SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Never Again

With the sting of business disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy a not-so-distant memory, companies are turning to cloud-based communication platforms to ensure 100% uptime

NEW YORK, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Nearly 7 months ago, when much of New York was plunged into darkness, chaos and despair by the assault of Super Storm Sandy, the concern for human safety was first and foremost.  But for business owners, concern for the survival of their business was a close second.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130710/CG44961)

Besides the physical devastation caused by Sandy, the impact of double-digit days with no power meant that most companies were suddenly cut off from all communications with their customers, employees and vendors.  But not so for Flat World Knowledge, a New York-based EdTech company that is disrupting textbook publishing while lowering the cost of education and improving student outcomes.

"We were quite fortunate to have no downtime at all during Hurricane Sandy," says Dan Brandt, VP of Technology at Flat World Knowledge.  "Our office was flooded and did not have power but we were able to have calls automatically forwarded to our cells, with all the features and functionality of our desk phones, using a cloud-based Unified Communication platform called FlexOffice™.  We originally contracted for the service in order to improve call quality and reliability, but that benefit pales in comparison to business and financial losses we avoided by not being "down" for two weeks, like other companies."

FlexOffice™ is a comprehensive suite of technology solutions provided by Technology Services Provider, brightstack®.  By leveraging the reach of the Cloud and the benefits of equipment in a customer's office, brightstack®'s  Unified Communication  platform provides a "best-of-both-worlds" solution that offers financial as well as business continuity advantages previously not available.

The brightstack® FlexOffice ™ Unified Communications suite leverages the single image design of ShoreTel, one of the leaders in the telecommunications industry integrating voice, video, IM, & voicemail in one easy-to-use system with no single point of failure. 

This approach allows customers to bring their own bandwidth, subscribe to private lines, or a combination of both.  Since ShoreTel's ShoreGear switches will reside at the customer's premise, as well as the cloud-based FlexOffice location, the system will be highly survivable, reliable and provide outstanding voice quality.  FlexOffice™ includes built-in business continuity capabilities:  If a customer's has a failure at a site, the mobility features of the solution will provide users with full system functionality from remote locations using any device they choose.

The brightstack® FlexOffice™ Unified Communications offerings include a Cloud-based solution providing unlimited local and long distance dial plans.  The solution also leverages, on a subscription basis, all the features of the ShoreTel platform including Communicator, Workgroups, Enterprise Contact Center and Mobility.  Other offerings include the hosting of a ShoreTel site, with trunking, at a FlexOffice™ facility to act as an additional site on the ShoreTel single image.  brightstack® FlexOffice™ can also deliver Internet-based SIP Trunks to a ShoreTel system at a customer premise and failover to the FlexOffice™ location should an outage occur at the customer premise.

"brightstack® FlexOffice™ Unified Communications is the only hosted ShoreTel platform which had 100% uptime during Hurricane Sandy and uses the award-winning ShoreTel phones," says Lou Person, President of brightstack®.  He continues, "Through FlexOffice™ we provide customers with choice.  They can leverage the financial benefits of the Cloud, including the inherent rental model which preserves balance sheet assets such as cash and doesn't require loans on the balance sheet, while providing business continuity benefits of being Cloud hosted.  Since our monthly fees include equipment on premise, we can provide higher degrees of reliability and better voice quality."

Customers can purchase the phones or rent them as part of the monthly program.  brightstack® FlexOffice™ Unified Communications is ideal for single locations of 10 or more workers or hundreds of users spanning multiple locations. 

FlexOffice™ is covered by brightstack's Happiness Guarantee.  "We are so confident in our ability to make our customers happy that we do not need to lock them into long-term contracts.  Our solution is geared towards organizations who want a high touch implementation; we don't just ship routers and phones to customers.  We are involved in all aspects of the deployment, especially in high volume Contact Center environments," says Person. 

About brightstack® FlexOffice™

brightstack® FlexOffice™ is the technology solution which leverages the reach of the Cloud and the benefits of equipment in a customer's office. During Hurricane Sandy, FlexOffice customers had 100% uptime. brightstack®'s courteous and friendly help desk engineers assist customers either remotely or onsite. brightstack® is so confident in its services that they offer a Happiness Guarantee, which is central to the company's culture.

For more information, visit www.theflexoffice.com.

Media Contact: Lou Person, brightstack Technologies, 212-812-9450, [email protected] 

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SOURCE brightstack® FlexOffice™

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