First American Business Enterprise

E-MetroTel Telephony Solution – UCX

First American is a proud channel partner of E-MetroTel telephony solutions.   E-MetroTel, headquartered in Plano Texas, is a cost effective telephony and contact center solution targeted at the small and mid-enterprise market.

Here is where E-MetroTel excels:

  • Perfect for companies with up to 5,000 users.
  • Perfect for companies that have legacy systems like Nortel who what to save money by replacing the core but reuse the handsets.
  • Perfect for companies who want a traditional Appliance solution delivered and installed at their site; or
  • Perfect for companies who want to install the E-MetroTel Software on their own virtual servers; or
  • Perfect for companies who want a hosted “Cloud” solution where they pay for what they use on a subscription basis!

The E-MetroTel UCX is a cost-effective SIP Based Unified Communications solution that helps customers extend the life of their existing IP, Digital or Analog and add new open standard SIP devices. Employees become more productive and collaborative by using new UC capabilities – while leveraging the existing telephony investments and reducing ongoing maintenance cost.

UCX supports Analog, Digital and VoIP phones — in any combination.

UCX delivers the latest Unified Communication features such as integrated mobility, Home working, Call Recording, Meet-Me Conferencing including support for SIP compliant telephones and cost effective SIP trunks.

The Product Family of the E-MetroTel line is:

E-MetroTel Telephony Solution - UCX

The feature rich, E-MetroTel solutions includes:

Mobility Never miss another call. Ensure all calls find you based on rules you create, using features like scheduler, simultaneous ringing and privileged lists. Don’t want customers to know you’re working from home? Make and receive calls on your mobile device, with the appearance of using your office phone.
Conference Bridge  Host your own on-demand conference calls for both internal and external attendees, with all the features like conference recording and add or remove participants. It includes: Password-Protected Conference Bridges, Third-party dial-in through DID, Participant Management & Conference Recording.
IVR Interactive Voice Response offers several options to help ensure that your callers don’t get confused and trapped. Within each IVR, you can choose whether or not to allow your callers to dial an extension at any time. This is useful for creating different kinds of IVR experiences. Play a sound to the caller, then continue to the next action. This is for greetings, prompts, instructions, etc. Use the Sound Manager to record whatever sounds you want.
Call    Recording Record Calls on Demand or all calls. Complete set of call records that are easy to access, browse and export. Set up recording of every call made or received on an extension-by-extension basis. Also you can create a rule that dialing a particular sequence in the course of a call (such as *1) will result in the call being recorded.
Contact
Center 
Easy to configure and use yet highly effective contact center solution with advanced reporting. Minimize customer hold time by sending the caller to the agent that is properly trained to handle their query. Transfer callers who require specific handling in a certain area, such as technical support or sales, directly to agents. Keep the callers in queue if all agents are busy and provide choices to go to another group, supervisor or even have the system call them back.
Integrated Messaging Simple flexible voice messages users retrieve from their hard client, Softphone, portal or even via email. Leave you a Voicemail message that can be sent to you as a .wav file to your favorite email client.
Call Detail Reporting Complete set of call records that are easy to access, browse and export. A log of all calls made including: source number; destination number; call duration, date and time. Full graphic reporting included as standard.

UCX WebRTC Client

WebRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communications, and the technology is focused on embedding real-time communications, such as voice, directly within web browsers. The WebRTC client that’s built into every UCX system allows you to use a simple web-interface on a laptop, desktop, tablet or smart phone.

E-MetroTel Telephony Solution - UCX

If your company is looking for a new, feature rich, telephony product that is easy on your budget E-MetroTel likely has what you are looking for.

Toshiba Shuts Down Telecom Division

Interesting that Toshiba did not try to sell their Telecommunications division but simply decided to shut it down.   As the premise PBX market continues to shrink and as the Cloud telephony business ramps up, maybe there were just no buyers for the smaller players?

Founded in 1975, Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD) was a division of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS) – a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, TSD is a manufacturer of IP business telephone systems, designed for small to medium-sized businesses and larger enterprises with multiple locations. Its ‘Strata CIX IP’ business telephone systems and related applications are sold by a network of Authorized Toshiba Dealers throughout the United States and Latin America.

Dealers were informed via letter on March 21, 2017 that “Toshiba Corporation has deemed it necessary to wind-down its Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD) business starting immediately.” Toshiba has decided to shut down its Telecommunication System Division (TSD) and associated hosting platform services.

According to a memo from Brian Metherell, VP & GM of Toshiba America Information Systems, TSD:

“As part of its continuing global restructuring, Toshiba Corporate has deemed it necessary to wind-down our Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD) business starting immediately.

“Dealers can submit orders through May 22, 2017 subject to inventory availability and purchase order acceptance.”

Toshiba sales have been declining for some time and the company has become far less visible and innovative than many of its competitors. Toshiba made an excellent PBX that competed with small business systems from the likes of Panasonic, Mitel, and NEC.

Toshiba Canada also will be announcing the wind-down of its telecommunications business, and TSD will no longer be selling in Mexico.  TSD vowed to support dealers in all warranty and maintenance obligations to customers.

It is a surprise that a once dominate market continues to see contraction.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

The UCaaS market today is comprised of pure-plays, network operators, cable MSOs, ISPs, system integrators, and traditional premises-based vendors. With a multitude of options, things can be confusing for businesses trying to find the right provider and service to fit their needs,” said Diane Myers, senior research director of VoIP, UC, and IMS for IHS Markit and author of the fourth quarter 2016 Analyst Insight report. “Today, as our report and the data indicate, the leader is BroadSoft, comprising the larger share of installed base seats running over its platform.”

In November 2016, BroadSoft announced it surpassed 15 million cloud UC lines deployed globally, – an industry leading milestone three times greater than the next nearest competitor. At the same time, BroadSoft market share for new cloud UC line shipments is double that of the next closest competitor, a key trend as BroadSoft expects the market for new cloud PBX/unified communications will surpass on-premise PBX/UC equipment shipments by 2020.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

PBX Market Share

Check out how the things have changed in the Enterprise PBX landscape over the past 10 years.    In 2006 Avaya plus Nortel had 38% of the entire market.   Avaya, 10 years later, and after purchasing Nortel’s Enterprise group, is down to 17%!

Who is moving up?   Microsoft was not even on the 2006 chart… it now has 6%

Cisco, 10 years ago was only 15% and is now 35%

PBX Market Share

Now, 10 years later:

PBX Market Share

But this doesn’t tell the whole story.   Companies are now moving to the Cloud and UCaaS.   Check out our next Blog Post.

Who is playing in the Clouds?

Top Cloud Providers Generated $11 Billion on IaaS in 2015

The world’s top cloud providers made $11.2 billion in revenue selling raw compute and storage power as virtual services in 2015, according to a report by Structure Research. It forecasts that collectively this group will reach more than $120 billion in revenue in 2020, growing the market more than 10-fold in just five years.

Based on estimates from both Gartner and Structure Research a bigger and bigger piece of the IaaS cloud pie will be taken by the biggest players in the space.

Data Center Buildings

Aggressive cloud market growth forecasts are good news for the largest wholesale data center service providers, who have been unable to build data center space in key markets quickly enough to keep up with demand for capacity from the top cloud providers.

Who is Big Enough?

The report takes a narrow scope, focusing on pure Infrastructure-as-a-Service and looking at seven companies Structure Research considers to be raking in the most revenue from IaaS. This is revenue only… not profit which is harder to obtain.

The largest cloud provider by far is Amazon Web Services, which by Structure’s estimate made $7.88 billion in revenue from IaaS last year. The company currently holds just over 70 percent of the market.

Microsoft is a distant second with close to 11 percent of the market and $1.2 billion in IaaS revenue.

Rackspace, IBM Cloud, Chinese internet giant Alibaba’s cloud arm Aliyun, and Google Compute Engine follow (in that order):

cloud-market-picture

Source: Massive-Scale Cloud, April 30, 2016, Structure Research

Portions of this post are from:  BY YEVGENIY SVERDLIK ON JUNE 7, 2016

Genesys to Buy Interactive Intelligence

$1.4 Billion Deal.

Amy Thomson /Melissa Mittelman

August 31, 2016

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc., the maker of call-center software, has agreed to buy Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. in a deal valued at about $1.4 billion.

Genesys will pay Interactive Intelligence holders $60.50 a share in cash, the companies said in a statement Wednesday. That represents a 36 percent premium to Interactive Intelligence’s price on July 28, before media reported that the company was exploring strategic alternatives, the companies said. It’s 6.8 percent above Tuesday’s closing price.

The deal will give Daly City, California-based Genesys access to Interactive Intelligence’s cloud-based software, which is designed to help call centers improve the customer experience. In recent years, the old 1-800 model has been giving way to services that don’t simply provide support but also follow people as they browse the web, arming companies with data they can use to sell more products and services.

“Customer engagement is the hot topic,” Terry Tillman, a Raymond James analyst in Atlanta, said in a telephone interview. “Whether it’s interacting with your customers in self-service mode on a website or social media, or with the traditional call into a contact center, engaging with your customers and delighting them is as important as ever.”

Tillman also said that Interactive Intelligence’s ongoing shift to a “pure cloud” play could have been difficult if it remained public. By selling itself to Genesys, which is private, the company can sidestep Wall Street skepticism.

Genesys, which received a $900 million investment last month from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, is looking to use the recent infusion to expand its business, people familiar with the matter said this month. The company also is considering acquiring Avaya Inc.’s call centers, one of the people said at the time.

The deal, which is expected to close by year-end, is being funded through a combination of cash and debt financing, provided by Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada, the companies said in the statement. Those banks are also serving as financial advisers to Genesys. Union Square Advisors LLC advised Interactive Intelligence.

Infographic: Hosted PBX or On-Site?

The PBX debate, simplified.

It’s an encouraging sign of progression when a company moves to an IP-PBX (private branch exchange) business phone system. The big question it has to ask itself then is whether to host the PBX solution on its own premises or leave it in the hands of the service provider. There are strong arguments for either option; it’s generally a case of which one is best suited to a particular company.

Irish Telecom created the infographic below that compares on-site PBX and hosted PBX side by side using a variety of key criteria. If you are a manager who likes to have full control over every aspect of the business, and if you have an abundance of resources, hosting the solution yourself is usually the better choice. You can tailor the solution exactly the way you want it and expand it in accordance with your company’s growth. It is also cheaper to manage on-site PBX on an ongoing basis.

However, hosted PBX is more advisable if you’re in charge of a small business, or if the business is in a transitional period. Leaving it up to your service provider will clear one task off your shoulders and allow you to concentrate more on other aspects of managing the business. Also, the service provider will have access to resources that you wouldn’t, while setup costs for hosted PBX are much lower than if you managed the solution yourself.

Before making a decision, weigh up all the pros and cons of each option and apply those arguments to where your company is at. This infographic is intended to be a fair, objective comparison between on-site PBX and hosted PBX by making several clear distinctions between the two options. Take a look below.

 

Apple Reinvents Mobile UC

The new iOS 10 will allow VoIP services, including those from the UC vendors, to use the native dialing capabilities of the iPhone, spelling a new day for Mobile UC.

Giving developers access to Siri along with APIs to access key elements of the address book and dialer app will create a great opportunity for UC to finally start working smoothly on iOS devices. Users will be able to place the call themselves by clicking on an address book entry or ask Siri to “Call Jack on Skype” or just “Skype Jack.”

With these new APIs, developers will be able to create apps that will allow users to make and receive VoIP calls directly from the enhanced address book. With the new APIs, users of any VoIP app will be able to place calls directly through the address book rather than with a separate app, putting an end to the “separate app” dilemma that has left mobile UC as little more than a demo capability. Those calls will also be tracked in the phone app’s Recent and Favorites folders.

The process of receiving calls will improve as well. Today when you receive a call in a voice app like Skype or WhatsApp, you get a notification on the lock screen. With the new APIs, calls received in those apps will be able to get an alert like you see in the image to the right with the ability to answer with a swipe. The contact card is also enhanced and will remember which service you prefer to call each contact.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering, did make mention of the partnership announced last August between Apple and Cisco, talking about how calls to a Cisco user’s business number could now be handled the same way as calls to that user’s personal cell number. However, as these APIs are apparently open to all developers, it is unclear whether Apple has given Cisco any special advantage over other VoIP apps or any other UC solution, other than possibly a few months head start in development.

Apple will also include voicemail transcription.

As developments in the mobile device market have slowed to a crawl, the battle is clearly shifting to software, which has long been Apple’s forte.

For UC suppliers, opening key APIs in the dial app provides the first real possibility to deliver a mobile UC experience of which users may actually take advantage. With these new APIs, Apple has opened a whole new competition in mobile UC that will at long last give UC vendors the opportunity to integrate meaningful mobile capabilities into their products and develop some real product differentiation.

Session Manager Controls Calls

The Avaya Aura Session Manager is the core of Avaya’s SIP-based architecture, unifying all Avaya UC services. Aura Session Manager integrates with Avaya’s Aura Communication Manager, media gateways, messaging services, session border controller, conferencing, contact center and more, creating a centralized infrastructure that helps lower the total cost of ownership and administration costs.

Avaya’s Aura Session Manager has the unique ability to allow enterprise-wide dial plans across multiple vendor PBX environments. It can create system wide network routing rules to route calls in a cost-efficient manner using least-cost routing methods, alternative routing, time-of-day routing, toll avoidance and more.

Session Manager is truly an enterprise product, as it can support up to 250,000 SIP users, 350,000 SIP devices, 300,000 dial patterns, 1,000 SIP domains and many more. It supports connectivity to Cisco, Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent and other third-party PBXs, making it flexible and easy to integrate with existing infrastructure.

With a tolerance of up to 1,000-millisecond (ms) round-trip delay — from the source to the destination and back — it is suitable for almost any network environment, even satellite connections, which typically fluctuate between 600 to 900 ms round-trip delay.

Enterprise PBX Market Continues Slide Despite Improving Economic Conditions

Campbell, CALIFORNIA —Technology market research firm Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), reported in 2015 that the global enterprise telephony and unified communications (UC) market closed down 4 percent in 2014, to $8.7 billion, as businesses continue to hold off new purchases and upgrades of PBX equipment despite improving worldwide economic conditions.  The trend appears to continue thru all of 2015 as well.

The overall market decline masks the health of the evolving UC applications segment, which jumped 20 percent in 2014, energized by the demand for tools to increase workforce productivity.

The data comes from Infonetics’ fourth quarter 2014 (4Q14) and year-end Enterprise Unified Communications Voice Equipment market share, size and forecast report, which tracks PBX phone systems, voice over IP gateways, UC applications and IP phones.

“The enterprise telephony market continues to be tough. Just as we see one area begin to improve, it’s offset by slowdowns in geographies or market segments. Underscoring the declines are not only slowing businesses purchases but also competitive pricing, which has created unpredictable swings,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research, now part of IHS. “The move to the cloud is having an impact in certain markets, particularly North America.”
MORE ENTERPRISE TELEPHONY MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Globally, PBX revenue, including TDM (time-division multiplexing) and IP PBXs, dropped 6 percent in 2014
  • Vendors remain in a battle to gain customers and hold onto existing ones as enterprises migrate to IP and UC solutions: In 2014, the top four PBX revenue market share leaders were, in alphabetical order, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel and NEC
  • Microsoft continues to see strong sales on the UC front, solidifying its position atop the unified communications market share leaderboard