Archive for August, 2011

 

Selecting a business telephone system

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

If you are considering a new business telephone system, here are some tips on how get the most suitable solution:

  • firstly, do you have your own requirements clearly thought through? You may struggle to get a suitable solution if, to start with, you are unsure what you want;
  • analysing your requirements is a skilled job – something that we are well-equipped to help you with by virtue of our extensive experience;
  • once you are clear as to your needs, it is then a question of mapping those against potential solutions;
  • some business telephone system providers may offer solutions from manufacturers that are relatively unknown to the marketplace – selecting such a system may be risky in terms of future maintainability and service etc (its quality and reliability may also be unproven). We recommend the use of reputable telephone systems from reputable brands such as Siemens telephone systems;
  • it is important to remember that whatever your requirements are today, they may be very different tomorrow – that is why it’s important to select a solution for business telecoms that is capable of easy expansion and adaptation, as your business evolves and flows (in technology terms, this is sometimes referred to as scalability);
  • remember that, impressive as a solution appears in the box, it won’t be of much use to you unless it is correctly installed and functioning – what that means is that it is important to select a solution from a provider that also has excellent capabilities in terms of installation;
  • on a related subject, your systems, once installed and working, can’t simply be regarded as being the end of the story – any technology may malfunction and post-installation support and maintenance will be required, which is another reason why the selection of your telecoms solution provider may be as important as the selection of the given technical solution itself;
  • don’t forget that there will be health and safety requirements you will need to meet when installing your system (for example, where leads are placed etc);
  • to get the most out of your system, you and your colleagues will need to understand its capabilities – being just handed a manual and left to get on with it may not be the best approach, which is why a provider that is willing to help you get the best out of your phone system, may be a good idea.

As you can see, choosing, installing and maintaining a business telephone system involves a lot of skill and knowledge. We will be more than happy to help and give advice on what is the most cost-effective and efficient way forward for you and your business.

Unsuccessful Telecoms

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

‘We help our customers successfully use their office phones’. This was my reply to someone who recently asked me ‘so what do you guys at Telcare do?’

The response was ‘Is it possible to unsuccessfully use your office phones then?’ I had without realising it, set this poor unsuspecting soul up for a lesson in How Not To Use Your Office Phones. Fortunately I took pity and resisted the urge to bore her to death.

I did, however, ask if she had ever read the user guide or manual relating to the phones in her office. The look said it all! Quite frankly I don’t blame her, seriously who has time to read through a user guide, it doesn’t make for an entertaining read and there are more important things to be done if you are trying to run your business.

Thankfully our customers don’t need to trawl through an entire manual; they have the benefit of relying on us to do it for them. We can point you in the right direction, talk you through with step by step instructions or handle it directly with remote access. We can advise on making the most of the features your system has to offer so that your business can operate more efficiently and professionally. Our customers also call on us to fix their faults. This could range from a minor problem with a particular handset or curly cord to a major system failure. We understand it’s never convenient to be without your phones, that’s why at Telcare we give guaranteed response times so you know that any fault will be resolved as soon as possible.

If you don’t have time to organise your office phones, let alone read the manual, you might benefit by handing it over to someone else. Why not call Telcare? Maybe we can help.

Just one more thing - when did you last clean your phone? Telcare provide all their customers with telephone wipes to keep their handsets clean and germ free. We will be happy to provide you with a bag of complimentary wipes too.

Email helpdesk@telcare.co.uk or call 0800 376 8484

Why choose Siemens business telephone systems?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

There are a significant number of telephone manufacturers around, so why do we think favourably of Siemens business telephone systems?

To answer that, we need to explain a little about some of the things that we believe are important to clients.

Quality and reliability

These two things are, of course, often of paramount importance. Your telephone system won’t be of much use to you if it has failed and is unusable.

It is true that virtually any piece of technology may fail but if you source your equipment from a global provider that has a reputation for quality, then those risks may be considerably reduced.

Siemens business telephone systems have such a reputation.

Obsolescence and scalability

Protecting your investment is extremely important but people sometimes think that is associated only with things such as insurance and burglar alarms etc.

In fact, one of the biggest risks to the investment in a business telecoms system is that it:

  • quickly becomes obsolete and therefore incapable of being integrated with other technologies;
  • cannot be expanded in line with the growth and diversification of your business over time.

In either case, the result may be you needing to purchase another new system and effectively writing-off the investment in your existing office telephone systems.

Siemens business telephone systems offer solutions that are generally easily expandable if required. They also use state of the art but nevertheless standardised technology, to ensure that your system is compatible with other standards-compliant technologies.

So, your system will naturally age over time but that will not mean it simply has to be thrown away.

In terms of expansion, Siemens has an excellent reputation for modular design, which means that new capabilities and functions may be added into your system easily and quickly, as you require them.

In fact, it is possible to start with an entry-level system perhaps comprising of just several handsets and to grow that into a major system of a type normally associated with a huge business.
Supportability

Almost any telephone engineer will have experienced the difficulties of trying to fix a non-standard system.

One of the advantages of using solutions from a telecommunications systems supplier such as Siemens is that they are extremely well known and use only established technology implemented in line with global standards.

This means that if you have a problem with Siemens business telephone systems, our engineers will typically be able to rapidly diagnose and then fix it – thereby minimising the disruption to your business.

Ladies Who Latte

Monday, August 15th, 2011

We attended the launch of the Maidstone Ladies Who Latte networking group last Thursday which was organised by Emma Thorpe of Munro Consultancy.

Within the first five minutes of arriving at the Hilton Hotel, it was clear that Emma had some very supportive ladies on her side. A steady stream of arrivals meant that the furniture had to be re-arranged in order to accommodate a larger than expected crowd. Almost immediately we were introducing ourselves and our colleagues to each other and excitedly discovering the many talents in the room. The professions included a photographer, a hypnotist specialising in dyspraxia, a representative from Save the Children, a debt collection agency, a graduate recruiting agency, business coaches, dieticians and so much more. I’m not sure that I got to talk to even a quarter of the group! The location also played a part in making the event a success; it always pays to book a venue like the Hilton as it offers a certain confidence when considering factors such as an easy to reach location, parking and pleasant surroundings.

I certainly feel that Emma should be congratulated on organising a very enjoyable event and wish her every success for future meetings. I left feeling inspired by the willingness of these ladies to support one another and that is one of the reasons I shall be returning another day to join the Ladies Who Latte.

If you wish to attend a future meeting, they are to be held every 2nd Thursday of the month at 10 to 12 midday at the Hilton Hotel, Maidstone.

Pictured above left to right is Emma Thorpe (organiser) from Munro Consultancy, Victoria Nobes from Telcare and Katie Peck from Peck Nutrition

Guest Blogger – Emma Thorpe

Friday, August 5th, 2011

The female portion of the Telcare team has received an exciting invitation to a new networking group called Ladies Who Latte. The first meeting will be held on the 11th of August. The lady responsible for setting up the group is Emma Thorpe of Munro Consultancy, who happens to be our guest for August. Emma has all the details so take it away Emma……….

Hello, I’m Emma Thorpe and I run my own Business Support Service called Munro Consultancy. I specialise in marketing implementation, put simply, I help your business clarify your marketing plan and then carry out the work on your behalf. This means you can be happy in the knowledge that your business is being promoted consistently and effectively, while you are out of the office concentrating on your customers.

I have also set up a new ladies networking group in Maidstone called Ladies Who Latte. I am a business owner and also a mother, and my challenge is getting to networking at a time when I am not doing the nursery run. Ladies Who Latte’s ethos recognises and works with these challenges and provides an event which is mid morning in order to give ladies like me the chance to do some serious networking! So if you realise that I am talking about you, then please come along to our first meeting! Held at the Hilton Hotel, Maidstone, it runs every 2nd Thursday of each month from 10am to 12noon. So, come along on the 11th August and all you have to pay for is your coffee!

emma@munroconsultancy.co.uk

Small business telephone systems and solutions for schools, colleges and universities

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Whatever sort of educational establishment you run, you may benefit from one of the new small business telephone systems. There may be a number of reasons why that may be so.

The first and perhaps most obvious one is where your existing school telephone system is simply not supporting the objectives of your establishment.

It may be time to re-consider your position if you currently have one or more of the following situations:

  • insufficient extensions;
  • geographical limitations (e.g. your existing system won’t reach other buildings or sites);
  • not enough outside lines to support your needs;
  • limited functionality such as no voice mail, call re-routing or audio conference facilities (etc);
  • high cost of ownership – measured by expensive annual support and maintenance plus high call-out and problem resolution costs;
  • frequent downtime;
  • difficulties in integrating your system with other technologies around your premises.

Any of these may seriously inhibit your ability to perform to your maximum capabilities and may justify consideration of a major revision to your existing system or perhaps a new one altogether.

That latter suggestion may seem a little bit radical given that academic budgets are tight at the current time. We can assure you that we will always seek to leverage off your existing system to both protect your existing investment and improve your service, however, our ability to do so may sometimes be limited by technical reality.

Sometimes existing small business telephone systems may simply have been stretched way beyond their original design specifications and may simply be too old or so obsolete, as to make enhancement impracticable – and certainly not cost-effective.

We will, of course, always look to be objective in the advice we provide.

There is though, another more subtle reason why you may wish to consider newer small business telephone systems.

An educational establishment is meant to communicate certain positive values to its pupils, staff and the external world.

To put it bluntly, this may be difficult or impossible to achieve, if your business telecoms infrastructure is falling apart at the seams.

As we mentioned before, we are of course, aware that budgets everywhere are tight and especially so within your industry. The good news is that with our service, upgrading your existing telephone system or investing in a brand new one need not be cost-prohibitive.

You may be pleasantly surprised as to just how competitively-priced our small business telephone systems installation and maintenance solutions can be. So, financially, practically and in terms of your establishment’s reputation, now may be the time to get in touch with us about how we can help maximise the effectiveness of your telephone system.