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.

SkySwitch Gives Resellers an Edge with New Mobility Solution

White Label Resellers Can Now Deliver A Better Mobile UC Experience To Users

Industry research shows the immediate need for the truly unified communication experience delivered by ReachUC. In a recent survey conducted by Canam Research on behalf of Avaya, it was found that 60% of employees spend more than a quarter of their time away from their desk. Plantronics research shows that most SMB employees feel more productive when working away from the office than at the office.

With ReachUC, users access the same communications features from their SIP deskphone, mobile app, or desktop environment. Supported features include VoIP, Video, and GSM calling, SMS and text chat, PBX presence and contact management, web conferencing, fax, and push notifications. 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 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. These include an extension to make calls from Google Chrome browser pages and a plug-in to place calls, synchronize contacts and send faxes from Microsoft Outlook.

All features are controlled by resellers from the SkySwitch Dashboard, such that end-users can be granted access to specific functionality in a way that enables resellers to logically control billing for bundles.

“Previous Skyswitch mobile apps did not provide the complete integrated experience that we feel is required to compete in today’s market,” said Jayson Jones, VP of Business Development at SkySwitch. “In order to meet the demands of our Resellers and their end users, we leveraged the ReachUC product to create the solution that we had envisioned. Not only does it deliver a very rich user experience, provisioning and management is simplified within the SkySwitch Reseller Dashboard.”

Louis LeBlanc president of Orgeon Phone Systems and longtime SkySwitch reseller said, “ReachUC, is a welcome upgrade to an already impressive white label hosted phone solution. Our clients are thrilled with the iOS Call Kit integration and well as the ease of use and voice quality it provides. The addition of mobility, along with the consistent feature access across deskphone, mobile, and desktop is impressive.”

To see a video demonstration of the integration of ReachUC with the SkySwitch platform, please visit http://www.skyswitch.com/skyswitch-integrates-reachuc/

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.

View source version on prweb.com at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/07/prweb14513943.htm

 

How SkySwitch Improves VoIP Quality for SIP Mobility

While I was working for NetSapiens, I wrote a blog called Maximizing VoIP Quality Over Wireless Links with Codec Selection that explained how a service provider might improve VoIP QoS by using the iLBC codec.

Now, with the availability of the SkySwitch Mobile VoIP solution, I am happy to say that we are putting theory into practice.  One way we do this, is by using our Always Available geo-diverse architecture to anchor media at the switch that is geographically closest to the end user.

But the most important strategy we employ to maximize QoS for users of the PBX Fone app is to leverage iLBC, the best available codec for callers over WiFi, 3G and 4G wireless networks.

The term codec  refers to the sampling rate and compression scheme used to digitize an audio stream and, as might be expected, codecs with higher fidelity require more bandwidth. The table below (borrowed from Broadcom) shows the perceived speech quality and bit rates of ten different codecs across different languages.  In a VoIP call, the goal is to use the codec which results in the best possible user experience.  But because  packet loss and delay reduce voice quality, a trade-off must always be made  between codec fidelity and bandwidth consumption.

Most service providers consider G.711 and G.729 as the “standards”  because virtually all of their existing vendors (SIP carriers and trunk providers) and equipment providers (SIP CPE and gateways) support these codecs – and therefore compatibility issues are less likely to arise.  As reflected in the bandwidth calculation chart below (borrowed from Cisco),  including overhead, G.711 requires nearly three times more bandwidth than G.729 (87.2 Kbps vs. 31.2 Kbps).  It’s obvious then, that G.729 is a better choice than G.711 when bandwidth is an issue.

 

But, bandwidth consumption is not the whole story.  There is another factor to consider when choosing a codec as a service provider:  loss concealment.   (Software developers often argue about the merits of a codec based on license cost, computational requirements, whether it is open source or encumbered by patents, and other such things.  These issues, though interesting, are immaterial to the typical service provider and will be ignored in this discussion.)

In many wireless last mile situations (including WiFi and cellular data 3G/4G), bandwidth is subject to packet loss and/or unpredictable drop-outs due to ambient conditions.  In these cases, after all the factors are taken into consideration the iLBC codec is the better choice because:

  • among the narrowband codecs, it has similar payload size and fidelity to G.729
  • it is supported by many SIP CPE/handset vendors (e.g. Linksys, Polycom, Apple iOS, Android, and many others); and
  • it performs well in lossy conditions (referred to as robustness).

While there are other codecs with smaller payload size, or greater robustness, they are generally not supported by commonly available SIP Phones, and are therefore impractical choices.

The diagram below, taken from COMPARISONS OF FEC AND CODEC ROBUSTNESS ON VOIP QUALITY AND BANDWIDTH EFFICIENCY,  illustrates that the call quality (referred to as MOS) of G.729 at 8% packet loss is equivalent to the call quality of iLBC  at 15% packet loss – a nearly 100% improvement – in a typical WISP deployment scenario (by “typical”  I mean a network segment where UDP packet loss is anticipated, but packet delay is not an overt problem).  And, in real world usage, I have found that it is possible to carry on a reasonable conversation with packet loss approaching 30%, when using iLBC.

SkySwitch utilizes iLBC transcoders to allow calls from the SkySwitch mobilty app to accommodate the often lossy conditions of WiFi, 3G and 4G networks.  Give it a try for yourself and see the difference that strategic codec selection makes.