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MESSAGING SERVICE

Solution 1:

Triware Networld Systems takes the lead on IP-based PBX

Less than a decade ago, companies suffered from costly long distance charges, pesky busy signals and outdated phone systems. Meanwhile, Internet connections were becoming faster and more reliable. But at the end of the month, businesses were still being slapped with two expensive bills: one for phone service and one for Internet service.

In the past five years, a solution has been growing that converges the two systems to run data and voice traffic off of the same IP network. The solution is called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is based on the idea that running one network is cheaper than running two.

With VoIP or IP-based PBX (a form of VoIP implementation), all intra-company calls come at no extra cost. You are only paying for one integrated system. And the system comes with enhanced features, like follow-me roaming, presence applications and instant messenger compatibility.

Priding ourselves in being one step ahead of our competition, Triware Networld Systems has been making great strides to provide the most efficient and user-friendly VoIP services to our clients. Just last year, we had the chance to test our latest VoIP technology with one of our valued customers, China Travel Service (USA), Inc..

China Travel Service, a highly satisfied client of Triware Networld Systems, hired TNS to build its first network 14 years ago. Since then, China Travel Service has outsourced 100 percent of its IT operations to TNS.

In the last few months, TNS has upheld its promise to deliver the most responsive IT services to China Travel Service by upgrading numerous aspects of the company’s IT infrastructure.

For one, TNS improved the company’s efficiency and laid the foundation for more integration by upgrading the company’s network operating system to Windows 2003 and e-mail system to Exchange 2003.

But we did not stop there. TNS also upgraded China Travel Service’s desktop operating system to Windows XP and Office 2003, among other more cutting-edge improvements. We then deployed its Small Business Financial system, using SQL 2000 as the database, replacing Peachtree.

“We have been using TNS’s services for years now, and their working style is always fast and responsible,” said Jun Pan, a manager of China Travel Service. “The solutions they offer are cutting-edge and reasonable.”

This year, we are embarking on a project with China Travel Service to implement SharePoint, which would provide the company with improved information-sharing and collaboration tools. With its immediate operational offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, China Travel Services will become capable of more efficient communication between offices and departments, including ticketing and touring.

“The goal of all of these IT improvements is to allow China Travel Service to do more with less, providing their customers with the experience they deserve,” said TNS Senior Partner Benson Yeung. “Since Sept. 11 and the outbreak of SARS, the touring industry has faced budget challenge after budget challenge, and we want to make every penny of their IT investment count.”

The Issues

Meanwhile, China Travel Service came to us with a new challenge. The company has a long history of PBX trouble, with its PBX being frequently down and not providing many features that, until now, have been too difficult and expensive to maintain. China Travel Service officials said customers calling into the company were frequently receiving a busy signal when lines were, in fact, available.

“We had high maintenance expenses since we had to rely on vendors to come in and make changes for us,” Pan said. “Our system, our greeting message and our distribution tree were not flexible.”

China Travel Service’s PBX system was a highly legitimate concern, in light of unprecedented economic booms in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Also, with the signing of a recent tour agreement between the PRC and the United States late last year, the company expects to see a surge of Chinese tourists arriving in the United States in the near future. In addition, because the 2008 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to be in Beijing, the company expects a wealth of tourists arriving in China.

On top of all this, many of North America’s largest and most successful corporations have recently established their operations in the PRC, which has resulted in a significant increase in business travel between the two countries.

In short, with tourism between the United States and the PRC at its finest, China Travel Service’s PBX system was simply not cutting it.

The solution

With all of the company’s IT operations still in mind, TNS wholeheartedly and confidently accepted the challenge of solving China Travel Service’s PBX issues.

Because TNS has always prided ourselves in being proactive, our internal Research & Development team is constantly working to identify, test, integrate and simulate cutting-edge technology that can help our clients solve problems. Thus, we have expanded our IT-related solutions to include IP-based PBX that supports VoIP and application integrations that are capable of transforming our clients’ businesses into more competitive and more efficient moneymakers.

“Over the years we have always ahead of our competitions in terms of innovation and visionary,” Yeung said.

As a result, we were fully prepared to take on the challenge.

TNS has developed a brilliant solution to China Travel Service’s PBX issues. Our solution allows any of our clients to have the follow features and add-ons:

Standard Features

bulletAuto Attendant/Multi-Company Greetings/Hold Music or Message Including Bilingual Support
bulletDepartment Routing/Search By Name Function
bulletNon-blocking Voice Mailboxes
bulletVoice Units to Process All Calls, Check and Leave Messages on Voice Mailboxes
bulletVirtual Extension with Advanced Mailbox Features
bulletAll Voicemail Features for Field Agents
bulletVirtual Mailboxes for Promotional and Updated Information, Mortgage Rates, Etc.
bulletField Agent Ability to Turn Virtual Extension into Physical Extension while in Office
bulletPhone Screening with Mouse: With a mouse, users can make calls, pick up calls, toggle between phone calls, hold calls, transfer calls, make conference calls and perform one-line recording, etc.
bulletCall Management: Users have flexible options to manage incoming calls while busy on the phone or away from the desk, such as call waiting, call forwarding, mailbox transfers, personal assistant transfers, follow-me functions, etc.
bulletCall Conferencing: Up to 6 external parties, or multiple groups of conference calls.
bulletCall Recording: With a mouse, users can instantly record calls and save recorded files (.wav) to a personal mailbox and/or designated mailbox for future reference
bulletCall Screening: Caller ID Screening, Name Screening, Message Screening
bulletOne Number Follow Me: Up to 5 phone numbers for each system to forward incoming calls automatically
bulletAdvanced Voice Mail: Message Time Stamp, Message Playing Sequence (last in first out, first in first out), Fast Forward/Rewind/Skip Messages, Message Notification. System automatically notifies users via calls, pagers and/or e-mail for every new voice message.
bulletCaller ID Call Back: System will call back every caller who leaves a message after user is finished listening to the message. User can then pull the callback from the system to play the next message.
bulletSingle Line Analog Phone Compatibility: Users can use cordless phone to answer phone calls when they’re away from their desks
bulletIntercom Ready
bulletVoIP (Voice Over IP) Ready
bulletCall Restriction
bulletCall Accounting

Add-On Features

bulletBasic ACD (Automatic Call Distribution): Automatically distributes incoming calls to a pre-assigned group for customer service or informal call center, Unlimited ACD group, Hold Queue and Call Overflow
bulletTeleConference: Web-based user interface for users to arrange and schedule teleconferences anywhere. Three different types of conference rooms: Public, Confidential and Private. Maximum of 16 parties per conference room
bulletTeleContact: Call Center Solution
Interactive Voice Response (requires custom programming): Provides automated customer service, information retrieval, status checking, etc. Examples: Make an appointment, check order status, etc.
bulletOffice Hoteling: Reserve seats for field agents
bulletWeb-based UMS (Unified Messaging System): Retrieve voice, fax and e-mails using standard browser anytime, anywhere in the world. Accessible through standard POP3/SMTP e-mail client, such as Outlook or Outlook Express.
bulletCTI (Computer Telephone Integration): Ready for integration with customer database for Customer Relationship Management, such as Customer Service Center. Ready for Web Call application.

All of these necessary benefits are available through our clients’ already existing network infrastructure and cable systems.

TNS provided China Travel Service a demo of our solution, which has been used and perfected in-house for more than two years now. After a thorough cost-benefit analysis, and reviewing price quotes from other PBX providers, China Travel Service concluded that TNS’s solution was the most ideal and affordable solution to their PBX system.

The quest

As part of the solution, China Travel Service agreed to replace its older network with new, complete T1 circuits for its PBX and a new Internet connection with a higher bandwidth, an upgrade from 512KB to 3MB. The company also upgraded its telephone system from 12 analog telephone lines to 23 digital lines, plus three back-up analog lines.  Even with all these improvements in capability the monthly basic costs were lower than before.

And in just two days, with only two hours of downtime, the entire solution, plus new back-end cabling, was up and running. As a side note, most of the downtime was due to a delay in Telephone Company's (Telco) operations. 

With the new system in place, China Travel Service has complete redundancy if T1 goes down, for both incoming and outgoing telephone calls.  The company is also the proud owner of a new auto-attendant with bilingual support in English and Chinese. The system is also equipped with special call forwarding features via the PBX, meaning that telephone calls can now be automatically forwarded between the company’s offices.

As an everyday example of the new system at work: each time a China Travel Service agent receives a call, Microsoft Outlook automatically stores the caller’s information in Exchange public folders. This allows for a pop-up Outlook window, consisting of a caller’s history, to appear on any agent’s computer screen, even before the call is answered.

And what happens in the event that a call is missed? With a click of the mouse, an agent can automatically call the customer back.

An agent may also use Outlook to dial numbers stored in Exchange public folders or personal In-Box. If an agent must fax documents to a customer or vendor, the same Outlook contact’s fax number can be retrieved, and the fax can be sent via e-mail. Incoming faxes and voicemails are also automatically stored in the receiving agent’s e-mail inbox. With this type of integration, a China Travel Service agent is provided with all necessary modes of communication within one program, Outlook.

“The new phone system has a very flexible greeting and call distribution structure,” Pan said. “Unified messaging and Outlook features have improved our customer service, as well as the efficiency of our sales team.”

Pan said the new system’s call accounting and monitoring features have helped the company to better manage expenses.

The future 

TNS’s new solution opens the door to more cost saving when China Travel Service implements the VoIP gateway between its international branch offices. Agents in all time zones will be able take calls from offices that are closed. Plus, all inter-office calls can be routed via the VoIP gateway. By allowing a San Francisco agent to place calls to the company’s branch offices in China, China Travel Service will be saving on the costs of placing traditional long distance calls.

With TNS’s solution, China Travel Service can also take full advantage of its own built-in Call Center feature for sales and marketing campaigns.

Pan said the new IP-based phones also allow him the opportunity to expand his offices in the United States.

“In the future, after great coordination and approval from parent companies, it is possible that all major companies in CTII-HK systems will be able to go online and use IP-based phones,” Pan said. “That will allow us all to save and conference internally.”

We at TNS challenge you to realize the benefits of joining your PBX and IP networks. Please Click Here for more information and to view a demo.

Solution 2:

The client wanted to have an easy way of communicating internally within the company's multiple international locations as well as with their customers and vendors. However, their customers and vendors were using different electronic mail carriers such as AT&T, MCI, Internet, etc.

Since the client was using NetWare as their network operating system, Novell MHS was recommended and installed as a back-end messaging engine with various messaging gateways. The MHS hub was set up so it would dial out to different electronic mail carriers and other domestic and overseas hubs for uploading and downloading the electronic mail automatically.

This hodgepodge of communication carriers was brought under control resulting in a smooth flow of messages.  Client satisfaction was dramatic to say the least not to mention the increased efficiency in communicating with external customers and vendors.

Solution 3:

This client wanted to upgrade their messaging system from Pegasus freeware software to Microsoft Mail.  The post office was placed on a NetWare server where desktop users utilized client-based software and Unix users accessed their mail via Pop3 protocol. 

As time progressed, field operations purchased new laptop hardware thus requiring more sophisticated remote and robust connectivity sessions.  This need for more sophisticated messaging requirements led to the replacement of Microsoft Mail with Microsoft Exchange.  To facilitate the advanced messaging requirements like calendaring and contact management, a Windows NT server was installed replacing NetWare with all users being migrated to the new mail system without incident.

Worldwide communications thus became possible with increased reliability.  Eventually, VPN software became available and was installed which led to drastic reductions in charges for long distance telephone calls.

 

Business Partners

     

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