Svjetlana Brdar, Author at Access4

Integrated Public Number Database (IPND)

Who’s got your number?

Just recently one of the industry publishers covered the subject of the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that some of the Carriage Service Providers (CSPs) failed to provide accurate data. We decided it’s a good time to address the topic and help with building the awareness around it. In this blog, we’ll provide more insights around the topic, obligations and specifics related to VoIP telephony.

Benefits for the customer

The IPND is used by the emergency call service, alert system, law enforcement and national security agencies. The primary purpose is to have accurate data about the caller in case of a life-threatening emergency calls or security situation that could be of public interest.

SASBOSS delivery to the IPND and nomadic tagging

We’ve created ‘direct communication’ between SASBOSS, our provisioning portal, and the IPND. When our partners set up customers in SASBOSS, they must ask them for the address and related information and fill out all required fields. The standard information a CSP will collect is the public number, the name of the customer, the name of the carrier, the service address of the customer, customer’s listing preferences, service purpose (business, private and similar), and an additional field that flags the service as nomadic to ensure the operator clarifies the correct address. Access4 sends updates to IPND weekly, so we can have the flexibility to adjust DID numbers. When it comes to the ‘bulk uploads’ and address updates, if the group address is updated, all DID numbers that belong to that group will be re-sent to IPND with the new address information.

A task we take seriously is to ensure our partners are educated on how they should address this matter when provisioning services through SASBOSS.

Data privacy and customer choices

In an era of oversharing and data security concerns, some of your customers may decide to provide incorrect data, thinking they are protecting their privacy. As far as the IPND is concerned this could cause a number of adverse outcomes. It’s worth mentioning that Access4 DID numbers are uploaded as unlisted.

Types of errors

Access4 fixes hard and soft errors within 1 business day. ‘Soft errors’ would be missing fields or inaccurate data, with two days window to correct, while ‘hard errors’ are where your data wouldn’t be uploaded at all, and the timeframe to correct would be within 24 hours.

IPND Manager

An IPND Manager is a company’s (carrier’s) representative and the first point of contact when it comes to the data accuracy. If you have any IPND related questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly with your provider (our partner) or email us at tac@access4.com.au

Data accuracy and auditing

The authorities are urging the continuous process of data improvement. There are regular auditing processes in place, so we encourage our partners to ensure you consider your ongoing improvements for data accuracy and work closely with your customers to build awareness.

If you are already our partner, here is the list of few things you should consider:

  • Capturing all data during onboarding. Include this subject in your customer onboarding process and inform your customers about the importance of having the correct data from day one.
  • Educate your customers. Write up a quick blog or a guide about the importance of the IPND and why it’s necessary to keep their data correct allowing them to participate proactively.
  • Updating customer data. You will know your customer database best, so think about how often you could organise a follow-up to get updates or to remind your customers to check their data.
  • Regular reminders: Suggestion; set-up a permanent banner in your monthly newsletter that will remind your customers to communicate changes with you.

Proactive approach if you are an end-customer

It’s always easier and faster when all involved parties work together, so why not put your provider on your ‘must update’ list, to be sure you have provided updated information?

IPND checklist for CSPs for download:
https://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Telco/Numbering/IPND/ipnd-checklist-for-csps-2

Sources:
Industry Code C555:2017 INTEGRATED PUBLIC NUMBER DATABASE (IPND)
Industry Guideline G619:2017 IPND DATA
VOICEOVERIP_EMERGENCY SERVICES BY www.acif.org.au
https://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Telco/Carriers-and-service-providers/Emergency-call-service/voip-and-the-integrated-public-number-database-i-acma

The beginning of the end for traditional Telcos?

Introduction

SMEs are being left behind in terms of telephony and IT because the main Telco incumbents are not advising these customers of their options, nor explaining the impact that proven, new products available on the market will have on their business. The incumbent has a vested interest in keeping its installed base of legacy hardware and systems because it delivers high margin revenue, which is being used to cross subsidise a push into the ICT space.

Though the old systems are acknowledged to be expensive and slow by comparison, they work, and many SMEs are of the mindset ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. As these companies are not receiving proactive advice or recommendations to upgrade, most see no need to move their PBX to the Cloud, nor a need to introduce unified communications (UC).

The workplace of the future is more collaborative, more flexible, more people-oriented, but mostly, more results oriented. The technology to enable this is available now.

How proactive is your main Telco?Half of the executives interviewed were not getting proactive advice from their current Telco

The market is set to undertake the last big cloud shift with the PBX or Phone System

The move to the Cloud and in particular Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is being driven by organisations that understand how to leverage the benefits.
We are near a tipping point of accelerated growth in Cloud UC service take up and adoption, but achieving this will rely on SMEs becoming better educated and the opening of new channels to market in order to drive total market growth.
On the surface, it doesn’t look like there is much going on in the IT&T market right now:
Traditional voice revenue is falling and Global Unified Communications spend across the next four years will only grow between 1% – 4%

Asia Pacific will only increase UC spend by 1.1% across the four years to 2020 However, it’s a substantial shift in the makeup of this market that will be the driver of growth. That shift is the move to Cloud, and Unified Communications in the Cloud is predicted to grow from 8% market share in 2015 to 22% of the market, or $650M, by 2020. 86% of businesses in Australia are already using SaaS and have overcome historical issues such as connectivity through technologies like SDN and SD-WAN, which enable Quality of Service over the Internet.

Cloud-Based Unified Communications predicted to grow to 22% of total UC spend by 2020 across the region

 

Traditional Telcos are not delivering value for SME businesses

There is simply no need for customers to deal with a telco anymore because there is no need to buy traditional telco services. High-quality Internet connectivity and performance means you can just buy what you want over the net, whenever you want it and simply switch it off when you don’t need it anymore.

Access4 went to the SME market to discover its thoughts on current UC/Telephony providers and to understand what SMEs are currently experiencing and what they want from a UC provider.
The research revealed an overall net promoter score of positive 23 so [for the most part] SMEs are unlikely to recommend their current UC/telephony provider. Because of a lack of proactive information from their provider, most SMEs are not looking to make changes to the telephony solution they currently have in place. This means there is an opportunity for a disruptor (a trusted external service provider) to step in and take this market by storm.

The research identified four key drivers that need to be in place to support the take-up and adoption of UC services in the Cloud by SMEs

  • Education at the executive level to drive take up
  • The route to market needs to be disruptive
  • Customer experience key to ensure adoption
  • Technology and service need to be seamless

Who is happy, who is not?

If you are male and over 50, you are the most likely to be happy with the status quo. If you are a 20-29-year-old female, you are someone who is looking to shake things up a little. In fact, 20-29-year-olds overall are the least happy with their current service provider, while 50-59-year-olds are the most loyal.

 

 

Main Telco NPS

Main Telco NPS 

NPS by age

NPS by age

Less than a quarter of senior executives have current plans to move to cloud Unified Communications

Whilst most survey respondents said they were aware of Cloud-based PBX and Unified Communications, more than three-quarters of them had no plans to move UC to the Cloud. Nearly half of those people said the reason they had no plans to move to UC was because they had ‘no need for it right now’.

The main provider for this survey group was Telstra and the majority of respondents had their own dedicated phone system. Nearly half said they were not receiving proactive service and advice from their IT provider. Just over a third were not even aware of Cloud-based PBX and UC let alone the benefits it can deliver.

A third of respondents said they could foresee no challenges in their business regarding communications over the next 12 months.

Insights

There is certainly a lack of incentive for customers to change. The main Telco incumbents have a large installed base currently on legacy products and they don’t want to [nor can afford to] risk losing this high margin revenue ‘cash cow’. Therefore customers are managed reactively without providing strategic advice or helping to ready customers for the future.

A new route to market is required that is able to challenge the status quo. It needs to come from a credible and trusted source such as the external IT systems provider.

The channel to market must be disruptive in order to jolt these passive customers from their slumber, to show them what is possible for their business and what they are missing out on by ignoring these changes. The fact that a third of respondents are not aware indicates how little they understand the IT&T market and the changing needs of employees.

While excellent customer experience is key to SMEs adopting this new technology, education at the executive level on the benefits of unified communications is needed to accelerate change. Close to 2/3rds of executives are not exploring the commercial benefits of PAYG services, greater collaboration across the business and greater workplace flexibility.

 

Aware of uCaaS

Aware of UCaaS

Reason why not taking up UCaaS

Reasons why not taking up UCaaS

 

Have plans to move to UCaaS

Have plans to move to UCaaS

Instant Messaging is more prolific than ever, yet senior executives are unaware of its use and not capitalising on it

When asked if they used an application for Chat within their business, 59% of respondents said no.
22% were aware that Skype was being used; however, there was no mention of the most highly used messenger apps in Australia today- Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp or employees using SMS or email for corporate messaging.
Almost 80% of Australians have a Smartphone, and they glance at the device more than 440 million times a day. Those phones are a part of their personal and business lives. And they are used for Instant Messaging (IM) or Chat.
The IM wave is still building in Australia, and Smartphone users across all age groups are more actively using messaging apps. In 2015, 42% of Smartphone users were actively using messaging apps versus 25% in 2014.
There are 2.4M active Australian users on WhatsApp and 15M Facebook users.

What instant messaging application are you using?

What instant messaging application are you using? 

Insights

SMEs are running messaging apps – but the people that run the business are not aware this is happening.

Whatever IM applications are being used across the business, they are certainly not sanctioned applications and they are clearly not being used organisation wide.

What value and IP are businesses losing? What information is leaking out of your company because you don’t have a way to capture IM data easily and effectively?

Smartphone messenger apps used to be just a novelty which not many people worried about or used that often, nowadays though you would be hard pressed to find users who don’t regularly check on their messages, by using one of the popular apps such as Facebook chat, WhatsApp, or Skype.

Messenger apps were historically popular for chatting between friends and family in real time. However, businesses are now turning to messenger apps as well, increasing their workflow and allowing real-time collaboration to take place.

The key is to ensure everyone in the business is using the same application and that the IP from messaging apps can be captured and stored.

Internal IT is not the driver of change with limited exposure to external markets and a focus on “keeping the lights on”

Overall the Internal IT provider received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 0, though 70% of respondents scored them 8 or more out of 10 for their performance.

Loyal supporters found the internal IT provider to be helpful, but everyone else wants them to be more responsive, more proactive, more available to assist and more service oriented.

It should be noted that the IT respondent sample size was only a small population of the total survey.

Insights

The much-maligned internal IT team once again comes under fire from the senior decision makers. They had the highest rate of detractors across all groups examined in the research.

Most internal teams don’t have any external or IT system integrator support. The survey identified that of the 36% of companies using internal IT management, 65% of this group do not use any form of external support services.

They are going it alone, and may, therefore, be limited in their ability to understand where the market is headed.

Isolated within the business, the internal IT team only sees the needs of their direct company. The research would seem to indicate that this group is not viewed as a strategic influencer at C-level but rather the guys who keep things running (most of the time).

Given the overall results showed that most respondents had their own equipment on site, the internal IT provider would most likely be managing these legacy systems and having to deal with sunk investments. They are probably spending their time building patches to keep the old systems working, leaving little time to look at what else is around.

Detractor Passive Promoter

 

Internal IT or External IT Service provider?

Internal IT or External IT Services provider?

Internal NPS

 

Internal IT NPS

 

The external IT services provider is seen as a provider of thought leadership and advice…

Over 50% of respondents use a medium sized external IT provider for IT management. Overall, external IT providers received an NPS of positive 44 and were found to be helpful and obliging, efficient and prompt.
The external IT provider has the highest advocacy with senior executives and the highest ranking when it comes to providing strategic advice to customers.
84% of those who use an external IT provider rated them an 8/10 or more for providing strategic planning and understanding their business.
Just using customer experience as a measure, the external IT services company is best positioned to lead the customer to a cloud UC change.

Insights

A key driver of change in the UCaaS market will be brought on by providing a disruptive channel to market. This channel must also be reliable and trustworthy and provide complementary services. As UC is currently not part of the current product range for most external IT providers, the disruption works as there is no legacy decisions/ revenue to protect.

As with IT services, external providers “can support upgrades quickly and easily over the phone”. They are already viewed as being “responsive and provide prompt service” and they communicate with their customers proactively.

Just as the Cloud discussion became a boardroom discussion – UCaaS needs to be a boardroom discussion. However, it will only get there if the senior executive adds it to the agenda. Education is the key to driving change with senior decision makers, and the external IT provider can bring this about.

External IT NPS

External IT NPS

 

How would you rate your external IT provider?

For external: how would they rate their external IT provider with providing strategic planning and understanding their business? 

Focusing on customer service is the key to sustainable UCaaS adoption

Seamless service was the number one driver of positive customer experience, while ‘service coverage/outages’ were the number one detraction.

The survey respondents don’t want to be concerned with IT&T, their biggest expectation from a telco is for everything to work. They want reliable and prompt support when it’s needed and competitive pricing comes down the list after that.

There is a direct link between total customer experience and customer loyalty. Even of those customers that [by traditional expectations] say they are satisfied with the service, only half agree they would ‘definitely return’ one year from now. The adage that good service is no longer good enough holds true in that delighted customers are the only group with strong loyalty.

Insights

The research suggests that SMEs prefer dealing with their external IT service provider rather than a telco. They are frustrated with the service levels they are currently getting from their incumbent Telco with responses such as: “you never know who to contact, and the call centre is a million miles away” (anonymous), and they know there are better solutions out there, “it takes so long for someone to come to us with a solution” (anonymous).

Businesses are moving inexorably towards procuring services ‘as a service’, which means that lock in and long term contracts will soon be a thing of the past. Telcos’ contract stickiness can no longer apply and customer loyalty won’t exist as soon as the customers’ experience falls. The customer will take their rightful place as the most important consideration for the providers and service excellence will have to be front and centre.

In a cloud market where flexibility is an expectation and a premise, the customer experience will dictate how and which providers will succeed in the long term.

Expectations of a provider .

Expectations of a provider

 

Does the respondent plan to stay with the existing provider?

Millennials will be the drivers of change as they demand better collaboration and greater workplace flexibility

Of those surveyed, the least loyal customers were in the 20-29-year-old age group, followed closely by 40-49-year-olds. The largest detractors were in the 30-39 year age group. Generation X, Y and Z are not loyal to their telco and know they are not receiving the level of service they deserve.

Generally, males are more loyal to their current provider than females. In fact, the most satisfied group was the 50+-year-old males, and the most loyal overall were those in the 60+ age group.

Insights

The move to UCaaS needs the support of senior executives who are ready to embrace change. The leaders of SMEs need to understand where the workplace is going and put the technology in place to both support and leverage the changes that lie ahead.

By 2020 millennials will account for more than 54% of the workforce and are clearly not satisfied with how communications are provided by Incumbent Telcos today.

The workplace of the future is more collaborative, more flexible, more people-oriented, but mostly, more results oriented. More and more a company’s platform for information collaboration and workplace flexibility will play a larger role in a company’s ability to attract leading talent.

The technology to enable this is available now, and it’s reliable, cost-effective and scalable. Reluctance to change will leave these SMEs less agile, less productive and far less competitive. With so many executives not aware or not looking at UC are some heading for a Kodak moment?

 

NPS by gender male

NPS by gender – male 

NPS by Gender female

NPS by gender – female 

NPS by age

NPS by age

About the research

How we measure the Net Promoter Score (NPS)?
We ask” “How likely is it that you would recommend <your company> to a friend or colleague?” (10 to 0 point scale) The score of 9 or 10 is defined as a Promoter. The score of 6 or less is a Detractor. Scores of 7 or 8 are neutral – this is the new ‘pass mark’
NPS = Promoters – Detractors
Interviews were conducted by Saguity during June-July 2016.
Senior Decision makers were interviewed over the phone and all results are available on request.
The survey was completed by the senior decision maker of 100 IT and non IT SMEs nationally.

 

Size of Respondent Organisation

Size of respondent organisation 

Age breakdown

Age breakdown

Position breakdown

Position breakdown

 

Gender breakdown

Gender breakdown

 

Contacts

Access4
Ruy Franco, Director of Sales & Marketing

Saguity
Darrell Hardidge, Founder and CEO
Suite 1, Level 2, 10A Atherton Rd, Oakleigh VIC 3166, Australia
+61 3 8548 1888 / contact@saguity.com

Published September 2016
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Any use or publication of the results/findings contained in the document must cite Access4 as the source.
Copyright © Access4 Pty Ltd 2016

Happy New Year!

Many people are coming back from leave this week after a couple of weeks of holiday time, and in fact, they may still be in holiday mode! This can be a time of slightly later starts, slightly earlier finishes and casual attire. They may also be lining up for new security access cards and resetting forgotten passwords. It’s a timely reminder that security should never be taken for granted and that one of the many things that may contribute to a Happy New Year is to review your security policies right now.

Last year we experienced a few fraudulent incidents among our services. All of them could have been avoided by following a very simple set of rules which we would like to share with you.

  • Never send passwords over email, even if your email is encrypted the recipient may have an unencrypted email system and the password can be intercepted. Use SMS instead.
  • Never send both a username and password over the same communication channel, even by SMS. Just send the password, which will make it much harder to find out what it is for, even if intercepted.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication for your SASBOSS login. You can do it through the ‘my profile’ menu. Even if your password is compromised it won’t be exploited as you need a password and a mobile phone to login to SASBOSS.
  • Clean up your SASBOSS login list. Make sure that there are no obsolete or duplicate accounts, the contact details are relevant, and that the roles are still reflecting the login roles.
  • Make sure your logins belong to the correct Contact Groups in SASBOSS. This will ensure you get relevant notifications on time.
  • Turn on SASBOSS Call Charge Monitoring policy to Suspend if exceeded. Turn on our fraud protection. You can limit your financial risk per customer in case if the endpoint is compromised. To find out more refer to chapter 10.8 of the SASBOSS Guide.
  • Never expose a SIP phone web interface to the Internet. Make sure your firewalls are configured properly to block access to the phone web interface and there is no port forwarding set for a SIP phone web interface in case your phone is on the private network. There are security scanners that constantly scan the internet for exposed SIP phones which are exploited as soon as they are found.
  • Consider blocking international calls for phones located in public places. Usually, there is no need to make international calls from publicly available phones such as a hotel reception phone. Make sure the international calls are blocked for those phones so that they cannot be used for fraudulent activity.
  • Use SASBOSS generated passwords. SASBOSS can generate very strong passwords for users to login with. Although you can override them, it is a good idea to keep the complex passwords generated by SASBOSS.
  • Make sure your laptop requires a password to unlock the screen. Never leave your device unattended and unlocked. Setup a timeout to lock the screen, enforce a password or pin to unlock the device. It only takes a minute to create an additional super-admin user in SASBOSS if someone gets access to your pre-opened SASBOSS session.

 

Be safe in the New Year!

Stan Chizhevskiy, Technical Director

The Hero of Your Mobile Integration

What is the future workstyle for the small to medium enterprise-size businesses in the era of mobility, millennials and generation Z? Do you know which applications your employees use for everyday communication within the company and with your clients? As a small company owner, you may be concerned about the communication tools your employees use, how they use them, and the impact they are having on your customers or clients.

Maybe you are considering establishing some communication standards for your business or just thinking about change, looking at the hidden costs of the premise-based small business phone system. Perhaps you feel it’s just too much trouble to worry about tools that seem to be only available to bigger businesses or corporate teams? But it’s not – and what’s more, change can positively impact your employees and your business.

The first step of your cloud transformation

Teams usually start their transformation by moving their documentation to the Cloud. They will look for a ‘freemium’ feature and functionality and consider the pricing and security aspects of the service. Accessibility across devices could be the next step, but then things get slightly complicated – should your employees be able to use their private mobile phone? Do you expect them to be available while on the go?

A new era of mobile productivity

The world is mobile and on the go and BroadSoft’s infographic about mobile productivity is showing following;

  • 50% of employees use their smartphone as their primary device
  • we spend 60% of the time away from our desks
  • 50% of companies require employees to supply their own device for work
  • 55% of emails opened on mobile devices
  • 50% workforce will be millennials by 2020.

Your future workforce, the loyalty challenge and team efficiency

BroadSoft’s survey ‘The Future of Work’ finds that information overload, disconnected workflows, fragmented communications, inefficient meetings and projects, cost and complexity are the typical consequences of disconnected content management technologies.

Deloitte’s Millennial Survey for 2018 confirms what the recruiting industry is already dealing with; Australian millennials believe company culture is more important than money. 67% of them will choose a new employer based on a positive work environment, and that’s 15% higher than findings on a global level.

Apparently, millennials are not so loyal either, and they tend to stick around less than two years. Simon Sinek, author and organisational consultant, suggests that loyalty is not a generational thing, but human; everyone wants the same thing from their work environment. But millennials and Gen Z grew up with technology and might be less patient with non-efficient work environments.

Your phone system – the hero of mobile integration and your journey to the cloud?

Looking at all these findings, communicating seamlessly across platforms might be the next thing you will consider. Imagine your small team with a corporate – looking communication platform: text messaging, quick file sharing, switching from a desk phone and office computer to mobile, or just scheduling a video call for participants within or outside your organisation.

There is no difference from the perspective of your clients or customers, as well as your employees; they will have the same expectations and you have the unique opportunity to make your business more collaborative. It might not resolve ‘the loyalty issue’ but just might be the opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss.

Learn more about the opportunities you can get through Managed Voice and why is it easy to add Unified Communications as a Service, or just get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about your options!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennial-survey.html
  2. https://au.pcmag.com/cloud-services/45359/guide/the-best-cloud-storage-and-file-sharing-providers-for-busine
  3. https://www.inc.com/why-do-employees-really-quit-their-jobs-research-says-it-comes-down-to-these-top-8-reasons.html
  4. https://www.comparebusinessproducts.com/phone-systems/pbx/pbx-101/history-of-pbx-phone-systems
  5. BroadSoft, The Future of Work: BroadSoft, A New Era of Mobile Productivity
  6. Access4 Whitepaper – Cloud ISDN

Free Mobile SoftPhone Add-on Available for Executive Users

Based on your feedback and requests, we’ve added mobile functionality (softphone client) to the executive licence at no charge. Please note that that functionality only includes calling and doesn’t include the full feature set of collaboration tools such as My Room and Chat.

Benefits:

1) Provides customer mobility without investing in collaboration
2) Improves customer’s ability to have a single number reach
3) Partners are able to lead with mobile solutions without the need to use collaboration licenses.

Get in touch with your Partner Success Manager today

To enable the product partners will need to login into SASBOSSTM and click on the ‘create all products’ in the service packs menu. This will add a Free Mobile SoftPhone licence to your inventory and then it can be provisioned. Note that for customers to have this functionality, the free mobile softphone needs to be provisioned as an add-on license. This can be used on its own or in conjunction with the free softphone for desktop clients.

Move your customer’s services with no diversion costs during the porting process

The Unified Porting Redirection (UPR) Service is designed to enable the migration of services to Access4’s environment prior to the porting process being completed and removes the complication with legacy porting workarounds. The service provides a single point for redirection of existing Geo Numbers within Australia.

The process effectively strips out the diversion process and delivers the call as if the number was hosted on the Access4 platform. The service doesn’t require any customised settings in SASBOSS nor any temporary numbers or licences.

How it Works

For every call, Access4 receives to the numbers in the Unified Redirection Number matrix, the diversion header which has ‘original called’ number (the number that has redirected the call) is examined against the provisioned numbers in our platform and delivered to the corresponding service.

This process effectively strips out the diversion process and delivers the call as if the number was hosted on the Access4 platform.

Process

1) Initiate port to Access4 as per the standard process.

2) Wait for PNV request to be confirmed and verified, at this point numbers will be added to the DID inventory and be available for allocation.

3) Configure SASBOSS services with correct number allocation.

4) Configure diversion of client numbers as follows:

a) Preference is to arrange Exchange Based Diversion (EBD).

b) Alternatively, if EBD is unavailable, numbers can be diverted from a managed end or PBX as long as the ‘original called’ number is preserved in the redirection signalling.

c) All numbers can be diverted on a ‘many to one’ basis to one of the following region based numbers in the attached matrix.

5. Once the service and diversions are in place, it is the partner’s responsibility to test the redirection is working correctly.

6. In the event calls aren’t terminating to the correct service, please check the SASBOSS service configuration and ensure the ‘original called’ number is present in the signalling prior to lodging a ticket with Access4’s TAC.

7. Once porting is completed and the diversion ceases, no changes need to be made to the SASBOSS services.

Benefits of the UPR service

  • No call costs for diversions during porting
  • Customers can move without waiting for porting to take place
  • Porting happens seamlessly in the background without any partner intervention
  • Prior to implementation, the customers own numbers are assigned to services removing the need to assign/remove dummy numbers during migration
  • Customer will dial out using their advertised numbers
  • The customer can redirect all their numbers to one centralised number allowing for exchange-based diversions. This means that customers can ‘turn off’ the services with the previous carrier.
  • Helpful for customers who have 1 or 1000 numbers.

Managing the Porting Process

In this blog, we’ll describe porting, a key process between carriers when moving one number from one telephony provider to another. It’s a common situation where the customer is with a particular carrier and wants to move services to another provider, in this case, Access4. The process refers to transferring Direct In Dial (DiD) geographical numbers, inbound numbers and international toll-free numbers.

The key to successful porting is following the established process and ensuring accurate information is provided to avoid delays. We advise all our partners to put enough time into reviewing their submission to be sure they can deliver all the required details.

1) Collecting all documents required to support a porting request

Supplying a copy of your client’s latest invoice (not older than 3 months) speeds up the process and allows us and the carrier to work through anomalies without reverting back to you or the client for further information; while we understand that this might be considered as a confidentiality challenge, it allows all parties included to confirm ownership of the number and the complexity of service to avoid any future miscategorization, during the porting process.
Partners are required to have written authority from their customer, authorising them to port on their behalf. By regulation, the losing carrier can challenge the authority, so it’s necessary to have these details stored in the event proof of authority is required.

2) Identifying your numbers category

Before you log a Porting request, you will need to identify which category the number/s belong to. There are three types of porting categories:

 

Category A – A simple PSTN analogue phone on the copper or NBN or SIP number. It can’t have complex services listed for Category C.
Category C – Any PSTN single number that has complex services attached or multiple 10/100/1000 number blocks – if you notice that you are not in the Category A it’s possible that you are Category C. See the table for a full description.
1300/1800 numbers.

What if you are not sure about which category? It’s best to discuss this in advance, so we are happy to help you to define the number category. Once that is done, you can proceed with the next step.

3) Upload a copy of the retail invoice to SASBOSS as part of the porting request.

The timeline after your porting request (step by step guide):

1. Your request received – Access4 receives and submits numbers to gaining carrier on a Porting Authority Form (PAF) with the retail invoice as proof of ownership. Timeline: submitted with 4 business hours.

2. Pending acceptance – The gaining carrier submits porting number validation (PNV) request to the losing carrier and awaits a PNV response. Timeline for Category A: 7 Business Days / Timeline for Category C/1300: 9 business days.

3. Submitted to carrier – Gaining and losing carriers have verified the request through an SNA/CNA and are awaiting port time and date. Numbers are imported into SASBOSS.

4. Verified – Port verified by a losing carrier. At this point, the numbers are automatically inserted into the DiD Inventory and are available for activation and outbound CLID over stamping. Timeline for step 3) and 4): Category A: 7 business days / Category C/1300: 15 business days.

5. Booked – Partner & End Customer have agreed on porting time and date. Timeline for Category A: Between 2-30 business day’s notice required. Timeline for Category C: Between 12-60 business day’s notice required. Porting will be between the 08:00 and 16:00 hours.

6. Completed – The Port has been completed and carrier sends a confirmation to Access4. SASBOSS is updated and the partner is informed via a ticket update. Timeline: Within one hour of commencement.

Note: the client may experience a short outage as the carriers update their routes.

Challenges and most common questions

The biggest challenge faced during porting is the accuracy of the information provided during submission. This includes associated numbers (missing numbers part of a group) and wrongly associated numbers (numbers that need to be disassociated because they don’t belong to the group or customer). If this occurs delays are inevitable and the process effectively starts again.
By selecting the ‘ASAP’ option in the porting machine the process is sped up as we’ll get the opportunity to request the first available date. Both carriers will have to agree that there is a vacant spot in their porting schedule. If the spot is available, the request gets accepted and automatically updated in the system, and visible in the SASBOSS.
Rescheduling charges

Partners can request to move the date but must do so with at least 48 hours notice prior to the scheduled port booking. No charges apply for the first reschedule, but an $80 fee applies for subsequent moves. Some carriers won’t allow more than 2 changes to the porting date, so we request partners manage customer expectations and lock dates in.

Rejection and cancellation charges

Rejection charges apply in the event the port can’t proceed due to misinformation submitted that can’t be resolved with 2 requests from the carrier. Please refer to your price-book for failed/withdrawn porting costs. In the event a partner cancels the port after the batch has been verified, the withdrawn fee applies.

Customer first through passion and processes Innovate, Empower, Partner

According to the Customer Service Institute of Australia, passion and processes are crucial drivers of service excellence represented differently depending on the business type. To manage these two modules successfully, CSIA says companies will need to have them aligned. Access4 is a partner-focused organisation, so our value ‘customers first’ is the key one around which we organise everything we do, how we choose our priorities and even defined our other values to reflect the main one.

While customer focus can be cliché and easy to ‘talk about’, Access4 aligns processes to make customer’s experience a key metric not only for the business but all our staff and our partners. Net Promoter score is our measurement of customer experience as it is our ‘moment of truth’. We manage this through a bi-annual survey to our partners, and to the end customers.

Access4 partners and customer experience

To deliver this customer focus to the end users, our partners also need to demonstrate the same trait in their business. The successful implementation of our products with the end user means not only a good business outcome for our partner but success for us as well. When selecting partners to provide Access4 products to the market, customer experience is a key factor and a material element in all Access4 partner agreements. This is our guarantee that will make Access4 services synonymous with a great customer experience consistently regardless of the partner the end user chooses.

Access4 end users and customer experience

Our solutions are at the forefront of business collaboration delivered by cloud technology, and we know we must work on educating the market.

As a partner-driven business, we invest in market development and lead generation to help our partners succeed. Each partner has their individual goals, set of matching services and products and they will communicate them differently towards the market. We’ll tailor our support accordingly.

The end user is never out of our focus and probably the essence of our passion without us even noticing sometimes – we want to know what they need, how they communicate, we are curious about their industries and their specifics. The more we know and learn the better our partner support will be.

We want to contribute to this wave of improving how people work and live. If we participate in this motion of educating the leaders towards the flexible working mindset, by communicating our product to the market, we believe that the positive energy will spread through organisations. Speaking about that, we just revealed our next favourite value.

 

 

Reduces end-user customer upgrade risk for NBN and 5G

Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) provider, Access4, today announced it has released a Cloud ISDN solution that will allow companies to move away from traditional copper ISDN services without requiring upgrades to an existing PBX or configuration changes.

Access4 Director of Sales and Marketing, Ruy Franco, said that many small businesses are concerned about the closing down of the ISDN network and the impact of NBN and 5G on their business.

“Cloud ISDN from Access4 will allow companies to move their existing PBX without additional investment in cards, to an NBN or 5G network service. They can then upgrade their telephony to the Cloud when it suits them, not when their last mile telecommunication provider changes the technology. Many small businesses are confused by what options new technologies will present for their business and face very real issues that make them cautious about moving their telephone services across to the Cloud at this time. Others may have recently invested in a new PBX or have a desire to better realise their PBX investment to date. They also can see a potential negative impact of a ‘big bang’ transition to Cloud on their business.”

Access4 Cloud ISDN customers can opt to deploy a Hosted PBX or Cloud UC from one user to all users, at any time, or create a hybrid system with some users on the existing PBX and some in the Cloud. All users in the business can share the same number range and even have internal calling capabilities. Franco said,

“This allows companies to test Cloud PBX in their environment and migrate to new technology at their own pace, with no need for a big bang transition away from their current phone system. In this way, Access4 Cloud ISDN acts as a bridging technology that takes all the hassles and worries out of the equation.”

Access4 installs an Internet-based ISDN service, and an onsite device to monitor Internet connection quality. If the Internet link is not capable of supporting voice, the service can be cancelled. The service uses the onsite device to pass through calls to the existing ISDN service to ensure there are no issues with call quality or dropouts.

“With Access4, as your business requirements change, you can add UCaaS managed endpoints to the solution. You can migrate single users or groups at a time when you want additional features, such as mobile or collaboration features, or when a handset becomes inoperable and needs to be replaced by a SIP handset,” said Franco. When you are ready to decommission the PBX, you can migrate the existing users to Cloud PBX and UCaaS services. As the phone numbers are in the service provider network already, no porting or downtime is required. You can then disconnect the ISDN service and decommission your PBX,” he concluded.

Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) provider, Access4, today announced it has signed managed services provider Viatek Technology Pty Ltd and launched its integration of Microsoft Office 365 Active Directory (‘Office 365 AD’).

Access4 Director of Sales & Marketing, Ruy Franco, said that the Viatek partnership was a great example of Access4’s capability, agility and why the company chose to invest in its own platform and build systems internally such as SASBOSS™.

“Viatek needed a UCaaS solution that would allow them to quickly and easily scale services up and down, particularly for mid-market customers and some enterprise applications. In addition, they had recognised a need for Office 365 AD integration. We could see the strategic importance of this investment and so we built a seamless integration from our provisioning system SASBOSS™ to Office 365 AD, tested it with Viatek as our lead partner, and then refined it from their feedback,” said Franco.

Access4’s new Office 365 AD integration is the latest response to the market’s demand for the implementation of collaborative tools. Office 365 is built around flexibility and work-flow of different user profiles, which naturally complement UC solutions.

SASBOSS™ provisioning portal provides Office 365 customers with an authorisation link to create a trusted relationship between the two platforms. With it, customers can provision, manage and operate all their users across the business from one place in Office 365. If a company adds a user in Office 365 AD, it will add a UC service and the partner/customer can fully provision that service within minutes including automated handset configuration. SASBOSS will also import the company’s global address book making those contacts available on all users’ handsets (handset device dependant).

Franco said, “That means a partner can deliver a 100-200 seat organisation in one day. No more manual data entry, no human error and no manual duplication of user data in multiple systems.”

James Veness, Sales Director, Viatek said, “We’re excited to be partnering with Access4 as its UC solutions and ethos perfectly complement our ‘customer-first’ focus. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Viatek has deep experience in Office 365 migration and support. We recognised a real need in the market for Cloud PBX solutions with Office 365 AD integration, and we are looking forward to working with Access4 to solve this problem for customers in a cost-effective, low touch way. Viatek is committed to providing customers with high performance, user-centric solutions helping them embed operational agility and responsiveness into their business. Our software-defined approach across networking, cloud, threat defence – and now UC, ensures our customers reap the rewards of faster provisioning, flawless user experience and 24/7 support.”

Design + code by Jalapeno Creative.

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