Vectors Nashville 2018 is Open for Registration

It’s official! The 2018 SkySwitch User Group Meeting – Vectors Nashville 2018 – is going to be held Oct 7-10 in Nashville, TN. This will be our third user group meeting and, naturally, we are planning for it to be the best one yet.

Our objective for the event is to enhance your success with content and activities designed to make your business work better. We are also using Vectors 2018 as the launching pad for exciting new platform features and services, and will have sessions designed to help you convert them into new revenue streams in 2019.

Past attendees have told us that the Vectors Conference could be the most valuable industry event they attend all year.  Join us this year and discover for yourself!  More details about the venue and registration are available at http://www.vectors2018.com.

AI Smartens SMS Support – Channel Vision Magazine April 2018

ChannelVision Magazine published an article about the SkySwitch SMS bots – a big part of our newly launched White Label Business SMS service.

SkySwitch and Telo Improve Caller ID for Hosted PBX Resellers

SkySwitch and Telo have partnered to provide enhanced Caller Name lookups to SkySwitch Resellers.

SkySwitch, provider of the ultimate white label platform for hosted telecom resellers, today announced a partnership with Telo for enhanced Caller Name lookup capabilities that yield an industry-leading accuracy rate of over 93%.

The ability to see a caller’s name as part of the Caller ID when you receive a phone call is a service provided by your phone company that is often taken for granted and, just as often, misunderstood. This service (sometimes referred to as CNAM) requires that your phone company query a caller name database to associate a name with the caller’s phone number every time that you receive a call. Errors in caller name are a frequent cause of customer complaints for providers of hosted PBX and UCaaS service.

According to SkySwitch CTO, Blake McKeeby, “the problem stems from the fact that there is no single database that contains the caller name information for all U.S. callers. Because phone companies publish and query caller name information from disparate aggregators, inconsistencies often arise. This means that the caller name you see when you answer a call can be different from the caller name that is seen by someone else. The confusion is compounded by the fact that some cell phone carriers do not publish caller name information at all, resulting in generic names such as ‘wireless caller’ being shown as part of the Caller ID.”

“The inconsistency of caller name results has been a pain point for SkySwitch resellers, who must field calls from end users that often don’t understand the inner workings of the telephone network. So we decided to try to make things better. And, after extensive research we found a shared desire with Telo, creator of the well-known OpenCNAM data service” continued McKeeby.

Brent James, COO for Telo, states that “the collaboration emerged through discussions centered around customer feedback and a shared vision for quality of service. SkySwitch was among a small group of specifically selected carriers to work with Telo to implement improvements to OpenCNAM. By virtue of this product development relationship, OpenCNAM Plus has been able to achieve an increase of its already industry-leading caller name match-rate from 87% to over 93% domestically.”

The improvements in CNAM results have translated to a demonstrable decrease in customer service calls for SkySwitch resellers. According to Guy Fawkes, CEO of Telepath Communications in Tampa, Florida, “SkySwitch listened to my feedback when I informed them about the caller name complaints I was receiving. Ever since they put changes into effect, the complaints have stopped. This is just another example of how SkySwitch helps me to run my business more efficiently.”

About Telo
Telo pioneered the first developer friendly telephony data API in 2011 with the launch of OpenCNAM. Since then, Telo has expanded its developer-focused product line to include EveryoneAPI, a highly advanced reverse phone append API, and released subsequent versions of OpenCNAM including the current third-generation version, which extends Caller ID coverage to over 200 countries globally. Telo is committed to leading data services innovation for telephone carriers and enterprise businesses worldwide. For more information on OpenCNAM please visit: https://www.opencnam.com

About TELEPATH Communications
TELEPATH Communications is a Florida based Voice Over IP and Managed Service Provider that has been in operation since 2004. With expertise in all aspects of networking and technology management, TELEPATH Communications serves as a trusted technology advisor to small and medium sized businesses in the Tampa metro area. For more information, visit: http://www.calltelepath.com

About SkySwitch
SkySwitch (www.skyswitch.com) is a US-based, next-generation communications platform provider. SkySwitch delivers a comprehensive white label communication service and back office support to our resellers. This enables our resellers – communication, telecom, IT service providers – to offer a branded, cloud-based, Hosted PBX Service and unified communications and collaboration services (UCCaaS) to their subscribers without the requirement to invest in or manage the platform from which the service is offered. The SkySwitch platform includes not only the infrastructure to deliver feature rich voice, video, text and fax communications, but also all operational and business support systems necessary for a reseller to experience rapid growth and profitability. This includes billing, carrier services, DID porting services, and regulatory compliance.

SkySwitch UCaaS Now Integrated with Meeting Manager Web Conferences and Google Calendar

We are happy to announce that SkySwitch is now integrated with Meeting Manager web conferences and Google Calendar through the latest ReachUC Chrome extension.

Now, when using the ReachUC extension for Chrome browsers, PBX users can choose to create Meeting Manager web meetings directly from the Chrome browser bar, or directly from their Google Calendar page.

 

The new integration works with any Google Calendar or G Suite account.  To use it just look for the ReachUC logo in the Event Details page of any Google Calendar event.

Because the ReachUC app is integrated with the user’s PBX account, PBX conference bridge details are automatically pulled into the event description and will be included with calendar reminder emails.

 

Today, UCaaS services cannot exist in a vacuum because end users expect all their productivity tools to work with each other seamlessly.  As always, SkySwitch is working hard to provide Resellers with cutting edge integrations that make these interactions easier.   Our integration with Meeting Manager web conferences, Google Calendar and ReachUC is yet another way that SkySwitch enables Resellers to succeed by more easily differentiating their services from those of the competition.

To start using the new integration, download the latest ReachUC Chrome extension from the Chrome web store.  More information about use of the ReachUC Chrome extension can be found at the ReachUC website.

Sallie the SMS Directory Bot is Now Available for Trial

We are happy to announce the availability for trial of an exciting new feature that combines business SMS and bot technology to solve a growing problem for business owners.

People are relying on text messaging more than ever.  In fact 8 out of 10 millennials prefers to send a text message rather than talk on the phone.   This can be a challenge for business owners because most business phone lines can not receive SMS messages.  And even when a business phone line is enabled with business SMS,  it’s often difficult to ensure that an inbound SMS message will get routed to the right person in the company.

To address this shortcoming, we developed Sallie the SMS Directory Bot, a smart agent that can help direct text messages using business SMS to the appropriate person or department within a company.  With Sallie on the job, businesses can connect with customers that send SMS messages in an efficient and conversational way.   Sallie engages with customers who send SMS messages by intelligently responding with relevant information from the company directory and taking the appropriate actions based on the responses received. Sallie not only makes calls,  automatically connecting a customer to the right resource in a company, but can also respond to inquiries about hours of operation, driving directions, or special events, just to name a few of the many possibilities.

We put together short video to introduce Sallie here:

Unified Communications as a Service is all about increasing productivity.  In the context of business SMS, that means getting the right people  connected to a customer or partner quickly and efficiently.  We believe that Sallie the SMS Directory Bot achieves this, and are excited about the potential for this type of application to  help SkySwitch resellers further differentiate themselves from the competition.

If you would like to start using Sallie, please submit a request here.

 

VTech Desktop Cordless SIP Phones Now Available in SkySwitch Store

VTech, well known for their outstanding cordless DECT phones for the consumer market, is expanding  into the world of business SIP phones.

A unique feature of VTech Eris SIP phone line is the use of DECT cordless technology in desktop and conference room phones.  These phones can be deployed without the need for ethernet cabling by pairing them with an ErisTerminal base-station or repeater using DECT 6 technology.

Until now, there were two choices when deploying SIP phones in areas with no network cabling:  use a portable DECT SIP phone (like the Yealink W56P); or, use a Wifi dongle on a standard SIP handset .  Neither approach worked well for stationary users.  Wifi is notoriously bad when it comes to VoIP QoS, and most cordless handsets have small form factors that do not work well on a desk.  The VTech approach is unique because it pairs the desktop form factor with DECT cordless technology.

While these phones are missing some of the bells and whistles that are becoming de rigueur from other manufacturers (features such as color LCD and touchscreen display are not currently available) they look and feel solid and have all the basic features required for a hosted PBX user.   In deployments where ethernet cabling is a limitation, these phones definitely meet a need that is unfilled by other manufacturers.

The VTech ErisTerminal line of phones is now available for purchase in the SkySwitch Store.  In the coming weeks, single-screen provisioning will be available so that both the phone and the PBX can be auto-provisioned at the time of purchase.  Look for upcoming promotions that will make it easy for SkySwitch resellers to test-drive these phones.

See the Tenfold Connector for Salesforce in Action

Tenfold has produced a video showing how the Salesforce Connector works with SkySwitch.

Jon Arnold Talks about Voice Assistants in the Workplace

Our friend Jon Arnold of J Arnold & Associates held an interesting webinar discussing the key drivers of digital assistants –  a term that he uses to include voice assistants (like Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa) and chatbots – used for business.  He was kind enough to mention the SkySwitch Amazon Alexa skill as an example of how voice assistants are  migrating from the home to the office.  Check it out here @ 36:44.

SkySwitch is Now Integrated with ReachUC Mobile and Desktop Apps

We are pleased to announce that SkySwitch is now integrated with ReachUC, a suite of advanced UC applications and tools.  This integration is the our latest attempt to develop a viable soft-client replacement for the traditional SIP deskphone, and represents what we believe to be the cutting edge of what is possible with available technology.  

With ReachUC and the SkySwitch UCaaS platform, end users can now access common functionality  from their SIP deskphone, mobile app, or desktop environment.  Supported features include secure VoIP, Video, and GSM calling, SMS and text chat with business line, PBX presence and contact management, web conferencing, fax sending, and push notifications. Future enhancements include support for XMPP and group messaging with Slack. The application is  available on  Apple iOS and Android mobile devices as well as Mac and Windows desktops.   

Apple iPhone users benefit from ReachUC support for Apple CallKit, a newly released API construct by Apple that gives the ReachUC iOS app a native look and feel and allows it to responds appropriately to system-level behaviors such as Do Not Disturb and Answer from Lock Screen.   CallKit brings the user experience for iPhone users up to par with Android, which has allowed VoIP apps to access the native dialer for nearly two years.

ReachUC also includes tools that extend PBX features to several popular desktop applications,  including a click-to-call extension for Google Chrome, and a plug-in to place calls, synchronize contacts and send faxes from Microsoft Outlook.

To commemorate this milestone, I created a short video that highlights the major features of the integration.

New Developments at SkySwitch

At SkySwitch, we are always improving the Reseller experience.  Here are some of the things that we have been working on recently:

New UC Endpoints – Our efforts to integrate the ReachUC endpoint solution into the SkySwitch platform is proceeding as planned, and is available to all SkySwitch resellers as a beta trial.  Current features of the ReachUC solution when used with SkySwitch include:  Support for iOS and Android mobile and Windows and MacOS desktop systems; messaging with SMS integration; PBX Presence and Contact Management, Faxing, Video Calling; Web Callback, and integrations for Microsoft Outlook, Google Chrome and WordPress.    For more information on features, visit the ReachUC website at http://www.reachuc.com.  We expect the ReachUC integration to be ready for general availability before the end of July.

Email-to-fax –  The ability to initiate a fax from an email has been a recurring feature request among users of our virtual fax solution.  This capability is finally available and can be used in conjunction with existing fax portal and ATA accounts.   A support announcement will be sent within the coming days with instructions for use.

Spanish and French System Prompts – We recently simplified the way that Spanish and French system prompts are managed in the system.  Now it is possible to provide multi-language Spanish, French and English IVR and voicemail to your customer base with just a few simple configuration changes.

International DIDs – SkySwitch can now provide international DIDs from more than 59 countries worldwide.  Currently, orders for international DIDs can be made via a form in the DID Portal section of the reseller dashboard.  In the very near future, you will be able to order and provision international DIDs in real-time, as is currently the case for US DIDs.

VSaaS Improvements – Our VSaaS platform is getting better every month.  It now supports multi-view, which means that multiple cameras can be monitored and managed from a single page in the web app. We have also introduced a new version of the mobile app in the Android and iOS stores. This was a major release on mobile and included:  brand new mobile player using real time protocols;  faster start time to view live video; and reduced lag.

New Products in SkySwitch Store – Through our partnership with 888VoIP, we continue to add new products to the SkySwitch store.  The latest additions include the Yealink T5 series phones and Patton ATAs.  As with all VoIP endpoints in the store, resellers can purchase and configure all systems from a single page, making it easier than ever to drop-ship plug and play units directly to a customer.

As always, SkySwitch is working to make you more competitive in the UCaaS market.  Existing resellers should contact the SkySwitch Control Tower for more information about any of the enhancements mentioned here.

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