Monday, September 26, 2016

QoS and VoIP, Why Is It So Important?

QoS and VoIP: Why it is Important




Internet service has many functions in today's world. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), in many cases, uses the same bandwidth you may be using for visiting websites, downloading files, email and more. When these functions happen simultaneously, it can slow down your internet speed, and you could even drop VoIP calls.

Quality of Service (QoS) is technology's answer to that issue. On data networks, QoS is a feature that allows certain types of traffic to take priority over others.  With this, QoS is vital in today's VoIP-driven office environment.Translated to voice networks, this means some types of phone or video call over your internet service can be set to take priority over others.
The type of behaviors that are given priority can vary greatly, depending on the organization setting the rules. At Office Telesystems, all multi office VoIP solutions require QoS enabled networks to ensure the quality of our VoIP phone systems.

Data networks weren't originally built to handle voice traffic, due to the nature of packet transportation that takes place. QoS allows an organization to decide what items take highest priority.
For VoIP calling, you should have voice calls set as top priority to ensure calls are not dropped to increased internet traffic in your office. Without QoS, offices can suffer from poor voice and video conferencing.


Which Factors Affect Call Quality?

There are three major factors affecting call quality over a VoIP system.
  • Latency - This refers to the slight delay in packet delivery. Callers generally report round-trip voice delays of 250 milliseconds or more.
  • Jitter - Because of unpredictable changes in a network, there can be a variation in the delay of packet receipt, which can lead to dropout.
  • Packet Loss - Also known as Data Loss, packet loss can be caused by high congestion. The result is degradation in audio quality.

How to Improve Your QoS

There are some things your business can do to improve your call quality, starting with checking with your ISP (internet service provider) to make sure you have the best plan possible.
A high-quality Internet connection is essential to the quality of your VoIP calls. You may find it necessary to change to a new provider if your current one doesn't offer a plan that can handle the daily transfer load.
  • Check Your Router - First, make sure you have a QoS-enabled router and, if not, get a new one right away. If you have an existing router with QoS enabled, you may need a new router.
  • Improve Your Contention Ratio - The contention ratio refers to the number of users configured to use each unit of data capacity. You want this ratio to be as low as possible—a 5:1 ratio means only five users are sharing one unit of data capacity, while a 50:1 ratio creates a much greater strain.
  • Limit Use During Important Calls - In larger organizations, this obviously isn't a possibility, but for smaller businesses and startups, it can be a great solution. When an important VoIP call or video conference is scheduled, ask everyone to refrain from high-bandwidth activities like streaming video or uploading large files.
Quality of Service is an important issue to businesses that rely on their networks for a VoIP system, whether hosted (cloud) VoIP or a multi office premise based VoIP system. As VoIP continues to replace traditional telephony in businesses, a top-quality, QoS-enabled system is more important than ever. By ensuring you have a QoS enabled router, a business can ensure its VoIP system is optimized to handle its daily voice traffic.

If you are looking for a cloud VoIP system (hosted) or premise based VoIP system for your one office or more, see our VoIP Phone Systems page at www.officetelesystems.comhttp://officetelesystems.com/Home.html and request a quote. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Office Telesystems Product Offerings

Office Telesystems Products and How We Chose Them


Office Telesystems has carefully chosen the best designed telephone systems and products on the market today, including new cloud/hosted VoIP, on premise VoIP and digital phone systems, used phone systems, voice and data cable and infrastructure, and many more products designed to enhance communications in your office.  Our product lines are under constant evaluation to maintain the standards you deserve and expect from a comprehensive telecom solution.




Our product lines have been chosen to provide a combination of leading edge technology, proven reliability and eliminate equipment obsolescence issues.  Well known product names such as Samsung, Avaya, Mitel, NEC and Fonality cloud/hosted and on premise solutions are all products focused on providing solutions that offer rapid ROI, low total cost of ownership and long term investment advantages. John Cornwell, CEO of Office Telesystems, had this to say about our product line: "After 31 years in the industry, I've worked with just about every telecom equipment manufacturer.  I've seen a few come and go as well.  Our product lines provide our customers a reliable solution poised to keep up with technology, provide long term investment benefits and low total cost of ownership. Today's phone system is a tool for enhancing productivity and profitability, an investment in your business."

Though we carry several products that fit Mr. Cornwell's statement, he also knows that customer service is what wins the day with today's customer.  Providing a great product and great support after the sale is what today's business executive and IT department is looking for.  Providing both is top priority at Office Telesystems!

Thank you for your time! Office Telesystems serves the Dallas Fort Worth area, and nationwide for enterprise business and hotel/motel. Visit us at www.officetelesystems.com for more information.




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Telephone Systems Service and Customer Experience

Telephone Systems Service and Customer Experience


The success of your business may hinge on offering a high quality customer service experience. Your telephone systems service company can have a direct impact on your ability to service your customers. The latest technology in phone systems, such as cloud/hosted VoIPon premise VoIP and even today's digital systems offer an impressive collection of features that will offer the best customer service operations available. Without diligent staff training, though, even the most robust collection of phone systems features will not do you any good.  Office Telesystems offers a thorough training experience after your systems installation to allow you to maximize the benefits available in your investment.
Training staff to operate the telephone systems featuresincluding customer service integration, are important training topics. While basic etiquette is a requirement for anyone operating phones, there are advanced training topics that can take customer service agents from good to excellent. Their performance will directly reflect the customer satisfaction your business needs to offer in order to stay competitive.
Because auto-attendants can do so much of the call answering for administrative staff, they are at risk of losing the best phone manners in their greeting. Customers can begin to feel quantity of calls is more important than quality. Training administrative staff for short but properly worded greetings with a friendly customer service voice will help retain a warm customer oriented phone experience.  
Basic phone etiquette topics might seem remedial for some staff members, but it is amazing how many basic manners are ignored in a busy office environment.  Some rules that should be reviewed during your telephone systems service training should at least lightly assess those topics. Some of these rules would be to refrain from eating or chewing gum while on the phone.  Another important topic is how to hang up the phone properly. When operators, administrators, or customer service agents set the phone into its cradle firmly, many customers feel as if they were rudely hung up on.
An effective exercise for telephone systems service customer experience training is to practice active listening skills. Staff that can respond effectively in a variety of customer service situations will create winning situations for your business. Make sure they know the proper procedure for always asking permission before they place someone on hold and show appreciation for customers that have had to hold during a phone call. You may also have specific questions that you want every customer service agent to ask callers or information they need to relay. Including those items in training and practicing, those items will assure that your staff is going to help your business reputation grow for great customer and client experiences.
Office Telesystems understands that you have the very latest and best in telephone system technology in your office, but if it is not properly utilized and your staff is not properly trained, your investment will provide a fraction of its worth.  Contact one of our expert sales representatives today to learn more about our products and services.  972 484 4900.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Getting the Most from Your Call Center, Inbound Service Center

Many customers who operate call centers or inbound service centers are interested in ways to connect their phone system, whether VoIP or digital, with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, such as Salesforce, Act, Goldmine, Sugar and more. In this blog we will discuss the various ways to integrate phone systems with CRM, and what benefits you can realize from CRM Integration.

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Initiate outbound calls from a CRM application, WebPage, Outlook


Click-to-Call, Highlight Dial and more

Systems such as the Fonality PBXtra Call Center Edition software includes a feature called Click-to-Call which allows you to hyperlink the phone numbers in your web based CRM applications contacts so that when you click the phone number, it originates an outbound call from your extension telephone. Other CRM integration tools such as Samsung's Xchange and Avaya One-X can provide similar integration.

Programs like Outlook that use a standard TAPI interface will be able to initiate calls from your contacts using CRM Integration software from Fonality, Samsung, Ayava, NEC and Mitel products we carry.

TAPI

To initiate a call on a VoIP phone from an instruction page on a Windows-based software PC or laptop, a TAPI interface, available on many digital and VoIP systems can be used. This is useful if a CRM application running on a desktop or laptop would like to place a call through the VoIP system to the associated employee's desk phone.
A TAPI driver is included in most CRM integration software for this functionality.  It was developed in order to give the Microsoft dialer built into numerous tools (Including Microsoft Outlook) access to place calls through your phone system. 
  1. Support will be restricted to only manufacturer tested Windows versions and service packs.
  2. Support hours will be coordinated in advance by appointment only.  

Screen Pop/Web Launcher

Systems such as the Fonality PBXtra may include an optional software program named HUD Agent that is used to identify inbound calls by Caller-ID information in your CRM, among many other things. One of the features of HUD is a setting called “Web Launcher” that will allow you to open up a custom configured URL automatically in a web browser window when a call comes in. You can pass the Caller-ID number to your web application in a variable to allow you to look up your customer information by Caller-ID information. Also available, along with caller-ID number information, is the caller-ID name and the extension number of the extension receiving the call.
You can configure the URL to match the URL needed to integrate with your web-based CRM application. We know of customers using this to pull up customer/opportunity records in SugarCRM and Salesforce.com CRM systems using this feature.

Software CRM integration from Samsung, Avaya, NEC, Mitel and Fonality allow for incoming calls to "Screen Pop" contact information directly onto your PC or laptop screen in your existing CRM.  VoIP deskphones and IP Softphones can provide this capability, whether from a hosted or on premise VoIP offering.  Ask one of our expert sales reps for more information.

Open a URL when placing an Outbound call

Similarly to the functionality described above, many CRM Integration tools will allow you to open up a custom configured URL automatically in a web browser window when a call is originated from within your CRM software. You can pass the Caller-ID number of the number being dialed to your web application in a variable to allow you to look up your customer information by Caller-ID information. Also available, along with caller-ID number information, is the caller-ID name and the extension number of the extension placing the call.

Using Custom Applications, Microsoft Lync

Samsung's new Xchange integration can provide a gateway for your new VoIP system to integrate with an existing Microsoft Lync setup in your office.  Seamlessly use Lync as your desktop software that integrates with your Samsung Officeserv 7200/7400 system in single or multi office environments.

Detailed Call Records

For some CRM integrations, the logged historical records of each call are needed in order to compile a history of calls between customers and agents. Although this is an advanced, customized integration that will be very specific to your CRM application, we do sometimes get requests for this. You can collect the call data records (CDR) from your call accounting system in Comma Separated Values (CSV) format and insert them into a database of your choice, or store them in the software with a specified PC or laptop design with adequate storage to handle your call reporting achives.  Products such as Metropolis Office Watch, Office Watch XT and Profit Watch are considered the very best in the industry for management of historical call data.

Custom Call Routing and Special Configuration

Many call centers operate multiple queues, and want to be able to intelligently route calls to different Queues using number dialed (DID) or by more specific information entered by the customer. The Fonality PBXtra Call Center Edition already includes a Call Sequence item named “Go to Submenu by Number Dialed” that you can use to route calls based on what phone number was dialed by the caller. However, sometimes more intelligent routing is desired for applications like the following:
  • Prompt caller for contract number, and be routed to a priority queue if they have an active contract in your database.
  • Look at the caller-id of the inbound caller, and look up what state in the US they are calling from, and route them to the closest local office.
  • Prompt the user to enter their zip code to be routed to your nearest retail store.
  • Integration with your logistics system to allow customers to know when shipments are due to arrive.
  • Allow lookup of billing information (last payment received, remaining balance, next payment due date, etc.)
All of the above (and more) are available by custom integration by your authorized Fonality dealer, Office Telesystems and Fonality’s Professional Services group. Voice recognition and text to speech voice synthesis features are available with these custom integrations. Each project is proposed based on custom requirements and is offered using fixed rate pricing based on engineering time required to perform the integration. 

Office Telesystems offers all products and services listed in this article.  Contact us today to find out how we can help your call center or service based contact center become a better customer service tool.  Request a Quote today!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mobile Extension, Mobex, Mobile Twinning. Pick Your Flavor!



Mobile Extension, Mobex, Mobile Twinning.  Pick Your Flavor!

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For many business owners, organization leaders, and employees alike, the telephone system in their office is packed with features that are rarely utilized.   Many features in today’s business telephone systems have been designed to increase productivity, productivity, customer service and seamlessly connect people anytime at anyplace.  A properly designed phone system will give you far reaching benefits you may not realize.
One feature that is valuable to those who are regularly on the go during or after working hours is Mobile Extension, also called Mobex or Mobile Twinning.  Not every business telephone system is created with these powerful features, but Office Telesystems has hand-picked systems to offer with features like this in mind.  The ability to be mobile and communicate with your customers and co-workers alike can dramatically improve the efficiency and productivity of an office.  Hybrid VoIP Systems such as the Samsung OfficeServ 7000 series, Avaya’s IP Office, Mitel 5000, NEC SL1100 and Fonality Hosted and On Premise solutions all come with the ability to link your cell phone to your office extension.  Many can allow you to call back in on your cell phone and use your extensions direct number caller ID to call out right from your cell phone! Using this method presents the caller identification as if the call was being made at the desk. Not only does this preserve your personal contact information, but also appears more professional.
There are many benefits to Mobile Extension, Mobex, Mobile Twinning, whatever title your system feature has.  With this feature your extensions direct number becomes your one-number access. Therefore, anyone who tries to reach you only needs one phone number to call and you can keep your cell phone number private. 
How often have you been on an hour long drive back to the office hoping that important call doesn’t get missed?  With Mobile Extension, Mobex or Mobile Twinning, you can be reached.  If an incoming call is not answered at the mobile extension, it can be programmed to into your system voicemail.  If a Mobile Extension, Mobex or Mobile Twinning call is answered, users can access their desk terminal to transfer the call, place on hold, or even engage in a conference call.  Check to see if your system is set up with this option.  PRI or SIP trunk services are usually required for proper operation of this feature.
Other desktop phone features that can be accessed by Mobile Extension, Mobex and Mobile Twinning   users include Do Not Disturb, Station and System Speed Dial, Internal Group Paging, Meet Me Answer, Voice Over, Account Code, Park Hold, and Park Hold Answer.
Having the ability to conduct business, professionally and while on the go, can be critical to your business success.  Those who travel regularly, take personal time off, or possibly have an unforeseen circumstance come up can all benefit from this useful mobility feature.  With the flexibility of Mobile Extension, Mobex and Mobile Twinning, the benefits are endless.   Ask one of our sales experts about how this feature can benefit your business today.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advantages and Disadvantages to Cloud/Hosted VoIP Phone Systems, Premise Based Phone Systems



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Cloud/Hosted VoIP systems have become a preferred choice for many that are looking for a new business grade telecom solutions for their offices. And on the surface it's easy to see why. In most cases there is a small initial investment, one bill for equipment and service, the entire solution managed entirely by your hosted provider, latest technology, etc. However there are advantages and disadvantages to both cloud/hosted as well as the traditional premise based solutions that should be considered before investing in a new solution for your office. Office Telesystems has taken this into consideration with our system offerings.


Office Telesystems did an evaluation of several cloud/hosted VoIP providers with the intent to offer a cloud/hosted VoIP solution. We evaluated this not only from our perspective but from the customer perspective as well. After all, the marketing today on phone systems says Cloud/Hosted VoIP will be the solution of choice by 2016 and moving forward. Here are some things we’ve heard from new customers in the past who removed cloud/hosted solutions in favor of a premise based solution when we considered a cloud/hosted VoIP offering: “Our previous hosted solution provided overall poor quality service and support, the equipment was marginal in quality and additional features significantly increased monthly cost.”  We’ve also heard “lack of flexibility unless you buy all the add ons”, “hidden costs”, even excessive downtime and lost business due to substandard support.  With a cloud/hosted solution from Office Telesystems, we understand how to not only design your cloud/hosted solution to avoid these pitfalls, but provide you the highest level of support to boot. This is one of many reasons why we have chosen the Fonality line of cloud or hosted VoIP type of phone system as our choice of cloud/hosted VoIP offering. You must be careful when choosing the right cloud/hosted VoIP solution for your office. Below are some advantages and disadvantages to cloud/hosted and premise based solutions. Hopefully this can help you choose the right cloud/hosted solution or premise based solution for your offices:

Advantages and Disadvantages to Premise Based and Hosted Solutions

For Premise Based (server on site) Solutions
Pros
Favorable total cost of ownership for just a few sites
Security of Network  
Control
Broader Feature Set
Higher quality desk sets in most cases
Higher level of equipment support/dealer support
Life span‐once lease is completed, retain benefits of equipment after lease with no equipment payments (the average phone system lifespan is 7-8 years)
CapEx or OpEx financial options

Cons
Upfront equipment cost if purchased (Leasing can offset this as OpEx)
Integration to separate services provider, 2 or more bills
Cost of professional services usually more
Cost of upgrades (wrap into your lease to offset this)
Equipment possibly outdated or no future upgrades available (Make sure your equipment is NEW or supported by manufacturer and provides software updates)

Cloud/Hosted VoIP Solutions Pros and Cons
Pros

Flexibility
Low Up Front Investment
Multi-Site Integration
Lower short term total cost of ownership for mix of large and/or small branch sites
Reduce long distance expenses for remote sites in other area codes
Easy, one payment plan for both equipment and service in most cases

Cons

Higher long term total cost of ownership in most cases
Basic feature set‐upgrades significantly increase monthly cost
Average to below average Service/Support after the sale if no SLA service response guarantees
Lack of performance guarantees
Minimal equipment and service for your money

Office Telesystems prides itself in providing a level of service you deserve and expect from your dealer, whether you choose an on premise or cloud/hosted solution! Contact us today. 972 484 4900.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why Do You Need Call Accounting or Call Management Software?



Why do You Need Call Accounting in your Office?




         Here are 20 Reasons:       Request a Quote

1.     Detect fraudulent phone activity. Track questionable inbound and outbound calls, helping you quickly detect problems and avert risks.

2.     Reduce Labor Cost by identifying peak calling times, adjust staff accordingly

3.     Alerts on defined trigger patterns for calls like 911, 411 and other sensitive numbersGet 911 notification by extension, text, phone call, on screen.

4.     Facilitate timely client billing and cost recovery.  Set time/date for billing reports that automatically calculate usage and cost by client, tenant or partner.

5.     Scheduled Reports.  Email reports automatically based on preset criteria, allowing managers to respond immediately to call volume changes.  This can reduce your labor costs.

6.     Measure Campaign Responses and Effectiveness.  Know where your prospects are calling from and to which campaign or ad they are responding to.

7.     Analyze Traffic.  Capacity planning tools help you identify peak calling times and who’s calling. What-if analysis allows you to balance infrastructure needs and take proactive measures to ensure uninterrupted and efficient phone service.

8.     Flexible call costing & time-billing-Flexible options for bill back.

9.     Trunk Analysis-Eliminate underutilized trunks for cost savings
10.  Multi-site capability providing consolidated or individual office reporting 

11.  Export reports to multiple formats like Excel, Word, PDF, HTML (to view using Web browser on the internet from Web folders)

12.  Call costing with user-programmable rate plans and rate tables

13.  Automatic scheduling of all reports and data archival

14.  Time billing reports based on hourly consulting rates

15.  Completes the feedback loop on agent productivity and phone presence, telemarketing efforts and service levels

16.  Understand call distribution (IN/OUT) for agents during various times in the day and days of the week by category

17.  Wildcard searches for random/specific calls, information

18.  Import contact information from ASCII files generated by Outlook etc.

19.  Network-based remote and consolidated multi-site reporting capability


20.  A complete call management tool to increase productivity, profitability, with rapid return on investment!  Ask for a product demonstration today!

 Ask for a product demonstration today! Request a Quote or call 972 484 4900.