Business events

Party Time

I don’t know about the rest of you but by the time Christmas Day comes along I’m going to be partied out. It all started with the ITSPA Awards at the House of Commons on Thursday last week followed by lunch with customer Foxtons on the Friday.

Monday I had dinner with KeConnect MD Robert Kemp in Ipswich, lunch with NTL on Tuesday at Cafe Bleu in Newark. Last night it was the Timico management bash at the Olive Branch in Clipsham. Tomorrow night it is the party at Monty’s in Newbury.

Then Monday it is the Timico staff party at Belton Woods near Grantham. Tuesday night it’s The Wig And Mitre in Lincoln. I’m assuming that Santa has already sorted out what presents to bring the kids because I certainly haven’t had time to do it.

I have to say that I am looking forward to the period of austerity that this time of credit crunch and financial uncertainty merits and will be joining the queue for discounted lettuce at the reduced section in Tesco’s on the 2nd January.

End User internet

The Internet – Now In A Caravan Near You!

Everyone reading this blog has, I’m sure, accessed the internet from somewhere that is not their office or home. Typically this might be using their mobile phone, an internet cafe or perhaps at a wifi hotspot or “Costa Cafe”.

What amazes me is that people now sit in their caravans browsing the web whilst on holiday. Timico subsidiary KeConnect has a deal with the Caravan Club in the UK to roll out its KeZone wifi hotspots to UK caravan sites.

Punters either use their credit cards or buy vouchers from the shop at the site. When I was a kid we used to play Monopoly when it was raining on holiday. Now they either watch TV or surf the web!

I’m a tent man myself, no electric hook-up, much to my wife’s annoyance 🙂 .

Business UC voip

Real Life Example Of Geographic Integration Using VoIP

Timico is a classic case study of a business that has expanded by both organic growth and acquisition.

When the company began, 4 very short years ago, almost the first thing it did was buy a Nortel BCM telephony system. On the way up it bought KeConnect which has an Asterisk Open Source PBX and which is a user and reseller of Avaya IP Office systems. At the same time the Timico mobile workforce uses hosted VoIP clients based on the Nortel AS5200 Unified Communications platform. Quite a mishmash of telephony solutions.

In years gone by the business would have probably had to factor in CAPEX to harmonise the phone systems around its various locations around a single vendor in order to be able to adequately connect the sites. Even then the connectivity would have been expensive.

This has all changed with the advent of the VoIP SIP Trunk. Using SIP Trunks all Timico sites can talk to each other over a low cost IP connection. What’s more salesmen on the move are able to demonstrate the technology from a customer’s premises using a local wifi connection. 

Just as impressive, Cisco and KeConnect resellers showcasing the Cisco SPA9000 iPBX with the travelling demo kit, are able to connect in to the office technical support using SIP. The same applies in respect of the Nortel SCS500 Unified Communications system, Samsung IP telephony systems and Cisco Call Manager Express and a variety of other manufacturers’ systems.

The point of this name dropping is to highlight that it is a great example of what SIP technology was intended to achieve – seamless connectivity using open standards. Timico’s site to site telephony costs are now tending to very low or zero. I can’t say that SIP interoperability has achieved universal ubiquitous status yet but it is getting there.


Business voip

Cisco/Linksys SPA9000 begins to roll out

We had a Linksys reseller on the phone needing help with setting up his SPA9000. This is a small PBX for the small business market. It sitts very nicely below the Nortel BCM50 in our portfolio of communications systems for business.

Timico recently launched the SPA9000 in a Webinar held jointly between Cisco/Linksys and KeConnect. Yours truly said a few words. It is very satisfying to see the outcome of such marketing activities resulting in channel partners generating sales.

This particular partner needed help with setting up his SIP trunk. He hadn’t read the manual – ah well. That’s what we are here for. It took a few seconds. The solution worked. He is happy and has other customers lined up for the product/service.

the SPA9000Picture of SPA9000

Business voip

Webinar on Linksys LVS2.0

The Linksys LVS2.0 is a voice system (ie PBX) for small offices. It’s pretty amazing how compact and low cost these systems have become. This one is being sold through KeConnect channels into the small business market.  Timico subsidiary KeConnect has partnered with Linksys to jointly offer a solution to their combined channels which number between 1,500 and 2,000 resellers specializing in the small business market.

Linksys will provide the system and KeConnect the communications. KeConnect was the first company to offer support for SIP Trunks for the Linksys product in the UK.

For the uninitiated a SIP Trunk is effectively a telephone line that runs over an IP connection such as ADSL. The beauty of a SIP Trunk is that you can run multiple calls/lines over a single broadband connection. The underlying analogue line can of course only support one call at a time.

A SIP Trunk can be used for both inbound and outbound calls. The LVS2.0 allows the use of both traditional analogue lines and SIP Trunks thereby giving small businesses a level of resiliency in their communications that they haven’t seen before.

Linksys is of course a Cisco brand and the LVS2.0 represents part of Cisco’s push into the SMB market. The Timico Group also supports Nortel and Avaya PBXs and has its own hosted Unified Communications service that is ideal for distributed offices and remote workers.

The Webinar takes place on Monday 14th July at 3pm via Webex. Anyone interested in attending should leave a comment and I’ll send them the login and access details. I won’t publish the comment.

In my bit of the Webinar I’ll be talking about best practice for SIP Trunks.

For more information on the LVS2.0 click here.

For more information on KeConnect click here.