Voice-over IP, also known as VoIP, is a very common system used for business phones. VoIP technology can turn an average network of phones and computers into a robust tool for productivity. Some of the ways business VoIP empowers productive employees will help any company get more out of the resources they already have in place.
1. Enhancing Mobility
With VoIP phone systems, it is possible to have calls routed to mobile devices when a worker is not at their desk. This makes employees more productive by allowing them to get around to meetings and client visits without worrying about missing out on important phone calls.
2. Improving Collaboration
Through the use of a VoIP phone system, you can hold remote conferences with other employees very easily. This means that it is much less of a challenge for small teams that are working together on projects to update one another about individual progress, which improves the productivity of each group member.
3. Making Troubleshooting Less Complex
There are few bigger hindrances to productivity than a network or phone system going down. With VoIP, companies don’t need to worry about traditional cabling or all of the potential problems that could come with it. VoIP uses one single network, so that when changes or fixes do need to be made it does not require users to alter hardware or work with live wires.
4. Allowing Document Sharing
Many software platforms that work with VoIP tools allow users to instantly share documents and files with their colleagues. If an employee needs to send over an important report or some numbers regarding a project, they can do so easily thanks to an integrated VoIP network.
5. Better Training
More training usually leads to more productive employees. VoIP can assist with training through its 3-way calling and whisper features. With the whisper feature, you can be on a call with an outside number and someone else on the network can place a call to your number. They will be able to talk to you, but the outside caller will not hear the third party. This feature is great for live training on sales calls, for example.
6. Improving Notes And Recall
Employees who want to be able to go back to a call repeatedly to take thorough notes or glean additional information can do this through the VoIP call recording feature. With call recording, employees can re-listen to seminars or important conference calls with clients to make sure that they are approaching their work the right way.
7. Easier Interpretation Of Voicemails
Everyone knows how helpful voicemails can be for providing information or alerts when someone can’t get to the phone. With the right VoIP systems in place, your employees can access features that transcribe voicemails into text and send the text to an email address. This enhances productivity by allowing employees to instantly learn the information their voicemail messages contain, instead of having to play the message over and over again to write down important details.
For more information about ways business VoIP empowers productive employees, get in touch with an expert provider of integrated communication systems so you can see how these tools may be able to benefit your particular organization.
At Pentegra Systems, we work closely with our clients to provide them the right audio, video, low voltage and collaboration technologies that support their business goals. Serving customers throughout Chicagoland, Pentegra aspires to be the first company you call for your system integration needs. Ready to learn more, connect with us here. We are happy to help!
If you want to protect your building, employees, assets, etc. (and why wouldn’t you?), video surveillance at your facility is a definite must-have. The majority of businesses and organizations out there already utilize CCTV surveillance systems to monitor everyday activity both during work hours and beyond, but the reality is many are still using analog camera systems. IP (internet protocol) is the current trend when it comes to video surveillance. An IP surveillance system in the simplest terms is a digital video camera system that can both send and receive a signal through a computer network. An analog camera only sends its feed directly to a DVR (digital video recorder). There are several benefits to using a high definition IP camera system that analog cameras just do not offer.
Here are a few key advantages to using an IP camera system:
If you are one of those out there still using an analog system, don’t worry. Converting and/or phasing from an analog system to an IP system is easy to accomplish and it doesn’t involve you losing all of that expensive equipment your invested in several years ago. If you are interested in converting to an IP system or are interested in installing a brand new IP video surveillance system, please contact us at Pentegra Systems and one of our security sales engineers would be happy to discuss your current situation and devise a solution to solve your problems.
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Anything of real importance needs to be protected. Something of value cannot simply go unmonitored because anything bad can and most likely will happen, eventually. You wear a helmet to protect your head. Your money is protected by being put in a bank. Automotive insurance protects both you and your vehicle in case something goes wrong on the road. As little or as significant as these measures are, these measures need to be taken, but all these measures come with a price of their own. When it comes to security, sure it will cost you, but like making any other decisions in life, there are positives and then there are negatives. You make a substantial investment on a quality security system, a pretty large chunk of change, but just imagine how much money that system will save you down the stretch and in how many different ways. Here are the basic methods in which video surveillance can really become extremely valuable for your company very quickly and SAVE you money.
Obviously, the first method is loss prevention. A security system that utilizes cameras can monitor potential robberies, vandalism, etc. A fully functional video surveillance system can drastically lower the possibility of such crimes happening on your premises. If criminals are aware of the system in place, they are less likely to perpetrate the crimes. You may have a facility housing an extensive amount of extremely expensive equipment and items that you plan to use on six or seven-figure jobs. Can you possibly afford to have any of those items damaged or stolen, I don’t think so. How much would it cost to replace those items? What damages could be done to your facility alone during a break-in? Suddenly, the idea of purchasing an extensive security camera system isn’t that bad of an idea.
Another useful way to utilize your video surveillance system is for monitoring purposes. Sometimes instances and errors can happen in the workplace environment. To ensure the quality of your products and services, a video surveillance system can come in handy to record errors made during operations and be gone back to for reviewing purposes. Are your employees using the correct components on the assembly line? Is your outgoing product being packaged safely and securely? Take a minute and think of how much money these errors can cost you. How much would it cost to replace those components? How much money and resources would it take to ship the damaged products back to your facility and fix them or replace them altogether? The dollar amount adds up pretty quickly.
Video surveillance can not only record company procedures, but it can record employee conduct and behavior. For example, a restaurant can monitor whether employees are keeping up with sanitary regulations, such as washing their hands, with surveillance. A good video surveillance system can keep track of your employees at all times. What are they doing? Where are they going? Where have they been? An access control system uses access cards to gain entry into secure areas of your facility. A certain card can unlock a certain door. A video surveillance system can work with your current access control system by recording who actually is entering that door or gaining access to that specific area, all captured on video keeping an extra eye on your facility at all times. Not only can surveillance record criminals intruding your building, but it can also record potential criminals already inside of your building, such as your own employees. For example, you own a computer company and all of the high value components such as processors and memory are in a separate, more secure section of the warehouse where only select individuals can gain access to. One day, a few items went missing. The value of having surveillance in that area has just skyrocketed.
What if one of your employees had an accident? What if your employee slipped and fell off a ladder trying to get an item off the top shelf? Your company is liable for any accident that may happen. Video surveillance captures the entire accident for evidence purposes. More importantly, video surveillance can prevent false claims. An employee can claim they slipped on a newly washed warehouse floor and then say there were no signs to let he or she know the floor was wet. Video surveillance can prove whether or not the appropriate signage was displayed to let personnel know the floor was wet and use caution or if that employee actually did fall or not at all. Any employee could potentially try and pull a “fast one” on you and video surveillance provides the evidence that gives you an advantage to potentially avoid any legal fees or litigation that may come along with this sort of situation.
There are a slew of ways to utilize a video surveillance system in your facility. It won’t only save you money, but it can also save you time. For example, it’s 2:00 am and your phone rings waking you up at home notifying you that the alarm has gone off at your facility. Using your home computer, tablet or other device you can remote in and view all of your cameras at your own home and see what is going on. Sure, the alarm could still have been triggered by something serious, but in many cases it does in fact turn out to be a false alarm. If that is the case the surveillance system really came in handy. Do you have any security staff on payroll? Having a video surveillance system in place could eliminate the need of keeping actual security guards in house saving you even more money instantly and in a number of ways; a surveillance system could be more beneficial and catch happenings that an average security guard may just miss completely.
If you were to crunch some numbers real quick, the choice would be simple. If your business needs an extra set of eyes for whatever the reason may be, a quality video surveillance system should be in your future. There is far too much value in being able to see what is going on in and around your facility for you not to have one. The future is unpredictable and as the saying goes “anything can happen.” You need to be prepared for when anything does indeed happen.
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The safety or your children is the greatest concern a parent can have. Parents need the reassuring feeling of knowing where their children are at all times and knowing they are safe. Parents are well aware they cannot keep an eye on their kids at all times, however. Children need to go to school. They need to get an education. Your children need to go somewhere for the majority of weekdays to learn. Do you, as a parent, trust your son or daughter’s safety at school? You should since all schools keep safety and security as an utmost priority every single day to ensure the well-being of not just students, but faculty alike.
In the event of an emergency, every school needs to be able to take action no matter the threat. Every person within and around the building needs to be notified of the emergency in addition to notifying the proper authorities outside the building to respond to the emergency as soon as possible. A mass notification system in schools is the most crucial aspect of safety and security of students and faculty. Mass notification notifies the masses in all areas surrounding the emergency.
There are several levels of notification that this system provides:
The most important area of notification is that of the immediate emergency. The area that is most directly affected needs to be notified immediately. Audio is the primary source of notification whether it be a siren alarm or a voice recording relaying instructions and to follow proper protocol. For the hearing impaired, strobe and LED lights are also used in addition to the alarms so they are visually noticeable to everyone around the area.
Those directly outside the facility are the next ones that need to be notified. At this point external speakers and public address systems are utilized to make crucial announcements and alerts regarding an emergency. These sirens or alerts will send out the proper warning for surrounding parties to take proper precautions.
Another element to an effective mass notification system is the ability to send out both text messages and e-mails to concerned parties both on and off campus. This useful tool not only helps alert people on the outside to stay away but could also be used to tell emergency contacts about the current situation.
In addition to mass notification to students and faculty, the proper help is also notified whether it is the police department, fire department, etc. Through the use of emergency call buttons integrated into the mass notification System, the response times are reduced dramatically.
One last piece of the life safety system in schools is the use of digital signage. Digital signage is becoming more and more prominent in schools around the world. These displays inform the students and faculty of important schools events, bulletins and news. However, in the case of an emergency these displays can be overridden to display messages notifying students and faculty of what is going on. For example, if there was a tornado warning in the area, the displays would let everyone know and to take the proper precautions to remain safe.
Through the use of new technology, schools have more ability than ever to keep their campuses as safe as possible. Fact is, when an emergency occurs everyone needs a helping hand no matter how serious or life threatening it can be. A mass notification system brings the power of connectivity to an entirely new level through the use of audio recordings, strobe lights, alarms, e-mails and text messages, mass notification spreads incredibly fast to warrant aid that much quicker.
Residents in assisted living facilities around the world have seen quite a bit during their lifetimes. They lived through wars, have seen humans walk on the moon and even may have seen their grandchildren have children of their own. Comparing the lives of these individuals as youths to modern-day is quite the change. Throughout this time technology has been on the upswing and only gets more advanced by every passing day. These men and women never really relied on technology for the majority of their lives, but now they find themselves in a position where technology can not only improve their lives, but extend them.
In today’s world, everything is intertwined by technology and everyone needs some sort of computer knowledge, no matter how old or even how young the person may be. The reality is that many elderly men and women have been retired for quite some time and are now residents in retirement homes and assisted living communities. Within this post-retirement time span, many seniors surprisingly have their own fair share of knowledge when it comes to technology. With the senior citizens who aren’t computer savvy, many retirement communities offer web-based education now to further enhance the experience of all their residents. For example, many Grandmothers and Grandfathers are staying in touch with their Grandchildren using e-mail, Facebook and other internet based methods of communication. The uses of newer technologies, such as tablets are becoming more and more popular in senior living communities. Scheduling is often an issue when trying to visit Grandma or Grandpa in an assisted living facility; this is where video chatting can become very useful. Having this access and connection to family and loved ones actually makes senior living more appealing, giving residents a homier atmosphere knowing their families and loved ones aren’t as far away as they initially believed. These residents are not only more connected to the outside world, but they are also more connected than ever to staff members within these communities which is extremely important.
Many assisted living communities have also begun using monitoring systems that can detect emergencies with the use of real-time sensors. These sensors, placed all around a resident’s living quarters are designed to detect movement and activity, or in some cases lack thereof. These sensors, for example, can detect when a resident enters his or her bathroom and just how much time they are spending inside. The purpose of these sensors is to detect unusual activity to warrant a visit from facility staff. In the event of an accident or emergency, these sensors can prompt a response much quicker. More advanced monitoring systems are also available, for example to track vital signs of residents.
Many assisted living communities give the residents the option to leave during specified hours. These residents can go for walks, go to the store, etc. Given the age of some of these residents, many might get lost, forget where they’re going or forget their way back. In these cases, some of these assisted living communities have GPS enabled watches or other devices that each of their residents wear. These items send a signal out automatically to the assisted living community pinpointing his or her precise location. In the event of a resident going missing, these devices can find them immediately wherever they may be. There is no video surveillance or audio recording involved, thus these monitoring systems are not invading on residents’ privacy. These technologies are incredibly useful and necessary tools to take proper care of those who need it.
Emergency Call Buttons
The most crucial aspect of assisted living communities is life safety. These residents are at a point in their lives where 24/7 assistance might be necessary. Technologies such as call buttons are one of the best ways to stay connected whenever a resident needs assistance or has an emergency. These call buttons can be programmed to be connected to a staff member, caregiver or an emergency response team at the assisted living community. These call buttons reduce response time dramatically. There are many types of emergency call buttons, one being a pendant hanging around the neck of a resident. This pendant allows the resident to have quick 24/7 access to emergency care if and when needed. Also integrated with GPS technology, once the emergency call button on the pendant is pressed it wirelessly sends out a signal to a caregiver or staff member pinpointing their exact location in the case of an emergency. This GPS technology further reduces response time avoiding the responder to have to search through the residence trying to find the resident in need. For example, if the resident is not able to call out or has become unresponsive in the bathroom since pressing the emergency call button, these GPS enabled pendants prevent the responder from looking in other rooms prior to finding the resident and leading them to their exact location. Call buttons have several uses such as assisting with medical emergencies and fires, as well as burglary.
Although these communities are assisted living communities, the men and women who reside within want nothing more than independence, for the most part. No one wants to have to constantly depend on others for help. With the help of technology, these residents can live more independently and comfortably while still maintaining a constant connection with aid extremely close by in the result of an accident or emergency. However, this technology, although extremely useful and helpful, can never replace another human being on the staff. These technologies only reinforce the mission of assisted living communities, for residents to feel at home while getting the care they need.
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