Business Phones That Help You Work Smarter

Our communication solutions offer flexible solutions, so you can build the communication system that is right for your business. Choose from Toshiba’s 5000-Series IP and Digital telephones.

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VoIP Phone And 2016

VoIP phone usage has been growing consistently since 2012. The growth rate has been around 7% every year. 2016 will be no different. That year will see the same growth in VoIP phone use. It is now a buyer’s market for IP-PBX. The market conditions are extremely favourable – low prices, large number of alternates, limited volatility in prices, and technological advances.

The market is highly competitive and is leading to mergers and acquisitions. Cisco, Avaya, NEC and Toshiba are the top four vendors for VoIP phones, services and accessories. By the end of 2015, VoIP services market will peak at some $75 billion.

The Adoption of Hosted Services

Companies are always looking to cut costs. That is not new. What is new is the companies today are ready to outsource a prime asset of the company – communication. Today, nearly 50% of companies of all sizes – small, medium and large – are selecting managed communication services over establishing their own in house. This augurs well for cloud based VoIP phone systems.

What About Homes?

Residential VoIP phone usage spend is expected to touch $377 billion by 2016. Around 25% of all US households have stopped using landlines. 60% of all people between the ages of 25 and 29 don’t have a landline. Inexpensive and reliable broadband, and improving connectivity as well as good voice quality is propelling this trend.

Advantages of Cloud Telephony

Before we get to that, let us foresee one important point – will cloud telephony completely kill in house IP-PBX? The answer is yes and no. Today the bulk of business IP telephony is supplied by premises-based solutions. Currently about 59% of the market is handled by in-house PBX. By 2016 end, this could change to 32%. Nearly 75% of respondents representing 100-999 employees have said they will stick with in-house systems. So all is not lost of premises based IP-PBX.

At the same time let us look at some of the advantages of cloud based systems:

1. Flexible, effective, and budget friendly.
2. Complete set of features including UC.
3. Easy to switch vendors.
4. Low upfront costs.
5. IoT as a disruptor. You cannot connect to 80 billion devices from your premises based IP-PBX.
6. Low costs for trying to switch from PSTN. Easy fallback.
7. Easy growth prospects.
8. Complete mobility solutions.
9. Pay only for capacity used.
10. Have access to enterprise scale exchanges without the cost of owning one.

2016 is going to be another exciting year for VoIP phone systems and other forms of IP based communication. PSTN is really dead. Mobile phones and VoIP are the primary forms of communication of the future. At least with the technologies we know and understand today.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

The Power of VOIP during Disaster Recovery

Businesses can be severely affected due to natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes etc. that not only damage the office space but also force the staff to relocate. The latest earthquake in Nepal is the biggest example of the veracity of nature and its disastrous implications on humans. Commercial buildings were completely destroyed and offices were buried under the rubble. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is an essential tool that can help you to maintain continuity in your business operations and a little planning would help you in disaster recovery while helping your staff to work from any location.

If you have implemented VoIP then you will be best placed to design a disaster recovery strategy as per your business and infrastructural needs. Contingency plans are often driven by budget and existing infrastructure; however, VoIP offers the appropriate flexibility needed to handle all types of disasters. You can choose to reroute your calls through the existing IP PBX or through the cloud.

There are several organizations that have IP-PBX installed at their offices for which they make significant investments on hardware, software and staff training for supporting in-house communication needs, remote offices and even the contact centers. During a disaster, if it is the office premises and staff that are affected and not the PBX server then it is easy to reroute the calls (though planning and testing) to the individual homes, remote offices and other sites unaffected by the disaster. Organizations that have already implemented teleworking or support the remote offices have an edge over the others because they have the requisite experience and capability of rerouting the calls to the alternate extensions, home phones and mobile phones.

For several organizations, their IP-PBX is the most critical point of failure and there are only a few companies that actually create and test their contingency plans. Seldom do they consider service interruption resulting out of enterprise communication system because of physical damage of equipment and cyberattacks. In order to maintain distributed hardware across multiple locations to handle huge call volume when one PBX server is down, organizations will have to invest a huge amount and this is possible only if the company is a big one.

There are several specialized telecommunication firms and service providers who are offering cloud based service as an alternative to IP-PBX. These service providers are known to set up virtual PBX mirror that functions just like the IP-PBX while performing all the call handling. Whenever the IP-PBX is offline, the cloud mirror starts up with just a few commands or a call to your cloud service provider. All the incoming calls would be instantly routed to the cloud mirror server and you will be able to handle all the calls without even worrying about the downed IP-PBX server. You will be charged for the setup and the monthly contingency feel till the time you keep using the service.

Opting for the cloud based VoIP solution is the best way to ensure continuity and help you during disaster recovery. However, you will have to have to keep in mind that cloud based solutions really do not provide all the features or flexibility that you would probably require to carry out all the business operations. Cloud PBX is not quite appropriate for the organizations that follow regularity reporting requirements like legal, medical and financial businesses.

You will have to weigh your options carefully before planning, creating and implementing disaster recovery strategies involving VoIP.


3 Reasons Why You Need a Business IP-PBX Phone System

Businesses are fast dumping their old PBX systems and are switching to the powerful IP-PBX system. The IP-PBX system facilitates the routing of calls over a dedicated IP network and the calls are transmitted in the form of data packets. This technology not only encapsulates the latest communication features but also facilitates robustness and scalability. Another great feature of IP-PBX system is that it can be easily connected with the PSTN lines with the help of the optional gateway. Thus, you will be able to upgrade your enterprise communication system to the most advanced data and voice network without making any changes to your existing infrastructure or operations.

Enterprises don’t need to disrupt their current external communication infrastructure and operations. With an IP-PBX deployed, an enterprise can even keep its regular telephone numbers. This way, the IP-PBX switches local calls over the data network inside the enterprise and allows all users to share the same external phone lines.

Constituents of an IP-PBX

The primary constituents of an IP PBX system are one or multiple SIP phones, a VOIP gateway (for connecting to the PSTN Lines) and an IP-PBX server. Just like a proxy server, IP-PBX server also functions in a similar manner. The SIP clients are either the desk phones or the soft phones that connect to the IP PBX server and request it to complete a call. The IP-PBX server maintains a directory of the users/phones along with their corresponding SIP addresses, which helps it connect the internal calls directly. In the event of an external call, it is routed via the VoIP service provider or VoIP gateway.

Here is a list of 3 compelling reasons why you need a business PBX phone system:

Easier to install, configure and manage

The IP-PBX system is nothing but an application that can easily leverage the processing power of a PC along with the user interface and the Windows features. Installation of an IP-PBX is extremely easy and people from the IT team of a company would need only a day to get the system up and running. However, if you are working with the legacy systems, you will need specialized technicians who are trained for the installation purpose only. Managing the IP-PBX system too is extremely hassle-free because it comes with an easy to use web-based GUI. You will be able to configure and maintain the system from the web GUI (Graphical User Interface). Thus fine tuning your IP-PBX system is super easy when you manage it from an easy-to-use interface.

Eliminate complex wiring and save money

By implementing the IP telephone system, you will be able to eliminate the complex wiring. This latest network based PBX system facilitates the connection of IP Phones directly to the computer port. Even the soft phones can be used without any kind of wiring. This not only frees up office space but also saves a lot of money that you would have spent on buying expensive telephone system and hardware.

Great scalability

It has been often observed that the proprietary systems fail to grow with the business and find it extremely difficult to cope with the growth. Addition of greater number of extensions or phones lines often needs more hardware equipment, which again is expensive. However, IP-PBX offers great scalability as it can grow with your business without any new investments. You can increase the number of phone lines or extensions with ease.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

Top Benefits of SIP Trunking

If you are utilizing a traditional telephone service provider, and you have analog CO (central office) lines or ISDN primary rate interface (PRI), you’re missing advanced features that are quickly becoming essential, and trunk bandwidth is not being used as efficiently as it could be. Our SIP channels come with unlimited local and long-distance calling.

Business-Grade Voice Quality
Calls on SIP trunks can have voice quality comparable to traditional phone company circuits. We recommend using a business-class router to ensure that voice traffic gets the network performance it needs for clear, two-way conversations.

Maximize Bandwidth
With SIP trunks, bandwidth is dynamically allocated between voice and data at any time. If there are lots of concurrent calls, the SIP trunk can apply more bandwidth for voice. And if nobody is talking on the phone, all bandwidth is available for data.

Reduce Monthly Costs
Only pay for the number of channels (or lines) you need. We also give you the flexibility of increasing or decreasing the numberCalling World-wide of lines at any given time to accomodate seasonal calling trends.  If your call volume is higher during certain months, we allow you to add more lines during these peak periods; then, reduce the number of lines during months with less call traffic. SIP Trunking gives you the flexibility to create efficiencies for your business, and save you money!

Improve Scalability
With ISDN trunks, if you only need 15 voice channels, you still have to pay for an entire 23 channel PRI. With Toshiba’s SIP Trunking I-VoIP Service, pay only for what you need, and choose from various calling plans with competitive low rates.

The Severity of PBX Hacking – How to Protect Yourself

Modern day businesses believe in maintaining the latest communication systems for their enterprise communications. Not only does it help to maintain a seamless communication both within the company as well as outside, it also enhances the prospects of beating the cut-throat competition in the market. The latest communication systems like VoIP and cloud telephony are known to provide a huge boost to the productivity of an organization and at the same time enhance the profit figures.

Of late there has been a lot of talk about cloud telephony or VoIP and how they are better than on-premise IP-PBX systems. PBX systems have been around for more than three decades. The technology used has moved from analog to digital, but the basic idea remains the same. It has always been the safest bet for companies that wanted to have complete control over their enterprise communication. However, recently it has been revealed that PBX has accounted for huge loses as they were wrongfully used by miscreants or hackers. The affected organizations had to pay up $4.4 million in extra telephone bills in the year 2013 as their PBX systems were hacked.

Now, this is a serious crime and looking at the colossal figures, one can only wonder why no one is taking note of it and formulating strategies to secure their PBX systems. Companies are busy with managing their business and not every organization has a dedicated IT team to take care of the security needs of their communication system. In such a scenario, businesses often end up paying hefty phone bills even when they have not made expensive calls.

How do companies get a handle on their vulnerable communication systems and stop hackers?

Prior to learning about the ways to stop hackers, we need to first understand what PBX hacking is all about.

PBX hacking is an illegal practice whereby an unauthorized individual can access the system by using means that include the voicemail, maintenance port of the PBX system and the direct inward system access or DISA feature of PBX systems. Hackers can even impersonate an employee of an organization and gain access to the system.

Some of the common methods used by hackers is using the auto-diallers for scanning a system that has modems and even infiltrating the system when passwords are left unchanged by users. It is very important that every user changes their passwords at regular intervals. It is also recommended that users create complex passwords by using alphanumeric combinations. It has often been observed that owners and users keep their default passwords unchanged – this can make your PBX system a sitting duck for hackers.

Some useful tips that can help you to keep PBX fraud at bay:

  • Monitor the calls made from your phone system and try to find out about the calls made after office hours. The majority of hackers prefer to hack and make calls after business hours as it helps them to operate without any worries.
  • If the official mailbox of the system is left unused then you should get it blocked or deleted. Even the unallocated mailboxes can be used by the hackers, so change the default pins.
  • Unused services should either be restricted or completely stopped as those can serve as easy entry points for hackers.
  • Calls made to international numbers should have restricted access.
  • You should ensure that all the default passwords for the system are changed after acquiring a system.
  • Keep a tab on the calls that are made from the PBX system of your office.
  • The physical location of your system should be secured.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

Small Business Communication Systems

The domain of small business communication systems is rapidly expanding because it is no longer limited to the traditional PSTN phones or PBX systems. It would be wrong to say that modern businesses have stopped using the PBX systems – there are many that still use digital PBX systems. Several organizations are switching to advanced, more cost effective small business communication systems that facilitate voice and video calls, data sharing, web conferencing, wireless and several other applications that run on one Internet Protocol or IP network.

The latest small business communication systems come loaded with amazing telephony features which you can leverage the power of the new technology to propel the growth of your business. In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of an IP (or VoIP) small business telephone system.

One interface for multiple applications:

Any of the latest small business communication systems that run on your secure network will facilitate the access to other applications. This might include voicemail, video conferencing, softphone and database queries, all of which have a common interface.

Collaboration on a real-time basis:

The latest small business communication systems facilitate real-time collaboration among your employees. This communication solution is not only cost effective but also much more powerful than the traditional phone system. Communication among your employees can be carried out easily, and you or your employees can communicate with suppliers, business partners, vendors or customers using voice, video, data and mobility applications.

Features that you need today and in the future:

The small business communications that are available in the market can meet not only the current business communication needs of your business but also any other future requirements. These business phone systems can grow and adapt to your changing business communication needs. The latest small business system can be loaded with features that you will need like intercom, paging, presence technology and automated attendant. Presence is one feature that helps you to determine which employees are available within the company for quick communication via web conference, phone call, video conference, IM chat and any other interaction. The phone system can also be integrated with several other useful business applications, which are used on a regular basis like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and calendar. Thus, you will be able to provide your employees with easy to use tools that take care of all their modern communication needs. Integration of useful business applications like CRM will help your customer support representatives with real-time data pertaining to the customers.

There are several reasons why a business should migrate to the latest small business communication system. Some of the most prominent reasons are:

Set monthly budget for communication – It is better to know beforehand the monthly expenses for using your business telephone system. This will help you to keep your budget and expenses in check and there are no chances of overspending.

No extra overhead for IT staff – Small businesses cannot afford to spend their money on maintaining a full-time IT team. The latest small business communication systems do not need any kind of complex management, so you can do with very few technical staff on-hand.

There are several other reasons for migrating to the latest small business communication systems, but it is the cost savings that drive the demand for such systems. Contact us for more information on the small business communication system that best meets your needs.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

Toshiba Releases UCedge!

One of the hindrances of using a business phone system is the wide variety of end devices you may need to use. For example, you will use an IP or Digital phone to make a call. At the same time, if you want to access a data file, you may need to use a computer. But what if all these can be combined to a single end device, and at the same time, give you mobility and flexibility? That is exactly what UCedge does.

Designed to work with VIPedge, IPEdge, and Strata CIX, UCedge has an application that you can download and install on your Windows or Mac laptop, any tablet and your Apple or Android smartphone. Once the application is installed, UCedge can federate multiple networks and give you access to all the features on the server.

For more details on the product release, click here.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.


Importance of VoIP Data Backup & Data Recovery

Floods, fire, earthquakes and hurricanes are natural disasters that no one can control. The only thing we can control is the potential damages. Businesses have often lost fortunes due to natural disasters that wreaked havoc on their operations. Not only do companies suffer from monetary damages but also lost data. Thus, data backup and data recovery are two of the most important factors that every modern business needs to consider.

Data Digitization and Data Storage Systems

Digitization of data storage has led to a revolution wherein we recognize digital data storage to be the safest way to archive and protect our data. Businesses around the world use digital storage in the form of PC hard disks, CD ROMs, DVDs, Flash drives and even server storage. Cloud storage is the newest technology being used by companies because of the data security, backup, and recovery facilities offered.

Data Backup and Recovery System

Data Backup Centre

Disaster recovery

At the time of a natural disaster, offices might be affected wherein even PCs, laptops, and other electronic equipment used to store data might get damaged. Thus, conventional forms of data storage might take a hit even when we feel that a hard drive is the safest place to store all the digital files. Cloud-based systems have emerged as the savior in such situations. Both data storage and data backup are being provided in a very secure environment.

Cloud-based data storage

Disaster Recovery is a very important task in the aftermath of a crisis. A business can be up and running only when it is able to recover all its important business data. Cloud-based storage is a great new way for storing vital information, and it uses cloud computing technology. Not only does a business need to store digital files, they also have to store telephony data. The majority of businesses are using VoIP services, so they have a whole lot of valuable customer data, emails and other information stored on their VoIP server.

Data recovery

Now, as all the data for VoIP is stored in the cloud, data backup is pretty easy. Recovering the data is equally as simple. Natural disasters are not the only culprit of data loss problems; human error can also lead to accidental deletion of data. To restore the old data after a system failure, there must be backup system in place.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the latest technology that uses cloud servers and is considered to be the safest. The data is spread over numerous locations, so whenever there is a failure in a particular location, data can be recovered from the other locations. Remote backup of data is possible when one uses cloud servers. The cloud-based servers are updated on a regular basis, so data security is confirmed from the service provider’s end.

VoIP service provider

The only thing that businesses have to keep in mind is to opt for the right VoIP service provider. When choosing a VoIP service provider, companies should never forget to ask for the storage and backup options. Always choose the one that suits the data storage needs of your company and its budget.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.