Monthly Archives: June 2010

Panasonic Launch KX-TCA364 Rugged DECT

Panasonic have announced the launch of the KX-TCA364 Rugged DECT Handset to replace the KX-TCA355 which will be discontinued at the end of Jne 2010.

The Panasonic KX-TCA364 tough type DECT is an ergonomically designed, easy to use, extremely durable and cost-effective enterprise wireless phone that is designed to meet and exceed the demands of harsh workplace environments.

The robust, ruggedised handset is IP64 compliant, meaning that it is dust tight and protected against splashing water.
With its ruggedised design and access to full enterprise PBX functionality, the TCA364 wireless DECT is ideal for working in potentially challenging environments such as industrial, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and warehousing markets.

The KX-TCA364 is the latest innovation from Panasonic in it’s small business phone system range which includes the KX-TDA, KX-TDE and KX-NCP Phone System Platforms.  Panasonic are recognised as the market leader in the UK for providing phone system solutions to small and medium sized businesses.

Telecoms Recruitment

I wonder how businesses ever used to survive without recruitment companies.  Every day our office is bombarded with calls and promises of the best telecoms sales people, over achievers who all want to work for us.  I always think that it is a bit of a contradiction that a sales person should seek the services of a recruitment company, if they are worth their salt then a few simple calls should ensure them a few interviews and if they really are the second coming then even a job as well.

We find that most recruitment companies struggle to even get past our reception and give up within a few minutes, maybe they need to employ a better class of sales person who can get past the gatekeeper!  There is also an increasing trend for the recruitment company to attempt to lie their way past the gatekeeper, but who would want to deal with a company who’s first contact is based upon a lie.

Here is a call to all those sales people who want a job, prove yourself and dump the recruitment company and pick up the phone and make some calls, after all isn’t that what you’re good at?

New Single Line PoE SIP Phone Added to Grandstream GXP Family – Introducing GXP285

Small business and service provider customers can now enjoy the high quality audio and rich features of VoIP with Grandstream’s newest single line small business SIP telephone, the GXP285. It has broad interoperability with most of the leading IP PBX, Softswitch platforms and 3rd party SIP devices on the market and can be easily auto provisioned for mass deployment. Available in July 2010 for a list price of $95, a key benefit of the GXP285 is its integrated PoE capability that allows centralized power supply with backup.

GXP285 Small Business 1-line PoE IP Phone


The GXP285 is a next generation small business SIP phone that features 1 line appearance, 128×32 graphic LCD, 3 XML programmable softkeys, and dual 10M/100Mbps network ports with integrated Power over Ethernet (802.3af PoE) support. It is an affordable choice for a SOHO user needing a feature rich, 1-line IP phone with superioir audio quality. 


» Dual 10/100M Ethernet ports with integrated Power-over-Ethernet (802.3af PoE) to allow centralized power supply with backup

» 1 line appearance with FLASH to handle 2 simultaneous calls

» High fidelity wideband audio and a full-duplex speakerphone with advanced acoustic echo cancellation

Clarity adds entry level IP phone to range

The Clarity 1000 series of entry level IP handsets offer a traditional and ergonomically designed handset with all the benefits associated to IP Telephony. An affordable cost to deploy the Clarity 1000 series is the ideal choice for high volume deployments in to the private and public sector markets.

Microsoft pulls out of SME VoIP Market

Microsoft announced in a post on its website that it would end sales, development, and support for its small business phone system – Response Point – on August 31, 2010.

Whilst there was very little use of the Response Point small business phone system in the UK, this can be seen as a clear message about the use of Voice Over IP within the SME sector.  Many new entrants into the telephony marketplace, with cutting edge and low cost solutions underestimate the requirements of small business telephony users. 

The telephone is one of the most important business tools available, it offers immediate and personal communication with customers, between employees  and the supply and distribution chain.  People have been using the telephone to communicate effectively for over thirty years and it is taken for granted.  It is this commonplace acceptance of the availability and reliabiity of the telephone that drives the decision for most business owners.  They want a simple and reliable telephone on their desk, or in their hand that they can operate with the minimum of fuss.

With the introduction of VoIP and the massive growth of new equipment manufacturers, the common trend has been to offer a host of new features and the promise of low cost and free communications all relying on VoIP technology.  The biggest stumbling block in the UK is the availability and cost of reliable and high capacity network to run these extra services.  A small business user who wants to take advantage of low cost line rental and calls using SIP Trunks using a VoIP Phone System will usually share their normal broadband service between browsing, e-mail and VoIP which is usually fine for one or two simultaneous calls and low browsing and e-mail usage.  However when reaching the capacity of the available bandwidth there may be a degraded qualityof voice call.

The way around this is to install a dedicated, high quality broadband service just for voice traffic to ensure that all calls are a high quality.  You then need to connect to a reliable VoIP service provider who has invested heavily in network infrastructure and resilience.  Once you have done this then the average cost for having the capacity to make four simultaneous calls will be about £40.00 per month.  When you compare this to the average rental of analogue or ISDN telephone lines which is about £45.00 per month for 4 lines / channels then the price for a business quality VoIP telephone line solution is only slightly cheaper.

Where a small business user will take advantage of VoIP is the flexibility it offers, enabling the workforce to make and receive calls from he office, at home or on the move.

What small business phone system users need is a phone system that can connect to their existing analogue or ISDN telephone lines to provide reliable and simple communications and integration, with the availability to connect to VoIP technologies for remote or homeorkers and to provide an easy migration to VoIP telephone lines when the cost and reliability are equal or better than their analogue or ISDN equivalents.

Many of the long standing and recognised telephone system brands have recognised this and there is a shift back to these recognised and reliable brands such as Panasonic, Avaya, Siemens, Samsung and NEC enabling business users to once again relax in the knowledge that whe they pick up their telephone they will get a dial tone and can concentrate on running their business instead of running their phone system.

New IP system for the Broads

A LEADING North West based telecommunications provider has transformed communications in the Broads Authority after using cutting edge technology to successfully install a brand new system.

Octagon Communications, which supplies installs and maintains a full range of business telecommunications systems, installed the large VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) suite for the Broads Authority – with the system now linking up six tourist information centres and three field bases across the Broads National park

The new technology, consisting of two phone systems 12 miles apart now enables all tourist information systems to be linked together in one.

The main pull of this system is that the broads can now accurately track statistics for all calls allowing them to gauge popular periods of the day, week, month and year.

Bill Housden, Head of IT & Collector of tolls for the Broads Authority, said:

“This new system has brought about massive change for the authority.

We have gone from using a very inflexible system to one that is now extremely flexible.

“The benefits this system has given us are wide reaching – we can now make calls across our sites without being charged, staff can move desks quickly and easily without problems being caused by changing telephones and internet technology can be used to deliver voice messages across sites. We can also use the technology to help collect statistics which will be invaluable in helping us shape our services for the future. ”

Bill Housden added that the installation of the system had also enabled the authority to make huge savings because they now have much greater control over their telecommunications due to the flexibility this system brings.

Speaking about Octagon Communication, Bill added:

“The installation of the system went very smoothly and quickly. We were extremely pleased with the work undertaken by Octagon Communications and have found the company to be both helpful and reliable. The aftercare has also been excellent and we have been delighted with the service.”

For Wigan based Octagon Communications this latest success sees their third installation of a system of this kind. And, Octagon beat off huge companies including BT and Cisco, to win the tender.

Roy Parry, Managing Director for Octagon Communications, said:

“We have previously installed IP systems in Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia successfully and our reputation for being fast and efficient proceeded us, enabling Octagon to gain this latest contract with the Broads Authority.

“IP technology is at the very cutting edge and has made a huge difference to our customers like the Broads Authority – the installation of this system now means that callers can be transferred to different tourist information offices without having to ring another telephone number.”

Stating that IP business telephone systems provide sophisticated communications features for businesses of all sizes, Roy Parry, added:

“This technology provides one integrated system for all office locations by networking multiple systems to work together. The voice over system incorporates telephone calls, and voice messages being sent via the internet.”

Roy believes that Octagon has a huge advantage over other companies offering similar technologies:

“Because Octagon is a small firm and we operate a very personalised and friendly service. We provide excellent follow-up customer care as we know how important this is to our clients, particularly when the system is new and they are developing their understanding of it.”

To find out more about Octagon Communications and the range of telecommunications systems they have on offer, including IP technology, visit