Posts Tagged ‘SIP’

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.

 

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We all know the signs when it’s time to call; the system is dead, a phone needs to be added or moved. The question here is when should we call before it’s too late? What can we do to anticipate the need?

If we assume the purpose of your telecommunications system is to add to your bottom line and increase customer retention, the answer becomes clear. It’s time to call when the system is not adding to your bottom and not increasing customer retention. The question then becomes, what are the early warning signs? Here are a few.

  1. Increase in voice mail traffic. Are employees hard to find? If your phone system could find employees both on site and off site, would that help?
  2. Are customers hanging up? Before you get to answer the incoming call? After its transferred to an extension?
  3. Are customers complaining that is too hard to get a hold of someone or too difficult to get a call back?
  4. Is lack of caller ID making it difficult to return those mumbled voice mails?
  5. Are there “dead spots” in your company due to lack of cordless/wireless sets?

These are but a few examples. Your specific issues demand a specific solution. To get that solution, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. Don’t let an early warning sign turn into lost revenue.

In honor of May 1st, celebrated as Labor Day in 66 countries, we honor its most important contribution, the 8 hour work day. Those of us who run a small business are wondering how successful we need to become in order to work just 8 hours. Any good manager will tell you that you must delegate. Who is your most reliable business resource? My vote goes to your telephone system.

It works 24/7. With the right application software it can take orders, accept payments and check order status. Direct in Dial numbers or Auto Attendant can route calls to specific employees. If they’re unavailable, it can forward the call directly to their mobile device or be directed back in to your company’s voice mail to access another employee. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Speech Recognition can mimic human interaction to the point that working an 8 hour work day would seem like 16 hours too short!

If you believe any of these applications could positively affect your company’s bottom line, contact us at sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151. If you can’t make it between 9 and 5, that’s okay, we’ve got you covered.

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 www.facebook.com/toshibaphonesystems 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, www.facebook.com/toshibaphonesystems, where the company shares news, product information, insights, dealer information, industry trends and more.

Also visit the Toshiba Telecom blog for more information at http://blog.telecom.toshiba.com/2012/02/win-a-new-business-phone-system/.

ON THE WEB:
Twitter: @toshibaphonesys
Facebook: www.facebook.com/toshibaphonesystems
Blog: http://blog.telecom.toshiba.com/
LinkedIn: Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division
Web site: http://www.telecom.toshiba.com/

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 sales@selectteltech.com 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 sales@selectteltech.com or call us at 815-282-5151.

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.