Monthly Archives: July 2014

NEWT Helps Accounting Firm Get More Done With Less

DanielSwatskyWhen Dan Sawatsky first started his own accounting firm over 15 years ago, Daniel S. Sawatsky Professional Corporation, he had just 2 people working alongside him. Now that his number of staff has more than doubled, Dan credits a number of things that helped his company grow into what it is today. “Our mission is totally focused on the clients . . . to be as efficient as possible, to save as much tax as possible, and we need to have a total team effort and system in place”. But he also credits his NEWT Business Phone System with helping him and his firm handle the increasing workload they’ve taken on in the last five to seven years. As Dan explains, “we’ve had the same number of staff but virtually 30% more clientele . . . Fibernetics is a big part of that”.

One of the reasons the NEWT Business Phone System has been able to help Dan and his employees be more productive has to do with the extensive feature set the NEWT PBX offers. When asked about which feature he finds most important to him, Dan is quick to mention Voicemail to Email, “we can be out of the office, getting a message . . . listening to the message and forwarding it to someone to take care of it”. This feature also aligns with the firm’s core values, “it comes back to what our mission is with taking care of the client, it just helped us and insisted us to do a better job”.

The NEWT Business Phone System also enabled the Daniel S. Sawatsky Professional Corporation to eliminate their need for multiple business phone lines, which resulted in savings of hundreds of dollars each month. The switch to a NEWT Business Phone System has also provided his firm with a consistently high call quality, “we’ve had zero complaints of, [clients] not hearing us or breaking out or anything like that, it’s been seamless”.

NEWT Eliminates the Need for Business Phone Lines

For more on what NEWT Business Phone System and NEWT Business Internet Services can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

Share Button

NEWT Business Solution: The Insurance Phone System

LMlogo07Although Lackner McLennan Insurance ltd. has been operating since 1946, they are still constantly looking for ways to maximize productivity, an attitude that has served them well in nearly 60 years as an insurance brokerage. David Stark, CEO and one of five Managing Partners at Lackner McLennan, describes the team at LMI as one where “everyone is committed to getting the job done, and to work together to get the job done”. In order to be consistent with their core values, LMI needed a phone system that would promote collaboration, which ultimately led them to the NEWT Business Phone System.

Before switching to NEWT, Lackner McLennan was using an old system that was providing more headaches than benefits, as it required constant maintenance that was costing them both time and money. David describes the system as “dying a slow, painful death” when speaking about the increasing problems they were experiencing. Now, after switching to NEWT, Lackner McLennan has enjoyed first-class business support without the costly maintenance fees.

Building the Perfect Insurance Phone System

But where NEWT has had the largest impact is in how day-to-day activities are completed for both David and his employees, which lies in the innovative features the NEWT Managed PBX offers. Because of the extensive feature set NEWT has to offer, organizations can custom design how their business communications work allowing Lackner McLennan to have the perfect Insurance phone system. When asked which feature he can’t live without, David quickly responds with, “voicemail to email, I tell you that’s second to none”, “the fact that the email can ricochet to my Blackberry is awesome”. David also mentioned the ease at which the nationwide Fibernetics CLEC network that the NEWT system runs on allows Lackner McLennan to hold conference calls with associates calling from across the country. “Yesterday we were dealing with our accountants and tech support that was calling from Vancouver . . . they called me and I could easily bring in two other people as well”.

Lackner McLennan has been a customer of NEWT for nearly seven years, and when David was asked about his overall opinion of NEWT and the NEWT Managed PBX, his reply was simple but telling, “it’s good quality, a good system, and saves you a couple bucks along the way”.

Share Button

National IT Day: Have you hugged a nerd today?

nerd_hugToday is National IT Day and around here, that is as serious a holiday, up there with say, Festivus.

It’s because Fibernetics, the parent company for NEWT is pretty much dripping with IT people. Our CEO? Jody Schnarr probably made the first ever VoIP phone call in Canadian history. That’s like King of the Nerds material right there! Naturally the rest of the company follows his lead so wherever you turn, be it operations, finance, marketing, there’s serious nerd content happening all over the place.

Which is exactly as it should be as we are an Internet Service Provider; the nerd’s natural habitat.

With Information technology taking over the business world in the last 30 years, the IT professional, almost ubiquitously known as “nerds”, have seen their profile dramatically changed. Prior to the IT revolution, the pocket protector set were a target for open scorn and ridicule – see Marty McFly’s famous father.

But then came the Steve Wozniac-set and everything changed. Suddenly the socially awkward but psycho-smart tech-savvy types became the cool guys, because they were the ones changing the world, while those on the outside could just look on in wonder.

This change in status continues today as IT professionals are being poached by other departments in most businesses, but mostly to what once was the coolest of the cool silos, marketing. It’s the battle between the CIO and the CMO, and in what truly is the revenge of the nerds, with marketing evolving into principally a digital world, IT guys are the new must-haves. Creative types are now almost completely dependent upon IT pros. And if an IT guy or girl is the creative type as well? Well, they can practically write their own ticket.

So – today is National IT day. Give one a hug, because even though you might not know it, they’re ruling your world right now.

Here’s just some of ours:


Share Button

Helping is in our nature


Share Button

Car Dealerships Benefit from the NEWT Business Phone System

All Canadian industry verticals have specific needs. This is the first of a series of posts on Car Dealerships, and their unique requirements when it comes to their business phone systems.

Jim WilsonJim Wilson is a car guy, especially a Chevrolet guy, as his family has been working with them for over 40 years. Jim has owned his own dealership in the Orillia area since 1992 and has been at his current location for seven years, growing it into one of the largest in the area.

Despite the success Jim Wilson Chevrolet has enjoyed, his dealership, like most others, was hit hard by the great recession of 2008. It forced Jim to take a long look at where he could cut costs without sacrificing crucial areas like sales or advertising.

One of the first places he looked was his phone and Internet expenses, and at that time he was paying between $2,000 and $2,500 per month. With the help of NEWT partner Lake Country Office Solutions, Jim switched to the ultimate car dealership phone system, the NEWT Managed PBX and NEWT Business Internet solution and now pays about $800 a month including the lease. His costs will drop even further, between $400 and $500 a month in 8 months when his lease payments are finished. That equates to an annual savings of more than $20,000/yr in overhead costs.

When describing what these savings mean to him, Jim says, “that’s a lot of money, that’s a job . . . we were able to save a job”.

Another major reason that Jim chose NEWT over competitors is one that you won’t find on a spreadsheet, but instead has to do with the fact that NEWT is a Canadian owned and operated company and still has all facets of the business including support, located in Canada. “They are customers of ours and we are customers of theirs” exclaims Jim.

As Jim simply puts it, “we are getting it from a local, privately owned company, and to me, that’s everything”.

For more on what NEWT Business Phone System and NEWT Business Internet Services can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

Share Button

NEWT Business Phone System: It’s “Evolutionary”


Darwin would have loved NEWT

Most tech manufacturers live by the term, “revolutionary.” They insist their products are going to change everything, instantly, and for better (obviously). But how many products and devices introduced in the last ten years truly deserve that moniker?

Okay, the iPhone. Sure. The iPad? There were tablets before. The… okay, I can’t really think of another one right now, but few have really shaken things up to the point where they change the world. (Or have everyone else scrambling to copy them).

At NEWT we knew putting our energy and creativity in introducing a truly revolutionary business phone system wouldn’t be the best use of our talents. Instead we designed a platform upon which we can build, improve and add onto over time. In other words, our NEWT Managed PBX evolves with our customers’ changing business conditions and requirements.

Here’s an example. We surveyed our customers a few months back and they told us they wanted a feature allowing them to have automated Holiday messages. In response to the need, we built the Holiday Auto Attendant in our development facilities at our headquarters in Cambridge, and on Tuesday, July 15th, we pushed that new upgrade to all of our customers business phone systems.

The NEWT Managed PBX harnesses the power of the cloud, allowing new license-free, (only 15% or our features require a license), features and upgrades to be added to the already packed 80-plus feature set automatically, with no customer involvement, and at no additional charge.

Over the past 18 months NEWT has added over 20 features to the NEWT PBX platform and all our customers had to do was learn how to use them. NEWT makes that easy too by the way. We provided detailed documentation and training videos on all our new features, and of course all are supported by our 24/7 technical service team.

Embracing the evolutionary approach for development and deployment also prevents the “iPhone buyers remorse” phenomenon, where, as soon as you get to play with your new cool tech toy, they come out with a newer better one. (Hate that!)

For NEWT customers, regardless of how long they’ve been with us, they will have the latest and greatest and always will going forward.

NEWT_BlogAdThe phone system they have today, will be better next month, and the month after that, as long as we keep come up with new and innovative improvements that make our customers’ business processes better. (Which we plan to do by the way).

It’s great to shoot for the moon all at once and try to start a revolution. But evolving over time has worked pretty well for some time now.

For more on the NEWT Business Phone System and what it can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

Share Button

We’re hiring: Accounting Clerk (More exciting than is sounds)


The Accounting Clerk’s morning view

“Accounting” & “Clerk”: Two words that don’t exactly perk up the ‘ol excitement meter to 11 now do they?

Usually that would be true. But this is a Fibernetics Accounting Clerk position we’re talking about here and that means it isn’t just a good job, it’s an awesome one!

You’ll be working with a team of finance professionals in our Cambridge headquarters. Your office will be overlooking our own private lake. Having a lake is cool. We’re shopping around for a paddle boat right now, so our people can book boat ride meetings. You can also check out the new sustainable vegetable gardens we just put in right by your window. They are part of our wellness program that all our employees can take advantage of. Speaking of wellness, right down the hall from your office? That’s where the gym is. I think you get the idea. Fibernetics is a fantastic place to work, and we are looking for fantastic people. People like our new:


Our Company

We are one of Canada’s fastest growing telecommunications companies and one of Waterloo Region’s start-up success stories. Our rapid success enables us to continually grow our team in order to support our wide range of services. As a result we have many new career opportunities and are always looking for talented people just like you!

We offer a high energy, professional yet casual work environment with the opportunity to make a difference every day. It’s an environment where everyone’s contribution is valued and rewarded. We take pride in our ability to have fun and celebrate our successes together. In return, we are looking for people who are creative and passionate about their work. Successful employees have an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for technology. If we are describing you, then consider becoming a part of the Fibernetics team!

The Role

Reporting to the Manager of Finance, the successful candidate will be responsible for ensuring accounts receivable activities are complete.  More specifically, the candidate’s responsibilities will include:


Processing invoice batches
Matching invoices to sales orders, RMA receipts or other information
Processing credit notes and RMA offsets
Posting daily cash receipts and processing credit card batches
Assist, respond and clear client inquiries
Basic GL reconciliation and  booking related journal entries
Filing and general office duties as needed
Assist the accounting team overall, as needs arise


3+ years of related experience
Strong organization and time management skills
Strong collection background an asset
Attention to detail
Great Plains experience an asset
Experience in a fast paced office environment, as well as a high level of accuracy is essential
A team player with solid interpersonal and analytical skills
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Strong MS Excel skills

To Apply please forward your resume and cover letter to:

Share Button

NEWT Case Study: The Alzheimer Society Peel

The Alzheimer Society Peel was first incorporated in 1983, and has worked for over 30 years to find the cause, prevention and cure for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. They have offices located in Brampton and Mississauga and are one of 37 Alzheimer Societies that make up the Alzheimer Society Ontario network.

Before switching to NEWT, both locations were operating under different platforms, which made collaboration between locations difficult while also incurring costly long-distance charges. Teresa Gavin, CFO of the Alzheimer Society Peel describes the situation as “all of our systems and all our services at the different locations had a different carrier, and the phones were not compatible”. The Peel chapter had also undergone a massive expansion, going from 50 to 120 employees in just four years. In order to accommodate this expansion and also remain flexible for future development, the Alzheimer Society Peel decided to unify all seven of the Peel locations including the St. Catharines and Brampton facilities using the NEWT Business Phone System.

wordmark_peelThe benefits from switching were evident immediately, as employees within the four locations could communicate easier by simply dialing a three-digit extension instead of the normal 10-digit phone number. This also eliminated the long-distance charges that the Society would normally accrue when calls between locations were made, “some of our bills are 99 cents” exclaimed Gavin. In addition to the savings on long-distance, the Alzheimer Society Peel also experienced savings on their monthly phone and Internet costs, “just with the initial proposals, we were saving a couple hundred dollars a month, and for us a couple hundred dollars a month goes a long way”.

Switching to the NEWT Business Phone System has helped the Alzheimer Society Peel increase their collaboration among employees in the same location as well as other locations. With free features from NEWT like Conference Bridging, employees from different locations are now able to connect seamlessly.

When Gavin was asked about the choice between NEWT and the competition: “it was a no-brainer”.

For a non-profit like the Alzheimer Society, the bottom line and improving processes are keys to their success. For more on what NEWT Business Phone System and NEWT Business Internet Services can do for your organization, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

Share Button

This is what NEWT’s award winning customer service looks like


The Award Winning NEWT customer service team

Yvon Bertrand is the Vice President of Technology for NEWT and oversees our customer service team based at our head office in Cambridge, Ontario. He has spent over 20 years in the telecommunications industry, working throughout Canada and abroad for international and startup companies. We’re lucky to have him, as this product management and product support experience has helped do something awesome

We asked Yvon to outline NEWT’s overall customer service strategy:

At NEWT, we believe that customer service is vital to the success of the company.  Every one of our competitors will say the same, however we are different: please allow me to use our help desk manager’s words.  “We believe experience generates belief and belief drives behaviour”.  We do everything we can to provide a better customer experience because we understand that in the end we will influence our customers to remain our customers and is why we have a nearly 100% retention rate.

NEWT Customer Service details:

  • We closely monitor current wait time, average wait time and maximum wait time.  We actually target an average wait time of 90 seconds or lower.  We are serious about setting the bar high, we have hit or done better than this target 20 of the first 26 week of the year.  We understand that a static data such as wait time is not enough to create an overall good experience, that is why we monitor the wait time from multiple angles, as describe above.
  • We monitor resolution time, from the perspective of the call, a day or the current week.  Resolving our customers problems is critical to create a good customer experience, thus we target to solve our customers’ problem on the first call or the same day 80% of the time.  Our metrics indicates that we have achieved this target 23 of the first 26 weeks of the year.
  • I could go on for hours about the many ways we try to court our customers’ to another day with us, let me just say we look at about 24 different angles to evaluate how we are servicing our customers: leaving litlle to chance.

As I often say, I trust that any customers joining NEWT will be pleased with the customer service experience.

NEWT_RMANEWT’s industry leading technology is one thing, but the training and ongoing support provided by Yvon and his team is what makes virtually all of our customers, customers for life.

For more on what NEWT Business Phone System and NEWT Business Internet Services can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.


Share Button

NEWT’s Almost 100% Retention Rate is Great (but not good enough)

team_newt_beyond_telecomThe word is “churn”, and it’s very important one in the telecom world. It’s the key metric that measures how many customers leave a company over a year. For example, in 2013 Rogers revealed that it had a 1.4% churn rate for its customers (which, not surprisingly, is the worst out of the big three).

The problem is, using the word “churn” has a negative connotation. It’s about customers leaving due to dissatisfaction, or for not providing the service or product as promised, or just not being as good as the “other guy.”

We’re not negative around here so that’s why we don’t use it, or at least we try not to, (but being telecom people, it does slip out new and again). Instead we use “Retention Rate”, meaning year-over-year how many customers do we keep instead of lose.

In NEWT’s case that number is…. well I can’t tell you because it’s an industry secret for reasons beyond comprehension. We should be shouting it from the mountain tops if I had my way, but that’s neither here nor there.

But I can tell you it’s not quite 100%, (but it’s so very, very close!).

Even though that is remarkably high number, we’re not very happy about it.  When we lose a customer we go all CSI over ourselves trying to determine precisely what we did that wasn’t making that particular client happy. Did they get a better deal? How is that even possible? Was it something with our technology? Does another vendor have a feature we don’t?

As painful as it is, losing a customer is always a teachable moment. We learn from the rare event when we lose a customer in order to become a better company, a better provider and a better business partner.

Bottom line: We’re always shooting for 100% (although being within a hairs breathe ain’t nothing).

For information on NEWT, and how we manage to keep our customers with us, drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

Share Button