Multisite organization Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2009

No matter what business you’re in or where you’re located, every business needs to communicate. If your customers can’t reach you and/or your employees can’t reach your clients, your business is at a standstill — no matter how great your product may be.

Every business knows it needs to communicate, but many don’t spend the time or the effort to put together a truly functional communications plan. Telecommunication technology is constantly changing, and the next generation of communications solutions and services are revolutionizing the way in which businesses are communicating. Because of this, businesses need to evaluate their systems and services to make sure they are being as productive and efficient as they can and should be.

Over the last 20 years, many companies with multiple locations have realized the vast benefits of combing and centralizing their data communications systems (databases, e-mail, customer relationship management, etc.) across their multisite locations. Today, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the new underlying technology for the next generation of voice communications systems.

VoIP helps an organization centralize its voice communications well beyond the corporate office to any and all remote locations. Many organizations have deployed a centralized voice communications solution over the last 10 years, and those companies are already reaping the many benefits of having all employees and offices under a centralized system.

“There have been more changes in the voice communications industry in the last five years than the previous 25 years,” says Monty Ferdowsi, the president of Broadcore. “It is well worthwhile for multisite organizations to proactively evaluate these solutions, as they can greatly benefit their businesses.”

Smart Business spoke with Ferdowsi about multisite integration and hosted telephony, how to implement it at your organization and how it can benefit your business.

How can organizations benefit from centralized voice communications systems?

Traditionally, organizations purchased separate telephone systems for each site and used telephone lines from the local telephone companies. For the most part, every office existed in silos and voice calling across sites was the same as an outsider calling into the office. These communications were slow, costly and inefficient. It generally created a feeling that each office was a separate organization when associates wanted to talk to one another.

However, there are many benefits to centralizing your voice communications system, including:

  • Easy and quick extension calling between users site-to-site
  • Easy call transfers across sites and users
  • Easy monitoring of users’ phone status at local or remote sites (busy lamp field)
  • Elimination of usage cost across sites
  • Centralized answering of calls for all sites (as needed)
  • Single system to administer and maintain via Web browser
  • Easy movement of associates’ phones between offices
  • Single vendor for all systems and services
  • More robust disaster recovery when hardware and services fail
  • Central call accounting of all voice calls (in/out)
  • Easy deployment of remote workers (telecommuting)

There are many other tangible and intangible benefits in centralizing voice communications across a multisite company. These benefits can be summarized in cost savings, efficiency gains and productivity boosters, particularly when a professional in a company’s specific field conducts a good evaluation.

When implementing multisite connectivity, what options do you have in terms of telephony?

There are two distinct choices for deploying a central voice communications solution for a multisite company. First is a premise-based voice communications system solution that companies purchase, deploy and maintain at their sites. Second is a hosted voice communications service. In the last 10 years, a new unique concept of hosted voice communications systems has emerged that has been growing rapidly. Both premise-based and hosted services have their benefits, but the new trend emerging in both voice and data communications services is pushing the services into the cloud (cloud computing, hosted PBX, etc.). This promises to eliminate the need for companies to invest into expensive new technology and to subscribe to the service providers who offer them ‘as-a-service.’

Hosted communications service providers generally eliminate the need for system purchase, system upgrade and system maintenance, and generally most of the additional cost associated with ongoing training and support services.

How can a company evaluate the best telephony services for a multisite organization?

Central communications systems are generally more complex to evaluate, design, deploy and support. Companies should take a more methodical approach in the evaluation of solutions in order to get the exact services that are required for their multisite offices. A good approach to evaluate any solution is to invite solution and service providers to conduct a thorough review of your current voice communications systems as well as any new requirements that you feel would improve your communications.

A good solution and service provider should also provide recommendations based on best practices in the field on how to further optimize the voice communications, both internally and externally. Generally, an overhaul of the way companies communicate with their clients can lead to more business and happier customers.

Monty Ferdowsi is the president of Broadcore. Reach him at (800) 942-4700 or info@broadcore.com. Broadcore (www.broadcore.com) has more than 20 years of telephony experience with five years of deploying advanced hosted telephony for major U.S. companies.