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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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Samsung SMT i5230 IP Telephone

The Samsung SMT-i5230 IP Phone has the features to help any office worker get the most out of their working day. It includes a 3.2″ monochrome backlit display and 15 feature keys to make sure that every feature is just one click away.

The Samsung SMT-i5230 IP Phone would look great on any office professional’s desk. It’s features back up it’s design and can make anyones day more efficient. With 15 feature keys, everything is just one click away to make phone calls quicker and easier. The Samsung SMT-i5230 IP Phone is ideal for anyone wanting to have the best features available including executives and managers.

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Samsung SMT i5243 IP Business Telephone

The Samsung SMT i5243 IP Phone is a fully featured executive handset that would be ideal for users who handle a large volume of calls, it is well suited for executives, management, admin staff and contact centre supervisors.

The Samsung SMT i5243 IP Phone has a vibrant graphical colour TFT LCD display. The Samsung SMT i5243 IP Phone has a UC dial in the phone that allows the user to easily change their status to one of three modes; in office, out of office or uc mode. This feature automatically indicates the presence or availability to other users, pre-set call routing options can be set up to forward calls to voicemail or a mobile phone.

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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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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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Technology Makes Off Site Working Easier

Did you read the Bergen Record on October 10, 2010? There is a great article, Technology making off-site working easier” by Carol Lawrence. The article highlights that technology is offering mobility features to small businesses by allowing it them to keep “valuable employees, widen sales territories, lessen employees’ commuting stress and even hire overseas.” The article also states that “nationally, the number of telecommuters grew to 17.2 million on 2008 from 12.4 million in 2006. 

Today’s workplace is no longer defined by the building with your company logo on it. Home-based employees and road warriors are becoming commonplace these days, and your communications system has to operate where your employees are most comfortable, everywhere.

Mitel and Samsung IP telephone systems allow you to easily accommodate home, or road based employees by seamlessly connecting incoming calls to your remote location. Off site IP phones allow your transient workers to handle, hold, conference, transfer or page just as if they were in the office.

A Samsung or Mitel system can offer you the following remote worker features:

  1.  Get your voice mail messages sent to your email in your cell phone or PC at home.
  2. Give out 1 number or extension to your clients that will simultaneously ring at your desk, cell and home phone. 
  3. Use an IP phone at home, your cell phone or a softphone in your computer and be directly connected to the office; eliminate toll calls to the office. 
  4. Make your cell or home phone a virtual extension of the phone system at the office. The phone functions as if you were in the office. Seamlessly transfer calls back and forth, put a call on hold at the office or on your remote phone, page over head at the office and check your voice mail.
  5. With SIP trunks, you can have a local presence for your remote workers, anywhere in the state or country by using their local telephone number that rings into your office.

Comtex can provide you with the technology to offer teleworking at your business. 

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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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. 

 

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Samsung Introduces Latest Line of Integrated Communications Applications

Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS) today introduced its latest line of cost-saving, feature-rich VoIP telephones, the OfficeServ™ SMT-iSeries, and two complementary affordable integrated communications applications, OfficeServ Communicator Basic and OfficeServ Communicator Professional with Messenger. Combined with Samsung’s new line of VoIP phones, the integrated communications applications enhance collaboration among employees—on- and off-site—while increasing user flexibility, mobility and overall operating efficiency, and delivering all the benefits of unified communications.

Samsung OfficeServ Communicator Basic seamlessly and affordably converges voice, video and data such as contacts from Microsoft® Outlook. OfficeServ Communicator Professional with Messenger provides users the functionality of Communicator Basic and adds instant messaging and collaborative capabilities such as presence awareness and whiteboarding right from the desktop.

The flexible OfficeServ Communicator applications each operate in three modes—UCPhone (Unified Client), SoftPhone and DeskPhone—that can be changed on the fly. The UCPhone mode, which connects users to the new SMT-iSeries phones, enables specialized functions such as uploading and downloading contacts from Microsoft Outlook. SoftPhone mode allows users to dial, answer, release, transfer, hold, or host conference calls right from the desktop—whether the user is in the office or on the road. DeskPhone mode provides desktop call control on all non-SMT-iSeries phones. The Communicator Professional with Messenger application and operation in the DeskPhone mode require an OfficeServ Link and license.

About OfficeServ Communicator Basic
The new OfficeServ Communicator Basic offers users call control and a number of operational conveniences. Features include the following:

• video calling;
• screen pops with incoming caller information;
• easy viewing of outgoing and incoming calls;
• a redial function for quickly returning missed calls;
• audio and video recording to a local PC;
• a phone book for uploading Microsoft Outlook contacts;
• direct dialing from Communicator or Microsoft Outlook or by highlighting a phone number in any document type (TXT, PDF, DOC, XLS, etc.) using a Free Dial Hot Key;
• access to network directory service via Microsoft Exchange or a similar server;
• a configuration tool for adding ringtones, pictures, and an enhanced phone book.

About OfficeServ Communicator Professional with Messenger
OfficeServ Communicator Professional has all the Communicator Basic features and adds instant messaging, collaboration, and presence awareness functions. With Communicator Professional with Messenger, users can:

• turn an IM exchange into a video conference or whiteboarding session without interruption;
• exchange files from within the chat window during a chat session using the file transfer function;
• detect a colleague’s availability for a time-sensitive discussion using presence awareness.

Features may be shared among OfficeServ users on up to 8 nodes within a Samsung proprietary network using Samsung networking software (SPNet™).

About Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS)
Samsung Business Communication Systems, a Dallas-based division of Samsung Telecommunications America (STA), is the distribution arm for the company’s line of business communications solutions. Targeting small- to medium-sized businesses, Samsung BCS offers an elite line of telephony-based customer premise equipment (CPE) with dynamic architecture that can accommodate tremendous growth at low incremental costs to meet a variety of communications needs. As an innovator in convergence technology, Samsung’s business communications systems combine traditional voice and data capabilities with wireline and wireless technologies providing fully integrated, converged communications platforms and applications. In addition to CPE, Samsung BCS also offers a comprehensive line of voice processing equipment, CTI applications, and wireless solutions.

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