Move or LeaseBy David Strom | Posted 2009-08-31 Print
Before you choose a VoIP system, be sure to ask yourself these five essential questions.
4. Can you leverage a new office move or take advantage of a system coming off lease to do a wholesale upgrade? As PBXes age, they become less reliable—a compelling time to do an upgrade. That’s what McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital in Carthage, Mo., did with an aging PBX. They upgraded while moving to a new hospital complex. “It wasn’t going to make much sense to relocate the Nortel PBX, and we had to have a new system in place before we made the move, so we went with Siemens,” says Wes Pool, a technician with the hospital.
5. Do you need particular features that your current phone system can’t easily provide or cost-effectively implement? “We wanted certain features, but we weren’t willing to pay the traditional PBX and landline prices for those features,” explains Basecamp Partners’ Hill. “We managed, however, to get them for a reasonable cost with our VoIP system.”
Some VoIP features provide a big productivity win. “I’m not sitting at my desk 9-to-5 every day,” says Eventi Capital Partners’ Di Nardo. “My Jazinga system allows me to have an extension to the office system at home and at other office locations where I work. It even has the ability to simultaneously ring my desk and cell phones.”
Robert Paglione, CEO of Benefit Consultants Group Securities, in Riverton, N.J., was also impressed by the benefits of VoIP. “We were using a traditional PBX and needed real-time call reporting, as well as the ability to record our call center conversations,” he says. “We also needed to be able to reference a prior call in case there was a disputed transaction or instructions from our clients.
"We handle a lot of wealth management with high-net- worth individuals, so getting things right is paramount. The Alteva system we purchased is better than what we were using, even though I initially had my doubts.”
In the three years that Benefits Consultants Group has been using the system, the company has never had an interruption in service. “We had a lot of downtime with the old system and a lot of finger-pointing as to who was responsible,” Paglione recalls. “What’s more, with Alteva, we’ve experienced about a 15 percent cost saving.”
“One of our favorite features with the new Siemens PBX is the ability to retrieve voice mail from a trusted number without having to always key in your password,” says Pool of McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital. “That makes it much easier to dial in for your messages when you’re calling from the road, since you are taken right to your in-box.”
Part of the features game is making sure you write detailed specifications in your request for proposal. “We wrote our specs to be very demanding,” says the city of Powell’s Thorington. “That included support for call parking and call waiting and having great auto-attendant and management features. Once you’ve experienced a system that lacks these features, it becomes easier to figure out what you want in a more modern phone system.”
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