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Carolina Digital Awarded Montgomery Community College Contract for New VoIP Phone System

Hosted telecommunications firm Carolina Digital announced that it has been awarded a contract by Montgomery Community College to install a state-of-the-art hosted VoIP phone system at the school’s campus in Troy, North Carolina.

Carolina Digital was selected by Montgomery Community College’s leadership team per a competitive and formal bidding process that lasted several months, and involved multiple vendors. Ultimately, the decision to go with Carolina Digital was based on a combination of the company’s technical expertise, capacity, service commitment, quality assurance, reputation and cost-effectiveness. The new hosted phone system includes more than 100 certified VoIP-based phones, and implementation is expected to be complete by mid-December.

“We recently made upgrading our phone system technology a top priority,” commented Cindy Ellison, Dean of Technology and Resources at Montgomery Community College. “With Carolina Digital, we are saving approximately 80 percent compared to the cost of upgrading our old system, while accessing a range of new and advanced calling features that our team is excited about using, such as voicemail to email. We are also very impressed by the crisp and clear audio quality, and the fact that there is no added support or maintenance burden for our IT team is a significant advantage.”

“Our relationship Montgomery Community College started more than six months ago when Cindy reached out and asked questions about our solutions and products,” commented Carolina Digital’s CEO Nicky Smith. “We were pleased to be invited to participate in the competitive bidding process, and are looking forward to being a long-term strategic partner to help the school maximize their ROI in the years ahead.”

Added Smith: “Many community colleges around the country are fed up dealing with legacy telephone companies and PBX hardware vendors, which charge exorbitant fees and lack personalized customer support. That is a clear contrast to our team of in-house experts, who pride themselves on delivering personalized, responsive service. What’s more, we can just as effectively communicate with technical experts and specialists, as we can with executives and end users. To us, world-class support and service isn’t an add-on to what we do. It’s built into our DNA, and it makes all the difference to our customers.”

For additional information regarding Carolina Digital, visit http://carolinadigital.net or email inquiry(at)carolinadigital(dot)net.

About Carolina Digital

Carolina Digital is a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provides products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony, while reducing their overall cost. The company’s offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment, and many user-friendly packages – from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with existing landlines, cell phones or VoIP phones.

Inteliquent Seeking to Raise Profile

Inteliquent connects millions of phone calls and text messages from U.S. telecom companies like AT&T and Sprint, as well as next-generation communication providers like app developers. It’s a critical role in how people around the world connect each day, but few people know its services exist.

The company’s CEO Matt Carter is looking to change that. ‘We are seeing an explosion of text messaging growth among the population and what these companies are looking for is an alternative network to help them to accommodate all that growth – and that is where we come in,’ said Carter. Last week, Inteliquent said it generated revenue of $90.8 million in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 71.6%, or $37.9 million, from $52.9 million of revenue in the second quarter of 2015. The growth was primarily driven by an increase in minutes of use, as well as an increase in the average rate per minute. The company said its second quarter 2016 net income of $9 million compared to $10.0 million in second quarter of 2015, while its adjusted EBITDA of $19.2 million in second quarter 2016 compared to $21.0 million in second quarter 2015. Minutes of use increased 55.8% to 53.9 billion minutes in the second quarter of 2016, compared to 34.6 billion minutes in the second quarter of 2015. The average rate per minute for the second quarter of 2016 was $0.00168, an increase of 9.8%, compared to $0.00153 for the second quarter of 2015. Inteliquent has a fortress balance sheet with zero debt, $120 million of cash and plenty of borrowing capacity. Carter said the cash position serves a number of purposes including M&A and a dividend. ‘Our cash position helps us win major deals with customers,’ said Carter. ‘If a customer wants to outsource a major part of their network services to us, they can be reassured that they are working with a company that will be around tomorrow.’

Carolina Digital Uses Change Management Expertise to Ensure Successful Hosted VoIP Phone System Implementation for Augusta County Government Center

Augusta County, Virginia

Carolina Digital, which has more than 15 years of experience serving and solving the communication needs of public sector organizations, credits its change management expertise for successfully completing a major hosted VoIP phone system implementation for the Augusta County Government Center, located in Verona, VA.

The implementation, which took several weeks to complete and was part of a procurement process that began in 2015, involved several Augusta County departments and hundreds of employees — including many of whom had never used hosted VoIP phone system technology, hardware or features before.

“Even though shifting from a traditional phone system to hosted VoIP was clearly a positive decision for our organization, change in itself can be stressful and scary for some people,” commented Andy Wells, Director of Augusta County Parks & Recreation, whose department was one of several included in the multi-phase implementation. “But that’s where Carolina Digital truly rose to the occasion. Their team spent a great deal of time patiently and thoroughly answering our questions, and just as importantly, they asked us how we wanted to use the system, and how it could flex around our workflows, needs and preferences. They turned what could have been an intimidating experience into one that was energizing and exciting, and that paved the way for the success that we’re enjoying today.”

“Many companies in the hosted VoIP industry are fairly good on the technology side of things, but have little or no grasp of the fact that customer success is typically won or lost during implementation — because that’s when issues and challenges can emerge with the people who matter most: the end users who will rely on the system to do their jobs,” commented Nicky Smith, Carolina Digital’s CEO and Founder. “That’s why over the years, we’ve focused on refining our change management capacity, and ensuring that it’s a core part of the value we bring to every implementation. Our people are trained and our processes are designed to make the experience positive and progressive. We’re technology experts, but we never lose sight of the fact that what we do is all about real people and solving their problems.”

Added Mr. Wells: “Carolina Digital brought us into the 21st century. The same employees who were reluctant to adopt the new system, are now some of the most enthusiastic users. Nicky and his team are a huge reason for that. They went above and beyond the call of duty, and in my opinion set the standard that all companies working with government should strive to meet.”

For additional information regarding Carolina Digital, visit http://carolinadigital.net or email inquiry@carolinadigital.net.

About Carolina Digital
Carolina Digital is a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provides products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony, while reducing their overall cost. The company’s offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment, and many user-friendly packages – from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with existing land lines, cell phones or VoIP phones.

Revolution in the VoIP Space, Carolina Digital is Kicking Goliath to the Curb

When a small North Carolina company with a handful of employees was awarded the Johnston County Schools contract for a new 4,500 phone system, shock waves reverberated throughout the industry. How does a small company with a few technicians go up against a Fortune 500 technology company over a complex, demanding government contract and win?

Nicky Smith, Carolina Digital Phone

Nicky Smith, President/CEO

Nicky Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Digital, has a simple explanation, “Quality, Price and Service.” But a full analysis of these factors uncovers a story that is more interesting than Smith’s shorthand suggests and reveals a revolutionary new dynamic that is at work in the telecommunication industry specifically and has wide reaching repercussions for businesses across a multitude of industries.

The current state of the market for business phone systems is in flux. Mobile phone use dominates the headlines because of its explosive growth. But landline phones or fixed phones are also undergoing sea of changes as Internet Service has made the standard landline phone in many ways obsolete. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, the replacement for a traditional landline phone, have been adopted more quickly by residential users than by businesses. VoIP phones, in simpler terms, are phones that do not utilize the standard phone company lines but rather use the internet to transmit a digital audio signal. These phones are also referred to as IP phones.

Residential phone use today is split evenly between VoIP and traditional phone landlines, according to the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report, (Industry Analysis Report, 3). Meanwhile, for businesses,VoIP use is only 18 percent and a whopping 82 percent of business lines are still traditional. This might seem surprising but it makes sense considering early VoIP systems depended on an internet connection for service, which was anything but reliable in the early days. Also, prior to the ubiquitous high-speed connections, the bandwidth of most business internet connections wasn’t broad enough to allow multiple phones and computers to be online at the same time.

Legacy Telephone Systems

Legacy Telephone Systems

Another factor for consideration related to business operations is the complexity and functionality needed in the phone system of an organization with a multitude of phones and departments. Initially, VoIP phones were not able to compete with all of the options available in an elaborate company phone system. But that pendulum has widely swung. The available features in a VoIP phone system now eclipses a legacy or standard phone system by a wide margin. Many companies have large capital investments in these systems as well and have been reluctant to make a switch to what has been perceived as an inferior service. However, the current VoIP phone is comparable to a complicated phone system. In fact, according to a study by Software Advice, business decision makers that are looking to switch from their standard landline phone system to a VoIP set-up, and they are doing so largely due to the more extensive phone features offered with VoIP phones. Features such as call queues, auto attendants, follow-me, find me and complex call routing rules, that can all be easily modified.

As the numbers show, VoIP phone adoption is the biggest change going on in the business phone industry. In fact, the rate of growth of VoIP phones is actually five times that of the rate of growth of mobile phones, although the number of mobile phones is much higher. The decline of traditional phone lines is currently 10 percent per year according to the FCC. As VoIP phone systems have become more and more robust, dependable and feature rich, the switchover from traditional phone system in the business community has become inevitable. It’s no longer a matter of whether a company will switch to a VoIP phone system or not, but when.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for the telecommunications industry as thousands and thousands of businesses have held off making a change and have clung onto existing legacy phone systems, thereby creating a pent-up tsunami of need, set to burst across the nation in the form of demand for new VoIP phones. There are numerous mega-telecommunications companies that are vying for this business, such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, Windstream, Time Warner Cable and Earthlink. Unlike the traditional phone services that have been dominated by large monopolistic companies ever since the invention of the phone, the VoIP phone market contains smaller companies that are competing for market share in the new and growing VoIP industry.

However, it’s not just businesses that are converting to VoIP. In addition to the business community, there is a plethora of organizations that stand to benefit greatly from the new functionality, freedom and cost savings, that VoIP offers; from the small nonprofit to a large municipality, and just about any organization in-between that has a need for dedicated phones — even a county school system, such as Johnston County Schools in North Carolina.

Johnston County Schools

Johnston County Schools

Johnston County sits in the eastern half of central North Carolina, southeast of Wake County, home of the state capital, Raleigh. Johnston County is mostly rural, encompassing numerous small towns and communities with a total county population of approximately 177,000. The county seat is Smithfield, with a population of 12,965.

The Johnston County School system is made up of 44 schools and a handful of administration buildings. Despite lacking the glamour and limelight garnering power of its neighboring county, Johnston County has one thing that no other county has, Dan Hicks, the Johnston County Schools Director of Technology Services. Hicks is a forward thinking administrator who has been pushing to keep his school system equipped with the best technology available.

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Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID Service is susceptible to fraud known as Caller ID ‘spoofing’, in which disreputable persons or businesses can falsify the Caller ID number to disguise the identity of the caller. You may wish to use caution when answering calls from unfamiliar numbers.

Under the Truth in Caller ID Act,  FCC rules:

    • Prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.
    • Subject violators to a penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of the rules.
    • Exempt authorized activities by law enforcement agencies and situations where courts have authorized caller ID manipulation to occur.

Read more and how to file a complaints at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/202654304-Caller-ID-and-Spoofing