Your guide to buying a business phone system.
Today, companies and firms, whatever their size or business model, need to stay connected. However, the cost of their network equipment is often not in line with their real use. Obtaining a network infrastructure that meets business demands and adapts to their actual needs is an important challenge. Keeping costs in line with the ups and downs of the business is also an ongoing challenge. If you don’t want to pay for network equipment when it is not in use, then applying a cloud model to equipment is an ideal solution for minimizing payments. By paying for only what you use at fixed daily costs, you avoid paying for a network that isn’t used over a weekend, during holidays or even for several months if there is low seasonal activity.
This new model first appeared two years ago in Australia where companies were quick to appreciate the benefits. And, it wasn’t just in one industry, but across many such as school districts, ski resorts, sports arenas, hotels and more, who only pay for what they use.
For example, Accor recently asked ALE teams to see if they could be charged for network equipment, such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, telephony/video-over-IP, based on occupancy. Benefits for Accor with this new cloud service is that if a room is not rented out, there is no need to pay for the connections in it. The time for paying for unused equipment is gone. It’s time to align costs to actual corporate activities and cash flow.
A payment model that is in sync with revenue
The model has already exceeded seasonal sectors: In the UK, the government will pay nothing in CAPEX (equipment purchase), only OPEX (expenses by activity). It’s all about evolution. Companies want to invest at the same pace as their business grows and have specific needs for certain features such as telecommunication solutions.
Many companies, who do not have the financial resources to spend for the long term, are open to this type of service. For example, when construction begins on a new building, its network equipment needs will put demands on the existing building’s network. Buying enough equipment to support the expected new network requirements is a financial burden that puts pressure on the project from the start. Meanwhile pay-on-demand connections level the playing field against competitors.
This ability to provide on-demand network capabilities is also important for CIOs to address. If the technical directors do not find ways to act quickly, they will be hampered by a need to find more purchasing budget to start their projects, then they run the risk of losing visibility and control over their IT responsibilities.
Manage the physical infrastructure as a service
In practice, network on demand equipment has enterprise applications with a reporting function, which send a statement every hour to the seller that installed the equipment to generate a monthly bill. Taking readings at the source is no problem and relies on the economic model of a domestic Internet server. The equipment continues to belong to the provider and the user is charged according to the specific services they use, such as video on demand or long-distance telephony. Often these facilities enable companies to regulate their consumption and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
This metering capability also provides resellers the ability to offer additional managed services. In addition to pay-per-use, the new tools analyze the cost of network traffic and provides resellers information that they can use to give advice on how to be even more efficient in their use of the network. To date, this is the only network management tool that takes the analysis to an application level (how such software is used, is the network appropriately sized for this use, etc.) This allows for more accurately prioritized business flows to prevent degradation of the user experience on applications.
For quicker expansion, this type of service is rendered by a supplier. Moreover, the company retains the option to train its internal teams and to buy access to analytics to optimize its own network themselves. But, from the moment the infrastructure is considered a service, companies tend to rely on a supplier whose mission will be to ensure proper operation. In this model, internal technicians are able to refocus their time on the integration of cloud applications such as Salesforce, along with the rest of the company’s business applications. It’s predicted that by 2017, many companies will choose to pay for all of their network functions “on demand”, as this system is attractive for all the reasons I’ve mentioned.
OpenTouch Conversation tutorials made easy
I consider myself a rather good cook. I like to cook, and to eat, and love almost everything related to food. Nowadays I look at recipes to get the whole idea of the meal, then work it up on my own. But when I started getting hooked on cooking, I was very far from being able to do that with confidence.
I imagine it happens to almost everyone, that relatable moment when you want to do a simple action, but have no idea how to do it. In cooking, that happened when I first came upon words like “blanch the onions” or “sautéed meat”.
And here is where the magic of YouTube begins. Two clicks, a few letters on my keyboard and I can find a video explaining what a sauté of veal is, and how to make it. A short, very focused and easy to repeat video is available to help me to hone my skills at home, instead of going to cooking classes and asking a chef.
That is what “How To” videos are all about: Helping people to understand short actions, and how to do them on their own. This kind of video is not only available for cooking — just type “how to” on YouTube and you will see the range of videos available, from “how to draw” to “how to tie a tie”, every topic is covered (or close enough).
Knowing all that, when I started using the Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch® Suite applications, of course I searched for videos. I first watched complete tutorials videos like the one for OpenTouch Conversation for PC. These videos are useful because they show a complete use case with features and applications to your daily job that you might not even know existed.
So it was handy when I discovered the OpenTouch Conversation 2.2 Tutorials — they are short videos (from 25 to 50 seconds – but truly helpful), focused on one and only one action. Perfect for someone who knows how to navigate through the app but needs information on specific topics. Last but not least, these videos will be updated at every new release, helping people understand the new features more easily.
Let me add this little tip, if you binge watch them by viewing the whole playlist, you might even discover some features you had absolutely no idea existed! For example, did you know that you can use OpenTouch Conversation as a softphone? Well now you do! Happy viewing and hope you find these “how to’s” helpful. Let me know here!
Customer satisfaction is not just about the quality and value of your products and services. It is also about how quickly clients, partners and suppliers can reach you, how well they are greeted, and how long they need to stay online to have their questions answered.
Satisfied customers generate repeat business, and effective communications can dramatically raise your level of service. Ensure that you handle incoming inquiries professionally with an efficient greeting system that welcomes clients by name and rapidly refers them to the right sales person.
To serve the public, you need to focus on client satisfaction and always be reachable, at your desk or on the move. If you leave your office, you must be able to forward calls to voice mail and check voice mail remotely while maintaining privacy and a professional image. The communication system must handle call overflow when you are busy serving a client. The system must provide end-to-end call management, with a professional welcome and efficient call routing to the right destination. To increase staff productivity, the system needs to be integrated with administration operations.
OPENTOUCH SUITE FOR SMB TO THE RESCUE
The OpenTouch Suite for SMB for Public Administration tailors the communication system to the unique needs of your organization, whether it is a small town hall or a government ministry, by providing:
- Feature-rich applications that keep you connected and improve call handling
- A flexible communication server and network infrastructure with powerful embedded features
- A range of wireless and wireline digital and desk phones for professional IP or digital telephony
The OpenTouch Suite for SMB for Public Administration enables busy staff to better serve the public with an efficient, featurerich communication system. The OpenTouch Suite for SMB provides end-to-end call management, seamless, flexible services and on-site mobility.