Creating an Affordable Network Using Grandstream IP-Based Solutions
What is Unified Communications?
Unified Communications is the ability to integrate a collection of real-time and non-real-time systems, products, services and devices to optimize business processes. Businesses that adopt a UC solution that integrates voice, data, video and mobility applications look to gain significant benefits including increased productivity/ efficiency, reduced costs (capital and operating), better decision making, greater flexibility, improved workplace collaboration, improved professional appearance/customer service and increased revenue by enabling users to communicate anytime, anywhere.
A huge factor for business success and growth, for any size company, is enabling employees to be as productive and responsive as possible. Previously, only large enterprises possessed the vast purchasing power required to adopt new technology for improved communications and workplace efficiency. Smaller businesses used to only dream of having deep financial pockets to afford such business significant solutions. Those days are gone. The evolution of technology, based on adoption of open industry standards vs. proprietary protocols, along with increased marketplace competition has given SMBs/SMEs access to all kinds of enterprise-grade communications technologies.
This unified communications guide provides SMBs/SMEs seeking to upgrade or create an IP-based network with useful information on how to begin the path of unifying voice, data, video and mobility applications for reduced costs and increased business effectiveness. Specifically, this guide summarizes the benefits of unified communications (UC), shares an example of how an SMB can move to an IP-based solution and how Grandstream can be your partner in building an integrated communications network for improved productivity, reduced costs and better customer service. Small businesses no longer have to shy away from, or sacrifice enterprise capabilities based on cost or complexity issues
Unified Communications (UC)
Today, there is an extensive and exciting array of communications products and applications (email, video conferencing, mobility, voice, surveillance) available to help businesses achieve heightened sales success and business growth. UC advancements have enhanced the way SMBs/SMEs handle their operations with respect to how employees go about their day-to-day activities and how the company interacts, services and builds its brand with the outside world. A key boost that UC offers SMBs/SMEs is the perception that the SMB/SME is a much larger organization. This increased perception helps SMBs to be more competitive in the marketplace to gain new customers and achieve business success.
Grandstream Unified Communication Benefits
- Connects geographically-dispersed offices and remote workers allowing them to access the same communications system features as then headquarters via desktop, mobile phone, video phone, video conference system, etc.
- Reduces long distance calling costs and cellular charges; cuts travel costs
- Low upfront system costs and no long-term equipment and service costs provide excellent Return on Investment (ROI)
- Simple, user-friendly technology
Offers perception that SMB is actually a bigger business that it is
- Adds mobile support for remote workers and road warriors; Employees able to access and share information internally and externally to be more productive and competitive; Ability to access work phone lines and voicemail via mobile phones or to receive voicemail via email
- Telepresence and video conferencing technologies help to unite and
manage off-site employees
- Strengthens customer service by using features like IVR and call routing
queues for superior call handling, and more
Key Grandstream Differences
New enterprise-grade UC features catered to their business operations for added cohesion and collaboration
- Reduced telecom and long-distance costs between office locations and remote workers; saves on cell phone bills by routing domestic and international calls made on a smartphone through VoIP; provide VoIP phones to remote workers
- Affordable ‘get started’ costs including all hardware and software (excluding SIP Phones)
- No annual licensing fees, recurring fees or software/firmware upgrade costs
- Web interface simplifies set-up, customization, remote management and maintenance
- Expanded voice communication options with custom voice features like IVR, call queue, call recording, call routing and conferencing features
- Unite geographically-dispersed locations on one centrally-located IP PBX; extension dialing across network; mobile and remote workers also included.
- Future expansion support
- Introduces telepresence-based video conferencing for improved workplace collaboration and real-time video communications; Adds real-time video surveillance of facilities and IP door phones using a variety of video codecs
- Advanced data support through fax, fax/voicemail forwarding to email, call detail records, company phonebook integration and system backup
- Immersive Wi-Fi environment that can easily scale to hundreds of access points per deployment, all managed and configured from the cloud backup
- Wi-Fi voice and video solution that allows a business to stay mobile and productive; enhances the current flexible office layout
- Improved experience for users calling into a solution with an integrated call center functionality, features include: ring groups, call statistics, virtual queue support, position announcement, CTI support, and more.
Implementing Unified Communication with Grandstream
With a full range of IP endpoints and networking products designed specifically for SMBs/SMEs, Grandstream partners with customers to create enterprise-grade communication solutions for every business. These solutions offer feature-rich functionality at an affordable price that delivers recognizable business. What can cripple an SMB/SME and affect their plan to migrate toward UC are future budget considerations involving ongoing licensing fees and the network set-up, maintenance and administration. Grandstream products never require licensing fees and are specifically designed so that SMBs/SMEs internal staff or their reseller/ system integrator can self-administer and manage the network versus having to hire an outside IT firm. Grandstream adheres to open-source SIP standards for product development ensuring network- and enterprise-side product and service interoperability. Ease of integration through open standards allows businesses to confidently add newer technology sooner rather than later.
UCM series of IP PBX’s
The backbone of a Grandstream UC network is the UCM series IP PBX appliance. The UCM series is an open source, licensing-free IP PBX that delivers secure and reliable voice, video, data and mobility apps. Powered by an advanced hardware platform based on Asterisk®, the UCM series helps businesses to easily and affordably use VoIP to increase productivity, provide better customer service, unify communications on a single platform and save money on communications costs. Listening to customers around the globe, Grandstream realizes that a large number of SMBs/SMEs want to adopt UC to be more competitive. The common thread or barrier to entry heard most frequently is the SMBs/SMEs ability to attain the features needed at a price they can afford— a problem that Grandstream has solved. The UCM series offers various model options in order to offer a solution ideal for every type of business:
- UCM6200 Series – the UCM6200 series is geared specifically towards small to medium businesses as it supports up to 500 users and up to 60 concurrent alls. The UCM6200 series offers 4 different models options (UMC6202, 6204, 6208) that differ mainly on the amount of included FXO ports and concurrent calls.
- UCM6510 – this model is ideal for medium-sized businesses and larger businesses as it supports up to 2000 users and up to 200 concurrent calls. susinesses who need support for E1/T1/J1 networks should choose the UCM6510.
- HA100 – this model is ideal for any business that requires an always-on, redundant voice system by providing an automatic failover solution when paired with two UCM6510 IP PBXs. The device will monitor the operational status of both UCM6510s and automatically switch all system control to the secondary UCM6510 if the device fails for any reason.
*Asterisk is a registered trademark of Digium.