Are you considering a VoIP system for your business. Here a five features to consider:
1. Auto Attendant: This feature welcomes callers with a custom greeting and prompts them to select from various options. You will not need a person to answer the phone and the auto attendant is available 24/7 and can direct multiple calls at once.
2. Extensions: VoIP extension cost less to establish because VoIP service is scalable to expand as the business grows. VoIP extensions can be used as mailboxes. They are virtual so there is less hardware to purchase and maintain. They can consist of prerecorded messages so you do not have to answer the phone. Also, calls placed within the same VoIP system are usually free.
3. Follow Me/Find Me: This feature allows users to set up several number to route calls so they can always be reached, whether it is your office, cell phone, or out of the country.
4. Chat: Some software based VoIP phones come with an instant messaging feature such as Lync or Skype that provides presence information to show when people are on-line. Sometimes it is difficult to reach people so the Chat Feature can help pinpoint when it might be a good time to call and alleviate phone tag.
5. Conference Calling: VoIP conference calling allows a call placed with multiple people on multiple lines in a conference instead of requiring every caller to dial into one bridge line. It can also be less expensive.
The are many options for phone systems and we can help you find the one that will serve your needs best. As always, consultation and quotes are free. Call 920-731-3944 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to visit our website, www.randercom.com for more info.
The small business voice over IP (VoIP) trend-o-meter for 2015 is weighted heavily towards the cloud and mobility markets as more companies try and seek cost-effective and economical Telecom infrastructure to support the changing landscape of their workplace. Below are a few Business VoIP trends you need to to watch in 2015.
Mobile Devices will become Primary VoIP Handsets
Rapidly traditional business desk phones are going to be eliminated and sold off as surplus equipment in 2015. Company-owned personal enabled or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) mobile devices are going to take over and replace a business user’s primary telephone handset. This changing landscape of today’s mobile workforce, and the increasing numbers of remote workers, is growing at leaps and bounds and this trend will continue well beyond next year.
A Further Convergence of VoIP and Unified Communication
Throughout 2015 we are going to see a further convergence of business VoIP and UC solutions, because this convergence has already begun and even now it is starting to accommodate today’s changing needs for mobile-first, Bring your own device, and geographically dispersed employees, locations and teams that need to communication and collaboration freely.
Hosted PBX and the Cloud
Hosted or Cloud Based PBX systems are growing at a rapid rate with over 30% of businesses looking to make a change to this new modern day technology, the popularity of a hosted PBX product of businesses moving to a cloud-based solution frees businesses from many of the maintenance and repair costs that in office, on-premises telephone systems are known to have. It’s a cost effective economical move in today’s marketplace.
Hosted PBXs also bring with them a lot of features that business users can enjoy to be more productive, these features a cloud VoIP provider can turn on for their customers with extremely flexible pricing models customized to a business’s specific needs. The economics and features sets of a hosted PBX will remain a dominant VoIP trend throughout 2015 and beyond.
Greater Integration with Cloud Platforms and Productivity Applications Customer relationship management (CRM) is an exciting trend of VoIP integration because just like other cloud platforms like CRM, office productivity, and other back-office business applications. A small to medium-sized business or any company wanting to test VoIP or unified communications (UC) technologies may also get its first exposure through Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps for Work. These cloud platforms may serve as an introduction to VoIP and UC think Microsoft Lync and Google Hangouts as gateways to full-scale VoIP solutions.
Lots more Back-End Analytics
Another of the 2015 VoIP trends is more back-end analytics. VoIP solutions that move to the cloud make it possible for the ability to support a range of back-end performance management analytic. Back-end analytics that can give a customer another tool to compete better in their marketplace because they have optimal control over VoIP communications, instant customer metrics and connectivity to their prospects via all aspects of communications, Phone, Email, Chat and Video.
At Randercom, we work with a host of top end providers in the VOIP industry and can assist your company in making the move to VOIP for your business click here are call us at (920) 731- 3944 to see what we can do for you.
VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) business phone system technology is truly a fascinating and ever-changing improvement in
telecommunications. While, it’s still not 100% perfect, nothing is. There are a Lot of misperceptions abound about VoIP. However, most of these began when VoIP was initial launched and when problems with it were frequently experienced. Today, VoIP technologies are dramatically better over many of these early difficulties because the issues have already been solved.
If you’re considering investing in a VoIP business telephone system, most problems can be avoided merely by picking out both your system and your supplier properly.
The Following are 11 of the most crucial questions buyers have regarding any VoIP business telephone purchase, together with suggested ways in which you can deal with them.
1) I will not be able to send faxes.
Despite what you may have heard to the contrary, it’s actually possible to send faxes using your VoIP
phone system, the technology has advanced making it easier then ever before. With Hosted Fax and ATA (analog Terminal Adapters). which can improve the speed and quality of your faxes:
• Make sure your VoIP service provider supports T.38. This is an audio compressor/decompressor device
which has been created specifically for the function of sending faxes digitally, and it significantly
improves the quality of the copy.
• Test turning off the Error Correction Mode on the fax machine. This invention was designed for
PSTN faxes and it is not relevant to VoIP. Worse than that, it can toss the fax machine into
confusion as it tries to fix problems it’s not created to correct. You are better off without it.
• Make sure your provider is continually and consistently examining the routing of your calls for
problems. Bad routing can slow down your faxes significantly, and isn’t something within your
control, but your supplier can provide optimum overall performance if he has the correct experience and experience to deal with the problem.
2) I cannot use VoIP with credit card dial-up modems.
Whereas data sent via the PSTN for credit card transactions is encoded, digital VoIP information is normally unencrypted. This suggests that credit card data sent by VoIP is unsafe. As a result, there is
no current VoIP system which meets the minimum PCI compliance required by the major credit card companies. Even if the desktop from which you send data is PCI conforming, once the data travels
across the Internet, that compliance no longer applies. Advanced VoIP providers who may offer you encryption possibilities still do not currently meet the PCI compliance standards.
This issue will certainly be resolved in the near future. Widely increasing usage of VoIP is already putting the credit card companies under intense pressure to make the system work. Because it’s only
a question of setting up a secure SSL procedure, comparable to the one that presently guarantees the safety of credit card payments over computer terminals, this is not beyond the ability of cutting-edge technological
knowledge. However, if you process your data through an Internet service with a secure gateway, as most people do, there is no problem. Alternatively, for the time being you can maintain to use the ordinary
PSTN alternative if you decide on to maintain a PSTN line.
3) VOIP won’t integrate with my alarm system.
Currently, VoIP is incompatible with alarm systems, which are developed for analog phone lines. If an alarm system makes an attempt to convert the information to digital in order to transfer it using VoIP, and then
reconverts it back to analog when it shows up at its location, the complexities of this process can mean that the signals arrive at the central station with mistakes, or not at all.
Like credit card companies, alarm service providers are currently under significant pressure to discover a solution. They are coming up with a number of options, some of which are available to you already,
such as using cellular or radio monitoring to transmit the alarm signals. This is an existing technique which has always been available to back up the PSTN line in case of power outages or other
telephone trouble, but it does involve extra cost. However, now there are companies on the market who use a special adaptor (called an Alarm Broadband Network) which doesn’t actually need a
VoIP system at all, but uses the equivalent technique of interaction by transmitting signals directly your broadband Internet connection. There is an initial cost for the adaptor, but the running rates
are similar to the usual PSTN alarm rates. If you decide on this option, though, you will have the same issues as VoIP if there is a power outage.
The savings from a VOIP service makes it easy to keep a POTS analog line dedicated for Alarm Service.
4) What happens when there is a power outage?
If there’s a power outage in your area that takes down your computer network and Telephone system today, than you will also lose your VoIP functionality. Most companies already have a back-up plan for their computers, and you will need one for your VoIP system too. One of the greatest benefits of VOIP is the ability for calls to be automatically re routed to a mobile phone or another location at the first sign of an outage.
Many Internet Service Providers are already taking on this power problem as well, so it’s worth asking yours if they have a answer in place that may improve your VoIP system as well as your computers. But even if they can provide one, a sensible option is to keep some kind of local power source, such as a low-cost UPS unit, as a fall-back. A UPS is a giant battery that plugs into a wall socket and switches immediately to battery power if it detects an electrical power failure. It should be able to keep your power running for several hours, but the exact length of time will depend on your power needs. Specific UPS providers will include a chart to show how long it is effective for, based on a certain wattage. It’s well worth examining exactly how quickly it makes that switch too; it may be worth investing in one of the better quality ones to guarantee a seamless transition. If you have a security or fire alarm system that links to an emergency call center via your VoIP telephone service, then a power outage will affect this too. In fact, your alarm system almost certainly has a battery back-up of its own, but if not, the UPS will take care of it.
There are two other potential options to keep your VoIP system in the event of a power interruption. One is to keep a basic service going with the telephone company and the alternative is to rely on mobile
phones. If you and your employees already have business cell phones, there is no extra cost involved for this second option.
5) There’s too much noise on the line.
There has been a great improvement in VoIP voice quality since the early days of the technology, Now a days with the High Definition quality of the VOIP equipment the delivery of service is almost always equal to if not better then near-perfect delivery of PSTN phones. There are several things you can do to improve the quality of the sound:
• Make sure you have a good broadband internet connection. If you are still using a dial-up system, you
will find VoIP voice quality poor at best. The bigger your available bandwidth, the better the voice
quality will be.
• If you are purchasing an ATA/Router, make certain it has the most up-to-date compression technology,
and ideally incorporates a function called ‘Echo cancellation’ which helps to reduce potential
• Check that the frequency of your IP phone is not causing interference with other VoIP
equipment. Often Times, altering the telephone to one with a lower frequency can magically make
interference all but disappear.
• Make sure your VoIP equipment is not its own worst enemy: a router located too close to your
ATA may create electrical feedback, and simply moving the two things further apart will get rid of
echoes, dropped calls and unclear speech.
• Test your hardware. For good quality connecting, you need good quality equipment.
6) Will my existing network be able to handle VoIP?
Check with your Internet Service Carrier that you have sufficient bandwidth prior to you attempt to install VoIP, or you’re destined to countless frustration with a system that works inadequately, if at all. Prior To
you purchase a system, you want to have a very clear strategy of how much bandwidth your business currently uses; how many Kbps one VoIP call will consume (probably 64Kbps); how many VoIP calls
you’re likely to make at any one time; and what will need to run concurrently with your VoIP system. If you want to do an preliminary test to see what your needs are likely to be, you can find a bandwidth
speed test program on the Websites. Make sure, however, that you understand the costs involved in any upgrade so that you can be sure that they are needed and worth it.
7) If I buy a VoIP system that fits my needs now, what happens when my company grows?
Before you buy any VoIP strategy, be certain you understand clearly from the VoIP supplier precisely how far you will be able to size up and at what cost. Because there are so many VoIP options on the
market, choose a provider who can fit your requirements at any point on your projected growth line. For example, just how effortlessly can you add more extensions to your phone system? Can you switch
easily from hosted VoIP to on-premise VoIP if it becomes a more economical option for your thriving business? Examine the answers before you sign on the dotted line.
8) I purchased an ATA adaptor, but now I find I can’t get all the benefits of VoIP that I was expecting.
ATA adaptors are designed for analog phones. They can be a very useful, cost-effective introduction to VoIP for small enterprises on constricted budgets, but you will not be able to plug into many of the
features offered by your VoIP provider if you choose this option. Before buying one, check the costs of hosted VoIP and weigh those up against the benefits you gain by making a bigger commitment. It
may be that you’re better off jumping right in from the start.
9) Will I be able to contact the emergency services if I need one?
The short answer is yes, if you choose a reliable VoIP provider and follow the necessary guidelines. A 911 call made by a traditional PSTN telephone is generally sent to a Public Safety Answering Point
(PSAP). PSAP employees can automatically identify your location and direct the closest emergency personnel to that location. They can also usually identify your telephone number automatically,
which means that they can call you back in the event of a disconnection. However, when you use a VoIP phone system to make the call, there is no relation between your IP address and your physical
location. If you use your IP system, or VoIP phone, to contact the emergency services, therefore, they will have no fix on where you are.
Concern over this problem has led the emergency services to impose several demands on any VoIP provider:
• VoIP providers must automatically provide 911 service to all their customers as a standard, mandatory feature.
• The VoIP provider cannot activate a new customer’s service, without first documenting the physical location at which the service will initially be used
• The VoIP provider must provide their customers with at least one easy way to update the physical location they have registered with the provider, if it changes.
• VoIP providers must transmit all 911 calls, as well as a callback number and the caller’s registered physical location, to the appropriate emergency services call center or local emergency
• In remote areas, the emergency service providers cannot receive or process the location information or call back number that is automatically transmitted via a PSTN. In these areas, VoIP
providers must ensure that a 911 call is routed to the appropriate PSAP.
When you are buying your VoIP system, it is wise to cover all these points with your provider to ensure that the company is fully compliant.
10) Will my calls be secure?
To intercept a conversation across the conventional PTSN system, a hacker must have physical access to either the telephone line or the branch exchange. Since this is highly unlikely, businesses,
with the exception of those who are particularly information-sensitive, do not bother to encrypt voice traffic over traditional telephone lines.
This is not true of Internet connections. The risk of sending personal financial details across the Internet rather than giving them over the phone is much greater. Digital data passed from your
computer to an online retailer may travel through up to twenty systems that are not under the control of either your ISP or the retailer. To protect the transaction, online retailers use encryption software to
protect your information.
At the moment, this level of security is not available for VoIP calls. Companies are working to secure VoIP by using the same kind of mechanisms used in data networks – encryption and firewalls – to
ensure similar levels of security, preferably without affecting the quality of the transmission. As a step towards this, many VoIP providers now offer encryption as a part of their standard package, which
may help but is unlikely to be entirely foolproof. If you are particularly concerned about this aspect of VoIP, you should discuss in detail with your provider their current and future planned security
11) I’ve heard that the caller ID feature among VoIP providers is susceptible to spoofing attacks.
Caller ID support among VoIP providers varies, but is provided by a majority of VoIP providers. Many VoIP carriers allow callers to configure arbitrary caller ID information, thus permitting spoofing attacks.
Business-grade VoIP equipment and software often makes it easy to modify caller ID information, providing many businesses great flexibility.
All of the 11 most common concerns presented in this post can be prevented or fixed prior to setting up your service because VoIP technology advancements and demand for it continues to grow at a rapid rate. While, not
every VoIP system or VoIP provider is the same, there are plenty of great options, so it is critical that you explore the different solutions thoroughly before purchasing.
We at Randercom Can help with over 35 years experience and many high quality vendor solutions to fit every companies unique needs. As well, we understand where the latest technological advances, our and how to deal in the future with the concerns listed above and make sure you choose an established supplier with a clear implementation and support procedure.
Is your current Phone system capabilities a compliment are hindrance to the growth of your business
Nowadays, nobody can question that a phone system is critical to any business. Business leaders often say, “Our phone system does not generate sales, but without one there would be no revenues”.
Given that a telephone system is so critical to a business and its success, you have to asks, is it necessary that your phone system always be a cutting edge system with all the latest capabilities and features that it can give to a business?
Say it another way, is it important that you must always be on the lookout to keep your phone upgraded and modernized?
Well the answer to this question is obviously ‘No’. While your phone system is married to your business needs. The frequency of an upgrade or replacement will depend what type of business you are in. We can expect a call center to have a more modern and updated system as compared to a manufacturing company, but there can be no doubts about the criticality of phone systems to either of these types of businesses
Business Telecom Systems Have Gone Multimedia
Any business owner knows that business communications are no longer just about voice calls alone. A Customer can use any type of communication method they are comfortable with, like email, online chat, text, telephone call, and the businesses communication system has to be capable of handling and processing the message.
Also, employees internally can use multimedia methods of communication to make a major impact on productivity and efficiencies of work load. As an example, a repair person in the field can send back images of a failed component and discuss the issue with an expert rather than bring the part back. Repair manuals can be made available online and can be accessed from anywhere, at any time minimizing the potential and downtime.
Users create content and information that can easily be shared with others ensuring that a knowledge transfer and greater efficiencies take place.
The business telephone system basically creates the backbone of these and many other messaging applications.
Businesses look for unified communication (UC) solutions, not just phone systems. Modern phone systems need to be able to handle most aspects of UC. If your phone system is still providing the more basic services, it is time that you considered an upgrade or a replacement.
The Warning Signs
Businesses make and receive hundreds of phone calls a day. How can a business manager be sure that these calls are being handled as efficiently as possible to fulfill the business goals?
Here are some signs that tell if things could be better.
• Your company can only handle voice calls and faxes: Not only are you losing out on other methods of conversation with clients, associates, remote workers and vendors, a phone system like this gives out an impression of a business that is behind time.
• Caller trends are not known: once again this boils down to the interfacing between the phone system and your CRM software. Unless such an interface exists, how will the management know of customers that call more frequently and resolve issues that trouble them?
• Calls can only be taken on the employee’s desk; it takes major effort to track down a person who is not at their desk.
• Customers call you, but you seldom call them creating a reactive type business where you respond to customer messages. A proactive business can approach customers and prospects to resolve issues earlier, create opportunities for cross and up-sells and maintain constant contact. In order to do this, the business needs a system that can interface with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and maintain a continuity of conversation with the customer. Older phone systems are unable to do this.
It’s important to note that this list does not mention anything about system uptime. We are assuming that your current phone system is still somewhat reliable, and that it’s not yet obsolete technology, and that service and repair parts are still available if it needs repair. The older system simply lacks many of the features that modern systems provide.
The big question is:
Should a business upgrade its older system or replace it completely with Modern technology?
Upgrading Your Phone System
When a company starts to think of upgrading their current phone system, the major requirement is to evaluate whether the upgraded system will provide all of the services that their business needs to grow.
It is also very important to consider how long a upgraded telephone system will stay Up to date and how the costs of the upgrade will compare with the cost of a new system.
Here are a few questions to ask to help make a better decision:
Key Questions to Ask…
- How old is the present system and what business needs are behind the requirement to upgrade?
- Is the phone system a legacy PBX or is it a more modern IP PBX?
- Will the upgrade require changes to the existing infrastructure? Does the upgrade simply consist of a software change?
- What has been the quality of support from the existing vendor?
- Is there an option of adding third party solutions to increase the capability of the phone system?
- What would these cost and how much of an administrative overhead be added due to this?
- Will the upgrade meet all requirements of the business for (at least) the next five years?
- How robust will the new system be?
- What up times can be expected?
- Will spares and service support be available for the upgraded system for (at least) the next five years?
We at Randercom can help guide you through this process when considering your options call us at (920) 731-3944 of click here