Archive for the ‘School Telephone Systems’ Category

 

The Perfect Packed Lunch

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

It has always been important to Telcare to support the local community, especially within the education sector. Over the years we have been involved in many school events which has generally been at senior school level, so when the opportunity was presented to us to sponsor this competition aimed at primary school children, we were delighted to help out.

The Perfect Packed Lunch is a competition organised by the Kent Messenger and is open to primary schools across Kent. The children have the chance to have their creative writing and artwork put on display at the Turner Contemporary Gallery by entering the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards.
Telcare is playing a leading role in the event which asks children to devise either a genuine or imaginary packed lunch and then draw a picture of their meal and think through what makes it special.

“Telcare are thrilled to support the KM’s ‘Perfect Packed Lunch’ project”, said Director, Lisa Settle, “We assist many schools in Kent with the management of their telecoms so it’s great to be able to help on another level.” Lisa added “it will be exciting to give a helping hand to the younger students for a change, I’m really looking forward to judging the entries.”

Every entry will be turned into an online recipe card displaying the work of the child entrant. Judges will pick the winners and invite them to an awards ceremony at the prestigious Turner Contemporary Gallery, Margate, Kent where their work will go on display.

To submit an entry or to find out more information visit the website at www.perfectpackedlunch.org.uk

The deadline for entry is noon on 8th May.

Don't get locked in!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

We recently met with a company who have a Siemens phone system, just like the ones we install and maintain. I asked how much they paid for maintenance, they weren’t sure but it prompted them to look into it. It turned out that the person who organised the install of the system and its ongoing maintenance no longer worked at the company. I knew for a system of their size (they had approx 15 phones) we would charge in the region of £500 per annum, obviously subject to a survey.

A few days later I received an email with some shocking figures. Their maintenance costs were more than doubled compared to ours but here is the worrying part; they were locked in to a very lengthy 7 year agreement!

At Telcare we do things differently. Our maintenance agreements are for 12 months, and cancellation, should you wish to leave us, is easy. All you have to do is notify us 60 days prior to the expiry date.

Maintenance costs are determined by the amount of equipment you have, for example a main control unit and handsets.

There are different levels of service too, for some a standard agreement providing cover for the 9 – 5 working day is quite sufficient, however, there are businesses that work around the clock and need 24 hr assistance.

We realise that not every customer has the same requirements so we always try to come up with a flexible plan to suit your business needs.

Here’s the best part, when you call the Telcare helpdesk you get to speak to a real person, and it’s very likely that you will get to speak to the same person the next time you call. We are proud to say that we have formed great relationships with our customers over the years by offering an honest, practical and friendly service.

Moral of this story, don’t get locked in, do a little research, the good guys are out there!

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.

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!

The sometimes false economy of cheap school phone systems

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

We understand that school budgets are under tight pressure in today's modern world and that this may lead to the understandable temptation to look for cheap school phone systems.

There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with looking for cost-effective solutions to your educational or business telephone systems needs. Yet cost cannot be everything.

The fact of the matter is that there is now a huge degree of choice in the area of small business phone systems of a type that theoretically may be suitable for schools and other educational establishments.

Although that is typically a good thing, it also means that there are a large number of systems out there of what may be called ‘variable quality’.

Although your instinct may be to consider the quality of your telephone system to be of secondary importance to its cost, in reality, cheap school phone systems may cause you considerable direct and indirect expense downstream.

Consider the impact upon your school if your phone system ‘goes down’:

  • you may be unable to communicate with the outside world - something that may be a disaster if you suffer an on-site emergency;
  • the outside world may be unable to contact you - something that may be difficult to explain to, for example, parents who are trying to contact you due to a family emergency;
  • your internal communications may be unavailable meaning that your staff are spending their time walking backwards and forwards between classrooms and the office instead of being able to use an internal phone.

They, in a sense, are the potential consequential but intangible costs and risks that may arise if your phone system breaks down.

There may also be rather more direct and quantifiable costs.

Cheap school phone systems may not come with the same warranties and post-sales support services as systems sourced from professional high-reputation solution providers.

If your system is unreliable and you are paying for constant callouts and repairs, your original cost-benefit case may start to look rather shaky.

Of course, the temptation doesn’t only arise in terms of the procurement of new business telecoms services.

You may be even more tempted to stay with your existing, albeit unreliable, system because you do not wish to spend money on a replacement.

That may be a reasonable strategy but you should keep in mind that the older and more obsolete a system becomes, the greater tendency it may have to fail.

You may experience the highly undesirable situation of finding that your system fails one day and it is impossible to remedy the problem due to the age of its hardware or software components.

That is why we typically advise the selection of solutions from globally known manufacturers such as Siemens business telephone systems, coupled with the expertise of telecommunications installation and maintenance specialists such as ourselves.

That may be a more advisable approach than looking exclusively for cheap school phone systems.