We employed telephone IP two years ago and have achieved nominal savings on long distance. The greatest ROI comes from client service and the ability for consultants to work wherever they choose as long as bandwidth is sufficient. Our main office is in Kennesaw, Georgia with consultants working out of Chattanooga, and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
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We added Voice over IP this year for our remote office and staff working from home. It required a substantial investment up front and the phones are expensive unless you want to use a software phone where the phone is actually built into the PC where you use a headset and the keyboard. I'm glad I made the investment because to our clients, anyone who works at home is just an extension on our office phone system. They don't know you are working from home. It's also a great communications tool within the office.
Bert Doerhoff, CPA
Bert Doerhoff & Co.
Jefferson City, Mo.
We recently moved one of our larger offices and implemented a VoIP-compatible phone system. With our offices on different legacy phone systems, it did not make financial sense to replace all of them at this time. However, because of our belief as to this technology is going, we implemented a VoIP-compatible system in order to be in a position to take advantage of this technology when our other offices are ready.
Jim Bourke CPA, CITP
Withum & Co.
Red Bank, N.J.
Pro-Active has deployed a complete Avaya IP Office Solution. The main reasons for deploying VoIP is as follows:
1) Allow us to seamlessly integrate remote offices / personnel for increased productivity
2) Reduce telecommunications costs by eliminating long distance charges between offices
3) Reduced cost of moves / changes of telecommunication equipment as it is essentially "plug and play."
We are evaluating VoIP to determine a viable for our organization. If it is we will be implementing VoIP within the next three months. Our implementation people spend considerably more time at customer sites and traveling than in our offices. Often, they work with clients on weekends or after-hours. Using a laptop, VoIP software, and VoIP headsets will provide them an additional avenue to communicate in a more timely manner with their clients irrespective of their location.
Practical Software Solutions
UHY Advisors is using VoIP when a satellite office is close to the main office, but outside the local calling area. We don't use VoIP everywhere as offices are generally slow to invest in new telecommunications technology, especially where swapping out otherwise functioning PBXs would be required. Our firm is re-engineering our firm-wide data network to a fully meshed, IP-based topology that will allow voice, data, and video to be carried across the same line, with better packet prioritization and management tools than we have now.
We have a T-1 connection between our Bismarck and Fargo offices and are running the phone lines through that connection. We looked into Voice over IP, but were advised against using it due to reliability issues in our area.
Liberty Grove Software operates from several very small offices, scattered around the country. We are interested in using VOIP, for features like "follow me" forwarding for cell and land lines, and for call routing to remote sites. When we can find an affordable package that will work with the phone services we have at our various locations, we will make the leap.
Liberty Grove Software
Glen Ellyn, Ill.
We are not using it now, but are planning to purchase and implement by December. The main reason for the new phone system (using VoIP) is to allow multiple locations to share support and phone services, while keeping phone costs down to one tenth of other technologies.
Martin & Associates