Why should you switch to the Cloud for your Communications Platform?

Is moving to the cloud worth it?
Well, let’s take a look at the features you would get for roughly the same price you pay right now for Voice/Voicemail. With the mid-range plan, you could get Unlimited Calling to 32 Countries, Unlimited Faxing, Call Analytics, Business Class SMS, Voicemail, and call recording! All these features (and more), all for around the same price you would pay per line from your local provider to just receive voice calls and voicemail! The great part about all of this is you can even keep your phone number. Being able to communicate is key in a growing business. It allows you to be more efficient, save money, and improve quality assurance. So why not use the best to communicate?

How do you know it’s fit for you?
First off, Cloud Communications can fit almost anyone’s needs, but we can use an example for this. Let’s say, Real Estate agents. They have to be mobility masters and have a tendency to use their personal cell phones for the business. But who wants to do that? Some might, but the majority would probably wish they could take their entire phone system from work on the road with them. Well, with a Cloud Communications platform, you can! Mobility is one of the key features. You can have your office phone on a cell phone, desktop computer, tablet, etc. Anywhere you can open a web browser, you can stay connected. It’s like having your entire desk phone in your pocket! Let’s say you don’t want to put anything on your phone. Simple! Just forward those calls to your cell phone. The ability to go anywhere at any time is vital to businesses on the move, even if you aren’t a real estate agent. If you need mobility, then Cloud Communications is a key move.

We talked about real estate agents and traveling employees. Let’s get deeper and talk about Call Centers. Yeah, I said it, the one place that communication is absolutely key. The cloud is there for you too. With numerous abilities, like call parking, auto attendant and easy to set up ring groups, you’re covered! The three main points at a Call Center would be Sales, Technical Support, and Customer Service. With ring groups, you can easily divide and conquer. We haven’t even mentioned the ease of extensions or presence. Easily set up extensions, so when you need to get a hold of someone, you can, and with just a press of a button. Now, along with extensions you need to remember presence. We’ve all called someone in the company just to get an “I’m on a call” voicemail. What if you could tell before you even pushed their extensions? With presence, you can! Let’s think of it this way: AOL Instant Messenger. Yeah, it’s a throwback thought, but you had the ability to know when someone was offline, online, or away! Same basic theory, but you know when someone is on a call, in a meeting, away, off work, and available! Cloud services seem like an amazing deal already, right?

How you actually know the Cloud is worth it…
Analytics. That’s a word most of us tend to hear too often. But on the cloud, it’s actually quite simple. You have the ability to automatically record calls, use them to train people, and improve your quality assurance! The use of this feature is filled with graphs, and easy to use categories. You can see how long clients are on hold, the average time it takes for a phone, call waiting times, and much more. Some of the packages offered, allow you to be notified when the system notices that someone raised their voice, and it will give you the ability to join that call. Allowing you to de-escalate the situation, and come up with a solution faster. Now, Barge-Monitor-Whisper, this one is actually pretty cool. You can ensure professional quality, train new employees during an actual call, and assist employees when they need help without the client even knowing. This is a pretty useful feature, being able to hop on a call, talk to your employee, and the client can’t hear you at all. These features allow you to nail down quality assurance so that your clients have the best experience when they call you for help.

Now, Let’s talk collaboration!
One feature we haven’t touched on – Meetings. At any business, trying to get everyone on a call at the same time can be a hassle occasionally. Well, being able to set up an email to go out company-wide, with a link and phone number, allows you to easily set up meetings with no confusion on how to join. Conferencing/Meetings with a new face, which includes screen sharing, file sharing, and of course, live video sharing. You’re probably thinking “with all these features, it must be a lot to maintain”. Well, that’s the kicker! There isn’t anything to maintain. No PBX, or onsite switchboard! Cloud services are, well, in the cloud. They don’t need to take up the IT department’s time trying to fix a phone or schedule a specialist to come to look at the onsite PBX. Being on the cloud not only loosens up the IT departments schedule to fix real problems, but it saves you money in the long run. You can continue to use your desk phone setup if you’d like, or you can run a softphone on your PC.

So, back to what I asked above. Why not use the best to communicate? Move to the future, switch to the cloud. Boost your efficiency, quality assurance, and rescue lost time.

Schedule a call with us today and let’s get moving! 1-800-749-3160

How do you calculate the cost of a traditional phone system?

How to calculate the cost of a traditional phone system

When the time comes to replace your on-premises PBX some of the first objections may come from your CIO, CFO, or controller. A new PBX typically has a price tag in the tens of thousands of dollars. If you require network upgrades or additional hardware to support multiple locations, the cost can easily grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, even those large numbers may not tell the whole story. A traditional phone system includes equipment that was purchased upfront (Capital Expenditure) combined with ongoing monthly bills (Operating Expenditure) for rental, services, and support. Here’s how to calculate the cost of a traditional phone system versus a cloud phone system, so you can make the cost comparison.

Calculate the cost of a tradition PBX

The most obvious outlays for an on-premises business communications system are the ones you can see and touch — the PBX hardware and the phones that connect to it. Traditional PBX requires upgrades, maintenance, and trained personnel to roll out software and hardware updates and system upgrades. Don’t forget to include the costs for trunk lines, fax costs, and phone number DIDs.  Click here to access an online savings calculator.

Add standalone telecom services to the total cost of PBX
Many times business is using third-party services for web meetings, chat, IM and a video platform. You need to add these costs to your total cost for the PBX.

Support and technicians, moves, adds and changes
Companies could also see losses of productivity and profits when they’re hit with downtime. For example, a natural disaster could shut down a local business using a traditional phone line for hours, or even days. The initial capital investment in an on-premises PBX is only the tip of the iceberg.

How to calculate the cost of a cloud phone system

It’s quite simple to work out your costs as there are a fixed price and monthly bill per user that you total for the year. The monthly bill includes porting your numbers, services, call minutes and support. Also, the total number of landline and mobile minutes can be shared across your users to keep costs down and you can add rental IP phones to the bill to keep your entire business communications to operating expenditure. A cloud phone system is based entirely on an operating expenditure model with a fixed price monthly bill, as the service is provided over the internet so there’s no capital outlay for equipment. That’s because many IP-based telephony solutions charge for the number of users on a network and which features an organization subscribes to, rather than charging based on a number of phone lines, caller and recipient locations, and more.

Cost comparison between traditional and cloud phone systems

VoIP is known for its cost-saving abilities. It’s not uncommon for businesses to find there’s a potential 35-60% cost saving on moving to the cloud. Plus, phone equipment, lines, calls, mobiles, fax, conferencing and support can be delivered by one provider, saving you time and resource, as you don’t have to juggle multiple suppliers and bills. Once you compare the cost of a traditional PBX vs. VoIP and consider all of the features you get with a cloud provider for one predictable low price, the decision is easy to make.

Find out how you can save money by moving to the cloud, with a free bill analysis service or by contacting a member of the Call One Cloud team for a personal demo.

Open Office Headset Solutions

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work.

Plantronics Blackwire 3200 Series

By Danny Hayasaka

September 5, 2018

Plantronics Blackwire 3200 Series replace the very popular Plantronics Blackwire 300 Series. There are some apparent cosmetic changes like the new “Lava” cable and accents. Some of the variants include folding speakers along with leatherette ear cushions and 3.5mm connection option. Also…like the Voyager 3200 UC, Voyager 5200 UC, Voyager 8200 UC and Blackwire 5200 Series.

Read more

Plantronics Calisto 7200

By Danny Hayasaka

August 28, 2018

Plantronics introduced a new member to their Calisto speakerphone family. The Calisto 7200 UC.

Like other new solutions Plantronics is producing, there aren’t “Microsoft” and “UC” variants. The Plantronics Calisto 7200 is certified for Skype for Business. Built for UC applications and softphones from Avaya, Cisco, Skype and others.

Read more

Jabra Speak 710 Review

By Danny Hayasaka

May 22, 2017

 

Finally got my hands on a couple of Jabra Speak 710s. When it comes to portable USB/Bluetooth speakerphones, the Speak 710 has the best audio quality I’ve experienced.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s go through the process.

The Jabra Speak 710 comes in two flavors:

What’s in the box? Jabra Speak 710 with a hardwired USB cable and integrated folding table stand, Link 370 USB Dongle, carry case, Quick Start Guide

Jabra Speak 710 Features:

  • Immersive sound for calls and music
  • Intuitive plug and play connectivity – connect to a laptop, smartphone and tablet via USB or Bluetooth®
  • Lightweight design, protective travel pouch, and 15 hours of battery life (3hrs to fully charge)
  • Flexible and scalable for small and large meetings
  • Interact with your voice assistant with the one-touch Smart button
  • Certified for Avaya, Cisco, and Skype for Business for a plug-and-play experience

Set Up and Use: For any Jabra US device, I strongly recommend downloading the FREE Jabra Direct software of individual use or Jabra Xpress for mass deployment.

 

Set up is a breeze. You have two options for connecting Jabra Speak 710 to PC/Laptop:

  1. Connect to PC via USB Cable (USB cable hardwired to Speak 710 and has nice cord management system)
  2. Connect to PC via Bluetooth (Link 370 USB dongle)

To connect Speak 710 to Bluetooth mobile device, hold the Bluetooth button for 2 seconds and follow the voice-guided instructions to pair to your smartphone.

Speak 710 controls:

  • Power on/off
  • Answer call
  • End call
  • Volume Up
  • Volume Down
  • Mute
  • Bluetooth
  • Battery status
  • Smart button
    • By default, the Smart button will activate your smartphone’s voice assistant (Siri®, Google Now™, Cortana™). However, if you would prefer the Smart button to instead speed dial a phone number on your Smartphone or PC, this can be configured using Jabra Direct.
  • Link Button
    • To temporarily link the audio between two Jabra Speak 710s, press the Link button on both speakerphones when they are within 2m/6ft. The Link button will only be visible when two Jabra Speak 710’s are within 2m/6ft.
    • To unlink the speakerphones, press the Link button on one of the speakerphones.

NOTE If two Bluetooth devices are connected to the Jabra Speak 710, the last connected Bluetooth device will be replaced by the temporary link.

The Jabra Speak 710 is a premium, portable speakerphone for business leaders and C-level executives that ensures amazing sound for conference calls and music – anytime, anywhere.

I have two Speak 710’s linked together so the audio experience is absolutely fantastic for calls and music!!!

Here are some use cases:

  • Small meeting room: 1-6 participants in the meeting room (place Speak 710 in the middle of the table)
  • Large Meeting room: Up to 12 participants (Link two Speak 710’s and place at either end of the table)
  • At your desk (Private office/home office): It’s recommended to put Speak 710 in an upright position using the integrated table stand.
  • Stereo media: if you are presenting or viewing stereo multimedia, two Jabra Speak 710’s can be positioned on either side of a projector or display for automatic stereo sound.

To help you keep track of tiny Link 370 USB dongle, there’s a slot on the underside of Speak 710 so you can store for travel.  Let’s say you forget dongle or forgot to charge…that’s okay, fortunately, there is a hardwired USB cable you can always use. The table stand is also a nice feature.

The Speak 710 is for those who need better audio quality for voice calls and streaming media. Additionally, the look of the Jabra Speak 710 is very nice compared to Speak 510.

I’ve tested all the business-grade portable USB/Bluetooth speakerphones from the major manufacturers and hands down, the Jabra Speak 710 provides the best audio quality.

 

How do you connect a Plantronics USB headset to a desk phone?

By Danny Hayasaka

May 18, 2017

“Can I use the Voyager 5200 UC or Voyager Focus UC with a desk phone?” is another question we get. The answer is “YES!” Back in 2014 I wrote about the MDA200, fast forward to 2017 and the MDA220 has been introduced. So what’s the difference between the two, they look identical?

The main differences:

  • Better integration with Plantronics Software like Plantronics Manager Pro subscription service
  • Compatibility with more Plantronics USB Headsets
    • Blackwire Family
    • Voyager Family
    • .Audio 615, .Audio 630M
    • Savi 400 Series
    • EncorePro USB Series
    • Bluetooth USB Adapter BT600 and BT300
    • Entera USB (HW111N, HW121N)
    • DA70, DA80, DA90

What’s in the Box? MDA 220 Audio Switcher, Telephone Interface Cable, Quick Start Guide

Set Up and Use: First connect your Plantronics Supported corded or wireless USB headset adapter to MDAA220 USB headset port. (See list above for list of supported headsets)

Connecting to PC or Laptop: Connect the USB cable from the MDA220 to the computer. The computer talk button LED will be solid green.

Connecting to Desk Phone: There are three options for connecting MDA220 to a desk phone.

  • Desk Phone (standard) via included Telephone Interface Cable
    • There are switch settings on underside as well as Speaker and Mic volume levels
  • Desk phone + HL10 lifter and power supply (sold separately)
  • Desk phone + EHS Cable (sold separately)

The Computer Audio Button and Desk Phone Audio Button are indicated via LED Indicators on the top of the MDA220. Below is the LED Indicator light guide:

 

I can’t stress enough the importance of downloading Plantronics Software or subscribing to Plantronics Manager Pro. The Asset Management capabilities are one thing, the awesome voice analytics are really great.

Plus Plantronics Hub software offers many options. You can update firmware or adjust multiple settings to support how you work.

The MDA220 is a solid solution. If you have questions, please contact your dedicated Call One, Inc. Account Executive. 1-800-749-3160

Jabra Evolve 75

By Danny Hayasaka

May 2, 2017

It’s no secret that noise and interruptions negatively impact productivity. Especially in open office environments. The chatter from neighboring colleagues can sometimes be too much when you are trying to complete a project.

Enter the Jabra Evolve 75. This wireless headset comes in four variants:

  • 7599-832-199 Jabra Evolve 75 MS Stereo with Charging Stand
  • 7599-838-199 Jabra Evolve 75 UC Stereo with Charging Stand
  • 7599-832-109 Jabra Evolve 75 headset MS Stereo
  • 7599-838-109 Jabra Evolve 75 headset UC Stereo

What’s in the box (Charging Stand Variant): Quick Start Guide, Evolve 75 headset, Jabra Link 370 USB adapter, charging stand*, protective travel case, USB cord (allowing for use while charging)

Set Up and Use on PC: Setting up the Evolve 75 was very simple. Please note microphone can only be worn on the right side. First, charge unit 2.5hrs. Download Free Jabra Direct software (Individual desktop), Jabra Suite for Mac or Jabra Xpress (mass deployment). Plug Jabra Link 370 USB dongle to a PC USB port (allow device drivers to install). Turn on the Jabra Evolve 75 headset. Should connect almost immediately. You can adjust settings via Jabra Direct:

You can also check the status of Link 370 Dongle via Jabra Direct.

To pair to a mobile device via Bluetooth. First, go to your mobile device Bluetooth menu and place into discovery mode. Slide and hold on/off/Bluetooth switch on Jabra Evolve 75 to Bluetooth symbol for 3 seconds to place Evolve 75 into pairing mode. Select Jabra Evolve 75. You should be “Connected”.

 

To mute Evolve 75 simply lift boom arm up. There’s a little button with microphone icon on right speaker towards the top. When I pressed this button, it activated Siri on my Apple iPhone.

Active Noise Cancellation button allows you to eliminate unwanted background noise. The Listen-in feature allows you to listen to your surroundings without taking your headset off. To activate “Listen-in”, press button on the left speaker.

There is an integrated busy light that kicks on when you are in a call. It’s important to educate employees and inform them that when lit up red, the person is “busy” and should not be disturbed. You can manually activate busy light by pressing volume up/down buttons simultaneously. If you are not on a call but need to concentrate.

 

 

I’ve toured some “open office” environments and a solution like the Jabra Evolve 75 is a must in many use cases.

Plantronics D100 USB Adapter deep dive…

By Danny Hayasaka

 

March 7, 2017

 

Call One, Inc. supports thousands of customers and receives multiple questions daily. In addition to our normal product reviews and blogs, we’ll devote some time to answering frequently asked questions.

 

Question:

 

How do I link the replacement D100 USB adapter to an existing Plantronics wireless SAVI W400 Series headset?

 

Subscribing a Headset to D100 USB Adapter

 

The headset and USB adapter that are supplied together are already subscribed to each other. However, if you wish to use a new headset with your existing USB adapter or you need to restore subscription to your current headset, the units can be subscribed to each other by the following method:

 

  1. Ensure your headset is charged.
  2. Double press the subscription button on the USB adapter. The USB adapter will flash red and green.
  3. Press the volume up button (press volume down for left ear configuration) on the headset for three seconds until the headset indicator light turns solid white.
  4. When the indicator light on the USB adapter goes solid green, the headset and the USB adapter are subscribed to one another.

 

To ensure subscription was successful, press the call control button: the headset will flash white and the USB adapter will flash green.

 

NOTE: If the subscription process times out after two minutes or if the subscription process fails, the USB adapter indicator light will become solid red for four seconds and then return to its previous state. If this occurs, try to re-subscribe the headset again.

 

Ending Subscription

If the USB adapter is in subscription mode and you want to stop the adapter from searching for a headset, press the subscription button again. The subscription light will turn solid red for four seconds and then go to its previous state.

 

What is the D100?

 

It’s a DECT USB adapter adds PC connectivity and portability to your existing Plantronics DECT wireless headset. (Savi 400 and Savi 700 Series)

 

There are two variants:

  • PLT-83550-01-019 Plantronics D100, Savi Adapter, DECT 6.0
    • UC STANDARD VERSION BUILT FOR UC APPLICATIONS AND SOFTPHONES FROM AVAYA, CISCO, IBM AND MORE
      • Expand the connectivity options of your current DECT headset with the D100 DECT USB adapter. When used with the D100, Plantronics DECT wireless headsets (traditionally used with a desk phone) can now be used with your PC – giving you the flexibility to take your headset wherever work takes you.
      • Advanced wideband audio using CAT-iq technology for high definition voice quality
      • DECT technology provides extraordinary sound quality while roaming or multi-tasking up to 300 feet from your PC; eliminates interference from Wi-Fi networks
      • 180-degree articulation for optimal positioning while connected to the PC
      • Download the latest release of Plantronics softwareand get one-touch call answer/end with supported softphones
    • PLT-83876-01-018 Plantronics D100-M, Savi Adapter, DECT 6.0 (Microsoft Lync/SfB)
      • VERSION OPTIMIZED FOR MICROSOFT® LYNC™ AND MICROSOFT OCS 2007
        • Expand the connectivity options of your current DECT headset with the D100 DECT USB adapter. When used with the D100, Plantronics DECT wireless headsets (traditionally used with a desk phone) can now be used with your PC – giving you the flexibility to take your headset wherever work takes you.
        • Advanced wideband audio using CAT-iq technology for high definition voice quality
        • DECT technology provides extraordinary sound quality while roaming or multi-tasking up to 300 feet from your PC; eliminates interference from Wi-Fi networks
        • 180-degree articulation for optimal positioning while connected to the PC

 

What do D100 / D100-M USB DECT Adapter Indicator Lights indicate?

 

USB Adapter Indicator Lights

 USB Adapter Status Indicator Light
 Headset in talk mode  Flashes green
 Headset is muted  Flashes red
 Incoming call  Flashes red and yellow
 Adapter and headset subscribing Flashes red and green
 Headset subscribed, no activity  Solid green
 Powered on – headset not subscribed  Solid red
 USB adapter is in conference mode subscription  Flashes green and yellow
 On a conference call with one or more guest headsets subscribed  Flashes yellow

 

Where is the D100 USB Adapter Date Code Location?

The date code for the D100 USB adapter is printed on top line of the label, and is in MMYY format (For example: 0417).

DA100 USB Adapters have a 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

D100 / D100-M USB DECT Adapters: Wideband Performance

The Savi Office headsets marked WH100 and WH200 do not support wideband audio when subscribed to the DECT dongle D100 or D100-M although wideband audio is supported by these headsets when subscribed to the Savi Office base, WO1. The newer Savi headsets, WH110 or WH210 can be purchased separately if wideband audio is needed with using the DECT dongle.

How do I update Firmware?

Plantronics MDA100 QD – connect Plantronics Headsets to Desk phone AND PC

By Danny Hayasaka

November 17, 2016

Let’s get right into it. First I’m happy Plantronics FINALLY developed their own Desk Phone/PC switch. The MDA100 QD allows Plantronics QD headsets to connect to a desk phone and PC. In today’s world it’s absolutely essential to have dual connectivity. We do so many things on our PC’s now. Many organizations have hybrid voice and UC platforms meaning they have desk phones as well as soft phones and other web based applications that require audio like streaming media, webinars, and video calls.

Plantronics MDA100 QD 205255-01

What’s in the box: MDA100 QD Switch, Desk Phone Cable, USB Cable, 10 foot Coil Plantronics QD (Quick Disconnect) Cable, Set Up Guide

Set Up and Use: Set up is fairly straight forward. Connect desk phone cable to desk phone port on MDA100 QD and the other to either the “headset” port on your desk phone or directly into the handset port. Next connect the USB cable to the micro USB port on MDA100 QD and the USB cable to a USB port on your PC. (Make certain to go into your PC’s Control Panel > Sound > MDA100 > Make Default > Default Communication Device > Apply – For a Mac: System Preference > Hardware > Sound > Output/Input/Sound Effects > MDA100). Connect modular portion of 10 foot coil cable to headset port on MDA100 QD and connect Plantronics QD headset to QD connection.

There are six switch settings on the no-slip bottom of the MDA100 QD. (A, B, C, D, E, F). Select through the switch settings until you hear dial tone on phone. Make certain switch is switched to desk phone.

In order to get audio from PC, select PC on MDA100 QD.

Other nice feature is the Mute Button.

This works great with Plantronics QD headsets. Also tried with Plantronics CS540. Although it works, you will not have remote answer/hang up option. You must answer/hang up via desk phone. If you are in need of Desk Phone and PC connectivity with remote answer/hang up option, go with Savi 700 Series and optional EHS Cables or Handset Lifter.

The MDA100 QD is compatible with all major desk phones and softphones, PCs and Macs. PLUS if you have Plantronics Manager Pro subscription you can manage your MDA100 QD inventory.