OneConnect - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
There is no need for paper anymore. With letters and faxes turning into e-mails, bills turning into e-bills, and financial statements documented using software; physical copies of documents are too much of a hassle to deal with. Why? They produce clutter and are inconvenient for today’s mobile, working professional. To be productive in the digital age, you have to go paperless. This doesn’t mean eliminating all the paper around you, but making all your documents accessible wherever you are.
Paper takes up valuable employee time. In order to keep paper files organized, you need diligent and detail-oriented employees to dedicate time and resources to doing the filing. And this means they either aren’t spending time on more important tasks, or that you may have to hire another body to keep on top of the mounds of physical documents.
Paper adds expenses. It’s not just the price of paper and ink itself, but also cabinets, file folders and labels to go with them.
Sensitive documents on paper can be more vulnerable. In many cases, it’s a lot easier to steal a paper document than it is a digital file, and it’s also easier for paper documents to be toast in the event of a disaster like a fire or flood. According to The Paperless Project, more than 70 per cent of today’s businesses would outright fail in less than a month’s time if they lost important records in such a disaster.
Get into the habit of scanning documents to your computer, paying bills online, and staying away from your printer! Move to the cloud and discover the perfect way to share files and keep them with you wherever you go without printing a single page. Isn’t it time you get more productive?
Publish Date: July 21, 2014 5:00 AM
Not too long ago, companies lived and died by their fax machines. With the push of a button, documents could be sent in an instant anywhere in the world. It was the fastest form of document transfer at that time. Fax machines are still used by many businesses today, whether it’s sending a signed copy of a contract or communicating complex diagrams and hand-written notes. But it’s the 21st century; shouldn’t most work be completed on computers now? Are we not following the mantra of the digital age and trying to operate a paperless office? There shouldn’t be a need to still fax documents. However, many mature businesses continue their traditional practices in conducting business. Many suppliers require faxed, signed documents along with a copy of your business license. There are some suppliers who still prefer to accept orders via fax. Fortunately, the Internet has taken over this function.
Virtual Fax – The ‘New’ Fax Machine
Fax machines are obsolete. For all intents and purposes, they are dead. You’re likely to find them at your neighbour’s garage sale. With an Internet connection, companies can integrate a Virtual Fax service allowing them to receive faxes directly in a specific user’s Inbox, making it easier to control the access of faxed documents. Another option is to prepare, print, scan and upload a document to be sent as an email. However, office administrators who work with paper documents understand how tedious and time consuming this process can be. Virtual Fax is much more efficient – nobody has time to waste.
How does Virtual Fax work?
Only requiring an Internet connection, Virtual Fax uses fax-to-email technology. When someone sends you a fax, the Virtual Fax solution relays the faxed document to you in the form of an email attachment. This technology gives you the ability to send, receive and check your fax archive wherever you are. Virtual Fax gives you the best of both worlds – the reliability of a fax machine and the speed of email.
OneConnect’s Virtual Fax technology provides businesses with the flexibility and versatility to have a mobile fax machine at your fingertips. Let’s be honest; the use of paper does not fit your vision of becoming a streamlined business. With online accessibility to all of your faxed documents, both incoming and outgoing, Virtual Fax ensures that you never lose an important fax again!
Publish Date: June 13, 2014 5:00 AM
There are two types of phone users: people who leave voicemails and people who ignore voicemails.
According to Nick Bilton’s article in the New York Times, there are ground rules for digital etiquette that should be enforced in a world where we sleep with our smartphones and would rather hear the sound of punching keys on our BlackBerrys than someone’s voice. He argued that leaving a voicemail was ‘impolite’ because it wastes the receiver’s information retrieval time. That same information could just as easily be conveyed via e-mail or text. As we spend more time on our phone, we spend less time using the actual calling function. The concept of voicemail doesn’t fit in today’s culture.
Who enjoys Voicemails?
You would do anything to erase the voicemail icon off of your home screen, except listening to voicemails. A voicemail requires some sort of action; no one wants to add that to an already busy day. If you’re going to ignore a call, why listen to their message? Why can’t they email you instead? We have been accustomed to reading at our own leisure by reading what we want, when we want to. While you can skim to relevant parts of an e-mail, listening to someone leave a slow voice message is incredibly frustrating.
How do we avoid them?
So what do you do? You may not want to be stuck listening to a full voice mailbox of messages, but you can always use a service that will send a sound file of the message and a transcription to your email inbox. That way, you can interact with voicemail in the same way you do with emails.
OneConnect’s unified communication solutions allows you to manage voicemails from your email inbox. When it comes to business communication, you want a customized solution that improves productivity and increases flexibility. If you’re stuck in front of a screen all-day, keep your communications in one place and searchable at all times, allowing you to maintain your relations with employees, family, and clients, no matter where they are.
Be the boss – designate your email to carry your voicemails and leave your phone out of this.
Publish Date: May 30, 2014 5:00 AM
“We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.” – Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day
According to a 2010 General Social Survey conducted by Statistics Canada, the average time spent commuting in Toronto is 33 minutes each way. In other words, people typically spend more than five hours every week, in their cars or using public transportation, to get to where they need to be.
Five hours is a lot of time. It’s almost half a day. It’s enough time to drive from Toronto to Montreal. It’s enough time to watch two movies back to back or perhaps even to read an entire book. Five hours of wasted time each week, through no fault of your own, stuck in limbo, thinking about everything that you need to get done, but cannot.
Why is commuting in Toronto so grueling?
Toronto is a major metropolitan city with significant infrastructure and a lot of hustle and bustle. The Greater Toronto Area, as of the 2011 census, had a population of more than 6 million people. When you take into consideration:
• Run-of-the-mill traffic gridlock
• Ongoing construction on the Gardiner Expressway
• Daily road closures
• Unexpected weather delays
It’s actually no surprise that commuting in Toronto is a punishing affair. If you examine commute times only during rush hour, those 33 minutes swell dramatically. It is not uncommon to hear complaints from colleagues, lamenting a 2 or even 3-hour commute.
Doing away with your daily commute
Sitting behind the wheel of a car, or squished between passengers on a streetcar, it is extremely difficult to accomplish anything. So the time spent commuting is often accepted as dead or wasted time. But does it have to be this way?
Not when you consider that increasingly, companies are reevaluating the traditional workweek and encouraging employees to work remotely. In fact, studies indicate that remote workers are happier, more efficient and less likely to quit. Easy-to-use teleconferencing tools, like OneConnect’s ‘remote worker’ make it simple for members of your team to roll up their sleeves and get their job done from an affordable and scalable ‘virtual’ office. Audio, video and web conferencing systems offer enhanced flexibility and accessibility for all of your business needs. Goodbye commute. Hello productivity.
Enhanced productivity on the go
While remote working is a viable option for many, for others, the daily commute is an unavoidable and necessary evil. But with the right tools in place, even commuting in Toronto can be a productive experience. For instance, OneConnect’s Find Me Follow Me feature ensures that you are accessible wherever you are, at any time of the day. In the car, on the bus, or even at the spa, you can setup the system to ring your work desk phone and then your cellphone and not skip a beat. With a full service mobile phone client on your smart phone, you have what you need to get your job done.
So the next time you find yourself on the bus, pinned to the wall behind a crowd of disgruntled Bay Street workers, remember that commuting in Toronto need not be the source of your persistent headache. Arm yourself with the right tools and supports and you can reclaim those five hours that you have grown accustomed to wasting each and every week.
Publish Date: May 21, 2014 5:00 AM
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), is a technology used for transmitting voice communications across a private network or the Internet. It is the foundation for which Hosted VoIP services are based on. Utilizing a hosted or cloud voice provider minimizes your Telecom spend and ensures the right solution for your network. Delivered properly, Hosted VoIP provides superior quality and features over traditional telephony systems.
Hosted VoIP affords a much higher level of flexibility and mobility than traditional telephony systems, bringing all the versatility of modern technology to your network. Hosted VoIP services provide a number of new features to help increase productivity, including Find Me / Follow Me, unified messaging, and collaboration. With a unified number, you can advertise a single number on your business card and email signature. When you couple this with Find Me / Follow Me, you can then control how calls made to this number are handled. They can be routed to your office line, cell phone, an assistant, etc. and this can be done simultaneously or sequentially. Additional rules can also be implemented by time of day or originating caller. You will be assured that important calls will never be missed. Should you not be available, a single mailbox will answer calls and send your voicemail to your email. Hosted VoIP can also offer collaboration tools like digital document sharing, soft clients, instant messaging and whiteboards, which let employees communicate in more productive ways. These tools are not only available on your computer but also generally available on mobile devices, giving people a mobile office that they can carry around in their pocket.
Hosted VoIP also helps you significantly reduce costs. There is no traditional PBX hardware to maintain on site and no major upfront capital expenditure. A hosted service offers low monthly fees, with the service provider managing all of the telecom infrastructure and maintenance related to the system. Adding/removing users and services is a breeze, with many systems offering remote administration. Further, with the solution being housed off-site, hosted services allow for better disaster recovery and geographic redundancy, something that is very difficult to attain with a traditional PBX solution. Lastly, with VoIP, voice and data networks can be combined, integrating all communications into a single infrastructure for more effective management and potential cost savings. This makes the entire network more scalable and flexible.
VoIP is poised to become the most popular method of communication, with VoIP service providers seeing a 30% increase in total revenue between 2012 and 2013, up to $3.7 billion worldwide. The industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.46% until 2017, reaching more than $80 billion. Hosted VoIP services are successful because they provide a cost effective and reliable communications service, giving small and medium-sized businesses the professional tools that have traditionally been reserved for large-scale enterprises.
Publish Date: March 28, 2014 5:00 AM
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking has quickly become the de facto standard for network and voice convergence. Most large enterprises realized the benefits early on and have gravitated towards the new features and reduced operating costs. According to a recent study of North American enterprises conducted by Infonetics, 58% of companies surveyed will be using SIP Trunking in 2015, up from 38% a year earlier. But even though you’ve heard about it, you may still be on the fence about the whole concept. Hopefully, we can shed a little light on the topic.
In recent years, many organizations have migrated to an entirely IP-based network for all their data needs. This has helped them enhance their business performance and reduce costs overall. However, the voice and data networks have traditionally been segregated and operated by different teams. As you can imagine, running two completely separate networks is costly and inefficient. On the Voice side, many are faced with replacing their aging phone systems: PBX (Private Branch Exchange) or Key Systems. One option is to get rid of that voice infrastructure entirely and go with a Hosted VoIP provider. But what if you wanted upgrade to a new PBX that is SIP aware and utilizes your existing IP network? How would you enable that PBX to access the phone network?
That’s where SIP Trunking comes in. It uses voice over IP (VoIP) to facilitate the connection of a PBX to the phone network over the Internet or private IP connection. In effect, the Internet replaces the conventional telephone access technology, allowing an enterprise to communicate with the rest of the world. With the proliferation of SIP technology, the door has been opened for a new set of valuable business features that can be utilized on this converged network (such as Unified Communications). As a result, you enjoy reduced network infrastructure costs, better productivity, streamlined network management and an improved return on your IP technology investments.
Deploying SIP Trunking in your organization can be a complex task. Not all SIP Trunks are the same and there are many significant differences in the way SIP Trunking services are provided, priced and the features offered. Changes on the network, security and existing voice infrastructure may be required. As a company, you need to ensure that you have a clear picture of where you want to evolve to and choose the most effective partner to help you get there. However, with a little bit of planning, the proper tools, and guidance, the transition to a converged network can be quite smooth.
Publish Date: January 20, 2014 5:00 AM