Mitel Support Q&A Regarding its Purchase of Toshiba

With Toshiba’s surprise exit from the telecom market, Mitel has stepped in, acquiring Toshiba Telecom’s assets and support obligations. The deal has been completed. To keep you informed on Mitel’s obligations, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Watch the video: Mitel VP Mike Conlon talks about the Toshiba acquisition

What you need to know now…

1. Who is Mitel?
Mitel is a global market leader in UC and collaboration solutions, serving more than 60 million business users in more than 100 countries. Mitel supports the communication needs of the smallest business to the largest enterprises – both in the cloud and on premises.

2. What exactly has Mitel acquired from Toshiba?
Mitel acquired certain assets, inventory, and support obligations from Toshiba’s unified communications business, specifically:

  • IPedge platform (premises-based IP PBX and IP phones)
  • Strata CIX communications platform (digital hybrid solution)
  • VIPedge platform (cloud version of IPedge)
  • Associated peripherals and applications

The transaction also includes an agreement to provide product and service continuity. To accomplish this, a number of key Toshiba sales, support, and R&D employees have joined Mitel to serve existing Toshiba customers and partners.

3. What changes should customers expect and when?
It is business as usual for Toshiba customers and partners. Continue to follow the same processes as before with respect to service, support, and fulfillment for Toshiba products.

Any changes to products, programs, or processes resulting from the acquisition will be communicated to you by PhoneAmerica well in advance.

4. Are my current contracts with Toshiba still valid?
Yes, contracts will remain valid. Mitel is now responsible for fulfilling all contracts immediately.

5. Will my warranties still be in effect?
Yes, and this includes the SUS (Software Upgrade and Support) plan. And Mitel is now accepting extended warranties.

6. Will any service quality/policies change?
No. Mitel is as committed as Toshiba in delivering quality products and services to its partners and customers. You can expect the same or better quality of support from Mitel.

7. Will Toshiba inventory levels remain the same?
Inventory levels fluctuate with all businesses; however, Mitel is confident it can ensure continuity of supply for the foreseeable future.

8. Will quotes I received on Toshiba solutions still be honored?
Yes, if they are backed by Toshiba or an accredited partner.

Going forward…

As a Toshiba customer, why should you consider staying with PhoneAmerica and Mitel for the long term?
Mitel is enabling Toshiba customers to not only extend the life of their products but also to make a graceful transition to next-generation technologies, with access to Mitel’s entire line of premises, hybrid, and cloud-based platforms and applications.

As a major global player in the unified communications and collaboration industry, Mitel is a well-established, stable business. The company has a strong vision, mission, and customer-first focus, and it is investing heavily in technology for the future with new products and technologies in the pipeline.

As you assess your next steps, we’re confident you’ll want to continue to work with PhoneAmerica. Our team has a proven reputation for high performance and decades of stability. Together, PhoneAmerica and Mitel will ensure your Toshiba system is supported now and in the future.

Please contact us today if you have any questions: (610) 296-2850 or creimel@phoneam.com.

 

Why SIP Trunks Are Becoming a Popular Phone Line Replacement

SIP Trunks are becoming a popular replacement for traditional phone lines because they offer cost savings, flexibility and features…

  • On top of unlimited nationwide calling – including Canada – you can save up to 40% on your monthly phone bill.
  • You can also transfer calls between your locations and/or enable advanced call routing features.
  • Automatic call failover to a mobile phone or other number if you experience a power outage or disruption.

More advantages…

  • Nationwide support for all your office locations.
  • Get local phone numbers for every office location and SIP supports centralized call handling for multiple sites.
  • Leverage your SIP bandwidth to eliminate the need for separate voice and data circuits.
  • Centralized billing for multi-location businesses.

Let PhoneAmerica show you a better way to connect your business and lower your phone bills with SIP Trunks. We’ll tally the projected savings and manage the implementation details for you. Contact us today at (610) 296-2850.

 

Can VoIP Work for Your Company?

VoIP phone systems are going main stream among businesses of all types and sizes, and are on track to replace the traditional PBX. The reasons are clear: in addition to cost savings, VoIP phone systems offer powerful capabilities that improve productivity, efficiency and management to help businesses become more responsive and competitive.

VoIP systems send voice calls over data networks using the Internet Protocol (IP) – the same technology that moves text and images around the Internet. These phone systems convert voice conversations into data, which is compressed and organized into packets, then prioritized for routing over the network. The packets are sent over data networks until they reach their destination, where they are arranged into their original sequence, decompressed and turned back into voice for the recipient.

Why Change?

As many businesses have discovered, VoIP solutions not only slash local and long distance bills, they also provide far greater functionality. All communications – voice messages, faxes and e-mails – may be stored in a universal mailbox that can be accessed anytime from a phone or PC. Remote telephone access can be used to play back voice messages and reroute fax and email messages to any person anywhere. Users can even have email messages read to them using text-to-speech technology.

If you manage a PBX phone system, you may have grown weary of the expense and hassle of relying on a vendor to take care of common moves, adds, and changes. VoIP phone systems make it easy and economical to move people around. It’s often as easy as plugging the phone into a wall jack at another location. The move is recognized by the VoIP system automatically.

Many businesses find it difficult to access the information their phone systems generate. With a click of the mouse, you can access the VoIP system’s browser-based management reports. Call detail records are saved in a single database, enabling information at any location to be easily and conveniently gathered. In addition to being able to track calls and improve customer service, this kind of reporting can help you quantify the cost savings of the VoIP phone system.

Your business is a good candidate for a VoIP solution if it currently has separate voice and data networks, as well as separate personnel and budgets for maintaining these services.

If your business seeks simplicity and ease of use to increase productivity and contain costs, or if it incurs extra expense when integrating new office employees, remote staff, or teleworkers into the current phone system, a VoIP solution makes all this fairly easy to handle through a web browser.

If your business wants to become more competitive by better managing calls and capturing every opportunity when the phones ring, a VoIP solution offers essential features such as voice mail, auto attendant and automatic call distribution with intelligent routing. With easy access to management information, you can measure personnel performance, customer satisfaction, spending, and return on investment.

Getting it Right

It is important to make the right decision when evaluating VoIP solutions. You’ve been using tried-and-true features with your current telephone system, so ensure that the new system will continue to support what you need. Make sure the VoIP solution you select can do it all now, or can be upgraded in the future when you grow and need important new capabilities.

Determine how the new system would transform work in your company. Is there support for real-time collaboration, presence, plug-and-work for remote employees, and multimedia communications? How can these capabilities improve how your business operates?

Also look for location transparency, integration with mobile devices, and visual access to call handling features.

After you have researched and narrowed down the number of vendors, schedule a demonstration and meet the people you will be partnering with for the life of your new system. If the performance of the VoIP solution meets your expectations and the price is right, you’re now ready to negotiate a timetable for the VoIP deployment – Cloud, Premises, or Hybrid – that best supports your organization’s requirements.

Let PhoneAmerica step you through the VoIP deployment options, recommend the best approach for your business model, map projected savings, and manage the roll out for you.  Contact us today at (610) 296-2850.

 

It’s Your Call… Cloud, Premises or Hybrid

Phone systems have traditionally been deployed at a company location, but today the popularity of the cloud makes it a compelling choice.  Many multi-site businesses have chosen a combination of both – a hybrid deployment consisting of a premises system at headquarters and the cloud for branch offices and home workers. Voice over IP (VoIP) enables all sites to be interconnected, providing a simplified dialing plan and consistent feature set across all locations under central management.

Premises

There are sound reasons why premises phone systems are still favored by many businesses…

  • Control Companies that have a long history of buying and managing their own IT systems may like the control that comes with running technology in-house. For them, a premises voice solution might make the most sense.
  • Functionality If a business needs customized voice features, requires integration with other applications, or wants advanced contact center capabilities, a premises solution might deliver more flexibility.
  • Compliance requirements If an organization is under pressure to achieve uninterrupted communications to satisfy customers, or is under a strict regulatory requirement to do so, a premises system may be the best fit.
  • Expense strategy If a company prefers to make capital investments for infrastructure and depreciate the costs over time, a premises voice solution can be the most advantageous over the long haul.

Cloud

The cloud can be a good fit for small to mid-sized businesses or an enterprise that needs to connect smaller, remote offices…

  • Predictable costs Cloud voice solutions eliminate the need for an upfront investment in hardware. Costs become an operational expense and are predictable because they are based on the number of users.
  • Rapid deployment IT staff is not needed to buy, install and configure systems, servers and storage. A company orders only what it needs now without having to overbuy to accommodate uncertain future demand.
  • Simplicity With voice-as-a-service, maintenance and support are simplified, and upgrades are automatic. When users pick up the phone, they have the latest version of system hardware and software.
  • Pay as you go Whether a business is growing or needs to scale down quickly, a cloud service can easily adapt to changing needs. Peak demand can be instantly accommodated for functions like conferencing or for temporary seasonal growth, then scaled back as needs change.

Hybrid

Today businesses have the flexibility of deploying a voice communications system either on location or hosted in the cloud – or combining both as a hybrid solution to exploit the best of both worlds. Whatever the choice, VoIP networking makes it all possible and manageable.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the solution that’s right for your business. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at sales@phoneam.com or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.

Some Tips That Will Ease Your Migration to the Cloud

The Cloud makes it easy to manage Voice and IT and expand your operations quickly, smoothly, and with click-of-the-mouse ease. But moving applications and workloads to the Cloud requires a well thought out plan to avoid unnecessary complexity, cost, and risk. Follow these tips to make your migration to the Cloud easier…

  1. Incremental Adoption – Moving to the Cloud need not be an “all or nothing” proposition. You may find that your Voice and IT systems and applications are best supported in a hybrid arrangement of Cloud and on-premises deployments.
  2. Business Continuity – Make sure your mission critical apps will reside in Cloud facilities that have faster performance, more reliable disaster recovery, and higher security than your own.
  3. Shared Obligations – Make sure the Cloud provider understands your obligations as well as its own obligations. Clarify whether you are signing on for ad hoc or complete, end-to-end support.
  4. Regulatory Compliance – Find a Cloud provider that can assist with measurement and reporting of metrics that apply to your business, such as HIPAA, PCI, SOC, ISO, and HITRUST.
  5. Team Skills – Moving to the Cloud doesn’t mean you can get along without technical expertise. Either your in-house IT team or your technology partner needs to be part of the migration process so they can help maintain the service levels your users and customers expect.

With a successful Cloud migration, you’ll have more time to pursue strategic initiatives that really have a big impact on your business, and you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that your Voice and IT are covered by experts you can trust.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the Cloud solution that’s right for your business and manage the entire deployment for you. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at sales@phoneam.com or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.

What is 5G, and Why Should You Care?

You may have heard some buzz lately about 5G network capability. As technologies like virtual reality systems and home automation devices continue to become more innovative and advanced, we will require a new way for mobile devices to get online. That’s where 5G networks come in. As the next mobile network standard, 5G will provide users with faster network access and more robust coverage areas, providing a more seamless experience for mobile device users.

Though this may be exciting for consumers who can’t wait to get their hands on the latest gadgets or integrate their mobile devices into every part of their daily life, what about business owners? 5G network capability also has some exciting implications for businesses in a variety of industries. In this post, we’ll talk a little bit more about what 5G is and why businesses should be excited for the future of mobile.

What is 5G?

5G networks are expected to change the way we connect our devices to one another and the internet. Though 5G will not be available to consumers until 2020, many are excited about what this could mean for mobile capabilities. 5G will make it easier for users to connect and integrate everything from kitchen appliances to vehicles to medical devices, allowing for new advancements in the Internet of Things.

Not to mention, 5G networks are said to have speeds up to 100x faster than our current networks. This means that users can access, view, and share large amounts of data in a matter of moments. Though 5G network capabilities are still a few years away, this advancement in connectivity is expected to be a real game-changer for mobile.

How 5G Can Transform Business

Though 5G certainly has clear implications for the average consumer, you may be wondering, how can 5G benefit business? The introduction of 5G networks in 2020 will create huge opportunities for brands across a variety of industries. Mobile and wireless connections are critical to the way that modern companies function, and 5G networks will expand business capabilities by increasing the speed, capacity, and connectivity of mobile devices.

But don’t take our work for it. A report by Forbes Insights found that many global business leaders worry that their needs are outpacing what existing networks can provide. In fact, more than one-third of all executives that participated in the survey reported that their current systems are already unable to support the evolving needs of their business. More than 80% of executives surveyed believe that 5G technologies will have positive effects on many aspects of their business including customer experience, employee productivity, and the quality of their product or service.

Now that you know more about how 5G will impact business, you can start to prepare for the future and get the most out of these mobile capabilities. If you want to learn more about the latest trends and news in the telecom industry, visit our blog here.

Top 2017 Telecom Trends (And What They Mean for Your Business)

As 2017 approaches, now is the time to consider what is ahead for the telecom industry. Understanding predicted trends and what they may mean for your business can help you better anticipate important changes or shifts in the industry. By staying ahead of the curve, you can work to adopt new technologies and find the right telecom services for your business to promote growth and success in the new year. 

Telecom Trends for 2017

Though there is no way to say for sure what 2017 will bring, we can work to predict telecommunications industry trends in the year to come. Here are just a few of the telecom trends that may impact your business in 2017:

5G development will increase.

In the new year, 5G development is set to continue and even increase as the telecom industry starts laying the groundwork for 5G networks. Many telecom companies across the globe have already developed 5G architecture, and many more are working to do the same. In addition, there will also be continued interest in 5G development from other industries such as transportation and energy as more and more industries are starting to see the potential that 5G has to transform the way they deliver services and goods.

Many of the companies that have already started developing 5G architecture are now aiming to start field testing in 2017. This means that the new year may provide one of the first opportunities for commercial offerings during widespread 5G trials.

Mobile connectivity will continue to outpace hardline connectivity.

Even when landline connectivity is an option, more people globally will opt for mobile connectivity. This is because mobile is often more useful, less expensive, and more convenient than hardline connectivity.

As we move into 2017, this trend will continue with more people opting for mobile. Businesses that want to remain competitive in the global marketplace will need to consider the implications of this trend. As more consumers worldwide move toward mobile, businesses will need to respond with more mobile-friendly (or even mobile-first) communications. This not only impacts direct communication but also marketing and advertising techniques.

There will be more holistic network security.

In 2016, there were many data breaches and network compromises that made it clear that network operators need to start protecting more than just the data transfers. In later 2016, more network operators started introducing business-wide encryption as they realized that their software-defined infrastructure is as vulnerable to attacks as the data transferred over their systems.

In 2017, we will start to see more holistic network security. This is important in light of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Network operators need to deploy their GDPR solutions by early 2018 to ensure compliance.

Now that you know what you might expect from the telecommunications industry in 2017, it is time to start planning for the new year. If you need help deciding which telecommunications products and services are right for you, we would love to help. Contact us today for more information about how your business may be impacted by these telecom trends.

4 Steps To An Enterprise Phone System

When it comes to purchasing an enterprise phone system, one must look into a number of factors to make sure that the system that is purchased is, after all, worth its cost, and that your investment does not go south.

One must remember that there are a number of systems that come up with value-added features. This has a two-sided effect. While on one hand, this offers a lot of options to the customer, on the other, this may leave them confused. In the process, they may either end up purchasing a system that is too expensive and not needed or something that falls short of expectations. Hence, it is imperative that factors that need to be looked into are understood and handled well.

Is The Enterprise Phone System Scalable?

Scalability is one of the most important factors that needs to be considered when purchasing an enterprise phone system. Does the system give the option of adding or removing users as and when needed? For instance, when businesses shrink, the number of users might become less, while, when it grows, there is a need to add more. One needs to make sure that the enterprise phone system is open to this changing business scenario and can adapt to it accordingly.

Is It VoIP-based?

Also, one needs to make sure that the phone is VoIP technology-based. Business VoIP phone systems are all abuzz these days. These devices come with strong value-added features and are also much less expensive than their analog counterparts. Analog technology is gradually becoming obsolete and the VoIP-based technology is the face of new communication. It is thus imperative to make sure an enterprise phone system is purely based on VoIP technology before cutting the check.

Is The System Premise-based or Hosted?

Once you have decided to opt for a VoIP-based system, you need to decide whether it should be premise-based or hosted. In the case of a hosted VoIP service, one just has to plug in the VoIP phone into the Internet and that will be it! The service will be taken over and managed by a 3rd party service provider.

However, for a premise-based device, things are a bit different. In order to operate a premise- based device, one needs to have an IP-PBX or an IP-Private Branch Exchange along with VoIP phones. An IP-PBX box can be expensive unless your requirements are different, unique, and can offset the cost.

How Costly Is The Equipment?

The next step involves determining how costly the equipment is. This is applicable not just for regular phones but also for the IP-PBX phones. In the case of the hosted VoIP route, your computers can double up as end devices. If you make a lot of calls, as well as long calls, an IP capable phone is a better option.

Though there are other factors that need to be taken into account, one needs to keep in mind these four basic features to look into, one by one, before procuring an enterprise phone system.

Reliable Enterprise Phone System Through PhoneAM

At Phone America, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP based Phone System. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

Phone America Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecom systems for small and large businesses. We serve as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, contact center solutions, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE.

Small Business VoIP – 7 Success Points

More and more businesses today are shifting towards small business VoIP based telecommunication systems, replacing their age-old traditional PBX-based telephones. Frankly speaking, VoIP is one of the greatest things that have happened in the world of telecommunication.

This new communication technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with people and at hardly any cost. When we talk about the propensity of modern small businesses VoIP, there are several reasons behind it. Here are 7 of them.

(1) Business Continuity With Small Business VoIP

Small Business VoIP based telecommunication systems enable business activities to be carried out continuously without any stop, if needed, even 24×7. In case there is any external influence that can interrupt the business such as a natural calamity, fire, or other mishaps, all the call data as well as information can be stored safely. However, one thing that needs to be taken into account is that the devices need to be safeguarded. In other words, the telephones need to remain functional. If so, the incoming calls can be transferred to an alternative safe device such as a mobile number. This makes sure that the business activities run unaffected even in an emergency.

(2) Flexible Hours From Remote Locations

The concept of working from remote places or places away from the office like home and other locations is gaining momentum and this can be attributed to the growth of small business VoIP based communication systems. VoIP will allow the employees to handle virtual phone numbers from anywhere in the world, regardless of the time of day or night. This offers a tremendous flexibility of working from places of their choice.

(3) Scalability Benefits

Every healthy business grows with time. Small business VoIP-based technology functions on a peer-to-peer basis. That means it is possible to quickly add to the scale or magnitude of operations, by scaling up the infrastructure as per the requirements of the business. Even if a business shifts locations, it is fairly easy to take down the system from one address and set it up at another.

(4) Capital Saving

When it comes to taking or making internal or peer to peer calls, small business VoIP based systems cut the price by more than half, making sure these calls do not become detrimental to the business and turning the communication system ineffective. This means, all the internal calls, like calls from one floor of an office complex to another, can be made at no cost thus saving costs for the businesses.

(5) Superior Audio Quality

Small business VoIP systems use more bandwidth in comparison with the traditional telephone-based communication systems. This ensures that the VoIP based communication delivers a much better quality audio, which is called HD or High Definition telephony. In fact, VoIP provides much clearer as well as crisper quality of sound, resulting in better customer satisfaction.

(6) Easy to Upgrade

When there is a need to upgrade, there is simply no need to incur any capital expenses. The users will be able to incorporate the same existing VoIP system that is hosted in the cloud to receive the upgrades.

(7) Conferencing Options

Small business VoIP comes with a wide range of collaborative features, which allow the businesses to hold conferences with clients or employees without having to have them all in the same location. The conferences can be held with the participants in different locations and for an unlimited period of time at no extra cost. This helps businesses to communicate with various business units, business associates, stakeholders and clients who might be scattered in various locations all over the world.

Reliable Small Business VoIP Through PhoneAM

At Phone America, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

Phone America Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecom systems for small and large businesses. We serve as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE.

Business Phones and Mobile Networks

The use of the Internet for business phones is quite accepted and common. It is slowly gaining acceptance across all businesses. Though pioneered by large companies that saw an immediate cut in expenditures, small and medium businesses have now latched on and are using it to increase their business. Business phones are going to a face a huge competition in terms of Internet of Things.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a system where the computing devices are interrelated with unique identifiers. Data can be transferred through them without the requirement of human to computer or human to human interaction. The end device in an IoT network can be a farm animal that has a biochip installed in it, a person with an implanted heart monitor, or even an automobile that has built in sensors in it. The thing will become a ‘thing’ in IoT when an IP address is assigned to it.

As IoT gains usage, there will be innovative ideas for providing services to different spheres of businesses in addition to business phones. The commercial models, that are emerging from IoT promise to make exponential growth in the mobile network. There will be innovation in efficiency of networks, service delivery, and other factors.

IoT will change the system in the sense that mobile phones will not primarily be used for communication. As the use cases will be varied, they will pose a challenge to the networks to make their system more efficient, agile and automated.

Starting Point

With IoT in full operation, this world will be better connected and networks have to decide their role in it. Obviously their operating framework and position in the market will be the key players. The carriers will need to focus on the network developers, service enablers and service creators.

The main focus will be on the core connectivity of the system where service level of the networks must be managed efficiently. The service enablers will create such platforms on which new services can be created. And, of course, the responsibility of the service creators will be to control the entire connectivity and the system. Mobile networks will be the core point in all these.

Networks Evolution & Business Phones

As already mentioned, just like mobile business phones are cases for broadband, there will be numerous cases for IoT. Obviously cellular will be an attractive operating base for it, as cellular is licensed spectrum in contrast to LPWAN that is an unlicensed spectrum.

To support these change it is necessary that developments are sought after in Mobile networks too. Nobody knows which case will be chosen by which industry for their communication when IoT becomes prevalent in almost every industry. The main focus of cellular technology has been on human to machine consumption. With IoT use cases, this will change and it will require fresh performance in terms of everything – cost, security, capacity, latency, reliability, uptime, etc.

Presently in the US, assuming every human being is a using a cellular device, we have some 320 million mobile connections. Add some 250 more of existing IoT devices. These numbers will pale into oblivion when some billion or more devices get connected in the next few years. Image ten or more devices for every human being, and we are talking in the range of 3-4 billion devices being connected. At least half of these will be connected through mobile networks.

With time, there will be multiple layers of technology. The challenge that has to be met by the networks is to meet this technological advancement

The Networks Evolution

Presently, the networks are evolving from GSM to LTE. The gap between them is covered by 3GPP – REL 1. With EC-GSM, it will be possible to support cases that have deep indoor coverage and also long battery life. These will be typically useful in smart buildings, smart meters and agricultural sector where small amount of data will be transferred to the network. For dealing with bigger amount of data there will be LTE-M.

With IoT, the mobile network providers are also keen to develop their system and be a part of this revolution. By 2020 5G spectrum will be there to support all these devices that will be operating on IoT technology.

About PhoneAM

At Phone America, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

Phone America Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecom systems for small and large businesses. We serve as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE.