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Tag: Cloud Services

8 Critical Steps for Ensuring a Smooth Transition to Hosted VoIP | Step 4: Being Prepared To Support A Variety Of Media

by on Aug.24, 2015, under Cloud Services, Unified Communications

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Last week, we talked getting assurance about service availability and documented uptime. This week, we’re focusing on the importance of preparing your hosted VoIP network to support a variety of media.
 
When planning for the needs of your network, you should first determine the number of users that will need to access it, how you want to be able to interact with each other internally, and how you want to communicate with other outside audiences, such as your customers. There are certain protocols, called codecs, which are tied to the amount of bandwidth you use on different devices, as well as the quality of the call itself. As such, the variety of codecs used in a network directly impact the amount of bandwidth required to sustain a clean, crisp voice call.
 
Firewall Requirements
A regular onslaught of new hardware and applications being added to the network means it needs to be more flexible. It’s important to do your research by looking at the logs and the types of security protocols you want for your firewall. Applications that are running with voice, video, IM and presence, for example, need to have open ports on the firewall. This is why, when looking for a Hosted VoIP vendor, it’s important to have one that brings the equipment on site, installs it, and runs a demo pilot. This is key to how we operate at iCore, which means our customers are assured that their firewall is configured to block the ports it needs to, is open for other services, and can reach our data center to get the proper information needed to run properly.
 
Other considerations include what services are managed vs. unmanaged, since quality of service internally vs. externally needs to be able to optimize your business’ use of resources such as equipment installed and money spent on the WAN.
 
Quality of Service – An Ongoing Priority
Another key factor when selecting a Hosted VoIP vendor for your network needs is the quality of service. This includes factors like response time, signal to noise ratio, cross talk, echo, interrupts, frequency noise, loudness and more. Different types of media require different levels of density, and each individual company has its own standards for success.
 
For some customers, this is irrelevant, given they’re solely focused on features like IM, presence and phone calls. But for others in the mid- to enterprise-level, they need to take into account several things:
 

  • The equipment being used.
  • Which devices are terminating on that equipment.
  • How that device is connecting to the edge of the network.
  • Making sure trunk ports are set up properly with VLANs.
  • Ensuring the data is sent through the firewall for all voice, and that the video traffic is totally bypassing the firewall.

 
Don’t Forget the Conference Room
Another area where many types of media reside, but companies often forget about when it comes to analyzing their network needs, is the conference room. Making sure the right equipment is in place – IP phones, dropdown mics, VTC options, and more – means they also need to be properly tied in so they can be segmented on the network and prioritized over another circuit if in fact they need the ability to connect to other offices.
 
At the end of the day, most customers have both a point-to-point and a broadband circuit, but in some cases customers put voice over managed network and video over broadband – especially if video is a nice to have, but not a must have. Video over broadband ensures the bigger video packets don’t interfere with – or interrupt – voice.
 
For these reasons and more, when transitioning your network and Hosted VoIP options, the media your company uses on a day-to-day basis really plays a big role.
 
To learn more, access teh full TechTarget whitepaper here.
 
In our next blog post, we’ll talk about providing visibility into your on-premise equipment.

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

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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.

Announcing UC & Cloud Connect, our Premier IT Networking Event in NYC

by on Jul.21, 2015, under Events

 

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If you missed our event in June at the Polycom Experience Center this is your chance to get in on the action! At our June event more than 50 of New York’s elite technology executives gathered at this premier IT networking event to discuss trends in hosted voip, unified communications, and cloud services. Guests also enjoyed an exclusive tour of the Polycom Experience Center (pictured below).
 
 

Polycom Experience Center

Polycom Experience Center


 

Join us Wednesday, August 12, 2015 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.for our second UC & Cloud Connect IT networking event at the Polycom Experience Center in Manhattan. Click the button below to reserve your space!
 

registerwebinar

VDI vs VPN Part II- Do I Need a Virtualization Solution?

by on Jul.16, 2015, under Cloud Services, Unified Communications

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Last week we kicked off our VDI vs VPN blog series with a high level overview of the importance of virtualization and it’s place in the modern office. This week we’ll tell you the key benefits of both to help you see how a virtualization solution can benefit your business.
 
So…What is VDI?
 
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure also known as VDI is a form of virtualization that hosts a desktop operating system with a virtual machine (VM) that runs on centralized servers through the cloud. It allows applications such as Outlook, Office and Internet Explorer to be stored on a central server rather than on the clients physical machine. This, in turn, allows users to access all the network resources giving the business centralized management, increased security and reduced overhead costs.
 
What is so great about this? VDI has many advantages including centralized management, increased security, and reduced costs.
 
Let’s break it down.
 
Centralized Management: Adding RAM, pushing out new software, or disabling temporary and former employees can be deployed at the server level in the administrative location saving IT departments countless hours.
 
Increased Security: All valuable data of the business would now be stored and located in the data center instead of the local device. This translates into fewer chances of data leaks via malware and viruses.
 
Reduced Costs: Businesses can now look forward to less upfront costs by not purchasing equipment, software and licenses. This in turn lowers the number of IT staff who provision virus removals and configuration issues.
 
Now that we’ve learned a little about VDI, let’s dive into VPN…
 
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a private extension of the Local Area Network (LAN) available over the Wide Area Network (WAN). This is designed to provide a private encrypted tunnel connection to ensure privacy of information that is transmitted between the two locations.
 
What is so great about this? VPN’s advantages include online anonymity, the ability to unblock websites and bypass filters, and secured Wi-Fi hotspots.
 
Let’s break it down.
 
Online Anonymity: VPN allows browsing with complete anonymity. This allows the IP address connected to a desktop computer, laptop or any other mobile device to be hidden from privacy invasion or hackers.
 
Unblock websites and bypass filters: This is an advantage for those who are doing business with countries who have firewalls and restrictions on what content their residents can see or exchange with other countries.
 
Secured Wi-Fi hotspots: When using any Wi-Fi hotspots, the VPN will create an encrypted firewall link for your mobile device so that browsing is completely privatized.
 
Now that you know the benefits of each, which do you think is right for your business? Next week we’ll conclude this blog series with a discussion on the key differences between VDI and VPN. Interested in learning more now? Click here for a free demo of VPN OR here for a free demo of VDI.

iCore Receives 2015 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award

by on Mar.06, 2015, under Awards, iCore News

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iCore Networks was recognized by leading IT trade publication ,TMCnet, as a 2015 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award winner. We received the honor for our all-in-one® business communications suite, which combines top cloud and unified communications services for a complete IT solution. The first cloud solution of its kind, iCore all-in-one® launched in January 2015 along with our iCore-one® packages for voice, email, and web conferencing.
 
“It gives me great pleasure to honor iCore Networks as a 2015 recipient of TMC’s Unified Communications Product of the Year Award for their innovative all-in-one® solution,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMCnet. “Our judges were very impressed with the ingenuity and excellence displayed by iCore Networks in their groundbreaking work with the all-in-one® solution.”
 
As a 2015 Unified Communications Product of the Year winner, iCore is ranked among the top UCaaS solution providers for their services that allow organizations to create a cohesive, collaborative and unified experience across multiple devices for end-users. We are the first and only provider to bring customizable UCaaS and cloud services together and all-in-one® is the only tool of its kind that can meet all of the communications needs of today’s increasingly dispersed workforce.
 
“We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to lead and advance UCaaS technologies and solutions for businesses of all sizes,” said James Rogers, Chief Marketing Officer of iCore Networks. “The idea that a business needs to be confined to an office or desk to grow in today’s world no longer holds true. With our all-in-one® suite of collaboration tools and mobile support, our customers can be closer to their own clients and truly collaborate without boundaries.”
 
To learn more about iCore all-in-one® click here.

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