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BTS Technologies e-Newsletter

Come and Join Us for Coffee and Doughnuts!!!

Come and Join Us for Coffee and Doughnuts!!!

Beginning on Friday, July 12, 2013, BTS will be offering complimentary coffee and doughnuts for our customers each Friday from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Stop by our office and say "hi" on your way to work, and get your day off to a sweet start!

If possible, please email Julien Burkhalter to let us know you are coming so that we can be sure to have plenty for everyone. Julien's email address is julienb@askbts.com.

We're looking forward to seeing you!


Technology at a Glance

What Are Managed Services, and Why
Should You Care?

Technology at a Glance

The technologies we all use in our businesses have evolved greatly over the last 30 years. Some of the systems and services which have become critical to businesses did not exist before that time. We could not have imagined some of these tools, but now they can be a very important component of the ways we communicate with and provide services for our customers. The pace of change in technology is accelerating, and a company's ability to choose the best solutions, and manage these solutions, is getting decidedly more difficult as the complexity grows.

At BTS, we decided we must find a way to counter these complexities for our customers and help our customers navigate the choices they are facing. Technology is a tool, and you should only embrace it if it makes you more profitable or provides you with a competitive advantage in your marketplace. We designed our "Managed Services" products as a bundle of services required to ensure that our customers get the maximum benefit from technology. These bundled services can include any of, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • Hardware as a Service (HaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) – By providing hardware and software to our customers for a monthly fee, we can conserve our customers' capital budget and move the costs into expense. Also, because the burden of ownership is shifted to BTS, we can protect our customers from one of the biggest possible risks of technology: obsolescence.
  • Service Desk Access – Some of the Managed Service offerings will include unlimited access to the trained technical staff provided by the Service Desk. This provides our customers' employees with nearly instant access to Tier One support so that we can quickly address many of the most common issues and get your employees back to work.
  • Remote or Onsite Remediation – Depending on the plan chosen, our Managed Service offerings will include unlimited remote or onsite remediation of issues with your technology. This allows BTS to become your IT Department or function as an extension of your in-house team, providing a greater depth and breadth of services while providing you with a predictable support budget.
  • 24 x 7 System Monitoring – Our Network Operations Center (NOC) can monitor a customer's servers and other devices and alert when any anomalies are noticed. In most cases, the NOC can also address issues remotely before they affect service. While we can never prevent a catastrophic systems failure, we can shift the odds in our customers' favor against such an event.
  • Regularly Scheduled Meetings – All of our Managed Services customers can expect us to schedule regular meetings in which we provide information about services provided, give the customer a current status of the systems, and plan for changes in the technology moving forward. It is important that we talk with our customers strategically about their plans so that we can align the technology with the customer's business needs.

Traditionally, we have all made decisions based on lowest purchase price and then waited for something to break so we are forced to scramble around to try to rectify the problem. With Managed Services, we can transition from the traditional model to a proactive model where we can predict the actual cost of ownership for the technology and manage the systems to keep them functioning at optimal levels. When an issue does occur, we have the resources to address the issue and get your team back to full productivity as quickly as possible. We can also spend the time to work with you to ensure you get the maximum return on your technology investment.

If you would like more information on our Managed Services offerings, please explore our homepage at www.askbts.com, or call our office and ask to speak to one of our Technical Specialists.

Customers Are Asking About...

How often do you say to yourself something along the lines of, "If I could only..."? We hear all sorts of requests on a monthly basis at BTS. By far the most common categories are:

Off-Site Data Back-Up – Most businesses have "some" sort of data back-up. Most frequently we see the tape unit built into the server, with the original tape still there. Yikes! Tapes need to be replaced periodically, rotated, and taken off-site. This rarely happens. Also, recovering from a tape is not without risk and challenge. Hence, owners and IT Managers are asking for off-site, secure, automated back-up services. This eliminates the human element in protecting your data and is the "first" step toward Disaster Recovery. Call us today if you need to be more secure.

Customers Are Asking About...

Faster Internet – Who doesn't want faster Internet? Data in the cloud, training on the web, video conferencing, and Log-in Application Servers all are placing an increasing need for greater bandwidth. BTS can find cost-efficient ways to increase your web connection and get those emails processing faster. We are the fiber Internet and coax specialists. We can even create a secondary route as a back-up. Be the hero of your office. If you have a need for speed – let us know!

Managed Services – Managed services means different things to different people. Overall, it is eliminating a large capital expenditure and replacing it with a monthly expense. In a tough economy, few businesses can afford to budget for new telephone systems and data network servers/expansion. Managed Services will allow you to upgrade and replace your technology, all for a fixed monthly value that is treated as an expense! Most programs even include technical support and new equipment over time. Forget buying new stuff – make it a Managed Service! Please see What Are Managed Services, and Why Should You Care? for additional information.

The Perils of Buying Direct from the Phone and Cable Companies

The Perils of Buying Direct from the Phone and Cable Companies

If you have watched any TV recently, you have seen that the phone and cable companies have a push based around how much money they will save you. What they don't tell you is how much it will change your communication systems like your fax, credit card processing, and even your phones. We have time and again seen where a carrier, promising great savings, will drop their equipment into a business, do a roughshod job of hooking everything up, and then walk away from it.

BTS recently ran into a small pharmacy that was sold an IP system with promises that it was going to save the owner lots of money every month. What the carrier did not mention was that doing so would disable the pharmacy's credit card processing and that they would hook up the wrong phones. The carrier also disconnected the fax and would not return in less than a week to reconnect it. This pharmacy was not the ideal business to deploy voice over IP (VOIP) into.

The promise of savings can be a strong motivator, but it comes with some cautions. Many carriers do not take the time to truly understand businesses' needs and infrastructure. They also contract the majority of their technical expertise, leaving little accountability or continuity of service with long response times.

To avoid events like this and general issues with conversions, please contact BTS We can advise, coordinate, and generally assist in any changes that are being made.


Telephone Tips

How do I...?

One of the most frequent "How do I..." calls that we receive here at BTS is, "My phone system time is wrong! How do I fix it?" For many of the phone systems we sell, maintain, and service, it's an easy fix that you can do yourself. Just follow these steps!

  1. Go to our website, www.askbts.com.
  2. On the left of the screen you will see a list of different phone system types. Click the name of your phone system.
  3. Follow the step-by-step instructions given.
How do I...?

If you are not sure what type of phone system you have, or if your system does not appear on the list, feel free to either email us at service@askbts.com or to call the BTS Service Department at 205-290-8301. A BTS technician can assist you by either determining your system type or helping you with your time change remotely. Please note that service fees may apply.

Helpful Hints for Operators

Helpful Hints for Operators

As the person who answers the telephone, you are quite literally the voice of your company. You have the opportunity to make that all-important positive initial impression on first-time callers, and you have the power to make every call afterward the rewarding experience for your customers that it needs to be. Here are a few helpful hints for operators and for anyone else who answers a phone regularly.

  • Be prepared. Before calls start coming in each day, spend a few moments preparing yourself and your work area. Your phone should be located in a convenient, easily accessible spot on your desk. You do not want to knock over a cup or a stack of papers, or catch the phone cord on a speaker, every time you answer the phone. If you use a headset, put it on and make sure it is charged. Be sure that you have any supplies you may need handy—a note pad and pen or pencil, any necessary windows you may need open on your desktop, cheat sheets (an employee name and extension list, a list of frequently-called numbers, a quick guide to using your phone, etc.), a planner or desk calendar, and so forth. These tools will help you to be efficient and ready and able to assist your callers. It is also a good idea to have a bottle of water to sip from nearby so that your voice is always crisp, clear, and easy to understand. Refrain from chewing gum or eating while you are on phone duty; if something is obstructing your mouth, you will be more difficult to understand, and you will come across as less than professional. Just before you answer a call, take a deep breath—this will help you to sound more relaxed—and smile! The caller will be able to hear the smile in your voice. If you take the time to prepare yourself and your workspace to take calls, you will be able to do your job more effectively and give the best possible impression of yourself and your company.
  • Script your greeting. You do not need to say exactly the same thing every time you answer the phone; no one wants to talk to a robot! Rather, focus on following a general format that has certain important elements always in place. Ideally, your greeting will include four essential components: an expression of courtesy, your company name, your own name, and an offer of assistance. For example, you might say, "Thank you for calling XYZ. This is Jane. How may I help you?" The expression of courtesy—"Good morning," "Good afternoon," "Thank you for calling," etc.—will start the call off on a friendly note and make the caller feel welcomed and valued. Then, when you state the name of your organization, you are reassuring the caller that he has reached the correct company at the correct number. Third, when you give your name to the caller and offer to help him, you are bringing the call to a personal level. If you simply ask how to direct the call, you are missing an opportunity let the caller know that you are personally invested in helping him get what he needs, even if you end up transferring the caller to someone else. Your goal each time you answer the phone should be to give the caller a standardized, positive experience that underscores the high level of service your company offers. Following a script will help you to achieve that goal!
  • Offer the caller choices. Have you ever had a conversation along these lines when you've called a company looking to speak with a specific person?

    CALLER: Hi, this is John Smith. May I speak to Mary Jones?
    OPERATOR: Please hold. [Operator suspects or knows that Mary is not at her desk, but she sends the call to Mary's extension anyway. The phone rings until Mary's voice mail picks up.]

    In a situation like this, it may be perfectly fine with the caller to simply leave Mary a voice mail message. However, as any operator can attest, a good portion of the time the caller will immediately call back (sometimes quite annoyed at having been sent to voice mail). He will then elaborate on the reason for his call and request further assistance —because the matter at hand is time-sensitive, for example, or perhaps because he just does not want to leave a message. Therefore, it is much better customer service to offer a caller several different choices when he calls for a specific person. First, it is a good idea to ask the caller to hold while you check to see whether the person he needs to speak with is available. Depending on your phone system, you may be able to do this by checking your DSS console or your desktop client. Otherwise, you can intercom, call, or page the person and ask whether he can take the call. If he can, return to the caller and let him know that you are going to transfer the call to the recipient. If the person does not answer the phone or is unavailable, you should give the caller a few options and ask him what he would prefer to do. For example, if the person the caller wishes to speak with is currently on the phone or has just stepped out of his office for a few moments, the caller might prefer to simply hold for him. You might also offer to transfer the caller to the person's extension or directly to his voice mailbox, take a message yourself, or see whether there is someone else who might be able to assist the caller. Giving a caller options lets him know that you care about his needs and want to make sure he is taken care of in the best possible way.

End User Training Opportunities

Upcoming Webinars and Onsite Training Opportunities

At BTS, we know that any technology is only as good as your ability to use it. To this end, we offer webinars on all manner of products to help our customers get the most out of their technology investment. BTS will be offering several webinars this quarter. Each webinar will be offered on a Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, and will last no more than thirty minutes. To reserve your space or to request additional information, please email Kim Reynolds at kimr@askbts.com. If you would like to suggest a topic for one of our future scheduled webinars, let us know!

Upcoming Webinars and Onsite Training Opportunities
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Zultys — Transferring and Parking Calls
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Zultys — Making Conference Calls
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 NEC SV8100 — Transferring and Parking Calls
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 NEC SV8100 — Making Conference Calls
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 ShoreTel — Transferring and Parking Calls
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 ShoreTel — Making Conference Calls

Please keep in mind that BTS also offers both web-based and on-site training on an as-needed basis. Whether you need to familiarize a new employee with your phone system, would like a quick refresher class for current employees, or need pointers on a specific topic, BTS is happy to help. Please email kimr@askbts.com to discuss or to schedule a training session specifically tailored to your needs.

15 Things You Should Know How to Do with Your Phone

  1. Adjust your handset, speakerphone, and ring volume. If you have an LCD display screen, know how to adjust the contrast.
  2. Turn your microphone on and off to mute and unmute calls.
  3. Answer your phone using your handset, speakerphone, and headset. Be able to switch from one to the other when needed.
  4. Make both ringing calls and voice (intercom) calls to other extension numbers.
  5. Make calls to outside numbers.
  6. Search for and redial a previously-dialed number.
  7. Program and use speed dial keys and/or station speed dials.
  8. Put a call on hold and take it back off hold.
  9. Handle multiple calls efficiently.
  10. Get a call to someone else. Should you transfer the call directly to that person, or announce the call first? Do you need to put the caller on hold and ask the person via intercom to pick the call up? Or t most efficient to park the call and page for the person to pick it up? You should also know how to recall transferred, held or parked calls that are not answered.
  11. Put together a planned or impromptu conference call.
  12. Check your voice mail messages from both onsite and offsite.
  13. Re-record your personal voice mail message and/or switch from one greeting to another. For example, you may have an everyday "on the phone or away from your desk" greeting, an "in a meeting" greeting," and an "out of office" greeting.
  14. Forward calls to your extension to another number, and cancel call forward.
  15. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode.
15 Things You Should Know How to Do with Your Phone

If you are not sure how to do any of these things, why not take a quick look at the official product user guide for your phone system? Just go to BTS' website, www.askbts.com. Select the manufacturer of your phone system from the list on the left, then click on the appropriate end user manual.

Or better yet, contact BTS Service to discuss getting a quick reference guide specifically designed for your company's phone system. Whenever we install a phone system, we not only provide the customer with a copy of the appropriate official user guide found on our website, but we also make sure that each phone user has a "cheat sheet" that will help him take full advantage of the system as we have programmed it for his company's needs in particular. If you are interested in a quick reference guide, contact BTS Service at (205) 290-8301 or service@askbts.com.


You Need to Know!

SCAM ALERT!!!

Several of BTS' customers have recently received false invoices for telecom work. These invoices are coming from "UST," a company in La Verne, California, and they are for $425 for "Telecom Maintenance Agreement." If you receive such an invoice, please be advised that it is not valid and should not be paid. All invoices from BTS will always have the BTS logo and originate from our Birmingham, Alabama office.

SCAM ALERT!!!

New Faces at BTS

New Faces at BTS

BTS was recently delighted to welcome a new Technical Advisor, Julien Burkhalter. Check our Facebook page, Twitter, and LinkedIn in the coming days for more information about Julien!

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Job Opportunities

At BTS we are always interested in talking to industrious, enthusiastic people with a passion for the technology industry. If you think you might be a good fit for our excellent team, please feel free to send your resumé to hr@askbts.com.

If there is a job opportunity at your organization that you would like us to advertise in our newsletter, please let us know!

Job Opportunities

Our Latest Press Release: BTS Launches a Mobile Device Management Program to Monitor and Secure Devices Attached to Customer Networks

Our Latest Press Release: BTS Launches a Mobile Device Management Program to Monitor and Secure Devices Attached to Customer Networks

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is vital in today's marketplace. With the proliferation of Smartphones and tablets in today's business world, companies need a way to monitor and secure mobile devices that enter their company space. Whether a mobile device is company-issues or employee-owned, Mobile Device Management is the fastest, most comprehensive way for organizations to centrally secure devices and protect their networks from intrusion. BTS recently introduced a Mobile Device Management Program designed to to monitor and secure devices that are attached to customer networks.

BTS Technologies, Inc., a leading Unified Communications provider, announced today that the company has launched a Mobile Device Management Program to Monitor and Secure Devices that are attached to customer networks. With the proliferation of Smartphones and tablets in today's business world, companies need a way to monitor and secure the mobile devices that enter their company space. Whether a mobile device is company-issued or employee-owned, Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the fastest, most comprehensive way for organizations to centrally secure devices and protect their networks from intrusion.

Smartphones are here to stay, and businesses need to be certain that they have an infrastructure established to bring these devices into the workplace. According to The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, "the growth of global mobile data traffic in 2012 is up 70%" from the previous year and when comparing mobile traffic in 2012 versus entire Internet in 2000 we find that mobile traffic today has twelve-folded that of the entire Internet in 2000."

The best MDM solutions perform several functions and have a set of unique characteristics which make them the best fit for small to medium-sized businesses. First, they must integrate into existing networks well. Many MDM solutions integrate seamlessly into enterprise systems and don't require on-site servers or network reconfiguration. Another trait of a great solution is the ability to remotely locate, lock, and wipe lost or stolen devices. This is vital for enhancing security, especially in an environment with shared data and content. Many solutions rely on encryption settings and established passcodes in order to monitor device compliance and detect potentially unsafe devices before they make it on the network.

"The growth of mobile is representative of a culture shift where people expect instant communication and want to be connected," stated Roger Wentowski, President of BTS. "This has tremendous implications for our industry, and as we've noticed this evolving over the years we knew that our customers needed some way to bring security and data management to their networks. That's exactly why we have spent substantial time, effort, and energy investing in leading edge technologies so our customers can be better equipped to protect their businesses. We consider it our duty to equip our customers with the best technology tools available, so they constantly have a leg up on their competitors. In the end, making them successful keeps us successful and prolongs our relationship."


All About BTS

About Us

Business Telephone Systems (BTS) was founded in 1976 just as it became legal for private organizations to buy and sell telecom equipment in the United States. During this time, we discovered the real service was not in selling telecom equipment, but in helping our customers use the technology. As technology has changed, so have we. BTS changed its name to BTS Technologies to better reflect our focus of providing data network and voice solutions.

About Us

BTS Technologies provides superior technology and skill to our customers in need of data and voice systems. Our commitment to our customers forged lasting partnerships, and for over three decades it has been our profound pleasure to provide custom solutions that make our customers more successful.

We bring further value to our customers though our partnership with Technology Assurance Group (TAG), allowing BTS Technologies to leverage $500 million in purchasing power. In turn, our customers receive the best value on equipment, carrier services, and programs to help control technology costs.

BTS' Philosophy and Mission

BTS Technologies, Inc. (BTS) was founded on the philosophy of maintaining a profitable business by providing the best in telecommunication systems and services to our customers. The stated purpose of our company not only allows us to provide short-term answers to our customers' communication needs, but also affords us a longevity unsurpassed by the telecommunication industry in our region. We strive to provide quality materials, trouble -free installations, and total communication services at a fair and competitive price that will allow us to maintain our business with quality employees. This policy insures the ongoing system service and support that you deserve and expect.

BTS Technologies, Inc. is located at 311 West Valley Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama 35209. For more information on BTS, please call (205) 942-6532 or visit http://www.askbts.com.

If you have any questions or comments, or if there is anything you would like to see in our newsletters, please don't hesitate to contact us! Please call or email Kim Reynolds at 205-290-8430 or kimr@askbts.com.

Important Contact Information for BTS

Website: www.askbts.com
Operator: 205-942-6532
Service Desk: 205-290-8301 or service@askbts.com
Toll Free Number: 800-255-4372
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BTSTechnologies
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BTSTechnologies

Make Me Smile!

Make Me Smile!

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BTS Technologies
311 West Valley Avenue
Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone: 205-942-6532
Sales@AskBTS.com

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