphone and your laptop so you can interact with customers while remote along with chat and video will still play critical roles for remote workers.
But for employees at the office, UC still plays a significant role. You can “leave” your office to work at a nicer or quieter part of the building and not worry about missing phone calls. You can still have video meetings and collaborate with co-workers via sharing files, no matter where they are. Make the UC system you got to know so much better over the past 15 months work for you.
While Internet-based communication such as social media, chat, video, chatbots and push-to-talk are gaining ground, and will continue to gain ground each year, at this time still the primary real-time business communication mechanism is still voice. As referenced in an earlier blog, video is garnering all the headlines and video calls with partners and even some customers occur regularly now, and will certainly stay around to become a way to continue to communicate, but video-centricity as a way to communicate with customers is short-sighted. Because the primary real-time communication mechanism is voice.
Making a phone call! And the making of a phone call, while sounding simple, has much that goes into it. For instance, there is a difference in making a domestic and international phone call. The dialing plans are different and the carrier interconnects are different. And call routing and setting up those rules within the business is also difficult.
As such, when considering what type of UC platform to buy, choosing one with roots in voice, but that can also handle video, is critical right now. As discussed above, while video-based communication was all the rage in 2020, and as it continues to play a role going forward, your entire business needs to take into account its needs before your business marries a video-centric provider. Did you make that choice for your business for the long term, or are you doing it because it helped you this year? What about next year, when you need less video and more of voice and SMS?
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Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a trusted leader in delivering cloud-native Communications-as-a-Service solutions for businesses of all sizes, today announced that they were recognized as a 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award (VSA) winner by ChannelVision Magazine, presented by Beka Business Media.
The 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award winners were recognized for their unique ability to navigate change, adapt to shifting buying patterns, and remain operational despite the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Sangoma’s highlighting achievement in digital transformation includes the expansion of their complete cloud portfolio to become the industry’s most complete UCaaS solutions provider. Sangoma’s product suite includes leading remote work technologies, custom development and integration options, and VDI for seamless connectivity to mission-critical processes from anywhere.
“On behalf of ChannelVision, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s VSA winners,” said Beka Business Media President and CEO Berge Kaprelian. “The companies on this year’s list are highly resilient and resourceful, having made it through the pandemic while remaining on the cutting edge of innovation.”
“We are honored to be recognized as leaders in digital transformation, especially in the midst of such difficult circumstances,” said Jim Machi, VP of Product Management and Marketing, Sangoma. “We owe it to our incredible Partners, Customers, and dedicated Employees for keeping us going. Our mission is always to move forward and create new and better technologies that help businesses thrive. We are pleased to have accomplished that and are looking forward to more exciting things on the horizon!”
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Tomorrow I’ll be heading off to ITEXPO, an event I’ve been to countless times before. I may have even been to every single ITEXPO that TMC has ever held. Except this time, it will be different. There will be no shaking hands (for me anyway, still not quite there yet), and I’ll probably have a mask on much of the time. And many of the people I know well from being in this industry a long time and typically see a couple of times a year wouldn’t have seen since the last ITEXPO.
Because the last ITEXPO was the last event before we all shut down. And this ITEXPO is the first event since some semblance of normalcy is returning.
And in that respect, this ITEXPO will be the same as all the other ITEXPOs I’ve been to. I’ll be in a lot of business meetings. And I already have many business meetings set up. And I’ll try and go to a few talks when I have time. Just like all the other ITEXPOs.
I’m looking forward to it and looking forward to many more!
School’s out for summer, so this is the perfect time to reflect on the learning technologies that help students and teachers succeed. With the chaos of an abrupt switch to virtual learning behind us, there are many opportunities to learn how we can overcome past challenges in adopting new technology.
With the switch to remote learning in various stages of adoption across the country, cloud-native solutions were an obvious choice for many schools. Although the COVID-19 Pandemic sped up the process for many counties and school districts, there are still many unknowns for fully adopting new technologies.
Cloud Education Technology Integration
Students in a K-12 setting are still learning about their own individual learning styles, and cloud-native solutions allow them to explore different learning styles in a setting which can give them the best chance at success. While there are plenty of challenges in an entirely virtual environment, students are learning new ways to adapt. The ability to learn from home and not be tied to a physical classroom offers increased flexibility, fewer logistical distractions and challenges, and may even help motivated students to learn at more advanced levels.
A dual system, virtual and physical, can also be applied and with the help of CaaS. These systems of integration are important, not only for access to information, but also as a learning tool for the types of technologies that students will continue to encounter once they leave school. Familiarity with common technologies is a basic skill requirement for most workers.
More frequently than ever, people are entering higher education. As the number of students seeking higher education increases, the cost to both students and educational institutions follows suit. These costs are shouldered primarily by the students themselves, shown in increased tuition costs and debt. Cloud computing is a solution to this phenomenon, as it allows institutions to exponentially increase their offered technological solutions to their students and faculty with decreased costs rather than increased costs.
Technological solutions in higher education are now necessary; one of the major roadblocks for many higher education institutions is the necessary migration of their older systems to a newer, more streamlined and robust system. Fortunately, cloud-native platforms and knowledgeable solution providers can make the transition as painless as possible with little to no downtime.
The Ongoing Challenge
As more of the world turns to technology for its solutions to problems, the world of education is falling behind, struggling to keep up with emerging technologies. Both higher and lower educational institutions have not yet reached their full potential for technological advantages, let alone cloud computing.
As virtual learning has taken a front seat with the current events of the world at play, robust technological solutions are more important than ever. Students have access to technology that can help them learn even in stressful situations and the skills they learn in navigating those technologies will help them as they continue to grow and learn.
Remote learning technology is here to stay, and cloud computing is a growing industry that has already had an impact on educational facilities across the globe. Slowly but surely, the rest of the educational world will begin to adopt these new technologies and learn how to use them to benefit students and faculty alike.
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Why is communicating with customers and co-workers different? Let’s start with connecting with co-workers. In a work environment, we all have the same tools, so it’s easy to chat / instant message, go to the Intranet, or place calls. Indeed, we’ve all been on a lot of video calls.
You can say video calls have replaced what we used to call “conference calls.” It’s to the point where setting up video calls in meeting invites is now de rigueur. Also, you can quickly start conversations with chat that might seamlessly switch to video calls because we’re so used to it now. We’ve been on so many video calls lexicon such as “video meeting fatigue” has entered everyday usage.
With customers, it’s very different.
Customers don’t have the same connected tools as you do and aren’t behind your firewalls anyway. So, a click on the same tool is not so easy. Connecting with customers is more varied.
Many customers just want to make an appointment, call about an issue, or find out what time you are open (or even if you are open). As such, with customers, the name of the game is to offer as much self-help as possible and be available in real-time when needed. Thus, we see what at one time were genuine innovations such as phone apps, websites, and IVRs now become centerpieces of today’s customer communication.
But there is also a need for real-time communications, and we see the need for multi-modal forms of real-time communications such as texting, chat, and apps, in addition to voice. In this case, video is part of the overall picture but not nearly as front and center as intra-company communication. As such, real-time business communication is pretty nuanced, and video is not the centerpiece. In next week’s blog, we’ll examine why video not being the centerpiece of customer communications could present a problem if you choose a video-centric business communication system.
The post Connecting with Customers and Co-Workers in Today and Tomorrow’s Reality: Part 2 appeared first on Sangoma.
You might be a small business owner looking to upgrade your phone system, or perhaps an IT administrator tired of dealing with the headaches of maintaining an outdated legacy phone system. Or perhaps you’re a Unified Communications vendor looking for a solution that will help set you apart from the competition.
No matter the case, Switchvox is the best business phone system for small business owners looking to upgrade their communications set-up, and the perfect fit for vendors searching for a new competitive advantage.
Switchvox offers three key benefits that make it a perfect fit for both users and UC resellers:
#1: No à la carte business phone system pricing – all features are included for every user
One of the great benefits of Switchvox for both users and partners is that Switchvox features an all-inclusive pricing model. Traditionally phone systems would require individual feature licenses for major applications like voicemail, faxing, and IVRs, but with Switchvox you get mobile apps, call recording, desktop faxing, call routing, presence, and much more all at one affordable price. This is especially helpful for those who are new to the world of VoIP telephony and Unified Communications for business.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to figure out all the features your business may or may not need in a phone system. Fortunately, with an all features included pricing model you get the freedom to choose the functionality you want and not have to worry about paying for add ons and additional licensing for features you may need down the road.
Switchvox’s all features included pricing model not only makes buying a new business phone system less stressful but also simplifies the purchase process. Instead of worrying about how much it’ll cost to add on something like call center functionality, all you have to do is choose which deployment (on-premise or Cloud) best fits your requirements and how many users and phones you’ll need. And this means no more lengthy line item quotes, which makes quoting super easy for resellers.
#2: Switchvox is both a scalable and flexible Unified Communications platform
Another benefit of Switchvox is that it offers flexibility to both users and partners. Sangoma recognizes that businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and that you need a phone system that can adapt as your business grows.
In order to accommodate a variety of businesses, Switchvox can be deployed as an on-premise phone system or as a hosted cloud phone system. This gives both users and partners plenty of options in terms of cost and phone system management. With an on-premise phone system deployment, businesses can pay for Switchvox as a capital expenditure and manage their phone system using their own IT staff.
Alternatively, if you’re not looking to pay an upfront capital expenditure and don’t feel comfortable managing your phone system, a hosted phone system deployment allows you to simply pay a monthly subscription and the vendor will manage your system in the Cloud.
If choosing between a cloud or on-premise deployment seems like uncharted territory for you, you’re in luck. Switchvox is not restricted to either an on-premise or cloud deployment. Fortunately, if you decide your company has outgrown a hosted deployment, you can move seamlessly from Switchvox Cloud to an on-premise solution with no set-up and no change to your user experience. Or, if you started out with a Switchvox on-premise system and down the road determined that a cloud system better fits your needs then you can easily switch and the interface and behavior of Switchvox will remain the same.
Choosing between on-premise and cloud isn’t the only aspect of the flexibility offered by Switchvox and Sangoma. Sangoma offers all of our own UC devices and network connectivity that you will need — including SBCs, SIP trunking, phones, headsets, and gateways. So, if you want to upgrade your phone system and utilize existing infrastructure, you still have options and compatibility. With the help of Sangoma gateways, you can avoid going through a third party vendor and use Switchvox while keeping your existing analog/PRI lines.
Plus, with Sangoma handling all your UC surround, you don’t have to worry about calling three different technical support teams for any issues or troubleshooting. It’s as simple as calling one number for all your support needs.
#3: Switchvox offers advanced business phone system features and is easy to use
Part of what makes Switchvox a great solution for users and resellers is the fact that it offers advanced phone system features and functionality without sacrificing ease of use. Oftentimes people are hesitant to get a new phone system because they don’t want to deal with a cumbersome installation process or the headache of learning how to use a new phone system.
Fortunately, Switchvox is easy to deploy and can be scaled up or down with our pre-provisioned phones. This means you don’t have to worry about contacting us or your Sangoma reseller for help adding a new user or moving an employee from one office to another. It’s as simple as plugging in your new phone or unplugging your existing phone and moving it to another office. However, if you do have any trouble setting up or using your phone system, we have a dedicated support team to ensure you receive the support and installation services you need.
Once you’ve got Switchvox set-up, we make it easy to learn your new phone system. Sangoma offers lots of free training available to both our users and partners so that you don’t have to spend weeks trying to learn your new phone system. In addition to our free training and demo center, we offer in-depth online and classroom training courses available to our partners and customers through Sangoma University.
These are just a few of the many features and benefits that Switchvox offers to both users and resellers. If you’re interested in learning more about Switchvox, phone system deployment options, or partnering with Sangoma be sure to check out these links below:
- What is a Switchvox Phone System?
- Hosted vs. On-Premise UC: Which is right for you?
- Why Partner with Sangoma?
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