Tag Archives: Szeto Technologies

Vendor Profile: Szeto Technologies

Szeto Technologies is a manufacturer specializing in equipment for telephone switching, voice, and data communications. For over thirty-three years, it has been providing technical solutions for the TAS industry to automate and enhance call center service offerings.

As telephony, computer, and internet technologies evolve, Szeto relentlessly experiments and develops new features and functions for its products. These capabilities help Szeto users streamline operations and diversify revenue streams. Sometimes this results in custom fits to a user’s specific requirements. Other times they produce separate modules that create new service offerings. This means that Szeto offers turnkey solutions to its customers.

The technology behind telephone answering services has changed in the past thirty years. While answering calls, taking messages, and delivering messages continues to be the basic services offered, the nature of how this service is handled has changed considerably. 

The engineering team at Szeto Technologies is committed to keeping their clients steps ahead in this ever-changing industry. Click To Tweet

The engineering team at Szeto Technologies is committed to keeping their clients steps ahead in this ever-changing industry. Szeto firmly believes that every piece of equipment its customers use should be oriented to their unique business needs. All Szeto products are customizable and flexible. They have a simple-to-use, smart-in-function, and cost-effective design.

Their customers can best describe what Szeto means to them. Here are three examples:

Select Call

It’s no secret that top call centers have strong connections between the technology they implement and the training they provide their staff, which is why this profile looks at the award-winning combination of Alberta’s Select Call Centres and Szeto Technologies.

Select Call has utilized Szeto Technologies hardware and software for over two decades to run its operations. Throughout that time, it has grown from a single office located out of Grande Prairie to represent five award-winning offices throughout the province with remote employees located all around Canada.

“It does everything we need, and it does it well,” says Vicky Dawson, operations manager at Select Call Centres. “It’s so easy working with the Szeto team to implement new features and enhancements we request. It’s so easy to train operators to use Call Linx. We can train operators to be fully up-to-task within two weeks of starting training. That’s pretty much unheard of in the industry.” 

As a testament to their success, Select Call Centres across Alberta Canada took home the following awards at CAM-X 2019:

  • Award of Distinction (eight years running)
  • Award of Excellence – Edmonton location (twenty-one years running) with a top ten score
  • Award of Excellence – Red Deer location (sixteen years running) with a top score 
  • Award of Excellence – Calgary location (sixteen years running) with a top ten score
  • Award of Excellence – Grande Prairie location (nineteen years running) with a top ten score
  • Award of Excellence – Brooks location (four years running) with a top ten score

“This success is thanks in part to Szeto Technologies,” say Garrett Bidewell, CEO of Select Call Center

MSTAS

MSTAS LTD, dba Stat Medical and Awake Communications, provides business hours, after-hours, and 24/7 emergency dispatch to the medical and healthcare industry. The healthcare industry requires specific and individualized service and most importantly, the service must be efficient and reliable. MSTAS also provides virtual office business services and virtual secretaries to small, medium, and commercial businesses in many industries including transportation and logistics, law, construction, and insurance.

“We have been using Szeto Technologies equipment since 2002. Our business needs and services have evolved since then, and Szeto has provided us with all our answering system changes,” says David Kube, CEO of MSTAS Ltd. 

“In March of this year, with very little warning, our New York office, along with many other tenants of the building, were forced to move. The building owners needed the space to accommodate a large corporation. The phone company could not transfer our services to the new location with such little notice. We found ourselves in a business bind. We could not provide services to our clients without phone lines. 

“The Szeto team quickly intervened to provide a solution. They had our calls temporarily rerouted through our Virginia office and in turn redirected to our new office in New York for our local operators until the phone company was able to install our new lines. The transition to our new office was seamless. Our services weren’t interrupted, and we continued to provide our clients with all their business needs, including fax, email, SMS, and secured messages. 

“The Szeto team has always provided us with reliable and powerful equipment that meets our unique needs. MSTAS continues to depend on Szeto’s skills for consultation and execution of work.” 

Maximum Communications

Maximum Communications is a small business call center that fits their clients’ needs by providing 24/7 live customer service to help them support and grow their businesses. 

“A few weeks ago, our SMS cellular carrier T-Mobile was down, and it was estimated it would be out of service for eight to ten hours. We were devastated at the fact that our customers would have no text messages for over eight hours. 

“We called Szeto for suggestions and help. They immediately routed our SMS mobile transmissions transparently to one of their other systems in Pennsylvania. Our service was uninterrupted, and our clients were unaware that there was even a problem. This could have been a complicated issue had Szeto not stepped in to rectify,” says Kristine Pierce, manager of operations, Maximum Communications.

Szeto Technologies provides an ever-evolving platform developed by passionate people for TAS experts big and small. What more could you ask?

Want to see how Szeto can help your company? Call them at 877-697-9386 or email info@szeto.ca.

Szeto Technologies Expands Their Leadership Team

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.

Ignoring Lessons from the Past


By Sherry Gouel

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.

The Past

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.

We may have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean we’re done learning. What about cell phones and social media—have we stopped to consider the potential consequences of using them? What will the next generation say about our love of this media? Human connections are falling behind our electronic connections, and the consequences won’t be as repairable as other mistakes humanity has made. Click To Tweet

The Present

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.

The Future

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.

Sherry Gouel handles sales and marketing support for Szeto Technologies.

Vendor Profile: Szeto Technologies

Szeto Technologies has been a leading vendor of answering equipment and communication systems since 1986. As the industry has evolved extensively over the last thirty-two years, Szeto has continued to remain on the leading edge of technology in providing solutions in voice-plus data processing and telephone switching. Technology has certainly changed over time, but Szeto’s greatest strength has not changed—they continue to provide their customers with turnkey, customized communication systems to meet their client’s needs.Szeto Technologies recently added the capability of automatically handling the check-in and check-out procedures using satellite SPOT (satellite positioning and tracking) devices. Click To Tweet

Call Linx & SSS-100

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.

Features include:

  • 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

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.

SIP Service

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 info@szeto.ca or 877-697-9386.

Szeto Technology Hires Ron Violante as Sales Rep

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 Releases Asterisk-Based Smart Switch

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.

Szeto Releases Two Mobile Apps

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 Secures SMS Messages

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.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

LinxScheduler: Szeto’s New Workforce Management Software

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.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Szeto’s Call Linx Offers Automatic Email Encryption

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.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]