Category Archives: Blog

My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality – Post 2 July 19, 2014

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Ongoing Support, are the Cloud Providers telling the truth???
American Technology Solutions finds that yes, the monthly fee from the Cloud solution often includes the maintenance and upgrade costs in the user bundle. Does it include hardware and software MAC (Move, Add and Change) costs? If not, what are those costs or does the customer take this responsibility on for themselves. As well, many companies desire call accounting and reporting packages, is this included with the user bundle or not? My experience has uncovered that these are hidden costs that often are very expensive. How does the AVAYA IP Office premise based solution compare? AVAYA IPOSS (IP Office Support Services) is a low entry cost with many options that may be customized to uniquely fit the customers’ needs. For example, 1, 3 and 5-year Pre-Paid terms with 8am to 5pm or 24X7X365 that include these features and unique options;
a. Remote Technical Support;
b. Advance Parts Replacement (APR) – Next Business Day or 4 hour delivery;
c. APR with On Site Technician;
d. Free Software Upgrades for the Term of the Contract;
e. Free minor Software releases, service packs and software/firmware updates;
f. Enhanced remote connectivity through SSL-VPN for increased security and faster remote support resolution;
g. Low TCO and very competitively priced
Many call center companies desire reports ad hoc, in real time and possibly required by Service Level Agreements (SLA’s). This flexibility is often either not available or very expensive to receive from the Cloud Based Providers. Make sure you do your homework here. These hidden costs and factors can make a significant difference in the TCO and in some cases meeting SLA’s with your clients. AVAYA has many partners that design solutions for call reporting that range from basic to advanced and these solutions are browser based, easy to administer and have many standard reports with the option for custom reports. Another big factor is Real Time Reporting and AVAYA is the Worldwide Leader in call center technology including Real Time Reporting capabilities. AVAYA provides 90% of the Fortune 100 Companies Call Center Solutions. AVAYA is the leader vs. Cloud Based Providers as followers.

In the last 5-years there has been a strong trend by many companies to move to VoIP and Cloud Based Solutions. It has been American Technology Solutions (ATS) great fortune to displace nearly 30 of these adopters in the last 2-years. The main reason for these companies to move back to premise based was regarding this specific area;
a. Ongoing Support for MAC, the timeliness often days to weeks vs. meeting the needs of the business;
b. Hidden costs when special reporting is required;
c. Isolation of user related issues may be a finger pointing game between the Cloud Based Solution provider and the customer/data vendor. Timeliness may be disappointing and added costs may be a factor to closely consider.
This is Post 2 in a series of 7 Posts coming daily this July.

My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality – Post 1 July 18, 2014

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Upfront Costs often left out of the discussion…
American Technology Solutions finds Cloud based UC Solutions tend to advertise no upfront systems cost, because the “Systems” that they speak of are based in a data center. But, they don’t address that the existing onsite infrastructure must support VoIP (Voice over IP) because all Cloud solutions require a cabling and data communications infrastructure that must be VoIP capable and in most cases PoE (Power of Ethernet) capable Data Switches to power the VoIP/SIP based phones. The PoE and cabling upgrade if necessary is a very expensive step often left out of the discussion. For example if the company considering an upgrade for their UC is already in business and currently has a TDM premise based system they likely have two separate infrastructures that they have already paid for (investment protection); a cabling and data switch solution (non PoE) providing either 100 or 1000 base T to the desktop and a TDM (Time Division Multiplexing or sometimes considered Traditional Telephony) separate cabling infrastructure for the voice solution. If this sounds familiar then significant costs for the “System” will be a factor that they often leave out of the financial considerations and analysis. AVAYA’s approach is more flexible due to the hybrid nature of the technology they offer. In the scenario above there is no need to add VoIP and lose out on any UC current or future capabilities. For a customer that has 2000 or less users the AVAYA IP Office platform is scalable from 6 users to 2000 users at one or up to 32 sites. If your business is beyond the 2000 user current capacity, but growing, the AVAYA Aura platform may scale up to 100’s of thousands of users and unlimited sites. One of the great added benefits is that if your business fits the IP Office sizing, but is blessed and grows beyond this current cap of 2000 users you may upgrade to the Aura platform without losing out on your initial investments. The users with AVAYA Digital or TDM phones have equal feature functionality and ease of use and the concern often illustrated by the Cloud UC providers about soft clients, PC or MAC users, is not valid. AVAYA end user clients are browser based and therefore a non-issue for either platform. If your company has users that work at home or branch offices VoIP is a requirement and this is another area that AVAYA shines. In the scenario above the main site may be using the TDM solution for the onsite users, but in the same solution may have users in home offices or other remote branch offices using VoIP. Flexible, yet the decision to replace/upgrade the entire main office data communications infrastructure is put aside and provides significant investment protection. Of course if this is a new site (Greenfield) a new VoIP infrastructure with the latest cabling and data communications with PoE is the way to go. In this case the TCO begins on a level playing field and owning, leasing and renting considerations should be considered carefully to analyze the TCO. This is Post 1 in a series of 7 Posts coming daily this July.

American Technology Solutions announces creation of VETS, VoIP & Emerging Technology Solutions. A partnership with American Veterans.

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The name “American Technology Solutions” (ATS) is a natural fit for our latest venture. The creation of VETS, “VoIP & Emerging Technology Solutions” is a partnership with Veterans of the United States Military. VETS will provide interested Veterans a great career opportunity in the growing Communications Industry. With two great options; ownership of a company that sells and services communications solutions, or a sales and/or services position in this fast paced industry. ATS will provide training to build a business in support of the sale and service of AVAYA’s product portfolio. This new venture was spawned from watching how Bill O’Reilly & the Independence Fund and Sean Hannity & the Freedom Alliance have teamed to fill voids left by our government for our veterans. On June 5th, 2014 I was a guest on a radio station “Vets on Media LLC.” This station was created by two Veterans, Adam Bird and Jeff Fawbush and is an internet based radio station created as a means to discuss veteran issues over internet radio in an open forum. Select the link below to listen to the recorded program and learn more about our new VETS opportunity. Although, VETS is in its infancy, we hope with our outreach that we can help one, two or many veterans fulfill their destiny of becoming a successful sales and/or services expert in the technology field in support of Small & Medium Enterprise companies. If you have a family member, relative, friend or acquaintance please have them reach out to ATS and take that first step in the next chapter of their life. Thank you to our Veterans for serving our country and those passing on this heartfelt message.
ESQ Radio “Vets On Media LLC” – Radio Show June 5, 2014 9AM Broadcast

Bob Edens
President of American Technology Solutions, LLC

It is time for a technology enabled remote and mobile workforce. See how American Technology Solutions & AVAYA may help your company.

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For several decades companies have either tested or implemented a remote worker strategy. Terms like Virtual Office, Virtual Worker, among others have been coined. Companies and employees alike have struggled with this concept. Issues like productivity, functionality, security, quality of service, employee satisfaction, among others have been difficult to both address and overcome. Flash forward to 2014 and this trend has much more traction. With the latest technology, faster internet access speeds, higher cost to commute and the demands of faster response to your customers communications have significantly changed the landscape of remote working. Businesses must lower cost and offer flexibility to meet the needs of their customers, remain competitive and maintain high employee morale and loyalty. Some of a company’s workforce requires mobility to perform their job and maintain easy access to the office or customer and some employees must work from home, but have the same capabilities of their counterparts that work in the office. The only issue is a company needs the platform to be able to mobilize their workforce and or facilitate working from their homes. This technology can be purchased from a telecom provider such as “American Technology Solutions” (ATS) . ATS offers such a platform that delivers a simple and flexible premise based telecom system that has the capabilities for employees to access their work material from anywhere. This telecom system is necessary for a business to adopt and capitalize on the re-emerging remote worker trend.

ATS is always working with customers to implement a telecom system that caters to their company’s needs. Whether your business has numerous remote workers or none, ATS is comfortable providing a telecom system that meets the current and future needs of your business. Remote workers can utilize the unified communications provided with this system. If a face to face meeting via Video Conferencing is needed then Scopia courtesy of AVAYA is a video conferencing software that is simple and easy to operate. With either a desktop PC, Laptop, Tablet, or Smart Phone. A company’s remote worker may easily join in a group Video Conference meeting. Their first email invite includes an application that will install in less than a minute and any person may join the video call by clicking the link sent via email. This technology allows for remote workers to be face to face with fellow employees and customers by the click of a single button.

With better remote security offered today by the latest technology you are able to overcome security concerns. With the historical or real-time reporting of the AVAYA IP Office you may track, report and insure the productivity metrics are being met. Access to all the same features and productivity tools are available to the remote worker as well. Higher bandwidth from service providers insures a much higher level of voice transmission therefore virtually eliminating voice quality issues. Many employees enjoy having the flexibility to work from home or mobile workers from anywhere. Therefore, better morale and employee loyalty. These gains with the solution offered by ATS and AVAYA will go directly to the company bottom line and provide a competitive advantage in a highly competitive marketplace. In addition, a remote employee eliminates the commute time and expense which translates into productivity. I grew up in the northeast and a huge issue during the winter commute is snow, many times making the roads impassable. By working remotely an employee does not have to deal with poor weather or huge traffic delays and ultimately is at work regardless of weather conditions.

Without a telecom system like the one offered by American Technology Solutions with Avaya, a business will likely lose; ground to their competition, employees due to morale, and lastly revenue and profit. Often companies overlook these type of investments due to concern of Capex (capital expenditures) or Opex (operating expenditures) when a close analysis will show a short ROI (return on investment) with the many competitive benefits illustrated above. It is critical that companies see the importance of implementing a reliable, flexible and remote accessible telecom platform. Without the latest in telecom technology, communications will not be a positive influence throughout your business. However, by adopting a telecom platform from a provider such as ATS, a company will see the benefits immediately and will be able to save money and lost time by installing remote and mobile workers.

American Technology Solutions offers “Best in Class” AVAYA IP Office Contact Center Solutions for Small and Midsized Businesses

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Businesses that want to differentiate themselves in today’s competitive global market environment must be able to provide superior service and high quality customer interactions. The demands placed on an efficiently functioning contact center are high: service must be superior, and tailored to the individual needs of customers. Idle time and operating costs need to be reduced, while at the same time the business must be accessible around the clock, and still have the ability to respond quickly during peak busy times. These requirements are the key to the solution offered by “American Technology Solutions” (ATS).

With the AVAYA IP Office Contact Center ATS extends AVAYA innovation in contact centers to small and midsize businesses, giving them the simplicity and value they require. Optimized for use with AVAYA IP Office software, the solution enables blended multi-channel capabilities to enhance and expand customer communications.

IP Office Contact Center is a true end-to-end solution for businesses that want to differentiate their services from the competition, achieve better customer segmentation, and increase the value of each customer relationship – which will translate into more satisfied customers and a more profitable business.

With AVAYA IP Office Contact Center, businesses may integrate voice, e-mail, and web chat channels, and proactively manage the entire customer interaction life-cycle. Your business may begin at its own pace with one channel such as voice, for example, and add other channels such as e-mail as your objectives evolve.

With AVAYA IP Office Contact Center, you may implement a complete end-to-end customer service strategy to make your business a customer’s first choice. This fully integrated suite will deliver a variety of values and benefits to the customer, such as;

• Maximizing the value of every interaction by delivering consistent, personalized service and identifying cross selling and up-selling opportunities;
• Stronger customer relationships by enabling every employee to be a customer advocate, providing exceptional customer service across the business;
• Delivering the right service at the right level, anytime, anywhere through skills-based routing and multi-channel capabilities;
• Increasing first contact resolution (i.e. “I’m calling you today about the e-mail I sent yesterday”);
• Enabling your employees to be more productive by giving them the tools they need to proactively reach out to customers with new opportunities or to resolve issues

American Technology Solutions has found that there are key metrics the successful Small and Medium Enterprises require to meet and or exceed the clients’ expectation;

• Flexible Media Distribution;
• Integrated Multi-Channel Customer Contact Solution for Voice, Email and Web Chat;
• Customer Prioritization;
• Skills-Based Routing;
• Voice and Self-Service Solutions;
• Enhanced Outbound Campaigns;
• Telemarketing;
• Online Monitoring;
• Historical Reports;
• Interactive Voice Response (IVR);
• Remote Workers

Let ATS design a comprehensive Call Center for you. ATS is backed by AVAYA the Worldwide Leader in Customer Contact Center Solutions on the leading Small and Medium Business Solution the AVAYA IP Office.

Unified Communications is here and absolutely necessary, let American Technology Solutions introduce you to AVAYA’s

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Unified Communications has allowed traditional voice systems to transform into a totally new form of technology. The benefits for companies cannot be matched by traditional voice platforms. There are many definitions of unified communications, but they all have the same goal, keeping a company, employees, suppliers and partners connected to increase productivity and streamline communications across the board. There are parts of the platform such as Office Communicator that keeps employees up to date on who is doing what within the office. In addition, there is video conferencing, which offers the user another avenue to stay in communication with coworkers and their customers alike. The idea is to add the latest technology to the basic telecom platform to create a far more useful system to all users.

“American Technology Solutions” (ATS) is a telecom provider that offers a market leading unified communications platform along with its telecom systems. There are many different video conferencing platforms that companies can offer to its users. However, ATS delivers the latest video conferencing software called Scopia via AVAYA. This technology is simple and user friendly, allowing any user to operate it, even without a strong technology background. The software is free and auto installs when you receive and accept your first video conference invite. Therefore, a person may join a video call by clicking the link sent out via email. Video Conferencing technology offers the ability for face to face communication among a group of users. However, Scopia also gives the ability for customers to share information such as documents or PowerPoint’s, simply by pressing a button. By doing this, it is shared throughout the video call and allows all users to receive the information immediately. This AVAYA Radvision – Scopia Solution is unmatched by other video conferencing software and is touted as the easiest to use for novice users. ATS prides itself by offering the latest in telecom & unified communication technology to our customers.

This has allowed American Technology Solutions to constantly grow in size by adding customers who seek the best telecom platform available in the marketplace. Best in Class technology from industry leading manufacturer, AVAYA. Customers have heard great things about ATS unified communication offerings and have not been let down when they implement the system within their company. Unified communications has allowed the telecom industry to grow because it now has technology that can significantly improve any business, no matter the size or industry. The technology is vital to the growth of corporations that they cannot afford to continue forward without the latest telecom platform from a reliable provider such as ATS. The growth ATS has seen can be attributed to a few things; customer service, unified communications and the reliable telecom platform they offer. Prospective clients have heard about the amazing telecom platform ATS offers and plenty have made the decision to move forward with them as their telecom provider.

American Technology Solutions has become a reliable telecom provider by offering market leading technology such as Scopia. By incorporating their telecom platform with the unified communication software; ATS has developed a reliable, functional and streamlined communication system that is the best in the industry. Unified communications has allowed telecom providers to expand their offerings to customers and increase the size of their businesses. ATS has used the new technology to improve their product and increase the level of satisfaction among customers. The new platform has allowed ATS to develop into one of the leading telecom providers in the country. They can help any company improve their communications and streamline the overall business.

How is your Technology Company doing for you, maybe it is time for a change to American Technology Solutions of Arizona?

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There are thousands of technology companies that rise and fall in rank throughout the year. I believe the market has become over saturated and therefore many are not successful. Every business relies on technology to communicate with their customers, partners, suppliers and fellow associates and therefore must depend on one of these companies to design, install and provide ongoing support on the many technology applications they utilize to meet their business needs and goals. These technology providers offer solutions that range from Premise Based Traditional Telephony, VoIP (Voice over IP), Video Conferencing & Collaboration, Data Communications, Wireless Voice & Data, and Mobility Solutions. These providers are vastly different corporations, but require a solid customer base to purchase their technology products & services. Each company has their niche target market that avails certain competitive advantages that allow them to stay profitable. However, if they lose focus and wander far from their niche market and competitive advantages they often succumb to less profit, loss of market share or even total business failure. Often selling their customer base and employees far below their true value by a competitor that stayed focused on their strengths. The technology industry has always been fluid since Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but in today’s global economy with internet access worldwide the rapid pace of the changes and enhancements in technology is blinding and many companies fail to stay in lock step with the times. These companies will likely fail.

As stated above, it only requires one competitive advantage to be successful. If that advantage is a product or service and you combine that with a great customer experience, a company can absolutely become successful. “American Technology Solutions” (ATS) made a decision to be an innovator by adopting the latest unified communication technologies, such as Video Conferencing & Collaboration software suite like AVAYA Scopia Radvision. This allowed ATS to offer companies in need of expansion the ability to transition slowly and cost effectively while still able to use older technology from Cisco, Polycom and others and to integrate the new AVAYA Scopia Radvision Platform over time. This industry leading solution from Avaya allows ATS to offer the best of both worlds, a cost effective transition to new technology while still taking advantage of a company’s investment protection. This competitive advantage is at the heart of how ATS stays one step ahead of other technology providers. ATS strategy is to remain fluid as technological breakthroughs and new enhanced products are introduced. They will keep their eye on the “Best in Class” technologies so their customers benefit financially and stay one step ahead of their competition.

American Technology Solutions approach has been successful over the past decade by offering the strongest telecom platform on the market. Their products and customer service speaks for itself and has proven to be among the best within their market of this vast technology industry.

Does your business deserve the best? Then the answer is American Technology Solutions (ATS)

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I have been thinking about different telecom providers and have come to a conclusion, the best providers deliver the greatest customer service possible. Products and services are an important aspect of business, but without a strong customer service department that is all pointless. Larger telecom providers tend to forget about customers, especially if they are not a huge contract for them. This is one reason why a mid-size telecom provider is a better choice for your company.

A mid-size company such as “American Technology Solutions” (ATS) provides a customer service level that is not found anywhere else. ATS treats every customer the same, regardless of their size. They never forget to stay in contact with a client, whether they are having an issue or have a simple question about their service. ATS utilizes many approaches to stay in contact with customers, including customer service outreach calling programs and social media pages that are always available for contact. Every customer is important and receives the same amount of attention regardless of their size. It is important to combine ATS’ strong product & service technology platform with their customer service offerings.

A reliable telecom provider offers both these things to all customers. American Technology Solutions is one of the best telecom providers. They pride themselves with treating every customer with respect and care. It is very important to make every customer feel special and allow them to have a personal relationship with their communication provider. A communication system is one of the most important aspects of any business, making it even more important that the provider who delivers those services is always available for troubleshooting or general questions. The reliability ATS offers through its strong customer service initiative is unmatched by any other competitor. The combination of great customer service and the industry leading products & services, proves that American Technology Solutions is one of the best choices for a telecom provider.

Reliable Feature Rich Communications is the Ticket to Your Success

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In the current age of technology, a new telecom system can have a direct and positive impact on your company. Conversely a vintage telecom system could and often does have a direct and negative impact on a company. If a vintage systems goes unchecked and the company does not keep abreast with the lack of replacement parts or service providers that have trained technicians they are likely setting themselves up for failure. It does not matter how large or small a company is, what does matter is the importance for executives to realize the need for a reliable telecommunications system. Many decision makers within companies do not understand how important reliability and functionality are. Whether a business has one phone or thousands of phones, it has direct impact on the company’s bottom line. A one phone business needs that phone to be reliable just as the larger company needs every phone to be reliable.

Consider this, a small company has three phones and the whole system fails because of a service provider error. This is a huge problem because they do not have any backup systems in place to receive or place phone calls. Imagine if a pizza delivery store operated with one phone and that phone broke because it was old, there would be no opportunities for that company to receive orders for business because they have a broken phone and an outdated service provider with no maintenance possibilities. For a small company, losing days or possibly weeks of business due to an inept or broken phone system could lead to great financial losses, customers and reputation.

Because of this and other reasons, there are many benefits for a company to adopt a new telecom provider such as “American Technology Solutions” (ATS). First of all, ATS offers new state of art phone systems that operate with great reliability and the highest in functionality. As a company we cover the client on all aspects from maintenance on their phones to unified communications (options such as video conferencing among others). In this case, if that pizza shops phone broke, ATS technology would deliver a customer’s call for food to a mobile device, such as a smart phone. This would allow for a seamless transition and provide an alternative communication method so no business would be lost. In addition, we provide maintenance contracts to our customers in case a phone does break. These contracts allow for us to order a new phone and have it delivered and installed very quickly. All the while, our clients business is still operating at a high level of service by using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer that will be completely seamless to their respective customers.

These benefits may be applied to a large company as well, albeit on a larger scale. Imagine a company with a thousand phones, utilizing a maintenance contract on a solution that offers voice, video, data, mobility and ubiquity. With these services bundled together as a total solution they will be the answer to that executive that leads this company and knows now that they can’t afford to be without these services. The loss of these services could cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions given the right circumstances and timing. Also, our unified communication offerings can deliver avenues of communication they are not used too. For example, once a company has the technology for video conferencing, everything changes. It opens up new doors and allows for that company to add another arrow to their quiver and put them in a position to lead in their respective geography or industry. As spoken about in other blogs, a new telecom system offers many other applications and means of communication that streamlines a company and increases communications as a whole.

By choosing a telecom provider such as ATS , companies of all sizes will benefit from the tremendous amount of offerings. Whether a small company relies on us for stability, knowing they will always have a means to communicate or a large company capitalizes on our broad array of communication technology; they all win. Each company gains a reliable and useful telecom system while working with a provider that treats them with respect and is always available for troubleshooting or even simple questions that may come about. ATS prides itself of being available to all its customers, no matter how large or small they might be.