Smart community

Close

Member Sign In:



SMART CONVERSATIONS

VoIP and E911: When Every Second Counts

shutterstock_139711591By Henry Loughlin, Marketing Specialist

You’re working late in the back corner on the 10th floor of your office building. Suddenly, you feel the warning signs of a heart attack. You are alone, so you dial 911 as you begin to feel dizzy. The 911 dispatcher answers just as you lose consciousness. As a result, you cannot pinpoint your precise location in the large building.

Thankfully for you, Thinking Phone Networks has a unique Enhanced 911 (E911) network. All VoIP companies provide the same service, routing 911 calls to your local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), but TPN is the only VoIP provider in the cloud space that provides “native” functionality—meaning that we do not use any outside plugins—for this ability. This may appear to be a perk rather than a necessity, but in locations with a high volume of workers, having difficulty identifying the location of a crisis can increase the potential for tragedy.

As you evaluate potential VoIP providers, a multitude of considerations need read more

TPN Named “Hottest Tech Startup” Finalist for 2014 NEVY Awards

Fun news fit for a Friday morning – Thinking Phone Networks has been selected as a finalist for “Hottest Tech Startup – A+” at the 2014 NEVY Awards. Hosted by the New England Venture Capital Association, the NEVYs celebrate New England’s unique culture of innovation. This year’s “Hottest Tech Startup – A+” finalists were selected from a list of companies that received funding at the A, B, or C stage in the past year.

The 2014 NEVY Award winners will be announced at Boston’s House of Blues on Wednesday, May 14th, when more than 700 New England-based venture capitalists and entrepreneurs come together to celebrate our area’s greatest hits in tech and healthcare innovation.

We are thrilled to be part of this exceptional, fast-growing technology cluster, and we appreciate the recognition from such a great organization. Wish us luck, and join us at the House of Blues for the ceremony!

To learn more about the New England Venture Capital Association, check out www.newenglandvc.org.

Career in the Cloud: Inside Sales Manager

TPN_bug_hiresTPN is seeking a natural born leader to provide direction and support to our inside sales team. The inside sales manager will be responsible for ensuring that inside sales runs efficiently while achieving and maintaining established departmental goals. Duties include preparing and completing action plans; implementing productivity, quality, and client-service standards; resolving problems; completing quality audits; identifying client service trends; determining system improvements; and implementing change.

Other responsibilities include managing performance and coaching opportunities with the inside sales team, collaborating with senior management to determine strategic sales lead approaches, participating in the planning and development of sales and marketing tools, and improving customer service quality results by evaluating and re-designing processes, establishing and communicating service metrics, and monitoring and analyzing results.

View the full job description.

Service Provisioning? TPN’s Got You Covered

IMG_0834Our primary goal during the provisioning process, as always, is to make sure each implementation progresses exactly the way a customer expects it to. Our next goal? To surpass their expectations. Here, find four simple steps to ensure a flawless transition to the cloud:

1. Take advantage of the resources at your disposal. The TPN onboarding team includes more than just a project manager and provisioning engineer. While these two individuals have the most contact with customers during the provisioning process, a full contingent of professionals is available to assist clients with any questions or concerns they may have. Every onboarding team includes a dedicated porting specialist and an account manager. The latter acts as the primary liaison for customers as they navigate the sales-to-provisioning and provisioning-to-support handoff processes. Furthermore, this individual remains the primary contact for the duration of a client’s contract with TPN and help with all moves, adds, and changes. A client’s provisioning team knows their account inside and out and is specialized enough to solve any issues that arise.

read more

Data Confirms the Obvious: People Hate Working Late on Friday

By Dan Kinsley

Unified communications solutions for enterprisesIn my former position at the epicenter of all things data at Thinking Phone Networks, I often found myself intrigued by the statistical patterns and anomalies of our customers. This data is both fascinating and eye-opening, and can lead to smarter business decisions.

Using a sample of 200 million calls, I once created a relative frequency distribution chart showing the percentage of calls made throughout the course of the day, by day of the week. A couple of patterns quickly emerged, and they seem to have remained constant over the past few years.

calls_by_day_of_week

The graph clearly shows that call behavior is drastically different on the weekends. It seems to ramp up to peak around noon, then steadily decline almost linearly until 5am. However, during the weekdays we see call activity quickly ramp up from 7am to 9am, then slip into a lunchtime lull at noon, peak again in the afternoon, and drop after 5pm.

The other trend that I read more

The Divergence Between Personal and Enterprise Communications

TPN_bug_hiresBy Derek Yoo, CTO

It used to be the case that enterprise communications systems provided more features than the communications people used in their personal lives. Think of voicemail, call forwarding, recording, and multiple lines vs. the single POTS line you had at home (I know, I’m dating myself). But now, in the Internet era, the tables seem to be turning, with the rate of innovation in personal communications far outstripping what is happening in the enterprise.

I frequently find myself looking at examples of personal communications technologies and wondering what these features would look like in the context of an enterprise communications system. Such features include mobile handsets replacing desk phones; SMS; Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangouts; and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Each of these technologies has a potential enterprise incarnation, and there are already some examples in the market. But regardless of the examples we consider, there exists a common theme: an increasing divergence between personal and enterprise communications technologies, with personal communications generally leading, and enterprise communications systems generally following.

When I read more

Career in the Cloud: Channel Marketing Manager

Careers - Road SignCreative? Connected? Industrious? Thinking Phone Networks is seeking a full-time channel marketing manager to oversee the marketing, training, and support efforts for our UCaaS partner, wholesale, and reseller programs. This role will be instrumental in helping our channel team achieve sales and profit goals by identifying and implementing immediate and long-term channel strategies. Our company is growing quickly, and applicants should be comfortable working at a fast pace in a dynamic environment where priorities can change quickly.

The channel marketing manager will be responsible for working collaboratively with the channel, marketing, provisioning, and product development teams to develop multi-touch programs that will strengthen partner relationships and drive revenue; managing channel demand generation; coordinating and attending all company trade shows and events; and ensuring partner readiness through onboarding and continuing education efforts.

Read the full job description.

BYOD vs. COPE: Weighing the Benefits of Each Mobile Strategy

By Henry Loughlin, Marketing Specialist

byodThe advent of mobile devices has transformed the business world. Instead of being tied to a desk, we are able to communicate and plan, regardless of location. Answers to pressing questions are given in minutes, not hours or days. Meetings, scheduled a month ago, no longer run the risk of being forgotten. And though they may undesirably dissolve the work/life balance for some, without a doubt mobile devices have made our work more efficient.

Most of us use some sort of mobile device, regardless of purpose. In fact, some of us have taken part in the trend of “bringing your own devices” to work for commercial use (also known as BYOD). This is the opposite of having a device that is “corporate liable,” which means that a company has sole accountability for every aspect related to ownership and management of the device. Given that many are using a smartphone, tablet, or other communication tool at home, it would make sense from an employer’s perspective to save resources and read more

The Changing Face of UX

TPN_bug_hiresBy Alex DiNunzio, Product Manager

When most of us think about user experience (UX), we imagine a user interface (UI) designer working on a visual representation of a product, then doing a bit of front end programming to transform the vision into a usable product interface. It’s a solitary job for someone who must be prophetic.

This narrow view of UX neglects the underlying objective of the practice: to study and evaluate how users feel about a product or a system. Instead of envisioning a solitary genius, think of a busy project manager who must coordinate cross-functional teams, conduct in-person user tests, understand both the company’s objectives and the client’s objectives, and combine all of this research and sensory feedback into an executable product design. This vision is much closer to the reality of true UX.

ProdUX Labs and @lissijean recently hosted a UX Bootcamp in Boston to drive home the realities of UX and emphasize how these truths should shape product design and execution. The session predominantly focused read more

The Shift from Voice to SMS-based Customer Interactions

TPN_bug_hiresBy Derek Yoo, CTO

There is a growing amount of interest among our existing users to be able to interact with their customers via SMS, particularly in the retail space, but I’m seeing examples from other industries as well. Partly it’s a generational thing—younger people tend to use SMS as their primary communications mechanism, preferring it over voice. But more and more enterprise customers are telling me that business interactions are happening over SMS in their environments today. These interactions are mostly ad hoc, point-to-point interactions, but they are growing in number.

The challenge this poses for many enterprises is twofold. First, in a BYOD environment, these SMS messages are being sent from an employee’s underlying mobile phone number. If the employee leaves the company, he may take the customer with him. Second, unlike email, there is no visibility, centralized management, or control over these messages. A number of customers have expressed security and compliance concerns to me, stating that the messages need to be archived and filtered to ensure no credit card read more