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Updated: 2 weeks 5 days ago

Putting the Value in Value-Added Reseller

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 19:00

The channel is the lifeblood for the technology industry. It enables vendors to focus on R&D and gives end users a more personalized experience by purchasing through a local company (the reseller). While vendors are responsible for creating a turn-key solution that can give immediate benefit to a business, it’s the reseller who can truly build the business case and provide an extra level of value to customers.

Value-added resellers (VARs) are the perfect example of this theory. They give customers an extra level of value by providing additional services that go beyond the scope of what a vendor can offer. Many solutions require additional services to support them and customers are faced with finding another provider. However, VARs are able to bundle the service or feature with the product and sell it as one complete, value-packed solution.

Resellers not only offer value by creating a next-level end product, they are also instrumental in shaping the business case to potential customers for why they should choose a specific solution. In today’s B2B landscape, buyers are able to research different product offerings online and educate themselves. Many buyers have a clear picture of the solution they want before ever engaging with sales. While vendor websites are a great place for prospects to conduct research and narrow down solutions, it’s the local reseller who meets face-to-face with the customer and discusses exact pain points that can make all the difference in the world. By having someone present to convey exactly how the solution will meet the needs of each user, customers can feel more confident with their decision and know the true value the solution will bring to them.

Furthermore, local resellers can provide value to decision makers by giving a more in-depth financial justification for a solution. They are in a position to compare competitor pricing and give a side-by-side analysis, and they can accurately depict total cost of ownership with the extra services they offer. Additionally, as resellers are deep-diving with customers, they can frame the “cost of doing nothing” if prospects were to keep their existing solution and provide a true ROI analysis for deploying the new solution.

There is oftentimes a disconnect between how vendors market to end users and what customers are expecting to hear from vendors. Because vendors are sometimes forced to create ‘umbrella’ messaging to be relevant to as many people as possible, it can sometimes lose the personalization that customers have come to expect. However, resellers are able to take that messaging and craft it specifically to the customer and their exact needs, and, in essence, close that gap. Vendors create the solution, but it’s the resellers who are oftentimes the face of the solution and convey its value directly to the customer.   

Vendors are the driving force behind a product, but they can’t be everything to everybody. That is why it is necessary to have a strong channel and partners who can provide added value directly to the customers.  

At Sangoma, we treasure our channel and the partners who serve as the face of our solutions. And we are always looking to expand the reach of our channel into new and underserved markets.

Click here to learn more about the Sangoma Partner Program!

The post Putting the Value in Value-Added Reseller appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

A Blog about a Podcast with Sangoma’s new APAC Marketing Manager

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 19:00

A few weeks ago, I recorded a podcast with Isha Mukherjee, Sangoma’s new APAC marketing manager. We talked about a wide range of topics, including WFH and how Sangoma has responded to it, to new products we have announced, and to APAC’s importance to Sangoma.

Regarding the first topic, Work from Home, Sangoma as a company is working from home,  using our UC systems, so it’s been relatively smooth for us since we have a phone system that enables a softphone to your laptop or mobile phone with our office phone number, we have conferencing on that system, etc. We are also helping our customers by putting up a WFH / Remote working page on our website, and by putting up a support wiki as well for those customers who needed help using our many WFH features in our UC systems.   

We’ve also hosted numerous webinars about how our products enable WFH. We will be hosting some soon in APAC, so be on the lookout for announcements about that if you are in APAC.

We also announced wireless headsets on March 31. These are also immensely useful in a WFH setting since you can be on calls and roam around the apartment or house if you need to.

We recently announced our Video Conferencing Service, Sangoma Meet™, which is free to all users at this time. Just go to https://meet.sangoma.com  to use it.  One way to help with overcoming the missing sense of community and human interaction is to utilize video more. Unified Communications, as readers know, is at the heart of what we do at Sangoma. Our UC hadn’t until this point handled video conferencing. Sangoma Meet has HD video standard, is secure (is encrypted and needs a password), can scale up to 50 users, and you can share files, chat, etc. You need to be on a WebRTC compatible browser like Chrome or Edge.

And like I said, it’s FREE to use right now. With your business or your family.  

Isha also asked me about how important APAC was to Sangoma. It’s a growing region for us, and we are investing here. We expect it to grow. Most of our business in APAC is in the non-Unified Communications part of our portfolio (boards, gateways, phones), but one result of all this WFH stuff is that businesses see the importance of UC. And we provide exceptional value in our PBXact UC system.  So we’re expecting growth over time here.

If you want to listen to the podcast, please go here:  https://podcasts.sangoma.com/wp-content/uploads/sangoma-apac-001.mp3

We’ll likely be doing more podcasts so be on the lookout for them. And I’ll be in APAC as soon as we’re able to travel again.

The post A Blog about a Podcast with Sangoma’s new APAC Marketing Manager appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

WFH, Potential for Carbon Neutrality, and How UC Fits into All of That

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 18:00

One direct impact of all this social distancing, not traveling, and working from home that is stark is the reduction in carbon emissions in the environment. It’s noticeable, dramatic in cases (such as people in Punjab being able to see the Himalayas for the first time in decades) and global.

Obviously, knowledge worker type employees not going to a building to work and working from home instead, and not traveling to see customers in trains, planes, or automobiles, is having a large impact on the environment. Companies that would have never embraced WFH before are starting to understand that WFH is possible, may not negatively impact the business, and may even have a positive long-term impact. For them. 

For instance, employees may be happier since they don’t have to commute and spend time in traffic. And companies utilizing current technology available, such as video, to help customers remotely, or have team collaboration meetings, obviates at least some of the need for truck rolls or plane trips to go see them, thus saving the company money. Suddenly, work from home is more interesting since there may also be a financial benefit to the company.

These companies responded to a crisis by utilizing Unified Communications (UC), which gives the ability for employees to work from home as if they are in the office, or gives employees more tools such as video to help customers remotely or do team collaboration. They did it and utilized UC because they had to. There wasn’t some altruistic reasons behind these decisions. It was just figuring out how to move forward.

However, these work from home scenarios created less carbon emissions, something surely positive for the world. And therein lies an opportunity. Now that these companies are doing it, and in many cases, doing it successfully, will some of them embrace it and go on the path towards carbon neutrality? It’s a leap for sure, but when things “get back to normal,” could companies put policies in place to adopt WFH as a part of their company culture? That is highly probable. And if they do that, could they then take more steps and go for carbon neutrality?

Let’s examine first how could a company cut their carbon emissions? There are indirect ways of positively impacting the environment, such as recycling everything in your office (such as paper and aluminum), so reuse can occur. And using coffee cups instead of Styrofoam cups. Those are but a couple, but there are numerous examples I’m sure you can think of. 

But there are also direct ways, such as changing air conditioning and heating even one degree as an example.  

And there are companies exploring other ways, such as having smaller physical buildings to work in. We are already seeing trends where employees don’t each have an office or even their own cubicle. There are simply large work space areas where you go sit. Some of this is designed to try and foster better teamwork, while some is more practical given the need to try and cut monthly lease costs, or because more and more people were working from home anyway so there isn’t a need anymore for every single person to have their own space.  

Whatever the original reason, the office square footage per employee has been decreasing, even before this crisis. This also has an impact on less heating and air conditioning required. In other words, for example, if work teams rotated when they came in an office, thus requiring less overall square footage the company would need to use, there would be multiple benefits to the environment. Less carbon emissions due to less employee travel and less heating/air conditioning. That’s a step, but not all the way to carbon neutrality.

So let’s say your company wants to embrace this. What does being carbon neutral even mean? It means having a net zero carbon dioxide emissions. How can a company become carbon neutral? Companies can start with the ideas like above, but also then support a myriad of carbon offset projects or initiatives that offsets what your company is putting into the environment. Companies are also taking it upon themselves to go further, driving to purchase clean energy, such as from wind or solar. A company can even strive to become carbon neutral certified.  

All big ideas, but ideas that could turn into reality. And Unified Communications is an important pillar that can enable this to happen, because without UC, the FH from WFH isn’t really possible.

The post WFH, Potential for Carbon Neutrality, and How UC Fits into All of That appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Working from Home? Here’s Some Tips

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 18:00

As a Unified Communications (UC) provider, Sangoma has seen the potential for workspaces to stay more connected than ever while becoming flexible enough to allow employees to work from anywhere. So, we’re no strangers to working from home. Here’s some general tips for working remotely.

Routine

 

Stay Disciplined

The biggest pitfall employees working from home for the first time can encounter is the initial dissonance of trying to stay focused on work while surrounded by their leisure environment. It’s all too easy to slip into bad habits like inconsistent sleep schedules and wanting to “clock out” early.

Staying disciplined by sticking to a schedule and staying focused throughout the day actually makes the transition to working from home easier. If you start to mix work and leisure, the lines can begin to blur between the two, leading to either slacking or burnout.

Disconnect Regularly & Take Breaks

Just like going into work, it’s not normal to sit for 8 hours straight. When in the office, you, no doubt, get up from time to time and walk around, take a coffee break, chat with a coworker, and stay stretched and refreshed. In just the same way, it’s important to get up every so often to move around even when you’re working from home.

Get up and take a walk around the block. Actually take your lunch hour and cook something. Play with your pet. It’ll do wonders for your mental health while keeping your mind fresh for the work at hand.

Make Time for Yourself

Similar to the other two points, it’s important to make time for yourself, especially for those working from homes occupied by other people. In these types of situations, it can be all too easy to slip from being connected to colleagues to spending time with family with no time to collect your thoughts and take care of yourself. So, make sure to keep a solid distinction between work hours and home hours, and schedule in time to look after your own needs. This will keep you happy and productive, whether you’re working from home temporarily or full-time.

Goals & Productivity

 

Set daily and weekly goals

At the start of every week and every day, identify your top priorities and physically write them down, highlighting especially the top 3 or so. This will ensure you stay motivated working towards a goal and ensure you don’t lose sight of the big picture of the business. This will also help you remain focused – especially when working in a home environment where there may be many more distractions than usual.

Stay connected and responsive

Without the possibility of popping into each others’ offices, it’s vital to ensure you remain connected and responsive. Yes, it’s fine (even good) to stop responding to chats for a while to tackle some project, but making sure you are in sync with your team, answering their questions and getting their insight, will ensure that you stay engaged with your work and avoid losing morale or direction.

Schedule regular check-ins

At the same time, though, be careful not to rely on random messages, emails, and phone calls to stay connected as a cohesive team. Take the time to schedule regular check-ins with all the people you need to stay in sync with. This will eliminate a lot of headaches and ensure that productive collaboration can continue outside the walls of the business office.

Environment & Sanity

 

Dedicate a workspace in your home

One of the best ways to stay disciplined, on a schedule, and maintain a healthy work-life balance is to designate one part of your house as your home office, even if it’s just a table away from the high-traffic areas of the house. 

Perhaps you already have a home office? Make sure it doesn’t share use with other activities, especially during work hours. Many are accustomed to using their offices for hobbies or personal paperwork, so it’s important not to get distracted by personal activities that could sideline the work you need to get done.

Keep drinks and snacks at hand

One of the most dangerous journeys one can take while working from home is to run to the fridge outside of taking a break. En route and back, you’ll encounter many distractions and sidetracks that it may be better just to wait for a break. Or… just keep a small supply of snacks and drinks with you to keep you refreshed. Heck, move the coffee pot into your home office if you can. Then your breaks aren’t always to eat and drink, and you can snack while working without having to run to the fridge and back. Win-win.

Don’t feel guilty about ambience or entertainment

Finally (and this is especially important for new remote workers), don’t feel guilty about doing perfectly appropriate things that you couldn’t do in a business office. Open the windows wide, run that noisy fan, play your music without headphones. In your home office, you control the environment, both for good and for bad. So have fun while staying productive, and you’ll find that remote work may be what you always wanted.

 

Interested in a Communications Solution that Keeps Remote Workers Connected?

 

No matter what line of work your business prevails in, Sangoma has a business communications platform for you. Switchvox is a Unified Communications (UC) business phone system that integrates all the ways colleagues stay connected to each other and customers into a single platform. Best of all, it’s available in both on-premise and hosted in the Cloud, using the same source code. That means it’s incredibly easy to get started, and most users are able to use it from day one. Check it out! 

The post Working from Home? Here’s Some Tips appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

WFH Month in Review at Sangoma

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 18:00

At Sangoma, we are already in our 6th week of WFH. Given we are a Unified Communications company, it’s been relatively smooth for us since we have a phone system that enables a softphone to your laptop or mobile phone with our office phone number, we have conferencing on that system, etc. 

But a lot has happened in these just over these past few weeks. It seems like we started this months and months ago, but it’s just been a few weeks!

So what have we done:

In review, our systems can help WFH because of the following:

  • Your business phone number can go to the softphone on your laptop or your mobile phone, enabling regular business calls to get answered by the right people in your company. The softphone is part of the system people have already bought, so no additional money was required to get these people up and running if they were not using it.
  • The softphone is not just a softphone either. It’s really a softphone and collaboration client. So you can chat on it as well.  
  • We have wireless headsets to help you roam around your house while on phone calls.
  • We have a video conferencing service that you can use to collaborate with co-workers, keep in touch with your family, whatever…
  • You can take your phone that you use at work home. It needs to be connected to the internet, it needs power, and the admin needs to do some work, but we’ve had customers doing that as well (or buying a 2nd phone to take home permanently now) quite a bit.
  • Our UC systems have built-in conferencing. Again that is part of the system and is not an additional cost to use.
  • You can enable the “find me, follow me” in case you need to send phone calls to your mobile phone number or your home phone number.

So, yes, a lot has happened in a month. I can’t wait until we go back to what we knew as normal, but no one really knows when that will be right now, so in the meantime, we’re all working hard to make this work.

The post WFH Month in Review at Sangoma appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

ITEXPO Interview

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 20:57

As I was trying to figure out what to write about this week, I was thinking that doing business over a video calls is good, but not quite the same as FTF. And thinking about tradeshows that have been postponed or cancelled and the longer term business impact of that. Time will tell. But as we enter our 6th week of this, I, like many others, are probably starting to have a harder time with this.

Like everyone else, I think talking in person with someone to find out or learn new things is why I go to tradeshows, and conversation over a video conferencing solution like Sangoma Meet isn’t quite the same – it’s a bit too formal.

So I thought about the last tradeshow I attend, which was IT Expo. There, I did a stand-up interview with Rich Tehrani at IT Expo. It’s always good seeing and talking with Rich. We’ve known each other a long time. While I’m sure Rich would do a video call with me if I pinged him, it’s not quite the same as seeing him and talking to him.

Anyway, you can watch the interview here.

In summary though, Rich was asking about how it’s going at Sangoma. And everything is going well. We’re getting organic growth with our UC products. But he also asked about integrations of some M&A we did the past few years. Soon after we bought Digium, there was concern in the channel about both PBXact and Switchvox, because these are two different UC/PBX platforms and the concern was whether both would continue on. The channel now understands both products are still there – they serve different purposes and different target audiences. And then in October we bought VoIP Innovations and that integration is going well as we’ve added more resources to the SIP Trunking business. And then he asked me if we had other M&A on the horizon, like he always does, and this time I surprised him and I was like “ah… we just bought .e4”.

The post ITEXPO Interview appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Sangoma is Offering Sangoma Meet Video Conferencing Service – Early Access and Free Right Now for Anyone to Use

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 22:00

Unified Communications systems, as I’ve blogged about numerous times already, with their ability to offer softphones with your business number, conferencing, collaboration, presence, and mobile phones that also utilize your business phone number, are at the forefront for enabling this new work remote / work from home environment we’re all experiencing right now.

We’re starting to see more and more articles about missing the sense of community, camaraderie, and really just necessary human interaction that comes with chit-chat at a water cooler, coffee station, or lunch room, and starting to see more and more articles about how to combat loneliness as we self-isolate right now. The need to be connected is more significant than ever now.  

At Sangoma, we recognize this because we see this happening in our company as well. UC has most certainly helped. But there’s been a key ingredient missing. One way to help with overcoming the missing sense of community and human interaction is to utilize video more. Unified Communications, as readers know, is at the heart of what we do at Sangoma. Our UC hadn’t until this point handled video conferencing, but it’s been in our roadmap and we’ve been hard at work on it. 

Given what is going on out there, and the large need we saw for it right now, we accelerated the development of it.   We have been using beta versions for video conferencing ourselves, and we saw the positive impact it had made for those of us who had used it. And it’s ready now for a broader usage even though we will continually be adding features to it in the coming weeks and months.

And so that’s why today we’ve decided to make our video conferencing and collaboration service available in Early Access phase to our partners, and friends and family, and blog readers. For Free. Your feedback during this time is important, so please insure when you exit you fill out the feedback form.  

Sangoma Meet™ is our video conferencing and collaboration solution. Go to https://meet.sangoma.com to get started. It is a stand-alone service that can be used independently or with our award-winning UC solutions.

Once Sangoma Meet goes GA, we’ll continue to offer it for free for as long as this new normal is normal. No gimmicks or anything – we are just trying to help as we’re all just trying to figure out the best way to stay connected. To be used with your company, your work teams, or even your family.  

If you want to use Sangoma Meet, use it! Get going with your teams or your family and regain some of that camaraderie and sense of community. 

Sangoma Meet is a web-based, multi-party (up to 50) video conferencing solution based on Jitsi Meet that can be used with any WebRTC compatible browser, such as Chrome or Edge. Sangoma Meet also fully encrypts its password-protected video conferences, and uses HD Video as the default video format. Optional calendar integration and dial-in capability to the video conference from a separate phone, will be available shortly, and will also offer enhanced security using a PIN.    

By the way, UC will certainly continue to evolve, and I’ve written in the past about some of what I see out there. Rest assured, Sangoma will continue to evolve our UC solutions to meet the ever-changing requirements of UC, just like we’ve released this video conferencing solution.

At any rate, try it. It’s free so you might as well try it. Go to https://meet.sangoma.com to get started. Just set up your first video conference with your team and see how it goes. Have a virtual happy hour or just have everyone see each other. I have to go to a virtual coffee break with my team right now….

The post Sangoma is Offering Sangoma Meet Video Conferencing Service – Early Access and Free Right Now for Anyone to Use appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Mobility for Auto Dealerships

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 20:35

In the auto industry, there are many teams within a dealership hoping to achieve a singular goal: sell cars. And doing so today requires sales and service departments to separate themselves from the competition. 

If you’ve ever worked at a dealership, you understand the sense of urgency that comes with each deal. Catering to customers, following up with questions and resources, and the overall nurturing process is of the utmost importance – and so is having the right communications tools to do the job.

A Unified Communications (UC) phone system can offer staff plenty of features to help them reach success in closing deals, but mobile softphone apps and mobility features are of the utmost importance to this process.

Keep your sales team available – no matter where they are

Chances are, your sales team is constantly on the go and hardly ever at their desk. Whether they’re on test drives or showing cars on the lot, a mobile softphone allows them to continue to receive calls from their work extension without giving customers their personal cell phone number. This ensures that your sales team never has to worry about missed calls sinking a deal or the woes of an overflowing voicemail.

Utilize Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices

Whether you’re looking to save money or give staff a bit more freedom, mobile softphones give dealerships the option to enact Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. Rather than giving each individual a company-assigned mobile device, let your employees use their own devices with a mobile softphone app.

Manage multiple locations without being tethered to your desk

For GMs, mobility features offer the ability to transfer or forward calls between multiple devices, meaning you can switch from your desk phone to your mobile phone (and vice versa) without interrupting a call. And if you’re going between dealerships, you won’t return to your desk to find a slew of missed calls! You can focus your time on more pressing tasks rather than playing catch up.

Enable remote work

While many essential parts of a car deal are better handled in a dealership environment, today’s car buyers expect some flexibility, especially with new forms of internet car sales disrupting the industry. That flexibility to sell cars online and over the phone, while unfortunately lacking all of the in-person, “show-and-smell” effect that test drives and walk-arounds can have, does enable salespeople to enjoy the flexibility of working remotely from the dealership. Mobility features provide these salespeople with all the tools they need to prospect and sell from wherever, with the customer never having to worry about coming to a dealership sales floor.

 

Discover Switchvox

If you’re interested in what a UC business phone system can do for your dealership, take a look at Switchvox. With powerful mobility features, CRM integration, and an abundance of contact center features, you can ensure your sales and service teams are well-equipped to provide the best customer service every time.

Want to learn more about how Switchvox can improve productivity at your dealership? Download our free guide now! You’ll learn how Switchvox can fit within tight budgets, connect multiple locations, help your team manage high call volumes, and more.

The post Mobility for Auto Dealerships appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Wi-Fi 6 and Why It’s Important

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 21:25

There’s a lot going on now, and for this week at least, I didn’t want to write another remote work or WFH type of blog.   So I figured I’d take a look at some new technology that we’d all be using someday soon in your house or your enterprise.  So I zeroed in on Wi-Fi 6 as a good thing to write about.

If you haven’t already, you’re going to start hearing about Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi previously had naming schemes like 802.11 and some letters. It was pretty techy. But the Wi-Fi alliance decided to make it simpler so the new version announced last year is called Wi-Fi 6 (would have been 802.11ax), and the next one will be Wi-Fi 7, etc.

To use it, you need a Wi-Fi 6 device (like an Apple iPhone 11 or a Samsung Galaxy Note 10) and you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 capable router.

But why use it in first place? Faster speed obviously is a key thing. But with more and more households having multiple Wi-Fi devices (right now, a US household has an average of 11 connected devices) with no end in sight for the increase, slower internet could occur if all of these devices are on at one time.  Probably a lot of readers have noticed this – I certainly have when all my kids are home at the same time.  And you may have noticed this is you have a lot of people working at home right now.  A Wi-Fi 6 router is designed to help data flow to each of the devices, effectively keeping the speed going.

And if it can do that at home, and at a public venue (an issue I’m sure we’ve all experienced!), it can certainly help at work, with many of us now simply connected via Wi-Fi instead of an ethernet cable.

There are also improvements to battery life and security.

So we’ll start to see this coming into work.  You may get questions about it or may be wondering about it.  First, we need to be on devices that support it.  And then the infrastructure the devices connect to need to support it.   And then we’ll be using it.

The post Wi-Fi 6 and Why It’s Important appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Keeping Your Workforce Safe and Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:00
Introducing our guest contributor:

Ben has been doing Linux based IT support and networking for over 25 years, and has been doing VoIP sense asterisk 1.2.

His company VOICE1, provides Managed Switchvox Support and custom product integrations for small and large customers across the US and Canada as well as SIP trunking services.

When he’s not tinkering with technology and automations, he can be found enjoying the Pacific Northwest and being surrounded by animals.

 

As US business and the world is taking preventative measures for the coronavirus pandemic it is important for many businesses to remain accessible to their customer base.

If you have a Switchvox and are considering sending/allowing staff to work from home the following information will be helpful to you.

Allow Staff to Bring Deskphones Home

If you already have desk phones and your system is configured to allow external access you may want to allow your staff to take their desk phones home with them. This has the advantage of:

  • Assuring no one else uses their equipment and reducing the chance of spreading infection.

  • Allows your staff to work with existing setup and not have to ‘learn’ something new at a time where everyone is on high alert and already stressed.

  • IT staff can focus on a centralized solution vs individual users, allowing rapid setup.

How to Enable Remote Users

Assure that you have adjusted your firewall to allow remote SIP access and HTTP/s access. Click here for a detailed listing of firewall ports.

Make sure that you authorize only allowed SIP services by IP.

Adjust the ACLs on your Switchvox to match your requirements.

Best practice is to create a new network rule for each of your remote users.

However many of you may need a faster simpler approach. You can enable SIP and optionally Web and API access for “All Networks”.

This should only be done if you have your Switchvox behind a firewall and have the proper ACL permissions on your firewall. If you have not properly secured your firewall you will be exposing your phone system to public access.

We do not recommend turning on “Never Block IP’s” at all. We also recommend setting per work IP restrictions, as soon as possible.

Update the “Phone Networks” to be sure that you have a DNS name pointing to your PBX that can be reached from the public internet and properly forward to your Switchvox.  You can use just an IP, however you will have a warning about not having a proper SSL certificate. If you have properly set up your Switchvox you should have a valid SSL certificate already in place.

Switchvox Desktop Softphone

Setting up your Switchvox for use with the free Desktop Softphone is a little easier.

You first need to assure that port 443 is forwarded to your Switchvox.

Make sure to limit your firewall to only allow access from authorized sources to avoid exposing your system to the public internet.

Next to each extension you will have 4 icons to the left. The third one allows you to manage phone assignments.

Clicking the Manage Phone icon will let you edit or assign new phones.

You have 2 options.

  1. Add an additional phone extension with phone-type “Switchvox Desktop Softphone”

  2. Edit a phone extension to set phone-type to “Switchvox Desktop Softphone”

If you choose to add an additional phone you will need to adjust the users individual call rules so that the new additional phone will ring with incoming calls.  For many the simple process is to just re-assign the to only a softphone.

Click here to learn more about Switchvox!

The post Keeping Your Workforce Safe and Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

UC is all the Rage, but Voice Minutes are Hot Again…

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 18:00

Unified Communications (UC), for knowledge workers, is all the rage right now. UC enables these folks to work from home relatively easily because this type of phone system enables the ability to offer softphones with your business number, conferencing, collaboration, presence, and mobile phones that also utilize your business phone number. So you can set up at home just as if you are in your office. The internet, whether home WiFi and/or LTE connectivity, is key for this to work well however.

Sometimes a Plain Ol’ Voice Call is what the World Needs

Not everyone is a knowledge worker with access to a UC system or even good internet connectivity, for that matter. And because of what’s going on today, the whole world wants to communicate more than ever. So that means the good old PSTN is there for the using. Certainly for subscriber-to-subscriber, but even for those that have businesses, you are probably taking more regular phone calls. Yes, just a plain, old-school voice call.

Even a regular voice call can do wonders. And, really, even though many of us live in video and have great internet and Unified Communications, we all still just do plain voice calls, probably more than we even realize. And in this new reality out there, many people need to just place phone calls and talk.

So what does this mean?

I do not have the voice minutes data yet, but I do know that for the part of our business that services carriers, we are seeing an uptick in demand for our carrier gateways. That means these customers are seeing an increase in voice minutes and are gearing their networks up to deal with the increased demand.

Sangoma offers IMG gateways, which are the leading lower density service provider gateways on the market. Its small footprint combined with a highly equipped feature set makes it ideal for quickly adding voice capacity to your networks.

The post UC is all the Rage, but Voice Minutes are Hot Again… appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Resources for Working Remotely with Switchvox

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 18:05

COVID-19 is impacting how so many of us go about our workday. It’s no longer ‘business as usual’. At Sangoma, we’re doing everything we can to support our employees, partners, and customers. From working remotely to travel restrictions, we’ve taken many internal measures to ensure our employees are safe, yet well-equipped to continue serving you in the same dedicated way we always have. You can read more about those initiatives here.

We’ve also received a high number of inquiries about how our Unified Communications (UC) systems can potentially help. As such, we would like to provide some additional information and address any concerns you may have about your business communications.

At Sangoma, we have a complete portfolio of products and services that can help. This information is tailored to registered Switchvox users specifically. As such, you have access to the UC features you need to work from home and still accomplish just as much as if you were in the office.

Here is an overview of the specific capabilities available to you to help you work remotely. Please see our Guide to Setting Up Remote Employees for detailed information about these features and how to use them.

Switchvox Desktop Softphone

Take your extension on the go with the Switchvox desktop softphone. You can easily make/receive calls on your Windows or macOS laptop, see the statuses of other remote workers, and have full access to your contacts list. You can further enhance collaboration with group chat and SMS (via SIPStation) features. Additional information about the softphone is available here. Pair the Desktop Softphone with the Switchboard, so your calls and other Switchvox tools are right on your computer. (Please Note: the Desktop Softphone and Switchboard do not offer 3-way calling, but you can use the Meet Me Conference feature.)

Using Your Existing Desk Phone to Work at Home

If you use a Sangoma desk phone in the office, you can bring your phone home with you. In many cases, when attached to a properly-configured Switchvox system, you can plug in at home immediately. Please keep in mind that you will likely need a wall plug adapter to power your phone, as most home users do not have Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). Prior to doing this, please work with your Switchvox administrator to ensure that your Switchvox is set up to support remote employees.

Switchvox Switchboard

If you are already working remotely due to quarantine recommendations, our browser-based Switchboard is your window into all of your colleagues’ communication – no matter where they are located. A call control panel with the ability to manage calls and instant message with co-workers, this tool is especially valuable to receptionists as well as sales, service, and support teams. The Switchboard is also a great tool for call queue managers, offering a full set of queue management tools accessible from anywhere.

Conference Rooms and Audio Conferences

As the need for virtual meetings increases, you can take advantage of the conference features available with Switchvox. With the Meet Me Conference Center, your phone extension can have its own conference room. The extension-owner can even control the audio conferencing experience with announcement options, as well as specify who can talk in the conference. Conference Apps for the D80 desk phone and the Switchboard let the admin mute others on the call, or even remove others from the call.

Sending Work Calls to your Mobile or Home Phone

If you’re working from home and you can’t use the Switchvox softphone, or you only have a home phone, you can easily configure Switchvox to send all of your calls to your personal mobile or home phone. This can be configured by logging into your Switchvox user web tool and navigating to Features > Call Rules and setting up a Call Cascade to your mobile or home phone.

Coming Soon! Video Meetings

Lastly, we are excited to introduce a new product offering for a video meeting solution that will be available to you soon! While this offering was already on our product roadmap, we have recently accelerated our efforts to bring you this solution as quickly as possible.

The post Resources for Working Remotely with Switchvox appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Resources for Working Remotely with PBXact

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 18:00

COVID-19 is impacting how so many of us go about our workday. It’s no longer ‘business as usual’. At Sangoma, we’re doing everything we can to support our employees, partners, and customers. From working remotely to travel restrictions, we’ve taken many internal measures to ensure our employees are safe, yet well-equipped to continue serving you in the same dedicated way we always have. You can read more about those initiatives here.

We’ve also received a high number of inquiries about how our Unified Communications (UC) systems can potentially help. As such, we would like to provide some additional information and address any concerns you may have about your business communications.

Here is an overview of the specific work from home (WFH) capabilities available to PBXact users:

Zulu UC Desktop Softphone

Sangoma’s Zulu UC delivers productivity and collaboration tools (chat, SMS, click-to-call, file sharing) through a single application which can be installed locally or used in a browser. Zulu brings all of your tools together in one place, letting you take your work environment with you, wherever you are.

Through the Zulu interface on your desktop computer, you can:

  • Chat with coworkers 1:1 and in a group setting
  • Initiate group conference calling and merge calls together for ad-hoc collaboration
  • Create rooms for team collaboration sessions and transfer files
  • Send/receive SMS with clients using your work extension (via SIPstation)
  • Control presence and view the status of other colleagues
  • Open voicemail directly from the visual voicemail feature
  • Contact any of your co-workers from the corporate contact integration

Administrators, please be aware that Zulu and VPN clients connecting directly to the PBX use significantly more system resources than a simple SIP registration. Be careful when deploying these solutions at scale on an existing system.

User Control Panel

The User Control Panel (UCP) is a browser-based, customizable dashboard available to every individual user, giving you call control options including:

  • Call forwarding, presence, conference calling, and more
  • Visibility into your colleagues’ presence/status, even when you’re not in the same location
  • The ability to access voicemail remotely
  • The option to redirect numbers to your mobile devices – scheduled or manual
Use Your Existing Desk Phone to Work at Home

If you use a Sangoma desk phone in the office, you can bring your phone home with you. In many cases, when attached to a properly-configured system, you can plug in at home immediately. Please keep in mind that you will likely need a wall plug adapter to power your phone, as most home users do not have Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). Prior to doing this, please work with your system administrator to ensure that your PBXact system is set up to support remote employees.

Administrator Options for Connecting Remote Workers

System administrators have the following options for connecting remote employees:

Connect to the workplace VPN infrastructure.
With this option, admins can extend the existing VPN infrastructure from the workplace to the home and not rely on the PBX at all to use the PBX resources remotely.

Connect directly to the PBX using your S-Series phone from a remote location.
Sangoma phones natively support connecting a VPN from the phone directly to the PBX. You will need to set up your PBX VPN server first, and then use EndPoint Manager to tell the phone to use the VPN on a per-extension basis. More information on this technique is available here.

Connect directly to the PBX using the built-in VPN server from your desktop.
A desktop VPN connection to PBXact can only be used with the Zulu Desktop Softphone or desktop softphone of your choice. It does not offer access to other company resources. Additional configuration information is available here.

Deploy a second PBX in the Cloud for remote employees and enable a peer trunk to the main workplace system.
Deploy PBXact in a hosted environment for WFH users and bridge the premise PBXact system via IAX2 or Chan_pjsip trunk for minimal exposure to the company network. When a rapid deployment of remote staff is required, this method is arguably the fastest, most cost-effective, and feature rich when direct VPN support just isn’t an option.

Allow remote extensions to register directly to the PBX over the Internet.
Administrators should only implement this method provided they are comfortable with the security implications.

Send extension calls to a user’s mobile or home phone.
Simply add a personal mobile number to Find Me / Follow Me for an extension. Calls through the PBX can be transferred to other extensions or queues.

Built-in Contact Center Features

PBXact also offers built-in contact center features for users like receptionists or service and support teams who handle a high volume of calls.

  • Calls that go to the company IVR can be easily redirected to specific users.
  • Businesses can create custom announcements so that callers can hear about valuable information before being connected to an agent.
  • Agents can prioritize calls with Caller ID prefixing and VIP caller options.
  • In the event of a spike in the number of calls, additional team members can be assigned a ‘stand-by’ option so they can easily start taking calls.
  • The XactView Operator Panel add-on module provides a command center view to control inbound calls, transfer, and more.
  • Hot Desking lets employees use their remote Sangoma IP phone as if it was in the office, allowing their individually customized settings to seamlessly transfer to a remote phone.
Coming Soon! Video Meetings

Lastly, we are excited to introduce a new product offering for a video meeting solution that will be available to you soon! While this offering was already on our product roadmap, we have recently accelerated our efforts to bring you this solution as quickly as possible.

The post Resources for Working Remotely with PBXact appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Updating Your ILEC, CLEC, or Coop Telecom Network Infrastructure

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 18:00

If you are one of the multiple hundreds of telecom coops, ILECs (Independent Local Exchange Carriers), or small CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers), it may be time to think about updating your voice network infrastructure. 

Due to a variety of factors, you may be thinking about cutting costs, especially on the voice side of the business. Why pay those expensive yearly maintenance fees on that softswitch? Or maybe your expensive high-end softswitch solution is getting old, and you want to replace it. Or maybe that same softswitch solution is just overpowered for your voice network needs today, and you want to right-size your voice platform.

No matter what the reason, a good solution could be looking at an enterprise switch that has been used in carrier environments. Someone who has an on-prem solution that you can put in your data center but that also has its own cloud solution based on that same technology, that you know can handle the traffic load on your network.

Sangoma is such a company. We have 1.5 million paid-for UC endpoints, with many of them on our own cloud.  

Sangoma Switchvox is present in many hundreds of enterprises of all sizes. The same product can and is currently being used in MSP environments, hosted on the MSP cloud. Switchvox is a great option to be the switch behind your voice network, if you are looking to change switches.

Let’s take a look at the architecture diagram below. Running your voice network is your voice switch and applications, such as voice mail, IVR, and even contact center applications. This is connected to different networks, such as different mobile networks or the PSTN through gateways and SBCs which help transcode different media codecs and also translate protocols such as from the SS7 network to and from the switch. This enables your network to connect to those outside your network.

You also need wholesale SIP trunking so that you can resell SIP Trunking to your subscriber base. The ability to obtain DIDs, provision those numbers for SMS/MMS, offer fraud protection, and manage e911 services is critical to your customer base.

But you also need to connect the network to your subscribers, whether they are a home, a small or medium business, or a small or medium enterprise. These subscribers all have different kinds of endpoints, whether they are phones, computers, tablets, etc. Most likely, at this point in time, the subscriber (even a home) will not have a PSTN connection anymore. So the voice network will come into the subscriber through a SIP trunk. 

If it’s a large business doing a lot of minutes, then wholesale SIP trunking will be the preferred option to use. Retail SIP trunking will be the preferred option for smaller businesses or the home. Either way, the subscriber will want to buy a connection service that works for them.

How Sangoma Can Help

Sangoma can help in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at the network diagram again. As discussed above, Switchvox is Sangoma’s scalable PBX/Unified Communications system that can be your network voice switch. While it can be on-premise in an enterprise, or accessed through the Sangoma Cloud, we also have numerous installations in MSP environments, in the MSP data center and run on the MSP cloud.

Switchvox also comes with call reporting tools, IVR, voice mail, desktop faxing, and many contact center features in an all-inclusive, easy-to-understand affordable pricing model.

Sangoma offers our own Vega and IMG gateways and SBCs that have been tested to work with Switchvox. The gateways can support up to 2250 SIP sessions and 2016 channels of SS7 signaling and will make connection to other networks as simple as possible.

Sangoma also offers our own phones and desktop and mobile clients that auto-provision within minutes to and with Switchvox. We offer a range of phones to suit your different subscriber needs. Our softphone clients enable chat, presence, and remote access to your business phone number and are included in the standard price of Switchvox. No hidden costs here.

Sangoma also offers both retail and wholesale SIP Trunking. Our wholesale SIP Trunking solution (SIPDepot) is designed for you to offer retail SIP trunking to your customers. Or if you want to resell wholesale SIP Trunking to your larger enterprises where appropriate, you can do that too. And if you want to use our retail SIP trunking, we have SIPStation as well. Whatever SIP trunking solution makes sense for you, we can discuss that.

As you can see, Sangoma offers a full range of potential ways we can help you both upgrade your existing telecom infrastructure and, at the same time, reduce your costs.

The post Updating Your ILEC, CLEC, or Coop Telecom Network Infrastructure appeared first on Sangoma.

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Working from Home Now and Its Impact on the Future of Work

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 19:30

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how UC can positively impact the ability to work from home. In fact, it’s almost mandatory to have a UC system to effectively work from home. That’s because you can have the same work phone number, you can access the same applications, you can be part of collaboration teams, your colleagues can dial you on a 3 or 4 digit extension, you can have instant messaging, etc. You’re basically at your desk at work, except the desk is now in your home.

As companies come to grips with how to handle the Coronavirus issue, more and more companies are instituting work from home policies of some sort. Companies are going to see how it works for them, whether they were prepared or not. Obviously, some workers are not able to work from home just because of the job they do. But if you are a knowledge worker and your company utilizes a UC system, it will likely work out OK, certainly better than a company without a UC system. 

And with these companies that institute some kind of work from home, or for employees who self quarantine, etc., whether the company intended it or not, this current work from home environment will be like a trial run for working from home, and its impact on operations.   So what is going on now will impact the future of working from home, most likely in a positive manner.

Many companies who utilize a UC system will probably see that employees working from home had less impact than they thought it might. Or it will bring up some vulnerabilities they didn’t think about before, such as VPN load. I’m guessing this will also spur some employees to get faster internet connections if they are not getting the “response” they desired. Either way, something positive about the work from home company experience will come out.   

And from that, there could likely be some employee-friendly policies about working from home instituted from the employer, to help retain and/or recruit employees. This even helps companies get to their “green” goals given working from home can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint simply because employees aren’t driving to work.

Some companies will also see that they “needed” a UC system because it didn’t quite go that well. In 2008/2009 during the recession, many companies had been experimenting with VoIP. The recession, and the need to reduce as much cost as possible, was a key tipping point for companies to go all in on VoIP systems. This work from home time we are in now likely will further expand cloud and UC footprints.

If you are thinking of installing a business phone system to help your employees work better from home, then Switchvox Cloud can help you.

The post Working from Home Now and Its Impact on the Future of Work appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

What is Sangoma About?

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 20:23

When I go to shows where we are exhibiting, I like to work the booth when I have some free time. I like talking to our customers and prospective customers. This year, at ITEXPO, I got a few questions about what Sangoma is all about. Some of the folks knew us from the old days as a board and gateway vendor. And yes, we do that. And some of the folks knew us from Open Source comms, such as FreePBX and Asterisk. And yes, we do that. And some knew us from our cloud offerings, such as SIPStation and Switchvox Cloud. And yes, we do that.

We do all of that.

But then the question becomes what are we really about, and how does all of what I wrote above all tie together?

Sangoma today is an industry leader in delivering value-based Communications as a Service (CaaS) solutions for businesses of all sizes. We want to offer solutions that maximize customers’ return on investment. We deliver value. Our CaaS solutions include Unified Communications (UCaaS), Contact Center (CCaaS), Communications Platform (CPaaS), Wholesale and Retail SIP Trunking (TaaS), and Device (DaaS). And these CaaS solutions are augmented by a wide range of Sangoma’s own VoIP infrastructure products, such as on-premise UC PBX systems, fax services, networking interconnection products, and telephony hardware.   

And our open source offerings enable different ways to get to a communications solution – a different way to value and a different way to communications innovation.   

That’s how it all ties together.

The post What is Sangoma About? appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

10 Conference Call Etiquette Tips to Make Your Remote Meetings More Productive

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 20:00

Ah, conference calls. They have the ability to make meetings so much more convenient, but like any technology, remote collaboration can come with a certain amount of “learning pains.” After all, it takes a while to adjust to new ways of doing things – especially when technology is involved. But, ultimately, conference calls and other forms of remote collaboration can improve productivity and elevate the efficiency of an organization’s business processes.

Just like in-person meetings, however, remote collaboration can quickly become a waste of time for those involved if it just becomes a way to fill calendars with no defined purpose. If you want to respect the time of all parties involved and keep your business productive, a little conference call etiquette can go a long way.

So here are 10 conference call etiquette tips to keep your conference calls smooth and productive.

1. Watch the clock and make good use of everyone’s time

When you schedule a conference call, set strict time limits and stick to them. That’s not to say calls can’t ever or won’t occasionally go over, but it’s important to make a sincere effort to respect everyone’s time. Not only do people lose focus when conference calls drag on, but they also have to adjust the rest of their schedule accordingly, potentially throwing off their agenda. Be respectful and watch the clock.

2. Define “To-Dos” with deadlines and who owns them

Conference calls have a tendency to be slightly less formal and structured than in-person meetings. As a result, it’s easy to drift into an hour-long conversation about a particular topic and come out of it with little to no action items. If you want to really improve productivity and the overall effectiveness of your conference calls, make defining action items a priority. Be sure to give them specific assignees, deadlines, and deliverables.

3. Have an agenda, clear objectives, and role expectations

Agendas are important for meetings in general, but they’re an absolute must for conference calls. Knowing who’s leading the meeting, what needs to be accomplished by the end of the call, and who else is contributing are all key factors to making sure your conference call doesn’t turn into an obscure brainstorming session. That leads to the next point.

4. Stay on topic

We’ve all been in meetings or on calls where you come to talk about one thing, then an interesting point comes up that the group wants to explore further. A half-hour later, the group has gone down a long rabbit hole and the original purpose of the meeting has yet to be discussed.

Elaboration is necessary. Debates are bound to happen. These are natural and conducive elements of good meetings, as long as they aren’t taken too far.

Don’t let your meetings get hijacked by off-topic discussions. Dive deeper on points when necessary, but always keep the underlying goal of the meeting in mind and make a point to schedule discussions around other topics that come up along the way.

5. Always introduce all participants

One awkward aspect of conference calls is the inability to see participants. Without introducing everyone on the call before the meeting starts, it can be difficult to keep up with who’s on the line and who isn’t. This gets even more awkward during sales calls and others that involve several parties that may or may not be formally introduced.

Eliminate the possibility of referring to someone in third person when they’re actually in the meeting and the awkwardness of being on a call with people you don’t know by making introductions and properly identifying everyone on the call before it begins.

6. Use a screen sharing application

When you’re referencing a document, it’s best to use a screen sharing application so everyone can see exactly what you’re referring to.

Cloud applications like Google Drive and Dropbox make it tempting to simply let everyone in a conference call access the document themselves, but that only adds unnecessary confusion. When you go that route, you have to make sure everyone’s looking at the same document, is on the same page, and can find particular aspects of the document you’re referencing.

In the end, file sharing in a real-time setting such as a conference call ultimately cause more confusion than it’s worth. Avoid the friction and use a screen sharing application.

7. Use visual aids

People retain much more information from a visual and oral presentation than they do from what they heard from an oral presentation alone.

When you use visual aids, be sure to number and clarify all slides used in your presentation. This helps when either you or someone else on the call references one of your slides. It can get confusing to explain which slide you’re looking at, and sometimes the confusion can throw off the momentum of a meeting.

So use visual aids in your conference calls to keep everyone engaged, but be sure to organize and label your visual aids in a way that makes them easy to reference during a discussion.

8. Pay attention

No one likes talking to someone who is preoccupied or only halfway paying attention. Plus, it’s embarrassing to be called on in a meeting when you don’t know what’s going on. Everyone’s busy, but it’s important to make sure that when you’re on a conference call, you take steps to eliminate distractions.

Put your phone on “do not disturb” mode or simply turn it off during the meeting. Don’t fall into the trap of checking your email. No matter how casual it may seem, you’ll be tempted to respond to something you see, and just like that, your mind checks out.

If the topic of the conference call requires you being at your computer (as it most often does), try closing out all apps that may send distracting notifications.

Most importantly, practice exercising some good old fashioned self-control during meetings. You and the other people on the conference call will appreciate your full attention (and you won’t get embarrassed for not knowing what’s going on).

9. If leaving during a conference call, state you are leaving

It’s extremely frustrating to be on a conference call and pose a question to someone you think is on the line, only to be met with silence. You don’t know how long they’ve been gone or if they missed the entire conversation. Now you have to fill them in on what’s going on before you can even get their input on the topic.

Announcing when you’re leaving gives everyone on the call the opportunity to ask any final questions or make any final comments before you leave. It also prevents them from feeling the frustration of talking to someone who is no longer on the line.

10. Use Unified Communications solutions to your advantage

Unified Communications solutions are business phone systems that integrate business tools onto a single communications platform with advanced applications for things like chat, conferencing, presence indicators, and much, much more. These Unified Communications (UC) solutions have made inter-office communication much easier, and they can help tremendously with conference calls.

Aside from the actual conference call capabilities of UC solutions (which they make extremely easy), UC solutions also give you the ability to set your phone and chat status to “In a Meeting,” minimizing distractions and improving communication with co-workers. This tells everyone what you’re doing and signals that you’re not to be disturbed unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Next Steps

Want to see what how a Unified Communications solution could improve your business? See the benefits businesses are enjoying after making the switch to UC. Download the free eBook now!

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Access Misconfiguration of Internal Legacy Customer Support Ticketing System

Sat, 02/08/2020 - 00:36

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.

The post Access Misconfiguration of Internal Legacy Customer Support Ticketing System appeared first on Sangoma.

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Must-Have Unified Communications Features for Auto Dealerships

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 23:00

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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The Difference Between Retail and Wholesale SIP Trunking

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 20:52

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.

Sangoma offers both retail SIP trunking and wholesale SIP trunking.

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