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The Telecom Handbook: Understanding Business Telecommunications Systems & Services, 4th edition, by Jane Laino, 323 pages, 2002, $44.95



This book covers the basics of purchasing and managing telephone systems and services, presented in easy-to-understand terms. The author focuses on the functional and practical side of telephony - how businesses can best use telephone systems to help their companies operate successfully. Many people who have been assigned responsibility of managing their company's telephone system have used this book to get a grip on the basics of telecommunications.

Some of the 14 chapters include:

  • Your Business Telephone System - The PBX
  • Purchasing a PBX
  • Voice Mail and Automated Attendant
  • Call Accounting
  • Convergence of Voice and Data
  • Outside Lines
  • Cable
  • Understanding the Telecommunications Industry

Now in its fourth edition with over 25,000 copies in use, The Telecom Handbook has become an industry standard. It is used for training by some of the telecommunications industry's leading organizations. Many helpful details found in this book are not available elsewhere, since they are based upon the real-world, hands-on experiences of the author.

Table of Contents

  1. The Telephone
    • Parts of the Telephone
    • Telephone Functions Depend Upon the System
    • Older Style Telephones Still in Use
    • Labels
    • Color Trivia
    • Expanding the Number of Buttons
    • Ringing
    • How Does the Telephone Work?
    • Digital vs. Analog Telephones
    • The Continued Importance of the Telephone on Your Desk
  2. Your Business Telephone System - The PBX
    • What is a PBX?
    • Understanding Your Own System
    • What is the Physical Makeup of the PBX?
    • A Look Inside the PBX Cabinet
    • PBX Shelf
    • PBX Circuit Boards
    • Other Components Inside the PBX Cabinet
    • PBX Sizing and Growth
    • How the PBX Works
    • Earlier PBXs and How They Worked
    • Telephone System Design (PBX and Key Systems)
    • PBX Functions (Also Called Features)
    • System Features Accessible to the Desktop Telephone Working with a PBX
    • Expense Control Function of the PBXs
    • Typical Differences Between Key Systems and PBXs
    • Wireless Telephones with a PBX
    • PBX Disaster Recovery Planning
  3. Purchasing a PBX
    • Identifying Your Organization's Requirements
    • Top 10 (+1) Places to Go Wrong When Planning For and Purchasing a New PBX
    • Identifying the Requirements
    • A PBX Request for Proposal (with sample questions)
  4. Your Call Center Telephone System - The ACD
    • ACD Hardware
    • ACD System Features
    • Performance Measurement
    • Agent Capabilities
    • Supervisor Capabilities
    • Caller Support Capabilities
    • Network Services (Outside Lines) for ACDs
    • Other Call Center Capabilities
    • Perspective
    • The Call Center Approach to Designing Office Telephone Systems
  5. Voice Mail and Automated Attendant
    • Definition by How it Sounds to the Caller
    • Physical Components of Voice Mail and Automated Attendant
    • Different Ways of Setting it Up
    • Automated Attendant
    • Voice Mail System Components
    • Voice Mail Capabilities for the Caller
    • Voice Mail Capabilities for the Mailbox Owner
    • Other Voice Mail Features
    • Voice Mail Administration
    • Voice Mail System Implementation and Integration with the PBX
    • Networking Voice Mail Among Multiple Locations
    • Voice Mail Service Bureaus
    • Voice Mail Purchasing Questions
    • Unified Messaging
  6. Call Accounting and Telemanagement Systems
    • Call Accounting
    • Telemanagement Systems
  7. Convergence of Voice and Data
    • Perspective
    • Introduction
    • An Earlier View of Convergence
    • Product Categories Enabling Convergence
    • Engineering-based Convergence Concepts
    • Putting the Pieces Together
    • Where the Network Components are Located
    • Communications Servers Replacing the "Mainframe" Switch
    • The Concept of Specialized Networks
    • Applications-based Convergence Concepts
    • Computer Telephony Applications Development
    • Other Computer Telephony Applications
  8. Interactive Voice Response Systems
    • How the IVR Provides Information
    • IVR Management Information Available
    • IVR Implementation
  9. Fax Servers
    • What is a Fax Server?
    • Fax Mail
    • Fax-on-Demand
    • Methods of Document Selection
    • Broadcast Fax
    • Fax Library Management
    • Methods of Creating and Importing Documents
    • Fax-on-Demand and Fax Broadcast Applications
    • Fax-on-Demand Cost Justifications
    • Configuring Fax-on-Demand
  10. Outside Lines
    • Circuits to Connect Your Telephone System (PBX or Key System) to the Local and Long-Distance Companies
    • T-1 Circuit Applications for PBXs
    • Other Types of Telecommunications Circuits (not typically connected to the PBX)
  11. Transmission
    • Transmission Medium
    • Synchronous and Asynchronous Transmission
    • Modems
    • Multiplexers
    • CSU/DSU Hardware
    • More Transmission Hardware
    • Bandwidth
    • Simplex vs. Duplex
    • Protocols
    • Analog vs. Digital
    • 2-Wire vs. 4-Wire
  12. Cable
    • Unshielded Twisted Pair Copper Cable
    • The Concept of Speed or Bandwidth
    • UTP Configurations
    • Jacks
    • Power at the Desk
    • Main and Intermediate Distribution Frames
    • Shielded Twisted Pair
    • Screened Twisted Pair Cable
    • Grounding
    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Twisted Pair Copper Cabling
    • Coaxial Cable
    • Fiber Optic Cable
    • Purchasing Cabling and its Installation
    • Building Cabling Systems
    • Cabling Standards
  13. Understanding the Telecommunications Industry
    • Telecommunications Network Services (Outside Lines and Calls)
    • Telecommunications Systems (Equipment)
    • Software and Service Companies
    • Professional Services
    • Outsourcing Resources-Who to Call
  14. Historical Perspective on the United States Telecommunications Industry
    • Telecommunications Industry History: A Personal Perspective from the Author

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Last modified January 19, 2012