Wavelink Blog

How to Benefit from Your Phone System Data

This week on Digium Live, learn more about Unified Communications and Analytics. Digium Live’s Brian Ferguson talks with Stephen Davis, Digium’s Sales Operations Manager, about sales operations and customer touch points. They discuss:

• How to get data out of your business phone system
• How modern phone systems make collecting data easier
• Reasons why UC systems are less expensive for gathering sales data
• Gathering reports for sales with UC
• Combining UC with your CRM
• How Unified Communications benefits a variety of industries

Read about Digium Live! episodes on the Digium Blog: http://blogs.digium.com

Digium®, Inc., provides Asterisk custom communications and Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) business phone systems that deliver enterprise-class features at a price businesses can afford. More information is available at: www.digium.com and www.asterisk.org.

Let’s Talk about VoIP

How to Use the Hidden Data in Your Business Phone System

In a previous article, Age of Unified Communications and Your CRM, I discussed the benefits of integrating your Unified Communications (UC) solution with your CRM (like Salesforce.com or SugarCRM).  One of the advantages of this type of phone system integration is having screen pops that make it easy for your sales and customer service teams to log call details. It also provides quick access to existing customer information, enabling outbound-focused teams to have better conversations with customers and prospects. Digging into the data sourced by your UC system can provide an untapped stream of knowledge for other key employees, too – including your call center manager.

How Do UC Systems Improve Call Center Manager Roles?

A call center manager holds a critical, and often stressful, role within the organization.  Responsibilities often include: handling call volumes to agents, shifting staffing levels, and coaching new call center employees.  UC systems can make these demanding tasks much easier so that the manager can focus on what really matters, which is improving service by coaching his staff. This wasn’t always the case, however.

In the age of analog phone systems, getting a more complete solution that enabled some level of data retrieval required paying for expensive add-on features or services, such as call recordings, call queue, and call reporting.  Not only would the “add-on” features have to be purchased separately, but integrating them with the analog system and managing them was often a nightmare for everyone involved.  The integration process was so cumbersome, it usually ended up with the company hiring an additional in-house team member (someone with specific experience), or paying expensive consultant fees to outsource managing and extracting data from the systems.

On top of all that unexpected overhead, it could also take days to receive the requested call logs from your IT department. Even then, managers had to hope everything was provided, as needed, from the cobbled phone system, and that there were no gaps in the data.  This delay and potential missing data could cause staffing decisions to be slow to business demands.

Call Report Switchvox

Fast forward a few years and there’s a big difference in the speed and accuracy of the data collected, not to mention the ease of management and the reduced cost. UC solutions now provide web-based access with an access control list (ACL), which puts the power in the manager’s hands, allowing him or her to easily extract information such as queue logs and status, concurrent calls by agent, and call log details to track number of calls received and placed by hour/days/week.

Hourly Calls Breakdown Switchvox Report

Phone System Data Matters

Data, even that from your business phone system, tells an important story that helps shape decisions. In fact, the level of detail and ease of access that advanced UC features provide to a company allows managers to make real-time or near real-time decisions, especially where staffing is concerned.  Has your company launched a new product and your team needs to be trained?  When is the best time of day to take your agents off the phone without impacting your queue wait times?  In the graph above, you can see an example showing number of calls by hour, and that at 3 pm in the afternoon, the call volume drops to almost nothing. A manager can see this data and quickly know that period of time is ideal for pulling agents offline for training; similarly, the data indicates an extreme number of calls at 9 am and understands that a full staff is required to adequately manage the morning call volume.

Call center managers cannot monitor all calls at the same time, but he or she can review calls at a later date with call recordings.  Your UC phone system should make this super easy by allowing the IT manager, or call center manager with proper ACL, schedule which queues or agents (and what type of calls – inbound, outbound, or all) to record.  The system can even off-load the recording to an FTP server for easier access.  Not only can this be used for training, but if you have issues with customer expectations you can listen to the call recording to find out what was promised.

Most call center managers are often actively training agents and may not be able to watch the queue metrics in real-time. There are scheduling options that can be utilized in this case.  The manager can receive an email hourly and/or daily with the details of the call queues, including average wait time, average entry position (into the queue), number of abandoned calls, or even maximum wait time. All of this data, delivered straight from the phone system, provides enhanced visibility into business operations and allows you to react to and change the staffing of the queue.

In an age of instant results, having a view into the data from your UC system is critical. The phone system, along with access to the right data from the system, can empower your company to better service your customers by helping call center managers quickly and proactively make staffing changes for call volumes.

Power of UC Phone Systems: Call Center Features for Every Business


When most people hear the term “call center,” they think of a massive maze of cubicles, filled with hundreds (or even thousands) of people answering call after call in a sales or support department for a major corporation. Though these large call centers do exist, (American Express has a single call center in Phoenix, AZ with over 5200 people in it), they are not the norm for most businesses. There are far more companies with just a few employees answering the phone that have a need for some more sophisticated call routing. Let’s face it, if you have a business in which more than one person answers the phone, or you have more than one department, you can benefit from advanced call routing and other Unified Communications (UC) features. This is the beauty of Switchvox – it gives you advance features that enterprise companies use in their large call centers, but at a price that small or medium-size businesses (SMBs) can afford.

In part 1 of the Power of UC blog series, we introduced you to ABC Widgets and looked at their marketing efforts to get leads in the door through two campaigns: a roadside sign and a radio ad. We saw how Switchvox can handle and quantify those marketing campaigns, and help management staff understand the ROI of those efforts. While ABC Widgets is a fictional company, it serves as a good example of how similar companies can benefit from a business phone system with UC features. Today, we will show you how Switchvox helps ABC Widgets become an effective call center, and produce satisfied customers and growing revenues.

The Challenge

ABC Widgets is a small company with 20 employees. They have a new product sales team of two people, a customer service team of two, a support team of three (who regularly answer the phone), and a receptionist. The receptionist currently handles all incoming calls and then transfers the calls to whomever she thinks might be available. This has been very ineffective. The company has received many complaints as the receptionist is far too busy and customers have to wait too long to talk to someone – although ABC Widgets has no idea how long customers actually wait. Management has determined they need a better customer experience for people calling in to ABC Widgets.

The Solution

The challenge that ABC Widgets is facing is a common one: How can the company more efficiently and more effectively handle valuable customer calls? The solution lies in a modern UC system like Switchvox. Even though ABC Widgets is a long way from American Express in size and call volume, it can still benefit from the same UC features. Using ABC Widgets as an example, here’s how Switchvox can help your business – and any small business – take advantage of the benefits of a call center environment:

Save the Receptionist

The first issue to resolve is to save your company’s receptionist from overwork and burnout by lightening the call load. Here’s how:

  • The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application can automate many of the incoming calls and relieve some stress from the receptionist. ABC Widgets has control over the messages that are played and the options that the caller can choose. ABC Widgets creates a ‘Sales, Customer Service, and Support’ option, as well as a ‘Press 0 for the Receptionist.’ Now, callers get to the place they need on their own and calls to the receptionist are reduced by 80 percent overnight!
  • The Switchboard is a web-based user productivity tool that gives ABC users a “birds-eye” view of what is going on in the company, as well as desktop call control. The Switchboard allows their receptionist to see who is on the phone and that person’s availability through the ‘Status’ indicator. He or she can also chat or video chat with other employees and easily transfer calls with a click.




Line Up the Queues

The key to creating a successful experience for your customers is to create queues. Queues are logical groupings of employees, and each group then has special answering and routing features set up. Using the example of ABC Widgets, they would create three queues (Sales, Customer Service, and Support). Your company might have a similar approach. Here’s how those types of queues help ABC Widgets create a smooth and effective call flow:

  • Ringing Strategies allow ABC Widgets to either ring all the employees in the queue, ring individuals randomly or in a pre-determined order. Sales has a superstar employee that management would like to have the first crack at all sales calls, before routing to others. To achieve this, they will use ‘In Order,’ which allows the company to put the superstar at the top of the list. If he’s not available, the next person in the list will be rung.
  • Queue Member Settings allow ABC Widgets to determine how many times each person’s phone rings, allows time for wrap-up to log information into their CRM, and to auto-log off, if the member forgets to log out of the queue.
  • Caller Experience Settings let management control what callers hear while waiting to speak to someone. ABC Widgets picks their favorite hold music, as well as takes advantage of that on-hold time by adding a message about their new product.
  • In-Queue Call Routing is set up to ensure that callers don’t get stuck in an endless queue. Simple settings are in place so that ABC Widgets can determine what their excessive wait time limit is and ensure that anyone waiting longer than that time is routed to another person, group, or manager.

Report the Findings

Now that the queues are in place and calls are being handled much more efficiently, ABC Widgets can sit back and observe the fruits of their labor . They can check out all the great reports as discussed in Part 1 of the series, but there’s one more report that is perfect for companies of any size:

  • Real-Time Queue Monitoring both on the Switchboard and on Digium IP phones allow their managers to view call flow and call statistics in real time. They can see current calls that are waiting and how long they’ve been there, individual call stats for each queue member, and overview statistics for the entire queue! Never again will you be in the dark on the performance of your teams!

As you can see, even though ABC Widgets isn’t a massive call center like American Express, it can still take advantage of modern call center technology to improve it’s customer experience. Your company can do the same! The best part is that Switchvox brings these features at a price SMBs can afford-and delivered in the Cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid of the two. Sign up for a demo of Switchvox and see the difference in your company.

Demo new business phone system

What is VoIP?

This week on UC Tech Chat, Julie and Brian answer a common question many people searching for business phones ask, “What is VoIP?”

• Benefits of VoIP for your company
• Call quality of VoIP
• How to get your business ready for VoIP

Read about UC Tech Chat episodes on the Digium Blog: http://blogs.digium.com

Switchvox Introductory Training – Melbourne

Thursday November 12, 2015 – Thursday November 12, 2015

View MapMap and Directions | Register


The Switchvox introductory training session by Digium’s sales engineer, Steve Jakab is an introductory course open to all interested party considering adding an alternative IPPBX vendor to your profile.

Steve Jakab will cover Switchvox features from setting up extensions to creating Meet-Me-Conference Bridges and  an IVRs.  Learn about the User Friendly Switchboard a great selling feature to your customer.

Steve has been with Digium since 2007 as a Sales Engineer supporting Switchvox.   Among Steve’s responsibilities are Pre-Sales Support, Engineering Interface, and Training and Channel support activities.  Before coming to Digium Steve was working as a sales engineering manager with Adtran.

The day’s agenda can be found here.

For more information contact us at sales@wavelink.com.au or Tel: 1300 147 000


Spectralink 1.6.1 Firmware Release Protects Against Stagefright Vulnerability

By Stuart Small, Senior Software Engineer and Security Expert at Spectralink

In a previous blog, I discussed the newest vulnerability in the Android operating system and how it affects Spectralink products. Since then, Spectralink has released version 1.6.1 of our phone firmware that not only completely fixes Stagefright, but also includes a few other non-security related bug fixes. While Spectralink believes some of the advanced security features present on PIVOT help to greatly limit exposure to these bugs, we recommend updating all PIVOT handsets to completely lock down this problem.

Zimperium, the company who originally found the vulnerability, has released a great tool for testing devices. Running this app on your Android device can give you confidence that the problem has been patched correctly. Try it out on a PIVOT device and, while you’re at it, try out some of your favorite consumer smartphone devices to see how they fare.

Learm More

Wi-Fi – Evolving Communications in Aged Care


National Channel Enablement Manager at Wavelink AU

The rapid uptake of Enterprise Wi-Fi by Aged Care organisations is a key driver in the convergence of many previously isolated technologies into a unified ecosystem that allows staff to work more efficiently than ever before. This in turn frees up time to improve resident care.

Convergence of voice and data onto Local Area Networks (LANs) has been standard for a decade or more with wired LANs. In more recent times this has spread to Wireless LANs (WLANs) as constantly improving Wi-Fi standards have seen enterprise Wi-Fi evolve from a technology designed to give users access to a ‘hot spot’ of coverage that they can use to access the internet from their laptop, into a pervasive, high-speed and reliable medium that delivers a service comparable to a wired LAN, but with unmatched flexibility due to its wireless nature. At the same time, new generations of portable smart devices and sophisticated applications that run on them has allowed Wi-Fi to realise its full potential.

Devices and applications designed specifically for health care are enabling aged care providers to maximise the benefit of their investment in enterprise Wi-Fi. Here’s a brief overview of a few of the more common aged-care focussed applications and the devices that they run on.

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Spectralink refreshes DECT handset portfolio of WorkSmart products

Spectralink Corporation (“Spectralink”), a global leader in wireless solutions for the workplace, has announced a refresh of its 7000 Portfolio of DECT handsets, along with the addition of new models to the series to even better meet end user needs.

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