Category Archives: Phone System

Phone System Sales Boom During Recession

We hear about the recession and credit crunch several times a week and businesses closing and rising unemployment, but one of the things you probably expect to hear was that the Telecoms sector in the UK is reporting bumber sales of Phone Systems during the previous 12 months.

One of the drivers of this communications boom is the need for businesses to work smarter and enable a more flexible workforce.  Modern VoIP technology enables businesses to integrate a mobile workforce into a cental phone system infrastructure enabling them to communicate more effectively and drive down costs whilst improving performance.

The ability for members of staff to be able to answer cstomer calls when at home or on the road as though they were in the offic means that no opportunity is missed and the all important customer satisfaction levels are exceeded.  In a world where communications and technology has led the business model for growth, the new business model is all about the customer and this technology now only serves to enable businesses to ensure that they retain their existing customers by enabling them to communicate quickly and effectively.  A business that does not embrace this change in consumer and business customer power will not be able to survive long and in order to meet this important demand an effective telecommunications infrastructure is key.

This is the reason that businesses both small and large are leveraging the power of modern telecommunications products, services and tools to streamline their business whilst enhancing their customer interaction and developing brand loyalty.

Leading telephone system manufacturers such as Avaya and Mitel have siezed this opportunity with both hands and have ensured their business phone systems include all the tools necessary for the modern business to enable effective and cost effective telecommunications between company employees and their customers no matter where in the world they are.

An Avaya Phone System spokesperson has commented on their recent sales growth by saying “Our foresight into the future market trends and our ability to develop an understanding of customer expectations and deliver results led solutions has enabled us to secure an important position as the leading telecommunications provider for the next business generation”.

Both Avaya Phone Systems and Mitel Phone Systems include a range of products and services that enable businesses to create a platform for success and deliver cost effective business communications to deal with the increasing demands of customers and their need to effectivly communicate with their existing and proposed suppliers.

Tell The World About Your Business And Submit Your Telecoms News Article

Do you want to tell the world about a new product or service that your business has launched or a new Government, Olympic or Business contract that you have awarded then submit your article to Telecom News and we will publish it for you.

Whether you want to tell your customers about a new Hosted Telephony service, SIP Trunking, 3G Router, IP Phone or business phone system then you can publish it quickly on the Telecoms News website.

Free Professional Studio Recorded Messaging On Hold and Music On Hold

Fortune are giving away a free , professional studio recorded music on hold / messaging on hold with every purchase of their new Fortune 4000 MP3 Music On Hold Player.

Fortune 4000

Simply purchase the Fortune 4000, an 8Mb MP3 Player which is supplied with connection leads to plug it into the MOH (Music On Hold) port of your business phone system and you can play a customised advertising message to your callers when you place them on hold.  To get  your free message you simply visit the MOH website, enter the serial number of the card included with your Fortune 4000 unit and you can then select your choice of background music from over a hundred royalty free music tracks and then select the type of voice you want to record your voice and even listen to samples of the various voice and dialect types and then enter your chosen text for the recording.  This is then professionally recorded for you and e-mailed in an MP3 format for you to load onto your Fortune 4000 MP3 Music On Hold Player.

Agent 1100 Business Telephone – Product Review

The Agent 1100 business telephone is a great looking, functional and feature rich business telephone for small business users that simply need standard analogue telephones, either to connect directly into their analogue telephone lines or for connection to the analogue extension of their business phone system.

The Agent 1100 features a large LCD Display which clearly shows the call information and the phone includes Caller ID so you can see who’s calling as long as your telephone line or phone system supports caller ID.  There are four programmable memory buttons for those important numbers and an easily accessible phone directory of up to 70 telephone numbers via the phone menu system.

The Agent 1100 Caller ID Phone also features an RJ11 headset port for the connection of a corded headset and has handsfree dialing.  The phone does not have hands free speech but to be honest somebody that wants to sit at their desk shouting at their phone is important enough to invest in a proper audio conferencing phone such as the Panasonic KX-NT700.

The Agent 1100 is the ideal phone for small business users and many users of small business phone systems such as the Orchid Telecom range of analogue business phone systems.

Drive Your Call Traffic With The TeleForwarding Dashboard

Can you imagine driving your car without a dashboard? Would you feel safe stepping into a vehicle without a dashboard monitoring & control mechanism? The most likely answer to these questions is: no, you would not. In this day and age we are so used to having mechanical devices that guide us daily over the roads and highways of our life, that we feel, and often are, less safe without the support of an automatic control panel. But, if this is the case, then why do we not also use such a dashboard for another important form of daily traffic: call traffic. TeleForwarding explains why a telephone dashboard is as essential as the control panel of your car.

TeleForwarding, a multinational telecom company offering inbound voice services such as toll free contact numbers, has over ten years of experience implementing a virtual telephone dashboard, the so-called IVR Manager. The online dashboard can be delivered with the toll free numbers implemented by TeleForwarding, but can also be installed for clients who already own a toll free number with another provider. This virtual control panel has many different functions that can be divided into four main categories: management, monitoring, control and special, tailored features. With these four functions the online dashboard transports your call traffic safely, quickly and easily, to its final destination. Thus, this mechanic device will support the flow of your call traffic while you yourself are holding the wheel.

But what does this mean concretely?

The first two functions of the TeleForwarding online dashboard are also the most obvious ones: management and monitoring. Let’s say that you are the owner of a universal international freephone number, a 00800 or UIFN number, that is activated in 10 different countries.

With the virtual dashboard you will be able to manage the various destination numbers behind this universal 00800 number. You might want to disconnect a destination number in Rio the Janeiro, for instance, and activate a destination number in São Paolo instead. With a virtual dashboard you will be able to do so in real-time and without the interference of a technical support agent, provided you have previously added the numbers to the dashboard system.

The monitoring function of this control panel allows for a more pro-active form of traffic management. With this tool you are able to monitor, for example, the call queue that is installed behind an international, 0800 (ITFN) or 00800 (UIFN) number. By monitoring this call queue you can easily spot an increase in the number of calls waiting to be answered. Obviously, you would want to prevent your call queues from turning into a traffic jam, for this would only frustrate and irritate your clients. As a good traffic supervisor using the online dashboard, you will be able to anticipate a possible traffic jam and take measures according to the capacities of your company; perhaps you could open more telephone lines, provided you have the number of employees necessary for this, or otherwise an expansion of the IVR menu might provide a solution. Thus, by monitoring your call traffic with the online dashboard, you will be able to deal with any changes in your call traffic in a flexible manner and prevent traffic chaos.

While monitoring the volume of your call traffic and managing the routes of your incoming calls, it will also be useful to be able to recognize regular changes or fluctuations in your call flow. For this reason, the TeleForwarding online dashboard includes a function that helps its user to create call reports. Such a report allows you to summon data about your call traffic, such as the number of calls that took place within a specific time frame and the duration of these calls. These data can then be exported as a CSV-file to Excel where it can be edited and adapted and where you can compare it with data from previous periods. If you own a call centre, for instance, and find it important that all calls are handled within 3 minutes, you can create call reports that highlight the duration of each incoming call. This way, the online dashboard provides you with the necessary information with which you can easily and quickly monitor the targets you have set for the handling your call traffic.

Of course it is always possible that you need information more specific to your particular business. If you have a toll free number in several countries, for instance, it could be useful to know the number of calls and their duration for each separate country. By creating a special reporting option in your personal dashboard, TeleForwarding ensures that you will get hold of this information.

Such tailored options, moreover, can entail much more than the creation of special call traffic reports. It is possible, for example, to indicate your company’s office ours and ‘instruct’ the online dashboard on when your employees are available to answer calls. With the help of a time/date routing extension, the online dashboard will then ensure that all calls coming in after business hours will be rerouted to other offices or will be answered by a recorded voice message. These messages, moreover, can easily be changed and adjusted by the dashboard operator without the interference of a technical support agent. This will give you full control over the content of the recorded voice message while also allowing you some flexibility with the time scheduling of this message within the time/date routing extension. Thereby, the dashboard will enable its administrator to be flexible and in control and will help your call centre to perform at its best.

This all sounds very well, doesn’t it? But what does it really mean for your business? Tarek Othman, manager technical operations at TeleForwarding International B.V., is happy to give a more concrete

example: “We have a customer who is active in the entertainment industry and owns a small company with a staff of three. These people provide their clients with information regarding special events in their industry and for this reason needed a premium rate number where their clients could reach them. However, they then received an extremely high number of calls and were unable to answer them all.”

“This client”, Mr. Othman explains, “ asked us if we could reduce the number of actual calls to the company but still give them the option to provide their clients with the information they wanted.” In order to realize this, TeleForwarding then created a special call script that incorporated a call menu. Each caller was given the choice to talk to an employee or to listen to a recorded message that contained the answers to many of the frequently asked questions relating a certain event. “And it worked”, Othman underlines, “for they were able to reduce the amount of calls they had to answer in person by 75%.” This freed up the time of the three employees and gave them the opportunity to further develop their business. Thereby, this solution presented and realized by TeleForwarding reduced the cost of this client and helped them to take their business to the next level.

Thus, using the TeleForwarding Dashboard with IVR management functions enables the owner of an international free phone, 00800, or toll free,

0800 number to observe and manage the routes of all incoming calls, monitor their speed and the amount of call traffic on each line while spotting trends and changes in the call flow. Thereby, you can manage and create the transportation network best suited to the call traffic of your company. With the special features of the virtual dashboard you can, moreover, create the necessary signposts (such as a call

menu) and place them next to the routes of your call highways, directing your callers to the right employee while you yourself function as traffic controller who is able to anticipate and prevent possible problems. Consequently, the online dashboard is a vital instrument that will drive your call traffic to its proper destination and helps the system to perform well.

Would you like to find out how our dashboard can optimize your call traffic and reduce your costs? Click right through to our website call us (toll free and from any country) at 00800 00123456.

Demand For Unified Communications Increases

There is growing evidence to show greater traction in the market for UC solutions, according to Chris Barrow, Advanced Technologies Marketing Manager, Avaya, who says more users are buying into the technology.

There are a number of market drivers for UC at work, notes Barrow. Firstly, the economy is still in a fragile state and businesses are focusing on driving efficiency within the organisation, meaning they are only willing to invest in tools that maximise workforce productivity. Secondly, the fact that employees have access to more types of communication, applications and devices, is also part of the reason why demand for UC is growing. “We’re hearing from our partners that customers often feel overwhelmed with all the new platforms employees are using, such as social media and IM,” stated Barrow. “While social media can act as a useful business tool, it needs to be harnessed in the right way.”

Also coming into play is an increase in the usage of multiple personal devices at work. “Employees want to be able to use the devices they love but in a professional capacity,” added Barrow. “They also want to have access to everything on one platform and for all communications tools to link together seamlessly. This is where UC really comes into play. Obviously, the communications landscape is constantly changing, but I would say that these trends are encouraging our partners to take on more of a consulting role. We are all familiar with multiple devices and social media platforms but it is the partners’ job is to guarantee UC brings them together in a corporate capacity, ensuring all communications are professionally managed and secure.”

Something that is ‘top of mind’ for Avaya and its users is choice, observed Barrow. Modern enterprise workers are used to devices such as laptops and tablets and do not want to be shackled to single use communications devices such as the telephone for phone calls and a video conference suite for video calls. “Customers want a device that is not only multi-purpose but one that works for them,” added Barrow. “This is the reason why Avaya allows enterprises to communications enable multiple devices such as smart phones, tablets, PCs, Macs and more. We do this with a combination of the Avaya Aura architecture that delivers communications as a cloud-like service and the Avaya one-X and Flare user experience that ties these features together. It is therefore important that we go to market with partners who understand this consumer-centric world and can help us build a value proposition of ‘always on’, ‘always available’ communications that allow people to work together wherever and however they choose.”

Avaya’s experience is that businesses are still being cautious about spending money, so the first thing it had to do was help its channels change their messages to a RoI-based sale. “Nobody buys technology for the sake of it any more,” commented Barrow. “It is true that a full-on implementation of UC can cost a considerable amount of money, but a well-engineered solution will pay for itself. That is why we have seen growth in any area that reduces costs and has a fast return on investment. Video, web and audio conferencing have seen a lot of interest as they allow companies to collaborate while reducing the need for travel. For the future, any tool that allows a company to be more nimble and flexible and to outpace their competitors will also be attractive. Solutions such as VENA (the Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture) that allow businesses to add applications and reconfigure their communications network in a simple and error free way will see good attention in the coming 12-18 months.”

Videoconferencing is definitely one of the solutions that is driving growth in the UC market. It has taken some time but companies have become more inclined to use this technology as a business tool, whether it’s for engaging in face-to-face with colleagues or customers. “We’ve seen a lot of market activity over the past year, and part of what is fuelling this trend is customer expectations,” noted Barrow. “Consumer videoconferencing solutions are being used at home more regularly now than ever before and people expect the same level of access at work. The important part is to ensure that videoconferencing comes as an integrated part of the UC mix. It’s about ease of use, streamlined communications and collaboration. People want to be able to flip between methods of communication, depending on the situation they’re in at that moment but this process has to be easy and quick, so they can initiate a video call there and then.”

Barrow also notes that with the rise of social media and multiple platforms for communication, businesses need extra support in understanding how everything fits together. “This is a great opportunity for our partners to embrace more of a consultative role which takes advantage of their solution knowledge and technical expertise,” said Barrow. “This will enable them to communicate the benefits of new applications and then up-sell as needed to ensure the customers have the best option. With so many tools and options available now it is important that the customer is well advised. This type of consultative role will become a more integrated part of the reseller’s daily activity, and we encourage them to embrace this. As communications evolve, this type of personal touch will serve as a real competitive advantage and will support them in generating more revenue and satisfying more customers overall.”

To find our more about using an Avaya Phone System in your business and how Unified Communications can help you then visit

Vodafone One Net Tops 10,000 Users In UK

Vodafone claims UK sales of OneNet have passed 10,000 users and 1,000 business contracts.  Vodafone is upping its marketing spend to help emulate international success.

The success of the Vodafone OneNet product lies in the market trend for smaller businesses to move to a hosted telephony solution for their business communications and paying a small monthly access charge for each telephone extension.  This type of hosted telephone system has already been popular over the last few years and has seen a growing base of small businesses converting to the latest VoIP technology and because the hosted telephony solution is almost the same as having a mobile phone contract where you pay a monthly service charge then it makes sense that the Vodafone Onenet service which combines both VoIP and GSM extensions should do so well.

The other advantage that Vodafone has with it’s OneNet business telephony solution is the fact that it can deliver calls over VoIP and GSM so for office users that do not  have a great broadband connection to enable quality VoIP calls they can use a mobile phone connection for each telephone extension.  You might think that using a mobile phone every day as your office phone might put off many potential users, but with the option of using a 3G Desk Phone such as the Huawei ETS6630 or the new Telecom FM 3G Desk Phone the office user can have a desktop style GSM phone that they can use with the Vodafone OneNet GSM solution.


Landline to Mobile Call Charges Slashed to 4.5 ppm

The cost of calling mobile phones is now only 4.5 ppm with Westlake Communications new low cost business telephone call plan.

Traditionally the cost of calling mobiles has always been high, but recent regulation has caused a big price drop for business users that want to reduce the cost of calling mobile phones.  Until recently the average cost to call a mobile phone was around 8 ppm, so this new price is almost 50% cheaper.

Companies that have wanted to reduce their landline to mobile call charges were forced to use a GSM Gateway which was a piece of hardware that could be connected to a business telephone system and used a mobile phone SIM card to enable calls to be made using more competitive mobile to mobile call tariffs.  Using a GSM gateway could reduce business calls to mobiles to around 4 ppm so this new low call charge to mobile phones of only 4.5ppm makes the use of a GSM Gateway obsolete for call cost reduction.

GSM gateways are still widely used as alternatives to telephone lines for remote or temporary offices and also to propvide convenient telephone connectivity for applications such as alarms (lift alarms, care alarms etc) or for connection to a stand alone telephone for expample as part of a taxi phone solution.

Call charges to mobile phones are set to drop even further over the next two years with calls as low as 2 ppm in 2014.

Panasonic NS1000 Update

The eagerly awaited Panasonic NS1000 Phone System is now available from stock from most UK Panasonic Phone System dealers.

The Panasonic NS1000 is a market leading VoIP Phone System from the leading small phone system manufacturer.  The NS1000 phone system uses the latest Voice Over IP Technology enabling easy deployment of Panasonic IP Phones including the KX-NT range (KX-NT321, KX-NT343, KX-NT346 and KX-NT366) and the new KX-UT range of Panasonic SIP Phones (KX-UT113, KX-UT123, KX-UT133 and KX-UT136).  The Panasonic NS1000 Telephone System can also be used with other SIP Phones including Aastra IP Phones, Grandstream IP Phones, Cisco IP Phones, Yealink IP Phones, Snom IP Phones, Polycom IP Phones and Linksys IP Phones making the NS1000 an ideal choice for customers with existing handsets that might want to migrate their IP Telephony to the Panasonic NS1000 Communications Server Platform.

Panasonic NS1000

The Panasonic NS1000 can utilise SIP Trunk services and can also use legacy ISDN telephone lines if require.  Put the Panasonic NS1000 is your diary.

Is your business prepared for the cold weather?

The annual freeze is upon the UK with forecasts of snow and freezing temperatures and of course the possible disruption to business inlcuding staff shortages as employees refuse to struggle through dangerous conditions to get to work.  In this age of high speed internet and multitude of communications options it should be easy for desk based employees to work from home and it is not as expensive as you might think as long as you have made some preperations.

The obvious first choice is using VoIP (Voice Over IP) so that home based employees, even temporarily snowed in ones, can communicate with the office and customers seamlessly.  As long as they have a reliable ADSL connection at home and a PC with suitable headset they can quickly establish a connection with the office phone system to remain a productive member of the team.  Even if your business does not have a VoIP or VoIP enabled telephone system you can plan ahead by installing a VoIP Gateway which will easily upgrade your existing phone system to provide basic VoIP connectivity as a backup for this type of situation.  The Telecom FM Onestream VoIP Gateway will connect to your small business phone system and provide VoIP connectivity for both the office phone system and also allow home workers to connect using an IP softphone on their computer or they could use an IP Phone at home and be able to answer incoming calls and transfer them back to the office.  The Onestream Gateway also fetures a built-in GSM Gateway so the company can reduce their call charges to mobile phones or provide easy, low cost mobile extension functionality for their mobile workforce.

The next thing that a home based employee will need to do is access their office PC and applications from their home computer and this is easily achieved using a basic VNC service or a paid for remote access solutions such as gotomypc or logmein which are easy to set up and allow the user to work as though sitting at their desk.

With a little planning, and maybe a small outlay for items like VoIP Gateways which can provide additional benefits such as reduced call charges throughout the year, most small businesses can easily survive the cold snap.