SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

VoIP-Catalog.com Releases List of Top 10 Business VoIP Providers

VoipCatalogLogoThis week, VoIP-Catalog.com announced their list of the top 10 Business VoIP Service Providers. The rankings below are based on pricing models, service options and customer reviews.

The top 10 VoIP Companies as rated by Voip-Catalog.com are as follows:

Continue reading
3467 Hits
0 Comments

BYOD: Who’s *Really* in Control?

Ari RabbanBy Ari Rabban, Co-Founder and CEO, Phone.com

“Bring your own device” (BYOD) isn’t a new trend, but that doesn’t mean SMBs–or large enterprises, for that matter–have worked out all of the kinks. Part of the challenge has to do with how the change in ownership affects control over apps and the device itself.

Continue reading
3108 Hits
0 Comments

Avaya: We are Not Just Focused on Large Companies...SMBs Take Note

avaya logoAvaya said that its newest focus is to set a standard for collaboration and communications that are simple and effective and engaging. The company unveiled a set of new software and cloud-based services designed to transform the way enterprises and organizations work.  The company says that its simple, intuitive solutions will be designed for partners to help employees to work more effectively, engage more easily, and make decisions faster so organizations can experience the advantages of a new age of collaboration.

Continue reading
2049 Hits
0 Comments

D&H to Launch AT&T-Branded Converged Data Solution for SMBs

DH-80px round 95thInternational Communications Corporation said that it has selected D&H Distributing as the sole channel partner for the launch of its AT&T-branded activeARC converged data networking platform. Designed specifically to help SMBs handle the growing challenges of performance-hungry network enabled applications, the solution simplifies the network into a single control point, making it easier for SMBs to control their data networks even when IT resources are limited.

Continue reading
2069 Hits
0 Comments

Why UC is the Secret Tool for Building and Maintaining Your Brand

Brian Ferguson DigiumBy Brian Ferguson, Product Marketing Manager, Digium

Having a well-known and reputable brand is vital to a company’s overall success, today. Companies are increasingly dedicating more dollars to building and maintaining their brand, and it usually comes out of their marketing budget. Larger brands are shelling out millions of dollars to support brand building; but, for SMBs, an Unified Communications (UC) phone system is often an overlooked – and affordable – tool to help not only build their brand, but compete with the big guys.

Continue reading
6612 Hits
2 Comments

Bandwidth helps Phone.com Seamlessly Automate, Manage its Hosted VoIP Network

logo phonecomPhone.com said that it has chosen Bandwidth to provide voice network services in support of its hosted suite of products. With Bandwidth, Phone.com now has ready access to a nationwide network of local numbers using Service Management APIs to automate their inventory search and activation process.

Continue reading
2226 Hits
0 Comments

Broadvox Joins The SIP Forum

broadvox logo smallYesterday, Broadvox announced that it has joined the non-profit community, The SIP Forum. This group is currently composed of leading IP Communications company members, and the goal of this organization is to advance the adoption of SIP-based IP communications services and products, particularly through interoperability.

Continue reading
2047 Hits
0 Comments

Digium Launches Digium Cloud Services with Acquisition of VocalCloud

Digium logoDigium earlier this week said that it acquired VocalCloud, a provider of cloud-based VoIP solutions, in order to create Digium Cloud Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Digium.

Continue reading
2469 Hits
1 Comment

snom technology, Patton Electronics Partner to Sell Telephony Bundle

gI 85278 snom Patton ABPsnom technology and Patton Electronics announced today at ITEXPO that they are expanding their existing partnership by offering telephony bundles in North and South America through value-added distributor ABP Technology.

Continue reading
2835 Hits
1 Comment

AgNerd: How BlackBerry is that?

Herrles country farmIt’s true that BlackBerry has been in the news lately, but I’m not going to rehash the conversations currently being played on CNBC. You can go see those for yourself. Rather, my monthly series, “How BlackBerry is that?” continues where my teen-age son, and I, seek out the most interesting BlackBerry stories of the year. Hands down, for August, it was the AgNerd!

Continue reading
3414 Hits
2 Comments

How BYOD Increases Employee Productivity an Extra 37 Minutes Per Week (per Employee)

AER Color dark 0024By Ari Rabban, Co-Founder and CEO, Phone.com

BYOD has quickly become one of the biggest buzzwords in business today. It’s also an opportunity for SMBs to spend less time using some other four-letter words, such as when they’re scrambling to recover after a disaster.

Part of the reason why so many enterprises–including SMBs–now have “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies is because they’re a way to leverage hardware that they otherwise couldn’t afford to buy for all employees. Another reason is increased productivity: an extra 37 minutes per week per employee, according to a recent Cisco study. For an employee making the median wage, that works out to an additional $350 in annual value – more than enough to cover a device subsidy for employers that choose to offer one.

Continue reading
8730 Hits
0 Comments

MegaPath Launches Any-to-Any Broadband Managed Failover Services

MegapathMegaPath Corporation has launched its “any-to-any” Broadband Managed Failover services. The new product complements MegaPath’s Failover service released in June of this year. MegaPath’s Managed Failover services provide customers with a high-availability, cost-effective business continuity solution for maintaining critical business operations in the event that their primary data connection is disrupted.

Continue reading
2277 Hits
0 Comments

Broadvox Releases New Step-By-Step Guide for Hosted Communications Service

broadvox logo smallBroadvox recently published a step-by-step guide designed to help current and prospective clients better select the proper UC services for their needs, from the company’s new Hosted Communications Service offerings. The guide, titled: “Hosted Communications Buyer’s Guide,” outlines six steps with pathways built for enterprise and SMB organizations.

Continue reading
1636 Hits
0 Comments

Guest Blog: Decoding UC: 5 Core Benefits of Unified Communications

Brian FergusonBy Brian Ferguson, Product Marketing Manager, Digium

The term Unified Communications (UC) has been poorly defined by the industry and clouded by mixed marketing messages. Every major IP communications vendor has a UC section on its Web site with hyperbolic statements such as, “UC is changing the way you do business” or “Reinvent your productivity capacity with UC!” To help clear it up for those SMBs that may be in the market for a UC system, let’s first define Unified Communications: UC is the merging of many different communication methods including voice, email, video and instant messaging into one unified system.

Continue reading
2837 Hits
0 Comments

Vocalocity is SMB Nation’s Official Phone System!

About 12 months ago, SMB Nation and Vocalocity teamed up on a partnership in which the hosted PBX provider would offer our company phone services for all of its employees at its Bainbridge Island, WA headquarters, and also those who work out of their home offices.

Continue reading
2869 Hits
0 Comments

Former Cisco Exec Hired as Plantronics VP of Global Channel and Partner Marketing

Plantronics has hired former Cisco executive Erna Arnesen as vice president of Global Channel and Partner Marketing. Arnesen, who most recently was vice president of Global & Strategic Partners for Cisco Services, will now be tasked for developing Plantronics’ global channel and strategic alliance marketing strategies.

Continue reading
2375 Hits
0 Comments

Guest Blog: Five Ways the Cloud Makes Small Businesses Look Big

By Ari Rabban, CEO and Co-Founder, Phone.com

For small businesses, part of the appeal of cloud-based IT and communications services is that they provide access to technologies they otherwise couldn’t afford. That access helps level the playing field because small businesses now are better able to provide service and support on par with large enterprises.

Here are five examples of cloud technologies that are bridging the digital divide to give small businesses a large enterprise cachet...

Continue reading
3899 Hits
0 Comments

MyVoIPProvider.com Names Top 5 Money-Saving VoIP Companies

At the mid-way mark through the year, businesses are looking for new ways to save money for the second half of 2013. One of the most underrated means to save thousands of dollars each year is by changing phone service.

To help companies save a few extra dollars this year, My VoIP Provider is announcing the top 5 best VoIP providers to save businesses money this summer and the rest of 2013. 

Continue reading
3662 Hits
0 Comments

Guest Blog: 7 Tips for an Effective Unified Communications Security Strategy

By Billy Chia, Technical Marketing Specialist, Digium

Unified Communications (UC) presents unique security challenges because it brings disparate technologies, such as VoIP, video, chat, email and presence, together into one unified messaging system. As the technology has become more complex and more accessible from the public Internet, the security threat has increased. While large businesses can dedicate substantial resources toward securing their communications, SMBs need solutions that are both effective and simple to manage security.

Continue reading
4355 Hits
0 Comments

Guest Blog: 7 Things SMBs Must Consider When Choosing a Cloud Provider

By Ari Rabban, Co-Founder and CEO, Phone.com

If your company is like most SMBs, you’re either considering hosted IT and communications services, or you’re already using them. As more SMBs and large enterprises migrate to hosted solutions, the selection of cloud-based offerings and providers will continue to skyrocket as they try to capitalize on that expanding opportunity.

But the broader and deeper that selection becomes, the more challenging it is for SMBs to wade though their options. Here are seven things to help guide your decision...

Continue reading
3733 Hits
0 Comments

Da’ Kid and BlackBerry 10

Welcome to the real world. Sure, there are plenty of early BlackBerry 10 mobile device reviews being posted up. Fancy test labs are dissecting and reverse engineering the hottest mobile device on the market. However, at SMB Nation, we’re taking our testing the streets and have been giving the product a real world test.

Pictured: 14-year-old Harry Jr., with his BlackBerry Z10 device.

Continue reading
4159 Hits
0 Comments

Not sun (nor Beach) could keep us from BlackBerry Live

The good news is that the annual BlackBerry conference, known as BlackBerry Live (formerly BlackBerry World) was held in Florida last week. The bad news is that because Florida is so pleasant, events held there always compete with the sun and beach. However, that didn’t stop our own Chris Bangs from attending as press and filing this report.

Continue reading
3101 Hits
0 Comments

Oh My – OOMA Small Business Phone System…

To this day, there is still an opportunity for a “void filler” to satisfy the demand for telecom in small business, created by the abrupt departure of Microsoft Response Point in 2009/2010, and the slow fade of the Cisco small business phone systems a la its refocus on the enterprise. The very first one in the world was awarded to Jamison West (pictured at right in white shirt), a Seattle-based MSP, as part of the SMB Nation Spring Conference prize drawings.

Continue reading
4501 Hits
0 Comments

Ooma Office Now Available for SMBs via Staples, Ooma.Com

Ooma said today that its small business phone system, Ooma Office, is now available for purchase at Staples stores nationwide and at Ooma.com. According to the company, Oooma Office is the first product developed by Ooma to address the needs of small businesses. Ooma Office delivers the advanced features and service quality that come with a big business phone service at a price point that is more affordable than other solutions.  

Continue reading
4115 Hits
2 Comments

Auto-Provisioning for snom 7xx and 8xx IP Phones Available via Telinta

Telinta logoThis morning, snom Technology announced that cloud-based VoIP services provider, Telinta, Inc., has developed an auto-provisioning system for the company’s 7xx and 8xx series of business phones. This type of provisioning is designed to streamline the process of adding a large number of snom phones to a network, particularly in a call center setting.

Continue reading
2791 Hits
0 Comments

ShoreTel President/CEO Set to Retire

ShoreTel confirmed this morning that Peter Blackmore, the company’s president and CEO, has informed the company of his intention to retire as soon as a successor is announced.

Continue reading
2301 Hits
0 Comments

ShoreTel Dock Designed to Transform iPads, iPhones into Desk Phones

ShoreTel earlier this week announced a business-grade docking station that transforms iPhones and iPads into desk phones when paired with ShoreTel Mobility, fusing the convenience of mobile devices with the power of a business communications system.

Continue reading
1708 Hits
0 Comments

Sprint Nextel Being Courted by Several Wireless Carriers

Last October, Softbank, the Japanese wireless company, made an offer to acquire Sprint Nextel. Now there are others that are willing to get a spot on Sprint’s dance card, one of them being DISH Networks, which has now jumped in to acquire the wireless giant.  And it gets even better…in order to get this deal done, Sprint Nextel is trying to acquire Clearwire to get their spectrum. In addition, Verizon Wireless has also entered the foray, and is bidding on the Cleariwire spectrum as well. 

Continue reading
1963 Hits
0 Comments

Telephonation Rocks!

Telephonation Screenshot 16 AprilAt last week’s Channel Pro SMB’s SMB Forum conference, I was again surprised by how attendees visiting my booth are once again, discussing telecom. It seems like just yesteryear we were VoIPing with Microsoft Response Point and the Cisco 3xx line. But this time the conversation is different; it’s more mature. The reality is no one would promote PSTN in a digital world. It’s all sorted out over the years.

Continue reading
3672 Hits
3 Comments

Top 7 Considerations to Make when Selecting a Hosted VoIP Provider

Broadvox has published a new guide, “Hosted VoIP Purchase Decision Guide: Seven Key Considerations When Selecting a Hosted VoIP Provider,” which identifies and explains important issues that all businesses should consider before selecting a Hosted Voice provider. 

Continue reading
2639 Hits
0 Comments

Broadvox Now Offering Call Bursting for SIP Trunking

Broadvox has released Call Bursting, a new add-on feature available with its SIP Trunking feature that gives customers the ability to utilize additional call sessions beyond the amount purchased for peak calling times. This optional feature can be added to any SIP Trunking order and is helpful for businesses or organizations that occasionally see bursts of increased calling activity, such as the increased calling activity a school may see on a snow day. 

Continue reading
2776 Hits
0 Comments

Broadvox Launches Hosted Video Service with Polycom-Equipped Cameras

Broadvox said that it is bringing cloud-delivered video services to SMBs and enterprises. The service will use plug-and-play desktop solutions from Polycom, Inc., and will allow users to easily collaborate face-to-face with colleagues, partners and customers across a variety of standards-based video platforms.

Continue reading
2277 Hits
1 Comment

LifeSize Deepens Collaboration with Microsoft via Lync Room System

LifeSize, which is a division of Logitech, said that it has formed a deeper collaboration with Microsoft through its product development of a Microsoft Lync Room System. The joint effort with Microsoft enables LifeSize to deliver a video and collaboration solution that brings the familiar Lync unified communication experience to the meeting room.

Continue reading
3314 Hits
0 Comments

Guest Blog: Top 4 Factors SMBs Should Consider when Switching to VoIP

By Rachel Greenberg, Site Editor, My VoIP Provider

It’s a new year, it’s the perfect time for companies to save money in new ways, and the company phone bill is the perfect place to start. This is 2013, and today there is phone technology that allows you to make phone calls over the Internet, rather than through traditional lines or through cellular networks. VoIP technology cuts down these pricy phone bills, while also providing a slew of features not offered by traditional phone providers.

Continue reading
2680 Hits
2 Comments

snom Technology Expands Microsoft Lync-Compatible Desktop Phone Portfolio

snom technology AG is currently debuting a new line-up of SIP Lync-qualified business phones highlighting its new, 7xx series – at ITEXPO East 2013 in Miami this week. According to the company, snom’s standards-based portfolio of IP desktop phones represents the industry’s largest and most comprehensive offering of endpoints fully interoperable with Microsoft Lync.

Continue reading
2637 Hits
0 Comments

BlackBerry 10…an Expected Game-Changer for VARs, SMBs?

By Harry Brelsford, Founder and Chairman, SMB Nation; and Regina Ciardiello, Editor, SMB Nation

So what’s the buzz on BlackBerry 10? Is it a game-changer? The short answer is that I don’t know (YET). I’m a BlackBerry fan and, full with disclosure, they have been a huge supporter of SMB Nation for many years. I’ve used many of their products (and still do), so that’s why my hope is that the upcoming Jan. 30 launch of BlackBerry 10 will go down as one of the “Top 10 Tech Stories of 2013.” You might say that it’s too early to tell, with 2013 just beginning. However, we have been tracking outlets such as CNBC and others who recently revealed that Apple announced it was cutting its component orders for the iPhone 5 because of softer than expected sales. On the same day this was announced, interestingly enough, RIM (BlackBerry’s parent company) saw a rise in its stock price.

Continue reading
3988 Hits
0 Comments

8x8 Brings Biz Class Cloud-Based UC to Canadian-Based SMBs

8x8, Inc. today launched its suite of cloud-based business communications services across Canada. The launch is the first in a series of expansions outside of the U.S. where 8x8 has been ranked as a market leader in cloud-based IP telephony and unified communications by industry research firms including Gartner, Frost & Sullivan and Infonetics.

Continue reading
2021 Hits
0 Comments

Guest Blog: What does 4G LTE mean for SMBs?

By Michael Roden, SMB/VoIP Analyst, GetVoIP.com

The small-to-medium business sector represents one of the most demanding groups, for myriad of reasons. Efficiently allocating time, resources, employees, and more is crucial to survival in the tough economic climate we’re all experiencing. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of solutions on the way and in development, designed to incorporate reliability and speed into one compact package.

Continue reading
3479 Hits
0 Comments

The Top 5 Coolest VoIP Features that can Improve your Business

We all know that VoIP is an affordable technology that transfers voice and data through the Internet. Unlike traditional phone service providers, VoIP companies accommodate businesses with numerous features at no extra cost. However, as some top VoIP companies provide as many as 40 features in their basic plans, it is sometimes difficult for businesses to fully understand each option and use all of them on a daily basis.

Continue reading
5022 Hits
0 Comments