Wavelink Blog

Switchvox Overview | Business Phone System

New Release of Switchvox Strengthens Mobility and Call Convergence Features

Did you know that Digium has released another exciting new release of Switchvox?  It’s true.  Switchvox version 6.6 takes the already popular features of Mobility and Call Convergence and makes them even stronger.

With Switchvox 6.6, every user can be paired with up to 5 total Digium devices, all under one license.   This allows every person in your company to utilize not just a single desk phone, but perhaps, multiple handsets at different locations (for example, you can use a Digium phone at home, in the office and the softphone when you’re on-the-go). And with the latest releases of Switchvox softphone for Android and iOS, with updated interfaces to match our award-winning D80 touchscreen phone, taking your business calls with you on-the-go has never been this simple or cost-effective.

Now, the power of Switchvox extends beyond one-to-one and truly enables your workforce to work where they want, when they want, and how they want.

Switchvox also now comes with LDAP / Active Directory integration for authentication.  Use your Windows domain or Active Directory password to access your web user suite, or to log into the administrator suite.  It’s one less password to remember and one more way that Switchvox continues to make Unified Communications easy.

This version of Switchvox also offers a whole host of other small upgrades and enhancements for the best Unified Communications experience.  For full information on Switchvox 6.6, including important information to read before upgrading, visit our FAQ.

As always: Switchvox is not just a phone system, it’s a better way to communicate.

What Internet Speed Do You Need to Support VoIP?

If you’re considering a VoIP phone system for your business or organization, you’re probably well aware of the many benefits a VoIP  (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system has to offer. A VoIP PBX saves you money, comes with lots of robust modern features, enables your team to work from anywhere, is incredibly easy to use, scales easily with your business as you grow or downsize, and much more. But you may not know some of the requirements you need to help ensure the best quality of service, such as your Internet speed.

A basic requirement for VoIP

Before you can experience all the benefits of a VoIP solution that utilizes a SIP Trunk (or VoIP Trunk), you first need to make sure your Internet speed is adequate.

Instead of using traditional telephone lines, VoIP Trunks, also known as VoIP Circuits or SIP Trunks use the Internet to make and receive calls, so Internet speed is one of many crucial factors in determining how pleasant your experience will be.

In this article, we’ll go over what Internet specifications you’ll need in order to ensure that your phone system makes a seamless transition to a VoIP provider.

How Internet speed and bandwidth affect your business

You may have noticed that if you try to do too many things online at the same time – like browsing the web, watching videos, or downloading files – your Internet speed can start to drag.  Your internet speed, also known as bandwidth, is delivered as a set amount of speed at any one time and when you try to do too many resource-heavy activities at once, you can quickly exceed the allocated amount.

This may be a simple inconvenience when it happens to your home Internet, for example, your video may take a little longer to load, but ultimately, it gets the job done.  With a real-time voice application, however, as is the case with a VoIP Trunk, having a lack of bandwidth can cause poor call quality and dropped calls.

When taking into consideration that phone calls are still the primary channel for customer communications (source), it’s especially important that your business does not let a lack of bandwidth affect your customer-facing communications platform. A poor phone experience can have a negative impact on your brand.

In order to avoid bandwidth-related call-quality problems you have to determine how much bandwidth you’re going to need to support a new VoIP phone system, as well as your existing internet-usage requirements.

How much bandwidth do I need for a VoIP phone system?

Bandwidth is one of a series of important aspects of your VoIP phone system setup that is critical for success.  To help you determine how much bandwidth you will need to support a new phone system, use can use the following equation:

 

G711 – A common VoIP call protocol requires approximately 64kbps

Using G711, you can have approximately 12 concurrent calls for each 1Mbps of bandwidth.

So, if your company needs to support 120 concurrent calls, you’d need 10Mbp service

 

You’ll want to keep in mind that the amount of bandwidth you require is above and beyond your standard internet usage. If you are an office with a 10Mbp Internet connection, looking to support 120 concurrent calls, you would have no bandwidth left over to do things like browse videos, check email, or stream music.  Therefore, you would need to increase your connection speed to account for standard usage, plus additional voice calls overhead.  Additionally, other voice protocols can use more or less bandwidth, so you will want to check with your phone system manufacturer to see which protocols your system will use.

Quality is more than just raw speed

The quality of your bandwidth or internet connection also plays a part in how well your VoIP Trunk will function.  Imagine that each call you try to make is a car.  Your car/call is trying to make it from your home to your nearest city.  To do so, it has to hop on the highway.  How many lanes the highway has is essentially bandwidth.  The more lanes you have, the more cars (or calls) that can get to the city.  But what happens during rush hour, or when there’s an accident on the highway, or a lane closure.  These unexpected delays cause your car to slow down and delay your arrival.  The same happens with your voice-calls and internet traffic with what is called latency and jitter.

If your internet provider and VoIP Trunk provider do not account for these potential delays, you could experience equally poor call quality.  Just like you would to avoid being late to your meeting, your VoIP provider and internet carrier can adjust for potential delays and ‘leave earlier’.  From a technical standpoint, you don’t have to know how it happens, however, you do want to ask the question, how does (my system, my trunk, my internet carrier) handle jitter and latency for voice traffic.

An easy way to prep for VoIP services

While some of this may seem overly technical, there are pre-built tools online to help you in your journey.  You don’t need to be a technology expert or even a voice/telephone administrator to see if your company and your internet connection are ready to support a VoIP service.

To test your current Internet speed, for free, check out our VoIP Network Test tool. It will provide you with an easy-to-read report that will help you determine whether your services will support a Voice platform, or whether you should consider an upgrade.  

Why new data breach laws may only be the tip of the iceberg for Australian SMEs

While Australia has already mandated remedial action against data breaches with the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme coming into effect in February 2018, there may be more to follow and businesses must act now to prepare, according to Wavelink.

The laws being implemented overseas are far more stringent than those in Australia. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), being introduced in 2018, means that an organisation could be fined up to the greater of €10 million or two per cent of its annual revenue for failing to comply with the notification provision. (1)

Hugo Hutchinson, Wavelink’s national business development manager for Fortinet, said, “Standards implemented in Australia are often based on global and international initiatives. Irrespective of what happens in the future, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) must act now to plan for the NDB scheme, as it would be naïve to think this won’t be ramped up over time.”

Protecting against data breaches is essential for SMEs, many of which go out of business within six months if they face a data breach. According to the U.S National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 per cent of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyberattack. (2) This means some type of security strategy is crucial to the business’s ongoing sustainability.

Many SMEs lack the resources to a take comprehensive security stance. But, despite a lack of in-house skills or budget, it is important that they at least start with the basics.

According to McKinsey & Company, one myth surrounding cybersecurity is that more advanced technology translates to stronger security. Cybersecurity teams often use powerful, cutting-edge technologies to protect data and other corporate assets but many threats can be mitigated using less-advanced methods. (3)

Hugo Hutchinson said, “There is no longer any excuse for SMEs to do nothing. Vendors are constantly working to offer scalable solutions that are accessible to every size business. SMEs should start by implementing a basic firewall and then work with a partner to create a 12- to 24-month plan to get security up to where it should be, and then review it regularly to stay on top of changes in the threat landscape.”

References:
(1) https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8185429b-c98d-484a-9fce-890606c42804
(2) http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/23/small-companies-cyber-attack-out-of-business/
(3) https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/hit-or-myth-understanding-the-true-costs-and-impact-of-cybersecurity-programs

Key components of a cyber security program in schools

The school environment is commonly viewed as an easy target for hackers, making it critical for schools to bring their cybersecurity programs up to speed or risk a serious breach, according to Wavelink.

Two major breaches have occurred in Australian schools this year and these attacks will continue to increase as schools are targeted with phishing, ransomware, and DDoS attacks. (1)

Hugo Hutchinson, Wavelink’s national business development manager for Fortinet, said, “A cybersecurity program in schools is no longer optional with all signs pointing to an increase in attacks over the next few years.

“It is important that principals, and the board, take a leadership approach to cybersecurity. Much like CEOs have been held to account in the business world, the same will be a reality for principals who are seen to do nothing when it comes to protecting private data in schools.”

Key components of a cybersecurity program in schools include:

1. Technology. Schools need to implement technology such as firewalls and network tools to monitor the environment. Network visibility will provide important information on breaches as well as on what students are doing on the Internet. Schools should extend security to students’ home environments by implementing client software, which applies the same security policies at home as it does at school.

2. Patch management. Security technology is constantly being updated and patched by vendors. It is important that, no matter what security software is in place, the school keeps up to date with patch management.

3. Reporting. The right reporting tools will provide the right information in the event of a breach such as which files have been compromised. This will help schools get on top of a breach faster.

4. Content/web filtering. Content/web filtering is essential in a school environment to protect the children by preventing access to unsecure or unsuitable online content.

5. Education and awareness. Cyber education is important for teachers and students. They should be aware of the policies and what to look for, and what to avoid, when using the network.

 

Reference:

(1)    https://www.schoolgovernance.net.au/2017/06/01/two-major-privacy-breaches-in-victorian-schools-paw-messages-more-relevant-than-ever/

Why IoMT is putting healthcare facilities at risk

The rise of digital healthcare and technological advances such as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is critical in creating better services and experiences for patients. However, these technologies also put healthcare facilities at considerable risk, according to Wavelink.

Hugo Hutchinson, Wavelink’s national business development manager for Fortinet, said, “Wireless connectivity and IoMT improves productivity, responsiveness, and patient resolution.

“However, a breach in security can cause loss of confidential patient information and even put lives at risk. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are a major threat vector at the moment, and are ripe targets for ransomware, DDos attacks, and IoMT breaches.”

While many facilities might not have the resources in-house to address their security concerns effectively, they can find a partner that can walk them through the journey. The right partner can guide the facility in making important decisions about how to manage and segregate the network to minimise the risk. For example, there should be different access levels and credentials for doctors, nurses, patients, and third-party visitors such as maintenance contractors.

Hugo Hutchinson said, “The security environment must include technology, governance, and awareness. Facilities should look for a partner to a conduct a cyber threat assessment so they know where they are today from a security risk perspective and have the information they need to get to an acceptable risk level in the next 12-24 months.

“In addition, consider reaching out to other similar organisations to understand what they are doing and even look at resources such as Essential Eight Explained and Internet of Things Security Guideline to see how they can help. Not everything is a cost, and there are many free resources to get started with.”

Source: Stoneridge Partners website.

Spectralink Roadshow | Thanks for coming

Wavelink would like to thank all those who attended our Spectralink roadshow and we hoped that it was informative and worthwhile for you as it was for us.

If you have any follow up questions about any of the topics that were covered, please feel free to contact your channel manager for more information.

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Spectralink Applications Demo | Duress Button – Code Black

In this video, we will demonstrate an emergency duress situation, using a Spectralink 8400 series handset, a Spectralink PIVOT:SC handset and SERIA by Olinqua.

If you have any questions about duress or Spectralink handsets feel free to contact us at sales@wavelink.com.au
http://wavelink.com.au/ 

The Biggest Little Phone System

Unlike “The Little Engine That Could,” there is no need to chant, “I think I can, I think I can…” when it comes to overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds – especially when it comes to choosing a more powerful phone system.

The smallest (in stature only) on-premise appliance that Digium recently released, the Switchvox E510, might be small but there’s no doubt about it.  It slays the competition.

Especially in the lower side of the SMB spectrum, small businesses have had difficulty finding an affordable phone system that isn’t limited in functionality, features, or usability.

 

Choosing a Phone System That Performs for Your Business

In the past, the “choices” of these budget-savvy business shoppers have been generally relegated to buying a phone system that is cheap, but as a trade-off you:

  • lose functionality,  such as the ability to work receive calls remotely, just as if you’re in the office
  • accept limits on features, such as a only being able to use a ring-all call queue or hunt group that can only have 5 phones in it and has no options for things like custom music on hold, or announcements for those waiting
  • get stuck with phones that are hard to use, interfaces that are not intuitive, or have a system that is not manageable by non-VoIP telephony experts.

Powerful and Affordable

But that’s all changed.  Just introduced on August 1, and now available, is the more powerful Switchvox E510 appliance. When it’s bundled with the award-winning Switchvox software, small businesses get all the enterprise-class, fully-featured, and advanced (yet simple) functions of its powerful enterprise brethren, but at a cost even the smallest of businesses can afford.  And though it’s an appliance that can essentially fit in the palm of your hand, it’s powerful enough to let your business enjoy multi-tiered Auto-Attendants, Visual Voicemail, Mobility options (such as advanced Call Rules), softphones and Call Queues with full functionality.

If you haven’t seen it already, check out our overview video that features the E510 as well as the other appliances in our new lineup. Let us show you how Switchvox can reinvigorate and optimize how your business communicates.

How the Channel can Facilitate the Security Journey for Organisations

When it comes to security, the channel plays an important role in helping organisations navigate their journey. Channel partners can help raise awareness and help customers plan to comply with new mandatory data breach reporting requirements, according to Wavelink.

Hugo Hutchinson, Wavelink’s national business development manager for Fortinet, said, “Organisations are constantly looking to technology to support business outcomes and drive business growth. To do this, they require partners that can support, manage and accelerate this. Security is an important part of this.”

To be successful the channel needs to be able to facilitate security conversations with all levels of business leadership, from the CEO to managing directors and CIOs. This requires a terminology change that is less about technology and more about mitigating risk, and supporting organisational goals.

Hugo Hutchinson said, “To do this the channel needs be up to speed with the current security and threat environment, and have regular training. All of this will help the channel communicate to organisations the importance of security investment in such a way that organisations will be receptive and willing to prioritise it.”

This is where vendor and distributor relationships are so important.

Hugo Hutchinson said, “As an extension of the vendor, distributors play a critical part in relaying information to resellers so they stay up to date, are aware of product, service and market changes, and receive training. For Wavelink, taking a multi-pronged approach to helping channel partners ensures that it is helping them assist customers in reaching their security goals.

“Through investment in in-house expertise to facilitate reseller growth, information sharing, workshops, webinars and promotions, Wavelink is proactive in ensuring its resellers are trained and upskilled in security to drive conversations with customers based on their understanding of organisational challenges and requirements in today’s complex security environment.”

-ENDS-

About Wavelink
Wavelink specialises in the supply, marketing and support of a range of leading edge technology solutions for the mobile enterprise.  Wavelink distributes a range of products from Spectralink, Fortinet, Spok, Olinqua and Digium. For more information please contact Wavelink on 1300 147 000.

 

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