The Benefits Of Speaking To Each Other

At SureVoIP we are really looking forward to the forthcoming Granite City Expo. The chance to meet those we know. The chance to get to know people new to us.

One of the major advantages of actually talking to people is you get a far better feel for them. How they use language. Their tone of voice and the terms they use. We always take the time to have a conversation with current and prospective customers, and it always proves worthwhile.

Thinking about this got us thinking about communications in a wider context.

No-one can doubt the positive impact electronic communications have had. Most of us now hear or read about the day's news stories almost as they happen, sent straight to the smartphone in our pocket. The ability to send instant chat messages to friends and colleagues allows a quick and convenient method of passing on brief messages, files and weblinks. Email is now intrinsic to our business processes, and is embedded in how most of us work.  Most official communication is now done via email, and for understandable reasons. It is quick, relatively secure, and allows for interchanges to be recorded and re-read for clarity.

Just as we have gained, have we also lost?

Are we now too reliant on electronic devices and communications? Do we miss something when we just hit 'reply', rather than picking up the phone?

Thinking about the things we gain from our own conversations, we have to say 'Yes'.

We DO lose something by over-reliance on email. We DO lose something by missing the opportunity for a personal discussion.

Just picking up the phone is a fantastic way of improving your customer knowledge. So many things can come up in a phone call. From your customer's likes and interests, to a need for a service or product you didn't know about. The problem with email is that it is very regimented, with a list of tasks or requirements which we must give answers to. All questions answered, job done. But it doesn't leave any room for actual communication.

Don't just talk on the phone. Listen.

The beauty of talking to someone is that you also get the chance to listen to them. And SO many things come to light when you listen to customers.

For a start, there is the tone and implied emotional content of the message.

Consider the phrase: “I would like this to be done by Friday.”

Imagine you have received an email from a customer and it includes this line. It gives a deadline, but it is given in quite an informal way. So, what is the deadline? Is it set in stone and has to be Friday? Or is Friday just a suggestion? Does the task need to be completed by Friday, or is completion by Friday a 'nice to have' movable deadline?

A conversation, either by phone call or face-to-face, gives so much more to go on. You can hear the person's tone of voice, and gauge much more accurately their mood and attitude.

“I would like this to be done by Friday”, said in clipped, cold tones, gives no ambiguity as to the person's desire. It isn't a request, their expectation is that it will be done on or before Friday.

“I would like this to be done by Friday”, said in a warmer, friendlier tone, suggests a more movable deadline. There is room for movement and you can negotiate. If the person emphasises the word 'like' then they are telling you that this isn't a deadline at all, just their personal preference.

As you can see by analysing one simple interaction, differing emphasis on words, tone of voice, attitude and cadence all guide us automatically when communicating.

Relying too heavily on electronic text communications means we miss a whole library of information.

Speech is encoded in our DNA.

After all, humans have been communicating via speech since we were painting on cave walls and chipping cutting tools out of bits of flint.

Our new forms of electronic communications haven't been around so long. It's no surprise that we are instinctively better at one then the other.

We've had much more practise!

So the next time you need to clarify a point in an email, make a suggestion to a customer or find out some background for a quote or tender, think about whether you want to send an email or pick up the phone.

Start a conversation – you never know what you will gain.

 

 

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The importance of Perl at SureVoIP and why you should help all Open Source projects

At SureVoIP we use Perl for so many things that it forms a major part of our success. It is in fact critical for us. That is why we became a Gold Sponsor for the Perl QA Hackathon.

What is the Perl QA Hackathon?

A free of charge coding workshop for people involved in Quality Assurance, testing, packaging, CPAN, and other projects related to quality assurance. The workshop is not necessarily exclusive to Perl projects, however, many of the attendees will be planning to work on projects that have a direct benefit to the Perl language.

This year’s Hackathon will be held at the The Rugby Hotel in Rugby, UK from April 21-24.

We use the language, various modules and projects powered by Perl for the following:

 

In summary, if you’re a business or user that thinks phenomenal software projects like Perl and Open Source Software in general is free (quoted from this page):

Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”. We sometimes call it “libre software” to show we do not mean it is gratis.

then you need to understand that in fact all Open Source projects need to receive funding from somewhere. That “somewhere” should be you too! 🙂

Please help any project you use by donating to them.

Thanks,

Gavin.

SureVoIP is now an independent IP network operator and 2014

Dear all,

Some of you will already know that currently SureVoIP rents servers in London and owns and co-locates some in Edinburgh. This is all about to change. Those of you that follow SureVoIP on Twitter and read the SureVoIP Blog or have chatted to me personally at GraniteExpo 2013 last month will already know all about this.

As of now we are an independent ISP, but more specifically an Internet Telephony Service Provider in our own right. We made our first test VoIP call last week across are new network. Here are the details and what you can expect this to bring to our SureVoIP Partners, your customer and our direct customers. This has been fully self-funded (and fully paid for outright) via your hard work which is now almost fully deployed:

  • Juniper and Cisco based with an on site 4 hour response support SLA
  • Full Out of Band management network
  • RIPE LIR – https://stat.ripe.net/as199659
  • IPv4 and IPv6 based using our directly assigned IP address allocations
  • Based in Telehouse East – full rack and directly contracted with Telehouse
  • Small PoP in Edinburgh which will be expanded once we join IXScotland
  • Level3 Tier 1 provider for transit – directly contracted with Level3
  • NTT Tier 1 provider for transit – directly contracted with NTT
  • Members of LINX (London Internet Exchange) –  Check the members page – https://www.linx.net/about/memberlist/letter/S
  • Fluidata interconnect for full UK coverage in order to for us to provide internet connectivity which is VoIP optimised. This includes ADSL, FTTX, EFM, Leased lines, VPLS and MPLS services (we can start doing quotations for you now)
  • Interconnect/peering with current ISP partners
  • Interconnecting with BT Wholesale (via physical fibres) and existing carriers
  • All on-net access meaning VoIP calls from our internet products do not cross the public internet
  • Those of you that wish to host VoIP equipment with us and be physically connected, now can be
  • SLA’s when using our own connectivity products
  • New SIP security platform allowing fully encrypted SIP trunks (which is currently only available on hosted handset calls)
  • IPv6 VoIP ability
  • Broadband with no general internet access for security, allowing low cost VoIP optimised connectivity directly in to our platforms
  • New dual services using SRV records and/or two IP addresses, no more Primary and Secondary
  • Much more contracted control with less hops (try pinging/traceroute to 185.8.92.61-62 versus sip.surevoip.co.uk)
  • Connected to the core of the UK internet
  • Microsoft Lync compatible SIP trunks using new security platform (including Office365 Enterprise)
  • Members of IXScotland Steering Committee
  • New public access contacts platform available via our public LDAP servers – ldap.surevoip.co.uk – sync with LinkedIn, Google etc.
  • New portal coming for billing with call packages, partner access, per customer tariffs and discount, nice invoices with call stats and graphs which is all driven by the SureVoIP API
  • Partner access monitoring platform to monitor your customers IP networks and services

as well as all of above the following things are ongoing:

That’s a lot to digest and I’m sure you have tons of questions! We’ll keep you updated on the migration plans and new IP addresses too.

Lastly, don’t forget our opening hours for the Christmas period.

Thanks,

Gavin.

Aberdeen TechMeetup: SureVoIP API

Hi all,

I will be doing a talk about the SureVoIP API on Thursday 20th March at Aberdeen TechMeetup:

Aberdeen TechMeetup: SureVoIP API

14th Mar 2013 by bruce

Gavin Henry@ghenry

Gavin will take you through the lifecycle of the SureVoIP API including:

* Why it was needed; internal use, partners and customers

* The technologies chosen

* Parts outsourced and released under an Open Source license

* Current uses and “Apps”

* Future

Thanks,

Gavin.

SureVoIP Instant Messaging and Presence Beta – Free for all SureVoIP customers

For the past month we’ve been working on adding Instant Messaging to our Products and Services.

I’m excited to say that it’s now in live Beta and included for free with all SureVoIP Products and Services. This furthers goes to confirm your choice in becoming a SureVoIP customer.

You can also expect some more brilliant things to come out over next 6 months including Cloud Contacts. This product allows all of your staff contact details and personal addressbook to be available to you from your desk phone, e-mail software and any software that can talk to our Directory Servers (it uses the LDAP protocol and OpenLDAP software).

Please contact us to receive your SureVoIP Instant Messaging Beta account details. If you are a SureVoIP Hosted VoIP customer then your details are waiting for you.

See the SureVoIP Instant Messaging page for more information and our setup guides.