As a result of the increased number of businesses working remotely, the demand for cloud provisioning is at its all-time highest. SkySwitch wants the auto-provisioning process for our resellers to be as stress-free as possible. With Grandstream’s zero-touch cloud provisioning and management system, our resellers have access to an easy-to-use, enterprise-level centralized interface that allows you to manage Grandstream products before, during and after deployment.
For this webinar, Grandstream’s Phil Bowers, Danny Lin and Ryan Frisella joined SkySwitch’s Farid Ait Achene and Andy Abramson to educate resellers about the many reasons they should be utilizing cloud provisioning and how easy it is to implement with a SkySwitch/Grandstream solution.
If you missed the live session, no worries! You can watch the webinar recording and read up on some highlights of this webinar below.
Cloud Provisioning & Management
With all the recent changes in business operation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cloud provisioning and management are required for business mobility and flexibility. Grandstream can provide resellers with one centralized interface regardless of their location. This interface also ensures seamless operation and network security monitoring.
Grandstream Device Management System (GDMS)
Grandstream’s Device Management System is a free, no-limits API integration that runs on AWS before, during and after device deployment. The GDMS gives service providers easy deployments and happy customers. With unmatched customer service, flexible integration, scalability, easy management and secure and seamless network operations, the GDMS makes cloud provisioning easier than ever. Check out the easy device setup below:
GRP Series New Product Update
If you haven’t already heard, Grandstream has officially launched their new GRP Essential Series. These carrier-grade IP phones are essential to any business that wants to maximize their budgets while providing simple, powerful and effective devices. The GRP260x Series now has an improved performance with better CPU and +2x better boot up times.
Grandstream has also launched the new GUV3050 Bluetooth Headset with HD Audio and Noise Cancellation and the GVC3220 Ultra HD Multimedia Conferencing System.
For more information about clouding provisioning and management with Grandstream or any of their new devices, please contact email@example.com.
Connecting to Microsoft Teams with the Teams Connector by SkySwitch gives you the best of both worlds.
But what is the real heavy lifting that Teams Connector actually does? Andy Abramson had that same question.
Why don’t we talk a little about how it all works because it’s not as simple as just, “we made it simple with the API”, but there’s a lot of heavy lifting going on behind the scenes.
Yeah, this is just to take a look under the hood.
All the interactions with Microsoft and the PBX and SkySwitch that we’re doing with PMA technology is sitting in Azure Cloud and in multiple locations. And ultimately it’s comprised of say three components.
One is a media path. So, it’s from the same SkySwitch platform you’re using today through a gateway SBC into Microsoft Teams. It makes sense to choose a gateway that’s near the customer. So US East, US West, I think will be the two that are prominent in this crowd.
Two: Then what we’re also doing is maintaining registration subscription. Some of the features that Corey was showing you were based on getting the standard; turning Teams into a softphone and means it has to act like a softphone. And that’s what we’re mimicking with the teammate connector.
The third part is really the provisioning; what’s happening on the Microsoft side. So the interfaces, this branding portal, and the other places you build your business customers; we’re talking scripting into PowerShell which is pretty complex at this point.
PowerShell is old technology; a lot of people know it. And then using extensively with this graph API, which is relatively new, and that’s how we build the teams app and how you showed your businesses their end users’ portals, and so forth.
You can pass real-time information to the user in different parts of the Teams activity feed, so you get a banner pop up on your cell phone; things people are used to.
On the other side, this is SkySwitch domain but is PBXs trunks. The underpinning technology is direct routing. It’s using direct routing, which, is in the media all the time these days. We’re leveraging that.
Right, and you can get direct routing in different ways, but it doesn’t give you near the functionality that Teammate will give you. Essentially, you get another PBX user in your phone’s tab, where Teammate is registered. All of the functionality of the PBX can essentially be integrated into pre-call for that user. So you can still go through auto attendance, routing users, and all that.
Teams Connector by SkySwitch is designed to do all the heavy lifting so you don’t have to. Want to see what else Teams Connector can do for you? Watch the full webinar right here.
“We’re very channel focused,” says Jayson Jones, SkySwitch’s Vice President of Sales. “Teams is a big part of that,” adds Jones. In this podcast Jones is joined by Corey Stoker, Vice President of Support, in an overview of how SkySwitch is enabling their partner companies to succeed in building a recurring business model in the rapidly expanding Teams market. Jones outlines how SkySwitch, now combined with BCM One, can offer partners several different paths and support approaches to Teams. Stoker drills down on the SkySwitch Teams Connector, as well as the training and backing SkySwitch provides. “We teach people to fish,” says Stoker.
SkySwitch has introduced Teams Connector, the best way to combine Microsoft Teams’ functionality with SkySwitch’s robust cloud communications platform. The Teams Connector allows you to enhance Microsoft Teams with calling capabilities and direct PBX integration, making Teams function somewhat like a dedicated softphone. The Teams Connector simplifies calling, messaging, and collaboration, putting it all together in one easy-to-deploy and set-up application interface that is a registered endpoint connected to the SkySwitch Cloud PBX.
With Microsoft Teams and the new SkySwitch Teams Connector, understanding the advanced features available makes the product much more useful for your customers and more attractive for potential customers.
Here is Corey, Micah, and Andy getting into some of the advanced features available now, and soon to come, that will help you give your customers even more of the communications solutions they want.
Here’s a look at some of the advanced features that TeamMate brings to the table.
You get an activity feed, you get voicemail, you get line status. And you get some BLF for your line. And you also get live calls, of course.
And one thing we wanted to cover here is SMS. It’s just not ready yet, we don’t have a solid ETA, but it’s something we’ve looked at, but we don’t have a timeline just yet.
Is that a function of what we’re doing on our side (SkySwitch), Or is that how Teams functions with SMS?
There’s two parts of it. We have actually an SMS API, which is not published, but it’s out there. I believe Micah has taken a look at it, but the Teams’ API is evolving very rapidly but maybe Micah can answer why.
Absolutely. We do have this in deployment, this is really a combination of what SkySwitch has built, the delivery and the business features around SMS.
Teams is just the recipient and the sending point. We actually have that in active development and though we can’t give a solid timeline, it’s probably three months until it’s in beta. Then we’ll see if it’s up to the standards to go live, but it will let SMS follow you into Teams just like phone calls do.
SMS is obviously going to be a natural fit into the chat window inside of Teams.
Because there’s a lot you can do with Microsoft Teams, how would we implement that?
You’ll get native teams dialing. You can do DTMF within a call. As you see on the screen (see video), there are some PBX management features, which are essentially feature codes.
There is Call Parking and other things on the screen. Not all are fully functioning yet, as you cannot do in-call controls with these particular buttons, but you can obviously still do them with the DTMF that’s presented on your softphone.
With these feature codes, you can launch feature codes that are for pre-call, uh, such as Agent log-in and log-out. You can also get a reflection of the star codes injured in the portal.
One of my favorite features is that you get the PBX portal embedded into Microsoft Teams. This gives you a lot of power depending on the user status. And if you want to present this to your user, if you’re going to be able to show them that the PBX portal and all the functionality from the PBX portal is integrated into Teams itself, which just makes it really easy for your customer to manage answering rules or managing call cues or anything that you do from the portal is easily achieve within Teams itself.
So everything lives within the Teams environment and we’re able to do or manage both your Teams’ interactions and your regular PBX interactions in one place.
Exactly. One of the questions that I see here is during the beta only basic users could be added; has this been updated to allow all user licenses to be set up in the Teams Connector?
And the answer is yes, you can use everything up to an Office Manager. What it does is it uses the masquerade functionality within our PBX, so when you’re provisioning your user account here, your domain, and we can set up a reseller level user, and then you can masquerade any role under that reseller.
Advanced features like these help make the finer points of communication and customization easier and faster for you and your customers. And with more features on the way, you know you’ll have a steady stream of great solutions that your customers will love.
To see what else the SkySwitch Teams Connector platform can do for you, watch the full webinar right here.
SkySwitch is proud to have developed an innovative, unique tool that makes connecting to Microsoft Teams with the SkySwitch platform easier than ever before.
But is Teams Connector right for you in the first place?
Corey Stoker, VP of Support at SkySwitch, breaks down just a few of the features that make Teams Connector a highly sought-after option.
We’re going to be looking at the Teams Connector platform today. And I want to go through the ups and downs of the Teams Connector so you know if this product is right for you or not, and I think there’s a lot of questions to be answered, as for who’s the target audience, does this interrupt my current sales? Does it give me new customers? And hopefully, we can answer all that today, plus show you what the application does.
The Teams Connector platform is a third-party application, which is powered by TeamMate and that’s Micah and his company.
We integrated TeamMate with our API to make it easy and simple for you to integrate Microsoft Teams. And that essentially turns Microsoft Teams into a softphone, and it’s kind of a basic softphone, but you get some added functionality within the Teams application such as portal access.
One thing that I want to spell out about the Teams Connector is it is fully brandable, almost to a flaw.
You can brand everything from the portal, to the emails that go out, to the customer, the knowledge base, and from start to finish – you’re able to give your customers an experience that makes it look like it’s your product completely, which is very important, obviously in our business.
Corey, does it replace the softphone or work alongside it?
It can do either one. It works, as you can see on the page (in the video), so you can install Teams itself on iPhone, or Andriod, and if you do the setup on your PC or sign in to the Teams account, your PBX softphone will automatically integrate over so you can use it instead of ReachUC, mobile app.
It is a little bit more featureless, but you get calling capabilities through the PBX with Teams. You’re also getting voicemail control. So you can do voicemail independently in Teams. You can turn that off. In fact, we typically would recommend you turn it off. Then get music on hold and some other just basic functionality; such as dial-in, dial-out, and extension dialing.
One of the most important aspects of Teams Connector and the SkySwitch Teams Connector platform is the ability to completely brand everything you do.
It’s your brand, your customers, your image. Often your identity is the biggest selling point to your customers and why they stay with you for so long. With the SkySwitch Teams Connector platform, you won’t have to sacrifice any aspect of your brand identity or image – it’s 100% you.
To see more about the SkySwitch Connectors Platform, check out the full webinar right here.
Microsoft Teams is a vital tool for a bevy of different businesses. But getting the most out of it wasn’t always the easiest thing – until now.
SkySwitch’s Engineering and Development teams have worked incredibly hard and diligently to bring the Teams Connector platform by SkySwitch to life.
Resellers are now able to bring an easy, efficient, and fast way to connect SkySwitch and Microsoft Teams for their customers.
Spend a few minutes meeting (some) of the team that helped make this awesome innovation a reality.
Good morning, everybody. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Welcome to probably the biggest ever SkySwitch Webinar in history.
It is amazing the number of signups we have for today’s topic, which is all about the Microsoft Teams Connector and how it integrates so elegantly, so nicely, so perfectly for all SkySwitch resellers and why we’ve made it easier for it to work.
You see, the whole idea around the Microsoft Teams Connector is to make it easier for you to connect your customers with the Microsoft Teams platform with the SkySwitch platform.
So, we have to tell you that the SkySwitch engineering team and development team have been working for months, very diligently behind the scenes, to ensure that you resellers really have great access to the best of all telecom solutions available.
As a result of all this hard work, we’re really excited to announce that SkySwitch has made connecting with Microsoft Teams fast and easy to deploy with the new SkySwitch Teams Connector
We also wanted to make sure our resellers fully understand the way the SkySwitch Teams Connector works and how the integration is so functional. I’m Andy Abramson. I’m with SkySwitch. I’m going to be joined by our good friend, probably the unsung hero inside the SkySwitch executive team, Corey Stoker, who’s our VP of support.
Many of you know Corey. I’m going to call it (this webinar) Corey recognition and appreciation day because Corey has done yeoman like work to make this happen and bring the SkySwitch Teams Connector to the forefront.
We’re also joined by Micah Singer, the Managing Director of Teammate Technology, who we worked with to deploy the API that makes this such an elegant and easy to use solution versus everything else that’s out there. And we’re going to talk all about that and all the intricacies that make the Teams Connector so, so, so good.
What are we going to cover this week?
Well, we’re going to cover what the Teams Connector really is exactly, who this app is right for because candidly, it’s not right for everybody.
What are some of the benefits for you to be selling teams with our PBX integration with SkySwitch or for starters, it makes you money.
And there’s also some risks of introducing Teams Calling with PBX integration because there’s some hurdles to do it. It’s not a one size fits all solution. That’s out there, but because of what we’ve done with Corey and Micah, we’ve made it easy and better for you. And lastly, we’re going to talk about all the documentation and set up information and as well as getting you started.
So, without further ado, you guys know who I am. You don’t need to know my background, but let’s talk a little bit about Corey.
Corey has been in the voiceover IP industry for about 11 years. He’s been in IP management, leads our support team, and really optimizes the Support Department to make it work great.
Corey believes that support must be attacked from every angle. It’s not just about solving trouble tickets and resolving issues, but really it’s about preventative medicine, identifying the trends, continuous employee development, training, documentation, customer education. Corey has done it all.
So, Corey’s got a bunch of employees who help him. We’ve grown from five people who started working with him to now 32, he’s built a continued developing training program and he allows the support personnel to really train by reading, watching videos, and all that.
So, that’s Corey and then Micah Singer. Well, Micah has been a technology disruptor for years. He’s been on the webinars with us before just like Corey. He founded VoIP Logic and then sold to BroadSoft in 2016, which of course now is owned by Cisco.
Before that, he was the VP of Business Development at Justice Technology and founded Omni Access and is a graduate of Williams College. And when he’s not busy coming up with great technology solutions, you can find him riding up and down the hills as he’s an avid cyclist.
This team of innovators helped lead the development and implementation of the SkySwitch Teams Connector platform to bring SkySwitch resellers even more opportunities to give their customers the resources and tools that make connecting easier than ever before.
To see more about the Teams Connector platform and what it can do for you, check out the full webinar right here.
SkySwitch resellers have always been helping other resellers succeed. With BCM One adding a lot of new services and opportunities to your repertoire, it’s even more important that we keep helping one another.
In this Q and A, we take a look at some of the pressing questions our resellers had.
Do the SD-WAN products support single circuits?
For both Meraki and also the Versa solutions, yes. SD-WAN works best when there are two diverse circuits into the boxes for load balancing and to route around outages. Typically, we’ll do one physical circuit like a cable circuit or fiber circuit plus a 3g or 4g wireless as a backup.
Infiot also works as a single circuit. Another question we have is, ‘is this a client-side router’?
Yes, it’s essentially a managed firewall router.
That’s a good answer. Lance Walsh wants to know, can BCM One sell wholesale to a SkySwitch partner?
Yeah. Great question. At this current time, no, that’s not available. This is a direct bill to an end-user with the omissions program for the reseller currently.
And then guy Fawkes wants everybody to know that they can buy the Microsoft Action Pack and it comes with all the software, including Office 365. Thank you, guy. Love how our resellers help each other out.
Mark Harler asks, we’re working with a master agent to sell services. Will BCM One replace the master agent?
No, we will not replace the master agent. We obviously have a program where you could sign a BCM One contract to sell our services as a direct partner. But we also have contracts with, I think at this point, almost 10 national master agents. If you have a preferred one, I would encourage you to let me know who that is and we probably have a contract if that’s what you want. We’re not a master agent, we’re a single-source technology provider. So we are a service provider. So we’re on the line card for many master agents as a service provider.
And then Phillips CS asked the question about the Infiot product, wanting to know, is it similar to what simple WAN offers, including the firewall features? Corey, take it away.
Yeah, it is. It’s not apples to apples though. So it offers everything that a simple WAN offers plus a little bit more and obviously some things are done differently.
As long as resellers keep helping resellers, we all win. This is even more important as BCM One has added several new opportunities. With the help of other resellers, you’ll be able to quickly learn everything you need to know to be the most successful reseller you can be.
Adding the new and exciting solutions that BCM One has to offer to your repertoire of options you have for your customers is a breeze.
Andy and Jayson will show you exactly how it’s done. Check it out.
Let’s talk about how you activate the accounts. Jayson, this will be really helpful for our resellers. And, again, resellers, if you have any questions, please post them in the Q and A or follow up with either Jason or Corey or reach out to the folks at BCM One. Jayson, how do we get all this going?
Very, very simple. Everybody has access to their own admin console, which is our dash manager. Just go to the add-on services in the far right drop-down menu and click add-on services. And then it’s going to open the selection set, just choose the BCM One partner program and submit that form.
That will come into Andy and myself, and then one of BCM One’s contacts, either Daniel Vaughn or Andy Steinke.
Once you go ahead and submit that form with your reseller number we’ll take care of the rest. Then we’ll do a little onboarding with you and show you the lay of the land so you know how to go about ordering, getting quotes, and everything else.
It’s a very organized program. BCM One ensures it runs very smoothly so they can handle a large amount of orders. Once completed, someone within 48 hours will be in touch with you.
So go into the dash manager, select the BCM One channel partner program, submit a form. And then within 48 hours, someone from BCM One will be in touch with you. That’s a great easy solution.
BCM One and SkySwitch are committed to giving you the support and resources you need to be the most successful. Becoming a BCM One partner is designed to be easy and approachable so you can spend your time taking care of your customers, while we take care of you.
Check out the full webinar for even more information, resources, and support right here.
The way businesses communicate can change so quickly that standing still means you’re falling behind.
With BCM One and SkySwitch, you won’t just have exciting solutions available to you right now, but also the peace of mind that as the times change, you’ll have an array of solutions that will help keep you at the front of the pack.
Here’s what the team has in the works.
Jayson, one of the questions we constantly are getting is will SkySwitch resellers be able to resell the BCM One product line and services under their own brand. What’s the answer to that?
Well, the short answer to that is not at this time. They’re not set up to do that. They’re going to do direct billing. If you want to get these services from BCM One, it’s going to be more of an agent commission type relationship, but let’s talk about some of those services that you can get.
We just launched our Teams Connector and it’s a very valuable tool and feature that you can take to market and generate some new monthly recurring revenue. And that’s what it’s all about, but if you’re not a Microsoft dealer, where do you buy those licenses? Where do you find Microsoft Office 365 licenses? How do you source those?
And this is part of what we’re bringing to the SkySwitch reseller channel. Some of these products and services can be sourced from BCM one and they’re supported by BCM One. So you’re able to make those commissions off those products.
Let’s talk about connectivity. That’s huge. I’m sure many of you have gone into existing clients that need to upgrade their internet. Maybe they want to move to MPLS. Maybe it’s a five-site MPLS deal that you would just take somewhere else. But now you can take it right to BCM One, let their team of professionals get a quota. Get it, get it architected perfectly for you so you can go to market. And then (you) have a sister company, SkySwitch, that’s helping you fulfill that and support that and ensure great service and uptime on that circuit. That’s what it’s all about. Even though you can’t white label it and bill it as your own, you know, it’s coming from BCM One and you’re going to be protected as a valued SkySwitch reseller.
If someone orders MPLS from BCM One for a multi-site location. Is it going to be possible to connect the circuit to the SkySwitch data center, or is it going to be a better QoS experience by doing it directly with BCM One? Andrew D’Elia, can you answer that question? Because you got multi-site MPLS, you got our resellers connecting their customers to our pops, and now you’ve got the BCM One pops. How do we do it?
On day one, no. Our MPLS networks that we manage and also resell won’t connect into the SkySwitch platform today. But that is on our roadmap. We have all of our assets that a BCM One has been acquiring over time. We’re working through that roadmap and tying into all of them. So SkySwitch is on the docket, we just don’t have a timeline just yet, but that will be coming for sure, making it an end-to-end QoS experience for your clients.
So explain why having that end-to-end experience is so important and talk about some of the hiccups that can occur if you don’t do it the right way.
The benefit of that (end-to-end QoS) is call quality. Ultimately when a client is leveraging the public internet, yes, the public internet is pretty solid. It has come a long way over time, but there is congestion, especially now, with a lot of people working from home, some of those last miles, and some of those smaller carriers are getting overloaded and we are experiencing some call quality issues related to jitter, packet loss, and latency. Having a QoS enabled, an end-to-end solution, will guarantee that call quality from the customer’s location all the way to the SkySwitch pop. So it is important. There is a demand for it. Clients do come to us asking for QoS enabled, end-to-end networks. And we’re happy to build them. If you have a sizable client, we will build it right away. So it’s just something to bring to the table. Bring us the opportunity. We can review it.
So you’re able to manage the last mile. Or is connectivity in a way to ensure that the traffic moves at a consistent pace? So you don’t have, as you said, packet loss, buffer, jitter, rebuffering any of the things that, you know, lead to a bad call like echo, one-way audio, all those things are detrimental to a call experience. So by going with MPLS and BCM One, those companies that have a multi-site location setup, or even remote location setups, will be able to have a much better quality of service experience. That’s what I’m hearing you say.
That is a hundred percent accurate. Absolutely. And one thing, just to add, all of the services that we do sell on the BCM One platform, we include proactive monitoring and also remediation. We have eyes on glass, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, watching these services that we install for our clients. We’re not just sitting there watching. Should an alert go off, they’re the ones remediating. So we have that extra layer of monitoring and management for our clients.
Stay ahead of the pack with BCM One. Right now you have new opportunities available to your current customers, and with many new features and opportunities on the way, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the pack, too.
With the new services available to you right now, you’ll be able to give your customers a unique, effective solution that they’ll love.
And with the speed of technology, you need a team committed to leading the way like BCM One and SkySwitch.
Check out the full webinar to see what else is in the works for you.
SD-WAN solutions are becoming a must-have for businesses all across the country.
With BCM One on your side, you’ll have a variety of different WAN solutions. As the needs of your customers grow and change, you’ll always have the perfect option ready, with the support that your customers expect.
The team breaks down what different WAN solutions look like, and where they perform best.
Why don’t we go to Andrew D and let him talk a little bit about the BCM One enterprise-grade SD-WAN solution? And then I want to have Corey talk a little bit about what we’ve got up our sleeve. So Andrew, why don’t you start off?
We do have a couple of flavors of SD. We do have our enterprise-grade, which is Versa. With Versa, we’re doing something a little special; tying that into our pops and we created gateways so clients can connect to us over the Versa SD-WAN and connect to our services that we offer.
That is a unique one that we’re rolling out.
Then we also have Cisco Meraki as an option for more of our mid-tier clients, that are looking for ease of use, a little security, and so on.
We have those options available to us. To Andy’s point earlier, we go through a whole design phase with a client, right? We understand their business requirements, understand what their technical needs are, and then we bring solutions to the table. So we’re not just a one-trick pony. We will bring outside vendors if we have to, to solve problems. That’s mainly what we want to do for our enterprise clients and that is: solve problems. We generally fall back on our design skills and the building of technology solutions.
Corey, we heard from Andrew about what is a more big enterprise or large business SD-WAN solution. That’s good for some SkySwitch reseller clients, but for the bread and butter of our resellers, we’ll have those small businesses. And as SD-WAN becomes more important with people working from home and working in remote locations and with internet infrastructure constantly changing. What do we have up our sleeve?
I can talk about Infiot. It’s a fairly new product. We’ve been working with it for about a year, but it’s fairly new to market. And BCM One is actually a little bit familiar with them, but it serves an SMB rather than the enterprise (sized business). We have servers in each one of our pops. We have a webinar coming up in the next couple of weeks here, but it’s going to be available to you this week or next week through the SkySwitch store, a lot of information is going to be hitting the pipeline and you should see more coming soon.
Well, you’re right. We do have a webinar coming up in a few weeks. You’ll be hearing all about that and what we’re doing at Infiot. Pay attention to the weekenders and your emails, because having talked with the Infiot people last week about their solution, it’s quite different from a lot of the solutions that are being aimed at small/medium businesses. And I think in a few week’s time when we have their team on, it’s going to be some eye opening stuff for them.
Having so many solutions available to you lets you be ultra-specific in what you’re offering your customers. Plus, as your customers grow and change, you can be there before a problem happens, because of your vast array of solutions at the ready.
See what else BCM One has up their sleeve by checking out the whole webinar right here.