Archive for the ‘Hosted Solution’ Category

The Basics of a Hosted Phone System

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Hosted Phone System with McEnroe Voice & Data

If your small business is shopping for a new phone system this year, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “hosted phone system” thrown around. While “hosted” might seem like a buzzword, these systems are not just here to stay, but are affordable alternatives to traditional telecommunications.

Hosted Phone Systems 101

The terms “hosted” and “VoIP” might be used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between the two. Just like all squares are rectangles but all rectangles aren’t squares, all hosted systems are Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, but not all VoIP systems are hosted. Hosted phone systems use the internet to transmit data, however, the heart of the system (servers, applications, etc.) is located at a secure data center, not at your business.

How Does a Hosted System Work?

In modern hosted systems, like those set up by McEnroe Voice & Data, your phone system will have servers and switches held in a data center, and you pay a fee to connect to your phone system. You will have IP-based phones on your desks that will automatically connect back to the off-site system. At the data center, we will take care of completing updates and upkeep as needed, so that you don’t have to worry about installing upgrades, completing repairs and the stress of managing a phone system. You will also enjoy monitoring and support around the clock.

What Are the Benefits of a Hosted Phone System?

  • No Server Onsite: With a hosted solution, your phone system resides in the cloud, in a controlled environment.  Power outages, user error, and irregular temperatures in your IT room are something you won’t have to worry about.
  • Effortless Upgrades: Are you worried about upgrading your whole system just for it to be outdated in a year or two? A hosted phone system is constantly being upgraded and monitored at a remote location, so you never even need to think about it, your system will always be up-to-date.
  • Line Sharing: McEnroe’s unique hosted phone solution allows sharing lines at multiple locations. If you have a business with two or three locations, you don’t need to have strict dedicated lines at each one, rather, you can have 20 lines total and share them between all your locations. Moreover, if all your lines are in use, our hosted phone system will allow you to “burst” and use another line from the cloud, so no more missed calls!

Partner with McEnroe Voice & Data for Your Hosted Phone System

McEnroe Voice & Data provides versatile, affordable and flexible telecommunications and security solutions to businesses throughout Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. With access to the best manufacturers and excellent customer service, you can trust McEnroe. To learn more, please call us at (410) 785-1600.

Should I Get A Hosted Phone System for My Business?

Friday, March 9th, 2018

We hear this question a lot from customers and potential customers.  Some of them have old, antiquated phone systems, others have somewhat up to date premise-based phone systems.  Either way, the question remains: Should I switch to a hosted phone system?

Is the answer as simple as “Yes” or “No”?  Of course it is!  But not right away.  Not before the right questions are asked to determine if you business’ infrastructure, connectivity, culture, budget, can handle a hosted phone system or not.

If you’ve investigated hosted phone systems for your business before you have no doubt encountered a litany of options.  Most of them are between $20 – $30 per “seat” per month depending on what option you want.  Some can cost more, if you have advanced features, or a call center setup.  Did you get a chance to meet with a sales rep in person?  Did they go through qualifying questions to make sure the implementation and ongoing operation and service of the system won’t be a complete disaster?  Hopefully.

If you do talk to one of the dozens – if not hundreds – of hosted providers, do me a favor; ask them if they’re certain a hosted system is right for your business.  See what they say.  These companies have one option and one option only… hosted.  If you were trying to find the best pickup truck, would you go to a dealership that only sells Ford and expect to get an honest assessment of Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and Nissan trucks?

At McEnroe Voice & Data, we have 4 main products.  Mitel premise-based, Avaya premise-based, Mitel Hosted (MiCloud), and Star2Star hosted.  We intentionally have 2 strategic options in each category because they are all reputable and quality manufacturers whose product(s) offer slight variations that allow us to uniquely qualify each customer.  We are the dealership that offers Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and Nissan.  This allows us to be a true consultant and figure out the best product for your company, instead of trying to fit your company into one product.

Back to the question we posed at the beginning.  Should I get a hosted phone system for my business?  My advice is this; deal with a company that has multiple offerings, but if you’re talking with a one-trick-pony hosted provider ask the following qualifying questions:

  • How much bandwidth per call does your solution require? (most will say 92k)
  • Will I need a dedicated circuit for this hosted solution? (most will say maybe or yes. Some can do BYOBandwidth, if it’s enough bandwidth)
  • How do you implement QOS (Quality of Service)? (if there is no mention of an edge device that does ‘traffic shaping’ and separates data and voice traffic, proceed with caution)
  • How many users are on this product? or – How many seats do you have in the marketplace? (if it’s anything under 250,000 users, proceed with caution)
  • What happened if somebody has to come on-site to troubleshoot, who do you send out? (hosted companies will swear up and down they can troubleshoot everything remotely. Really?  What if there’s a faulty jack, faulty cabling, user error, POE switch issues?  There’s no possible way to troubleshoot everything remotely, but they’ll do anything possible to avoid incurring the cost of sending an on-site technician – which most of them don’t have anyway)

There are a bunch of other questions to help qualify a hosted solution, but those will give you a good start.

My best advice is to seek out a reputable, local company who has multiple offerings and a good track record.  Our goal is not how many users per month we can sign up.  Our goal is the right product, the right technology, for each unique customer.

How Can Call Center Software Increase My Business Revenue?

Friday, April 29th, 2016
call center software

Call center software makes workflow more efficient and improves the customer service experience.

Investing in call center software can dramatically improve your efficiency and customer service experience. Call center software is also known as contact center software, because it’s more than just taking phone calls, it’s also answering customer service email and online chat from your customers. These multiple forms of media can all be rolled into one platform to make service and access to your customers streamlined and convenient. Read on to learn more about how your business can increase profits by using call center software. (more…)