Category Archives: Your Single Source Solution

Customer Service Team

Questions To Ask When Reviewing A Cloud Based Contact Center Solution

In a previous blog article, we stated that it might be a good time to consider moving your Contact Center to the Cloud. This post is going a step further and provide you with a few questions to ask prospective contact center cloud suppliers.

  1. Unified Platform
    Does their contact center solution manage the end-to-end user experience?
    Does it consolidate your infrastructure and connectivity into one.
  2. MultiChannel/Omnichannel
    What communication methods are supported and are they integrated?
    How easily can their system make changes to the call routing setup?
  3. Scalability and Reliability
    Does their platform have a published uptime guarantee?
    What is the fail over and redundancy features, any options for SD-WAN?
  4. Cloud Expertise
    Is their solution 100% cloud-focused?
    How long have they been in business?
  5. Support
    How much experience does their support team have in implementation and best practices?  Do they come on site to train my users on the system?
  6. Maturity
    How many companies have adopted their solution and who are they?
    Can they provide references?
  7. Scalability
    How many agents can you support across all customers?
    How many interactions are supported at a time?

We hope these questions will help you move in the right direction as you decide if a cloud contact center is for you.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides voice, data, mobile and cloud business solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact the TeleData Select team at 404-257-1502 or CONTACT US  for via email for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of upgrading to a new cloud based contact center.

Cost Cutting Sign

Cost Containment Can Lower Your Telecom Expenses

For too long, we have watched companies scale back critical segments of their businesses.   From employee head counts and marketing budgets to mission critical customer service functions, all have been impacted.   However, as the economy continues to improve, we are seeing more and more companies starting to move back into growth mode. They are reviewing their telecom services as they relate to security, compliance, internet speeds, VoIP phone systems and more. 

 The smart ones are looking at their services with an eye for value and quality. Which ones are worth their cost and which ones are wasting money. They are wise to look for ways to reduce your operating costs, especially costs that are not advancing your business goals.

A good place to start looking for wasted money, is your telecom bill. Let’s face it:  phone and telecom bills are loaded with carrier cost recover fees and no-published fees like FCC, USLC, E911, FLSC charges and who knows what else.  Did you ever wonder what all these fees are for?  Some other items to watch out for are automatic renewals.  

Additionally, if your business has multiple locations with numerous phone lines, faxes, modems, fire and security alarm lines, you may no longer know what exactly you are getting billed for. You might even be able to just cancel some non-necessary telecom lines to reduce your overall telecom costs. 

Your first step to saving money is to perform a Cost Containment Audit. The audit will review all of your telecom bills, looking for overcharges and unused services to uncover wasted dollars. You owe it to your company’s bottom line to look at all expenses. 

Teledata Select offers a complimentary Cost Containment Audit of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses.

Bill Consolidation

Bill Consolidation Makes It Look Easy

As explained in a previous blog, there are a lot of benefits to using an Aggregator. A benefit worth delving deeper into is Telecom Bill Consolidation.

Instead of receiving a bill for each service you have contracted, consolidation combines them into one bill reflecting all of your telecom services. The goal is to receive as few bills as possible.

Having fewer bills to pay is just the beginning of billing consolidation benefits. Additionally you get:

  • Easier tracking of the services you have contracted. This really shines when you are managing multiple locations.
  • Lower administration costs. Receiving, Verifying and paying your accounts payable canBill Consolidation be a full time job, especially as your business grows. The accounting industry rule of thumb is that it costs $11 to process each bill.
  • Less time processing and more time analyzing. Your bills reflect the costs of doing business. Making sure you are not paying for what you don’t need is a critical and on-going effort.

There are two types of Bill Consolidation solutions. Aggregators lease circuits from the big network companies like ATT, Verizon and Sprint. They then add services and features to support the everchanging technology needs of today’s businesses. By bundling everything together, they can generate one simplified bill.

The other option is a consolidation service. These companies have set up relationships with service providers to receive your bills where they are combined and forwarded on to you in a simplified easy to read layout. 

Every company is different in how they meet their telecom needs and how they are paid for. You’ll need to review all of your options against what you need. Then, compare the related costs and benefits of each. There is a lot of knowledge and experience needed to get the right services at the lowest price. A Telecom Broker specializes in all of these tasks and can save a lot of time and money over doing it yourself.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

Don MillerDon Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager located in Charlotte, NC. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business and technical experience.

 

Telecom Broker

Is 2018 your year to use a Telecom Broker?

From faster bandwidth to more useful technology, there are many sources for the telecom services your company needs to succeed.

One of them is via a Telecom Aggregator; Granite, Birch and Fusion are some of the names of companies that lease bandwidth. They then bundle this bandwidth with telecom services such as VoIP, Cloud Services, video Conferencing, etc. A result is that there is a lot of competition for your telecom budget dollars.

This is where a Telecom Broker comes in. A telecom broker represents a company in their search for the right services at the highest quality for the lowest price possible. They gather your requirements and meet with all the aggregators that can meet them. They collect all the bids and make a recommendation based on their knowledge of the company, the industry and the market. that we are experts at simplifying your telecom solutions so you can focus on your business. You don’t have to find and meet with Service providers, review their proposals and compare them by doing a cost/value analysis. You don’t have to keep up with the latest technologies with an eye for how they provide value to you. Teledata Select does all of that leg work for you.

A benefit of using a Telecom Broker is that our goal is to simplify your telecom solutions so you can focus on your business. You don’t have to find and meet with Service providers, review their proposals and compare them by doing a cost/value analysis. You don’t have to keep up with the latest technologies with an eye for how they provide value to you. Teledata Select does all of that leg work for you.

Once a service is agreed upon. Teledata Select manages the full install and turn up. We’ll get you and your staff the training you’ll need to make the most of your new technology.

We’re are also just a phone call away in case you need help with a user questions, service issues and even billing questions. In fact, using an aggregator simplifies your billing because you’ll only get one bill for all the services you use.

In closing, as an experienced Telecom Broker, We use our knowledge and experience of the industry to make sure that the telecom solution you select provides the best possible service at the lowest possible price.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

Don MillerDon Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager located in Greenville, SC. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business experience.

 

Internet Service Providers

New Year Resolutions for your Customer Service?

The New Year Celebrations have come and gone and the holiday decorations stored away for another year, it’s time to get on with business in 2018. Now is as good a time as any to sit down with your employees and staff to refocus their efforts to match up with your company’s charter.

I am not talking about just hanging a freshened up charter statement on the wall. This is about looking through the proverbial suggestion box and really reading the ideas with a view of how they match up with your company’s goals. Meet with the staff who are working your front lines and listen to what they are saying; the good, the bad and the ugly. Maybe answer a few customer service calls yourself.Customer Service Team

It is important to remember that call quality reflects on your company. If you are using VoIP, does it sound like your call center is halfway across the globe? Are voice or video calls choppy and garbled? If so, it might be time to upgrade your internet connection. Maybe there is better high speed internet services available to your locations.

Get to know your customers and how they are interacting with you. Are there any services and tools that can help you support your customers. The buzzword of the day is Omni-Channel Marketing. This allows customers to get in touch with you by whatever electronic means they have available to them. Consider things that will make your employees’ jobs easier? Find out how they feel about the tools they now have. What’s working, what’s wasting their time?

Are there any new tools or services out there that you can add to your sales offering that will be a demonstrable value-add for your customers? For example, Nexmo is a company that provides software to enable chat with your customer service team within your website. Just a warning, weigh the benefits of offering a useful product versus the risk that it is not fully baked. Do your research.

Look at what your competition is doing. It might be time to make sure your marketing strategy highlights why you are the better choice. Find out from your sales people what they are seeing out in the market by way of competition, customer needs and product trends.

Where is your company’s data stored? Is it stored securely and is it backed up? Check into backup services providers that can save your data off site. Microsoft Skydrive, Amazon Web Services and Google Drive are three big name data backup providers. If you already have a service, it’s always best to test that you can get the data back.

No one can really predict what 2018 will bring. If you keep your eyes and ears open to what is going on around you, the opportunities that present themselves will never be too far out of reach.

Happy New Year!!!

 

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

Don MillerDon Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager located in Greenville, SC. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business experience.

Handshake

The Benefits of a Telecom Aggregator

The telecom industry changes rapidly, in both the technology available and the costs to get and use it. It is hard for a small business to stay competitive if it is not keeping up with the technology available to it. That is where a Telecom Aggregator comes in.

Broker HandsTelecom Aggregators have established agreements with the local telecom service providers to resell their services. Typically, Aggregators can offer these services at a discount.

Aggregators are the single point of contact for all the services that they have resold. This allows for a simpler customer service experience when questions arise or services need to be changed.

The benefit becomes most apparent when a company with multiple locations gets bills and communication from multiple service providers.
Some of the benefits that Telecom Aggregators can provide are:

  • A single source for access to the best rates and service offerings for Data, Voice T1, PRI, POTS (Plain Old Telephone Lines), MPLS, Private line and wireless.
  • Provides cost saving alternatives for 800 inbound and International long distance.
  • Takes responsibility for verifying that bills are accurate and meet contractual obligations.
  • Delivers a comprehensive portfolio of service solutions to streamline costs.
  • Assembles, manages and seamlessly integrates multiple network providers into a single customer solution.
  • Provides carrier portfolio and solution expertise to address clients evolving growth initiatives.
  • Customizes telecom expense reporting for multi-locations.
  • Allows invoices to be paid by parent or individual sub-location.
  • Provides on One call for support and trouble resolution.
  • Improves overall support and simplify the customer experience.

In short, Telecom Aggregators shoulder the burden of negotiating with the service providers before the sale, managing the service installation(s) and handling customer service interactions after the sale. A good Telecom Aggregator provides a dedicated team that can handle any and all issues for all voice, data and cloud services.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

 

SD-WAN Logo

What are SD-WAN Benefits

The number of implementations of SD-WAN is growing by leaps and bounds. According to Gartner, spending on SD-WAN products will rise from the $129 million spent in 2016 to $1.24 billion in 2020. It is really only recently that it has crossed over into a widely accepted solution for WAN management, especially in the small and medium sized business market. We are getting a lot of questions about so I thought I would provide a non technical overview of what it is and why you might want it.

Before we get too far into the benefits, let’s define SD-WAN. Software-Defined WAN is a technology that distributes network traffic across traffic between the main office, branch/home offices and data center sites. It uses networking concepts that have been used to manage Datacenter Traffic to automatically determine the most effective way to route the traffic across Wide Area Networks.

SD-WAN Map

 

The main goal of SD-WAN technology is to deliver a secure reliable WAN connection with as much software-based technology as possible. This can be used to deliver basic WAN connectivity, or it can be used for premium business services such as VPN, WAN optimization, and applications delivery control.

I see four benefits to why a customer might want to implement SD WAN

  1. Lower cost for more bandwidth – If you have an MPLS implementation, you know that you are locked into a single provider for all of your endpoints that have top speed limits. On the other hand, SD-WAN is provider agnostic. It allows for multiple cheaper broadband connections of whatever type is available. The multiple conenctions can be blended to provide higher bandwidth.
  2. Provide backup internet connection in the event the primary internet circuit does down – The World’s Busiest Airport, Hartsfield Jackson, had a major power outage effecting thousands of people during the busiest travel time of the year. The first thing that I thought of was where was their backup power? Didn’t they have emergency generators and power coming from two sources.
    By implementing an SD WAN solution – this would provide an alternative pathway to keep their internet service working in the event of an outage. However, it is important to note that you should consider two diverse carrier or telecom provider pathways. Best practices for reliable uptime state that there should be at least 2 separate internet connections from different providers over separate pathways.
  1. Reduce costs by adding a backup disaster option – Not all that long ago, true QoS (Quality of service) for Voice over Internet telephone service, Telecom providers would recommend using a Managed Network to Network circuit called MPLS to connect your VoIP voice services. However, with the internet getting better and latency being reduced, many carriers are now OK with almost true QoS by using SD-WAN. By using two internet service providers plugged into an SD-WAN device, the voice and data packets are carried over the carrier with the least latency. Kind of like driving down the interstate highway using switching lanes to the least congested lane. By canceling out the managed circuit from a VoIP provider, you could potentially offset the cost of a second internet circuit and implement SD-WAN while still providing QoS.
  1. Peace of mind – Most of us would be OK if we lost our phone service for a while, but not so happy about losing an internet connection. I remember not so long ago, it was worth it to pay the $20.00 a month at a Starbucks to use their internet service. The same with airports and hotels. Luckily, those days are gone but our need to be on a good internet is greater than ever. A redundant internet connection is a core benefit for SD-WAN and removes the uncertainty of the impact of a single provider’s internet service going out.

Although a newer technology, SD-WAN has been living up to its billing as a tool that can provide greater business capabilities at a lower cost. Reviewing how SD-WAN benefits can support your business is worth your time.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

 

baby NY and Father Time

Looking back on Technology

While walking the aisles of Best Buy the other day, I got to thinking about how far technology has come in my life time. It is said that the cell phone in your pocket has 1000’s of times more computing power than the computer that got the Apollo 11 to the moon and back. I thought it would be fun to see how much 2017 technology used by us consumers has changed over the years.  

Computers:

Dual Floppy Disk Drives were how we shared information before the internet and computer viruses. At 1.44 megabytes, they wouldn’t come close to being able to store a single picture from your phone, a single MP3 song or the average Kindle Book.

Old Desktop PC        Tablet Computer

Phones:

When a phone was just a phone but one of the coolest things you thought you would ever see.

Old Brick Phone               iPhone X    

Cable TV:

Unless you count a younger sibling that you could order around, the first cable box didn’t have a remote and needed a clear channel 2 or 3 to work on.

Old Cable Box       Cable Channel Lineup Screen             

Video Rental:

Remember “Be Kind, Rewind”?

Blockbuster Sign    Netflix Home Screen

Video Gaming:

It would be an interesting test to see how long the original game of pong would keep a gamer’s attention today…..

    Modern Gamer Setup 

Watches:

Its amazing how a smart watch went from Nerd to Hip!

Calculator Watch    Smart Watch        

 

Sure, I still don’t have flying car in my garage but we definitely have come a long way in a very short time. The really impressive thing about these advancements is that with all of these giant step advancements, the prices continues to fall making them available to wider and wider audiences. This pushes demand for more and more technology that makes people’s lives better and look forward to using.

We look forward to updating this post next year to see how the photos above will change and what photos we use that we can’t even imagine now. Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018.

 

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

Crowded Office

Getting To Simple, Aggregating your Telecom Service.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the owners of companies with multiple locations. They were looking for a way to consolidate all of their telecom bills into one easy to manage invoice. By the end of the discussion, I realized that they were really looking for a simpler way to manage their Telecom services; Consolidation of multiple invoices, reduce overall cost, receive better service and support when ordering or downsizing telecom services and have just one company to call that can handle all their needs.

Studies have shown that over 60% of companies with multiple locations are unaware of their exact communication cost. The bills can vary in format depending on vendor and location. Billing ConsolidationSome can contain hundreds of pages. To add further complexity, monthly invoices can have different rates plans, contract terms and details of charges that are very difficult to review.

If it gets done at all, reviewing and insuring that telecom bills are correct is a time consuming task for a company’s IT and Accounts Payable teams.

So what’s the answer? More and more companies are hiring an aggregator service to manage their telecom vendors. An aggregator becomes the single face to a customer to all of their telecom suppliers. They combine invoices, insure their accuracy and manage the resolution of any discrepancy. They’ll manage any service changes that the company has requested.

There are many Aggregating services out there. Before selecting one, ask the following questions:

  1. Can I have one bill for all of my telecom services?
  2. Is your service compatible with my accounting software?
  3. How many telecom carriers can you consolidate onto one invoice?
  4. Do you have a dedicated project manager or one point of contact?
  5. Which vendors do you have experience with and how long have you been in business?
  6. Can you absorb my existing contracts or I do not have to pay early termination for conversion?
  7. Do you have an easy to use invoice and can you show me an example?
  8. When I have an issue or need support, who do I call?

In conclusion, the right aggregator is a good solution for many telecom users, be they companies with multiple locations or even a single location with multiple vendors. The important thing is hiring the right aggregator.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

 

Austin Mural

We are at the Channel Partners Evolution Conference

Channel Partners Evolution Logo

Hello from the Great State of Texas, Austin in particular. We are here for the 2017 Channel Partners Evolution Conference. The theme this year is about how solution providers must evolve to meet the changing needs of the end customers. There will be presentations of the latest technology offerings, innovative business strategies, speakers from the industry and more. Agents, VARs, MSPs, integrators and consultants will converge to meet vendors with state-of-the-art services and partner programs, network with peers and take in a new slate of educational programming.

It will be a busy couple of days but don’t doubt that we won’t be taking in some of that famous Texas BBQ that we have been hearing so much about.

Follow us on twitter as we update you on the comings and goings.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.