Friday, February 12, 2010

Leading Unified Communications Providers Convene at the Polycom 2010 Global Partner Conference

Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM), the leader in telepresence, video and voice solutions held its annual partner conference, TEAM Polycom, in San Diego during the first week of February. The event is host to networking and communications industry leaders from around the globe. Polycom teams with its unified communications (UC) solutions partners to deliver a fully integrated, end-to-end standards-based open collaboration network.

"Partnerships are key to our success and a critical element of our business," said Andrew Miller, executive vice president at Polycom. "We team with our partners to integrate their systems with Polycom's Open Collaboration Network, providing an interoperable UC solution that gives our customers flexibility and greater return on their existing technology investments."

At the conference, Miller discussed Polycom's role within the UC market and why Polycom is well positioned to help its customers and partners streamline their businesses by collaborating more effectively than ever before. Featured industry analyst Bob Hafner, managing vice president, Gartner, Inc., provided insights into the current market opportunity for unified communications and how this market is expected to evolve. Attendees had the opportunity to also explore new solutions targeted at the general enterprise as well as tailored solutions for important vertical markets such as healthcare, education and the public sector.

In Michigan, BitWare Technologies LLC is a certified re-seller of Polycom Voice over IP Phone products. Dennis J. Monroe II, founding member and partner of BitWare Technologies believes that partnering with industry leaders like Polycom creates an ecosystem of advanced technology offerings for their customers. The recent conference showcased new products and provided attendees with the opportunity to increase their knowledge.

In a world in which economic drivers such as globalization, outsourcing, off-shoring, telecommuting and mobile workforces have created dispersed teams and added cultural complexity to how people relate, the ability to communicate and share information in real time over any device and across any network is a distinct competitive advantage.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A New Website for the New Year

As we look forward to the coming year BitWare would like to take this time to thank our customers for making 2009 a memorable year filled with continued growth and opportunity. For 2010 we will continue to provide the support and customer service that you have come to expect from us and our solutions.


In commemoration of the New Year we are rolling out a newly designed website at www.bitwaretech.com. Check it out when you have a moment, and make sure to send us your feedback!


Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – What You Need To Know

As defined by Wikipedia, VoIP is the general term used for a family of transmission technologies for the delivery of voice communications over internet protocol networks. Internet telephony encompasses communications services such as: voice, facsimile and voice messaging applications that are transmitted via the internet.

One of the most important considerations when researching VoIP as your telecommunication’s solution is “bandwidth.” The functionality of VoIP phones is dependent on your internet connection and bandwidth is the capability to transfer data in a given span of time. There are two types of bandwidth. One is the upload bandwidth, which is the quantity of data sent to the internet, and the other is download bandwidth, which is the quantity of data received from the internet. The recommended broadband bandwidth you need varies by the size of your business, specifically the number of phone lines your organization has. Ultimately, bandwidth will determine your sound quality, so it is very important to consult with your phone systems company to make sure you have the right infrastructure in place.

Another consideration when looking into a VoIP solution is Power over Ethernet (PoE). Typically, when locating access points, technicians often use available AC (alternating current) electrical outlets to base decisions on where to install access points. Some organizations only locate access points near AC outlets and within reach of an electrical cord. Or, they'll look for a convenient location to install new outlets at points where it's suitable to run conduit and mount outlet boxes. PoE solves these problems. It is a solution that requires technicians to run only one Ethernet cable to the access point for supplying both power and data. The PoE power sourcing equipment detects the presence of powered devices and supplies applicable current into the data cable. Power over Ethernet, allows businesses to save money, have flexibility and most important this solution is more reliable.

Because a VoIP call is basically a packet of data being transferred via the internet, your call is subject to potential problems such as latency, jitters and errors. Therefore your connection to the internet and the devices used to connect to internet can play a part in reducing or improving your Quality of Service (QoS). In other words, things like having the right amount of bandwidth and implementing Power over Ethernet will provide you with better Quality of Service.

There are many benefits to having a VoIP telecommunications solution. Such as:

• Making telephone calls is easy and inexpensive
• It’s a network that follows you anywhere you go – so you will
never miss a phone call
• Inexpensive call rates
• Value added services, like: conferencing, caller id,
inbound/outbound faxing, voicemail, and find me-follow me, to
name a few
• You can manage your VoIP network from anywhere in the world if
there is a broadband internet connection available

Your customers will benefit too. A VoIP system has features that are found in the most expensive products on the market, such as on-hold music that supports both MP3 and streaming media. And, customers will have shorter wait times because the call queues allow your sales team to monitor the queue while they take incoming calls, so they can shorten the calls if needed.

Of course, when making the decision to go with a VoIP solution you should also consider the following precautions: 1) broadband phones work by the transmission of digital signals using broadband internet connections, so it is always suggested to go for a high quality broadband connection to achieve the best quality with your phone calls, and 2) you should always be ready with a back-up power supply in case of a power outage or internet connection failure as this break down will stop the functioning of broadband phones.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bitware Technologies Helps Businesses Pick the Right Voice Over IP Option

Whether you are a small business with small needs or a global corporation, BitWare Technologies' will consult with you and make sure you invest in the right technology to meet your company’s needs while saving money.

When you are ready to switch from a traditional office phone system to IP-Telephony, you will need to decide on a solution provider. Central to that decision is finding the provider who will understand and seek the best solutions for your company’s specific needs. The biggest benefit for selecting VoIP is its cost effectiveness and scalability over traditional phone systems. But, before deciding what you need there are several questions a business should be prepared to answer; does your workforce need remote access, do you have the right internet and voice connectivity, and what add-ons does your phone system need?

BitWare Technologies prides itself on providing a free phone bill analysis and will meet with you to determine what phone system will best meet your telecommunications needs. Located in Southeast Michigan, BitWare’s flagship product, the BitWare Unified Communications Server (UCS), is a business phone system packing enterprise class features into an affordably priced communications powerhouse for businesses. With BitWare UCS you can:

• Utilize a business phone system to improve productivity and service your customers better

• Leverage Voice over IP or traditional phone lines to cut costs, connect offices together, and converge data and
voice onto one network

• Unify phone calls, faxing, and voicemail with your e-mail inbox, web browser, and mobile phone

• Bring your office anywhere with mobile phone integration and work from home solutions

BitWare Technologies’ VoIP Solution is a multimedia data solution that handles all of your voice, fax, and conferencing needs. BitWare takes advantage of the highly robust Asterisk soft switch for all ACD/PBX functionality. Asterisk IS the answer to successful Voice over IP migrations. Asterisk simplifies the migration from a traditional phone system to an IP based phone system. From a cost perspective, it CANNOT be outdone. Clients will be pleased to find that the voice quality of an Asterisk based Voice over IP phone system will be comparable to or better than that of traditional analogue systems.

For four years, BitWare Technologies has helped businesses embrace new phone system and technology solutions giving their customers the competitive advantage they need.
How can BitWare Technologies help your business?

• Appear “big” to your customers – Asterisk VoIP offers sophistication
• No busy signal – VoIP handles high-volume call processing
• Unify employees at multiple locations with one phone number
• Transfer calls easily to anyone... anywhere

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bitware Technologies launches new modem-less outbound fax solution

Through a strong partnership with Asterisk® the World’s leading open source PBX (Private Branch Exchange), BitWare Technologies has an on-going commitment to develop solutions that are specifically designed to each customer’s individual and unique requirements. While BitWare Technologies partnerships have proven invaluable time and time again, BitWare Technologies continues to think and design “outside the box,” focusing on the best solution for the customer and the budget.

The Open Source PBX solution has allowed partners Dennis J. Monroe II (DJ) and Darrin Gorski to continuously develop and deploy better technology solutions for clients. They have developed an inbound & outbound fax solution that allows users to send faxes from their computer via BitWare's Unified Communications Server without a modem. Currently in Beta testing with this solution, DJ says, “In this day and age clients are tired of the inconvenient old fax machine. They often lack clarity, are costly and you can encounter numerous problems when trying to send and receive documents. BitWare Technologies wanted to update the technology for our clients and make those issues a thing of the past.” For businesses, this solution is a competitive advantage. It makes communication with customers and clients much faster, saving time and allowing for more efficiency.

For organizations today, DJ goes on to say, “In this time of high speed communication, computers allow us to speed things up. Our fax solution allows businesses to save money instead of spending too much money on fax machines, maintenance, and supplies.” Not only does this solution save businesses money, but it is an environmentally-friendly way to send and receive messages. Traditional faxing options require a lot of paper, and for many organizations that means hundreds of dollars devoted to paper and ink expenses. A software solution allows businesses the opportunity to “go green,” plus save money.

In addition to the added benefit of BitWare’s fax solution, VoIP technology continues to be a communication tool that is cost effective and rich in features that include free voicemail, call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, call waiting ID, 3 way calling, speed dialing, find me follow me, and much more.

Monday, September 7, 2009

FreePBX 3.0

I noticed that the link to the development ISO was no longer available on the FreePBX V3 wiki site located here: http://www.freepbx.org/v3/wiki/Installation

If anyone wants to download the ISO file to give FreePBX 3 a try I was still able to do so here: http://mirror.freepbx.org/FreePBX-3.0-0.0.2-i386.iso

For now it appears to be working. Stay tuned for a review in the next few days after I have had a chance to play with it a bit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Easy Boot Flash Drive for Linux installs

I recently needed to install a CentOS image from a flash drive. Since it was a bit of a hassle to figure out how to make a flash drive bootable I figured I would document it here so others could benefit. This method assumes you have a Redhat or CentOS Linux machine available for this process and intermediate knowledge of Linux.

Things you will need:

• A thumb drive
• A bootable image “.img”
• A computer with Linux installed on it.

You can create an image using a utility such as DropDMG, or download one from the Internet. For this exercise we will use a CentOS (diskboot.img) image that I downloaded from http://mirrors.liquidweb.com/CentOS/5.3/os/i386/images/

Follow these steps to move the image onto your flash drive:

1. Save your image file to your home directory on your Linux machine.

2. Place the flash drive into the USB port on your Linux machine and use the dmesg (alternatively use fdisk –l) command to determine the device’s location.

sd 8:0:0:0: Attached scsi removable disk sda
sd 8:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0
Vendor: SanDisk Model: U3 Cruzer Micro Rev: 8.02
Type: CD-ROM ANSI SCSI revision: 00
sr0: scsi3-mmc drive: 48x/48x tray
sr 8:0:0:1: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
sr 8:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
usb-storage: device scan complete

Note that the device location is sda

3. Using the dd command and the flash drives specific location (e.g. /sda) move the image to the flash drive

[root@newcastle ~]# dd if=diskboot.img of=/dev/sda bs=4096
3072+0 records in
3072+0 records out
12582912 bytes (13 MB) copied, 2.81418 seconds, 4.5 MB/s
[root@newcastle ~]#

You should now have a bootable flash drive that you can use to install Linux or run a Live CD image from USB.

Resources
Here is a great Ubuntu tutorarial for creating an Ubuntu flash drive install:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick

Windows Flash Drive Utility:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/unetbootin/files/