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COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE

During these challenging times, we send you and your families our best wishes.

Having supported Macs for over 30 years it has taught us that Mac issues do not respect lockdowns or global pandemics, they just happen regardless.

At Dejac we are determined to maintain our high standards of support to the Mac business community whilst abiding by the UK government’s social distancing guidelines. This can be achieved in several ways including helpdesk Mac support, remote consultancy and doorstep collections for repairs.

Please get in touch if there is any Mac issue you would like us to address on 01494 809551 or [email protected]

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VoIP 2015 - An introduction to VoIP - Hosted Voip and in-house VoIP Systems (2 of 3)

In the first part of this VoIP introduction I showed how you can make much cheaper voice phone calls by subscribing to a VoIP service and then using either your Mac or a separate VoIP handset to make those calls. But what if you don’t want a second phone on your desk or a separate headset and more wires but just want the simplicity of using the one phone for both incoming and outgoing calls? This involves moving your incoming calls over to a VoIP service as well as your outgoing calls. 

As in the first article on VoIP let us assume that you have a good broadband connection, or ideally a dedicated broadband line set aside for just VoIP use. The first step is to port your office or home phone away form BT (or Virgin Media, TalkTalk etc) to your chosen VoIP supplier. There are many good reputable VoIP suppliers who will guide you through the whole porting process. I include a list of some VoIP suppliers at the end of part 3. As I understand it, whilst BT may claim that your phone number belongs to them, you can actually move it to a VoIP supplier and then sever your ties with BT and still receive calls on that number. The porting process can take up to two weeks to complete and carries a small of charge of around £20.00. On the day your number actually moves from BT, your phone line will cease and the VoIP suppliers service should start within a few hours automatically. You would have the alternative VoIP service in place long before the day the BT services ceases. Prior to your number porting you have a choice to make with how to use your new VoIP service.

First, you can just have IP phones on your office / home network which will register with the VoIP hosting company via your network and your broadband connection. Once registered you can via their online control panel allocate a user to each phone and the VoIP hosting company will route incoming calls to that phone. This is called a hosted (or cloud based) VoIP service and you also tend to get many clever features thrown in for free – such as call transfer, music on hold, voicemail, call conferencing etc. Calls between the same VoIP suppliers clients tend to be free so you can give remote workers a phone or put a soft phone on their mobile or computer and they can call back to the office from wherever without any charge. Your main cost will be the cost of an IP handset for all your staff (approx £100.00 each) and the monthly charges for the VoIP service and calls. Dejac has used Voipfone for number of clients and further information on their range of services can be found here: voipfone.co.uk.

The second option is to bring your whole VoIP service in-house so all incoming and outgoing calls are handled by your own in-house VoIP system. This could be a software solution that runs on a Mac or PC or a dedicated box that sits in your comms cabinet. In the long term this will give you the most significant cost savings and you will also give you access to more great features such as call forwarding, call recording, automated attendant, voicemail to email, powerful administration tools and much more. Kerio Operator is one such system that we are happy to recommend and prices start from as little as £100.00 a year and £20.00 per user. There are some additional fixed costs that need to be considered such as a dedicated broadband line, a router, a network switch, your handsets as well as your monthly subscription to your VoIP supplier for some SIP trunks. But once all this is in place you will have a VoIP system for your business that will improve the efficiency of business communication. A data sheet on Kerio Operator can be downloaded from here : http://www.kerio.com/sites/default/files/kerio-operator-datasheet.pdf

In my last article on VoIP, I look at some of the tricks you can utilise to keep the channels of communication open.