Six Scenarios Requiring Communications Upgrades


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Six Scenarios Requiring Communications Upgrades

  1. 1. Six Scenarios Requiring Communications Upgrades & How to Take Full Advantage of Them A publication by:
  2. 2. In considering an upgrade to their business communications systems, companies have to weigh a variety of factors and please a range of constituencies. Corporate executives crave the chance to shave costs, while customer service managers require new features that foster stronger customer service and product support. Of course, there are always questions about adoption. Further complicating matters, communications upgrades often take place in the context of a significant event in the life of the business, such as a corporate-wide relocation or a frantic push to keep up with rapid growth. What are the business scenarios that most often make it necessary to upgrade a communications system? What are some of the considerations that IT managers and consultants need to keep in mind as they approach them? And how can unified communications and Voice over Internet Protocol services be leveraged in each one?
  3. 3. Six Scenarios That Spark a Communications Upgrade So often it starts with a simple declaration: “We need a new phone system.” But companies don’t change telephone systems for fun. Very often there is a precipitating event driving the process forward. Those scenarios often include: 1. Moving to a new location Companies outgrow their offices, or relocate to cut costs or adapt to shifting customer demands. 2. Expanding rapidly Hot tech start-ups often need to add hundreds of new employees or dozens of new offices in a tight time frame. 3. Standardizing systems across multiple sites Mature companies get fed up with an assortment of systems that do not talk to each other. 4. Addressing failures in aging legacy systems Some companies’ phone systems are simply worn out to the point of breakdowns at the worst possible times. 5. Converting to VoIP costs are intrigued by the added features and the lower costs of Voice over Internet Protocol services. 6. Adding web-based applications VoIP allows CRM integration, on-demand audio and video conferencing, and countless productivity and customerservice enhancements.
  4. 4. Scenario 1: Moving to a New Location Moving creates a hard-and-fast deadline that forces companies to make some tough decisions without delay. Companies must consider: • Per-seat costs of moving versus upgrading -- While it might be more economical to relocate a small, relatively new system, it’s usually more cost-effective to replace a larger one near the end of its depreciation schedule. With digital phone systems, the cost of cabling alone can rule out the practicality of a move. • Switching to VoIP -- For companies looking to cut costs, Voice over Internet Protocol telephony is a great option that adds an array of features.
  5. 5. Scenario 1: Moving to a New Location Weighing the advantages hybrid and hosted systems Some companies need a hybrid system combining the low cost of SIP trunk lines with the extreme reliability of PRI connections to the public phone network. This is especially true of companies with large call centers or telephonesupport systems. Smaller companies with limited IT staffs, meanwhile, may prefer a hosted VoIP system that essentially hands off most telephone tasks to an outside provider. Combining economy and reliability Fonality is the only VoIP provider that can pair the economy of hosted VoIP with the reliability of standard telephone lines, vastly reducing the risk of downtime at your new location.
  6. 6. Scenario 1: Moving to a New Location Fonality Case Study Agl Constructors is a joint venture between three construction companies that came together to work on a multibillion-dollar highway project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With nearly 300 office-based employees and another 1000 in the field, Agl needed a phone system with the features to bring all those people together. And it had to be “portable.” “Our business requires us to move locations depending on the project, so a phone system with the capability to be flexible and scalable to meet the needs of our business was essential,” said Agl Design Build Coordinator Andrew Schneemann. “Once this project is over and we have to move locations, we can take the phone system to our next location easily and without any “Once this project is over and we have tothe system.” additional costs incurred, because we own move locations, we can take the phone system to our next location easily and without any additional costs incurred, because we own the -Andrew Schneemann system.” He said, “The benefits of the set costs of the Fonality system, and not having to pay reoccurring fees was also a huge benefit. When I ran the numbers over a specific period of time, Fonality was a much better deal than other providers. We’ve also been able to eliminate the third-party fees associated with paying for outside conferencing services. We have a tremendous number of meetings, so having our own conference bridges is a huge plus.”
  7. 7. Scenario 2: Expanding Rapidly A new round of venture funding or an IPO often leads a young company to hire hundreds or even thousands of new employees and open new offices across the country and on multiple continents. Fast-growing companies require: • Simplicity -- Using open-source technology with common standards, companies can deploy a plugand-play model for each location to streamline the process of adding new users and offices. • Speed -- With a simple, standardized phone system, a small IT staff can quickly implement a large, globally scattered install. And if one new office booms while another crashes, it’s easy to move phones to where they’re needed most.
  8. 8. Scenario 2: Expanding Rapidly Controlling equipment costs amid rapid growth Installing a PBX and a voice-mail server in every new office is costly and complex. Even though putting a standards-based VoIP system in each location can save a bundle if you don’t need a PRI link to the public phone network, you still have to buy servers and support the software. A hosted VoIP system can be a better buy for a rapidly growing company because the VoIP provider owns and supports the servers. A quick, efficient, and simple install Fonality addresses the least-cost demands of a rapidly growing business by developing a standards-based system that is easy to install, economical to support, and flexible enough for a rapidly evolving business.
  9. 9. Scenario 2: Expanding Rapidly Fonality Case Study SunWest Mortgage is a mortgage lending and servicing company with more than 900 employees at offices in 20 states across the nation as well as in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. “With our staff growing and so many locations, it was critical that our new phone system be scalable,” -SunWest IT Manager Pablo Castillo “The system also needed to be able to handle hundreds of simultaneous calls. We’re set up on a call center model, so Fonality’s options for advanced queues with call routing, customizable rules, and extensive capabilities were a major factor in our decision to go with Fonality.” Castillo said, “A feature that really made my job easier was that Fonality was open-sourced. There is so much documentation on the Internet, so I could read and pick up the system and understand the back end. Also, Fonality provided us with one support technician, Nathan, who we’ve always worked with. Having one point of contact has been extremely beneficial.” “I think having the Fonality system has enabled us to grow at the pace we’ve experienced.”
  10. 10. Scenario 3: Standardizing Systems Across Multiple Sites Mergers can combine company divisions whose phone networks use conflicting communications protocols. Some divisions can squeeze years of service out of obsolete systems while the rest of the company moves on. The result is a tangle of incompatible phone systems. While it’s temping to untangle them all at once, it can be more cost-effective to do it in stages over a few years. Where should companies start? • Lease expirations -- Use these opportunities to ditch proprietary systems and start building a network based on open standards like SIP, to which most VoIP providers are moving. • Depreciated equipment -- Because buying new equipment starts a new depreciation cycle, you want to target proprietary or obsolete equipment that is fully depreciated.
  11. 11. Scenario 3: Standardizing Systems Across Multiple Sites The value of centralizing your telecom spend Companies with several locations using incompatible phone systems want to be able to dial each other directly, but that can require routing calls through the corporate headquarters and incurring local-calling costs for every call. Connecting through a standardized VoIP system essentially centralizes your telecom expenses because incompany calls incur no charges if they’re traveling over your IP network. Saving money with standards Fonality deploys standards-compliant technology in its VoIP networks and can implement a system in stages to hold costs down while paving the way for future expansion.
  12. 12. Scenario 3: Standardizing Systems Across Multiple Sites Fonality Case Study Sierra Office is an office supplies and printing company with three locations in California as well as remote sales teams and employees who work from home. “Communication is key to any business, especially so when you’ve got multiple locations like we do,” said Dan Paul, Sierra’s IT director. “We need to be able to stay in touch with all of our people and all of our employees need to be able to communicate easily with their contacts, vendors, and customers.” “A major reason for selecting the Fonality solution was the benefit of having one provider that can “Onehandlebiggest challenges is managing through multiple providers when issues arise with one of our of our everything for all of our locations. And we get standardized phone for all of he lines versus the locations and specific billing numbers,”our said. “Navigating through multiple providers for support causes a typical phone service that varies month to month great deal of confusion with who manages what and who can provide the support needed -- not to mention the based on per-minute usage and pricing.” billing hassles of managing multiple providers with varying pricing.” -Dan Paul “A major reason for selecting the Fonality solution was the benefit of having one provider that can handle everything for all of our locations. And we get standardized billing for all of our lines versus the typical phone service that varies month to month based on per-minute usage and pricing.” “Having a single phone number for the entire company is another benefit. If a customer calls the main number he or she can reach anyone in the entire company at any of our locations. To the customer it’s seamless.”
  13. 13. Scenario 4: Addressing Failures in Aging Legacy Systems If your phone system is so old it’s experiencing multiple breakdowns, congratulate yourself on wringing every last drop of value out of it, then ask yourself: • How much is it costing every time a technician comes out to fix it? It’s nearly extinct, so these costs will only grow. Paying for repairs buys you time, but paying for new equipment buys you new features and much more reliability. • How much damage would total failure do to your business? Few companies can afford not to have phones for days or weeks waiting for a new system to get installed.
  14. 14. Scenario 4: Addressing Failures in Aging Legacy Systems Worn-out systems create new opportunities The flexibility of standards-based VoIP often means you can replace only a component of your phone network rather than the whole thing. And even if you have a brand-name system, you might be able to use VoIP only where it’s needed and hold down the overall cost of your upgrade. A system upgrade means you can acquire a Service Level Agreement to ensure proper hardware and software support. And if you switch to VoIP, you get low costs and a rich array of Unified Communications features. Get the right fix for your system’s needs Fonality can find an economical VoIP solution for just about any existing phone network, and you won’t have to replace any more technology than necessary.
  15. 15. Scenario 5: Converting to VoIP Many companies are eager to try VoIP, which promises substantial cost savings and adds a range of text, voice and video features that are impossible with legacy analog or digital systems. Points to consider before diving in: • User experience is your responsibility. Legacy PBX systems do one thing extremely well: delivering voice communications. In the VoIP world, you have to consider much more: network latency, sound quality, video definition, and user-friendliness of the system interface, to name few. To ensure better quality, you usually have to spend more on bandwidth. • Every device on a VoIP network is a computer. Each handset has a user name, password, IP address, and a raft of configurable features. This adds immense flexibility but it also layers of complexity that your support team must be able to handle. It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing Many companies balk at VoIP providers who would force them to unplug from the public phone network. This is where Fonality stands apart. We can design a system so your inbound calls use the public phone network while your outbound and in-company calls take advantage of the full range of VoIP features.
  16. 16. Scenario 5: Converting to VoIP Fonality Case Study The Reaves Agency is a Dallas-based insurance company that handles employee benefits management. It acts as an extension of the HR department for employers, managing benefits and enrollment in health plans, medical, dental, vision, and other insurance for employees of its customers. “Prior to Fonality, we used an analog phone system, said the agency’s owner, Jonathan Reeves. “When I learned about the capabilities of a VoIP system, I had to give it strong consideration. The opportunity to try VoIP and incorporate advanced technology into our business communications while also saving money − it was a no brainer to make the switch.” Reaves said, “HUD is huge time saver. If I’m out of the office, my voicemails are pushed to me on my cell phone or via email and I don’t have to take the time to dial in to the office, push in codes, and go through all the steps it used to take on our old system.” “The staff has really embraced the Fonality system. We went from an old system where you have to put people on hold to check someone else’s availability to one system in which you can instant message someone if they’re not available and get a response in seconds. The entire communications process is seamless and allows us to serve our customers more efficiently.” “Even beyond the benefits of innovation and VoIP technology, we’ve seen 50% costs savings over our old telephone system.” -Jonathan Reeves
  17. 17. Scenario 6: Adding Web-Based Applications VoIP lets companies integrate a vast range of web-based technologies into their telecom systems. A few examples: • Database links -- When somebody calls into your system, you can configure it to tap into Web databases that provide critical information about the caller. • CRM integration -- Linking a VoIP network to customer relationship management software means that any time customers call, all of their vital data immediately becomes available to the recipient. • Soft phones -- With the right software, any PC with a microphone and speaker (including tablets) can become a telephone. • Videoconferencing -- Video requires substantial bandwidth, but it may be worth it depending your company’s needs.
  18. 18. Scenario 6: Adding Web-Based Applications Getting up to speed on Web apps Apps from specific companies may have APIs that take time and training to master. And these apps may have compatibility issues, so be sure that using one won’t cause a crash somewhere else. Of course, you can’t neglect security. VoIP technology that integrates with Microsoft Outlook or Explorer — the hacker’s targets of choice — must not have any security leaks. User interface is the key Fonality’s user interface is Heads Up Display. HUD provides a suite of Unified Communications features that make it much easier for users to keep in touch, and it securely integrates a growing number of these web-enabled technologies.
  19. 19. Why Fonality? Fonality combines features and flexibility in a cost-effective package. In a crowded VoIP market, three things make us different: • HUD -- Our Heads Up Display interface provides unmatched collaboration and call-handling features and can integrate a host of Web applications. • Quick-and-easy installation -- We use technology standards that give maximum flexibility without locking you into proprietary systems. We build to scale, so your phone system is always poised for growth. • Hybrid solutions -- Fonality is the only VoIP provider that will meet you in the middle, keeping your connection to the public phone network while enabling all the Unified Communications features you want within a VoIP network. If you simply want to dip your toe in the water with VoIP while leaving some legacy systems intact, we can make that happen too. Do these situations sound familiar for your business? Fonality can help. Fonality can take your company’s communications to a whole new level, improving customer service, productivity, mobility, and reducing costs. Fonality helps you work smarter not harder. If you’re interested in increasing customer retention and referrals and saving time and money, Fonality has the tools to help. Learn more visiting or calling 1-888-768-3770.