“One client that we currently support had a VoIP service deployed by a hosted service provider,” he added, “but we determined that it was best hosted in-house. Their problems were that remote customer service and support was not sufficient for their requirements. With the change, they were able to prioritize system changes as they needed.”
Organizations normally make the transition to VoIP to reduce costs and create more flexible systems - or a combination of both. Better phone services include voicemail that can be converted into an e-mail that can be accessed at the office, on PDA devices or at home. “Once I get the voicemail in an electronic format, I can pretty much do anything with it,” Peckham said. “I can forward it to my colleagues, it can be sent directly to the person working on the project or if it’s a client request, I can add it to my CRM.”
Good VoIP installations, says Peckham, should allow for the elimination of dedicated wiring and traditional phone lines.
When an SMB is considering VoIP, Peckham recommends that they contact their phone service provider as most major carriers provide hosted or on-premise services. “They want your business - especially the incumbent provider,” he said. “They will try to sweeten the deal, but I would definitely shop around to find out which service providers are in my area and how reliable they are locally.”
But SMBs are also advised to do their homework before speaking to an expert so that they will have a better idea of what they want their phone service to provide and so that they understand the problems they want to solve – be it staff accessibility or client focused features. IDS asks those questions when speaking with clients. “The answers tell us what service providers we can go to for a specific service and solution,” Peckham said.