Thursday, August 25, 2011

Panasonic Leads Telephone Systems Category in CE PRO’S Brand Survey for EIGHTH Consecutive Year

Custom Electronics Industry’s Top 100 Integrators Rank Panasonic Business Phone Systems Well Ahead of Competing Brands

SECAUCUS, NJ (July 25, 2011) – For the eighth year in a row, CE Pro Magazine’s Brand Analysis Survey shows that Panasonic business telephone systems are being used by the vast majority of the CE Pro Top 100 Integrators*. The survey was confined to the elite group of top revenue-generating custom integrators who were asked to cite the brands they use in each of 41 categories, ranging from audio and video components to lighting and control systems to computers and telecommunications.

The CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis shows that 66% of the installers reported using Panasonic telephone products, with a 60 point lead over the next closest competitor.  The magazine noted that the next closest brand, NEC, garnered 6% of the total share, while Cisco captured 5%.

“It is a great honor to be recognized once again as the leading telephone systems brand among this elite group of custom installers,” said Bill Taylor, President of Panasonic System Networks Company of America.  “Their continued confidence and support help make us the number one brand year after year.”  

More information on Panasonic business telephone systems is available at

*CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis, published June 2011 by EH Publishing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

E-Messaging (Voicemail to Email), What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

A topic that comes up frequently in businesses is the issue of voicemail. It is surprising to hear how many people are still waiting until they get to the office to check their voicemail or calling into the office periodically to check messages. How many sales or opportunities are lost when you are on the road because you didn’t know you had an important voicemail left on your phone system at the office? Now with voicemail to email service, you can stay connected anywhere you are with E-Messaging.

So what is E-Messaging and what are the benefits?
Quite simply, E-Messaging is a voicemail to email service which digitally records your voicemail messages and then turns them into a sound file (such as a .wav or .mp3). That sound file then gets attached to an email message which would typically include the details of the call such as the date/time, the caller’s name and number and how long the message is. This being 2011 and all, everyone has a smart phone so that those voicemail to email messages are instantly viewable on your iphone, blackberry, android etc and you never miss another important voicemail. A for better or worse, you can receive voicemail messages 24 hours a day without having to give out your cell phone number directly to customers. Being able to listen to the .wav or .mp3 file right on your smart phone or in your email inbox is a huge benefit and a real time saver. You can even use voicemail to email as an after hours service to customers who might need emergency support.
What if you don’t have a smart phone? Voicemail to email services can also send you an email to your home computer or laptop whenever a voicemail is left for you so that you don’t have to call in to check it.

The Panasonic KXTVA Voice Processing system can be connected to your Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN) providing integration with your email. This ensures your staff receives important messages, no matter where they are!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is Your Telephone and Voice Mail System Safe From Hackers?

There has been a recent increase in hacker attacks on business telephone and voice mail systems. The systems are hacked and used to make expensive telephone calls to international phone numbers or premium rate numbers at the expense of the unlucky company targeted. This type of attack is not limited to one type of system, ALL systems can be targeted, Hybrid, IP, Hosted IP, or basic PBXs. Unfortunately, many businesses adopt the "it can't happen to me" philosophy... until it's too late. Companies aren’t helpless against these hackers though – here are ten top tips designed to help you protect your telephone system from being hacked:

1) As obvious as it seems, many companies (including some installation companies) still forget to remove the default passwords from telephone and voice mail systems. Reset all default passwords as soon as possible and limit access to maintenance ports.

2) Change passwords regularly on telephone system and voice mail boxes to keep ahead of hackers. Make passwords as difficult as possible and avoid using your extension number as your password, or the "1234" or “Default” passwords at all costs.

3) Limit call forwarding by extensions. If one extension user has no need to forward to mobile for example, then block forwarding access to outside numbers, or limit to specific numbers, at that extension.

4) Make sure you always monitor (or disable if not needed) DISA – Direct Inward System Access.

5) Make sure that the telephone system hardware is kept in a secure place that has limited access.

6) Always check your telephone bills regularly and review your calls as often as you can. Also review your Telephone Service Provider line features, as many new VOIP lines have features that you (and your service provider) may be unaware of.

7) Block access and change the passwords of unused mailboxes, or even better, delete unused mailboxes.

8) Make sure you are aware of what functions your telephone system can carry out – and then deactivate those functions you don’t use.

9) Assess the security of all the telephone and voice mail system applications.

10) Always be on the lookout for signs of hacking – investigate any calls made outside of business hours. Most hacks occur on weekends and long holiday weekends.

Please contact Key Communications for a security assessment of your system.