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FAQs

Find answers to popular questions below.

  • What is unified communications?

    Unified communications (or UC as it's sometimes called) is a set of products and systems that provides a single, unified user experience across multiple devices.

    Nowadays frequently cloud-based, unified communications involves the integration of communication services such as call centres, instant messaging, voice, mobility features, audio, web and video conferencing, desktop sharing, data sharing and more.

  • What are the key benefits of unified communications?

    Streamlining hybrid working 

    Traditional systems can't provide employees with the flexibility they need to work remotely. Microsoft Teams has all of the tools you need to make the transition from office to remote working effortless.  

    Secure communications 

    As remote work becomes more common, concerns regarding security and compliance increase. The benefit of using cloud-based service providers is greater accountability, as you’re able to monitor phone system usage in real time and store recording securely.  

    Lower cost 

    When you combine all of your tools into one unified platform, you can reduce the number of bills you get from different providers, minimise back-end management and improve efficiency. 

    Better customer experience 

    Poor customer experiences often start with challenges employees face with technology. With fully unified communications, you can eradicate this problem and create a smooth and optimal customer experience.  

    Why do we recommend Microsoft Teams for your unified communications?

    Microsoft Teams is arguably the biggest collaboration platform in the world (with around 250 million monthly active users). In our opinion, Microsoft Teams offers an unrivalled combination of productivity tools, convenient integrations, and business phone options.

    But what about... The hassle? 

    That’s why we exist. Conversant will do all of the hard work for you. Our process starts with an audit exploring where you are now and where we think you should be, as well as a clear migration strategy. We can keep things running smoothly and make the transition as seamless as possible.  

    Staff adoption?  

    We offer continual support and training that will ensure each and every member of the business is fully educated on how the system works. This includes training employees on new features and capabilities as they are added. 

    VoIP Performance? 

    When VoIP was originally introduced in the late 90s, users often experienced terrible sound quality and regular cut-outs, largely as a result of poor internet speeds. This is no longer the case.    

    Broadband has come a long way since then, so any issues that existed with VoIP quality in the past no longer occur. Most buildings now have high speed fibre optic networks – even homes – and so you can be confident that performance won’t be an issue.  

  • Can I use my own SIP trunk?

    Yes, you can. See Additions.

  • Can I buy my own devices (handsets, headsets etc.)?

    Yes, you can - although our solution is compatible with most devices, please check before. Click here*Link to devices page*to see list of compatible devices we offer.

  • Is the solution secure?

    Yes, we secure each individual deployment with a dedicated firewall. We can also provide IP specific connection to your instances, as well as site to site VPNs.

  • Can I port my numbers to you?

    Yes, we can help you port your numbers to us.

  • How long does the setup take?

    Once your order has been processed by your account manager, your instance should be ready within 24-48 hours max.

  • Do you offer on-premise solutions?

    Only on-demand.

  • Do you have a backup solution?

    Yes, daily backups are done for each individuals instance.

  • Who can become a partner?

    Any company wishing to offer Telephony and Unified Communications to their clients - the profile of our partners ranges from MSPs and IT solutions providers to Telecoms and cost reductions analysts.

  • Is there any cost to becoming a partner?

    No, there’s no cost at all for partnering up with us. You only pay a monthly fee for the instances you deploy.

  • Why should I become a partner?

    All market indications show the growth of the Unified Communication solutions and the migration to the Cloud. Without any CAPEX nor outlay, Emerald is the solution to have for expanding your customers based and adding a new revenue stream.

  • Who provides support?

    For your own clients, you will be their first line of support, while we will be your first line of support - we help you with everything related to our Emerald solution, from pre-sales advice to hardware and software related issues.

  • Can I migrate my existing clients to you?

    Yes, you can - whether you’re currently using a Public Cloud or have on-premise deployments, we can help you migrate your clients to our secure, private cloud solution

  • Do I need to hire additional personnel?

    No, we take care of everything in the background so regardless of how many clients you gain, you do not have to hire nor training any additional personnel.

  • Do you offer training and sales advice?

    Yes, we do offer our partners training, pre-sales advice and post-sales support. All that is part of our Emerald solution.

  • What Office 365 applications can I use to make calls?

    Although we are optimised for Microsoft Teams, we can also help with Skype for Business.

  • Does this work for international calls?

    Yes - Although it's worth making that clear when setting up.

  • How do I get set up?

    Set up is simple for our customers! We do all the work by bringing your Microsoft Teams onto our platform and enable the option for you to use Microsoft Teams as your telephone system.

  • Can employees still use their telephones and headsets?

    Yes you can. You won't need to purchase any extra hardware and can continue operating in the same process but is done through Microsoft Teams rather than your telephone provider.

  • Who can partner?

    If you currently offer Microsoft Teams or are looking to add this to your services for an additional revenue stream. We make it simple!

  • How do clients get set up?

    You will need to ensure that your customer is first set up with the relevant Office 365 licences. We then put your client on our dedicated Microsoft Teams server and do all the work in the background in enabling voice. We make it simple for you and your customer!

  • Do you sell Office 365 licences?

    No. We work on an BYOL (Bring your own licence) model.

  • Can I migrate my existing customers?

    If your customers already are set up with Office 365, migrating to our service is simple - We do all the work!

  • Where do I find call recording?

    Call recording is a vital element of telephony services for many organisations, especially medical, legal and financial. It is a specialist service offered by voice communications companies such as us at Conversant Technology. It is generally an integration which runs off an organisation’s main voice service. On mobile phones, this may simply refer to the ability to press record during a call, but this is for personal rather than professional use.

  • Is call recording legal/a legal requirement?

    Call recording is a legal requirement in certain situations, hence the message you often hear at the start of a call saying ‘calls will be recorded for training and monitoring purposes’. Organisations recording calls are legally obliged to let the caller know. What is illegal is to share the content of a call to third parties without the caller’s express consent.

  • How far do phone records go back?

    For example, within the financial industry, call recordings must be legally kept for at least five years after the call date. In the majority of cases, however, call recording data is kept anywhere from 30 days to 6 months before being transferred to the server or deleted. In financial services, the minimum is generally six months.

  • How long should call recordings be kept?

    For example, within the financial industry, call recordings must be legally kept for at least five years after the call date. In the majority of cases, however, call recording data is kept anywhere from 30 days to 6 months before being transferred to the server or deleted. In financial services, the minimum is generally six months.

  • How much does call recording cost?

    Professional call recording is not free. The cost will depend on the number of minutes bought per user per month, and the level of service included. Call recording can include many services including translation, transcription, on-off recording, search and filter, time-stamping; on-demand, selective and look-back recording; live monitoring, multi-site call recording and fine-grain privilege access. However, on Microsoft Teams calls and meetings can be recorded as part of the package.

  • Does MS Teams record audio calls?

    Any Microsoft Teams meeting or call can be recorded for future viewing. The recording captures audio, video, and screen sharing activity, and you can share it securely across your organisation.

  • What is a contact centre?

    A contact centre is a system for any organisation needing to stay in touch with multiple customers, supplier and stakeholders to do so in an integrated way. It provides the means to direct calls to the right person, manage queues and waiting times and track conversations. It also enables responses to be recorded.

    Contact centre solutions help managers by providing KPI service performance management information, with intuitive dashboards, easy to implement answering option trees, skills-based call routing options, and additional services such as full analytics and reporting as well as compliance call recording, translation and transcription.

  • Why use MS Teams for your contact centre?

    Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork that brings together calling, chat and meetings. However, it comes into its own when combined with other integrations on a single interface, such as with social media messaging management, contact centre and CRM.

    This enables users to get the most from their Microsoft investment, as for a small amount of extra outlay, they will get very useful additional features to maximise their communications capacity and also quality.

  • Why use a call centre?

    Call centres are essential for any organisation needing to stay in touch with its customers, whether over the phone or via traditional or social media messaging platforms. Call centres employ agents to deal with customer queries, sales, support and trouble-shooting. Call centre solutions enable skills-based call routing, answering option trees, performance management and more.

  • What is the role of a contact centre?

    Contact centres are essential for any organisation needing to stay in touch with its customers, whether over the phone or via traditional or social media messaging platforms. Call centres employ agents to deal with customer queries, sales, support and trouble-shooting. Call centre solutions enable skills-based call routing, answering option trees, performance management and more. Supervisors can observe, track and take part in calls, intervening when needed to solve problems.

  • Call centre vs contact centre?

    A call centre and a contact centre are essentially the same thing. Call centre is the term most used by the public, as people are used to calling in to speak to an agent within larger organisations, but in fact they are known in the business as contact centres because they deal with many types of contact, not just calls - emails, messaging, reporting and customer service history. This is where CRM integration is an essential part of a call, or contact, centre - it helps manage the whole customer-facing operation and interaction.

  • What are the main contact centre roles and responsibilities?

    Contact centres employ agents to take calls and respond to requests. They will however have a range of skills, often depending on the employer. A health service agent will be required to have a high level of medical knowledge, sometimes specialist, as with mental health service lines or 111/999 calls. Meanwhile, a technical support agent needs to be an expert in the technical product or service they are supporting. Sometimes agents need specific language skills, and calls can be routed accordingly.

    Supervisors manage staffing levels, skill levels, peak and quiet times, training needs, and make sure, by analysing the data from calls and other contacts, that customer or user groups are receiving the right level of service, in the right time frame, to meet the organisation’s performance indicators (KPIs).

    Contact centres or call centres used to be large rooms full of desks and telephones. Now, agents and supervisors can be based anywhere, especially if their system uses Microsoft Teams as a hub.

  • How much does a contact centre cost?

    Modern contact centres or call centres are subscription based, especially if they use Microsoft Teams as a hub, with contact centre functionality built in. This has the benefit of future-proofing the system so users can be added and removed, and updates are automatic. The customer will pay dependent on the complexity of their needs, and the number of users. Some contact centres are quoted per agent, and others by the number of call queues needed.

  • How does Data Analytics help business?

    The term business data analytics refers to the process of solving business problems using data analysis, statistical models and other quantitative methods. The aim is to make business decision-making more data-driven and less ad hoc or subjective and opinion-based. Call data analytics helps businesses with contact centres or call centres to stay on top of call handling performance, and helps ensure business continuity with a remote workforce often engaged in hybrid working.

  • How does Data Analytics work?

    There are many streams to call data analytics - these include queue and auto-attendant reporting, so managers can supervise queue and response times. Users can set thresholds on certain call parameters such as call cost, duration, ring-time or call error code for effective trouble-shooting, and intuitive dashboards provide all the insight you need with measurable statistics and goals for your activity.

  • What does Data Analytics Mean?

    The term business data analytics refers to the process of solving business problems using data analysis, statistical models and other quantitative methods. The aim is to make business decision-making more data-driven. In terms of call data analytics, for call centres or contact centres, this means measuring and tracking all call-related activities, driving adoption, productivity and enforcement, for all round better contact centre performance.

  • Where is Data Analytics used?

    Data analytics, and call data analytics, are used by any business which places a value on understanding performance in quantitative terms - in the case of call data analytics, this might mean understanding peak and trough times for calls for resourcing; highlighting skills gaps via trouble-shooting analysis, and flagging up issues, for example with products or pricing, using key word flagging. Call data analytics also helps ensure business continuity with a remote workforce often engaged in hybrid working.

  • How much does Data Analytics cost?

    Generally the cost of call data analytics will be on a per user basis, as part of a subscription. This can be part of an organisation’s MS Teams investment, with providers integrating with Microsoft Teams for all their internal and external communications. It will be most cost-effective if bundled with other management tools.

  • Is Data Analytics important?

    Data analytics, and call data analytics for contact centres, are vital to understanding how a business is performing, where customers come from, what they are most interested in, where their price ceilings lie, and what their buying drivers are. For call centres, they enable managers to resource effectively and flag up issues. Using data analytics, ad hoc or intuitive  decisions which may be wrong can be avoided, while it also helps ensure business continuity with a remote workforce often engaged in hybrid working practices.

  • Which Data Analytics tool is best?

    There are many data analytics tools available, most of which now operate as SaaS or ‘software as a service’. For call centre or contact centre data analytics, Conversant Technology offers an excellent solution for hybrid working: Microsoft Teams Data Analytics | Conversant Technology.

  • What is Teams Voice?

    Microsoft Teams Voice (or Microsoft 365 Voice) is a cloud-based phone system that is designed as an add-on for Microsoft 365 - essentially, this is a phone system that can be accessed from your mobile, computer, or desk phone, adding more flexibility and availability when it comes to communications within your business. It offers phone system capabilities like call park, call forwarding, auto attendants, call queues, audio conferencing, and calling plans, and can be combined with full contact centre, call recording, data and analytics platforms, integrated with your CRM.

  • How Much is Microsoft Teams Voice?

    The cost of Microsoft Teams Voice varies - the most basic application for personal use is free, but organisations will pay varying amounts per user on a subscription basis, depending on what they include. This is in addition to their MS Office 365 licence. Conversant Technology offers a full Microsoft Teams 360 degree solution set, including direct routing, contact centre, CRM integration, social media messaging management, call data and analytics, and call recording and transcription for legal and financial compliance. It includes chat and video functionality as well as file sharing.

  • How does Microsoft Teams Voice work?

    Microsoft Teams Voice is an add-on for Microsoft 365 - essentially, it is a phone system that can be accessed from your mobile, computer, or desk phone, adding more flexibility and availability when it comes to communications within your business, and integrating with your other systems such as CRM, contact centre, call recording requirements and more. It includes chat and video functionality as well as file sharing.

  • How do you use Microsoft Teams Voice?

    Teams Phone is the capability of people to make and receive calls in Microsoft Teams, and is simply accessed by downloading the app on your mobile, or installing it on your tablet or desktop device. Teams subscriptions include Teams Phone and enables calls from one Teams app to another. Making and receiving calls to and from landlines and mobile phones on the public switch telephone network (PSTN) in Teams is available with an add-on such as Teams Phone Standard or Teams Phone with Calling Plan or is included in Microsoft 365 E5. These options provide a cloud-based phone system in Teams with features such as hold, blind and safe transfers, and reporting features for professionals who manage calling solutions. It includes chat and video functionality as well as file sharing.

  • How do you set up Microsoft Teams Voice?

    Microsoft Teams Voice is the capability of people to make and receive calls in Microsoft Teams, and is simply accessed by downloading the app on your mobile, or installing it on your tablet or desktop device. You will need to have a Microsoft 365 licence in order to use it.

  • Why Choose Microsoft Teams Voice?

    Microsoft Teams Voice enables you to put all your calls and associated data in one place - essentially, this is a phone system that can be accessed from your mobile, computer, or desk phone, adding more flexibility and availability when it comes to communications within your business. It offers phone system capabilities like call park, call forwarding, auto attendants, call queues, audio conferencing, and calling plans, and can be combined with full contact centre, call recording, data and analytics platforms, integrated with your CRM. It includes chat and video functionality as well as file sharing.

  • What are Social Media Management Tools?

    Social media messaging management tools are different from the social media planning platforms which help create and schedule social media posts.

    Putting all your social media messaging in one place means you can stay in touch with all your customers, users and stakeholders without having to hop from one platform to another, and potentially lose track of what conversations have taken place.

    Conversant Technology offers this solution, centralised on the Microsoft Teams interface, and enabling colleges to use whats app to message their students; GP practices to send coordinated SMS messages to patients, and travel agencies to use Twitter for customer support.

  • Why is Social Media Management important?

    Putting all your social media messaging in one place means you can stay in touch with all your customers, users and stakeholders without having to hop from one platform to another, and potentially lose track of what conversations have taken place. This is all centralised for you on your Microsoft Teams platform if you use a service such as that provided by Conversant Technology.

  • How does Social Media Management work?

    When you connect all your communications channels through a Social Media Engagement Hub, you can present all social media interactions within Microsoft Teams.  WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, iMessage and many more are all displayed and handled through one straightforward MS Teams interface. Our Social Media Engagement hub enables users to centralise social media conversations within Microsoft Teams, completely eradicating the need for multiple interfaces.  No more multiple logins and taking the guesswork out of remembering which account a conversation was facilitated through.

  • What does Social Media Management entail?

    With social media messaging management, you can centralise all your social media conversations via Microsoft Teams and take away the headache of multiple applications with multiple logins. All at your fingertips on one, single, integrated omni-channel platform, so you don’t miss a beat - or lose a customer.

  • Is remote working a good thing?

    This is the thousand dollar question. Remote working has enabled staff to be set up anywhere, giving great flexibility, especially for those juggling work with family life. It has saved on travel costs, petrol and commuting time. It can also lead to isolation and frustration, and if it isn’t managed properly, it can damage businesses as a result of poorly functioning technology and employees working in isolation, not being part of the team. 

    Both employers and employees can benefit from hybrid work, however, as it can help bring the best of office and remote work together. Employers can reduce office size, while growing staff numbers. Employees can enjoy a greater control of their life, increasing well being through a more personal work life balance. Both can enjoy productivity benefits and a more diverse place to work.

    Companies like Conversant technology provide the solutions to make remote working function at its best, offering a comprehensive service which joins up Microsoft Teams with everything you need for a fully operational contact centre, integrated CRM system, social media messaging integration, call recording, data and analytics, anytime and anywhere.

  • How many companies are working remotely?

    Here are the latest statistics for home working, as of August 2022:

    • 16% of global firms are 100% remote

    • 44% of companies globally still don’t, or can’t, allow it

    • People overwhelmingly choose remote or hybrid working for a better work-life balance

    • 77% of employees say they are more productive working from home

    • The average income of remote workers is up to $4,000 or £3,000 higher than site-based employees

    • 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm.

    • 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company.

    • The three biggest challenges associated with remote work are unplugging after work (22%), loneliness (19%), and communication / collaboration (17%).

  • Why is working remotely the best way to work?

    Working remotely can increase productivity when it is fully enabled in terms of having the right technology, such as a comprehensive Voice for Microsoft Teams suite plus the relevant software for an individual task, and staff are empowered to collaborate fully online. This is due to reductions in travel time and superfluous time socialising at work - although there is no substitute for personal contact. Team building and collaboration still require in-person meetings and activities, and staying connected at a personal level is vital for wellbeing.

    Staff save considerable amounts of time and money on commuting, eating out and childcare when working from home.

  • How can remote working enhance productivity?

    Remote and hybrid working can enhance productivity as it can be easier to focus, with fewer distractions - as long as staff are connected properly to colleagues and customers. There is however a danger of working ever-longer hours with no cut-off or separation between home and work, so managers need to be aware of this and monitor not only productivity from their home workers, but also their wellbeing.

  • What are the solutions for remote working?

    Technical solutions for remote working include Voice for Microsoft Teams, Roger365 social media integration hub, Conversant 360 compliance call recording, data and analytics, and more. These put workers in touch with each other, and customers, from mobile, desktop, laptop or tablet, with everything integrated on one interface.

  • What does Hybrid or Remote Work mean?

    Hybrid working, or remote work, is a flexible working model where employees work partly in the physical workplace, and partly remotely – at home or from another workspace. Combining working from home with an office presence to create a fluid in-between that allows workers to control where and how they work.

    Both employers and employees can benefit from hybrid work, as it can help bring the best of office and remote work together. Employers can reduce office size, while growing staff numbers. Employees can enjoy a greater control of their life, increasing well being through a more personal work life balance. Both can enjoy productivity benefits and a more diverse place to work.

  • How do you make Hybrid Work successful?

    Hybrid work has enabled staff to be set up anywhere, giving great flexibility, especially for those juggling work with family life. It has saved on travel costs, petrol, childcare and commuting time. It does have downsides if it isn’t managed properly, and can damage businesses as a result of poorly functioning technology and employees working in isolation, not being part of the team.

    To make it successful, companies like Conversant technology provide hybrid working solutions to make remote work function at its best, offering a comprehensive service which joins up Microsoft Teams with everything you need for a fully operational contact centre, integrated CRM system, social media messaging integration, call recording, data and analytics, anytime and anywhere.

  • Which Hybrid Work model is best for your business?

    Choosing the right hybrid working model depends on the nature of your business, organisation or industry. Most however find that having at least one or two days in the office is best for keeping working relationships functioning and projects on track. 

    It is absolutely vital to invest in the right technologies for working remotely, as if these do not perform, neither will your business, and it will cause frustration to staff and customers and service users alike.

  • How do you develop a Hybrid Workplace strategy?

    The main choices are between ‘at will’ - the employee has full rein to choose; a designated number of office days, or an ‘office first’ policy with home working having to be agreed formally.

    The employer is required is to create a safe and productive environment for their employees when implementing a hybrid working model.

    This will involve forming the right policies and putting the right practices in place to make sure staff can continue to work. You are also responsible for creating a workspace that is technically capable of supporting hybrid work, with appropriate workstations both at home and in the office.

    When implementing a hybrid working policy employers will also be expected to trust the employees to complete and manage their workload. You will also be expected to ensure your staff’s best interests are always taken into account.

  • How often should teams meet in person?

    This is a matter for the individual organisation, but most find that a blended approach of one or two in-office days and the rest at home works well to create the right balance of interaction and productivity.

    It is essential that the right technology is in place to enable remote working, to avoid frustration to employees and service users or customers alike.

  • How does Microsoft Remote Desktop work?

    Microsoft remote desktop is an app for enabling home working - giving anytime, anywhere access. Microsoft Teams fully enables remote working, by connecting staff and customers or service users anywhere, any time, with fully connected functionality for call related functions including recording and transcription, call divert, file sharing and storage, CRM integration, chat, video and more.