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Blogs

How To Be in Two Places At The Same Time

10 August 2017 at 14:08pm

Most people in a work environment know the feeling of wishing to be in two places at once.

 

It's a busy day, the phone is going constantly and you haven't even touched your emails.

 

Unfortunately, try as we might, we can't quite help you with your work load. However, we can help you to be in two places at once!

 

If you work with a customer base abroad, then we can help you to 'be' in the country with your customers, as well as being in the UK.

 

Using one of our international numbers, your customers can call a local number which they recognise, and reach your phone system in the UK.

Having a local number, recognised by your customer base, lends reassurance, and a feeling of closeness, to your interactions.

 

If we reverse the situation for a second, how would you feel if you were evaluating suppliers, and one had a number in your local area, and the other had a number in a different country?

 

I think most of us would be happier with the supplier with the local number.

 

There are three main reasons why this works:

 

1) We are all happier inside our comfort zone, rather than outside it. Anything we have previous experience with gives a reassurance factor. in this case, the customer is experiencing a phone number area code which they have seen or used before. This increases the chances of them phoning you whilst they know or can see the number. Psychologists term this 'Familiarity'.

 

2) The number will be easier to remember. As we have moved the number forward into the person's consciousness, their mind starts the process of finding where the number is familiar from. This means the customer is more likely to be able to remember your number unaided. Psychologists term this part of the memory process 'Recollection'.

 

3) The appearance of locality. A local supplier will be easier to contact, more responsive, and more likely to understand your wants and needs. From a simple, common sense viewpoint, it makes sense to choose the local guy. Placing yourself amongst the local competition gives you this advantage too.

 

So, as you can see, not only is it possible to appear somewhere and actually be somewhere else, from a customer communication point of view, it can be very beneficial to do so.

 

Make sure you are maximising your impact in your foreign markets.

 

We can supply a variety of international numbers, and we can often give you the city or area code of your choice.

 

If you operate abroad, get in touch to see how we can help.

 

 

 

 

 

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Screaming Customers, Disputes and Confused Staff - How Call Recording Can Benefit You

03 August 2017 at 16:08pm

VoIP opens more possibilities than using a 'traditional' phone system. One of these possibilities is the ability to record your calls with out the need for any special equipment or phone lines.

All users on our Fully Managed service, for instance, can have all calls recorded automatically by our system.

 

No hardware or specialist devices are required on site, no training or specialist staff will be required, and no specialist phone will need to be bought.

 

Our Fully Managed VoIP service can be set to record all your calls, both in and out, and all it takes is an email to our Technical Support team. That's it!

 

No rushing to a hardware store, credit card in hand. No phoning round various suppliers to compare prices. No reading manuals, leaflets or instructions. And no visits to the local college or polytechnic to get yourself trained in IT hardware installation and maintenance.

 

Just a quick email, webchat or phone call.

 

If you request it at the start we will enable it from the day and time your service goes live. Every call, both in and out, recorded and saved in case you need it.*

 

Recording is useful for all customers who wish to reassure themselves against future disputes. In the unfortunate event that a dispute does arise with a customer, and the customer is claiming something has been promised but not been delivered, then the recording of the call can easily be sourced and listened to by management or senior staff. The issues moves from personal opinion into simple fact. The recording will not lie, and will give all involved a reliable reference point.

 

Equally, the recording will not get confused, misunderstand or jumble the facts as time goes on. It is an unfortunate fact that, in times of stress, people often become confused. If the person is a disappointed customer, they are likely to have twisted facts round in their head, and this is completely unintentional. It is simply human nature, we all find it hard to believe we have made a mistake, and when engaging in a dispute with a supplier it can be difficult to back down. So your irate customer can be difficult to calm down, and they may not wish to listen to your side of the story.

 

With a recording of the call, you are armed to give him the simple facts of the matter. It is no longer in doubt who said what, to whom, or why. Everything said can be listed to and reviewed. Your company may be right, or the customer may be right, but you will know the facts of the case.

 

Recordings can also be very useful when it comes to staff training. It can be difficult to take in advice, keep products and services in mind, and chat to a customer when you are a new start and everything is unfamiliar. Listening in on live calls can make people feel uncomfortable, and may make the new start nervous. But reviewing calls, when everyone is calmer and the employee can think more clearly, can prove far more advantageous. Remove the stress from the situation, and pass on clearly your expectations during a review session. Clearly explaining what you want them to do and say will be far more difficult when a live call is actually taking place. It will be easier, and prove more effective, when they are calmer and can think about what is being said, and react to advice being given.

 

Call recording is especially useful for those who work in the Legal or Finance sectors. These industries are very open to accusations of misleading advice, mis-selling or other unscrupulous practices.

 

It also means that Regulating Bodies can review what is being said by those in the industry to their customers. Whenever a complaint is raised by a member of the public regarding a company supplying financial advice, products or services, the Regulatory Body will ask to review all the calls which are relevant. In which case, they put themselves in the driver's seat regarding assessing the situation. They no longer have to listen to two sides arguing about who said what and to whom. They can listen to the whole dialogue, and decide on the facts of the matter.

 

If you are a company operating in the Financial sector, then you are actually legally bound to use Call Recording. New legislation currently planned to come into force means these recordings must be kept for at least five years, and possibly seven.

 

If you are a Financial Services company, and wish to discuss our Additional Call Recording product, get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

 

If you a company of any sort which wishes to use Call Recording to provide assurance in the event of possible customer dispute, start a conversation with us and we can discuss the many advantages we can offer, including the standard Call Recording our Fully Managed service offers.

 

 

*Our standard Call Recording gives three months, or 5 Gb of recordings, whichever occurs sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Never Miss A Message

28 July 2017 at 16:07pm

Traditionally, a person who tried to call you when you were busy left a message on the device they phoned you on. This is the way things have worked up to now, and the way most of us have become used to working.

 

But - is there a better way?

 

Using a VoIP service, there is.

 

Our two tiers of Hosted VoIP (both Basic and Fully Managed), and our Single User services include a better solution. We call it Voicemail to Email, and is an extremely handy feature included as standard with our business-grade VoIP services.

 

It allows callers to get their message to you in a more efficient way than the traditional message left on a device. As the message is left, the system automatically emails you to tell you a message has been left.

 

Not only that, but the email will also include an audio file which contains the message. No need to keep checking your various phones and devices, your notification will be automatic.

 

This is especially handy as some recent studies suggest most of us check our work emails on an almost continual basis. One US study cites the incredible figure of 4 hours per day spent checking emails! If you are anything like me, you will check every 10 minutes or so, just to keep up to date with ongoing issues and catch correspondence.

 

So, assuming I am roughly average (which may or may not be the case) then email is one of the best ways of getting a message to you.

 

The frequency at which we check for new messages, and the importance of email as a tool for business communications, means we perhaps prioritise this media above others.

 

Having messages sent to your email account also means you have them stored. You can easily create a folder for messages, and keep them as long as you wish.

 

Alternatively, you can create a folder on your PC, tablet, or smartphone, and store the records there. Find all your messages quickly and easily. Refer back if there is ever an issue or dispute, and find out exactly what was said.

 

An additional advantage of having messages sent to you is an improved reply time. As you are more aware of your messages, and they are sent to you in a more convenient way, your ability to respond is naturally improved. Take less time to respond, and have fewer people waiting for you to get back to them.

 

As your messages are stored away from the device, it means you can access these messages wherever you are. A bonus for those who work from home.

 

See more on our Hosted solutions. Contact us to discuss VoIP in depth.

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How We Got Connected

21 July 2017 at 10:07am

18 months ago, we began the laborious process of building our SS7 Interconnects with BT (in Edinburgh and London). We knew this would be a lengthy, time-intensive and expensive process. The reason we embarked on this project was to increase SureVoIP's network capability, and create a platform for growth that would outreach our competition.

After significant investment of time, resources and hard cash we have completed the climb to the top of the SS7 mountain. And the future looks amazing from our new vantage point!

 

We are very excited to be able to continue our strategy of innovation and technical expertise, and the completion of this project is a landmark on this journey.

 

In keeping with our ethos of delivering the best possible VoIP service, we decided to move towards the SS7 (Signalling System No. 7) Interconnect. It allows us to provide the highest possible level of service to customers and Partners.

 

The Interconnect works connecting us to the heart of the national PSTN network - a fancy term describing the public phone network (the infrastructure which delivers all traditional phone calls and internet over copper or fibre cables).

 

The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is governed by Ofcom, the Industry Regulator. This monitoring extends to SS7 Interconnects, and is more stringent at this level. Factors such as uptime and pricing policy are closely monitored, giving aded reassurance to customers. This is a major point scored over our competition. We are proud to be transparent, conscientious and honest, and this monitoring empahises this commitment.

 

Ofcom regulation gives customers a level of reassurance not available from other providers, who do not submit to this regulation.

 

Our service is appealing to potential customers through our innovative product line, which we continually develop in response to customer demand. SureVoIP® itself offers a stable, reliable and trustworthy telecoms provider, having operated for 6 years and satisfied the needs of a varied client base.

 

Not being a Reseller of the products of a larger company's products marks us as unique in Scotland. Moving from a reseller position to an independent provider position was one of the factors motivating us to complete the SS7 Interconnect.

 

As a result, our network infrastructure stands head and shoulders above the competition.

 

Feel free to read more about our Network, or see more blog articles to read about VoIP generally.

This article also features on the Scottish Business News Network.

 

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Redundancy, Back ups, VoIP and the Internet

08 June 2017 at 16:06pm

Redundancy, Back ups, VoIP and the Internet

Or

How To Stop Internet Failure From Ruining Your Day

 

If you are reading this article on our website then it's safe to say you have probably heard of VoIP.

The technology to use internet to deliver phone calls has been around for a while now, and is becoming increasingly accepted as standard practise amongst the business community.

The additional features and functions it offers over the 'traditional' phone model makes it very desirable for business use.


The one downside is the requirement for an internet connection. If your internet fails, then your calls will fail too.

Many see this as a deterrent to using a VoIP service. However, there are a few methods available which limit this risk.


The first, most obvious and easiest to set up method we recommend is via using Call Forwarding to an independent number. If you can set up a landline or mobile phone number as a fail-over, then any calls which miss your VoIP system will still find you using the fail-over number.


The second method we recommend is to use a good ISP. A reputable, business-grade ISP will employ back up systems, so if they do ever experience any issues it won't affect your service. This is done by setting up a fully redundant, business-grade infrastructure. For example, SureVoIP® internet connectivity is delivered over a network which employs a fully redundancy back-up system (if any part of our network should suffer a failure, then your traffic would find its way to the internet via another, completely independent set of connections).


The third method we suggest you consider is using two (or more) independent internet connections. In the event of your main ISP suffering a failure, then your calls and data traffic switch to the alternate provider. This is a good way of ensuring continuity of your service, and should be considered if you handle a good deal of VoIP calls, and these calls are critical to how your business operates.


Not many companies can do without phone and internet services these days. In fact, it is doubtful if there are any. These services are critical to general operations. Banking and invoicing systems, CRM systems, work-flow management systems all rely on connecting to cloud platforms. Not being able to connect with these will mean many staff spending a lot of time with nothing to do! Worse than this, they won't be able to pass the time on Facebook or reading the news!


When your phone calls are being delivered over the internet, then the problem would be even worse. Not only can you not connect to vital internal systems, but you are also missing customer calls.


Bearing the risks in mind, most business users of VoIP who see phone communication as critical would be well advised to consider the impact of an internet outage, and to have in place a recovery plan.


Using one, two, or even all three of the options listed in this article will certainly help.


Using the first option will at least give you the reassurance of knowing you are receiving customer calls. We recommend this as a standard 'fail-over' option to many of our customers. It is easy to set up, and reliable. As calls are reaching you in a completely independent way to the internet, then you still remain able to communicate in the event of internet or ISP issues.

 

The second option listed will give you the reassurance of always using built in redundancy. As your thoughtful ISP has already factored in fail-over options, then you can relax a little bit. This method gives the reassurance of a back up, without the necessity of having more than one connectivity supplier. This will require you to do a little bit of research regarding any potential ISP's network infrastructure. Check their network, their technical specifications, and any other information you can get your hands on regarding how they have built their network. If you can't see any of this, then be prepared to keep looking. The chances are, if they have gone to the trouble of developing a system such as this, they will be shouting it from their website! If no information is there, wonder why.


The third option we explored is probably the most expensive, but is a good idea for larger companies. If your customer communications are critical, and your business relies on internet, cloud-based platforms or emails, then this is option is well worth considering. It may introduce an additional cost and layer of complexity to administration, but it will prove well worth it if your primary ISP suffers a major incident. It may be an additional expense, but think of the possible expense of an outage. Lost staff time, missed customer calls, loss of reputation. All these should be factored in when weighing up your options.

 

If you wish to discuss your options just get in touch.

 

Click here to see more about the internet connectivity options we can provide

 

Click here to see more about our Call Forwarding options

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How To Appear Bigger Than You Are

01 June 2017 at 15:06pm

Don't worry, you haven't stumbled upon a blog devoted to 'How to react if you are being attacked by a bear'.

 

This blog will give an overview as to how Hosted VoIP phone services can benefit smaller companies and sole traders.

 

One of the initial challenges to overcome when working for yourself is how best to manage your image. It is tricky to set up a company, win over customers, do all the necessary admin, and balance your books. It can be a bit like spinning plates, only there are far more than you actually handle!

 

Well SureVoIP® can at least help with one aspect - Presentation.

 

It is a sad but true fact that we judge on appearances, before anything else. Psychologists tell us that we judge the personality of someone we have just met within a quarter of a second.

 

Don't feel guilty - it's not just you, and it's not really your fault. The human brain is used to processing millions, if not billions of pieces of data every day. It does this by pattern matching, and it does this by making guesses. The brain basically takes a rough overview, assumes this pattern repeats itself, and fills in any gaps in its perceptions with these guesses.

 

This how optical illusions work. The brain has created lots of short cuts in order to process the vast amount of data which surrounds it, and optical illusions use this. The famous Muller-Lyer illusion pictured is a good example.

Muller-Lyer Illusion

 

We can use this trick of the brain to work in favour of the smaller business.

 

The Muller-Lyer illusion relies on mental shortcuts to fool your brain
 
Customers are used to certain levels of service when calling companies. This works in both a positive and a negative way. Service which doesn't match the image projected will prove harmful to that company. For instance, if you are thinking of buying from a company, and their website has spelling mistakes on the home page, the chances of you buying from them will quickly decrease.

 

The alternative is also true. If a company's service meets or exceeds your expectations, then you will be far more likely to buy from them.

 

This is the key point of this article, and this is how VoIP can help the smaller business.

 

By working on your presentation, you can greatly improve how customers perceive you.

 

Customers and potential customers make assumptions, or ;guesses', to refer to our potted psychology summary given above.

 

We can use this mental trait to our advantage. Giving a level of service associated with a larger company will create this mental image in the customer's mind.

 

Therefore, making use of a phone system which creates an appropriate image will work to enhance customer's perception of your company. People have fewer reservations about dealing with a larger company, so appearing as larger will result in a better image, and more successful dealings with callers.

 

This can be achieved by using many of the features and functions of a VoIP service. This kind of phone service adapts well to people working from differing locations, so you don't need a physical office. You can transfer calls between users as if you were all located in the same place. Callers will always experience the same phone set up, no matter which employee they dial. Music on Hold, coupled with a menu auto-attendant, gives the re-assurance of being in contact with a larger company. It also means that all your users have a cohesive 'brand identity' to callers.

 

Conference calling opens the door to more in-depth meetings, without having to physically travel to meet.

 

All your callers can get in touch using your company advertised number, and reach any of your staff members.

 

All a big improvement to just handing out your mobile number and hoping for the best!

 

We even offer a paired down service for Sole Traders. Our Single User service gives a useful range of functions, and is designed specifically for the single person working on their own.

 

For more info on our Hosted services

To see details of our Single User service

More info on the Muller-Lyer Illusion

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How We All Benefit From Integration and Collaboration - Open Source and APIs

25 May 2017 at 12:05pm

As those who know about our company will be aware, SureVoIP® has been geared from its inception to be pro-Open Source. Open Source is the term given to software which the developer has allowed access to for other developers.

 

This is more than a just a statement, it affects how SureVoIP® functions, and how we approach things. It shows a different approach to developing solutions.

 

Let's compare an Open Source approach to the more traditional purely profit-driven approach. When companies are developing software purely for profit, they work in isolation. A team of developers will have a brief, and will work to fulfil this to the satisfaction of the client company.

 

This reflects the 'normal' business approach. A gap in the market is spotted, and a product or service is developed to fill this gap. This is a generally accepted business model, and works reasonably well.

 

However, if we stop to analyse it for a second, we can spot some obvious flaws. The first is that all these products are being developed in isolation. No one individual or business is taking an overview, and there is no guarantee to customers that product 'X' from one company will work with product 'Y' from another company.

 

As I say, this is fairly normal. After all, we wouldn't expect a manufacturer to design a TV to work with another manufacturer's remote control!

 

But, if we extend this thinking to the internet, we run into difficulties.

 

The internet has essentially become a plethora of connected things, enmeshed within our daily lives. We now expect to share a news story by clicking a 'share' icon, and update our Facebook page by using s smart phone app. It is increasingly common to be able to turn on our living room lights at home, by using a smart phone app. As the much talked about Internet of Things becomes prevalent, we will soon expect to order groceries using a voice-recognition device, or expect our fridge to order more milk without us even knowing it's running low!

 

So if we look at internet-based products and services within the framework of the individual product development model, we see this connected aspect would quickly fall apart. With no financial motivation to develop links between disparate products and services, we would simply have a stand off between companies waiting for others to absorb development costs.

 

But - introduce collaboration and integration into this picture, and things change significantly. In fact, you end up with our present day connected world, because it simply couldn't exist without them.

 

Different companies develop products which simply must work with products developed at other times and by other companies. An open, collaborative approach to development is an essential ingredient in this mix, a bit like the flour in a cake recipe. You can have all the icing and cherries you like, but without something to bind all the ingredients together, you don't have a cake!

 

As a pro-Open Source company, SureVoIP® works with collaboration in mind. We are fully committed to this approach - it informs all our development programmes, and has done since the company's inception.

 

We allow full access to our API (Application Programming Interface - read on to find out more), giving other developers the ability to integrate with our systems. This in turn allows a better customer experience, with the internet developing in response to customer needs and expectations.

 

The model of a single company developing products in isolation would not allow this level of cooperation. in fact, it would work against it, as development would stall. The small company with a good idea for customers might be able to develop a new product or service, but would be unable to integrate it with anything. After all, a new app must be able to work with smart phones, or it a waste of development time. The small company who developed it would literally have been better of not bothering, as they will have wasted development time for nothing.

 

This why APIs are so important. An API (or Application Programming Interface) allows developers to integrate with the back-end of other products. It is essentially a set of rules which governs integration, allowing developers to marry two pieces of software, applications or programs together. In this way, new products can be developed and released, with the knowledge that it will be functional and work across devices. Without this, we end up with our single company development model.

 

For the internet we are used to to continue to deliver all the things we expect, then we simply need this collaborative approach.

 

It is the glue which holds all these potentially disparate things together, or, to return to our cake metaphor, the flour which binds all the other ingredients.

 

 

More info on our Developer API

More info on our Outbound SMS API

More info on our Outbound Fax API

 

More informative articles on VoIP and the Internet

 

 

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Telecoms solutions - how to choose and do you have to?

18 May 2017 at 16:05pm

Communications always poses a thorny issue to any business. The plethora of potential telecoms models now available has, if anything, muddied the issue, rather than given a solution.

 

Obviously, Hosted VoIP is available, offering a variety of features, and a functional upgrade from the traditional copper wire. It also allows companies to make better use of resources, maximising the use of an internet connection whilst potentially reducing the number of analogue lines needed. Many companies have been able to massively increase their Return On Investment using VoIP, enjoying the benefits and maximising their communications.

 

Another solution is that of an on-site system, where a specifically designed piece of equipment is bought to function on-site delivering telephony. This solution generally appeals to companies who have IT or dedicated communications staff available. Equipment can be complicated, requiring trained staff to set up and issue fix properly.

However, there is a third way!

 

A further solution can be found by diving into the world of hybrid solutions.

This is where a mixture of VoIP and on-site equipment is used, combining telephony over the internet with on-site equipment. Calls are made and delivered using SIP trunks, and continue onward to the end user via the hardware just mentioned.

 

This offers a number of advantages:

 

1) It can be supported by a VoIP Provider. A reputable SIP trunk Provider should be able to provide ongoing support and assistance with setting up. Removing the burden of this from company staff means freeing up resources and minimising the chance of future issues

2) It utilises the best of VoIP. Using SIP trunking means the best cost for local calls, and allows for lower rate international calls as well

3) It uses the best features of the on-site system. Having your own equipment close by gives the flexibility of making changes whenever needed. A link in the supply chain has effectively been removed. Any staff with suitable training and/or experience can make changes, create call flows or alter settings.

 

As you can see, there is more than one way to tackle the problem.

 

The question ultimately has to come down to preferences, the issues faced, and resource availability.

 

Whereas no one can answer all these questions for you, we can certainly discuss things to help you clarify your current situation. Our Technical Team live and breathe telecoms. If you are stuck, why not ask?

 

 

 

 

ITSPA - Improving VoIP for Customers and Providers

09 May 2017 at 16:05pm

You may have heard of ITSPA - the Internet Telephony Service Providers' Association. What you may not know is the important contribution they make to the field, or the ways they help both customers and providers.

 

One of the main ways ITSPA helps customers is by providing free, impartial advice. You can read through their website to find all the latest news in the VoIP arena. You can read through their list of approved Providers, see who has been awarded their Quality Mark, and see who has won their annual Awards.

 

Their annual award is a no-expense spared affair. Hopeful entrants turn up in formal attire, waiting to hear if they have been successful. ITSPA have a history of providing lavish locations for the award ceremony. Last year the ceremony was hosted at the National Theatre in London. This year, it is being held at the Tower of London!

 

In keeping with the prestigious atmosphere which surrounds the ceremony, attendees receive an all-day pass to the Tower, and drinks and canapés are served.

The Awards are regularly attended by the main brands familiar in the VoIP field.

The Tower of LondonIt is a great resource to see the most respected, and respectable, VoIP Providers.

They run Awards covering various categories of VoIP Provider.

 

 

The Best Business ITSP for Small Enterprise will be of particular interest if you own or manage a small company. This lets you see the best Provider operating in the market place who have been given the ITSPA award.

 

Providers operating in this arena are generally good at servicing smaller requests, offering applicable products and services. Communication must be of a high standard, and the end user should be guided through the enquiry stage, and beyond. The Provider's Technical Support must also be able to assist those who's VoIP knowledge may be limited. Companies in this bracket are unlikely to have an advanced level of technical knowledge. They rely on their Provider to guide them, offering applicable products and reviewing these products to keep abreast of customer requirements.

 

SureVoIP® are Finalists in this award category for 2017.

 

The Best Business ITSP for Medium Enterprise will interest you if are involved with a larger company. Medium sized companies will have a different list of interests and requirements, and this will be reflected in their VoIP needs.

 

They are more likely to have more involved call routing, use advanced service functions, and require a different level of support. They are more likely to have more knowledge in the field, either through experience or through having performed research.

Supporting this level of customer requires a different skill set. They are more likely to have larger numbers of users, but will probably not be big enough to have specialist IT or telecoms staff on site. Therefore, providers working with this market segment need a specific set of skills and resources.

As with any VoIP service, the infrastructure behind-the-scenes must be solid and robust. Both call quality and resilience rely on this fact.

The feature set must be applicable to organisations of this size. This market segment is far removed from the cheap call, low quality approach. They are likely to require Conferencing, IVR menus, Call Recording and Music on Hold at the very least. Whichever VoIP Provider is chosen must be able to deliver these requirements, and others.

Providers in this category must deliver a robust, resilient service with a focus on quality. VoIP services must include the most-used features and functions, and some development work in response to customer requests would also count highly. Customers in this category require a responsive, proactive Provider, able to develop and deliver contemporary services in-line with current customer expectations.

 

SureVoIP® won this category outright in 2016.

 

 The Best Business ITSP for Corporate Enterprise is an award which will be monitored by larger organisations using VoIP.

 

Providers in this category are required to work with contacts from a variety of departments. The Provider must have their own administrative system efficient and fit for purpose. They will be required to liaise with many different contacts, from IT and telecoms people to purchasing, invoicing and end users. Many of these will have limited knowledge as to VoIP. Providers must be capable and willing to help. A snobby, superior attitude to those with limited IT knowledge might be funny in sitcoms like 'The IT Crowd', but it won't win any new customers - in fact it will probably lose you some!

Providers will be required to work with users from all lines of work, and must be equally prepared to listen to all. Not everyone will be a member of the IT department, or have previous experience in setting up telecoms equipment.

By the same token, Providers in this category must be flexible. They will also be required to work with professionals with in-depth industry knowledge.

This can be a fast-paced environment, relying heavily on documentation, and controlled work-flows. All aspects of changes, solutions and specifications will be recorded. Transparency is required at all stages and within all processes. All service aspects must be fully and diligently recorded. It must be possible to undo anything which has been done, and for any other Technical Team member to effect any changes required.

Customers in this category require a very high level of expertise. Services and solutions need to be cutting-edge. Staff need to be trained and experience, and the Provider needs a forward looking approach to technical development and innovation.

Providers will be required to support advanced equipment, supply advanced features, and handle enquiries from staff from all departments, from IT to HR.

A full-time, experienced technical team will be required, with the appropriate infrastructure and resources behind them.

 

SureVoIP® are Finalists in this award category for 2017.

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The ITSPA Awards - Who are ITSPA, what are the awards for and why you should care

18 April 2017 at 12:04pm

ITSPA stands for the Internet Telephony Service Providers' Association. It is the governing body which oversees the VoIP industry in the UK.

 

They give awards to UK VoIP providers, covering delivery of VoIP services to Small, Medium and Corporate sized organisations. They also give awards for Infrastructure (the network behind-the-scenes, the stuff that makes a VoIP service work that you don't see), and providing VoIP on-site equipment.

 

ITSPA as an organisation is important for a number of reasons. It provides a voice for the industry, providing effective lobbying on any regulatory issues. It spearheads industry initiatives, and ensures the VoIP industry is working to continually benefit end users. It also helps publicise VoIP technology to the general public, and provides a forum for issues and debate.

 

The reason why ITSPA is important to you, the consumer, is that it gives a level of reassurance when researching any prospective ITSP.

 

More about ITSPA.

 

Ultimately, ITSPA gives the customer reassurance, a level of insight into VoIP companies, and an insight into VoIP in general. It is a very interesting site to read and learn from, and they are impartial and unbiased. They are a good source of information on VoIP, and a great place to check out any potential suppliers. ITSPA give out their Quality Mark to selected providers, and this gives reassurance to customers and potential customers. Not every provider is chosen for their Quality Mark, so a provider displaying it should be more reputable. The Quality Mark only goes to companies who can prove their platform and service is robust and reliable (taken as a measurement to be 99.99% availability between 8am and 8pm throughout the working week). Providers are required to adhere to the ITSPA Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidance, ensuring that the customer gains a quality-focussed ITSP working in keeping with modern business practice.

 

Compliance with Data Protection and Data Retention legislation, fraud prevention measures, complaints handling policies and other technical and legislative checks are indicated by issuing a Quality Mark. The consumer who wishes to know more now only has to check the ITSPA website to ensure compliance for any prospective ITSP. By checking if they have the ITSPA Quality Mark, anyone can check at a stroke a potential provider's compliance with a range of requirements, commitment to the VoIP field, and commitment to customer care.

 

ITSPA gives annual awards to VoIP providers working in the UK. They break the market down into categories. This year, the categories were Best Business ITSP (Small Enterprise), Best Business ITSP (Medium Enterprise), Best Business ITSP (Corporate), Best VoIP CPE (Customer Premises equipment), Best VoIP Infrastructure, and Best VoIP Innovation. They also award the Best UK VoIP Reseller, and allows the members of ITSPA to pick one further company who they feel has made a significant contribution to the VoIP industry.

 

As the industry governing body, ITSPA has a great deal resting on their reputation and credibility, and this is reflected in the awards process. All entrants are vetted carefully, and must submit their systems to two months' of testing performed by an independent organisation prior to entering any award categories.

 

More on the 2017 ITSPA Awards.

 

SureVoIP has been nominated as a Finalist in two categories this year, Best Business ITSP (Corporate) and Best Business ITSP (Small Enterprise).

 

SureVoIP has a good track records at the Awards, being a Finalist in these two categories last year, and winning Best Business ITSP for Medium-sized business.

 

It is important to remember that the ITSPA Awards are not based on Marketing activity or market share - they are focussed on infrastructure, processes and innovation. The things which makes a real difference to customer's lives.

 

More on the Quality Mark.

 

More about SureVoIP's awards.

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