Archive for the ‘Enterprise’ Category

Phone Restoration

Let’s talk frankly about refurbished phones. When you hear the term “refurbished”, what images or preconceptions come to mind? Scratched or dented products? A returned item that was simply dusted off and re-packaged? We have found that many of the refurbishers in the communications market are just fine with sending equipment like this out to their customers. But would you trust a company like this enough to put one of their refurbished phones on your boss or CEO’s desk? We wouldn’t.

At Black Box Resale Services, we have been repairing and refurbishing phones and other communications equipment for over 20 years. We have always known that our processes far exceeded our competitors. Still, unless you have actually done business with us and seen the quality of our products you might simply think we are “just another refurbisher”. Every time we send out a sample phone to a prospective customer, we get their business. The quality speaks for itself. That is why we have coined a new term to describe the unique process and special kind of love that we give our products – Phone Restoration.

Think of phone restoration along the same lines as classic car restoration. You might find an old ’57 Chevy rusting away in a lot somewhere and decide you want to restore it to the condition it was in when it rolled off the assembly line so many years ago. First you need to test everything out to see what you’re dealing with in regards to the engine and other mechanical parts – it needs to not just look good, but ride down the road good too! So you test it, then rebuild the engine, add a new radiator, and maybe replace the exhaust system. You take it out on the boulevard for a test drive, and it runs great. Now to getting it looking great – you buff out the rust, add some new chrome and give it a snazzy new paint job. It’s good as new!

We do the same with phones. First a series of tests to see what – if anything – electronic needs to be repaired. The phone’s shell is rigorously cleaned and then painted to a brand-new look in our custom paint shop. After a new logo is silk-screened onto the phone, it is reassembled and again plugged into a real-world testing environment to confirm that it is running in tip-top shape. We then box it up with new product literature and a new coil cord and it’s ready to be sent to a customer.

As you can see, our process of repair and refurbishment goes well above and beyond what most other companies do. It’s no longer just a used phone, it’s a restored phone – one that looks and performs exactly like it did when it rolled off the assembly line. Because we know the quality of our restored phones, we stand behind them with an unmatched warranty as well. Other companies can’t offer that simply because they don’t have the same confidence in their products as we do in ours.

Hosted VoIP for Disaster Recovery   Leave a comment

“The show must go on…”

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan is essential for any business, and the telephony system might be the single most important component to safeguard.   If your business is using traditional PBX technology through the local telephone company, you are guaranteed downtime and loss of revenue should a disaster make phone lines inoperable.  Voice Over IP(VoIP) communications systems have built-in disaster recovery traits.  Since voice data is transmitted over the Internet, data can be alternatively routed in order to avoid breakdowns in infrastructure caused by a disaster such as flooding, fire or inoperable lines. 

With a hosted VoIP solution, all of your voice data servers are housed in “The Cloud” offsite and accessed over the Internet.  In the event of a catastrophe or disaster, your communications system can be brought back to functionality very quickly.  There is virtually no lapse in business continuity.   Once a new location is established, phones can be plugged into the network and you’re back up and running.  In the interim before a new location is established,  calls can easily be re-routed to mobile devices. 

There are many, many advantages to implementing a hosted VoIP communications solution in your business.  However, it is a big switch and if your telephone system is operating sufficiently then why change it?  Well, companies are now realizing the disaster recovery benefits of running a hosted VoIP system behind their current system strictly for the purposes of disaster recovery.  The cost is minimal, and considering the speed at which business continuity can be restored after a disaster it simply makes sense.

A look at phone painting   Leave a comment

Here at Black Box Resale Services, we do it all. Our phone refurbishing and repair services are top-notch, and we feel like the quality of our services make us stand out. We get a lot of broken, dirty phones sent to us, and by the time we’re done with them they sparkle like new! More importantly, they work just like new too. Recently I took an in-depth tour of our paint process. Let’s take a look…

When a box of phones enters our warehouse, they are inspected by our team and a series of quality checks is done. This determines exactly what needs to be done to get each phone looking and operating like new. They are then put into inventory based on these quality checks. After the phones are disassembled, they go through a 3 stage wash and cleaning process. After an alcohol wipe to get them ready to paint, they are put in racks and dried overnight.

This rigorous cleaning process ensures that once painted the phones will look just as good as phones that come from the factory new. We take pride in our products, and it shows.

Our specialized paint room sets us apart in the telephony refurbishment game, and we move a lot of inventory each week as the paint center now operates full-time to keep up with demand. 60 different colors of paint give us the ability to offer customers a range of options to fit their needs.

After the paint dries, the finishing touches are put on the phone – including new logos. Black Box Resale Services utilizes a silk-screening process for the logos, which is unique as well. Many refurbishers simply slap on a sticker or decal, but the silk-screened logo makes the phone look factory-fresh.

So there it is, a photo essay about the lifecycle of a painted phone. We give old, broken dirty phones a serious makeover and keep usable equipment out of the landfill.

Refurbished Equipment – More Reliable Than New?   Leave a comment

Purchasing refurbished equipment saves you money – you already know that. Buying refurbished also shows that your company is a “Green” business because usable equipment is kept out of landfills – investors and customers like a Green company – but you already knew that too. Warranties for refurbished products are on par with and often actually exceed warranties for new products – you already knew that too, right? There is one more benefit to purchasing refurbished equipment that many people do not know about, and that is higher initial reliability.

When you purchase something brand new, you expect it to perform to its utmost functionality right out of the box, correct? Unfortunately, this is not the case with many of the things that we buy. A new car, or any type of engine for that matter, needs to be “broken in” by not pushing it to its limits during a specified time period when bought new. On the other hand, new networking and telecommunications equipment should be stressed to optimum operating conditions and beyond before being fully deployed into a system. Studies and tests show that 90% of equipment failure happens within the first 200 hours of use. This is referred to as Infant Mortality Failure.

Manufacturers have different testing procedures in which new equipment is stressed and tested under optimal operating conditions. These stress tests are called Equipment Burn-in. While these tests do ensure that equipment will operate, they surely do not run new equipment for 200 hours (necessary burn-in period) before shipping it to the end-user. Because of this, many new products still incur Infant Mortality Failure soon after the equipment is deployed into the system. While warranties may sometimes cover the replacement of these broken components, they certainly do not cover the headaches, lost time and potentially lost data and productivity that results.

Refurbished equipment has already gone through the required 200 hour burn-in period and performed to specs in a real network. Infant Mortality Failure is no longer a worry. On top of this, at Black Box Resale Services we again run equipment through rigorous real-world tests to ensure that we can stand behind it as what we refer to as better than new. Our repair and testing facility is state of the art and allows us to plug components into a real network environment so that you can rest assured knowing that your refurbished system will run smoothly right out of the box.

In fact, at Black Box Resale Services we are so confident in our refurbished equipment’s reliability that we can offer warranties that often exceed a manufacturer’s warranty for new equipment. We offer a five-year warranty on most of our refurbished phones and phone repair services. Your phones are tested, repaired, cleaned, sanitized, and painted – to certified specifications as good or better than OEM specs. After a final test, your phones are repackaged with a new literature pack, coil cord, base cord, and handset. Best of all, they are guaranteed for 5 years! We offer a two-year warranty on most of our other refurbished products and repair services; manufacturers usually offer just a one-year warranty. This includes networking gear such as servers, bridges and switches. You can feel secure with our guarantee because we test, retest, and certify our products to ensure top-quality performance and presentation.

More reliable than new. Another strong reason to consider purchasing refurbished networking and telecommunications gear from Black Box Resale Services. Contact a Black Box sales representative today to begin planning your refurbished solution.

Phone Bill Audit – Part of your life forever…or not?   Leave a comment

Have a nagging feeling that your company is being overcharged for business telephone lines and long distance usage? Noticed that telephony services like long distance are continuing to grow month after month? Perhaps an audit of your phone bill is in order! This is one way to find out where you might be spending unnecessarily. Your company may even find that real long-term savings can be found by implementing a different type of business phone system – a hosted or VoIP-based model. These differ from the traditional model where you get a monthly bill for lines and service from the telephone company..but more on that later in the post!

Many companies perform phone bill audits on a regular basis and find that adjusting their plan to the actual minutes being utilized can save money without cutting corners or downgrading service – which is always a good thing!  Others find charges for lines they placed disconnect orders for long ago or for extra services that may not be used or used infrequently.  A few auditing tips: Compare the cost of overage fees vs. upgrades and do not assume your bill is right!

NoSave on your business telephone expensesw, Did you say something about “Saving Even More Money Long-Term?
Can you imagine not having to deal with a traditional telephone bill or comprehensive audit process ever again? The growing group of businesses that have implemented VoIP or hosted VoIP solutions have ditched their traditional phone bill and the hassles that go along with them. The time and expense associated with audits can be spent accomplishing more valuable and productive tasks.

A phone system that employs the latest VoIP technology, such as Star2Star, enables businesses to make international calls at the cost of local calls. And because VoIP systems eliminate the need for separate wiring for telephones and data, monthly bills are less complicated and separate telephone and data bills are virtually eliminated. A unique feature of Star2Star systems  is the ability to share the lines between offices making it very cost-effective to communicate.

The best part of doing an audit is saving money and you might even find that with the money you save, you could pay for a brand new VoIP phone system that brings savings many times over traditional business telephone systems. Make the Smart Call to our Hosted Specialist Gail today at (866) 549-5739. We will take a look at your phone bill and see if a solution from Star2Star is right for your business! Black Box is an aurthorized Hosted VoIP System Dealer

Posted August 9, 2011 by TmH in Enterprise, Hosted VoIP, Small Business

The Dangers of Counterfeit Cisco Equipment and How to Protect your Business   Leave a comment

Cisco has recently advanced its efforts to convey the risks of purchasing the company’s equipment from non-certified sellers and resellers. This is a problem which continues to plague all aspects of the Business and Technology world, and as a Gold-Certified Cisco partner Black Box Resale Services wants to ensure that consumers are informed about the issue. All organizations, from the pizza shack at the end of the block to the United States Department of Defense need to know that their network’s equipment is genuine. If it is not, and if concessions are made to purchase grey market or non-certified gear, the results can be disastrous. Any short-term cost savings will not be worth the damage bad equipment will do to your company’s infrastructure.

Since 2005, the FBI has cracked down on counterfeit Cisco equipment through its “Operation Network Raider” initiative. Main focus for this operation is on Cisco products coming from China. It is feared that counterfeit Chinese networking products find their way into US markets via non-certified and grey market sellers and resellers, and the Government’s network security may be put at risk. It is a distinct possibility that network engineers may be installing counterfeit Cisco devices into networks containing sensitive data, and unwittingly aiding other countries as they attempt to spy on us. Equipment may be rigged with back-door access, viruses or malicious software designed to fail. Also, much of this equipment is simply not up to the quality standards of Certified Cisco Equipment. If a company installs counterfeit networking gear, chances of network failure are greatly increased – not to mention the imminent danger of a system failing in a nuclear facility or air traffic control center. In 2010, the FBI stated it had seized $145 million worth of counterfeit Cisco equipment in a covert operation that’s netted no less than 715 seizures and brought 31 felony convictions.

Beyond these alarming threats to our National Security, any company looking to purchase Cisco equipment(or any networking equipment for that matter) needs to ensure that they are getting genuine gear whether it is new or refurbished. In the refurbished market, there are two types of Cisco resellers – those that sell Certified Cisco Refurbished Equipment(CCRE) like Black Box Resale Services and those that sell simply refurbished equipment without Cisco certification. Read the following documents from Cisco regarding the benefits of purchasing from a Certified Reseller

What is Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment?

Side-by-side comparison of New, Certified Refurbished and Non-Certified equipment

These documents from Cisco certainly establish the many benefits to purchasing Certified networking and telephony equipment. Any business can rest assured knowing that their equipment is of the highest quality, backed by Cisco warranties, and exhaustively tested to ensure that it operates to utmost functionality. The peace of mind that comes from buying Certified Cisco is one of our highest commodities here at Black Box Resale Services, and we have worked hard to produce that peace of mind through the high standards we are held to in order to be called a Gold-Certified Cisco partner.

Posted May 23, 2011 by Web Admin-BBRS in Cisco, Enterprise, Long, Repair, Small Business

Unified Communications   Leave a comment

Wikipedia defines Unified Communications as follows –

“An evolving communications technology architecture which automates and unifies all forms of human and device communications in context, and with a common experience. Its purpose is to optimize business processes and enhance human communications by reducing latency, managing flows, and eliminating device and media dependencies.”

Unified Communications(UC) has come to the forefront of the business world since VOIP telephony first emerged as an upgrade to traditional PBX systems. By tying desktop IP phones to the network via special connection devices on either end of the networked device, the phones became extremely useful and flexible communications interfaces. It didn’t take long for companies such as Siemens, Cisco, Avaya and others to take advantage of this emerging technology by creating telephone systems which did not rely on the PBX but rather came out of the box as true IP devices when attached to a properly configured system.

Desktop telephones were now capable of much more, becoming another networked interface which ran off configurable software. However, Unified Communications(UC) now goes beyond simply attaching your desktop phone to the network. Today, we communicate through various channels – E-mail, messaging, chat, fax, video, telephone and more. True UC ties all of these communications channels together allowing employees, business partners and customers to communicate seamlessly regardless of their location. One particularly useful asset of a UC system is the ability to monitor coworker’s availability or location. This is known as “presence” and makes for seamless business communication and a reduction in latency. By knowing a person’s status, we can communicate with them via the proper channel at all times. All of this equates to increased collaboration, communication and business process integration.

At Black Box Resale Services, we have strong partnerships with companies at the forefront of Unified Communications solutions such as Avaya, Cisco, Plantronics and Siemens. We offer both new and refurbished equipment to enable your business to become unified, as well as installation and cabling services. Whether you need to replace or repair a single device or are looking to upgrade your entire system, our experience in providing true Unified Communications solutions will ensure that your system is future-proof. Make the smart call and contact Black Box Resale Services.

Buying used – the Green choice   Leave a comment

The last decade has seen all kinds of initiatives which promote environmentally-sound practices. Government agencies have seriously cracked down on Industrial waste and emissions, and auto makers have been forced to cut emissions as well as increase gas mileage. Incentives are now given to companies and homeowners who utilize green energy sources, making it more feasible to switch to solar or wind power. These large-scale efforts have surely lessened major contributions to our planet’s demise, but less obvious green choices exist as well – including buying used or refurbished networking and telephony equipment.

When a company is done with their equipment, whether because they need an upgrade or their lease expires, that equipment is generally still in good working order. It should not end up in a landfill. Thankfully, many companies such as Cisco, Siemens and Avaya are allowing Certified resellers to refurbish, repair and resell this used equipment. Black Box Resale Services is the forerunner in this market, utilizing an 80,000 square foot refurbishment and repair facility to bring quality and value to customers.

A company looking to upgrade their system needs to consider the benefits of buying used. They can often sell their old system and upgrade to a more robust system which includes refurbished equipment for a fraction of what they would pay for new. Certified refurbished equipment is quality, having been tested rigorously by trained professionals. It also comes with very generous warranties to further put minds at ease. The savings are incentive enough to buy used, but the fact that it is the “Green” choice should also be considered.

Here at Black Box Resale Services, we feel like we are offering a service which promotes environmentally friendly business practice. Our customers can feel good knowing that they are going “Green”. Because of this, our company recently stopped supplying styrofoam coffee cups in the break room. Each employee was given a nice coffee mug instead. It is just a small step in the Green direction, but these small things add up.