Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Merge Communications?
Merge provides network-based converged communications services and products crafted specifically for the present and future needs of SMEs. The company is led by Peter Flowers and Paul Butterworth, both experienced IT and telecommunications professionals – Peter in engineering design and construction, Paul in consulting and marketing.
What is a hosted SIP service?
With a hosted SIP service you don’t need to own your own communications system. We “host” the services on our premises and deliver services to you over a broadband connection. SIP offers an alternative to traditional phone services, it also delivers instant messaging and video, presence, file transfer and desktop sharing services. All you need at your site to use the service are telephone handsets and/or use of a softphone application on PCs.
How is the Merge offering different from a traditional phone system?
A traditional phone system requires equipment and systems located at your premises. It also needs to be connected to the public telephone network by telephone “trunks” provided by a “telecommunications carrier”. Our offering does away with the phone “system” and “trunks” and delivers the phone and other services over a broadband connection.
What are the benefits of this kind of system?
A hosted system delivers a range of benefits:
- It reduces capital expenditure requirements – it’s a service and therefore an operating cost.
- It is easy and inexpensive to change phone services in line with staffing levels.
- It is easy and inexpensive to move your phone and other services when you move or alter premises.
- It eliminates the need for phone systems and “trunks” which should reduce your overall telecommunications costs.
- Your phone equipment, systems and software is always state of the art (we continually invest in our platform to maintain system performance, availability and functionality).
- It reduces reliance on (and cost of) a phone system provider, telecommunications company and internal technical resource for support and maintenance.
- It frees up the space normally required for phone equipment and systems — and reduces running costs like power.
How does an SIP service interface with my current phone and IT set-up?
You replace your phone system with our hosted service.
You connect your hosted services into the same network as your IT system – i.e. both share the broadband connection
What happens if my broadband connection fails?
You will be without telephone and other internet services if your broadband connection fails. However, if this happens, we can arrange for your telephone number or numbers to be redirected to other destinations, including mobile phones.
Can I still call mobiles and other non-SIP phones?
Yes – we will provide you with your own full New Zealand public telephone number if you opt in to the Connect service. You will then be able to call to and receive calls from the public telephone network.
Can I access traditional phone network services such as 111, directory services etc?
You will have access to the full range of public telephone services such as 111 and directory services if you subscribe to our Connect package.
Will it cost me more to call mobiles and Spark or Vodafone landlines?
Probably not. While you incur charges for calls to mobile telephones and public telephone numbers, we offer competitive rates. We review our rates with our suppliers constantly and pass on the benefits of any reductions on our rates to you.
Do your services support fax transmission?
Yes. A specially configured analogue telephone adaptor is require to support fax transmission. Scan and email is a great alternative.
Do your services support EFTPOS transmission?
Yes. A specially configured analogue telephone adaptor is require to support EFTPOS transmission. However, new technologies for operating EFTPOS over broadband are here and this is a better alternative.
Can I take my 0800 services to Merge?
Not the actual 0800 service itself but you can direct the 0800 number to your Merge number and take the calls on your merge phones.
What happens if something goes wrong? Who do I call?
You can contact us via email, or telephone.
Are there any contractual commitments?
No – our service stands on its own merits without needing to “contract” customers into long term financial obligations. You are free cancel your service at any time and the only financial obligation will be the rental fee and call charges for that month.
What building or office infrastructure do I need to use your service?
Your building cabling and data network infrastructure need to be up to a certain, reasonably modern standard. If you have any doubts about the suitability of your cabling and/or network infrastructure, Merge can arrange an audit to determine whether it might be necessary to upgrade or replace some components.
Is setting up a complicated process?
No – we will take care of it for you. We determine your requirements, provision your Merge services, configure your phones and pre-test it all.
Phones can be ordered through the Merge
We also provide the option of an on-site installation service. If you choose this paid option a field technician will come to your premises with the phone or phones and will install them, ensure the service is working and provide instruction on how to use the service.
You can also use a softphone on your PC. Merge recommends the Blink softphone.
If you have an unsupported phone you will need to self-configure. SIP account details are in your signup confirmation email.
How do I pay?
Billing is a month in advance for the service rental, and a month in arrears for tolls and other usage fees. You will receive a monthly invoice for your account rental and usage charges.
Can I get itemised billing?
Along with your invoice we will send you a file with full details of all chargeable calls made.