Meraki Mobile Device Management | System Manager Edition

Examining the Meraki Fullstack (Part 5)

The Meraki Systems Manager is a MDM (Mobile Device Management) platform that allows for a central dashboard showing all device information, with the ability to apply policy, deploy, remove, and update software on all devices across your network with a few clicks. 

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ShoreTel Switches End-of-Life Update from Matrix Networks | Mitel Extends Timeline

In January 2017 ShoreTel announced End-of-Sale (EoS) and End-of-Life (EoL)  for various hardware and software. The highlights from the announcements were the EoL for all “Full Width” appliances, the EoL for the 14.2 software, and the EoS of the “Half Width” appliances. These were to happen on 12/31/18, 6/30/18 and 6/30/18 respectively. In the middle of these dates, Mitel acquired ShoreTel. In April of 2018 Mitel issued a revised EoS/EoL schedule: 

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Meraki Security Camera | MV Edition

Examining the Meraki Fullstack (Part 4)

Meraki was founded in 2006 by two MIT graduates with funding from Google and Sequoia Capital. The focus in Meraki's formative years was building a wireless solution that combined cloud-based ease of use and administration with analytics and reporting. 

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Meraki Firewalls | MX Edition

Examining the Meraki Fullstack (Part 3)

Meraki was founded in 2006 by two MIT graduates with funding from Google and Sequoia Capital. The focus in Meraki's formative years was building a wireless solution that combined cloud-based ease of use and administration with analytics and reporting. From the start, the Meraki Dashboard set the brand apart. The dashboard gave administrators a centralized portal to view and manage their wireless from anywhere they could access Internet. Incredible right!?!

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Meraki Switching | MS Edition

Examining the Meraki Fullstack (Part 2)

The Meraki MS Switches, powered by Cisco, provide the ultimate administrative experience with a combination of scalability, performance, and transparency. Meraki MS Switches also give administrators the freedom of zero-touch provisioning, as all appliances are managed from a web based interface. In this article we will focus on the Cisco Meraki Switching solution's approach to achieving high performance, security, and location analytics.

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Mitel Acquired by SearchLight

In 2017 Mitel purchased ShoreTel in an all-cash deal worth $430 Million. Nearly 9 months later and seemingly just as the dust has settled from the ShoreTel acquisition, Mitel enters into a definitive arrangement to be acquired by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners for $2.0 Billion! What does this mean for Mitel customers? What does this mean for ShoreTel customers and the Partner Community as a whole? This article explains.

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Meraki WiFi | MR Edition

Examining the Meraki Fullstack (Part 1)

Meraki was founded in 2006 by two MIT graduates with funding from Google and Sequoia Capital. The focus in Meraki's formative years was building a wireless solution that combined cloud-based ease of use and administration with analytics and reporting. In this article we will focus on the Cisco Meraki Wireless solution's approach to achieving high performance, security, and location analytics. 

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10 Tips Before you Invest in a New Phone System

Launching a new phone system for your organization is not a simple project and while there is no way to ensure no problems will arise, there are several ways to improve the likelihood of success. With over 30 years of experience, Matrix Networks has learned a thing or two about business telephone deployments. Here are 5 tips for a successful new phone system launch and 5 mistakes to avoid during the process:

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Cloud Phones, On-Premises & HYBRID Phone Systems Explained

The task of selecting a communication solution for your business can be quite daunting. With over 40 vendors in the industry today, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed. But no matter where you are on your exploration of implementing a new phone system for your organization, it is important to start with the basics and identify what type of system is right for you. Outlined below is a brief explanation of what the basic types of phone systems are and why someone might consider one over the other.

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Daily B.S. IT Managers put up with & how Meraki can help

The unsung heroes of the business world are IT professionals, who working tirelessly to mediate the relationship between mere mortal humans and business technology. After all, how many times can you tell grown adults to try rebooting before you lose your mind?

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5 Reasons Meraki is Winning

Meraki, a Cisco product, has grown leaps and bounds in the last 5 years, evolving from a niche wireless provider with an incredible set of management tools to a Cisco-owned full network stack product including network switching, next generation firewall, wireless LAN, mobile device management, security cameras, and phone system. The Meraki stack brings the incredible feature set offered by Cisco, but without the dependence on CLI (command line interface). Instead all management and reporting is offered in a single web-based portal. This combination of smart management with the most powerful network toolset in the world gives Meraki a significant edge that all the other major players are chasing. In this article we will expand on why Meraki is winning the battle for network infrastructure.

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Surviving Your New Phone System

So you hate your new phone system, huh? Well, you are not alone. As more and more businesses migrate from legacy technology to more modern, robust solutions, frustrations are bound to come up. Change is never easy. 

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2017 Tech in the Rearview

The biggest technology trends, mergers, and acquisitions from 2017.

Every year our technology ebbs and flows bringing new tools, trends and ideas to the forefront for business and consumers alike.  In 2017 many things changed for business technology, making it difficult for most of us to keep up.  Between mergers, acquisitions, software defined tech and net neutrality not a single month went by without disruptive changes.  So, without further ado, let's dive into to a few highlights of the last year! 

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Researching a New Phone System from Within

So here you are, 2018 is a right around the corner, and you still haven’t done anything about that ancient phone system of yours. You know, the same one you were sure you'd replace before Obama left the Whitehouse… I understand, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? Wrong! Let’s face it, your duck taped digital dinosaur is causing more trouble than it’s worth. Your IT team is spending entirely too much time troubleshooting; your employees are working with 90s technology and expected to perform at 2018 standards, and you fear the system could crash at any time.  

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RingCentral is NOT a Phone System!

RingCentral is so much more...

As a species, we desire the feeling of connection, to each other, to our teams and to our communities. Evolving technology is playing a larger and larger part in fulfilling this need beginning with letters and telegrams, and now evolving to real-time communications like phone calls, messaging and video chat. As a consumer today, we expect to be able to easily connect to our friends and loved ones at little to no cost. The surprising reality of this revolution in communications is that despite the opportunity for huge productivity gains enterprise solutions haven't kept up. The majority of businesses are just now scratching the surface of this amazing technology.

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ShoreTel Switches End-of-Sale | End-of-Life ~ What Does it all Mean?

In January of 2017 ShoreTel made several EoS (End of Sale) and EoL (End of Life) announcements. The announcements were for multiple hardware and software products.  The hardware products coming to EoL have been in EoS for more than 6 years.  ShoreTel’s track record of asking their clients to upgrade hardware has been incredible. The last EoL product from ShoreTel occurred more than 10 years ago, with ShoreTel’s original “Blue Appliances.”  Because most clients have never gone through this with ShoreTel, there is still a lot of confusion about exactly what this means and how to address it properly. The easiest way to begin dissecting this is to refer to this chart provided by ShoreTel:

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Better Internet Connectivity for Retail ~ Buyers Beware of Discount Solutions!

On the heels of our recently published article: 8 Reasons Retail is Migrating to Cloud Phones, Matrix Networks is taking a step back to discuss the value of building a modern network for retail. This article focuses on a network that is optimized for cloud voice migration and adoption. In this article you will learn the value of building a reliabile wide area network that improves bandwidth, enhances the user experience, while saving money and increasing sales! Enjoy.

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8 Reasons Retail is Migrating to Cloud Phones

Companies of all sizes are enjoying the benefits of Unified Communications platforms delivered from the cloud. The tools are fantastic for improving collaboration, integrating databases, providing Instant Messaging and much more. Unfortunately, these tools have limited application in a multi-site retail environment where call groups, parked keys, low cost solutions and simplicity still rule the day. This gap in vision has left many of our clients stuck on unreliable aging systems, with limited support and none of the UC features that could be useful, like SMS and large conference calls. In this article, we explore how Retail can take advantage of the new technology without breaking the bank.

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8x8 Phone System | A Clear Case for Business UCaaS!

Selecting a new cloud based phone system is complex, with many options, including regional providers, international pure cloud offerings and traditional phone system providers modified offerings.  These products have broad overlap, making it difficult to determine the unique value of the different platforms. Our job at Matrix Networks is to help our clients understand their communication needs and match them with the appropriate provider.  In this article we focus on 8x8, an industry leader consistently ranked at the top of Gartner's magic quadrant.

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Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres & Cloud Computing... a Case for the Public Cloud

Amazon officially launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006, marking a significant pivot in the traditional way that organizations set up their infrastructure. For AWS the plan was simple: tackle the market’s growing desire for self-service computing and take a healthy bite out of the 100 billion dollar industry associated with on-premise servers and other associated hardware purchases.

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Best Practices for Administering ShoreTel Hunt Groups - ShoreTel Hunt Groups Defined

If you read our previous article <Hunt Groups vs WorkGroups>,  you may have decided that a hunt group is the best choice for your company's call flow. To refresh your memory, Hunt Groups are primarily used for a group of receptionists or a specifically functioning team, for example, your HR team, where a group of people could conceivably handle any sort of call that comes in and the group has the specific need to handle multiple calls at once.

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Mitel Acquires ShoreTel | Effects on ShoreTel Customers | What's Next?

Early this morning Mitel announced an agreement to purchase ShoreTel in an all-cash deal worth about $430 million. The plan is to acquire all of ShoreTel's outstanding shares at a price of $7.50 per share, followed by a merger of the two companies. This merger will not require approval of ShoreTel's stockholders but will require a regulatory review before it can close. This is big news in the telecom industry, especially since the amount is $110 million less than what Mitel offered ShoreTel shareholders about three years ago. If approved, the merger will make "MoreTel" the 2nd largest player in the UCaaS market (Mitel + ShoreTel = MoreTel).

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Team Messaging Trumps Group Chat - The Next Generation of Office Collaboration

Team messaging applications, starting with Slack, have made a huge impact on the direction of Unified Communications. Since Slack launched in August of 2013 most businesses have adopted or experimented with the use of the product or a similar product. The surprising thing about this trend is that it is almost entirely driven and inspired by users, not managers or IT wizards. This is good news for managers who are looking for a way to improve teamwork: people actually want to do this!

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Are Premise-Based Business Phone Systems Dead?

If you have explored replacing your communications solution in the last 2 years you have likely faced the question, Hosted vs Premise delivery? If you believe the industry hype, the only real option is moving your phone system to a cloud solution. There can be substantial value in moving to a cloud phone system, but to assume it is the right solution for every business is foolish. In this article we discuss why some organizations might choose one over the other, and using ShoreTel as an example, we will showcase one solution that has adapted well to the new market shift.

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How to: ShoreTel Connect Desktop Client - 7 Training Videos for Your End Users

Over the past 6 years Unified Communications, or UC, is a buzzword that has swept over the business landscape like a rising tide through a reef pool, making its way into every nook and cranny and finding its place cross-departmentally in almost every industry. The trend is undeniable, and the value is real, but what good is UC if you don't know how to use it? 

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SD-WAN is Just One Piece of the Puzzle

Connectivity as a Service Explained ~ MCaaS vs. SD-WAN

SD-WAN, or Software-Defined Wide Area Network, uses new SDN technology to connect organizations’ networks – everything from retail locations to data centers, and beyond. Its ability to provide active-active failover is a huge draw to many organizations, as it provides arguably the first true zero-downtime WAN solution. There is no doubt that SD-WAN will become a more prevalent solution in the years to come, but the question now: what is the best way to go about implementing it for your organization? 

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SD-WAN Explained: The 3 Flavors of Software Defined WAN

Most of us have heard of SD-WAN and understand that it can have a huge impact on our networks and the way our businesses operate.  What is SD-WAN? SD-WAN is best defined as traffic monitoring and management from physical devices to the application itself, capitalizing on flexibility and agility. This intelligent routing is abstracted into a virtual overlay, enabling a secured pooling of both private and public connections allowing for automation, centralized network control and real-time management across multiple links. In other words, it is able to take multiple sources of internet, optimize them, control the network flow and provide seamless failover.  Sounds pretty great, right?

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3 Ways Skype for Business Improves Work and Changed MY LIFE!

*as long as you have Office 365...

Alright Already! Skype for Business gives me all the tools I need to be productive at work while allowing me the flexibility to remain connected on the road; it truly is a great communication solution. There, I said it. I’m finally ready to admit it…

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Best Practices for ShoreTel Workgroups

A lot of thought needs to go into your call flow configuration to ensure a smooth process for your clients as well as making sure the calls get to the right person within your organization. With this article I will focus mainly on the best practices for setting up your Workgroups.

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The 3 Best Ways to Use Unified Communications (UC)

There are right ways and wrong ways to use Unified Communications (UC). The vast majority of companies and employees underutilize their UC platform in terms of how it can increase productivity. UC platforms such as ShoreTel, RingCentral and 8x8 are designed to optimize business processes. Do you really feel more efficient since you installed that application on your computer or mobile device? To truly get your money’s worth out of your communications platform, and experience all the benefits that were promised pre-sale, you need some pointers on how to use UC to work smarter, work faster, and work together. The ideas below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to functionality; they are written primarily to spark your creativity in bringing out the best in your UC platform.

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