I’ve heard it time and again over the last five years that one of the best business investments you can make is VOIP, a technology that lets you make phone calls over the internet. Many of our clients, especially the more recently established ones, use them, yet Tempworks for all our grandeur in staying at the cutting edge, well were still relying on our Intertel phone sets which belong more rightly in our technology museum (yes, we have one), than on our desktops.
I’m curious if there are technologists out there, particularly who have provided solutions for the staffing and recruiting industries, who have specific recommendations in VOIP products. We’re still at the beginning stages of a selection process; however, Kevin Prow of Tempworks put together a list of criteria for selecting a system:
While there is a significant initial expense, a VoIP pays for itself in providers, maintenance, administration, upgradability, and usage.
We’re opening our first office in the UK in December, and the ROI of VOIP for international calling is even greater.
In-house conference calls – right now, we are limited to 4 people on a conference call without using an external provider. With VoIP, we can setup our own.
Integration with Microsoft Exchange. With a VOIP, we can get voicemails via email, record calls and get wav files, active directory integration, and phone lists.
Integration with Microsoft Lync
With Lync we’ll get centralized unified messaging – voice, phone, video, screen sharing, and IM. It also shows the availability of people to take calls. “Joe, you there?”, “Kevin, you there?”, “Neil, you there? Can you take a call?”, “Mel, can you take a call?”. Adios to all that.
With our support case system, with our desktops. How nice if a customer call comes with a screen pre-populated with their call history.
Centralization for remote workers
With VOIP we’ll better centralize phone numbers for those that work remotely. Remote workers in effect will have the same at home feel as those actually at our headquarters.
We have hunt groups right now, but VoIP gives us a lot more options to design our “phone tree”
With SIP access, I can take calls on my cell phone that were called to my work number.
The tax man cometh, but not fast enough yet to tax VOIP the same way it does landlines.
Reduced maintenance. It’s costing us a lot to maintain our Intertel devices. Let’s put one in our museum and give the rest to charity or a reseller.
We keep growing. Hurray. But now we’re reaching a limit. VOIP will scale and for a lot less than older technologies.
So there you go, our reasons for looking at VOIP. Again, I welcome any comments on success stories or otherwise that readers have regarding their experiences with VOIP.