How to Choose Between Hosted or On-premises UC

Posted by Maura Mahoney on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

Leveraging tools like unified communications (UC) is the key to maximizing your employees' effectiveness. When workers can use multiple modes of communication, they collaborate more effectively, affording increased productivity and innovation. Employees can share documents and discuss projects no matter which communications tools they use or where they are located.

While the value of UC may not be in question, some companies struggle over choosing the right mode of delivery. Should you keep your UC resources on-site or move them to the cloud?

MarketsandMarkets predicts that the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market will grow to over $28 billion by 2021. They attribute the popularity of cloud-based UC to increasing use of mobility and BYOD in the workplace. This prediction seems reasonable, considering No Jitter Research found that 34% of companies surveyed are already using the cloud for communications while 20% plan to within a year.

Yes, hosted UC is gaining in popularity, and you’re definitely interested. But which delivery method is right for your business? The answer to this question depends on the nature of your specific company. Before you decide between hosted and on-site UC, you need to assess your company’s resources, objectives, and pain points.

Here are some of the questions you should ask to determine your UC delivery method:

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Topics: Unified Communications

5 Ways Unified Communications Could Transform Your Business

Posted by Maura Mahoney on Tue, Apr 04, 2017 @ 09:30 AM

Good communication is central to the success of any organization. Employees that understand a company’s mission and goals are much more likely to work toward achieving those goals than those who are left in the dark. Recent advancements in technology have created new capabilities and channels for communication.

Millennials, the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers, are wielding their influence in the marketplace, and businesses are updating their technology to appeal to this new generation of consumers and employees. These consumers and workers have grown up with technology, and they have high expectations when it comes to business communications.

Unified communications platforms give businesses the means to expand their communications capabilities to include text, video conferencing, file-sharing, and chat – all revered by tech-savvy Millennials.

Here are 5 concrete ways that unified communications can help you transform your business, keep pace with technology, and increase your profitability.

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Topics: Unified Communications

Why Wavelengths Matter in Fiber Optics

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 12:40 PM

When we talk about the merits of fiber optics versus those of copper wire cable, the discussion often takes a technical turn and words like wavelengths, attenuation rates, and multiplexing will appear in the conversation 

In fiber-optic communications, what factors make a difference? Do wavelengths matter? And if they do matter, why?  

This article will give an overview of fiber-optic cable and how it works. Plus, it will explain how wavelengths factor into signal strength and quality in fiber-optic cable. 

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Topics: FirstLight Fiber, Fiber-optic cable

A Primer on Fiber-Optic Internet Connectivity

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

Many businesses are turning to fiber-optic connectivity because it is cost-effective, scalable, and agile. Although the United States has been a leader in the development of the internet and related technologies, many parts of the country still lack access to fiber-based high-speed internet. In the absence of a nationwide fiber-optic network, organizations are turning to regional and local fiber-optic providers like FirstLight to fill their need for broadband business communication.

What Are Fiber Optics?

Fiber-optic cable is made up of hundreds of strands of glass, each no thicker than a strand of human hair. Data is converted into laser-generated light pulses that are transmitted over the fiber-optic cable. Once the data reaches its destination, it’s converted from light pulses back into ones and zeros.

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Topics: FirstLight Fiber, Fiber-optic cable

What’s New for VoIP in 2017?

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) has transformed the way companies work by enabling fast and reliable internal and external communications through a broadband internet connection. Efficient communication means improved workflows that result in increased productivity and profit.

The workplace dynamic is changing in ways that demand more from VoIP technologies. Employees are spending more time working outside of the office. In its State of the American Workplace report, a performance-management consulting company found that employees spend 60% to 80% of their week working remotely.

Employees are also spending more time collaborating on projects. A Harvard Business Review study found that time spent on collaborating activities has increased by 50% over the last two decades. Today, 80% of employee collaboration is done over phone or email, or through video conferencing.

Recent breakthroughs in VoIP technology are spawning the next generation of VoIP products and solutions for businesses, including unified communications (UC) platforms and UC as a Service (UCaaS). These developments make business collaboration easier in a distributed workforce environment.

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Topics: VoIP

3 Trends in VoIP for 2017

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 07, 2017 @ 08:48 AM

New technology trends are creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations to communicate more effectively, securely, and efficiently. This article will explore 3 trends that are extending the capabilities of VoIP for business with unified communications, custom VoIP networks, and cloud-based firewall.

1. VoIP as Part of Unified Communications

Voice communications were comparatively late to the game in leveraging the internet. Email was well established and pervasive before VoIP technologies began to emerge. Now, however, VoIP is considered a mainstream technology, and is ready to participate in a blooming web-enabled evolution: unified communications.

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Topics: VoIP

Wide Area Networks: The Pros and Cons

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 28, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Keeping your data flowing, and your business humming, requires a secure and reliable connectivity solution. A local area network (LAN) works well for a single location business. However, as your business grows, expanding into new areas and new locations, connectivity becomes more challenging.

A wide area network (WAN) can provide fast and secure communication between offices, even if they are located far away from each other. Certain aspects of a WAN can be costly, but there are ways to trim those costs so that they are affordable. This article will discuss the pros and cons of wide area networks.

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Topics: Network

Choose the Right Data Network Solution for Your Business

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

The data network selection process must incorporate a number of variables that go beyond basic technical considerations. Others include budget, security, compliance, and business requirements. This article will provide a list of questions to help you identify the right network solution. Then it will describe the key differences between data network configurations, including point-to-point WAN, point-to-multipoint WAN, and scalable Ethernet services.

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Topics: Network

Oxford Networks Merges with FirstLight Fiber, Part 2: Sovernet Joins

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 08:03 AM

In our last blog, we announced the merger of Oxford Networks and FirstLight Fiber, which was made possible when Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired Oxford Networks. This development is great news for Oxford customers because it enables us to combine our resources and expertise with those of FirstLight and continue to exceed client expectations. 

In this blog, we share the next step in our business transformation – a collaboration with Sovernet Communications. We will also introduce you to all of our new partners, including FirstLight, Sovernet, and our owners, Oak Hill Capital Partners. 

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Topics: Data Center, Oxford Networks, FirstLight Fiber, Fiber-optic cable, Acquisition, Merger, Data Center Expantion

Oxford Networks Merges with FirstLight Fiber, Part 1

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 09:30 AM


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Topics: Data Center, Network, Oxford Networks, FirstLight Fiber, Fiber-optic cable, Acquisition, Data-Center Expansion, Merger