Posts Tagged ‘hosted IP’

cccVoice over IP (VoIP) has been the standard transfer protocol for voice telecommunications for quite some time. Its biggest drawback is that it utilizes the internet. Voice and video need to be transmitted in “real time.” Delays in video result in buffering which though annoying are somewhat acceptable. Delays in voice transmission result in jitter, latency and eventually, a dropped call. To most callers, this is unacceptable. The internet does not provide Class of Service (CoS); and since all traffic is treated equally, voice calls will suffer when internet usage is heavy. CoS allows for the prioritization of traffic such that voice and video data are sent ahead of non time-sensitive tasks such as e-mail and web page accessing.

In order to achieve a private telecom voice network free of jitter, latency and dropped calls you need to have a Closed Loop Communications Network, (CLCN). We have partnered with Cisco, EarthLink and Adaption Technologies to provide an integrated telephone and network application that couples the flexibility of Hosted with the operability and ease of use of a key system. Our solution utilizes Adaption Technologies’ Hosted VoIP technologies for transport over the nationwide backbone maintained by EarthLink. We provide a controlled CoS with end to end delivery. Carrier quality is guaranteed while jitter, latency and dropped calls are virtually eliminated. Your conversation never touches the internet.

This service is monitored 24/7/365 in our Aurora, IL Network Operation Center (NOC) in conjunction with our Help Desk. Our network is guaranteed with measurable Service Level agreements (SLA’s).

With this Closed Loop Communications Network you can use your existing telephone equipment or you can equip some or all locations with SIP handsets using Hosted VoIP. All calls are on net. One auto attendant can serve multiple locations. If there is a service interruption, calls are automatically redirected to a pre-assigned destination. This is location specific. We can provide enhanced customer service, detailed call reporting at a cost substantially lower than conventional telephone services.

CLCN takes the revolutionary technology of VoIP and refines it to be a cost effective business application for companies with multiple locations. It provides on net, no cost dialing between locations. You can answer any call from any location with the ability to transfer that call to any location. This results in enhanced customer service while requiring less manpower. If you believe this solution has an application at your company, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. We’ll help you get your own piece of the internet.

I have not been the biggest proponent of Hosted/Managed IP. As a previous post “An Open Letter to Hosted IP Providers” will attest to,  https://selecttelecom.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/an-open-letter-to-hosted-ip-providers/  Now it’s time for me to change my tune for I believe Toshiba has got it right with their VIPedge.  As I make my argument, let’s break it into two logical discussions. First being, “What type of company would benefit?” and the second being “Why is this solution superior.” 

What type of company would benefit? Toshiba’s VIPedge is designed for companies needing advanced telecom features, such as Unified Communications and PC integration with Outlook or their CRM database but not willing or wanting to own and maintain a telephone system. The VIPedge offers the alternative. Customers pay a recurring monthly fee based on size and usage. Unlike other providers who lock you in to 3 and 5 year contracts, the VIPedge commitment is only 2 years.

Why is this solution superior? The easy answer is the phones. Instead of tiny phones with hard to read LCD’s and even harder to understand buttons, choose either a 9-line LCD, 20 programmable button set or the DECT 6.0 IP4100 wireless.

With its large footprint and layout to which you’ve been accustomed, transition to the Hosted world is a breeze.

You’ll get the features that most hosted systems tout such as:

  • The ability to give each extension a unique telephone number, but still maintain your company’s listed number
  • Voice Mail with Unified Messaging including Presence, IM, Chat and Desktop Call Control
  • Mobility with Find-me, Follow-me
  • Unlimited Local/LD in all 50 states. Toll free and international calling available
  • Seamless Networking between offices
  • VIPedge Enterprise Manager web interface to configure, manage, control and maintain
  • Survivability

More importantly, here are some features that the VIPedge has that is usually not found in Hosted IP. These are the key system features we’ve grown to love:

  • Outside Line Buttons
  • Directory Numbers; Primary, Phantom and Pilot
  • Direct Station Select (DSS) Keys
  • Multiple Call/Delayed Ringing
  • Telephone Group Paging
  • Off-Hook Call Announce
  • Music/Messaging on Hold
  • Uniform Call Distribution
  • Call Record to Voice Mail

If you’re thinking that it’s time to upgrade your telecommunications platform but don’t want the cost and hassle of purchasing a new system, the VIPedge is the right choice. If you’re currently on Hosted/Managed IP platform and you’re just not feeling the love, the VIPedge is the obvious choice. Either way contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151 and we’ll get your telephone system in the cloud with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

 

2004 was the beginning of the mass marketing of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This was the ability to provide telephone service to your home or business over a broadband internet connection. Prognosticators saw this as the end of the copper land line to the home and a revolution in business services. For once they were right. VoIP lowered costs and increased functionality immediately and that trend still continues today. What the soothsayers didn’t foresee is how it would revolutionize the senior housing market.

From a telephony standpoint, senior housing is unique in these ways:

  • There are many users (residences) but not much telephone traffic
  • Residents like simple telephone instruments whether they have the big buttons for easy dialing or a cordless phone that they can keep in their pocket.
  • Keeping the same telephone number they’ve had for years is a big plus for the friends and family who call them.
  • It would be a convenient if they had a simple way of communicating with the administrative side of the senior housing facility. This could be as important as an emergency notification to as mundane as confirming an appointment in the beauty salon.

In the past, facilities would install a large PBX with fancy phones for the business side and simple single line sets to the residents. Set up like a hotel, each resident would have their own DID (Direct in Dial) number and share the facility’s bank of outside lines. Cost of this equipment was high and extensive wiring to the resident’s rooms was sometimes needed. Even after this daunting expense, the residents couldn’t keep their old phone numbers. If you wanted to add wired internet access, it meant installing Cat5e cable and outlets to rooms equipped only with the typical twisted pair used for telephones.

With VoIP, things are much simpler and much more cost effective. Voice is nothing more than an application running on an internet connection. SIP trunking applications can provide telephone service to all residents over existing wiring while using their existing handsets. Portability of telephone numbers is a hallmark of SIP. If grandma moves from Manhattan to rural Vermont, she can keep her 212 area code. By providing a hosted SIP solution, the administration has no need for its existing telephone system, only SIP compliant voice terminals. They and the residences are now on the same network with 3 digit dialing between telephone sets. Other applications of hosted SIP such as a common voice mail system are included. Having internet access to each room over the same existing telephone wiring can be accomplished easily. This allows those who need internet access to have it now while the facility has the ability to add it later ala carte as the baby boomers retire and demand for internet rises.

From the administrative side of the business, the hosted IP profit model is the same as if telephone service were provided to the residents via a facility owned PBX. The facility pays the hosted SIP provider for the services and bills the residents directly. Unlike the PBX model, resident moves and new installations can be done via a web browser. Existing telephone numbers can be ported to your hosted SIP network within 24 hours. You’ll never have to wait weeks for the telephone truck to show up only to charge your residents $150 to hook up their telephone line or internet connection.

Some providers are bundling this with satellite TV services, wireless emergency notification systems and audio and video surveillance equipment. Savings on the SIP trunking side and satellite TV side can offset the capital equipment costs of the other equipment allowing the provider to propose a long term, cost effective solution which includes the emergency notification and surveillance equipment a greatly reduced costs.

Dear Hosted IP Provider, or as your Marketing Department might say, Managed IP Provider:

I realize that you believe Hosted IP is the hottest product to hit the world of telephony since Centrex was introduced in the mid 1960’s. It does have great potential if it is proposed correctly to the appropriate client. If you take the approach that since this technology is awesome one size fits all, disaster awaits. Doug Allen, senior editor of PHONES+ magazine addresses this quite eloquently. See http://www.channelpartnersonline.com/articles/2010/11/hanging-up-on-hosted-voip.aspx These are some of the issues I’d like to address concerning your Hosted/Managed product.

  • Stop focusing on the technology and tell me what it means to me. I can’t get excited that it’s “cloud technology.” Wasn’t my AOL dial-up cloud technology? In those days we were much more modest and called it “web-based.” If Hosted/Managed IP will increase productivity and add to my bottom line, please explain how. Calling it “Software as a Service” is not the answer I’m looking for.
  • Taylor your solution to the way I do business. If I want unanswered callers to ring back to the receptionist instead of going into voice mail, don’t tell me that’s not the way it should be done. My goal is to talk to every incoming caller and see if we can sell them something or solve their problem. Work with me.
  • Self Administration should not mean, “Here’s the website, now go find out how to do it.” If I’m trying to designate my cell phone to take incoming callers in the event my Hosted/Managed IP system crashes, tell me how. Don’t send a tech to do on-site training if all he’s going to do is fumble through your website while charging me $200 an hour.
  • I appreciate the fact that you’re always upgrading the network to better serve me. Do you mind doing that after business hours? When my calls are dropped or my phones and programming reverts to factory defaults, don’t tell me that you were installing a remote patch and I’m the first one ever to complain.  If I can’t make, take or hear calls coming in, we’ve got a problem.
  • Show me the warts. For example:
    • Can we send and receive faxes or will I need another analog line for that? What about a credit card machine?
    • Must all phones be wired with Cat5 computer wiring or can I use the existing twisted pair wiring?
    • If I have single line phones in a shop or warehouse, can I use them?
    • I want to page over our overhead horns and speakers. Will they integrate or will I have two phones on my desk?
    • Can I just put a call on hold and have someone else pick it up?
    • If my internet service goes down will my Hosted/Managed IP system go down too?
  • Don’t make me sign a 5 year contract. Technology is changing so rapidly and prices keep dropping. How much have the prices for flat screen TV’s dropped since 1996? How can you cost justify your solution if you don’t know the competitive costs for dial tone in 2016?

Don’t get me wrong. Hosted/Managed IP is feature rich and a perfect fit for many a clientele but not every clientele. Focus on what’s important to me and stay away from the “state of the art” discussions. If this is not a good fit, let me know and let us part as friends.

Respectfully,

Mike Bayer

P.S. Every example was based on my or a customers’ personal experience with Hosted/Managed IP. As I tell my children, “I don’t have to make stuff up.”

If you have experiences with Hosted/Managed IP, good, bad or imaginary; we ask you to share them with us. Good products with exemplary customer service sold and implemented correctly are in everyone’s best interest. Please share.