IP - Hive

Today we’re happy to announce Numonix as a new partner of Novus, and excited to bring its signature product RECITE software solution to the market.

RECITE is a secure call recording and quality management system that merges traditional call recording functionality into a Lync based environment. It is qualified for Microsoft Lync 2013.

One measure of the success of Microsoft Lync is the growing market for third party Lync qualified applications. These are products made by outside developers like Numonix that expand on the native capability of the Lync Unified Communications platform.

According to Microsoft, there are 57 applications qualified by the company to work with Lync Server 2013, compared to 28 applications for Lync Server 2010. No doubt that number will increase as more companies of all sizes deploy Lync (including Lync with voice) as their communications infrastructure.

The 53 qualified applications extend and add to Lync’s capability. The feature categories currently include:
o   Attendant console
o   Billing and enhanced reporting
o   Contact center
o   Lync extensibility
o   Persistent chat
o   Recording
o   Software defined networking

Indeed, in August Gartner noted that the Lync partner ecosystem was expanding at a rapid pace, and that this expansion is helping fuel the overall growth of Lync.

We’ve seen it firsthand at Novus. As a Microsoft Partner Network Gold Certified Communications competency partner, Novus has seen businesses deploy Lync and Lync qualified applications in innovative ways to enhance their communications capability. That’s why we partner with best-of-class Lync partners such as Numonix. We will keep adding Lync qualified hardware, software and services to our portfolio and serve as a one-stop-shop for all your Lync needs.

For more information, read our press release here.
Posted: 3/11/2015 3:25:15 PM by Chris Meehan

In 2007, the Chula Vista Elementary School District, the largest elementary school district in California, began looking for a new solution to meet the communication needs of 45 schools and 29,000 students.

“We wanted enterprise voice but also all the additional Lync benefits including IM, shared desktop, conferencing, monitoring and presence,” the School District’s senior system analyst Dennis Kao explains. After a comprehensive evaluation process, Kao found that Lync has all the components the School District required to ensure better collaboration and student success.  

Chula Vista chose the snom 710 and 760 UC edition Lync qualified phones for their full compatibility with Lync and flexibility. “We did look at different Microsoft qualified phones but went with snom because they are always in the lead,” said Kao.

Novus was closely involved in the deployment process and provided support to the School District when needed. Microsoft Certified Engineers were placed on staff to help on site with the Proof of Concept (POC) of snom’s UC edition firmware. Our engineers guided the School District through the POC using Lync Meeting to provision, configure, deploy and manage the telephones.

As one of the few distributors in North America to achieve Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications competency, Novus offers the widest portfolio of Lync qualified hardware, software and services from best-of-breed partners such as snom and AudioCodes. For the Chula Vista Elementary School District, the customization and feature-richness of snom phones and Novus’ enterprise voice expertise was key to the success of the deployment.

Read the full case study

Posted: 2/23/2015 1:34:41 PM by Chris Meehan

Novus has moved its executive offices to a new facility located in Trumbull effective immediately. The new office is located at 25 Lindeman Drive Trumbull, CT 06611.

“Novus continues to grow and this new headquarters provides us with the platform we needed to expand our services and support our growing community of reseller partners,” said, Chris Meehan, managing partner at Novus. “This move provides us with a facility better suited to meet to our specific needs and is an ideal complement to our centralized warehousing in Nashville, TN.”

This new office is conveniently located off the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) and Henry Mucci Parkway (Route 25) in Trumbull, CT. The new space is designed to meet changing needs of the business, as more clients seek IP and UC solutions reducing the requirement to stock hundreds of SKU’s for legacy products.

The new office will serve as headquarters for its senior leadership and base for Novus US operations which include a warehouse distribution and technical support facility in Nashville, TN. 
Novus New Address
25 Lindeman Drive
2nd Floor
Trumbull CT 06611
Phone 866-331-1112

Special Offer
As you know know, Novus is moving it's CT facility, but not all the inventory is making the move. With Pricing so low, we can't advertise these specials. Novus is moving all VXi headsets at extremely aggressive prices. We're offering opportunities on oth manufacturers as well on products such as snom 715 SIP phones, Sennheiser headsets and Allworx system bundles. Help us move this inventory to its new location, your clients office!
Posted: 2/10/2015 8:48:28 AM by Chris Meehan

What is in a name?  At Novus, it is a popular topic with our partners since Microsoft’s announcement that it plans to rename its Lync product line (Lync Enterprise Server and Lync) to Skype for Business in 2015.  
As I have previously written, this news represents more than just the rebranding of the Lync product line to Skype moniker.  The rollout of Skype for Business also means that Microsoft will begin to introduce a number of changes to Lync’s look and feature set:
·       New look: Skype centric user interface (UI) and icons replaces the Lync look and feel.
·       Video calling: This month’s Redmond Magazine  reports about enhanced Lync-to-Skype video calling capabilities allowing for more streamlined video calling between Skype and Lync users from desktop PC, Mac and mobile IOS or Android devices. The story alludes to future upgrades plan to allow for video conferencing – something I will watch for closely.
·      Skype contact search: The tighter integration of Lync and Skype with the renaming will mean improved search capability for users with Skype IDs.  
Voice Services in the Cloud? 
One area that bears watching longer term is whether the new Skype for Business will spur voice adoption for Lync’s cloud customers (Lync Online and Office 365) by introducing the same type of enhanced business telephony features as Microsoft’s premise based Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Voice which includes outbound calling to the PSTN. Currently, there are very limited carrier hosted Lync services available with voice capabilities – something that Ovum analyst Brian Riggs writes about in his new post on No Jitter
Bringing voice services to this market segment represents a significant opportunity for Microsoft partners as desktop telephony continues to be a critical tool for businesses. According to a recent PEW Research survey - desktop phones are the second most important business communications tool behind only email. 
As a certified Microsoft Gold partner, we are watching this transition closely and look forward to sharing more news about Lync and Skype for Business in the weeks ahead! Resellers interested in learning more about deploying Lync and Novus’ ecosystem of certified for Lync, can contact Novus today by email info@Novusllc.com and via phone (866) 331-1112 or  connect with us on LinkedIn.
Relevant articles:
Special Offer:
All customers will receive 5% of all Sennheiser headset orders over $2000 when mentioning the post. Act now!
Posted: 1/30/2015 8:06:28 AM by Chris Meehan

It’s December and that can only mean one thing. It’s prediction time, that time of year when prognosticators look to the year ahead and take their best guess about what will unfold in the coming twelve months.
There is no shortage of such predictions when it comes in Unified Communications, with some common themes running through all of them. Which will materialize? We’ll have to visit this space a year from now to find out.  
Ovum says that hosted UC services will mature in 2015, driven by mobility and the need for more affordable enterprise communications. The report notes that there are separate hosted UC services models for larger enterprises and small and mid-sized companies.
UCInsight calls out hosted UC as its number one trend for 2015, citing Infonetics Research data that shows hosted PBX and UC services growth of 15% in 2014, with these services projected to hit $12 billion and more than 62 million seats by 2018. Flexible (remote) working arrangements will become even more widespread, enabled by cloud-based UC technologies.
Shoretel, a UC service provider, posits that mobility and BYOD, Web Real-Time Collaboration (allowing users to collaborate faster within a UC framework) and hosted UC services will be the big trends in 2015. In addition application integration “will be a key area of focus…to improve productivity and cut costs. This trend will continue with the integration of applications that support social media with unified communications to help provide a seamless interaction.”
Avaya polled some of its leading thinkers and concludes that while mid-sized companies still value the simplicity and total cost of ownership of on-premise equipment, they are indeed moving to the cloud. Video will become a “formidable” interaction channel, including the rise of “web chat” as companies offer an “omni-channel” support experience to customers.
I agree with most of the aforementioned. There’s no question hosted UC services are growing and will continue to be refined next year. Some of our partners, like snom, are developing low-cost yet full-featured IP desk phones that are perfectly suited to hosted environments.
AudioCodes One Box 365 is also part of that equation. It’s a complete Lync enterprise voice solution for businesses using Office 365. Designed as a PBX replacement, it’s an appliance-based voice product that includes everything customers needs: server components, connectivity equipment, Lync qualified IP phones, installation and support services.  
We’ll continue to fill out our portfolio with products and services in an effort to stay ahead of the curve.
I predict that 2015 will be a transformative year for Lync, which will be renamed Skype for Business with the next release. As I’ve previously noted, doing so will not only open up Lync to a new (very large) market of small companies, but also implement the easy-to-use and familiar Skype interface. 
Posted: 12/29/2014 7:55:56 AM by Chris Meehan

‘Tis the season for deals, and we’ve got a good one!
For a limited time, trade in your old audio conferencing device towards the discounted purchase of a new Konftel conference phone.
Novus carries the latest Knoftel devices including the 55W, a wireless conferencing system that connects to any computer or portable device. The 55W, among other features, records calls and accommodates an SD memory card to save and share audio files. A conference guide enables users to save call groups for regular multi-party calls, while the USB connection enables VoIP calls.
Or maybe Konftel’s new 300Wx wireless conferencing phone is you’re your speed. It boasts 60 hours of talk time between charges. It supports DECT and is easily integrated with IP DECT phone systems, and can be connected to your cell phone or computer via USB for VoIP calls. Embedded phone line mode allows users to connect DECT, cell phones and USB at the same time, for the most efficient multi-party calls.
Contact us today for this limited time trade-in offer, or fill out this form and we will contact you.
Act now! 
Posted: 12/12/2014 10:35:22 AM by Chris Meehan

2015 will be a big year for Lync, which is being named and reshaped into Skype for Business. It will be a big year for Novus too, as we continue to add Lync qualified products to our portfolio and build up our standalone Lync services business, augmenting our existing Microsoft Partners expertise as well as supporting enterprises who have chosen to self-deploy hardware.
Since achieving Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications Competency in January, we’ve further honed our Unified Communications expertise and delivered a level of Lync competency (particularly the voice component) that is nearly unmatched among North American distributors.
To earn a Microsoft gold communications competency, the partner's employees must successfully complete exams (resulting in Microsoft Certified Professionals) to prove their level of technology expertise, and then designate these certified professionals uniquely to the communications competency, ensuring a certain level of staffing capacity.
As the product evolves, Microsoft partners must maintain their certification by continually demonstrating their expertise. We are committed to staying current with our certification.
In terms of new Lync products, AudioCodes’ entire lineup of Lync qualified products are now sold by Novus: IP phones, gateways and session border controllers including AudioCodes’ carrier-grade Mediant 9000 SBC which supports up to 16,000 users and is geared toward service providers and contact centers.
We also added Sennheiser’s latest Lync product to our lineup, the sleek “puck-shaped” Speakerphone series, which is meant for personal or small group conferences using a PC, smartphone or tablet; and a Lync-based call logging and recording system by Numonix.
Novus has consistently filled out its portfolio of Lync-based products and is becoming a one-stop shop for Lync hardware from over 10 manufacturers with a full complement of IP phones, media gateways, load balancers and SIP trunks. We will continue to partner with best-of-breed developers to deliver complete Lync solutions to the marketplace and realize its goal of expanding the base of Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business) users in enterprises large and small. 
Posted: 12/3/2014 9:08:00 AM by Chris Meehan

In early November Microsoft made an important change in its Unified Communications portfolio by announcing that the next version of Lync, due in the first half of 2015, will be called Skype for Business.
In a blog post, Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Lync, wrote that the rebranding and upcoming capabilities “will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business.”
I agree, and here’s why.
Where Skype has global name recognition, hundreds of millions of users and an easy-to-use interface, Microsoft Lync is more of an enterprise solution with less established brand recognition and comparatively limited uptake in smaller business, especially the voice component of Lync.
The rebranding is is a good move from a market perspective, because with a well established brand comes familiarity. Even if you’ve never used Skype in the office, you’ve probably used it to make a call at some point. The rebranding represents the continued convergence of our business and personal lives and BYOD.
In his blog post, Pall writes that Microsoft is adopting the familiar Skype icons for calling, adding video and ending a call, and has added Skype’s call monitor, which keeps an active call visible in a small window even when a user moves focus to another application.
Skype for Business enables users to call any Skype user on any device. Further, current Lync Server customers can update Lync Server 2013 to the new Skype for Business Server in their datacenters, with no new hardware required.
Businesses of all sizes can now leverage the enterprise-grade Unified Communications capabilities of Lync wrapped in a familiar, intuitive interface. The name of the product has evolved (first OSC, then Lync and now Skype for Business) as its capabilities have become more complete.
Novus will continue to play a critical role in helping our integrator partners guide Lync deployments with enterprise customers, including provisioning and customization.
In particular, we will work with our partner AudioCodes to promote its One Box 365, a complete Lync enterprise voice solution for the growing Office 365 customer base. It is a suite of products and services that simplify and accelerate the Lync enterprise voice deployments.
As a Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications Competency partner, we look forward to working with Microsoft and all of our valued partners to continue driving Lync (Skype for Business) into every corner of the enterprise. 
Posted: 11/26/2014 10:45:20 AM by Chris Meehan

Over the last few decades, the tech industry has co-opted the word “ecosystem.” Where once it referred to an ecological community, it now refers to “any business of interconnecting and interacting parts.”

Indeed, ambitious technological endeavors often depend on the collaboration, cooperation and support of other entities. Consider Microsoft Windows, or Apple’s App Store, whose vast network of third party support made their products more functional and infinitely more successful.

That’s precisely what’s happening with Microsoft Lync. The ecosystem is growing rapidly, and Novus is positioned in the center of it. As one of the only North American distributors to earn Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications Competency status, we are fully committed to driving Lync with voice adoption in the enterprise.

Over the next several months, we will use this space to explain our place in the Lync ecosystem as well as what Novus and our partners collectively bring to the table.

Our commitment is demonstrated in two important ways:
  • Partner with best of breed companies developing Lync compatible products include endpoints, gateways, SIP trunks, speakerphones and headsets and load balancers. This allows us to offer a full complement of Lync products to our reseller partners, everything they need to deliver a holistic solution to the end customer.
  • Development of expertise in Lync with voice. After years of offering ad-hoc Lync services, we are working towards establishing a dedicated Lync services business, leveraging our unique expertise in deployment and management of Lync with voice. Simply put, there are not a lot of distributors out there with our expertise. It’s what helps set us apart.
We are a firm believer in Microsoft’s vision for unified communications, and are consistently expanding our portfolio of products and services to support that vision.
Posted: 11/11/2014 11:34:48 AM by Chris Meehan

When Cambrian College of Applied Arts & Technology needed customizable Lync qualified phones to satisfy their communications and collaboration needs, they went with snom UC edition.
When they needed the expertise to help deploy and manage their Lync infrastructure, they went with Novus.
The college, based in Sudbury, Ontario, deployed about 250 snom UC edition Lync qualified phones in all its classrooms. The college needed to ensure their 14,000-strong student body and faculty had access to phones at the main campus, and went with snom due to its customizability, flexibility and feature-richness.
The college worked with Novus, a snom Platinum Partner, on the procurement and deployment of the phones. Novus helped Cambrian set up a provisioning server, through which it centrally manages the phones including firmware updates and remote configuration.
This was particularly important, as Cambrian was an early adopter of Lync, and Novus is one of only a few distributors in North America with the knowledge and expertise to guide, organizations on Lync deployments.
And we are continuing to build our competency as Lync adoption grows in the enterprise. We are already a Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications competency partner, and are in the process of building a Lync with voice services business.
Cambrian’s expertise with Lync enterprise voice has progressed to the point that it is advising other Canadian colleges on using Lync and has been so satisfied with Novus that it is recommending our services to others who are in the midst of Lync deployments.

Read the case study here
Posted: 10/30/2014 11:52:39 AM by Chris Meehan

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