Do you know what your office phone system is capable of doing? Here’s a hint: it’s much more than accepting voicemails, routing calls, and offering the ability to have an auto attendant response. Here’s another question for you: do you know what your business needs are when it comes to your phone system?
You may think you have the latest and greatest hosted phone system. But in truth, if the system is more than 2 to 3 years old, the technology has really changed. Today’s business environment is fast-paced and competitive. Today’s phone system technology makes it possible for you to know your customers and your customers to know your business. Most likely, you’re investing in ways to make sure you’re harnessing the power of all of your technological business resources. But what about your phone system, especially if it’s over 5 years old?
Hosted this and hosted that! Your head may be spinning with questions about this newer technology. Like anything new, we have to learn about the product or service and decide if this is the best for our business. Making a switch to a new system is a big decision with a lot of potential ramifications, so it’s wise to do your research before you jump in. Let’s look at some advantages of VoIP – hosted VoIP that is.
Being the leader in the Industry, ShoreTel offers a Business VoIP solution for small to large businesses.
You commonly hear a phone is a phone is a phone. That is true. Your basic office phone system functions will be available on each system. The difference is how you use them. The basic ShoreTel Business VoIP solution provides not only these basics, but some pretty nifty enhancements:
Music on Hold
Conference Calling – 6 Way
1. Music on Hold
Music on Hold or MOH as it is known to some insiders. In the olden days, you hooked up a radio or discman. If you had the radio going, you hoped a competitor did not play an ad while your customer was on the line. Now with a business VoIP system, you can download WAV files. Maybe you are the hip new company on the block and you created your own theme music. You simply download the WAV files. Or maybe you are the auto repair shop and you have weekly specials, you can just record the specials and then download them each week. How easy and simple is that?!
2. Conference Calling
Yes, you have to have enough phone lines to have each person (if they are outside callers) on the call, but with most businesses that have a PRI attached to their business VoIP system six outside lines is manageable. Most phone systems offer ¾ person calls as standard. With ShoreTel you get six. Easy, easy. By using the communicator program, managing and making those conference calls is simple. Just a few clicks and you have a conference. If you need more than six, the business VoIP solution has add-on modules that allow for larger conferences.
3. Whisper Page
Think soft voices in your head. Not the crazy kind, the good kind. This application is not widely used but can be an efficient tool when someone is not really computer savvy. Most of the time you might send a quick email or send a quick instant message. You can also Whisper Page. This feature has been around for many years, but the popularity of it keeps it coming back to business VoIP phone systems. This allows an inside extension to dial your extension and speak to you while you are on the phone. The good news is the outside caller never hears what is happening. So rather than walk to your co-worker's door and tell him the next client is waiting in the lobby, whisper page to him that information.
4. Color Display
What if each day you saw the image of the beautiful beach or your brand new baby each time you looked at your phone. With the New ShoreTel phones on your business VoIP system you can have that color picture.
5. Call Recording
Your customers never lie and your employees are always truthful on what they say to clients. With call recording you can trust but verify. Not only is call recording important to clarify actions from clients and employees alike, it provides an invaluable training tool. When you have a new hire and they start answering your calls, you simply do not have the time to monitor each call. But if the calls are recorded you can easily and simply listen to a couple of calls a day and check the quality control. With the ShoreTel Business VoIP Solution call recording just got easier.
6. Emergency Notification
Emergency notification is something you never want to use, but in reality you need to know how it works. With the ShoreTel Business VoIP solution you have many levels of emergency notification. A simple way is when someone calls 911, an email goes out to a distribution list and the caller information is sent to as many people as you care to have in the distribution list. If you need screen pops there are add-on modules that can alert many people’s computer monitor and cell phones. It truly depends on your level. With a multi-site application, the ShoreTel System has a local trunk connected and all the extensions in that location use that local trunk. So the Chico Fireman does not show up when you need the fire department in Stockton.
7. Speaker Phone
What is simply the coolest Shoretel feature that everyone gets? The speaker phone. In our demo we show you how incredible the speak phone sounds. You can really hear a pin drop from across the room.
At Gaynor Telesystems, Inc. we are able to provide the best solution for your application. For the ease of use, the ease of administration, and the speaker phones we recommend the ShoreTel Business VoIP solution to many of our clients. We do recognize not all clients are the same. So at Gaynor we get to know you and the features and applications that are important to you so we can provide the right solution to you. Get to know us better by downloading our free offer below or give us a call - we would be happy to meet with you and help you navigate the world of business VoIP.
We like to think we live in a world where our person and property will be kept safe. In reality we hear almost daily about robberies or break-ins. Even car thefts that are happening in and around our small business. We might worry about that last employee who has to walk to their car. We worry that our office will be closed for a few days during the holiday season and that leaves a giant window for thieves to come and break-in. At Gaynor we understand these concerns. Maybe you have considered a security camera system before, or maybe the news of the latest break-in has you rethinking. Before you head to your local Costco to buy that $1,995 special, check out these reasons for using an expert.
1. Placement of Cameras
Installing a security camera system is not just buying cameras and hanging them where you can easily reach. By using an expert, they will do a walk around with you and determine the best locations for the camera placement. A security system is not good if the cameras are vandalized or stolen. So placement in discreet ways or even out of reach of tall people with baseball bats is important. If you only look at how high you can get with a 6 foot ladder, it may not be the best for the picture or for the safety of the camera.
The placement of the cameras on your security system also determines the quality of the video. Many factors like lighting, trees, and even overhangs and doors can affect the video quality. When using an expert for the design, companies like Gaynor will review your lighting, review the location of the trees and make sure your placement is optimal for the video you want.
2. What’s Being Watched & Recorded
When working with an expert you will be asked about what you are wanting to see. If a client says the entrance of the door for example, we ask, “To see people coming in or going out? Are you wanting to see if they lock/unlock the door? What is your intent?” Intent is the big question. Are you having people sleep in your doorway at night? Are you just wanting basic security? If there is an overhang near the door, it may be recommended to place two cameras at the door to make sure you get the correct angles of what you are looking for.
3. Quality Video
If you have an event happen at your small business, the critical step would be to export the video and show the local police department. The police department will want to make sure the video was not tampered with and is a high enough quality you can actually see and identify the people in the video. Many people are looking at video on TV Shows like NCIS and wanting that quality of video. That is possible with the right budget and the right placement.
Still not sure what to do? At Gaynor Telesystems we offer a Site Survey at NO CHARGE to help you determine the best security camera system for your needs. Give us a call today 1-877-GAYNOR-1
Hindsight is 20-20 – You start to think: I wish I would have, I never thought I would need, I should have listened. These are all statements we might make when we realize we long to put in a CCTV security system.
Chances are if you are saying these things, you had an incident. It is okay to say and admit you had a break-in or a slip and fall, or an internal employee theft. You are not alone, it happens to businesses each and every day. Now that you know you are vulnerable, let’s takes a look at purchasing a CCTV system.
At Gaynor we pride ourselves on aligning with high quality products. We want to work with companies that offer not just good warranties, but great warranties. We have chosen to sell the IC Realtime and Pelco brands of CCTV security systems. We chose them because they are high quality business grade CCTV systems. With Pelco we are able to sell via our CMAS contract as well.
Both of these companies offer warranties of over 3 years, giving us even more reason to love their products.
We tell you about the products we carry because when you start looking for a CCTV security system you will find hundreds of makes and models. Some are literally consumable products. They will have a 12 month life and then you throw them out and start over.
When you start your research ask these questions:
How long does the average system last?
Good quality business-grade systems should last 5+ years, if not longer. As long as they are maintained on a regular basis.
Will I be able to adjust programming?
Many times the cookie cutter systems are plug and play. That may sound good at the beginning, but professional camera systems are interactive. You should be able to make changes, download images and upgrade software.
How much storage will I get?
A professional installer will not just say 2 weeks. They will talk about frames per second, how many cameras, recording on motion etc. All of these things take up resources and impact your storage capacity. If you are not being told about these, you may want to get a second opinion.
Maybe you saw the break-in happen at a neighbor’s business and it caused you to start the process of looking yourself. Whatever the reason, a CCTV system should not be an impulse buy. As a CCTV installation and design company we work with our clients and ask them about their needs and expectations. We look at the differences between IC Realtime and Pelco.
There is not one solution for everyone. So before it is a have to, start looking for a CCTV security system now. By taking your time, you can get the right solution at the right price and at the right time.
To learn more about CCTV, give us a call 1-877-GAYNOR-1
Business is booming and your office phone systems are having trouble keeping up. This of course, is a good problem to have, but sooner or later it’s going to catch up with you and your staff. Your company is on target to open up three new locations this year and you don’t want your customer service to suffer. You need to prepare now and move beyond the point of relying on one specific person at a desk.
A good place to start is learning the benefits of upgrading your office phone systems to help integrate your multiple-site locations and have the look and feel of one company, instead of feeling like several individual businesses.
Streamlined Communication for Customers
You want the customer experience for your callers to be as seamless as possible. This starts with the ease of having one number to call for your company. An auto attendant feature on your office phones systems can answer each call with a friendly and professional greeting, even when there’s high call volume. It will also provide a phone tree list of options the caller can choose from. The caller will then be routed to the appropriate department - even if it’s at a different site location - and their service won’t be interrupted. Some systems can even be programmed to transfer to other departments when there is high call volume so that the caller speaks to an actual person. Having a single office phone system also allows you to have a centralized voicemail and provides consistency for the company.
Better Interoffice Communication and Accountability
If your company is going to continue to grow, you need communication between all your sites to be as easy as possible. One feature that will help your staff communicate more efficiently and possibly even save you some dollars on your phone bill, is extension to extension dialing. This will allow your staff the ease of dialing an extension to talk with each other when they have a quick question or need to be brought in to a meeting. It also gives staff the ability to easily transfer customers to another department offsite, but be able to give context to the other staff member before they talk to the customer.
Office phone systems that have call recording and accounting features provide you with valuable information on how your phone system is being used – or misused. You might be a company that wants to record calls so you have accurate records for each call in case a dispute happens; or maybe you need to record calls for legal reasons. You might be looking for a way to better evaluate your sales team; or be able to clearly identify how employees are utilizing their time for both business and non-business purposes.
Nobody will be happier about the ability to maintain and service your office phone systems from one central location than your IT department. All of your applications, such as centralized voicemail, call center activity, and call recording and accounting, can be implemented using a single source of technology instead of paying for service at each individual site. This will be more cost-effective for your bottom line and keep your business running as efficiently as possible.
Each business has its own multi-site challenges and at Gaynor Telesystems we work with you to understand your options and make sure you’re partnered with an office phone systems vendor who will help you work toward a solution, meeting your needs today and setting you up for continued growth tomorrow.
If you’d like to talk with one of our sales professionals to see how a multi-site system can benefit your business, contact us for a free demo today.
It is always exciting to move into a new fresh office! There are many important things you need to do in preparation for this move. One of the most important is moving your office phone systems. Start by identifying who in your firm is going to be the lead person on this task.
Your lead person needs to bring in the key players:
Phone Systems Vendor
You first need to contact your phone systems vendor and inform them of your moving plans including a projected timeline. This vendor is usually a licensed contractor who specializes in low voltage systems i.e. phone systems. Using a qualified vendor, who is preferably trained and authorized by the manufacturer of your phone system, is always a best practice. They will be your trusted resource and lead you to a successful move.
Dial Tone Provider
The second step is to ensure your dial tone provider is also contacted and made aware of your impending move and timeline. In many cases the office phone systems vendor can and will do this for you free of charge! You will sign a form authorizing your phone system vendor access to your account and a huge stress will be removed from your plate. Your dial tone provider will need plenty of notice as they can take up to 6 weeks to process your order. This is dependent upon the types of lines and circuits you are using. It is crucial to provide a complete list of all your numbers, line, and circuits. You can provide this to the office phone systems vendor if they are facilitating your move or to your dial tone provider. The common mistake we often see is a customer forgetting fax lines and data circuits. Moving without those can cause tremendous headaches so be sure to add them to your list!
Another key player in this age of VOIP could be your IT vendor. Your IT vendor will work closely with the office phone systems vendor to coordinate the roles and duties of your move so as to avoid duplication and therefore increased costs for you.
You need to communicate your needs with the office phone systems vendor
- You need to meet with your phone systems vendor at your new site. Take an opportunity to walk the site and explain how you plan to use the facilities. If you are building a new office your phone systems vendor will need a copy of your plans and to coordinate with your general contractor and electrician. If you are moving into an existing facility your vendor will review all the existing cable, phone jacks and the equipment room to determine what work may need to be done to prepare your new office.
- You need to keep all parties informed of any changes in your move date. It is common for move dates to change during the coordination process. Forgetting to notify your dial tone provider that you are not moving on the original date can result in your lines being moved without you! Many times your dial tone provider will dictate the general move in date and you can select the best time for your business. You may need an after-hours or weekend move, but be prepared to pay more for this.
You need to know what this move will cost
- You should request an estimate from the office phone systems vendor. Typically when you purchased your office phone system a large portion of the installation costs were for labor to place cable and jacks so if you can reuse the existing ones in your new office that is best! Typically you can budget the costs to move all your lines at the same amount your dial tone provided charged you for initial installation.
- Your phone system will be down. Yes, you need to work with your office phone systems contractor to determine the length of time it will take to physically move the phone system and the best plan for when this should occur, as well as how you will respond to your customers during this time. The easiest method is usually to forward your calls to an answering service or cell phone. Some small phone system moves can be accomplished during a lunch hour or another time when you have low call volume.
- Your new office layout may necessitate the need for some redesign of your office phone systems programming. Perhaps calls will need to ring differently or you will need to have lamp indication of call status for team members you used to be able to see who are now in offices.
- This is always a good time for a quick one hour or less training session from your vendor on how to use your office phone system. Many times these refresher classes are performed free of charge! Take advantage of this or negotiate it into your move estimate.
You need to properly prepare for move day
Now you know the crucial basics to moving your office phone systems and can relax and pick out some new fun furniture or art. If you’re researching new office phone systems for your business, or you have additional questions about moving, contact us to chat with one of our sales professionals today.
The ongoing debate of quality versus price, compounded with your expected level of customer service and support will be the determining factor in where you select to purchase your CCTV security camera system.
How did you make the decision for your last mid-to-large size purchase? Was it a new copier for your business, a solar system or perhaps a new vehicle? Did you buy a well-known brand name or a lesser, unknown brand? Think about what you learned during that process before you start on the journey of a new security camera system purchase.
You Should Avoid Purchasing A CCTV Security Camera System From A Big Box Store When:
1. You do not have the time to do the research for the project.
Many well-known brand names in CCTV security camera systems, such as Pelco, became forerunners because of their high quality and excellent customer service levels. Sure, there are probably some lesser known brands that have a good product and a smaller marketing budget, but how can you determine those from the poor quality brands? You need time and resources to spend researching these factors or you can choose to work with a trusted professional. We consistently get calls from businesses regretting their purchase and the unsuccessful attempt to have a handyman install a security camera system.
TIP: You have a business to run so think about the cost of you being pulled away for a dead camera or a glitchy DVR issue.
2. You want a system that can grow with you.
Most preset security camera packages come with a 4 channel DVR. This is what determines how many cameras you can have on your system. In our long experience in this industry we have seen many customers start with a few cameras to get a basic security system in place and gradually add cameras over the next 12 to 18 months as they see the value of security cameras.
TIP: The minimum we recommend purchasing is an 8 – 16 channel DVR.
3. The package is not a good fit.
To keep the price low we have seen manufacturers prepackage decent cameras with a lower grade DVR or visa versa. Do you need only exterior weather proof cameras or a combination of indoor and outdoor rated cameras? What’s in the box? You should always purchase state of the art cameras and lenses. Buying last year’s model is not a good choice. Poor camera selection can result in latency, jittery screens, poor color and fuzzy images.
TIP: Analog cameras are less expensive than IP Cameras but are more appropriate for residential than commercial installations.
4. You want a professional design that will capture the camera views year round.
Security cameras are getting better and better each year. When you are designing your system a qualified professional will take into account the current and projected landscaping (trees grow!), sun and headlight glare. and required privacy issues for your neighbors. A custom designed CCTV security camera system will meet your needs today and into the future.
TIP: Don’t hang a camera that can view into your neighbor’s private space or windows!
5. You want excellent installation, support and local customer service.
We have all gotten lost into the overseas help desk call centers and experienced that frustration. You want a local company that will respond to your calls, dispatch a tech to your site and facilitate any product warranty issues. We have seen people purchase a prepackaged CCTV security camera system and have it sit in the box for many months trying to find the time to learn and install it.
TIP: Always check references and use a licensed, bonded low voltage contractor for your security system service.
6. You want to protect your investment in a system that will last.
You don’t want to throw away your investment. A good method to understand your purchase is to look at your budget and divide it by the years you expect the system to last.
TIP: Your CCTV camera system should last a minimum of 5 years, even with the speed of technological advances. It may actually run longer but who knows what cool apps and features will be around 5 years from now.
7. You value the items you are seeking to protect.
One of my father’s favorite sayings went something like this: “The sweetness of low price is quickly forgotten with the bitter bite of poor quality.” Think of the value of the assets you are seeking to protect and spend accordingly. If you have a tight budget choose quality over quantity. Buy less cameras; choose higher quality video.
TIP: Buy 4 really good cameras instead of 6 mediocre cameras.
Bottom line, if you have no clue where to even start, call a professional! Otherwise our advice is to do your homework, research the brand and read the feedback on review websites and blogs that are not supported by the manufacturer. You need to fully understand the project you are undertaking. Only then will you know if you are the type of person who should rely on the professional or jump into a prepackaged self-installed CCTV security camera system.