On the Cover
Who still cares how much money VOIP can save?
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 00:00
Written by Riaan Pietersen
Riaan Pietersen, TeleMasters
Yes, voice over IP (VOIP) may deliver cost savings. But this shouldn’t be the main reason to look at VOIP.
Instead, how about using VOIP to do something cool that will directly impact staff productivity?
Example: if you move to VOIP, it’s not a big stretch to then do a full integration of cellphone connectivity to the PABX.
Integrate a closed user group (CUG) cellular package with your existing landline infrastructure, where all calls between these cellular and landline extensions are zero-cost. When you call someone within the CUG, from your cellular phone or normal extension, the call is free.
Cost saving – nice! Doing something cool that helps people get their jobs done more easily? Priceless!
Then take it a step further – set up white-lists of customers, partners and staff, so that private calls can be billed back to the individual. Blacklist problem numbers. Allocate different white-lists and blacklists to different staff groups.
No staff member needs a mobile phone number on their business cards – calls are rung through from the company PABX to ring on both their landline extensions and cellphones. They choose where to pick up the call.
In fact, forget about cellphones and look to tablets. Why not run VOIP to tablets through a good, business-quality messaging client that has directory synchronisation with the company contact list?
Integrate your VOIP with your CRM and sales force automation systems. Do a bit of thinking about how to reduce information duplication and errors, by ensuring contact information and case files are synchronised.
Assuming you pick a partner who is technically skilled enough to get it working reliably and consistently; it’s ‘much of a muchness’ which system you use.
So, VOIP vendors should not be sending an IP telephony technician to clients; they should be sending in a business analyst to work out how VOIP can be more than a way to get a better voice-minute rate, and then get the engineers working on the solutions.
About the author: Riaan Pietersen is enterprise division head at TeleMasters
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