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Make VOIP Work for You

By
Home Builder with CSR

Voice Over Internet Protocol is the future and if you can stand a few glitches a great alternative to the old phone systems.

In 2000, I had a large mortgage banking office with over 70 workstations. We had clearly outgrown our phone system and required something that was up to the task and scalable. We spent well over $100k for an Avaya phone system and a cutting edge voice-driven auto-attendant/voice mail system. We were hot stuff.

When the market began to turn and we downsized we were stuck with a bunch of outdated scratched up phones and major hardware that took up half of our server room. Our 24 phone lines were still costing us an arm and a leg and I realized then that scalability meant upward growth only, not downsizing. How scaleable is that?

When starting this new company, CF Escrow, Inc., I decided, after much research, to give VOIP a try. I am so happy that I did. For those of you who don't know, VOIP is basically just a phone that plugs into the internet, instead of a  phone line. Your calls work the same way from the user's standpoint, however they are routed online. There are many advantages and a few disadvantages to this system.

The majr disadvantage that I have found is that my calls get dropped more than I'd like. I am not sure if I am having this problem more than others because my equipment is not set up properly, but I have heard that this is a common complaint. It is still a new technology so there are kinks to work out.

The advantages are many. First, there really is no equipment to buy, other than the phones. They work with routers and modems, but those are things any office network needs anyhow. Nothing new there. The phones are very cool and have all the features any office geek could want including, multiple lines, conf call, hold, DND, transfer,redial, etc... In fact there are more features than I know what to do with.

The coolest part of the system that I use is that it can all be managed online. If I take my phone from my office and plug it into my network at home, the calls get routed to me, just as if I were in the office. In fact, the callers that call me never know where I am. If, while at home, I make a call, it shows in their caller id the same as it would if I had called from the office, and it gets billed to my office. I can take my phone anywhere and plug it in and it is as if I am in the office. Even better still, if I forget my phone and I am at a friend's house 3000 miles from home, I can initiate a call online, and it will ring to any phone I chose. The caller never knows that I called from my aunt's house in upstate New York and my aunt never pays the bill.

My VOIP service uses flat fee pricing, so we can call anywhere in the U.S. at any time for a flat $35 per  line. I can also track all my calls online. I can view in depth reports on all calls made and recieved. That feature was neat at first but I never use it now.

The real advantage, other than it's mobility, is that I didn't have to invest in any equipment, except the phones and they are reasonably priced. This is the future of telephony, for sure. 

 

Comments(4)

Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

I am a small company that is also VOIP .. but my rate is not as good as yours .. could you tell me who carries your VOIP ? Thanks

Jul 03, 2008 08:24 AM
Pamela Knight
Urban Knight Enterprises, Inc. - Phoenixville, PA

I have benefitted from using VOIP.  When I think of the huge savings that I have gained from converting 3 lines from land lines I am excited.  It has been a great investment.

Jul 15, 2008 10:45 AM
John Ford
Security National Properties - Eureka, CA

I am so glad I found your post! I have threatened my wife with getting one of those VOIP phones but I really couldn;t explain how it works!

Aug 01, 2008 07:10 PM
Es r
CSR - Huntington, TX

My Pleasure John

Aug 05, 2008 06:35 AM