Here at Xtelesis, we realized the need for “Unified Communications”, commonly called “UC” back in the year 2000. We had spent the first three years of the company’s history building and managing network infrastructure and customers were just starting to see the benefit of converging their voice onto their data networks in an effort to streamline communications and accelerate the ROI of the data infrastructure. Our credo has always been “easy to use, easy to implement and easy to manage” when looking for new products. Xtelesis has always focused on customers in the 20-5,000 user range. Those customers generally deal with less in terms of IT budgets and personnel. With that in mind, we did an exhaustive review of the IP based voice products in the market. We decided that the ShoreTel system was the right choice for our customer base. Being a Cisco WAN/LAN security reseller, we took a hard look at Cisco’s IP Telephony product but found it too complex, too costly (although nicely featured) for us and our customer base. We looked at Avaya and found a company deep in it’s own history of TDM with no real path to IP and a company that had one set of products for the small business and another completely different set for larger organizations. Too complex, too time consuming. We looked at Mitel, Nortel (they were still around back then) and Siemens. None of them had a single product that scaled both up and down, had a full feature set, was competitively priced and was EASY! So, we signed on as one of ShoreTel’s first resellers, back in 2002.
So, what is Unified Communications?
WikiPedia defines it as “the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards aka IWB’s or Interactive White Boards), call control and speech recognition with non-real time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax)”. Some define it as integrating your communications with your business processes. Whatever definition you like, the one key that we’ve found to making UC live up to the hoopla is user adoption. The absolute best technologies get wasted when the end user doesn’t know how to use them and just gives up. With that in mind, ShoreTel devised the easiest to use and perhaps most used desktop communications control software in the industry. Called “Communicator”, this piece of software allows a user to easily control how they interact with their communications. Do you want to IM, click this button; make a call? It’s as easy as typing someone’s name and hitting ‘enter’; video call? That’s easy too. Due to its ease of installation and ease of use, it consistently ranks as the “most used” UC desktop software and that is what drives overall satisfaction with any technology implementation.
But (there’s always a but), desktop and use adoption of a system isn’t everything. If the system itself isn’t built to be reliable, redundant and scalable, it isn’t of much use to anyone. That’s why we love ShoreTel’s “Brilliantly Simple” architecture. Whether your company has 1 site or 200 sites or more and 10 people or 20,000 people, ShoreTel is designed to be a single image communications system managed through a single, easy to navigate web interface. Remote sites and remote workers add quickly and easily, so much so that much of the day to day MAC’s (moves, adds and changes) can be done by just about anyone in the organization, severely lowing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as you don’t have to invest in high priced administrators to manage your communications.
To summarize, we here at Xtelesis specialize in building Unified Communications networks and we chose ShoreTel.
• It’s reliable.
• It’s scalable.
• It’s easy to use.
• It’s easy to manage.
Give us a call or hit the ‘contact’ us button anywhere in the magazine to have us show you why thousands of customers worldwide have chosen ShoreTel, too.
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We provide our customers with a variety of communication solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. Whether you are looking for VoIP business systems to provide your company with more unified communication, HD Video conferencing for the ease of connecting with remote offices and employees or a simple business phone service, Xtelesis has all the resources you need to build your network.
VoIP business phone systems revolutionize voice communications for businesses. Instead of a public switched telephone network business VoIP systems are transported over the internet providing faster and clearer service. Not only will you be able to consolidate your monthly communication bills and see a significant reduction is charges, but VoIP business phone systems offer simplified management systems and minimal hardware. The same features you would receive from a local network provider such as three-way calling, conferencing, forwarding, can be easily integrated with business VoIP systems.
If your company operates in different office locations HD Videoconferencing may be a solution to consider. With HD Video conferencing companies can communicate face-to-face with ease and convenience. Instead of booking costly flights for company meetings take advantage of video teleconferencing which allows individuals to connect using HD video conferencing cameras. This high quality picture provides realistic images and real time communication. With our new generation of video communication software we make connecting as easy as placing a phone call. We feature top of the line video conferencing providers like LifeSize and Vidyo.
Don’t get left in the past with your public switched telephone network (PSTN) phone system. Upgrade to a business phone service that provides you with exceptional communications at a fraction of the cost. With VoIP business phone systems and HD video conferencing you are expanding your network with internet technology.
The best part is if you are unsure if VoIP business systems or Video conferencing if right for your business, we can schedule free demos. We also offer video conference and non-video conference business room rentals. Let Xtelesis improve your business communications and help save you money.
This blog first appeared on Best in UC.
Video conferencing isn’t just for big corporations any more.
Over the past several years, video conferencing technologies have grown much more affordable. Today, small businesses, schools and not-for-profits can at last afford to leap into video conferencing. Yet there is still a misconception among many that this technology is best left to large corporate boardrooms.
For smaller organizations, video conferencing can provide immediate benefits by lowering costs, improving communication and even driving revenue. Here are just a few examples:
- Training across multiple offices. Human resources personnel and sales managers often need to provide training programs to several locations. This can be the case at many types of organizations including schools, small and mid-sized businesses and more. Rather than spending the time and money to travel from office to office, the trainer can conduct a single session video video conference with all offices. Participants can ask and answer questions in real time. Best of all, the trainer can actually see his students and know whether they are engaged – or texting, typing and working on other projects.
- Flexible training and communication times. Sometimes, it’s impossible to get a team together at the same time. Salespeople are on the go, workers are booked into conference calls and meetings, and teachers are tied to the classroom. With video conferencing, a manager or trainer can record a session that is later viewed by anyone with Internet access. Simply walk into the room, look into the camera and hit record. If you make a mistake, start over. When you’re finished, send a link to the team. They can click and watch at their convenience, and everyone will receive the training or communication they need. This particular application is great for sales, healthcare, and any organization with a large team that needs to hear a message from the top.
- Everyone gets there on time, with ease. One of our clients is a school district that required its department heads to gather at one location for a weekly meeting. Unfortunately, the end-of-day rush combined with traffic gridlock ensured that many teachers were missing or significantly late each time. By video conferencing in real time, teachers can stay in their own building, be prompt, and avoid the hassles and rush of traffic. Then, if needed, they can head back to the classroom after the meeting to put in more work before the day is through. Productivity rises, and everyone can still interact as needed.
The possibilities are endless. With a small investment in video conferencing equipment, your business can find its own ways to make life easier, more productive, and more profitable.