Like many IT specialists in the education field, Arapahoe Charter School‘s (ACS) network administrator Mark Prescott planned to spend the recent Spring Break taking care of some routine maintenance tasks, and enjoying a well-deserved breather after a busy semester. However, when his school’s on-site private branch exchange (PBX) suddenly went down, he was forced into action and made a quick-thinking decision that turned a potential nightmare into a triumphant success story: he called VoIP solutions provider Carolina Digital.
To Mark’s amazement, that same afternoon Carolina Digital’s CEO Nicky Smith arrived with a team of experts who rapidly integrated the necessary SIP trunks, which linked the school’s communication server with its Internet telephone service provider (ITSP).
The end result was that instead of being off-the-grid for what could have been weeks — which would have been unacceptable to staff and parents alike — ACS’s telecommunication system was back online and, what’s more, much improved and primed for the school’s next phase of its infrastructure development plan.
“We had already planned on switching our telecommunications from a landline system to a VoIP system, and the work that Carolina Digital did actually ended up moving us significantly forward towards that goal,” commented Mark Prescott. “Nicky and his team achieved in one day what I expected would take two weeks. They were extremely responsive, professional, and truly understood that telecommunications in a school setting isn’t just about the technology and hardware, but it’s also about security, safety and meeting standards. The experience was better than I could have possibly imagined. Carolina Digital literally saved Spring Break for us!”
“We pride ourselves on being responsive and always putting our customers first, without compromise,” commented Nicky Smith, whose company is a leading provider of USAC Category 1 eligible hosted telecommunications for K-12 schools in the Southeast United States. “Mark is an innovator, and on the leading edge of educational technology. He championed VoIP in his school because he knows how it empowers staff, supports parents, and helps drive overall student engagement and success. It was a pleasure to be there for him and his team at ACS when they needed us the most.”
For additional information regarding Carolina Digital, visit https://carolinadigital.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Carolina Digital
Carolina Digital is a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provides products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony, while reducing their overall cost. The company’s offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment, and many user-friendly packages – from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with existing land lines, cell phones or VoIP phones.
When a small North Carolina company with a handful of employees was awarded the Johnston County Schools contract for a new 4,500 phone system, shock waves reverberated throughout the industry. How does a small company with a few technicians go up against a Fortune 500 technology company over a complex, demanding government contract and win?
Nicky Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Digital, has a simple explanation, “Quality, Price and Service.” But a full analysis of these factors uncovers a story that is more interesting than Smith’s shorthand suggests and reveals a revolutionary new dynamic that is at work in the telecommunication industry specifically and has wide reaching repercussions for businesses across a multitude of industries.
The current state of the market for business phone systems is in flux. Mobile phone use dominates the headlines because of its explosive growth. But landline phones or fixed phones are also undergoing sea of changes as Internet Service has made the standard landline phone in many ways obsolete. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, the replacement for a traditional landline phone, have been adopted more quickly by residential users than by businesses. VoIP phones, in simpler terms, are phones that do not utilize the standard phone company lines but rather use the internet to transmit a digital audio signal. These phones are also referred to as IP phones.
Residential phone use today is split evenly between VoIP and traditional phone landlines, according to the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report, (Industry Analysis Report, 3). Meanwhile, for businesses,VoIP use is only 18 percent and a whopping 82 percent of business lines are still traditional. This might seem surprising but it makes sense considering early VoIP systems depended on an internet connection for service, which was anything but reliable in the early days. Also, prior to the ubiquitous high-speed connections, the bandwidth of most business internet connections wasn’t broad enough to allow multiple phones and computers to be online at the same time.
Another factor for consideration related to business operations is the complexity and functionality needed in the phone system of an organization with a multitude of phones and departments. Initially, VoIP phones were not able to compete with all of the options available in an elaborate company phone system. But that pendulum has widely swung. The available features in a VoIP phone system now eclipses a legacy or standard phone system by a wide margin. Many companies have large capital investments in these systems as well and have been reluctant to make a switch to what has been perceived as an inferior service. However, the current VoIP phone is comparable to a complicated phone system. In fact, according to a study by Software Advice, business decision makers that are looking to switch from their standard landline phone system to a VoIP set-up, and they are doing so largely due to the more extensive phone features offered with VoIP phones. Features such as call queues, auto attendants, follow-me, find me and complex call routing rules, that can all be easily modified.
As the numbers show, VoIP phone adoption is the biggest change going on in the business phone industry. In fact, the rate of growth of VoIP phones is actually five times that of the rate of growth of mobile phones, although the number of mobile phones is much higher. The decline of traditional phone lines is currently 10 percent per year according to the FCC. As VoIP phone systems have become more and more robust, dependable and feature rich, the switchover from traditional phone system in the business community has become inevitable. It’s no longer a matter of whether a company will switch to a VoIP phone system or not, but when.
This presents a tremendous opportunity for the telecommunications industry as thousands and thousands of businesses have held off making a change and have clung onto existing legacy phone systems, thereby creating a pent-up tsunami of need, set to burst across the nation in the form of demand for new VoIP phones. There are numerous mega-telecommunications companies that are vying for this business, such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, Windstream, Time Warner Cable and Earthlink. Unlike the traditional phone services that have been dominated by large monopolistic companies ever since the invention of the phone, the VoIP phone market contains smaller companies that are competing for market share in the new and growing VoIP industry.
However, it’s not just businesses that are converting to VoIP. In addition to the business community, there is a plethora of organizations that stand to benefit greatly from the new functionality, freedom and cost savings, that VoIP offers; from the small nonprofit to a large municipality, and just about any organization in-between that has a need for dedicated phones — even a county school system, such as Johnston County Schools in North Carolina.
Johnston County sits in the eastern half of central North Carolina, southeast of Wake County, home of the state capital, Raleigh. Johnston County is mostly rural, encompassing numerous small towns and communities with a total county population of approximately 177,000. The county seat is Smithfield, with a population of 12,965.
Caller ID Service is susceptible to fraud known as Caller ID ‘spoofing’, in which disreputable persons or businesses can falsify the
Caller ID number to disguise the identity of the caller. You may wish to use caution when answering calls from unfamiliar numbers.
More information is available at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/202654304-Caller-ID-and-Spoofing.
Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules:
- Prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.
- Subject violators to a penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of the rules.
- Exempt authorized activities by law enforcement agencies and situations where courts have authorized caller ID manipulation to occur.
Read more and how to file a complaints at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/202654304-Caller-ID-and-Spoofing
At Carolina Digital Phone we are very proud of being a Yealink IP Phone Partner. Yealink has be recognized and awarded the 2015 Internet Telephony Product of the Year since 2010. Yealink, founded in 2001, is a global leader in IP based unified communications and is dedicated to communication telephony innovations. Customers from more than 100 countries and areas worldwide enjoy Yealink’s reliable unified communications IP Phone solutions through our well-established global sales and service network. Their vision is to become the world’s leading unified communications solution provider, helping people to maximize their business success through cloud-based unified communications ecosystems that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere globally, under any type of network. Learn more about Yealink at this short video below:
Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2015) – The Federal Communications Commission today modernized and streamlined its rules governing the distribution of phone numbers by leveling the playing field for interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, which are increasingly popular with consumers.
Interconnected VoIP providers – defined as those capable of placing and receiving calls to and from the traditional phone network — currently must get numbers from third-party carriers. Allowing these providers to go directly to numbering administrators for phone numbers will benefit consumers by reducing costs and promoting additional competition from these innovative VoIP providers, the FCC found.
The Order adopted unanimously by the FCC also facilitates the ongoing transitions in communications technology that are sweeping the nation and improves FCC oversight of the numbering system. These improvements will help ensure that calls connect nationwide and provide more accountability in and protections for the numbering system.
Nearly one-third of all retail local telephone connections – about 48 million connections – were served by VoIP at the end of 2013. Giving VoIP providers direct access to numbers will promote competitive choice for consumers, including by speeding the transfer of a customer’s existing number to or from an interconnected VoIP provider, known as “porting” a number.
The Order also imposes a number of conditions to protect and enhance the security and integrity of the numbering system. Conditions will also ensure that all numbers distributed are used, protecting the system from running out of phone numbers.
Action by the Commission June 18, 2015 by Report and Order (FCC 15-70). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly. Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly issuing statements.
When it comes to business phone systems, there are several decisions that an organization must make.
Perhaps the most basic, though important, is whether to pursue an on-premise or cloud-based solution. While there are advantages to both, many firms are increasingly reaching the conclusion that a cloud-based option is superior. Here are four reasons why cloud business phone systems are becoming more popular.
1. Lower Upfront Cost
One of the biggest advantages offered by a cloud business phone system is a low upfront cost. An on-site solution, on the other hand, requires significant costs on the front end, as the company needs to purchase and install a server on the premises. This makes cloud business phone systems particularly appealing to smaller businesses, as upfront costs are typically more of a burden. Of course, larger firms can also take advantage of these initial cost savings. Read At NetworkWorld Here
2. Greater Scalability
Another key reason for cloud business phone systems is greater scalability. As a business grows and expands it will require more phone lines, more features, more data storage capabilities and so on. With a cloud phone system, the business can increase its usage at any time. If the business contracts or experiences a less busy period, it can reduce usage and save money. With an on-premise solution, the firm must initially purchase a larger-than-needed appliance in order to prepare for growth. Until that time, the firm will essentially have overpaid for its Unified Communications needs, resulting in inefficiencies. When the business’s growth requires an upgrade, it will need to purchase a whole new solution, repeating this process.
3. Better Disaster Recovery
Disasters can and will strike businesses of all sizes, no matter their geographic locations. Organizations need telecommunications solutions they can depend upon in these circumstances. Cloud phone systems are undoubtedly superior in this regard. With the system based off-site, damage that affects the business will not necessarily incapacitate the service provider. The office may be shut down, but business operations can quite possibly continue. If the solution is based on-premise, any damage sustained by the office will also affect its communication system, thereby exacerbating the damage caused by the catastrophe.
4. Location Independence
Another advantage of hosted business phone systems is location independence. A hosted system enables businesses to redirect calls to any landline, international or mobile number. If a business or its owners relocate, they can continue to use their old phone numbers. This is critical for many firms since changing an established number can cause confusion among existing clients. Remote work is rapidly increasing in popularity, as it has the potential to improve employee morale and productivity while saving money. However, to be a viable solution, companies typically need to ensure that remote workers have access to robust telecommunications tools. Hosted phone systems are the most effective way of achieving this goal. Read More at this Link