First American Business Enterprise

Cloud Update!

It has been 9 months since we launched our new Cloud offer and we are proud to announce that we have 3 major customer locations up and operational:  San Francisco, San Diego and Nashville.  The beauty of cloud is not only do we have office locations supported but we have individual remote workers throughout the country tapped into our Cloud solution.

First American Business handles turnkey implementation and on-going support including working with your existing carriers and suppliers. We support our Cloud clients 7×24 for complete offer solutions.

With our fully hosted Cloud SIP base phone service, First American Business provides phone service with over 200 features including unlimited long distances services.

One of our customers, Hello! Destination’s San Francisco office was up and running in a matter of weeks!   Their workers had a choice of hard phones or softphones or mobile phones.   No PBX hardware on-site and no unnecessary upgrades and maintenance.   We offer all of that in our geo redundant Cloud.   Working with our partner Ribbon Communications (and their Kandy engine), First American Business delivers full Unified Communications to our customers.

kandy

New Feature Update

Now our customers have access to an on-line portal for making changes on the fly.  No need to wait for a MAC request to be processed.

Features of the Portal:

  • Access voicemail and messages
  • Edit personal address book and add contact from corporate directory to favorites
  • Set up personal call routing rules
  • Configure voicemail, voice services, and conferencing settings
  • Reset passwords

Our Portal Page:

Portal Page

For ongoing day-to-day support, customers may contact First American Business through our centralized Operations team or go to our new Cloud Portal!

You may contact First American Business one of the following ways:

  1. Log into our new Cloud Web Portal
  2. Call (727) 565-0520, press 1 for technical support (Answered 24x7x365, a First American Business Resource will become engaged)
  3. E-mail support@firstamericanbusiness.com

We are here to support your business’ telecommunication needs!

Twilio Who?

Twilio is a cloud based service that enables powerful communication between mobile devices, applications, services, and systems throughout the business in order to bridge the gap between conventional (legacy) communications.

Twilio is a cloud communications platform as a service (CPaaS) company based in San Francisco, California. Twilio allows software developers to programmatically make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perform other communication functions using its web service APIs.

Products include:  Voice and Call Centers

One of Twilio’s promises is to rid businesses of the messy telecom hardware by providing a telephony infrastructure web service via a globally available cloud API, allowing web developers to use standard web languages to integrate phone calls, text messages and IP voice communications into their web, mobile and traditional phone applications.

The company generates over $650 million per year in annual revenue.

Who is Twilio’s biggest competitors?

Twilio’s biggest competitors are Cisco Systems, Avaya, Nexmo, Bandwidth and Plivo.

None of Twilio’s competitors currently compete directly with them across all of product offerings. Strong competitive differentiation derives from Twilio’s Super Network, its user-friendly interface, and its developer-centric self-service business model (Twilio’s self-serve pricing matrix is publicly available and allows for customers to receive automatic tiered discounts as their usage of Twilio’s products increases).

Twilio’s developer-centric self-service business model creates an organization that has huge mind-share vs. its competitors.

Within the cloud communications industry, customers and developers recognize Twilio as the leading “toolbox” for cloud-based communications with a multi-year industry lead. With around one million developers on its platform, it is quite far above its nearest competitor, Nexmo, which states that it has ~100K developers on its platform.

Interesting facts:

Twilio uses Amazon Web Services to host telephony infrastructure and provide connectivity between HTTP and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) through its APIs.

Twilio follows a set of architectural design principles to protect against unexpected outages, and received praise for staying online during the widespread Amazon Web Services outage in April 2011.

Twilio supports the development of open-source software and regularly makes contributions to the open-source community. Early on Twilio launched OpenVBX, an open-source product that lets business users configure phone numbers to receive and route phone calls.

Contact Center Example

Twilio has a fully-programmable contact center platform.

Every aspect of the Flex platform is customizable, from call routing to the color of your agent’s desktop UI.  With use ready-made programmable building blocks you can add, remove, or change to build a contact center.

The offer support multi channels.

Companies can integrate chat into their website using pre-built channel widgets. Add voice, video, and rich messaging using Twilio APIs.

It is also easy to add new channels, and optimize a contact center performance with native WFO tools.

Named user pricing – $150 / month

A user is charged a flat rate for each agent, supervisor, or administrator’s seat, regardless of traffic spikes or volume of activity.

New Lab

First American Business is excited to announce the launch of its new Lab in
Tampa Bay Florida in September 2019.

IT environments are getting more complex with the expansion of technology.   No place is that more evident than Telecom.   Contact Center environments are extremely integrated with multivendor technology from companies like, Avaya, Nice, and Verint.   Unified Communications with Voice, IM, Chat and Video continue to evolve.   Sometimes the root cause of an issue is difficult to detect especially when new releases are being deployed and the number of products in the environment continue to expand.   Many customers are looking for their IT suppliers to fully test telecom and certify products prior to their deployment on production servers.

The new First American Business Lab will add value to our customer base in these key areas:

  • Testing new releases and software loads prior to production deployment
  • Integration testing for adjunct systems
  • Root cause research
  • Staging of large scale switch configurations prior to deployment programs
  • Building hardware platforms in a controlled environment

Also available to our customer is the ability to “Rent” the facility.   Our customers can bring in their team of engineers to work side by side with our team to research and test integrations with multiple 3rd party products.

While continuing to expand and evolve our First American Business LAB contains a full complement of standard products including:

Avaya LAB product includes:

  • Avaya CM
  • Avaya IP Office Release 11
  • Aura Release 6.3 / 7 and 8
  • Avaya Elite Contact and AACC center platform loads
  • AAEP

Cisco LAB product includes

  • Cisco Call Manager
  • Cisco Switches & Routers

Nortel LAB product includes:

  • CS1000 release 7x
  • Call Pilot

Ribbon LAB products (coming soon) to include:

  • G5 Gateways
  • Application Servers
  • Kandy

Additional Solutions will be reviewed and added as needed

Network testing and the equipment that supports it have not traditionally been viewed as “strategic” by even the most savvy business and network operators.   That is changing with the constantly evolution of Unified Communications where testing equipment is a must.

Load testing devices and protocol simulation suites are increasingly script-driven and can thus be pre-loaded with various scenarios that can be run quickly and analyzed to help suggest solutions to problems in the live network. This won’t eliminate all outages, but will allow for more stability and better performance of the network.

Quality can be achieved through rigorous and continuous testing of the respective systems in a given ecosystem, which, in turn, will help in increasing customer satisfaction.

First American Business continues to evolve and look for ways to add value to our customers – our new LAB is a step in that continued evolution.

New Ticketing System

New Ticketing System

Open A Ticket!

Welcome to the First American Business new ticketing system!  During the past year, our back office team has been busy designing and streamlining their processes to be more efficient than ever.

To keep up with the growth in our Enterprise (First ABE) and Government solutions (First ABS) groups we felt it was important to modernize how we open, track and close customer tickets.

Our customers can call us, email us and very soon will be able to long into our custom portal to open a Service Request.   These requests can be Moves, Adds and Changes (MACS) or to report an outage.   In either case the new FABSTickingSystem.com will be the centralize location for recording and reporting requests.

If a customer opens a ticket, we immediately record the relevant information including the caller and company information.  More than likely the company information will be prepopulated as well as the caller information.   Our Engineering team will be alerted to the issue and begin trouble shooting.   When the engineer records status information while working an issue, an email will be auto generated to the caller to inform them of the status change.   In real time!

In addition to standard ticket tracking and reporting the new FAB Ticketing System has a billing and financial tracking component. An overall Accounting function is tied into the tickets we fulfil. If we have a subcontractor work a job, the new system will generate the work order to start the effort and when complete, it will be used to track invoices received. In turn we will invoice our end customer (per our contract terms) all within the new system as well.

Smartphones

 

77% of American adults own a smartphone.

(Source: Pew Research Center)

The US smartphone use in 2018 places Americans at #8 on the global scale.

People read almost half (49.1%) of all emails on mobile devices.

(Source: 2018 Marketing Benchmark Report IBM & Watson)

This is an average percentage because smartphone ownership statistics show significantly lower use of smartphones in certain parts of the world.

YouTube was America’s’ favorite mobile app in 2018.

(Source: Statista)

Smartphone usage statistics define Youtube as the most used app with 81.9%, followed by Facebook with 75.7%. Next in line are Google search, FB messenger, Google maps, Gmail, and Google Play.

Well over half of American households are now wireless when it comes to phone service.  Of the other households, most of those have both wireless phones and landlines.   There are only a few – approximately 5% – who have a landline only.

History of the Smartphone:  On October 13, 1983, Ameritech Mobile Communications became the first company to launch a 1G phone network in the US, starting with Chicago. On March 13, 1984, the 2 pound Motorola DynaTAC 8000x went on sale—for $3,995.

But the true smartphone revolution didn’t start until Macworld 2007, when Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone.  Previous phones relied on keypads and could only navigate a watered-down version of the internet. The iPhone’s large touchscreen could flip through websites just like a desktop computer, all while looking sleeker than anything consumers had ever seen before.

Smartphones

In 2018, there were around 1.56 billion smartphones sales worldwide.

(Source: Statista)

With the world’s population at over 7.691 billion, these smartphone numbers show approximately 20% of all people got a new smartphone last year.

There are 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world today (2019).

(Source: Statista)

Almost every third person worldwide owns a smartphone.

Over 50% of smartphone users are addicted to their phones.

(Source: TechJury)

Depending on how you define addicted this stat is a little scary.   But in any case smart phones have only been around in a big way since early 2000’s but it is clear that they are here to stay.

What is SIP Trunking?

What is SIP Trunking?

SIP trunking is provided by SIP providers, which are similar to traditional phone companies, except SIP providers give access to phone lines over the internet (and SIP service is significantly less expensive – sometimes as much as 75% less).

  • Costs less – Saves money on your business phone system
  • Scales easier – Makes it easy to scale your operation quickly

Many companies use VoIP within their phone system on the Local Area Network (LAN) to connect to IP phones.

SIP trunking also uses VoIP to take advantage of shared lines, such as a company’s internet connection, to allow more flexibility in communications.

SIP Trunking – How it Works

SIP (and SIP trunking) is the standard communications protocol for voice and video in a Unified Communications (UC) solution across a data network.

SIP Trunking eliminates the physical connection to a phone company. There is no hardware, wiring, or gateways to maintain for connection to the PSTN (phone service provider).

A SIP “trunk” is installed virtually over your business’s existing internet connection, therefore replacing the need for traditional analog phone lines.

Reducing multiple phone lines into a single point of entry has a huge impact to reduce charges for incoming lines and the IT cost associated with the maintenance of those lines.

Please note:  Many companies still need analog lines for things like fax machines and alarms.   In those cases gateways and dedicated PRI trunks will be needed.

Benefits of SIP Trunking

Cost Savings

Cost savings is probably the biggest advantage of SIP Trunking and they can be substantial. SIP trunking can:

  • Lower a company’s monthly phone bills
  • Reduce a company’s IT and maintenance fees
  • Remove constraints on the telecommunications technology

SIP trunking allows companies to only pay for the number of lines they need as opposed to getting locked into excess analog lines or partially-used T1s and PRIs. The savings are realized by purchasing only the necessary number of channels needed. This allows companies to make more efficient use of communications costs and reduce wasted resources.

Scalability

Because SIP trunking uses a virtual connection, adding lines or modifying service is relatively simple.

Speed

SIP trunking with VoIP allows a company telecom group to set up and expanded quickly.

Support costs

Less maintenance – Your IT group no longer had to maintain analog and IP infrastructure

SIP Trunking vs. PRI

Basically, PRI and SIP trunking are two different ways to “connect” your phone system to the outside world. On the most basic level, SIP Trunking uses your internet connection to make phone calls, while PRI uses a dedicated physical connection.

Pros – PRI:

  • Quality of Service is guaranteed
  • It works with older phones that aren’t compatible with VoIP

Pros – SIP

  • Usually more cost-effective for businesses
  • Scalability – quickly and easily modify  service
  • Connections are virtual, so no physical connection

Cons – PRI

  • Typically more expensive than SIP
  • Connections are physical and new lines have to be installed when your company grows
  • Require in-house IT staff to maintenance

Cons – SIP

  • Quality of Service is not guaranteed, as internet connections can introduce lag and delay if not configured correctly or there is insufficient bandwidth.
  • Does not work easily with older analog technology deployed at a business location

President’s Piece

10 Year Company Anniversary!

I am very happy to report that this May 2019 will be our 10th year in business.   It is with tremendous pride that I can say that the great people we have at First American Business, and those within our partner network, have made it possible for us to not only grow but to prosper in the very competitive telecom landscape.   We have had year after year of increasing sales due to our teams quality and reliable service to the customers we serve.

I want to thank our customers for their dedication and for trusting us to manage and evolve their networks.   We have many small and large customers but to us they are all important and we look forward to serving them as their businesses evolve and continue to grow.

president's piece

As we embark on the start of our second decade I see huge opportunities as we expand our portfolio to Cloud and other technologies.

Trade Shows

2019 has started much like prior years with our participation in various partner trade shows.  For the first half of the year we attended, or will soon be attending, the following amazing events:

  • Avaya Engage Users Group – Jan
  • Converge1 Sales Conference – Feb
  • Enterprise Connect conference – March
  • Ribbon Sales Conference – Apr
  • Alliance-IT Sales Conference – June

We had a booth at C1 and Avaya Engage and are active participants in the others.

Ticketing System

The launch of our newly designed First American Business Ticketing System!   This new ticking system will allow our customers to more easily open and track a ticket with us.   Internally it will allow us to update and report key metrics to allow improvements in our delivery.

Staff Expansion

At First American we continue to attract top talent.  I’m proud to announce the addition of another new full time Avaya Engineer on staff.

Team Retreat

Our second team retreat will be held this year in Clearwater Florida May 7th-May 9th. With a virtual structured business model many of our team members talk daily on the phone but never have a chance to meet their colleagues face to face. Last years team retreat was a huge success, we look forward to our second team session. The team retreat consists of team introductions, success stories, new opportunities, new business strategies and the state of the business plus a little team building exercise.

Thanks to you, our customers– we look forward to supporting you in 2019 and for the next 10 years!

Sincerely,

Mark

Owner, Managing Partner

mark.morningstar@firstamericanbusiness.com

FABCloudUC™ Hosted Voice

First American Business has an exciting new Voice and Contact Center cloud service!

  • FABCloudUC™delivers carrier-class cloud PBX and hosted business phone services with all the features organizations expect from a traditional phone system — plus unified communications. Services such as instant messaging, mobile apps, video conferencing and more.

Get Quote

  • FABCloudUC™takes all of the guesswork away by offering a cost- effective, pay-as-you-grow, service. It is a reliable service with all the features you expect carrier-class phone and UC system.  Innovations and updates are built in – you never have to worry about future updates – ever.   We do that.

The Value of FABCloudUC™
Traditional phone systems and PBXs are expensive to maintain and require a large capital investment to update or replace.

  • FABCloudUCremoves capital expenditures and long-term operating costs for hardware, maintenance and installation.
  • FABCloudUC does not require organizations to have dedicated systems engineers and support staff to keep their phone system up and running.
  • FABCloudUC’s pay-as-you-go pricing lets organizations pay for what they use and add more services when needed.
  • FABCloudUC can integrate with an organization’s existing phone system, helping protect their existing investments while layering on new services and features.

Key Benefits

Flexibility
Time – it’s you and your team’s most important resource. FABCloudUC™ is designed to make users more productive wherever they need to work. In the office, in a home office, a hotel room, an airport or a coffee shop, FABCloudUC™ keeps users connected.

Mobility
Imagine a unified communications solutions that allows one phone number to follow users wherever they go— accessible from their desk, their smartphone, their tablet, or on their laptop; from anywhere with an Internet connection. This is FABCloudUC™ – your mobile office.

Expandability
With traditional on-premises solutions, you often have to plan and pay for future growth long before you even need it. FABCloudUC™ lets you pay for what you need; adding, changing, moving users as needed. With FABCloudUC™ Cloud UC, there are no hidden one-time product or upgrade costs.

Why Choose First American Business Cloud?

  • Enterprise Level Security
  • Global Footprint
  • High Availability data center design
  • Disaster Recovery
  • SLAs
  • Flexible Support Options – choose the support tier you need!

First American Business Wins UCaaS “Hosted PBX Cloud” Deal

Organizations of all sizes are moving their business-critical applications, including Phone systems, to the cloud because of it flexibility and cost-effectiveness.  Customers are choosing First American Business!  First American Business takes all the worry out of offering cloud-based voice services.   We handle implementation and on-going support including working with your existing carriers and suppliers. We support our clients 7×24 for complete offer.   Here is only one of our many customers:

Hosted PBX Cloud

Hello Destination Management are “Meeting experts” charged with a myriad of responsibilities when planning meetings in far-away places. Ultimately, Hello provides outstanding experiences for their guests. At Hello! Destination Management, their purpose is to deliver outstanding guest experiences. “Outstanding” may be exciting, inspirational, educational or just serene. Their formula for success is simple; extraordinary people with local expertise and a passion for designing and delivering superior events. And they like to have fun along the way!

Hosted PBX Cloud

Offering a fully hosted SIP base phone service, First American Business provides Voice Plus level of support which includes phone service with over 200 features including unlimited long distances services.   Hello! Destination’s San Francisco office was up and running in a matter of weeks!   Their workers had a choice of hard phones or softphones or mobile phones – any option to meet their needs.   No pbx hardware on-site and no unnecessary upgrades and maintenance.   First American Business all of that in our geo redundant Cloud.   Working with our partner Ribbon Communications, First American Business delivers full Unified Communications to the employees and Hello! Destination Management.

5G is here (Almost)

It has been nearly a decade in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. Carriers started rolling out fixed 5G to select cities in 2018

5G, which stands for “fifth generation,” is an upcoming standard for mobile telecommunications service that promises to be significantly faster than today’s 4G technology. It will allow users to browse the internet, upload or download videos, and use data-intensive apps much more quickly than is possible now.

Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with each other wireless networks, will also drastically decrease.

5G technology

When it arrives, 5G technology will utilize a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum that allows data to be transferred much more rapidly than the lower-frequency bands today. The downside is that 5G wave signals don’t travel as far: The new 5G networks will require many more antennas spaced closer together than previous wireless generations.

Some industry analysts estimate there will be over 15 billion internet-connected devices by the year 2020, more than three times as many as there were in 2016. That figure include phones, tablets, computers – and the Internet of Things.

How much better?

According to Gizmodo, 5G networks will have the capacity for transfer speeds 10 times those of 4G networks.   But a lot is unknown right now so the speeds could be faster or slower.

One big reason for those discrepancies is that 5G hardware standards haven’t yet been agreed upon by the telecommunications industry. The carriers are still developing several versions of the technology.

When will it be available?

Most likely mid-2020. Both AT&T and Verizon have already begun testing their 5G technologies, but in very limited trials.  This is an upgrade that will require a big infrastructure deployment, plus new technology inside your phone, so it’s expected to be several years before 5G becomes widely available to consumers.

The five generations of mobile technology:

  • The first generation (1G) is the original cellular networks in the early 1990s.
  • The second generation (2G) began with text messaging being added.
  • The third generation (3G) added the ability to access the internet on mobile devices.
  • The fourth generation (4G) was mainly increased speed.

5G Uses:

Improved broadband

Carriers are running out of 4G LTE capacity in many major metropolitan areas. In some cities, users are already experiencing slowdowns during busy times of the day. 5G adds huge amounts of spectrum in bands that have not been used for commercial broadband traffic.

Autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are likely to rise at the same rate that 5G is deployed across the U.S. In the future, your vehicle will be able to communicate with other vehicles on the road, provide information to other cars about road conditions, and provide performance information to drivers and automakers.

Public safety and infrastructure

5G will allow cities and other municipalities to operate more efficiently. Utility companies will be able to track usage remotely, sensors can notify public works departments when drains flood or street lights go out.

Remote device control

Since 5G has remarkably low latency, remote control of heavy machinery will become a reality. While the primary aim is to reduce risk in hazardous environments, it will also allow technicians with specialized skills to control machinery from anywhere.

IoT – Internet of Things

One of the most exciting and crucial aspects of 5G is its effect on the Internet of Things. While we currently have sensors that can communicate with each other, they tend to require a lot of resources and are quickly depleting LTE data capacity.

With 5G speeds and low latencies, the IoT will be powered by communications among sensors and smart devices. Compared to current smart devices on the market, these newer devices will require fewer resources, since large numbers of devices can connect to a single base station, making them much more efficient.