CTI Insights Blog

Welcome to our Team CTI blog, _Simplified. Here at Convergent Technologies, Inc, we underscore the importance of simplicity in IT sourcing, management, and technology every day. Join us as we explore new devices, tried and true methods, avenues for possible cost savings. Have a topic you need more info on?  Email us today at ebony@team-cti.com and you might just see your topic discussed below.



Introducing Skype for Business skype web

Skype for Business brings together the familiar experience and user love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance and control from Lync to create the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together.

Skype for Business with Voice provides a secure unified communications platform, which simplifies business collaborations while relieving organizations from the costly high maintenance required by PBX systems. Use Skype for Business to communicate with colleagues within the office or dial out to any public telephone with enhanced CallTower Integration.

Skype for Business with Voice allows for:

  • Peer-to-Peer Calling
  • PSTN Calling
  • Enterprise Calling Features
  • Integrated Networking

    An efficient and secure way to connect with your contacts in real time and on a moment’s notice. Less formal than email, faster than a phone call—IM is tough to beat for speed and ease of use. At a glance, see when your colleagues are available to talk, on a call or away from their computer.

Use IM, voice, video, presence, and roster to bring people together anywhere. Enhance collaboration and team work with gallery view (video or pictures), white boarding, share content and application, polling, and annotations

Make PowerPoint slides available for downloading to all attendees for review during or after the meeting.

Share what’s on your desktop so everyone is on the same page. You can even share a program, a whiteboard, or everything you’re working on in real time.

Sometimes voice and text are not enough. Skype for Business Video Conferencing allows enhanced communication across various devices. From your desktop or mobile phone, Skype for Business Video allows you to upgrade your conversations to High Definition collaboration. 



 

Simplifying the Cloud
January 29, 2016
Ebony Goldsmith

We all hear people talking about moving to the cloud, but what exactly does that mean?  What exactly is moving, and where is it going?  How can your company utilize this asset? How much will it cost, or possibly even, save you?

The cloud is a network of servers located off site, usually run and maintained by the carrier offering cloud storage.  This eliminates issues including space constrictions, black-outs, and needing to hire full time staff for day to day maintenance.

Simplified:
The cloud is offsite storage for digital assets and documents,
from word files and PDFS to JPEGs and Mp4s to entire software programs,
which is rented on a monthly or annual contract.

The other perk of the cloud is that with the correct set-up, your assets can be accessed by whomever your company approves from any location. It also frees up your local servers allowing them to focus on keeping your primary network operating at full speed. 

What about security?  All cloud carriers offer the strongest, most current security protocols, though stronger security options do exist.

Moving to the cloud is a fairly painless switch, requiring man-power to upload and organize your current assets into your cloud, but then is easily utilized in a manner much like your current LAN. 

Cost.  This is an important factor to consider when deciding if you should move your assets to the cloud.  Fortunately, there are a wide range of options.  Nearly all carriers offer the cloud in some form. A quick audit of your current system and anticipated growth allows you to see and understand how much cloud space you need and the number of users you need to be able to access the assets.  A nice perk of the cloud, is that as a completely digital storage system, expansion and down-sizing are equally simple, which ensures you are only paying for what you need.

Why Companies are Moving to the Cloud
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Reduced amount of computing hardware onsite
Built-in disaster recovery / business continuity
Lower hardware and software maintenance
Instant software updates, accessibility
Improved performance and reliability
Pay only for what is used
Agile; make changes on demand
Better for the environment

Our friends at EvolveIP remind us of the possible risks of natural disasters. Click on the graphic below to learn more about how to prepare for mother nature’s next storm.
disaster




Simplifying SIP

January 12, 2016
By Ebony Goldsmith


What is SIP?

                SIP is the acronym for Session Initiation Protocol. Or in laymans’ terms, it is the technology for initiating, modifying, and terminating multimedia conversations utilizing features such as voice, video, and chat. It is also utilized for multi-user conference calls and instant messaging services.

How does SIP work? SIP has five primary functions which total how it all works:

  • User Location- SIP can locate the end user geographically and know what systems will be used on each end of the connection.
  • User Availability: SIP allows users to select if they are available for the conversation.
  • User Capabilities: SIP can determine which media can be utilized by which end users. For example, you may have different options on a laptop than you would on a cell phone.
  • Session Set-Up: SIP is the actual function which is responsible for connecting the call across different networks.
  • Session Management: This allows users to transfer the call, invite others to join, or remove others as needed by the call administrator. It also allows for live-time additions of functions such as video and other multimedia.

Why do I need SIP?

SIP is quickly becoming the signaling protocol of choice due to its unlimited scalability and excellent performance. The application of SIP in the workplace is one that will be utilized by businesses of any size or industry to communicate effectively with everyone including employees, vendors, and customers. SIP creates a collaborative environment through the use of unified communications applications like web conferencing.

 





To port or not to port: Is that your question?
December 12, 2015
By Jennifer Hall

So you got a new job that you’re excited about but now have to figure out what to do about your phone. Your new company has offered to provide you a company owed device with a new number associated with it. The problem is you are in sales and really don’t want to miss any calls from contacts that have your current cell number. At the same time you really don’t want to carry two phones around all day. So what are the right questions to ask to figure out the best solution?

First question to ask is: Who is the company’s current provider?
If it is the same carrier that you currently have then you don’t have to port your line. Simply request for a billing responsibility change. Some companies may offer you a reimbursement on your paycheck, others will be willing or prefer to take on complete responsibility for the account. If the latter applies, they will need the front page of your wireless bill.

If it is a different carrier then you will need to port the line. This means adding your number to the company’s carrier contract. The first step is to find out if you are still in contract with your current carrier and what the penalties may be. You will need to asses if you are ok with paying the penalty or if you will ask your new employer if they are willing to cover these costs. Next, release your line by calling your provider and giving your company permission to take the line. Once you have determined who will cover these cost (if any), you should provide your new company the front page of your current bill. It makes the process for them a lot easier because they need billing account, address and any pin number you may have on the account.

 

The next question to ask is: What is the company’s policy regarding releasing the line back to you if you were to leave the company? If they do not allow you to take your line back you will then have to arrange a different way to make sure your contacts can reach you or get your new number. Again, you should want to keep the line so you can continued to be reached by customers etc. If they allow you, then follow same steps as mentioned earlier. Have the company release the line to you then proceed with your new company or put on personal account.

So to answer the question to port or not is truly an individual decision.