Use Android and iOS smartphones and tablets as feature-rich extensions of your Toshiba business phone systems

Toshiba’s UCedge™ mobility client brings unified communications to Android™ and Apple® iOS smartphones and tablets — no matter which Toshiba phone system you use.  If you love the IPMobility feature on your IPedge® or Strata® CIX premises-based system or Call Manager Mobile on your VIPedge cloud-based solution, you’ll love UCedge for bringing it all together.

UCedge Tablet

With client software that you can download from the Internet, you gain valuable convenience, productivity and cost-saving features on your mobile device:

  • Work from anywhere using personal or business mobile devices as a business phone extension.
  • Enable easier connections with one-number reach, in or out of the office or out of the country.
  • Protect mobile number privacy by displaying only the office phone number in caller ID.
  • Manage office voice mails easily and quickly with a visual interface on a mobile device.
  • Place long distance and international calls to contacts from a cell phone at landline rates.
  • Stay in touch while traveling internationally.
  • Get more done with instant messaging (IM) with colleagues who are busy or on the phone.
  • See the status of UCedge colleagues or Microsoft® Lync® Server users before calling them.
  • Rapidly find contacts in a list synchronized with the office phone system and user-provided avatars.

By using your personal or business mobile device as a versatile business phone, you won’t miss important calls, and you can collaborate with colleagues and customers quickly and efficiently — an obvious advantage for any business.


UCedge has been tested and validated on selected smartphone models from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony and LG, as well as tablets from Toshiba, Apple and Samsung (support on Windows and Mac desktops and laptops as of October 2014).

Get started today.  It’s easy.  Licenses for the UCedge client are provided as part of the VIPedge solution, or the license is available as an option for the IPedge or Strata CIX system. For mobile devices, just download the UCedge client from Google Play™ or the iTunes® App Store (mobile devices require a cellular data plan with an option to enable WiFi access for locations with poor cell network service).

For Android: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ucedge/id600608570?mt=8
For iPhone: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.toshiba.uclient


Toshiba’s IPedge Helps St. Jude’s Recovery Center Make a Difference

When the call can be a lifeline, the phone system has to be right.

139 Renaissance Pkwy jpegFor Atlanta-area individuals and families struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, hope is just a phone call away — one number for referral or admission to St. Jude’s Recovery Center detoxification unit and residential and outpatient treatment programs. St. Jude’s primarily serves homeless and low-income adults and families who do not have private insurance and/or cannot afford to pay for treatment. Their common thread is the disease of addiction.

One call connects a person in crisis to an admissions representative to set up a meeting or a telephone triage that could lead to same-day admission. Services range from day treatment, family counseling, health services and employment support to inpatient detoxification and transitional or long-term housing. The organization serves more than 1,500 individuals per year and has a notable track record of success. In short, St. Jude’s makes a difference.

But its phone system had not kept pace with growth and change. Until last year, each of St. Jude’s locations operated as a communications island. Some sites had Toshiba phones on a vintage Strata® DK424 digital phone system. Other sites used different systems, so it was impossible to transfer calls between sites. Some of the phone systems were having equipment failures. Service calls were common. St. Jude’s was also spending $2,400 for separate central office connections for each location — and was missing out on modern IP capabilities that could improve operations and program quality.

“Our staff liked the old Toshiba phone system and had a comfort level with it,” said Keith Franklin, an administrative technical support specialist on the IT team. “So naturally we looked to Toshiba again when planning the upgrade.”

Michael Higgins, founder of Clear Choice Telephones Inc., recommended Toshiba’s IPedge® business communication system. “Toshiba has the most durable phones on the market. They just keep on going and going and going. And you can customize more than with any other system. With their many different programming options, you can make every individual telephone do exactly what you want. For example, Toshiba offers 14 options for call forwarding.


“To put all of these features to work, Toshiba gives you the best of both worlds: IP and digital. You can integrate old and new systems and install upgrades on one piece of equipment at a time instead of a forklift.”

That said, St. Jude’s legacy phone systems dated to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, were mismatched across locations, and would have required several generations of upgrades. With the significant advances in telephone technology over the last 20 years, it made more sense — both in cost and performance — to install a new all-IP system.

In 2013, Clear Choice installed a Toshiba IPedge EC server at St. Jude’s northeast Atlanta headquarters, configured to serve all six sites. The upgrade included 72 Toshiba IP5122 desktop phones with backlit LCDs and 10 programmable buttons and — for power users — five Toshiba IP5132 phones with 20 programmable buttons. IPedge Net connects St. Jude’s six sites into one unified phone system. Extension dialing, call transfer and other calling features work seamlessly among sites. One organization, one network.

The new phone system eliminated the need to pay for separate voice and data lines to the outside world, and it eliminated the need for each site to have its own carrier connection. All sites are networked via IPedge Net to the main location, which has one PRI (primary rate interface) ISDN carrier connection. Even with lease payments factored into the cost, St. Jude’s is saving more than $1,000 a month from this consolidation.

St. Jude’s Recovery Center, a 501 (c)(3) organization, provides critical care to homeless and low-income individuals in greater Atlanta fighting substance abuse issues. Through St. Jude’s programs and services each client receives the support they need to maintain lasting recovery, and return to the community as self-sufficient, productive individuals. Every dollar saved on facility operations helps St. Jude’s provide life-saving treatment to those most in need. It’s a win-win to get the productivity gains of a new phone system with no capital investment and immediate cost savings that continue to pay back, month after month.

St. Jude’s Recovery Center gains valuable productivity, convenience and control features, such as unified messaging (voice mail and email in one inbox), mobility options and extension dialing across locations — while saving $1,000 a month.
Success Story At a Glance
Customer: St. Jude’s Recovery Center, Inc.
Business: Comprehensive addiction treatment and prevention services
Locations: Greater Atlanta area
Dealer: Clear Choice Telephones, Inc., Roswell GA
Authorized Toshiba Dealer since 1995
Solution: Toshiba’s IPedge on-site IP phone system
Toshiba’s I IP5122 and IP5132 LCD telephones
Results: Gained IP capabilities for the first time
Six sites brought into one unified network
Savings of $1,000 by eliminating multiple central office lines

Three Tips to Ensure That Leasing Your New Business Telephone System Comes With No Surprises

By Chris Prevenas

Chris Prevenas Director, National Accounts






Unlike surprise parties and winning the lottery, surprises at work usually aren’t people’s favorite things.  Do you remember the last good surprise you got at work?  It doesn’t happen very often.

When you lease a new business telephone system, there should be no surprises.

To ensure you know what you’re getting, insist on:

1.    No hidden fees

You shouldn’t have to comb through every invoice, checking for evidence of being nickeled and dimed with hidden fees, so ask up front if there are any other fees.  While you can expect to be charged a one-time documentation fee, ask if you will be charged interim rent or fees for processing property taxes.  Know exactly what you will be paying each month for the term of your lease.

2.    End of term notification

Ask what happens when your lease comes to an end.  How do you get notified?  Do you even get notified at all?  Does your lease automatically roll over to a 12-month renewal?  Does it go to a month-to-month renewal?

Insist on a month-to-month renewal, rather than being automatically committed to another year.  This gives you the time and flexibility to make the best business decision for your company.  It also gives you the option of upgrading or replacing your system, without being locked into staying with an older system for another year.

3.    Accessible customer service

Ensure you can reach someone at your leasing company by phone when you need help.  Make sure your leasing company doesn’t leave you in an automated attendant loop — or worse: voice mail jail.  When it’s your monthly budget at work, it’s important to make sure you can reach someone when you have questions or need to make a change.

If you have done business with GreatAmerica, none of this should come as a surprise to you. When our CEO, Tony Golobic, founded GreatAmerica more than 20 years ago, he put in place The GreatAmerica Experience, ensuring prompt, courteous, professional and fair treatment. Tony put it all in writing in the Truth in Leasing letter that we hope you appreciate.

Chris Prevenas

Director, National Accounts



Chris Prevenas started his career at GreatAmerica in April of 2003. During his 11 year tenure, he has held a variety of roles ranging from Account Support Adviser to his current role as Director of National Accounts. As Director of National Accounts, Chris is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with nationwide telecommunications organizations, such as Toshiba, to help their Channel Partners and customers succeed through financial solutions.


Since we announced this promotion earlier this year, we’ve seen a lot of excitement from longtime customers who recognize this as a prime opportunity to upgrade.  Here are answers to the top questions we’ve been getting about this incentive program:

Free IP phones?  Deep discounts on digital phones and user licenses?  Have you people gone mad?

Hardly.  We just know it’s better for everybody if the Toshiba systems out in the field represent our latest innovations and are actively supported.  Toshiba’s Value Plus warranty program offers a two-, three-, five- or seven-year manufacturer’s warranty on its various phones and systems, but many customers are using equipment much older than that.  We’re glad our products stand up to long service life, but these customers are missing out on new capabilities that could really drive their businesses forward — and their success is good for us as well.


Who can take advantage of the “Trade Up with Toshiba” promotion?

If your organization uses a legacy Toshiba Strata® system, such as a Strata DK, Strata CTX or Strata CIX business telephone system, Toshiba is now offering some great incentives so that you can trade up to a current generation system — including our VIPedge® cloud-based business telephone solution, IPedge® pure IP business telephone system or Strata CIX converged digital/IP system.

What do we get if we upgrade to Toshiba’s cloud solution?

This is probably our sweetest deal.  Get a free IP5531-SDL IP telephone for every Toshiba EKT, DKT or IPT1000/2000 series telephone you trade in by September 30, 2014.  We want to make it very affordable to move to cloud telephony.

What’s the deal if we upgrade to the IPedge on-premises phone system?

From now until September 30, 2014, for each Toshiba EKT, DKT or IP1000/2000 series telephone traded in and replaced with a Toshiba IP phone, you get up to 50 percent off the purchase price of an IPedge User License with Call Manager.  With an upgrade, we’re also offering five Toshiba IP5531 telephones for the price of four.


What if we want to reuse the digital phones we already have?

No problem.  Choose the promotion’s option to migrate to a new Strata CIX670 with an IPedge Application Server.  Your existing Toshiba DKT2000, DKT3000, DKT3200 and DP5000-series digital phones all work with this phone system.  However, if you want to upgrade older Toshiba EKT, DKT, or IP1000/2000 series telephones, you’ll get a $50 discount for each one you trade in towards the purchase of a new 10- or 20-button DP5000-series business telephone, and you can get five IP5531 phones for the price of four.

What happens to the legacy phones we trade in?

Always environmentally friendly, your Authorized Toshiba Dealer will recycle your old equipment in accordance with all applicable laws, using only R2 or e-Stewards® certified recyclers.  Of course.

Sounds great, but what’s the fine print to all this?

There are some terms and conditions, but no biggies.  For instance:

  • You can only get as many free or discounted phones as your new system or contract supports.
  • You can’t get trade-in benefits on more phones than you trade up to.
  • Your Toshiba Authorized Dealer gets to keep your old phones.
  • The promotion for the cloud upgrade option requires a two-year contract.

Full conditions of the promotion can be found at www.telecom.toshiba.com/tradeup.

Don’t miss out.  The “Trade Up with Toshiba” program ends September 30, 2014, so call your Authorized Toshiba Dealer today.



Have we got a deal for you.  FIVE deals, actually.

Trade Up with ToshibaIf your organization uses a legacy Toshiba Strata® system, such as a Strata DK, Strata CTX or Strata CIX business telephone system, there has never been a better time to trade up.  Take advantage of the latest technologies to improve productivity, cost and customer care.  We’re offering five sweet deals to make it a not-to-be-missed proposition:

1.   Trade up to Toshiba’s VIPedge® cloud-based telephone solution and get a free IP telephone for each Toshiba EKT, DKT or IPT1000/2000 series phone you trade in.  (VIPedge customers can get IP5531 telephones at just $49.99 with the upgrade.)

2.   Trade up to Toshiba’s IPedge® on-premises IP phone system and get up to 50 percent off user licenses (with Toshiba’s award-winning Call Manager unified communications) for each legacy phone you trade in and replace with a Toshiba IP phone.

3.   Trade up to Toshiba’s Strata CIX670 on-premises digital-and-IP phone system and get a $50 credit toward the purchase of a new DP5000 business phone for each qualifying phone you trade in.

4.   Trade Up to Toshiba’s Strata CIX100 system from a legacy Strata CTX system and get a $25 trade-in credit for each legacy phone traded in and replaced with a new Toshiba phone and digital station card.

5.   Buy four new Toshiba IP5000 phones and get one free with an upgrade to anIPedge or Strata CIX business telephone system.

“The ‘Trade Up with Toshiba’ program gives existing Toshiba customers the opportunity to trade in their legacy Toshiba business telephone systems for affordable new systems, empowering them to choose newer, application-rich systems that are right for them today,” said Brian Metherell, vice president and general manager of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division.

Why would we do this?  Why offer irresistible incentives with giveaways and deep discounts?  The answer is simple.  It’s good for everybody when our customers have the best phone systems for their needs — and when the systems out in the field represent our latest technologies and capabilities.  If we can make it easier and more affordable for you to take advantage of our best work, everybody wins.

If you’re looking to upgrade an older Toshiba business phone system, don’t miss out!
Most promotional offers end September 30, 2014.
For full details, visit www.telecom.toshiba.com/tradeup.




Over the course of 36 years, Toshiba Telecom has delivered hundreds of thousands of telephone systems for business, government, institutional and enterprise customers. Many of the Toshiba phone systems still in use are more than a dozen years old. These legacy workhorses are reliably doing their jobs, but the generations that came after them offer so much more.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), for one. With VoIP, there’s no need to manage separate voice and data networks; your Ethernet LAN can handle both. And IP brings productivity, convenience and control features that digital phone systems never dreamed of. Things like:

     • SIP trunking, connecting locations into one seamless system without long-distance charges

     • Unified messaging to manage voice mail and email in one inbox

     • Unified communications to merge phone and PC/laptop/tablet into a powerful multimedia productivity tool.

     • Mobility options that have office calls find you anywhere and let you use your smartphone as an office phone system extension.

If this sounds good, here’s something that will sound even better: There has never been a better time to trade up to a current-generation system from a legacy Toshiba Strata® system, including Strata DK, Strata CTX or Strata CIX™ business telephone systems.


Wherever you start, it’s your choice how you take advantage. You can upgrade to a system that supports both digital and IP, so you can reuse your existing digital phones and migrate to IP in stages. Or move to pure IP communications in a compact, all-in-one server about the size of a phone book. Or get your business phone services from the cloud for less than a dollar per day per user.
Whichever way you want to go, we’ve got an irresistible trade-up deal for you — huge discounts on phones, user licenses, software updates and support, depending on the upgrade path you choose.

Don’t miss out! Most promotional offers end September 30, 2014.

For full details, visit www.telecom.toshiba.com/tradeup.



New Phone System? Don’t Wait — Lease!

Brian Spence, vice president of Business Development  LEAFBy Bryan Spence

Businesses that need telephone systems will often put off the decision for months or even years, waiting for “when the time is right.” For some, this means when business picks up; for others, it means when there is more cash in the bank. The reality is that very few small and medium-sized businesses properly anticipate when their telephone systems will become outdated, so they don’t budget for it.

Regardless of the reason, the acquisition is often delayed, forcing the business to get by with the existing phone system — possibly suffering through dropped calls, high maintenance costs, and lack of current technologies such as Mobility, Unified Communications, Unified Messaging, and even Contact Center solutions.

This type of procrastination can become a serious problem because outdated phone systems often lead to poor customer service, reduced operating efficiency and a lack of productivity, all of which ultimately result in reduced profitability.

IPedge EC Server

Putting a new business telephone system into place as soon as it is needed — instead of when capital is available — can transform a business. Not only does improved operating efficiency lead to more profits, it also leads to better customer service and happier customers. Happy customers tend to spread the word about a company with which they like doing business, bringing in even more customers.

Even with this in mind, most businesses will not commit to acquiring a new telephone system unless they have the means to pay for it. Small and medium-sized businesses often operate on relatively thin margins and simply do not have an excess of working capital just lying around.

That is why leasing a new telephone system makes so much sense. Surprisingly to many business owners, leasing a new phone system is exceptionally cost effective and in many cases will actually be less than the cost of paying to upgrade an existing system.  In some cases, the lease is actually a lower monthly cost than maintenance fees on an antiquated system.


Leasing a phone system instead of purchasing it outright helps a business do many things. First, there is no erosion of capital since a lease does not require an outlay of cash, or even a down payment. Cash reserves — and even existing lines of credit — remain intact. Leasing programs are flexible and enable the phone system vendor to structure monthly payments so that they are consistent and fit within the buyer’s budget. Leasing programs can also include a technology refresh provision that eliminates concerns about a new phone system becoming outdated or obsolete in a relatively short period of time.

Despite these compelling benefits, some business buyers continue to resist leasing because they do not understand the concept or have misconceptions about it. They may not be familiar with leasing terms or the structure of a telephone system lease. In some cases, a business simply insists on owning equipment rather than “renting” it.


These kinds of objections become moot when the business buyer fully understands the power of leasing. In reality, leasing is a powerful financial tool than can enable a business to acquire needed equipment as soon as it’s needed and begin immediately gaining the benefits of better communication.  The best way to understand the power and benefits of leasing is to talk to a telephone system dealer — or even directly to the leasing company — and then to take full advantage of this powerful tool.

Bryan Spence is vice president of Business Development and has been with LEAF since its formation in 2011.  He is responsible for the development of strategic alliances with major manufacturers and equipment vendors along with their captives. Prior to joining LEAF, Mr. Spence held various sales and sales management positions with CitiCapital Technology Finance and Fidelity Leasing Corporation.  He can be reached at BSpence@LEAFnow.com


VIPedge Does It Again

High praise from Cloud Computing Magazine for Toshiba’s VIPedge cloud-based telephone solution

PrintWhen you call the online wholesale bookstore BookPal (www.book-pal.com), you’ll get direct access and premium service from knowledgeable staff. Personal service is BookPal’s promise to customers. What you won’t know is that not only is their store on the Internet, so is their phone system.

Rather than buy, install and maintain a phone system on site, BookPal chose Toshiba’s VIPedge® cloud-based business telephone solution. The central intelligence of the phone system is in the cloud. Instead of a big capital expense, BookPal can budget communication services as a modest monthly operating expense. The company will never outgrow the phone system; it will never be obsolete, and BookPal doesn’t have to pay for any more capacity than it needs right now.

With minimal investment — just Toshiba desktop phones and a local network that supports voice-quality service — BookPal gained the latest in VoIP technology. For example, staff can handle business calls on their smartphones without revealing their mobile numbers. They can converge phone and PC with on-screen call answering, screen pops from customer records, click-to-call and more. They can work from anywhere just as though they’re in the office.

While improving productivity and customer service, VIPedge is also saving BookPal $3,000 a year in maintenance alone. Phone system moves/adds/changes and updates can be made from anywhere over the Internet, without the cost of a service call. Users still control their own phones, such as programming their function buttons, entering and updating speed dial numbers, and setting or cancelling call forwarding and Do-Not-Disturb.

When a phone solution can do this much to help customers do what they do better — while saving money — industry watchers take notice. Only a few months after we released VIPedge, it received an INTERNET TELEPHONY 2012 Product of the Year Award and a Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award from TMC and the editors of INTERNET TELEPHONY and CUSTOMER magazines. Then Cloud Computing magazine named it a 2013 Cloud Computing Excellence Award winner.

VIPedgeNow VIPedge has done it again, garnering a 2014 Cloud Computing Excellence Award. “Toshiba is honored for its achievement in bringing innovation and excellence to the market while leveraging the latest technology trends,” said Rich Tehrani, TMC’s CEO.
Available from Authorized Toshiba Dealers nationwide, VIPedge starts at about a dollar per day per user. Find out how easy it is to get award-winning, cloud-based communications for your business.

A list of the 2014 Cloud Computing Excellence Award winners will be published in Cloud Computing magazine.

 For more Toshiba information, please visit our website at: http://www.telecom.toshiba.com/

Eight Great Reasons to Adopt SIP Trunking

By David Case, Authorized Toshiba Dealer, smplsolutions

Telephone Centeral OfficeA trunk is your business phone system’s connection to the outside world.  Most organizations use two very different types of trunk connections:

  • A traditional telephone company access line, such as a copper T1 line, to connect voice calls to the public switched telephone network (PSTN)
  • A broadband access connection (which may be the same type of physical media) for data and Internet access

Many organizations integrate voice and data over the second type of connection and use IP wide area networks (WANs) to link their own locations — but they still use traditional PSTN trunks to connect outside the company, such as to business partners, suppliers and customers.
SIP trunking service runs as an overlay on your broadband access connection.  It enables your data and Internet access trunk to also carry voice calls to the PSTN.  Voice is added to the mix as just another IP application, getting priority treatment to ensure business-grade call quality.

SIP Trunks over Internet

In addition to the potential savings from eliminating those separate, underutilized phone company trunks, SIP offers some other compelling cost and performance benefits.

  1. Dramatically lower long-distance and toll-free charges

Thanks to SIP trunking among carriers (said to be in the carrier “cloud”), calls to local or toll-free numbers can be automatically routed to other locations, such as a central call center or headquarters, over the IP network instead of the public telephone network.

  1. More efficient use of available bandwidth

With traditional ISDN trunks, channels are configured for either voice or data, and neither one can help out the other.  Spare capacity sits unused.  While SIP borrows the term “trunk” from the traditional telephony world, a SIP trunk is a virtual channel, set up and taken down as needed.  As a result, bandwidth on the broadband access connection is available for data/Internet whenever it isn’t needed for voice.

  1. Extra call capacity available on demand

With traditional phone trunks, businesses have had to contract with the carrier to acquire more lines than they need day-to-day just to be sure extra capacity is available to meet seasonal or periodic high call volume, such as the surge in calls a school might experience on a rare snow day.

A VoIP service provider/carrier has the ability to offer access to additional phone lines (SIP channels) as needed.  With line/channel bursting, the provider allows the business to burst above the number of lines being paid for on a monthly basis to meet those occasional surges in call volume.  There’s no need to over-provision lines just to accommodate unexpected and temporary peaks.

  1. Control over the company name displayed with outgoing calls.

With legacy phone systems, the phone company dictates the company name and only allows one business name per account.  VoIP SIP trunks enable you to control the name(s) on your channels (phone lines) that will be broadcast with outbound calls.  You can even display the names of different business units from one office trunk group, such as “ABC Corp Sales,” “ABC Corp Service,” etc.

  1. Control over the outbound caller ID phone number

With SIP, you now control the outbound caller ID phone number as well.  You can specify and display a different caller ID for each voice channel and/or extension.  Let your customers know who is calling when they see the call come in while making it easier for them to call you back at the number you would like them to use.

  1. Support for multiple company names with one phone system

The VoIP system allows for multiple companies to be built within the same VoIP account.  Each company or “tenant” on the phone system can broadcast its own company name, caller ID, auto-attendant greetings, etc.  All separate, yet all in one.

Sharing services saves money, promotes the appearance of several different companies all in one phone system, and opens the opportunity for employees in the office or business incubator to support multiple companies and know what business name to say when the call comes in.

  1. Shared phone lines for multiple offices and/or companies

Legacy systems use discrete phone lines, whereas VoIP uses virtual phone lines.  With the VoIP line pooling feature, multiple offices and/or companies can share phone lines on the same account.

For example, with legacy phone systems, three separate offices might need five phone lines each.  With VoIP, they might only need a pool of 10 phone lines to share among them.  Why pay for three legacy accounts, each with five lines, when you can pay for one VoIP account with 10 lines and still meet everybody’s calling needs?  If one location experiences a surge in calls, they could potentially have access to up to 10 lines plus any bursting lines available to them, so customer calls can get through.

  1. Easy set-up

If you need to connect a Toshiba IPedge® system to the public voice network, it is much easier to do so with native SIP trunking than to program a gateway to translate between PRI/analog and SIP.  When the technician selects “Toshiba SIP Trunk” in the management system, the correct settings and parameters are automatically entered.  There are no interface cards or gateways to configure.

Businesses and multi-location enterprises have a lot to gain from SIP.  As an Authorized Toshiba Dealer, I’m glad to say Toshiba makes SIP easy, with a pre-tested, pre-certified, single-vendor solution for SIP trunking throughout the continental United States.  To find out more about what SIP can do for you:, visit http://www.telecom.toshiba.com/Products/sip_trunking.cfm


David CaseDavid Case is president of smplsolutions, an Authorized Toshiba Dealer based in Lake Forest, CA.  He can be reached at: dcase@smplsolutions.com.




Ten Reasons to Consider a Cloud-based Phone Solution

By David Case, Authorized Toshiba Dealer, smplsolutions

Would you rewire the electrical system in your house? Install a new engine in your car? Cut down a dying old oak tree and bulldoze up the roots? Probably not, unless you happened to like doing jobs that require specialized equipment and expertise. It doesn’t make sense for the typical homeowner to provide those services when there are specialists with the equipment and know-how to get it done at a better value.
By the same token, why buy, install and maintain your own on-site business phone system, unless you particularly want to. With a cloud-based phone solution, you can get advanced IP business communications as a pay-as-you-go service over secure Internet connections.
Here are 10 great reasons for putting your business communications “in the cloud.”

  1. Save big on capital expenditures.
    With cloud-based VoIP, the brains of the telephone system are in a service provider’s data center. All you need on site are the end-user devices and the networking to connect to the provider. You can get up and running with a cloud solution for a fraction of the start-up cost of an on-premises system. Save that capital cash for other, more beneficial uses instead of tying it up in phone system hardware.
  2. Budget and save money on fixed monthly expenses.
    Simply pay an easy-to-budget monthly service fee based on the number of seats and the calling plan. Calling plans typically include unlimited free local and long-distance minutes, or free minutes up to a certain threshold with calls beyond that (and international calls) charged on a per-minute basis.
  3. Eliminate budget surprises.
    There are no added costs for annual software maintenance contracts, software upgrades and other system support requirements. No more cost, headache and downtime of paying someone to service the phone system server and update system software. And there are no unexpected expenses for replacing or repairing aging or obsolescent equipment. The cloud service provider takes care of all of that.
  4. Reduce the overall cost of business communications.
    In addition to minimizing (or eliminating) costs for system acquisition and administration, you also do away with the cost of office space and energy to house, protect and power the phone system. And you further reduce network costs by running voice and data on the same IP infrastructure and the same trunk connection to the service provider.
  5. Get enterprise-class functionality at a business-friendly price.
    Choose a solution that delivers such capabilities as advanced call processing, voice mail with unified messaging, unified communications, and the ability to use a PC or laptop as a multi-purpose communications hub. Since the cloud makes high-end capabilities affordable, any business can present an enterprise persona to the public and compete on a par with much larger organizations.
  6. Keep users in control.
    Even though the phone system server is in a secure data center somewhere else, users can still have full control to personalize their own phones, call handling, messages and more, just as they would if the PBX server were in the office. The actual physical location of the server is transparent to them.
  7. Improve phone system performance.
    Cloud-based VoIP services are managed by specialists in data centers that have power protection, redundancy and disaster recovery resources far beyond what most businesses could provide. You don’t have to worry about powering, maintaining or updating the phone system server. The service provider handles all that, and you always benefit from the latest firmware, software and features.
  8. Never miss a call.
    How often have you experienced a power outage, or service outage, and stressed over your customers calling you and getting either a busy signal or a ring no answer? You’re hoping the customer doesn’t think you went out of business. No worries. If your office is off-line, a cloud VoIP solution can automatically re-direct your calls to another phone, such as your cell phone, per your instructions.
  9. Unify locations into one phone system.
    Businesses with multiple locations can set up all their locations on a single system to support features such as internal dialing, hunt groups and off-hook call announce among locations. Employees can collaborate and communicate more easily. Customers see the multiple locations as one organization. With Toshiba’s VIPedge® cloud solution, you can create a unified network where some locations are served by an on-premises IPedge® server and other locations/users are on the cloud service.
  10.  Become a more agile business.
    With a traditional phone system, you could wait weeks to get a new trunk connection to the service provider. With a cloud solution, you can quickly add users and service channels or add another location and include it as part of the same phone system — even networked with on-premises phone systems.Pay only for what you need today and expand on demand as your business grows. Employees can be fully accessible and productive from remote offices or on the road. With this adaptability, the business can respond rapidly to new opportunities and changing market conditions.

Is the cloud right for your business communications?

For many businesses — especially those that expect to grow or have dynamic demands, such as high seasonable variability — cloud-based VoIP is a very attractive and cost-effective alternative to an on-site PBX. Unless your organization is in the business of maintaining IT infrastructure, why not get advanced communications from a specialist?
For information on Toshiba’s VIPedge cloud-based business telephone solution, visit: http://www.telecom.toshiba.com/Products/VIPedge-Cloud-Based-Telephone-Solution/.

DavidCaseDavid Case is president of smplsolutions, an Authorized Toshiba Dealer based in Lake Forest, CA. He can be reached at: dcase@smplsolutions.com.