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SIP Savings Calculator

At Emergent, we know that up to 70% in telecommunications costs can be saved with SIP Trunking. If you would like to estimate your savings try our partner Broadvox’s new SIP Savings Calculator. Visit www.Broadvox.com.

If you have any questions or would like to request a quote for your system please call us at 407-834-2700 or 865-381-2239 option 1.

This year, interest in VoIP SIP Trunking grew and more companies rushed to enjoy its cost savings, the increase in productivity it provides and its reliability. This resulted in a need for organizational growth at Broadvox to ensure that our customers receive service worthy of a premier ITSP.

The Customer Service, SIP Project Management and LNP (Local Number Portability) teams as well as the SIP Engineering staff have all been increased to meet the demands of providing for new and existing customers. With strategic realignments and increased staffing, we are pleased to report that the level of customer care has risen dramatically and the Broadvox team has met the challenges posed by the dramatic increase in business.

If you are interested in a free quote for VoIP SIP trunks from Broadvox please contact us at 207-834-2700 option 1.

We have implemented Broadvox SIP trunks on the following phone systems – Samsung OfficeServ 7100, OfficeServ 7200 and OfficeServ 7400 as well as the NEC UX5000.

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I have been hearing more and more instances of this happening.  A business will get a phone call from their local telephone provider informing them that several thousand dollars of international calls were made from the telephone lines at their place of business over the weekend.  Of course no one was even in the office over the weekend, so how did this happen?  The answer is simple, a thief with a little bit of knowledge about telephone systems and voice mails was able to gain access to one of your  voice mail mailboxes and set it up to dial whatever phone number he or she desired.

The first thing you should do if this happens to you is to call the police and file a services theft report.  Once this report has been filed, you may be able to convince the phone company to forgive most of the charges.  The next step is to call your phone system vendor and have them figure out how this happened and what steps to take to prevent it from happening again.

Preventing this theft of services from happening in the first place is, of course, the best plan of action.   Several methods are available that will reduce your chances of this happening.   First and foremost, is to have every user on your phone system change the default pass code in their mailbox.  I often hear office managers say they don’t want their people to change the pass code.  After a little questioning I discover the reason for this is in case that employee leaves the company.  In most cases resetting a user’s voicemail pass code is a fairly simple process that an office manager can do. My advice would be to ask the service technician to teach you how to do this when they are installing your system.

In addition to changing pass codes, additional steps can be taken with the phone system to prevent this problem.  Most phone systems will allow you to deny all trunk to trunk transfers.  Additionally most systems will allow you to block all voice mail ports from being able to make an out bound call.  However this type of security could potentially cause a problem for a business.   One would need to evaluate the need for calls coming into the phone system to have the ability to dial an external phone number.  Most commonly this feature is used to transfer calls to an employee’s cell phone or allow the voicemail to notify someone of a message.  If you do not need to use these features, have them restricted.

Your telephone company can also add some protection on your lines for you.  Account codes are a very good way to prevent toll fraud.  When you choose to use account codes the telephone company will provide you with several codes that would be required to allow a long distance call to be completed.   Typically you assign one code per person.  This could become a bit of a nuisance for some one that makes a lot of long distance phone calls, but the security and tracking it allows is great.

If you have any concerns about toll fraud contact your telephone system vendor and your telephone company for more details.

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Improve Your Quality Of Life With VoIP

Published on January 18, 2009 by in Articles

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By Mitch Scott

Imagine this….. It’s 5:00 in the morning, it’s pouring down rain and it’s freezing cold outside.   You huddle under the covers reluctant to leave your warm cocoon to battle the weather and the traffic just to make it to work on time.

Now consider the same scenario when your business is utilizing the latest in VoIP technology from Emergent and the NEC UX5000.    You roll out of bed at 7:30, take a relaxing shower to wake up, put on some comfortable clothes and a pot of coffee and walk into your warm home office to start your day at 8:00!

Sound to good to be true?  With VPN (virtual private network) and VoIP keysets this fantasy can become reality.  A VPN connection allows you to access your office PC (via a secure connection) from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection.  VoIP technology gives you a remote telephone extension – with all the same capabilities of the phone at your office – that can also be used anywhere you have a broadband connection.

Enjoy using a laptop?  There is software available for the NEC UX5000 that will allow you to use a “Virtual Telephone” and a USB headset to take your office anywhere you can find a WiFi connection.  A cafe in France?  A beach in the Bahamas?  VoIP technology allows you to work when and where it  is best for you.

Warning! Technical Talk!

This explains how the NEC UX5000 VoIP terminals operate.  A VoIP enabled telephone system is deployed at the main office.  The UX5000 is connected to the LAN (local area network) and assigned an IP address.  In a home office, a special router is installed that allows you to connect back to the main office via a special network called a VPN (virtual private network).  The NEC UX5000 VoIP telephone is programmed with an extension number just like the phones in the main office.

The VoIP telephone has the exact same features and capabilities as the phones in the main office.   The remote keyset has access to the telephone lines at the main office.  Paging and intercom calls will be heard at the remote keyset.  Calls can be transferred to the remote VoIP keyset.  It is literally as if you unplugged a phone from the main office and plugged it in at your house.

Conclusion

Increasing gas prices, popularity of Green IT,  reduction in office space and the increasing need for “road warriors” to keep in contact with the office continue to make remote VoIP keysets more and more popular with small to medium sized businesses.

Advances in technology are making this valuable feature very affordable, especially considering how much it can improve your and your employees quality of life.

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By Chris Scott, Emergent

ORLANDO, FL — Nov 11, 2008 — As the economy continues to struggle  many small and medium businesses are experimenting with ways to lower operating costs.  In our experience, communications is one area that is often overlooked.  What follows are several ways that we have been successful in lowering our clients communications overhead.

Have your phone bill audited
With advances in technology, the cost of phone service in the past 10 years has been lowered dramatically.  Most companies, however,  don’t regularly analyze their phone bill to determine if they are overpaying for their telephone service, what new technology is available to them to lower that bill, or how to best take advantage of those new technologies.  With so many choices available, it can be difficult for company managers to select the products and services which best match the unique requirements of their business.  Emergent analyzes each customers specific needs and recommends a customized solution designed to maximize cost effectiveness and system performance.

Eliminate long distance charges with SIP trunks
SIP Trunks (Session Initiated Protocol) are a type of VoIP service that can significantly lower (or in some cases eliminate) the charges associated with calling long distance numbers.  With SIP trunks, the phone system is connected to the internet and long distance calls are routed over that connection instead of the more expensive phone lines from a telephone company.

Cellular Gateways for office to cell phone calls
A cellular gateway is a device that allows you to lower your overall communications cost by taking advantage of the free cell phone to cell phone calls that are included in most cell phone plans. Here’s how it works.  The cellular gateway connects to a telephone line port on your telephone system and routes incoming and outgoing calls (to your cell phones) through a GSM wireless network.  When an employee in the office calls the cell phone of another employee, the call is routed through the cellular gateway allowing you to take advantage of the FREE cell phone to cell phone calls.  When an employee calls the office using a cell phone, they call the number of the cellular gateway also taking advantage of the FREE cell phone to cell phone calls.

Use Call Reporting to eliminate employee misuse
Most telephone systems offer advanced reporting capabilities that can give business owners a wealth of information including details like phone numbers dialed; call duration and extensions and account codes.  This information can be used to ensure employees are working productively.  This information can be also be used to show when the phone system experiences peak traffic times, allowing  managers to schedule employees to work accordingly.

Use VoIP phones for remote and home offices
Networking telephones systems together that are geographically apart allows you to bypass your long distance carrier to call between offices (calls between offices are sent over the VoIP connection). This can lower personnel costs because one centralized receptionist answers instead of a receptionist at each location.  Utilizing a Voice over IP phone and remote desktop applications for the PC will allow a  worker to stay connected no matter where they are located.  Have a valuable worker that is moving?  No need to train a replacement when they can work from anywhere.

About Emergent

Emergent, formerly Telecommunication Professionals, Inc., has been serving the Orlando – Central Florida region since 1988. Emergent is a network services, business telephone and data communications company that specializes in technology solutions that give clients a competitive advantage and increased profitability. The company implements technology plans by providing products that fit the needs of the client. The mission of Emergent is to provide cost justification and investment protection.

The company maintains a full staff of factory-trained, certified technicians, sales associates and customer advocates that believe the dimensions of service quality are time and timeliness of the delivery of the service, completeness of the service, courtesy of those giving the service, consistency of the service, accessibility & convenience of obtaining the service, accuracy of the service, and responsiveness to emergencies.

For more information on Emergent call (407) 834-2700 or contact sales@askemergent.com.

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DSL, Cable or T1/PRI?

Published on December 1, 2008 by in Articles

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by Mitch Scott

Orlando Florida – We often get asked what is the best solution for connectivity – DSL, Cable or T1/PRI?  Each solution has advantages and disadvantages.  Let’s start with the basics and look at each solution:

DSL, Cable and a T1/PRI are all Internet connections.  They allow you to upload and download data from the Internet.  The speed that you are able to upload and download information is referred to as bandwidth.  Bandwidth is measured in bits per second.  A bit being the information capacity of one binary digit (Data is made up of a stream of 1’s and 0’s called binary digits).  Download speeds will effect you receiving information from the Internet (looking at a web page, downloading a file or streaming media).  Upload speed will effect you sending information out (such as emailing a large file).

DSL
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line.  When using a DSL data is transferred over a copper phone line.  This data is transmitted at a frequency higher than what is used for a voice conversation.  This is why you can use one connection for data and voice.  Most DSL lines are asymmetrical (ADSL) which means the rate at which they upload data is different than the rate that they download data.  A typical DSL line will allow you to upload at 400Kbps (409,600 bits per second) and download at 1.4Mbps (1,468,006.4 bits per second).

Cons: If your DSL service goes down response time from the ISP (Internet Service Provider) may take several days.  If the telephone line is being used for things other than DSL you must use a filter which may make installation more difficult.

Cable
Cable Internet service is delivered over the same coaxial cable that you use for cable TV.   Internet access is piggybacked onto the cable television signal in much the same way DSL is piggybacked onto a telephone line.  The television signal that is transmitted over the coaxial cable only uses a small portion of the bandwidth (amount of information that can be sent) that is available.  Some of that left over bandwidth is simply used to give you Internet access.  Cable speeds can theoretically go as high as 30Mbps (31,457,280 bits per second!) but most providers offer speeds between 1Mbps (1,048,576 bits per second) and 6Mbps download and 128Kbps to 768Kpbs upload speed.  The drawback to cable is your connection is shared with other businesses or neighbors in the area.  If there is a lot of traffic in your area you may notice that your internet connection seems slow.

Cons: Connection speed is shared with other people or customers in your area.  Response time when Internet is down may not be as fast as with a T1/PRI.

T1/PRI
A T1 is a digital trunk that carries data, voice or both.  In its most basic form a T1 is a tunnel that is capable of uploading or downloading 1.5Mbps worth of data.   This can consist of strictly data, up to 24 voice channels (think phone lines) or a combination of both.  A T1/PRI can easily support a company with 50 employee’s.  A T1/PRI has several advantages over DSL and Cable:

  1. The T1 bandwidth is dedicated to your company.  It is not effected by other people using their Internet connection.
  2. The T1 has a much higher SLA (Service Level Agreement).  If your T1 goes down, the phone company will have it back up and running much faster than if your cable or DSL goes down.

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What is a T1?

Published on November 29, 2008 by in Articles

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By Mitch Scott

A T1 is a digital trunk that carries data, voice or both.  In its most basic form a T1 is a tunnel that is capable of sending or receiving 1.5Mbps worth of data.   This can consist of strictly data, up to 24 voice channels (think phone lines) or a combination of both.  The phone company transmits your voice (which is analog) over the T1 (which is digital) by converting your voice to data and then sending it over the T1.  When the data reaches its destination it is then converted back to an analog signal.

When used for transmitting voice a T1 is divided into up to 24 64K channels.  Why 64K?  In order to digitally transmit your voice the sound wave that is created when you talk is sampled 8,000 times per second at 8-bit resolution (8,000×8=64,000).  Why 24 channels?  64 x 24 = 1.534 (1.5Mbps).

You can have a T1 that is strictly for the transmission of data or a T1 that is strictly for the transmission of voice but what really makes the T1 attractive is when you use a combination of both.  A dynamic T1allocates bandwidth for the voice channels (phone lines) ONLY when they are needed!  If there are 2 people on a phone call then 128K of the T1 is used for the voice conversation and the rest is available for your data (surfing the internet, streaming media, etc).  If no one is on the phone then the total 1.5Mbps is available for data.

About Emergent

Emergent, formerly Telecommunication Professionals, Inc., has been serving the Orlando – Central Florida region since 1988. Emergent is a network services, business telephone and data communications company that specializes in technology solutions that give clients a competitive advantage and increased profitability. The company implements technology plans by providing products that fit the needs of the client. The mission of Emergent is to provide cost justification and investment protection.

The company maintains a full staff of factory-trained, certified technicians, sales associates and customer advocates that believe the dimensions of service quality are time and timeliness of the delivery of the service, completeness of the service, courtesy of those giving the service, consistency of the service, accessibility & convenience of obtaining the service, accuracy of the service, and responsiveness to emergencies.

For more information on Emergent call (407) 834-2700 or visit www.askemergent.com.

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Big Savings With Cellular Gateways

Published on October 24, 2008 by in Articles

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by Mitch Scott, Emergent

ORLANDO, FL — Nov 2, 2008 — A major expense for small businesses can be their cell phone bill.  This expense is usually from calls to the office from a cell phone or calls from the office to an outside workers cell phone.  There are ways to lower this expense by using a cellular gateway.

A cellular gateway is a device that allows you to lower your overall communications cost by taking advantage of the free cell phone to cell phone calls that are included in most cell phone plans.

Here is how it works.  The cellular gateway connects to a telephone line port on your telephone system and routes incoming and outgoing calls (to your cell phones) through a GSM wireless network.  When an employee in the office calls the cell phone of another employee, the call is routed through the cellular gateway allowing you to take advantage of the FREE cell phone to cell phone calls.  When a employee calls the office using a cell phone, they call the number of the cellular gateway also taking advantage of the FREE cell phone to cell phone calls.

cellular gateway

If you are entertaining the thought of adding a cell phone gateway to your telephone system there are a few things you will need to consider.  You need to verify that your cell phone plan includes free cell phone to cell phone calls.  You need to verify that your telephone system has a spare telephone line port to which you can connect the cell phone gateway.  Although not necessary, the ability for your telephone system to do LCR (least cost routing) is also a bonus.

You will need to contact your cell phone company and order a SIM card, and a phone number (there will likely be a monthly charge for this).  This SIM card will be installed in the cellular gateway and the phone number will be the number used to contact the office through the cell phone gateway.

Communication Outages

An added bonus of using a cellular gateway is the ability to route calls that would normally go to your main telephone number to the cellular gateway in the event of an outage from your telephone company.

More Information

If you would like more information about cellular gateways or an estimate of how much you can save on your cell phone bill by using cellular gateways please contact us at sales@askemergent.com or call 407-834-2700 ext 2206.

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So Your Company Wants to Adopt VoIP…

Published on August 15, 2008 by in Articles

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How Do You Know If Your Network Is Ready to Make the Transition?

Roger Scott of Emergent Discusses the Importance of Conducting a Network Assessment

ORLANDO, FL – July 30, 2008 – While the cost savings and new applications of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are rapidly attracting many small to mid sized companies to this popular communication solution, it may come with a significant price to your network. Not only must your network carry more traffic, but VoIP traffic demands very high performance and is more sensitive to normal network problems like delays and choppy communication. Even modest levels of impairment, unnoticed by users of most data applications, will cause significant caller frustration and will not sit well with your customers, business partners, or even your own employees.

Before investing in a large-scale VoIP deployment or even in a small trial, you need to know how well your network infrastructure will handle the additional, quality-sensitive voice traffic. Many seemingly well-planned trials encounter delay after delay, exceed cost estimates, and are eventually cancelled when the network proves unable to meet the unique requirements VoIP places on it. However, these business issues can easily be avoided if your telecommunications provider properly assesses your network ahead of time to truly understand the scope and type of work required to ensure a successful transition to VoIP.

Gartner reports that 85% of networks are not ready for VoIP. What’s even more shocking is that 75% of companies that do not perform a pre-implementation analysis of their network infrastructure will not realize a successful implementation. These are astonishing statistics because without conducting a network assessment with a quality assessment tool the potential for wasting time and money is extremely high. In order to increase the likelihood of a successful VoIP implementation, an evaluation of the network must be properly executed and should include the following four steps.

1. Pre-Deployment Assessment
The pre-deployment assessment step analyzes the current capabilities of the network, evaluates its ability to support VoIP, identifies potential problems, and determines the requirements needed to handle expected call traffic. It is strongly recommended that the pre-deployment test is conducted prior to the purchase or installation of any VoIP equipment. The analysis should include such items as bandwidth, utilization, jitter, throughput and latency.

2. Post-Deployment Assessment
The purpose of the post-deployment assessment is to gain a complete understanding of VoIP quality and network efficiencies prior to turning it on. This step determines the level of success and prevents issues with call quality or dropped calls. Whenever new equipment is introduced to a network the chance for unexpected issues rises; therefore, it is critical that post-deployment assessment is not overlooked. This assessment should be immediately performed so any changes can be made in a timely manner.

3. Regular Maintenance Assessment
As you’re probably aware, your network is dynamic and constantly evolves. New devices such as IP phones, laptops, switches, and routers are added or removed. Whether it’s a minor change or a major one it will impact your network. Therefore, it is important to re-evaluate your network regularly to identify any faults so they can be corrected as soon as possible. Conducting ongoing assessments will help your organization increase quality, optimize system infrastructure, and reduce costs.

4. Break/Fix Strategy
Unfortunately, unforeseen things may happen to a network that’s not readily identified by your IT department. The situation may be brought to your company’s attention by a customer, an employee or business partner. The Yankee Group has reported that some companies’ labor costs grew 30 to 40 percent with VoIP because of dealing with network problems. Having a network assessment tool in place enables one to take action quickly, diagnose the problem, and resolve it, while minimizing its impact to the system as a whole.

Essentially, these four key steps have illustrated the primary objective and the many benefits of conducting network assessments. Whether your company is about to take the plunge into VoIP or has already gone down that path, it is critical to deploy a tool that can accurately analyze your network. Surprisingly, most companies overlook this integral component of the VoIP implementation process and the research clearly shows its negative impact.

As you tap into this relatively new communication solution that’s changing how business gets done, make sure you ask yourself this question. What is my telecommunications provider doing to create a network environment that enables may company to take full advantage of VoIP? If network assessment is not included in the response then something is definitely wrong.
ABOUT EMERGENT
Emergent, formerly Telecommunication Professionals, Inc., founded in 1988, is a network services, business telephone and data communications company that specializes in technology solutions that give clients a competitive advantage and increased profitability. The company implements technology plans by providing products that fit the client’s needs. Emergent’s mission is to provide cost justification and investment protection.

The company maintains a full staff of factory-trained, certified technicians, sales associates and customer advocates that believe the dimensions of service quality are time and timeliness of the delivery of the service, completeness of the service, courtesy of those giving the service, consistency of the service, accessibility & convenience of obtaining the service, accuracy of the service, and responsiveness to emergencies.

For more information on Emergent call (407) 834-2700 or visit www.askemergent.com.

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 UX5000 is a scalable, cost-effective, and reliable SMB solution
 
IRVING, TX, March 12, 2008 — NEC Unified Solutions, Inc. (NEC), a global leader in enterprise business communications, today announces a new IP platform that provides enhanced features, functionality and scalability in a cost-effective manner for customers. The new UX5000 will be showcased at VoiceCon Orlando 2008, March 17-20 in NEC’s booth #1001.
 
“Small and medium businesses are looking for a communication system that offers a multitude of benefits including the ability to scale; support for VoIP as well as traditional voice; centralized management; and increased productivity, while still providing investment protection,” said Al Kelley, VP and GM, UBSD, NEC Unified Solutions. “UX5000 is the latest solution in NEC’s extremely successful portfolio of VoIP systems and offers all these benefits and more through an advanced feature set.”

The new UX5000 is a next generation system which includes:

– UX-Mail, an in-skin unified messaging solution with a single box for voice, fax and email; 
– UX IntraMail, an embedded voice mail solution for smaller businesses; 
– SIP trunking for standardized VoIP;
– CygniLink for transparent networking of UX5000 over a data communication IP network; 
– Automatic call distribution including real-time supervisory screens and historical reports; 
– Interactive voice response with customized and flexible prompts; 
– Voice response system with support for voice recording and playback; 
– Desktop software suite for PC Assistant, PC Attendant and UX softphone;
– Communication Analyst for call analysis and tracking;
– Multimedia conference server; and InRouter for all-in-one networking and monitoring of the IP system.

In addition, the new solution will support the latest generation of NEC’s UX terminals, UX IP Series and UX Digital Series. These innovative new terminals includes a new family of IP and digital terminals that move the standard desktop phone to the next level with an extensive feature set and modular design. The UX Series terminals provide:

– scalability and customization
– SIP support;
– investment protection;
– New IP Platform for SMBs from NEC
– XML open interface support;
– intuitive interfaces; and productivity-enhancing features such as menu-driven soft key functions and easy-access function keys.

The revolutionary modular design allows for combinations that fit almost any business’s needs or personalization requirements.

The new UX5000 IP system and UX IP and Digital terminal series will be generally available the end of April 2008.

Click here for more information.
  
About NEC Unified Solutions
  
NEC Unified Solutions helps companies unify their business through innovative software, applications, development tools, and services. NEC offers a complete portfolio for unified communications, wireless, voice, data and managed services, as well as systems integration and application development. NEC Unified Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation of America, serves Fortune 1000, as well as small to mid-sized businesses across the globe in vertical markets such as hospitality, education, government and healthcare. For more information, visit www.necunified.com.

Click here for more information.

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