Wavelink Blog

SDN for Wi-Fi: OpenFlow-enabling the wireless LAN can bring new levels of agility

As the enterprise edge transitions to an all wireless network, software-defined networking (SDN) and OpenFlow are emerging as a way to bring new levels of agility to organisations.

Brett Liddle, Territory Sales Manager – Australia and New Zealand, Meru Networks, said, “With mobile devices and cloud services reshaping how we work, live and play, people expect fast, reliable Wi-Fi everywhere. For IT, meeting the exploding mobility demand requires a more agile wireless LAN. As the network edge transitions to all-wireless, SDN and OpenFlow are emerging as a way to bring new levels of agility and let IT meet users’ expectations for a superior application experience from their mobile devices.”

Tablets, smartphones and laptops are just the beginning. Billions of other devices will be connected wirelessly, continuing to drive productivity, efficiency and fun. Gartner estimates that 26 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. With the rapid growth of mobility and cloud services, the wireless LAN is becoming the primary access method.

With next-generation 802.11ac technology delivering gigabit throughput today, the transition to an all-wireless access network will only accelerate.

Brett Liddle said, “SDN can have a transformative power on networks. As organisations move to virtualisation and the cloud, they see that the manual configuration of legacy data centre networks is time-consuming and error-prone. A virtual server can be created in minutes, but changing the underlying network may take days or weeks. SDN has emerged to remedy this problem.

“SDN-enabling the network can pave the way to deliver consistently high performance for essential business applications. Key applications can be prioritised over the virtual network, which ensures a consistent user experience. A more agile access network can better meet the exploding demand for applications and services, letting IT deliver more network services at a faster pace with fewer or the same resources.”

Five benefits of SDN-enabling the wireless LAN

SDN for Wi-Fi lets organisations:

1. Create and enforce unified policies network-wide. With SDN, IT policies are defined once and then enforced consistently across the wired and wireless LANs. Users have a uniform experience, regardless of their access method.

2. Build a smarter network that adapts to business needs programmatically. With SDN, the network becomes more intelligent and changes dynamically in response to application and business needs. With SDN enabled across the network, IT can enforce service levels to automatically deliver the necessary network performance, quality of service or security. Open, standards-based APIs make it easy to create SDN applications, which directly and programmatically communicate their network requirements and desired network behaviour to the SDN controller.

3. Unify management of the wired and wireless network. Having single-pane-of-glass management for the wired and wireless LAN simplifies network operations and lowers costs. Administrators can view clients using a single tool, no matter which network they’re on, and they gain greater visibility into the unified network. Network administrators finally can put an end to swivel-chair management.

4. Have greater choice of vendors. SDN is open and standards-based, and it lets IT mix and match network components from different vendors. Ultimately, greater choice creates competition in the market, and that drives innovation.

5. Simplify network provisioning and lower total cost of ownership. Because an SDN-enabled network responds dynamically to changing policies and traffic loads, the network administrator is freed from manual, time-consuming tasks. That lets administrators focus more on strategic work, rather than configuring and reconfiguring network devices to meet the business needs. And ultimately, that lowers the cost of network operations.

Spectralink expands PIVOT product family for smarter workplace mobility

 

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87-Series line now includes PIVOT:S, enhancing smartphone-like usability while maintaining enterprise-grade functionality 

Spectralink Corporation (“Spectralink”), a global leader in wireless solutions for the workplace, has announced PIVOT:S, the latest product in the WorkSmart family of solutions that advances innovation in enterprise mobile communication.

PIVOT:S is the new addition to the Spectralink PIVOT (87-Series) voice over Wi-Fi family of devices. Featuring a new, slim design, the streamlined PIVOT:S now gives customers the choice of two ergonomically designed form factors and three devices in the PIVOT family. Leveraging all the functionality and features of the original PIVOT solution, the PIVOT:S is also built on the industry-standard Android™ operating system, and is certified for Google™ Mobile Services. It is instantly familiar with intuitive smartphone-like usability and access to a vast ecosystem of enterprise workflow applications.

With analyst firm Ovum expecting mobility to top the CIO agenda over the coming months, many organisations are looking for greater control and management of mobile devices in the workplace. Purpose-built to address these challenges, the PIVOT:S offers organisations the secure and durable mobile handsets they require, along with the flexibility and smartphone-like functionality that their employees demand in the workplace.

To find out more, please read the full press release on our Wavelink website.

New Developments in the Spectralink and Broadsoft combined communication solution as endpoint for the hosted market

There have been new developments in the Spectralink and Broadsoft combined communication solution as endpoint for the hosted market. The Spectralink IP-DECT 400 and 6500 have achieved further integration.

Last year Broadsoft officially approved the Spectralink 7000 Portfolio for use on Broadworks R19 and R20. Just recently, Spectralink became fully integrated on Broadsoft’s CPE-kit, which simplifies the process of creating device profiles, making it even easier to add Spectralink devices to Broadsoft. With this kit you are now only a few clicks away from creating standard profiles and adding wireless communication devices to Broadworks platforms.

This new feature rounds out the full solution of providing in-building enterprise mobility for Broadsoft hosted customers with:

  • Near Zero-touch provisioning
    • Spectralink IP-DECT Server 400/6500 configuration
    • Spectralink IP-DECT Server firmware
    • Individual devices configuration
  • Simplified maintenance
    • Quick and easy handset replacement
  • Security
    • Server device certificates for authentication

For more details, including a list of supported features, please refer to the jointly developed BroadSoft Provisioning Guide on Spectralink’s support site

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Wavelink Newsletter = Not Junk!

We have recently received news that the Wavelink Newsletter is being recognized as ‘junk’ and not reaching inboxes. If you haven’t already done so, right click on the email and click ‘never block sender” and it should go straight to your inbox in the future.  If you can pass this message on to other partners it would be much appreciated.

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This Week on Digium Live: Switchvox Softphone for iphone

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What exactly is a softphone? What are the benefits of using softphones versus desktop phones? These are some of the questions addressed in our new episode of Digium Live!

Special guest, Adam Kramer, our Switchvox Project Manager here at Digium, discusses the features offered through the new Switchvox Softphone for iPhone, including our most recently added feature – the ability to use your cellular minutes instead of data for your calls.

Some of the most common concerns that come up when considering softphone options are also revealed, including: setup time and level of difficulty, as well as the availability of features typically offered with desktop phones. Adam addresses both of these issues, and discusses the popular features for mobile SIP devices, noting the increase in companies that are extending their business phone systems into mobility-friendly options.

 

Topics discussed include:

  • Digium Softphone Services: How and Why it Began
  • Benefits of Remote SIP Connection
  • Features Available
  • Softphone Setup in Two Ways
  • The Future of Switchvox Softphone
  • Softphon

For more information on Switchvox Softphone for Iphone, click here

Watch this week’s episode of Digium Live! below and tune in every two weeks for a new episode

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Toolkit for Understanding the basics of Unified Communications.

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A growing number of SMBs are realizing the benefits of Unified Communications (UC). Yet, many businesses are still trying to sort through the clutter of what UC really means. This free VoIP Advisor Toolkit, “Understanding the Basics of Unified Communications” includes a white paper, ebook, and more to help you understand how UC can help your organization be more competitive, efficient – and save money.

To learn more, or to download the toolkit please visit Digium’s Understanding the basics of Unified Communications 

How Software-Defined Networking will Redefine the Intelligent Campus

While colleges and universities have begun using 802.11ac to address networking capacity gaps, it may be time to architect a move away from a campus deployment focus altogether and embrace a new, open approach for meeting networking demands.

Take the size of your current student population and triple it or quadruple it. That will give you a sense of how many computing devices your campus infrastructure needs to support right now. But wait. There’s more. Now imagine that one morning many of those students wake up and realize they can upgrade their primary devices to a new operating system, and they plan to do so during breakfast over your network. If your Wi-Fi setup can sustain that kind of explosive pivot in demand, even as you still sit in your car on the way to work, that is the measure of an “Intelligent Campus.”

If, however, you worked for one of the multitude of colleges and universities that experienced Wi-Fi crashes in September 2013 when mass downloads of Apple’s iOS 7 crippled campus networks all over the country, it may be time to take serious stock of how you approach the future-proofing of your IT infrastructure to make it more intelligent too. Campus Technology explores the most promising new approach for designing the next generation of networking infrastructure in this special report commissioned by Meru Networks. The report examines how the university wireless network is advancing from a “coverage” model, where connectivity is available in almost all corners of a campus, to a “capacity” model, which uses the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, to ensure adequate connectivity and bandwidth in high-density areas. The next phase will be a “user experience” model, which shifts away from a campus deployment focus altogether and puts the emphasis on building an end-to-end infrastructure that can deliver an appropriate user experience no matter how radically different the networking demands may be from one day or one hour to the next.

Learn more 

Meru Sheffield International Venue

Shefflield International Venue (SIV)  has deployed Meru in several of their sports and event arenas to cope with large density groups and a create a central point of control.

Wavelink Receives 2015 Digium Pinnacle Partner Award

Wavelink Awarded Digium Pinnacle Partner Award for Outstanding Sales and Service of Switchvox Business Phone Systems

Annual Awards Recognise Top Digium Partners Worldwide that Deliver Unparalleled VoIP Solutions and Services

March 6, 2015, Melbourne - Wavelink, a value added distributor of enterprise mobility and unified communications

Communications solutions. Wavelink is one of the outstanding organisations selected based on annual sales, value added services and commitment to reseller satisfaction. These Pinnacle Partner awards are presented annually to leading Digium distribution partners who have excelled in developing and growing their partnership with Digium and driving customer success within their reseller base for either Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) or Asterisk Custom solutions, today announced it has been awarded a 2015 Digium Pinnacle Partner award in the category of Distributor of the Year – APAC.

 

“This award is testament to the significantly high double-digit growth of the Digium business in Australia that we experienced in 2014, which was the result of Wavelink’s UC and VoIP expertise, and the success of Wavelink’s resellers in selling and supporting these

solutions,” said Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink. “Partnering with Digium means that Wavelink can offer Australian businesses leading UC IP PBX solutions for office communications.”
“Each year, it’s an honour to recognise our distribution partners who have committed to servicing our resellers and helping them increase their revenue and profitability with Digium solutions,” said Gayle Magee, director of worldwide distribution sales for Digium. “The Pinnacle Awards serve as appreciation for those partner organisations that have helped to expand our worldwide base of resellers through the delivery of our affordable, feature-rich Switchvox phone system and custom Asterisk-based communication solutions.”

About Wavelink
Wavelink specialises in the supply, marketing and support of a range of leading edge Enterprise Mobility and UC Solutions. Wavelink distributes a range of products from Digium, Spectralink, Meru Networks, Lightspeed Systems, Polycom and Purple WiFi. For more information please contact Wavelink on 1300 147 000.

About Digium
Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, created and is the innovative force behind Asterisk, the most widely used open source telephony software. Since its founding in 1999 by Mark Spencer, Digium has become the open source alternative to proprietary communication providers, with offerings that cost as much as 80 percent less. Digium offers Asterisk software free to the open source community and offers Switchvox, Digium’s Unified Communications solution to power a broad family of products for small, medium and large businesses. The company’s product line includes a wide range of telephony hardware and software to enable resellers and customers to implement turnkey VoIP systems or to design their own custom communications solutions. At Digium, we’re changing the way businesses communicate. More information is available at http://www.digium.com and http://www.asterisk.org.

 

IVRs for Your Business: An Interview with Allison Smith, The Voice of Asterisk [Video]

Every time a customer calls your business, they encounter your phone system’s interactive voice response (IVR). Telephone prompts that are inviting and creative can increase business and reinforce your company’s identity. Prompts that are lackluster and contain too many subcategories can frustrate callers and turn business away. Who better to provide us with some insider tips on the right way to use IVRs than Allison Smith, aka the Voice of Asterisk?

Allison is one of the most prevalent telephone voices in the world, today and this week she is a guest on this week’s episode of Digium Live. In addition to being the voice of the Asterisk Open Source PBX, Allison’s clients include Marriott Hotels, 3M, Pfizer, Toyota, Victoria’s Secret, Bank of America and EBay, among many others.

During her appearance on Digium Live, Allison expands on her presentation “The Next Level of IVR,” which was presented at ITEXPO 2015 in Miami, FL. She explains how your IVR is “the virtual lobby of your company,” and matters just as much to your business identity as your website and business card.

Topics discussed in this episode:

- Tips on creating a successful IVR
- Pitfalls to avoid
- Creative company IVR examples
- Unsuccessful IVR examples
- How to exploit your IVR
- Voice recognition
- Hiring voice talent vs. doing it yourself
- How to hire Allison for your IVR needs

Allison discussed her thoughts on how a company can enhance its IVRs, she offered some straight-forward advice:

Keep it Simple

Narrow down the amount of choices you provide callers to 4 or 5 maximum selections. Don’t have more than 10 options because people won’t remember them. It is too time consuming for people to maneuver through a menu that is too long.

Mix up Prompts

If you always start your prompt with the same instruction, it becomes monotonous for the caller. Altering the order of the prompts will help the caller remember them better.

Example

Original: “Press one for accounting. Press two for technical support. Press three for sales.”

Modified: “Press one for technical support. For accounting, press two. If you’d like to speak with a sales representative, please press three.”

Create a Tailored Greeting

Personalize your introductory greeting to match the culture of your company. If you are a spa, for example, consider welcoming callers with soothing music and a calming IVR voice. On the other hand, if you are a cable TV provider, create a greeting that is brief and reassuring in that you will get them to the correct person as quickly as possible. Your introductory greeting is a strong branding element for your company’s culture, so get creative with it.

Watch the full video here 

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