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News: telephone

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    Odyssey Systems, the Teesside-based telecommunications specialist, has commissioned new research which shows that more than 60% of people over 65 have no confidence in the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

    The poll, conducted by ICM*, reveals that the TPS, which was set up to protect the public, including the elderly and vulnerable, from unscrupulous cold callers, is failing to deliver for two thirds of people.

    According to the study, only 35% of respondents across the UK trust the TPS. 47% answered that they did not, while 18% had never even heard of the service. 60% of the over 65s, the group most often thought to be at risk from preying con-artists, had no confidence in the scheme.

    Odyssey Systems has also questioned the relevancy of the TPS as the number of UK residential landlines, in the region of 22 million, is in parity with the amount of people registered for the service, yet cold calls remain an all too common problem.

    There are nearly 22 million people signed up to the TPS in the UK, according to Ofcom, however in June there were 10,518 concerns reported to the TPS in relation to automated calls – up from 8,400 in May.

    Between 1,000 and 2,000 complaints are made about companies ignoring the database every month. In 2012, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which enforces the TPS, acquired the power to impose fines of up to £500,000.

    The TPS operated by the Direct Marketing Association on behalf of Ofcom and is register of UK phone numbers whose users do not want to be contacted by sales and marketing companies. Companies must respect these wishes and stop calling those numbers, removing them from databases. More than 80% of landline numbers are registered nationally but users have reported poor results. The new study suggests the service is still failing to meet expectations.

    Many nuisance calls seek to defraud “customers” in exchange for spurious goods and services. They range from PPI phishing scams, to PC insurance and even trying to charge for the Telephone Preference Service.

    Mike Odysseas, managing director of Odyssey Systems, said: “The TPS is overwhelmingly failing to meet people’s expectations. Our research clearly shows that the service has no real power to challenge companies and does not deliver its advertised objective.  It also raises the concern that nearly every landline is covered by the TPS, therefore there is no one left for these companies to legally call.

    Mr Odysseas added: “It’s clear that the Information Commissioner’s Office needs to be given greater powers to clampdown on bad practise. But what’s also clear, because the TPS doesn’t work, is that we need to arm our vulnerable and elderly with the information they need to recognise scam calls, and not to fall foul of embezzlement.”

    Mike also suggests that businesses can embrace technology to beat the unwarranted cold calls and automated messages, as well as tougher penalties on offenders.

    He added: “Businesses can also suffer from nuisance calls, impacting on productivity. We offer a range of value added services, including filtering out nuisance calls, and a free fraud reporting service too, which have been designed specifically to alleviate any concerns.

    “Most of us don’t have a problem receiving calls offering us better deals on the products and services we already buy, but, what the majority of us object to, is receiving bogus calls from companies and individuals, who are very often, already breaking the law.”


  • Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

    Odyssey Systems has received top marks from The Education Village Academy Trust (EVAT) after revamping the telecommunications infrastructure serving the Multi Academy Trust’s five schools, which span three separate locations.

    After experiencing problems with its aging system, which was installed almost 10 years ago, The EVAT decided to upgrade; after considering a number of providers, it gave Teesside-based Odyssey Systems the call.

    The installation of the new Mitel network, carried out by Odyssey’s expert engineers, is an IP-based system and much more flexible than its predecessor, which often required inconvenient upgrades and maintenance.

    Following the completion of the two-week project, which included more than 150 phone extensions, The EVAT’s five schools are fully-connected, with staff now able to easily make internal calls between its facilities – which will be particularly useful for its centralised administration department.

    The EVAT comprises Haughton Academy, Beaumont Hill Academy, Springfield Academy, Gurney Pease Academy, and Marchbank Free School, which together make up an all-age a Multi Academy Trust.

    Its Haughton, Beaumont and Springfield academies share a state of the art, £27 million building at The Education Village, which has allowed for a unique and innovative service provision.

    Mike Odysseas, managing director at Odyssey Systems, said: “The EVAT is a forward-thinking educational provider and it was great to work with them. The new system is extremely durable and will maintain its reliable performance without the need for regular updates; it will serve them well for many years to come.”

    Paul Thompson, IT & Media Manager at The EVAT, said: “After having a few weeks to test out the Mitel system we are very pleased with the final product. The service has also been first-class; our network presented a unique challenge and Odyssey’s engineers have worked tirelessly to identify and deliver a suitable infrastructure package, which would connect each of our five schools.”

  • Official figures this week show that the UK economy has grown by 0.3% in the first 3 months of 2015, which is a slowdown from previous figures but still a positive sign overall for the economy. The figures are in some way reflective of business in general and the need to be reactive to the environment in which business operate.

    Odyssey Scalable Telephone Systens

    The key word for telecommunications in business in a fluctuating market has to be Scalability. Being able to add to and at times, reduce your current telecommunication requirements easily is crucial to any business activity.

    Traditional telephone systems operate using an onsite box that means handsets are “stuck” not just to the geographic location they are installed in, but also a specific port in your office. The telephone handsets are just dumb units. If your requirements grow past the original specification you’ll need an expensive onsite engineer with more complicated hardware modules to gain space. Don’t forget of course, all of this often takes a long time.

    Hosted telephone systems flip things around. The onsite box is completely removed and intelligent handsets register with their provider via the internet. Want to move desks? No problem, just move that handset to a different wall socket and its identity will follow. New team member? Your supplier can simply post you a new handset for self-install. Opening a completely new office at the opposite end of the country? Hosted allows all handsets to operate as part of the same telephone system regardless of their geographic location. Hosted telephony offers scalability and flexibility that simply is not possible with traditional phone systems.

    Businesses will always be reactive to the external market that they are trading in, but with the right communications partner to work with, scalability in either direction is not only possible, but easy.

    If you want more information on telelphone systems scalability contact us call us on 01642 661800 or email post@odssey-systems.co.uk

    P.S. It’s important to remember that with hosted telephony systems your calls are transported over the internet. Make sure that you always use high quality business grade connectivity, preferably from the same provider!