About Gavin McDougald

Gavin McDougald has been working on and around the Internet since 1995. One of the original developers of The Sports Networks website, TSN.ca, he ended up as its Editor-in-Chief. An award winning writer, Gavin's work has been published on numerous sites like CBC.ca and NHL.com, as well as in papers such as the LA Times and Globe & Mail. Moving from online sports to Internet marketing in 2003, he's worked in a variety of industries including console gaming, online publishing, and now in telecommunications with Fibernetics. His focus is on the social media channels for both the Worldline and NEWT brands, blogging and corporate communications. Gavin has a BSc in Geology and a BA in Fine Arts from McMaster University.

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Author Archives: Gavin McDougald

About Gavin McDougald

Gavin McDougald has been working on and around the Internet since 1995. One of the original developers of The Sports Networks website, TSN.ca, he ended up as its Editor-in-Chief. An award winning writer, Gavin's work has been published on numerous sites like CBC.ca and NHL.com, as well as in papers such as the LA Times and Globe & Mail. Moving from online sports to Internet marketing in 2003, he's worked in a variety of industries including console gaming, online publishing, and now in telecommunications with Fibernetics. His focus is on the social media channels for both the Worldline and NEWT brands, blogging and corporate communications. Gavin has a BSc in Geology and a BA in Fine Arts from McMaster University.

NEWT Strategy Meeting Slideshow

The NEWT sales and strategy meeting held at the new NEWT sales office this week has everyone at the business services division of Fibernetics completely energized and looking forward to a fantastic 2015.

Collectively we’re looking to change Canadian telecom this year by showing more organizations than ever before that they can benefit from the latest in business communications technology, while lowering their operational overhead at the same time.

If you are looking to upgrade your business phone system in 2015 please visit the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

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NEWT Sales Team Expands in 2015

NEWT Sales Team

President John Stix welcomes the new NEWT sales team to their new office at 200 Bathurst in Waterloo, Ontario

The last few years for NEWT have been the best in the history of the company. Exponential growth was realized from 2013 to 2014 and 2015 is already projected to top them both dramatically.

But CEO Jody Schnarr and President John Stix, in their strategic discussions at years end, decided that despite the fantastic numbers they were seeing, the products and services NEWT had to offer should be doing better. NEWT should be leading the Canadian business telecommunications industry because our products and services are disruptive to the point that organizations would be making a mistake by going with anyone else. John said, “NEWT has an amazing product, and the market is ready now.”

“NEWT has an amazing product, and the market is ready NOW.”

The evidence they were looking at was convincing.  First, the technology. NEWT has been built on a foundation of innovation. Channeling the CEO’s innate need to stir things up, our products and services are specifically designed and packaged to change the status quo in Canadian telecom. The NEWT business phone system is a revolutionary product for Canadian business. Built on a managed platform, the system continues to evolve and improve seamlessly over time. It allows organizations to maximise efficiencies, improve their customers service, ramp sales and manage leads by leveraging NEWT’s enterprise feature set and the maximized uptime.

Second, the offering. NEWT works with customers to bring a customized solution to solve their individual business needs, both from a technology and finance perspective. That is followed by the installation process focusing on making it as painless as possible, then provides industry leading training and award winning customer care. That’s the reason we enjoy a 99.7% retention rate.

Finally, the people. NEWT operates under the overriding  “I’m In!” corporate culture introduced by our president John Stix. The teammates at NEWT are committed to providing the single best customer experience in the industry. Our purpose is “To deliver happiness and connections everyday by being awesome.” That’s why we are in business.

In 2015 it’s time for NEWT to grow

That’s why the new, expanded NEWT sales team has moved, as of today, to our new 20k sq ft facility in Waterloo at 200 Bathurst Drive.

NEWT Sales office - 20k Sq ft at 200 Bathurst Drive in Waterloo, Ontario

NEWT Sales office – 20k Sq ft at 200 Bathurst Drive in Waterloo, Ontario

We are very excited about the prospects for this year, principally because our history has proven that NEWT helps our clients dramatically improve their business communications while saving them up to 80% on their telecom expenses.

To properly service the marketplace, NEWT has doubled the sales team and they are on site at their new state-of-the-art facility getting the word out and are ready to take your call.

If you are are looking to upgrade your business phone, a business phone system that continuously upgrades itself, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.




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NEWT Tone Suppression: Ending the Dreaded “ding, ding, ding’s”

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.48.37 PM

We’ve all been there. On a conference call or a webinar with lots and lots of participants, and every time someone joins in, “ding!” And then “ding – ding, ding – ding, ding, ding,” and it’s like that, on and off, for the duration of the call. It is, in a word, annoying.

We heard that at NEWT as well, and that’s why we’ve rolled out the latest free upgrade to the NEWT Managed PBX Business Phone System, “Tone Suppression for Enhanced Conference Bridge Moderators.”

It’s now a simple process to enable “Tone Suppression” for a bridge or bridges. Your conference will no longer notify all active participants in a conference call with an audible sound when a new individual joins or leaves the call.

To enable Tone Suppression:

  1. Access the Conference Bridge Tab of the NEWT Configuration Utility
  2. Locate the Bridge Name you want to enable Tone Suppression on then, place a check in the box under the column titled “Tone Suppression”
  3. Apply changes

That’s it. No more “dings” (if you don’t want them). This latest feature for our business phone solution has been rolled out to all NEWT customers automatically at no charge. That’s an added benefit of NEWT; the business phone system you buy today won’t be the same business phone system you have tomorrow, or next month, or next year. Always evolving and improving, NEWT promises to provide all the latest and greatest communication tools that modern business demands.

If you are not a NEWT client and are looking to upgrade your business phone, a business phone system that continuously upgrades itself, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.


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NEWT Training: User Friendliness Delivered

Lesley Anne Forbes“User friendliness” is as buzzy a phrase as there is in tech these days.

While NEWT is a technology company, and we strive to make every product and service we sell as intuitive as possible, let’s face it, not everyone has the same level of tech savviness.

Some, in fact, have none. If you hand them an iPad, they’ll look at you like you just handed them a haddock. For those people, and others of various degrees of tech-impairment, coming to work and finding a new phone set up on their desk is not the best way to start off their day.

That’s where our NEWT training team comes in. Part of our Product Development group, our trainers strive to make the NEWT Business Phone System as user friendly as possible, straight out of the box.

Then, once installed, they really get to work. Teaching clients how to make the most out of their new business communication tool, they work hand in hand with our customers taking them from basic call functionality through the advanced features. Seminars are available for all new users, with our trainers available to answer any or all questions they may have.

The training doesn’t stop there. NEWT has over 80 enterprise calling and communication features, and getting a handle on all of them straight away, we know, is a big ask. That’s why we offer ongoing training with a series of webinars available to all NEWT clients to ensure they are up to speed with the latest feature upgrades, or even a refresher on more basic functionality.

They’re really great at it, and are a big part of NEWT’s continued success. That’s why we love to post letters like the one below acknowledging their contribution to making the NEWT business phone system a premier choice for businesses in Canada.

To whom it may concern –

The training session by Lesley Ann Forbes was very professional.  She walked use through the phone both on the admin and user side and she made what is a very complicated system seem far less intimidating.  As well, we felt that after she left that Fibernetics w/b a partner with us as we learn and adopt the system.  More to that point, I received several comments from the management team about Lesley commenting on the quality of her training on the system.

If I had to make a recommendation, it w/b nice to break the training into two parts.  Maybe the first one is a walk through of the system at a high level.  The second one w/b an in depth training and maybe even implementation of some of the features.

To conclude, we benefited greatly from our time with Lesley and look forward to using the system.

newt_mini_ad2Lesley, and the rest of the training team, deserve a lot of credit for the work they do, because as great as the NEWT Business Phone system is on paper, it’s only truly great  if our clients are enjoying all of its benefits.

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

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VoIP: No longer a four letter word

If this was, say, 2004 and someone was trying to sell you a VoIP business phone system, their chances were about the same as you buying the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course there were a few suckers early adopters back then, but most avoided it like the plague.

Now, almost 90% of all new business phone installations are VoIP.

In just over a decade, telecom has changed to such a point that the idea of having an actual business “landline” is going the way of the Dodo. In 2012 the AP reported that in the centre for world finance, the business phone capitol of the universe, New York City, there was a 55% decline in landline use. It is predicted that landlines will be completely phased out by 2025.

So, what’s changed in such a relatively short time that VoIP isn’t seen as some fringe, tech alternative to traditional business communications? Through technological advancements, VoIP has evolved into an essential and revolutionary tool supporting the backbone of every organization, and that’s its ability to communicate.

Voice over Internet Protocol bypasses the century-old traditional wireline infrastructure, and by doing so reduced the cost for every telephone call made. That’s how VoIP initially made its inroads – by being cheaper. Today however, there are significant benefits that VoIP brings to a business that still saves money, but also time, labour and along the way, also improves efficiency.

Here are just a few:

Maintenance and Labour

As mentioned earlier, the use of VoIP reduces expenditures for both domestic and overseas calls. This is good news for businesses that transact Canada wide and worldwide. And VoIP offerings, like the NEWT Managed PBX has customizable long-distance packages allowing companies to tailor their plans for their specific needs.

But more than that, cost savings can also be tied to maintenance and manpower expenses. Having only one network for voice and data, the IT department requirements are minimized. Further, purchasing a managed PBX solution takes all the responsibility for maintenance and upgrades out of your hands. Those funds can then be allocated elsewhere for other IT projects or put into marketing and sales.

Enhanced Audio Quality and Calling Features

Because VoIP runs on high-speed Internet, audio quality is significantly better. Not only is the sound better, but also the automation of calls. VoIP providers extend several features such as Find-me-Follow-me, call forwarding, NEWT softphone, voice messaging, voice mailbox, voice to email forwarding and more. For example, the NEWT Managed PBX has over 80 calling features.

Global Reach

With technology moving at a speed of light and globalization happening at a record pace, businesses are looking at high quality work to be done quickly and cheaply. Outsourcing oversees has become a standard business practice, and staying in touch on a constant basis with places like India and China is essential. VoIP allows for the highest level of interaction in a cost-effective manner.

Work Anywhere

To limit their overhead start-up businesses avoid renting physical space in offices, and allow employees to work from anywhere and collaborate using VoIP services. This slashes their budget and allows for money to be spent where all up-and-comers need it most – on development and marketing.

NEWT_BlogAdEstablished businesses are allowing employees to work without leaving the comfort of their home, saving time and energy travelling to and from the office. The cost savings for both employee and employers due to the new level of connectivity VoIP provides is significant.

With broadband Internet becoming almost ubiquitous, VoIP makes practically any spot on the planet an office.

Those are just a few of benefits that come with a VoIP Business Phone solution with more being added on a constant basis.

Once upon a time the word, “VoIP” was synonymous with whole bunches of nasty things.

Now VoIP is nothing less than an essential business service.


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NEWT is hiring: Telecommunications Software Developer

NEWT napkinFrom a simple sketch on a napkin, to one of the most technically advanced business phone and communication systems in the country, the NEWT Managed PBX is fast becoming the choice for Canadian businesses. Setting new standards for ease of use, improving operations, maximizing employee efficiency and performance while maximizing cost savings, the NEWT PBX is the piece of propitiatory technology that sets us apart from our competition.

Our NEWT development team is looking for some help from an enterprising software developer looking to join one of the Waterloo region’s fastest growing tech companies. If  you have the coding chops required and are seeking a career in an employee-focused, culture-rich work environment, where having fun goes along with getting the job done, we might just be looking for you.

Please visit the Fibernetics careers page for further details and requirements for the next NEWT Telecom Software developer.


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For NEWT, 2014 Was a Great Year

NEWT Tea,=m2014 is behind us, and in many respects it was a sea change year from NEWT Business Services both as a company and as a product and service provider for Canadian organizations.

In short, it was a great year.

More and more organizations came to recognize the benefits of our state-of-the-art technology, the convenience our feature set adds to everyday business – and opportunity to save that NEWT business services and products provides.

From small Ma & Pa type organizations to enterprise operations, NEWT enabled businesses to optimize their business communications, streamline their operations and save a ton of money off their monthly overhead. That’s why we exceeded sales projections for all four quarters,and had set a series of monthly sales records. Here’s some of what was new in 2014:

New Features in 2014

Derek SalisburyLate in 2014 we introduced the NEWT Contact Centre, a turn key cloud based call centre that enables our NEWT clients to boost sales, improve customer retention and improve overall customer experience.

We added a number of new of other new features last year, like the Holiday Auto Attendant Configuration allowing for multiple automated attendant greetings to be recorded and enabled to play on pre-determined dates throughout the year. We added Enhanced Call Park Line Keys providing visibility via the handset for up to 4 Parked Calls. The Whitelist Feature allows specific external numbers or internal extensions to ring through to specific extension numbers while blocking all others.

New Products in 2014

newt_mini_ad2In March we introduced the NEWT Mini Managed PBX Phone System  – designed with the same powerful feature set as our NEWT PBX for medium and enterprise business, however tailored for smaller organizations that required only 4 phone lines and limited extensions.

New Service Areas in 2014

Muskoka businessNEWT introduced a series of new service areas in 2014, including Huntsville and the Muskoka region, Lindsay and Orangeville Ontario. We opened up a sales office in Montreal and in October it was announced that NEWT’s parent company acquired Calgary’s first Internet Service Provider, Nucleus Information Service Inc.

Expanding to Western Canada without having to sacrifice our commitment to exemplary customer service, Nucleus provides access to Fibernetics suite of products and services, principally NEWT Business Services to all of Alberta and other western provinces.

All combined these added products, features and services allowed us to take a big step towards our ultimate goal, to be the goto business communications company.

…and 2015 is looking even better. Stay tuned for major announcements coming soon.

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Why we Donate to the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank

Cambridge Self Help Foodbank

With 750lbs, lucky the driver had a trolley

At this time of year it seems especially important to think of others less fortunate than ourselves. Being part of the Cambridge community,  we here at FIbernetics, NEWT’s parent company, have an in-house contest to maximize the donation to the Cambridge Self Help Food bank.

Random teams hit the stores and bring in foodstuffs and other necessities that will help those in the area in need with the essentials, and hopefully allowing them to have an enjoyable holiday season.

I must confess that I thought of those who used the food bank as those who are truly suffering at society’s lowest levels, however I was surprised when I was buying my own food bank supplies at my local grocery store when the teller, a young lady around 25 or so, said, “I hope I see stuff like this when I go to the food bank.”

Clearly she noticed the surprised look on my face because she leaned in and said, “if I didn’t my kids wouldn’t get very good presents this year.”

There was no embarrassment on her part, just a statement of how the food bank helps make thing just a little bit easier. Something I didn’t understand, and something that made me even more enthusiastic about donating. I want back for another round of shopping.

According to their website, the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank offers food and support to people and community groups in need within Cambridge and North Dumfries. Encouraging self-reliance through programs and services, the Food Bank goes beyond simply providing food.

Their programs are designed to build skills that help people move out of the cycle of poverty. They offer a full range of programs within their facility including: the provision of Emergency Food Assistance, the Food Co-operative program, Infant, Youth, Adult and Seniors Program and Employment Readiness Programs.

It’s an awesome program run by awesome people, and their services, especially at this time of year are invaluable. This year the staff at Fibernetics donated over 750 lbs of much needed food and other household products, along with $180 in cash, something the food bank uses to buy items in bulk at especially great rates.

If you are interested in donating, please contact to the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank to learn how.

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Canadian ISP: How NOT To Go About Your Business

Canadian ISPWe weren’t even sure if we should post this, but considering the source, one of the most respected commentators on Canadian telecom in the country, CanadianISP‘s Marc Bissonnette, we figured, if it’s good enough for him…

From Canadian ISP’s Facebook Page:

So get this:

My best friend calls Rogers to get a cable connection: He’s gone through several of the smaller independents for DSL and they simply could not provide what he needs for his business that he runs out of a home office.

He does his research and finds that Rogers offers exactly what he needs – the dedicated IPs, the available speed and bandwidth and, as a business package, he’s okay with the doubled price of residential. They’ve checked that the service is available in the area, there are no issues with signal strength or infrastructure availability.

So, after talking to the sales rep, he says “OK, let’s get this set up” – Sales rep says “Sure, let’s start with your billing info” –

My friend gives the installation address and the Rogers drone says “I’m sorry, but we can’t set this up here”.

My friend: “Umm, why not ? We just confirmed that it IS available here”

Rogers drone: “Well yes, but this is a residence”

Friend: “Yes, my business is run out of my residence – that is why I am asking for a business package and paying business rates”

Rogers drone: “True, but this is for small business”

Friend: “(sigh) Yes, we’ve established that: I am a small business”

Rogers drone: (Unbelievable statement #1): “Yes, but you are too small a business”

Friend: “You have got to be kidding me, right ? What is the real deal, here ?”

Rogers drone: (Unbelievable statement #2) “Well, it’s our policy because we don’t want residential users abusing the service”

Friend: “You’re kidding, right ? This is a joke ? This line was actually re-routed to my friend Marc’s house and you’re yanking my chain, right ? I am PAYING DOUBLE for business services – How could I POSSIBLY be “abusing” this ?”

Rogers drone: “I’m sorry, sir, but there is absolutely nothing that can be done. Have a nice day”

<Slap forehead. With a stick of dynamite>


Jeesh. We hope Marc’s friend gives us a call as we should be able to take care of him. At NEWT we have business services packages available for the smallest start-ups or home offices, starting as low as $69.95/month, with our Small Business Bundle, to more robust systems like NEWT Mini, all the way to enterprise and multi-location organizations with the NEWT Managed PBX.

So Marc, if you read this, tell your pal to drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (866) 293-0105 anytime.

We’ll take his call, and help him with his business.

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NEWT Contact Centre: Turn-Key, Cloud-Based Customer Care

Agent View of the desktop NEWT Contact Centre

Agent View of the desktop NEWT Contact Centre

Everyone can name off the top of their head any number of times where a service provider or vendor has blown it when it comes to customer care. We even talk about them at parties. The “Oh ya? Well, you won’t believe what happened to me!” stories.

The funny thing is, we do believe them. They all ring true.

Conversely and increasingly, the same can be said about outstanding customer service. Those companies that go above and beyond, defining what a cool purchasing or service experience can and should be all about. We talk about them too.

In today’s business environment, the standards that have been established that define a superior customer experience are high. Indeed, with technology only improving how businesses deal with their customers, regardless of how large or small a business, gaining and retaining customers is all about how they perceive they are being treated.

Further, those businesses that focus on excellent customer care have a far better chance of being successful than those who don’t. Want some numbers to back that up?

  • It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one –Bain & Company
  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics.
  • 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competitors – Peppers and Rogers, Customer Experience Maturity Monitor

The bottom line is, organizations that have and know how to use the tools that provide superior customer care have a distinct competitive advantage.

Introducing the NEWT Contact Centre

The NEWT Managed PBX Business Phone System is already setting the standard for advanced business communications in Canada. Now, with the introduction of the NEWT Contact Centre, thousands of organizations across the country can add innovative Contact Centre features and functionality that will boost sales, improve customer retention and improve overall customer experience.

Beyond its simple management tools that lead to increased staff productivity and performance management, the NEWT Contact Centre scales for any size business from multi-location cross-Canada enterprises to a local business with a small staff that is looking to improve efficiency.

Full NEWT Contact Centre features and capabilities are here.

At NEWT we are going beyond telecom by providing superior business communication products and services combines with a passion for customer care. The NEWT Contact Centre is a perfect example. We built it in-house, tested it with our own customers and use it 24/7/365 to establish the new standard for customer service in Canadian telecommunications.

The NEWT Contact Centre allows us to meet that goal.

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

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