Unified Communications – Collaborate everywhere

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Unified Communications: collaborate everywhere

Your staff need support for flexible working practices and your customers want to contact you in new ways. In this environment, the business that responds in the most agile manner is most successful. As a collaboration specialist working with multiple technology partners, we can help you manage the change. We offer a full suite of market-leading unified communications (UC), telephony and contact centre solutions delivered as cloud or hosted services, or as on-premises systems.
Through advanced voice, video and collaborative technology we can help solve office space and employee productivity challenges.

Our unified communications and services include:

* Hosted voice
* Powerful communications platform for larger enterprise
* Communication and advanced media endpoints
* Communications control
* Customer engagement and employee collaboration
* Online meeting, screen sharing, video conferencing
* Desktop sharing, presence, IM, voice, video and
conferencing
* Seamless call redirection and transition
* Enterprise chat, video and collaboration

For more information call 0208 150 9300 or message our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PenTelecom/ or email info@pen-telecom.co.uk

Are your broadband speeds low?

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If you are in an area where broadband speeds are low, to dramatically increase your speeds you can use a 4G SIM in a suitable router.

How does it work?

The router will connect via the sim card to the 4G network rather than the broadband network. The router will then provide internet access to any devices connected to it. It’s getting the connection from a different place. Some routers you can connect to both standard broadband and 4G.
For more information call Pen Telecom Ltd on 0208 150 9300 or message our facebook page  
https://www.facebook.com/PenTelecom/

Video conferencing from your tablet or smartphone for up to 10 participants

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Video is everywhere right now, and that trend isn’t going to change any time soon.

The simultaneous explosion in both mass-consumer and enterprise video applications are driven by increased utility with the tools, leading to wider adoption and lower costs. This feeds back into further development of those tools, furthering the cycle.

Let’s look at what all video conferencing can allow you to do right now:

First, you can host or join a video conference meeting from a phone, tablet, desktop or room system and see your attendees and presentations and documents.
That’s what I call flexibility!
For me, the great thing is to be able to see whether the person is actually paying attention or holding a side conversation. This means no more having to ask, “Hey, is Bob there?” when you can see if he’s in the room or out grabbing a Big Mac.

Second, for customer service scenarios such as banking or health care, the ability to offer a face-to-face contact via mobile is critical.
Both customers and subject matter experts are increasingly mobile, and being able to connect on tablets, smartphones or desktops gives you great flexibility for collaboration.
Seeing the face prevents the awkwardness of talking over one another without the visual cues.

Thirdly you can set up a conference for up to 10 users from all over the world.
This is included for free with our hosted voice plans.

For more information call 0208 150 9300 or email info@pen-telecom.co.uk

 

 

BT ISDN SWITCHOFF 2025

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BT have announced their plans to migrate all customers to an IP network by 2025, switching off the company’s ISDN network. As the leading business communications provider, this change will affect millions of businesses across the UK.

Even though SIP technology has been available for 15 years; many organisations still prefer to use ISDN lines. As of August 2013; there were around 3.2 million active ISDN lines in the UK however, by 2025 all organisations will have to move to a SIP service.

Although 8 years may seem as a long period of time, we believe that the migration process will begin soon, that is why you should start learning more about SIP technology and its advantages.

What is SIP trunking?

SIP trunking is the latest form of technology that delivers telephone lines using an external data connection as the bearer for the purpose of making and receiving calls. This virtual IP based service uses network data connectivity instead of dedicated fixed line technology methods.

What are the benefits?

1. Number Portability

Using SIP trunks allows you to keep your phone number no matter where you are, because your phone number is attached to an IP address not a physical telephone line. It permits out-of-area geographic number ranges to be used – displaying your organisation as local, despite being physically located elsewhere.

2. Saves You Money

With traditional ISDN your voice and data connection are on different lines. You will be able to save money by having both on one line. SIP trunking can reduce your costs by 50% on line rentals and 25% on calls.

3. Greater Flexibility

SIP trunking gives you complete control of your lines – you can add additional trunks when demand is high, reduce them when demand is low and split calls to make handling more effective. Being able to make these instant changes will help you to remain in total control of your communications.

4. Disaster Recovery

Incidents that cause an interruption to service such as hostile weather, power failures and natural disasters, can have a detrimental impact on your business reputation. This can lead to an abrupt decline in customer retention and loyalty. SIP trunking can ensure you maintain business as usual and will be able to continue working through every eventuality.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM INCLARITY 19 SEP 2017

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM INCLARITY

Emergency maintenance work was conducted on the Inclarity platform on Monday 18th September between 7.00pm and 12.00am BST (GMT+1). The purpose of this work is to further improve and refine our security processes.

As a result of this maintenance work, immediately afterwards we will require your customers to reboot their Inclarity Polycom handsets to ensure continuation of service. It follows that if any user should find that their Inclarity phone is not showing as correctly registered during or after this period then you should reboot it as soon as possible.

To reboot a Polycom handset you can:

– From the screen select Menu -> Settings -> Basic -> Restart Phone
– From the back of the handset remove the power cable for 10 seconds and then re-attach it

In the case of a Power Over Ethernet (POE) phone removing the network cable will also remove the power – in which case please ensure that you re-attach the cable to the correct LAN port on the back. If you maintain a large, managed POE switch device, then the power to all devices could instead be cycled from this device.

The Polycom reboot sequence will normally take several minutes to complete. Note of course that a successful reboot is also dependent on your local broadband connection being in good working order. In the unlikely event that your reboot produces unexpected results then please contact Inclarity Customer Services at customerservices@inclarity.co.uk or 0800 987 80 80 in the usual manner.

What is VoIP

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What Is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Sometimes it’s referred to as Voice over Networks or (VoN), Voice over Broadband (VoB) and sometimes Internet Telephony. VoIP allows you to make free, or very low cost, telephone calls over the Internet. You can call any telephone in the world and any telephone can call you – regardless of what equipment or network the person you are calling uses.

Also, because VoIP uses, digital, internet technologies (sip) many new features and services that were previously impossible, or very expensive using traditional telephone technology, become available. With Pen Telecom this means we can give you many features such as voicemail, voicemails sent to you email, music on hold, call diverts etc.

But you don’t need to know anything about the technologies used if you don’t want to, after all, you probably don’t know that ordinary telephony uses TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) but your telephone still works.

How Does it work?

Your voice is converted into digital information which can be sent like any other data over the internet. People are often confused by this but the way to think about it is that your internet connection uses the same wires as your normal landline telephone and can be uses to transmit all kinds of things such as faxes, telephone calls, emails, instant messages, web pages and Google searches – what makes the difference is simply what is plugged into the wires.

 

How Can I Make a VoIP Call?

Normally you just pick up your phone and dial the number! The most primitive form of VoIP uses your PC as a telephone and we provide you with a software telephone – a softphone – to do this. This displays a model of a telephone on your screen and you simply type the number to be dialled in or click on the phone’s directory to dial the number.

You can either use your PCs speakers and microphone of use a simple headset to talk.

For business use though, most people use purpose built VoIP telephones or telephone adapters with ordinary telephones plugged in. Apart from the obvious benefits of convenience to use and quality of call this method means that your telephones work even when your PC is switched off.

 

What Kind Of Equipment Do I Need?

A broadband (high speed Internet) connection is required for most of our services.

To make phone calls you then either use a softphone on your PC or laptop (see above) or a purpose built VoIP telephone or telephone adapter.

 

If I Use A VoIP Service Who Can I Call?

You can call anyone, anywhere on any type of telephone or network. The receiver of the call needs to have no special equipment and won’t know what kind of call he is receiving.

Does It Sound As Good As An Ordinary Telephone Call?

Normally the call will sound identical to an ordinary telephone call – you won’t be able to tell the difference.

 

 

Can I take my telephone or phone adapter with me when I travel?

You can use your VoIP telephone service wherever you travel as long as you have access to a high speed Internet connection. In that case it would work exactly the same as from your home or business.

 

 

 

How to get a local number without premises in that city.

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A client who has premises in London wanted to have a presence in Glasgow without actually having an office there. With VoIP technology we have set him up with a Glasgow phone number and calls are received on his main London number and it indicates these are calls received from the Glasgow number. This can be installed for most cities in the world. For more information call 0208 150 9300 or visit our website www.pen-telecom.co.uk

What General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) means for your business

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On 25th May 2018, there will be new General Data Protection regulations (GDPR) all businesses will have to conform to. This guide will show you the changes.
Recording phone calls will be necessary for fulfilling a legal requirement in the financial services sector, which are required by the FCA leading up to all transactions.
For more information take a look at this link
https://ico.org.uk/…/16…/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf

Telecom mistakes to avoid when starting a business in 2017

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Telecoms mistakes to avoid when starting a business in 2017

Over 600,000 business were started in the UK in 2016, and that number is expected to be exceeded in 2017.

There are many challenges for every one of these business start-ups, but some new businesses make it harder for themselves by making basic mistakes with their telecoms.

In some cases it is because unsuspecting new business owners can be easy prey for the less scrupulous telecom suppliers in the industry. In others, it is about failing to take the time to work out what your startup actually needs from your telecommunications.

 

5 COMMON PHONE AND BROADBAND MISTAKES START-UPS MAKE

 

 1.Only having a mobile phone number

They say that you tell a lot about a business from spending 10 seconds in their reception. Similarly you can tell a lot about a business by their phone number.

Do they just use a mobile number on their business card? Research shows 30% of people do not trust it and therefore will not contact them. This is even higher if the business is offering professional services such as accountancy, financial advice or consultancy.

So what are the other options. Some companies use 0800 numbers to get round this issue which add to your costs as then you are paying for the incoming calls. Others try to offset this by using 0843 or 0844 numbers but that just creates the impression that you want to profit every time someone calls you.

Anything other than 0800, or numbers beginning 01/02/03, for post sales service is illegal. If you still wish to use them then you must also publish the cost of call them in close proximity to where the number is publicised in all places – websites, business cards and vans.

 

  2.Using your home phone number for business

Some businesses are tempted to use their home phone number but this has the disadvantage you don’t know if your aunt is calling or is it that important new customer.

It also means you can’t turn your business off if you want in the evening or at weekends. There is limited functionality as well for handling a second call and personalising voicemails. Also if you move house you may move to another telephone exchange and not be able to take the phone number you have been marketing for years.

For this reason many small businesses wonder if they should use a telephone answering or virtual PA service for when they are not available.

The key question is what do you want them to do. If it is to just take a message you need to ask yourself what value is that adding. If they can handle certain queries then that can enhance your offering.

  1. Signing up to very long contracts

There is also great pressure for all new businesses to manage their costs at the outset whilst revenues are low. Offers of free installation if you sign 3 or 5 year contracts can on the surface appear very tempting , but there are downsides.

Firstly your business may expand and / or you may move the business and you could find yourself facing penalties for cancelling the contract. Secondly you are locking yourself into prices for a long term in an environment where prices usually go down. The cost of calling mobiles has fallen by 50% in the past 4 years.

At the same time many business owners forget to read the small print in the contracts and forget to check the basics such as length, notice periods and penalty clauses. They then get caught when they want to make changes.

 

  1. Serviced offices

Many start-ups consider using serviced offices when starting out which can make sense as it avoids long term commitment that usually comes renting your own space.

But if considering this route ensure you check if they will expect you to use their telecoms services. This can create two issues.

Firstly, the costs can be very expensive compared to organising yourself, and secondly, they may not release the number to you should you move out at some point in the future.

If you have invested in promoting that phone number it could damage your business if you have to get a new number.

 

  1. Failing to buy business grade telecoms

Some start-ups also try and save money by buying residential services instead of business grade telecoms solutions, most notably mobile phones and broadband.

Whilst they may be cheaper service levels are also lower and you should factor in “what is the cost to my business of not being contactable”. It may well be more than the few pounds a month you are saving.

 

Good telecom choices for start-ups in 2017

So what are some good options for new businesses in 2017? At the lowest end for micro businesses a simple inbound geographic number, that will re-direct to an available mobile phone or landline number, can be set up for around £7 a month.

For a little extra you can have a voicemail on it, and a whisper facility to tell you that it is a business call. That can help you use the same mobile for both business and leisure.

For those businesses worried about presenting a mobile number when dialing out then it is possible to have a landline on your mobile as an app. Above that, businesses wanting a little more sophistication or larger start ups are faced with the choice of VOIP or traditional solutions.

There is no right answer as there are pros and cons of each solution. Generally, as a guide the more sites and greater the likelihood of growth in numbers of users then the flexibility and scalability of VOIP are advantageous.

If you are looking for more sophisticated features and are communications intensive then a PBX may be a better solution.

Final thoughts

Overall the key for any business owner is to be wary. Before you sign anything, ask yourself will my telecoms support the business in the way I expect it to develop and will I be making it easy for customers to get in touch.