Szeto Technologies is proud to announce two new additions to their team. Robert Bidewell and Garrett Bidewell will be joining the Szeto family as they expand and continue to grow. Robert and Garrett are no strangers to the industry and have both been involved with their family’s answering service from a young age. They bring over twenty years of collective experience as owners of several thriving answering services in Alberta, Canada.
Robert will collaborate with the engineers bringing his experiences and know-how with telephony installations and technical skills. Garrett brings his strengths in marketing and business to the company. Szeto Technologies looks forward to working with these new team members and we welcome them to their family.
Looking back at previous generations, we’re certain to find things that make us wonder, “What were they thinking?” Of course, the world has changed in the past hundred years, and people have learned ways to improve their lives, their well-being, and their health. Many of these lessons were learned the hard way.
We learned was that nicotine was harmful to our health and sugar had many negative consequences. We learned these lessons because people suffered from their use.
If you look through any magazines or newspapers circa 1950, you’ll find ads for cigarettes. TV commercials used to show doctors trying to sell viewers on their favorite tobacco brands. Movies of that era included characters prominently puffing on cigarettes in every second scene.
Another less advertised but just as detrimental product was sugar. The advertising may have been more discreet, but the negative effects of sugar weren’t exposed and the sugar industry made sizable profits.
It would be years before society would be enlightened to the dangers of both these items. It would be years before cigarette ads would change from promoting them to informing the public of the dangers of their use. It would also be years before the link between high sugar intake and diabetes would be made public. Although it took many years to get these messages across, we eventually realized our errors and tried to correct them.
Cell phone popularity soared around the late 1990s, and it would be hard to find anyone over the age of fourteen that doesn’t have a personal cell phone. Some of the harmful effects are not so obvious, but they are definitely present. We’ve now become a society that spends more time looking at our cell phones than at each other, but instead of trying to salvage our human connections, we find ways to accommodate our world to ease our connections with our cell phones.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured and some even die due to inattention while texting and walking. The World Health Organization calls this “distracted walking.” In Shaanxi, China, there’s a special lane reserved on the sidewalk for people who walk and text. It allows the people who are distracted as they walk and text to not impede the rest of society. They can simply stare down at their phones and not worry about walking into anyone. It’s a sad reality when we make accommodations to make texting instead of human connections easier.
One of the more troubling consequences of increasing attachment to our cell phones is that for many it has increased the feeling of detachment and isolation. For those who already feel lonely, seeing the world around them staring down at their phones creates more distance than connectivity.
The increase in our ties with technology has increased our isolation. This is particularly difficult for seniors, many who already feel isolated and alone. This demographic isn’t as accustomed to using their cell phones as often as the younger generation, and they prefer human connections, eye to eye.
In the UK, Costa Coffee shops has introduced a concept to help with loneliness. “Chatty Café,” which began in 2017, consists of allocating a table in their cafés for people who just wish to talk to someone. People are encouraged to stop and chat to anyone sitting at that table. This has been very popular, especially with seniors who welcome the warmth of a face-to-face conversation. But once again, we’re attending to the consequences of the problem rather than facing the actual root of it.
History has taught us some lessons that we have rectified, but our attachment to our cell phones will be a difficult crisis to overcome. We’re spending more time in front of our screens, and this inevitably will continue to have consequences. Human connections are falling behind our electronic connections, and the consequences won’t be as repairable as other mistakes humanity has made. Why? Because repairing our increasing human disconnection will mean putting our cell phones down. And that’s unlikely to happen.
Powered by Linux, Szeto’s Call Linx TAS system is built to be reliable, flexible, and user-friendly. Through the years, Call Linx has expanded add-on features to complement its traditional telephone answering service applications. In 2013 Szeto Technologies modified the generic Asterisk software and tailored it to be their Call Linx telephony switch, the SSS-100. This approach replaced their proprietary hardware strategy in their telephone switch and allows them to provide redundancy and reliability using virtual servers. Another advantage of adopting Asterisk is the freedom of having multiple technology suppliers.
The company’s latest wireless features secure text messaging for HIPAA compliance and employee safety monitoring for remote or isolated workers. The popularity of webchat has grown in the past years, and Szeto Technologies makes it easy to provide businesses with this feature, which was once available only to large corporations.
The story of Call Linx, SSS-100, and Linux is still evolving. The TAS service industry is striding into the future in full force. So is Szeto Technologies.
Secured Text Messaging App
Szeto’s secured mobile app ensures that messages transported via wireless mobile devices are secured for HIPAA compliance. This protects medical patient privacy and personal health information.
In conjunction with the Szeto-designed mobile app, the company also has special APIs (application program interfaces) designed to interface with third-party vendors such as TigerText, OnPage, eVigil, Qlig, Doc Halo, Secured Bridge, and Med Tunnel.
Employee Safety Monitoring
Employee safety is a concern for most employers. All employers are expected to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety and the well-being of their employees. Workers in remote areas, unsupervised, working with dangerous equipment, or in hostile environments need assurance of their safety and well-being. Business owners must offer the workers additional means of security, by routinely monitoring their safety in the field.
Szeto’s employee safety monitoring provides preventive monitoring of employees working in potentially dangerous environments. In the event of an employee found in danger or requiring emergency help, the system will trigger a rescue procedure to alert the appropriate personnel for human intervention. Those who can benefit from such monitoring are organizations with workers in remote locations or dangerous environments, handlers of dangerous and hazardous materials (such as oil and gas field workers), maintenance crews in remote areas (electricity, telephone, antenna sites), employees vulnerable to possible hostilities (visiting nurses, social workers), and security guards.
Automatic identification of current or next work location by satellite or mobile apps
Automatic detection of a worker-down situation
Check-in devices (telephone, SMS text, and mobile APP)
Alert methods (telephone, SMS text, email, and pager)
Time-stamped logs of transactions and activities
Web access to work team status
Szeto Technologies recently added the capability of automatically handling the check-in and check-out procedures using satellite SPOT (satellite positioning and tracking) devices. This monitoring equipment is a stand-alone system but can also be tailored to integrate with existing data equipment.
Web chat enables your operators to offer online help via text chat for people visiting your clients’ websites. Szeto has recently enhanced its web chat to be friendlier, including the option of displaying the agent’s picture. While large companies can have their own agents for web chat support, this may be too expensive for small- and medium-sized businesses. Szeto’s web chat gives call centers the opportunity to supply this feature to clients who can benefit from this opportunity.
Szeto Technologies has partnered with Pulsar 360 to offer SIP services to its customers. The company also recently developed software to directly interface with SIP services without relying on any third-party middle piece of conversion equipment. This eliminates a potential source of hardware failure and the necessity of providing spare parts, not to mention saving having to rent the equipment. If a customer already has the setup with gateway arrangements, they can continue with that approach.
For additional information please contact Szeto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-697-9386.
Szeto Technologies is pleased to welcome Ron Violante to its team. Ron has over thirty years’ experience in the call center industry as a sales representative. He is familiar with the requirements that are needed in this industry. He is already well known within the community with his knowledge and involvement in the answering service field.
Based in Ohio, Ron will serve the industry, starting December 2017. Charles Szeto and his team welcome Ron to their family and wish him success in his new role.
Szeto Technologies has newly released its versatile and sophisticated smart telephony switch SSS-100 based on the Asterisk platform. This switch is fully compatible functionally with its predecessor VMS4500, acting as front-end equipment to Szeto’s Call Linx TAS system. Tightly integrated into the Call Linx software, the SSS-100 provides real-time redundancy backup. It is designed to be very robust, cost-effective, and scalable from a few channels to few hundred channels. The switch has many embedded standard features, including voice call logger, voice mail, and conferencing multi-channel SIP connections.
To protect medical patient privacy and personal health information among medical professionals and answering services and to enhance features of its product to better support its customers, Szeto Technologies has developed its own mobile app, “Central Secured,” to ensure messages transported via wireless mobile devices are secured for HIPAA compliance.
This mobile app feature is fully integrated into Szeto’s Call Linx TAS system. This service is also available to other call centers with different equipment platforms to ensure their messages are secured among end-users and the answering services, via an easy and simple API interface.
Complimentary to its traditional check-in, checkout procedures, Szeto Technologies has developed special mobile apps to enhance its efficiency and reliability, which includes the capability to automatically identify the whereabouts of the employee in danger and to determine a “man-down” situation with an instant alert of the “Emergency.”
The automatic employee safety-monitoring feature has been part of the Call Linx system from Szeto Technologies for many years to enable call centers to monitor the safety of employees working in unsupervised or dangerous environments. Employees are required to periodically check in during their work shift to confirm their safety. Missing check-in is interpreted as employee-in-trouble and will trigger an escalation procedure to alert the rescue team.
Szeto Technologies released Secured SMS Messages software, a security feature for deliveries of SMS text messages between mobile devices and Call Linx system. This feature ensures privacy and confidentiality in personal communications to comply with HIPAA requirements, which is essential for call center operations involved with medical professions.
Secured SMS Message in Szeto’s Call Linx TAS is programmable on a per account basis. Subscribers who have the service enabled will have their SMS text messages delivered in a secure fashion to their mobile data devices, such as iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.
SMS texts messages are secured in both directions, outbound from Call Linx to the mobile devices and inbound replies from subscribers. The delivery process is automatic and transparent within Call Linx, all done without any human interventions.
Szeto introduces LinxScheduler, a powerful Web-based work tool that allows employers to schedule their staff according to need, availability, and capability. Employers can forecast staffing needs based on historic data. Details of each staff member’s number of work hours, work history, access level, availability, and salary can be easily accessed. This information is helpful in determining a schedule where work hours are fairly divided among staff, while minimizing labor costs.
The Szeto team sought to design a workforce management program that was simple and efficient, while capable of generating detailed and projective reports. Two goals were kept in mind: simplicity and detailed. The LinxScheduler graphs are well illustrated and easy to understand. Whatever information is needed, from last month’s busiest day, to how many hours an employee worked last week, or which employees to schedule when covering for a vacation, LinxScheduler will simplify the task.
Every call center has their individual variation of agent “skill levels.” LinxScheduler allows users to customize their own definitions and levels to suit their business needs. Although LinxScheduler was designed for Szeto’s Call Linx application, it can be interface with any platform.
Szeto Technologies released “auto encryption” service, a security feature for deliveries of email messages in its Linux based Call Linx TAS system. This feature is also in compliance with HIPAA requirements. The ability of encrypting messages in the email delivery process ensures privacy and confidentiality. This increases the level of security in online communications, and is especially essential for call center operations that are involved with medical professions.
Auto encryption in Szeto’s Call Linx TAS software is programmable on a per account basis. All subscribers who have auto encryption enabled will have their email messages delivered in a secure fashion. This same security also applies to email messages sent to voice/data mobile devices.
Encryption is completely automatic and transparent within “Call Linx.” When sending email to subscribers who have the auto encryption service enabled, Call Linx will process the messages just as it normally does, but will automatically encrypt the messages before deliveries. This is without any agent intervention.
Encryption and the certificate authority are based on industry standard specifications widely supported by popular email programs like Thunderbird and Outlook; service setup is via a user-friendly dialog box.
Linx Scripting in the Szeto Call Linx TAS system has just become more pictorial and user-friendly, both for the agents who use it and for the programmers who design it. For example:
Calendar Pop automatically pops up in every entry field where date/time entries are to be expected. This visual display will enhance the appearance and speed up the data entry process with one mouse click.
Spin Button with up-down arrow is available in all fields as selected by the script designer. It provides easy selections and auto-fills option choices for the agents.
An Abbreviation element in the call script (and multi-form processing) allows lengthy and difficult-to-spell phrases be represented by abbreviations. Agents can optionally replace lengthy and difficult phrases with predetermined abbreviations, which are expanded to their original form in the final version with a single keystroke.
Stock Icons are additional attention grabbers. They can be used signal the existence of help lines, the importance of an entry field, or information that must be read. They are a quality assurance tool that minimizes errors.
These enhancements will be demonstrated at the CAM-X / WSTA convention in Las Vegas, October 3-6, 2010.