1-Month Free Trial Now Available for Sangoma’s Cloud-based RMS

A 1-Month FREE Trial of Sangoma’s Remote Monitoring Service (RMS) is now available for you to try!

What is RMS you ask?


RMS is Sangoma’s NEW Cloud-based Remote Monitoring Service that provides PBX administrators with real-time statistics of their FreePBX and PBXact phone system infrastructure, reducing downtime occurrence, which saves you money. Features include:

Easy-to-read Threat Alerts

These alerts are summarized by severity, system name and triggers and allow users to expand panes for more granular details. Alerts can be quickly silenced from further email notifications and will self-close upon clearing of the condition.

RMS Graphs & PBX Analytics

Graphs are available for every FreePBX / PBXact system being monitored and display valuable information about active calls, CDR, extensions, SIP trunks, fraud stats and more.

Auto-generated Email Notifications

RMS will auto-generate email notifications upon triggered alerts and provide details to help you take action if necessary.


If you’re interested in giving RMS a try, log in to your FreePBX or PBXact Web GUI and click on RMS Management under the Admin tab. For step-by-step instructions, please visit: http://wiki.freepbx.org/display/RMS/RMS+Installation

You can also get your 1-Month FREE Trial from the Store inside your Portal Account.

Here we grow again! Sangoma Introduces the s400 to Its Family of IP Phones

Sangoma offers a full line of IP Phones ranging from entry level to enterprise, offering advanced features and tight integration with FreePBX and PBXact.

Today we’re excited to announce an addition to the family…the s400. The Sangoma s400 IP Phone sits in between our s300 & s500, and is perfect for the light user who still wants access to powerful phone applications.

These phone apps allow users to control complicated features directly from their Sangoma phone. There’s no need to remember feature codes. Applications include:

  • Call Parking
  • Follow Me
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Conference Rooms
  • Call Forwarding
  • Time Conditions
  • Presence
  • Queues
  • Queue Agents
  • Transfer to Voicemail
  • Visual Voicemail
  • Log In / Out
  • Call Flow
  • Contacts

Every phone in the s-series also features Zero Touch Provisioning via Sangoma’s Redirection Server. This means your phone will quickly locate your FreePBX or PBXact system, and easily get full configuration right out of the box. You won’t have to worry about installing anything or manually configuring hundreds of extensions.

The EndPoint Manager module is also enabled automatically inside your PBX system. This lets your users control global settings, program their phone keys, map extensions, upload images, download new firmware and much more.

On top of all that, the s400 features a built-in VPN client for increased security, 5-way conferencing and is EHS module / headset compatible.

Large quantities of the new s400 are expected to be available early March. For more information, talk to one of our Sangoma Sales Representatives or visit the Sangoma IP Phones Product Page.

Please also join us in our excitement on Tuesday, January 31st as we host 3 webinar sessions to launch the s400. Two sessions will be held in English and one in Spanish! Register now!

Roll Out the IVR Welcome Mat

You Wouldn’t Make Guests Wait on Your Doorstep – Would You?

Imagine that a friend invited you over to their house. You arrive and ring the bell — but instead of a warm greeting and an invitation to take off your shoes and come inside for a cup of tea and lovely conversation — you were left standing there, listening to a series of strange commands and forced to make a choice before you’ve ever granted access inside.

  • If you would like to come in out of the cold, say “May I come in”.
  • Once you have removed your shoes, say “shoes off”.
  • You’ve indicated you’d like a cup of tea.
    • Say “hot” for hot tea
    • Say “iced” for iced tea.
      • You’ve selected hot.
        • Say “Chai” for Chai
        • Say Grey” for Earl Grey
        • Say “Darjeeling” for Darjeeling…

It would be a little….strange, yes?

Unwelcoming, off-putting, and the opposite of graciousness.

Yet, this is what Interactive Voice Response (IVR) , or phone menu trees as they are commonly called, do every day.

The caller is faced with a gate which ominously crashes down in front of them. Then, in an almost Monty Python-style line of questioning (“What is the airspeed of an un-laden swallow?”), callers are expected to maneuver through untold levels of confusing (and sometimes contradictory) questions; only to be rewarded with personalized service at the end of it all… if they’re lucky.

How did IVRs get so unwelcoming?
In the desire to sort callers, which is the basic function and utility of an IVR, we’ve gotten to thinking of the IVR as almost like a test. It has become a maze which the caller must successfully navigate in order to get to the level of service they need.

Not very welcoming or hospitable!

The IVR is meant to “organize” callers and send them on to your staff who are best equipped to deal with the caller’s specific issue or problem. But it’s so much more than that. A good phone tree should establish what it will feel like to be a customer and will enlist the caller’s help in arriving at a solution together. The experience should leave the caller empowered, instead of frustrating them and making them feel like they’re being shuffled off to Robotland.

IVR is the virtual “front door”; the imaginary “lobby” of your company. Your guests should be treated like guests not intruders, or an interruption to your business.

I have been attempting to get clients to try a more accessible, open, and human way of greeting callers. No barking of instructions, no series of complicated roadblocks, and you’re never again allowed to make the caller feel like they’re standing on the porch; confused, cold, and unsure if they should stay or head back home.

So *greet* that caller enthusiastically; even give them that subtle virtual hug. Make them as comfortable as possible. And leave them with the feeling that the IVR is not a puzzle they have to solve or challenge they have to win; it’s a method for you to make them feel at ease…and served.

Questions to Get You Started
Improvement is never-ending (if you’re doing it right!), so where do you start making improvements to your IVR?

  1. Call your number and act like a customer. Then ask yourself:
    1. Does the greeting sound friendly and professional?
    2. Do you feel like you want to stay on the line?
    3. Is the menu you’re offering short and to the point?
    4. If you have multiple levels are they consistent in tone
    5. Do you have more than 3-4 options to choose from?
  2. Time how long it takes to work your way through your current choices. Can you delete or combine any of the choices?
  3. Who did the recording? If it was someone that works in the office and answers calls, it can create an awkward situation for the caller. When they finally get through to a live voice, and are not sure if it is still a recording!

Sangoma offers the option to purchase professional voice prompts in various packages, you can check out the selection in the Sangoma Portal

To learn more about IVR, you can check out the FreePBX Wiki here: IVR Module

Allison Smith – The Voice of Asterisk and Free PBX — is an internationally-recognized professional voice talent, and one of the top telephone voices working today. Allison has voiced platforms for Vonage, Bell Canada, Sprint, Cingular, Verizon, Qwest . Clients include Marriot Hotels, 3M, Pfizer, Toyota, Victoria’s Secret, Bank of America and EBay among many others.

 

Sangoma Reinforces its Commitment to Open Source and Addresses Recent Elastix News

This week, significant changes at Elastix were announced, including the involvement of 3CX and the removal of key Elastix versions for download. Since those announcements, many things have been written by many people, and this has left some folks wondering what happened. Sangoma would like to reinforce its commitment to open source, this open letter from Sangoma, will provide our own clarity about how these events affect or involve Sangoma. We are a professional, global, growing, profitable, engineering-focused, publicly traded company, and this is the only reliable source of information to understand how those recent events affect or involve our organization. Other commentary released by other third parties about Sangoma, is not to be relied upon.

There are three (3) parts to this message today, that we invite you read:

  1. Sangoma’s unwavering commitment to Open Source
  2. Sangoma’s history and involvement with recent Elastix news and events
  3. The opportunity that these recent events present to Elastix users to join the Sangoma family
1. Sangoma’s Unwavering Commitment to Open Source

Everyone comes to open source software for their own reasons: software developers to do what they love; some to earn a livelihood; manufacturers to augment the project and sell their wares; and most importantly community members to find flexible/cost effective/well-supported solutions to their ‘business problem’ (in our case, for UC/Telecom/PBX needs). In the end, the good projects build something bigger than themselves… a community, a solution, and an opportunity for end users to utilize the project to build their own businesses. Over the course of a project many people will enter and exit those communities as their needs change.

As the primary investor in and developers of FreePBX, Sangoma actively works with many different members of the Open Source Telephony (OST) community, including Asterisk Developers, other FreePBX-based distros (including Elastix!), and many third-party hardware/software developers and manufacturers. As just one example, we have a great relationship with Digium and talk with them on an almost weekly basis, even though many consider us competitors. This may seem surprising to some, as many folks would think we might be bitter enemies. In fact, the opposite is true…we encourage and help those products to compete in the marketplace on their own merits. And this is entirely consistent with the commitment Sangoma has demonstrated to open source for many, many years over the time when we worked hard to also make Asterisk better. When Sangoma took over stewardship of FreePBX, we reiterated this statement clearly and unequivocally.

So Sangoma continues to work very hard every day, and invests many millions of dollars each year, in order to build strong relationships and to benefit to the entire open source telephony community. There is a saying that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’ Thus, it is usually counter-productive for open source contributors to battle with each other. In other words, there is no reason for us to fight over the same slice of pie, when there is an entire cake that no one is touching.

2. Sangoma’s History with Elastix and Involvement in Recent Events There

Our approach was no different with Elastix. For over a decade, Sangoma has been a direct supporter of Elastix, in many, many different ways, visiting them in Ecuador many times. We supported the project financially, we attended/exhibited/supported/spoke at multiple ElastixWorld events over many years, we cooperated with our distribution partners who also supported Elastix, we invested in R&D to ensure our products (software and hardware) were compatible with Elastix, etc. The list goes on and on. We had (and we hope, still have), excellent relationships between our companies, in all parts of our organizations right up to the CEO level of both companies.

With recent changes at Elastix, some people/blogs/websites have made comments which claim that the removal of Elastix downloads of version 4 or MT, was in some way caused by Sangoma/FreePBX, due to concerns about compliance with GPL conditions. That is not true and we wish to set the story straight. We at Sangoma hold ourselves to high ethical standards, and as a publicly traded company as well, setting the record straight with facts and not rumors, is both important and required.

While it is indeed true that Sangoma pointed out to Elastix some time ago, that there was a copyright issue, we did so in a very friendly manner, with words carefully chosen to be respectful of the long term relationship between the companies, and critically, to ensure that this important relationship continued. It was a 2015 letter from CEO to CEO, and certainly did not suggest any legal action, since it was not that kind of letter at all…it was a positive, complementary letter seeking to deepen the relationship, not harm it. That letter was sent shortly after Sangoma acquired FreePBX, when we made it a priority to reach out to PaloSanto to reinforce that the Elastix Project was a valuable strategic partner to Sangoma. It was in no way threatening, did not ask for, was not intended to, and given it was 2015, did not cause any versions of Elastix to be withdrawn. Elastix decision this week to shutdown these versions is a business decision not a response to Sangoma. While it seems that these days, the number of open source projects that remain truly open source is definitely on the decline, Sangoma’s commitment to open source remains as true today, as always.

And while it is admittedly a little unusual for companies to do so, in this case, for full transparency to the open source communities that we respect so very much (and to dispel any untrue rumors or claims), the entire letter is available here. We share it for those who need confirmation of the above statements, and to reassure the Elastix community that Sangoma continues to be committed to you as well as to the entire Latin America region (and would be honored to have you consider joining our family)

Link to Full Letter

For the majority of you who may be less inclined to read the entire letter, we have pasted the text of the opening paragraph between our CEOs, so you can see for yourselves that it was truly a positive, relationship building letter:

“Hello Edgar, I haven’t seen you since my last visit to Ecuador. I hope you’re keeping well! When Sangoma closed our acquisition of FreePBX earlier this year I made it a priority for our staff to reach out immediately to inform you and reinforce that the Elastix Project is a valuable strategic partner of Sangoma. I reach out again today to renew that sentiment…”

The final word on this topic is to point out that Elastix could have resolved this modest copyright issue with a couple of hours of work, and could of course, still do so today. In fact, Sangoma offered our assistance to PaloSanto to perform that work, and we remain most prepared to honor that commitment today, if Elastix wished to make version 4 or MT available, with no problem whatsoever.

3. The Opportunity that These Recent Events Present to Elastix Users, to Join the Sangoma Family

The net result of recent changes at Elastix, is that the key versions of those open source projects, and the years of community involvement, have apparently been rebranded to the proprietary/closed 3CX platform. This sounds similar to the events surrounding another open source project last month (PBX in a Flash).

We at Sangoma have, unsurprisingly, heard from many in the Elastix community, saying that they feel confused, or abandoned, or are scrambling to figure out a next step.

And so we have an opportunity to extend to the valued members of that Elastix community, a chance to explore whether Sangoma and FreePBX may suit your needs. We are very proud of our proven commitment to open source, of our demonstrated investments in Latin America for many years, and of our FreePBX family of products. We invite you to discover what we have to offer by visiting our website or by giving us a call at +1 905 474 1990.

While you might be considering this option, we would like to share a few reasons that we believe you might find FreePBX to be a compelling alternative, including an elegant/one-step “import utility” that we have custom created in the last few days specifically to help Elastix users move their systems to FreePBX in a single step!!

  • Since many Elastix users are already familiar with the FreePBX components of Elastix, many of you will feel right at home when configuring a ‘pure’ FreePBX system.
  • You may not realize that FreePBX is a truly global phenomenon, with full translation of the GUI and ALL sound files in over 8 languages, INCLUDING SPANISH of course!
  • We have made it almost entirely painless for you to import your existing Elastix deployments to FreePBX, in one simple step with our new tool: “Come Home to FreePBX”. This will be available in the next couple of days. Please join us on Wednesday, December 14th for a webinar outlining how to utilize the #Home2FreePBX Conversion Tool.
  • We will also be offering special training, ‘get started as a reseller’ kits, and discounts for existing Elastix Resellers to help them make the transition to FreePBX. See form at bottom of blog.
  • With all of the hard work we’ve been doing the last couple of years, you will see some major functionality that was not available in the Elastix version. Over the past twelve months, 53 developers contributed new code to FreePBX, and FreePBX contributor activity is in the top 2% of all projects monitored by Open Source Monitor OpenHub.com. Since Jan of 2015 when Sangoma became the project steward, FreePBX has added over 480,000 lines of code into the platform based on OpenHub.com stats. FreePBX has been more actively developed the past 2 years than at any time in its 12-year history.
  • This year Sangoma introduced its own line of advanced IP-phones, designed specifically for FreePBX. They are available in a range of models from entry-level to executive, and we think you might be surprised how cost effective they are in Latin America. We have sold tens of thousands in just the first few months, so they are receiving a warm reception around the globe. These phones complete a ‘full solution’ available from Sangoma, so you can get your PBX, your phones, and your ‘connectivity products’ (gateways, cards, SBCs, etc) all from a single vendor and be guaranteed it will all work together. And take advantage of Zero-Touch Provisioning!
  • Many other companies such as Digium, Grandstream, Yealink, and Snom have also joined us in building a better Phone system full solution, by having their products certified for the FreePBX platform. By continuing to add FreePBX EcoSystem partners that contribute engineering resources, hardware, and expertise we continue to expand the capabilities and Freedom provided by FreePBX.
  • FreePBX offers a truly unlimited, free distro that provides the business and calling features you demand in a modern Unified Communications platform, including functionality such as:
    • Support for video calling
    • Announcements, Text to Speech
    • Flexible time based call routing
    • Fax to Email
    • IVR- Interactive Voice Response Menu
    • Basic Call Center Functionality – ACD and Call Queues, Hunt / Ring Groups
    • Three Way Calling, Caller ID, Call Transfer Call Recording, Do Not Disturb, Call Waiting, System wide Speed Dials, Call Screening
    • Secure communications
    • Built in Conference Bridge
    • Customizable Music on Hold
    • Voicemail – Voicemail to email
    • Follow Me / Find Me Calling
    • Call History – Call Detail Records and Call Event Logging
    • Paging / Intercom
    • Call Parking
    • Integrated Call Recording
  • Expanding ease-of-deployment, system administration and ongoing maintenance.
    • Choose your default language at time of installation, and your system GUI and sound prompts will be set with no additional configuration needed, including of course full translation into Spanish.
    • Upgrade system (OS, FreePBX, Asterisk and dependencies) with granular control, including the ability to roll back upgrades, and switch to supported versions of Asterisk on the fly.
    • New system dashboards and bulk import utilities (trunks, extensions, users, DIDs)
    • New User Management controls, and a responsive web based User Control Panel for End Users.
  • The current stable release of FreePBX 13, has support for Asterisk LTS releases of 11 & 13 and Asterisk 14, including support for the PJSIP channel driver. Our beta release of FreePBX 14 is compatible with Asterisk 11, 13 & 14, and completely supports the Opus Codec, for high quality, low bandwidth audio.

  • We will also be doing some special offers soon for existing Elastix Resellers to help them make the transition to a supported platform. Fill in the form below to be contacted about the offers.

    Sangoma and Run Distribution Expand Sangoma IP Phone Distribution in Canada with Platinum Partnership Agreement.

    MARKHAM, ONTARIO – December 5, 2016 – Sangoma Technologies (TSX VENTURE: STC) today announced that Run Distribution, a leading Canadian distributor of business telephone and technology products headquartered in Montreal, Canada, has expanded their partnership and distribution agreement to encompass the full Sangoma Product line. Run Distribution will distribute Sangoma solutions to VARs and resellers servicing the Canadian Market.

    Run Distribution has immediate stock of Sangoma IP Phones, the only phones exclusively designed for use with FreePBX, the world’s most popular open source PBX and PBXact, Sangoma’s Unified Communications System. Sangoma’s phones feature Sangoma’s Zero Touch Configuration technology and the tightest feature integration with FreePBX of any phone on the market.

    “In our recent Partner Roadshow events, in Canada, we had a huge demand to bring on a solid Canadian Distributor that would stock product,” said Preston McNair, Vice President of Sales, North America at Sangoma. “Run’s expansion to include not only our phones, but the full Sangoma Product Line, allows us to continue to expand and grow this key market making it easier for our partners to obtain Sangoma’s award-winning solutions.”

    “Run Distribution understands the market in Canada and believe that the affordable and feature-rich Sangoma IP Phone and PBX product lines will deliver tremendous value to VARs and resellers in Canada” Said Thomasz Owczarek, VP of Business Development at Run Distribution. “Sangoma’s wide range of solutions enables businesses to implement affordable Total Telecom Solutions from a single Manufacturer.”

    Sangoma will host a webinar for Run Distribution partners and customers to learn more about Sangoma’s Total Telecom Solutions offerings, including why Sangoma IP Phones provide a feature set second to none when deployed with FreePBX. Registration is currently open for the December 13, 2016 Event.

    For more information about Sangoma’s Partner Program please visit www.sangoma.com/company/partner-program/ For information regarding purchasing products from Run Distribution please visit https://www.rundistribution.com/en/our-products/sangoma, or contact them directly at (514) 416-5447.

    About Sangoma Technologies Corporation
    Sangoma (TSX VENTURES: STC) offers a range of hardware, software and services for voice and data IP communication systems to enterprises, SMBs, Service Providers and OEMs in more than 150 countries. Sangoma’s cost effective, quick to deploy, and easy to manage offerings include Hosted and On Premise Unified Communications Solutions with PBXact, FreePBX, SIPStation and FaxStation; Session Border Controllers (SBC); the market-leading Express for Skype for Business; VoIP Gateways; Call Tapping; Call Center Software; and Signaling Gateways. Sangoma also continues to lead the market in VoIP-to-PSTN interface cards. For more information, visit www.sangoma.com.

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    Contact
    Frederic Dickey
    VP Marketing
    Sangoma Technologies
    +1 905 474-1990 x 4161
    fdickey@sangoma.com