Spoke Phone’s Dipton release brings major upgrades to call quality, full Bluetooth support for headsets, conference speakers, and in-car telephony, deeper support for multi-brand businesses, plus lots of other IVR/PBX features.
The end of September marked good news and a series of “ends” and “beginnings”. We wrapped up a major development cycle and subsequent release of Spoke’s latest version “Dipton” containing many new features and enhancements; it was the end of the Q3 sales quarter (we hit our numbers, phew!), and the beginnings of spring in New Zealand and autumn for our team in America.
Highlights of the Spoke Phone Dipton release
- Massive call quality improvements with new global Telco partnerships
- Native support for high-quality bluetooth calls
- New call offer modes to keep team interruptions to a minimum
- Smart “roll-over” sends unanswered calls to other teams or external services
- Better support for companies that run multiple brands
- Additional call transfer modes to better support in-office workers
- Custom audio library to replace all sounds, messages, and music
- Enhance Caller ID shows mobile workers more info about who’s calling and why
- And a host of PBX/IVR/Auto-attendant upgrades, improvements and fixes.
To see the complete list (and what is coming next), visit the Spoke Phone release notes, features, improvements, and fixes list.
Spoke releases massive call quality improvements with Tier 1 network partnerships globally
In the sphere of delivering high quality calls to landlines and mobiles all around the world, there are a handful of high quality players (Telco giants), and then there is a long list of everyone else.
Traditionally smaller phone system providers (like Spoke) have struggled to get enough scale (call volume) to catch the attention of the global Telco giants. The result is smaller phone system providers often struggle to deliver consistent call quality.
The large Telco companies provide Tier 1 networks. Highly optimized global connectivity that deliver voice calls over the fastest, cleanest, and most direct routes possible. Tier 1 networks provide crystal clear calls with no each, delays, or “walkie-talkie” experiences.
Spoke now delivers all calls as high quality HD Voice over global Tier 1 networks. The result is amazing.
Spoke supports native Bluetooth for iOS and Android phones for both VoIP and carrier phone calls
Believe it or not, making Bluetooth work consistently and with high quality audio is actually pretty darn hard. It’s easy enough to make Bluetooth “work”, but to make it work well on a variety of devices is a whole different story.
Apple phones are very standard as their operating system (iOS) is regularly updated to phones already in the market. While Android do update their operating system, it is never pushed onto phones that are already in the market, making developing an voice app that works consistently and well on all those phones almost impossible.
Making matters worse, every Android phone manufacturer and indeed every model they introduce, usually has modified versions of the Android operating system on them – the result is that nothing works the same.
Spoke have spent a good amount of solid engineering effort to get a good reliable solution that works consistently and well (especially on Android), that also provides good audio quality.
VoIP phone call quality over Bluetooth: The old saying “you pay for what you get” has never been more true nor also more of a complete paradox, as when it comes to phone calls over Bluetooth.
During development we purchased and tested more than 50 devices, and most of them produced sub-standard call quality. And it was not just the cheap devices, even some high-end brands were terrible in the lab. Some introduced delays into the calls, others had clicking sounds, and some, just did not work reliably at all.
For those who are interested, we have a list of devices that we’ve tested in the lab and have found to reliably deliver the best quality calls. We’ll keep adding this over time as we buy and test more devices.
With the Spoke Dipton release, answering, taking and ending Spoke business phone system calls on your Bluetooth headsets, speakers, or in your car, is now a native phone system experience that provides high quality audio.
New phone call routing "offer modes" keep team interruptions to a minimum
You work hard to put in place rules and processes to streamline your employee productivity, so the last thing you want is unintended interruptions that make people stop what they are working on, especially when your team is a “heads-down” kind of crew.
Phone calls can be interrupting and a destroyer of productivity. It’s said that it takes 23 minutes to recover from a distraction, especially when your deep into a tricky problem.
Spoke have released new call offer routing options to help your customer calls get answered faster, while also protecting your team from unnecessary distractions.
- New Round-Robin offer pattern offers calls based on who has not answered a call recently. It’s a fair system, and keeps distractions to a minimum
- Call-first lets you set one or more people who usually answer the calls so you don’t distract everyone, and only if they don’t answer then others are added in
- Roll-over lets you set control what happens if people on the call group don’t answer. Send to voicemail, roll over to another team, or to an external number/service
- New call timer fine tuning lets you control the exact experience that you customers receive when waiting for someone to answer their call
Phone system for companies that run multiple brands
A lot of smaller business owners expand their core business by having one or two sub-brands or other businesses they run alongside their main company. For instance a construction company may also have a landscape gardening business and a lumber supply company.
Larger companies setup Spoke with multiple voice menus and sophisticated calling groups, but smaller companies don’t need all that complexity.
In this release, Spoke has introduced two features to make running multiple brands in the one business phone system easy.
- Call group DDI. Create a call group for a sub-brand or business and assign a direct dial number (DDI) to it. When customers call the DDI they bypass the main voice menu and call that group. Employees in that group see an incoming call for that business or brand
- Auto-select Caller ID. When returning a call from Spoke’s call history, Spoke automatically selects the CallerID based on the number the customer called. If they called brand A, when you call them back the customer see’s brand A calling them
- Manually select Caller ID. When you make a call, you can “long-tap” (press and hold) on the call button to open the Select Caller ID window. Simply tap to select which brand or business you want to call from
Additional call transfer modes to better support in-office workers
Warm-transfer is a great phone system feature for mobile and remote workers. In fact, it’s just plain good business phone call etiquette, as it lets you privately chat with a colleague before transferring over a call, so they are forewarned and forearmed.
Spoke has long had a unique warm-transfer feature. It allows the transferring party to chat privately with a colleague before connecting the caller, and then choose to leave the conversation, or connect and stay in a 3-way call.
However, what if the person you need to transfer to is sitting right beside you? You don’t need warm transfer as you can simply tell them what’s up as you transfer the call.
Spoke Dipton releases new call transfer features to rectify this situation:
Transfer. Fast way to transfer the call immediately. Good for when your colleague sits across from you and you can tell them who’s on the phone.
Announce and transfer. Puts the caller on hold and lets you privately chat with a colleague before transferring the caller. Good for when you or your colleague are remote
Send to Voicemail. Sends the caller into your colleagues voicemail. Good for when your colleague is offline or busy
Custom audio library lets you replace all sounds, messages, and music that callers hear when calling your company's VoIP PBX phone system
We are constantly adding more personalization and flexibility to Spoke so you can control the exact phone call experience you want your customers to have. With the release of Spoke’s new custom audio library, you’re in control all aspects.
You can also take it up a level and use our professional voice over service that creates radio quality voice overs, music, messages and even on-hold advertorials for you, so you can really “wow” your customers.
Enhanced CallerID shows mobile workers key info about who's calling and why
We all know about Caller ID. That feature that shows you who is calling, either their number that’s calling, or if the person is a contact in your phone, then their name too.
Spoke’s Enhanced Caller ID extends the information about a caller to give you more content about who is calling and why they might be calling. Helpful stuff when you’re busy and deciding what calls to answer.
While these kind of capabilities are common with softphones that integrate wth a CRM (Softphones are an app you talk on via your computer), for mobile workers who are out and about on their mobile phones, getting timely relevant info as people call can make all the difference.
We believe that if we arm employees with more information as they make and take calls, your business phone system can become a new tool to help drive employee productivity. More to follow on this subject.
In the future Spoke’s Enhanced Caller ID will be expanded to provide all kinds of other useful information about the caller such as, why they are calling, what mood are they in, who talked to them last, etc.