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Carolina Digital Uses Change Management Expertise to Ensure Successful Hosted VoIP Phone System Implementation for Augusta County Government Center

Augusta County, Virginia

Carolina Digital, which has more than 15 years of experience serving and solving the communication needs of public sector organizations, credits its change management expertise for successfully completing a major hosted VoIP phone system implementation for the Augusta County Government Center, located in Verona, VA.

The implementation, which took several weeks to complete and was part of a procurement process that began in 2015, involved several Augusta County departments and hundreds of employees — including many of whom had never used hosted VoIP phone system technology, hardware or features before.

“Even though shifting from a traditional phone system to hosted VoIP was clearly a positive decision for our organization, change in itself can be stressful and scary for some people,” commented Andy Wells, Director of Augusta County Parks & Recreation, whose department was one of several included in the multi-phase implementation. “But that’s where Carolina Digital truly rose to the occasion. Their team spent a great deal of time patiently and thoroughly answering our questions, and just as importantly, they asked us how we wanted to use the system, and how it could flex around our workflows, needs and preferences. They turned what could have been an intimidating experience into one that was energizing and exciting, and that paved the way for the success that we’re enjoying today.”

“Many companies in the hosted VoIP industry are fairly good on the technology side of things, but have little or no grasp of the fact that customer success is typically won or lost during implementation — because that’s when issues and challenges can emerge with the people who matter most: the end users who will rely on the system to do their jobs,” commented Nicky Smith, Carolina Digital’s CEO and Founder. “That’s why over the years, we’ve focused on refining our change management capacity, and ensuring that it’s a core part of the value we bring to every implementation. Our people are trained and our processes are designed to make the experience positive and progressive. We’re technology experts, but we never lose sight of the fact that what we do is all about real people and solving their problems.”

Added Mr. Wells: “Carolina Digital brought us into the 21st century. The same employees who were reluctant to adopt the new system, are now some of the most enthusiastic users. Nicky and his team are a huge reason for that. They went above and beyond the call of duty, and in my opinion set the standard that all companies working with government should strive to meet.”

For additional information regarding Carolina Digital, visit http://carolinadigital.net or email [email protected]

About Carolina Digital
Carolina Digital is a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provides products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony, while reducing their overall cost. The company’s offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment, and many user-friendly packages – from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with existing land lines, cell phones or VoIP phones.

Area Code Overlay 336 and 743

area-code-743

 

New Dialing Pattern

Residential and business customers assigned to the existing 336 area code should prepare for the introduction of the new 743 area code.  Use of an overlay area code requires that customers must dial 10 digits (area code + 7-digit local telephone number) to complete local calls within their area code calling area. To help customers prepare for this change and ensure a smooth transition, beginning October 24, 2015, customers may begin placing local calls by using the new 10-digit local dialing pattern.  Customers may continue to use 7-digit local dialing until April 22, 2016, when that option will come to an end.  Effective on April 23, 2016, all local calls must be placed using the 10 digit telephone number (336 or 743 plus the 7-digit local telephone number). Beginning May 23, 2016, customers in the 336 area code region requesting new service, adding an additional line, or in some cases moving their service, may be assigned new numbers using either 336 or the new 743 area code. 

Facts About the New Area Code

The most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 743 area code overlay are:

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change, but may if you move your service
  • You will need to dial area code + 7-digit local telephone number for all local calls.
  • For billing purposes, what is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

Planning for the New Area Code

Customers should identify their telephone number as a ten digit number (area code + 7-digit local telephone number), and include the area code when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates and business customers, etc.

Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 743 area code as a valid area code.  Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions. Be sure to check your business stationery, website, advertising materials, personal checks, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in your telephone number. If you have any questions regarding the new area code overlay or dialing procedures please call 336-544-4000.

Ingram Micro acquires VoIP distributor Greenville SC based NETXUSA

Headquartered in Greenville, SC, NETXUSA has about 1,200 customers across the US, generates roughly $125 million in annual revenue, and maintains a partner base heavily tilted towards resellers of telecommunications gear and services. Purchasing the company helps Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro deepen its in-house expertise in a fast-growing market and fill out its vendor roster, especially in voice services and conferencing. Digium Inc., Edgewater Networks Inc., Polycom Inc., and Yealink Inc. are among the new vendors Ingram Micro resellers will now have access to as a result of this acquisition, which officially closed yesterday.

Rick Boone, NETXUSA CEO said, “We are excited to join Ingram Micro and expect our customer and vendor partners to benefit from access to a broader product and services portfolio, greater geographic reach, global partnership opportunities and access to new solutions, such as value-added lifecycle services and a world-class supply chain. Our associates will have new opportunities as part of a larger organization and I am confident that we will be able to accelerate growth and profitability as a part of the Ingram Micro family.”

“NETXUSA has been a longstanding partner of Polycom’s from the initial days of building our collaboration business,” said Chris Jones, President, Polycom Americas. “We look forward to continuing our partnership and success with NETXUSA, in addition to expanding our business with Ingram Micro to make the workplace of the future a reality for our customers.”

Today’s purchase comes just over one month after Ingram Micro itself was acquired by Chinese shipping company Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co. Ltd., in a deal valued at $6 billion.

Hosted IP Telephony Market to Reach $17.93 Billion in 2021 in Europe

LONDON, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The rapid growth of the European hosted Internet protocol (IP) and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market is creating opportunities for both European and international providers delivering compelling next-generation solutions. Businesses looking to gain a competitive edge are adopting hosted communications solutions to gain faster access to advanced features and more frequent functionality upgrades. Continued economic challenges are also forcing businesses to choose hosted solutions as they allow greater flexibility for rapid growth or downsizing.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the European Hosted IP Telephony and UCC Services Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $3.32 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $17.93 billion in 2021.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit:http://bit.ly/1RlFUMU

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Wikiocity – The Open Directory

Carolina Digital Phone can now be found in Wikiocity under Telecommunications Companies powered by NeustarLocalezeNeustar / Localeze data services. Create an account at Neustar and add your free listing and deliver your unique listing details, keywords, categories, hours of operation, and more to 100+ leading local search platforms.

Yealink Receives 2015 Best Product Award

At Carolina Digital Phone we are very proud of being a Yealink IP Phone Partner. Yealink has be recognized and awarded the 2015 Internet Telephony Product of the Year since 2010. Yealink, founded in 2001, is a global leader in IP based unified communications and is dedicated to communication telephony innovations.  Customers from more than 100 countries and areas worldwide enjoy Yealink’s reliable unified communications IP Phone solutions through our well-established global sales and service network. Their vision is to become the world’s leading unified communications solution provider, helping people to maximize their business success through cloud-based unified communications ecosystems that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere globally, under any type of network.

Learn more about Yealink at this short video below:

The Yealink CP860 IP conference phone is a perfect choice for small and medium-sized conference room and can meet the demands of up to 16 people with optional expansion microphones. The CP860 provides many important audio features including optima HD technology, a build-in 3 microphone array, full-duplex technology and acoustic echo cancelling. This means that all users can enjoy rich, clear and life-like conference calls. The Yealink CP860 also supports call recording, plus linkages to mobile phones or PCs for a more convenient conference call experience.

Hosted PBX Telephone Solutions from Carolina Digital Phone

Carolina Digital Phone
Carolina Digital Phone is your choice for comprehensive telephone system solutions. No matter what call support you need, Carolina Digital Phone has the technology and experience to make it happen.

In the past, businesses had to rely on complicated phone systems. However, thanks to advancing technology, it is now possible to have superior phone service with a hosted PBX telephone system. Unlike traditional phone systems, our telephone system is entirely digital. This means that instead of installing land lines, all that is required for service is an active Internet connection to create an IP digital phone through VoIP technology.

Even if you have telephone service that seems to work, there are advantages to digital telephone systems to consider. Since our service relies on an existing Internet connection, there is no need for cumbersome and costly installation procedures. All you need for a complete revitalization of your phone system are working phones.

Additionally, our hosted PBX offers the best service. With our IP digital phone system, you have unlimited inbound and outbound call capabilities. Moreover, with VoIP technology, it is easy for employees to conduct business from any location. This means that employees have the same access to quality phone service from their office, client locations, home and more. As long as there is an active Internet connection, every employee can stay connected at all times.

To make the transition easier, Carolina Digital Phone also offers a worry-free web portal to streamline management and administration of the system. On top of that, our call center application is available to provide additional support that will increase customer responsiveness for the ultimate phone service in the modern business era. Call (336) 691-2000 today to speak to a telecommunications specialist. You could save up to 60% over your current telephone service provider with our hosted PBX service.

Low Cost Hosted VoIP Services Provider can save your business major monthly Expenses

Carolina Digital PhoneSince Alexander Graham Bell invented it into existence, reliable phone service has played a vital role in keeping businesses up and running. That telephone on the desk makes it possible to take orders, obtain supplies and keep in touch with customers. Let’s face it: If your phone system should ever fail, you might as well lock up and go home. There’s only one problem. Unless you’ve upgraded to hosted Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, you’re spending far more than you should on your telephone service.

How Your Telephone System Affects Your Bottom Line:  Some fail to realize the expense of using so-called plain old telephone services. Traditional POTS systems rely on analog technology to transmit data through electronic frequencies. While this methodology is cheap and simple to transmit over short distances, voice quality fades in a hurry when vast expanses come into play. To overcome this inherent defect, old-fashioned telephone services rely on a public switched telephone network, or PSTN, to transfer calls incrementally between locations through a grid of cables, satellites, switchboards and telephone lines. Each such transfer adds to the cost, sending long-distance rates that much higher with each additional mile. For this reason, POTS systems normally charge by the call. With hosted services, on the other hand, it’s a different story.

The Benefits of VoIP for Business: Instead of paying by the call, the business that switches to hosted PBX and VoIP services will incur just a moderate monthly fee with unlimited calls allowed and no extra charge for long distance. That’s because these services utilize a broadband Internet connection to transmit data digitally from the point of origin to the telephone exchange that’s closest to the final destination.

In addition to saving money, hosted VoIP and hosted PBX services are:

  • Reliable. Regardless of external influences, round-the-clock monitored maintenance will keep your system up and running.
  • Scalable. Your hosted service can expand or contract to match the changing needs of your business.
  • Versatile. No antiquated POTS system can provide the advanced features you’ll get from an Internet-based service.
  • Mobile. Users of hosted PBX and hosted VoIP can make and receive calls through a laptop or forward incoming communications to a mobile phone.
  • User-friendly. The Web-based interface is intuitive and simple to use

If you’re still running with your business on outdated analog telephone services, it’s time to ask yourself why. For service on which you can always rely at a price that will make you smile, hosted PBX and VoIP are the only way to go. Once you’ve enjoyed the benefits of VoIP for business, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to switch. When considering Hosted VoIP for your business telephone system call the experts at Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000.

Stay updated by reading http://CarolinaDigital.Today and visit http://siptrunking.reviews for SIP Trunking Review and Options updates on VoIP Options for your business. For Schools Please visit http://erate.tips for USAC Updates and Tips for Using E-Rate Funding for Schools and Libraries.


Nicky Smith

About the Author: Nicky Smith – For the past 30+ years, computers, advanced technology and solving problems with this new technology have been his business. In 1978, he graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with the first graduating class in the 16 North Carolina Universities with an Information Systems degree from the College of Business. For the last 15 years Nicky has served as the visionary leader and CEO of CAROLINANET.COM, a web hosting and server colocation data center and since 2004 the CEO of Carolina Digital Phone offering hosted telephone services and SIP Trunking. Read more at his LinkedIN page http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickysmith

Follow Nicky Smith on Twitter @PBXintheCloud, Google Plus at https://plus.google.com/+Carolinadigitalphone/ and on Facebook

Do you remember the telecom switch days?

How quickly we forget how competitive the long distance market was just 15 years ago. It was AT&T, Sprint, MCI and who knows who would come along next. Today the competitive market for business to look at hosted VoIP for telephone service is warming up and business owners can save over 60% over their current land-line based telephone company. Please enjoy this video and have a great laugh! Want make the switch? Call Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000 in Greensboro, NC.

SIP Trunks Replace Traditional Telecom PRI

Carolina Digital PhoneWhat’s overly expensive, set in its ways and headed down the road to obsolescence? It’s telecommunications via Primary Rate Interface, and if your business still uses this old-time voice delivery method, you might want to ask yourself why.

What PRI Is and Is Not:  PRI is nothing more than a form of digital circuitry that offers its users 23 channels or voice paths over a single signaling circuit. Because PRI connects directly to the , the call quality is good. Unfortunately, the entire PRI system calls for a substantial investment in cables and hardware. This makes it less than ideal for use in the modern business office.

Session Initiated Protocol Trunking: With SIP trunking, all calls route through the Internet, requiring no external hardware or circuitry. Instead of interfacing with the telephone company, the SIP trunk connects your organization directly to an Internet telephony service provider. This use of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, makes it vastly less expensive to operate while providing a flexibility that positions it well for modern business use.

Benefits of SIPWhen calculating the ways in which SIP outstrips PRI, several features come to mind. Chiefly, an SIP trunk provides:

A virtual connection. Unlike PRI, SIP trunking has no need for cables and termination hardware to connect each individual circuit.

  • Scalability. Perhaps the biggest selling point of any VoIP system is its ability to add capacity through nothing more involved than a simple software reconfiguration. With SIP, you’re dealing with only one network and one set of cables. With PRI, on the other hand, scaling up requires the installation of new circuits and hardware. This can take weeks to accomplish.
  • Savings. The already high cost of running on PRI will rise in line with the number of voice channels a company uses. An SIP trunking system, on the other hand, bases its pricing on actual usage, saving its users hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Reliable disaster recovery. The simplified setup of SIP eliminates the headache of recovering from telecommunication loss due to accident or natural disaster. Whereas the diversion of PRI calls to alternative locations can be costly and involved, the business that runs with an SIP-based telephony system can trust that its calls will automatically reroute to one or more functioning localities.Without question, the capability and cost-effective nature of SIP trunking have already far outstripped any benefits of the older technology. While VoIP rules the day, the death knell for PRI has already begun to ring.

When considering SIP Services for your telephone system call the experts at Carolina Digital Phone at (336) 691-2000.

Benefits of SIP Trunking for Your Business

From PC World, Paul Desmond wrote an article called “Five Business Benefits of SIP Trunking:” As the Infonetics numbers indicate, small and medium-sized businesses have some good reasons to move to SIP Trunking. Here are five of them.

  1. Lower cost. While the figures vary widely depending on what you currently have and the exact SIP trunk offering you replace it with, savings in the 30% to 60% range are well within the realm of possibility. What’s more, while PRI and T1 lines are sold in certain increments, such as four, eight or 24 channels, you can order SIP trunks in any size you want. If you’ve got a small office that requires only one or two sessions at a time, you can order and pay for a trunk of only that size.
  2. Highly scalable. And should that office grow over time, you can add more circuits to the SIP trunk, again ordering only what you need. No more trying to calculate whether it’s worth moving from a PRI to T1 or T1 to T3, even though you know you don’t need the entire capacity of the larger line.
  3. More flexibility. You can also adjust the size of your SIP trunk to allow for variations in bandwidth requirements, such as to deal with seasonal changes in call volumes. Similarly, you can dynamically vary the amount of bandwidth given to any application based on requirements at any point in time.
  4. Support for Unified Communications. SIP is crucial for enabling UC applications including presence and advanced features such as the ability to transfer a call from a mobile phone to a laptop-based soft phone without dropping it. SIP trunks provide the network foundation upon which your firm can deploy such applications.
  5. Reliability and disaster recovery. Because they’re IP-based, SIP trunks are far more flexible than traditional “fixed” circuits such as T1 or PRI lines. Users can program SIP lines such that if a given user is out of the office, or an entire office is out of commission, the lines roll over to backup sites, phones or devices located anywhere on the company’s network – or at a backup facility. It’s all based on the business rules you set up ahead of time.
New Area Code 628 Overlay in San Francisco 415 Area

415-628What is the New Dialing Procedure?
To complete calls from a landline phone, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial 1 + area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 415 or 628 area codes need to be dialed using 1 + area code + telephone number. To complete calls from a cellular or mobile phone, callers may dial the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number whenever placing a call from a phone number with the 415 or 628 area code.

When will the change become Mandatory?
Beginning February 21, 2015, you must use the new dialing procedure for all calls. If you do not use the new dialing procedure, your call will not be completed, and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again. However, all customers are encouraged to begin using the new dialing procedure before February 21, 2015.

Why is the change Necessary?
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the 628 area code will be added to the area served by 415. Since two area codes will now serve the same geographic region, the area code must be used when dialing any telephone number-including calls within the same area code. Beginning March 21, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the 628 area code.

What is an area code overlay?
An overlay is the addition of another area code (628) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (415). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

What will you need to do to prepare for the overlay?
In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a 7-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure. Some examples are life safety systems or medical devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions, etc. Be sure to check your website, business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included. Continue Reading →