Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why VARs like Lake Country are Rockin’ It

Lake CountryNEWT is fast being recognized as Canada’s leading provider of business telecommunications services, and for a number of very good reasons. Beyond our innovative propitiatory technology and unparalleled feature set, plus the fact that we save organizations a ton on their monthly bills, who’s really driving the NEWT train… are a whole bunch of other folks.

They are our business partners representing us and our products out there on the front lines. They are our Value Added Re-sellers or VARs.

We are working with dozens of VARs across the country, from big cities to small town, helping them to rescue companies from their old, outdated and expensive legacy phone systems – and one of our top partners is Lake Country Office Solutions.

Lake Country is a small diversified company located in the paradise that is Orillia, Ontario and they offer a full range of office products from copiers to office furniture – and of course NEWT’s internet and business phone solutions.

LC

Dianne Lumley, Peter Borutski, Adam Borutski & Vita Rubino

Started in 2002 with just 3 people, their target market were local Orillia businesses looking to improve their processes, increase efficiency and their office environment. Over the years they developed a loyal customer base due to dedication, attention to detail, quality products, and friendliness and support.

Surviving and thriving in business in a small town depends on that level of service. Orillia has a population of just over 30,000 which means, quite literally, there are no secrets to be kept.  If there is a problem, everybody gets to know about it, fast.

Five years ago Lake Country partnered with, what was then, an emerging Canadian Telco called Fibernetics  and their business services division, (since re-branded to NEWT). They began offering our full range of Business Internet and Phone System Solutions. Just as NEWT is an all-in-one voice and data solution, Lake Country became its own one-stop shop for Business office products.

It was a perfect match because Lake Country’s reliance on quality products and customer service mirrors our own, and we’ve both been growing because of that ever since.

Now with 15 employees, (and still growing), Lake Country services all of central Ontario by sticking to their roots by embracing the latest and greatest technology, while maintaining the primary objective of customer satisfaction.  

There are dozens of companies working with us, who just like Lake Country, are enjoying the benefits of having a high quality line of products and services to sell, all with the focus on the end user, our mutual customers. Because it’s working so well we are always looking for more “Lake Country’s” to help us grow even faster.

If that sounds like your company, we welcome you to contact Jeff Donaldson, our VAR channel manager, to see if we could be a good fit.

 

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Startup Weekend Gets the Entrepreneurs out of the Garage

The Home of Apple

The First Home of Apple

Garages. That’s once place where they tended to happen. Google, Apple, Intel… they all started up in a garage. Or a basement, like in the case of Fibernetics.

Every successful business had to start someplace, and in the past the one thing in common they all seemed to share were the places were dark, dank and dirty. But above all cheap.

When a company is in startup mode, the last thing they want to spend money on is a slick looking lobby and executive suite. All money goes to development and marketing, and those “nice things” hopefully come later. Today, starting up a business has changed for the better. The garage is out, and business incubators are in, and in the tech triangle, the No.1 hatcher of small businesses is the Communitech Hub.

Next weekend (April 4-6) Communitech is holding its Startup Weekend – Waterloo Region Community Edition – for the next generation out to change the world. The focus is on creating companies that —in some way, shape or form— enhance community life.

They’ll have lots of help. The key to their success is access to those who have been there before. Entrepreneurs who have successfully transformed their vision of a successful service or product into reality. These are the mentors, and this extraordinary group includes Fibernetics Co-Founder John Stix:

Fibernetics Co-Founder John Stix

Co-Founder John Stix

Being apart of Start up weekend is more than a chance for me to give back, it’s also a chance for me to be immersed in the total entrepreneurial experience which I love.  Such great young minds show up every year and I come out of it inspired myself.”

“I intend to broaden my mentoring because this is where positive change can really happen, not only for the motivated entrepreneur but the community at large.  I can say that Fibernetics at one point only existed on a bar napkin and now we employ over 200 great team members.”

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.

The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

If you want to work with business leaders like John, and put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register HERE.

 

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Want to work for the best company in Canada?

Beyond telecomThat’s one of our current goals; to be the single best company to work for in the country.

Are we there yet? Nope, but if we’re not in the Top 100, we’re pretty damned close. In 2014 we are rededicating ourselves to our working culture, and to providing the best products and services in the industry and by doing so, make us the single best choice for an educated business and residential telecom marketplace.

To get there we are looking for the right kind of people. We need highly motivated, happy, creative people who bring it every day.

If that’s you, want to help us out?

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER (Perl/C++/SOA)

The Role

We are seeking a Software Developer with strong technical and architectural abilities and teamwork skills. This role will involve technical management of projects throughout the entire development cycle.  You will design, code, maintain and support both new software and enhancements to existing software to meet product specifications. You will also develop procedures to solve complex technical problems, act as a lead on less complex projects and participate in planning to achieve prescribed objectives.

We are seeking a highly motivated individual with exceptional knowledge of Perl, C/C++, relevant industry experience, strong object-oriented design skills and thorough knowledge of SQL and database application design. Working knowledge of XML and related technologies like XSD, SOAP and WSDL is also required.

Applicants should also have experience with the operation of the Linux Operating System and software development on that platform using the GNU tool chain.

Technical Qualifications:

  • 3 or more years previous experience in Software Development
  • C++
  • SQL
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • HTML/CSS
  • VoIP
  • GNU/Linux Development
  • OOD/Large Software Systems preferred
  • Beneficial : XML, SOAP, MySQL, Java

To apply please forward your resume and cover letter to:

careers@fibernetics.ca

WorldlineLogoService Delivery Coordinator (contract)

The Role:

The Service Delivery Coordinator is responsible for working closely with the other members of the Service Delivery  Team.  This role plays a key part in ensuring successful installations of our residential customers’ telecommunication services and requires excellent customer service and negotiation skills.  This role will also be responsible for the proactive identification of missing notifications, due dates, and or missedcustomer expectations and the rescheduling of confirmed dates where required.

Responsibilities

  • Ensure confirmation of installation dates with customers
  • Rescheduling of installation dates as required
  • Effectively interact with all levels of employees within Fibernetics
  • Participate in documentation of Departmental Process and Procedures as required
  • Participate in meetings as assigned
  • Develop good working relationships with Suppliers
  • Direct customer communication as required
  • Other duties and projects as assigned

Essential Knowledge and Skills

Bilingual in both oral and written English and Hindi

  • Excellent internal and external oral communication skills at all organizational levels
  • Excellent written communication including the ability to write clear and professional reports, process and procedures
  • Self-motivated and results oriented
  • Able to work independently and efficiently to meet deadlines
  • Extremely professional with excellent interpersonal, relationship, and communication skills
  • Ability to propel andmaintain cross functional resources and relationships with internal and external customers

 This is a contract role to cover a maternity leave.

To Apply please forward your resume and cover letter to:

careers@fibernetics.ca

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Embracing Disruption through Cloud Computing

cloud computingCloud computing is a revolutionary technological concept that’s changing how business is done today, and will fundamentally change it in the future. Already most of us are comfortable with the idea of storing personal data in the cloud, with services like Dropbox, iCloud or even Facebook.

But really, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Conceptually “the cloud” been around since the 1960’s, (ARPANET anyone?) however in reality the first true commercial cloud product was launched in 2002 with Amazon Web Services. For the most part, AWS, and other services like it, have been used to speed up and reduce the costs of already existing processes. All cloud developers have been doing is reinventing the wheel in other words.

Now that they kind of know what they have got their hands on – exciting things are going to start to happen.

Two prominent cloud developers Nathan Toups and Brad Carleton recently released their “Cloud Revolution Manifesto,” which is the basis of their new book, Embracing Disruption – available as a pay-for Kickstarter project.

According to Forbes, the Cloud Revolution Manifesto was inspired by the 2001’s Agile Manifesto, and the SOA Manifesto, released in 2009. These landmark documents postulate that technology development is an evolutionary process that is driven, not by market requirements, but by an unhindered yet common vision and collaboration to make it all work.

Here are some of the key principles and values spelled out in the Cloud Revolution Manifesto:

  • “We are the embracers of disruption. We are the pioneers of a new frontier.”

The cloud model is a whole new world where the rules are being made up as they are required. A cloud-based business operates in a different reality than a regular business, with the implications of what that means are only just started to be understood.

  • “We embrace: Bold visions of the future backed by real data. Distributed systems with no central authority. Freedom to share information and self express. Strength through a global community of hackers and free thinkers.”

They are talking about a new business model devoid of standard roles or structure. A business that can be built anywhere by anyone and then released and managed without the need of a traditional corporate hierarchy, or even a brick and mortar building.

  • “We value: 1) Expression over conformity; 2) Standards over servitude; 3) Distribution over centralization; 4) Reuse over waste; 5) Data over dogma.”

They see technology as a delivery system empowering individuals and teams to achieve unforeseen levels of productivity in business and unimagined improvements to the planet. Seriously.

Just like the previous generation that developed the Internet and a web app based economy, there are no “How To” books on this cloud based industry. That’s because it is currently being invented. These folks are just making it up as they go along.

Beyond telecomWhat they come up with – and the impact it will have on all of us – can only be guessed at. But considering what that last generation did, it should be amazing.

For information on NEWT Cloud services, and what it could mean to your business, please go HERE.

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It’s National Employee Appreciation Day! Don’t Panic!

1330696558_post_itWhat defines a cool corporate culture? In house massages? A foosball table? A kale smoothie bar? How about a slide?

None of those hurt of course, especially now that the hipster generation who think every company should be Google are upon us, but by far the most powerful component of a positive corporate culture is also the oldest: An ongoing recognition of employees who are doing a good job.

There are tons of studies and statistics that demonstrate that companies with formal, strategic recognition programs enjoy higher levels of employee engagement, individual performance and talent retention. Organizations who recognize that an old fashioned “pat on the back” is simply good business hit their targets at a far higher rate than companies without formal recognition programs.

If your business doesn’t have one of these programs, today is a great day to start. Why? Because someone, somewhere decided the first Friday in March is National Employee Appreciation Day – and they are trying to make a big deal of it.

Meaning you, as a business owner, should make a big deal about it too. It’s the perfect day to do something fun, invigorating or even whacky to show your employees just what you think of them. It’s also a great way to kick off your recognition program, that’s not just limited to one day in March. Here are a few simple suggestions: 

1.  Food The ultimate icebreaker, start the day off by bringing in doughnuts, pastries or muffins. Hand out Tim’s gift cards for their morning drive coffee. Don’t stop there. Your people eat lunch too.  Have something catered brought in, or book a Subway delivery. Whatever it is, regardless of how simple, it will be appreciated – and that’s the whole idea isn’t it? 

2.  Happy Hour Order in a keg, go to Costo for a bunch of wings and pre-cooked apps, and for just a couple of hundred dollars, you have all the fixings for an in-house unwind session. Shut down work at 3:00 and those two hours of relaxed fun will pay dividends all year long.

3.  Half-Day With Pay If you want to bump it up a notch, close up shop at noon on Friday for all non-essential personnel. That half day of lost productivity will go a long way with your staff.

4.  Gift Cards.  Every guy knows that gift cards are a lifesaver at Christmas. They could be for National Employee Appreciation Day just as well. A quick trip to Shoppers Drug Mart will yield you dozens of options to choose from. iTunes, The Keg, whatever. For just a few dollars you can give your people a simple thank you gift.

5.  Get Personal  It may sound old school, but writing a personal note of thanks and appreciation, on actual paper with an actual pen, and giving it to staff will really hit home. Have personalized stationery made for your senior management and have them do the same. E-mail is a great way to communicate, but it’s hardly personal. A handwritten note certainly is.

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We here at NEWT are opting in for option 2. Tomorrow at 3pm, business is closed (except for customer service), and the bar will be open.

A keg of Guinness, wings, music and some laughs are on order. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?

Cheers.

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Why SIP Trunking is more than a three letter word

TleAbr

Today’s telecommunications industry offers a lot of options, making it hard, unless you are in the industry, to understand what your business needs. But what makes it worse is telco’s love of the acronym. No other major industry that I know of abbreviates more so those on the outside trying to look in are plagued with all these three, four, five and six letter combos. Think I’m kidding? Allacronyms.com lists a total of 41,381 telecom acronyms and abbreviations. It’s ridiculous.

The fact is, the telecom industry is shooting itself in the foot (SIITF) because so many great products are lost in this alphabet soup. Take “SIP Trunking”. It’s a buzzy telco term right now, yet few understand what it means or what it even does. So, here’s everything you need to know about Session Initiation Protocol Trunking, but were afraid to ask. And most of it is in actual English.

What is it?

SIP Trunking is a direct connection from your business to your telephone and internet service provider. With a SIP Trunk, you can use VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) without an IP-PSTN (!?!) gateway (That’s a device that allows communications between the Internet and the Public Switched Telephone Network). Calls can come in or out over traditional landlines, cell phones, or other VoIP networks.

Why all of that is good is, compared to traditional phone service it’s way simpler, less expensive and easier to set up and maintain.

She's a PBX

She’s a PBX

By the way, the “Trunk” part? That’s a telco industry term that originated back when phone calls were circuit-switched. It refers to the physical telephone line that connects switching equipment, like a PBX board, with the service provider.

You know? The ladies plugging those connections into those boards? A SIP Trunk performs a similar function, but it’s digital, not physical. The physical connection can be handled over a SIP trunk line or online via a virtual private network (VPN).

There are three basic components to a typical SIP trunk setup:

  • A private branch exchange (PBX) with a SIP Trunk – routes calls and internet traffic.
  • An enterprise edge device – a firewall that protects your network.
  • Your internet telephone service provider (ITSP) – ISP service with added telephone capability.

What does it do?

SIP Trunks are used for VoIP and internet traffic, including text messages, multimedia uploads and downloads, local and long-distance calling, video conferencing, and other real-time communications. Basically, it’s a lightning-fast, inexpensive reliable connection for what most businesses do online.

The advantages of SIP Trunking

SIP Trunking offers some significant advantages and cost savings over traditional telecom services. Setup is fast and easy and unlike traditional telephony, requires minimal equipment.

  • Cost savings. Switch from traditional telephone service to a SIP Trunking service with VoIP, cuts a businesses telephone bills substantially.
  • Simplicity. Sip Trunks are a direct connection to a provider, as opposed to routing over the public switched network. Organizations can eliminate the IP-PSTN gateway equipment and even in some cases, without a PBX. Maintenance and emergency service restoration is now no longer an organization’s problem, it’s up to the ISP. That also is a cost saving measure.
  • A one stop solution. SIP Trunking means there is a single IP network that handles all communication requirements meaning it is more efficient, less expensive, and easier to maintain.
  • Scalability. Tailoring bandwidth requirements means businesses can manage their data costs around peak periods and slow periods.
  • Multi-location functionality. Connecting your network with SIP Trunking makes it easir to interconnect data centers and remote office locations. Since SIP Trunks are virtual and not physical, you can connect offices or teams anywhere.

Now that you know everything about it, how do you get it?  From Fibernetics, NEWT’s parent company.  Fibernetics is an operating Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) regulated by the CRTC, that has direct connectivity into the heart of the incumbents fibre optic networks across Canada. Fibernetics provides SIP Trunks to businesses and organizations around the world. If you want to learn more, please contact our Fibernetics Wholesale Services division HERE.

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