GDI Cooling is a Banbury based Air conditioning and Refrigeration company, providing a service to commercial businesses and the hospitality industry. Earlier this year, BDM Voice had the pleasure of providing a new telephone system for GDI Cooling as their old system was outdated and costing them too much. We recently got in contact with GDI Cooling to find out how the new system is performing.
Can you provide a background to your company?
GDI Cooling is an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration company, providing a service to commercial businesses and the hospitality industry.
We’re situated in Banbury, close to the M40, and not only do we serve the local businesses but are accessible to Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire, Midlands and extend out to London and the surrounding areas.
How do you use your phone system?
We have a number of Engineers based around the UK, and use our phone system to ensure they are able to keep in touch with our customers and the office.
Our system enables us to filter incoming calls to connect to the right department, and also allows us to forward Urgent calls, out of hours, to the on-call Engineers, or record messages for non-urgent requests, that are picked up the following morning.
Which telephone system did your company use previously?
We previously had an IP system from BT, which provided us with 4 lines incoming, however, whenever we transferred a call to one of the mobiles, it tied up 2 of them.
Originally this was not a problem as we only had 2 full time staff and a part timer who worked in the small office.
How did you search for a new solution?
When the decision was taken to re-locate to our present location, we knew the old system would not be capable of meeting our needs or our customers’ expectations.
We looked at several different suppliers that we found on the Internet, and narrowed it down to 3 for further investigation.
Our main criteria were to find a system that was:
- flexible enough to grow as we intended,
- simple enough for our own staff to manage any changes,
- provide a good reporting function for analysis,
- allow for recoding of incoming calls for both training and queries that might arise,
- provide e-mail notifications of out of hours calls that have been recorded
- reduce our current cost to a more reasonable level
- to have proven reliability and support
What made you choose BDM Voice?
The first company was not able to improve on the original system, without increasing the costs.
The second company had a system that required additional hardware to be installed in our office to manage the various options that were available, and although there was some cost savings, it was not quite what we had been looking for.
What was the solution BDM Voice Proposed?
The solution originally offered by Jonathan Mills at BDM we thought was too good to be true, but after several e-mails and telephone conversations with questions and assurances the system offered could more than cope with our current and future needs, we confirmed that we would go ahead with his proposal for a Horizon Hosted System.
Our new system comprises:
- 7 Polycom VVX 410 desk phones
- 8 Port Switch
- Cisco Router.
Our package includes:
- Unlimited free calls between company handsets regardless of location.
- 2,000 minutes to 01, 02 and 03 numbers per user each month.
- 2,000 minutes to all UK mobiles per user each month.
All allowances are pooled giving you a total of 14,000 minutes to 01, 02 and 03 numbers plus 14,000 minutes to UK mobiles each month.
We housed the Switch and Router in a small 19” rack next to where the BT line comes into the unit we are in, along with a 240v Surge Protection rail for the powers supply to them.
The Interface to manage the system is Cloud based and very intuitive and easy to use.
I was even able to make changes and update the contact numbers for the on-call Engineers, while in Cyprus for a couple of weeks.
How did you find the process of switching your phone service?
The changeover was very smooth indeed, with our original number being kept, and service was interrupted for less than an hour.
The one fly in the ointment we had in moving over to the new system, was not the fault of BDM or Gamma, but BT.
We had researched thoroughly, the availability of a Broadband service in our new location, and in every inquiry we made, had been advised we had one of the best speeds available in the area.
Cutting a long story short, we were routed from a different sub exchange 3.5Km further away, which gave us a maximum speed of 4Gb and only allowed us to use our line for the new phone system.
How did the new solution improve the running of your business?
The new system has allowed us to improve the response time we have with our customers and suppliers.
Previously, when the phones were in use, we had to rely on e-mails to communicate with our suppliers.
Now with 7 lines available we have the capacity to contact suppliers for parts and get them to site for the next day.
The system also provides us with the ability to direct calls to the relevant department, Service, Parts and Accounts, ensuring the customer get hold of the right department.
We have the flexibility to alter the hours of business, so if we have a meeting or the Boss lets us go early one day (just keep hoping it might happen) then we can amend the call schedules to reflect this.
We have also made use of the Auto Attendant, to allow our customers to leave a message for non-urgent service requests while the office is closed.
This has significantly reduced the call volumes we used to get in the morning, and allows us to schedule our Engineers workloads more effectively.
The after sales service we have received has been brilliant, with both Andy and Jo talking us through all the, what must have seemed like daft, queries and resolving them very quickly.
Did the new system save or make money for your company?
Our original intentions were to reduce our costs if at all possible while increasing our capacity to make and receive calls.
We originally had an out of hour answering service that went through to a call centre.
They would screen the calls and forward any urgent ones to the on-call Engineer and email the details of the rest to our Service Mailbox.
On average, we received between 6-12 calls and e-mails a day, with double that over the weekend and holiday periods.
There is a cost for each call taken and e-mail sent, which we no longer have.
The cost for the phone IP system from BT was around £900 per quarter.
The new system from BDM cost us £165.93 per month, nearly a third of our original costs.
We have a very happy Finance Director.
Find out whether BDM Voice can save your business money by calling : 0330 159 4000
New joiner, Ruben Kretek tells us what he learnt in his first training session on the NEC system with sales manager Paul Brakewell
I recently started working within the marketing team at BDM Voice, which is a specialist provider of phone systems and call recording solutions for businesses. Going into this job I knew absolutely nothing about business phone systems, but I enjoy learning and saw this as a great opportunity to get an insight into the telecoms industry.
As part of my training, the Sales Manager, Paul Brakewell showed me a demo of the NEC Phone Systems BDM Voice sells. Technology being one of my passions, I found this demo to be extremely interesting and I am very keen to share what I have learnt.
Before the demo took place, I thought business phone systems worked in the same way as my phone at home: I can receive calls on it and type in a number to call someone. But, as Paul demonstrated, businesses have many more requirements than a standard phone system, they do much more than that. This is what inspired me to write this blog post. The demo lasted about 2 and a half hours so I would have to write a whole book to cover everything Paul showed me, so in this blog I will focus on the features which impressed me most about the NEC phone system.
Paging System - Health & safety
When I think of pagers, I think of those small black devices people used to attach to their belts in the 80s. But pagers have come a long way since then and are a big part of health and safety, especially in warehouse environments. The pager Paul showed me was a small grey device which looked a bit like a small speaker (see Figure 1). He explained to me that it is part of the ‘Dect’ phone system which is essentially a network of wireless phones workers can carry around with them. If you urgently need to get hold of someone and they aren’t answering their phone you can ring directly through to their pager which will work as a loud speaker. This could come in useful when, for example, a doctor is needed urgently to save a patient’s life. Paul used an example of how a pager might be used in a warehouse environment, this example was something that I really took away from this demo. He told me about a printer who works alone in a small room in a huge factory. He gets on with his work in his small room every day without really socializing with anyone in the factory. One day he gets his arm stuck in the printer, he does have a phone but there is no way he can reach it as his arm is stuck. With a system like the NEC Pager, his colleagues could have called directly to his pager to check up on him and even if he couldn’t get to his phone his colleagues could ask him if everything is ok on the pager and he could then reply without having to get to his phone. This example shows how this pager could save lives.
MyCalls - Legal Protection
My Calls is an application which displays information about inbound and outbound calls. This feature has many interesting options such as the ability to store phone numbers for unanswered calls. The system then automatically detects if someone has called this number back or this number called again and got an answer. But the feature which stood out to me the most was the voice recording capabilities. MyCalls records all ingoing and outgoing calls and allows the user to find any conversation which happened on the system and see the meta data associated with that phone call. Everything can be seen from the date and time to the number of the caller, to even the soundwave of the phone conversation. Notes can be left on this sound waves at a particular point in time to easily be able to retrieve an important part of the conversation. This data could be used to solve disputes whether legal or personal. Companies which are at risk of having legal trouble would greatly benefit from this feature.
VoIP System - Versatility
I’ve always been familiar with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), it is essentially what lets us call people using services like skype or facetime. However, I was never aware that the landline which is sitting on my desk uses the same protocol, more importantly, I never knew the benefits it brings to an office phone system.
The way the NEC system works is that a communications server is installed in your office (this is essentially a computer) and all your communications go through that server. This makes adding a new phone extremely easy as all you need to do is set up a number for a colleague and plug a new handset in. What’s even better is that because it’s VoIP, it means you can walk up to any handset and log in on it and have access to your normal phone, this is great for hot desking and being able to access your phone outside the office.
InGuard - Protection
This part of the demo was most surprising to me. I had no idea that phone systems could get hacked but apparently this is a very common occurrence and a very easy way for hackers to make money.
In a nutshell, how it works is, a hacker will hack into the phone system and find an empty line from which they can make a phone call. They then call up a premium number they set up which charges extortionate amounts per minute. They do this on a Friday evening once everyone has left the office and leave it running throughout the weekend. This will usually go unnoticed until the bill arrives which can cost thousands of pounds. The phone provider then expects the bill to be paid as they leave it up to you to protect yourself against fraud. NEC uses a clever piece of software called InGuard which can detect when this hacking practice is taking place on your phone lines and it will notify you by email which will allow you to take action. These attacks usually takes place in the middle of the night so you may not be able to access your email, in which case InGuard will automatically block the outgoing phone call. This will give you the peace of mind that you won’t be affected by extremely expensive phone bills which you shouldn’t have to pay.
Business phone systems are a lot more versatile than your average landline phone. Running a business proposes so many different challenges that it would be impossible to have a phone system which is similar to the one in your home. As this article demonstrates, so many aspects of running a business can be improved by having the right phone system in place, even ones that you wouldn’t think have anything to do with phones, such as, health and safety. This is why having the best possible phone system is absolutely crucial to helping your business succeed.
Growth is the most important objective for many businesses, however when a business grows, the telephone system is often left behind. This article outlines 4 signs which might suggest that your business telephone system needs upgrading.
1.Your customer service is starting to fall behind.
Great customer service is the backbone of your business, it’s what helps you retain loyal customers and find new ones. If you are finding that your phone system prevents you from offering the service you want to provide to your customers, you need to look into upgrading to a more versatile phone system.
2. Your Phone system cannot handle all the incoming calls.
Running a business often requires you to be outside of your office. If you are finding yourself tied down to your desk because you have to answer incoming calls and as a result you are missing important meetings, then the ability to root your phone calls to your mobile phone might be beneficial to you.
3. The number of your staff has overtaken the number of your phone lines.
Growing the number of your employees is a vital part of business growth. Having an old fashioned phone system can make it difficult to provide your new employees with a working phone. Setting up a new phone line should be something which is easy and doesn’t require too much time. If you find this process to be very difficult, then a modern phone solution may be more appropriate for your business.
4. Your phone system doesn’t integrate with your CRM
Customer relationship management software is vital to managing and analysing your customer interactions. Inputting data manually can be a huge drain on resources, therefore a phone system which can streamline this process can save you time and money.
If you feel you can relate to the issues mentioned in this article, then it is probably time to upgrade your phone system. BDM Voice offers the latest business telephone systems and our friendly sales team can provide you with expert advice on which phone system will work best for your business. Click here to Visit the BDM Voice website to find out more.
Paul Brakewell - Sales Manager
One of the most important factors of running a business is choosing the right telephone system. A modern telephone system with features which compliment your business can help provide outstanding customer service and streamline the running of your business, saving you time and money. Paul Brakewell, BDM Voice Sales Manager, explains some of the mistakes businesses can make when upgrading their telephone systems.
Choosing the right provider
There are many great telecoms companies in the market that can give good advice and execute a phone installation very well. I’ve seen some really nice phone installations recently from the team at BDM along with other companies such as Focus and Chalvington Communications.
Unfortunately, like any industry, a phone system can be bought cheap, sold cheaper and the results can be less than promised which leads to a bad customer journey. When choosing your provider, find a direct partner of the brand of phone system you want. Any direct partner will have been awarded their accreditation based on a proven commitment, service and experience with dealing with the brand equipment.
Understanding your business objectives
As your communications are one of the key assets in your business, give some thought about what you want internally as a business but also what your customers expect of your service and brand. This exercise is a great way to engage with your employees as the receptionist will know more about the downfalls of the system than most.
Like any network change, you should allocate the right amount of time to this project. Discuss the project with your allocated team that installs the system for you to see what is expected from your business. It is very evident that many companies ignore this part of the process and this leads to many telecoms platforms being installed where only 10% of the features are being used.
Understand your budget but don’t let that get in the way of the right solution
Having a budget in place can be useful. Most systems can be put on a lease which allows your business to upgrade on a OPEX basis. I am a strong believer that you should not sacrifice on quality because of price. If an extra day of training would help make your staff more efficient then it may be worth investing in. If call recording is going to save you a dispute in future then it’s worth getting it installed. You will be glad when you have PCI call recording and can back up your claim in a court of law if required.
Ensure you don’t change the values of your business through technology
The way you engage with your customers is hugely important. Having a phone system answer calls can help in dealing with large call volumes or can get the customer to hold onto the line longer but let’s all remember that people buy from people! I recently dealt with a funeral director who needs the calls answered by a comforting voice straight away. No auto attendant would suit this and would only turn his customers off. Instead, we found other ways to increase his business with sympathy/marketing messages on hold and also diverting site calls to other branches when the sites didn’t answer after 6 rings.
Your business values, brand and image is key and a new phone system should complement your business while giving you more business opportunities moving forward.
BDM are a direct partner with NEC. For more information as to why business continue to use BDM then click here to enquire for your telecoms audit.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that ISDN was considered a cutting edge technology. Now, it’s a business communication method that’s heading for extinction - ISDN lines within the UK will be switched off in 2025.
It means that companies currently relying on ISDN lines have an eight-year period to find an alternative. So if you’re one of the three million remaining users - is this something you should be worrying about now?
The answer is…absolutely.
ISDN is being discontinued because the technology is outdated and can no longer match the efficiency and cost benefits of internet-powered phone systems, such as VoIP and SIP. The advantages include:
- Flexibility - create a system that matches your company’s exact needs
- Money savings - no line rentals, cheaper calls and free internal communications
- Work anywhere - employees connect from wherever they have an online connection
- Increase productivity - unlock smarter, faster and more efficient ways to work
- Future–proof - digital integration ready to work with tomorrow’s tech
- Scalability - systems can evolve and grow alongside your business
- Security - compliance tools to handle any regulatory demands
As investment in the traditional copper wire phone structure is phased out and the UK Government continues to invest in the national roll-out of an ultra-fast ‘full fibre’ network, the gap between old and new technology grows by the day.
So while the end of ISDN may be looming, the core reason that any business should be making the switch is because of the bottom-line business benefits that are available in the here and now.
Get in touch today.
Call 03301594000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure your business doesn’t get caught out by MiFID II
Time is running out.
On January 3rd, 2018 a raft of new financial regulations will kick into gear. These European Union laws, commonly referred to as MiFID II, strengthen and widen the regulatory standards required within the finance sector.
Unless your business is ready for this change, you risk facing non-compliance fines of up €5 million or 10 percent of your company’s annual turnover. So with the deadline looming, here’s what you need to know.
What exactly is MiFID?
It’s an acronym for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). This is a complex set of regulatory standards that were first introduced by the European Union in 2007 to create a more transparent, efficient and secure financial market.
Following the 2008 global financial crisis, EU regulators started to work on tightening and expanding the scope of this legislation. This includes beefing up the rules governing the way that financial information is tracked, monitored and stored.
When is the deadline?
This updated legislation (MiFID II) goes live on January 3rd, 2018. The deadline has already been extended by 12 months to give businesses a fair chance to prepare, so there’s no ‘wiggle’ room for those companies that do get caught out.
Who is affected by MiFID?
The reason it’s liable to catch so many businesses out is that the financial regulations have been widened to include many companies who are currently exempt. It now covers all of the steps leading to a transaction - not just the final contract.
So it doesn’t just encompass investment companies and banks but all of those organisations that provide any kind of advice relating to ‘financial instruments’.
Doesn’t Brexit remove the need to comply with this?
No. When the MiFID II legislation lands on January 3rd, UK companies will have to comply in exactly the same way as any other nations within the European Union.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released a statement to reinforce this message. And with the current two-year negotiations likely to be extended, possibly by another two years - MiFID II will remain for the foreseeable future.
What needs to be done to comply?
The MiFID II legislation covers a multitude of different areas but the most immediate impact is the change to ways that any communications relating to ‘financial instruments’ must be tracked, monitored and stored.
Article 16(7) of the Directive states:
“Records shall include the recording of telephone conversations or electronic communications relating to, at least, transactions concluded when dealing on own account and the provision of client order services that relate to the reception, transmission and execution of client orders.”
Businesses must be able to monitor all calls and to record any conversations that relate to a potential financial transaction. This information must be stored and accessible for a minimum of five years.
What’s the best way to manage communications?
If your current communication system isn’t able to handle the heightened compliance requirements of MiFID II then you need to switch to something that can. Finding a solution that will securely future-proof your business is something BDM Voice is geared to helping you do.
To make sure your business will be compliant in time get in touch today.
Call 03301594000 or email email@example.com
If your company hasn’t yet got to grips with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) II – the time is now. These are the new set of regulatory standards drawn up by the European Union in response to the 2008 financial crisis. They come into force on January 3rd, 2018.
Telephone hacking is a fraudulent attempt by a hacker to gain unlawful remote access to a phone system. Attacks are often highly organised from an automated server and once accessed, fraudulent calls are connected and over a period of time run up call charges to the cost of potentially thousands. Typically these attacks will occur during out of office hours and are usually discovered after the event when it’s too late.
ICT leader NEC has welcomed a new reselling partner after recognising the expertise and skills of the team behind growing provider BDM Voice. The addition of BDM Voice forms part of NEC’s plan to deliver new approaches to how ICT services are managed for enterprises as they grow and go about daily operations.