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Mac Infrastructure Mastered Brilliantly

macnews.de, with approximately 8 million PageImpressions and nearly 250.00 returning visitors per month, is the biggest and fastest growing German portal for dedicated Apple users covering all the latest topics and trends, information, news, tips and tricks around the Mac. Marc Korthaus, CEO and founder of macnews.de OnlineServices GmbH located in Berlin, currently employs an innovative team of 16 people that is in charge of all the diverse websites. When macnews.de decided to outsource their technical department, now known as SysEeleven GmbH, the management faced local and infrastructural changes and had to come up with a fast and suitable solution. A sustainable telephone system that meets the demands of a Mac infrastructure was searched for – and found in STARFACE.

It’s time for IP

Macnews moved to an office next door that was located on the same floor, and the management decided to use one telephone system for both companies. The internal network was already available in the new office and the old Alcatel ISDN telephone system was no longer able to provide the adequate comfort functionalities. It was time for a modern IP communications system that would allow the company to integrate all employees in both offices, the home offices and in the field into one centralized telephone system.

A new telephone system was found

Based on own research and several recommendations, Marc Korthaus took a closer look at vertico software’s telephone system STARFACE and immediately found what he was looking for. The benefits of this telecommunications system were apparent: The ability to integrate STARFACE into the existing Mac infrastructure, the usage of already existing Cat5 cables for telephony, no need for training sessions thanks to clear menu navigation within the telephony software, and most importantly, sustainability. Additionally, thanks to STARFACE’s nearly unlimited scalability, Marc Korthaus found a telephone system that would grow with his company. With just few mouse clicks, a new employee can be added to the system providing him/her with internal and external phone numbers. „Obviously, the usability within the Mac environment was a top priority for us. Being a platform - independent telephone system, STARFACE is compatible with all system environments and, in our specific case, able to easily integrate the Mac address book. Other systems cannot do this offhand“, says Marc Korthaus. „We are very pleased with the new STARFACE system. In the beginning we were a little concerned that a new appliance as a “new error source” might evoke additional problems. But except for a one-time ‘hiccup’ after setting up of the STARFACE appliance, everything is working absolutely reliable and comfortable.“

Smooth configuration within web interface

The replacement of the old telephone system with STARFACE (APPLIANCE) was handled by the subsidiary SysEleven. Thomas Lohner, Project Manager at SysEleven, arranged the configuration of the appliance all by himself and is very proud of the result: „Implementing the system was very easy. The installation instructions within the web interface are explained clearly. Equipped with some previous knowledge and being familiar with some special wording, everyone should be able to finalize the installation within one day. And for those who hesitate to arrange the installation all by themselves, they can visit a comprehensive STARFACE administration training offered by vertico software.
While the team was still using the old telephone system, the new STARFACE communications system was completely configured. Everything was prepared and the phones were ready for connecting.

“Comfortphoning”– STARFACE simplifies daily business processes

“Especially noteworthy”, pointed out by all 16 employees of macnews.de and SysEleven, “is the STARFACE user interface and the outstanding ease of use of the telephone system. With the status display, employees easily get an overview of all colleagues registered to the STARFACE system – no matter if they are available for a phone call or busy with another phone call. This comfort feature simplifies work processes and prevents unnecessary seesaw. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) routes incoming calls within the company based on previously defined sets of instructions.
For example, after setting up specific user groups (Marketing, Finance, Support, etc.), employees will be assigned to these groups. If an incoming call for a specific member of the editorial team can not be taken since this person is already on the phone, the call will be transferred automatically to one of his/her colleague who is available.

The team of the customer support of macbay, the „Online-Backup-Organizer-SMS-Fax-Homepage-Photo-Blogging-Sync-Service” of SysEleven, can not believe that there was actually a life before intelligent call queues. Whenever required, certain routing criteria can be easily defined – call spillover, announcements or music flashes can be set up with just few mouse clicks to guarantee excellent customer services and consultations at any time.

Functionalities for more flexibility

Lately, SysEleven expanded the STARFACE functionalities on its own by developing a tailor-made emergency system: In case a system hosted by SysEleven is failing, customers can dial a special service number and leave a message. The technicians of SysEleven will be notified via SMS and an email with the recorded voice message attached to it will be send to their attention. „Those valuable enhancements can be easily programmed and integrated into the system even with little know-how. We are very enthusiastic about the fact how fast and simple this functionality could be realized “, adds Marc Korthaus.

Saves time and money instantly

The STARFACE technology allows companies to integrate home offices or further subsidiaries. „Thomas and I already took advantage of this convenient feature and everything worked just perfectly. You simply connect yourself via VPN into the company’s network and that’s it – you are directly connected with the STARFACE telephone system. The usual transfer costs are eliminated and you can call someone under your own company’s phone number.“

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Project Details

  • Date: Spring 2008
  • System environment: Mac
  • Number of employees: 16
  • Product installed: STARFACE PROFESSIONAL APPLIANCE 4BRI
  • Phones: snom 320,370, and m3 IP-DECT

Macnews.de

Marc Korthaus, Managing Director macnews.de Online Services GmbH

“As dedictated Mac users, usability was a top priority for our team when looking for the right telecommunications system - STARFACE convinced us right from the start.”

Marc Korthaus, CEO macnews.de