Happy Christmas from babblevoice We are all getting close to Christmas and most people I know deserve a good break. I think that is especially true of most people reading this post. As there is one week to go, we thought we would get this update released to help spread a little Christmas spirit.
We now have a selection of default Music On Hold to make it easier to change your music on hold.
Intro We are pleased to announce 2 new features just released (and rolling out across our network now).
Desktop Web Pop Babblevoice Desktop now has an option to open another web page to allow integration with other web site. You may want to open a web page for your CRM system and search for the phone number you just received a call from, or simply open a Google Form to fill out more information about the call you just took.
We have been tweaking and tidying babblevoice Desktop this month.
Combined View We have added another view. If you manage multiple queues it can be tricky to view which call needs answering next. You have to look at queue 1 - how old is the oldest call in that queue, then look at queue 2… And so on.
In the combined view we have moved the statistics to the top of the screen, then all of the queues in all queues are placed underneath in order.
Intro We are pleased to announce our accreditation to ISO 27001:2013 and externally audited by QMS International. This is to show our commitment to the highest standards of security our clients demand from us.
Intro Some phones offer the ability to display the state of another extension - is it on the phone or not. This is known as presence. As part of our provisioning system, we configure Polycom phones for presence (depending on the model). Up until now all phones which supported presence (in the Polycom range) will configure for all other extensions. This is changing.
Configuring a phone to subscribe to all other phones has some shortfalls, so in order to improve the flexibility for our customers, this can now be configured under the Polycom tab in a device’s settings.
We are really pleased to announce our integration with SystmOne from TPP has been approved by IM1 (NHS Digital) and TPP.
It provides a very similar feature set to our EMIS integration.
Click to dial from SystmOne, Screen popping of potential patients when you take a phone call, IVR to allow patients to book, cancel, remind and check in for appointments. The functionality can be found in babblevoice Desktop babblevoice Desktop as a plugin.
This idea came from one of our users. So thank you for that!
Because there is now a drive to reduce touch points when a patient has to come into a surgery, self service check in touch screens are a problem in that they encourage different patients to touch the same surface.
We have always had the check in feature in our IVR - but up until now, most of our users questioned why it is in the IVR at all.
We have been a little quiet recently. That is mainly because we have been working on some larger projects. This blog announces 3 of those features soon to be released.
Virtual Waiting Room Desktop Update Video Virtual Waiting Room The waiting room is designed to simplify the process of speaking with a patient via video. Helping the patient prepare for when a medical professional is ready to speak with them prior to the appointment.
Occasionally we make updates to the Windows part of babblevoice Desktop. Over the years we have struggled to get EMIS integration (click to dial) just right. Or as some might say, not quite delicious!
The reason for not achieving perfection is EMIS not supplying details of the currently selected patient in a timely fashion. We attempted to get round that using our automation module. This has had mixed results - but because of how EMIS works was not 100% reliable.
We are pleased to announce support for another Android based softphone Sipnetic.
We have added a simple way for you to configure configure this software.
Install the software from Google Play Run it for the first time and select configure from QR Code Log into the babblevoice console Either create a new device (under devices) or edit the one you wish to configure for this client Click the tab QR Code Scan the QR Code using Sipnetic from your Android smartphone If you have any questions please contact us.
The babblevoice team are working around the clock to support all of our customers during this crisis. Much of our time has been spent helping staff to migrate from their surgery or office to their home. As you will understand, the manufacturing of the equipment necessary for you to work from home stopped three weeks ago and now national stock levels of this equipment is about to run out (and may have already done so).
We normally shy away from softphones. This is because they can be a little more trouble than they are worth. Settings can be played with, other computer programs hog all of the processing power of the computer leaving nothing for the softphone. So they tend to lead to lots of requests to our helpdesk because they simply break too easily.
We have to help our users get from the the work environment to the home environment.
We have been provided with a stock message based on information from the South West London Primary Care Team. We hope this is useful to other surgeries who are reviewing the messages they are playing to patients.
Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP Practice if you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature. You are advised to stay at home for 7 days.
The direction of the advice and how surgeries are now responding to the Coronavirus pandemic is now set on a course. We thought it was time we would look at the way surgeries are so far responding to the outbreak and what we have been doing and in turn can advise all of you via this blog update.
Like a lot of organizations, isolation including limiting staff contact with both patients and each other is how all surgeries we have spoken with are handling this stage of the outbreak.
Intro One of the tasks of setting up a phone system is to configure your auto attendant. You know - the bit where a patient calls your surgery and they hear “Thank you for calling Canal Side Surgery, please dial one to use our automated services or two to speak with reception”.
Now, you may have gathered, whilst we provide text to speech to make creating a prompt easily, we are not a huge fan of them - mainly because, as good as our text to speech engine is, callers know what it is.
Intro A lot of surgeries (indeed, businesses in general) tend to have peak times for callers to call. We now have a large collection of tools to help deal with this problem. From queues which allow calls to stack up where callers receive their queue position, through to tools within babblevoice Desktop to help manage the queue. And then of course our reporting suite babble Vibes which indicates problems, helps you to manage staff and staffing levels.
We have been tweaking and tidying babblevoice Desktop this month.
Updates It’s a difficult balance between not annoying you - but gently providing information on new developments, new ideas and so on. The new news icon will glow green when there is a blog released which you have not seen yet.
Queue Alerting Under config, there is a new button.
This takes you into a new section for queue alerting.
Intro For all surgeries or organizations who use call queues to handle a volume of inbound calls it can be difficult keeping wait times down at all times. Sometimes the quiet times can be more problematic than busy times. For example, Monday morning - we expect a high volume of calls - so we staff it appropriately, its when we are not sat waiting for calls which can sometimes be a problem.
Feedback. As you have probably already seen, we have recently added a feedback widget. Thanks for all the feedback that has already been left. We would also really like you to leave a comment in the notes with your feedback so that we can see specifically what you do and don’t like. If you would like us to contact you regarding your feedback then also please leave your contact details - don’t be shy!
Intro More and more users are using babblevibes on large screens to help drive team performance in call centres. We wanted to highlight a good option of displaying Vibes on a large screen in the office.
A lot of users buy a large screen/TV and plug a dedicated computer into that screen. This has issues though:
The cost of a dedicated computer is not small Changing the screen or getting it setup in the morning can be fiddly Instead, what works well and on a reasonable budget is Google Chromecast.
Hotdesking babblevoice Desktop now supports hotdesk feature. This is a simple but useful feature in environments where phones are not assigned to a specific user. Users do not need to change the way they work to use this feature.
When a user logs into babblevoice Desktop and registers to use a phone (‘My Phone’ in Desktop options) the user is now registered to be using this phone. There is a simple rule: a user can only be registered to 1 phone and 1 phone can only be registered to 1 user.
Intro Some small and large updates to Vibes.
Looks We have increased the width of Vibe’s boards - allowing you to get either more information squeezed in or make your information more visible further away!
Bar Chart (and its sibling Time Chart) have had an update to our graphing software which present data in a more modern way.
The height of Statistics Vibe can now be adjusted.
User Statistics Report In conjunction with babblevoice Desktop, the Statistics Vibe now includes data on user statistics.
Data Security and Protection Toolkit Publication We are pleased to announce babblevoice has just completed the requirements under NHS Digital Data Security and Protection Toolkit and we have published our results.
As a company offering cloud services, we spend a lot of time ensuring our security and management of sensitive information is up to high standards. We continuously review our work against new threats and standards.
Working towards NHS Digital published standards is one of the many activities we undertake in this effort and an important one.
Introduction One of the many tasks we have to do you hopefully do not even think about is performing software upgrades to ensure as secure a system as possible.
We have just performed some large updates:
Google open id - we have just simplified our software and removed integration with G+ (inline with Google’s drive to shutdown G+). You shouldn’t spot any difference when logging in. Oauth 1a. We have made the decision to move away and move towards the much simplified version 2.
We have had a few requests to improve how a statistics vibe can look at data. The original method takes a rolling view of data based around the current time.
When you create a Vibe which shows the last weeks worth of abandoned you end up with a chart where the end time is now and the graph charts data going back a week.
Some user like this, for others it can be a little confusing.
When handling a number of agents who take inbound calls into a call centre there is a requirement to ensure that the whole team is supporting each other. We have other Vibes which can report on items such as how much time a phone has been connected for the day. But the new lazy agent is a live view of how long a phone has been idle for (how long since it was last on a call).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Allow your users and prospects to login to babblevoice from your website
As a reseller of babblevoice, how great would it be to let your babblevoice users login to babblevoice from your website! By allowing your customers and prospect to login to the babblevoice console from your website you
Provide your users with a truly seamless service. Your providing the support, it makes sense they come to you to login too.
It’s been 5 years since the introduction of the babblevoice API. The API was introduced right from the start of babblevoice. We felt that the data we generate and store on your behalf was your data, so providing access was paramount. More importantly not only providing access, but doing it with style – so that your applications can use it – not just the likes of MS Excel.
For the uninitiated an API (Application Programming Interface), is simply a defined way that you can retrieve information from our system.