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Article by ATI Partner William Rubio, Chief Revenue Officer – CallTower

A radical shift in business communication has begun. An industry once dominated by a desk phone is being reinvented. Business communication tools are evolving from one-size-attempts-to-fit-all products into tailor-made solutions for a dynamic workstyle. And why not? The solutions entering the market are designed for flexibility and efficiency and because they work better – they cost less. Today, it’s not a choice of when you are going to adopt Unified Communication (UC) solution, it’s a question of which solution works best for your business.


Here’s a quick peek at the market outlook for 2019 and beyond:


• Global UCaaS Market growing from $17.35B in 2016 to $31.3B in 2021 (source)
• Global UC Market size to reach $143.49B by 2024, with a CAGR of 16.8% (source)
• Microsoft and Cisco will take 68% of the enterprise UC Market (Wainhouse Research)


Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the solutions that will define 2019:


Microsoft Teams Calling Plans and Direct Routing


Teams is Microsoft’s next step in unified communication solutions and businesses will be making the big transition from Skype for Business to Teams in 2019. Teams can easily collaborate on files with built-in Office 365 apps and add-in Microsoft apps and third-party services to keep team members efficient. Microsoft Teams provides end-to-end security, administrative control, and compliance. However, Teams doesn’t offer contact center solutions and additional key integrations that many businesses will need in their UC environment. These are left to Microsoft Gold Partners, like CallTower, to fill in the gaps.


CallTower’s Microsoft Teams solution enables full teamwork with group chat, online meetings, calling, and web conferencing, plus implementation, training and support. As a native Microsoft voice enabled solution, CallTower’s Skype for Business solution delivers key integrations like contact center and interoperability with Cisco, plus much more. With Skype for Business 2019, MAC users and PC users will have the added benefit of the same client interface and functionality.


Customers looking to move to Teams will want to utilize CallTower’s Microsoft Teams Calling Plans with Direct Routing. Direct Routing is a Microsoft Teams Phone System that enables customers to bring their current voice serves into the Microsoft Cloud. Direct Routing ensures the ability to leverage a provider’s preferred rates and unlocks the full potential of the system.


CT Cloud Boost


In 2019, access to the cloud is too important to rely on a single vulnerable path. Organizations shouldn’t have to worry about Internet connections, they need their networks optimized for UC solutions. CT Cloud Boost provides the intelligence and performance networks should have in the modern workplace. It’s an easy-to-use solution that utilizes the multiple providers of your UC systems and enhances your Internet experience.


With UC Solutions, some organizations find recurring network issues affecting call quality and internet speed, limiting the benefits of their solution. Often, the ISP network is the issue. CallTower can establish a round of communication to monitor internet reliability and facilitate the installation of a CT Cloud Boost solution suited to your needs.


CT Cloud Boost delivers by connecting data centers directly to the domestic network backbone and POPs of CT Cloud Boost carriers. Customer traffic hops on at the closest POP, delivering a fully redundant architecture. This easy-to-install connection makes CT Cloud Boost quick and inexpensive to implement and optimizes internet performance and uptime – perfect for unlocking the potential of an organization’s UCaaS solutions.


When this solution is tailored to the needs of an organization, connectivity issues will be resolved and UCaaS solutions function at peak capacity. Without these issues, the power of UC can boost both internal and external communication to new heights to achieve strategic goals.

Article by ATI Partner William Rubio, Chief Revenue Officer – CallTower

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Article by ATI partner Michelle Burrows, CMO – Serenova

Forrester Research found that revenue can increase significantly when contact center index scores rise. According to the research, a 10-percentage-point improvement in contact center can translate into more than a million dollars in increased revenue. On the other hand, contact center missteps mean risking damage to reputation and bottom line. As organizations learn that reality the hard way, it leaves those getting it right at an advantage. Based on the article, 3 Customer Experience Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again, here are three common CX pitfalls. 

MISTAKE ONE: Failing to Connect Metrics

Some contact centers get so caught up in measuring performance that it negatively impacts contact center. Metrics like average handle time (AHT) are important measures of productivity, but they become problematic if not considered with an eye toward contact center. For example, if your customer’s first contact resolution (FCR) metric declines in line with AHT, the contact center effect is negative. Rather than track efficiency and customer satisfaction separately, contact centers should consider them together. DMG Consulting recommends identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure customer satisfaction, agent effectiveness and agent productivity. You can deliver unique value to your customers by encouraging them to rethink their metrics and ensure their data directly measures and improves contact center.

MISTAKE TWO: Multi-channel Instead of Omnichannel

Consumers expect to interact with brands seamlessly across multiple channels, including web chat, click-to-call, SMS and social messaging. However, according to Nemertes Research, fewer than half the organizations it studied support these channels. In the rush to connect across channels, many organizations are not integrating interactions into seamless, omnichannel experiences. The result is customer frustration when agents lack the information and context to effectively deliver optimal service and resolution.

By offering your customers a fully integrated omnichannel contact center solution rather than one that simply handles multiple channels, they can give their customers a consistently outstanding experience regardless of channel—and can even pivot between channels while keeping that consistent experience.

MISTAKE THREE: Not Simplifying Agent Experience

How are you helping your customers enable agents to handle channel proliferation? If agents are struggling with multiple systems that don’t connect, the effect on contact center is negative. If critical contact center components are not integrated, agents must switch between multiple screens and applications to find customer data. This negatively impacts metrics such as AHT and can increase customers’ frustration over wait time.

A commitment to contact center means your customers also must elevate the agent experience. A smart approach is to empower agents to resolve problems quickly by integrating the contact center solution with the agent’s CRM. This means agents can easily drill down for details across all channels. Connecting to complete customer interaction data eliminates switching between applications while improving efficiency and delivering winning contact center.

Sign up for a no obligation Contact Center review today.

Article by ATI partner Michelle Burrows, CMO – Serenova

Hosting a contact center with ATI eliminates the possibility of your on-site call center servers failing because the contact center would be hosted in multiple geographically redundant secure data centers. Speaking of servers, putting yours in the cloud frees up your IT staff to work on other projects and eliminates the cost for replacing and maintaining; ATI will take care of all that for your company. What if your contact center has peak months? Not a problem with a cloud solution contact center – you can scale up and down with ease, no need to buy all that equipment up front.

Sign up for a Contact Center cloud analysis today!

Article by ATI Partner Bobby Beckmann, Chief Technology Officer – Lifesize

The presence and sheer simplicity of video in the consumer mainstream has fundamentally changed video in the workplace. People demand the same user experience from workplace technologies as they get from their personal technologies. So how does society’s progress toward smarter, faster and more scalable collaboration solutions redefine the future of video in the workplace, and what trends can we expect to permeate the way we work?

Five years ago, cloud architecture emerged as the biggest industry disruptor since the conception of HD. Today, companies offering a cloud-based video solution are taking advantage of new technologies to completely transform the way teams communicate. Here are a few technology trends shaping the future of video conferencing and leading to increasing levels of meeting productivity for everyone:

1. Office culture is transitioning to video-first
The availability of a seamless video communication culture in the workplace is now expected by the next-generation workforce. Video-first organizational cultures are finding new levels of competitive advantage with increased productivity, collaboration and employee engagement.

2. Meeting room technologies are converging
Another big trend we see taking over our everyday workflow is the consolidation of collaboration tools in the workplace. With the average business juggling 4.4 different collaboration technologies (audio, video, screen sharing, chat …) just to stay connected inside and outside of the meeting room, silo-style ways of working are slowly becoming a thing of the past. As meeting technologies converge, the end user experience will become even more seamless, making it easier to focus on the meeting at hand.

3. The rise of AI and machine learning
Features like voice recognition, echo cancellation and AI bot moderators are already making huge strides and disrupting how we work for the better. Not only is the rise of AI and machine learning freeing up resources, it’s also helping simplify the way we communicate. On the administration side, meeting-habit data and machine learning can do so much in aiding the monitoring of networks and endpoints for enhanced reliability and performance.

At Lifesize, we not only understand the power of connecting people to make the workplace great — we are also trailblazers in the video conferencing and collaboration industry. We were the first to introduce HD more than a decade ago, and we continue to pioneer the future of video communication to strengthen face-to-face relationships. Our app for desktop, mobile and browser delivers high quality video that you can depend on, and our industry-leading conference room camera systems provide the very best quality video and content in every sized meeting space.

Article by ATI Partner Bobby Beckmann, Chief Technology Officer – Lifesize

Learn more about the Lifesize cloud here

By ATI Partner Nour Addine Ayyoub, CEO and Founder – ZaiLab

As organizations strive to differentiate themselves from competitors, many are investing heavily in developing a stellar, unified customer experience (CX) across all touchpoints and channels. And rightfully so, with research from the Tempkin Group finding that 86 percent of consumers were likely to make a repeat purchase from a company if they received great CX, while only 13 percent would return if CX was poor.

Customers are increasingly at the forefront of business decision making, and subsequently organizations are prioritizing the cultivation of positive brand experiences for every customer interaction, regardless of channel (according to Salesforce, 75 percent of people expect a consistent experience across all channels). While many are solely focused on online and in-person channels, companies should also include contact centers in their CX strategies, given that the phone is the customer service channel of choice in the US according to Microsoft’s 2017 report on the state of global customer service.

With this in mind, we wanted to examine the following trends in the contact center industry, and how brands can implement effective CX strategies by leveraging these tools and considerations.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Providing positive CX at every touchpoint relies heavily on AI and machine learning capabilities. On the contact center front, it can be used to route calls to the appropriate agent most likely to provide the best outcome based on past experiences, customer satisfaction scores and interaction data. It can also be used to prioritize calls based on business value and agent-customer compatibility. Given the projected growth of contact centers (5 -10 percent in the next year according to Forrester), organizations will continue to rely on AI/ML to keep contact centers sustainable.

Real time speech analytics: Effectively understanding customer sentiment and intent is a difficult task for brands (especially when interactions are over the phone) but it plays a significant role in cultivating customer loyalty. Voice analytics can empower organizations to read between the lines and extract insights from audio that would have otherwise been missed – enabling companies to predict and automate interactions, which can then be used to inform customer centric business decisions.

Consumption based pricing model: Traditionally, contact center solutions have been expensive, clunky and outdated. In order to truly strengthen CX, companies should adopt innovative tools that allow customers to pay for only what they use, rather than slapping them with a one-size fits all agreement. A consumption based model that gives customers access to all features, while only charging for what’s used, democratizes the technology for companies of all sizes and budgets.

As organizations finesse CX strategies, it’ll be important for them to look for contact center solutions like ZaiLab that facilitate positive experiences through technical advancements and flexible pricing models.

By ATI Partner Nour Addine Ayyoub, CEO and Founder – ZaiLab

Schedule a CCaaS customer experience review today.


The Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions is out!

StarLeaf is one of 13 vendors to make it into the MQ. We believe this is a great achievement particularly as Gartner uses several inclusion and evaluation criteria for a vendor’s “Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision”.

We see their inclusion as a testament to our customers’ endorsement of the StarLeaf experience. Ease-of-use and simple management of our premium meeting room solutions, coupled with our exceptional quality of service, is fueling the adoption of StarLeaf across the enterprise.

As of September 25, 2018, StarLeaf has received a 4.7 out of 5 rating for its meeting solutions platform on Gartner Peer Insights. In May 2018, an Assistant VP, MIS said, “Great solution, worked out of the box. Only solution tested that worked in the lab without any configuration”, and in July 2018, an IT Architect and Change Manager said, “Deployment has been very easy to work, user experience is very good, administration of the product is very simple.”

StarLeaf helps businesses around the globe increase productivity, accelerate decision-making and achieve better results, so that staff spend less time in meetings and more time focused on the business.

If you would like to learn more about StarLeaf in action please check this out.


Network Services, UCaaS, Voice

The Power of SD-WAN with MPLS and UCaaS


Demand for SD-WAN continues to grow. Fueled by organizations need for greater bandwidth, increased usage of cloud-based applications and continued trend of remote workforces. End-users needs are changing network traffic patterns and, in turn, require a more efficient connectivity solution that offers a sophisticated foundation for productivity, voice, and data quality.


IT leaders are realizing that the technology doesn’t need to replace MPLS or other connectivity solutions. Instead, SD-WAN complements them and enhances network functionalities, providing transparency and a better end-user experience. When implementing SD-WAN, your existing network does not go away, but instead becomes the underlay technology. MPLS, for example, is still needed for guaranteed QoS end-to-end, particularly for verticals that require secure and compliant transmissions of data.


SD-WAN is a perfect match for latency sensitive voice and video applications, such as UCaaS. SD-WAN can improve voice quality, reducing issues around packet loss, jitter, etc. that make for a poor user experience. For example, a voice application can run on one internet connection and be failed over to another in the event there’s an issue, maintaining the voice session, without the user being impacted.

No Cost. No Obligation. SD-WAN Assessment. Sign Up Today.

SD-WAN should be paired with MPLS when:

• You have an existing MPLS network with a diverse and growing portfolio of applications. SD-WAN would allow for traffic segmentation of critical applications to MPLS while offloading less important traffic such as web browsing to best effort cable circuits.
• You do not have auto-failover. SD-WAN architecture is inherently designed to support auto failover because it accepts multiple WAN links, drastically reducing failover time from MPLS to MPLS or public IP.
• You want visibility into the applications running across the network, as well as control of the paths they can/cannot take.
• You have remote branches with limited IT staff. SD-WAN enables IT staff to manage routing functionality and traffic prioritization at all sites from one web portal.
• You have less intelligent IT systems at the branch and do not want to pay for MPLS bandwidth for non-critical traffic.

SD-WAN should be paired with UCaaS when:

• You do not have a solution in place to route traffic and apply priority for voice solutions. SD-WAN routes traffic via business policies to enhance performance, reliability and customer/user experience.
• You are using two different providers for network and voice. SD-WAN encrypts users traffic, further protecting information transmitted.
• You have multiple locations using voice and growing. SD-WAN easily scales, so user can quickly add cloud-based services.
• You are looking for cost-effective, SD-WAN functionalities for its voice solutions. SD-WAN delivers voice and video apps using any cost-effective, readily available transport method (Cable, DSL, etc.)



CIO’s looking for ways to help employees stay connected and collaborate while working in different locations around the globe are faced with a complex variety of devices, applications, and collaboration technologies.  While employees have access to many of these technologies on their personal devices, the traditional barriers of complexity and costs have limited deployment of business-class solutions to larger enterprises.

Enter unified cloud communications. A cloud communications solution offers businesses a unified telecommunications service that leverages newfound reliability and advanced technology, without the cost and complexity associated with larger enterprise solutions.

But not all unified communications solutions are created equal.

With a focus on providing maximum benefit with minimum impact on your company, 8×8 has built a single Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform that enhances the customer experience by harmonizing the employee experience. Here’s how the platform optimizes the communications experience:

  1. Offloads complexities to the cloud

Bringing voice, collaboration tools, contact center and real-time analytics to the cloud removes the need to purchase, provision, manage and maintain on-premise equipment. It removes the expense of expert administrators, means fewer vendors, fewer bills and fewer apps, while connecting employees from across the street to around the globe, 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform makes it easier to meet customer needs and exceed their expectations.

  1. One phone number, multiple devices

In today’s communications-drenched work environment, both customers and employees demand immediate access via their preferred communication device. Problem is, switching between different devices leaves data behind and requires different passwords, protocols and too many apps and configurations to manage.

With 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center solution, your employees and customers can continue to engage one another using their preferred devices, but on a single, unified platform that allows a streamlined, consistent experience. Chat, mobile phones, softphones, desktop phones, instant messages and video chat are integrated from the ground up on one platform, removing the siloes that many businesses are currently contending with as they struggle to keep up with the changing landscape of communications.

  1. 21st Century collaboration capabilities

With offices in multiple locations where employees can tap resources well beyond their physical locations, having a cloud-built unified communications platform that can integrate multiple devices into one number and offer advanced collaboration is critical. 8×8’s built-in collaboration allows for an extended reach to a broader pool of experts, improved decision making, and more engaged employees. This new dimension of business communications dials in productivity while creating a richer experience for employees and clients, allowing for more innovation and competitiveness, regardless of the size of business or the market you’re in.

In fact, that’s why 8×8 has spent the past half decade building and acquiring technology across two previously separate categories: unified communications and contact center solutions.  It is by no stroke of coincidence that 8×8 offers products that specifically enable organizations to leverage their employees, experts and data to innovate and serve customers in ways that build true business value.

  1. Better Call Quality

8×8’s communications-as-a-service model affords companies with enhanced call quality on a supremely stable and reliable communications platform. By including seamless failover capability that requires no additional capital, rack space or servers to maintain, they’re able to deliver maximum communications uptime for clients. Where traditional infrastructure and premise-based systems can be configured for disaster recovery, this process can be complex and riddled with missteps that mean when disaster strikes, the phone systems take hours or days to recover. 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center assures maximum availability and rapid disaster recovery without the bottlenecks and single-points of failure that weigh down premise-based legacy systems, so your business can stay connected no matter what happens.

Contact our specialists to learn how 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center Platform can enrich the employee experience and deliver an exceptionally positive customer experience.



81% of CIOs believe IT is entering a new era of customer-driven initiatives. Businesses are increasingly embracing cloud communications to craft better customer experiences. Some IT executives, failing to recognize the opportunities cloud solutions can bring to their businesses, are reluctant to adopt this new communications platform. Savvy CIOs view it as a key enabler of a more agile, connected employee and customer experience. They recognize that providing employees with a more aligned communications platform will empower them to deliver a superior experience for customers. As with any new technology, there are several misconceptions and questions to consider.


These 8 most asked questions will shed some light on how transformative cloud communications can be for your business:


  1. Is it cost-effective? Cloud is more agile and requires less infrastructure than its on-premises counterpart. You only pay for what you use, allowing most companies to reap the benefits of savings while gaining in highly desirable collaboration, mobility and customer engagement features for employees.
  2. Is cloud right for my size business? Not all cloud solutions offer the robust capabilities and reliable platform to work as a successful communications model for companies. 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform supports 50,000 global businesses of all sizes, with a cloud solution that can grow with you, easily scaling up or down without compromising features.
  3. How reliable is a cloud solution? Again, this depends on the solution you deploy, but cloud solutions are far more reliable than on-site hosted phone systems. 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform can increase your uptime significantly. Their agreements include a money-backed guarantee of 99.99% uptime. Can your PBX provider offer the same?
  4. Will I get global call capabilities? With 15 redundant data centers distributed across the globe, 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform offers international local, toll-free and local number transfer services in over 80 countries. Plus, 8×8’s patented geo-routing algorithm delivers the highest call quality regardless of where the caller is in the world.
  5. How accessible is it? If it is a complete cloud communications solution, the solution delivers the full breadth of UC and contact center capabilities with the flexibility to add capabilities and users as needed. This includes contact centers and calling platforms. With a cloud communications system from 8×8 everything is accessible anytime, anywhere from any device.
  6. Can it do what my phone does now? Nobody wants you to give up capabilities. A cloud communications solution from 8×8 offers you the full breadth of capabilities you depend on today including voice, video, messaging, meetings and customer engagement tools to improve productivity and revenues for your company.
  7. Is a cloud solution secure and compliant with government regulations? It should be! 8×8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform is backed with industry-leading security and compliance standards and has passed third-party audits for compliance with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FISMA and other U.S. regulations.
  8. How do you pay for cloud? Cloud solutions are often more accessible to businesses of any size because instead of a capital outlay, they can be paid for monthly as an operating expense. 8×8‘s flexible mix of service packages provide more cost-effective solutions, while also reducing the amount of specialized IT skills and resources required to make the phones work.

Not all cloud communications solutions are created equal. A single Cloud Communications and Contact Center solution from 8×8 offers companies ONE platform that aligns and engages on all channels, creating a harmonized platform that empowers employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences.


Everyone’s talking about cloud solutions. Get the facts first. Contact us to learn more.


Sometimes, we need to destroy the status quo to create a new model of engagement. Sometimes, the market does that for us and that can be even scarier. Change is always scary and overwhelming, especially when it comes to technology. But it is inevitable.

The Cloud is changing the way businesses communicate.  Businesses have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this major shift to offer a secure, seamless communications experience that is simpler to deploy and more intuitive to use.  If you want to play the game, the siloed, broken communications of yesterday aren’t going to cut it any longer.

Regardless of what business you’re in, your customer’s experience is your top priority. Customers increasingly prefer human interaction over digital communications channels, positioning your communications systems as a key enabler for delivering superior customer experience. Cloud communications offers your company a unique opportunity to craft the ideal customer experience, creating a competitive advantage few companies have thought to seize upon. With shifting demands and perceptions, it comes down to the company that’s intrepid enough to pull the trigger first.

Here are a few mindsets that help your organization prioritize customer experience:

Every department is a service department

In today’s highly competitive market, customer loyalty is no longer entrenched as part of our social culture. In fact, 90% of customers today feel that businesses are too slow and unresponsive. 59% of those customers will try your competitor for a better experience, without hesitation. Legacy, premises-based phone systems offer siloed, fractured and inconsistent communications that reinforce breakdowns in employee and customer interactions and slow your ability to provide service. In short, they simply can’t compete with the cloud’s ability to seamlessly integrate communications systems with business applications and processes. The implication is businesses that more quickly adapt to this modern approach to communications will be the clear winner among customers.

Every conversation is an opportunity

Every conversation customers have with your employees provide an opportunity to deliver superior customer service. 20th century PBX systems were never designed to support the remote, distributed workforce of the 21st century. Employees increasingly demand the ability to work flexible schedules from the location of their choosing, across multiple devices. According to a 2015 Citrix and Forrester study in 2015, 85% of employees use a mobile device for work. And yet most traditional PBX systems, with their hardwired infrastructures, can’t easily accommodate needs of this increasingly wireless, mobile workforce.  When employees use tools like personal laptops, mobile devices, Google Hangouts, Skype and Facetime to accomplish this, information leaves company networks to unsecure devices, and collaboration becomes more difficult.   

Failure is not an option

Current business communications options, like traditional PBX phone systems, have many shortcomings. One of the most significant is the cost and complexity of ensuring your phones are one of the first services restored after any adverse event. While it is possible to develop an effective disaster recovery solution with a premises-based solution, it is not as seamless and cost-effective as a cloud solution. Moving to cloud-based business communications is a painless way to ensure a disaster doesn’t leave your phones down for hours or – worse yet – days.

New isn’t always better. However, when sweeping technology changes impact the expectations of customers, businesses must keep up. If the only thing holding you back is a fear of change, consider the risks and benefits. What would more accessible employees mean for your business? How could enhanced collaboration improve time to market? What would a 99.99% uptime mean for your profitability? The fact is you must leverage your communications effectively, if you want to remain competitive.

Don’t fear change. Embrace it. Contact ATI [email protected] to find out how we can help you leverage better communications for the 21st century.