Communications technology constantly evolves.
To meet guest expectations in a competitive market, hospitality providers must rely on their communications solution. Not only does the technology platform need to be reliable, so does their provider and partner.
Nutec Electro Tel implements and supports hospitality solutions of all sizes throughout Western Canada. Our managed solutions approach provides reliability and peace-of-mind. We become members of our clients’ IT teams. Technical expertise and defined response times are expected and achieved.
Comprehensive hospitality solutions may include:
- Contact Center
- Wireless LAN
- Information Analytics
- IP Phones
- Voice Conferencing
- Video Conferencing
- Hotel Sound Systems
- PMS Interface
- Hospitality Directory
- Unified Communications
- Interactive Voice Response
- Mobile Devices
- Wireless Phones
- IP DECT Solutions
- 2-Way Radios
Property Safety & Security
- Emergency Notification
- Emergency Conference
- Network Management & Security
Custom designed solutions fit your needs and your budget
A suitable solution may include on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid components.
Funding choices include capital investment, competitive leasing, or operating expense.
Managed solutions help sustain system life cycles. This prepares for the future, and achieves maximum value.
Or email email@example.com for a professional consultation!
Contributed by Mike Szakacs
Who would have predicted the telephone’s evolution to the role it has in our lives today? A lot has happened since 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the invention of the telephone. The telephone also has its roots in the telegraph, with popular inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, along with by many other contributors to the evolutionary process.
Some telephones in the early 1900’s resembled wall-mounted oak furniture. They were equipped with batteries to support voice transmission and a crank to operate a magneto and generate ringing.
Initially there were no telephone exchanges. However, Western Union applied the principle of telegraph exchanges to its telephones in New York City and San Francisco. Fast forward to the present with the proliferation of telephone exchanges around the world accompanied by private branch exchanges (PBXs) in businesses everywhere. These have evolved to include analog, digital and VoIP technologies.
Take a step back to 1983 when Motorola Introduced the DyanaTAC cellular phone. We have witnessed cell phones evolve immensely since then. Today’s smart phones are a prime example as they keep being re-invented. Now you can not only have a conversation, you can email, text, take a picture, play a video, browse the internet or run one of the thousands of applications. Those of you with children will know how hard it is to put parental restrictions on anything electronic. Smart phones even enable you to track your child with a GPS locator, lock out questionable website addresses, and more.
A more recent development allows your smart phone to be an extension connected to your office PBX. A prime example is NEC’s Multiline Client (MLC) Mobile. This provides anywhere, anytime access by moving NEC’s desktop telephone functionality, including unified communications, onto a user’s Android™ or Apple® mobile device. It allows call response to be immediate, regardless of the user’s location. Emulating the intuitive interface of an NEC 32-button self-labeling phone display, MLC Mobile solves the business challenge of customers and colleagues being able to reach your mobile workforce. It gives your mobile workforce the visual displays and features needed to perform their job intelligently, while remaining connected. Following is a view of this app on a smart phone:
Users are able to transfer their NEC desktop telephone to their personal handheld Android or Apple device, while maintaining their call connection. Calls are initiated or can continue via Wi-Fi or LTE connection.
You may ask, “what’s next?” Who knows? You may not have to wait long for an answer!
Credit and thanks to Denise Borel, who posted this in NEC Today on February 2, 2017.
You know your outdated communications system is way past its prime, and economic pressures have led you to delay its upgrade or replacement.
But there comes a point in time when it no longer makes sense to put off replacing your communications assets—from both a financial perspective and a business/productivity perspective. Retaining outdated equipment can essentially increase your IT costs and prevent your users from utilizing communications tools that help your business processes.
Plus, keep in mind; the greatest risk to your business if your communications go down is your business shuts down. This can lead to huge losses for your business, including customer dissatisfaction, customer loss, damaged reputation and costs related to regaining your reputation. These all can greatly affect your business and result in huge losses.
Phone systems are one of the assets that many companies take for granted as long as they have dial-tone. They don’t think much about it and will definitely spend their budget elsewhere if they can. As a result, many of these organizations are sitting on archaic (or end-of-life) equipment that is no longer efficiently supporting their business while possibly putting it a risk.
Yet for some, the prevailing practice is to continue operating the existing system well past its useful life and beyond the end-of-support – not realizing the potential costs and the risk they are putting their business in.
We often hear the following reasons to avoid upgrading:
- We don’t have the budget, or there is a higher priority budgetary request.
- The lifespan on the last communications system was too short.
- We’re afraid that if we upgrade tomorrow, something better will come out next week (a.k.a. the cycle of obsolescence).
- We’re unclear on our unified communications plans and how our phone system should fit in with UC.
- Newer phone systems are becoming too complex to use.
- The buying cycle is too long, and we will have to get too many people involved who will all have different opinions.
- We don’t know which approach to take—i.e. premises, hybrid, or cloud-based.
There’s a chance that the phones you think are supporting your business aren’t. While the value of your older technology may not have appeared to change—for example, the phones still work, and you can still make calls—the outdated system may be hurting your business.
We know the decision to move to a new telephony system is sometimes a difficult one to make. That’s why we’ve created the following list of 3 of the benefits of a modern unified communications system over an outdated phone system.
1. System Stabilization
If you are a business owner or decision maker, you have probably thought, “We save money keeping the old system. What’s the worst that can happen?”
Every day your business uses an analog, TDM, or older VoIP phone system that has reached end-of-life, you run the risk of having your phone system fail without access to support. If that happens, revenue will likely be lost as a result. How much? Well, you could lose what equates to hours, days, or even weeks of revenue—depending on the amount of time it takes to quickly repair or worst case find and install a new system. Not to mention what was previously stated about customer dissatisfaction and loss.
And hurrying to find a new system isn’t ideal. If your system fails, it could mean you are forced to make a quick replacement decision. Companies that don’t have the time or don’t take the time to research properly before purchase usually discover they’ve spent too much money or are unhappy with their purchase after it is too late to change it. Taking the time to find the right IP Telephony solution or Unified Communications solution will improve your business processes and efficiencies without over-extending your budget.
2. Improved Operational Costs
Maintaining separate systems like directories, conferencing software, voicemail, and telephony is expensive and time consuming for IT departments to sustain. In fact, it can be so time-consuming that the IT department spends the majority of their day keeping these systems functional—time that can be better spent on more strategic IT projects.
The older the system, the higher the operational cost is when you don’t upgrade. Some of the costs businesses accrue using older systems include:
- Proprietary hardware at each location (equipment, phones, PBX)
- Maintenance, repairs and upgrades
- Additional services
- Business SMS
- HD video meetings
- Audio conferencing
When you factor the lost IT time spent maintaining each separate communications system with the opportunity cost of not having the advanced applications and features that modern unified communications provides, you end up with a total cost that is just too high for most businesses to ignore.
3. Competitive Advantage
Have you stopped to think about whether your competitors are taking advantage of modern communications software? If they are and you’re not, then chances are they are able to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. Working smarter gives them an edge by increasing their productivity and creating a competitive advantage.
Your competitors that are working with updated communications systems, most likely have these advanced features at their disposal:
Audio/video/web collaboration, white boarding and document sharing
Support for the mobile workforce with a consistent user experience across smartphones and tablets
UC clients that provide status, presence, call history, call control plus more
Integrated vertical applications through standard and open services
While the cost of upgrading may seem high, the advanced applications and features associated with modern communications systems will help re-gain lost competitive edge and offer companies an opportunity to better serve their customers.
Unified communications can help businesses re-gain competitive advantage in two ways:
First, a new system can help you increase your revenue by providing your business with the communications applications needed to be more productive and efficient. You could gain better advantages and increased competitive edge by choosing a modern solution with a lower total cost of ownership and features that enable collaboration across your business, improving the speed of your communications.
Secondly, UC provides communications software that makes enterprise-level communications applications available on an ad-hoc basis. This either gives you access to applications that you might not have previously been able to budget for, or, saves your organization money as you no longer have to pay the fees required to utilize multiple services. Replacing hosted web, audio or video conferencing services is a perfect example. The accrued savings can boost the return on your unified communications investment, and expand your competitive edge through re-investment into other IT projects that help your business grow.
If you fear that your new technology will become obsolescent and use that as an excuse to avoid upgrading, you shouldn’t. Look for vendors that offer software assurances and extended warranties for hardware that will provide your business with more security and less risk in the long run.
With a modern communications solution, you ensure that your system has the flexibility to handle rapid growth, giving you the ability to provide support to your increasingly mobile and distributed workforce. Your IT team will re-gain some of their time, allowing them to focus on other strategic IT initiatives. And, your employees will re-coup benefits that improve the speed of communication from access to applications that positively impact your daily business—whether it’s through more efficient collaboration with colleagues, or improving customer response times.
Options Available to Your Business
Ultimately there is a high cost, in terms of inefficiencies and operational cost, when you continue to operate an outdated or end-of-life phone system.
Some organizations struggle with selecting the best model (premises, hybrid, or cloud-based) to meet long-term communication needs. Ultimately you’ll look for the platform and vendor that has the flexibility to customize the right solution to meet your specific needs.
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.
Businesses 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.
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.