Martin Bale

Martin Bale Utilities

Utilities Specialist and Guide

Matrix247 – Telecoms, Connectivity, Mobiles, Disaster Recovery

Copyright © All rights reserved Matrix Platinum Limited 2015 – Author: Ste Pritchard 25 .01.2015

Benefits Companies could achieve in working with Matrix247 through Martin Bale as an approved Consultant.

1.0 Telecoms:

  1. Convergence: Integrating Address Books
  2. Awareness: Instant visibility to people
  3. Security: Scalable & Flex delivery of features
  4. Lower Costs: Avoid cap-ex, no support costs
  5. Compliance: Call-Recording

2.0 Mobile Comms:

  1. Low-Cost Bundles: Mobile, Broadband & Data
  2. ‘Twin’ Mobile phones & Desk-Top Phones
  3. Sharing address books & features
  4. DR Planning: GSM network call routing
  5. Unified: V-Mail & E-Mail across all in-boxes.
  • Multiple Locations & Remote Working
  1. Lowest Operating Costs
  1. VoIP: Plug & Work Anywhere
  1. Feature Transparency across locations
  1. Logical Network Number Plans
  1. Intelligent DR Planning:
  • Saving Money in Your companies Comms.
  1. Save on Over-subscribed lines
  1. Low-Cost Calls & Maintenance
  1. Reduce Phone Hacking & Fraud
  1. Contract Awareness Savings
  1. Generate Revenue NGN No’s
  • Resilient Comms: Business Continuity (BC) & Disaster Recovery (DR) Planning
  1. All Points of Failure Identified
  1. Ensure Revenue & Credibility Protected
  1. Compliance
  1. Auto route critical Tel. No’s to DR locations
  1. GSM & Data connectivity for Voice DR.

1.0 Telecoms:

Providing unparalleled telecom advice for over twenty years, using the following three delivery mechanisms. No single ONE is right, we believe it’s a hybrid approach of these delivery methods that provide the most resilient and cost effective solutions to our clients. The three delivery mechanisms are Hosted Telecoms, On-Premise Telecoms & Mobile Telecoms connectivity. Aligning legal practice business strategy with telecom, data-comms and mobile technologies in a joined-up thoughtful approach …….,NOT disparate thinking, is the key.

1.1 Telecoms: Convergence

Although the power of converging telecoms & data technologies enables the ability from desktop phones to access global address books, the real benefits are derived at the desktop PC/laptop. Besides on-screen dialling abilities from word documents and databases, complete voice-mail & fax-mail to e-mail in-box integration is available acting as an excellent aid to improving the customer experience and saving valuable time for staff, partners and their secretaries. Presence management provides instant awareness and visibility to your people, sharing their latest telecom and e-mail correspondence with clients, providing their level of access/confidentiality allows. This collaboration of desktops and sharing documents, instant messaging, combining audio & video conferencing and linking calendars when working remotely, together with enabling messages to be automatically tagged to client case management records for rapid retrieval and archived at network level, saves masses of duplication, saves time, saves money and most importantly leaves clients with a sense of satisfaction that they are dealing with progressive firm.

1.2 Telecoms: Hosted, Cloud & Hybrid Telecoms

This provides simple to activate and rapid to deploy solutions that are easy to manage either by our or your own in-house admin team. Your hosted telecom apps are securely delivered across the highest quality data-links, providing the most scalable and flexible adoption of telecom services. Utilise cloud telephony to queue inbound calls in peak times or during a disaster and avoid your legal practice having to over-subscribe to trunk lines. Avoids cap-ex, no extra support costs and delivered on a cost per user per month basis. As a back-up for both on-premise, exchange level or network failure, it is proven to provide the most resilient and secure form of business continuity.

Telecoms : Improving YOUR Customer Experience

It’s the first impression and on-going communication customers receive when engaging with your firm that will label your practise as either a positive experience if handled extremely well , or conversely leave clients deflated if not. Enabling staff and partners to collaborate telecoms, mobile and data correspondence at the desktop, or when mobile, is a huge benefit to prospective and current clients and your staff when intelligently thought out. It also improves staff job satisfaction and balances quality of life issues, an extremely big driver for employee retention.

1.4. Telecoms : Support of the Highest Order

ISO 27001 is a guarantee toward our standard of quality along with adoption of PRINCE2

Project Management procedures being adhered to across the firm assuring attention to detail.

Maintaining virtually ANY make and model of telephone system nationally, with an engineering workforce accredited to the highest of manufacturer’s standards, should your firm be dissatisfied with the advice and pro-active support from their present telecom maintainer or wish to move support to a specialist who understands required your sector compliances and outcomes needed contact us. Providing FREE on-going remote add’s, moves and changes as a standard inclusion of your support agreement is par for the course.

1.5.Telecoms Compliance : Call-Recording

Call-recording of conferences/hearings and auto-linking of encrypted recordings to client database records can be hugely beneficial and time saving. Many firms are now providing financial advice, which requires Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant on-premise Call-Recording (this ensures that although conversations may be recorded, certain data like 3 digit security codes on customer credit-cards are automatically NOT recorded as part of the recording.), or tender for government funded ‘legal-aid’ tenders. In doing this they have to abide by either FSA or tender regulations. Recommendations to have all calls related to customer advice and response work should be recorded for good practise.

Partners and fee earning staff now utilise mobile phones both in the practice and out in the field just as often as desktop handsets. Technologies now enable calls on either device to be automatically recorded and archived either locally or in the cloud. All recordings are stored in the same place and may be retrieved from customer database records for rapid retrieval by authorised staff.

2.0   Mobile Comms:

We provide a comprehensive FREE analysis and report of existing mobile contracts and bundles in place. Many firms we undertake this for have added various devices with various carriers so there is no single start & end date and are not benefitting from a single telecom and data bundle with a single carrier practice-wide. We look to settle outstanding contracts and incorporating suggestions around the latest security and fraud protection including on-line web billing and email alerts & telecom system integration.

We can supply and advise your practice all the latest mobile devices & carrier bundles, from a basic mobile phone to the increasingly popular tablets. All with an appropriate bundle of telecom and data minutes using the best quality and most competitive mobile carrier for your firm, ensuring existing phones and numbers are kept if required. This is complimented with a vast choice of vehicle hands-free kits, accessories and applications.

Mobile Phone & Desktop Phone Convergence (FMC)

Mobile devices have become the ‘terminal of choice’ for many fee-earners, partners and remote-working staff. The most commonly used benefit in legal firms is ‘twinning’ mobile phones and desk-phones so both are mirrored. This enables the sharing of directories, dialling internal extension numbers from mobile-phones to desk-phones and features from the in-house telephone system like call-recording and call conferencing onto the mobile-phone! It all becomes a seamless Fixed Mobile Converged (FMC) communication system. FMC ensures number ownership and a professional approach for the practice.

2.2       Planning a Pain-Free Mobile Deployment …..On-Time, Every-time:

Attempting your own roll-out, mobile carrier change-over and new handset deployment, can quickly become an extremely expensive exercise should you be unfamiliar with all parties involved, in terms of the time-consuming effort and associated costs involved. Once the Mobile solution is agreed, we provide a dedicated Project Manager responsible for coordination and delivery of all project planning, management and implementation. Your project manager works closely with all levels of your practice to ensure all requirements are documented and the scope of works and expectations are clear to all involved. Full training is provided on the chosen device including any software applications integrated into the solution. This will enable fast engagement of the features within your new investment.

Mobile GSM Network Gateway

This network device, containing a number of SIM cards ( we include in your current mobile bundle plan) and sits between your digital ISDN trunk lines and your telephone system in your firms HQ practice, routes outbound landline to mobile calls whilst acting as Business Continuity / Disaster Recover gateway delivering better resilience for the firm. Should there be a failure at the local BT Exchange or on your firms ISDN lines, your practise telephone system and operator is still working fine. We therefore route all inbound customer calls dialling your main advertised practice numbers over the mobile GSM network. These will arrive at the SIM cards in the GSM Network Gateway device, which routes the call to the telephone system and your operator. Customers experience no failures from your firm.

2.4   Mobile & e-mail Unified Communication (UC)

Voice messages may appear on desk-phone, mobile-phone and your email in-box simultaneously. When you read, save or delete on one device, it mirrors this across the others. You choose the device you wish to use with no loss in features and no compromise on cost or divert fees. Extremely useful for disaster recovery / business continuity solutions or when there is extremely bad weather. It also provides mobility with management oversight and cost control. Fee-earners and partners benefit from Unified Communication (UC) flexibility – one number regardless of location or device.

2.5   Mobile Support: Taking Responsibility for You.

We assume total responsibility for the management of your mobile communication infrastructure. Internal and external account managers are allocated for you, this way all your requirements can be clearly understood and dealt with as soon as possible, meeting face to face as required. A Mobile Helpdesk direct number is provided delivering technical advice and help in setting up BlackBerry, i-Phone and other preferred smart-phones. Tailored Support packages are available delivering 24-hour replacement handsets for loss / fault or damage. Regular reviews to keep your firm in line with network tariff changes and mobile technology refresh trade-in’s to ensure your mobile solutions are always in-synch and aligned with your practices changing mobile strategy & needs.

Multiple Locations & Remote Working

We use the latest in Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), business grade broadband lines, GSM network or a combination of all of the above to route voice and data traffic around your practice locations, staff and clients to deliver the lowest possible ongoing operating costs. By using a converged telecom and data-comms solution, desktop phones can be plugged in ANYWHERE – and act exactly the same as being in the office. Whether at home, a hotel room, an alternative branch office or even a clients office , dialling out will route though the firms HQ so calls are free, extension dial as normal and every-time someone dials your office number it will ring you regardless of location or device you use.

3.1 VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocols) & SIP ( Session Internet Protocols)

Inter-branch links currently being used to transmit data are assessed to see if these can be utilised to provide free calls between locations. All the above combined with delivering elements of telecom features from the cloud as a hosted delivery builds even greater resilience. A firm that may be spread geographically across the UK included home-based partners and fee-earners can act as though one single seamless telecoms benefit of centralised operators for the firm or each branch operator having the ability to both handle calls and see the status of all staff extensions across all practices. Great to handle peaks in call traffic and busy times. The same telephone profiles are set up for staff regardless of desk location providing remote workers the same digit access as an office phone with full functionality including voice-mail and call conferencing. This extends the reach of your firms staff into client premises or home-based, twinning desktop phones and mobiles with a single number providing integration of desktop phone menus to mobiles whilst eliminating call-forwarding.

3.2 Group Numbering plans & Advanced Call Routing options :

Excellent ability for multi-site practices to have a structured and logical extension numbering plan regardless of an historic in-ability through acquisitions etc. Due to the ability to utilise the hosted network ‘cloud’, previously costly call-diverts are thing of the past. New call-routing flow-charts can be devised with almost inhibited regard to enable a companies ideal scenario.

3.3 Video Conference : Collaborate & Save:

Deploying desk-top and/or boardroom video conferencing enables legal firms to stop paying excessive travel and its associated costs of lost billable time. By providing video-conference facilities to key clients and lending customers this technology for key cases becomes a distinct differentiator for competitive firms. This collaboration of desktops and sharing documents, instant messaging, combining audio & video conferencing saves masses of duplication, saves time, saves money and most importantly leaves clients with a sense of satisfaction that they are dealing with progressive firm.

3.4 Ulimate Hot-desking

Unique ability for practice staff to ‘log-on’ or ‘hot-desk’ their telephone/mobile phone to any desk-phone at any location e.g.: an alternative office, home or workplace recovery centre (in the event of a disaster), by registering their PIN in that telephone. All COS (Class Of Service) and staff’s feature-sets will forward, along with calls, to the registered new phone location. Using a ‘one-number’ concept, inbound callers dial the same number no matter where you are working – in the office, on the move or at home. This capability also significantly cuts call overheads by reducing the number of missed calls needed to be returned.

3.5 Centralised Remote Admin & Network Call-Traffic monitoring:

Excellent for multi-site firms. Enables a single person at any location, with strictly locked down password access, to access through a web portal any of their law firms telecom handsets whether at a branch or home-based to perform appropriate user changes and upgrades. Extremely useful in disaster recovery circumstances when on-going rapid changes may need to be administered. Network call-traffic monitoring enables system admin staff to receive Management Information (MI) on call traffic that hasn’t arrived at the law practice due to all normal ISDN lines being engaged. Peaks and troughs can be measured and required expansion of existing trunk lines, broadband or data networks advised accurately and factually.

Saving Money in Comms.

Given the opportunity to deliver a ‘Comms Audit’, we can deliver an improved client experience for your Legal firm resulting in a positive engagement and first impression….hopefully using the savings we find from current, un-necessary, overspend and so making the enhanced customer experience project a ‘cost-neutral’ one for your legal firm.

4.1 Over-Subscribed PBX lines & Un-Needed Bandwidth Capacity

Our Comms Audits can report on usage across all existing telecoms trunk lines and broadband links resulting in savings available on having too many lines or even credits available on cancelled lines, with no usage, that are stilled being billed and over-looked. We can determine the existing data usage across current links and provide suggestions around more capacity available with no increase in monthly costs to also route voice traffic to cover peak-times and as a back-up option.

4.2 Paying Excessively on Call Tariffs & Telecom Maintenance Fees.

As a element of our Comms Audit, we can put into place specially agreed firms tariff plans specifically devised for your company and most commonly called destinations. This may result in free calls to other ‘partner’ firms called regularly by utilising SIP trunk technology. By assessing both existing mobile and landline bills, maximum savings can be identified. We also look at existing telecoms support agreements in-place and the exact equipment list currently used on-site. We can identify what the support costs should be by manufacturers guidelines and be used as a bench-mark against current suppliers.

4.3 Fraud through Hacking Un-Protected Telecom Lines

Security is on many occasion top of the list …..when it comes to DATA being secure across firms networks and more recently mobile devices like laptops, intelligent mobile phones and tablet devices. However we regularly see absolutely NO attention being paid to security in protecting telecom systems. This last few years has seen a huge growth in telephone system hacking, causing huge bills in their thousands to be ran up over an evening or weekend before being identified and shut down. It is the firms responsibility to put the best security available in place and should firewalls be breached have appropriate alerts and triggers in place to minimise the extent of fraudulent calls. We can assist with this.

Contract Renewal Date Awareness

Being unaware of existing contracted telecom line, call, maintenance and mobile agreements in place and their associated notice period to avoid excessive agreed contract termination terms can be one of the most costly blunders that many firms make. On many occasions just missing out by a few days can cost the practice thousands in having to roll into another years agreed contract fee. As an element of the Comms –Audits we provide, all this information will be quantified on your behalf, with recommendations as to negotiations that could be had to reduce existing costs and perhaps where existing suppliers are not now conforming to all OFCOM regulations.

Management Information (MI) to SAVE Wasted Marketing Spend

Our communication consultants can advise on how many legal firms are making best use of free-phone and non-geo numbers to automatically measure all current marketing campaigns down to seasonal activity. What is working and most importantly not working. Potential high overspend on un-effective marketing can be simply recognized with actual facts as opposed to emotional reaction. This way the next years marketing budget allocated can be used to the absolute optimum.

Mobile GSM Gateways

This network device, containing a number of SIM cards (we include in your current mobile bundle plan) sits between your digital ISDN trunk lines and your telephone system in your practice. It routes outbound landline calls to mobiles as a mobile-to-mobile call and so becomes part of the included minutes on the mobile bundle currently in place. Not only therefore saving the firm money, but acting as an additional business continuity device.

Resilient Comms: Business Continuity (BC) & Disaster Recovery (DR) Planning

Enjoy a new standard of resilience ensuring all points of failure are addressed in the event of a network, exchange or hardware failure. We deliver unparalleled DR planning to avoid having to recover from a communication or data disaster in the first instance. Revenue and credibility ensured. Not just PERCEIVED ‘business as normal’ as your clients perception, but ACTUAL ‘business as normal’…………….This is real Business continuity!

5.1 Disaster Recovery Planning                                          

We take an holistic approach involving not just telecoms & data-comms , but provide a complete company wide recovery plan. We involve every firms discipline and acknowledge critical priorities unique to the head of each department.. Should your firm be affected by a disaster or even a simple fault with local telecom exchanges, your cost can run into thousands of pounds of lost time. We design affordable and scalable solutions, combining telecom, mobile and data routing, to ensure all points of failure are covered. Our mission on your behalf is to ensure your company continues to receive and send telecoms, data and mobile communication and messages regardless of disaster or adversities met.

5.2 SIP Telephony & Multiple Locations Resilience

SIP telephony provides a lower cost alternative or additional route to traditional digital trunk lines. It builds additional resilience. Ideal for home-based workers or smaller branch offices as it avoids any on premise telephone system being required. Having multiple locations is perfect to implement extremely resilient telecoms. Super for disaster recovery / business continuity solutions.. By using mirrored telecom processors ensures that telephones across all sites are registered to both processor. If the worst should happen and one location’s system fails then the telecom processor at the other location will automatically take over and preserve business continuity. Clients and staff are none the wiser. It provides the ability for staff or management to work from any location whether from home, alternative office or, in the event of a potential disaster, to a workplace recovery centre. The user experience for telephony would always work exactly the same way.

5.3 Mobile GSM Network Gateway

Should your company experience either an exchange failure, your digital lines being severed through road construction work, your broadband or leased line failing, or all four at the same-time, you may find that your business telephone system internally is still operating fine and internally calls could be transferred directly between staff; the ONLY issue is how you get customers inbound calls, who are dialling your normal landline telephone numbers advertised, to your reception and staff if you have no telephone lines or connection to the outside world ? The GSM Mobile Gateway is the answer.

5.4 Call Queuing (IVR) at Network Exchange Level

When all existing lines are being utilized to capacity or in a disaster situation, inbound calls can be held at network ‘cloud’ level and played any message(s) required, whilst then being directed to the first available staff based upon the required call-routing of the firm. When used in conjunction with workplace recovery centres, a very powerful tool. Costly call-diverts are a thing of the past. New call-routing flow-charts can be devised to suite a variety of scenarios to enable a company to instantly activate their ideal scenario.

5.5 Fixed Phone / Mobile Phone Convergence acting in a Disaster Recovery.

By deploying fixed-line/mobile convergence it enables employees to quickly move to different locations to ‘plug-and-work’ providing optimum Business Continuity during a Legal firm ‘outage’ or adverse weather conditions. Normal operating procedures would continue regardless of location chosen. Firms clients dialling in would be none the wiser of any disaster the law firm was currently recovering from.