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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.

 

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.

Why More Businesses Are Migrating to Cloud Services

When it comes to implementing voice and data solutions, businesses now have more choices – on-premises systems, public or private cloud, or a mix of both. For businesses struggling with procuring and maintaining their own servers and software, it may make more sense to rely on the cloud.

Public cloud solutions provide subscribers with pay-as-you-go information technology and voice services that originate from an off-site data center. The provider’s infrastructure is highly secure, properly equipped and professionally managed. Critical voice and data services are provided across internet protocol (IP) networks, such as broadband internet, or high-speed private data networks. Voice is treated as just another IP application so that data and voice share the same network connections.

High Availability

The off-site data center in the cloud becomes a “virtual” resource that can be accessed from any location and any device. Users simply log in with their web browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Remote users can view their personalized desktop and can use the applications and services as easily as they would back at the office. With every log in, “virtual” desktop and voice users automatically get the most updated versions of everything they need.

When a server goes down in the cloud, a redundant system immediately takes over. If a connection goes down, voice and data traffic are handed off to another connection. If there is a power outage, a generator or fuel cell array takes over. If a remote site loses its local connection, mobile devices can still connect via a wireless provider.

Operational Efficiency

Voice and IT cloud arrangements not only allow short-staffed businesses to minimize their equipment needs, they eliminate new hardware purchases, software upgrades and security patches too. Here’s what else to expect for your organization:

  • Fewer servers and less system hardware means less real estate, and lower power and cooling requirements.
  • Better management tools let you improve your server-to-admin personnel ratio.
  • Migrate and back up your virtual voice environment with no interruption in user service and recover quickly from unexpected outages.
  • Resources and personnel traditionally devoted to maintaining separate voice and IT systems and networks now can refocus on developing new apps and services that help grow the business.
  • Respond faster to market changes with dynamic resource management, server provisioning, and streamlined desktop and application deployment. Need to add a user? Just point and click.

Unprecedented Flexibility

Businesses now have the best of both worlds to choose from for all their voice and data needs. Those that require complete control or have unique custom requirements often go with on-premises systems.

Those that want advanced capabilities, but prefer them on a pay-as-you-go basis, will find the cloud a worthy alternative. Those with multiple office locations have the flexibility to use a mix of both on-premises systems and cloud services, and integrate all of their sites into a unified network.

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.

 

Privacy vs Security in the Cloud

Security vs PrivacyThe rising popularity of cloud in the last few years has also thrown up some uncomfortable questions, both for the service providers as well as users. The primary concern of cloud service providers as well as users has been privacy and security in the cloud. It would be an understatement to say that it was predicted in the early days of the cloud that it could be easily abused by any of the cybercriminals around the world.

Today, the growing cases of cloud hacks have just made those prophecies true. Things are not going to get any better in the coming years because popular services like Dropbox and Sendspace have been abused by many people to host their illegitimate payload.

The Need for Privacy

People nowadays are more concerned about data privacy and they do not want to see their personal data being scrutinized by government agencies or monetized by the cloud data providers. For instance, when we upload our files on cloud storage, we do not want the service providers to search each and every file. We want such a system where customer’s data would be completely encoded and incomprehensible to the service provider. The primary clash is between privacy and security – we want to have the cake as well as eat it!

The Additional Cost of Privacy

In order to put things in perspective we will take up a very popular scenario:  There is a service provider who wants to ensure that their service is not being used by perpetrators for hosting malware. Thus, the service provider would have to use solutions like sandbox testing, file scanning etc. in order to test all the files that were uploaded. The provider will have to incur extra costs for this but at the same time, users can complain about the breach in data privacy, which can pretty much spoil goodwill and reputation of the company.

Where to Encrypt

On the other hand, if the service provider opts for private storage where the encryption is carried out on user devices, no one at the service provider’s end will have any idea about the data being stored.  Now, such a service is highly vulnerable for being used for malicious purposes by cybercriminals. Thus, both the legitimate users as well as the illegitimate users will be shielded from any type of data scrutiny. Both the approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In such a precarious environment, service providers will have to strike a balance between data privacy and security and offer a solution that suits both their business model as well as security. Thus, no matter how hard a service provider tries a certain level of abuse will still remain and this can be termed as an inevitable cost which has to be incurred for doing business.

Your Options

What options does the user have? Well, I would have to reiterate that abuse cannot be completely stopped; however, precautions can be taken by both the users as well as their service providers.  Users will have to take up the responsibility of data security and they cannot shrug it off just because the vendor chose to do otherwise. Users will have to strategize and find solutions for the safekeeping of data on the cloud and this can’t be completely handed over to the cloud service providers. There are pros and cons of using cloud storage and related services – you are the best person to judge because there is no one better than you who knows the importance of security for your business.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, 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.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves 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.

Please 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