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“Just text me”
Those three words are being said now more than ever. It’s the perfect way to send a message without verbally interrupting a current conversation, meeting, class, ride – really anything. I even have some friends that, if they call me, I automatically assume something is wrong, because they never call… they just text.
With gen-Zers and even young millennials thinking that a phone call is just “old fashioned” or “formal”, choosing to send a text over making a phone call truly is the new normal. Now, it’s becoming highly requested and, in some cases expected, in the business communication world.
SMS stands for “Short Message Service”, and it’s basically a technical term for a text message. Business owners can now harness the immediacy and convenience of SMS messaging with many UC (Unified Communications) business phone systems. Imagine sitting in an Uber on your way to the airport, or sitting in a drive-thru on your lunch break. You have a simple question you want to ask your realtor/broker/child’s teacher/lawyer/insert profession here, and you don’t want to navigate the formalities or time of an actual phone call. Imagine being able to both call or text the exact same business phone number to ask that question. In my opinion, that’s a dream come true!
SMS is getting business accomplished faster than ever. Companies can protect their employees by giving them a way to receive messages from customers or clients without having to give up their personal phone number. With an SMS-enabled business phone system, you can add “Call or Text” to your business cards, and potentially get more business than you would have if it involved an actual call. I’d rather send a quick text message to a company for a rough quote or set-up a meeting without having to dial and sit in an IVR waiting to speak with someone. And voicemails….don’t even get me started! Yes, they are a way to communicate a message, but a text – now that’s immediate! The industries that can benefit from this are virtually everywhere!
Here are some examples of how customers and prospects can use SMS to communicate with a business:
Here are some ways business owners and organizations can use SMS to offer better service and improve customer experience:
I could go on and on. Minimally invasive yet effective and convenient ways to communicate will win every time. It’s not just sales departments that benefit: SMS is a great way for customer service teams to check-in with a customer, or for a small business to put a personal touch on recent orders. I personally text my hairdresser on her business number to see what she has available for a haircut next week.
According to Forbes: “64% of consumers believe that businesses should use SMS messages to interact with customers more often than they currently do.”
Texting is the most prominent form of communication in the industry today, and it deserves its place in day-to-day business communication. SMS gives businesses a way to stand out from their competitors and offer unmatched availability. It saves your company time, gets you feedback from customers faster, and helps you engage with your customers on a more personal level.
Having been in the game for quite some time and listening to our customers and partners requests, Sangoma has implemented SMS capabilities with it’s UC phone systems. Tying in SIPStation Retail with Switchvox provides users the convenience of the “call and text” from the same number feature with messages coming straight to your desktop softphone.
Not to mention that SIPStation is saving them money each month (up to 80%) from costly analog or PRI lines. Switchvox Cloud now has access to Sangoma Connect Mobile, SMS text messaging, an updated Switchvox Desktop Softphone, and more built right in. And as always, with Switchvox ALL features are included. Our Sales Team is standing by.
Are you using multiple communications vendors?
If you’re using more than one Unified Communications vendor, that can be a problem – or at least a nuisance. Managing multiple tools, different training resources, and installations can take up your valuable time.
Many organizations are opting to go with single-vendor Unified Communications solutions for their business phone system, IP phones, and video conferencing software.
The Benefits of a Single Unified Communications Vendor
Rather than emailing one vendor about your employee instant messaging platform, calling a different one for your IP phones, and reaching out to yet another about your video conferencing app, wouldn’t it be great if it all came from a single vendor?
With an end-to-end UC vendor who is focused on their end customer, you can streamline the purchase of any telephony hardware, collaboration software, and support for all your communications needs. You should also be able to easily integrate your existing CRM and email platforms with your business phone system.
According to Michael Brandenburg, Senior Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, “Sangoma ranks as one of the few remaining competitors in the unified communications market that delivers a complete portfolio of on-premise, hybrid, and cloud-based solutions. Both businesses and service providers appreciate Sangoma as a one-stop-shop partner that meets their diverse communications requirements.”
Click here to download the full award report.
Can your current phone system vendor offer necessary support?
Need emergency support or some hardware upgrades? Looking to switch to a UCaaS solution? You might have even been wondering “What is UC?” in the first place. Being able to reach out to a single source to get these answers or services is immeasurable when running a business.
Regardless of your current communications set-up, your vendor should be able to provide you with all the products and services you require. Unfortunately, not all vendors are up to the task.
Sangoma – A Trusted UC Advisor
Sangoma’s products and services include from video conferencing software, business phone systems, telephony cards, and everything in between. And with ‘all features included’ pricing on Sangoma’s Switchvox Unified Communications solution, you get a future-proof system without the fear of paying extra for robust functionality. You get to enjoy the full suite of features, so you never miss out on the many benefits of UC.
The breadth of products and services offered and supported was an important factor in Sangoma receiving the 2020 North American Unified Communications and Collaboration Competitive Strategy Leadership Award from the industry experts Frost & Sullivan.
Click here to download the full award report.
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A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog titled “Is CPaaS a channel opportunity?”. I got a few questions about CPaaS in general and why it might be important to “service providers” who offer cloud services.
CPaaS is an important and easy way to add some kind of service to or augment an existing service already in your communication cloud offering. Since Sangoma offers cloud unified communication services, sometimes we have customers who want to do something more, something specific. And while CPaaS is typically historically talked about as a way for a developer to create an application or enhance an application, and that’s fine, a developer could easily be us. We could use our own CPaaS to enhance the cloud offer. And that’s important so we can help our customers service their customers better.
So, it’s important to understand if your cloud communications provider has a CPaaS offer, not only for the developers out there but for themselves to use.
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We take an experiential and project based approach to science, which engages students and sparks their curiosity. It also gives them skills that will help them be more successful in life and work: exploration, critical thinking, and problem-solving through collaboration.
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It’s been a little over a year that Sangoma purchased .e4. At the time of purchase, we said, “This deal significantly strengthens Sangoma’s sales and support for both FreePBX and Asterisk, as well as further demonstrates Sangoma’s deep commitment to the open source market.” So I think it’s fair to ask if we have accomplished that goal.
From my perspective, yes, we have. Mike White and the team have focused on the open source customer base like we wanted them to. We have more dialogue going with the community. The business we derive from the open source projects FreePBX and Asterisk, such as selling phones, SIP trunking and FreePBX modules, remains strong. We wanted Mike and his team to spearhead this. That was our plan, and that’s what’s happened.
Coincident with the acquisition of .e4 was also putting dedicated open source marketing plans in place. You may have seen we refreshed the logo for FreePBX and created an Asterisk mascot. These are small examples of an increased marketing focus, but nonetheless important. We also ran a multi-day virtual AstriCon conference since we couldn’t do an in-person one. Frankly, this was more work than running an actual conference.
We’ve also had a few questions about whether the pending acquisition of Star2Star will impact our focus on open source. It’s a natural question to ask – “As you grow, the percent of revenue coming in from the adjunct businesses that support open source changes.” Yes, it changes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about it. There are no plans to decrease the engineering, marketing or sales spend on open source. We’ve actually grown this total spend in 2020. We have a focus on it now, and that will continue. The teams will remain the same. And it’s important to remember open source to us is also about innovation and supporting innovation, and that commitment remains strong.
I recently did a podcast with Mike, so if you want to listen to that, please go here.
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