We have just released our latest installer for babblevoice Desktop for Windows. It can be found at https://www.babblevoice.com/files. Existing installs will attempt to update if they have permission to do so.
So, what’s new?
Automation This is the official release which supports automation. Use Lua to create Workflows to improve call handling in your business.
EMIS automation The default script we include is an example which integrates with EMIS Web from EMIS Health.
Every so often I get the chance to sit in front of users who try and click their way around my software. It is only then do I realise the amount of pain I have inflicted upon my users! (Of course this was never my intention).
As part of my research I have come up with some nice tweaks which hopefully will help with making our users working lives just a little bit easier.
So this comes up every so often. “Why do you use Google to log in?”, “What data do you send to them” and “Why can’t you just use a normal user name and password like everyone else”.
Data Just by logging in via Google, we do not send them any data out of babblevoice. Think of Google as the passport service to babblevoice. You identify yourself to Google (using an email address and password) and Google says to us ‘yes - that’s Bob’.
How many times have you called a company and before you can get through to speak with someone, you have to enter your account details, go through a long list of options only to get through to an agent who doesn’t know who you are or anything about the options you selected on the way in.
Telephony integration is tricky. TAPI was introduced by Intel and Microsoft in 1993 but never gained much traction (most phone system manufacturers implemented their bit but most contact software vendors did not - in fact Microsoft themselves did quite a poor job in Outlook).
Sometimes the simpler ideas are the good ones.
We have been asked a few times now, how do I update my records (patient with a new phone number, for example) when it doesn’t screen pop the patient.
The new number isn’t in your system (EMIS) so babblevoice Desktop cannot look up your caller. With the best will in the world you now have to look up the patients details.
Now, when you find the correct patient, edit their details, simply ctrl-v in the phone number field as we automatically copy the caller id from the phone call you just took.
Introduction You may have noticed Polycom, our preferred phone manufacturer, has discontinued the original model (SoundPoint) with a new one (VVX).
It seems like a good time to discuss upgrading users of SoundPoint phones as well as a good strategy to replace phones.
Gone are the days when you purchased your phones and phone system together. Take out a large lease plan to pay for it all etc. Now the only items you need to own are the phones on your desk - and these have become almost a throw away item.
If you have tried to print for babblevibes you may have not had much success.
This is because it was originally designed for wall board use. But we had a few requests to make it printable. We have just released an update which makes it printable.
So if you tried in the past and failed, if you try again now you should be good to go.
Important - please read If you are a user of a Polycom phone (and a lot of babblevoice users are) then this will be important to you. This only effects users of the newer VVX range of phones. Older Polycom phones (SoundPoint) will not receive this update - and we would highly recommend you review upgrading to VVX phones to ensure continuing trouble free communications. Implementing a rolling upgrade plan is often an affordable way to stay up to date with equipment in your office - but this is another subject.
Introduction We have just taken the decision to disable 2 features by default on Polycom phones. This is because we are seeing a high rate of tickets raised on our helpdesk where the root cause of the problem is one of these features has been enabled by a user. The problem is it upsets call flows, callers calls silently sit in queues with no phone ringing or Polycom phones attempt to forward calls in queues somewhere else - which queues refuse to do - so the calls just get stuck unable to be answered.
Heather has been with babblevoice for around 5 years now - you might consider her to be a long standing employee. But, whilst we are getting rid of her, we won’t need to pay redundancy, or pension or any other goodwill payments.
Why? Because Heather is our Scottish Text to Speech Engine. She has done well for us. A few clients having a chuckle at her expense as she fluffed up a few words here and there.
Over the last year we have received quite a few requests on updates to our EMIS integration. We have released these updates bit by bit, so it is probably overdue that we wrote a blog post itemising the most interesting.
EMIS Max appointments When a caller calls in through to the automated appointment booking, when they select the option to book a new appointment it can now check how many current appointments they have already.
We are pleased to announce support for 2 new phones from the manufacturer VTech. Adding these phones to our supported range of phones add some nice features.
VSP726A The main selling point for this phone is a built in DECT base station. This makes this phone the cheapest and simplest solution for a wireless headset.
VSP608A If you have rooms or areas in your building with no network ports and all you need is a simple phone at that location then this is the desk phone for your.
We have just released a new feature in our EMIS plugin - specifically in the IVR.
You can enforce a patient is only offered appointments for their registered GP or a member of that GP’s team. This fits surgeries who want to offer named GP services and it also fits multi site surgeries where a team of GPs would be present at a specific site.
Any questions please speak to our support team.
At babblevoice we have a few goals which we strive for. These are:
Lowest total cost of ownership of any phone system Most flexible/largest toolset available out of any phone system Highest quality out of any phone system Although this does lead to some challenges for us, sometimes the first point conflicts with the final point - so we have to decide which is more important - in this case quality trumps price.
This year we have put a lot of work into babblevoice Desktop. It has a complete new look and feel and it’s structure has changed. There is also now a full web version which can run in your browser.
We have just introduced a new feature in babblevoice Desktop - call lists. This allows you to create a list of people you wish to call, then sequentially work through that list.
Our statistics vibe just received a little love. We have added 2 new statistics you may find useful. Both of these new features can be found in the statistics vibe in your babblevibes dashboard. Simply add the statistic vibe to a board and in the vibe’s options look for the stat: Call Costs or Auto Attendants.
Call spend Call spend by device was tracked in this vibe from the beginning.
We have been spending quite a lot of time recently on upgrading some rather large chunks of babblevoice. This has meant some of the niggles in babblevoice haven’t been addressed - even though they shouldn’t have taken too much time to put into place.
This is one of those.
The outbound caller ID is configurable through our console. But, if you normally want a caller ID displayed when making an outbound call, occasionally you may not - and vice versa.
Hopefully, you may have noticed some updates at babblevoice. We finally went live with our new console and it is now the default console when logging in.
This took around 2 years of development, which took all the good stuff from version 1 but looked at all the ways which were painful and improved upon them. The rules editor, specifically, has changed a lot which we hope has made it easier for you to write call rules.
You would have thought queueing technology is simple. Create a queue, push your callers into that queue then have a team of users which then pick up those calls. Simple!
Not so! At babblevoice, we introduced our queues a few years ago. So far they met the needs of most of our users. Most of our users replaced phone systems which used very simple technology. For example, small and medium-sized businesses which had restricted number of phone lines coming into their offices (they may have had 4 agents working, but they only had 8 lines in and out the business - this scenario is not uncommon even where there are offices with more than a 100 staff).
As well as developing babblevoice, we have to ensure that features we think up are communicated to you. So we have some updates to our online documents for you.
Some domain settings can now be configured for outbound dialling, Our simple pattern matching spec has been published. This is used in inbound call filtering and now allows you to configure outbound call filters (as per my previous bullet point).
I am going to be talking about this for a while for the foreseeable future. Mainly because of the amount of hard work we have put into it! But also because we hope it makes it easier for you to configure and manage your babblevoice setup.
My last blog post was regarding the new rules editor. I have been using it personally when writing my own call rules - and I think it is much easier to use than the last version.
Migrating to the cloud for your phone system means you maybe placing more emphasis on your broadband connection on needing to be available. Actually, going to the cloud for this type of service means, for many reasons, that overall it is more reliable. But if you have an office with users on the phone there are things you can do to ensure your staff can provide a good service. Some babblevoice users put 2 connections into an office for increased redundancy (you can’t do that with ISDN!
Parking is a feature of a lot of phone systems, but we never got round to implementing it becuase frankly the transfer on all the phones we recomend works really well.
But recently we received requests from a number of users who need to be able to handle multiple calls at once, more than the transfer feature on even the largest of business phones, and be able to move the calls around the business without always the recipient being able to take the call.
babblevoice is all grown up. The first console has been used for 5+ years. Things have moved on on the Web, so we have been working hard making use of new technology. We decided to rewrite our console (the bit which allows you to configure your phone system your way). We set out with the goals:
Mobile device support, simpler to use, nicer to look at! See for yourself - a little sneak preview focusing on the Rules editor.
When I first saw this phone’s picture I had to get one. Finally, a company who got it. A modern, fresh design, all screen - with smart functionality. But in the end a disappointment.
The Phone I have been a proponent of moving to VOIP but maintaining the traditional phone on the desk (Polycom, Yealink, Cisco etc) as from a user’s perspective - it just works. Softphones are great, but a lot of users have problems with them, or the computer is not quite up to the job.
If you are lucky enough to work in an office or surgery which is newer than 5 years old then this article will be of no use for you. For buildings which are older than this, you might find it useful to read on.
In the olden days (which is what my children refer to my childhood as!) commercial buildings were wired to power things, phone sockets for phones and CAT5 for computers (well actually, there were some predecessors to CAT5 - but we don’t need to go into that in this article).
babblevoice has been around for a few years now, the technologies we chose to deliver our service 5 years are no longer correct for today.
We have grown in customer size and count and hope to continue, as part of this we would like to become even more efficient, even more green, Software and ideas for web technologies have changed enormously, Security is a continuing concern. As part of these ongoing concerns we have reviewed our documentation site (the Wiki), our main web site (which we publish our updates on and how you log onto the console).
When you move to babblevoice you’d love to bring your number and we love to help you out
Unlike mobile phone porting, which is straightforward, (just get a PAC code off your existing provider pass this to your new provider and everything will be sorted), we have to know all about your numbers, whether you want them ported or not, and then of course there’s the obligatory kidney required!
You may have direct dial ranges, there maybe associated numbers to the main number, are they multiline (on an existing PBX) or a collection of single line numbers, they may be faxes / or alarm line numbers.
Over the Christmas break we noticed that the bins were getting rather full (mainly with wrapping paper – the children have been good this year so Santa was rather generous). So time to send in the happy young children, balance them precariously on top of the bin and ask them to jump up and down a few times. This produced unbelievable results, the bin was now only a third full. Which gave us an idea.
As we’re coming into the holiday period we’ve got a short blog post this week to say a very big thank you to everyone associated with babblevoice. It’s been an amazing year with some extraordinary new features released of which we’re very proud. We very much hope you like them. To all our new resellers and customers, welcome to the babblevoice family and we hope you’re getting everything you want from babblevoice.
We have done everything we can to make babblevoice as easy to use as possible however it is also a highly sophisticated product with a great many powerful features. To help you get started as quickly and easily as possible we’ve put together this quick start guide which we hope will help.
babblevoice is a hosted business phone system which means that we look after all of the equipment for you except your handsets and Internet connection.
After a couple of years of organic development it was time to review and tidy up our Netvibes Gadgets. We chose Netvibes as our reporting engine as we recognised that babblevoice Data was not your complete world. Netvibes allows you to look at data from all over the Web. It is a company and personalised dashboarding web site which can help with:
Brand monitoring – to track clients, customers and competitors across media sources all in one place, analyze live results with 3rd party reporting tools, and provide media monitoring dashboards for brand clients, e-reputation management – to visualize real-time conversations and social activity feeds, and track new trending topics, product marketing – to create interactive product microsites, with drag-and-drop publishing interface, community portals – to engage online communities, personalized workspaces – to gather all essential company updates to support specific divisions (e.
Managing the costs in your business is fundamental to its profitability. The first thing you need in order to manage costs is information. For this reason and because it has been requested by users we are pleased to announce an updated version of the “Reporting by Device” gadget for the babblevoice reporting platform Netvibes. The major changes to the gadget include
Reporting on cost (i.e. money spent) per device* Access to more historical data (currently 30 days) By installing the gadget twice you can now compare cost from one period to another The API has been updated to reflect these changes * note that data collection for this gadget started at the beginning of November.
Today we are delighted to announce babblevoice desktop – a utility designed to make it even easier to use the phone you already have!
Whereas most commentators view a Voice over IP phone system as simply cheaper calls it can truly be so much more. To our mind VoIP is about business efficiency and effective business communications. For example, a common question is how many lines can I have? As those familiar with babblevoice know this question is no longer relevant as there is no real limit.
If you can say one thing about babblevoice it’s the extraordinary amount of value it generates. Having a great hosted business phone system that is easy to use and is configured in English is valuable. Having an exciting range of traditional and futuristic telephony features as well as a modern API is valuable. Where babblevoice generates unrivalled value, however, in having the lowest total cost of ownership.
The quick and dirty way to compare phone system is to compare the call rate i.
babblevoice recently attended the EMIS National User Group conference in Nottingham to launch the babblevoice for primary care link to EMIS Web. At the conference we were able to highlight the two key factors why surgeries are choosing babblevoice for primary care as their practice phone system; namely cost and patient access.
On average, GP surgeries are saving 50% of the total cost of their monthly phone bill by switching to babblevoice.
Because babblevoice is a prepay phone system the invoicing process works in the same way as your utility bill. On a pay-monthly mobile phone bill, for example, you spend a month incurring call charges and then, at the end of the month, you receive an invoice. In principle, babblevoice works in exactly the same way except that you pay for the invoice in advance. When you pay at the end of the month you are receiving credit which you pay for via line rentals or some other charge.
We are always looking for new ways to give our users the best experience possible. One of the ways we do this is by integrating babblevoice with third party products with which you are already familiar. The latest product we are working with is Microsoft Outlook. To accomplish the level of integration we want, we need to run our software on your machine. This gives us a great opportunity for you to try one of our new products, babblevoice desktop for Windows which can be downloaded by following the link.
Today we are delighted to announce babblevoice for primary care.
When the purchase costs and maintenance costs of a surgery phone system are added to the general running costs, an average surgery in the UK spends £750 per month on their phone system*. Surgeries using babblevoice report a nearly 70% saving on their phone costs as well as benefiting from a useful array of new and exciting features. As a hosted phone system there are no maintenance, support or upgrade fees to pay as well as no line rental costs.
Ask any administrator or engineer tasked with rolling out another large babblevoice installation and they’ll tell you that the most valuable feature to them is Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP). ZTP allows you to configure a phone without having to physically touch it which saves you the trouble of visiting each desk at your installation site. For more details please see this earlier blog post on the details of ZTP. Until now we have only supported ZTP for Polycom phones but now we are happy to announce that we support ZTP for Yealink phones too.
You may wish to get help or support with your babblevoice installation for a large number of different reasons, it doesn’t necessarily have to be because something is wrong. New babblevoice features are being released on a regular basis and sometimes babblevoice is changed or upgraded to stay on the leading-edge of hosted business applications.
Whatever reason you have for wanting help or support your first port of call is your reseller.
babblevoice now supports a new range of Polycom phones; namely the VVX 300 and 400 series. These are high-quality and cost effective phones that will handle moderate to high call volume with all the advanced telephony features you have come to expect. The VVX range offers two new features over the current IP range, namely a beautiful colour screen and the ability to handle a Gigabit network. The colour screen gives the phone a professional and high-tech feel and we know you’ve been asking for Gigabit support for some time.
Yet again a feature request has been made by you, our babblevoice community, for a feature that will benefit everyone. And yet again, babblevoice has swung into action and developed, tested and released the requested feature free of charge. The feature in question this time is the ability to handle calls differently depending on who’s calling. The most common use for this feature will be to block nuisance or unwanted calls.
Babblevoice is a hosted business phone system that provides all the benefits of an office phone system (and more) at a fraction of the cost. So how is this possible?
We designed and developed it Arguably the best thing about babblevoice is that we wrote the software that makes it work. We’re not reselling someone else’s system. This is a good thing because it means we can adapt babblevoice to suit you and your business rather than you and your business needing to adapt to suit a proprietary phone system.
As we are a VoIP provider it is important to us to verify the quality of advice and support we give and so what could be better than having Certified VoIP engineers. To that end we have teamed up with the SIP School to put our engineers through the SIP School certification program. The SIP School is the only body that has a recognised qualification in voice and is supported by many partners such as Yealink, NEC, Panasonic, Nimans, Avaya, Broadsoft, Bell, AT&T, Gamma, Snom and 3CX to name but a few.
babblevoice is a hosted VoIP business telephone switchboard but what does that mean anyway and what’s the big deal? The fact that babblevoice is hosted brings a tremendous number of benefits with it, more than there is time to list in this blog post. Hosted means that you don’t need any equipment in your office to use babblevoice. You don’t need to find space for a black box, you don’t need to provide it with power, you can’t damage it and nobody need visit your office to fix it.
One of the ways in which we keep costs down is by not offering credit. Keeping your domain in credit means that nobody has to pay for any bad debt. There are two ways to keep your account in credit. You can use PayPal to add funds whenever your balance runs low. To be sure you never run out of credit you can create a call rule which will send you a text reminder when your balance falls below your chosen level.
They called it ‘mobilegeddon‘! Google changed their search algorithm (again) to favour sites that provide a flexible look and feel. Flexible, in this context, means that the site works and looks good on a device of any size. As you probably know we are rather familiar with making changes in response to moves by Google. You may recall Google retiring Google gadgets and Google checkout and who can forget that fun we had with Google checkout and calendar.
babblevoice has supported the Polycom VVX range of phones for some time now. But apart from pulling them out of their boxes to go through our accreditation procedure, we haven’t actually spent time getting to know them that well. The Polycom Soundpoint range of phones have been our bread and butter for quite some time; is that likely to change in the future?
For a lot of our customers, the Soundpoint 321⁄331 has been the phone of choice.
You may have heard the term Quality of Service (QoS) bandied around a lot lately but not been sure what it means, how it can help or what it costs. This blog post will define the term and tell you everything you need to know about QoS.
In the simplest possible terms, QoS gives priority to one type of traffic on your network over another. We do this to get more reliable telephone conversations on busy networks.
In this week’s blog we are announcing a new feature which you may find useful called Tannoy. The Tannoy feature is a “public address” (PA) or “Emergency Broadcast” facility for your phone system. It allows a user to broadcast a message to all the chosen extensions simultaneously and without the recipient having to answer their phone.
There are a number of scenarios where a Tannoy feature could be useful. For example, you need the company first aider urgently but don’t know where (s)he is.
As discussed in a previous blog posts called Google and babblevoice, Google like to constantly update the services they offer which very much keeps us on our toes. Luckily for you and us Google chose to give some advanced notice before removing Google Wallet. Today we are pleased to announce that individual payments can now be made with PayPal.
PayPal is the largest online payments provider and certainly the best known provider in the world.
Collecting phones into groups can be very useful and a big time-saver. If you want a collection of phones to ring at the same time then creating a group allows you to have one simple rule to make this happen. Perhaps, you want all the phones in the sales department to ring when someone calls the sales line for example. However, what happens if one phone in the group has setup call forwarding or ‘do not disturb’ on the phone itself i.
It’s time for yet another one of our Top Tips series. This week’s entry comes from the head of our support department, the much esteemed, James Palmer. Whenever you have a problem with babblevoice it’s someone on James’s team that will swing into action and sort it out for you. Most of James’s work, however, involves monitoring the health of the babblevoice network and running preventative maintenance measures. Everyday he checks the health of the servers that manage your calls and makes sure that everything is running smoothly.
This is a copy of a post made about Google to the support forum.
You may be aware that, on the whole, we love Google. Their products and their leadership have a dramatic impact on the services we deliver through babblevoice.
But recently there has been some disruption.
Google are making one of their gigantic moves again. There has been a sweeping move to tidy up products, moving product APIs to their new V3 API – which is how we integrate with Google.