Archive for January, 2012

 

The b2b2012 Maidstone

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

A huge thank you, if you were one of the many that visited our stand at the b2b2012 last Friday. It was wonderful to see so many people, no wonder I ended the day slightly hoarse! Along with the 60 exhibitors there were plenty of visitors, I’m not sure of the exact footfall but I do know that the event organisers ran out of show guides!

The addition of seminars to these events really does provide another incentive to attend. I was fortunate enough to attend the first seminar of the day which was given by entrepreneur Nigel Botterill. Nigel talked us through his journey to ‘super-success’ and gave us some tips to take away and implement immediately. It was certainly an insightful and entertaining hour.

I hope that you met some new contacts and found the show useful; there were plenty of opportunities to meet fellow professionals. If you had hoped to talk to us but didn’t get the chance, please feel free to contact us. Alternatively we will be exhibiting next at the South East Business Show on 18th May 2012 at the Copthorne Hotel Gatwick. This is always a successful event and so we hope to see you there.

Frequently asked questions on business telecoms

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Here are some of your questions on the subject of business telecoms and the small business.

How will I know what system is best suited for my business?

Unless you have experience in business telecoms requirements analysis, you may not be able to easily tell which options may be suitable for your particular business environment.

Some manufacturers and retailers may, perhaps understandably, make it appear as if it is simply a question of selecting any one of a number of solutions based largely on price.

In our experience, this is typically a mistake.  Your requirements need to be understood before making a decision and this is an area where we know we may be able to assist you.

Can I purchase a system cheaply?

Almost certainly, yes you can.

The question is though, is this the wisest course of action?

There is no doubt that tightening and managing the cost is a prime objective for many organisations. However, perhaps of greater importance is securing a business telephone systems solution that is fit for purpose and one that will protect your investment in the future by offering relatively straightforward upgrading and expansion possibilities.

These should perhaps be higher priority considerations than simply looking for the cheapest solution you can find.

Does having more functionality necessarily imply a higher cost?

Not necessarily.

There are a large number of factors that may influence the cost of your eventual solution including, for example, the quality of the telephone system you select in terms of fault tolerance and resilience etc.

It may be the case that a telephone system appears to be modestly priced and offering complex technical capabilities but if it is from an unknown manufacturer and is built to unknown quality standards, then it may be risky to go forward and select it.

Once again, this question relates to knowledge of the marketplace, the manufacturers and the technology.  It is potentially a complex mix and one that you may need help in finding a way through.

Will the new system be able to be grafted onto my existing core infrastructure?

That is a very difficult question to answer without knowing more about your existing technology.

If your existing backbone business telecoms technology is non-standard or so old as to be totally obsolete, it may be difficult to integrate a new system into your existing structures.

By contrast, modern technologies (assuming you have selected from an appropriate quality provider) typically may be easier to link together and to expand.

As a general rule of thumb, it may be an idea to try to keep your business telecoms infrastructures as homogeneous as possible as this eases future expansion and integration.  It is one reason for selecting total solutions from well-known manufacturers such as Siemens business telephone systems.

If you have any other questions relating to your business telecoms, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we will be only too happy to assist.

Top tips for selecting an office telephone system

Monday, January 16th, 2012

If you are looking for a new office telephone system, you may find the following points are worth keeping in mind:

  • in technology, as in other areas of life, there may be a tendency to get what you pay for - so it may be advisable to be extremely cautious about very low-cost business telephony solutions coming from unknown manufacturers or technology providers;
  • purchasing a system and then hoping that it subsequently meets your requirements is typically a highly risky approach and may lead to severe disappointment. Instead, perform a detailed requirements analysis  - and with expert assistance (we would be happy to offer our services to help you with this);
  • plan for tomorrow - your business telephone needs and requirements today may not be the same as they will be in the immediate future, therefore, try to select solutions that are likely to be as future proof as they can be and which will be capable of changing and growing as your business changes and grows;
  • think about the broader picture - business telephone systems are no longer simply about telephoning people in the outside world. They may need to integrate with other technical systems and perhaps provide the backbone administrative support functions to your business itself;
  • avoid opting for DIY installation solutions - an office telephone system may need to have its implementation carefully planned and managed if you are to avoid a sub-optimal configuration  - as well as potentially being in conflict with health and safety legislation too;
  • look for continuity - once you have installed your telephones system it may be advisable to have regular support and maintenance activities carried out on it, as this may reduce the chances of problems arising. Finding a solutions provider such as ourselves who are able to support the system after installation and on an ongoing basis, may be extremely important;
  • select an office telephone system solution from a tried and tested manufacturer such as Siemens business telephone systems - companies such as this, with a major global track record in the delivery of quality solutions, may overall reduce your risks by a considerable degree.

Ladies Who Latte re-launch

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Our Ladies Who Latte networking group re-launched this week at the Medway Innovation Centre. I was keen to visit the Innovation Centre as I had not previously been given the opportunity.

The car park was full, a clear indication that once again organiser Emma Thorpe had been hard at work enlisting the business ladies of Kent. The morning started at 9am with an added bonus from the Ruby Marketers, who provided a social media workshop in the large meeting room. The main event was held in the cafe area from 10am to 12 noon. Although I know it was well past 12,30pm when I left. The turn out was tremendous, even Councillor Chitty commented on the remarkable support, in her welcome speech. The room really was buzzing, introductions were being made, phone numbers were exchanged and business foundations were being laid. A successful event for sure and just the beginning of many.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the venue, it really is easily accessible and has a pleasant, modern interior with full facilities. A venue that means business I would say.

The next event will be on Thursday 9th February 2012, please do come along and join in, you really will be welcome.

Happy New Year

Monday, January 9th, 2012

The team at Telcare would like to wish you a prosperous new year.

2011 was a great year for Telcare, for which we are extremely grateful and we now step into 2012 ready and willing for another adventure.

This year marks Telcare’s 15th anniversary so we are determined to make it a year to remember.  You may recall that Telcare were originally located in Dartford, and therefore have been keen supporters of Dartford Football Club for some time.  We kicked off our year by being match day sponsors of the Darts first game on Jan 2nd.  Dartford’s opponents were Welling Utd who gave us a run for our money, making us wait until the second half for a goal. Dartford’s Danny Harris provided a cracker in the 59th minute taking Dartford to victory.  Telcare got to choose the man of the match, which we awarded to Matt Jones who in our opinion, demonstrated some fantastic defending throughout the 90 minutes.  Our match day mascots were Henry and Jasper Nobes, who did a wonderful job carrying out their duties despite the fact that it was a rather chilly day!

Telcare’s David Settle presenting Matt Jones with Man of the Match Award, Henry and Jasper Nobes, Mascots.

Small business phone system considerations

Monday, January 9th, 2012

If you are choosing a new small business phone system, you may be wondering what would be the most suitable for your particular environment.

Certain things are common

In the case of a small business phone system, prior to purchase it is typically a good idea to have a fairly solid understanding of the way your business currently operates and the way that it may do so in future.

Of course, some businesses and operations may have certain factors in common even though their core business activities are in fact widely diverse.

Take, for example, a school or college, a care home for the elderly or a veterinary practice. At first glance, these may appear to have relatively little in common with each other, however, in terms of selecting a business telephone system solution, there may be certain principles that apply to all of them:

• resilience - no business telephone system is likely to be of any use to any organisation if it isn't working. Therefore, having a system that is reliable and built to a high quality may be extremely important;

• expansion capabilities - systems need to be able to flex and expand in line with the changing nature of your business, irrespective of its nature;

• compliance with standards - today, businesses need to be capable of seamless interaction with other organisations around them. The extent to which your telephony system is built to international standards may play an important part in helping to make that happen;

• cost-effectiveness - paying for state-of-the-art capabilities that you do not need or for flagship solutions to pragmatic needs, may be something best avoided.

These are all generic requirements that may apply to the vast majority of businesses seeking a new telephone system solution.

The specifics

Inevitably, there may be certain characteristics of your industry sector - or even your specific individual operation - that need to be understood if an appropriate solution is to be identified.

This is where a professional analysis of requirements may be advisable - an area where we have considerable expertise.

For example, perhaps you have two or three offices in different geographic locations and wish to link them together. Today, a small business phone system may be able to do that for you, providing that requirement is identified at the outset! So, whatever your needs, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss with you what we believe are cost-effective business telephone solutions.