Friday, January 30, 2009

SPOTLIGHT ON FINANCE: The Critical Need for Call Accounting During Poor Economic Times

The financial crisis around the world has more than ever highlighted the need for accountability and transparency in every enterprise. Increasingly credit costs can ripple through the entire organization to affect longer-term plans that are essential to growth. Transparancy in operations and providing audit trails of day to day operations have increased the need for management reporting. Managers must be confident that communication facilities, the lifeline of every organization, does not leave the business in a vulnerable financial position.

Often managers are unaware of misuse, erroneous telecom billing, detrimental quality of service and or system hacks that can cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the organization and the bottom line. The old adage rings true – you cannot manage what you cannot measure!

Call Detail Records (CDR) have long been used across vertical markets to provide valuable metrics in regards to long distance costs, productivity, efficiency and misuse and abuse. Recent events have created an additional requirement for CDR records; providing an audit trail for inbound and outbound calling patterns.

An audit trail of inbound and outbound activity may be as basic as monitoring inbound and outbound calls by duration – and can be as complex as measuring bandwidth, grade of service and peak periods of activity and their correlation with important events within a business operations.

Most organizations facing recessionary pressures look to eliminate waste, increase productivity and improve the bottom line. Often major spending is postponed to deal with economic realities.

It is imperative to ensure that telecom expenses are not left unchecked. The administration must be performed by a system that can seamlessly span across multiple vendors and platforms to analyze, optimize, consolidate and reconcile communication expenses and ensure long term stability and success.

Billing reconciliation is often overlooked since customers trust their carrier to bill based on contracted tariff plans. Howerver, according to analysts at Gartner, “Organizations can routinely save more than 10% of their annual telecommunications expenses by systematically checking their carrier bills against equipment and services in use.” But it is no longer effective to look exclusively at your traditional telephone invoices and compare them to the call accounting system in the back room.

Often fraudulent calls may be routed through corporate facilities without the knowledge of the company. Hackers can find faults in improperly designed networks, infrequently used extensions, voice mail ports and tandem trunks. A call accounting watchdog should always be monitoring activity for irregular patterns. Modern call management systems utilize SMS, pager, email and web interfaces for instantaneous reporting.

When asked what business problem they are trying to solve, 32 percent of large-enterprise respondents to a recent Yankee Group survey say "lowering the overall cost of voice and data networking" is the objective. Survey respondents say domestic long distance calling, international long-distance and local telephony connections are the three areas that would deliver the highest cost savings.

Corporations concerned about securing sensitive data require monitoring solutions that highlight possible breach from would be spies, hackers and malicious personnel. CMS systems can trace obscure or unusual behavior and alert authorized personnel.

Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) is recognized as an industry leader in the field of total unified communication management specializing in multi-platform implementations. RSI is uniquely positioned to offer broad based solutions that span multiple platforms or vendors. RSI is recognized as an Avaya DeveloperConnect Gold Member, Cisco Technology Partner, Nortel Developer Partner and similar relationships with many others.

Visit for more information about protecting your communication investment during turbulant economic times.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SPOTLIGHT ON RETAIL: Growing Your Retail Business Through Effective Communication Management

Engagement is a growing concern in the retail space. Current market conditions have put an emphasis on engaging customers and being able to communicate with them instantaneously in order to meet and exceed their needs. As consumer confidence and spending decreases, retailers must be doing their utmost to ensure that they are communicating with their customers effectively in order to retain and increase revenues. Those retailers who are successful in engagement and who implement processes to ensure a proper flow of communicationwill continue to grow even as the economy hits road-blocks.

Typical communications systems within the retail sector are ever evolving and include informative corporate web sites, e-commerce, email, automated attendant, custom call routing (CCR), wireless and mobile services. All these modes of communications should serve to enhance the customer experience. After all, the ultimate goal is to quickly and efficiently service the needs of the customer while maximizing return.

The technological enhancements that many retailers introduce, can often serve as a detriment to engagement as opposed to facilitating interaction. It is imperative to utilize a concise communication management system (CMS) to qualify the exchange of information.

Many retail stores are equipped with the latest automated attendant, interactive voice response and custom call routing features that are meant to encourage customer loyalty through personal and helpful interactions. But how does a retailer measure whether customers are accessing relevant and useful information through these systems and not ending up with the wrong departments, or worse, being disconnected.

A communication management system can provide the retailer with concise management reporting to truly distinguish whether the communications systems employed are creating an effective retail experience. The communicaitons management system should be able to accurately reflect which departments are receiving the most calls, how many transfers customers are making before they reach a final destination and how much time the customer spends on hold. These metrics can assist retailers in redesiging auto attendants and CCR tree programming in order to enhance the customer experience and differentiate themselves from the competition.

For retail stores that have a cookie cutter approach to each of their stores, a communication management solution can provide statistics on which stores benefit from a “one size fits all” approach. Traffic management is essential in determining the busiest or peak time periods which can vary based on market and geographic segementation. Communication management reporting may build cause to differentiate how communication systems are used throughout various branches/locations.

Other metrics that can be provided through a communication management solution include ring time, abandoned calls and grade of service analysis. These statistics can assist in understanding call blockage and facility usage along with staffing levels throughout certain times of day and seasons throughout the year.

In an ever competitive retail environment, forward-thinking communications managers realize a call management system can yield significant benefits to the corporation. These benefits include; measuring ROI on telecommunication investments, determining customer trends, analyzing peak hours and staffing levels, and above all ensuring that communications systems employed are resulting in positive customer engagement.

Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) is a leader in communication management solutions for every enterprise. We specialize in multi-vendor, multi-platform applications that serve to analyze, reconcile and consolidate communication expenses for a concrete picture of the lifeline of your business.

RSI is an Avaya DevConnect Gold Member, Cisco Technology Partner, Nortel Developer Parnter in addition to a series of other relationships. We have got you covered!

Visit our website at:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Shared Technologies Joins Avaya BusinessPartner Program

For Immediate Release: 21-Jan-2009

COPPELL, Texas - Shared Technologies announced today that it has joined the Avaya BusinessPartner program. As a member of the program, Shared Technologies will sell and service Avaya's unified communications systems and contact center solutions for small, medium and large businesses. Avaya is a leading global provider of business communication software, systems and services, and its reseller program encompasses more than 2,500 companies around the globe.

Shared Technologies is a national provider of business communications systems, specializing in the design, implementation and on-going maintenance and support services for business customers across the United States. As an authorized BusinessPartner for Avaya, Shared Technologies will have access to the technical support and training needed to help companies use Intelligent Communications solutions to transform their operations. Shared Technologies is recognized as a 2008 FORTUNE magazine 100 Best Companies to Work For.

"Shared Technologies has extensive expertise in the business communications market with a long history of successful implementations and unparalleled customer satisfaction. They are well equipped to help companies discover how to take advantage of communications to solve business challenges and meet strategic objectives," said Carol Giles Neslund, vice president, North America Channels, Avaya.

"Shared Technologies is thrilled to begin a strategic relationship with an industry leader like Avaya. The combination of Avaya's extensive product portfolio with Shared Technologies' comprehensive suite of technical service offerings, customer service excellence, and national service footprint provides a powerful and compelling solution set to business customers across the country," said Tony Parella, president and CEO of Shared Technologies.

Avaya was recently named the worldwide market leader in unified communications and the worldwide leader in Total PBX, which includes IP telephony, TDM and hybrid systems, according to market research firm, Dell'Oro Group. In addition, Gartner Inc. positioned Avaya in the Leaders quadrant of the firm's recently published Magic Quadrant report for Contact Center Infrastructure, Worldwide.

Members of the Avaya BusinessPartner program have the opportunity to achieve advanced certifications in Avaya systems and software, as well as in multivendor solutions that incorporate technology from other vendors. Partner companies also must meet rigorous criteria for service delivery and customer satisfaction.

About Shared Technologies
Founded in 1974, Shared Technologies is a recognized national total solutions provider and supplier of converged and IP telephony technology to the national enterprise business community. Shared Technologies is a privately held corporation, based in Coppell, Texas, operating in forty-eight markets in the United States. For more information about Shared Technologies, visit

About Avaya
Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness. For more information please visit

Sponsored by:
Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI)
RSI is internationally recognized as a leading developer of communication management solutions for every enterprise. RSI is an Avaya DevConnect Gold partner.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Call Accounting for Cisco Call Manager Express

Cisco devices such as Call Manager Express generate a number of syslog event types. These logs include system interface up and down events and h.323 call logging. A Cisco Voice Gateway with PRI lines,will generate an %ISDN-6-CONNECT event when a call connects and an %ISDN-6-DISCONNECT when the call disconnects.

To generate proper call detail records and to generate billing records, which have numbers for both peers, full h.323 connection call accounting needs to be activated. The records from this log type generate a %VOIPAAA-5-VOIP_CALL_HISTORY syslog entry.

Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) offers call accounting and communication management software for SMB to large enterprise environments with Cisco Call Manager or any Cisco device with an active syslog.

For more information, visit

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sending Free Text Messages (SMS) Worldwide

Here is a site for sending free text messages to phones in Canada. Its a lot easier to type your message on a keyboard then use a phone key pad.

The messages that are sent show as being sent from and the first line says [ Message]

I tested the site with a solo mobile number (using bell as provider) and the message arrived in about 5 seconds.

The site is:

The international sister site (USA and Other Countries) is: