IP - Hive
By Chris Meehan
Managing Director, Novus LLC
As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner, the Novus team are Microsoft unified communications experts with years of experience helping Microsoft MVP and reseller partners deploy voice driven Skype for Business and Microsoft Lync solutions for businesses and organization including hospitals, elementary schools, colleges to fortune 500 companies.
Microsoft Gold = Trained and “Battle Tested” for Skype for Business
What does the Gold Certified designation mean? Well, it means that Novus has demonstrated greater value to our customers by delivering best-in-class Skype for Business and Lync service and technical competency, particularly with voice implementations, earned by our team successfully completing – with flying colors - Microsoft’s rigorous and auditable training and certification process. 
Novus UC Partner Program =
This is what makes the Novus UC Partner Program so unique and compelling for Microsoft VARs, resellers and ISVs looking for the right distributor partner for Skype for business hardware and infrastructure products. We can marry our deep seated knowledge of VoIP, UC and Skype for business with a complete portfolio of best-of-breed, Microsoft qualified hardware solution partners from endpoints to networking and hardware infrastructure that enables customers to deploy enterprise voice swiftly, and smoothly. 
Microsoft Qualified Hardware, Software and Services
Novus UC Partner programs partners include AudioCodes, Ferrari electronic, IntelePeer, Jabra, Kemp, Mitel (Aastra), Numonix, Polycom, Plantronics, Sennheiser, Snom, Spectralink, and Yealink, all of which have submitted their products to be tested and qualified for Skype for Business in order to provide customers with a high quality user experience. 

Learn more about Novus UC Partner Program and Skype for Business qualified products at www.NovusLLC.com, or contact us today at info@Novusllc.com and (866) 331-1112.
Posted: 4/22/2015 7:23:43 AM by Chris Meehan

By Chris Meehan

Calling all resellers for Skype for Business – we’d like to share this great program of our new partner Numonix with you.

Beginning now through the end of 2015, Numonix is offering registered and authorized resellers Not for Resale (NFR) software to familiarize their staff with Numonix products and sales and marketing efforts.

By installing a Numonix RECITE Xpress demo system, resellers could:
  • Showcase customers the real-life experience, look and feel of the software;
  • Perform onsite demonstration at exhibitions or demo/lab facilities;
  • Help employees understand how the solution works and improve the technical knowledge of the sales force.
The demo solution, RECITE Xpress Starter Pack includes 5 license starter bundle and 1 MasC desktop license.

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

Like we wrote in an earlier blog, the Skype for Business partner ecosystem was expanding at a rapid pace, and the third party qualified applications is trending upwards. As your one-stop-shop for Skype for Business, Novus is always on the lookout for best reseller programs to add more value to our VAR partners.

For more details about the Numonix Demo Software Program and how to apply, contact us today at info@Novusllc.com and (866) 331-1112.
Posted: 4/14/2015 9:50:36 AM by Chris Meehan

By Chris Meehan
Managing Director, Novus LLC
One important piece of networking hardware required for deploying Lync and Skype for Business deployments is the Session Border Controller (SBC).
What is an SBC? A Session Border Controller (SBC) is a Voice over IP device that connects a Lync environment to SIP Trunk provider or another VoIP system if you choose to configure it that way. It also provides other functionality like security or performance improvements to enhance Lync Enterprise Voice connectivity.
SBCs are deployed at the “edge” of the network between the enterprise and the service provider. In the enterprise environment, they serve as ingress/egress point between the business’s VoIP network and the service provider’s SIP Trunk, performing SIP protocol mediation and media handling (interoperability) and securing the enterprise VoIP network.  
Microsoft’s Technet blog explains SBCs quite well in this terrific post.
There are a number of companies that offer types of SBC solution which can be in the form of a physical or virtual appliance, a software product installed on a Windows server, or combined with a gateway product. When combined with a gateway product, an SBC can also provide PSTN failover functionality, for instance between SIP trunks and ISDN.
Novus UC partners offers Microsoft qualified SBCs and SIP-PSTN media gateways from Ferrari electronic AG and AudioCodes. These are qualified for Lync and Skype for Business through the Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) for enterprise telephony services and infrastructure.
  • Ferrari OfficeMaster Gate (Virtual Edition) Session Border Controller is qualified for Microsoft Lync Server 2010/2013.  Ferrari’s OfficeMaster Gate is a media gateway that connects traditional ISDN telephony and Lync Server, facilitating connection between traditional voice infrastructure and next generation Unified Communications made possible with Lync. It translates between SIP trunks and Lync, supports SIP connection to legacy PBXs and has optional support for fax and analog devices.
  • We carry the entire AudioCodes Mediant line, which now serves everything from the SMB market to the largest enterprises and service providers. The Mediant 9000 Session Border Controller is available as an appliance and as a software-only version for common off-the-shelf platforms and for virtualized environments.
  • With support for up to 16,000 concurrent sessions, the Mediant 9000 is a high scalable SBC for deployment in larger enterprises and contact center locations, and well as an access SBC for service provider environments. It supports extensive SIP connectivity with broad interoperability, enhanced perimeter defense against hacking and advanced voice quality monitoring.
Other features:
  • Support for remote workers and mobile SIP clients
  • Branch survivability during WAN failure
  • VoIP quality monitoring and enforcement
Ferrari and AudioCodes are one of the select few with SBCs certified for Skype for Business and Lync Server 2013. AudioCodes is one of only two providers with more than five SBC models to serve the needs of a wide range of business needs.  
Learn more about Novus UC Partner Program at www.NovusLLC.com, or contact us today at info@Novusllc.com and (866) 331-1112.
Posted: 4/8/2015 7:38:05 AM by Chris Meehan

Attendance at this year’s Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando Florida, which took place the week of March 16, was strong and the buzz loud with news of continued growth of unified communications (UC) and new innovative collaborative technology and protocols (Web RTC) for cloud-based enterprise communications.  

As an annual attendee, this year’s high turnout and high number of new product intros is indicative of a strong economy and relentless innovation within our sector. Bring on the PO’s! This year show featured a slew of announcements from Novus UC Partners: 

  • Microsoft announced that the new Skype for Business Server, Client, and Online Service are coming in April 2015. I’m happy to report that according to Microsoft, “most existing software and hardware solutions that are qualified for Lync 2013 will also be compatible with Skype for Business,” which is good news because it means a smooth transition for our current customers using Lync compatible voice solutions from Lync 2013 to the new Skype for Business platform. As I wrote in an earlier blog post, Novus will continue to watch this transition closely and share more news about Lync and Skype for Business.
  • AudioCodes became the first to showcase WebRTC to Microsoft Lync connectivity, which is enabled via AudioCodes’ Media Session Border Controller (SBC), allowing Lync users to be accessible via the web using a standard web browser that supports WebRTC.
  • Jabra launched its new Stealth UC Bluetooth® mono headset – a unified communications enhanced wireless headset which Jabra claims the lightest headset in its class – and it’s certified for Skype for Business.
  • Polycom has expanded its partnership with Microsoft planning to deliver a new series of video collaboration solutions designed for Skype for Business called Polycom® RoundTable®. This new solution will include voice, video and content collaboration, which users can easily access by logging into their Skype for Business account.
  • Snom has initiated a major Lync deployment with Chula Vista Elementary School District with 45 schools and more than 29,000 students. When complete, the deployment will total over 3,000 endpoints and give the school district the means to collaborate district-wide to ensure student success.
  • Sennheiser showcased its new Century Wired Headset Series, the new PRESENCE™ Mobile Series Bluetooth headsets, and other contact center and office headset solutions at the show.
  • As WebRTC becoming an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time web-based (cloud) collaboration voice and video communications, our partner Plantronics is confident that their headsets are WebRTC-ready today and shared several customer care experiences about this integration.
Overall, it’s a successful conference with a lot of positive buzz. We look forward to Enterprise Connect 2016!
Posted: 3/31/2015 8:15:22 AM by Chris Meehan

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

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