NEC SV9100 phone system

Telecom News from NEC ~ The SV9100 is Here!

They’re here! NEC has announced the release of their new line of PBX systems, including the SV9100, which was designed as an upgrade path for the current SV8100 phone platform. The SV9100 supports up to 1,360 ports but a scaled down version supprts up to 48 ports for small businesses.

The SV9000 phone systems also have two new phone series. The new IP telephones are the DT800 series, replacing the DT700 sets, while the look-alike digital models are now called DT400 sets, replacing the DT300 phone series. The IP models now boast Gigabit models that sell for little more than 10/100 models, a big change from the Gigabit adapters NEC formerly required. Also, the digital models will sell at the same price points as the 10/100 IP models, and both product lines include 12, 24, and 32-button models with a choice of black and white or color displays.

nec-dt-400-dt-800-phones

The new NEC DT400 digital phones and DT800 IP telephone sets make the SV9100 even more powerful!

Also announced was the touch-screen Android-based UT880. This is a video-capable desk set (the tablet component is not removable) whose screen presents a typical DT-Series interface. One interesting feature, addressing the concern that hackers could potentially take control of the camera, is a manual switch that buries the camera’s lens behind a physical shroud when not in use.

The new NEC UT880 is an awesome communication tool for the busy executive!

The new NEC UT880 is an awesome communication tool for the busy executive!

NEC plans to open its own app store for the UT880, which will offer enterprise-oriented vetted apps to protect against malware, which seem like a prudent idea. Partnering with a mainline Android supplier like Samsung may have been a wise choice, as Samsung is years ahead of all of the UC suppliers when it comes to delivering what enterprises need in mobile devices.

Clearly malware is an issue with Android devices. In a 2014 report, Cisco Systems indicates that, “Ninety-nine percent of all mobile malware in 2013 targeted Android devices. Android users also have the highest encounter rate (71%) with all forms of web-delivered malware.”

Unfortunately, Apple’s tightly controlled developer environment leaves Android as the only available platform for mobile O/S-based desk sets. To address the malware threat, Samsung has come up with its own enhanced security mechanisms with its KNOX offering. Samsung will also be offering its own enterprise app store. I’d prefer to be tied into that Samsung ecosystem, rather than trying to crack the Android nut on my own.

NEC has also developed the DT770G iPad cradle with talk of potentially significant enhancements. The DT770G includes an app that emulates a PBX station, and the cradle connects the iPad via Bluetooth and provides a handset and speakerphone.

The DT770G operates over the customer’s in-house Wi-Fi network. That means that the Wi-Fi infrastructure will need to be voice-capable, but as the device is stationary, at least it will not face the problems we have seen with access point-to-access point handoffs. As the docks use the iPad’s Wi-Fi interface, they operate on 2×2 802.11n radio interface. NEC was talking about an enhancement that would allow the iPad to operate over an Ethernet connection when docked, and over Wi-Fi when mobile, but no date for this feature has been announced.

NEC also has a range of DECT-based wireless devices, including a communication badge, that would be capable of dialing a single pre-programmed number with the push of a button. They have also created a prototype of an Android-based smartphone-like device that would support voice over DECT and data over Wi-Fi.

NEC has demonstrated its’ WFAZ wireless adapter. The WFAZ can attach to any of NEC’s IP desk sets and allows it to operate over a Wi-Fi network. This could be a handy way to install stations in areas where it is difficult or expensive to install cable drops, assuming there is adequate Wi-Fi coverage. A PC can be connected to the data port on the IP desk set, allowing for voice and data support over the Wi-Fi connection.

NEC’s dealers like Telephone Magic Inc. love all the new developments from our primary phone system supplier. Business has been strong and we are very enthusiastic about all of the new developements in the product pipeline. However, mobility continues to confound the UC market, so it may be some time before we see tangible benefits and significant revenues coming out of the mobile side of UC.

Denial of Service Attacks Continue in North America

We have all heard of computer virus’s that take over unsuspecting victims PC’s and start overwhelming websites as part of a massive campaign utilizing thousands of these virus driven “drone” or “bot” systems. These “attacks” are hard to combat and have done their fair share of damage on the Internet.

A lesser known but very similar type of attack occurs with great regularity with business phone systems that has become known as a “Denial of Service Attack”. These attacks involve either automated or actual callers overwhelming an organization’s ability to take inbound calls, often resulting in legitimate calls not being able to reach a caller in a timely manner when they need assistance, service, or, in extreme cases, report a real emergency.

A couple of days ago, at approximately 5:25 pm, the Tuscaloosa Police Department was the target of a Telephone Denial of Service Attack. The perpetrators (Foreign Hackers) of the attack launched numerous phone calls against the police department’s phone systems, tying up the system. Again in this case the objective of the attacks was to prevent the agency from receiving legitimate calls and disrupt public safety operations.

Attacks of this nature are ongoing throughout the US and Canada, with over 200 cases documented to this point. Some people muse this may be yet another way for terrorists to attack the United States, potentially weakening businesses or, more importantly, emergency response teams.

The Tuscaloosa Police Department has had to take further steps to protect its’ phone systems. Blocked phone numbers and international numbers trying to call the administrative lines at the police department are being screened in the short term and likely will not go through as a precaution from further attacks. The police department confirms these precautionary changes will not affect the 911 emergency lines. You might think twice though about calling any of their administrative lines from a blocked number. In the event of an emergency the department asks that callers always dial 911. TPD is currently working with Federal Agencies on the incident.

Interestingly, another business in the same Tuscaloosa area experienced a similar incident Friday morning. The complainant stated they received over 180 calls before they took the phone of the hook because it was disrupting the business. The caller, who had a foreign accent, stated they were trying to collect money that an employee owned them.

Law enforcement agencies agree that Telephone Denial of Service Attacks are no laughing matter and should be reported immediately when they occur.

Everyone Seems to be “Hung up on VoIP”

It is AMAZING how many of our clients are all about “Don’t we need VoIP phones?” and “Don’t we need to get cheap VoIP truncks?” and “Aren’t SIP trunks cheaper?”.
Well, to answer ALL these questions… “YES”… under the right circumstances. Not everyone NEEDS more expensive IP phones. That’s right, I said it. I would LOVE to sell you more expensive endpoints and, WOW, I would REALLY LOVE to invoice you to rewire your entire building for Ethernet phone extensions, but, to be honest, YOU DON’T NEED THEM! (darn)…

You heard me. MOST small to medium sized businesses do NOT require IP phones. More importantly, their site Internet access will not SUPPORT loads of VoIP traffic with SIP trunks or phones either!

Most small businesses, EVEN WITH MULTIPLE BRANCHES, can take advantage of less expensive digital terminals and STILL utilize SIP trunks to save money by connecting their hybrid phone systems, such as the NEC SV8100 telephone system via IP daughter boards, such as the IPLB32 – opening a VPN tunnel between the sites where phone calls can be transferred back and forth. Again, this can be done with DIGITAL phones because the SYSTEMS are tied together with VoIP technology!

Before YOU make the mistake of spending an arm load of dough to buy fancy IP phones and swithces that, OMG, don’t work with your limited Internet bandwidth (ouch! YES, there’s the site limitation!) – call someone who REALLY knows their stuff that takes ALL of the environmental and carrier service capabilities into consideration before selling you what you THINK You need. It’s that simple.

Hey, don’t get us wrong – we LOVE the BUZZ words – they sell a TON of new equipment. But don’t sell yourself short and get a huge disappointment when you find out your new phones do not even work. Listen to a professional that can save you loads of money and aggravation by not only listening to what you want, but telling you EXACTLY what you NEED based on your requirements and local site capabilities.

Your Business May Not Be Ready for VoIP

Although VoIP or Voice over IP (as it is also known) – basically phone calls over the Internet – is starting to become a popular solution for business telecommunications, your business might not be ready for it. Business networks come in all shapes and sizes, and a deficiency in one area of your network can prevent you from adopting a VoIP service solution. Fortunately, each of these factors can be addressed to ascertain whether your business is ready for VoIP

Your LAN

A LAN (Local Area Network) supplies the networking capability for the group of computers that your business operates from your office site. Your LAN must have the ability to both protect and prioritize data packets of information. The LAN’s switching fabric must also support prioritization of traffic through differentiated services (a form of computer networking architecture) and network segmentation via VLANs (Virtual Local Area Network, usually 802.1Q). In order to make troubleshooting easier and support high-quality service, your LAN should also have the ability to isolate real-time media and switch in real time.

Your Router

Your choice of router is also an important component of your network, and should also separate real time media from other traffic. The router should actually route real time media at a separate IP address, which will also help with analysis and optimization of performance.

Your Network Connection Speed

Possibly the most discussed factor in determining whether a particular business network can support VoIP is the actual quality of your Internet connection. Fortunately the discussion has inspired many resources such as “Pingtest” that enables business to evaluate their connection speed.

Your Equipment

Finally, the actual end user equipment will have a substantial impact on perceived VoIP service quality. Cheap handsets and headsets make for poor fidelity, and extra IT time spent diagnosing the problem. Although your choice of equipment may seem like a minor concern, the result of the choice will affect your both your productivity and your image. You can purchase VoIP phones from most VoIP PBX providers.

Be Sure You Are Ready

Make sure you are ready before causing a disastrous loss of phone service in your business. Once you find out about your ability (or lack thereof) to carry multiple voice calls simultaneously over your network and Internet service, you may reconsider cutting the cord to your traditional phone company’s reliable lines.

Redundancy and Resiliency with Avaya IP Office

IP Office has no moving parts and is a solid state phone system. No Hard disk drive or fans and so less points of failure with consequent increased resilency. In networked sites IPO provides IP Phone and vmail resiliency with preferred and advanced editions.

IP Office can have full redundancy by running multiple copies running at alternate locations or offices. You can have the IP phones from a primary IP Office cabinet fail over to a redundant alternate cabinet, and vice versa. This redundancy can be either local (LAN), or wide area (WAN)

For example, say you have a primary IP Office in Birmingham with 100 users, and alternate IP Offices in various offices with 30 users each. The handsets from London can re-authenticate to an alternate switche in one of the other locations if the system in London fails, and vice versa with London providing the back-up for the other system. Add SIP trunks, and you can have the dial tone fail over as well. With IP Office, you have the choice to set up your network as a mesh or star configuration. A mesh offers more failover choices than a star, by preventing overloads on any one particular server.

IP Office Voicemail Failover

Not only can the Avaya IP Office operating with release 6.1 support IP Office cabinet failover, it can also support an extremely elegant voicemail failover unprecedented in the SMB market. Various levels are available:

Centralized Voicemail

Centralized Voicemail Pro uses a single Voicemail Pro server to provide voicemail services for all IP Offices in the Small Community Network. Except for use of ContactStore, only the central IP Office hosting the voicemail server requires licensing for Voicemail Pro operation and features. The central IP Office is licensed as normal for Voicemail Pro operation and the voicemail features required. The other IP Offices only require licenses.

Centralized Voicemail with Fallback IP Office

Control of the voicemail server can be assumed by another IP Office if the central IP Office becomes unavailable. This is a feature of IP Office Release 5.0+ with Voicemail Pro 5.0+. The fallback IP Office that assumes control of the voicemail server requires licenses for Voicemail Pro operation and the features required during fallback.

Centralized Voicemail with a Backup Voicemail Server

The central IP Office hosting the voicemail server can be configured with the IP address of a backup voicemail server. During normal operation, call flows and other settings on the backup server are kept synchronized with those of the primary voicemail server. If the primary voicemail server becomes unavailable to the network, voicemail services are provided by the backup voicemail server. This is part of IP Office Release 6.0+ with Voicemail Pro 6.0+. IIS SMTP is used to exchange information between the servers, using only existing licenses.

Centralized Voicemail with Distributed Voicemail Servers

Other IP Offices in the Small Community Network can host their own Voicemail Pro server. That server is then used for the IP Office’s voicemail functions except message storage. This is a feature of IP Office Release 6.0+ with Voicemail Pro 6.0+; IIS SMTP is used to exchange information between the servers. The distributed voicemail server provides all voicemail services except voicemail collection for its associated IP Office. Each IP Office using a distributed voicemail server must have licenses for Voicemail Pro operation and the voicemail features required.

In all the cases above, the central voicemail server remains the store for messages and recordings (except for Exchange UMS users). The central voicemail server does message waiting indication and is the voicemail server used for message collection. Only when the central server is temporarily unavailable will the backup or any distributed server do message storage and collection. In those scenarios, when the central server is restored, messages collected by the backup or distributed servers are forwarded to the central server.

For more information on Avaya IP Office on the IP500 phone system, contact Ryan Altseimer toll-free at 1-855-929-9199.

New Year, New Phone System Gear!

Is YOUR business phone system 5-10 years old? God forbid it is not OLDER than that as it simply qualifies for display at the Smithsonian in that case.

The biggest improvements in telecom systems in the past 5+ years are things like #BYOD, Mobile Extension, Voice Mail to Email, improvements to integrated #UC (Unified Communications), SIP trunking, etc. If your business telephone system is older than that, there is a good chance it does NOT include capabilities for these advanced but necessary features in the age of improved accessibility from clients, suppliers, and co-workers.

In the spirit of New Years Resolutions, it’s time to propose a new telephony platform for YOUR business!

Here’s some choices in a varied range of features and pricing:

Avaya IP Office – After purchasing the SMB platforms from Nortel, Avaya captured an “Upgrade with us” capability and have been porting clients over to the Avaya IP 500 phone system by allowing Nortel users to keep their existing phones. This prevented the Nortel ICS line from eventually becoming a dead end for users. Expansion is a snap as well, with IP 500 Expansion cards and modules. Users can eventually add to and/or replace phones with a wide range of choices of new Avaya IP Office phones.

NEC SV8100 phone system – This system has all of the features mentioned below. We love Voice Mail to Email and Mobile Extension to keep in touch with your clients, even when you are not in the office.

Avaya / Nortel BCM – When Avaya took over the Nortel SMB lines, one of the exciting acquisitions was the Business Communication Manager – or BCM. The BCM starts with the small business BCM 50, a compact but powerful IP capable telephone system. The other currect BCM brought over initially to Avaya was the BCM 450 for enterprise clients. Both of these platforms are easily expandable with a variety of optional hardware, referred to as BCM Media Bay Modules, and software, often called BCM Key Code Licenses.

Regardless of which phone system you choose to upgrade to, think about all the things you wish to do with your business telephones and then call Ryan Altseimer toll-free at 1.855.929.9199, extension 3007, to match your requirements and budget to an appropriate system. Happy New Year from all of us at Telephone Magic – we hope to assist you with YOUR New Year’s Telecom Resolution!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Telephone Magic!

What a year it has been! Many changes and tons of improvements that directly benefit our customers. We would just like to take the time to reach out to our clients, friends, and family to wish everyone the very best of the holiday season and a Happy New Year.

christmas-tree

 

Some of the improvements we have made this year include full overhauls of our websites, including our main US / International Website, our Canadian Web Portal, and our Hotel Room Phones site.

New features include our “Express Quote” option and we now offer on-site Live Chat to answer any questions you may have. We also have improved site navigation with a “Mega-Menu” and easy to find and use site Search.

Our blog has moved on site and we now have a complete suite of social media sites to allow our clients to stay in touch with us. We have a lot of content on our new YouTube channel, almost 1300 Followers on our Twitter feed, and a ton of great telecom photos on our Pinterest account.

Again, all the best for the holidays and we look forward to serving you in the 2014!

Jeff Jackson

President, Telephone Magic Inc.

BYOD: Mobile Phone Carriers Get Away With Murder

OK, “murder” is a bit of a stretch.

That clarified, how many times per week do you have calls simply dropped mid-conversation. That is followed with a redial and explanation that “I always lose calls on this part of the highway”. Not only is it frustrating, there is virtually NOTHING we can do about it except to switch carriers AFTER our 2 or formerly 3 year contract ends!

What other kind of company can CONSTANTLY deliver inferior service and KEEP YOUR BUSINESS??

You have to love mobile phone technology. While devices like the iPhone and Q10 and Galaxy keep becoming more and more space age with whiz-bang features ~the network that carries your calls never seems to improve!

How about those wonderful calls where the conversation is one continuous “echo”? Don’t you just love standing on opposite ends of a sewer tunnel as your voice (and more importantly the OTHER call’s voice) ricochet’s off the walls? How about when all you hear is a smattering of “chop chop chop” bits of talk you cannot possibly make out as actual speaking because you miss 90% of what is being said?

So how are we REALLY supposed to integrate BYOD hardware for our staff and clients when the infrastructure of the device transmissions delivers such a low quality of service? While BYOD presents security and network issues, nothing is more challenging than the wild fluctuations we face with the networks they operate on.

I personally would LOVE to see consumers start to hold mobile carriers accountable for EVERY dropped or interrupted call. These companies deliver such poor QOS on average that as a group it would be really sweet if EVERYONE with a mobile device was able to DISCOUNT all this bad service. Imagine getting 50-60% off YOUR monthly cellular invoice just because so many of your calls were of an unacceptable quality!

So I say “RISE UP PEOPLE!”, rise up and challenge YOUR mobile carrier to produce a CONSISTENT cellular experience. This way your next BYOD call does not have to be complete only AFTER you apologize for the hard to understand and maintain conversation.

I’m just saying. BYOD killers. Oh, i guess that IS a pretty solid “murder” metaphor, LOL.

What’s New in Avaya IP Office 9.0

Say goodbye to Avaya IP Office 8.0 and 8.1 ~ IP Office 9.0 is here and promises to deliver a slew of new features and upgrades to your Avaya IP 500 V2 phone system!

The Avaya IP Office 9.0 communications system provides you with a unified communications system to help ensure you’re managing your communications effectively and efficiently. Once you’ve chosen the right Avaya IP Office communications system for your business, you then simply select any additional user functionality you need from the following:

Mobile Worker (BYOD is here!)

It is all about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) these days! Make any mobile phone an extension of the office phone system—complete with call handling features and speed dials. Know that when customers call, they are dialing your business numbers, not your employees’ personal numbers.

Power User (Is this YOU?)

Users control office communications using an IP phone, cell phone or laptop. Users receive all their messages – voice, email, and fax – in a single inbox (Unified Communications), and are automatically notified of important messages. Set up conference calls on the fly, and have calls ring simultaneously on both mobile and desk phones.

Teleworker (Remote Connectivity)

Give teleworkers—employees who work remotely full-time—the same phone and functionality they’d have in the office. Users connect their phones to the company’s phone system via a virtual private network. And because it all goes through the IP Office system, you can hire talent from anywhere and save money.

Help receptionists manage high call volume from their PCs. Streamline call handling with easy point-and-click call controls. A list of incoming calls and call status displays on the PC screen. Integrate with commonly used database software. Monitor all office extensions. Have one receptionist provide coverage for multiple offices.

Here are some helpful Avaya guides to allow you to further understand the new features and impact of IP Office 9.0:

DECT – D100 SIP Wireless Terminal User Guide

Flare – Using Avaya Flare Experience for Windows

Flare- Using Avaya Flare Experience for iPad Devices

CCR – Using Customer Call Reporter 9.0

CCR – Customer Call Reporter Custom Report Walk Through

one-X Portal – Using one-X Portal for IP Office

Softphone – IP Office Softphone User Guide (Windows)

Softphone – IP Office Softphone User Guide (Mac)

one-X Mobile – Using one-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office on Apple

VoIP – Surprising Facts and Myths

Voice over IP (VoIP) was introduced to the main stream well over 10-years ago by companies like Vonage, Comcast and Magic Jack. As a result, many business owners believe that VoIP will save them money and deliver them an advanced set of features and services that traditional digital systems and services cannot. This impression is absolutely false. VoIP is a fantastic technology when used correctly and when all parties are informed of the deployment pros and cons.

VoIP has some serious pitfalls in some applications, if deployed solely to save money. Here are four different examples of VoIP applications and considerations:

VoIP used by telecom providers to move voice traffic over long distances.
VoIP used by businesses within their organization, to eliminate traditional digital voice communication products.

VoIP used within Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) fabric, to deliver voice service to businesses.
VoIP used in the residential market to bypass traditional analog lines and services.

1. VoIP used by telecom providers for long haul applications – Telecom providers have been using this service behind the scenes, much longer than the service has been available to the public. VoIP allows telecom companies to move un-metered traffic within their own networks, over great distances for no additional cost. Providers are able to segregate these networks, prioritize traffic and control end-to-end transmissions, thereby delivering a high-quality communication. The switch gear used to control this traffic is far better than the equipment available to most businesses for their in-house networks.

2. VoIP used by businesses in their local area networks (LAN) – Here are some common misconceptions regarding an in-house VoIP deployment:

understand voip voice over IP

VoIP’s Surprising Facts and Myths

Myth one; “I bought a VoIP system and now all my traffic is VoIP”. FALSE. You can have a VoIP solution within your organization and connect to the public network using digital or analog lines and vice versa. Your VoIP solution is not dependent on using VoIP services from the public network.

Myth two; “If I install a VoIP system, it will save me money”. FALSE. If you implement a VoIP system within your own network and you take all the necessary voice and data traffic quality considerations in to account, this application will not save you money on services or equipment. So if this is the only reason you are doing it… Stop and consult a trusted advisor.

Myth three; “VoIP will give me more features”. FALSE. Today, hybrid voice systems will give you all the same features as a VoIP system. These hybrid systems can use your existing cat.3 or cat.5 cables to deliver a combination of VoIP, digital and analog phones while using a combination of digital, analog and VoIP services in the network. Hybrid systems are very versatile and they do a great job of protecting your past infrastructure investments.
When considering a business VoIP system and implementation, consider the following to assure a more successful result:

Make sure your cabling Category 6, gigabit Ethernet certified.
Try to isolate your voice and data network cabling and switches from each other.
Make sure you purchase professional switches and routers that have a proven Quality of Service (QOS) feature. This means staying away from big box retail stores. 
Try to purchase Power Over Ethernet (POE) switches for the voice network. Most VoIP sets come with local power, but a POE switch can keep your desktop environment clean and make moving phones around the office much easier.

3. VoIP and SIP – Buyer beware. Although this technology is pretty slick and down the road it will enable some pretty cool presence features, it is a bring-your-own-bandwidth (BYOB) product that will not save you money. This will change, but right now sales people are selling this product by convincing businesses to downgrade their available call capacities. They are also leaving out critical information regarding a new practice of charging for incoming calls. I am a fan of SIP, just not the way it is being marketed today. In my opinion, SIP is more viable as a redundant backup solution rather than a primary service.

4. VoIP for residential market – Pro: It’s cheap. Con: You bring your own bandwidth (BYOB) and the quality can be unreliable at times. Because we are discussing a residential application, the Cons are not reason enough to avoid this product. Call quality is not mission critical in your home. Therefore, the low cost benefit of this service makes it a formidable foe to traditional POTS lines.

It is very important that you rely on a trusted adviser when contemplating a VoIP deployment. If you feel you need to do this in order to keep up with the competition, you are wrong. For more information feel free to contact us toll-free @ 1-855-929-9199.

(originally via Scott Sinclair)