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With the release of ShoreTel Version 4.2 the company introduced the concept of virtual appliances. These software objects, had the potential of replacing the Orange ShorGear hardward boxes that typically characterize a ShoreTel deployment. The wisdom of trading the power of dedicated hardware based digital signal processing chips for the variable power of a shared computing resource aside, there are any number of advantages to using “virtual machines”. Currently ShoreTel supports Vmware ESXi and Hyper-V, so we thought we would push the envelop and try alternatives, for example Oricales Virtualbox and Vmware’s Fusion and Vmware player and see what results we could achieve.

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The Contact Center is being transformed at a rate of change that is beyond the ability of current management strategies to identify and react.   Most contact centers are still using 1990 thinking in a 2020 world!  The adoption rate of Smartphones, customer satisfaction scores through social media,  wide availability of video options, and the mobility of customer demographics are terrorizing your call center and what are you doing about it?  Still routing phone calls based on Area Code?  

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As a standard deployment practice, we at DrVoIP implement SIP trunks as a “fail over” on every system we install.   As reliable as your PRI circuit has been, they do fail from time to time!  In fact, we recently lost 27 PRI’s at a major San Diego Hospital when a carrier ( who’s name will remain anonymous) experienced a fiber cut taking out most of their clients in the region!  Stuff happens!  

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When writing call control scripts for Contact Centers (ShoreTel ECC, CISCO UCCX ) do you really have to start over each time?   Are there really that many differences between contact center applications?    Well, yes and no!  As we continue the search for the killer script, that “holy grail” of scripts which can do it all and never needs to be modified, we turn our attention to the wonderful world of XML!  

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Last month we wrote that we believed that webRTC had the potential to change the business communications landscape forever especially as it related to contact centers!  Little did we know that in less than a month, Amazon would do just that with the introduction of the “Mayday” Button.    The Mayday button does just what webRTC is destined to do, embedding a real time, text  audio and visual communications channel within a web browser!   Technical support will never be the same and as we previously proposed, neither will the Contact Center be the same!  

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Hacking ShoreTel!

August 7, 2013 11:24 AM | 0 Comments
When you have been involved with the design, deployment and management of customer premise telephone systems for as long as we have, you think you have seen it all.   Over the years as we learn form our mistakes we improve our “best practice” list to assure others gain from our experience.   When I was barely a teenager, I learned how to assemble a string of MF tones using a Hammond organ keyboard.  Recording two keys at a time, you could create toll call routing instructions that could be played back after making a 1-800 toll call before the terminating end answered!  ... Read more on Hacking ShoreTel
After your first 100 or so Contact Center Scripts you begin to wonder if it would be possible to generate a “killer script!   No matter how many hours you sit with clients and do your very best to extract their call handling requirements, it just never seems to be enough!   Generally, you have some block of professional hours to complete the script, test, train and turn up before “go live”.    You ask the client for their requirements and “wish list”, then prioritize the list toward the goal of getting as much done as possible within the budget allocated to the project.   Continue Reading...
If you have ever tried to decide on a new hosted business VoIP solution for your company, then you have most likely run into, and been frustrated by some of the “gotcha’s” that VoIP company’s use to get you to consider their service above all others. Even when you have narrowed it down to just a few options, you have likely struggled to perform a   comparison of VoIP services that helps you make a final decision ... read more on DrVoIP ShoreTel Blog

What is going on at ShoreTel now?

August 7, 2013 11:20 AM | 0 Comments
I very seldom comment, in this technology blog,  on company policy and just try to stay focused on VoIP.   This time I am speaking out as a ShoreTel Shareholder, you know one of the people who bought into the $10 a share IPO (at about the time they were suddenly sued by Mitel for patent infringement)?  ShoreTel stock (SHOR) is now trading at $3.50 or so?   The company has been through at least three CEO’s post start up and they are now scouting for yet another.   Continue Reading...

Martin Sloan CCIE Voice Candidate #211151677 speaks for the entire CCIE Candidate community (DrVoIP included) when he wrote the following letter:

I’m writing you this morning to express my great disappointment in regard to Cisco’s recent announcement to retire the CCIE Voice track with no reasonable upgrade path to the CCIE Collaboration.  I know that you’re well informed as to all the arguments which are being made against this decision on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, so I won’t go into any detail on why I think this is a bad decision.  At this point, the facts are well laid out for everyone to see. Read more on the CISCO Certification letter.

If you have managed a contact center of any size, sooner or later, you will be asked to make a change on demand.    A contact center supervisor feels the need to have a “team” meeting in the middle of the work day and needs the entire staff to be present.  This means nobody will be logged in to take calls.    This is the point they call you, the contact center administrator,  and ask that you not only close the queue but record a new closed greeting.   Continue Reading...
Anyone who has been deploying telephone systems for any length of time has run into the “language” issue.   Though I am personally tired of having to “Press one” for English, the fact remains that we market on a global basis even if we are a small local business.  It is rare to encounter an Automated Attendant or Call Tree that does not offer us the option of selecting another language.  In the States, Spanish tends to dominate the motivation to change language and it is invariably offered to all callers. Read more on ShoreTel ECC and CISCO UCCX on DrVoIP Blog
With an estimated 45 percent of Americans now using smartphones (66 percent for those under 30), it smartphones are starting to bleed into the enterprise. And now some businesses are beginning to evaluate whether they can manage their phone system needs directly from a smartphone.
Read more on DrVoIP ShoreTel Blog.
Have you ever call into a customer service function, been answered with “all of our Agents are currently busy with other customers, please wait and the next available customer service representative will be right with you” and then waited and waited and waited.   It probably crossed your mind that maybe they all went home!   Is it possible that a call center could queue a caller for service when nobody is actually logged in to handle the call?   Well, the answer is absolutely yes! Read more on UCCX Scripting on DrVoIP Blog

Shoretel Cisco Call Back Scripts

February 18, 2013 6:19 PM | 0 Comments
It is almost expected that a modern call or contact center be able to offer a “call back from Queue” option to your callers.  In fact some call centers are now offering a Call Back with no phone call required from your caller at all! read the entire blog post on Shoretel Cisco Call Back Scripts
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