Is your system backed up in case of a lightning strike? Are you able to simply service your phone system in-house? And who's that bringing delicious homegrown treats into the Select Telecom office? Find out in this issue of Crosstalk!

Summer 2012

From the President's Desk 

Can you believe July is over already?  I guess the time really goes by when you’re busy, and here at Select Telecom we certainly have been!  At this time of year when so many of us are enjoying our vacations, it’s likely that not much attention is being given to our office systems.  But this summer heat often brings severe storms, so it’s crucial to make sure your systems are backed up.  Have your UPS and surge protectors checked to make sure they’re operating properly and that the batteries are still good.  The next time a storm hits and you lose power in your building, you don’t want to look up and find that your battery back-up is not working, so let’s be proactive and do a test to make sure everything is in order.

I’m happy to report that here at Select Telecom we’ve been very busy installing new IP systems for some of our longstanding customers, including a few projects that involve multiple locations all connected with MPLS and or fiber.  Many of our loyal customers have decided it was time to get into the Unified Communications world and they are happy they took the plunge!  The beauty of having an IP system when you have multiple offices is that you can always be sitting at your extension no matter where you are, with an integrated desktop that lets you access everything you need from anywhere.  

If you’re thinking about UC, we would love to have you join us at our next Lunch & Learn on September 12th or we can certainly come to your office to do a full demo.  As always, I would love to hear from you, as I’m always happy to chat about what you think about the economy and just life in general.  Thanks to all of you for making our 2012 a very successful year, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Best Always,
Mike Durante
President –

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Quick Tip: Don’t Get Crippled By Summer Storms – Backup Your System Today!

It’s severe thunderstorm season, and with summer storms come lightning strikes that can destroy a phone system in a flash.  Luckily, equipment damage from lightning strikes is generally covered under most insurance plans, but what’s not reimbursable are the labor costs associated with reprogramming a damaged system and the business lost while hours of time are spent rebuilding your company directory.  To protect against those losses, Select Telecom recommends an annual system backup.  It costs only one hour of labor and will save you hundreds in the event of a catastrophic system failure.  Contact us today to learn more.

Get to Know Select: Chris Kireakedes, Service Technician

Chris Kireakedes, Service Technician

Every issue, “Get to Know Select” will feature a different employee sharing their experience at Select Telecom, along with updates about what’s going on at the company.  Have a favorite employee you’d like to hear from?  Email us to let us know!
Chris Kireakedes – better known to most customers as Chris K. – has been a service technician with Select Telecom for almost 14 years.  Part of the original Williams Communications crew where many current Select Telecom employees formed a bond (including Mike Durante, Bob Waters, and Paul and Stephen Burns), Chris left Wiltel to join Select Telecom in September of 1998.  Since then, Chris has been serving customers in Manhattan, Westchester, Connecticut, Putnam, Orange, Rockland, and Long Island.  As he puts it, “I do a lot of driving!”
Chris appreciates the different personalities he gets to work with while covering all that ground.  Though he gets great satisfaction out of solving difficult technical problems, he says the best part is the relationships he builds with customers.  “Today was the first day I saw my friend Jack at Kimber in a while.  He’s such a nice guy, and there’s dozens of people like that – Ronnie Gillcrist at Houlihan Lawrence in Yorktown, Lisa Blendermann at Houlihan…  Just this past week Arianna at Coveleigh Club was kind enough to walk me around to every phone on the property while I was servicing their system after a lightning strike.  I would never have found all those phones without her help.  There are just so many great people we work with.”  Continue reading...

Spotlight: Bringing Ease of Administration to Executive Auto Group

Michael Bartolomeo of Executive Auto Group was getting fed up with the company’s current phone system.  At almost 20 years old, the system was “failing piece by piece” and was a nightmare to maintain – with over 10 dealership and body shop locations across western Connecticut, Executive Auto Group’s communications solution was not a simple one.  And as the former IT Manager (currently an Accounting Office Manager), Michael and current IT Manager Mark Simmons had their hands full trying to administer their complex and faulty system.

Eventually, it became clear that it was time to look at upgrading to a new phone system.  As Michael recalls, “Our current solution was making it difficult to do business.”  He did his research – “I looked at Cisco, Mitel… everything I could get my hands on, I did.”  In the end, Executive Auto Group decided on a new IP-based Unified Communications (UC) system from ShoreTel.  According to Michael, “We chose ShoreTel for the ease of administration, since we plan on doing most of it ourselves.  Of everything we looked at, ShoreTel was by far the easiest to understand and administer, without question.”

Select Telecom installed the system at almost a dozen Executive Auto Group locations and trained the staff to use the phones and UC software.  However, as might be expected for such a large project, there were a few hiccups along the way.  As Michael explains it, “We came from a system with 3-5 park buttons and everybody’s phone was the same.  Now it’s a lot more buttons and people are still learning how to use the system properly.”  But with the help of Select Telecom VP Jerry Moscariello and Account Manager Danielle Morrissey, Executive Auto Group tweaked the system design to improve usability and further ease administration.  “Jerry and Danielle were incredibly helpful – they came back multiple times until everything was just right.”  Continue reading...
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