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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The Failed Promise of Unified Communications – BrightTALK Webinar Recording

Doug Tolley, Vice President of Sales and Director of Business Development joins BrightTALK on their webinar: PBX: Traditional vs. Emerging Summit. Doug presented The Failed Promises of Unified Communications. Click to listen to this webinar. This presentation was part of a BrightTALK series for IT professionals looking to educate themselves on best practices and trends within their industry.
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Unified Communication made better by Office 365. Is this the gateway to True Collaboration?

Unified communication is what I strive for. I believe Microsoft Lync is transforming enterprise communication. Of the Fortune 100, 90 are already using Microsoft Lync, as are 70 percent of all Fortune 500 companies. According to Nemertes, Microsoft Lync is now equal to Avaya in terms of mind-share for companies looking for a new IP telephony platform. Lync is here to stay and is gaining market share. Most companies that utilize Lync initially use the IM and Presence functionality. A big factor in this is that Office 365 is driving people to the cloud for their mission critical desktop applications. To
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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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Enact Chargeback: Become a Telecom Profit Center

Rather than being considered a tax on the corporate budget, work to change the mindset of your organization by becoming a profit center. How do you do this? It’s all about bill chargeback. Don’t let phone bills and related telecom expenses hit the IT budget, let VXTracker allocate telecom costs and related telecom-spend to the correct departments, tenants, and projects. Deliver Better Internal Customer Service Another benefit in IT services chargeback is in making IT staff more customer-oriented. If keeping the customer happy is a high priority, attitudes may shift away from the mindset of being “bugged” by users as
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Prevent Busy Signals

The other day I had to order patches for my son’s Boy Scout Troop. I had the paperwork from the previous order, and went to the web to look for the online ordering portal. There wasn’t one. All I was offered was a toll-free number. I called the number and it was busy. So I called again. This time I got a recording and was asked to leave a message. What? Do these people not want my business? Telephone busy signals are not good. Ever since the invention of the phone, businesses have realized that busy signals are the enemy.
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Make Your Dollars Count: Marketing Analytics Account for Success

“I know at least half of my advertising budget works… …I just don’t know which half.”   Whether it was Henry Ford, John Wanamaker, or someone else who uttered those famous words, for today’s businesses it couldn’t be further from the truth. Long gone are the days of place an ad and hope, or what some in marketing call “spray and pray”. Today, businesses readily have marketing analytics available. They know which half is working. Toll-Free numbers are an important part of many companies’ marketing strategies, but determining who is calling them, and who is taking those calls, is tough.
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Telecom Cost Savings are Within Reach

Calls are cheap, right? With long distance rates in the sub two-cent range, many telecom managers are not concerned with lowering the telecom bill. But cost savings can be achieved because the call is just one piece of the puzzle. Employee Cost Savings Employees are the most expensive part of your business. A mid-level employee may cost $45 per hour loaded with benefits. If that employee is on the phone for an hour unnecessarily, that is lost money. Cut out that wasted hour, and productivity and cost-savings are added back to the bottom-line. When call log reports are distributed, the
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VoIP Perfection: How to Maintain Voice Quality

In this four-part podcast series Doug Tolley and I have discussed VoIP – the fact that it definitely works, and is definitely here to stay. We looked at the three steps to VoIP success and how using the right toolkit can take the guesswork out of delivering quality voice services. We also discussed who is ultimately responsible for VoIP success, or its failures. In this final podcast we take a look at the pinnacle of why we are here. VOICE. We look at VoIP quality and how to maintain voice quality once it is installed and working. With a VoIP
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HABIT 6 Synergize

syn·er·gy: verb \ˈsin-ər-jē\ the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.; synergism. Said another way “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. In my mind I think of a box of Legos – each individual Lego is a pretty amazing invention but taken together you can create almost anything you can imagine. A Team is More Than Great Team Members This past NBA season, everyone expected the Miami Heat to win a third straight World Championship. The combination of the “Big 3”
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Network Performance Monitoring for VoIP Success

In our four-part series on the Avaya Podcast Network with host Mark Fletcher, we discuss steps to VoIP Success. In our  first podcast we came to the conclusion that VoIP works, and is here to stay. We talked about why understanding the communications ecosystem, optimizing its performance, and delivering consistent quality voice services is the foundation for building a strong VoIP implementation. In our second podcast we looked at the three steps to VoIP success, and how using the right toolkit can take the guesswork out of delivering quality voice services. Who is Responsible? Today we talk about network performance
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Three Steps to VoIP Success

My father always says, “Measure twice, cut once.” This is a lot like planning for a VoIP implementation. It’s about taking those extra steps to make sure you are ready to cut. Many organizations go into a VoIP rollout almost blind. Their vendor asks questions like, “How many simultaneous calls do you make? How utilized are your trunks?” Unfortunately, without the right tools it’s impossible to know these answers. Some organizations end up guessing or using a formula based on generalities, based on headcount or something else equally as arbitrary. In Episode 2 of our TechTalk with Mark Fletcher –
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Dollar Photo Club is my New Love

Sometimes something so good comes along I just have to share it with everyone. Dollar Photo Club is that thing. For anyone who has had to search for and purchase stock images you know it can be a confusing process of points and file sizes. Dollar Photo Club has taken the confusion out of the equation and made life so much easier for me. Every Photo is $1 It seems like there must be a catch, but there is not. Every photo is $1. You can use it as many times as you want on things like your web site,
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How to Deliver UC to your Customers: Sell Lync

“Why am I writing about Lync?” you ask? “Because I hate being lied to…”It is probably my least favorite thing in the whole world. Most of you probably feel the same way. But, somewhere along the line, we were all lied to about Unified Communications. UC was supposed to be easier, faster, less expensive, and just as robust as my old copper lines and simple phone system. And along with all those benefits I was supposed to have better communications, because my phone, PC, and mobile devices were all going to interact so seamlessly I would have an amazing “George
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Avaya Tech Talk – VoIP Monitoring with VXSuite

Avaya Tech Talk interviewed Doug Tolley and I about how VXSuite helps partners help their customers with VoIP monitoring. Some of the questions we hear at trade shows and in demos are answered here. Such as: How does the impact of other applications affect voice? How do I know my employees are doing the right things at the right time? I am in telecom. How do I talk to my network team about call issues? If I want to plan for VoIP, how do I know where to start? Most people agree VoIP is here to stay and that it
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Adventures in Marketing: The Video Fail Version

My Monday started out like many Mondays. My boss asked me to provide him with some marketing numbers for our monthly “State of the Company” conference call. I sent him the Google Analytics screenshots he needed and we had a fantastic call. While I was on the call there was a Skype message… [9/8/14, 9:19:07 AM] Laura Petrolino: I have an assignment for you (because I figure you were just sitting around painting your nails or something, so I might as well keep you busy 😉 ). Does she know I sometimes paint my nails on conference calls? What else
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The Idea of AOG. Is it really a bad thing?

I heard an interesting phrase this week at a Customer event I was lucky enough to participate in with one of our partners. One of the people I was chatting with used the phrase AOG, or “Always On Generation” to describe millennials. He aptly described a generation that had never known anything but constant connection – 3G, 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi etc. are all more important to them than almost anything else – and this troubled him. “Short attention spans resulting from quick interactions will be detrimental to focusing on the harder problems and we will probably see a stagnation in many
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VXSuite is proud to partner with Telarus

VXSuite is proud to partner with Telarus and to welcome the Telarus agents to the VXSuite family. Listen here to learn more about why adding VXSuite makes sense for an agent. Telarus Signs Exclusive Agreement with VXSuite to Add Network and VoIP Diagnostic Software to its Portfolio     September 2, 2014 – Telarus, Inc. announced today that it has signed an exclusive agreement with VXSuite, leading provider of network monitoring and alerting software. Using VXSuite’s lineup of products, including VXTracker, VXPulse, VXMobile, and VXRecord, Telarus partners now have the ability to perform network assessments prior to new technology deployments,
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Meet the VXSuite Channel Managers at Cloud Partners Show New Orleans

Attending the Cloud Partners Show in New Orleans next month? Join Kurt Karshick and Ron Campbell, our VXSuite Channel Managers as they walk the Cloud Partners Show and check out the latest in cloud offerings. The cloud has changed everything in the channel—business models, sales cycles, the conversation at the point of the customer and the vendors that partners are working with to meet customer demands. All of the modules in VXSuite are available as a cloud service or an on-premises offering. This allows our customers the flexibility of a deployment that fits their needs. VXSuite Wants to Talk! Ron
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VXSuite Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Last week our very own Kurt Karshick, Channel Manager for the East and Central time zones, challenged the entire VXSuite team to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After I got done cursing his name, I accepted. And what fun it was! ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Across the US Kurt is in Rochester New York and challenged us from his driveway (where they are not having a drought). Ron is in Wenatchee, Washington and accepted from his lovely grass back yard as did Michael, Toni and Roger, all in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. I am in Southern
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Telemedicine is Changing the Healthcare IT Landscape

Telemedicine is on the rise and having High-Tech ICUs can set your facility apart from the rest. Why is telemedicine on the rise? Enter Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2014. A tabled bill in the House of Representatives that would significantly expand instances in which Medicare would reimburse for telemedicine services. This bill is set to “…extend coverage to those living in an MSA of fewer than 50,000 residents after six months, to those in MSAs of between 50,000 and 100,000 people in two years and to any Medicare beneficiary in four years. The bill would also expand telemedicine services
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Big Data is not as important as UCC Analytics

There is a lot of buzz about Big Data. It’s awesome for some applications but sometimes I wonder if Big Data is simply an outgrowth of the fact that we have so much data available to us these days. Like we are finding a way to justify the existence of it all. Finding patterns in massive data sets has tremendous value. But in a practical sense it is often more valuable to drill into the data analytics. This is where UCC Analytics come in. UCC Analytics and Big Data I have a friend suffering from heart disease at a pretty
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