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Be a Rock Star, find your Passion!

I just climbed off a plane coming home from the Bahamas where I spent the last few days with my company’s top sellers at our Presidents Club. Days before, I had flown directly from the CenturyLink Ascend event held in San Diego, California. The event had a wonderful energy, feel, and theme that resonated throughout the Advisory Council and General Sessions; “Find your passion, and make that your work.” At our President’s Club awards dinner, I told our attendees about the Ascend events keynote speakers, Sammy Hagar and Rob Shanahan. I mentioned how I heard one attendee express his dismay and wonder about what a couple of “rockers” could talk about that would help him sell more. I couldn’t have felt more the opposite. Both speakers talked about finding what they were passionate about and doing it for a living. For Rob, it was combining drumming, music, and photography into one. Shanahan took his passions, and has made a career out of taking pictures of the world’s music icons: The Beatles, the Stones, Van Halen, and many more. The stories alone are incredible, but to have it all documented in pictures is priceless! For Sammy, it obviously started with music, and has moved into tequila and great party venues. The Sammy Hagar Wikipedia page reveals some pretty startling figures around his business interests. As he said, “business is passion.” As each of them talked, I internally debated if I had found my passion. Is telecom really where I want to be, do I love doing it, do I have that passion? On that narrow of a question, would the...

CONTACT CENTERS IN THE CLOUD: SMART WAYS TO MANAGE THE SALES CYCLE

Cloud-based contact centers are big business, as discussed at a jam-packed session underwritten by master agent CarrierSales at the 2016 Channel Partners Conference & Expo. Yesterday, I revealed market drivers and target acquisition advice gleaned from the session. Now let’s talk insights on overcoming objections and what to look for in a solution. If there is an elephant in the room when discussing cloud services, it is almost always security. Issues ranging from regulatory compliance (PCI and HIPAA) to data sovereignty are likely to come up in the sales cycle. Most successful channel partners agree that it’s best to confront these issues head on early in the sales cycle; in fact, proactively exploring the topic of cloud security establishes you as a trusted adviser. “PCI and HIPAA are common compliance issues fueling the security concerns of many business owners considering migrating their infrastructure and applications to cloud services,” said Darren Gill, VP of channels and sales development at Interactive Intelligence. “While you can deliver compliant calls across the public Internet, mission-critical, 24/7 solutions may be better suited for a local trunking or hybrid solution.” Brett Theisen, SVP of global channel sales for inContact also notes that while cloud services have won over mindshare, uptime is still vitally important to contact centers. Plan accordingly. Other concerns about cloud services stem from where data resides and may be a matter of statutory requirement. For global deployments, getting ahead of this concern can shorten the sales cycle. “Data sovereignty is emerging as a growing issue for international companies,” said Rob Clarke, SVP of global platform sales for LiveOps. “Many countries, including Germany...

THE CLOUD CONTACT CENTER: CALL IT A CHANNEL OPPORTUNITY

Many channel partners know that just selling circuits doesn’t pay the bills anymore. What’s not always so clear is how to fill in the gaps. One hint: A recent report by research firm Frost and Sullivan on contact center modernization predicted that the cloud contact center market will grow to over $3 billion by 2017. Given that, it’s no wonder that more than 500 channel partners registered for a VIP event on the topic, sponsored by master agent CarrierSales, at the 2016 Channel Partners Conference & Expo. The panel brought together best-of-breed cloud contact center providers for an educational discussion focused on building a successful business around this hot market. Executives from ShoreTel, inContact, Interactive Intelligence, LiveOps and Five9 shared insights on identifying opportunities and creating strategies to build a successful practice. Some areas covered: What are the drivers fueling demand for cloud contact center solutions? How do you define a target market, decipher various contact center deployment models and handle objections to cloud services? And what should you look for from a cloud contact center provider? In this column, I’ll discuss market drivers and target acquisition. Tomorrow look for insights on models, overcoming objections and what to look for. Ready, Set, Sell First off, the shift of contact center solutions from on-premises to cloud is just starting. Ray Hicken, VP of sales for contact center solutions at CarrierSales, cited IDC data indicating that just 13 percent of contact center sales are based on cloud solutions now. This means there’s still plenty of growth opportunity for agents. When designing a message, it helps to understand what’s driving the move...

Why Should You Use Co-location Communication Services?

What is Co-location? Statistics show that more than $700 billion flows through global internet sales, and more than 73 percent of all people prefer to conduct business online when compared to a brick-and-mortar building. With this information in mind, business owners constantly search for ways to improve their online presence, marketability and conduction of business. However, small in-office servers take up time, energy and require a large bandwidth to operate properly, and consumers experience slower connections and will likely move along to another business. This is where co-location communications, commonly called colos, collocations or colocs, come into play. This broad term describes the use of large data centers to benefit online business. Brokers for co-location communication facilities, such as our own CarrierSales, have grown exponentially in the past two decades, and businesses have reaped the results. Let’s take a closer look at how co-location communications benefit businesses. Save Energy Resources When you choose to promote co-location centers such as C7 and ViaWest, you will reduce your business’s strain on environmental resources. Since we are a larger entity, we take on the cost of operating your servers. Your business will experience a decrease in your electrical usage and hardware cooling costs. Increased Bandwidth Our co-location facility uses a high-quality dedicated line to provide super-fast bandwidth to your online business. If your server is located in-office, you will be limited on how fast consumers can assess your servers; therefore, in-office business servers increase the possibility of low customer satisfaction and reduced repeat business. Saves Space Depending upon the number of servers required to operate your online business services, you may require...

Innovative Adaptations: What Could Be Expected in the Future for Cloud Computing?

Although over 95 percent of internet users currently engage in activities that involve the cloud, much of this is behind the scenes so that users don’t even realize they are part of the cloud computing universe. As cloud computing technology advances by the day, there are many directions in which the future of this enterprise could go. As the cloud adapts to what users want, user privacy and security will be at the forefront of the changes. Software Rentals Cloud computing of the future will allow you to rent software on an as-needed basis. Planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November? You’ll be able to rent a word processing program to do your writing and editing and then once you’re done with that stage, you’ll be able to rent software to create an e-book. On the business side of things, you’ll be able to rent the annual release of tax preparation software or give different statistical analysis programs before committing to any single piece of software. Increased App Functionality Web developers are increasingly making their wares available for use in the cloud instead of forcing you to download it to each device. Not only will this enhance your productivity, but it will also help you with consistency no matter where or what you’re working from. With the increased functionality will come a need for more telecom consultant specialists to provide assistance and troubleshooting. However, even this will save you time because you won’t have to make one call to each provider. Just make a single connection with your cloud hosting service and you’ll be good to...

Ten Common Urban Legends About Cloud Computing

As the popularity of cloud computing continues to grow, so do the urban legends around it. These 10 common urban legends about cloud computing are imaginative but untrue.  The Cloud Is for Geeks Anyone can use the cloud for personal data storage. Many individuals do not realize that popular social networking email and banking services all use the cloud. E-readers and digital music services also use cloud computing. The Cloud is a Fad The average annual corporate investment in the cloud is currently nearly $200 billion per year. This number is expected to grow exponentially over the upcoming 10 years. The Cloud Is Filled with Hackers Corporate accounts with information in the cloud have just as much security as those that do not. The cloud is an attractive target to hackers only because of the incredible amount of information in it. Cloud providers have sophisticated means of guarding against data theft and misuse.  The Cloud Is Flaky Just about every business account in the cloud has had an outage. On the other hand, so have businesses that aren’t in the cloud. Information in the cloud is backed up so that even if a server goes down, the information is still accessible and not lost. The Cloud Is Ruining the Environment While data centers and their servers and computers use plenty of electricity, the consolidation of these services in cloud accounts may actually use less energy than spreading the work across many different places. Many cloud providers are working diligently to make their facilities greener such as using cold water in pipes to cool server rooms. The Cloud Is Slow...

Moving Your Business Practice to the Cloud: How Much Money Can You Save?

The Cloud offers more than just a platform to save your pictures from your smartphone or check your email. It can offer business solutions that can save your organization an incredible amount of money, from computer hardware to applications. One of the most notable savings the Cloud can offer is that of time. Creating efficiency in the workplace reduces wasted time and resources, stretching company money further. Saving Money on Hardware Depending on the size of your business, server and networking hardware could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront. This isn’t including the time spent maintaining the system, performing updates or upgrading to reduce storage constraints. In a Cloud-based environment, you reduce the cost of your network by only requiring the connections needed for the internet. All of your data, applications, communications and even operating systems may be stored in an offsite data center. Instead of the business needing tens of thousands of dollars in order to build a storage server, the expense is reduced to a monthly usage fee that is a fraction of what you would spend otherwise. Saving on Man Hours for Maintenance Your IT department may have other tasks to do besides updating software on every machine in the building or ensuring employees have enough storage space on the server. By implementing the benefits of the Cloud, these individuals can spend more time repairing and maintaining the network infrastructure. As hosting services include maintenance operations, you don’t have to worry about the man hours used to keep the system operational.  Communications Are More Efficient  While traditional PBX phone systems are useful in the business...

Ways in Which Cloud Computing Has Increased the Job Market in the United States

While many economists had predicted that the advent of cloud technology would automate work and lead to the elimination of jobs, the opposite has been true. Technology analysts have now estimated that cloud computing will add 14 million jobs to the worldwide economy by 2025, with nearly 2 million of those in the United States. Understanding how cloud computing increases the job market can help us provide better services to you and can help you grow your business. Increased Demand for Services Large and small businesses alike are flocking to cloud computing for the integration of apps for customer service. Individuals are increasingly using those apps to gain access to their social networking, finance and email services. The increased demand for cloud computing services is leading to job growth in positions such as telecom consultant, marketing specialist, finance and development. A Shift to Online Commerce Consumers are increasingly shifting to e-commerce as a way to conduct their personal and professional shopping. From music downloads and streaming to electronic books and even the ability to order groceries and have them delivered at a specific time, consumers are using cloud-based services to streamline their lives. For your business, this can mean increased orders, which lead to the need for more staff in fulfillment, processing and shipping. For cloud services providers, it leads to an increase in positions in security and account management. The Rise of Smartphones If it seems like everyone has a smartphone these days, you’re not mistaken. Consumers are flocking to smartphones as a means to stay in touch, to search for information about products while shopping, to keep...

Does Your Small Business Need More than a T-1 Internet Connection?

As the owner of a small business, you may have been relying upon a T1 Internet connection for transferring data, connecting computers and phone lines. However, if you’re looking to grow your business or expand your offerings, a T1 connection may no longer be sufficient. This guide will help you determine whether your business needs a system more powerful, faster and more spacious than a T1 connection. Conduct a Needs Assessment The first step in deciding whether your business needs more than a T1 connection is determining what your needs are and what problems must be solved. Find out whether anyone outside of your organization is “borrowing” your network for their own Web surfing. Make sure your connection is closed to such casual users who are taking up your connection space. Determine why you and your staff are unsatisfied with the connection you have. Consider factors such as accessibility of your data, upload times, download times, browsing speed and the need for multiple complex connections. With an enhanced speed of connection, you’ll be able to conduct cloud computing, access your files more easily and enjoy greater access to technical assistance. When Your Internet Connectivity Is Too Slow When your T1 services are too slow for what you and your staff need to be doing, it’s time for an upgraded connection. A banded T1 connection may be an option for your small business and does not cost a lot more than a traditional T1 leased line. T3 lines may be another option for your business. They offer speeds 10 to 15 times higher than a T1 connection. You will also...

The Role of Cloud Computing in Network Services

As the Internet brings the world together, network services are attempting to ensure the maintenance of safety and efficiency. For businesses big and small, telecommunications is changing the way they interact with customers and clients as they attempt to gain every advantage possible. In order to take advantage of today’s cutting-edge advances, many are turning to cloud computing to help protect files, provide security and ensure business proceeds as smoothly as possible. Server Security One of the most pressing needs of today’s businesses is cyber-security. With hackers always at the ready to disrupt daily business and steal vital information, network service professionals are taking a closer look at cloud computing. One of the most effective ways to increase the security of your files is through co-location. By using a remote data center, it’s now possible to keep servers off-site while having the support of a company that can help answer any questions that may arise. We here at Carrier Sales are very experienced with co-location, and understand the process of mapping a data center can be complex. Finding the right place to keep your data safe is just one of the services we at Carrier Sales can provide. Speaking with a telecom consultant today is the first step toward greater efficiency and security. Cloud Computing and Co-Location The role cloud computing plays in network services is one of not only security guard but also teacher and manager. By using co-locating for your servers, all of your employees have much greater flexibility in accessing key information whenever they need it. Since main files are now stored on a remote server,...
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