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The 9 Best Conference Call Services – TechEye

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Conference calls are still the best choice for phone meetings and communication with multiple people. Conference calls are cheap, effective, and are a simple way to get people together and share information.

Pretty much every small business should have conference call capabilities, and every large business too. Being able to conference call greatly streamlines meetings and allows for more flexible scheduling as not everyone needs to be physically present.

There are free conference calling services, such as Skype and they can be perfectly functional. However, paid services give you access to more varied features, like recording, screen share, video calling, and more.

No matter what your budget is, there is a conference call solution that will work for you. So we put together this list of the best free conference call services and paid conference call services for your business. We put together this list based on each service’s overall capabilities, ease-of-use, support options, and overall price.

The 9 Best Conference Call Services (2020)

We will cover each of the conference call services below and talk about their features, pros, cons so you can compare and make a decision.

1. RingCentral

RingCentral offers modern VoIP solutions for modern businesses. RingCentral is more than just a conference call tool, but a full-blown business phone system that operates over the internet. So with RingCentral, you also get an entire business-wide phone network for any kind of communication need.

RingCentral offers a free plan that allows up to 100 participants, although it caps calls at 40 minutes. That is not too shabby compared to some other free plans and is a good choice for individual solo entrepreneurs. Upgrading to a larger plan is also easy and they start at $19.99, a perfectly affordable monthly rate.

RingCentral’s VoIP suite offers basically every call-feature you could want, including greetings, directories, hold music, extensions, voicemail, call forwarding, conference calls, conference lines, HD video conferencing, page/intercom systems, and more. It is a cloud-based service so there is no extra equipment and not maintenance required. All you need is an internet connection.

RingCentral is an excellent VoIP conferencing solution for enterprise-level businesses and can save you a lot of money compared to a traditional PBX business phone system.

RingCentral

RingCentral offers modern VoIP solutions for modern businesses. RingCentral is more than just a conference call tool, but a full-blown business phone system that operates over the internet.


2. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a paid teleconferencing service that is possibly one of the best services on the market. GoToMeeting has a high-quality solution that is perfect for business owners of any size. GoToMeeting’s features are simple and to-the-point, not filled with distractions.

Unfortunately, GoToMeeting does NOT have a free basic plan. But, they do offer a free 15-day trial so you can try the software out.

There are 3 paid plans:

  • Pro – $12/month
  • Business – $16/month
  • Enterprise – Custom

The Pro and Business plans allow for up to 150 and 250 participants while the Enterprise plans have solutions for up to 3,000 people at once. All plans come with the following features:

  • HD video capabilities
  • Screen sharing
  • Dial-in lines
  • Unlimited meetings
  • Unlimited call duration
  • Private meeting rooms
  • Chat messaging
  • Mobile phone compatibility
  • App integrations (e.g. Slack)
  • Live customer support

GoToMeeting also has unlimited recording capabilities and automatic transcription features. It is an excellent choice if you have a large remote team.

Performance for GoToMeeting is strong. Many conference call services, even the paid ones, lack in audio quality. GoToMeeting has clear sound and the connection rarely jumps in and out. It may not be as impressive as BlueJeans, but it is still on the higher end of the spectrum.

A few flaws though: GoToMeeting does not have some other features that are considered standard. For example, you don’t have any hold music and no presentation/whiteboard tools, but what is there works extremely well. Conference call software can be really simple and still be good. GoToMeeting is also very affordable and has great value for its price.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a paid teleconferencing service that is possibly one of the best services on the market.


3. BlueJeans

BlueJeans is another conference call service known for its excellent video and audio quality. Bluejeans can allow you to communicate with your team from virtually any device.

BlueJeans offers plans starting as low as $12.49 per month. The basic plan allows for 50 participants per call and has no duration limit on calls. The upgraded plan starts at $16.65 per month and allows up to 75 participants. The upgraded plan has recording and cloud storage features.

If you have a larger business, you can contact BlueJeans and create a custom enterprise-level plan, though even these plans have a limit of 150 participants. BlueJeans has one of the smaller enterprise-level conferencing solutions we have covered on this list.

BlueJeans does have some street cred though. Big companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Zillow rely on BlueJeans to host conference calls, so that is a good sign it’s a reliable service.

BlueJeans exceptional audio quality is due to DolbyVoice that it uses on all its calls. DolbyVoice is designed to make it sound like participants are placed in the same room. This setup ensures that you can hear all sounds faithfully.

BlueJeans

BlueJeans is another conference call service known for its excellent video and audio quality.


4. UberConference

UberConference is a good place to start if you are looking for a simple and reliable conference call service. UberConference is easy-to-use and offers a wide range of calling options for businesses.

You can use UberConference for free for calls for up to 10 people. You can also make as many calls as you want with a 45-minute duration limit for individual calls. The free services even come with screen sharing capabilities, call recording, HD audio/video quality, and mobile app integration. That is a lot of features, absolutely for free.

If you need more services, then you can sign up for the paid tier plans. Paid plans start as low as $15/month On this plan, the call duration limit is raised to 5 hours and comes with some extra benefits, including:

  • Call numbers
  • Analytics
  • International conference dialing
  • Dial out channels
  • Hold music
  • Voice command capabilities
  • Management tools

You can also add a toll-free number for an extra $30 a month.

The best feature from UberConference is the mobile app. The mobile app is available on Android devices or iPhone and comes free with the standard edition so you don’t even need to pay to get access to the best feature. You can do everything on the app that you can do on the desktop version so you can make conference calls on the go. Participants can also drop in from virtually anywhere.

It is fast to start up too. You can start making calls as soon as you sign up. If you have technical issues, then there is a resource portal with training articles for troubleshooting issues.

One downside with UberConference is the audio conference quality. Sometimes calls can pick up static. It is not a huge deal though and does not ruin the quality of the call.

UberConference

UberConference is a good place to start if you are looking for a simple and reliable conference call service.


5. Zoom

Zoom has become extremely popular in the past few years and has made a name for itself by supplying efficient and sophisticated video conferencing options for businesses and organizations of all stripes

Here are a few quick facts about Zoom’s plans and pricing structure. Zoom offers 4 tiers.

Basic:

  • Free to use
  • 100 participants per call
  • 40-minute max duration limit
  • 1080p HD video calling capabilities
  • Group management tools

Pro:

  • Starts at $14.99/month
  • 100 participants
  • 24-hour max duration limit
  • Recording and cloud storage
  • Admin privileges
  • Analysis and reporting features

Business:

  • Starts at $19.99 per host (10 host minimum)
  • 300 participants
  • Live support options
  • Transcription services
  • Cloud storage
  • Whitelisting features
  • Email templates

Enterprise:

  • $19.99 per host (50 host minimum)
  • 1,000 participants
  • Unlimited storage
  • Priority support
  • Business review options for executives

Most businesses will be just fine with the Basic or Pro option as these are ideal for startups and smaller teams. If you have a slightly larger business, then the Business option is relatively easy to scale.

Zoom has been extremely well received due to its excellent video conferencing capabilities and ample cloud storage. It is also particularly useful if you need to share presentations and powerpoints during meetings.

Zoom is sort of the go-to standard at the enterprise level. Their top tier Enterprise plan is used by several large organizations like Uber, Ticketmaster, and GoDaddy. Many more large firms rely on Zoom for their conference call needs.

Lastly, Zoom has excellent support options. They have 24/7 live phone support and live training sessions. The only criticism we have is audio conferencing quality can fluctuate sometimes.

Zoom

Zoom has become extremely popular in the past few years and has made a name for itself by supplying efficient and sophisticated video conferencing options for businesses and organizations of all stripes


6. FreeConferenceCall.com

As you would expect from the name, FreeConferenceCall.com offers free conference calling software. People have made over 2 billion calls using FreeConferenceCall.com, meaning that it is probably the most popular free service in the world.

All you have to do is create a free account. You can do this in seconds and start making calls immediately.

Even though it is completely free, FreeConferenceCall.com has some of the highest limits for free services out there. You can have up to 1,000 participants per cal, which is absurdly high for a free web conferencing and webinar platform.

FreeConferenceCall.com also has real-time video meeting services in addition to audio calls. Here are some other nifty features that you can use:

  • Change presentations/presenters
  • Drawing tools
  • Presentation sharing
  • Private chat rooms
  • International dial
  • Screenshare

These are the kinds of features you would have to pay extra for with different services. With FreeConferenceCall.com, you get them for $0.

You can also access your call history and archived recordings from your account dashboard, which includes reports, notes, and details.

FreeConferenceCall.com does have some paid options. You can pick and choose features to make a custom plan for your business.

  • Custom greeting – $2 per months
  • Custom hold music – $2 per month
  • Storage – 40GB for $ per month

None of these options are really required to host conference calls, though some might get things like hold music or greetings to appear more professional. Storage might be useful, especially if you make a lot of conference calls and like to go over past calls.

FreeConferenceCall.com also offers a mobile app on Android devices and iOS that lets you create, manage, and join calls from your device. Some people prefer conference calling with their mobile devices so this is a good feature.

The main drawback of FreeConferenceCall.com is its limited storage capabilities. You can upgrade storage but you have to pay extra per month.

FreeConferenceCall.com

As you would expect from the name, FreeConferenceCall.com offers free conference calling software. People have made over 2 billion calls using FreeConferenceCall.com, meaning that it is probably the most popular free service in the world.


7. Webex

Webex is made by Cisco, a global leader in IT and networking solutions. So, right off the bat, Webex has a powerhouse technology company running its infrastructures so you know it is reliable and efficient. Webex is one of the better conference calling options in the business and offers both video and audio calls.

Free:

  • $0
  • 50 participants
  • 40-minute duration limit
  • 1 GB cloud storage

Starter:

  • $13.50/month
  • 50 participants
  • No duration limits for calls
  • 5 GB storage

Plus:

  • $17.95/month
  • 100 participants
  • No duration limits
  • Alternate host options
  • Live customer support

Business:

  • $26.95 per month
  • 200 participants
  • 10 GB storage
  • Whitelisting options

Webex does offer a free plan but it is fairly limited due to the low storage and call durations. All paid plans allow unlimited conference calls and ample storage. It is worth mentioning that the highest option plan only allows for 200 participants, compared to the 1,000 allowed by something like Zoom. If you want support, you also have to at least have the Plus plan.

Webex works well for businesses of any size and is a great option if many workers are remote. The video and audio technology is crisp, clear, and runs smoothly on a number of devices. The top-tier plan is small, so there is no genuine enterprise option. But what is available is some of the best quality conference call software you can buy.

Webex

Webex is made by Cisco, a global leader in IT and networking solutions. So, right off the bat, Webex has a powerhouse technology company running its infrastructures so you know it is reliable and efficient.


8. Vast Conference

Vast Conference offers conference call services for all-sized businesses. They offer a 14-day free trial which gives you full access to the instant conference call tools. They also offer operator-assisted calls.

Vast Conference offers 4 plans:

  • Essential – $11.99/month
  • Standard – $15.99/month
  • Pro – $31.99/month
  • Enterprise – Custom

The main difference between the 4 plans is how many participants are allowed on each call. The limits are 10, 100, 250, and 500, in that order. The first three plans come with unlimited cloud storage whereas the Enterprise plans only come with 1 GB of storage per user.

One of Vast Conference’s strongest features is its intuitive interface. Setting up and executing a call is very straightforward and navigating the interface is easy, even if you have 0 technical skills.

Vast Conference is probably best suited for businesses that want personalized operator-assisted calls. Operator-assisted calls add a level of professionalism to your organization and the audio/video chat quality is top-notch.

Of course, Vast Conference is not perfect. The biggest flaw in our opinion is the mobile app. Mobile app calling is just not very good quality and calls are dropped and jump in and out frequently. That being said, you do not have to use the mobile feature and the desktop tools are very good. If mobile calling is that important to you then you probably should look elsewhere.

If you do choose Vast, you will get excellent customer service. Even the most basic plan comes with 24/7 customer support so you can get help whenever you need it.

Vast Conference

Vast Conference offers conference call services for all-sized businesses. They offer a 14-day free trial which gives you full access to the instant conference call tools.


9. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is created by—you guessed it—Google, so you know that it is built on a solid and reliable architecture. Google Hangouts is completely free for anyone to use; all you need is a Gmail account (which is 100% free).

Hangouts automatically connects to your Gmail account so you can access it directly from your mail or from the Gsuite taskbar. It also automatically integrates with your contacts list and Google calendar as well. This makes it much easier to manage your contacts and set up rooms. You can set up a conference room using your desktop, phone, and chrome extension.

Google Hangouts is used most of the time for one-on-one meetings, but it can handle conference calls for up to 25 people. Participants can easily share their screen and the platform can handle video calls as well.

If you want to get the most out of Google Hangouts, then you will need a G Suite account. It costs $6 per month for an account and G Suite has a lot of other uses, so it’s worth the purchase.

The best part of Google Hangouts is how simple and straightforward it is. But, it does have a few drawbacks.

First off, Google Hangouts is not exactly designed for business-wide communications so the quality on some calls can be poor. Also, there is no customer support so you have to rely on FAQs and forums if you run into an issue. Lastly, there is no recording option so you won’t be able to go over old calls. This feature is pretty standard in other conference call software so it’s a letdown that Hangouts doesn’t offer it.

That being said, you can expect to use Google Hangouts frequently as it also has a good chat and messaging system. If you need a reliable free video conferencing service, then Google Hangouts is a good choice.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is created by—you guessed it—Google, so you know that it is built on a solid and reliable architecture. Google Hangouts is completely free for anyone to use; all you need is a Gmail account (which is 100% free).


How to Find the Best Conference Call Services

There are a lot of conference call services out there and not all are equal. You need to find the right service with the right features for your business. So, when shopping around for a conference call service, make sure to consider the following features.

Call Limits

One of the most important parts of a conference call service is how many people it can host at once. Many services put restrictions on the number of people that can be on a call at the same time and how long the call can last.

Some providers have a free option that will give you a limited number of people and time, like 10 people and 40 minutes per call. Paid services usually have much higher call limits and durations. Some services allow up to 1,000 atrendees and unlimited calls.

You don’t need to shell out for a big fancy service if you can handle a more restricted plan. If you are part of a small business with around 20 employees, you probably won’t have to purchase a service that can hold 1,000 people at a time.

We do recommend finding a service that allows unlimited duration calls. Cutting meetings short because of an imposed time limit is highly inefficient and hard to plan around, so try to find a service that allows for unlimited calls.

Call Recording

Call recording is another useful teleconference feature that has many benefits. Not every conference call service allows for call recording, though.

Conference call services can handle recording in different ways. Some will allow you to record the call then store it locally, either on a computer, smartphone, or other devices you are using. Other services may have cloud storage options for recorded calls. Regardless of which kind you choose, it is always useful to have recorded calls so you can go over notes from past meetings.

Also, make sure you check for recording storage limits. Some services will limit the number of calls you can store and require you to upgrade to higher-level plans to get more storage space. For example, a service might limit you to 1 GB of storage but will allow you to upgrade to 10 GB.

Also, some conference call plans allow for automatic call transcription. You can turn a call into a written document. This feature makes it much easier to go over past meetings without having to comb through the audio for important points.

Additionally, if the service offers video calls, figure out if they allow video recording or only audio recording. Recorded videos can be even more useful than recorded audio calls.

Account and Call Setup

There are two main factors to look at when judging ease-of-use:

  1. Creating a new account
  2. Setting up a conference call

Some services let you create a new account and start making calls immediately. Setting up a call can take just a few seconds. For instance, if you have Gmail, then you can pull up Google Hangouts immediately and set up a reservationless call. Free and out-of-the-box conference calling software is designed with this simplicity and accessibility in mind.

If you need a custom or enterprise-level solution, the setup process is a bit more involved. This may be because you have to connect physical lines, install new software on office devices, or figure out networking details. Most likely, you’ll have to go directly through a sales agent, which takes more time.

Regardless of which route you go, starting a conference call with the service should be easy. You should be able to create calls, add participants, and schedule rooms simply and without hassle. There should also be robust customer support that you can contact if you face issues.

Video Conferencing

It is not always necessary, but we highly recommend getting a service with high-quality video conference capabilities. Video conference calls can make your meetings more effective by providing features like screen shares, presentations, and streamlined visual graphics. If you have many workers remote or do a lot of collaborations, then a video conferencing tool is practically essential. Video conference tools make online meetings more involved and let you pitch ideas and concepts more accurately than just over audio.

There are some services that specialize specifically in video conference options. If you have a large need for video services, then find a service that specializes in the tech.

Call Quality

Conference calls are much less effective if the audio of video quality is poor. Bad connections make online meetings much more inefficient because you have to keep stopping to address issues and reiterate points. This point is especially important if you need calls with a large number of attendees. The larger the group, the more bandwidth and call quality you’ll need.

The only real way to know a service’s quality is to try it yourself. If your provider has a free trial, take it so you can gauge the quality. The more you use it, the better judgment you can make.

Operator Assistance

Many conference call organizations aimed at enterprise-level businesses have to handle call participants in the thousands. So, they will include operator-assistance options. With this option, a live operator will assist with managing the conference event. Operator-assistance is useful as it will help manage large groups of participants and can streamline the process of getting things set up.

Generally, you will have to reserve an operator ahead of time and then schedule a call. The best reason to have an operator on hand is to ensure that nothing goes wrong. No corporation wants to waste time dealing with technical issues when they have hundreds of people listening on the other line.

Some services off an automated operator while others offer a boutique operator. The latter is normally more expensive than the former. Most businesses are not large enough to require operator services, but it is still something that is worth looking into.

Customer Support

As is the case with any product or service, customer support is an extremely important factor to consider when buying. This goes double for tech-related products and services that might require specialized knowledge. If something goes wrong during a call, you want a person you can call to get help.

Many services offer 24/7 support but some might only allow calls during normal business hours. Other services use a support ticket model, which can take very long to get a response. Others might have a “self-help” FAQ section in addition to any live support options they have.

In the worst-case scenario, if you can’t get a hold of a customer service rep, there should be a library of training and troubleshooting resources. It may not be a very common option, but live chat support is a new and highly favored troubleshooting model.

Price

You also need to figure out your budget. Conference call plans can range in price from totally free to $1,000s of dollar for enterprise-level solutions. However, based on our estimations, a viable solution for a small to medium-sized business optimally should cost about $20-$40 per month. $20-$40 a month should get you a decent amount of features, including but not limited to call recording, video conferencing, storage, and customer support options.

One more note: You can often get a discount on subscription costs if you sign up for an annual contract instead of a long-term one. You would be spying more all at once but over the course of a year would pay less than if you opted for month-to-month billing. Take advantage of any free trial, if you can.

Free and Paid Features

Conference calls offer additional solutions to convince people to sign up. Some of the more common features you will see include:

  • Live chat
  • Call reporting
  • Software integration
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Mobile apps
  • International conference calling
  • Custom greetings
  • File sharing and presentation tools
  • Management tools

And so on, and so on. Some features will be free but others you’ll have to pay for. There are a lot of choices, but the upshot is that you can find a genuine customer solution that is tailored specifically for your needs. You just need to figure out what you need and see which plan gives you the best value for your dollar.


Takeaway

Every business will need to make conference calls at some point; they are just an unavoidable part of today’s business environment. So, finding a good conference call service is important for virtually any enterprise. Increased demand and competition have led to a wide range of conference call services at competitive prices.

No matter if you are an individual or run a large business, conference call services are essential So do your research, and follow the tips you read in this guide, and you can find a service that works for you.




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Angharad Yeo: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) | Comedy

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I am a child of the internet. I was always drawn to computers and tech, and used to beg my dad to bring us to his office on a weekend so we could use the high-speed internet to play Neopets games. As I got older it was all MSN, MySpace, Paramore fan forums, Tumblr, Twitter and now TikTok. I want nothing more than to zone out and look at my little pictures.

One of my favourite things about the internet is that it allows you to see everyone’s best joke. The moment in their life where they were at their absolute funniest – whether it be because they had a moment of brilliant wit or because they got pulled through a panel roof while practising for a high school play (I assume).

The internet has rotted my brain with the following content. Please now allow it to rot yours.

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The Pandemic Years have (and continue to be) difficult for everyone. Who among us has not, at one time or another, needed to just explain themselves by saying: “It’s mental illness, innit?”

2. Perfect burger

When I showed this video to my fiancee, she flatly said: “I like how absurdist it is.” That’s her code for, “I don’t get it, but I’m happy you’re happy.” And I am happy. Look at how confident and brave this burger is – ready to take on the world, come what may. I wish to be the burger.

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I have been to court precisely once because I inadvertently got in a cop’s way and he was grumpy about it so he booked me. The penalty was dismissed but not before I cried in front of the judge trying to explain what happened because I was so stressed out. Court is a daunting place and I simply cannot imagine walking in there with any level of irreverence. However, I’m extremely glad there are people who simply do not care, will say whatever damn thing and then an internet angel turns them into TikToks.

4. Turtle choir

This tweet is made all the more majestic by the vaguely threatening Sylvanian Families-style profile picture, on a Twitter account named @bigfatmoosepssy.

5. Trying coffee with pasta water

Climate change is slowly turning the Earth into a barren ball of pain as Mother Nature smacks us for being extremely bad. Even though individual responsibility for climate change isn’t enough to turn the tide, I still applaud those who try. Twitter user @madibskatin woke up in the morning and decided to be the change she wants to see in the world, tastebuds be damned. One could argue that it’s pretty obvious that pasta water isn’t going to make a good coffee but like my dad says as he puts pineapple juice in his coffee: “If no one tries it, how will we know? What if it’s secretly good?”

6. Soaring, flying

If you look closely, this video is actually a metaphor for the ways in which we attempt to break free from our circumstances, yet are entirely at the mercy of them.

7. You cannot trick me

This may be a parody Twitter account, but the spirit of Gail Walden speaks truths. There is no victory sweeter than that which is gained on thine enemy’s own soil.

8. Self-deprecating jokes

Humour is a coping mechanism. I am coping.

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Dairy products are delicious. Ice-cream? Revolutionary. Cheese? Life-changing. Whipped cream on a pavlova? Essential. But milk? Disgusting. It’s not a drink, it’s a stepping stone to greater things.

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I am absolutely 100% not at all lactose intolerant (I promise) so I don’t relate to this video at all (not even a bit).

Angharad Yeo is the host of Double J Weekends, 9am – midday, Saturdays and Sundays.



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F5 cuts revenue 2022 forecasts amid low network chip stocks • The Register

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The artist formerly know as F5 Networks – it moved to plain old F5 in November – is clipping revenue forecasts for fiscal ’22 by $30m to $90m because it can’t source enough specialised chips to produce systems.

The continued impact of the shortfall was outlined in F5’s Q1 results to 31 December and subsequent earnings conference call, during which chief exec François Locoh-Donou opened up on the challenge of suppliers cancelling orders because they can’t meet demand.

“As a result of persistent strong system demand, our systems backlog continued to grow in Q1,” he said. “Over the last 30 days, suppliers of critical components that span a number of our platforms have informed us of significant increases in decommits.

“These came in the form of both order delivery delays and sudden and pronounced reduction in shipment quantities. The step function decline in components availability is significantly restricting our ability to meet our customers’ continued strong demand for our systems.

“Like others in the industry, we are seeing worsening availability of specialized networking chipsets. Within the last 30 days, we have learned that deliveries for 52-week lead time components or at a year ago have been pushed out and that our expected quantities have been reduced.”

Group turnover grew 10 per cent year-on-year to $687m in F5’s Q1, fuelled by a 47 per cent leap in software to $163m, 2 per cent in services to $344m, and 1 per cent in hardware to $180m.

“Our software transition continues to gain momentum,” said Locoh-Donou, adding later in the earnings call: “While we are solely disappointed that supply chain challenges have gated our ability to fulfil customer demand for systems in the near term, we are more confident than ever in our position, our strategy and our long-term opportunity.”

The backlog grew by 10 per cent so the sales pipeline is looking healthy, said the exec, who was at great pains throughout the call to tell analysts: “It absolutely is a supply issue. And the revision we’ve just done to our annual guidance is 100 per cent linked to the supply issue.”

For the year, F5 now expects sales to grow 4-8 per cent ($610m to $650m).

“The issue with our supply chain has deteriorated steadily. And last year, we were not able to ship the demand, which is why our backlog grew so much during the year.

“Things have been getting worse. And at the beginning of our fiscal year, when we were doing the planning for this year, we actually took into account the number of decommits that we were getting from various suppliers and a situation that was already very tight on a number of components.”

He said in the past month it was seeing more than 400 cancellations from suppliers, “and we were running about 30 per cent less than that even just a month ago – the situation is quite unprecedented.”

In a bid to ameliorate the supply situation, F5 said it is working to design and qualify replacement parts – which may improve thing in the second half of the year. It is also trying to pre-order more components.

F5 is confident that it will not see orders cancelled. “The demand we have is very real. Our lead times, unfortunately, have gotten progressively worse over the last five, six quarters, but we haven’t seen any increase in order cancellation, and we don’t expect to see that going forward,” Locoh-Donou stated.

Supply chain problems with silicon components have been hitting companies in the IT industry and beyond for multiple quarters now, and networking vendors are no less vulnerable.

Last year, Arista warned that lead times for key chips were extending out to 60 weeks, twice what would be expected before the pandemic. Both Arista and Juniper announced they were being forced to bump up prices in November, while Cisco warned its buyers and investors that supply chain issues were likely to persist for several months more, although it expected to see some improvement in the situation for Q3 and Q4, taking us into the second half of 2022. ®

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Cork data centre equipment maker Edpac acquired for €29m

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Munters, a Swedish air treatment technology company, will use the Edpac acquisition to expand into the European market.

Irish data centre equipment manufacturer Edpac has been acquired by Swedish company Munters in a €29m deal.

Based in Carrigaline, Co Cork, Edpac manufactures cooling equipment and air handling systems for data centres in the European market, with additional sales in the Middle East, South America and Asia.

For Munters, which has significant operations in North America, the acquisition is an opportunity for it to expand in the European market. Once complete, the deal will see the transfer of Munters’ technologies and engineering capabilities to Ireland.

“The European data centre market is a prioritised segment for Munters, and the acquisition is a significant step in our growth strategy,” said Klas Forsström, president and chief executive of Munters.

Forsström said that Munters’ experience in the North American market will provide Edpac with “opportunities for further profitable growth” by collaborating on “technology development and establishing unified processes”.

Edpac has two manufacturing facilities in Ireland – Newmarket and Carrigaline – and employs around 150 people in the country. Currently a manufacturing partner for Munters, Edpac sees approximately 7pc of its revenue come from the sale of Munters products.

In the financial year ending April 2021, Edpac reported net sales of €17m and earnings before tax of €1.7m. According to The Irish Times, Edpac managing director Noel Lynch has led the company since it was bought from its Swiss parent in 1991.

“We are excited to welcome Edpac to Munters. Edpac brings an attractive, differentiated customer base and high-quality products,” Forsström said, adding that Edpac’s operating model “is a perfect match with Munters ways of working.”

Founded in 1955, Munters aims to create energy efficient air treatment technologies for customers in a wide range of industries. Listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, it employees 3,300 employees across 30 countries – with annual sales exceeding 7bn Swedish krona in 2020.

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