Posts Tagged ‘Rockford’

WHAT: Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division, is sponsoring a “Phone-A-Saurus” video contest for Facebook fans until May 15, 2012. The entrant who best demonstrates the need for a new business phone system will win a complete IPedge® or Strata® CIX™ phone system — installed. Second prize is a Toshiba 32″ LCD flat screen television, and third is a Toshiba Thrive™ tablet.

HOW: Shoot a short (less than 3-minute) video to demonstrate why your business phone system is outdated and how you could benefit from a new one. Visit the Toshiba Phone Systems Facebook page at to access the “Phone-A-Saurus” contest tab. (Non-fans will be asked to “Like” the page to access a brief entry form and submit their videos. Current fans will already have access to the contest entry form.) Participation is subject to sweepstakes rules available on the contest page.

WHEN: The Toshiba Phone Systems “Phone-A-Saurus” Sweepstakes will run until May 15, 2012. Toshiba will select the top three finalists, and the public will have an opportunity to vote for first, second and third place winners, which will be announced on June 3, 2012.

WHERE: The contest will take place on the Toshiba Phone Systems Facebook page,, where the company shares news, product information, insights, dealer information, industry trends and more.

Also visit the Toshiba Telecom blog for more information at

Twitter: @toshibaphonesys
LinkedIn: Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division
Web site:

Did you ever wonder where the expression, “thinking outside the box” came from? According to my extensive research, participants were asked to look at the 9 dot puzzle and connect all the dots using 4 strokes with a pen while never leaving the paper. Try it. I’ll wait…Give up? Try again and think. “Use your head!’ to quote your father. Still can’t get it? Okay, we’ll help.

I know what you’re thinking, that’s cheating! No, it’s “thinking outside the box” both literally and figuratively.

In business do we think outside the box? Should we think outside the box? After all, it is cheating. At Select Telecom we love to cheat; cheat your competitors who focus on quick profits while ignoring customer satisfaction; cheat other telecom providers who focus on buzz words and not their client’s bottom line. If you’re prepared to “think outside the box” and use technology to cheat the odds, contact us at or call us at 815-282-5151 and we’ll show you that cheaters do prosper.

Well, where do we start; our history? We’ve been around since 1983 selling and servicing small to medium sized businesses in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Our primary products? We’ve been authorized Toshiba Telecom dealers since our inception but we also sell Allworx and hosted IP as telecom products. We are also agents for the major network service providers; AT&T, Comcast, TDS, EarthLink and the list goes on.

Our complimenting products and services? It’s a rather diverse set which includes:

  • Audio and Video Surveillance from a few simple analog (CCTV) cameras and DVR to 20 megapixel, 180 degree IP cameras with a 10 terrabyte Network Video Recorder.
  • Cambridge Sound Masking Technology which provides cost effective ceiling mount speakers which produce a “white noise” which mirrors the spectrum of the human voice. It does not have to be loud to be effective.
  • The SonicWALL® TZ Series which offers a revolutionary breakthrough with higher performance protection, new redundancy capabilities, comprehensive Anti-Spam integration, application intelligence and control, and other innovations to protect and improve the efficiency of your business.
  • Care Connect by ESCO Technologies is a revolutionary approach to the bundling of telecommunications and TV services to the assisted living/senior housing communities.

The one thing you really need to know about Select Telecom is our goal which is to provide advanced solutions by leveraging the technology of both the equipment manufacturers as well as the network service providers to be the most cost effective alternative to affect profitability and increase client retention. That’s it. If we can’t put money in your pocket or help you keep your customers, then the technology and our expertise is useless. If you’re looking for a solution that means something to your company’s bottem line. Contact us at or call us at 815-282-5151.

In my business, technology can be a blessing and a curse. We all agree it needs to be implemented but we disagree on to what degree we need to incorporate it. If we had unlimited time for research and unlimited money for purchase, the problem would be solved.

We may have a solution. At Select Telecom we have partnered with an Operations and Technology Consultant. His goal is to give a consultative approach to the practical implementations of today’s technology. He’ll cover telecommunications, network design, hardware and software with a keen eye balancing the proposed costs with the perceived benefits. He comes to us with years of practical experience as an IT manager of medium size companies in the Rockford area. The good news is that there is no charge for his services. If you’re interested in a review of where you are, where you can be and the costs associated in getting there, contact us or give us a ring at 815-282-5151.

Every four years it’s leap year. Yes, I know that there is no leap year at the turn of the century; unless that year is divisible by 400. Anyway, we get an extra day this year. What shall we do with it? How about giving your business phone system a 48 month check up?

When you had your new phone system installed you’d have been lucky if it were designed correctly to make it easy for your customers to buy from you and hopefully easy for them get their billing questions answered so that they can pay you. Making it easy for your clientele to deal with your company is the key to customer retention.

As technology changes and competition for business increases, it behooves you to update how your business telephone system interfaces with your revenue stream; your customer base. Take this extra day to do a mental inventory. Ask yourself:

  • Are my incoming lines answered in a timely manner or are my customers hanging up and calling my competitors?
  • Is my Auto Attendant helpful or just annoying?
  • Does my voice mail tell my callers anything other that, “I’m either away from my desk or on the telephone”?
  • Is my system designed to get the callers to someone who can help them or just their voice mail?
  • Are my remote workers connected to my company via their smartphone? 
  • Am I using today’s technology (SIP, Unified Communications, Mobility) to add to my bottom line?
  • Do people find it easier to e-mail me than to call me?

If you answered yes, no or maybe to any of the above questions, that may be a reason to get the 48 month check up. Give us a call at 815-282-5151 or e-mail us (if you find it easier, oops!) at  If that be the case maybe we need to take the day off for a little check up ourselves.

Ever notice that when you watch the footage of a convenience store robbery on the evening news the pictures are always so muddy? There are two reasons for that. The first is that it was recorded by an analog camera sometimes referred to a CCTV, closed circuit television. The other reason is that the camera was probably installed in the 1990’s so the technology is ancient; at least by today’s standards.

Now with Hybrid DVR Technology we have the best of both worlds; the ability to use either analog or IP cameras on the same DVR. Analog cameras are inexpensive and perfect for close range video. IP cameras with their high pixilation are best suited for longer distances which require zooming. IP camera can be equipped with IR sensors for night vision and can be installed wirelessly where connection to a Cat5e cable is difficult. Need a panoramic view? No worries!

With DVR’s being commonplace, the pricing has dropped and storage capacity has increased significantly. You can have a cost effective DVR with anywhere from 20-30 days of video storage with the ability to save videos off-site indefinitely. Storage capacity is tied to the size of the hard drive and how many frames per second you wish to record. If only movement is recorded and you adjust sensitivity you will save disk space. Audio can also be recorded in conjunction with the video. The DVR has separate inputs for microphones which can be either stand alone or built in to the surveillance camera.

Placement of the cameras should be wherever you would like to monitor activity. It could be over a cash register, in the shop or outside covering access points to your building.

Viewing can be done from a monitor attached to the DVR or any device with internet access. Playback is simple. The software can be programmed to show movement only. A scan of after hours activity takes a few minutes. Images from the DVR can be exported as .jpg files for archiving.

If you’re considering video and audio surveillance give us a call at 815-282-5151. If you want to upgrade your current system, your cameras will most likely migrate. Free software is available to your smartphone allowing you to view your facility from anywhere. You really will be seeing your world from the palm of your hand.

In this day of rumor, hearsay and hyperbole, it’s easy to get the facts distorted. In my arena, telecommunications, things aren’t much better. People are constantly telling me about how VoIP, SIP Trunking or Cloud Computing are going to change the industry. They know it’s true since they read it in the Wall Street Journal or maybe it was Rolling Stone.

While VoIP, SIP Trunking, Cloud Computing and technologies we’ve never imagined are and will continue to change the industry; is this what you the business owner should focus on? I think not.

When I see my doctor. I don’t need to be up to date on the current procedures and drug therapies associated with my condition. It helps if I have a basic understanding of what treatments and drugs are available and what’s on the horizon. However, I realize that they are the experts whose livelihood depends on being proficient in their field.

The same is true in telecommunications system design. Like going to the doctor, focus on what hurts. Allow the professionals to design and recommend the appropriate treatments and procedures based on the accepted diagnosis. Don’t try to second guess the professional by demanding new and unproven remedies which may possibly make your situation worse. Let us do what we know best. It may be just what the doctor ordered.