NBN & Internet Complaints on the Rise in 2016

If you are having issues with your internet connection or NBN service, you’re not alone! The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) released a publication in November 2016 that outlined the state of affairs for the period between July 2015 and June 2016, and it was not good news for the NBN.   

Overview of 2015-2016 in telco complaints

Australians made a total of 112, 518 complaints during that period, and while those about the internet and the NBN skyrocketed, new complaints about mobile and landline phone services saw a drop. It’s not all good news, however. In total, complaints about landline, mobile, and internet decreased during the year by a total of 9.6%. That sounds great, until you learn that, between July and September 2016, new complaints were 25.7% higher than they were at the same time in 2015.

NBN a major reason for complaints

The fact that complaints rose as the NBN really started to kick off in 2016 doesn’t, unfortunately, appear to be a coincidence.

Ombudsman Judi Jones says, “We saw nearly a 100 per cent increase in the number of NBN related complaints this year, but the rate of growth is lower than the growth of active services”. She went on to state that the most regularly reported issues were delays in connections to the network, faults ( including unusable services), and service dropouts.

The statistics to confirm these reports include the 147.8% jump in complaints about faults on NBN services, while complaints about NBN connections rose by a total of 63.2%.

A breakdown of telco complaints

We’ll take a snapshot look at some of the key statistics here, but if you want to read the whole report, go to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman website and follow the links.

The 112, 518 new complaints made to the TIO in the 2015-2016 financial year can be broken down into four service types: Mobile complaints made up 36.6%, Internet 34.6%, and Landline 28.8%.

The top five reasons for complaints remained the same as the previous year and were, in order, billing and payments, customer service, faults, complaint handling, and contracts.

Who complained the most? It would seem that the TIO received more complaints from Victorians than any other state, with 5.9 for every 1000 people. The other states were as follows:

  • South Australia – 5.34 per 1000 people
  • Australian Capital Territory – 5.22 per 1000 people
  • New South Wales – 5.21 per 1000 people
  • Queensland – 4.80 per 1000 people
  • Tasmania – 4.42 per 1000 people
  • Western Australia – 4.16 per 1000 people
  • Northern Territory – 3.83 per 1000 people

The average across Australia was 5.24 new complaints per 1000 people, and most of those new complaints came from consumers in major cities.

What to do if you have an issue with your provider

The first point of call is to call your provider directly and talk to someone about the issue you are having. If you don’t think your complaint has been resolved, or are unhappy with how it has been dealt with, you can ask to speak to a conflict resolution manager. If you’re still unhappy, that’s when you should get in touch with the TIO.

They provide free and independent dispute services for small businesses and residential consumers, and can be contact via a form on their website, or by calling 1800 062 058.

6 Easy Steps To Step Up Skype for Business Call Forwarding

In this article, I am going to take you through the 6 easy steps you need to go through to setup Skype for Business call forwarding to landlines or mobiles.

We often have the experience where a customer has an existing Skype for business number that they’d like to port to our services. We’ll explain below why (in most cases) this simply isn’t possible – but we’ll also give you a way around it by forwarding all of your Skype for business calls to your chosen mobile or landline number.

Is my Skype For Business Number portable?

Skype numbers are, typically, not portable. That’s because the local numbers that are supplied are owned by Skype and not the user, who is technically renting access to the number. Under ACMA (The Australian Communications and Media Authority) and TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman), Skype clients do not own any numbers that they have been issued by the company. Therefore, under LNP rules, Skype cannot legally put through port requests for any of the numbers that they supply.

What if I had a number ported into Skype originally?

If you had an existing local number ported into Skype, then you should be able to have it ported back out again to another provider.

But I want to keep my Skype for business number for use on a landline or mobile!

Many clients are frustrated by the news that they can’t simply move their existing phone number from Skype to our services, like they would be able to from any other telco provided number. But, like most things these days, there are some actions you can take to get around this problem. The answer is Call forwarding, and there’s only a few steps you need to take to make it happen.

How to set up a permanent forward from your Skype for business number to your landline or mobile

If you want to keep your Skype Number and use it on your landline or mobile phone, the only realistic option is to permanently forward your Skype Number using an unlimited landline phone plan.

First, you will need to make changes to your Skype subscription as follows:

Step 1: Change your Skype account to the ‘Australia unlimited mins landlines plan AU$5.00/month’.

Skype for Business Call Forwarding plans

If you pay annually, you will save an additional 15%

Skype for business call forwarding annual plans

Next, follow these steps to forward all Skype calls to your chosen destination:

Step 2: Sign in to your skype account

Step 3: Go to the Manage Features section, and select Call Forwarding

Step 4: Select the button to enable call forwarding, so that it appears green. Once you’ve enabled the feature, select how many seconds you would like your calls to ring before they are forwarded (If you want ALL calls to be forwarded at all times, select a minimum number of seconds).

Step 5: Next, select the destination of your forwarded calls. In this case, you will most likely be allocating a landline or mobile number. Make sure you select the correct country or region when entering the phone number.

You can forward your Skype calls to up to three mobile or landline phone numbers worldwide by selecting Add Number and entering the details as above.

Step 6: Confirm the changes you have made.

Once you have followed these steps, every call received will be forwarded to your chosen phone number, even if you aren’t actually signed into your Skype account.

To turn off Skype for Business Call Forwarding, simply sign in to your account, go to Call Forwarding in the Manage Features section, and select the green button to disable the feature.

The nbn™ Network: What You Need To Know

Are you wondering if you have to move to the NBN?

For most people, the answer is YES! That is, if you want to keep your landline phone and internet services.

Sounds drastic, but it’s true, because to make way for the new network, parts of the existing network are being switched off. Watch the video below to find out more.

Prepare your business properly

Are your landline phone and internet services NBN-ready? Will your existing phone and internet technology, including your phone system, continue to work after the disconnection of the copper network?

There are a lot of questions, that’s for sure. At Infiniti, we like providing people with honest information that will get them where they need to be. You can call us today on 1300 889 792 to find out how your business can be prepared for the NBN.

We also offer a comprehensive, fully subsidised NBN-ready audit. our technicians will come to your office and assess everything from your phone system to your EFTPOS terminal, and help arm you with what you need to make a smooth and cost effective NBN transition. Call our specialised team directly on 1300 513 140 now.

Telstra turning off the 2G Network

What you need to know to be prepared

The Telstra 2G network has been operating for a long time, but on 1st December 2016, Telstra officially turned it off in every corner of Australia. While they did spend the months ahead of the switch off contacting those consumers who still have devices that use the 2G network, there are still a lot of people and businesses that will be affected.

Knowing what the 2G switch off means, how it affects emergency service access, and understanding how you will be affected, is crucial information for everyone, even those using 3G and 4G technology.

person holding smartphone to demonstrate Telstra turning off the 2G network

Why did Telstra turn off the 2G Network?

The 2G network was what we used in the early days of mobile communication. While it played an important role, it’s now making way for better technology. The fact that Telstra are getting rid of such an outdated technology will mean two things.

The first is that they won’t be investing in outdated technology. This will make more room for investment in more up to date technologies.

The second is that, if other providers follow in Telstra’s footsteps (and they will), the 900Mhz frequency will be freed up. The 900 Mhz band is already used by Telstra for 4G technology. By disconnecting the 2G network, space will be freed for them and other providers to increase 4G cover, and that of newer technologies.

What does Telstra turning off the 2G network mean for you?

No 2G sim card in any phone or mobile broadband device or 2G machine to machine device that connects to the Telstra network will work anymore. This has especially important repercussions for the emergency services. Any piece of important equipment should be upgraded immediately.

If you try to call the emergency services on 000 or 112 on a 2G device, it will not work on the Telstra network. However, if you are in the range of a 2G network from another provider, such as Vodafone or Optus, your device will use their network and be able to make the call.

When you’re within range of another 2G provider’s network, your screen is likely to display ‘SOS’ or ‘Emergency Calls Only’.

How can you tell if you are affected by Telstra turning off the 2G network?

  1. Check what type of SIM card is in your device
  2. Check your mobile handheld device
  3. Mobile network settings

What if I have a 3G or 4G Sim Card that sometimes shows the 2G symbol?

If you have a 3G or 4G enabled sim card and phone, it is unlikely you will notice any difference.

3G and 4G technology is designed to be backwards compatible with previous generation mobile frequencies. In the past this has meant that, in areas where the 3G and 4G networks aren’t available, your phone would have searched for a 2G frequency and used it. You would have been able to at least receive phone calls and text messages in areas where only 2G was available.

Now that Telstra has disconnected the network, it is officially gone as a backup. Now, your phone will simply show no signal. You won’t be able to make or receive calls or text messages. This excludes emergency calls, as mentioned above.

Advice for anyone with a 2G phone or device

Turnin off the 2G network is just the start

The other networks will follow.

Many older industrial devices or terminals may still use 2G  networks. This table will show you how you can access the 3G and 4G networks from your devices:

 

Device & SIM card What you’ll need to do
If you have a 2G SIM card in a 2G device Neither will work, so you’ll need to purchase a new 3G SIM card and a  new device
You have a 2G SIM card in a 3G/4G device Your device will still work, but you’ll need a new 3G SIM card
You have a 3G SIM card in a 2G device You’ll need a new device, and depending on which device you purchase, you may also need a new 3G SIM card
You have a 3G SIM card in a 3G/4G device Make sure that  your device network Settings are configured to ‘Auto’.

If your business operates in a rural or remote location and you have always relied on having 2G Telstra coverage, you need to act. The other providers will be following in Telstra’s footsteps and turning off their 2G networks in the future. Relying on them as backup is not a good idea.

The Big Picture

We know there is a lot of politics around new technology and the NBN at present. The fact is we’re moving forward, whether we like it or not.
The many changes in technology can seem confusing and complicated, but the truth is that they are unavoidable. If your business isn’t ready for what lays ahead, you could find yourself left behind.

The good news is that you can take steps early to make understand how your business will be impacted. A subsidised NBN-ready audit is available for your business until 31 March, 2017. If you want to make sure you’re armed with everything you need, get in touch with our team today. Being prepared for the NBN could very well be the best decision you make for your business this year.

Get Ready for the NBN

Make sure your business is prepared with an NBN-ready audit

Are you hoping (like many people) that you don’t have to do anything to get ready for the NBN?Are you hesitating because switching your services over is a hassle you’d like to avoid? Please, read on!

Unfortunately the NBN will hold no prisoners, and you’ll have to confront the big change sooner, rather than later.

For residential customer, switching an internet connection and a phone line is a breeze. But for businesses, there can be multiple different services that you’ll need to think about. It can get complicated because the NBN isn’t a one-size-fits all technology. Watch this video for a quick guide to switching to the NBN.

infiniti get ready for the nbn with an nbn ready auditWhy it’s so important to get ready for the NBN

The fact that the NBN is not a choice is only the tip of the iceberg. You’ll not only have to migrate your internet to a broadband solution, but you’ll also have to consider your phones. That means your phone system, EFTPOS terminals, your fax machine, your HICAPS terminal, and your security systems. Every device will have to switch, but the catch is that not every device is NBN friendly.

Another reason that preparation is key to a successful switch is the fact that the NBN is a Multi Mix Technology (MTM). Not every NBN connection is the same, and the type you get will depend on what type NBN Co. rolls out in your area. Again, you won’t get a choice here, so understanding what type you’ll get, and how your internet and phone lines will operate, is crucial.

Time may not be on your side

One of the biggest mistakes we have seen businesses make is the assumption that they don’t need to do anything to get ready for the NBN. There is an assumption that the switch will be as simple as NBN Co. advertises it will be – ‘as easy as 1, 2, 3’.

Migrating your services is NOT a simple unplug, replug deal. Existing outlets will no longer work. Current devices may no longer work. Your phone system may no longer work. And if you plan to switch at the last minute, you won’t have time to sort out any of these problems before NBN Co switches off your existing services.

An NBN installation can occur between ten days and six weeks after you place your order. If anything doesn’t work the way it should, it can take the same amount of time again to have the issue resolved. Add to that the fact that NBN Co. will be switching ALL traditional services within 18 months of the rollout hitting your area.

Waiting – and not being prepared – aren’t worth the risk of having no phone, internet, EFTPOS, fax… you get the idea.

Get ready for the NBN with a personalised audit

Doing the research  to understand the NBN inside and out is not for everybody, nor should it be. Your top priority is making sure the telecommunications wheels keep on turning when your business makes the switch.

In order to help businesses keep that priority in check, we’ve developed a comprehensive NBN-ready audit. One of our tech wizards will visit your office and thoroughly assess your current setup. they’ll talk to you about your future prospects and expectations, and make recommendations. In short, they will give you everything you need to switch smoothly to the NBN. They’ll also offer advice on how to save yourself a fortune on new hardware and equipment.

It really will make your life a lot easier, and give you peace of mind that you’ll be saving money by getting the right advice from people you can trust.

Get in touch with the Australian based Infiniti team now to find out more about our NBN audit, and book your assessment for only $99 – but be quick, this great price is only available until 1st January, 2017!

Do Hosted Solutions spell the end for Traditional Phone Systems?

Is your traditional phone system on it’s last legs?

If you had asked our experts ten years ago whether or not a hosted phone system is as good as a traditional phone system, you might possibly have been laughed out of the room. But now the tables have turned, and it’s often our hosted customers that are doing the laughing.

infiniti do cloud hosted solutions spell end for traditional phone systems

So what is a Hosted phone system?

It’s safe to say that most people have now at least heard of a hosted phone system, so we won’t get into too much of the nitty gritty here.

Basically, it will do the same thing as your traditional phone system, but your chosen provider hosts all of the programs and features. These live ‘in the cloud’ – which just means ‘in the internet’.

A hosted pbx system comes with a basic network modem/switch, to which you connect IP phone handsets. This network switch communicates over the internet back to the hosted pbx provider. The brains and hardware that drive these hosted pbx solutions are located off premises. There’s no large admin unit in the office. No need for your IT guys to worry about maintenance and management. And every change you’d like made to your system can be done remotely by your provider or, in many cases, you can do it yourself using a web based application.

Why are Hosted pbx phone systems so popular?

    • No hardware = no installation –

      Unlike phone systems that require technicians to install the main equipment, hosted pbx systems don’t. Once there’s an available internet connection, you simply plug the router switch into it. All the instructions it receives travel from your host (provider) over the internet.

  • No hardware = reduced costs –

    With no main equipment, you’ll likely be able to implement a hosted solution for less money.

  • Choice of handsets –

    Unlike traditional phone systems (where you buy handsets of the same brand as the phone system), most hosted pbx suppliers are brand agnostic. You can connect any SIP handset to them, which increases your options and flexibility.

  • More features –

    Because your chosen host will have all features available to all of their connected customers, you won’t need to licence expensive add-ons like call recording, or call counting, which you do have to do with traditional phone systems. The provider will be able to activate any features you want with the click of a mouse. The Hosted PBX solution we provide, for example, come with a whole bunch of free features, and free programming for life. There are other optional features available, but at a fraction of the cost you’d find with traditional phone systems.

  • Grow as big as you want ANYWHERE –

    Your staff can connect to your system ANYWHERE in the world with a good internet connection and an IP handset. A Hosted PBX provider can connect thousands of users in the same organisation, across multiple locations. That means no size restrictions.

  • Mobility

Mobility is hot, and it’s only going to grow in the future. Hosted PBX systems make it much easier for you to stay connected anywhere, anytime, using any mobile device.

Out with the old and in with the new?

While they are super popular, getting rid of your existing system might not be the most viable option for your business. If you’re looking for a new system, we’d always recommend hosted, hands down. But there are also a lot of good reasons to keep using the PBX system you’ve already got.

Our Hosted colution, supplied by our chosen carrier partner, SpringCom, really does deliver savings and features that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Give our team a call to find out more about our easy setup, loads of free features, and FREE programming for life.

VoIP for Small Business

VoIP phone systems used to be for big business only – my how times have changed.  The reality is that small businesses experience equal, if not greater benefits than their larger counterparts by implementing a VoIP solution.  This is because smaller companies often have a disproportionate amount of phone lines; larger companies that have 60 staff will typically have about 20 lines, but it’s not uncommon for a small business with only 4 staff to have 4 traditional phone lines.

Infiniti Voip for small business

This is probably mostly due to the fact that they spend more time on the phone with the obvious multitasking that goes on with having less staff.  They need to have available phone lines for incoming calls, but still have capacity when they’re using the phone to make outbound calls.

Not having to pay expensive line rentals is a major benefit of implementing VoIP for small business,  but it’s not the only one – far from it.  If you’re a small business, you would be crazy if you didn’t ate least run the numbers for yourself, because a Hosted Phone system that uses VoIP technology will save you a packet.

The benefits of having VoIP for Small Business

Before we go on… yes, we are affiliated with SpringCom, who are our chosen carrier partner, and supplier of our Hosted Phone System solutions.

The following benefits are based on the SpringCom Hosted PBX system  that we provide here at Infiniti, and their super-affordable call rates. Other providers may not be able to deliver the advantages that we have listed below.

Dirt Cheap VoIP Mobile Calls

Calls to mobile phone rates typically represent about 70% of a small business’ phone bill.  With VoIP phone systems, we’ve seen customers cut their monthly bill by up to 60%, and you can imagine the incredible impact this will have on reducing your overall spend.

While we do’t provide phone services, SpringCom is our chosen carrier partner. They offer a FREE phone bill appraisal for businesses; simply give them a past phone bill and they’ll te you exactly how much you’ll save if you make the switch to their VoIP services. Give their friendly, Australian based team a call on 1300 857 194 if you;d like to know more.

VoIP Untimed locals and STD calls

With no flag falls or timed calls, you can make as many calls as you like for an ultra low fixed rate.  Long distance and local calls usually make up about 30% of a typical small business phone bill – now you can talk for as long as you want, without being charged extra for long distance calls.

Cheap VoIP international call rates

VoIP international rates are a LOT more affordable than traditional rates, and if you make IDD calls then you’ll save plenty!

No expensive line rentals

At the moment you probably pay anywhere up to $40 per traditional PSTN phone line.  With VoIP and SIP trunks, you can get 10 phone lines for  less than you pay for 3 phone lines!

More phone lines for FREE

Plenty of customers would have more phone lines if they didn’t have to pay for them.  With VoIP and SIP you can have free excess capacity at no charge!

Hosted PBX

Hosted phone systems completely eliminates the need for expensive hardware.  All of the complicated stuff – along with the maintenance and management if your system – is handles by your host.

Expensive features for free

With a SpringCom Hosted PBX system, you get over 50 features for free – features that you’d have to pay for with Hybrid systems.  Features such as video conferencing, call recording, call accounting, multiparty conferencing, multiple answering points, voicemail, auto attendant and much more.

Free Programming for LIFE!

SpringCom offers absolutely, 100% free programming changes to your Hosted Phone system for life. So any time you need to update a message or change your hunt groups, they are only a phone call away, and will make the changes instantly.

Remote workers & Mobile Office

Do you have staff that are constantly on the go, or do you travel a lot? With an internet connection and an IP handset, you can now effortlessly connect remote and mobile workers to your Hosted PBX system for a lot less than you can with traditional PBX solutions. It’s also super-easy to connect using mobile devices from pretty much anywhere in Australia no that the NBN is being rolled out.

Scalability

With a Hosted PBX system that utilises VoIP, you won’t have to purchase any expensive equipment as your business grows. Adding users is just a matter of getting contacting your provider and getting an additional handset. And there’s no limit, so grow, grow, grow!

As you can see, there are some decent reasons to implement VoIP for our small business solution.  Speak to one of our Infiniti VoIP specialists today, we’ll organise a free demonstration so you can see how effective it can be for your company.

Busting Myths about VoIP

Time to settle this once and for all!

Now that the NBN is making it’s way out across Australia, avoiding the reality that is VoIP is no longer possible. Sooner or later, over 90% of Australians will be using a VoIP service to make phone calls.

But in the past, poor old VoIP has got itself a bad rap.

Scared traditional PBX resellers are perhaps the greatest culprits perpetuating myths regarding VoIP for business as a viable solution.  We provide both Hosted and Hybrid solutions, so we’ve heard every myth in existence.

But because VoIP is going to be unavoidable, we thought it was high time we got our myth-busting hats on an addressed some of the misconceptions once and for all.

infiniti busting Myths about Voip

Busting the most common Myths about VoIP

Myth #1 – VoIP is totally unreliable

One of the reasons this myth is so popular is because, if you don’t have the right service to make business phone calls, you’re going to experience problems. Way back when VoIP first emerged, this was more common than it is now. Actually – this problem should be non-existent now, if you go with the right provider.

If your phone service is sharing with your internet service, an email download could mean interruptions to your phone calls. There are two possible solutions. The first is to up the bandwidth (only viable for smaller businesses). The second is to get a separate, dedicated data service that exists only for your phone system.

When it comes to running your phone system, using SIP is really the only way to go. It’s next-level, business grade VoIP, and it’s fast, reliable, and affordable. We won’t go into the details of SIP trunking here, but head to this page if you’d like to know more about how SIP works with a phone system. And remember when talking to a potential service provider to ask for BUSINESS GRADE VoIP.

Myth #2 – You need IT specialists to operate it

Hogwash!  VoIP and SIP, once set up, do exactly what your traditional phone lines do. You pick up your phone, dial the number, and talk to someone.

Your VoIP service will simply plug into your modem rather than into a wall socket. But if you want to get technical, with IP enabled phone systems, you’ll also be able to make calls using your computer and mobile devices.

Myth #3 – VoIP isn’t secure

It’s true that VoIP and Hosted PBX fraud is a thing, but most VoIP providers have stricter safeguards than their traditional phone line counterparts.  If someone started making lots of fraudulent calls on your phone system, a VoIP provider would know well before you got your phone bill from Telstra ( who might not even notice, tbh).

You’ve also got the power to make sure you are protected from hackers, find out how here.

Myth #4 – VoIP is hard to install and use

It’s actually extremely simple. You simply connect your handsets to your router, and because Hosted phone system handsets are already programmed, you can just start using them straight away. No fiddling about required.  As far as operation, the VoIP and SIP handsets look and operate just like normal phones.  One touch buttons for all key features.

Myth #5 – Small business doesn’t benefit from VoIP

The truth of the matter is actually the complete opposite.  We actually wrote a completely separate article about this point alone.  Checkout out our post why VoIP for small business is ideal.

The truth is, this probably won’t be the last negative misinformation you hear about VoIP, but sooner or later it will be time to accept that it’s the phone solution of the future.

If you want to get on the awesome VoIP bandwagon, speak to one of our Infiniti phone system experts. We offer both Hybrid and Hosted solutions, and we’ll happily go through the pro’s and con’s of each with you.

Top 10 Things to Consider for Successful Mobile Video Conferencing

If you‘re looking at implementing successful mobile video conferencing and collaboration then you’re probably already abreast of how incredible this powerful technology can be.

Mobile video communication can speed up business communications, bring remote and mobile workers back into the company fold, as well as help you communicate with contractors and customers more effectively.  The best part about it is that most employees already have the video capable devices they need with Android smartphones, iPhones, iPads and tablets.

This two-part guide is designed to help you consider all the elements you’ll need to help you make not only an informed decision, but also the right decision for future considerations.  Let’s get into it….

Image showingInfiniti video about successful mobile video conferencing

Part One: Understanding your specific requirements for successful mobile video conferencing

As part of any mobile video conferencing solution, you may need to consider a network upgrade. But before you do, it’s important that you assess your business communications and asking yourself the right questions. If you have a targeted plan, you’ll get the most out of your mobile video conferencing solution.

1. Objectives

  • What’s the main reason you’re looking at introducing video collaboration?
  • Is it to achieve cost reductions?
  • More effective remote and mobile employees?
  • Eliminating or reducing timely and expensive travel requirements and the associated expenses?
  • Productivity enhancements?

Ask yourself and your team to define the key reasons you are thinking about implementing successful mobile video conferencing initiative.

2. What’s your definition of a successful collaboration solution?

  • What is your company’s definition of a successful mobile video conferencing and collaboration initiative?
  • Are there specific travel costs or training expense reductions you hope to achieve?  Also, what about defining the employee productivity improvements you want to realise?
  • Can you quantify expected improvements in sales or service?

In many cases the ROI is quite extraordinary, and the more specific you are in setting goals, the clearer you’ll be able to demonstrate the ROI in the future.

3. Scale & numbers

  • How many mobile and video conferences need to take place at once?
  • Do you need multi-party video or only point-to-point (two people at a time)?

It’s crucial that you don’t underestimate the importance of this aspect, because once you’ve implemented the initiative, your employees will probably start to use it a lot more than you anticipate.  At least – that’s what any of our other customers have experienced.

For example, when Avaya themselves rolled out their Radvision Scopia® solution to some 4,500 employees, they quickly learnt that it was not only highly productive but also highly sought after.  You may experience quite a big uptake and find the need to scale up if you only start small.  Be aware and understand the costs involved in scaling your solution.

4. Mobility

  • What types of mobile video devices will your conferencing need to support?
  • In addition, do you want to be able to easily extend mobile video conferencing services to your customers, students, patients and/or suppliers without having to get additional licences or having ask your Video Conferencing Administrator to set it up or provide firewall access?

It’s super important to make sure you also understand the licencing model of the solutions you’re looking at.

5. Usage

  • Do you just want to communicate face-to-face, so to speak, or do you also need to share documents, spread sheets and more?
  • What about potential legal compliance issues?
  • Do you have a need to record conferencing sessions and store them for future access, such as training?
  • Have you considered HD?

If you’re offering training, teaching, or other similar services, the need for HD may be very important (think of medical training for remote locations).  For most people 720p resolution will meet all but the most demanding applications.

6.Existing infrastructure

  • What current network, communication, contact centre, and conferencing solutions do you already have in your company?

You may also find that you already have the ability to add mobile video conferencing to your existing solution. It is important to assess this carefully,  because your mobile video telepresence and collaboration may need to closely integrate with your existing technologies and infrastructure.

This ends part 1 of our Top 10 Things to Consider For Mobile Video Conferencing & Collaboration Success.  There’s serious food for thought in these points and if you’re serious about getting it right, take the time to address them all properly.

Part Two: Choosing the Mobile Video Collaboration Solution That’s Right For Your Business

 

This section is going to delve a little deeper into the technical considerations.  So enjoy….Image of a board room to show Infiniti choosing mobile video conferencing solutiom for your business

If you paid attention to the Part 1, you should have a sound understanding of what you’re hoping to achieve. That means you’re in a good position to evaluate different mobile conferencing and collaboration solutions to meet your requirements. But before you make that decision, there are a few more important factors that you will need to consider.

7. Bandwidth requirements.

We cannot stress enough how vital your bandwidth is to mobile conferencing. Video – especially HD – can chew through what you thought might be adequate bandwidth.

The good news is that data is a lot more affordable than it used to be. You will need to seriously assess what you currently have, and what you will potentially need.

Bear in mind that the potential solutions you investigate could have similar price points, but could have very different outcomes with data usage. The fine details of your data service are not to be ignored. Also note that different video collaboration and conferencing solutions can vary in how they manage your bandwidth requirements.

What should you be looking for?

You should look at mobile video collaboration solutions that have strong compression standards like H.264 High Profile. But it’s also worth noting that a mobile smartphone screen requires a lot less data than a full blown HD video conferencing room system. It will pay to have a look back at the questions you asked yourself in the first part of this series to figure out how different users are going to connect.

There are some video conferencing and collaboration solutions that can’t detect the particular endpoint in use, or its specific requirements, and will send the same amount of data regardless – not ideal!

8. Network considerations for mobile video collaboration

The fact is most mobile workers and your customers will typically connect over non-managed networks. Advanced solutions like the Radvision Scopia can actually adjust for network conditions as they change.  For example, if there is a drop in data transmission, it will reduce the video quality temporarily so that the transmission still goes through, and then restore it to full definition once the service has restored to the required levels.

Alternatively, lesser solutions that can’t adapt simply freeze, or even drop the entire remaining session to a lower quality, either of which is far from ideal.

9. Ease of use

For something to be widely adopted in a company, it has to not just good but also be easy to use – especially when there are alternatives available.  One of the things we love about the Scopia and Avaya product lines is they are not only brilliant, but they fit the ease-of-use bill perfectly.  We also like that there are choices at different price points.  You can go for the incredible and comprehensive Scopia solutions, or you can simply have the use of built-in video softphone (included in the Power User and Teleworker applications with the Avaya IP Office phone system).

One thing you MUST do is to demo any mobile video conferencing or collaboration system before you purchase it. You might find that the usability is more important than the crazy features you may never use.

10. Licensing and Firewall Issues

It’s vital that you have a licencing system that supports the addition of users up to a given number, rather than named users. Otherwise it can become a very costly experience to lose a licence for a one off user that you can’t change over.

You must also consider firewall traversal issues. The Radvision Scopia has the firewall traversal built into the Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU). Most, however, require you to purchase and manage a separate server. This needs to be factored into any solution’s total cost.

Where do you go to from here?

It’s simple really – just give Infiniti’s experts a call on 1300 889 792. We’ll arrange for a free demonstration of any of our Mobile Conferencing and Collaboration solutions. That way, you can see first hand how they look, feel and operate.

You can read all the literature in the world, but demo-ing various solutions is the only way to make sure you’re comfortable with everything, and that you’re making the right choice for your business.

Are Hybrid or Hosted PBX systems better?

In recent years, hosted PBX systems have emerged as one of the most popular choices for Australian businesses. However, whether or not the option is the right one for your business is another question.

This article will take a look at the difference between the two, and help you to make your own conclusion about which one is better.

Hosted PBX Systems

One of the biggest differences between Hybrid and Hosted is that the latter does not have any hardware or equipment stored in your actual office, apart from your handsets, a router and a switch. Everything else is hosted and managed from servers in the control centre of your chosen provider, and all of the features and programming of your phone system is stored ‘in the cloud’ – which is the term now used to describe the internet. If you use any kind of personal storage, like iCloud, Dropbox, or even email – then you’re already using it.

In the past, there were some drawbacks to using Hosted systems over Hybrid. The main issue was lack of system features that customers were used to.  Making and receiving calls was never a problem, but having auto attendant, call recording, voicemail, hunt groups and other advanced system programming that was standard on hybrid phone systems was a challenge with early VoIP technology.

Now, with SIP (an advanced form of VoIP), system features that would normally be controlled by the phone system box in your office are now communicated to each handset by your host. For example, when you access your voicemail, your handset sends a signal via SIP trunks to the host to trigger that feature.

Here’s some more information about how SIP works, and the difference between VoIP and SIP.

Why do some argue that Hosted is better?

There are a number of reasons that Hosted systems are generally better than Hybrid. First off, the elimination of any serious hardware in the office means that the hassle of managing and maintenance is out of your hands – or the hands of your IT guy.

The added bonus here is that, because everything is maintained by your host, everything is managed there, too. That means that programming changes can be done remotely by your chosen provider, with no need for a technician to ever have to come to your office.

Also, many hosted phone systems also offer web applications that you can access yourself, so you’ll be able to actually change and update features whenever you want to from your computer. Although it might sound complicated, they are generally designed for ease of use, so pretty much anyone has the basic skills needed to do it.

are hybrid or hosted pbx systems better

Hybrid Phone Systems

Hybrid phone systems still do exactly what they’ve always done, which is exactly what Hosted systems do. The only difference is that you have a physical box located in your office.

But that does make all the difference when it comes to managing and maintaining your system and features. If you’ve got one, then you know that it takes an IT guy (or someone with relevant skills) to program features, update and maintain it, and protect it from damage. With the hosted option, as we said, all of that is done by your host.

One issue that arises in this debate is the fact that Hybrid phone systems use PSTN or ISDN phone lines, which can be quite a lot more expensive than SIP. But here’s the thing – you can use SIP with your hybrid system, too, and save on phone line rental and calls without getting a new system. Another issue is that many people are being told that you need a Hosted system if you’re getting the NBN. Again – not true!

So before you give it the total flick, read about the many reasons to hang onto your existing PBX system.

So… are Hybrid or Hosted PBX Systems better?

The only person who can make this call is someone who knows your business, how it operates, and how it wants to operate into the future. Let’s look at the differences:

Cost of setup

The cost of setting up either Hybrid or Hosted are not too different. For a company of six staff, for example, a Hybrid solution would likely cost around $140-$180/month rental. With a Hosted solution of the same size, you would be renting your handsets, which cost between $25 and $50/month. The difference is not that huge, especially if you factor in the value of convenience.

Obviously, when purchasing a new system, we would recommend you go for a Hosted solution. The hardware costs are lower, the maintenance issues are pretty much non-existent, and managing your program features is really simple.

Cost of phone calls and line rental

One of greatest benefits of Hosted systems is that they’re made for SIP. As a you save a fortune on phone calls and line rental.

While that’s true, it’s also true that most new Hybrid systems are also SIP compatible. And most older one’s can be made compatible, too.

Flexibility & Mobility

The greatest benefit of Hosted PBX systems is how flexible they are.

Both Hybrid and Hosted can achieve IP connectivity for companies that have multiple office locations and multiple remote workers. However, it’s cheaper with a Hosted system.

Plus, with web-based applications, you can actually access your phone system from literally anywhere with a decent internet connection.

Redundancy

Redundancy options are easier with hosted systems. You can control and manage where calls go, when they go there, and even migrate features like voicemail, auto attendant, and call forwarding to mobile devices in the event of an emergency or system failure. Most Hosted systems have built-in redundancy. Here’s some more about how to make sure you’re backed up when your phone system fails.

Timing

One downside to setting up SIP services is that it can take a while to get everything up and running. This can be the deciding factor for many who want their phone system set up within days. in this case, customers will opt for a hybrid. At the end of the day, it does the same job…

The Final Verdict

Are Hosted or Hybrid phone systems better?

As we said, we’ll let you make that decision for yourself, based on the needs of your business. We know that what works for one company might not work for another. That’s why we still provide both Hybrid and Hosted solutions.

With our Hosted PBX system, you get a tailored solution, including call rates, line rental, and handset options. They also offer free programming for life – which is no small thing. Any time you want a system change, just give us a call and we’ll do whatever you need done.
They can also sort you out with your entire telco needs, including NBN solutions for your business.

If you’re still unsure about whether you’d prefer a Hybrid or Hosted phone system, give our friendly team a call on 1300 889 792 to have a chat about what you’re looking for.