SkySwitch Partners With Compliancy Group to Help UCaaS Resellers Navigate the Healthcare Market

SkySwitch has formed a new partnership that will enable white label resellers to navigate HIPAA laws with ease.

Tampa, Fla.– December 6, 2018:

SkySwitch, provider of the ultimate white label platform for hosted telecom resellers, has partnered with Compliancy Group to provide telecom resellers with the resources they need to remain HIPAA compliant.

The healthcare industry is highly regulated and many business owners in the telecommunications industry face difficulties with remaining HIPAA compliant, especially as technology advances. UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) benefits healthcare practitioners by bringing together voice, video, email, SMS, conferencing, telepresence and other communication methods into a single cohesive platform. It is efficient, offers improved mobility for employees on-the-go and is a cost-effective option.

However, while UCaaS solves many issues healthcare providers face, it also poses concerns about security since sensitive ePHI (Electronic Protected Health Information) is stored on the telecom provider’s cloud. All stored ePHI that can be regularly accessed by the telecom provider is information that needs to remain HIPAA compliant by both the healthcare provider and telecom provider. The intricate set of HIPAA rules and processes are often new to those in the telecommunications field.

According to Eric Hernaez, President and Founder of SkySwitch, “When we analyzed the HIPAA problem that SkySwitch resellers faced, we decided that we could do more than simply assuring them we were compliant – which is the function of a BAA. For resellers to be truly successful in the healthcare space, they need to be able to assure their customers that they have achieved HIPAA compliancy on their own. Through this partnership with Compliancy Group, SkySwitch resellers now have a path to do that, and another example of how SkySwitch works to remove obstacles to their success.”

Compliancy Group makes it easy for businesses, such as telecom providers, to address their HIPAA requirements. They provide one-on-one coaching and support from HIPAA experts to guide users through risk assessments, self-audits and everything that is required to address their HIPAA compliance. To that end, SkySwitch and Compliancy Group have scheduled an informative HIPAA 101 webinar for SkySwitch resellers this December, and plan to continue providing these collaborative educational resources and support throughout their partnership.

“MSPs looking for new ways to grow their business need to find added services that will convert their pre-existing clients while attracting new ones,” said Marc Haskelson, President and CEO of Compliancy Group. “That’s why Compliancy Group is here to help MSPs understand the benefits that SaaS offerings can provide. We’re happy to join SkySwitch for this upcoming discussion where we’ll discuss the tools for success in the SaaS space, and how to use value-added offerings to justify their services.”

About Compliancy Group 
Compliancy Group is the industry leader in compliance-as-a-solution for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Compliancy Group’s Referral and Resel­­­­­ler partner programs offer flexible, value-added models for billing. Offering compliance-as-a-solution helps MSPs justify their pre-existing cyber-security services to realize higher MRR and attract lucrative new business.

About SkySwitch 
SkySwitch (http://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 Sponsors a GDG DevFest in Bacolod

At SkySwitch, we value innovation and camaraderieand at Bacolod’s DevFest this past weekend, over 100 participants experienced both.

DevFest 2018 Attendees in Bacolod, Phillipines

DevFest is an initiative created by the global Google Developer’s Group (GDG). This year, the GDG community has hosted over 500 DevFests around the world in over 80 countries in an effort to learn, share and build new things together. Each DevFest brings together tech-savvy students and professional developers all within a local community to engage in coding sessions and other informative talks about Google and its products. 

 

The GDG’s Bacolod City Chapter hosted their DevFest on November 24th, 2018, and SkySwitch was proud to be a gold sponsor of the event in continued support of students, local developers and the IT community. The city of Bacolod, also known as the Philippines’ City of Smiles, is home to our Service Delivery Center that includes Technical Support, LNP and Software Development teams.

 

The SkySwitch team supporting DevFest.

In addition to sponsoring the event, some of our SkySwitch developers were there to showcase our unique technologies. A couple demonstrations included overviews that explained the capabilities of Sallie the SMS bot and the benefits of using our ReachUC integration.

Developer explaining how Sallie the SMS bot works.

We had a great time supporting this group of forward-thinking individuals and look forward to seeing what next year’s DevFest will have in store!

This is What Telecom Resellers Need to Know About HIPAA Laws

At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard of HIPAA at least once. Most people first encounter the term while signing mandatory healthcare forms at a doctor’s visit. What you might have not known, is that telephone providers for healthcare clients actually share a level of responsibility to remain HIPAA compliant and that a breach in protected data could cost thousands of dollars in federal fines.

What Does HIPAA Have to Do With My UCaaS Business?

Healthcare providers are heavily regulated to ensure they remain HIPAA compliant. Protected confidential information includes data like phone numbers, residential addresses and medical diagnoses. Healthcare professionals need to follow strategic steps to prevent a potential data breach. And since most, if not all, of this protected information is transmitted and stored electronically nowadays, it only adds another layer of complexity to protecting patients’ privacy.

Electronic private healthcare information (ePHI) is what you should be concerned about as a telephone provider in the UCaaS space. Voicemails, recorded phone calls and faxes are a few examples of ePHI that need to be safeguarded because they are not only transmitted but are also stored electronically.

Confidential voicemails and recorded phone calls that are stored on a cloud have the potential to be compromised. Since you are hosting the healthcare provider’s cloud server and have regular, routine access to this, you now become a business associate involved in ensuring HIPAA compliance.

 

Am I Responsible for All of My Healthcare Client’s Phone Calls?

To an extent. Healthcare professionals have their own set of responsibilities when it comes to ePHI, such as the minimum necessary rule or limiting the length of voicemails. As a phone provider, you are not responsible for factors like that.

Instead, you should be focused on taking the right steps to prevent a data breach, and preparing for the best response plan if a breach unexpectedly occurs. We suggest speaking with our valued partner, Compliancy Group, for a thorough risk assessment and a customized HIPAA compliance plan for your UCaaS company. When you complete training with Compliancy Group, you can even earn a HIPAA Seal of Compliance verification that will let potential healthcare clients know that you (above other telephone providers) have a thorough understanding of their industry needs.

 

What Can I Do to be HIPAA Compliant—And Are Healthcare Clients Worth the Hassle?

UCaaS technology has significant benefits for healthcare organizations. From the enhanced communication capabilities between hospitals, doctors offices and pharmacies to the major cost in savings, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare professionals are eager to take advantage of all that UCaaS has to offer.  

HIPAA compliancy might sound like a new, complicated set of rules, but a conversation with the Compliancy Group can easily prepare you for ramping up your business. The healthcare industry is huge, and there’s limitless opportunity for any reseller in the UCaaS space if they take time to learn about HIPAA compliance. By understanding the ins and outs of HIPAA and with your willingness to sign an official BAA (Business Associate Agreement) with a healthcare client, you can easily and quickly navigate through the healthcare market.

To learn more about how your business can be HIPAA compliant and secure new opportunities in the healthcare sphere, SkySwitch resellers can register for our upcoming webinar with Compliancy Group on December 18th, 2018.

3 Big Trends You Need to Know if You’re in the Telecom Industry

Anyone that works in the telecommunications industry can attest to how fast-paced it is. The technology is constantly evolving, which means that you need to be prepared to respond to those industry trends that are hot on the radar. If you stay ahead of the curve, you’ll be ready to make the right decisions to stay competitive and achieve your company’s goals.

1. The Rise of Remote Working

With the technology we have available, remote working is becoming much more common, and that means more meetings are taking place virtually instead of face-to-face. In fact, studies have reported that nearly 3 out of every 4 employees work for a company that offers flexible working. 32% of respondents in the same study said that they regularly work remotely, and 79% said they work with at least one person who isn’t based in the same office as them. The ability to work remotely has been shown to increase productivity and is becoming a perk many companies offer to remain competitive.

 global-remote-employees

The modern employee is mobile. While it has its benefits to business operations, employers are looking for a solution to the collaborative challenges that often arise with remote work. Telecom resellers will stay relevant in the industry by offering collaborative solutions, like huddle rooms and
web conferencing, that empower employees and help their bottom line.

2. Workplace Mobilization

As we mentioned, modern employees are mobile—which means they are using their mobile devices to perform business duties. BYOD (bring your own device) is a popular trend that companies are embracing. Employees don’t want to lug around a personal cell phone and a work cell phone. Not to mention, it’s a cost-effective solution for the employer. So, what’s the problem, and how do you swoop in with a solution you can provide? businessman-cell-phone Well, while it’s more convenient for an employee to conduct business on their personal phones, communication can end up being very difficult to manage. (Is that a call from their child’s teacher, or is it from an important sales lead?) Not to mention, calls, texts and outgoing voicemail messages from a personal phone can lack professionalism, putting a damper on a company’s brand image. As a telecom reseller, you can offer business SMS and integrated mobile applications, like ReachUC, to alleviate these common pain points that businesses experience.

3. SMS Automation for SMB Businesses

Soon enough, not having a textable business phone number will be akin to not having a company website or email. Consumers are expecting the convenience of text messaging as a mode of easy communication, and businesses are quickly adapting. As a reseller, you want to be offering the most innovative solutions out there, which is why you should be offering SMS automation services.

With our business SMS application suite, you can offer an SMS keyword responder bot to your customers. Having the ability to send automatic responses to frequently asked questions is a huge plus for businesses—think of it as a digital receptionist. Businesses can assign automatic replies that are triggered by a group of keywords. For example, a professional, on-brand response about hours of operation can be immediately sent out based on the chosen keywords “hours” and “when are you open”.
 

Being able to speak to customers with such personal immediacy is a huge advantage for your end user—and offering that valuable solution is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

SkySwitch Resellers Gather for Vectors 2018

Unite and conquer—that was the motto for Vectors 2018. This year’s annual conference was highly anticipated with the attendee and sponsor count totaling three times the amount in previous years, and the conference venue being bigger and better than ever. However, a good event is more than just the numbers—it’s all about how valuable the content is behind it. Based on attendee response, Vectors 2018 fully delivered on that front.

Mike Reynolds of Level 1 Telecom said, “Vectors 2018 was an amazing experience for me. The networking was great, and I learned a lot from the educational sessions. Undoubtedly the most valuable industry event that I have attended in a long while.”

Since 2014, we’ve held the Vectors conference annually with the goal of empowering telecom resellers with the information and resources they need to become innovative industry leaders.

This year’s conference was packed with over 30 informative, exciting events for attendees to experience—all of which covered hot-button topics and technology trends that all resellers need to know. Some notable topics included the potential of business SMS, the power of human collaboration, making the most of auto attendants, successful quoting and how to execute a structured digital marketing program.

Along with the technical breakout sessions, sales training and marketing discussions was a keynote speech that addressed a concern shared by every white label reseller: How to sell more effectively. Dr. Wessels of LiquidSMARTS brought to the table practical and actionable techniques that all resellers could use to sell more and to ignite their current sales process.

In addition to the educational sessions, our team made some big announcements, laying out a roadmap of where the UCaaS industry is going, and what we’re doing at SkySwitch to keep white label resellers competitive in the world of cloud technology. Industry statistics have projected the UCaaS and collaboration markets to reach 4.45 billion dollars in new growth by 2021, making it clear that now is the time to leverage cloud technology and capture the market share. To that end, we announced a new affiliation with Cloud Voice Alliance, an industry-peer association that assists resellers by providing one central hub where members can share best practices, resources, marketing collateral and more.

And of course, when you work hard, you should play hard too. The welcome reception was an evening filled with socializing over complimentary drinks, appetizers and carving stations. The camaraderie carried on as attendees participated in interactive games for prizes and made valuable, new connections. 

SkySwitch has shown a strong growth trajectory year over year, beginning with eight resellers during its inception in 2014 to now over 300. We’re looking forward to another year of tremendous growth, upholding our commitment to our resellers by providing the best in industry-leading innovation and support.

SkySwitch and Nomorobo Intercept Robocalls for UCaaS Resellers

SkySwitch, provider of the ultimate white label platform for hosted telecom resellers, announced that UCaaS and hosted PBX providers utilizing its platform-as-a-service solution are now able to offer their end users protection from robocalls.  The new feature, available today, is a result of its integration with Nomorobo.

Robocalls are computer-generated phone calls that play recorded messages when answered.  Although robocalls can have a valid purpose, they are often used by scammers that spoof phone numbers to impersonate an organization to which a called party might be inclined to divulge sensitive or confidential information. The problem has grown so large that unwanted calls are the largest source of complaints to the FTC (up to 7.1 million in 2017 versus 5.3 million in 2016), and it is estimated that nearly one-half of all calls made are now originated by a computer.  

According to William Traenkle, CTO of Protel Communications Inc. in San Diego, California, “[r]obocalls are pervasive and highly disruptive to legitimate business.  In extreme cases, they can comprise up to eighty percent of inbound calls. Our customers are looking to us to solve this problem for them in much the same way that email providers now block spam emails.”  

Nomorobo offers a specialized data service that allows telecom network operators to programmatically identify a potential robocall before it rings the end users phone.  By integrating with the Nomorobo system, SkySwitch is able to alert business telephone users to the fact that a call is potentially from a telemarketer, and then let them choose how to handle it.  The system can be configured to answer the call, send it to voicemail, or just hang-up without disrupting users.

According to Blake McKeeby, SkySwitch CTO, “the Nomorobo integration is a powerful tool because it gives UCaaS and hosted PBX providers like Protel Communications the ability to protect their end users from a growing nuisance.  This will make their service more valuable to end users at the same time that it creates a new revenue source for them.” Aaron Foss, Founder of Nomorobo, adds, “While many residential landline telephone providers have implemented robocall blocking recently, this feature is not usually offered on business telephone systems. But we all know that businesses are not immune to robocalls, and we are very excited to see SkySwitch offer Nomorobo to its network of UCaaS providers.”

About Nomorobo

Nomorobo is a cloud-based service that effectively blocks illegal robocalls from reaching consumers’ phones. Nomorobo employs a unique, FTC-approved technology that analyzes incoming calls and rapidly detects robocallers, telemarketers, and scammers. Legitimate calls come through normally, but illegal robocalls are stopped before they have a chance to bother the consumer. Nomorobo’s service has been integrated into many of the nation’s top VoIP phone carriers and mobile apps including Charter Spectrum, Verizon FiOS, Ooma, Sonic, Burner and more.

About Protel Communications

Protel Communications provides clients with state-of-the-art communication technology, both hosted and on-premises, through a team of knowledgeable people in various locations throughout the country.

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.