How Does Checking Work Email Affect Your Business Efficiency?

During the Cisco Live Empowered Women’s Network session Sunday afternoon, we had a round table discussion about work/life balance—specifically, how often we check work email and how hard it is to unplug. It’s difficult to improve business efficiency when our focus is all over the place. Our session moderator and Cisco Executive, Kim Majerus, posed the question, “How do you unplug?” As we went around the table I was amazed at how many of the women I was seated with just don’t unplug from email. Ever. They check work email all the time. Taking a Break … to Improve Business
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Call Analytics for the Modern Era

Today I did a demo for a potential customer who is using a competitor’s product.  As we discussed their needs, it became easy to see they really knew what they were looking for in a new system; they need call analytics for the modern era. Out with the Old The folks I talked with were tired of antiquated call analytics systems. They were looking for new ways to complete tasks. The key features they wanted were: Directory They loved the idea of being able to put the company directory on the intranet so everyone could access it. Instant Access to
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I Bought a Truck and Learned a Lesson About Business Intelligence Analytics

Sometimes things happen in life that allow my business world and personal world to collide. Recently I was asked by my neighborhood Boy Scout Troop to be the Scoutmaster. I have been a lifelong supporter of the ideals and values that Scouting teaches boys and I am an Eagle Scout. I also have always wanted to get a big truck, and saw this as a perfect convergence of truck-justification and a chance to give something back to the community. The truck-buying journey drilled home a lesson in business intelligence analytics which was unexpected. Luckily my terrific wife also allowed the
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Dimension Data Takes Employee Training to a Whole NEW Dimension!

We are lucky enough to work with some amazing partners. Recently one of our partners, Dimension Data, invited us into their elite training facility to work with their sales and engineering staff. What an amazing experience. As if running a multi billion-dollar organization with locations and staff spread out world-wide isn’t stressful enough, imagine employee training for such a massive operation. Think about the trouble of trying to bring a group of internationally based consultants, architects and managers together. It’s no easy task! The employees we’re talking about are folks with major account and/or unique practice responsibilities ranging from hosted
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Fighting the Dangers of Sitting All Day

I am fortunate to have built a successful technology business in a home-office environment. It offers plenty of freedoms that not everyone can boast about—not the least of which is that my commute involves grabbing a cup of coffee in my own kitchen. No cars, no highways, no crazy drivers. But I’ve realized lately the dangers of sitting all day might counteract some of those great benefits. In truth, 30 years of sitting at my desk for several hours a day has taken its toll on my health. These days, with the Internet, email and telephone as our primary method
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Communications Monitoring, IT software, and the Question “What Do You Do?”

Communications Monitoring, IT software, and the Question “What Do You Do?” Recently I attended a rock climbing competition for my son, and as you do at these events, I met family members of the kids on his team. In these conversations, it invariably comes to the, “What do you do for a living?” question. Sometimes I answer with the easy out, “I sell IT software.” I might go out on a limb and mention “communications monitoring.” But it’s really more than that. I am the Vice President of Marketing for LVM, Inc. While I am not one for fancy job
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What is VXDash? Business Analytics Software That Works for You

VXDash was created because our operations team was fielding requests from partners who wanted to massage data in unique ways. The resulting business analytics software brings the ability to include any data we are collecting and build an operational view that works for the individual user. In our individual applications we have siloed information, and building custom reports can be time-consuming. By introducing VXDash, we have eliminated the need for our technical resources to build custom reports. We can teach an analyst level position how to use our business analytics software to create the reports they will find most useful
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ShoreTel Bets the Farm on Cloud UC but Will Fail Without This Key Component

As a unified communications wonk, I recently attended the ShoreTel conference excited to glean some intel about trends in UC, and especially cloud UC. As the ShoreTel conference was reconvening for the first time in almost 30 months, I was also expecting some huge announcements or product unveiling. Unfortunately, from that perspective the conference was underwhelming. That said, I was particularly interested in the comments by ShoreTel President and CEO Don Joos, who clearly stated in his keynote that the target market for ShoreTel is the SMB market—specifically 5,000 seat deployments and below. But the other clear message from the
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ShoreTel Partner Conference 2015

Partner shows are a great way for us to gain exposure to the partner channel and the ShoreTel Partner show of 2015 was no exception. After a two year hiatus, the ShoreTel partner conference made a triumphant return by hosting about 1100 attendees at the Gaylord Palms Resorts in Orlando, Florida. This week Doug Tolley and Roger Blohm give us their show recaps. LVM participated as a sponsor, and as usual were impressed with the overall quality of the partners that attend this event. And best of all, our Managed Services for Unified Communications message was well received as we
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Technology Upgrade – a Necessity of Life

It all started with the Domino’s 30 minutes or less or it’s free guarantee, dry shampoo, instant coffee, and virtual thank you cards. Today we even have tiny buttons we place around the house and tap when we run out of a certain product and, voila! The product is delivered to our doorsteps. We live in an instant gratification, fast-moving world. Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, we run to our wireless carrier to get an upgrade. A new fad diet is released and we all jump to try and lose 30 pounds overnight. We all want to get
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Life Without Lync

My morning was crazy. I had backed up plumbing in the house and the dog threw up on the carpet—all before 6 a.m.! Then when I finally make it to my desk for my morning conference call, Lync wasn’t working. I recently upgraded from a MacBook Pro to an iMac with a 1 TB flash hard drive. Ahh, life is good. Except when it’s not. Like today when no one in my company could get on our call. Was it my new computer?  I had to start from scratch and download every program, add-on and plug-in one at a time.
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Harbor Networks Awarded VXSuite Growth Partner of the Year

The outstanding growth of Harbor Networks leads to recognition at the annual VXSuite Partner Conference   LAS VEGAS (March 19, 2015) — The prestigious technology award that recognizes outstanding year-over-year growth was given to Harbor Networks at the Annual VXSuite VXMadness 2.0 Partner Conference in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada.  The 2014 VXSuite Growth Partner of the Year Award was given based on the largest revenue increase in the last calendar year. The VXSuite Partner Awards express well-deserved recognition for the numerous technology company success stories produced in the cloud-based analytic software business. “During the past year, Harbor Networks has grown its
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Top Ten Favorite Moments at VXMadness

VXMadness , Business Lessons Learned from The Princess Bride, was a huge success! We invited VXSuite partners from around the country – and the world – to join us in Lake Las Vegas for three days of thought-provoking discussions, VXSuite education, lively panels and viewing of the NCAA March Madness opening games. As I reflect on a fabulous three days, I can’t help but smile as I think of my top ten favorite moments. Avaya con Dios – aka – the debut of Princess Buttercup. Pam, Ron and Kurt did an amazing job busting into Roger’s Grow Your Sandbox presentation. The
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Sales Success: Achieve Performance Results of the Top One Percent

The sales planets have aligned! Last year’s VXMadness theme was giving attendees more than they could have imagined. This year, we decided to top last year! We asked Dr. Scott Baird to present the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™ to this year’s VXMadness 2.0 attendees. As founding principal of Griffin Hill, Baird brings over 25 years of business performance research and consulting experience to the table. Naturally, we were thrilled when he agreed! Are You Unconsciously Competent? At first glance, the term “unconsciously competent” doesn’t sound like a compliment. But it is. While researching sales success, Baird uncovered an industry
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Strategic Partnerships – Grow your Sandbox

Strategic partnerships are just as important in real life as they are in business. Lets’s face it, our lives are busy, and getting busier, right? Getting more done every day comes down to time and energy. When juggling work life and ‘life life’, as more and more things pop up on our calendar we have to find ways to be more efficient with our time. This first time I realized this was when a bank popped up in my grocery store. Mind you, it wasn’t MY bank, but since I was already at the grocery store every week, I switched
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Grow Your Business with LinkedIn

There is no doubt the last decade has seen many changes to the way businesses attract and communicate with their customers. In today’s digital world having a LinkedIn profile and an online presence is not just a “nice to have,” but a necessary part of business development and even in some cases customer service. Luckily having an online presence doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere all the time. While social networking should be part of your outreach, it doesn’t need to monopolize your time. With the right shared media strategy and clear goals you can make sure the time
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Mobility on My Terms

Unified Communications means lots of different things to different people. Some think of it as getting their voice mails as text messages. Others think it’s dual ringing their desk and cell phone. For me this week it was taken to a new level. I was scheduled for a conference call and was told the agenda was to discuss our Partner Marketing Program. I figured this was easy enough. I do a couple of these a week, last typically 20 minutes, and consist of me walking the partner through the marketing guide and answering some questions. At the same time, we
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Switching to VoIP is Not Easy on the Telecom Manager

Are you a conductor, an engineer, or a passenger on the fast-moving train called VoIP? Switching to VoIP is not easy. On a train, the conductor is responsible for operational and safety duties that do not involve actual operation of the train. Whereas an engineer is a person who operates the train. If we move this into the Communications world and you’re the Telecom Manager, you are like the conductor because you are responsible for the quality of the voice calls, but you don’t actually operate the network the calls traverse. This makes switching to VoIP even more challenging. The
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VXMadness 2.0: Business Lessons Learned from The Princess Bride

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.” The above quote is from one of all of here at LVM Inc.’s favorite movies of all time: The Princess Bride. Last year at the VXMadness 1.0 conference, we kept conference attendees on their toes by using movie quotes in the presentations and awarding a prize at the end to the person who could name the most. This year we decided to go all the way, and instead of quotes use our favorite movie of all time as a backdrop for our presentations. Laura Petrolino, of Arment Dietrich, will
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A New Phone System from Above can Bring Reliable Phone Service

Last week one of our customers called into the support number. He told us the C suite just purchased a new IP phone system, and he needed to make sure it meets business requirements and delivers promised cost savings. He was frustrated because while the dinosaur of a PBX he has now is old, it works. Both internal and external customers are happy because it provides consistent, reliable phone service. There aren’t any bells and whistles, but like the lights in the office, it comes on every day. So now he has to get all new vendors and figure out
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The Right Tools Make Switching to VoIP Easy!

You’re the IT Manager. It’s a big job. Servers, routers, and firewalls, budget cuts and smaller staff.  And then the CEO tells you they have just purchased a new IP phone system and you find yourself switching to VoIP. The sales manager is excited about the unified communications YOU will provide her team. Or maybe the CIO heard about Microsoft Lync and is thinking about using it for IM and presence. Where do you begin? Can your network handle the additional traffic? Is that traffic any different from the email, web and other application traffic that exists now? When it
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The Last Laps of 2015: Part 4 – Declutter!

Welcome to our fourth installment of our Last Laps Until 2015 series, some quick and easy tips to help you declutter. So far this month, we’ve looked at strategic scheduling, how to pay it back and pay it forward, and we discussed the value in expanding your horizons. As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve had great response from our team members to these posts, and are sharing them with all of our staff, encouraging them to participate. I hope you’ve been doing the same with yours. Some of the things we have done during these exercises should have had a positive
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The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 3 – Expand Your Horizons

So far this month, we’ve shared with you two of our special, Last Laps Until 2015 series. We began on December 2nd with The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 1 – Strategic Scheduling. And we talked last week about the power of paying it forward and back, with The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 2 – At VXSuite, We Pay it Back and Pay it Forward. We’ve had great response from our team members to these posts! As we’ve mentioned we are sharing them with all of our staff, encouraging them to participate. I hope you’ve been doing the same
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Ca_ Y_u Hear Me N_w? Voice Quality Issues Solved

Finally a referee has emerged to end the UC Voice blame game between IT staffs, VARs, phone system vendors, data centers, and managed cloud / WAN providers. The tribe has spoken. A recent InformationWeek UC study found over 42 percent of businesses that purchased hosted voice are unhappy with either its performance and/or reliability. In 2014, it’s staggering to think we have yet to figure out how to engineer a voice call to match the quality of experience of a basic POTS line. Voice Quality Issues need to stop taking over our lives. VoIP was the cutting edge “killer app”
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The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 2 – At VXSuite, We Pay it Back and Pay it Forward

Last week we shared with you the first in a ‘wrap up the year’ series we’re doing here on the VXSuite blog. We’re also sharing these posts internally, and encouraging all our staff members to ‘play along’ as well, hoping to inspire a super strong end to 2014, and an anticipatory start to 2015. Our last post in this series talked about how important strategic scheduling is when wrapping up such a festive, busy month. Today’s instalment, with roughly three weeks left in 2014, is in the true spirit of the holiday season. It is about gratitude and giving back.
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Microsoft Lync and Skype: What’s in a Name?

Recently Microsoft announced that Microsoft Lync and Skype will become one. Starting in 2015, Lync, their Enterprise phone system and collaboration engine included in Office 365, will be rebranded as Skype for Business. What many people don’t know is that the idea of Microsoft Lync and Skype joining forces has been cooking for a while. Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in May of 2011 started them down this path several years ago—though the development teams for Microsoft Lync and Skype have been combined for several years — what was telling was how the Lync development team integrated into the Skype team
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The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 1 – Strategic Scheduling

There are only a few weeks left until 2015 dawns, and those weeks are going to be busy: Shopping, get-togethers, wrapping up work projects and planning, maybe even travelling as people see family over the holidays. Here at VXSuite, we wanted to help maximize your efforts for a strong finish to 2014, and help you start 2015’s race with a bang! Today’s post is the first in a weekly series that will run until the end of the year. We hope you enjoy them. Strategic Scheduling It is vital that you be strategic about how you spend your time and
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Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw – part 2

Yesterday, we took a look at Stephen Covey’s Habit #7—Sharpening the Saw. We explored how important exercise is for not only your own personal health, but also how it impacts the overall wellbeing of your company, and your staff members. Physical activity gets the blood flowing and the brain activated, but what about when that brain is just dead tired? What if you’ve simply hit the wall. That’s where some mental recharging becomes crucial. Mental recharging is critical to any busy executive or manager. This is another area where just shutting out the office is not nearly good enough. You
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Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller, 1986 According to Stephen Covey, “Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal…” Sharpen The Saw for many stressed out managers means simply taking time away from work to rest and recharge their batteries. But this is not the intent of Stephen Covey’s seventh habit, because each of his habits build upon each other to create a transformational and permanent change in how we function. Step one
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Information Overload?

How am I supposed to find the time in a day to read every blog I’ve subscribed to? Respond to every email I receive? Crack open the book I’ve been meaning to start – let alone finish? So many of us are in a constant state of “busy.” It seems more and more these days I am suffering from information overload. I can’t focus on a project because I am being pinged from every different direction. I try to close email for an hour but then my phone rings or I receive a text message. Inconvenient Reporting leads to Information
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