Archive for November, 2010

 

Top tips for telephone systems maintenance

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Modern business phone systems tend to be robust, particularly if they’re sourced from a major supplier such as Siemens business telephone systems. However, telephone systems maintenance is also critically important.

Here are a few tips that may help you avoid crises and help keep your costs down.

1. Don’t ignore it

However modern and robust your system is, there are typically a range of regular maintenance tasks that are required to keep it functioning efficiently and to reduce the chances of the system failing.

Some of these are things you can do yourself, others are best left to qualified experts such as us. Of course, we are always available if you have any questions or queries about your telephones system.

2. Use a maintenance and support contract

Maintenance contracts can help avoid downtime and may be a far most cost-effective way of getting things fixed if they do go wrong.

Calling around in panic mode during a crisis may prove to be very expensive and traumatic.

3. Be cautious about investing in yesterday’s solutions

The old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may often hold true - but it can be taken too far.

Some telephone systems reach a point where they cannot be easily or economically maintained and serviced. Parts may become difficult or even impossible to obtain and the overall system may become impossible to expand.

It may also prove to be incompatible with more modern systems – so while your business grows so may your telephone system requirements. This could mean you may find yourself in the position of having a business communication system that lets you down – or having to buy and install a whole new telephone system.

If you stick with it, you may not only find yourself facing increasing costs for telephone systems maintenance but also your service providers may have more and more trouble restoring the system when it fails.

We can advise you when your system has passed the point at which it makes economic or risk-management sense to continue to invest it in and when it may make sense to consider a replacement business telecoms system.

4. Think about soft communications

Business phone systems are not a fashion accessory – but they may communicate things about your organisation that you may regret.

Today we live in a competitive world and whether you’re trying to secure new clients, customers or students etc, people will form impressions of you based upon the technology you are able to provide for them to use.

So, phone systems that are constantly down, that can’t interface with the more modern systems of others or which simply look as if they have just come off the set of a 1950s film, may not communicate the message you’d wish about your operations.

So, telephone systems maintenance is critically important but so is ensuring that your basic system is fit for purpose in the 21st century world.

Children in Need

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Last Friday I was relieved of Telcare duties and was able to lend a hand at a charity event at The Holiday Inn. Each year the staff at the Holiday Inn, Bexleyheath, headed up by Christine Perry, host a Christmas party for children from the Greenwich based charity Welcare.

The children were entertained by a magician, face painters and a DJ. There were various activities on offer and of course the party food went down extremely well, with the chocolate fountain being an enormous success.

The Mayor of Greenwich, Barbara Barwick came along and was soon fully engaged with the Magician’s show as well as being presented with various arts and crafts that the children had made at the party.

At the end of the party, each child was presented with a gift bag to take home, the icing on the cake for many of them.

Student photographer, Charlotte Farrugia, was there to capture it all and provide us with photos of a most memorable and notably happy occasion. Here are a few of the photographs …

Choosing a business telephone system

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

If you have a small business, getting it wrong when choosing a business telephone system is a luxury you just can’t afford.

The small business

In today’s technological world, there is now a vast range of technology available that’s broadly covered by the umbrella terms ‘business telephone system’ or ‘telecoms’.

For the small business, talking about your telecoms infrastructure may sound a little pretentious and a case of overkill but in fact it’s perfectly appropriate.

The fact is, your small business may not be able to survive unless it utilises telecoms that are fit for purpose. That applies just as much to you as it would a major multi-national corporation.

However, you probably don’t have the vast budget of a major company and that means you can’t simply absorb the cost of mistakes you make in procuring technology solutions.

That’s where our services can help – to ensure that you find a solution that’s appropriate for you.

What telecoms provides

Any small business phone systems that don’t allow you to communicate with the outside world probably aren’t going to be of much use and phone systems have allowed business to do that for close on a century now.

To put it bluntly, making phone calls is simply no big deal.

However, what modern business telecom services may be able to do is to help you to change the way you think about your business and more importantly, allow your customers and clients to do the same thing.

Just a few examples of what a modern system from someone like Siemens business telephone systems may be able to help you achieve:

  • full voice mail systems – no more ringing out unanswered or engaged signals for your clients;
  • video conferencing;
  • inbound multi-number direct dialling support – giving you and your colleagues individual numbers;
  • seamless switching of inbound calls around various locations as you move about – sometimes called ‘follow me’ services;
  • the connection of your offices and sites if they’re in different locations;
  • conference calling so you can connect your office and several clients simultaneously;
  • etc.

Your decision

Of course, some of these facilities may be of no interest to you. If you have a very small business then video linking to your colleague sitting opposite you might be a luxury you can afford to forgo!

However, the modern business telecoms system is capable of radically changing the way your business operates both internally and externally with your customers.

Understanding how to maximise its potential in support of your business is where we excel.

So, if you’re thinking of installing or upgrading a business telephone system, we’re here to help you make the decision that’s right for you.

More about the Winners of the Golden Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Further to our recent post where we announced that Kent-based Fynvola Foundation, a care home for older learning disabled people, are the lucky winners of our “Golden Giveaway” competition which launched in June this year, here’s the full story plus some pictures ...

Their prize includes a sophisticated Siemens business telephone system as well as full installation and a years’ maintenance, and, as we explained before,  will allow the business to communicate more effectively and efficiently, both internally (for example, in between buildings) and externally.

Says Jenny Gurney from Fynvola Foundation: “This fabulous prize will make a massive difference to the way our business operates. It will be good to rely on having a fully accessible as well as flexible telephone system that won’t let us down whether it is in day-to-day use, or, particularly, if there is an emergency.”

Our competition invited business owners to say in around 200 words what the installation of a free telephone system would mean to them and their business. The winning entry from Fynvola Foundation (which currently has seven residents and will eventually be able to give specialised care to fifteen disadvantaged adults in a real home-from-home environment) said:

“With the conversion of the large garage as a therapeutic day activities centre, Fynvola hopes to welcome other learning disabled people from the local community to join our residents in the day opportunities. Fynvola has created a home where people can end their lives in a happy and caring environment and ensure they die with dignity among people who care. We need a telephone system that will enable calls to be transferred to various points, activities and staff around the house and grounds. A system that can be used in all emergency situations and ensure our communications on all levels are quick, responsive and reliable. Safety and time are important elements in the overall care of learning disabled people in our community.”

Debbie Hough, Business Link Advisor, who was one of the judges says: ‘Fynvola Foundation are a truly deserving winner of the ‘Golden Giveaway’.  A new telephone system will not only allow for more responsive communications within the home; something which is critical in supporting high quality patient care, but also support plans to cater for those who have learning difficulties within the local community by offering wider services within the grounds.”

Jenny adds: “An advanced telephone system means that we will be able to communicate on all levels and safeguards our residents. It ensures that we are able to use our funds directly for the residents care rather than diverting precious funds for equipment.  Our sincere thanks go to Telcare and their Directors for considering our application and for choosing Fynvola. This means a great deal to us and will enhance our home and the lives of the learning disabled people in our care.”

All the entries to our Golden Giveaway competition were from deserving businesses, and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter. But in the end, the Fynvola Foundation’s entry really stood out. After much deliberation, we shortlisted two entries and having visited both businesses, it was obvious just how much difference the system would make to the care home.

For more information on Fynvola Foundation please visit: www.fynvola.org.uk

Jenny Gurney, one of the residents, Telcare's Lisa Settle and Trustee Doreen Shaw

Resident with Lisa Settle from Telcare

Trustee Doreen Shaw, Telcare's Lisa Settle and Jenny Gurney

Why consider Siemens business telephone systems?

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Siemens business telephone systems have a global reputation for quality and innovation.

Enviable as that may be, it perhaps is slightly intangible in terms of it being a recommendation for the smaller business.

So, why are they so highly regarded in the small business sector?

Reliability

There is little in life that’s more useless to a small business than a phone system that isn’t working.

This may not only be annoying, it may put your business at serious risk. Today, clients and customers may not be inclined to wait around if they can’t contact you – they’ll simply go elsewhere.

Siemens’ systems are known for their robustness and quality. These are both important considerations when selecting a small business telecoms solution.

Scalability

Scalability is a pretty ugly word but it refers to something that’s very important – the ability of your telephone system to grow with you as your business changes and expands.

This may sound pretty basic but Siemens business telephone systems have it at the heart of their business telecoms solutions.

If your business grows, your Siemens system simply grows with you on a plug-compatible basis.

If you need more extensions, they can typically just be plugged in. If one of your clients suddenly asks for conferencing facilities – your system can be configured to provide that quickly and effectively.

Not all small business phone systems may be quite so flexible. That’s not something you’ll want to discover if you’re need to expand your system in a hurry to cope with business growth.

Backbone

We know that business telecoms are not simply about providing you with the facility to make and receive telephone calls.

Your telecoms infrastructure is, or should be, at the heart of your business operations. It can be the backbone of your technology and allow you to do a range of things including linking your various sites together if you operate in more than one location or providing you with the possibility to work more efficiently with your colleagues etc.

That’s why compatibility is so important – essentially you will want your business phone systems to integrate with your technology and that of your clients.

Siemens business telephone systems use current standard technologies to ensure that you have a strategic platform that’s fully compatible with the wider professional world.

Expertise

Using Siemens business telephone systems means that you’re effectively working on some of the most modern systems around. That, supported by our expertise, will ensure a trouble-free implementation and your maximum business exploitation of these great systems.

The Winners!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Congratulations to the Fynvola Foundation! The search to find a home for our free telephone system has come to an end. The team here at Telcare are all very excited at the prospect of helping the Fynvola Foundation improve their communications. Telcare will be providing a telephone system, installation and training together with a year’s support ALL FREE OF CHARGE!

The Fynvola Foundation, based in Faversham, Kent is a specialised nursing home providing care for older learning disabled people.

Currently Fynvola relies upon two cordless handsets, so the installation of our Siemens system will allow the company to communicate far more effectively and efficiently, both internally and externally.

All our entries were from deserving businesses but it was obvious just how much a difference the system would make to the Fynvola Foundation.

To find out more about the Fynvola Foundation please visit www.fynvola.org.uk

We will keep you updated as the story unfolds and hopefully post some photos here soon.