Our Blog

New Year's Resolution - Never Say No

Posted on Mon, Mar 12, 2018

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Never say no? Isn’t that the opposite of personal empowerment dogma? Aren’t we supposed to establish limits and only commit to those actions we can truly support? Absolutely, we need to set boundaries, and that means not agreeing to do everything that is asked of you.

But “Never say No” is two-fold. First, there’s finding a way to offer a solution that doesn’t initially match what is being asked of you. This forces us to learn to communicate better by explaining what we can do in a positive light, rather than a simple negative reproach. Rather than simply saying “No, we could instead say “I won’t be able to do that” which opens the door for a more productive conversation.

Here’s another example of striking “No” from your vocabulary. Someone on your staff has asked for clarification on a project you assigned, which you provide and your staff says “Thank you.” You then reply “No problem.” While this expression is often taken as an easy substitute for “You’re welcome,” there is a subtle negativity to it. Moreover, it closes down the conversation.

In keeping with our resolution to Communicate Better, let's reflect on the words we use. So, for the next few days, just try to Never Say No, and see where the conversation goes.

At Universal Connectivity, our mission statement and core values are based on listening so that we can provide solutions to our client’s needs. We have great tools and resources to offer, but we first need to understand our client’s business needs before we suggest solutions.

Give us a call. We won’t say no!

Topics: telecommunications services, business technology

Should you still trust Avaya with your business phones?

Posted on Wed, Feb 14, 2018

The Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephone system has been at the heart of business communications for a long time. Too long, in fact. In a world of mobile working, rapid market changes, rising customer and employee expectations and increasing business collaboration, traditional phone systems no longer match modern business needs.

Click here to answer the question – Should You Still Trust Avaya with Your Business Phones? – and discover why you should switch to a solution that is:

  • Flexible and easy to use
  • Scalable
  • Mobile worker supportive
  • Integrated with IT systems
  • Resilient
  • Low maintenance

To find out how switching from legacy Avaya systems to Universal Connectivity can free up your business to be more competitive, connect with us today.

Let's Connect! 

Universal Connectivity is a full-service Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) provider. We offer VoIP business phone solutions along with IP fax, teleconferencing and contact center platforms. We partner exclusively with Polycom for IP desk and conference room phones. As “Your Link to Your World” we strive to work cooperatively to help your business be more efficient and grow. Contact Universal Connectivity at 866-808-1412 for more information. 

Topics: telecommunications company, business VoIP, business technology

The End of PBX for Avaya Customers

Posted on Tue, Sep 12, 2017

not anymore.jpgIf you’re an Avaya customer, you’re probably being bombarded with messages that the sky is falling. While we can likely agree that while the prognosis for Avaya as a company is unclear, one thing is crystal clear: the on-premises PBX is on its way out.

The last thing your business needs is a dead-end telecom investment. In fact, industry analysts predict that greater than 50% of PBX replacements will go to cloud-hosted solutions within the next three years. But should you panic? No! Here are five sensible ways you can migrate over time to the cloud without losing your mind and your money. 

  1. Migrate Gracefully with SIP Trunking

SIP Trunking allows you to cost-effectively migrate to the cloud by introducing new cloud-based services when and where you need them. By combining data, voice and video into a single line that feeds into all your office locations, SIP Trunking not only reduces network expenses, but allows you to migrate to the cloud on your own timeframe.

  1. Don’t Rip and Replace!

By replacing your conventional PSTN trunk with a SIP trunk, you can keep your existing on-premises PBX infrastructure and also get access to new cloud-based apps and services such as Unified Communications (UC), team collaboration and contact center solutions—delivered to your location(s) via a SIP trunk. 

  1. Go Hybrid or Go Home

It’s often too risky to do an all-out swap over to a cloud solution, yet some of your users and sites may need new functionality sooner than others. Mobile users, old systems that need replacement or the need to bring in new sites are all good candidates, while other locations can wait before moving over. Bottom line, this means that your old PBXs can co-exist and interwork via SIP for as long as those systems have a useful economic life, as you start bringing in new services at your own pace.

  1. Contact Center Nirvana - Routing in the Cloud

One of the most compelling reasons to migrate to the cloud is the extensive benefits that a cloud-based contact center can offer, as opposed to premises-based call centers. Utilizing SIP trunking allows you to retain in-place premise contact centers while newer locations or on-demand agents can migrate to the cloud. 

Here are some of the top benefits that a cloud contact center can offer:

  • Supports hybrid configurations seamlessly by uniting multiple centers/locations, including remote workers and mobile agents, under one management umbrella
  • Allows for easy scaling up and down as your agent needs fluctuate (on-demand model)
  • Automatically manages call volumes across all locations with “cloud routing”—think of it as a unified call queue in the cloud that distributes calls evenly between agents across multiple centers and locations
  • Click here to learn more about BroadSoft Contact Center advantages
  1. Selecting a Proven Market Leading Vendor

Did you know that BroadSoft is the global market share leader in cloud unified communications with 41% share, according to Frost & Sullivan—3.5 times more than Cisco the next nearest competitor and over 10x more than RingCentral?  Our BroadSoft Business software suite is trusted by over 600 service providers across 80 countries, including 25 of the world’s top 30 service providers by revenue, for unified communications, collaboration and contact center solutions for businesses of all types and sizes.

Universal Connectivity is a full-service Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) provider. We offer VoIP business phone solutions along with IP fax, teleconferencing and contact center platforms. We partner exclusively with Polycom for IP desk and conference room phones. As “Your Link to Your World” we strive to work cooperatively to help your business be more efficient and grow. Contact Universal Connectivity at 866-808-1412 for more information.

This article was originally written by Holly Dowden and ran on the BroadSoft Beat Blog on February 9, 2017.

 

 

 

Topics: telecommunications company, business VoIP, business technology

Another PBX Phone Company Goes Bankrupt

Posted on Fri, Aug 25, 2017

When you find out your phones are down and nobody can fix them-1.jpgAnother PBX Phone Company Claims Bankruptcy. What Should You Do Now?

With all this news about hardware companies going out of business, you should really start looking at the cloud. If you’re worried about the longevity of the PBX company, that’s understandable. Avaya, Toshiba, and other phone manufacturers are scrambling, but not to worry, your phone will still work.

However, if you've been sitting on the sideline waiting to upgrade to the latest suite of collaboration and video/web conferencing, this may be the push you need. Here are some suggestions on how to approach this new opportunity.

Assess Your Contract

Review your contract and determine where you are in your lifecycle. Do you have any scheduled maintenance planned or needed? What version of the system are you on? Are you up-to-date with your patches? What type of hardware inventory do you currently have in terms of handsets, desk phones, etc? Do you know if you still have the support needed from your existing manufacturer? Assess the damage before you jump to damage control.

Get Organized

This is an opportunity to get organized, eliminate the old way of working, and reduce the clutter from your existing cubicles. It may be time to refresh and consolidate users’ technology to the latest collaboration tools. Check to make sure you know:

  • Needs and wants for communication systems
  • How your team collaborates
  • How many are in the office regularly
  • If any offices need to rethink their space

Audit all of your Systems

Auditing your systems is an important step to get the most out of your workspace. Having multiple, disparate systems is cumbersome and inefficient. The solution to this problem is integrated technology. With integrated technology, the idea of one device providing multiple connection options to collaborate can be a reality for your workspace. Your workspace can be easily integrated with your desk phone, mobile app, and tablet or laptop to allow you to share files all in the same space. Many providers have a plethora of solutions including integrated call center and project workspaces which combine into a unified communication solution. Integrating your technology can make your work more convenient and accessible.

Know your Options

Now that you’re considering switching to a new provider, you should lay out your wish list. Outline the requirements that you can't live without. Find the best providers by getting several quotes, and feel free to test drive a new option. Understand that easy integration is essential and that you need a provider that will customize a solution to meet all your needs. A great way to start your integration journey is to send an RFP. This will allow multiple vendors the opportunity to respond and outline proposed paths to move forward. Once you know what you need, and know who can provide these services, you have a validated view of the options.

Move as fast or as slow as you want, BUT MOVE

Start now.  Research, talk to your communications provider, and start to survey your employees. You may have a variety of legacy systems that you can start consolidating to reduce your overall costs. Determine who can benefit from new features and services, and go from there. This is a good time for some spring cleaning and transforming to a new way of working. Even if you go slowly, start your discovery now so that you can have the information and tools you need to make a decision.

Choose a Path and then Execute

Weigh the proposals against your company’s needs and wants to determine the most optimal path forward.  Look at capabilities, costs, and ease of deployment. Use the number of systems it can replace as part of your justification and proposal to your management.  Choose a path and execute it.

The Silver Lining

Unfortunately, PBX providers are going through difficult times, and you will need to rework your phone system; however, this can be a catalyst for positive change. After all, you probably haven't looked for a new solution for the past 5 years or more because things were working just fine. Now that things are broken, you have an opportunity to fix them. Reduce your hardware and focus on the features of integrated collaboration, voice, workspace, etc. This can result in reduced rents, easier communication, and increased engagement of mobile staff which will help your company run more smoothly. Don't worry about their bankruptcy, embrace the opportunity. The cloud is making the task of moving to an integrated solution easier. Start playing with all of those “neat tools” and find the solution that integrates your systems and best works with your team.

Universal Connectivity is a full-service Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) provider. We offer VoIP business phone solutions along with IP fax, teleconferencing and contact center platforms. We partner exclusively with Polycom for IP desk and conference room phones. As “Your Link to Your World” we strive to work cooperatively to help your business be more efficient and grow. Contact Universal Connectivity at 866-808-1412 for more information.

This article was written by Tracey Klepic, director of marketing programs at BroadSoft, and originally published on the BroadSoft Beat on July 17, 2017.

 

 

 

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Topics: telecommunications company, business VoIP, business technology

5 Reasons Avaya Customers Will Like Broadsoft

Posted on Fri, Aug 18, 2017

Things sure have changed over the last several years. In the past five years, two of the top three market share leaders have gone bankrupt (first Nortel and now Avaya), Siemens exited the market, and Toshiba withdrew from North America. Even recently, the premise-based media darling, ShoreTel, has fallen on hard times.

So, what’s going on? Enterprise communication buyers are moving to the cloud, and quickly. Analysts estimate that 20% of the global licenses were cloud based in 2016 and they project the number will reach 25% this year. Cloud solutions are expected to surpass premise shipments in 2020.

Avaya unified communication and contact center customers are no different. When they decide to replace, enhance or simply add new users to their systems, their executives and stakeholders will expect them to evaluate cloud solutions. And if today’s analyst projections are correct, the majority will choose cloud solutions due to reduced management and financial complexity and their superior flexibility, mobility, productivity and customer engagement capabilities.

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There are five reasons Avaya customers will find our BroadSoft the most attractive cloud solution:

1. Proven and secure cloud platform selected by 25 of the world’s top 30 service             providersby revenue and hundreds more across 80+ countries worldwide

2.  Market share leader with approximately 40% of the global installed base —3 times      that of the next nearest Cisco and 10 times RingCentral. 

3.  Scalable and reliable solution with proven success in micro, small, mid-market,            large, government and education segments including theMariottthe U.S.                    Senate and Montgomery College.

4.  Comprehensive and integrated BroadSoft Businessapplication suite including SIP        trunking, PBX, unified communications, native mobility, team collaboration and            contact centers.

5.  Strong channel partners, customer support and financials

Avaya customers require reliable solutions, rich capabilities, scalability and strong global support infrastructures. BroadSoft is the only cloud solution that can deliver on these requirements.

Universal Connectivity is a full-service Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) provider. We offer VoIP business phone solutions along with IP fax, teleconferencing and contact center platforms. We partner exclusively with Polycom for IP desk and conference room phones. As “Your Link to Your World” we strive to work cooperatively to help your business be more efficient and grow. Contact Universal Connectivity at 866-808-1412 for more information.

This article was written by Mark Straton and originally appeared on the BroadSoft Beat Blog on March 15, 2017.

 

 

 

 Let's Connect! 

 

 

Topics: telecommunications company, business VoIP, business technology

Bring Your Own Device

Posted on Thu, Jul 27, 2017

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While a lot of companies do provide employees with cellphone or tablets, many employees opt to use their own devices to maximize their own productivity.

With Universal Connectivity’s UC-One app, staff can easily work on their own cellphones, tablets or laptops. The app is simply loaded onto the device, similar to the application on the workplace computer. Calls can move seamlessly form the desk phone to the cellphone. Staff can opt to use the app on any device for instant messaging or video conferencing.

There are minor drawbacks to BYOD vs company-provided devices, such as nuanced capabilities among the wireless providers and the phones themselves. However, these are typically identified after the first few instances of use and adjustments made, such as switching from home WiFi to cellular for improved voice clarity.

One great feature of UC-One is that the app is set up to use business phone number, so employees no longer need to give out their personal cellphone numbers. In the past, this has been a drawback to BYOD, both for the employee and the company.

For companies supporting staff use of BYOD, it’s important to have a BYOD policy that ties into the company’s overall IT security policies.

Universal Connectivity Is a full-service Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) provider. We offer VoIP business phone solutions along with IP fax, teleconferencing and contact center platforms. As “Your Link to Your World” we strive to work cooperatively to help your business be more efficient and scale to grow. Contact Universal Connectivity at 866-808-1412 for more information.

 

 

 Let's Connect! 

 

 

Topics: telecommunications company, business VoIP, business technology

Broadsoft Team-One Business Collaboration

Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2016

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Broadsoft announced the launch of BroadSoft Team-One - an all-in-one communications and collaboration application that integrates team-centric messaging with unified communications features such as click-to-call and live meetings. With Team-One, teams and individuals can be more productive with a single, persistent workspace where all of a team’s work and apps are in one place.

Team One - All your work in one place

Struggling under an avalanche of emails, IMs and docs stored all over the place? There's a better way. With Team-One you can chat, take notes, track tasks and share files in easily organized workspaces.

Need access to Google, Drive, Salesforce and other apps? Team-One is integrated with over 50 other popular apps.

Have apps unique to your business? Connect them easily with our out-of-the box Connectors, Rest APIs and Widget APIs.

Universal Connectivity offers a complete mobile cloud collaboration solution.  The Team- One app work in harmony with our UC-One app.  The UC-One pairs with your mobile device’s dialer for voice calling, and it shares presence, contacts and favorites, which enables you to place calls as if calling from your office desk phone.  Outgoing calls appear on your called party’s Caller ID as your office number, not your cell phone number.  Plus, everything can go over Wi-Fi when available, to reduce higher cellular roaming or data charges. Team-One and UC-One are available for both iOS and Android smart phones, and can be used on your laptop or tablets with Chrome. And it’s specifically designed to be easy on your battery.

  Let's Link

Topics: business phone, business technology, content sharing, Cloud, Hosted Phone System Cost

Are You Burning Your Cellular Minutes?

Posted on Mon, Nov 7, 2016

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Did you know that if your business has a cloud based mobile solution, you could be saving on your cellular minutes? Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solutions offer the ability to tap into Wi-Fi or hotspots in order to use mobile data instead of burning through cellular minutes provided on your wireless plan. In fact, many wireless carriers are beginning to offer just data plans for mobile phones.

There are even features for on-the-go mobile workers to easily identify who is online in the office and connect through an IM/chat feature, or quickly make a voice or video-call all through Wi-Fi or data usage!

If you don’t want to use your data usage either, simply change a setting and you can connect to others, inside and outside your organization, by just using Wi-Fi. The calling features are tied directly to the enterprise internal dialing directory through the  UC-One mobile application, so those cellular or data provided minutes are not impacted.

Now that’s a virtual office! Imagine not being tied to the office or needing to be conscious of your cellular minutes and data plan. Now all you need is a Wi-Fi connection and your UC-One app on your mobile or tablet to access your contacts, co-workers and key constituents.  Start a conversation or conference call via chat/IM, voice or video call right within the app.

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One recent success is a client saved $4,000 per month on international calling usage charges when they converted their international sales staff from using cellular minutes to the UC-One mobile app. They simply converted the calling from traditional cellular roaming voice calls to the UC-One mobile app on a flat rate global cellular data plan or local Wi-Fi. This change completely funded their purchase of 150 new set of IP phones for their office location.

Universal Connectivity offers a complete mobile cloud solution through our VoIP systems. Our UC-One app pairs with your mobile device’s dialer for voice calling, and it shares presence, contacts and favorites, which enables you to place calls as if calling from your office desk phone.  Outgoing calls appear on your called party’s Caller ID as your office number, not your cell phone number.  Plus, everything can go over Wi-Fi when available, to reduce higher cellular roaming or data charges. UC-One is available for both iOS and Android smart phones, and can be used on your laptop or tablets with Chrome. And it’s specifically designed to be easy on your battery.

  Let's Link

Topics: business phone, business technology, content sharing, Cloud, Hosted Phone System Cost

Cloud business communications helps reduce office space and rental costs

Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2016

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A lot has been written about the increased agility, customer service and productivity benefits of using Cloud-based business communications services. Cloud services enable many worker types, such as executives, knowledge workers, project managers and customer service staff can work productively anywhere.

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Services such as BroadSoft’s UC-One My Room enable the dispersed workforce to regain the benefits of spontaneous “water cooler” conversations.

However, there’s another tangible benefit to more agile, flexible working practise – and that’s the reduction of traditional office space required.

With office space rental costing anywhere from $4,000 to $14,000 per year, per employee in major US cities, freeing workers from their cubicles can save organizations serious amounts of cash! Source: Market Watch and TheSquareFoot, 2015 data)

Some have even gone the extra mile, and become completely virtual enterprises, with no traditional bricks and mortar office premises. While this will probably remain the exception rather than the rule, there's no doubt Cloud communications and near-ubiquitous broadband is providing unprecedented freedom in where and how we choose to work and live our lives.


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Topics: business phone, business technology, content sharing, Cloud, Hosted Phone System Cost

Polycom RealPresence Debut

Posted on Tue, Sep 20, 2016

Simple, elegant, and affordable video conferencing for huddle rooms.

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Move up from consumer-grade video with powerful collaboration for smaller rooms

Ideal For: Business professionals who collaborate in small huddle rooms. 

realpresence-debut-650x500-enus.jpgPolycom RealPresence Debut is an enterprise grade video conferencing solution made simple, elegant and affordable for huddle rooms and smaller spaces. It also delivers cost-effective collaboration for smaller organizations that are ready to move up from consumer-grade alternatives, which are great for chatting with friends but don’t get the job done at work.

Spaces and organizations of all sizes need enterprise-quality tools to keep up in today’s increasingly competitive global market. RealPresence Debut delivers video collaboration that is sharp, rich and reliable, with full 1080p HD quality you can count on. Polycom’s exclusive Lost Packet Recovery technology keeps your meetings clear and on track, even through tough network conditions.

The stunning voice quality sounds as real as being there thanks to fine-tuning from the leading experts in conferencing audio, while Polycom NoiseBlock technology keeps distracting background sounds from interrupting your conversations. Sharing content is just as easy and reliable. Simply plug a cable into your laptop to automatically start sharing, or use Polycom SmartPairing technology to wirelessly connect your mobile device to share and annotate.

Huddle rooms and other smaller collaboration environments need solutions optimized for the unique needs of small spaces. RealPresence Debut uses a specially-designed camera with a wide field of view and flexible pan and tilt adjustments – ideal for spaces that are sometimes wider than they are deep. Its compact design sits right on top of your monitor, with no boxes to hide or cables to trip over. Integrated stereo microphones are optimized to capture every voice equally in smaller spaces, or add an optional extension microphone for even greater pickup. 

RealPresence Debut gets you up and running with enterprise-grade video collaboration quickly and easily. Every detail is designed for simplicity, ensuring anyone can set it up quickly without technical help.  Place it on your display, connect two cables and that’s it. When using RealPresence Cloud-enabled video services, simply enter a few quick details and you’re ready to go, making video calls just minutes after taking it out of the box.

Features:
  • Polycom's NoiseBlock Technology
  • Polycom’s Lost Packet Recovery (LPR) Technology
  • HDMI input for content sharing
  • Polycom SmartPairing for wireless content sharing from mobile devices and laptops
  • Compact design fits atop flat panel displays: 13.4” W x 3.7” H x 1.8” D (340mm x 95mm x 46mm)
  • Power over Ethernet support for single-cable for power and data
  • Integrated dual stereo microphones, optional expansion microphone available
  • 1080p HD Quality
  • H.323 and SIP support
  • Media Encryption (H.323, SIP): AES-128
  • Wide Field Camera View
  • Automatic Configuration 
Why You’ll Love This: The RealPresence Debut installs and sets up in minutes; we did it in less than 90 seconds!  It delivers sharp, rich, and reliable video collaboration with its field camera view at 1080p HD and flexible adjustments. It features Polycom’s LPR Technology so you can keep your meetings clear and on track. Use Polycom’s SmartPairing Technology to wirelessly connect your mobile device to share and annotate. When using a RealPresence Cloud-enabled video service, your Debut will automatically configure. 
 
Easy Setup - Two Cables 
1) PoE Data cable to our LAN
2) HDMI Cable to the TV
 
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Schedule a demo of the RealPresence Debut
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Topics: business phone, business technology, content sharing, Cloud, video conference, huddle room, trio 8800, realpresence