There’s much focus on the cost of business telephone systems and plans these days. However, it’s important to get the bigger picture.

What are your ongoing costs of ownership? What are you spending to maintain your business telephone system? Should you have a hosted, premise-based or hybrid solution? The answer is not always straight forward and requires a broad understanding of the culture and layout of your business. It would be prudent to carefully consider these options and review them with a trusted industry professional.

There are also options to consider when it comes to administration and service for your telephone system. This week, let’s explore the following factors related to the popular premise-based business telephone system:

Is your system setup for remote programming so your telephone service company can provide assistance on more advanced changes without a site visit? This is a popular way to reduce costs as well as wait time that may be involved in scheduling and dispatching a technician.Money

Do you have a maintenance plan in place for your telephone system? By having a plan in place you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your system is kept up to date and serviced promptly and properly. This can prevent costly service outages that would seriously impact the bottom line for your business.

Do your telephone system’s features offer you the best tools to help meet your customer service and productivity goals? Be sure to consult with your system provider to explore the options. You may be able to impact your soft costs that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Do you have staff trained to administer your telephone system? If you are looking to reduce costs, you may be able to save time and money by doing some of your own changes on your telephone system. These may include such items as extension name changes, call forwarding setup, button programming as well as voicemail setup and changes.

In recognizing the need for this, NEC developed an effective administration tool called PhonePro that fills the bill. PhonePro is an advanced, built-in application on the SV9100 Communications Solution to helps users efficiently program their own telephones without engaging assistance from anyone else. Following is a short introductory video.

Please contact us for additional information.

Whether your business is small, medium or enterprise, your telephone system and call handling is likely a critical part of your customer interaction.

Headset callWhat are your answers to these important questions:

How many people call your main telephone number in a given period of time? From a marketing perspective, it’s important to know how effective you are in reaching your business audience and generating responses.

How many people called in response to your new marketing campaign? It may be helpful to have separate telephone numbers for different marketing campaigns in order to gauge their effectiveness.

When do you receive the most calls? And, how long do callers wait for someone to answer their initial calls? How long are callers waiting on hold? Also, how many abandoned calls do you have? Answers to these questions will be important to assist with staffing levels by time of day and day of the week.

Do you know how many calls were answered per person? And, who is answering the fewest calls? Do you have enough lines to handle your call volume?

By deploying an ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) system, you could have the information at your fingertips to answer these and other crucial questions.

Summary of ACD benefits: Benefits

Among the many benefits that ACD can provide to users, nothing compares to the overall increase in Customer Satisfaction that can be gained using this tool.

Callers entering into ACD systems have the comfort of knowing that their call is being processed by prompting the caller periodically through various messages. ACD above all else, eliminates terminal holds which can be extremely frustrating to customers, and your business can ultimately lose the customer. This can cost your business thousands of dollars in lost business that can never be measured.

Decreasing costs always provides a tremendous benefit to organizations, and ACD systems can certainly help accomplish this goal.

Efficient contact centers can:

  • Eliminate multiple handling of calls, reducing staff expenses.
  • Manage staffing levels by providing report data on call center activity and call flow.
  • Connect Multiple Locations: ACD can easily route calls to agents sitting at different or remote locations. All the agents working in different geographies can function as one single team.
  • Manage agent efficiency.
  • Reduce returned calls.
  • Help determine the correct number of incoming lines.
  • Responding fast to a call by transferring it to the most appropriate agent, will definitely improve the chances of first call resolution and the customer can get his query resolved without transferring him to other agents or departments. This will reduce the time taken to answer a call and hence reduce cost-per-call.
  • “With efficient routing of incoming calls, agents can use their expertise in solving the problems of a caller rather than indulging in activities that are outside their scope.”

    ACD acquires usage data such as total number of calls, time spent on each call, waiting time etc which is used for reporting purposes. This will enable managers to assess key performance indicators and optimize resources more effectively.

    Exploring these possibilities could be an important step in improving customer service and ultimately, your bottom line! View the following short introductory video showing some of the features available to the Contact Center Agent running UC Suite for the NEC SV9100:

    Ask us about the possibilities. More info

    Two-way radios are excellent communication tools for many organizations. However, it is important to choose whether the conventional or trunked format is best suited for your application. You may ask, “What’s the difference?”

    Conventional Two-Way Radios

    Conventional radio systems operate on fixed RF channels and are best suited for organizations with a smaller user group. In these radio networks, the system has dedicated channels for specific groups/users, and the user manually selects the channels they want. In multi-channel systems channels are used for separate purposes. For instance, Channel 1 can be allocated to service personnel to talk to the dispatch office and Channel 2 can be assigned to talk to construction crews. Generally, these systems have the capabilities to support roughly 70 users per channel.

    No control channels are needed, so users are free to use any of the channels available to them, assuming no one else is currently using the channel. This means that a user would need to finish their call on channel 2 before another user could place a call on channel 2. Therefore, the amount of users who can successfully use this network is directly related to the amount of channels available.

    Trunked Two-Way Radios

    Trunked radio networks utilize sophisticated repeater technology. This is a complex type of computer-controlled two-way radio system that allows sharing of relatively few radio frequency channels among a large group of users. Instead of assigning, for example, a radio channel to one particular organization at a time, users are instead assigned to a logical grouping, or “talk group”. When any user in that group wishes to converse with another user in the talk group, a vacant radio channel is found automatically by the system and the conversation takes place on that channel. Many unrelated conversations can occur on a channel, making use of the otherwise idle time between conversations. Each radio transceiver contains a microcomputer to control it. A control channel coordinates all the activity of the radios in the system.

    This can save users a lot of time and frustration as they don’t need to worry about turning a knob to find an open channel, or having to wait to communicate over a specific channel. Rather, they can simply use the push-to-talk button and be quickly connected over the first available channel.

    Always Ask!ic-f5061_main

    Be sure to have a conversation with a qualified two-way radio professional to get all your questions answered in order to make the best decision to meet you specific needs.

    Contact sales@nutecelectrotel.com for help with your questions.

    Even if you are filing most documents electronically, in virtual filing cabinets, there are
    almost always physical documents to be processed. Organizing your system of filing
    would be a topic all of its own. Here we will address a couple of the physical elements of
    document management.

    Printers and Copiers

    paper jamWe often hear complaints about paper jams in printers and copiers. This can be really disruptive to productivity and may be caused by any one of a number of issues. In the past, this was often a major problem with some machines. Today`s machines are much more reliable and usually operate with fewer paper jams. Properly loaded paper can help eliminate some of the paper jam problem. Instead of loading a whole ream (500 sheet package) of paper at once, try separating it into thirds. Fan each of these and square them up before loading them in the machine. Use quality paper. Sometimes lower cost paper varies in quality from batch to batch. However, there are some brands of budget priced paper that work very well. Find one that gives you the best experience.

    If you have problems with printing to thicker paper, such as card stock, be sure to check the specifications of your device to ensure it is designed for the paper you chose. In most machines, if card stock is supported, it should be loaded in the by-pass tray. If you continue to have problems, you may require a technician to check it out.

    Multifunction Printers (MFP)

    copyingMany machines today combine the functions of copier, scanner, printer, and optional fax all in one device. Depending upon your device model, you may be able to scan documents for printing, scan to a file, scan to email and ⁄or scan to secure encrypted storage on the hard drive of your machine.

    These machines range in size and scope from meeting the basic needs of a small office to full scale publishing machines with built-in document servers. From a practical perspective, the best tip to offer here is that you utilize a maintenance agreement to handle everything so you only need to provide the required paper products.

    Advanced Technology

    Would the latest in tailored, cost-effective solutions that meet your print, document management and content needs help you achieve your business goals?

    How about a fast Dual-Scan Document Feeder that handles up to 300 sheets at a time and seamlessly scans both sides of each page in a single pass? Or, would a basic Reversing Automatic Document Feeder fill the bill?

    Do you ever get delayed by another print job that’s held-up due to requiring a specific paper size or type? Then a “Print Around” feature would eliminate printing bottlenecks by allowing other print jobs to go around that one stubborn job.

    There are numerous document management aids available to make your office life easier and more productive. I find AquaAce paper particularly attractive. Some printers can produce outstanding results on AquaAce, a water, oil, chemical and UV resistant paper. AquaAce paper can be used with Colour Laser Printers to create vivid images that are durable and maintain their shape overtime. Each image is protected to ensure your prints look perfect in any kind of weather or condition. This saves time and money by printing in-house. It also reduces your carbon footprint because it is reusable and can be disposed of like regular household waste.

    Ask us about the possibilities: sales@nutecelectrotel.com

    The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus defines “get real!” as a statement used for telling someone that they should try to understand the true facts of a situation and not hope for what is impossible.

    WebRTC (Real Time Communications) is now REAL and POSSIBLE! WebRTC is nearly instant with minimal latency. Messages are not stored between transmission and reception, providing a peer-to-peer, rather than broadcasting or multicasting, transmission.

    As you scrutinize new technologies such as WebRTC and its capabilities, you may ask, “How will they fit my enterprise?” “Will they live up to the hype?” WebRTC is the latest set of technologies for enterprise communication solutions, connecting between browsers over peer-to-peer connections. It uses Real-Time Protocol to transfer audio and video, offering significant advantages for customers to include real time communication in a wide variety of applications. These include video conferencing, file transfer, chat, or desktop sharing without the need of either internal or external plugins.

    nec-webrtcThe NEC SV9100’s InUC (Real-Time Communications) provides highly cost-effective video and collaboration, working seamlessly within your IT environment. SV9100 users are able to quickly set-up audio and video connections between two or more PCs or devices from anywhere with an internet and VPN or LAN connection. This functions via Google Chrome on a PC or Android device for video conferencing, document and screen sharing for up to 32 users (up to 8 participants in each of 4 virtual rooms). It’s ideal for live software demos and presentation slideshows. This facilitates learning and making meaningful connections within a digital work place.

    When face-to-face meetings are not practical, WebRTC may be the best option available for your video communication. It’s easy and quick to setup while retaining the personal touch and keeping your participants engaged. Will this be your next choice?

    Get Face-to-Face

    Video conferencing is a great tool to help boost the return on investment (ROI) in your communications system. Benefits include saving time, resources, and money because you connect face-to-face online without having to leave the office. It is versatile, easy-to-use, and functional. Reduced travel expense has often been touted as the major factor in decisions to invest in video conferencing systems. It costs a lot of money and a lot of time to travel to meet people. Imagine that you have to conduct an important meeting for your company with different people who are dispersed over different places in the world, thousands of miles apart. To bring them together around a table, you need to consider and deal with so many hassles: travel expenses, availability of flight seats, visas, availability of participants at the scheduled time, accommodation, food etc.

    On the other hand, some say video conferencing can actually be more efficient than regular face-to-face conferences since the meetings often have a defined start and end time with people calling in from different locations, so a more focused discussion and less chitchat is likely. And, the organizing can be done over email or instant messaging.

    Since most communication is nonverbal, video conferencing fills a huge gap that has long existed within organizations using audio alone. A video conference helps managers, knowledge workers, salespeople, and customer-service employees to better convey and understand information that is being shared within projects or engagements.

    As sales involves collaboration with customers and a sales team, you can employ video conferencing to support sales activities such as sales presentations, training sessions, and hosting product demos.

    Video conferencing has been used to train sales people, interface with customers and close business more quickly. One financial services firm deployed video conferencing to allow their subject matter expert to be in more places more quickly. In the past, he had to travel to each site, make a presentation and then fly home. With video conferencing, he is able to connect more sites together at the same time. This gets his information out more quickly to more people. As a result, revenue has grown and the salesperson has less wear and tear on his body. He stated, “Before video conferencing, I was exhausted. Now I travel less, see more people and close business more quickly.” ~ S. Ann Earon, Ph.D. President, Telemanagement Resources International Inc.

    Business TrainingBusinesses today are transforming the way company-wide training is conducted. Company personnel are no longer required to leave the comfort of their homes and offices. By introducing online training through video conferencing, not only are businesses able to drastically reduce the cost of travel but they also see an increase in employee productivity and job satisfaction.

    Video via cellular
    Mobile video conferencing is the future, and it’s advancing at a tremendous rate. Most video conference systems now enable the use of mobile devices for participating in a video conference, you can have effective visual communication without restrictions on time or place. You can join a video conference from a location outside of the office, while you are on the go, or from your own home using a mobile device. There’s a world of opportunity waiting for you; all you have to do is explore it!

    The growing trend to use video calls will continue to change how people interact with one another and overcome some of the past reluctance to choose video conferencing. Today’s youth expect video as an almost default collaboration tool. In a survey by Redshift Research, 75 percent of the young professional respondents say they will not settle for low quality. This expectation results from growing up with technology that continues to improve rapidly.

    Who’s got your back?

    GPS Vehicle tracking isn’t enough when you have personnel in the field on their own. While it’s comforting to know where your employees are, how do you know they are all right? First, let’s look at what situations define the lone worker.

    What is meant by working alone?

    According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety a person is “alone” at work when they are on their own; when they cannot be seen or heard by another person. While it is not always hazardous to work alone, it can be when other circumstances are present. Whether a situation is a high or low risk will depend on the location, type of work, interaction with the public, or the consequences of an emergency, accident, injury, etc. This wide variety of circumstances makes it important to assess each situation individually.

    Think Safety FirstIt is important to consider all situations carefully. Working alone includes all employees who may go for a period of time where they do not have direct contact with a co-worker. For example, the receptionist in a large office building may be considered a “lone” worker. Alternatively, a construction worker who is doing work in a bathroom or other location that cannot be seen by co-workers may also be considered a lone worker. Other examples are gas station attendants, convenience store clerks, food outlet employees, taxi drivers, home care employees, social service workers, security guards or custodians.

    Lone Worker Monitoring

    Man aloneAn employee may be at risk when working without close supervision and with no visual or audible contact with another worker who can provide or call for assistance in the event of an emergency, injury or illness. Even when working with the public, a worker is still classified as a lone worker because the public may lack information or may not be able to assist. So, what can you do to enhance the safety of those who are working alone? If employees work alone, perhaps not even remotely, you may want to engage a safety partner that they could utilize for periodic or planned check-ins. Also having a shared calendar that records their whereabouts and allows for check-ins may be suitable for their situation.

    While safety is the priority, there are also other risks to consider. Financial losses that may be incurred as a result of worker injury. These may include re-training costs, re-hiring, rehabilitation, and other benefit and health care costs associated with workplace injuries. Be sure that you have specific and appropriate policies and procedures in place and communicate them to your employees. If there ever was an accident, as an employer, your liability may be reduced if you can provide evidence of the same. Of course, this assumes that those policies and procedures meet the standard of care required.

    Tpass solutionWhen your employees are miles from anywhere and something happens to them how will someone know help is required? Our Terratrax GPS Lone Worker Solutions help you provide the best possible emergency response to remote workplace incidents—and can make the difference between short-term recovery, permanent disability and even fatalities.

    Ask us for details.

    Join the Cloud Crowd . . .

    It’s Time to Move Your Business Communications into the Cloud

    There’s still plenty of room for your business in the Cloud!

    Embrace UCaaS: Unified Communications as a Service

    UCaaS is an all-in-one solution, a single payment service that includes voice, messaging, mobile features, conferencing, collaboration, and a wealth of other communication services. Easily add new features and applications as they become available without substantial investment costs.

    “There are two times when it makes more sense to go with UCaaS than a premise-based UC anchor: always and now.” ~ Dave Michels, Unified Communications Strategies

    Top 4 Benefits of UCaaS: Software-based Communications in the Cloud

    1. Lower Costs: Changes in communications are happening at an unprecedented rate. It simply makes no sense to invest in an on-premises communications system that could be obsolete within 12 months of installation. With UCaaS, the provider shoulders the burden of maintaining and upgrading your communications technology infrastructure.

    2. Flexibility: Fast provisioning of new applications and features gives you a level of agility in your communications system previously unheard of.

    3. OPEX versus CAPEX: UCaaS is a service, not an investment in hardware. You choose a solution to fit your business needs and only pay for what you use, making communications an Operating Expense (OPEX) rather than a traditional Capital Expense (CAPEX).

    4. Reduce Demands on In-House IT Staff: Keep your IT staff’s focus and energy on your core business.

    Advanced Applications

    UC applications are becoming more advanced. These emerging sets of communications tools will be easier to deploy through a cloud platform setting. Applications will start to develop more intelligence, integrating with the business software of other vendors like Salesforce. Salesforce is the premiere customer relationship management (CRM) tool used by many industries. Like many emerging powerhouses in technology, Salesforce is a cloud-based platform.

    While most cloud-based offerings are relatively new to the market, there are several players, such as NEC, which bring decades of experience and stability to their products. The functionality of UC applications will increase, as well as their security and stability. NEC’s Managed Security Services provides the communications security features every business should look for. These will be the tools many businesses and organizations employ to improve productivity, customer satisfaction and team collaboration.

    Communications Through the Cloud

    Tom Nolle on No Jitter believes the cloud will continue to grow, with flexibility in the forefront. With remote workers in coffee shop locations, road warriors traveling in the sky, and personal devices being brought into the office, a cloud-based communications solution will allow its variety of users and devices to easily connect to their UC infrastructure. IT staff will be able to better maintain multiple office locations through the business cloud. Cloud communications will help teams collaborate on assignments and improve productivity.

    Get in touch with Nutec Electro Tel today toll-free at 1-800-898-3336 or email: sales@nutecelectrotel.com to schedule your no-obligation assessment and consultation.

    Get the RoIP Advantage

    Many traditional communications services have been enhanced thanks to IP technology in recent years. Radio is just one platform that is more flexible and functional when handled over a digital network connection. So what are the main advantages of RoIP (Radio over IP)?

    The benefits of radio over IP are relevant to a surprisingly large audience. ~ Shaun Richards

    Aside from cost, the main reason to adopt RoIP in an organization results from endowing radio communications with much greater possibilities.

    It is easy to see why so many businesses in different industries are starting to jump on the RoIP bandwagon. From enterprises with operators who need to handle radio dispatching to contractors who require a quick way to communicate with colleagues while they are out in the field, RoIP offers an affordable and flexible platform through which this can be achieved.

    Empower your business operations easily and license-free with IP two-way radios!

    These are great for:

    – Warehouses
    – Restaurants
    – Hotels
    – Manufacturing
    – Museums
    – Shopping Malls
    – Department Stores
    – Universities
    – Security Guards
    – Hospitals
    – Care Centres

    How does it work?

    WLAN

    Communications are distributed across WLAN access points in an IP network which makes it easy to expand the system. Many users in the system can transmit simultaneously. When headsets are connected to the radios, users can talk concurrently in full duplex – similar to talking on a regular telephone.

    An IP radio system for wireless networks is a product that bridges the gap between license-free and licensed radio devices. The system is easy to connect to an existing wireless network and allows full duplex communication with reliable sound quality.

    Get in touch with Nutec Electro Tel today toll-free at 1-800-898-3336 or email: sales@nutecelectrotel.com to schedule your no-obligation assessment and consultation.

    Wireless Office?

    Wireless is fast becoming a major component of network infrastructures as workforce demands for mobility evolve. There is a desire for the flexibility to move about the office without having to crawl under a desk to find a network connection.

    With a plethora of devices requiring connectivity, there is often a significant drain on IT budgets to provision the required network cabling. This provides further impetus to seriously consider wireless solutions.

    Here are some factors in the decision-making process when considering wireless expansion, or transitioning to full wireless:

    – Overall network security plan
    – Capacity for multiple devices per user
    – Support for multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO)
    – Utilizing real time applications such as voice and video
    – Managing network complexity
    – Satisfying user expectations

    Shedding the wired network totally may be desirable, but is not likely to be universal in the near future. However, acquiring the 802.11ac wave 2 devices will be an important consideration. The potential for MU-MIMO and offering higher throughput per access point (up to 2.5Gbps in some instances), make them worthwhile.

    If you are considering a wireless office system, contact Nutec Electro Tel now for a no obligation consultation:
    sales@nutecelectrotel.com
    Toll free (800) 898-3336