10 Steps to Relocating Your Office Communications

NEC-conference28webMoving your business can be challenging, for you, your employees and your customers. The last thing you want to worry about is your communications. Here is a checklist to make moving all your networking and communications easier:

  1. Audit your Services: Make a thorough audit and listing of all your phone lines, internet access, fire and burglar alarm lines, credit card, fax and postage machines. Figure out what you have now and if that need will change at your new location.
  2. Evaluate Service Providers: A move is a great time to check other service providers to see what is available, possibly saving you money and upgrading your services. SoundTel can provide a free communications analysis.
  3. Schedule Services at you new location: Do this at least 30 days in advance of your move.
  4. Create a floor plan of your new site: Note cable requirements, the number of telephone lines and user extension numbers.
  5. Schedule Voice and Data Cabling: To be done in conjunction with other construction. If no construction needed, schedule a prefield with your equipment provider.
  6. Evaluate Phone and Voice Mail System: This is a great time to upgrade to a new system and save the cost of moving your current system. SoundTel can provide a free CheckIn: a 15 minute no cost / no obligation communication assessment.
  7. Schedule Phone and Voice Mail System move: Schedule move and purchase additional equipment as needed. SoundTel can handle moving and installing your current system, even if you didn’t buy it from SoundTel.
  8. Review Current Voicemail Greetings: Make sure you include a mention of your move and your new address.
  9. Review Phone Ring Patterns: Decide if new location has different requirements for different employees.
  10. Notify Staff of Schedule and changes: Set up a short meeting with your staff so they are aware of everything involved in the communication system move. This will help avoid any missed customer contacts.

Collaboration_17SoundTel can help in all aspects of your move and would like to be your local communications provider. For over 25 years, we have assisted companies like yours in their every communications need. Our professional staff will make any job a worry-free experience for you and your employees, saving the headache and stress of trying to do it yourselves. We are a local, family-owned business invested in our community. All it takes is a quick phone call to (425) 481-5493 and you can focus on the important work: your business.

Reference: https://nzvanlines.co.nz/moving-to-new-zealand.

Should your next phone system be Cloud Based: Part 2

Is your network ready for Voice over Internet Protocol?

In the first blog post in this series, Cloud Based Communication vs. On-Premise Solutions, we provided an overview of cloud vs. on-premise communications systems and discussed the first of five major considerations before investing in a cloud based network: total cost of ownership (TCO). These included the size and number of locations of your business, if your employees used their own devices and more. Be sure to check out the first post at the link above.

Network Assessments and Service Level Agreements

Your next consideration should be an assessment of your local area network (LAN) and a thorough understanding of what your provider is offering in terms of a service level agreement (SLA). A careful analysis can determine if a cloud based communications system is even possible. A poor analysis can leave you with an under-performing network and/or force costly upgrades.

Network Assessments

When you add voice to your LAN, it’s important to know your network is capable of handling this additional traffic without degradation of call quality. Everyone is used to the call quality a standard circuit-switched telephone connection offers to deliver clear voice. This quality can only be accomplished over the internet if it meets the unique requirements for on-time voice traffic, which are much different than that needed for moving data alone.

Quality of service (QOS) or traffic prioritization, available bandwidth, low latency and no packet loss are all required for regular voice service to work correctly and to be delivered effectively through the cloud. With data traffic, the network quality can vary without interrupting your work, as long as it is generally fast enough (for example, the difference between old dial-up service and modern high speed internet). With voice traffic, it must move linearly, rather than in separate packets, and must arrive through the internet complete and in real time. Any loss or delay of voice packets can be very unsettling and disruptive, with pauses, gaps, missing syllables and even missing words, resulting in unacceptable call quality, and in worse case, disconnections. A network assessment will test and measure important performance criteria to determine if your network is ready for voice over the internet (VoIP) and provide valuable diagnostic information if upgrades are needed.

Service Level Agreements

Next you need to know what guarantee the provider you are considering will offer you. You should know up front exactly what level of support is included in your contract. Check if they assure sound quality, uninterrupted service or if they have any kind of guarantees in writing. Find out what they will do if the sound quality is poor or any of the problems above happen. Finally, what will they do for you if their system is down and you lose service (and potential customers).

Here is a checklist of five levels of service to consider. Be sure to ask any potential provider for full details on these:

  1. Carrier (what phone carrier will be providing service and what are their SLAs)
  2. Data Center (where are they, who runs them, how reliable are they)
  3. Unified Communications Level (will this be a simple phone system or a fully unified communications system)
  4. Delivery (what kind of connection will the service be delivered over: guaranteed call quality requires more expensive connections)
  5. User (who will install the equipment, what kind of training will be provided, who will you call if there is a problem?)

Before you make an investment in a cloud based communications system, be sure your network is ready to handle the speed and quality required for voice communications. And before you commit to a service provider, be sure you understand their SLA and all that it entails. Always consult with a reliable, trustworthy expert in the communications field. SoundTel will be pleased to answer any questions you may have and can help you decide if moving to the cloud is the right decision for your business. Call 1-800-797-3663 or 425-481-5493 for a free communications analysis.

Our next blog will cover call quality and reliability of a cloud based system.

Should your next phone system be Cloud Based?

Cloud Based Communication vs. On-Premise Solutions

When choosing a communications solution that is best for your business, do you go with a tried and true traditional on-your-business-site system, or should you consider the latest communications technology and move to the cloud? As with all business decision, you need to weigh the costs and benefits of all options. Consider the following when comparing traditional on site vs. cloud based solutions 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

SoundTel will post a series of blogs on the subject of cloud based communications systems comparing these five considerations, and more, in the following weeks. Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on social media so you don’t miss any.

Like all technology these days, communications is moving to the cloud. Just as you can choose enterprise software as a service (SaaS), telecommunications providers are now offering PPI solicitors that are web based. The advantages are obvious: scalability, flexibility, ability to use a wide variety of devices from anywhere 24/7. But there are other considerations: cost, both initial and over time, reliability and security.

In the past, on-premise solutions were often chosen because of low TCO and high levels of security since the communications system was onsite. Cloud based communications solutions offer low upfront cost, greater flexibility and low maintenance costs. Of course every business is different, and TCO depends greatly on the size and number of locations of a business. A business with a few very large sites may end up with lower TCO staying with on premise solutions, while a business with many small sites would benefit using cloud base solutions. Such a solution may be seen in distributed antenna system installation companies – call Us!.

If you have a large, spread out employee base with  a wide variety of needs and mobile devices, the cloud based solutions can save you a significant amount of money by allowing BYOD: Bring Your Own Device (how, why). Using the cloud, you are not bound to any specific brand or even certain standards, since there are apps available to connect virtually any communication device imaginable, now or in the future. It also allows for one number access no matter where or what device an employee is currently using.

But if you are a small single location office, this type of flexibility and scalability is unnecessary. A business should not let the excitement of moving with the newest technology trend to outweigh a thorough review of the costs and benefits. Always consult with a reliable, trustworthy expert in the communications field. SoundTel will be pleased to answer any questions you may have and can help you decide if moving to the cloud is the right decision for your business. Call 1-800-797-3663 or 425-481-5493 for a free communications analysis.