Press Release

20th June 2007

Kind-hearted staff from a North West-based telecommunications company have raised over £1,000 for charity.

Three employees from Corporate Telecommunications in Leigh, together with a colleague from a supplier company, successfully completed the BUPA Great Manchester Run on May 20th, raising the cash through sponsorship from well wishers.

The fundraising trio from Corporate Telecommunications, were general manager Paul Baxter, who finished in 71 minutes, credit control manager James German, who finished in 50 minutes, and buyer Gavin Lomax, 62 minutes.

Jonathan Beatson, distribution manager at headset manufacturer Jabra, also joined them.

Their collective athletic efforts raised £1,236 for Kidney Research UK., the leading UK charity focused on research into the prevention, treatment and management of kidney disease.

A cheque for the amount was handed over to Carol Bonham, the charity’s North West fundraising manager, at a presentation ceremony at Corporate Telecommunications’ headquarters on Tuesday 12th June.

Said Carol, “it is because of the generosity of companies such as Corporate Telecommunications that we are able to fund our life-saving work. The lives of over three million people in the UK are under-threat from chronic kidney disease, a devastating and debilitating condition that can affect anyone at any time. We are very grateful to Paul, James, Gavin and Jonathan for taking part in the wonderful Great Manchester Run in aid of us, and to the whole company for really getting behind their efforts.”

The GM Run is a gruelling 10 km (6.22 miles) race around the streets of Manchester and Salford. It is one of the world’s fastest growing running events and Britain’s premier race over this distance.

Proud-but-tired Paul Baxter said, “10 km is further than I had ever run before, so it was quite a challenge. In addition, we only decided to enter four weeks before the actual race, so we didn’t have very long to prepare. But it was for an excellent cause, which helped to keep us all motivated. I lost a few pounds in weight as well, which was a bonus.”

Paul, Gavin, James and Jonathan joined 28,000 other competitors in the event, including stars from Coronation Street and Olympic champions Dame Kelly Homes, Amir Khan and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The overall race was won by 20-year-old Kenyan Micah Kogo in a record-breaking 27 minutes and 21 seconds, the fastest ever time for the distance in the UK.

Editors’ notes
For further information please contact Chan Bansal, business development manager at Corporate Telecommunications, on tel: 01942 265 148 or email: Chan.Bansal@corpteluk.com. You can also visit the website at http://www.corpteluk.com.

Photo

The caption for the photograph is:
Fundraisers from Corporate Telecommunications present the cheque to Kidney Research UK. (l-r Paul Baxter – general manager, Gavin Lomax – buyer, James German – credit control manager, Carol Bonham – Northwest Community Fundraising Manager, Kidney Research UK ).

About Corporate Telecommunications
Corporate Telecommunications was founded in Leigh, Greater Manchester in 1994. It is a division of Corporate Direct (Europe) Limited and is a specialist distributor of headsets, handsets, audio conferencing, call recording and voice and data installation equipment. It is the third largest and fastest growing Plantronics headset distributor in the UK.

Corporate Telecommunications supplies small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), corporate and trade customers throughout the UK. In particular, it supplies headsets and associated equipment to call centres and contact centres.

About Kidney Research UK
The National Kidney Research Fund officially changed its name to Kidney Research UK on October 11th 2005. For over 40 years, it has been the UK’s leading kidney charity, funding research into the prevention, treatment, and management of kidney diseases. It also dedicates its work to patient care and educational initiatives.

Today in the UK, up to 1 in 10 people are suffering from some degree of Chronic Kidney Disease – most of whom don’t know it. Around 34,000 people are currently being treated for renal failure, a number that is rising by 8% annually. The only treatments currently available for renal failure are dialysis, where a patient is tied to a machine for several hours a day and several days a week, or transplantation, for which there is a huge shortage of organs available.

I have just seen some research done by Surrey University into the effects of using a telephone at work, here’s a quote:

“Hundreds of thousands of people who regularly use a phone and a computer at work are likely to be suffering from musculoskeletal health problems, which results in neck pain, back pain and headaches. The first detailed study of telephone users in the office environment, presented at the 1999 Ergonomics Society Conference, demonstrates that there is a measurable health risk for anyone using the phone for just two hours daily” (you can check out the full article here)

This study shows there is a clear link between using a telephone at work for prolonged periods and back,neck and muscular pain. Therefore this work is going to be presented to the health and saftey board and recommendations made.

This research supports the need for better telephone equipment in the workplace and the adequate provision of headsets, so that phone users can talk without having to push the phone into their ear and damage themselves. Having a headset frees up their hands and creates a better posture for prolonged telephone use.

I was thinking the other day about whether wireless headsets actually gives me better productivity at work. I spend a lot of my time in front of the computer and then dashing around the office to do things. I even sometimes make a cup of coffee whilst on the phone. However am I more productive.

I think it is a given that I am more productive with a headset whilst sitting at my computer, I have two hands free and I can conduct meetings and show software live via networking tools whilst on the phone or on skype. I cannot really see an alternative to this as when I use the computer speakers to play a skype call I get feedback. Also people on the other end of the line complain that they can hear themselves and me typing away frantically. So a headset is a definite must for my type of work. But do I need to be wireless.

I do like to get up from my desk whilst on the phone and have free movement of my hands to move about whilst I talk. I tend to be one of those people who can speak more freely if I can wave my hands around. I know there is no one there to see the hands, but I feel more natural and this is the way I communicate. I also work from home a lot and never find time to go out into the garden in the sun. However since I have been using wireless I have been able to take those long conference calls in the garden and look at the river whilst some boring manager is going on about sales projections. This means that my experience is enhanced with a wireless headset but am I more productive.

I cannot really say I am more productive at the desk as I could be using a wired headset here. So what about the work I can do now away from my desk? Well I can pull folders from my filing cabinet which is a way from my desk, I can talk and be accessing information without having to get back to people. I think this is important as if people need to ask me something then I can do it there and then. Imagine if I had to ring them back and they were on the phone.

I think that’s key wireless headsets makes it more probable that you can complete a conversation with someone in one call. Not sure how to quantify it but thats got to be worth the investment.

With the recent increase in penalties for driving whilst using a mobile phone I thought it was time to have a look at some new headsets that you can use whilst driving.  I need to get something sorted pretty quickly as I find it hard to ignore my phone when it rings.

The type of headsets that I after are those ones that I can answer the phone with one button and is wireless from the earpiece to the phone.  So it must be bluetooth and pretty light.  Looking around I know that Plantronics Headsets are probably the leader of the market in this area.  My brother has one and he is really easy to hear on the telephone.

These all look suitable

HEADSETS > Mobile Headsets > Plantronics Headsets > Bluetooth

Plantronics Discovery 640X Bluetooth UK
Plantronics Discovery 640X Headset
Plantronics Discovery 640 Bluetooth EURO
Plantronics Discovery 640 Bluetooth EURO

They all seem to be about £60 which is a fair bit of cash to spend, but I guess they last a long time and keep you safe on the road.  I wonder if they have a way of allowing you to use hands free calling via voice without touching the headset.  This maybe possible as the answer button if held down goes into voice recognition.  I have a Nokia N70 which seems to work with most headsets and I know it does work with Bluetooth.

What I do want to know is whether you can get headaches from using bluetooth. A quick search on Google and I cannot really find anyone complaining about it so it must be ok.  I also used to think these kind of headsets looked a bit silly but I think that stigma has gone now that this legislation has come in and these are really the only good option.

When it comes to most of us with headsets, we probably all use the free one that came with our webcam or computer.  These are just rebranded ones to suit the OEM of the gismo that you bought with your computer.  I am starting to see how it can be of value to invest in better stuff as I spend most of my time using it.  For a headset I still use the one that I got with my Logitech Camera, but I think I want to upgrade.

What I would like to be able to do is have a headset that I can use for my three devices.  Skype, Mobile and Land Line.  I know that Corpteluk the headsets distrbutor, have a headset that can answer the land line and the mobile phone.  I was a little unsure of how even this would work but they told me that the land line is picked up by a handset lifter.  You press a button on your wireless headset and this activates the handset lifter.  If your mobile rings then the call is answered via bluetooth.  This model does not answer skype calls though.  What I do not want to do is have to buy a wireless headset for land line calls and then another one for skype.

If I had to buy one first I think I would go for a wireless skype headset as I spend a lot more time on this.  It would be great to keep on talking whilst doing other stuff around the office.  I also like to move and talk and sometimes find selling on the phone hard whilst I am sitting down.  Maybe someone could comment on where I can find a headset that does all three!

A handset lifter would not work with my type of phone as it is a modern one that you pick up with a button.  But I guess the brains behind good headsets have thought of this.

How do the headset manufacturers set pricing?

Plantronics and GN Netcom set the price of the headset without the final lead that connect to the phone. This means that you have to decide which connection you need before you can work out the price you will pay.

Are there headsets that work with my Mobile phone?

All mobile phone can work with some headset, although not all can work with a Bluetooth headset. If you ask any headsets dealer and tell them the model of your phone they will be able to tell you what headsets are available.

Are there different styles of headsets?

Single Speaker headsets are called Monaural, these are for people that are on the phone but also need to be able to talk with colleagues. Having only one speaker means that you can still hear other people.

Two Speaker headsets are called Binaural. These are designed for people who need to concentrate solely on the phone call in hand. They also want to block out some of the background noise to stop distractions.

Over the Ear headsets are used by people on the move and therefore need something that is not going to get in the way. They tend to be light and easy to take on and off whilst still being stable enough to move around with.

Does Noise Cancelling actually work?

Noise cancelling headsets are getting a lot better and are very useful for call centres where the background noise can be annoying. They have been shown the reduce background noise by up to 75%.

I do not have a headset socket on my phone what do I do?

You can either start again and buy a phone with a headset socket or buy an amplifier adapter. Make sure the amplifier adapter works with the headset you are going to buy.

But what is an amplifier?

A headset amplifier can control to sound volume of both incoming and outgoing audio. Therefore you can control the level of the sounds to your own comfort. Most amplifiers also have a mute switch to maintain privacy.

Where can I get Spares for my Headset?

All good headset distributors will be able to supply you with all the parts for you headset should they need replacing. Some parts are more prone to wear and are readily available. Parts include –

• voice tubes,

• foam ear pads,

• microphone shields

• training leads

Will I be able to use my headset through with my laptop?

Most headsets sold today come with a 3.5mm jack plug included and most laptops have a connector for this. On a normal desktop pc the jack plug would go into the sound card.

What about Wireless?

Wireless headsets are becoming more and more popular and there are varying types. The range is important and you should work out how far you will need to be able to move before you loose signal. For most people 10 metres is enough but some headsets can go up to 100metres. These long range headsets are more suitable for managers who need to go down onto the shop floor and see what happening whilst still talking on the phone.

I have just seen two videos that have been uploaded to youtube.  They are focused on wireless headsets from plantronics.  I have heard some good things about these headsets from my friends in the recruitment industry. 

My friend, Ben said that he was reluctant at first to try a wireless headset due to the cost but it has totally change the way he works.  He said that he is able to talk much freer as he can stand and gesutre at the same time as talking.  This gives him and better flow in his sales pitch!

The videos can be seen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5DhgIaFYfk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHSrz7wPayU

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