News
Oct
11
5 Top Benefits of Using a Desktop Softphone
Posted by Danielle Bucella on 11 October 2018 11:42 AM

The name softphone can be quite misleading because a softphone is not, in fact, a physical, tangible piece of equipment. Instead, a desktop softphone is a software program that enables you to place a call via the Internet through computing devices: laptops, desktops, or tablet. You are permitted to place calls over VoIP, using your business extension, without having to rely on a dedicated piece of hardware.

Softphones use the latest technology and SIP standards, making them one of the preferred technologies in the office for unified communications (UC). Softphones provide many of the same features as a traditional desk phone: placing & answering calls, managing contacts, DND, transfer, etc. Unlike traditional desk phones, though, a fully-loaded softphone does deliver some unique benefits: geographical flexibility, financial efficiency, messaging, presence, and more. These features enable and enhance mobility, improve collaboration, and further the capabilities of VoIP.

Benefit 1: Geographical Flexibility

An IP desk phone is spatially limiting as it cannot extend communication outside of the office itself; however, VoIP technology overall and softphones are not dependent on location. Essentially, if a user has access to the Internet, he or she can utilize a desktop softphone. Softphones are ideal for telecommuters, associates who frequently travel, businesses with multiple locations, and remote employees.

A desktop softphone is one of the optimal tools for accessing the enterprise PBX system. On a global scale, it acts as a fully-functional office extension. For instance, traditionally, an associate traveling to a work conference would have had to rely on her cell phone to make calls. While at the conference, she would miss calls that were made to her office extension. With a softphone, this associate could utilize WiFi in a hotel, coffee shop, or conference center and use the softphone on her laptop. A softphone, like Yeastar Linkus, would allow her to make calls, forward inbound calls to another associate, check missed calls, and listen to voicemails.

In addition to a desktop softphone, it is becoming quite common for VoIP PBX providers to offer a complementary mobile softphone app. Your on-the-go employees will also be able to access their business extension & utilize imperative VoIP functionalities from their iOS or Android smartphone device

Benefit 2: Chat & Messaging

Collaboration does not merely occur through vocal means. Many business associates are turning to, and actually prefer, to share content and collaborate via chat. When using a robust desktop softphone, users can chat with their co-workers on the network instantly. Send individual messages, chat with a group, and even share content and attachments. Brainstorming sessions can occur instantaneously and collaboration can flourish. It is important to note, though, that not all desktop softphones offer the chat feature. When choosing a PBX to implement, it is best to double check whether the desktop softphone is capable of chat/messaging.

Benefit 3: CRM Integration

Desktop softphones can integrate seamlessly with third-party CRM. Gone are the days of answering calls from unknown numbers. Many softphones can now be linked to Outlook Contact or Google Contact, so you can gain real-time access to detailed contact information (call pop, call journal). With this integration, you can easily determine who is calling, which will help you provide the caller with the personalized and individualized assistance and answers that he or she is seeking.

Benefit 4: Upgradable Software

When using a desktop softphone, you are relying solely on software. Fortunately, software can be easily upgraded, so you and your associates can quickly and efficiently access the latest and greatest whenever new updates are rolled out. You will not be required to purchase an extra hardware or wires. Instead, just update your software on your computer whenever a new feature or functionality becomes available. You’ll be saving money on costly equipment with this future-proof software.

Benefit 5: Employee Presence

Real-time presence is a key element of effective call management. With a desktop softphone, you can view the availability of business associates on your network. They can identify if they are available and if so, note the best way to reach them. An optimal softphone will include colored status indicators along with the ability to leave short presence notes (such as “call cell” or “back from lunch at 1 PM.”)

Knowing employee presence is so crucial. It eliminates the guesswork of who will answer a customer call when one comes in. This will reduce customer wait times and improve the overall caller experience. Inbound calls can now be picked up and transferred in a timely fashion.


The Yeastar Linkus Desktop Client, an all-in-one free application, fulfills all the needs for a softphone. It coordinates perfectly with the Yeastar Cloud PBX and S-Series VoIP PBX. To learn more about all of the features and functionalities of Yeastar Linkus Desktop Client, contact the 888VoIP sales team at 888-864-7786 or click here.

Yeastar Linkus Desktop Softphone

The post 5 Top Benefits of Using a Desktop Softphone appeared first on 888VoIP.


Read more »



Oct
11
Preparing Workspaces for Gen Z: VoIP & the New Workforce
Posted by Danielle Bucella on 11 October 2018 09:45 AM

Gen Z, the upcoming contemporaries of Millennials, are beginning to enter the workplace. While there are similar needs of both generations, Gen Z exhibits some significant differences. Over the past handful of years, businesses’ main focus has been on understanding and appeasing the Millennial worker. With the influx of Gen Z employees, businesses now need to assess this different generation. What devices will work best for the Gen Z associate? This up-and-coming workforce cannot be thought of as merely “Millennial 2.0.”

A Glimpse at Gen Z

Gen Z, born roughly between 1995 and now, is the first fully-connected, entirely “technology inherent” generation. These individuals do not know a life without technology – Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter. The list goes on. Their lives have always revolved around new innovative solutions, especially mobile devices and social media apps – with an estimated 80% of Gen Z on social media daily.

With 2.52 billion individuals making up Gen Z, they will overtake offices. These technological “savants” are and will be skilled in online research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Their Millennial counterparts will be strong in writing press releases, blogging, and performing data and statistical analysis. The two groups will possess very different, yet complementary, skill sets.  Also, Gen Z will look to challenge and change the ways of upper management, eventually replacing these individuals down the line.

What does that mean for the workplace? When creating a workspace for a Millennial, desks boasted traditional hardware that was infused with modern updates. Millennials were raised during the introduction and growth phases of technology, so they still understood how “older” technologies could still lend themselves useful. For Gen Z, that’s not the case. By looking at what is important to Gen Z, businesses can develop productive workspaces to fulfill their unique needs.

Creativity & Sharing is Key

Gen Zers are content creators. Many young individuals are making substantial livings off creating original content and sharing it online. 80% of Gen Z finds creative expression to be important, and in turn, 65% love to share this content on social media.

Not all jobs have a creative aspect to them; however, it is possible to enable content sharing for employees in any department. When choosing a hardware solution, it is best to opt for one that supports third-party app integration so collaborative apps, like Slack, can be added. These apps will foster idea generation and allow for mutual sharing. Microsoft Teams-ready phones will provide users with a Teams-tailored interface and allow users to chat, attend meetings, take notes, and share attachments. A future-proof Teams device will lend itself useful to those who thrive on sharing and collaboration.

Gen Z wants to show off their work – not just discuss it – so fulfill these needs with the proper conferencing solution. They may not rejoice over traditional audio conferencing solutions. Instead, provide them with a way to deeply engage others in their project: video conferencing. A multitude of video conferencing solutions are highly interactive, allowing individuals to share content throughout the meeting, and provide a truly life-like experience. A traditional video conferencing unit could most definitely work for Gen Z; however, something more innovative, immersive, and cutting-edge, like the Polycom RealPresence Centro, will have greater appeal.

Smartphones Reign Supreme

Some researchers insist that most Gen Zers have never used or seen a flip phone. Their office tools shouldn’t feel “antiquated” either. With smartphones reigning as number one over other devices (including TVs and laptops), choose devices that mirror the smartphone experience. Touch screen desk phones with vivid color displays and iPhone-like user interfaces will be a crowd pleaser.

Additionally, businesses should opt for an IP PBX that supports a mobile app for both iOS and Android. Gen Z employees are likely to be using their smartphones more than their desk phones, especially as remote work begins to rise. These apps will provide users with access to their business extension, co-workers’ presence status, instant messaging, group chat, and more – all conveniently from their smartphone.

Constantly Searching for Purpose

Gen Z is consistently searching for a purpose, hoping that their work will make a difference. With that said, they will not accept less than ideal work conditions, feeling free to switch jobs as they see fit. Once they find a role with importance, they will likely stay with that employer.

Is that saying a Gen Z employee is not a long-term one? No, not necessarily; however, it is best to assume that these younger employees may search for a role with meaning. Face it, technology is expensive and can have a short life cycle, so investing in costly communication equipment for a potentially short-term employee can be difficult. Enter in Device-as-a-Service. These programs allow businesses to lease VoIP equipment at a low monthly cost, upgrading when new technologies come out and sending back unneeded phones when employees leave. By utilizing DaaS, businesses won’t be stuck extra phones or outdated technology if employees leave. Plus, businesses can please these Gen Zers by leasing the newest devices available.

Products Over Experiences

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z actually prioritizes owning a good product over having a good experience. Gen Z wants something that’s “cool” and will keep their 8-second attention span satisfied. Obviously, functionality is number one when choosing equipment for the office; however, it is smart to choose UC devices that have a sleek design and unusual feature set.

Also, find complementary products that offer something “extra.” Pair a Gen Z’s desktop phone with an external speakerphone. The speakerphone will provide itself useful when making calls and can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth for music streaming. A traditional headset may not have the “wow factor,” but many business headsets are now available, such as the Sennheiser MB660, that offer an extraordinary audio experience.


It’s best to consult with a VoIP expert when choosing the best VoIP equipment to fit the demographic profile of your customer base. The team at 888VoIP is thrilled to assist in guiding you to make the best purchases to fulfill the vast needs of your market. Contact an 888VoIP Channel Manager at 888-864-7786 for more information.

The post Preparing Workspaces for Gen Z: VoIP & the New Workforce appeared first on 888VoIP.


Read more »



Oct
3
Polycom DaaS: Benefits of Leasing VoIP Phones
Posted by Danielle Bucella on 03 October 2018 10:07 AM

Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a term that has been frequently appearing as of late. Due to its newfound popularity, the concept has piqued the interest of many ITSPs and rightfully so. DaaS allows Service Providers to offer VoIP hardware equipment as a per-user monthly rental, instead of solely offering the traditional up-front purchase. Both the ITSP and the customer can benefit immensely with DaaS. By utilizing the Polycom® DaaS program, ITSPs are able to lease out Polycom phones and, in turn, improve their bottom line.

Benefits to the ITSP

  1. Enhance Current OfferingsITSPs are already offering state-of-the-art Polycom products, but now it’s possible to offer a flexible, customizable, and ever-changing option. Polycom DaaS is a simple, a la carte program that will provide an ITSP’s customers with a great end-to-end Polycom experience and no ownership responsibility.
  2. Keep up with the changing marketThe expectations of IT are changing and customers expect products to be current. When an ITSP purchases a large number of phones to sell, these devices may sit in a warehouse unpurchased. In the end, these leftover units may be steeply discounted in order to be sold. With Polycom DaaS, ITSPs do not own the phones, so it’s possible to reduce extra inventory and offer the latest Polycom releases.
  3. No Ownership Responsibility: The third-party administrator, Data Sales, will take ownership of the equipment. The ITSP will not assume responsibility for the equipment.
  4. Improved Margins: With no upfront costs, the ITSP will be cash flow positive in month one. Plus, all margins are service margins, which have no negative impact.
  5. No changes to prices, rebates, and distributor relationship: DaaS is quite simple and an 888VoIP Account Manager can walk managed ITSPs through it. Simply put, the standard sales process remains the same, excepting for changing “bill to” to Data Sales.
  6. Include other services: ITSPs can include other costs into the customer’s monthly payment, such as provisioning and shipping.
  7. Marketing opportunities: Increase the competitive edge by pairing DaaS with other marketing opportunities, such as a free phone with service or complimentary entry-level phone.
  8. Close business faster: Improve the speed of closing business by eliminating too many handset choices.

Benefits to the Customer

  1. A monthly payment: Instead of having to make a big upfront purchase, customers are now paying monthly. End-customers will only be required to sign their normal monthly agreement with the ITSP.  The monthly payments will move the rental (purchase) from a capital expenditure to an operating expense.
  2. Quick scalabilityBy leasing, customers will only deploy the phones that they need. If employee count fluctuates, it is quick and easy to scale up or down the deployment.
  3. Phone replacementIf a phone fails, there is no need to worry. Polycom will replace any faulty phones for up to seven years.
  4. Refresh modelsPolycom has many devices available to lease, with new models periodically added. Customers will have the ability to access the latest and greatest from Polycom and will be able to refresh their hardware. Gone are the days of being “stuck” using costly, old, and outdated VoIP hardware.
  5. No leftover equipmentSince scalability is enabled with DaaS, extra equipment will not be sitting around. Once the contract is done or equipment is no longer needed, it is sent back. No more old devices collecting dust in closets and warehouses.
  6. Cancelation at any timeThe Polycom DaaS Program allows customers to cancel and return phones at any time with just 30-day notice.

Polycom DaaS Process

Polycom DaaS from 888VoIP

When partnering with 888VoIP, the Polycom DaaS process will be efficient and effortless. Just place your PO with 888VoIP for phones and the 7-year replacement plan. Next, simply request 88VoIP to “invoice Data Sales.”  888VoIP will ship your product and will also invoice Data Sales, the third-party administrator. Data Sales will pay 888VoIP and take ownership of the equipment. The ITSP will only need to worry about the monthly rental payment from Data Sales for as long as a phone is at a customer’s location.

Currently, the Polycom DaaS program is available for all VVX models, Trio conference phones, and IP5000/6000/7000. To get started and to learn more about Polycom DaaS, contact an 888VoIP Channel Account Manager at 888-864-7786.

The post Polycom DaaS: Benefits of Leasing VoIP Phones appeared first on 888VoIP.


Read more »



Sep
27
The WP820: Grandstream’s First Cordless WiFi IP Phone
Posted by Danielle Bucella on 27 September 2018 09:45 AM

Grandstream WP820 from 888VoIPMany environments demand that associates be able to roam free while making and receiving calls. For these businesses, the Grandstream WP820 will become the go-to option. Dual-band WiFi technology enables advanced roaming support, allowing users to walk and talk with no restrictions. Ideal for any office, warehouse, store, hotel, medical facility, or construction site, this portable wireless phone is designed for any user who requires mobility, durability, and an interruption-free voice solution.

Key Differentiators of the WP820

The portable, durable, and flexible WP820 comes equipped with integrated dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi support, as well as advanced antenna design and roaming support. Integrated Bluetooth allows users to sync Bluetooth headsets or mobile devices. The rechargeable battery ensures that users have more than enough talk time: 7.5 hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby time.

Grandstream WP820 Handset from 888VoIPOther features of the WP820 include:

  • Support of 2 lines & 2 SIP accounts
  • HD audio on the handset & speakerphone
  • Speakerphone with Acoustic Echo Chamber (AEC) and Noise Shield Technology
  • Built-in accelerometer, which measures the motion/vibration of the phone
  • Configurable button for push-to-talk, panic, and other functions
  • Micro USB port & 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Support of custom Android apps that fit the phone’s screen/keys
  • 2.4″ 240×320 TFT color LCD screen
  • 3 soft keys
  • HAC (hearing aid compatibility)

Integration with Grandstream Devices

The WP820 can be fully integrated with GWN access points (7600/7600LR/7610). By integrating your WP820 with your GWN Access Point, you will enable advanced routing support. Also, receive a higher QoS standard and streamline your network deployment by integrating these two series together.

Additionally, the WP820 can be integrated with GDS IP Door Systems, including the upcoming GDS3705 IP Audio Door Phone. For video integration, simply pair your WP820 with the GDS3710 HD Video Door System. Regardless of the GDS model, you can answer and receive calls from the GDS series on your WP820 and open any doors that are connected to the GDS series. Grandstream’s facility access solutions can integrate with many different Grandstream product lines, and the integration of the GDS3705/3710 with the WP820 brings that full circle.

Ideal Deployment Scenarios

The new Grandstream WiFi phone will function exceptionally in any environment where roaming is imperative. The list of ideal deployments is immense and includes large multi-level offices, warehouses, construction sites, hospitals, retail stores, and commercial spaces.

  • Multi-level offices: For regional offices and headquarters that span over many floors, the WP820 is optimal. It allows employees to continue their conversation even when traveling between levels and departments. Since the WP820 does not involve extensive wiring, it works seamlessly in modern open-office concepts.
  • Warehousing, Manufacturing & Construction: The WP820 works for any mobility-focused personnel on the work floor and on-site. Since responses are time-sensitive in these environments, it is critical to have a mobile device on hand The dual MIC design with AEC and Noise Shield Technology ensures that conversations can be heard in these noisy spaces. Durability is also built into the WP820, which is drop-safe from 1.2 meters.
  • Facility Security: The phone can be used in any secure facility such as a mall, public facility, event hall, hotel, school, and more. The device enables staff to remain mobile while still being fully connected. The push-to-talk, panic buttons, and a built-in accelerometer, plus the integration with the GDS3705/10, are a perfect fit for security-related roles and areas.
  • Medical Centers: Hospitals and medical facilities need mobility that has high-productivity supporting features. The WP820 supports 2 lines, which allows for a personal extension and organizational lines. Medical facilities will also benefit from built-in security features such as MD5 and Md5-sess based authentication, SRTP, TLS, and 802.1x media access control.
  • Retail Stores: The WP820 will enhance employees’ customer-service capabilities. For extremely busy environments where employees are not hands-free, pair a Bluetooth headset or utilizing the headset port. Two SIP accounts allow employees to support multiple customers at once. Even a single employee will be able to do more with great efficiency because of this device.

Next Steps

Your customers have been searching for a portable WiFi solution that allows their end users to roam free while they talk. And now there’s an innovative option available: the Grandstream WP820. It will allow for mobility in a variety of deployment scenarios through many verticals. Contact your 888VoIP Account Manager to learn more about the WP820, its features, and its integration abilities or purchase the solution now.

The post The WP820: Grandstream’s First Cordless WiFi IP Phone appeared first on 888VoIP.


Read more »



Sep
25
Officially Released: Yeastar Linkus UC App
Posted by Danielle Bucella on 25 September 2018 04:06 PM

Beta is officially over and now the new Linkus Unified Communications App is ready to roll. Yeastar has announced the official release of Linkus, which will add UC&C capabilities to its S-Series VoIP PBX and Cloud PBX. Linkus will be available on both Windows desktops and smartphones (iOS & Android). Business associates will now have access to presence, instant messaging, CRM integration, and other advanced call handling features that will further productivity. Over the course of the past two months, Yeastar has expertly designed and developed Linkus, ensuring it brings about improved call quality and reliability. The UI is simple and easy-to-use with its compact design, which will enrich interactions within and amongst workplaces.

Benefits & Features of Linkus

To put it simply: Linkus will improve your entire communications experience. With Linkus, you will be able to:

  • Bring Your Extension With You: By downloading Linkus, you can efficiently make and receive VoIP calls on your computer and mobile device. You can use your business extension and take advantage of all the office extension features. You will benefit from true “one number reach,” keeping your personal number private and giving you access to both the corporate directory and your personal contacts.
  • Manage & Control Calls: Linkus offers a variety of management and control features, including transfer, hold, mute, and record. The intuitive user interface (UI) also makes it easy to view missed calls, check call history, management voicemails, and access your recordings. Additionally, set up call forwarding rules and ring strategies easily in the settings on Linkus.
  • Collaboration: With the extension list, you will be provided with an overview of your corporate directory. The list will also display your colleague’s presence status (available, offline, away, on-a-call, DND, etc.). Need to chat with an associate that’s currently on a call? Initiate a chat with just a few clicks. You can also initiate a group chat. Seamlessly communicate with your CRM contacts (Google, Outlook) and enjoy call-popup and call journal on the Linkus Desktop Client.

A full feature set list is available by downloading the Linkus Datasheet.

With Linkus, real-time communication is now available and easy across multiple devices. You can bring your extension with you!

Get Linkus Today

Currently, you can get Linkus for Android, iPhone, and Windows with a macOS version coming soon! Click one of the corresponding icons to download today!

iPhoneAndroid

The post Officially Released: Yeastar Linkus UC App appeared first on 888VoIP.


Read more »



Sep
24
Why Should Service Providers Use Patton Cloud?
Posted by Danielle Bucella on 24 September 2018 04:17 PM

As a Service Provider, you want to ensure that you possess the proper tools and platforms to provide your customers with the best experience. Patton has released its revolutionary service, the Patton Cloud, that accelerates and aids SPs in making the transition to converged ALL-IP networking, IoT, and telephony services.

Traditionally, it has been challenging to efficiently deliver quality, security, manageability, and flexibility of these next-generation services, especially when trying to control costs. Many issues needed to be addressed at the edge of the subscriber’s network, while SIP trunks, UC, and UCaaS have provided their own technical challenges and headaches. Unfortunately, not all Service Providers have the bandwidth and capabilities to address the multitude of customer problems that may arise. How does one overcome these many challenges?

Patton has developed a cloud solution to do just that. The Patton Cloud has been designed to solve the complicated and taxing problems of customers while decreasing costs and improving profitability at the same time! Patton’s “Cloud-to-Edge” Service Plans provide you with a centralized interface that enables management, monitoring, security, alerting, troubleshoot, analyzing, and more! You can do all of this by leveraging a SmartNode that has been installed on the customer premise. By connecting a SmartNode to the Patton Cloud, you can receive pertinent insight as to what is happening with connectivity, networking, quality, and services. There are also views of device health, call loads, status, and more.

All of Patton Cloud’s capabilities can be performed remotely and in real-time, leveraging insightful diagnostics that are available at the edge (when using a SmartNode). Patton Cloud also will provide remote configuration, zero touch provisioning, monitoring, reporting, and the ability to deploy mass software upgrades. Use the Patton Cloud to control SmartNode devices for license and firmware management. Any SmartNode CPE that is powered by the Patton Cloud can be scaled, transformed, or re-purposed just by switching on new security and routing protocols, TDM channels, SIP sessions, or NFV/SD-WAN support. Network orchestration is now both efficient and cost-effective.

The Patton Cloud will integrate smoothly with your existing network-management system, processes, and workflows. Plus, it uses a Restful API so its services can be integrated with third-party clouds or OSS/BSS platforms.

Why Do Service Providers Need Patton Cloud?

By utilizing Patton Cloud, you will be simplifying edge services, hosted telephony, SIP trunking, security, and IoT cloud connectivity. Utilizing the cloud will make these services accessible, as well as easier to deploy and manage. This new service will deliver Multi-WAN & TDM survivability, hybrid TDM & SIP trunking, edge routing, security (TLS/SRTP, SIP firewall), NAT/DHCP, ALG/B2BUA, voice quality & QoS, and policy routing/traffic shaping.

Features & Benefits of Patton Cloud

  • Centralized Portal: One single portal that will allow SPs to provision, manage, monitor, secure, alert, troubleshoot, analyze AND optimize CPE devices, licenses, and value-added services
  • Simple Processes: With just a few clicks, you can automatically provision services, troubleshoot, manage, and upgrade devices
  • Protection: The service provides a secure and managed OTT service demarcation, delivering converged voice & data network protection
  • Profitability: Subscriber onboarding and delivery of support/SLA services are simplified. The platform also allows for the sale of additional licenses and new services.
  • Interoperable: SmartNode CPE devices are certified for use with leading Softswitch, PBX, and IP Phone brands.
  • Cost Savings: Low annual fee services levels with an array of FREE offerings

Which Patton Cloud Service Do I Need?

Your 888VoIP Channel Manager can help assess which Patton Cloud online service plan is best for you. View the basic details of each plan here:

Patton Cloud Plans from 888VoIP

Learn More about Patton Cloud

Right now, you can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of the Patton Cloud: Professional Edition. Click here to get your trial or contact your 888VoIP Account Manager at 888-864-7786 for more details.

Read the Press Release for additional details from the Patton team.

The post Why Should Service Providers Use Patton Cloud? appeared first on 888VoIP.


Read more »