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Unified Communications: Lowering Phone Bill Allows for New VoIP System

Good Call: Telecom analysis uncovers savings, letting business upgrade to a unified communications VoIP solution.

If you’re like a lot of IT leaders, you spend a lot of time and money on your company’s data—computers, data centers, networks and so on. Often overlooked is voice—or unified communications. For companies with employees who work off-site, from home or from the road, an antiquated phone system can be very detrimental to business.

For one drilling company with staff both in the office and in the field, an outdated phone system was creating challenges internally and externally. But while they desperately wanted a unified communications system, they also lacked the budget for it.

When the company’s controller/IT director contacted MicroAge’s Amber Burkardt, she saw an opportunity to help him get exactly what he wanted.

“The company’s receptionists were complaining about the phone system,” Amber explains. “Their telephony didn’t have a find-me-follow-me feature, and there were frequent troubles with transferring calls. Plus, there was no integration with Outlook—a unified communications feature that helps companies provide better service to both internal and external customers.”

But first, Amber knew she had to help with the budgetary challenges.

“We started with a telecommunications analysis,” she says. This free service provides an examination of an organization’s telecom costs and services to determine if the company is getting the best bang for its often-limited buck.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are a lot of providers out there that offer the exact same services,” Amber notes. “And the costs can be very wide ranging. Many companies are overpaying, but they don’t know it.”

The carrier change Amber recommended saved the client about 50 percent on their monthly telecom bill. And that meant they could now afford the phone system they needed.

The client implemented a ShoreTel SBE100 VoIP phone system that provided a variety of benefits.

For one, Amber explains, adding a new user and setting up a new voice-mail box on the ShoreTel system is as simple as a click of the mouse — as opposed to complex programming. In addition, the find-me-follow-me feature allows for a call to be routed past a desk phone to an employee’s cell phone without the caller knowing, a feature particularly helpful for companies that have staff in the field or frequently away from their desk phones.

The system also has built-in integration with Outlook, which makes life easier for receptionists and staff alike.

“A receptionist can use the system to easily see if someone is out of the office or in a meeting before transferring a call,” Amber says. “And you can use the system to automatically set your outgoing voice-mail message based on your Outlook calendar.”

For example, if you’re blocked out for a meeting from 9 to 10 a.m., your voice-mail can be set to automatically tell callers just that.

“By replacing their existing solution with a ShoreTel VoIP solution, it provided them with increased reliability, provided easier manageability and reduced their overall total cost of ownership for their telephony needs,” adds Phillip Tuckwiller, MicroAge’s internal telecom and telephony specialist.

With all of these features and a lower monthly bill for phone service, the client couldn’t be happier.

“They haven’t had one complaint,” Amber says. “They love it.”

Looking to upgrade your telecommunications capabilities? Talk to MicroAge solutions expert Amber Burkardt or specialist Phillip Tuckwiller about a telecom analysis to get started. You can reach Amber at 480-366-2075 or amber.burkardt@microage.com; or Phil at 480-366-2161 or phil.tuckwiller@microage.com.

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Amber Tuckwiller
9 Years Experience
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Phil Tuckwiller
8 Years Experience
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