8 Critical Steps for Ensuring a Smooth Transition to Hosted VoIP | Step 2: Exploring Network Options and Network Management Capabilities

by on Aug.04, 2015, under Cloud Services, Trends, Unified Communications

In our last blog post, we talked about how to determine your needs – dial tone vs. Unified Communications. Today, we’ll discuss step 2 – exploring the network options available to your business and how to determine which network management capabilities are best.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to what businesses need in order for their networks to operate smoothly – but with so many services available it’s easy to see why. While email, web, video, and voice are all run over the network, voice is the most essential and needs to be prioritized accordingly. That’s where the right managed Hosted VoIP solution is key. It should not only be capable of handling any packet that comes over the network – large or small, simple or complex – but should also be engineered to separate voice and data traffic, prioritizing voice, to ensure the highest quality.

World-Class Network For Any Sized Business

Do businesses have to invest in large amounts of infrastructure in order to benefit from a high quality network? What about size – is this just for large, Fortune 500 companies? The short answer: no. You don’t need to buy expensive network infrastructure to enjoy the best in LAN/WAN capabilities. With several options available from industry leaders such as Nutanix, VMware, Juniper and Cisco, businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to select a network management solution that works best for them.
This includes companies making the switch from one Hosted VoIP provider to another. Reasons for the change vary, but very often it’s because they weren’t receiving an all-in-one managed business communications solution. At iCore, for example, we come on-site to assess the existing network used by our customers and make recommendations on virtualizing and optimizing your network for best-in-class service and better ROI. With voice and data managed in iCore’s cloud, businesses of all sizes are able to take advantage of redundancy, security and higher bandwidth within a world-class data center.
In addition, iCore can support a variety of applications, providing better levels of integration with services like video that need to be flexible, easily deployable and configurable. Many of the network capabilities and network management requirements customers want are also baked into the iCore offering, so right out of the gate our customers are given a deeper level of support they’re simply not going to find anywhere else.

Stability and Security Matter

Making the transition to a Hosted VoIP provider with strong management capabilities gives companies the peace of mind that comes from knowing any and all of their business-critical services – from voice, network security, access, video, remote desktop, and more – will operate exactly how they’re supposed to, day or night and are secure 24/7.
To learn more, access the full TechTarget whitepaper here.
Next week we’ll talk about how to determine service availability and choose a provider with documented uptime.

8 Steps for Ensuring a Smooth Transition to Hosted VoIP | Step 1: Dialtone Business Phones vs. Unified Communications (UC)

by on Jul.21, 2015, under Trends, Unified Communications

Communication is key to the success of any business, so as new technologies that enable easier and more efficient methods of communication have become available, companies in turn have improved the way they interact with their employees and customers. For many, this means finally making the transition from their traditional PBX systems to Voice Over Internet Protocol, or what’s commonly known as Hosted VoIP.
So problem solved – ditch the old PBX, move over to Hosted VoIP, and you’re all set, right? Or, maybe you’re already using a Hosted VoIP service, but don’t quite feel like you’re getting the most out of it.
In our newest whitepaper with TechTarget, we discuss eight critical steps to ensuring a seamless and worry-free transition to a new business phone system.
For this blog post, we’ll talk about number one: self-evaluation – how to identify what communications capabilities your company requires, or needs to improve, and use that information to help you select the best possible Hosted VoIP solution.

Determining Business Needs – Dialtone Business Phones vs Unified Communications

As a first step, companies need to thoroughly evaluate how they currently manage their business communications– and how they want to be connecting with their customers moving forward. Are they just looking for a static dial-tone PBX to make traditional phone calls? Or do they need more mobility?
While there are surely some still out there, in today’s business environment it’s safe to say that most businesses are using more than one form of communication that serve as collaboration tools – be that mobile applications, conference calling, local or long distance phone calls, video/web conferencing, or instant messenger (IM). Together, these services are known as Unified Communications (UC) or Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

Moving to the Modern Office: Hosted VoIP and Unified Communications

Unifying the integration of these capabilities is vital to the execution of smooth day-to-day business functions, which is why choosing the right VoIP provider– especially one that can scale – is so important.
As the industry grows and companies continue to migrate toward Hosted VoIP that offers much more than just voice, they in turn move away from things like poor quality of service, different sets of equipment, and multiple pieces of IT hardware.
Moving to Hosted VoIP rather than on premise -based, or upgrading from your current hosted provider to one that offers more unified communications options, guarantees organizations the ability to upgrade, remove, or change features as they determine the level of user adoption.
To learn more, feel free to listen to our accompanying podcast on self-evaluation, which you can find by clicking here.
In our next blog post, we’ll talk about understanding what network options are currently available and how to determine which network management capabilities are best for your company.

Why Unified Communications Will Make you Question Your Current IT Strategy

by on Jun.22, 2015, under Trends, Unified Communications


Hosted Unified Communications (UC) for business is a disruptive idea. It disrupts the notion that IT departments need to spend a good chunk of their time and money maintaining business communications with in house IT teams. It also shatters the notion that a successful IT strategy requires multiple vendors for collaborative services such as voicemail, email and mobile applications. In reality, IT professionals can save up to 30 percent of their time by implementing a UC solution.
Over the years, as mobility began to play a greater role in enterprise communications, IT systems became much harder to manage. As a result, IT Departments are getting out of the business of managing hardware and software. Instead they are opting for UC solutions that provide a more efficient manner of using technology. With a single UC solution, IT leaders can quickly solve business problems, save money on staffing and infrastructure, and simplify their billing processes by paying one vendor instead of working across multiple.
Beyond the immediate benefits seen by IT departments, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) poses advantages for businesses overall. Many business leaders recognize that the employee mobility and flexibility available with a Unified Communications solution leads to higher productivity and are now equipping their work forces with the technology resources they need to do so. A Stanford University study found that telecommuting alone leads to a 13.5 percent increase in worker productivity. The graphic below from Rypple, provides a breakdown of the amount of time the typical employee wastes on inefficient business communications. All of which could be avoided by implementing a UCaaS solution.
Savings from Implementing Unified Communications
Image by Rypple, Inc. via Pinterest
The future of UCaaS is endless and allows us to think innovatively when it comes to saving time and increasing overall business profitability. One thing is for certain though, there will be an upward trend in business investments when it comes to unifying communications in the cloud.
Interested in learning more about Unified Communications? Have one of our UCaaS experts walk you through a private demo. Click here or call 1.866.949.4267 to set an appointment.

iCore Networks Featured in July Issue of Construction Executive Magazine

by on Aug.01, 2014, under Trends
iCore Networks Construction Executive

iCore Networks in July 2014 issue of Construction Executive Magazine


iCore Networks is honored to be featured in the July 2014 issue of Construction Executive Magazine. The article featured was authored by iCore Networks CEO, Mr. Stephen G. Canton.  In the article Mr. Canton offers industry specific advice for construction managers and executives wishing to implement cloud-based communications. For those who do not already have cloud communications on their radar, Mr. Canton’s insight proves they too can benefit from unified communications.  Mr. Canton details how the implementation of cloud-based communications such as videoconferencing, chat and virtual voice solutions can help companies drastically reduce overhead.  Read an excerpt from the article below.

The construction industry today has convenient access to cloud-based videoconferencing, chat and virtual voice solutions. By simply using an on-demand app on any laptop or tablet, that device can be transformed into a voice, data and video collaboration tool that allows construction managers to connect with clients and team members across the country and around the globe.

Videoconferencing and chat functions eliminate the need to be tied to a phone line or an office. This reduces the need for extensive office-based infrastructure and provides easy ramp-up or scale-back capabilities, depending on company needs during busy months and off-seasons. Continue Reading.

ABC7 News Features iCore Honoring Captain Florent Groberg

by on Oct.22, 2012, under Trends

It was a packed house at our Wednesday morning meeting on October 17, 2012. Employees arriving earlier than usual to guarantee a good seat for this special occasion as iCore welcomes back Captain Florent Formerly employed by iCore, Groberg enlisted in the U.S. military in May 2008, driven by a strong desire to serve his country. He was then deployed to Afghanistan, where he served two tours. Over his military career, Groberg attended officer school and held a variety of positions, including platoon leader, and Executive Officer in charge of logistics. In his last and most recent deployment, Groberg was selected to return to Afghanistan as the officer in charge of the personnel security detachment for the brigade commander, who led a fleet of approximately 5,000 soldiers. On a routine mission to a high-level meeting, Groberg and his team identified a suicide bomber targeting his brigade commander. Thanks to Groberg’s training and experience, he along with his team were able to eliminate the threat. As a result, Groberg sustained multiple injuries to his leg;  however, the actions of Groberg and his team saved his brigade commander’s life, as well as those of the other soldiers in his unit. Not long after, he returned to the United States a hero.

To honor his heroic act, a special certificate was presented along with a crystal and a Rolex watch to reflect the timeless effort he put in to serve his country. “I’m no hero,” says Groberg, “I’m just another soldier doing his job and I know it sounds cliché but that’s the way it is.” To see the full coverage from ABC7, click here.

Captain Florent Groberg honored by iCore

Captain Florent Groberg honored by iCore