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Download the PDF Version of DataTel Times May 2016 – Grant at Metro Meals on Wheels
The Death of the Desk Phone (?)
The humble desk phone. For over 100 years it has been THE trusted, reliable, cost-effective, and ubiquitous business tool. But now comes the (relatively) new kid in town – the cell phone.
90% of the younger workforce say their devices never leave their side. This includes taking them to bed. (Come on. Admit it.) People are becoming (alas) accustomed to what was once considered an intrusive technology in their daily life and this expectation is breaking down the traditional boundaries of the work day.
In this connect-from-anywhere culture, businesses are increasingly leveraging flexibility. That means that employees are always available, on the move, working from home, on the road, attending a conference, in a meeting, etc. One might think that this would be the death knell of the desk phone. And one would be wrong. The integration of desk phones with cell phones blend the mobility and ubiquity of cell phone use with the professional advantages of a desk phone at the base of operation. This creates an end-to-end communication backbone that does so much more than a mobile device alone can achieve.
Mitel desk phones leverage mobile devices. The desk phone number can ring to the cell. Cell calls can be “handed off” to the desk phone and vice versa. A person can work from home with the appearance of being at the job. Single or multiple mail boxes can be deployed. Remote access video and collaboration events from the office can be sent to people on their devices – ideal for training and field assessments. All this without giving out personal cell numbers. Having desk phones as the basis of this flexible connectivity costs less and does more than devices could possibly do alone.
Yes, good people, the desk phone isn’t dead – quite the opposite – it’s rejuvenated! New Mitel technologies keep the desk phone relevant by merging the strength of mobile devices so companies can enjoy a level of productivity like never before and sleep deprivation can continue!
Mitel set to Acquire Polycom – Calls Mom with the Good News
(For Immediate Release) Mitel of The Great White North positioned to acquire Polycom – Qt-3 of 2016 and all of their parking spots. Polycom is a global leader for video conferencing hardware and applications, Mitel projects annual sales of 2.5B and 7,700 employees world-wide. Mitel retains relationship with the best premier partner in the country – DataTel Communications. Stock market is pleased.
Friends and Clients
Metro Meals on Wheels is awesome and May 5th is a day that we all can do our small part to keep this tremendous organization engaged in their ever-expanding mission of service. Read on…
Grant C. Jones (left) is the director of Metro Meals on Wheels. Every weekday this group provides nearly 1,000 hot meals to Treasure Valley area seniors. Many folks receiving meals are homebound and unable to prepare their own meals and for them, these meals provide their only consistent source of daily nourishment and, therefore, independence.
We are thrilled to be the communication hub for Metro Meals on Wheels and their hundreds of clients. “DataTel took care of a great number of gaps in our older phone system. We are very impressed with their customer service.” “This has made a big improvement in providing our services. (to our clients)”
Do Your Part! On May 5, Metro Meals on Wheels is part of the statewide Idaho Gives – a program for Idaho Not-For-Profits who serve the community. Show your support by making a tax-deducible online donation (link below). The minimum $10 donation provides two hot, nutritious meals for homebound seniors.
And in other cool news – the progressive Boise Bike Project is partnering with Metro Meals on Wheels to deliver meals – and this is a real Happy Meal! If you are looking for an opportunity for volunteering, you can most certainly reach out to Grant directly or go on line. DataTel is the proud supporter of great groups like Metro Meals on Wheels such as Idaho Youth Ranch, Witco, The Arc, and the Boise Rescue Mission. We do what we can to support the entities that make for a better society and more vibrant, and livable community.
Metro Meals on Wheels can be reached at 321-0030 or you my e-mail Grant directly at email@example.com.
Click the link on MAY 5th https://idahogives.razoo.com/us/story/Metro-Meals-On-Wheels-Treasure-Valley
Download PDF version of DataTel Times April 2016
OMG ! RU NUTZ !?!
A special edition of – Friends and Clients
Here’s the scenario: Two young women attended law school together. They shared a pipe dream that one day, they would be partners in their own firm. Time moved on. They passed the bar. They started careers in the law, but in different jobs. Then one day, the stars aligned and Deena Tvinnereim and Nikki Smith had a fleeting opportunity to fulfill their collective dream. Awesome! But, they only had five business days to set-up a functioning office space with communications, dial-tone and internet. And that’s just nuts! Naturally, we stepped up.
Thursday 3/24 – 2:00 PM. A call for “help” came to marketer/sales guy Dave Philbrook’s office. At 3:30 PM Deena drove up from Nampa to share her situation and look at phone options in our showroom. Dave brought network and carrier specialist Paul Bermingham into the meeting for the impossible task of bringing dial-tone, new phone numbers and internet service into an office space that was signed for that very morning. The opening of the new office had to happen by April 1st. Five working days!
Friday 3/25 – Deena and Nikki’s new enterprise, Ramirez-Smith and Tvinnereim, PLLC office space is identified. Dave begs his operation manager for a zero notice/last second install slot. Jason Richardson squeezes the hopeful date of 3/31 to the install calendar (Jason Rocks!) Paul is told the best he can expect for dial-tone is April 12. He doesn’t like that answer. He goes further up the chain. Dave processes the phone system order internally and reaches out to our leasing team – and makes the case for the young legal eagles. Deena checks-in between court dates. Dave gets pre-approved funding. Paul finds the best speed and rate for internet and that piece can start by the 31st so one service need (internet) is resolved. Paul gets the new phone numbers – business cards are a go – but the dial-tone install date is still too late.
Monday 3/28 – Dave facilitates the leasing agreement and paperwork. That part is now
done. Coordinator Barbara Monihan works quickly with Deena to program the phones
to their exact specifications for their new office and increasing staff – now a paralegal and
receptionist. This information, along with the new phone numbers, are programmed into
the system and readied and staged by Sara Schmidt in logistics.
Tuesday 3/29 – Deena receives a call from the company Paul is trying to push for dialtone. A (clearly new) sales rep tells Deena that they “don’t service Nampa.” Panic ensues. She calls Paul. He calms her and reminds her that he is on point on this directive. Deena begins to breathe. Paul begins to sweat.
Wednesday 3/30 – Paul does his magic! Services that would “not be possible” until 4/12 are going to be delivered on 3/30. Jason pushes the install a day earlier. His team deploys and trains. There is some crackling that is heard through the phones. The service team makes a remote adjustment of the system and all is perfect before the start of business!
Thursday 3/31 – Ramirez-Smith and Tvinnereim, PLLC Opening Day. Hugs and High Fives all around.
Let’s be clear – this is not a typical install situation and, of course, we prefer a measured and planned deployment; BUT it does illustrate the amazing capacities and customer service response of DataTel Communications. In this we are unmatched in this industry and this market. Oh, and thoughts on all of this after the dust had settled; “DataTel is amazing!! I am definitely referring you to everyone and have already been singing your praises. We are in full operation because of you! Phones, fax, internet are our life line!!!!!!!” (This quote and exclamation points are from Deena.)
We possess the skill sets, relationships/channels, tools, processes and wherewithal to get stuff DONE. We can be your hero, too.
A House United
DataTel Communications is Idaho’s largest and most experienced full-service communication group. Every element associated with communications happens under our one roof…well, two roofs counting our busy Twin Falls office. Our staff of professionals are a team of specialists that work together for the single best result for our almost 4,000 customers.
We have deployments coast-to-coast, but we are Idaho born and raised. Many of our customers have businesses and plans beyond the Gem State and we bring the same local intensity and care into these situations. The fact that we can do everything related to business communications takes a large burden off of folks (hello, RamirezSmith and Tvinnereim) because, goodness knows, the plates are full during any new startup, location move, or business expansion. We work hand-in-insulated gloves with all IT groups so the networking happens as planned, too. Our carrier team expands and transfers services, and moves phone numbers for minimal interruption and maximize cost savings. You’re welcome. Of course, a business could scatter-shoot all these disparate elements; but why?
So, if your ‘house’ (i.e. business) is growing and whether that new location is down the road or across time zones, DataTel Communications remains your One-Stop – Really Smart Total Communication Solution. So please, go ahead and do the Bill Withers thing and lean on us. We’ll help you carry on.
Download PDF Version of DataTel Times March 2016 – Sandy at Idaho’s Best Insurance
This is Guaranteed to be about Warranties
Guarantee (from the Old French Garant meaning ‘protector’ and ‘pledge’) This is a verbal or informal assurance that certain conditions and/or levels of performance will be met.
Warranty (from the Frankish Warand – a ‘document that certifies’) This is the written document that represents (in theory) the nature and scope of the verbal guarantee.
What is generalized in a guarantee can be diluted within a warranty. They are not the same. In our industry, a Five Year Parts and Labor Warranty is often offered, which may sound impressive until you read the fine print; “…from manufacturer’s defects, from the date of installation.”
Well folks, manufacturing defects of telephonic equipment is very rare and if it does happen, it’s discovered right out-of-the-gate. Also within this five-year warranty is a built-in $75.00 fee for every service call, so that’s $75.00 on top of whatever the time/material/labor rate may be for issues that are most likely not related to manufacturing. (Boy, Howdy…where do I sign up?!?)
This brings us to DataTel’s Maintenance Agreement (operative word “maintain”). With our phone platforms this represents attending to the totality of the system: Hardware, software, parts, labor/travel and continuing programming of things like voice mail boxes and auto attendants. This optional program is very popular. It basically removes all burdens of the management of the system and provides discounts on new hardware, free delivery, an annual training module for your new staff and more. Sign and it’s free the first year. If you wish to discontinue the program, no problem; there is no long-term contract. This agreement is also scalable (normal business hours up to 24/7/365). We have extended parts and labor warranty on our products – which includes travel, or we can simply warrant the “hardware.”
Orange it nice to have options? DataTel provides transparent post-installation support choices. It is part of “right-sizing” the solutions we sell, so how do you like dem apples? (My five-year-old nephew thinks I’m a comic genius – don’t shatter this illusion, please.)
Tommie Sullivan’s job can be stressful. Her release from that stress is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Friends and Clients
Idaho’s Best Insurance (IBI) is a great group. They carry 30 ‘A rated’ insurance companies, providing the full spectrum of specialized expertise for almost every insurance need. Andrew Lynes is the director of marketing and business development. His initiatives have greatly increased IBI’s social media and market presence. Andrew was also tasked with upgrading the phone system. His analysis factored costs, the direction of the company, an upcoming move and a comparison of Hosted vs. Premised (PBX) features. After this homework, DataTel’s MiCloud Hosted System emerged as IBI’s choice.
“There was no upfront cost, the (DataTel/Mitel) organization is strong and it would be easy to add phones.” All this is true, but there were issues to overcome and programming decisions to be made. Adding to the challenge was a hard date to move the office. SIX different parties associated with the phones, dial-tone and data had co-ordinate converging services into a very narrow time window. Fortunately our Tommie Sullivan was in the trenches with Andrew, coordinating this convoluted and inter-reliant event. “Tommie was awesome,” says Andrew.
In the final analysis Andrew recommends hosted “only if you have the time to learn it.” “I like hosted a lot but it took time (and) effort; a premised (PBX) is more straight-forward.” Now that he’s had some time under his belt, Andrew programs like a pro “The open season for health insurance is over, so I moved those agents back into the first ring group and out of the last group where they wouldn’t be unnecessarily disturbed.” That took all of 30 seconds. “If you have a problem, it is really easy to get a person (with Mitel) they teach very well. They walk you through and attend to all the customizable features. They made the system exactly the way I wanted it to be.” Actually you did that – we just gave you tools.
There is no clear solution that is ‘better’, only the one that best fits a business’ growth model. DataTel can manage the deployment of the MiCloud hosted systems, but the customer is expected to (eventually) learn how to program it – which is rather the point. DataTel has lease options that have ZERO dollars down and a fixed monthly cost. A customer need only call or e-mail us for program changes – So the leased, PBX system can be a de facto hosted system! If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s to do your homework, deeply assess your needs and let us help the process with our suite of products, experience and no-obligation positive options.
Know Your DataTel Stuff!
My friends, did you know that the cord on your phone is an unnecessary tether that shackles you to your desk and crushes the free spirit within that wants nothing more than to refill its coffee while remaining with a conversation or to wander to a distant file cabinet or simply stand proudly and strong in the true American tradition of self-determination and freedom? Our cordless headsets and handsets provide this fundamental right that clearly would have been addressed at the Constitutional Convention if phones had been around in 1787.
Download the PDF Version of DataTel Times February 2016 Gayle and Kathleen at Thornton Byron LLP
We’re your (prudent) technology leader
The phone that Barbara Monihan holds still works. Your editor has childhood memories of a phone exactly like it. It sat on a stand in my grandmother’s home. The handset, it seemed, weighed 20 pounds and it hung-up with the certainty of a bank vault being closed. It also smelled of Kent cigarettes and Lysol spray disinfectant. When it rang, the cat would jump. It was the zenith of technology. And, yes, she had a Zenith television too; with the rabbit ears which I wobbled to get the best reception on KOIN channel 6 in Portland so she could enjoy As the World Turns with a minimum of ‘snow’.
As we are about to touch upon cloud-based communication, it is remarkable to consider the huge advancement in technology. Like all leaps, it sometime advances for the sake of advancement and the human interaction part gets left behind. At DataTel, an internal conversation, specific to the customer, goes like this: “How does this help? Does it make sense? Is there a value?” It’s an important conversation because there is so much to offer. Too much, frankly. That is why we always ask for the small amount time needed to really understand your business model and where things are going in the years ahead. This is critical to crafting the right-sized solution – YOUR solution. With all the options of today, there are a few groups who would just as soon tell you what you need and move on. DataTel Communications will never be that way. We’ll adjust the metaphorical rabbit ears to your satisfaction to get your best picture (solution).
When does a Cloud-Based phone system make sense? That’s a tough one, folks because there are pros and cons specific to the particular business: How many users, what sales model, is the business seasonal, are there off-site workers, what are the growth expectations, how long will the business be in a given space, is it an OP-EX or CAP-EX financial model? To add yet another layer of complexity, there are different types of cloud-based programs – rentals, phone ownership, managed programs, private cloud, public cloud, semi-public (I’m going to stop now. My head hurts.) Here’s the deal – DataTel Communications provides the best of hosted communications. It’s called MiCloud. It provides the same general features of a premised (PBX) or a virtualized (telephony software loaded on a server) but again, it may not be the best fit. Or it might. That is why the conversation is critical and one that we’d love to have with you when the time comes.
Friends and Clients
DataTel (pun alert) represents a number of law firms with their communications infrastructure. Our newest client in this domain is Thornton-Byron, LLP. This firm attends to a very exclusive segment of entities and individuals for corporate law and business necessities like estate planning and administration, financial and commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, tax stuff, trusts and estates and wealth preservation. (Ed. Note – My CPA – car parking attendant – oversees my portfolio.)
The people of Thornton-Byron had a long-time vendor totally drop the ball with the architecture and deployment of a new system. It flat out didn’t work. Subsequent solutions and seeming indifference from the vendor compelled Kathleen Rockne, the legal administrator, to do her own homework assisted by Gayle Root. “At this point, we literally went to the yellow pages and found DataTel – thank goodness! They had a Mitel demo organized for us the next day, so we were able to get an overview of all available phones and price points for each option – couldn’t have been easier or more expedient.” Tell us more, Kathleen. “We loved the 5360 IP phones, they were perfect – the order was placed and the system was installed a week later, absolutely no problem – the phones are easy to use, do everything we need, are very high end, will accommodate our needs for a long time and the entire system was affordable – it actually cost just about the same as the failed system and is light years better – everybody here loves our Mitel phones and, overall, we could not be happier with our choice of phones and with DataTel – they are fast, responsive, were able to grasp our needs immediately and act accordingly. They provide comprehensive training and are easily available for all questions or other issues. We could not recommend them or the Mitel phone system more highly.”
(Sometimes this newsletter writes itself.) To Kathleen, Gayle and all the good and smart people at Thornton-Byron; our sincerest thanks.
Know Your DataTel Stuff!
Behold and tremble before the awesome might of the MiVoice UC 360 Conference Unit! (Too much? Sorry.) This is a fantastic tool. It’s a multi-media/multi-party presentational display. It has an Android interface, can connect directly to the internet and a HDMI cable will connect this puppy to a screen. Everything you once needed a computer to support is on this unit. AND it’s a great, long range conference phone and super collaboration device. ALL HAIL!
2016 is off and running…
As early as 2200 BC humans have celebrated a day that represented the start of a “new year.” The idea that it took 365 days for the earth to rotate around the static sun didn’t emerge until Copernicus made that unpopular postulation in early 1500 AD.
January 1st became the arbitrary beginning of the New Year because of a government mandate and his name was Julius Caesar. He said, “Hey, friends, Romans, countrymen and sundry dudes, the current lunar calendar stinks. If we followed it, we’d be planting olive trees in the snow. We need a solar-based calendar. And I (ahem) have a really cool name for the seventh month.” (Ed Note: This is a rough translation from the original Latin. Very Rough.)
Traditionally about this time, goals are set, re-set, or rejected out of hand as premeditated disappointments. Whatever your process may be, we at DataTel wish to extend our best wishes for the solar rotation cycle ahead. May all your olive trees flourish and may you not be considered a heretic for your scientific observations. And while we’re on the subject, it is our goal to be even better at every element within our business as to be the clear choice for your communication needs. We want to be as reliable and undeniable as the sun coming up on the horizon – which isn’t what is actually happening; the earth is rotating on its axis, but you get the point. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Oooh, you could cut the excitement (or anything else) with a light saber at our Star Wars – The Force Awakens premier event, held at the Majestic Cinema in the entertainment capital of Ada County – Meridian. Our guests enjoyed the movie, snacks, a great raffle and tons of fun. The anticipation was such that when we rolled a “Thank you” trailer on the screen in the fashion of the Star Wars “crawl” before the movie, the audience went nuts. Maybe they thought the film was starting, but then again it could have been a reaction to our company…hopefully a little of both. In any event, everyone had a blast(er) and we will do more customer appreciation events in the future.
Friends and Clients
Metalcraft Inc. was established in Idaho in 1986 by Richard Cortez and is now owned by Kevin Sauvageau and Ken Cortez. The dedicated people at Metalcraft have earned the reputation as the best of fabricators. They operate two facilities in Boise for their precision sheet metal job work and their customers include the semi-conductor, electronics, medical, gaming and industrial sectors.
Metalcraft has recently started their own powder coat line and are looking to ramp up their machining capabilities.
With all this stuff going on, business communication is ever so important and this is where DataTel (humbly) saves the day again. Rich Elliott, Metalcraft’s IT Manager, heard of us on the radio on his drive into work “It was on KBOI during the morning drive.” Rich contacted us (884-4000 for those playing at home) and Phil “The Phone Guy” Pickett was dispatched to do his voodoo. As with all our deployments, the discovery process is key and Phil really enjoyed collaborating with Rich and the staff at Metalcraft. “It is a pleasure to work with these folks. They are community-oriented, organized – just great people”. What Metalcraft enjoys from our ongoing relationship, according to Rich is “More user friendly phone system and great customer service from DataTel.”
Well, it finally happened. After three plus years of our monthly newsletter, we are ALMOST out of DataTel employees to share with you – a couple of shy ones. In any other telecommunication group this would not be the case because the word on the street is that you find more turnover in telecom than you would in a bakery. THAT tells you a lot about the foundational strength of DataTel – we have an average tenure of about 11 years over the totality of our staff. That number used to be larger as well, but we’ve brought in young talent versed in the increasingly data-centric technologies and a few of our old lions have mounted their Harleys and roared off into retirement (We miss you, Bill Smart.)
However, time marches on and your grateful newsletter editor has space to fill. So with your indulgence, welcome please…
Know Your DataTel Stuff!
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