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Do you have a Back Up Plan if your PRI/T-1 Fails?

Many of you may have a PRI or a T-1 circuit connected to your business telephone system as your main source of dial tone. A T-1 has 24 channels (trunks) and a PRI has 23 channels for voice communications. Each channel serves as a single telephone trunk/line and can conduct a call with the outside world; it is the same as having 23 or 24 separate phone lines. Unlike traditional analog (copper) lines, telephone numbers are not assigned to each channel. Going forward we will refer to both types of circuits as a PRI.

PRO TIP: Contact Comtex for your Bergen County business telephone systems services.

What happens if this PRI circuit goes down?

What happens if this PRI circuit goes down? You lose your ability to make and receive calls. This can be disastrous to your bottom line because you have the potential to lose money and customers. There are several points of failure; the carrier’s central office, the cabling from the central office to your location, carrier provided equipment and your telephone system. If any of these points fail, callers will hear a ring with no answer or a fast busy. Even worse, they will not reach your office. The worst possible outcome is that the caller is impatient or thinks you are out of business and calls another vendor.

There are some ways to minimize this potential business nightmare.

First, you can install back up telephone lines from a different carrier that are different in form (technology); i.e. copper, FIOS, cable or SIP phone lines. This way if the PRI goes down, you still have alternative dial tone connected and working in your phone system. Once they are connected to your system, you have your PRI carrier program your PRI with direct trunk overflow (DTO). In the event of a PRI failure, all calls made to your main telephone number will automatically be forwarded to the backup lines in the phone system. In this scenario, the number of back up lines connected to the system will limit the number of incoming simultaneous calls.

With DTO, there should be minimal disruption in service. Keep in mind that you may only receive as many calls as the number of backup lines in the system. If the number of incoming calls forwarded exceed the number of backup lines, the callers will hear a busy signal because there are no open lines to reach your telephone system. For example, if you have 4 backup lines in the system, the fifth incoming call cannot reach you phone system and you will not get that call. Typically, we suggest 4 backup lines because circuits are usually not down more than 1 hour. Please keep in mind that some carriers charge a monthly fee for DTO but it is well worth the cost if you want to ensure the continuity of your business.

Another strategy to maximize the number of incoming calls received during a PRI outage is to have Direct Inward Dial (DID) numbers configured on your PRI. In addition to a company’s published main telephone number, a PRI circuit can provide a block of telephone numbers for calling a company. Much like assigning an email address to each employee, each DID serves as a dedicated telephone number assigned to an individual employee. It allows an outside caller to directly reach the employee’s extension without the assistance of an automated attendant or operator. For more information on DIDs, please see this blog. Once employees have assigned DIDs, the PRI carrier can program DTO for all of the DIDs. Upon a PRI failure, each DID is forwarded to the employee’s cell phone. While these calls will not be routed to the phone system, at least they will be answered by the intended recipient or the employee’s cell phone voice mail.

Take note that not all carriers will provide DTO to multiple alternative telephone numbers. If they do, you should find out if there is an additional charge and whether it is automatically effectuated upon a PRI failure. Some carriers that offer this option may provide the service but it will not be automatic; the carrier may require the customer to visit a portal to initiate the call forward for each telephone number (DID).

If you choose not to pay the monthly fee for DTO, you have the option to call the carrier when you realize the PRI is down. However, keep in mind that it may take a bit of time for you to realize the outage and then to reach the carrier to effectuate the call forward (DTO). Some carriers will not commit to implementing the call forward immediately, claiming it takes some time to process the request.

If you already have DTO service on your PRI, we highly recommend a call to your PRI carrier to confirm the telephone number assigned for the DTO upon failure. We know of at least one client that was paying the monthly fee for DTO but the carrier failed to program the call forward telephone number in the DTO service. Unfortunately, this came to light when the PRI failed and they were not receiving the calls on the backup lines installed in the system. It is also imperative to confirm they have the correct telephone number for DTO.

Take into consideration that there are carrier charges for DIDs and in most cases, DTO. In addition, there may also be equipment and/or labor charges from your telecom vendor to connect back up trunks in the system.  Please contact your carrier and telecom vendor to discuss these business continuity considerations.

 

Call us at 201-935-2000 to discuss your redundancy needs for your phone system if your PRI or T-1 fails. Take a look at Comtex Inc on the map below. Comtex is here for you to answer any questions you have.

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Comtex NJ review on Google Places

Cant get any better service than this! Comtex is seriously awesome. They hooked us up with an awesome phone system for probably half of what the other companies wanted. Fast and friendly service. I conveniently email Cheryl and Anne when I have a question, and they get back to me right away. It’s like they work 24/7!! If you need a phone system or cameras installed, this is the place to go. They are excellent!

Thank you Daniel from Guardian Fence. We apprecaite the wonderful review you left us on Google and have reprinted it on our blog.

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Samsung OS7100 Business Telephone System

The Samsung 7100 business telephone system offers performance right out of the box: A compact hardworking system that expands with your business. An economical business communications solution with converged VoIP capabilities and performance built right into the system.

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Samsung OS100 Telephone System Repair

The Samsung OfficeServ 100 has been discontinued. However, Comtex still services, supports, programs and maintains this system. At our Comtex complex, we have all the parts and equipment necessary to repair or maintain the OfficeServ 100.  If you want to expand or upgrade your existing OfficeServ 100, we can provide you with new or refurbishedFalcon or DS or ITP keysets, cards or cabinets. Please call or email us for any information, repair or purchases.

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What is the Difference Between SIP Trunking and VoIP?

Confused about just what is the difference between SIP trunking and VoIP? How are they related and what are the differences? In simplest laymen’s terms we will provide the practical answer.

VOIP “voice over IP” is a generic term used to cover all voice traffic over the internet protocol.

SIP trunking is simply voice over IP, using the SIP signaling protocol, but instead of using a single SIP user the service provider is providing many. Basically like a T1 circuit, but using voip with multiple trunks.

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an application-layer control (signaling) protocol for creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one or more participants. It can be used to create two-party, multiparty, or multicast sessions that include Internet telephone calls, multimedia distribution, and multimedia conferences.

Voice over Internet Protocol, also called VoIP, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.

SIP in some cases is a Type of VoIP. …

Since SIP is Session Initiation Protocol, and is a form of VOIP, it is used as a digital voice emulator/PRI replacement. It gives VOIP service more capabilities, such as DID’s (Direct Inward Dial numbers).  The benefit of this service on the commercial level is the ability to avoid buying a PRI card to accommodate a PRI. SIP trunks usually require SIP licenses and connect right to the system. SIP  trunks  are typically more cost effective than copper or t-1 circuits. At Comtex, we have clients who have upgraded to SIP trunks and the savings from the SIP trunks, paid for a new Samsung system in the first year of use.

SIP trunks are essentially have the power of PRI without the cost or limitations. SIP is only limited by your bandwidth, and carriers are coming up with some pretty interesting options.

This will be an area that many will need to become more familiar with, especially in the call center world.

For free assistance in finding a SIP or VoIP solution for your business, please contact Comtex. We offer a no risk and free carrier and telephone system evaluation.

For over 50 years, we have specialized in the design, installation and service of Digital & VoIP telephone systems and video surveillance systems. Free site survey. 24/7 emergency service. 

For more information on VoIP,  and VoIP Samsung phone system and Mitel VoIP phone systems, please click the links or simply visit us at www.comtex-nj.com .

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Comtex is now selling the Mitel 5000 CP Telephone System

For over 50 years, Comtex has specialized in the design, installation and service of Digital & VoIP telephone systems. We are the oldest Mitel dealer in New Jersey. We offer a Free site telephone survey,  24/7 emergency service, and cabling services.

The Mitel 5000 Communications Platform (CP), designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), leverages the benefits of today’s converged networks and your business’ existing data network infrastructure investments.

In today’s competitive environment, the drive to operate more effectively and take cost out of the business is more critical than ever. Simplifying communications and enhancing customer service and collaboration are important to you; however, you need a cost-effective solution. Business success is built on providing quality service, building relationships and returning customers. The Mitel 5000 Communications Platform (CP) helps businesses redefine communications with a wide range of applications.

The Mitel 5000 Phone System is the answer for your converged communications needs offering you choice of digital IP or analog options for phones and network interfaces. It features full call handling and messaging as well as full networking support and feature transparency for multiple systems. The Mitel 5000 Phone System is designed to help your business benefit from the cost savings and infrastructure improvements of VoIP technology.

Offering advanced multimedia communications capabilities and substantial cost savings for businesses with up to 250 users, Mitel 5000 Communications Platform (CP) is based on open architecture interfaces and standard protocols, giving you the flexibility to tailor a system to suit your dynamic needs.

Choose from a variety of Mitel applications for simplifying individual communications, accelerating information flow throughout your organization and automating common processes to reduce costs and improve productivity, with powerful, easy-to-use tools for managing voice, e-mail and faxes across all devices.

The Mitel 5000 Communications Platform (CP) enables small businesses to blend their voice system into their data network, creating a cost-effective, efficient communications environment. The 5000 CP solution offers a digital, IP and analog communications platform, which allows businesses to network geographically-dispersed employees and locations, whether they are connecting offices and applications together over a data network, or deploying digital and IP phones to on-site employees.

The 5000 CPU delivers a wide breadth of embedded applications, in addition to a suite of advanced Unified Communications applications via the Mitel Applications Suite. The MAS for the 5000 CP includes applications such as Mitel NuPoint Unified Messaging™ (UM) and Mitel Speech Auto-Attendant, Mitel Customer Service Manager / Business Dashboard, and enhanced mobility with Dynamic Extension Express and Teleworking, all while laying the foundation for the latest in Unified Communications with Mitel Unified Communicator® (UC) Express and Mitel Unified Communicator® (UC) Advanced.

The Mitel 5000 Communications Platform offers small to medium sized businesses:

  • Choice– 5000 CP offers a hybrid communications platform, which enables businesses to network geographically dispersed employees and locations, whether they’re connecting offices and applications together over a data network, or deploying digital and IP phones to on-site employees.
  • Enhanced Efficiency– Mitel ensures your employees get maximum value from a broad range of Unified Communications and an innovative IP and Digital Desktop.
  • Anywhere, Anytime Collaboration– The Mitel portfolio of Mobility, Conferencing and Collaboration solutions for the 5000 CP enables employees to work effectively with colleagues, partners and customers across distance.
  • Flexible, Cost-Effective Growth– Flexible for any architecture,  the 5000 CP makes the most of a customers existing investment while providing a solid foundation for growth. It is expandable to support up to 250 users and multiple sites.

For more information on VoIP,  and VoIP Samsung phone system and Mitel VoIP phone systems, please click the links or simply visit us at www.comtex-nj.com .

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PBX: 20 Tips to Optimize your Business Phone System, Part 2

Advanced PBX Features-

Now that you know what your default PBX system is able to do, it is time to explore the extent of PBX’s versatility. In this section we will cover more advanced PBX features which when properly integrated will provide your company with the capability to track user locations, transfer voicemail messages to email accounts and accept VoIP calls.

8. Consolidation: One of the more popular advanced PBX features takes on the “unified messaging” role, bringing together all of your telecommunications devices into a single convenient system. “PBX can bring together your cell phones, analog phones, VoIP phones, email, voicemail, IM, chat, video calling and more.” The technology works by linking all of your office devices together, and messages you on the appropriate device based upon your availability. The PBX system might try your cell phone first, your office phone next, the conference room, or maybe all 3 at the same time, depending on your settings. Whatever the case, the PBX system knows how to get a hold of you, and you should use that capability to your company’s advantage.

If your employees are on the road and need their cell phones to act like their office phone, your PBX can do it. PBX consolidation gives you the freedom to work wherever you see fit and still receive all the unique telephony features PBX has to offer including line extensions, conference calling, call forwarding, etc. If your company isn’t currently incorporating consolidation technology into the PBX system, it is losing significant time and money by having “out of office” equal “out of touch” when it comes to your employees.

9. Personnel Locator: After consolidating all of your PBX features into one unique system, you are on the way to having a fully-functional mobile workforce. But what happens when you need to know exactly where one of your employees is? Not to worry, PBX systems can keep track of where your employees last interacted with the system, data that will allow you to pinpoint their exact location.

10. Email Integration: Modern PBX systems have the ability to merge with email clients (such as Microsoft Outlook) and retrieve contact information on the various customers you are on the phone with. Once a call is received, the name and phone number of the customer is automatically matched with existing records in your email contact database and their complete customer profile is brought up on the screen. From there you can get a more thorough idea of who you’re dealing with and will know how to better serve their needs.

PBX telephony also boasts the capability to transfer company employees’ voicemail messages to their company email account. The messages are sent in easy to access audio files and allow employees to store and manage all of their voice mailbox contents.

11. Total “Business Intelligence” Integration: If you’ve successfully integrated email into your PBX system why not take it a step further and integrate your entire business intelligence operation? PBX systems have the ability to communicate with your computer and the customer databases you keep on that computer. To merge the databases and PBX, simply take the call information from your customer, probe the database and presto — you now have all of that customer’s contact information, previous interactions, purchase history, etc.

Properly incorporating business intelligence and your PBX will allow for more streamlined and targeted customer relations, as employees will immediately know background information about the customer, that customer’s history with the company, past issues they have had and whether they have been flagged as a particularly important or problematic client.

One of the ways you can take advantage of this technology is by analyzing your customer’s purchasing records and determining what they’ll need next as the call takes place. At the same time the call is taking place, you can email the customer quotes about your latest products that are related to previous orders he or she has placed, as well as go over these new products during that same call. Thus, the integration of “real time” accessible business intelligence data will allow you not only to better serve your clients, but it will also allow you to predict which products they might be interested in and use the call as an opportunity to pitch those new products.

12. Call Routing: Advanced PBX functionality allows for calls to be routed based upon certain criteria including caller importance, length of wait, time of day, day of week, etc.

For example, if the president of your company is calling for sales statistics it’s probably not a good idea to have him wait in the standard customer queue. Likewise, if someone is calling after certain departments are closed it’s probably better to patch them through to the operator rather than have them traverse 2 minutes worth of menus to find out the bad news.

Just as with call holding, caller mapping is the key to an efficient call routing scheme. Unless you know all the variants of calls the your company receives, you cannot begin to create a PBX routing system that will properly treat all of those callers.

13. Analog vs. IP Phones: To provide the greatest range of flexibility, modern PBX systems are able to direct calls through both analog and IP based phones. Both types of calls have their cost and service advantages. Consequently, it is important to setup your PBX so that calls which are more cost-efficient through VoIP (many long-distance calls) are routed through it, while calls that would benefit from the quality of analog are directed through those lines. It is rare to find companies that over utilize VoIP calling. As a starting point, begin by examining your analog calling for inefficiencies, rather than the other way around.

14. IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS): To take your PBX system to the next level you should make sure it has the technology to provide IMS functionality. IMS allows users to send and receive multiple types of media across a network rather than just hearing voice on a standard PBX system, or reading text on a SMS system. For instance, you could video conference or give an extensive presentation in real time.

This article was designed to introduce you to some of the many standard and optional capabilities that PBX systems offer. With your new found knowledge, you should be well on your way to identifying the areas where optimizing your PBX system can help to improve your company’s efficiency, customer relations and profitability.

For more information on VoIP,  and VoIP Samsung phone system and Mitel VoIP phone systems, please click the links or simply visit us at www.comtex-nj.com

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Buying a Telephone System? Questions to Consider

Looking to invest in a new telephone system for your business? Listed below are the important questions to consider and answer, prior to contacting a telephone vendor such as Comtex Inc. Knowing these answers will expedite your initial inquiry and assist your vendor in proposing the right system for your business.

  1. How many telephone lines will you have going into the system?
  2. What type of phone lines do you have? SIP, copper, PRI circuit?
  3. How many physical telephone extensions will you need?
  4. Do you need any analog ports for a cordless phone or modem?
  5. Do you want an Auto Attendant?
  6. Do you want voice mail?
  7. How many voice mail ports will you need? (This is the number of simultaneous calls the voice mail must be capable of handling at one time).
  8. How many total minutes of storage in the voice mail system will you need?
  9. Do you want to page an overhead speaker through your telephone?
  10. Do you want an information on hold unit?
  11. Do you want a door phone to connect to the system? 
  12. List any future growth requirements you foresee and any features that you know your business requires.
  13. Do you need mobility solutions? Twinning or Connect?
  14. Do you have remote workers?
  15. Do you have multiple offices?

For more information, go to our website at www.comtex-nj.com or click on the following links:   Samsung OS7030, Samsung OS 7100, Samsung OS7200-S, Samsung OS7200, Samsung OS7400,  Mitel systems.

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Samsung & Mitel Business Phone Systems in New Jersey

For over 50 years, Comtex continues to be a leader in the design, installation and service of  Samsung & Mitel Digital and VoIP business telephone systems and video surveillance systems.  While our client base includes national and Fortune 500 companies, our local customer base is in the New York/New Jersey bi-state area.  It is essential to work with a vendor who has evidenced its business longevity in the industry.

Our operations are located in the 40,000 sq. ft. Comtex Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We offer a free on-site evaluation and a one year guarantee on all systems. 

Our company values are evidenced by our extensive and long standing client base who will attest to the exceptionally reliable services we provide during and after the initial installation. When you choose Comtex as your vendor, you are acquiring 51 years of technical expertise and our strong dedication to customer support and service. 

Over half of our staff has been employed by the company for over 15 years. We promise you highly trained and factory certified technicians, excellent customer support and satisfaction, and 24 hour, seven days a week emergency service. With our vast equipment inventory warehoused on site at the Comtex Complex, we always have the replacement spare parts available to get your system up and running that same day. Unlike other dealers, we will always support and service any system we sell or agree to service, even if the equipment is discontinued or if the manufacturer goes out of business.

Our goal is to empower you with powerful tools and resources to increase the manageability and profitability of your company. We believe in high quality products and competitive pricing. We install the very latest in system technology and are constantly reviewing and researching new products to make sure that Comtex stays at the forefront of the cutting edge of product technology. 

For more information on VoIP,  and VoIP Samsung phone system and Mitel VoIP phone systems, please click the links or simply visit us at www.comtex-nj.com .

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Samsung OfficeServ 7100 New Jersey (NJ) Dealer

For over 50 years, Comtex has been a leader in the design, installation, service and repair of business telephone systems, CCTV and video surveillance systems.  All systems come with a ONE YEAR GUARANTEE and we offer 24/7 emergency service.

Performance Right Out of the Box: A compact hardworking system that expands with your business. An economical business communications solution with converged VoIP capabilities and performance built right into the system.

The Samsung OfficeServ 7100 can expand along with your business in 4-port increments and is capable of handling up to eight incoming lines with as many as 32 stations. Embedded in this system is voicemail and an automated attendant. Traditional voice, utilizing digital or VoIP, is supported with a full set of features and sophisticated applications. It will even support a T-1 or PRI.

 For more information, go to our website at www.comtex-nj.com or go to Samsung OfficeServ 7100.