Archive for the ‘Business phone system’ Category

What is Hot Desking on a VoIP Phone System?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

We get asked this question a lot so I wanted to feature it in our blog.  I’ll go over the actual feature of Hot Desking, and then talk about how to apply it to gain efficiency in your business.

Hot Desking is simply the ability to log into any phone on your system, and have your user profile and settings populated onto that device.  An IP phone is pushed information and processing power from the PBX (your phone server).  Because of this, you can go to any end point and log in, which essentially tells your phone system to push your specific profile to that phone.  With Hot Desking, your extension is whatever phone you’re currently logged into.

Hot Desking can help accommodate your efficient use of office space.  “Hoteling” is a concept that is become more popular in corporate America.  It allows workers to commute to the most convenient office, and to whichever work station they please, any given day.  In a “Hoteling” scenario the employee would setup their laptop and log into the phone at that work station.  All of their calls and messages would now be sent to that IP phone.

Other Applications

Hoteling is just one practical application for deploying the Hot Desking feature at your business.  How about an employee who has to travel to another part of the office to prepare a presentation?  Once they get to the work area, they can log into that phone so they’re fully functional and efficient even while away from their desk.

Law firms often have multiple offices in the same region, to best accommodate their clientele.  It’s common for a lawyer to work in the Baltimore office on Monday and Tuesday, have a deposition at the Washington DC office on Wednesday, and then client meetings in the Annapolis office on Thursday and Friday.  Hot Desking is the perfect application in this scenario because the attorney can log in on any phone in each office and be fully connected.  No more searching and guessing to find out what office they’re working out of today.

Medical offices with multiple locations also see a great benefit in Hot Desking.  An optometrist may have five or six offices in a thirty mile radius, and he or she will typically travel and work out of each of them, depending on the week.  With Hot Desking, they’re always connected to their voice mail, and easily accessible via their extension number.

If you have any more questions about Hot Desking, please reach out to us.  McEnroe Voice & Data implements business phone systems and voice networks for customers in the Mid-Atlantic, including Southern PA, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia.

What is Mobile Twinning?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

What is Mobile Twinning?  Mobile Twinning is a feature on many business phone systems, or PBXs, that allow a user to link an external number to their desk extension.  The external number is typically a cell phone, hence the term “mobile twinning” or “cell twinning”.  This means that whenever your desk phone rings, so too will your “twinned” phone.  You can choose to answer the call on either phone at that point.  If you don’t answer the call at all, your office phone system will pull the call back and put the caller in your work voice mail.

What Are the Advantages of Mobile Twinning?

There are three big advantages your business can leverage with mobile twinning.  The first is fairly straightforward; as you go mobile, so does your extension.  We’re not always tethered to our desks.  So when you go out to lunch, or are driving to a meeting, mobile twinning helps you stay connected to your business.  Travelling for work?  Now your office can transfer calls straight to your cell phone, if it’s twinning

The second advantage of twinning is the fact that your PBX will pull the call back to your office voice mail.  Customers and coworkers aren’t getting your personal voice mail message, which may be something like “Hey it’s Bryan, leave a message”.  Instead they hear, “Thank you for calling McEnroe Voice & Data, if this is a service request please press ‘0’ to speak with one of our customer service representatives, otherwise leave your name, number, and a message and I will call you back at my earliest convenience.”  Not only is my work message more professional, but it also has important service access directions in case the caller has an immediate request that I’m unavailable to handle.  The other advantage of every caller being pulled back to my work voice mail is that now all my messages are in one place.

The third advantage of twinning is probably my favorite… you don’t have to give anybody your cell phone number.  This is good for you AND your customer.  A customer doesn’t have to play eeni-meanie-mini-mo anymore to guess which number to call, and they don’t have to worry about calling you on your cell phone and disrupting a vacation.  This isn’t denying access to your callers, it’s creating consistency and allows your office to professionally answer the call and then transfer them if you are available.

Here is a great video about twinning, or dynamic extension.

Different Types of Twinning

The nuances of this feature vary by manufacturer.  Keep in mind that manufacturers typically have different names for mobile twinning.  Avaya, for instance, uses the term “mobile twinning” but Mitel calls it “dynamic extension” or “personal call routing”.  Other common nomenclature also includes “find me, follow me”.

The Avaya IP Office platform, which currently can scale to 1200 users, can link one external number to your office extension.  People typically choose their cell phone number, but a home office number can also be used.  Mitel, on the other hand, allows up to eight devices to be linked to your extension.  Popular choices include your cell phone, home phone, vacation home, and hotel phone.  And also keep in mind that you, the user, can turn this feature on or off with the push of button, or click of a mouse.

For such a simple feature, the advantages you gain as a business can be enormous.  Most phone systems have a form of twinning available, but it’s also important to make sure you have an experienced voice company taking care or your system and infrastructure.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and call McEnroe Voice & Data.  You can ask for me, and if I’m not in the office, don’t worry, I’ll be twinned.

Written by Bryan Del Monte


Offices in Baltimore and DC

Who Can Move My Phone System in DC/Baltimore?

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Moving or expanding your company office can be a source of tremendous stress and upheaval — but it also offers an opportunity to upgrade and improve a variety of office features, including your telecommunications system.  Picking the right company to move your phone system is important, it’s your lifeline.

Many businesses find that they have outgrown their phone system long before they outgrow their office space. When planning a move to a new or expanded office, it is important to examine all aspects of your telecommunications needs — number and location of phones, voice mail, structured cabling, voice and data integration — to ensure that your new system responds favorably to your present needs, and will be able to expand to accommodate future growth.

There are a number of vital considerations to help you plan effectively for a phone system relocation or expansion: the most important being selecting the right partner to guide you through the process. By choosing a leading telecommunications provider your company can turn a stressful situation into an easy transition eliminating any interruption to your business. However, selecting an inexperienced partner will cost your organization time, money, and possibly some of your customers.

The following check list will help you through the relocation or expansion process so you can make sure you’ve identified the right company to keep your phones ringing with no interruption in service:

• Select A Telecommunications Provider With Experience, and Rely On Their Expertise. You should elect to work with a provider that has expertise at the installation, expansion and relocation of corporate phone systems. Does the provider design and install communications systems using the latest technology, including the integration of your office computers with your phone system. In addition to installing your phone system, will the provider consult with you on how your business can maximize your communications?

• Communicate Your Expectations. Ask your communications provider to assist you in thinking your plans through on paper first, ensuring that the proper phone configuration is agreed upon prior to installation. Make sure that the provider will work with you to effectively implement any needed changes to your existing system, including adding voice mail or upgrading the phone switch. Be sure to obtain an accurate indication of the time requirements needed to make changes to your system.

• Design Now and Save Later. An experienced telecommunications partner will take the time to review your facility and electrical drawings, which will aid in developing a game plan. They should provide you with design input, space planning and a communications layout for your facilities’ entire structured cabling infrastructure. This should include drawings of specific technical components such as the equipment room, telephone system, voice mail, server configurations, overhead paging and music, wireless IP, and Internet access.

The key is making sure your provider builds a compact, easy-to-manage, centralized equipment room, which acts as the hub for your business. Ideally, you should receive a design that is flexible and one that can expand as your business grows. Poor designs will cost you every time you call your provider when you need to make even a minor change to your system.

Proper design and implementation in the blueprint stage saves having to retrofit and issue change orders later, which can be extremely costly. Leading companies do not charge for consultation services or design input. This is something to think about as you select a partner.

• Set A Realistic Move Date. If you want to eliminate headaches give yourself considerable time to plan ahead prior to your move or expansion date. Unexpected events almost always cause delays, and your business will function more smoothly if your move occurs when everyone is ready, instead of in the midst of a last-minute “scramble.” You should work closely with a telecommunications systems provider to help you set a realistic schedule for your phone system implementation. This will allow you to alert your customers and vendors of any anticipated phone number changes well in advance of your move date.

• Prevent an Interruption in Service. For many businesses, the early installation of phone lines, Internet access and new equipment may be critical to having dual service and to providing your customers with uninterrupted service during the entire move. If your provider waits until the last minute to switch-over and does not have a plan to provide redundant service then you know something is wrong. An interruption in service can have a lasting impact on any organization.

• Don’t Let Anything Fall Through the Cracks. You should contact your communications system provider and give them advanced notice prior to your move to schedule a complete analysis of your present and future phone needs. Due to the highly competitive nature of local, long-distance, and Internet service, this additional “shopping” time can result in substantial savings. A reliable partner will walk you through this process identifying areas to save money, especially if you find yourself pressed for time.

Finally, make sure you redirect your entire local, toll-free, and fax numbers. Order this work to be done far in advance of your move as it is vital that this important service be fully operational on Day One in your new facility.

Selecting the right telecommunications partner can make a world of difference when taking on the challenge of relocation or expanding your current facility. Choose an experienced provider that can set up a game plan for you and give you a sense of security that the transition will be a success. Leading providers will eliminate any unforeseen headaches and make what could be seen as a daunting task an easy one. If you don’t, your business could ultimately be in big trouble.

McEnroe Voice & Data is proud to have helped move hundreds of our customers into their new offices.  What’s more, with McEnroe crews coordinating at both the old and new locations, our customers experience zero telecom down time.