Can a New Telephone System Save Lives?

Healthcare15If you run a healthcare business or senior care facility, putting someone on extended hold or missing a call could be a matter of life or death. Answering all calls in a timely matter is more than good customer service in the healthcare industry. Yet many offices struggle with out-of-date systems that are unable to handle growing clientele numbers efficiently and effectively. Simply parking customers on hold for several minutes is not acceptable.

A recent article, An RX For Hospitals: Communications Overhaul, on the website Breakthroughs, highlights this issue in a healthcare setting. The story, which first appeared on the Dallas NPR station KERA radio, focused on how NEC’s technology helped John Peter Smith (JPS) Hospital in Ft. Worth not only save money, but also save lives and improve the patient experience.

200181824-001As the article highlights, there is a wide range of technologies to upgrade or replace aging systems. VoIP offers faster, clearer and more reliable service than many traditional phone lines. IP-based communications allow businesses to answer phones through their laptops, check their email for voicemail left in their office, and run high-bandwidth medical applications that are becoming more popular.

As an authorized NEC dealer, SoundTel can help you find the perfect new phone system or offer upgrades for your current NEC system. For 30 years, we have assisted companies like yours in their every communications need. We are a local, family-owned business invested in our community. ContactSoundTel or call 425.481.5493 or 800.797.3663 to learn more.

Phone Tips and Tricks: Using Absence Message on your Panasonic Phone System

finger phoneWhen you are out of the office do your co-workers wonder where you are and when you will return? You can improve your inter office communications with Absence Message. When you use this feature the Absence Message will appear on the telephone display of the internal caller who calls your extension.

DBS-824 and Large DBS

To Assign the Absence Message:

Press ON/Off

Dial 71

Dial the message number (0-4 unless you have customer messages 5-9 set up)

0 = In Meeting

1= At Lunch

2=Out of office

3=Vacation

4=Another office

Dial the date or time of your return, using MM/DD or HH/MM (24-hour) format

Press ON/OFF

To Cancel Absence Message:

Press ON/Off

Dial #71

Press ON/OFF

DBS 576 and DBS 576HD

To Assign the Absence Message:

Press ON/Off

Dial 729

Dial the message number (0-4 unless you have customer messages 5-9 set up)

0 = In Meeting

1= At Lunch

2=Out of office

3=Vacation

4=Another office

Optionally, a return time can be input by entering up to a 4 digit number. Examples of return times include:

9 = Return 9:00

615=Return 6:15

Press HOLD

Press ON/OFF

To Cancel Absence Message:
Press ON/Off

Dial 729

Press HOLD

Press ON/OFF

NEChospitality77smSo the next time your are away from your desk give this feature a try.

For over 25 years, we have assisted companies like yours in their every communications need. We are a local, family-owned business invested in our community. Contact SoundTel or call 425.481.5493 or 800.797.3663 to learn about getting the most out of your phones, upgrading your current system and more. Arrange for your free 15 minute CheckIn communications system analysis andSoundTel can help make sure your business is protected.

Basic Troubleshooting for Your Communication System

phonestarewebThe storm season has begun in the Northwest, with some high winds and heavy rain lately. Many homes and business in the Seattle and King and Snohomish county areas suffered loss of power and communications during the recent storms. Any time your business is experiencing any type of communications problems, including intermittent blackouts or dropped calls, you should ask yourself these five questions:

  1. When did the problem start? Did something happen around this time that could cause this problem.
  2. Have you made any changes to your network or infrastructure that may be affecting your communication system?
  3. Is the problem on all lines or one line?
  4. Is the problem on one phone or all phones?
  5. Is the problem constant or intermittent? If intermittent can you recreate it?

When did the problem start? Did something happen around the same time that could have caused the problem. Look back at the recent weather and see if it coincides with the beginning of your communication system issues. Even if the storms in the region didn’t hit your business directly, it may have caused problems somewhere else that cascaded to your phones.

Have you made any changes to your network or infrastructure that may be affecting your communication system? The timing of the problems and recent storms could be simply a coincidence. Recent changes made by you or your provider could be causing issues because of incorrect installation or incompatible parts. Check into the last time any changes were made to hardware or software.

Is the problem on all lines or one line? Is everyone in your office experiencing the same issue or is it confined to one line? Issues with a single line are usually easier to diagnose and correct, but be sure the problem is actually limited to that single line and not just more pronounced than on other lines.

Is the problem on one phone or all phones? Problems with the actual phones may be different than problems with the line. If possible, try moving the problem phone to a different location to see if the problem moves with the phone. Try to track down and isolate as best you can the starting point of the problem.

Terminals_largeIs the problem constant or intermittent? If intermittent can you recreate it? Of course it is much easier to pin down a consistent problem. By following the first three steps you can probably find the issue quickly. An intermittent problem can be much more frustrating. Try experimenting with your phones to see if you are able to reproduce the problem. Write down a list of each thing you try and the results you get so you don’t end up working in circles. Keeping a log of intermittent problems will help find patterns as well.

If the problem is not readily fixed by someone within your organization, keep all the information you have discovered handy to help in the diagnosis by whoever you call in to work on your system. SoundTel can help diagnose, repair and replace a wide range of phone systems, from simple, older landlines to the most advance cloud-based communications network.

For over 25 years, we have assisted companies like yours in their every communications need. We are a local, family-owned business invested in our community. Contact SoundTel or call 425.481.5493 or 800.797.3663 to learn about diagnosing, repairing and replacing your current communications system. Arrange for your free 15 minute CheckIn communications system analysis and SoundTel can help make sure your business is protected.

Migrating Your End-Of-Life NEAX 2400 and NEC 2000 Telephone Systems

NEC has announced End of Support for all NEAX 2400 and NEC 2000 telephone systems effective March 31, 2014. End of Support means no parts and no tech support will be offered by NEC for these systems. Both the NEAX 2400 and NEC 2000 have been End-of-Life products for some time, and NEC will no longer develop or make new parts for them.

NEC2400Your investments in technology are extremely important. They bring value to your business NEC2400and often help increase your bottom line and competitive advantage. But as systems near their end-of-life, the prospect of upgrading to a new system can be overwhelming. The investment in time, learning and money could be more than a small business has resources to manage. SoundTel and NEC are committed to helping you maintain your investment in your current NEC system while providing a clear migration path to a new, upgraded system.

We want to make sure that no customer is left behind when innovation hit the market and new technologies are delivered. Because of this, SoundTel has partnered with NEC and developed a straightforward migration path for systems such as the UNIVERGE SV8500 communications server or the UNIVERGE 3C unified communications and collaboration solution. There are options available to fit any budget.

SoundTel is a fully authorized NEC dealer that can help you choose the right upgrade for your business. For over 25 years, we have assisted companies find solutions to a wide range of communications needs. Our professional staff will make any job a worry-free experience for, saving the headache and stress of trying to do it yourself. As NEC experts, are staff can guide your business to make the most of your current investment in communications systems for the least cost and effort on your part. We can help you through every part of the process and provide best in class customer service following the upgrade.

We are a local, family-owned business invested in our community. Contact SoundTel to discuss which option is best for your company. Call 1-800-797-3663 or 425-481-5493 to learn more about your options for upgrading your systems and for a free communications analysis.

Phone Tips and Tricks: Using Your Phone as an Alarm Clock

phonestarewebSoundTel presents a series of “Tips and Tricks” to help you better utilize your phone system. For more Tips and Tricks go to our website support page.

Did you know your phone is also a an alarm clock? To set a reminder alarm follow these simple steps:.

DBS-824 and Large DBS

To Set an Alarm:

Press ON/Off

Dial #4

Enter the time using 12-hour format (HH:MM) followed by a 1 for a.m. or 2 for p.m.

Press ON/OFF

To Cancel an Alarm:
Press ON/Off

Dial #4

Press ON/OFF

DBS 576 and DBS 576HD

To Set an Alarm:

Press ON/Off

Dial *31

Enter the time using 24-hour format (for example 0100 is 1:00 am and 1300 is 1:00 pm).

Press ON/OFF

To Cancel an Alarm:
Press ON/Off

Dial *39

Press ON/OFF

So don’t be late to that important appointment. Use your phone to set a reminder!

necmonitor16Contact Us

Have a question or want to suggest a topic? Email us at phonetips@soundtel.com
For other inquiries contact us at 425-481-5493 or service@soundtel.com

Thank you for being our valued customer. SoundTel is your total Communications Solution provider.

For more information visit: www.soundtel.com.

Phone Tips and Tricks: Customize Your Phone with Distinctive Ringing

nec-monitor-152webSoundTel presents a series of “Tips and Tricks” to help you better utilize your phone system. For more Tips and Tricks go to our website support page.

Have you ever ran to your phone only to find its your associates ringing and not yours? You can solve this problem with distinctive ringing.

Distinctive ringing can becustomized for both your intercom ring tone and your incoming (trunk) call ring tone.

NEC Univerge 8100 and NEC IPK II

While your phone is idle:

Step 1: Press Speaker and Dial 720
Step 2: Dial 1 to set Intercom ring; Dial 2 to set Trunk ring
Step 3: Dial code for the desired ring pattern (1 – 8)
Step 4: Press Speaker to Hang Up

To Listen to the Ring Tone Choices

While your phone is idle:

Step 1: Press Speaker and Dial 711
Step 2: Dial 1 to listen to Intercom ring; Dial 2 to listen to Trunk ring
Step 3: Dial code for the desired ring pattern (1 – 8)
Step 4: Press Speaker to Hang Up

*NEC IPK I and older systems need to be programmed by a technician. 

necmonitor16Contact Us

Have a question or want to suggest a topic? Email us at phonetips@soundtel.com
For other inquiries contact us at 425-481-5493 or service@soundtel.com

Thank you for being our valued customer. SoundTel is your total Communications Solution provider.

For more information visit: www.soundtel.com.

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.