IP - Hive


‘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


By Chris Meehan
 
This is the last installment of our three-part blog series comparing all of the Lync qualified phones sold by Novus. This week we focus on the fullest-featured, highest-end phones for executives and those who require the broadest set of communications features.
 
Part One: Side-by-Side Comparison: Entry-Level Lync Qualified Phones
Part Two: Side-by-Side Comparison: Mid-Range Lync Qualified Phones
 
We are comparing Lync qualified phones by AudioCodes, Polycom and snom. These phones are designed for business users who need the ultimate in communications features, flexibility and expandability. 
 
Enterprises may not need every feature that these Lync qualified phones provide. Keep in mind, with similar functionality, the way a user performs a particular feature may differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also of particular note should be the firmware version reviewed. 


 
At Novus we view one of our responsibilities as helping customers make the best choices. With many Lync qualified phones to choose from, our customers need clarity about which phone has the features and capabilities to meet their business needs.
 
That’s why we created a comprehensive comparison of all the Lync qualified phones that we sell. It is meant to help customers buy endpoints that are right-sized for them. Choosing the right endpoint is not a trivial decision. Indeed, Lync experts say that choosing the wrong Lync phone can doom a Lync deployment.
 
Read on to assess the options for high end Lync qualified phones. Then call Novus for a consultation. As a Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications Competency partner, we are one of the only distributors in North America with the expertise to help our reseller partners and enterprise customers with their Lync enterprise voice deployments. 
Posted: 9/30/2014 1:49:12 PM by Chris Meehan


By Chris Meehan
 
Last week we posted a side-by-side comparison of entry-level Lync qualified phones by AudioCodes, Polycom and snom, all of which Novus sells. This week we are publishing a comparison of mid-range Lync qualified phones from these developers.
 
Why are we doing this? At Novus we view one of our responsibilities as helping customers make the best choices. With many Lync qualified phones to choose from, our customers need clarity about which phone has the features and capabilities to meet their business needs.
 
That’s why we created a comprehensive comparison of all the Lync qualified phones that we sell. It is meant to help customers buy endpoints that are right-sized for them. Choosing the right endpoint is not a trivial decision. Indeed, Lync experts say that choosing the wrong Lync phone can doom a Lync deployment.
 
Mid-range phones have all the features of basic Lync qualified phones plus a few more bells and whistles (and more flexibility) to satisfy more sophisticated communications demands. For example, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, presence display and more function keys. 
 
This is the second of three charts comparing phones from AudioCodes, Polycom and snom. We will compare mid-level phones here, followed by executive-level phones. Entry-level devices were shown in our earlier post.  Our goal is to provide straightforward information to help customers make the best decisions. 


Posted: 9/19/2014 8:44:10 AM by Chris Meehan


By Chris Meehan 

At Novus we view one of our responsibilities as helping customers make the best choices. With many Lync qualified phones to choose from, our customers need clarity about which phone has the features and capabilities to meet their business needs.
 
That’s why we created a comprehensive comparison of all the Lync qualified phones that we sell. It is meant to help customers buy endpoints that are right-sized for them. Choosing the right endpoint is not a trivial decision. Indeed, Lync experts say that choosing the wrong Lync phone can doom a Lync deployment.
 
This is the first of three charts comparing phones from AudioCodes, Polycom and snom. We will compare entry-level phones here, followed by mid-range and then executive-level phones. Our goal is to provide straightforward information to help customers make the best decisions. 



Enterprises may not need every feature that these entry-level Lync qualified phones provide. These are basic desktop phones suitable for public areas, warehouses and conference rooms. At the same time, they leverage Lync to enhance workforce productivity and collaboration with features like direct dialing from Lync buddy lists and programmable keys.
 
Side by side comparisons like this are important decision-making tools for our partner and enterprise customers because they can pick and choose the features that are important to them. Keep in mind, with similar functionality, the way a user performs a particular feature may differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also of particular note should be the firmware version reviewed. 
 
Next up: a comparison of mid-range AudioCodes, Polycom and snom Lync qualified phones. 
Posted: 9/11/2014 11:21:09 AM by Chris Meehan


By Chris Meehan
 
In early August, Gartner Group published its “Magic Quadrant” for Unified Communications. The quadrant evaluates and ranks vendors in a particular sector of technology, with the goal of helping enterprise customers understand which providers are executing against their stated vision.
 
The quadrant breaks providers down into four segments: leaders, visionaries, niche players and challengers. Perhaps not surprisingly, Microsoft Lync and Cisco were deemed leaders of the UC market.
 
Gartner stated, “Microsoft Lync offers a full suite of UC functionality that Microsoft continues to improve with each release” adding that “the Lync partner ecosystem expanded at a rapid pace [but] more importantly, the partners’ skill level and experience in complex deployments that include voice and video also improved significantly year over year.”
 
Indeed, that is precisely where Novus is putting its efforts. Over the past year, we have added several Lync qualified products to our already sizable Lync portfolio, have begun building a Lync services business and achieved Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications Competency.
 
The latter validates our expertise with Lync and solidifies our ability effectively deliver superior Lync solutions to the marketplace. Novus has been delivering ad-hoc Lync services and solutions but is in the process of formalizing a services business.
 
Interestingly, Novus addresses one of the “cautions” that Gartner raises regarding Lync.

The report notes that enterprises often require multiple partners to obtain a complete Lync deployment (endpoints, gateways, servers, remote support and network monitoring), that this poses challenges, and can lead to release level incompatibilities.
 
Novus helps solve this problem and is fast becoming a one-stop shop for Lync, offering IP phones, media gateways, session border controllers, headsets and call center software. This cuts down on the number of distributors that integrators and resellers have to deal with.
 
Also, as one of the few distributors in North America to earn Gold Communications Competency, we provide service, solutions and competency.
 
We are gratified to see Microsoft rightly acknowledged by Gartner as a leader in its UC Magic Quadrant, and even more gratified to report that our Lync strategy – providing products and services to drive the market – is right on the money.
Posted: 8/21/2014 1:17:52 PM by Chris Meehan


By Chris Meehan

Sennheiser, the German company whose name is synonymous with premium sound quality, is fast establishing a reputation for super design.

The latest case in point is its new Speakerphone Series, which Novus is now carrying. Its small, round sleek design easily fits into any briefcase and is meant for personal or small group conference calls using a PC, smartphone or tablet.

Two models, the SP 10 ML and SP 20 ML are optimized for Microsoft Lync, and connect to Lync via USB. The SP 20 ML model connects via USB to a PC and to mobile devices via 3.5 mm jack plug. Both are designed for “plug and play” simplicity.

One review concluded that the “Speakerphone Series elevates the one anonymous meeting room phone to the level of ‘must have’ workplace innovation; it shows Sennheiser’s sound heritage and iconic design at its best while making a clear style statement for any office or desk.”

Indeed, the speakerphones represent a leap forward in portable conferencing solutions. They feature call and volume controls, microphone, mute and dual talk function that enables for natural conversation interruption. Where there’s downtime, the speakerphone even has a music function.

Naturally, the speakerphones deliver high definition sound quality to enhance collaboration in and between organizations. In announcing the product, Sennheiser’s CEO noted that, “Microsoft Lync continues to drive innovation across the board to make it easier for people to communicate wherever they are. As a premium headset and UC solutions provider and a Microsoft partners, Sennheiser helps Microsoft Lync users to meet today’s expectations of workplace communications and collaboration.”
Posted: 7/17/2014 7:33:39 AM by Chris Meehan


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