Posts Tagged ‘unified communication’

With football season well into week 4 and the Bears tied for mediocre in the division, it’s neither time to celebrate nor despair but to think long term. One victory does not guarantee a season’s success.  Conversely a slow start does not doom a team to failure. The same is true for your business. If after 3 fiscal quarters you need a quick score or even a monumental comeback, you don’t punt; you go deep!

From a technological standpoint how can you “go deep” when your team is down? One way is to make sure customers can get a hold of you when they want to buy something or need a problem solved. Ask yourself, “What’s the most important call I expect to receive today and how will I guarantee that I answer it?” If your solution is to hope that you are at your desk when the phone rings, you will find yourself 4th and long. The answer may be Find Me-Follow Me and Unified Communications.

Find Me-Follow Me allows you to have your phone extension ring a few times and if you are unable to answer the call it will ring another number, typically your cell phone. If the call is connected, all is well. What happens if the call is not connected due to poor cell service, the phone turned off or you being on another call? In the old days it would give the caller a chance to leave a message on your cell phones’ voice mail; not a high level of service if the caller had a time sensitive issue. Your cell phones’ voice message ends up saying, “Hi, this is Bob and you’ve reached my cell phone voice mail. If you want anything done today, please hang up and call my office again and for your own sanity do NOT ask to be sent to my extension…unless you want to end up here again!” With Find Me-Follow Me calls unanswered are left in your company’s voice mail where the caller can dial an extension to reach a specific person or press “0” for the receptionist. Customer satisfaction scores a touchdown!

If your customer does choose to leave you a message in your company’s voice mail, Unified Communications can send that message to your smart phone. You will be notified immediately and can respond or delegate accordingly. Missed sales opportunities and poor customer service are thrown for a loss.

So if you’re ready to do what it takes to put your company’s revenues in the win column, contact us at or call us at 815-282-5151.

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,  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 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.


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.