BYOD for Education   Leave a comment

BYOD(Bring Your Own Device) is a concept that will quickly become a reality for many educational institutions. The concept is simple – instead of a school supplying desktop pcs or netbooks to all of their students, the students will instead bring their own device to the classroom. At first it may seem that this is just a way to cut costs for the school, which is one nice side effect as funding for education continues to feel the squeeze. However, this is not the main goal of this conversion. It is about flexible, mobile and personalized learning practices. While a full switch to complete BYOD might be a plan for the future, beefing up a campus’s wireless capabilities today can let students utilize their devices and blend with the network topology that already exists.

In this post, I’m specifically talking about post-secondary education. The implications and implementation concerns are quite different for K-12, yet it is still already being adopted there and ropes being learned along the way. The difference with higher education is that the vast majority of students already have a capable device. They have laptops, netbooks, iPads, Blackberrys or Android devices and all of these can become networked devices capable of being a valuable learning tool.

Wouldn’t it be great if students could access course materials wherever they were on campus wirelessly through their own device? Instructors could send class announcements immediately with a few clicks. Students sick in bed could still take exams, review notes or even watch a live webcast of a lecture. On top of this, university resources could be accessed on mobile devices and e-books used instead of textbooks.

There will always be a need for desktop pcs and wired networks for specific learning situations such as resource-intensive applications and lab environments. Network infrastructure already in place simply needs a refresh or upgrade to accomodate wireless connectivity and security for devices that students use. The needs include greater bandwidth, a number of wireless access points and controllers across campus, reliable switching and enhanced network security measures.

It may sound daunting to begin this path toward campus-wide wireless connectivity and eventual BYOD. Fear not, because here at Black Box Resale Services we have provided full solutions for our partners in education. From cost-saving refurbished equipment to cabling and deployment of robust wireless networks, we can get a campus up to speed in no time.

When we do network rfreshes and upgrades for educational facilities, we reccommend Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment. Cisco wireless access points, Cisco Wireless Bridges and Cisco Routers and Switches. These high-quality and affordable refurbished components offer unmatched performance and reliability. Contact your sales representative at Black Box Resale Services to learn more about upgrading your current ststem to get your campus up to speed with wireless connectivity.

Posted March 23, 2012 by Web Admin-BBRS in Education, Long

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.

Cisco ATA repair   Leave a comment

Since Cisco announced the End-of-Life details about their ATA186, ATA187, and ATA188 Analog Telephone Adaptors(ATAs) back in September 2010, many companies are wondering where their equipment and service contracts stand. These products are easy to implement into a system, and fit the requirements of any business, big or small. Now that Cisco is phasing out these ATAs and considering the products obsolete, what are your options?

Lead times for ATAs through Cisco continue to be ridiculously long. If your company needs upgraded ATAs to replace the deprecated models, get comfortable because it is going to be a long wait. If you can’t get the old models, and you can’t get the new models, what are you supposed to do? Well, you have the option to get Cisco ATAs repaired at a modest charge with very short lead times.

Here at Black Box Resale Services, we have seen an increase in repair requests for these ATAs and now realize that we are able to offer repair services for Cisco ATAs above and beyond our competitors due to our large state of the art repair facility and team of skilled technicians. We have been repairing telecommunications equipment for over 20 years, and see repair options for this product line as having mutual benefit for our company and yours. The ATA repairs we have already done for companies have made our customers extremely happy, which makes us happy too!

When faced with the task of maintaining their current system, many companies fear that these discontinued ATAs will need to be upgraded across the entire system. This upgrade to new equipment will be very expensive, and put a big strain on their bottom line. Beyond this, long lead times for the equipment can be extremely frustrating. We would like to make sure that our ATA repair services are understood as an option for system maintenance, by far the most inexpensive option for any business which uses these products.

Our repair facility gives us the ability to repair these Cisco ATAs(along with other equipment), no matter the quantity, in an efficient manner meaning that your good-as-new equipment will be back in your hands in no time. Save money, get the same quality and warranty as new, and keep these useful devices out of the landfill.

Cisco ATA Repair from Black Box Resale Services

Cisco ATA Repair from Black Box Resale Services

Posted March 14, 2011 by Web Admin-BBRS in Cisco, Long, Repair

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.

Here to chat about networking and telephony equipment   Leave a comment

This blog is being brought to you by Black Box Resale Services.  We hope to use this page to discuss Industry trends, highlight certain products, and discuss all things related to our network of vendors.

Posted March 9, 2011 by Web Admin-BBRS in Uncategorized