Find out if your next phone system should be Cloud Based

SoundTel can help you decide on Cloud Based Communication vs. On-Premise Solutions

When we began this series of blogs, we started with a question: When choosing a communications solution that is best for your business, do you go with a tried and true on-site business system, or should you consider the latest communications technology and move to the cloud? We offered a checklist to help you make an effective decision on which system is best for your business:

  1. TCO – total cost of ownership
  2. Network Assessments and Service Level Agreements
  3. Call quality and reliability
  4. Obsolescence and scalability
  5. Flexibility and remote access

Throughout SoundTel’s series of blogs on cloud based communications systems, we compared these five considerations and more. Our first blog covered Total Cost of Ownership. We noted that like all technology these days, communications is moving to the cloud in the form of enterprise software as a service (SaaS). We noted the obvious advantages such as scalability, flexibility, ability to use a wide variety of devices from anywhere 24/7. But we also pointed out that there are other considerations including cost, both initial and over time, reliability and security.

Our next blog focused on an assessment of your businesses’ local area network (LAN) and a thorough understanding of what your provider is offering in terms of a service level agreement (SLA). We discussed how a careful analysis can determine if a cloud based communications system is even possible for your business, while a poor analysis can leave you with an underperforming network and/or force costly upgrades. Adding voice to a LAN requires a network capable of handling this additional traffic without degradation of call quality. Make sure you have a service agreement from your provider outlining assurances of sound quality, uninterrupted service and other guarantees.

The third blog in the series covered call quality and reliability issues for your communication system. Any reliable provider should be able to answer basic questions about call quality and their ability to deliver it, including the phone carrier they work with, how good their data center is, what kind of connection speed they will provide and who will install the equipment and train your employees. In terms of reliability, the provider should offer a solid Service Level Agreement (SLA) that offers the industry standard Five 9s Reliability: 99.999% reliability.

Our forth blog discussed obsolescence and scalability issues. One advantage of cloud based systems is that they are mostly software, which can easily be updated to avoid obsolescence. But make sure you know beforehand who is responsible for the costs of periodic updates: you or the provider. Another big advantage of a cloud based system is the ease of scalability. You purchase only the devices you need for your size business, and in many cases, employees will be using their own smart devices. Be aware of any cost involved with your provider for future changes, though. They will probably charge to scale up your system, and may even charge to downsize.

The final blog was on flexibility and remote access. We showed that cloud systems are inherently flexible since it is based mostly in software rather than hardware. But hardware based systems are not standing still, with many offering similar flexibility to the cloud, while providing, in some cases, superior hardware and software. Remote access through a cloud system was one of its first recognized benefits, allowing employees to work from any branch office, home or even a coffee shop, using a single desk number and still having caller idea, voice mail and more. New on-premise systems are adding many of the same features, blurring the lines between cloud and on site systems.

Now is a great time to update your current phones, either to the cloud or to a modern on site total communication system. Contact Soundtel now for a free CheckIn to assure your system is doing all it can for your business. Click the button on the SoundTel homepage, call 1-800-797-3663 or 425-481-5493, or email SoundTel for a free, comprehensive communications analysis.

NEC SV8100 Telephone and Voice Mail System Updates

NEC has recently developed some great updates for your Univerge telephone system platform, including enhancements to all voice mail platforms and desktop suites. Here is just a few of the updates we are most excited about.

System Wide Highlights:

Virtual Extension Enhancement
Caller ID is now available for Virtual Extensions, allowing you to selectively screen calls, avoiding surveys and telemarketers. This enhancement also makes caller-ID appear on LCD for station-to-station calls, external calls and a virtual extension.

USB Backup
Administrators can now back-up programmed data to a USB drive via Webpro. System data can also be uploaded from a USB drive.

Do Not Disturb Enhancement (DND)
DND enables users to activate the Do Not Disturb feature on a phone, ringing or not. Callers will simply hear the user’s customized message and be transferred to voicemail.

Softkey Disable
Management can easily disable the softkey function per station (ie. Breakroom, lobby)
Voice Mail Highlights:

Terminals_largeUM8000 Voice Mail
Mobile Web Mailbox Manager (MWMM)
The MWMM web application is designed to run on a smartphone browser, allowing subscribers to listen to messages and configure their mailbox settings, including the Presence Greetings. Great for mobile employees.

Google Chrome Support
In addition to Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome is now supported for both the Web Administration Console and the Web Mailbox Manager.

Presence Greetings Support
The available subscriber greetings have been expanded to support over 10 Presence
Greetings, allowing the subscriber to provide callers feedback on their status.
Subscribers may use any of the following user interfaces to configure the greeting that callers hear:
• Telephone User Interface (TUI)
• Web Mailbox Manager (WMM)
• Mobile Web Mailbox Manager (MWMM)

Inmail Voice Mail Enhancement
The Answer Table determines how the Automated Attendant answers outside calls on each line, according to the time of the day and day of the week that the call is ringing. The answer table has been increased from 8 to 16.
The Dial Action Table defines the dialing options for the Call Routing Mailbox chosen by the active Answer Table, which in turn provides those dialing options to Automated Attendant callers. The Dial Action Table has been increased from 16 to 32.

Queued Message Notification enables configuration of each voice mailbox to receive new-message notifications at a pre-set time. DT730_24_lg This is useful for companies that commonly receive messages after regular business hours, or a service desk collecting after hour messages that can be delivered at a pre-set time.

You already know how valuable your NEC SV8100 Univerge system is to your business. To ensure your phone system always gets the most up-to-date software, SoundTel provides Software Assurance Packages and Service Protection Plans. SoundTel can affordably provide or upgrade both types of plans for your business today. To learn more about the latest updates for your NEC SV8100 and get a free CheckIn to assure your system is doing all it can for your business email SoundTel or call today at 1-800-797-3663 or 425-481-5493 for a full preview.