IP Telephony (IP Phone System) - What Can It Do For Your Business?

by Ed Mass - Date: 2007-01-08 - Word Count: 802 Share This!

New technologies such as IP Telephony don't just replace previous ones but allow much greater functionality, increased productivity, enhanced customer service and lower costs than prior technologies. Here are just a few ideas for you to ponder.

Enhanced contact center (call center) responsiveness to customer needs. Lowered costs through IP Telephony makes it economical to use multiple call centers for time zone coverage, lower labor market costs, and even overseas call centers for small and medium sized businesses.

I know the mention of overseas (in respect to the U.S.) labor may not be what some people want to hear but the reality is that large corporations have been using overseas labor for call centers, manufacturing, and technical skills for decades. Now, what was once only economical for large corporations is also economical for small and medium sized businesses. IP Telephony levels the playing field of business competitiveness.

"Contact center" is the replacement term for what used to be "call center." Why? Is it really necesary to change the terminology? Of course, I think the answer is unequivocally "yes" or I wouldn't mention it. A Call Center was appropriately named because all it did was take phone calls.

Now a Contact Center using IP Telephony can take phone calls, fax messages, e-mail, web text chat, web voice calls, and even web video calls, all at the same time, in the same queues for the contact center agents. Isn't the point of "customer service" to make it easy for the customer to contact you? What's better than letting the customer choose the means of contact? Now it's possible and affordable.

Disaster recovery and power outage backup for business continuity. Redundant phone systems with automatic failover over dispersed locations is now economical. With the traditional phone system technologies it used to cost 70% - 100% of the original system cost to get redundant systems. In addition, the carrier services to make it happen were also costly.

Now it's possible to get redundant systems for just 10% - 30% of the original system cost. Additionally, the carrier services are also less expensive than previously. Business continuity planning is just like any other "insurance" you obtain for your business. All insurance is a trade-off between the cost of the insurance and the coverage level you obtain.

At some point paying too much doesn't reap enough extra benefit to warrant the extra cost. On the other hand, paying too little and not obtaining meaningful coverage doesn't make sense either. With the costs for obtaining business continuity so dramatically lower than previously, it could make sense to make it a part of your total insurance and risk management for your business.

Using one cabling infrastructure to carry both data and voice traffic instead of separate cabling infrastructure for each. This can have significant cost savings especially if you are moving your office or setting up a new office. In either of these situations you will have a substantial cost savings by only having to install your network cabling and not having to install a separate cabling system for your phone system.

Simplified system administration through a GUI (graphical user interface). You can make changes to your system that previously required your telephone equipment vendor to make the changes. Therefore, you can significantly reduce your maintenance costs.

Easier moves of telephone sets. When moving from one location in your building to another, it previously required re-programming the telephone switch and physically changing some wires in the "telephone closet." With IP Telephony as you pack up your desk supplies and plants, you also grab your telephone. In your new location, you simply plug the telephone into the Ethernet connection in the wall and then connect your computer to a jack in the phone that acts as a bypass for your data. All your personal settings move with you. Costs for moves are dramatically reduced.

Software upgrades are much easier and can be performed by you instead of paying the telephone equipment vendor to do them.

There are many more benefits to IP Telephony. This brief overview should be enough to peak your interest to continue your investigation. You don't need to make a total swap out of your current phone system. It is possible to gradually introduce an IP Telephone System into your organization and interface it to legacy systems.

Don't just improve the way you currently do business! Explore the strategic business applications and implications of IP Telephony. New technologies such as IP Telephony don't just replace previous ones but allow much greater functionality, increased productivity, enhanced customer service and lower costs than prior technologies.

Expand the possibilities of conducting your business in ways you never thought possible. All major phone system manufacturers are investing their research and development dollars into development of their IP Phone Systems. Thousands of companies have already converted to it. There must be a reason or two or twenty.

Related Tags: voip, ip telephony, voip phone, pbx, business voip, ip phone, voip phone system, ip telephone, ip pbx

Ed Mass is President of Mass Strategic Communications, Inc., a telecommunications consulting firm since 1993. Visit www.voip-telephone-system.com and www.masscom.com for more information. We specialize in Transforming Telecommunications from a Tactical Tool To a Strategic Business Resource. We Integrate Business Strategies with Technology Opportunities.

We act as an extension of your staff. We are business strategists to increase the performance of your company through intelligent and cost effective use of technology.

Specifically, we consult on IP Telephone System Decisions, Service Provider Decisions for Voice and Data Services, and Services Audits to Inventory All Services and Discover Unused Services. We do all this within a framework of Vendor-Neutral Consulting.

Copyright 2006 Ed Mass and Mass Strategic Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you do not edit the article in any way. You must leave all of the links active and include the full author name credit with company profile.

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