The Jargon Buster - Select a number or letter

3 4 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

3G

Short for third generation and provides mobile Internet access with an information transfer rate of at least 200 kbit/s.

4G

The fourth generation, 4G is the successor of 3G and provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access with information transfer rates promised upwards of a 1Gps, Gigabit per second.

AC15

A signalling system used for linking two pieces of telecommunications equipment (e.g. two telephone systems) over a distance. See also DC5

Account Code

A way of attaching a "tag" to a call record. This might be used to indicate that the call is to be charged to a particular account or to indicate the outcome of a call (a sale was made, a brochure requested etc.) Call Management systems can then produce reports listing all calls with the same account codes. Account codes can be attached to incoming and outgoing calls, and it can be made mandatory for an extension user to enter an account code before a call is made.

ACD

Automatic Call Distribution. Allows all incoming calls to be distributed equally amongst a group of people. Typically used in a call centre where operators (agents) log in to make or receive calls. ACD systems provide facilities for monitoring the agents performance and the performance of the Call Centre as a whole. An incoming call will be automatically routed to the first available agent, whether that is an agent who has been free the longest, or an agent that has just become free.

ADSL

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. High bandwidth network connection for faster data transfer (connection generally allowing more bandwidth downloading than uploading). Increases efficiency and reduces costs. see Broadband

Alpha Tagging

The assignment of an alpha-numeric name to a facility. For example when called by an extension your phone can display the name of the caller rather than the extension number. When an incoming DDI call is received a name can be shown which relates to the number that was dialled, enabling one person to answer calls in a variety of different ways, e.g. in the names of different companies.

Analogue

Refers to an electrical signal that varies continuously over an infinite range of voltage or current values, as opposed to a digital signal, which varies discretely between two values, usually one and zero. Analogue signals can be viewed as sine waves of various sizes. For example, telephones take sound vibrations and turn them into electrical vibrations of the same shape before they are transmitted over traditional telephone lines. The public network was initially built around analogue technology. Digital facilities are rapidly replacing older analogue facilities.

Analogue Device

A device that can be attached to an ordinary analogue telephone line, such as a telephone, fax machine, cordless phone, answering machine, modem etc.

Analogue Line

Refers to an electrical signal that varies continuously over an infinite range of voltage or current values, as opposed to a digital signal, which varies discretely between two values, usually one and zero. Analogue signals can be viewed as sine waves of various sizes. For example, telephones take sound vibrations and turn them into electrical vibrations of the same shape before they are transmitted over traditional telephone lines. The public network was initially built around analogue technology. Digital facilities are rapidly replacing older analogue facilities.

Android

A Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

App

An abbreviation for application. An app is a piece of software that can be used to run useful tasks, play games or shop. It can run on the Internet, on your computer, or on your phone or other electronic device.

ATM

Asynchronous Transfer Mode. A transition and switching technique capable of supporting voice, video and data communications. It is unique in that each piece of information is addressed and is of the same length. This allows very high speed communications.

ARS

system looks at the digits being dialled to make an outside call and automatically routes the call via an alternate route. Best possible cost efficiencies for outgoing or inter site calls. See also LCR

Auto-Attendant

A voicemail feature that allows callers to be automatically transferred to extensions or departments by dialling digits. A tone dialling phone is normally required to do this.

Bandwidth

The speed at which a circuit can carry data. The more bandwidth, the faster the data transfer, the lower the costs.

Basic Rate

Abbreviated to BRI (basic rate interface) or ISDN2. An ISDN circuit providing 2 x 64 kbit/sec bearer channels for use by data or speech and one 16 kbit/sec control channel. Two independent calls can be carried at the same time on one BRI circuit.

Battery Back-up

see UPS

Bell

see Loud Ringing Bell

BLF

Busy Lamp Field. Visual indication of the status of lines or extensions through LEDs.

Bluetooth

Wireless communication protocol for several devices to communicate on a common format. Your mobile phone could transfer data to your keyset, PDA, PC or Printer etc. Similar to infra-red.

BPS

Bits per second. A basic unit of measurement for data transmission speed, usually represented as bps. For example, Kbps stands for kilobits per second or a thousand bits per second.

BRI

see Basic Rate

Broadband

BT's brand of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line see ADSL

Bulletin blueBoldSmall

An electronic version of a notice blueBoldSmall. Users can access the bulletin blueBoldSmall to obtain information. When applied to voicemail systems it indicates a system of menus that allow the caller to navigate to the information he wants, for example to find out what films are showing at a cinema.

BYOD

Bring your own device, also called: bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own phone (BYOP), and bring your own PC (BYOPC). Means the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.

Call Barring

The prevention of calls to certain destinations, e.g. overseas calls or calls to premium rate numbers may be barred.

Call Forwarding

Also known as call diversion. By dialling a code an extension user can divert incoming calls to another destination. The destination may be another extension, a group of extensions, the operator, or an external number, for example a mobile phone. Different types of diversion are usually possible, e.g. Diversion of All calls, Diversion on Busy, Diversion on no reply.

Call Logging

Data recorded about calls made or received through a telephone system. This data can then be used for reporting. See Call Management. See also Station Message Detail Recording.

Call Management

The use of specialist software to analyse and report on call records which are output from a telephone system and recorded on computer disk. The results can identify misuse, allocate costs to departments and verify the adequacy of resources.

Call Park

A call can be parked by one user and then retrieved by another. Particularly useful when loudspeaker announcements are made, e.g. "Telephone call. Joe Smith dial 811". If Joe goes to any phone and dials 811 he will get the call that has been parked there for him.

Carrier

Telephone service provider e.g. BT, Cable and Wireless, NTL etc.

Cat 5

Abbreviation for Category 5. Strictly speaking this is a specification for the transmission performance of a data cable. However it is commonly used to describe a building cabling system that allows the user to easily route voice and data circuits to any wall socket. It is designed to be network independent and to allow different computer and telephone systems to co-exist on the same cabling.

CCU

Central Control Unit. The box or cabinet housing the central equipment that controls the telephone system.

Centrex

A generic name for a feature offered by some Public Network Operators. Users have individual direct exchange lines but calls between users are free of charge and calls can be transferred between users. A limited set of features is provided to give something that approximates to a virtual telephone system. BT brands for this service are Featureline and Featurenet.

CLI

Calling Line Identity is the capture of the caller's number. There are two types of CLI, a Network CLI is used by network operators to identify the source of the call. It is available whether or not the caller is ex-directory but is never passed on to the called party. The user CLI is passed on to the called party, providing that the caller has not withheld it. By default it is the same as the network CLI but can be changed by the caller's equipment. For example in a firm a salesman might want his direct dial number to go out but the Managing Director might want his secretary's number to go out when he makes a call. CLI is used for the "1471" service where you dial 1471 to find out who called and can also be used to display the number on a phone or computer. CLI is not available on some networks (particularly from overseas) and is usually an optional feature from the network provider (the subscriber has to pay to receive it).

CLIP

Calling Line Identity Presentation. A service that provides a called party with the Calling Line ID of the caller. Usually a paid-for option. See also Connected Line Presentation.

CLIR

Calling Line Identification Restriction. Would stop your own CLI being presented to the called party.

COLP

Connected Line Presentation. A service which provides the caller with the identity of the person he has connected to. For example you may dial 01234 567890 but that number may be diverted to another. COLP will provide you with the identity of the person you have actually connected to. The identity is typically the telephone number of the connected party. This is a paid-for service from the network provider and compatible equipment is required to make use of it.

Conferencing

The joining together of more than two telephone users in a single call. Typically a call will be established between two persons, one will then hold the call, call a third party and then press a button to join all three parties in one call.

Connectivity

The means by which individual terminals, computers, mobile devices, connect to the Internet and their local area networks.

Contact Centre

A progression of the call centre merging customer calls with other media such as internet and email in conjunction with CRM applications. A unified approach to customer contact improving customer service levels leading to increased customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention.

Convergence

 

The merging of voice and data hardware solutions such as the server based PBX. More efficiency and cost benefits becoming available through convergence. In addition Voice switched Over IP is driven by convergent technology.

CPS

Carrier Pre-selection. Carrier Pre-Selection uses network access technology, so voice traffic originating from your site will be routed directly to your chosen network with no need for prefix codes. The "selection" of the preferred provider is done automatically at point of entry (the local exchange) to the public voice network.

CRM

Customer Relationship Management. A software application to deliver a single view of the customer.

CTI

Computer and Telephony Integration. The exchange of information between computers and telephone systems e.g. when a call comes in the telephone could pass to the computer the telephone number of the person calling. This can deliver "Screen Popping" - the presentation of database information based on an incoming caller's CLI. Information is commonly passed between telephone and computer systems using an Application Program Interface (API) of which the two most common are TAPI (Telephony API) and TSAPI (Telephony System API). CTI is commonly divided into First Party CTI, where a telephone and a computer are directly connected, and Third Party CTI, where the telephone system and the computer network communicate through a telephony server, with no direct physical connection between the telephone and the user's computer.

Custom Service Mode

Used in voicemail to indicate a service where the caller hears a menu of choices from which he can choose by pressing buttons on his phone. These choices might transfer him to an extension, group of extensions, or the operator, enable him to leave a message or listen to information, or may offer him other menus.

DC5

A signalling system used to communicate between two adjacent pieces of telecommunications equipment, for example between a telephone system and a router or multiplexer or between two co-located telephone systems. For communication over longer distances DC5 can be converted to AC15. See also AC15

DDI

Direct Dialling Inwards enabling outside callers to call directly to a user's extension. Normally available on ISDN lines. A company may have 10 lines and 100 telephone numbers. When any of the telephone numbers are dialled by an incoming caller the call is put on to any line that is free. At the same time the dialled number is passed to the telephone system. The phone system uses this to route the call to the intended recipient. Typically used to provide direct dial numbers for extension users, fax machines, departments or groups of extensions. This is much more efficient than the older method of using different sets of lines for different numbers because all lines can be used for all numbers and so less lines need to be rented overall to provide the same level of service. Also decreases the number of calls that have to be answered and transferred by an operator.

DECT

Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony. A technology that provides greater clarity and smaller handsets for cordless phones. There is a common standard called GAP (General Access Protocol) that allows handsets and base stations from different manufacturers to work together.

Delayed Ringing

A feature often used to provide an overflow if the switchblueBoldSmall operator is busy or absent. Incoming calls are sent to the operator but other extensions have delayed ringing, so they will start ringing if the call is not answered after a pre-set time.

Dial up

A communications link that connects a terminal and a computer via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

DISA

Direct Inward Station Access. Provides callers with single-digit access to extensions or ring groups.

DPNSS

Digital Private Network Signalling System. Developed in the early 1980s, a protocol to support connection between telecom equipment from different vendors digital equipment. See also QSIG

DSS

Direct Station Selector. A unit that fits alongside a telephone to turn it into an operator console. Typically containing a large number of programmable buttons that can be used to call and to indicate the status of extensions (stations).

DSL

Similar to ADSL, but allows the same amount of bandwidth in both directions.

E+M

Another name for DC5

Ethernet

A common method of networking computers in a LAN.

Exchange

A calling area served by a service provider's switching centre. An exchange will encompass one or more NXX codes, which are the first three digits of your local phone number.

Extranet

An intranet that is accessible to computers that are not physically part of a company's own private network, but that is not accessible to the general public. For example, to allow vendors and business partners to access a company website.

Extension Lock

A facility to prevent unauthorised phone use. An extension can be locked by entering a code and unlocked by entering a password. When locked the phone is subject to call barring, perhaps restricting it to internal and emergency service calls only.

Firewall

A security system that prevents computers on a network from communicating directly with computers on another network. Instead, all communication is routed through a proxy server, which determines whether a particular message or file may pass to or from the host.

GAP

General Access Protocol - see DECT

Gateway

A hardware or software set up that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example AOL has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary email format and Internet email format. Another meaning is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another system.

G/PS

Gigabits per second. A data transfer speed measurement for high-speed networks such as Gigabit Ethernet. When used to describe data transfer rates, a gigabit equals 1,000,000,000 bits.

Group Ringing

A group of extensions is rung by dialling a number. The group may be set as a ring group, in which case all of the extensions ring at once, or it may be set as a Hunt Group, in which case the system will find a free extension in the group to take the call.

GSM

Global Satellite Mobile. Improved call security and quality.

GUI

Graphical User Interface. A program interface, such as Microsoft Windows, that takes advantage of the computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use. Well-designed graphical user interfaces can free the user from learning complex command languages. A GUI will usually feature basic components such as a pointing device (mouse or trackball) to allow you to select objects, icons (small pictures) that represent commands, a desk[TOP] area, where icons are grouped, and a menu for the user to select a command from.

Hunt Groups

A means of finding a free extension to take a call. Calls are directed to a Hunt Group and will search for a free extension to take the call. Various hunting types are available, First Free or Terminal Hunting will search for the first free extension in the group, so this person gets most of the calls. Circular or UCD (Uniform Call Distribution) Hunting will share calls equally over the group.

Hybrid

A hybrid telephone system combines traditional telephone systems with newer voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technologies. These systems can also allow users to utilise analogue, digital and IP telephony devices.

Intranet

A private network inside a company or organisation that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but which is only for internal use.

Instant Messaging

(IM) a type of online chat which offers real-time text transmission over the Internet or network.

IP

Internet Protocol. Access to standard global communications protocol.

IP Address

A series of characters that uniquely identifies the terminal equipment which is the origin or destination of data being transmitted.

ISP

Internet Service Provider. Allows you to connect to the Internet.

ISDN

The Integrated Services Digital Network. An internationally agreed method of providing digital communication over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Enables the benefits of DDI, CLI, Trunk-to-Trunk Transfer and faster data transfer. See also Basic Rate (ISDN2) and Primary Rate (ISDN30).

ISDN2

See Basic Rate

ISDN30

See Primary Rate

IVR

Interactive Voice Response. IVR systems automate routine transactions, such as requests for literature or information by using voice recognition or pone keypad operations.

Kbit

Kilobit per second -kbps, kbit/s, or kb/s is a unit of data transfer rate 1000 bits.

Keyphone

A telephone for use with a particular make and model of telephone system which incorporates features allowing it to communicate with the telephone system and display information, typically by means of lights, buttons and visual displays.

Keysystem

A telephone system designed for all extensions to answer incoming calls. The distribution of all incoming calls across a business or team.

LAN

Local Area Network. Enables PCs to communicate data between each other and common devices or servers also connected to the network.

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display. A display panel found on many phones capable of showing text prompts or messages.

LED

Light Emitting Diode. A semi-conductor device used as an indicator lamp. Typically these are incorporated into buttons allowing visual indication of calls, voicemail messages and status of other lines and extensions - see BLF

LCR

Least Cost Routing. A technique where the telephone system modifies the digits dialled by a user making an outside call in order to route the call via a low-cost carrier. Typically the routing decision is based on what number has been dialled and it is often possible to have several carriers configured on the same telephone system to take advantage of the cheapest route to any destination. See also Automatic Route Selection (ARS). Typically ARS incorporates and builds on the capabilities of LCR.

Least Cost Routing

see LCR

Live Call Screening

A facility available on some voicemail systems which allows someone who has diverted his calls to voicemail to listen to a caller leaving a message and pick up the call if he wants to.

Loud Ringing Bell

An audio warning device to alert someone that a call is ringing. It may simply be an extension bell to a telephone or it could be a set of bells around the building so that anyone can pick up the incoming call.

Mailbox

A reference to the location where voicemail messages for a particular user are stored.

MAPI

Microsoft Application Protocol Interface. Protocol designed to ensure all Microsoft applications can communicate with other applications in a standard and documented format.

Meter Pulse Detection (MPD)

A BT service for their analogue lines, to allow a subscriber to accurately establish the charge of a telephone call. To a subscriber, it was a Meter Pulse received by monitoring equipment down their telephone line. To BT, it was a Charge Unit recorded on the subscriber's meter in the local BT exchange. During a call, the first pulse would be transmitted the moment the call connected. Subsequent pulses would be transmitted at time intervals thereafter, the interval depending upon the telephone number dialled and the time of day. Hence, the more expensive the call, the shorter the time interval (and therefore the more Meter Pulses), and vice-versa. No new supply or additional supply of Meter Pulsing has been provided since the end of December 1998.

Mobility

A software solution designed to extend unified communications (UC) applications to a wide range of smartphone and tablet operating systems. The software allows users to communicate via a PBX and often permits BYOD.

MSN

Multiple Subscriber Numbering. An optional feature of ISDN2 lines allowing up to 10 telephone numbers to be assigned to a single line so that devices connected to that line can be called individually. Can be used to produce a limited version of DDI.

Music on Hold

An audio signal that is played to a caller on hold to reassure him that he has not been cut off. Typically music, it may be interspersed with advertising messages or could be simply a reassuring beep played every few seconds.

Network

The equipment and transmission facilities for communication between computer systems.

Network [TOP]ology

Network [TOP]ology is the study of the arrangement or mapping of the elements (links, nodes, etc.) of a network, especially the physical (real) and logical (virtual) interconnections between nodes.
A LAN (local area network) is an example of a network that exhibits both a physical and a logical [TOP]ology. Any given node in the LAN will have one or more links to one or more other nodes in the network and the mapping of these links and nodes onto a graph results in a geometrical shape that determines the physical [TOP]ology of the network. Similarly, the mapping of the flow of data among the nodes on the network determines the logical [TOP]ology. It is significant to note that whilst the physical and logical [TOP]ologies may be identical in any particular network equally they also can be different.

Night Service

Most telephone systems have at least two operating modes, Day Service and Night Service. These are typically used to route incoming calls to a different destination and to apply call barring to prevent unauthorised use of the phones by security or cleaning staff.

Node

The term node as used in the field of telecommunications refers to an originating or terminating point of information or signal flow in a telecommunications network. In Network [TOP]ology the term may also refer to a terminal of any branch of a network or an interconnection common to two or more branches of a network. In this context the term "terminal" means a device that is able of sending, receiving, or sending and receiving information over a communications channel in whatever format voice or data being examples of information transmitted. Also, the term "network" as used in this context refers to an interconnection of three or more communicating entities.

Overflow Group

See Delayed Ringing.

Packet Switching

The method used to move data and voice around a network. In packet switching, all the data is broken up into chunks - each chunk has the address of where it came from and where it is going. This enables chunks of data from many different sources to co-mingle on the same lines and be sorted and directed along different routes by special machines along the way. This allows many people to use the same lines at the same time.

Parallel Port

Port in a PC used for the connection of external equipment such as a printer, scanner etc. See also serial port.

Patch panel

Cabling connection point. This is typically the part of a structured network cabling system (CAT 5) that enables switching of services either voice or data to RJ45 sockets.

PBX / PABX

Private Branch Exchange / Private Automated Branch Exchange. Allows central control of incoming call via a single operator.

Phreaking

Telephony fraud where hackers hijack phone lines and route calls through company switchboards. Once a phone line has been seized, hackers can make revenue by placing high volumes of calls to premium rate phone numbers or selling calls to a third party.

PMS

Property Management System. Hotel / Motel "Front of House" software package.

POT

Plain Ordinary Telephone. Used to distinguish an ordinary analogue telephone from a keyphone. Also known as an SLT (single line telephone).

Presence

The ability to determine where intended recipients are at any time and if they are available.

PRI

Primary Rate Interface - See Primary Rate

Primary Rate

An ISDN circuit providing (in Europe) up to 30 x 64 kbit/sec bearer channels for use by data or speech and two 16 kbit/sec control channels. Up to 30 independent calls can be carried at the same time on one Primary Rate.

Proprietary telephone sets

Types of telephone sets designed to work only with a specific telecommunications system. They cannot be used with any other systems.

PSTN

Public Switched Telephone Network. Everyone connected to standard communications platform.

Pulse Dialling

Also known as LD (loop-disconnect) dialling. A method of dialling where the telephone is alternately disconnected and connected to signal to the exchange. For example if a digit 5 is dialled this could be signalled by sending 5 disconnection pulses. The frequency and length of the pulses and the number of pulses for each digit can vary from country to country. This dialling method is now mostly superseded by tone dialling.

QSIG

Q signalling standard. A standard dial up protocol designed to give feature transparency between systems at different sites across the PSTN. Allows products from different vendors to work together. See also DPNSS

QoS

Quality of Service. Used to provide acceptable voice quality across IP networks.

Redundant Networks

Cloud storage systems generally rely on hundreds of data servers. Because computers occasionally require maintenance or repair, it's important to store the same information on multiple machines. This is called redundancy. Without redundancy, a cloud storage system couldn't ensure clients that they could access their information at any given time. Most systems store the same data on servers that use different power supplies. That way, clients can access their data even if one power supply fails.

Router

Routes data traffic. Can be used to connect LANs together or as a single connection point between a LAN and an ISP.

SBUS

The digital connection from a telephone system to a PC. Provides the ability to utilise ISDN lines for voice and data traffic.

Screen Popping

The initialising and presentation of database information selected using the CLI. Reduces the time spent searching for customer service history etc.

Serial Port

Port in a PC used for the connection of external equipment such as an external modem. Also used for connection of call-logging, CTI, etc. See also parallel port.

SIP

Session Internet Protocol. SIP is an industry standard, put simply, it allows businesses to create a single, pure IP connection between enterprises and telephone carriers thus enabling businesses to make and receive calls over Broadband. SIP Trunks are just another type of trunk connection, just like ISDN2e & ISDN30e but are much more cost effective to rent.

Smartphone

A mobile phone with advanced computing capability and connectivity.

Soft PBX

A software application that provides server based telephony. Performing similar functions to a hardware PBX, they offer a range of PBX functions , voicemail and integration with other server based applications such as Unified Messaging and contact management systems.

SLT

Single Line Telephone. See POT

SMDR

Station Message Detail Recording. See Call Logging.

SSL

Secure Sockets Layer - cryptographic protocols that provide communication security over the Internet.

Switch

See PBX / PABX

Tablet

A tablet personal computer (tablet PC) is a portable personal computer equipped with a touchscreen as a primary input device, and running a modified desktop operating system.

TAPI

Telephony Application Program Interface. A standard devised by Microsoft Corporation for communication between a computer terminal (workstation) and a telephone extension. There are several versions of the TAPI standard and various options within the standard so it should not be assumed that all the features of one TAPI compliant device will be available on any other TAPI compliant device. See also  TSAPI

TCO

Total cost of ownership is a financial estimate whose purpose is to help determine direct and indirect costs of a product or system.

TCP / IP

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol. Set of layered protocols that enable shared applications among PCs in a high speed communications environment.

TDM

Time Division Multiplexing. Traditional telephony technology employed to connect two parties in a call via a PBX

Tele

A prefix meaning `at a distance', as in `telepathy', `telemetry', `television', 'telephone' or even 'telescope'.

Telecommunications

Telecommunication is the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. This process typically involves the sending of electromagnetic waves by electronic transmitters, but it originated before the advent of telephone systems with the use of systems such as signals drums, semaphore or alpine horns. Today, telecommunication is extensive, with items such as the television, radio and telephone, are common in many parts of the world. There are also many networks that connect these devices, including computer networks, public telephone networks, and the Internet.

Any transmission, emission or reception of sign, signals, writings, images & sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, visual or other electromagnetic systems.

Telecommunications Network

A telecommunications network is a network of telecommunications links and nodes set up so that messages may be passed from one part of the network to another via numerous links and through a range of nodes.

Tone Dialling

Also known as MF (multi-frequency) or DTMF (dual tone multi-frequency). A dialling method which generates audio tones when digits are dialled. These tones are sent down the line and can be detected by telephone systems or other devices.

Trunk

A telephone exchange line to receive and make calls.

Trunk-to-Trunk Transfer

A facility which allows an incoming call received on one line to be transferred to someone on another line, i.e. both callers are external to the telephone system. Typical uses include transferring an incoming caller to someone's mobile phone.

TSAPI

Telephony System Application Program Interface. A standard devised by Novell Corporation for communication between a network server and a telephone exchange. Because it is working at a system level this offers more flexibility than TAPI but is also more complex to implement.

Two-Way Record

A facility of voicemail systems and answering machines which allows both sides of a telephone conversation to be recorded for later playback.

UC

Unified Communications. A communications system that encompasses a broad range of technologies and applications as a single communications platform. Unified communications enabling companies to use integrated data, video, and voice in one supported product across multiple devices.

Unified Messaging

A messaging platform that allows management of voice, fax and email from a single user interface (PC). Improves efficiency as all messages are presented from the one place to the user.

Uniform call distribution

A feature that spreads calls coming in on a group of lines as smoothly as possible so that all stations handle relatively similar loads. Most call distribution systems also provide for queuing of incoming calls. Typically the incoming call with the longest hold time is represented for service first.

UPS

Uninterruptible Power Supply. Provides continuous power source to the telephone system in the event of a mains power fail. Also referred to as Battery Back-up.

UTP

Unshielded Twisted Pair. A type of cable. Commonly (and imprecisely) used to differentiate from computer cables using co-axial cable such as 10 Base 2, Thin Ethernet, Thinnet, Thick Ethernet, Thin Ethernet or IBM Twinax.

Voicemail

A voicemail system typically provides a central "answering machine" for users of a telephone system. The user diverts his calls to the voicemail system, which will play a personalised message to a caller and allow him to leave a message for the extension user. Most voicemail systems also provide options for routing callers to departments or extensions and for giving out information to callers.

VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol. Allows voice calls to be switched over any data carrying network reducing fixed infrastructure costs.

VPN

Virtual Private Network. Provides users with inter site communications, which could be implemented over fixed circuit connections but also via dial up connection. This has many cost benefits to the user as the need for fixed line voice circuits may be removed.

WAN

Wide Area Network. Improves cost and efficiency as PC users in different sites may all access the same information as if they were all connected locally on the one local area network.

WAP

Wireless Access Protocol. A means of accessing the Internet using a mobile phone.

Web chat

A system that allows users to communicate in real time using easily accessible web interfaces.

Wi-Fi

Technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the internet wirelessly using radio waves.

Wireless

Wireless communication is the transfer of information over a distance without the use of electrical conductors. The distances involved can only be small (a few feet as in for a car key fob) or equally extensive (thousands or even millions of miles for communication to Mars). When the context is clear the term is often simply shortened to "wireless". Wireless communications is generally considered to be a branch of telecommunications.

Wireless Networking

Despite the fact that the “wireless network” might in principle be used to refer to any set of connections that is wireless, the phrase is most often used to refer to a telecommunications network whose interconnections linking nodes is implemented devoid of the use of wires, such as a computer network (which is a type of communications network). Wireless telecommunications networks are in general implemented with some type of remote information broadcast system that uses electromagnetic waves, such as radio emissions, for the carrier, this usually takes place at the physical level or "layer" of the network.

WLAN

Wireless Local Area Network. The wireless extension to the wired LAN is a growing market. More organisations have people on the road that need contact areas in the office. Wireless is the easiest way to facilitate this.

WOC

Windows Operator Console. PC based operator terminal. Allows the user to see the status of lines and extensions on their PC screen and answer and transfer calls with the click of a mouse.

XDP

eXtra Device Port - an analogue port in the back of some keysets, which can be used as either a 'double' of the existing extension number (i.e. for an analogue DECT) or as a totally different extension number (i.e. for an analogue modem.)

XML

eXtensible Markup Language. A widely used system for defining data formats. XML provides a very rich service to define complex documents and data structure such as invoices and news feeds etc. As long as a programmer has the XML definition for a collection of data, i.e. a schema, then they can create a program to reliably process any data formatted according to those rules.

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Latest Posts - 18 Aug 2017

19 2017 01

Incom-CNS Account Manager, Ed Calvert, has become an internet sensation and made his TV debut follow ...view more >
19 2016 12

Save the Children's, Christmas Jumper Day took place on Friday 16th December, with people across the ...view more >
31 2016 10

Continuing a glorious year, Incom-CNS proudly pulled off the 'double-double' at the prestigious peer ...view more >

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Testimonials

"We were impressed with how Incom looked to help us save money, improve our flexibility to manage seasonal demands and increase our efficiencies which the ShoreTel system has certainly done."

Niki Waters, Premier Holidays, Cambridge


"The ShoreTel system provided and installed by Incom will pay for itself in two years through significantly reduced management costs and we have already achieved substantial savings on our telephone bill - in the order of 20%."

Stuart Stephen, Stafford & Rural Homes.

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