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Why Video Can’t Be Your Sole “Go-to” Communications Platform

DigiumBlogs - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 20:00

I’m sure we can all agree that the year 2020 changed all of us in different ways, and for many of us it changed the way we communicate. It’s not uncommon for me to have multiple video meetings every    single    day. We get those video meeting invites in our calendar and we just go to them. We start in video and end in video. While I used to be on many audio conference calls, those are becoming less frequent and a thing of the past. I am on our video meeting platform, Sangoma Meet, all the time. It’s now like my best friend. I know its personality.

And since it’s so integral to communications these days, that is why we are incorporating our video meeting platform, Sangoma Meet, into our mobile and desktop client, Sangoma Connect. Sangoma Connect will incorporate a talk aspect, a collaborate aspect, and a video meeting aspect. You’ll be able to move seamlessly between all three and launch a video call from our collaborate app for instance. It’s critical that we offer our customers the ability to communicate via voice, chat, or video. And to have our customers choose which one they want to “start” with.

To me, this is just an evolution of the PBX. While the PBX notion is very voice centric, as Unified Communication features started to get incorporated, such as mobility, and the ability for the office phone number to ring on your smartphone or desktop, the notion of a “PBX” became antiquated. Unified Communication systems are what this industry has evolved to. And if the UC vendors want to survive, the UC systems will continue to need to evolve. And that means integrating video and chat as if it is native voice. And that is what we are doing. You want voice. Check. You want chat. Check. You want video. Check.

But what about this concept of “video first” that I described in the first paragraph? I think in some use cases, like I was describing above with internal employee team calls, or calls with your channel, sure video meetings are good, and you will start and end with that.

But for many small businesses, their customers are people – someone wanting to make an appointment or order something or whatever. Calling is efficient, so they call, or maybe use a self-service portal and maybe text. And that’s why a company with a sole focus on video meetings or video calling won’t be able to service a small and medium business. A Unified Communication system, that knows how to handle phone numbers, and texting, and all kinds of call control as is found in a “PBX” is required.

A Unified Communication platform, able to do true multi-modal communications, such as Switchvox, PBXact, or Star2Star Business Voice will be required.

The post Why Video Can’t Be Your Sole “Go-to” Communications Platform appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

Amazfit T-Rex Pro review: Affordable, rugged, long-lasting GPS sports watch

zdnet news - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 19:21
Amazfit offers a few great watches with a focus on health and wellness. It's latest model is built to withstand the rigors of inclement weather outside for a week or two.

Microsoft rolls out Surface Laptop 4 alongside new headsets, a webcam, and a speaker

zdnet all blogs - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 18:00
Microsoft's spring Surface rollout includes not just the expected new Surface Laptop 4 devices, but a number of other peripherals positioned for remote work use.
Categories: Blogs

Reolink Argus 3 pro security camera review: Compact wire-free recording locally or to the cloud

zdnet news - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 17:48
The Reolink Argus 3 Pro security camera is an affordable, compact addition to your security camera setup. There are no wires to confound you, and a local recording option if you do not want to be tied into subscription costs.

Acer Enduro N3 review: Thin and light, for a rugged laptop

zdnet news - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 15:58
If you need to work outdoors in challenging environments where water, dust and debris threaten the safety of your laptop, then the Enduro N3 should earn its keep.

Google outage: Google Docs down

zdnet all blogs - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 20:08
No, it's not just you. Google Docs was misbehaving for millions of users. The issue was resolved shortly after noon Monday.
Categories: Blogs

Kyocera DuraForce Ultra 5G UW review: Verizon rugged smartphone built to get work done everywhere

zdnet news - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 18:21
Today's modern smartphones are extremely capable and there aren't many functions setting them apart. Field workers, outdoor enthusiasts, and others spending time in the elements may want a rugged smartphone and that's where the latest model from Kyocera steps up to the plate.

Critical security alert: If you haven't patched this old VPN vulnerability, assume your network is compromised

zdnet all blogs - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 15:22
Hundreds of organisations that haven't applied a Fortinet VPN security update released in 2019 should assume that cyber criminals are trying to take advantage, NCSC warns.
Categories: Blogs

ESR HaloLock MagSafe stands for Apple iPhone 12 review: Affordable, functional accessories

zdnet news - Mon, 04/12/2021 - 05:15
MagSafe is one of the best Apple technologies that combines wireless charging with the ability to easily and securely mount your Apple iPhone. The latest accessories from ESR and surprisingly affordable, yet very well made and capable.

An ex-Verizon employee explains why it's not worth helping customers

zdnet all blogs - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 17:00
As the pandemic has rolled along, many things in phone retail have changed. What's happening in stores, according to a recently departed Verizon employee, seems quite extraordinary.
Categories: Blogs

Apple confirms iMessage locks users into iOS, and putting it on Android would hurt Apple

zdnet all blogs - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 16:11
Apple executive states that iMessage is the reason people don't give their kids Android phones.
Categories: Blogs

EMeet OfficeCore M2 Max conference speaker review: Useful daisy chain functionality

zdnet news - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 01:17
The eMeet OfficeCore M2 Max is pitched at the office user, but if you want an excellent Bluetooth speaker for your home, the M2 Max will not disappoint.

6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration

DigiumBlogs - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 21:30

Communication and collaboration platforms skyrocketed in use following the outbreak of Covid-19, among organizations across all verticals.

For example, by March 2020, Microsoft Teams, an integration option that Star2Star, A Sangoma Company offers, shot up to 44 million users. By April 2020, Teams reached 75 million users. And by October, it climbed to 115 million — and remains one of the leading enterprise platforms for connecting users across remote locations. Organizations are also relying heavily on programs like Zoom, Slack and Webex to keep team members in touch and productive.

At this point, your organization may be considering migrating to one of these platforms. Yet, there are some important considerations to keep in mind to ensure optimal results.

1. Round Up Your Admins & Users

Chances are your enterprise has a fragmented messaging framework in place, with teams utilizing a variety of platforms to communicate. This is a good time to do a gut check and determine what your organization is currently using, and where and if any of these solutions can be extended. For example, sales may be using Zoom for video, while customer support uses Microsoft Teams for chat collaboration, and you may have yet another solution for your voice communications. You may be able to leverage a full suite of communications and collaboration from these vendors versus single solutions once you understand the use cases. A proposed tool may or may not be the most cost-effective solution so it’s essential to understand how your business needs to communicate and collaborate.

Bring your users and IT administrators together and form a deployment committee to determine where various platforms could make sense in the enterprise. You may find that some platforms perform better in certain environments and user groups than others.

For example, some teams may be able to get by using a bare-bones platform with limited tools. Other teams may require advanced collaboration hubs for sharing files and notes and collaborating with each other.

During this meeting, you should also outline potential friction points and technical considerations to ensure a smooth migration.

2. Set Policies

You may wind up with a situation where multiple teams can create and manage deployments. Set clear governance policies to avoid running into operational and security issues down the road.

For example, Microsoft provides various governance tools for Teams, enabling you to control things like how Teams are named and classified, who can create Teams, and whether guests are allowed. Competitive solutions may offer greater or lesser capabilities, so it’s important to decide what kind of oversight you will need prior to evaluating tools.

3. Optimize & Secure Your Cloud

Next, you’ll want to analyze and optimize your overall cloud environment. Talk to your admins about where emails and files live — and consider correlating specific platforms with appropriate cloud systems. Make sure your new platform has the right supporting cloud environment. If you still have applications you are hosting in your own data center or in a third-party data center that require your employees to VPN to access, there may be a better way to enable their productivity.

If this is the case you should consider using a desktop as a service (DaaS) solution to securely deliver your app to any location. This way, end-users can log into a secure portal and access apps and data instead of having them live on their machines or by leveraging complicated secure VPNs to access.

4. Upgrade Your Voice Quality, Workflow Integrations & More

Look for opportunities to enhance the platform for better results. For example, Microsoft makes it very easy to integrate additional services into Teams and there are hundreds of apps to explore. One thing to consider is that the platform doesn’t offer great native voice functionality, and users often complain about poor quality on calls. We’ve found that you can easily augment Teams by using third-party enterprise business voice services in conjunction with Microsoft’s infrastructure. In doing so, you can ensure crystal clear calls and achieve much greater flexibility.

It’s also important to understand if you need any IoT integrations to manage your business. This could be anything from integration with overhead paging systems, to door strike/telephony integrations, or integration to older analog devices. While these may not come natively in a potential solution, if you need to support these, they can be managed by choosing a telephony partner that works with the solution you end up choosing.

Connected worker apps may include urgent notifications, mass notifications, employee alerts, curbside service, and CRM integrations, and are designed to provide better control over your unique workflows via your communications. These applications are not necessarily natively supported in your solution of choice. However, by leveraging solutions from companies that work to integrate tools, you can further extend productivity and responsiveness for your business.

5. Test Your Platform Before Deploying

Before deploying a platform across the enterprise, it’s a good idea to test it in a small and controlled setting.

Approach various user groups, and identify users that may benefit from the new platform. Have your IT department deploy it, and test the platform for quality and reliability.

If the platform is a success and the users enjoy the experience, consider integrating the platform into that unit and move onto another one. This accomplishes a few things. First, it lets your IT team educate users and explain the reason for the migration and the benefits that the platform offers. It also gives administrators the ability to identify possible areas of friction and make changes to avoid potential disruptions.

6. Deploy

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, the only thing left to do is deploy across your entire organization. Your employees will be more comfortable and productive when you take the time to migrate to a new collaboration solution according to these guidelines. And for the long term, you will have set up your business for ongoing success as remote work and team collaboration become even more critical to daily operations.

Article originally featured on Forbes.com.

The post 6 Tips For A Smooth Collaboration Migration appeared first on Sangoma.

Categories: , Blogs, Open Source Voip

RedMagic 6 first look review: High performance gaming phone with big display and battery to get work done

zdnet news - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 15:00
The RedMagic 6 has flagship specs for optimal gaming and media experiences, but the fast RAM, storage, and processor make it a decent phone for work. The $599 price is reasonable, but there are network trade-offs to consider.


zdnet all blogs - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 14:40
CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system allowing Windows to...
Categories: Blogs

TubeMate 3

zdnet all blogs - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 14:40
TubeMate, a very popular video downloader, has been upgraded with all new design and great user experiences. Convenient right and left...
Categories: Blogs

GMK NucBox review: A pocket-sized Windows 10 PC, but you need a bag for peripherals

zdnet news - Thu, 04/08/2021 - 23:53
The GMK NucBox is a really cheap Windows 10 PC that performs well and looks good on your desk.

How bad is the M1 Mac's SSD failure problem?

zdnet all blogs - Thu, 04/08/2021 - 17:31
If your M1 Mac's SSD fails, you can't boot off an external drive, a change from past decades. Here's the problem and strategies to manage the risk.
Categories: Blogs

Luminar AI, hands on: Quick and easy AI-powered photo editing

zdnet news - Thu, 04/08/2021 - 15:39
Beginners, in particular, will find Luminar AI a useful alternative to the simple image editing tools bundled with most computers.

Windows 10: Paint and Snipping Tool now update from the Microsoft Store

zdnet all blogs - Thu, 04/08/2021 - 14:33
Microsoft's old Paint app will now get updates from Microsoft Store and a new icon.
Categories: Blogs