Archive for June, 2011

 

Telephone systems installation for schools

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Sometimes, the subject of telephone systems installation for schools may send a wave of apprehension through the various school authorities and management boards.

Some associate any idea of a new telephone systems installation for schools with:

  • more cost coming out of already stretched budgets;
  • disruption to the life of the school or its orderly function;
  • impact on teaching and other staff due to training overheads;
  • risks of things going badly wrong.

We understand these concerns but we can also say categorically that if the installation is professionally planned and managed, then the final three of the above issues need never arise.

Installing a new system of this sort is a specialist activity best left to people that have an extensive track record in the domain – such as ourselves.

Of course, the first point relating to budget is something that will always be an issue in today's economic environment. We know that education budgets have never been under closer scrutiny and schools/colleges must act responsibly when selecting new technical systems.

Yet, the cost of ‘doing nothing’ may prove even more damaging if your existing business telecoms infrastructure is obsolete.

Examples might include:

  • running the risk of you incurring significant cost trying to keep it ‘up and running’ - particularly if you need to keep paying out for engineers to repair or restore it;
  • communicating entirely the wrong message to potential sponsors, benefactors and other sources of potential private revenue generation;
  • failing to maintain an appropriate culture of confidence and achievement necessary to motivate certain of your students;
  • disadvantage some of your students and staff, who may be seeking to participate in joint activities with other local schools, colleges or institutions;
  • reducing the effectiveness and efficiency of your staff who, through an absence of appropriate telephone facilities, need to resort to inefficient methods of communication;
  • frustrate parents and other bodies, who may wish to contact the school urgently should a crisis arise.

Selecting an appropriate telephone systems installation for schools may result in removing many of these potential problems. The cost of not doing so may well be invisible but it exists, as do its associated risks.

Yet perhaps the above are all slightly negative reasons for investing in modern telephony systems. Perhaps far more important is the opportunity offered by such systems, to educational establishments. They may offer you the opportunity to finally leave the 20th century behind.

We have considerable experience of telephone systems installation within schools and other educational facilities, and will be only too pleased to discuss this further, as well as show you the budget beating options we have available. You may be pleasantly surprised just how cost-effective our service is!

Remember the old days when summer followed spring?

Friday, June 17th, 2011

As I write, I’m wearing a thick jumper complete with scarf and have just returned from a journey on the M20 where the rain was so heavy that I could barely see through the windscreen. Welcome to June!

The weather may be disappointing but fortunately I am happy to report that June so far has been a pleasing month for Telcare. We have been installing new telephone systems, upgrading old ones, helping an existing customer relocate and another to expand. Among our new customers we welcome three schools and a doctor’s surgery. In addition to the off site jobs, the office based team have provided excellent support to our engineers and customers alike.

An exciting time this week was when our customers, Shrek the Musical, invited us to the official opening night at the Theatre Royal. Walking down the ‘green’ carpet was certainly an experience. The show was very funny, even hilarious in parts and the deserving cast received a standing ovation as the curtain went down. By happy chance it was a rain free evening so the after party, held under the stars at Somerset House, was a perfect way to end a most enjoyable evening. We are truly grateful for the invitations.

Yesterday I attended a lunch hosted by Lloyds TSB at Chilston Park. The speaker was Penny Power of ecademy. Penny’s presentation focused on social media and the ‘know me, like me, follow me’ theme. It was an informative talk and I returned to the office having learnt a thing or two. Which reminds me are you following us on Twitter yet?

Still to come this month we have the Sales Roadshow on the 28th, this should prove to be a worthwhile event packed with tips and free advice from experts in the sales field, see www.facilitator.co for more details. On the 29th it’s the Kent Invicta Chamber’s 25th annual Business Exhibition at the Ashford International Hotel. You can find Telcare on stand 65. Please do come along and introduce yourself we will be pleased to meet you. For more details and directions go to www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk

Small business telephones - some helpful points

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Here are a few tips that we hope you will find helpful if you are considering upgrading your existing small business telephones and their related telephony systems:

  • it is always advisable to select a solutions provider with an established track record and one that can offer you after-sales support and service for things such as telephone systems maintenance;
  • technical solutions from established manufacturers, such as Siemens business telephone systems, may provide you with a lower-risk approach than systems originating from companies that are relatively unknown;
  • carefully plan the installation of your new system as mistakes discovered once installation is underway, may prove to be expensive to resolve – we will gladly help you with this sometimes tricky task;
  • plan for business expansion - a system that is suitable for your needs today may not be tomorrow, so make sure that the small business telephones system you select is capable of easy expansion;
  • putting in new telephone handsets and boxes may appear relatively easy - running the cables between them, however, is often far less so! Therefore, when putting the system in initially, it may be advisable to deliberately install some cabling that is surplus to requirements, as it may come in handy at a later date – bearing health and safety requirements in mind, of course, as to the positioning of any cables;
  • the technology of business telecoms services is constantly changing and if you decide to wait until “the ultimate version is available” then you will never purchase anything - concentrate instead on finding systems that conform to established international telecoms standards and which, as a result, are capable of interfacing easily with other systems;
  • remember that you will need to invest in training, either for yourself or for your colleagues - the benefits you realise from your new system may be directly related to the extent to which you have trained your people in how to exploit it;
  • however high-tech the handsets are that come with small business telephones, they will be entirely useless to you if your system is ‘down’ - so when selecting a system think about things such as fault tolerance and most importantly, backups and standby systems (should the worst happen);
  • when selecting a new business telecoms system, keep in mind that the most important users of your phone system may not be you and your colleagues but in fact, your clients - so before selecting a solution, it may be worth asking some of them what additional features they would welcome when they call your number;
  • be careful about assuming that existing technology can play a part in your new system - it may be capable of doing so and the protection of existing investment is an important principle, however, your existing equipment may be totally obsolete and non-standard, in which case it may not be capable of incorporation into your new small business telephones architecture.

Guest Blogger - Jason Hulott

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Lisa Settle, Telcare: I am pleased to say that Jason Hulott has agreed to be our guest blogger for June. The very well connected Jason is the owner of Speedie Consultants, who quite frankly we couldn’t live without. Speedie are basically responsible for designing and maintaining our website, but to try and explain the value they provide us in a single sentence really doesn’t do them justice. So let me hand you over to Jason, who will give further insight into Speedie and let you know about some exciting new plans ...

Jason Hulott, Speedie Consultants: Summing up what we do at Speedie Consultants in a few words isn’t easy, but, in a nutshell, we are internet marketers. We help businesses make the most of their online presence whether it is redesigning their website and making it search engine friendly; writing blogs and articles, and getting organic links back to websites to drive traffic and improve a website’s credibility within Google; writing and distributing press releases to announce a new product or service; and consulting with businesses, highlighting gaps in their online marketing strategies etc. We work with a range of companies across a range of industries, helping them maximise their online presence, as well as enhancing the visitor experience.

It is a real pleasure to help clients such as Lisa, who start off with a basic knowledge of and interest in internet marketing, then, as time goes by, they become really enthused and as passionate as we are about it! Now that’s a job well done!

We hope you’ll enjoy our Blog on social media marketing and I hope to speak to some of you soon on one of our social media training courses.

Your Business and Social Media
One of the latest buzzwords around in the online marketing field is that of social media. With more and more smaller businesses now starting to see the benefits of advertising online and having a web presence to enhance their business, social media is seen as a good way to market a business online.

While this is certainly true, most smaller companies tend to fall foul of one of two things:

  • information overload or;
  • lack of a clear strategy.

Let's look at both of these in turn, as solving these issues can be the difference between social NETworking and social NOTworking.

Information Overload

No matter where you turn you are being told that you should be networking on this site or have a profile on that site. You are told that you need to build “likes”, “followers”, “connections” etc. It can get quite overwhelming. And because of that you try - but fail to do anything meaningful. Or if you do start something, you soon move onto something else when you meet someone at a networking event who then says "Oh you need to be doing this and that..." Arghh!

On top of that, you read stuff - newsletters, articles, Facebook posts, blog posts all saying similar things - where to start.

Hopefully the following simple step by step instructions may help you see and understand what you really need to do. Actually understanding why you should be doing something can be key to running a successful ongoing social media campaign.

The first thing to do is to think about your audience and where they are. Are your customers on Facebook, are they other businesses (If so, Facebook might not be the best place right now - LinkedIn might be). You see by looking at where your customers already hang out will give you some focus.

Then think about how you feel comfortable communicating with them. Are you happy with the written word? If so, blogs are a good way to spread a social media message. Do you like the idea of running a video show? In which case, recording video blog posts and posing them via Youtube might be a good strategy for you and your business. This will allow you to focus. Once you have preferred methods - you can create a plan...

Lack of a clear strategy

Investing time in your social media activity without a plan is like going on an expedition to the Amazon without a map. Not a good idea. Decide what you want from your social media activity and be precise. Do you want more leads? If so, tailor your activity so that you share knowledge about your products and services with people who want to connect with you and who are therefore more likely to enquire. It should be stressed that social media marketing is not a hard sell.

Have an activity plan that has specific targets. For example: I am going to post three blogs a week, I am going to connect with 10 people in my field each week, I am going to share knowledge on four related sites this week, I am going to write a guest post for another site. Whatever it is, make it something that is easy to follow - and something you stick with consistently

With your new found plan, this means you can easily rebut anyone who then says to you that you should be doing this or that. Bounce the idea against your plan and see if it adds to your targets - if it does, look to include it - if it doesn't, simply ignore it.

The main key to social media is to stick it and try to be consistent - social media is a long game not a quick win. It may be seen as a free way to market your business and it can be. But there is a time cost, so make sure you are prepared to invest that time wisely.

Social Media Training course

To try and help business comes to grips with social media and put it all together into some kind of plan, we have created a 6 week course aimed at educating business owners so that you can do all of this stuff yourself or at least be knowledgable enough that if you need to hire someone to do it, you will know what needs doing. To find our more about this course please visit: http://www.speedieconsulting.co.uk/services/training-courses/social-media-course/

Telephone systems installation in Kent and surrounding areas

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

If you are looking for professional telephony solutions, we can provide you with expert services relating to telephone systems installation. Kent, surrounding areas and further afield are easily reachable by our qualified personnel.

Our services

Of course, telephone systems installation is typically one of the last activities in the lengthy chain that will have preceded it.

While the installation of business telecom services is a skilled activity, it will only generate the benefits you anticipate if it is the correct solution for your particular business environment.

What this means is that analysing those requirements carefully, prior to selecting a solution, is an important part of upgrading your telephony systems.

It is typically a good idea to avoid being swayed unduly, by glossy brochures and descriptions of exotic functions.

Whether you are a veterinary practice, a small business, a large corporate or a school/college, your particular requirements will be unique to you and need to be understood as part of selecting a solution.

Our solutions

We utilise only modern high quality small business telephone systems from globally known suppliers such as Siemens business telephone systems.

These systems typically need to be what is called ‘scalable’ - meaning that they are capable of being easily expanded and changed to support any business expansion or changes that you may encounter downstream.

They also need to be capable of integration with other information or telephony systems that you may already have in place.

Finally, of course, the systems must prove to be cost-effective. We understand that the smaller businesses and institutions are under budgetary constraints and that is another reason why understanding your requirements is important - you typically will not wish, for example, to be paying for technical facilities that you are unlikely ever to need or use.

We are always happy to provide clarification of the services we provide relating to telephone systems installation. Kent and surrounding areas of the Southeast are where we are based, although we will, of course, be only too happy to visit clients that are further afield.

So, if you would like advice relating to telephone systems installation, Kent and its environs are our home territory and we would welcome the chance to help you.