Many businesses have moved or are considering the move to VoIP options for their main business system.
Once upon a time…..
Previously, this was not always an option as it requires a decent Internet connection which wasn’t always available. Also, the main phone system for a business was its lifeline and needed to be as reliable as possible. However, with fast Internet connecions commonplace and the proliferation of mobile devices that’s changed. Now, it’s a feasable option to move to a VoIP system for many if not all business.
Phone systems and computer networks have always had a rocky but unavoidable relationship. It’s an interesting story worth looking into but we’re rapidly moving to the point where phone systems are becoming a part of the computer network rather than the computer network running on the back of the phone system. Ah…..the good old days of waiting 5 minutes for a 640×480 GIF file to dowload and display only to realise it’s not the file you were looking for.
Lorica have looked into and had tentative stabs at using and offering phone systems with no success. We’re soldiered on with a few different systems in house which have served well enough for us but not been up to par for us to offer out and support. Most of what we support is what we know well as we use it internally first.
Microsoft might not seem to be an obvious choice for telephony, but as the advantages are outlined shortly it will be become apparent that they are actually an excellent option. They’ve had a few stabs at telephony in the past which haven’t gone well. However, unified communications using an excellent product is now a very attractive option.
Worrying about putting even more of your eggs in the one basket? Let’s look at an automotive analogy as we like to do here. If you’re running a haulage business, is standardising on one manufacturer for your vehicles a bad idea? Maybe a recall for a fault is going to be a big negative, but how often is that likely to happen? On the plus side, one set of bills, one place to go for buying, servicing, spares and less training for drivers and mechanics are benefits that you’ll reap on a daily basis. With a Microsoft voice system supplied, configured and supported by Lorica you’ll see the same daily benefits. You’ll avoid your telecom company telling you the fault is with the network and your network support company telling you the network is fine and to go back to your telecom company. Familiar?
Presently, we’re waiting on a decent centralised receptionist console, as required by larger companies. For now, the system is great for companies that don’t need this, such as smaller companies.
Really useful benefits.
Here are some great advantages that should make you green with envy.
- Phone, chat, conferencing, screen sharing, calendar all in one place.
- Full integration with Office 365. If you have a meeting in your calendar, your phone presence reflects this.
- Use on your PC, phone, table or deskphone.
- You’re on the same number, call queues and conferences wherever you are as long as you have an Internet connection
- Full menu, IVR and call systems.
- Turn a chat, into a call and then into a conference.
- Co-author and integrate other applications into your communications
Here at Lorica we have been using the system for over 5 years. We do most of our commications at our desks using the PC client but also use mobile devices and deskphones. Our recommendation for the deskphone is the Yealink T58 (details here).