Archive for the ‘Voice’ Category

When is Your Business Phone System More than a Phone?

Posted on: February 18th, 2016 by webadmin No Comments

A Business phone system is purchased to allow employees to call out, and clients to call in.  Sure, the phrase Unified Communications, or “UC” gets thrown into the conversation, but the lion’s share of the purchase is for traditional phone system parts and pieces; handsets, headsets and call processing.

When does a business phone system switch from phone system to something more? Well, only when it does more than a phone system does!

The Network Team is performing an upgrade to our Call Manager, and will be including Singlewire Informacast.  Cisco and Singlewire have made the idea of getting more than a phone system a literal no-brainer by offering Informacast free for the first 50 phones.

Informacast offers security and emergency response awareness usually reserved for dedicated systems found in government prisons and larger public schools.

Some current features include:

  • Push button alerting
  • 911 alerting
  • Severe weather alerting
  • Building lock down
  • Paging and intercom integration
  • Scheduled messages/bells
  • Internet of Things integration.

The latter item, IoT, represents not just the future of technology but also the present. The system can integrate with other systems, out of the box, to lock doors, turn on and off wireless RFID, and turn lights on and off.

So, the value proposition is that when you have a Cisco phone system, you get a situation management and response system included, for the first 50 phones, at no additional cost.

Call us to set up a demo. Let us show  you why we are including Informacast in our next Call Manager upgrade that we run our production network on.

We are paying the same price you will….

TNT has a New Small Business Phone System Option

Posted on: February 10th, 2016 by webadmin No Comments

Phone systems are the lifeblood of most businesses. But dealing with phone companies, in terms of both cost and customer service, can make anyone’s blood boil. Add to that the increasing demands for mobility, collaboration and Unified Communications, and many service providers are unable to keep up with their small business phone system needs.

The Network Team is pleased to announce a new Cloud-based communication service at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone service. We have partnered with Nextiva, the fastest growing communications provider in the US.

The Nextiva platform combines voice, video, email, conferencing and web presence for one low monthly rate, ideal for a small business phone system.

Bring Your Own Device and Bandwidth:

  • Keep your current IP-enabled phones or upgrade to new VoIP phones and get the coolest new features. Or leverage your PBX investment and add SIP trunking.
  • We’ll help assess your network to see if your bandwidth can support business VoIP and recommend options based on your needs.
  • Go mobile with the Nextiva App that acts just like your office phone and uses your smartphone or desktop to make voice or video calls, chat, and see who’s available – from anywhere.

The Nextiva solution includes the following:

  • Multi-Tiered Auto Attendants
  • User Friendly Web Interface
  • Presence on Multiple Devices
  • 100% U.S. Based Support
  • 4-digit Extension Dialing
  • Unlimited Calling and Faxing
  • Unlimited Long Distance
  • Unlimited Hunt Groups
  • Group Paging
  • Call Parking
  • Intercom
  • HD Voice
  • Push to Talk
  • Amazing Service®

TNT president Jeff Gaura made the choice to add Nextiva as a partner for two main reasons. “Nextiva provides a greater breadth in their offering than Microsoft’s best UC offer. That makes it a great option for a small business phone system. I was also impressed with the local support and people who can be called for questions or when issues arise.”

Learn more about Nextiva from the company itself in this video:

If you’re curious to learn more about Cloud Phone Systems, you can also download “Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Cloud Phone System.”

 

Post by: Jessica Diehl, Marketing Director

Failed Skype for Business Installations: What do they have in common?

Posted on: September 11th, 2013 by webadmin No Comments

Successful people learn from their mistakes.  Greatly successful people learn from the mistakes of others.  Read this, and learn about the mistakes others make when choosing to use Microsoft Skype for Business as a PBX replacement.

Skype for Business is well entrenched as a Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence tool, but it is not a common place application for a phone system.  Gartner and all the trade rags give it nearly the highest of reviews, and Microsoft is considered a market leader and visionary in voice.  Yet, deployments don’t always work as expected.  Here is the kicker.  Skype for Business does work, but only if the surrounding cast members are ready for it.  Here is what we see.

  1. Active Directory needs to be cleaned like a sports car before a race.  No straggling OU or Group Policies.  Devices and Mobility need to have correct security to run Skype for Business, and every endpoint that runs Skype for Business needs to have a path with low latency and large queue buffers to handle the traffic.
  2. Certificate Services need to work both internally and externally.  There is a need to test and confirm that an internal certificate authority is working.  Certificates are a part of every endpoint registration and logon.  If certificate services stop work, so does Skype for Businesses’s ability to service endpoints.
  3. People conclude that a successful pilot project means that Skype for Business is ready for full deployment.  Not necessarily so.  Skype for Business clients require bandwidth.  Just because 10 devices in the local IT department work like champs doesn’t mean that all 150 users in accounting will be able to run on that same PSTN network, nor will the internal network be able to support all the additional traffic.  Performing a thorough network assessment with recommendations is required to alleviate this before starting.  Unfortunately, in an attempt to contain costs, this step is often skipped.  The wrong time to learn that the switching infrastructure needs an upgrade is after the budget has been presented and approved.
  4.  End point selections need to occur early in the process, not at the end.  Your user’s buy in to Unified Communications is contingent on it being a good experience for them.  A good handset, headset or Bluetooth device can be the difference between employees calling Skype for Business, “a new stinking phone system,” or a “cool new way to communicate.”

Hope you can avoid everyone else’s pitfalls.