SpydurBlog

30 Years of History!

Back in 1986, driving down I-75 as what seemed to be the only car on the road for miles, I could only imagine I would still be making the same drive thirty years later!  Spydur Technologies began its life in Voice Processing as Voice Mail Inc (VMI), and started out as the #1 support organization for the Genesis Cindi.  This was in the early days of proprietary $100k+ Voice Mail machines, as we quickly transitioned and saw the benefit of open architecture hardware.  We soon became the #1 support organization for the wildly popular open architecture Avaya Octel, and grew to be authorized distribution for over twenty different manufacturers!  It was only a couple short years of exploding growth before we expanded from our original office building to our new office building at ten times the size, just a mile down the road, and where our operations remain still to this day.

Later years would include “the Great Y-2000 Scare” and a variety of discussion panels, as the world’s operating systems went from denoting the year with four-digits.  We seemed to work twenty-four hours a day trying to meet the exploding demand of the years surrounding Y2k.  Shortly after, one of our people started a little side project in the office we internally called the VMI Asterisk.  It was revolutionary in that it used open architecture hardware, using collaboratively developed open source software, and supported open standards for communications that were only just ratified by the ITU.  As we soon realized all the very cool, slick, and extraordinarily helpful things we could now do, we quickly devoted more attention and resources to its development.

The SpydurPBX was born  in 2005 with our new d.b.a. (doing business as) in hand, Spydur Technologies.  The Spydur has been a natural fit in maintaining a number of our core business principles: keep it simple (KISS), no nickle and diming, plug ‘n play, and no limits!  While development still remains predominantly on the high end, we soon introduced a smaller SpydurByte, and then a smaller still SpydurCore.  It has been a most remarkable platform from the very beginning, and has only grown in its reach and capabilities.

 

I would like to offer a special thanks to our ever-increasing Spydur Impact Business Partners; we greatly value our continued and growing relationships with you, and are very grateful for both of our continued successes!  Finally to our team and coworkers that has been the foundation of Spydur Technologies, you have my sincerest appreciation for your service over the years; and we look forward to growing with you well into the future!


Gary & Diane Harbeck
Jason & LaDonna Harbeck
Lindsay Adeimy
Debby Bellville
Cheri Ham
Brett Karas
Midiala Rodriguez
Lisett Gonzales
Diana Echezabal
Guillermo Echezabal
Alexander Dounouk


Still the world’s leading supplier of voice, store, and forward technology!…

Take Advantage of High Turnover in Remote Hosted Service

It is no secret that there is a 40% churn rate in the Remote Hosted Service industry!  That means 4 out of every 10 new customers discontinue service within the first contract term.  There are three main reasons to NOT choose Remote Hosted Service, and understanding them will help you serve your customers better, and grow your business at the same time:

1.) Poor Reliability & Inconsistent Voice Quality

This is because there are at least twice as many points of failure as with onsite equipment.  While the Remote Hosted Services argue they have superior reliability with redundant servers and multiple nodes for failover, the truth is they are reselling service themselves and have to pump it all back out again to their own provider.  Further compounding the issue, are the economics of a Remote Hosted Service which dictates that they bulk as much traffic on as little bandwidth as possible.  Even when all systems are working in concert, they may still be providing poor voice quality if there are any issues with any of the connections.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

The problems are so prevalent that many customers revert to their old telephone systems – even after investing in new internal cabling, routers, switches, battery backup, and telephones – because they are accustomed to the reliability of their old systems.  Save their investment and rest their fears by installing a Spydur with traditional analog trunks or a PRI instead!

2.) Remote Hosted Service makes you pay FOREVER!

Whether Purchased, Expensed Lease, or Managed Service; an on-premise UCS is a fraction of the cost for a Remote “Rental” Hosted Service!  To prove this: assume that the Customer is going to be in business for at least 10 years and wants service for at least that period.  Take the price of any of the three primary ways of acquiring a communications system, and amortize how much it costs on a monthly basis.  This will give you the monthly equipment expense, but to be fair you also need to add in the “trunks” needed to run your business (with an on-premise solution, you get to choose your own carriers).

 If you know your customer’s usage, a fairly accurate way to price a carrier is at 2 cents per minute.  If you do not know your customer’s monthly connect time, simply take the number of trunks they need and multiply it by $10 per trunk monthly.

Just do the math, and you will clearly see how “basic service” with Remote Hosted is 2~4 times the cost!  Add the amortized equipment investment and the monthly SIP trunk expense together and that is your customer’s monthly expense for an onsite enterprise grade UCS.  For Remote “Rental” Service, take the monthly cost for each extension (dial tone), and multiply it by 120 months to see the difference.

3.) General Lack of Features & Very Limited Services

We’ve all heard it before… “All I need is basic telephone service” …but customers don’t understand just how very basic, basic can get!  Unless they can be happy with dial-tone, a simple greeting/menu, and ring group… there is no such thing as basic telephone service.  When a customer says “I need ________”, you already know they won’t be happy unless they get an actual system with some power and flexibility to it (ACD, Reporting, Call Logging, Managed Conferences, Exchange Integration, Third-Party CRM, etc).  The reason for their shortcomings are obvious: all customers are being serviced by the same hosted system, and their limited feature set absolutely must have consistency and uniformity across all users.  Unfortunately, businesses are not cookie-cutter, and what happens to be considered basic by one customer is not basic to any other business!


So who is Remote Hosted Service actually good for?

Remote Hosted Service is viable for only three types of Customers:

Very Small Offices
One, two, and three man offices (not associated with a larger corporation) typically only need the most basic of services, and may be satisfied by a remoted hosted “basic” service.  These businesses are just looking for dial tone, and often rely more on their cell phones to run their businesses.  You’re really not going to save very small individual offices, and they simply don’t need an enterprise-grade system.

Short-Term Customers
“Hi, my name is Gary and I’m running for political office.  I need a system until next November.  Can you help me?”  Gary is not going to need the telephone system after November.  He either didn’t win the election, or doesn’t need the system anymore because he got elected (and his publicly funded communications system is being paid by the taxpayers).

Brand-New Businesses
The customer who needs a communications system to start a business, or to stay operational but has no money.  These customers have no company history, and often have a very hard time getting financing.  While you should certainly be careful, you by no means need to avoid these customers if done properly.

Whenever you find a Customer that is currently using a Remote Hosted Service, make sure that you give them your business card and call on them periodically.  Make sure that you know when their service agreement is coming due.  It will be easy for you to convert the customer at that time and they will love you for it!

 

Qualify your customer by asking them if they want to own, expense, or have a managed service.  Give the customer an idea up front about the type of capital expenditure a purchase will be.  When a purchase price is going to be an issue, quote as an expensed lease with a $1 buyout at the end.  Make sure they know the monthly expense ends after the 36th or 60th month; whereas payments never end with a Remote (Rental) Hosted Service, and they need to know that!

If you have an experience you’d like to convey, let us hear from you!…

Complete Diagnostics Within!

Riddle me this…

1.) What quality network connections do you have?
2.) Are you paying for more service than you need?
3.) What condition is your current system in?
4.) How do you troubleshoot problems?
5.) Who is accessing your system?

…the answers we hear most often are that of uncertainty or faint notions of seemingly good or bad, with nothing really to point at.  The truth is, that your telecommunications and network services should not be a mystery.  No matter if you are making a business decision which affects recurring expenses, or determining why it is your services are faltering… you need to have the information available in order to make a wise and informed course of action.

 

The Spydur provides the most information possible, across all aspects of your telecommunications and networking services

 

1.) What quality network connections do you have?

The Spydur continuously measures the network latency with an unlimited number of hosts, whether internal or external to your network, and charts the results on a timeline basis.  Not only will you see the latency across these hosts, but also the deviation or jitter from it.  You will further be able to determine if a problem resides with a specific host, or with your provider, as the results overlay on combined graphs.

 

2.) Are you paying for more service than you need?

The Spydur continuously measures the amount of throughput you are actually using from an unlimited number of access points, whether at your own site or a remote office, and charts the results on a timeline basis.  Not only will you see what you are using, but if your provider(s) are delivering what is being promised.  Many times, we see customers paying for significantly more service than what is actually needed, and this can immediately be turned around into monthly savings!

 

3.) What condition is your current system in?

The Spydur continuously measures the system’s health across all metrics, and charts the results on a timeline basis (e.g. utilization, activity, temperature, voltages, etc.).  This includes all components at the hardware level, and all services at the software level.  This helps to identify any discrepancies, and provides a course of action for failing hardware or environmental conditions.

 

4.) How do you troubleshoot problems?

These charted timelines are an extraordinary and valuable resource, but sometimes you may want to manually run any number of tests to further pinpoint or confirm issues.  You may also need to process and view special, real-time debug information from a variety of other devices (e.g. routers, switches, telephones, etc.).  The Spydur makes all of this possible, as you can easily perform these tests, and accept diagnostic information for other devices on your network too!

 

5.) Who is accessing your system?

Sometimes the hardest issues to pinpoint have nothing to do with your network or the system itself (hardware/software), but rather users trying to do something they are “not supposed to do.”  The Spydur logs absolutely everything on a timeline basis, and will help pinpoint oddities and errors as caused by users themselves.

 

The next time someone says:

 

“I had a problem yesterday at 3 o’clock, but we are good now… can you tell me what happened yesterday at 3 o’clock?”

…you will know exactly where to look, and what to say!!!

 …

Screwing up a Board!

The Spydur comes as either a rackmount, tower, or wallmount… internally, whenever a wallmount order is placed, we refer to the build process as “screwing up a board”.  The efforts to “screw up a board” goes well beyond any of our competition, because we want the physical installation to be significantly easier for you!

Internally, whenever a wallmount order is placed, we refer to the build process as “screwing up a board”.

We have been offering “screwed up boards” (heh) since the very first SpydurCore & SpydurByte were introduced, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it.  We continue to offer the wallmounted board at a loss (costing much more in time and materials) so that you don’t have to, because it not only makes your life easier but we know it can really help sell a system too!

“Screwing up” a Spydur Wallmount takes a good bit of time, precise planning, and careful eyes to have it all come together just right.  As every board is unique (different sites need different components), each comes with its own set of challenges.

Beginning the process, once we know what the customer wants, is to plan out where all the devices belong on the board.  The devices maintain proper distances and are normally pointed toward the right of the board to ensure the cables have a natural flow.  We make sure everything is mounted securely to prevent any damage, all cabling is color coded and stapled, and devices remain easily accessible with a single CAM screw locking them in.

A Spydur Wallmount is shipped with a variety of wood, steel, and masonry screws for different types of walls.  All that should be required is to 1.) screw the board on your wall, 2.) connect a single power connection, and 3.) connect a single network connection along with any lines you may have coming in.

There are good reasons why people choose to get a wallmounted Spydur, and we want to help make your install as easy as possible.  I hope this will give you a good overview of what it means to “screw up” a board, and can appreciate the effort behind the build.  Thank you for reading through and have a great day!

Phenomenal Cosmic Power, Ity Bity Living Space!

Want to use those Cisco telephones?  No problem! … the sales guys really like comparing the bottom line to show the substantial cost savings without any exorbitant maintenance contracts, because it makes them feel good by getting those potential customers to say wow!  Those decision makers will now have the great difficulty of deciding where best to utilize that very big wad of cash (a very good problem indeed).

Similarly, us operations guys really like clearing out those IP Office’s and Call Managers, replacing an entire rack full of equipment with a single 1U chassis, because it makes us feel good by getting those new customers’ IT people to say wow!  You can very easily see the realization come over their faces as they behold the new-found space, and watch as the multitude of devices are removed (no longer to be managed on their network).

 I wish I had a dollar every time I heard…
“look, you can see the floor now!” – or – “wow, is that it?!?!?”

Hardware periodically leaps ahead in both capacity and performance, and allows for smaller form factors, lower electricity bills, lower temperatures, and significantly MORE performance!  Over the years: motherboards have miniaturized, memory has gotten cheap, hard drives got larger (ridiculously large for telephony applications), and multi-core processors were introduced (a truly novel concept).
 
About a year ago, solid state drives were made standard in all SpydurCore’s & SpydurBytes, and while they continue to have the same great reliability as their mechanical counterparts, they operate at much lower temperatures, have no moving parts (can be bumped), and have significantly higher performance (which cannot be understated).
 
As for today, the standard processors used in the SpydurCore & SpydurByte are leaping ahead again with some very advanced and updated System-on-Chip (SoC) designs featuring quad cores at a 50% speed increase via 33% faster clock rate, with an even more advanced instruction set (i.e. out-of-order processing).

So… what to do with all that extra processing power? MWUHAAAAaaaaaaaa!

Once the purvue of only the powerful SpydurPBX, the lines are blurring as the feature set of the SpydurByte is expanding to now include: Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) and Collaboration, integrated Web-MeetMe Management Controls, Three new Advanced Reporting Modules, Named Greeting Libraries, and several other enhancements along the way… all using the same ultra-small form factor!  Partners will find an updated Product Matrix on the Partner Site, and be sure to ask a sales engineer for more information today!!!

 …

5 Components of your Communications System

Interconnect companies typically sell hardware & service to their customers and is how they make a living, but is actually quite inexpensive compared to the total cost a communications system!  The customer should be looking at all five components in their decision making, they are: hardware, service, lines, usage, and administrative overhead.



Do the math yourself: How long does a customer typically keep a system?  10 Years?  More?  What does support cost over the life of a system?  Okay, now add your maintenance charges to those of the manufacturer and see what that cost to the customer is after 120 months.  Blows your mind doesn’t it, and that’s just the service component.  Many manufacturers today are “buying their customers” with what looks to be competitive purchase pricing, but it isn’t.  The manufacturers recurring support charges plus your maintenance charges are far higher than the total purchase price of whatever you are selling over the life of the system.

How about line and usage expenses?  Even on a small communications system, the lines and usage are exponentially higher cost than equipment.  A small office with just a few lines is: The cost of each line each month, times the life of the system.  If usage is separate, you need to do the same math for usage.  Administrative overhead is one thing that you cannot provide a number for a customer (they won’t know either so don’t try to put a number to it).  Just know that it is a real concern and needs to be addressed.

Spydur Impact Business Partners who use our Solutions Selling method and provide a complete “picture” of the solution with costs (and savings) projected over a period of time enjoy a 75% close rate.  To quote a credit card commercial “what percentage sales are in your pocket?”



Recommendation: Don’t major on the minors.  Solve communications issues and show the customer what your solution is expected to cost over the life of the system.  It doesn’t matter if you are selling, leasing, or providing communications-as-a-service (CaaS); showing the total picture will enable you to close the sale!



For more information, be sure to check out ‘Need Help’ @ spydurpbx.com for further perspectives on ‘making a good decision’, including: architecture, brand recognition, ease of use, features, financial, and support!

Welcome to the SpydurBlog!

The Spydur exists to help connect you and your business with the people you serve, and we are starting this brand-new blog to connect with you! We hope this new outlet will help relate to you on a more personal level and will be a bit more relaxed. While most of the articles will relate to the Spydur itself, we will also be taking some time to discuss the latest developments, challenges, and opportunities we see within the communications industry as a whole. Our perceptions influence our design choices and business decisions alike, and we want you to know how and why! We look forward to sharing with you, and trust you will appreciate and find this blog helpful.