Basic Technical Overview
- What is Business All-in-One?
Business All-in-One is a bundled solution of voice and data communications for small to medium-sized businesses. Using a performance managed IP connection we deliver a hosted voice and data solution that replaces aging and expensive on-site equipment. One connection unifies all your business communications, saving your business time and money.
Cost Effective: Avoid the upfront cost of purchasing phone and data hardware.
Simple: Get one bill with a single, local point of contact.
Efficient: Make and receive calls on your business number from anywhere, anytime.
Scalable: Add employees and locations as your business grows.
Reliable: Get guaranteed availability and automatic re-routing of calls in emergency situations.
With Business All-in-One, you receive a simple, easy-to-use communication experience that engages your employees with customers.
- How is Business All-in-One different from the phone system I have today?
The traditional premise-based phone system came into existence because companies needed features and functions that weren’t supported by traditional telephone lines. They had to get into the voice switching business out of necessity.
That has changed with VoIP, where a business can now manage how their calls are routed using web-based interfaces regardless of where the phone system is located. Also, the phones are no longer directly tied to physical telephone wires, so groups of workers can more easily move within their office without having to make wiring changes.
In Hawaiian Telcom’s Business All-in-One solution, we have the “phone system” in our network. It’s a fully redundant, carrier-grade Hosted PBX service, with virtual extensions partitioned and allocated to your business. On your site, you have IP Phones on desks that connect to the Local Area Network (LAN), and an Edge Device that routes traffic to us over an IP connection.
We handle all the operational work on the cloud-based PBX (running and monitoring the system, doing upgrades, increasing capacity, managing dial plans) that you would otherwise need to do on your premise-based platform.
You don’t have to worry about the complexity of dealing with a voice switch, the expense of purchasing a PBX or Key System, or the worry of keeping up with the latest technology. We handle all of that while you get access to the newest and most advanced features available on the market.
We also provide the LAN and Edge Device as part of the bundle, so you can be assured that the data network can handle critical voice traffic. All you need to do is plug in your network equipment (computers, servers, etc.) and go.
Your voice traffic is passed over the IP connection, sharing the bandwidth with data traffic. The benefit is that you no longer have to pay for separate voice and a data lines into your business. Since the bandwidth is shared, we set up the Edge Device so that voice calls always have a higher priority than data traffic. This eliminates voice quality problems that could otherwise occur if there is a high volume of data being passed over the IP connection.
All incoming and outgoing calls come into our data center, where we have carrier-grade, cloud-based software that routes the calls and provides advanced services. We route the outgoing calls to the carriers that provide the best possible rates, and outbound domestic long distance service is included with the bundle. This means you don’t have to worry about finding the least cost routes for your calls.
Our Hosted PBX handles incoming calls so that they reach you where you want to be reached. You can specify that you want calls to be routed to your mobile phone in certain instances (or all instances) and we’ll route the call to any mobile device from our cloud. We can also ring multiple phones at once, all handled from our data center.
Your employees can use a remote phone when they are on the road (that uses the same number as their office phone), ring multiple devices when people call their office number, and manage their services using an intuitive web portal.
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- How reliable is a Hosted Voice service?
Our Hosted PBX service operates in a carrier-grade environment that is 99.999% reliable. This is equivalent to 5.26 minutes of unscheduled downtime per year, and is the industry benchmark used to measure voice availability. Our telephony platform uses a “cluster” architecture, so that call processing will continue if any single component fails.
By comparison, if you currently have a phone system at your place of business, it’s very likely that the failure of a single component can cause a complete loss of service. A hosted voice service is significantly more reliable, as there is no single point of failure.
- What happens if a Hosted PBX server fails?
We have fully redundant servers and backup power sources, so you’d be unaffected if a server failed in our network. Your service would continue without interruption. With a premise-based phone system, a single hardware failure would likely bring your voice service to a complete halt.
- What if the IP network fails? My current LAN goes down routinely.
Hawaiian Telcom’s IP infrastructure is actually more resilient than traditional phone lines. Traffic can be re-routed if a link becomes unavailable (cut, etc). All of this happens automatically in our state-of-the-art network.
Of course, someone could always cut the cable that carries service into your building, or simply unplug your LAN equipment. This can happen during local construction, natural disasters, or just simple accidents. As incoming calls are received, you can set up your Hosted PBX preferences so that they’re seamlessly routed to alternate numbers (like your cell phone). Quite simply, if the data network fails for any reason and your office phones go down, incoming calls can still be answered.
This is unique, as on-site phone systems can only route outgoing calls over a backup line if the data network fails (assuming the backup connection isn’t cut). However, this doesn’t address the incoming call problem, and that is where you have the most risk. You can always use cell phones for your outgoing calls.
- We have lots of short brownouts and brief power interruptions at our place of business. Will this cause my service to go out?
No. We include a power appliance that delivers clean power and a few minutes of
battery time to your core hardware as part of the bundled solution. While it won’t prevent your equipment from powering down in the event of a total electrical failure, it will ensure that brief power fluctuations don’t interrupt service.
- What happens if I completely lose power? Won’t my phones go down?
If you don’t have extended backup power for your LAN, then your IP phones will go down in a power outage. Fortunately, since our Hosted PBX service automatically detects when IP phones are disconnected, incoming calls will be seamlessly routed to alternate numbers like your cell phone so business can continue.
- What happens if Hawaiian Telcom loses power?
As part of our disaster recovery plans, we have a carrier-grade environment with redundant power. Your service would not be impacted in any way if we have a power problem.
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- Is the voice quality as good as I’d get from my traditional service?
Absolutely. We use advanced compression algorithms that provide excellent voice quality but use your bandwidth more efficiently than traditional phone service. Our network prioritizes all voice traffic over data traffic, ensuring the quality you’ve come to expect with phone service.
- I’ve heard that voice quality goes bad if we’re using the Internet frequently.
That can be true with some VoIP and hosted voice providers. Often, these companies have no way of guaranteeing the performance of voice calls, and everyday data traffic can cause quality problems.
However, Hawaiian Telcom’s Business All-in-One bundle includes a managed IP connection. This connection ensures your voice calls always get priority over data. For instance, if someone is downloading a large file while you’re trying to have a conference call, the data download will dynamically adjust to ensure your conference call receives the bandwidth it requires.
- I’ve used Skype/Messenger/Vonage and think the quality is poor when compared to my traditional phone service. How does the quality of Business All-in-One compare?
Our Business All-in-One bundle doesn’t run VoIP traffic over the public Internet, which means it isn’t subjected to all the congestion and quality problems like Skype. Those services have very little control over the call after it leaves your PC. Our solution uses end-to-end quality management to ensure voice calls are treated with the highest priority across the entire network.
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- Will I still have control of my phone system? I like the ability to make changes without having to call someone.
Absolutely. In fact, you should find it much easier to make changes than a traditional phone system. Even though the phone system is located in our network, you have access to an intuitive web portal that allows you and your employees to manage most of their own settings. And you no longer have to worry about rewiring to move someone within your building. Simply unplug the phone and plug it back into the LAN wherever you want it. The phone remembers its extension and programming.
- I don’t have any IT staff. How can I possibly manage a VoIP network?
Fortunately, you don’t need a staff to manage the network because we handle it for you. Our Business All-in-One bundle includes 24x7 management, and we have a local Network Operations Center available to help resolve any problems.
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Security and Emergency Calls
- Are my calls secure? Can people listen in on them?
VoIP calls are inherently no less secure than traditional telephone calls. In fact, with VoIP, it is actually more difficult to eavesdrop because you need to be able to monitor and decode the data stream. We manage all Business All-in-One IP connections, and employee multiple layers of security to block intruders from unauthorized access.
- Will 911 calls work?
Absolutely. Some consumer-grade VoIP carriers have struggled with this because users can plug in their VoIP phone adapter anywhere they have a broadband connection. This made it hard for the carrier to know where the caller was physically located.
Our Hosted PBX service ties the telephone number with the location of your business, so the 911 operator knows where the call originates.
- What happens to 911 calls if I’m using the Remote Office feature to work at another location?
If you pick up a remote phone and directly dial 911, you will continue to deliver the local 911 information of the phone you are using. This ensures that emergency personnel will still receive the correct location information.
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- I’ve got existing wiring for my Local Area Network (LAN). Can I reuse it?
Very likely. Modern LANs use Category 5, 5e, and/or 6 cabling, all of which is suitable for connecting IP phones. So long as your existing LAN utilizes one of these cable types, and the cabling meets standards, we can re-use the wiring.
If you need new wiring, we can install it quickly and easily. In fact, as all of our IP phones have built-in LAN ports, you can save money by installing one cable to the desktop. The phone plugs onto the cable, and your PC attaches to the phone. In this fashion, you can save substantially on inside wiring costs. There’s no need to run separate cabling for voice and data services.
For detailed wiring standards, click here.
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