March 1, 2010

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A Busy Week for Managed Services: Welcome Duet Hosted Voice

Posted By Jayne Swystun

If you haven’t had a chance to read Michael Francois’ last post, now is a good time because his insights are closely related to today’s Managed Services workshop at Channel Partners Conference in Las Vegas. MegaPath’s Bernie McGroder, who heads our sales engineering team, will be participating on the panel “Becoming an MSP: Is Managed Services Right for You?” He’ll be in good company with industry leaders from Nemertes Research and CompTIA, among others. If you’re at the show today in Vegas, definitely plan to join Bernie at 2:30 pm.

On a daily basis Bernie and his team of sales engineers work closely with customers to help them identify the most pressing issues in IT operations and service delivery for the companies they support; and of course, to counsel those teams on the value that a dedicated outside team of voice, data, and security network experts can provide as a managed services partner. Bernie will be tackling the subject of earned and learned experience when he covers what becoming an MSP entails—from building and staffing a 24/7 NOC, to developing a service portfolio, to building processes and transitioning customers to the new delivery platform. In a recent conversation with an engineer from Bernie’s team, he noted “there really isn’t a customer network problem or situation we haven’t seen before. Our customers seem to appreciate all the experience we draw from, and our ability to meet their issue where it’s at, with the right advice.”

It’s this collective knowledge base and the experience gained from running 24 / 7 / 365 NOCs that Michael Francois talked about in his insights on MegaPath’s successful certification process to achieve Cisco Master Managed Services Provider status. There may be a long list of MSPs in North America, but we’re honored to be part of this elite group of Cisco MSP partners. Few MSPs can claim their expertise across voice, data, and secure network operations. In addition to NOCs, MegaPath runs a Secure Operations Center. Back in a June 2009 post we noted the success our SOC team has had in supporting security customers by surpassing a 300,000 user milestone on our SSL platform, and more than 3.5 billion sessions. We’re seeing much demand for SSL VPN services, and just last month we passed another record.

Now that brings me to voice, which is a significant and growing part of MegaPath’s business. Our Connecticut-based voice operations team has been successfully providing managed Duet(SM) integrated voice and data services to customers and addressing 3 varieties – analog, PRI, and SIP trunking — for several years. Starting today MegaPath is introducing Duet Hosted Voice, a new hosted service solution addition to the Duet product family. We’re unquestionably excited about it, because even though MegaPath has been providing cloud-powered calling before the cloud was cool; many customers have been asking for a hosted VoIP service. For a sneak peek of what’s really special about Duet Hosted, stop by Booth 1301 at the Channel Partners show. You can also get a deeper dive into Duet Hosted by attending MegaPath University (also at Channel Partners in Room Islander B). The sessions are FREE, just register online for tomorrow’s courses.

Finally, since I’m on the subject of hosted voice, this is a great time to welcome a new voice for voice to Connectivity. Tomorrow you’ll get a chance to meet Diane Giuffre who has been knee-deep in getting Duet Hosted ready for our customers. Remember, if you’re in Vegas for Channel Partners, don’t miss Bernie McGroder’s session today or MegaPath University tomorrow!

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