What to Consider When Choosing a New Phone System – (VoIP)

March 24th, 2014

It may seem intimidating to research and decide on a new phone system whether you are buying new or migrating from an existing system. Different types of access to dial tone, feature functionality and providers are all considerations that have changed a lot in the past decade. Here is the first in a series to help you ascertain the best technology fit for your business.

What is VoIP?
VoIP adds a lot of flexibility to how you use the phone as a business tool (rather than just taking or making calls) and is one of the prime reasons to consider making a change.
First, it is important to differentiate the premises-based VoIP solutions from the network access VoIP solutions. The former consists of the actual system capabilities and telephones sets, also referred to as endpoints. Some systems are IP only, others are hybrid while the older models had no IP capabilities at all. The latter refers to access to any off-site locations which include your customers, suppliers, branch offices, with “dial tone”.

VoIP requires a data infrastructure which can be designed to encompass all traffic or can be voice and data segregated. Pure IP phone systems generally have separate ports or devices to connect to the analogue network, known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). Switches are used to connect IP phones to the main appliance(s) or server(s). Hybrid systems connect to the data network for special applications and have ports for the PSTN and for digital and analogue phones; some can be configured as pure IP systems.
If you have an IT person on staff or on contract, the pure IP solution may be right for you. If not, hybrid solutions give companies the opportunity to try VoIP solutions while feeling more secure with a “known quantity” factor.

In either case you should consider using VoIP trunks to access the PSTN. Here again there are two options. A Public, unsecured channel to the PSTN via internet access is not an optimal way to use this technology as it is unsecured and not optimized for voice traffic. Any data being sent at the same time as voice will clash and cause problems such as jitter and delay. In order to avoid this and reap the benefit of lower-cost SIP trunking, Internet Service Providers (ITSP’s) and other network providers are able to provide secured access to Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s). They do this with secure, controlled routing and firewall capabilities that enable Quality of Service (QoS) for clear and private voice calls.

Why should I consider VoIP?
VoIP enabled systems allow for Unified Communications that provide much greater flexibility in how you use the system to manage your business, your customer relationships and your employees. Long distance charges can be eliminated for intercompany locations. Defined Call Routing and One-number access makes it easier to reach you whether you are in the office, at home or available by mobile. You can enable Instant Messaging and Presence so that your employees can keep track of who is available to quickly and easily reach out to each other when assisting customers with inquiries, increasing customer satisfaction. Easily implement Work-at-Home solutions for sought-after employees or for emergency coverage. Future-proof your business by knowing that functionalities you may want to implement later on are more likely to be possible with VoIP.

Choosing the right partner to help you navigate these choices is key to ensuring that your design is correct for your business needs today and in future. SE Telecom has worked hard to create a proven track record in helping customers navigate these technologies through open consultation and by providing choices relevant to individual business models. We work with several ITSP and network providers to insure a smooth implementation and reliable ongoing support.

Vivian (Viv) Hemsley
Senior Telecom Consultant

Here we Grow Again

April 24th, 2012

We’re pleased to announce that our Ontario office is once again growing and expanding, and as such, we’ve almost completed the relocation to our office space to much larger building with a state of art training facility to accommodate this growth.


On that note we have temporarily  put our Blog on hold while we are moving into our new facilities.

We will be sending out Open House invites for a tour of our New Facilities shortly

Remember if you need anything before then to call us at 905.884.8324 for 24/7 Telecom support & Service

 

 

Contagious mobile social networking- None spared

March 4th, 2012

Seems like internet is not just lightning fast, it’s omnipresent. According to a research firm, it has been observed that approximately 64.2 million individuals make use of their latest technology equipped mobile devices to stay up to date with social networks and the section of people who do so almost daily without fail is an appalling 38.2 million people. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace are popular applications that have successfully managed to penetrate every phone system.

Social media on finger tips- literally!
Be it iPhone, android phone, symbian or tablets this jaw dropping number clearly reflects as to which activity people of all age groups highly indulge in: going through all the updates from their known friends tops the activity list.84.6% avid social networkers keep a constant check on what their friends or foes are up to in their online and offline lives every second day. With information flying so fast due to new enabled phones, poor desktops await their turn to be put to use regularly like in the past years.

The second activity in which almost 73.6% people participate religiously is posting constantly changing status updates, switching profile pictures or posting comments or reading blogs. In comparison to last year, the total number of people clinging to social networks via their personal devices is on a steep rise with no signs of waning in the near future too. The hike seen is a startling 77%.

Interesting to note
Quite obviously, this growth can be directly related to the purchase of new age smart phones. The top applications to be explored to the hilt starts with Facebook network on both iOS( I phone, iPad etc) as well as android followed by Twitter that surprisingly ranks way lower than Facebook. To add a twist to the opinion most minds must have concluded on, is that it is not the mobile social networking feature that is behind the spurt seen in the number of people opting for a smart phone. Surprisingly, the ability to get to know everything anytime anywhere was quite below in the list of factors that affect a buyer’s decision. Here, no.1 is not the addiction for social media but the quality of network a particular mobile service provider offers along with the running system installed in it.

It’s confirmed that people have started to love their online presence quite a lot and this dedication is here only to get deeper. Don’t be surprised if you see somebody brushing their teeth and checking their web updates together.

Blackberry nearing a pitfall

March 2nd, 2012

Blackberry has yet again managed to be better in terms of the sales with its fiercest competitor Apple Inc but the point to be noted is- only by the skin of its teeth. It can be easily said that the advantage that is getting them the edge lies in the home soil. With 32.6 per cent market share it is leading the smart phone commercialization, followed very closely by the giant Apple from the United States with 31.2 per cent. These statistics do sound good to read but it’s an alarm more than a wakeup call for the Canadian smart phone manufacturer to start reviving their strategies in order to broaden the lead or else it should be prepared to lose the top spot.
The competitors to tackle
Beyond the Canadian borders, top slot of popular smart phones has slipped out of RIM’s grip a long time back mainly from the US followed by United Kingdom. The bad news continues as even in countries like France, Italy and Spain, Blackberry failed to make way into the top three. Foray of the i phone is not the only woe that can threaten to erode Blackberry’s strong presence in their home country, there are other smart phone makers who are taking full advantage of the popular android operating system, Samsung being one of them who has tried its best to seep into the Canadian market by launching several sleek models over the past one year. An interesting point to note is that google’s operating system has posted 11 percent of the total market share in the last 3 months.

This certainly is not very good news for RIM as it directly implies that it will have another competitor to deal with in the near future.

Popularity on a decline
Even though there still exist companies who continue using Blackberry as Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) furnishes the best security features for corporate data, this loyalty is fast receding according to analyst experts.

A new lease of life
Experts suggest leveraging the current loyal customer base and keeping the momentum going by providing more and more innovative solution to strengthen its position. The only lifeboat in sight for the steadily drowning Canadian company is its proposed switch to the new QNS operating system by next year. What should be kept in mind is that new changes keep the consumers as well as the vendors on their toes. A “bold” action in terms of strategies and leadership is the need of the hour.

Mobilicity Ends the last Quarter with a Bang

March 1st, 2012

It’s that time of the year when the rankings change and companies boost on the hay they made all year while. Yes, the year end time and it has been quite greener for Mobilicity who has labeled itself as the rapidly growing wireless service provider company of the Canadian market. They also revealed the year end results and they sure look impressive from a profit standpoint.

The company stated they went full monty making the most of the holiday season by a belligerent promotions across the nation.  Dave wireless, a lesser known name of Mobilicity, gave the figures of a staggering 63000 customers on boarding their wireless services. Market analysts are in no dilemma that Mobilicity surpassed the entire math’s that was done to predict the company’s performance by them. Having this in light, Mobilicity has still kept the number of total customers with them at the year end under wraps as of now.

Rivals -Wind Mobile and Public Mobile who have the year end number for customers as 408000 and 199000 respectively need to make a recipe to fight Mobilicity which has reached the rampant number of 250000 since its start in May 2010. Some market experts are even anticipating the number to have crossed 300,000 mark. The pace at which the company has progressed is commendable. It won’t be wrong to say that the service that they are providing has managed to click well with the Canadian subscribers.

Stewart Lyons, the chief operating officer of the firm said, holiday season promotions did a world of good for them but the fact also remains that Mobilicity tends to get on board more subscribers than its peers in non-promotional periods. He didn’t fail to add that they had a very impressive Q4 for Mobilicity. What more? He also flashed the ARPU of their subscriber pool to be averaged at $30 for the whole year. This calculation will only throw up an almost 8 digit figure. It’s abuzz since this ARPU was revealed, as the said competitors draw a lesser ARPU than Mobilicity.

2011 turns out to be a very glittering year for this wireless service provider in its 2 years of operations. Targeting the budget conscious with “unlimited call and text plans” mantra seems to have struck the chord for Mobilicity. Reaching this success is one part of this journey, will they be able to sustain the momentum, only time will be able to tell. Till then, well done Mobilicity!

Bring Your Own Device To Work – A virtue to be Cautious of

February 29th, 2012

Gone are the days when company workers were expected to use what the company or firm provided to them- uniform and grey for all. That was before the Industrial Revolution took the market by storm, now the raging trend going the rounds is Bring Your Own Device to Work policy which many corporations slowly yet steadily are beginning to implement for all their employees’ laptops, smartphones and tablets.

While the former unpopular, now obsolete policy was considered inhumane, the latest one is being spoken of as both progressive and employee friendly. Nowadays, some companies actually offer financial help to workers so as to allow them to choose and bring to office, the gear of their choice rather than the antiquated practice of issuing them the same generic, un-cool hardware. This so called revolution is being backed up by top notch companies who are more than willing to pick up the payment bills of workers personal laptops and smart phones bought for and brought to work.

The ideology behind this generous move
Companies are implementing Bring Your Own Devices to Work policy owing to a few trends which are as follows:

An ‘easy to work in’ employee environment: The whole idea is to create a harmonious working environment for the diligent employees and not to lose the best of the best workers’ zeal to work as laptops, tablets and personal smart phones are the important part of their lifestyle and identity. Bring Your Own Device to Work smart phones and other devices have a better cutting edge so it is basically the organization that both directly and indirectly gets to reap the advantages of up to date features and capabilities. Needless to say that there are some clear cost savings on per person basis going up to a staggering $ 70 a month, a big reason to adopt this revolution. Another lesser known advantage that comes with this move is the care to the gadget that the employee gives, which in turn reflects directly on the employee’s work output

A dicey move to take
A few concerns to keep a note of before deciding on whether to follow Bring Your Own Device policy or not are. If the particular company has many branch offices, then Bring Your Own Device to Work will make utmost sense and would not be a difficult change to follow as the infrastructure being taken care of is already too expensive to support. If satisfaction of the workers is the bosses concern

If a company’s legal and security regulations include signing contracts agreeing that the company has the final authority and if ever need be, even wipe the corporate data in the employees’ personal machine in case an employee is fired or quits or the device being used is misplaced. Companies should have the right to get the data from the employee’s device and to make this possible there should be some ground rules set like a definite usage policy and compliance. This will give some control to the company and is a must. Many in-house softwares are developed by firms which have adapted to this revolution which help to keep the compliance go check and give the visibility that the company needs.

Out and out this revolution is here to stay and will become wires with time.

Blackberry Playbook software gets long awaited updates

February 27th, 2012

People are joking around that Tuesday 21 Feb was a “Twosday” mocking at the OS 2.0 release for the RIM version of the tablet. RIM has finally delivered this O.S which was in the status of “coming very- very soon” since mid-April. Seems like this time around the unveiling is not premature. They have corrected their mistakes that come across while launching Playbook. The new OS looks solid and stable and people are busy upgrading theirs at this moment.

O.S release was delayed from October to February promising a big pack of updates which will curb all the negative points and add some quality features. It’s finally available on RIM’s website. A very smart native email application, a much needed smarter calendar and an efficient contact list are the few things that impress with OS 2.0. Once you feed in the company that you work for, then leave rest to Playbook which will get you all the news in the world that matters to the company and keep you a step ahead without making any efforts to get the information. The OS 2.0 is a sleeker and not heavy on the system. The native email system is totally re-designed for the social media updates and feeds. The format of representing this is much more appealing than the previous instance. It also boosts predictive text for email which is a huge relief for maximum people using Playbook.

The BlackBerry Bridge app has updated itself to gel with this new version of OS, what this app does is that it enables users to use their Blackberry as remote controls for their Playbooks and work onto the larger, touch screen media using their Blackberry’s buttons. Another thing to notice is that this version supports the applications from the rival Android technology; this feature is not a rage among the developers who have not polished their app for Playbook. Enterprise email support needs the local IT approval.

A small issue that was reported while syncing Gmail was that it was not quick enough to get registered, there is a lag of around 30 minutes, post that all is well with it.

All said and done, Playbook is not popular as compared to its peers in Apple’s iPad, Kindle Fire or cheap Samsung tablets. Until now Playbook had lacked many of the critical features which made it stand far behind the line. Analysts report that RIM has made a huge loss in the last year and was forced to drop to a level to lessen its inventory by selling the Playbook at much cheaper price. We hope with its new lethal “revampment” Playbook will soar to new heights.

These updates are free and are available at RIM’s website. The Playbook can also be directly updated with wireless connection downloading the same. This loaded package is already a hit with its handful of customers lining up to get their playbooks updated and enjoy the same features that this OS promises to bring along. Go get your new OS 2.0 and fall in love with it!