November 23, 2014

Telephone & VOIP

Business Telephone Systems
Aspen is an authorized dealer for Panasonic, Altigen, Avaya and Shoretel.  We also sell and service older legacy equipment like Nortel, Meridian, Norstar, Lucent, Merlin Legend and Magix telephone systems.  Our goal is to maintain your older equipment until your ready to replace it.   

VOIP (voice over internet protocol) Systems
This is the future protocol for all voice communication.  We have installed the ShoreTel, Altigen and Avaya VOIP platforms and are very impressed with the technology. VOIP can reduce some operating costs, improve communications with internal and external customers and provide mobility.  With that said VOIP is not for everyone at this time.  We have a customer with one VOIP phone in his home office and we have one account with offices in Reno, Boston and London all networked on the ShoreTel platform.  We also have experience with the large campus environment deploying a VOIP system with 800 VOIP telephones at a Hospital in Northern Arizona. So if you are considering a VOIP telephone system Aspen has the experience to help you determine which product is appropriate for your business. 

CTI (computer telephone integration)
CTI is technology that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or coordinated. As contact uses have expanded from voice to include email, web, and fax, the definition of CTI has expanded to include the integration of all customer contact channels (voice, email, web, fax, etc.) with computer systems.

The following are examples of typical CTI functions:

Call information display (caller’s number, number dialed) and Screen population on answer, with or without using calling line data

Automatic dialing and computer controlled dialing (fast dial, preview, and predictive dial.)

Phone control (answer, hang up, hold, conference, etc.)

Coordinated phone and data transfers between two parties

Call center phone control (logging on; after-call work notification)

Advanced functions such as call routing, reporting functions, automation of desktop activities, and multi-channel blending of phone, e-mail, and web requests

Agent state control (for example, after-call automatic change to the ready state)

Call Center Applications and Design
Call centers have evolved dramatically over the years. Traditional call center environments provide automatic dialing and manage call distribution. A call center can enable their operators to receive customer information just as their calls are placed, along with scripts and other tools to personalize their communications with customers. But today’s call center services provide much more by incorporating voice, data, video, fax, email, and conferencing in a collaborative way using both traditional and IP technologies.

Voice Mail/Auto Attendant
Staples of any business telephone system, voice mail and auto-attendant functions must work flawlessly to enhance customer interaction, and thus, satisfaction.

Auto Attendant works just like a live front office receptionist would when answering incoming calls. Using voice prompts; the Virtual Office Automated Attendant plays a list of options to a caller. If the caller knows which option they want, they can interrupt the auto attendant by pressing their selection on the keypad of any touch-tone telephone.

Voicemail (or vmail) is a centralized system of managing telephone messages for a large group of people.

MOH (music/message on hold)
Most Music On Hold systems are integrated into a business’s telephone system via an audio jack on the telephone equipment labeled “MOH”. The source of the music is usually from CDs or digital files such as MP3.

Structured Cabling (voice/data/fiber/coax)
Structured Cabling describes telecommunications cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller subsystems, such as Entrance Facilities, where the buildings interface with the outside world; Equipment Rooms, which host equipment which serves the users inside the buildings; Telecommunications Rooms, where various telecommunications and data equipment reside; Backbone Cabling, which carries the signals between the entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications rooms; Horizontal Cabling, the wiring from telecommunications rooms to the individual outlets on the floor; and Work-Area Components, which connect end-user equipment to the outlets of the horizontal cabling system.

Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards for wiring a data center, office or apartment building for data or voice communications.

ACD (automatic call distribution)
An Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system receives, processes, queues, and evenly distributes multiple incoming telephone calls among staff available to answer them. The system is designed to minimize the amount of time that an incoming caller waits to be connected to a departmental representative, and to minimize the amount of time that a departmental representative waits to be connected to an incoming caller.

With ACD service, instead of receiving busy signals or being sent directly to voice mail, callers are informed that their calls will be answered in the order received. Calls are then put through at the first opportunity. ACD service gives callers information and options that would otherwise be unavailable.

Call Accounting
Call accounting software is the single best way to increasing productivity and lowering telephone operating costs. Call accounting software are programs that collect, analyze, and report on calling activities. For example, if your company does telemarketing, inbound or outbound, sales can increase by allowing telemarketing managers to see who is working. Once employees know that call records are being maintained, employees make and receive less personal calls.

IVR (interactive voice response)
Interactive voice response, or IVR, is a phone technology that allows a computer to detect voice and touch tones using a normal phone call. The IVR system can respond with pre-recorded or dynamically generated audio to further direct callers on how to proceed. IVR systems can be used to control almost any function where the interface can be broken down into a series of simple menu choices.

Security Cameras and Video Surveillance Systems
The advent of such television shows as “Las Vegas” and the “CSI” series brings into public view and underscores the variety of uses of security and video surveillance systems today. New network technologies have allowed addressable IP (Internet Protocol) cameras to become more cost effective and easier to install and maintain, allowing for more widespread use. Networked video from local and remote structures, centralized for easy access and management, allows personnel to monitor activity more effectively, respond to incidents more rapidly, improve control and security, all while lowering costs of operation

Retailers and businesses of all sizes understand the benefits that digital video surveillance brings to the bottom line, including reducing lawsuits through improved safety, preventing shrinkage due to employee and customer theft, and maximizing operational efficiencies through increased awareness.