SkySwitch Resellers Gather for Vectors 2017

From February 26-28, 2017, SkySwitch resellers from across the United States and Canada gathered for the second annual Vectors Conference, the annual user group meeting for SkySwitch resellers.  For three days in the sunshine of St. Petersburg, Florida, SkySwitch resellers were delivered a steady stream of social activities, training sessions, and product information.

Day One

The event started with an early AM deep-sea fishing trip aboard the Florida Fisherman 2.  The seas were not kind that day!  Choppy winds and rough seas limited the catch for the day, but it did not diminish the camaraderie on board and the excitement for those that did manage to reel one in.

Doug Autin from Telecom Concepts showing us how to hold your fish

Blake McKeeby

Blake McKeeby of SkySwitch reels one in

Bill McClain from Networking Solutions doing his best impersonation of his catch

Jeff Hawkins of Telepath shows off his catch

After some recovery time from our deep-sea adventure, we reconvened for the Vectors Reception Party and Fish Fry.  The plan was to dine on the catch from the morning trip, but we’re pretty sure that the menu had to be supplemented by the hotel kitchen, as no one seemed to remember hauling in any meatballs, chicken wings or mushroom caps while out at sea.  The reception was topped off with a great keynote from our guest speaker, Anand Buch, the visionary co-founder and CEO of NetSapiens,

Anand Buch, the visionary co-founder and CEO of NetSapiens delivers the Sunday Night Keynote.

Day Two

Day two was absolutely packed with presentations from both the SkySwitch team and our event sponsors, C3 Cloud Computing Concepts, 888VoIP, Compliance Solutions, Inc.,  Obihai Technology, Inc., Metro Wireless International, Inc., SimpleWan, Rev.io, Glance, Ritalia Funding and NetSapiens.  Topics from Basics of Hosted PBX and Hosted Call Center, to the details of managing DIDs and device provisioning, right through to deep-dive engineering issues were all covered.

Day two concluded with a dinner cruise around Clearwater Harbor aboard the StarLite Majesty.  Unlike the fishing trip, this one was smooth cruising all the way.  Great conversation, great food, and great fun for the entire time, including an absolutely riotous Hawaiian Shirt Contest.  Dave Mehta of Pangea Web Hosting took home the prize for his coordinated shirt and jacket look.

Dave Mehta of Pangea Web Hosting took home the prize!

Day 3

The training and presentations continued on day three, but an added attraction.  A key note speech by Ron Marks, author of the bestselling book entitled “Managing for Sales Results” which helps sales managers get the most from their sales teams.  Through a combination of hard facts and personal anecdotes, Ron laid out a path that SkySwitch resellers could follow towards establishing better sales, high returns, and more success in life.  Everyone at the event was given a free copy of his bestselling book.

Ron Marks delivers sound sales advice.

Our resellers summed up their Vectors 2017 experience:

Vectors really gave me the opportunity to meet with my peers and share ideas and talk with them. I really have gotten a lot of benefits from being here. The SkySwitch team is great. SkySwitch has provided just about everything that I could ask for.

– Doug Haldane – Unicom Solution

Vectors feels more like a family reunion than a conference.

The other white label partners we used seemed to care more about their success than ours.  The thing I love about SkySwitch is they seem very interested in my success.  They recognize that my success is their success.  That is something I really appreciate.

 – Jeff Hawkins-Telepath 

SkySwitch continues the growth trajectory it has been on since its inception in January 2014.  Since Vectors 2016, the number of resellers in the SkySwitch ecosystem has more than doubled.  Planning for Vectors 2018 has already begun as SkySwitch looks forward to another year of outstanding growth.

SkySwitch Makes Amazon Alexa Skill Available to White Label UCaaS Resellers

Resellers Can Now Offer Voice Enabled Dialing to End Users with the Amazon Echo

Lakeland, FL, March 16 2017:

SkySwitch, the ultimate white label UCaaS platform for resellers, now integrates with the Amazon Echo and Amazon Alexa to voice enable dialing from the SkySwitch UCaaS platform.   The integration – which is available to all SkySwitch resellers at no charge –  is the latest example of the many ways that SkySwitch allows resellers to differentiate their private-branded offerings from competing hosted PBX services.

SkySwitch UCaaS users with an Amazon Echo can now ask Alexa to initiate phone calls using voice commands.  The SkySwitch Web Centrex PBX Skill is now listed in the Amazon Alexa Skills Department, and can be found by searching for its invocation name ‘PBX’.  The skill can be enabled  and activated for free by linking it with any PBX user’s portal credentials.  

More details and short video demonstration of this Alexa skill in action can be seen at  http://www.skyswitch.com/bringing-amazon-echo-work/

The skill supports commands such as:

“Alexa ask PBX to call George”

“Alexa ask PBX to call 1000”

“Alexa ask PBX to call 17477778100”

Call recipients can be specified by first or last name if they are included in the caller’s Contact list.  Calls can be made to any extension number within the caller’s office or any telephone number. Alexa can also be used to listen to voicemails by calling the user’s mailbox.

According to Jayson Jones, VP of Business Development for SkySwitch, “Using SkySwitch and the Alexa skill is like having a personal assistant. With handsfree commands, a busy executive can simply request Alexa to dial an extension, co-worker, access a conference call or connect to any number. This makes for a powerful C Level solution and and clearly demonstrates the SkySwitch white label UCaaS value proposition.”

In the near future, SkySwitch plans to enhance the Alexa Skill with support for additional UCaaS functions, such as sending SMS messages, convening conference calls, setting call forwarding rules, and more.

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.

View source version on prweb.com at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/03/prweb14153648.htm

 

Small Segment Dominates Cloud Communications Adoption

BroadSoft is the global leader for cloud-based communications platforms. Each year, they poll the service providers at their industry event (nearly 100 at their last gathering) to gain some insight into the state of the industry. One of their key findings show expected adoption of cloud communications solutions, by segment, through 2020.

This table shows the results for the last two years.

Size of Business  2016 2015
Small segment (<100) 55% 48%
Medium segment (100-1000) 49% 27%
 Large segment (>1000) 45% 20%

 

It is clear that this group expects the small segment to continue to dominate adoption for the foreseeable future. However, Jon Arnold makes this observation is his blog post on the survey.

“…service providers were asked to forecast what percentage of their shipments they expect will be cloud-based. Of course, this is very different from asking them to tell us their actual shipments at present, so it’s more of a sentiment barometer for how the market is going to go.”

Jon also points out that there is a lack of distinction between VoIP or UC, as the survey asked about “cloud PBX/UC”.

Opportunity In The Small Segment

Even with the fuzziness around exactly how the question was asked, it is clear the survey shows there is still lots of opportunity the small segment of this 28 Billion dollar market. This is the segment where the typical SkySwitch reseller thrives. A SkySwitch reseller can provide great personalized service, on-site training, and do business face-to-face with their clients, all powered by the SkySwitch network and ecosystem. Small businesses can get cloud solution they need with the local and personal service they demand.

You can get more details on the BroadSoft survey and results here.

New Research Shows the Inevitability of Cloud in Contact Centers with Three Quarters of Companies Having Adopted or Planning to Adopt Cloud-based Systems | Telecom Reseller

The research in the article below really shows that the transition of the contact center from premise-based solutions to cloud-based solutions has left the “Early Adopter” stage and is well into the “Early Majority” stage.

Here is what I see as the big take-away from the research:

Three quarters of companies have recognized the value of the cloud, with 25 percent of contact centers having fully deployed cloud today and another 28 percent partially transitioned — either migrated some functionality or moved a subset of their agents to the cloud. In addition, 21 percent have plans to migrate within the next year

It is now a given that a cloud-based solution or Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) delivers Business Continuity, Scalability, and Cost Savings, along with the concept of work-from-anywhere agents built into the core of the system.

This transition affects small call centers as well as centers with hundreds of agents.  In the same way that small companies now expect that their Hosted PBX have all the features that in the past were only available to enterprise systems,  small companies with only a few agents now want the same features that large enterprises have as part their systems.  The best way to satisfy these customers will be through Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

For white label providers of communications service, adding CCaaS to their offering will be a key driver for capturing these small customers who want big features at a cost they can afford.

New Research Shows the Inevitability of Cloud in Contact Centers with Three Quarters of Companies Having Adopted or Planning to Adopt Cloud-based Systems | Telecom Reseller.

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