Archive for April, 2011

 

The Business Bunker Radio Show

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Telcare will be sponsoring the Business Bunker Radio Show on Tuesday 26th April. The show is a great way to find out what is going on in the Kent business world. The show is presented by Paul Andrews and each week, Paul invites local businesses to either email or call in, or actually guest in the studio. Why not seize the opportunity and promote your Kent Business on the show. If you have some news to celebrate, a story to tell or an event coming up, email the details or call in to the show.

You can listen live to the show each Tuesday at 1pm or you can listen to previous shows by visiting the show’s archives. To find out more go to http://www.kentbusinessradio.co.uk

We hope you will listen in and enjoy the show!

Going for security - Siemens telephone systems

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

One thing that few people would dispute is that there are now a large number of manufacturers and providers of small business telephone systems. Given that, why is it that we choose and recommend Siemens telephone systems?

The balance of selection

If you are considering a new business telephone system, it is typically a good idea to keep in mind a number of key points that should influence your decision:

  • innovation - the business world is moving fast and business telecommunications needs to both support that change and in fact, facilitate some components of it, through the creation of business opportunity;
  • robust and resilient solutions - it is sometimes said that being at the cutting edge of technology brings its own risks and it is true that some businesses will be uneasy at the prospect of using untried and untested solutions when reliability and availability of the system is of paramount importance;
  • maintainability - any business telephone system from any manufacturer may, at times, suffer from the odd problem and when they do, businesses typically want them fixed quickly;
  • proven solutions and risk reduction - buying a new business telephone system from a company that may not be around tomorrow, is normally considered to be a high-risk route, so a proven track record in the market and financial solidity is critically important;
  • cost effectiveness - whilst your organisation may envy the science-fiction like facilities utilised by major corporates, in reality, you may be looking for a system that is rather more pragmatically targeted to help organisations of your size and financial standing;
  • scalability - small as your organisation may be today, you may well have plans to change that in the period ahead and will expect your office telephone system to be capable of going alongside you, rather than needing to be scrapped and replaced with a new one if you are successful.

Siemens telephone systems

Based upon our experience, we know that Siemens telephone systems are capable of putting a tick in all of the above boxes.

That is why we incline favourably towards their solutions and may make recommendations to our clients likewise.

Why a new system?

You may well accept the quality of Siemens’ solutions but are perhaps wondering whether or not this is overkill given the nature of your business.

To be able to discuss that fully with you, we would need to understand more about your organisation and existing business telecoms. What we can say is that running an obsolete system could have potentially catastrophic effects on your business.

If your system is old and antiquated it may simply be incapable of providing you with the business functionality necessary to drive your business forward and engage effectively with both your clients and providers.

Not only that, but you may find your maintenance costs are spiralling and you face the nightmare scenario of a total failure of your system in a situation where, due to its obsolescence, it cannot be restored.

Siemens telephone systems offer a range of solutions to suit all sizes of organisations and budgets.

We would be very happy to discuss our experiences of Siemens telephone systems with you further.

Investing in telephone systems maintenance

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Telephone systems maintenance is sometimes, rather unfortunately, seen as something of the ‘poor sister’ of small business phone systems.

While installing new boxes and new functionality has a certain ‘glamour’ to it, by contrast, talking about maintenance sometimes runs the risk of generating apathy and indifference.

If so, that would be a great pity - whether you are an SME or a major corporate enterprise.

The reason for that is quite simple - engaging in appropriate telephone systems maintenance may be something that both keeps your business running and saves you money.

Here's why:

  • any technology is capable of going wrong - in the case of small business telephone systems, routine preventative maintenance may help avoid downtime and related problems;
  • some warranties may actually require periodic maintenance activities for them to stay in force;
  • some business phone systems may work more efficiently if they are periodically maintained;
  • keeping a system in tip-top condition may avoid expensive remedial activities downstream.

Broadly speaking, telephone systems maintenance comes into two major categories:

  • that which is typically assigned to someone in your organisation to do regularly (e.g. checking log files etc);
  • that which requires expert level intervention and assistance (that may be via the telephone or sometimes through the attendance of an onsite engineer).

How you obtain your business telecoms maintenance services may vary depending upon your preferences, however, it may not be advisable to rely on luck or being ‘able to find someone’ in the event of the crisis.

The way to avoid being forced to do so is to:

  • take out what is called a telephone maintenance contract (this may be called different things by different people) - this is a contractual commitment from a professional supplier of maintenance services;
  • make sure that this covers not only routine systems maintenance but also the provision of emergency services in the event you are having major problems with your system;
  • ensure that, as part of the contract or as a separate appendix, you have in place something called an SLA (Service Level Agreement) which is something that will commit the service provider to responding to you within certain specified periods of time;
  • be prepared to invest some time and perhaps a little money, in ensuring that you have at least two people in your own organisation who understand your system to the extent that they are capable of undertaking routine preventative maintenance and liaising with your external service provider to aid in the fast diagnosis of any problems.

We are confident that our telephone systems maintenance services offer exemplary service and cost-effective solutions. Not only do we pride ourselves on offering a personal service, whether you are simply making an enquiry or are a long standing customer, but always strive to offer budget-conscious solutions. This means you can rest assured that your business telephone system is in safe hands, allowing you to get on with doing what you do best - running your business.

Getting the best out of telephone systems installation

Friday, April 8th, 2011

If you are considering a new telephone system or even a significant revision to the one you have, you may be starting to think about the intricacies of telephone systems installation.

Here are a few points that we hope you'll find useful:

  • telephone systems installation is typically not something to be considered as a classic DIY opportunity - it is perhaps best considered to be specialist work that is best left to experts such as ourselves;
  • for example, health and safety regulations demand that cable runs comply with certain standards - unless you are very familiar with those standards, a DIY installation may end up contravening prevailing legislation;
  • experienced installers will typically not only be thinking about the easiest way to do the job but also how the installation can be completed so as to facilitate ease of future maintenance;
  • installation work of this nature may involve physical effort and the use of tools - asking your own employees to do this for you may run the risk of invalidating aspects of your existing professional insurances, which may contain clauses relating to what is or is not considered to be ‘appropriate duties’ for your staff;
  • some new business telephone systems may have clauses in their warranty that require professional installation if the provider’s support and service guarantees are to remain valid;
  • in our experience, telephone systems installation is rarely as easy, in reality, as it may appear to be at first glance - if you do try to do-it-yourself, you may find that it becomes far more time-consuming and disruptive than you anticipated;
  • the engineers and installers that work to put your phone system in place, may also be associated with providing technical support in future - something that they may be able to do far more quickly and effectively over the telephone, if they have some understanding as to how the system was installed in the first place;
  • if an engineer needs to visit your site in an emergency, they may expect to see that the system has been installed in line with professional standards and protocols - if it has not, you may find that this not only delays the time taken to resolve the problem but in severe cases, it may even stop the engineer from being able to fix it at all;
  • ultimately, you presumably wish to have a system that is fit for purpose and offering support to your day-to-day business - that means that attempting to economise by opting for a sub-optimal installation, may be a regrettable decision in the medium to longer-term.

We ensure that your telephone systems installation is conducted to the highest professional standards and will leave you with a system that you can rely on.

Introducing Louisa Felstead

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Louisa is our guest blogger for April. We invited Louisa to tell us how her desire to achieve maximum results led her to masterminding the popular Sales Roadshow. Over to Louisa…..

“Thank you to Telcare for inviting me to be a guest blogger on your site.

Firstly, let me introduce myself, my name is Louisa Felstead and I trade chiefly within Kent as Facilitator, a sales consultancy.

During the course of my working week, I meet businesses of all types and sizes. One over-riding issue which consistently arises, even with larger, more established businesses, is that of how to best sell their services or products.

Some general questions and advice to get you thinking!

  • Does your business have a clear and concise message to portray to potential clients-what are the benefits of using your product or service? This is not a list of what your business does but why it has a value.
  • This might sound like a silly question, but-who are your potential clients? Does your business know how to identify who they are or could be?
  • Do you ensure that all marketing and sales literature as well as what your staff say and do is in keeping with your business line?
  • Sales and marketing have had to change drastically within a short space of time- has your business moved with the times? 25% of all advertising is now on-line. Is social media a forum that your business should embrace?
  • Where multi-marketing is used, how important is one to one contact- do people still buy people?

My belief is that sales, like any other part of business is a process which should ideally be integrated to achieve the maximum results possible- thus the idea of a forum to inform and perhaps promote came about.

A number of months ago, I invited a group of like-minded businesses all connected within the sales medium to come together to plan the Sales Roadshow 2011. This is a series of free to attend seminars in which each presenter gives the audience the benefit of their wisdom in a given field. Each business is an expert in their own right. As we live in a time of increasingly sophisticated consumers, the many facets of the sales process are being highlighted within the series of events. We are delighted to say that each of the first three events has been fully booked and well received.

Our next event is to be held at Gillingham Golf Course between 6.00 and 8.00pm on Thursday 14th April.

Subject topics and our talented presenters for this event are:

Search Engine Optimisation to drive potential customers to your web site by Kevin Doherty of SurfMarketing http://www.surfmarketing.co.uk

How to make the correct first sales call by Gill Williams of Contact Marketing http://www.contact-marketing.co.uk

Do what only you can do-Partnering to build a 21st Century business by Kirsten Gibbs of Gibbs and Partners http://www.gibbsandpartners.com

And

Researching your market by Richard Romain of Answers and Solutions (Kent) http://www.ask-kent.co.uk

For details of how to book a free place on this or later Roadshow events, please see www.facilitator.co.uk

Thank you once again to Telcare for the kind invitation”

Spring Newsletter

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

You can read our spring newsletter by following this link …

Spring 2011 Newsletter