Bay Area Business Phone Systems Blog

Randy Kremlacek

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Is a Softphone Right for Your Business?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on May 21, 2015 2:09:00 PM

Technology has evolved immensely, especially over the last few years. Given the frequency of changes and new products available in the tech industry, you may not know the advances that are available to enhance your business and personal life. Digium's UC Tech Chat has been posting a solid series of videos that educate consumers on trends, technological advances, and similar business-friendly information. One video that recently caught my eye is a video that explains Softphones.

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Topics: Administration

What are the Benefits of BYOD?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on May 15, 2015 9:08:00 AM

Is BYOD Right for Your Organization?

Even if you don't know what the acronym BYOD means, you've likely considered or debated its role within your organization. BYOD, or more commonly known as Bring Your Own Device, is a policy that organizations are implementing and structuring to outline how employees can use their personal devices for their work life.


Benefits of BYOD

What is most attractive to organizations are the cost saving benefits, which include the opportunity for employees to work from home, thus saving on office space, prompt customer service communications, seamless Unified Communications solutions, and lessened dependency of desk phones.

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Topics: Administration

Do You Practice Conference Call Etiquette?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on May 7, 2015 9:03:00 AM

The Struggle is REAL with Conference Calls

You're on a conference call. A simple, yet extremely meaningful and vital business practice turns into the most frustrating 30 minutes to an hour of your work day.  Truth be told, as much as business communications have shifted these days, you're likely on a conference call more than a few times per week. If you're lucky enough to have not had a bad experience, let me enlighten you on what many face - blaring conference call faux paus like participants speaking outside of the call without being on mute (ouch!), participants not paying attention and having to have a question line or statement repeated, participants coming in late and disrupting conversation, and typing or engaging in other activities while on the call

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Topics: Administration

Switchvox: The History of Revisions

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Apr 29, 2015 12:00:19 PM

Our customers have asked us for a document that lists all of the Digium Switchvox software releases. We thought it might be of interest to other Switchvox owners, so we elected to offer it up as a Public Service Announcement, to borrow from the vernacular of the TV and radio industry.

What is Switchvox?

Switchvox started life as a creation of a company called Four Loop Technologies, located in San Diego, California. They created a powerful business communications solution built on the foundation of the Digium Asterisk open source telephony software code. Digium was so impressed with the product that they purchased the company in 2007, and they have been on a very impressive growth path ever since. 

While TeleDynamic is under non-disclosure about new software releases, we think we can say that the biggest news to hit Digium Switchvox since it was purchased in 2007 will be made this year. Once again, Digium will be recognized as the premier innovator in business communication solutions. In the past couple of years, the highly innovative technologies that run the cloud are coming to Switchvox. Yes, it will be a disruptive year in the business phone industry.

For now, read on about the fascinating development of telecom’s largest open-source based telephone system.

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Topics: Administration, Digium

Digium Asterisk vs. Digium Switchvox: Ongoing Support & Maintenance

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Apr 22, 2015 7:49:00 AM

This is the sixth blog post of our 7 post series on the subject of Asterisk vs. Switchvox phone systems. Subscribe to our blog by submitting your email into the box on the right to receive an email notification for each blog post in the series.

Now that your phone system installation is completed, is operating properly and everyone is trained, you will now go into administrative mode. Administration of a telephone system includes responsibilities including user support, configuration changes, software upgrades, and hardware maintenance & replacement. 

Help Desk with Asterisk and Switchvox

Asterisk: With an open source PBX, the customer is the Help Desk, providing support to its end users.

Switchvox: Help Desk services are typically provided by the Switchvox reseller to the company’s phone system administrator. Some Switchvox resellers will also provide PBX Help Desk services to the end users, eliminating the need for a system administrator.

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Topics: Administration

Asterisk vs Switchvox: 10 Steps to Install a New Business Phone System

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Mar 31, 2015 7:36:00 AM

This is the fifth blog post of our 8 post series on the subject of Asterisk vs. Switchvox phone systems. Subscribe to our blog by submitting your email into the box on the right to receive an email notification for each blog post in the series.

Comparing the Implementation of Asterisk & Switchvox Business Communication Solutions

Now that we’ve compared the features of the Asterisk versus the Digium Switchvox, the next step is to compare the implementation process for the two systems. 

In the case of the Asterisk, you need to spec out the hardware and software components and acquire them. You then need to assemble, load the components, and test to confirm that it all works properly and will provide a reliable business telephone system to your organization.

(If you would like to get into more detail about building an Asterisk PBX, read our Do It Yourself PBX blog post.) 

The Digium Switchvox is typically sold as a turnkey solution by a value-added reseller. Digium provides an appliance pre-loaded with all of the software. The reseller provides consultation, integration, physical installation, and training.

How to Install a New Business Telephone System

The following are the tasks required to implement a typical business telephone system. TeleDynamic has been installing business telephone systems in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1985, so we like to think we know what we are doing. In this article, we’ll go through the steps that we believe necessary for a quality business telephone system installation.

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Topics: Administration

TelePacific Increases the Price of Business Phone Lines

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Mar 26, 2015 10:56:00 AM

The Rising Price of Business Phone Lines

As we shared with you in a previous blog post in early March 2015, AT&T announced big price increases in their business phone line services. When AT&T raised the prices of analog & PRI circuits it triggered their competitors to increase their prices, too. Why? Well, in the San Francisco Bay area, there is only one provider who owns the copper wires; that provider is AT&T. AT&T must sell their services to the CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) on a wholesale basis. When there is a price increase, they have to raise the price to their wholesalers, which means a higher cost for CLECs, too. Essentially, yes, - they simply pass along the price increase. This is exactly TelePacific has done.

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Topics: SIP Trunking, Virtual PBX, Administration

Digium Respoke Wins TMC Product Award

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Mar 24, 2015 7:12:04 AM

Digium Receives the WebRTC Product of the Year Award

Two years ago, at the Digium Switchvox Partner Advisory Council Meeting, Digium expressed great interest in an exciting new technology called WebRTC and spent considerable explaining it to the Switchvox Dealer Principals.  At this year’s meeting, they announced a new group within Digium who would specialize in the development of WebRTC. Thus was Respoke born, explained simply on their website, “Add live voice, video, text and data features to your website or app.”

Digium has always been the leading innovator in open source business telephone systems, so the WebRTC communication-centric project was natural for them. WebRTC does not replace the business phone system, but rather is an additional communications tool available to business.I would look for Digium to incorporate WebRTC in future products, embracing rather than competing with this new technology.

In further proof of Digium’s commitment to this new technology, on March 19th, 2015, they were recognized as a WebRTC Product of the Year winner. 

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Topics: Digium

Do It Yourself PBX: Are You Up for the Asterisk Challenge?

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Mar 10, 2015 5:40:00 AM

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been revised and updated.

What is a DIY Business Telephone Phone System?

In the old days, the business phone system was the odd duck in your company's data closet. It was very important technology because it handled all of the company's voice communications. However, voice occupied an area made for data and populated by IT personnel.  It was foreign to the data guys and they left the care and feeding to the voice specialists. The duck just sat in the corner.

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Topics: PBX

AT&T Business Line Price Increase

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Mar 9, 2015 3:52:00 PM

The Rising Price of AT&T Business Phone Lines

If you pay your AT&T business phone bill without thinking twice, it's high time to take a closer look at your monthly bill. Simply put, you're paying more than you should and your business deserves far better.

We've noted the onslaught of price increases with AT&T before, but now it's imperative to examine what your company is being charged. 

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Topics: SIP Trunking, Virtual PBX