why you should care about voip

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  • 1. 2014 3/1/2014 VoIP Mobility Solutions

2. 2 Optimize Worker and Client Engagement with VoIP-Powered Mobility Solutions The advantages of VoIP and mobility in todays workforce are too important to ignore. The flexibility of communications is fully unburdened by unified communications (UC) and your businesss ability to switch from phones to text messaging, audio conferencing, email, document management, and desktop sharing. The UC Bing Bang can clearly be traced back to the collision of telephony and the Internet, specifically, VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol. Starting in 2003, more users were making calls from mobile phones than landlines.1 Shockingly, by 2015, one global intelligence research company estimates that the worlds mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion, or 37.2% of the total workforce. That is another 300 million mobile workers on the planet compared to 2010.2 The fact that we already surpassed the 1 billion mark about half a decade ago is probably more astonishing.3 By not acknowledging the rapid rise in teleworkers and their mobility habits, you could be choking your profits, and growth. For those only interested in their bottom line, just implementing VoIP telephony has been estimated to provide savings ranging anywhere from 30% to 80%.4,5 Here are some different ways that supporting mobility in your workplace will result in improved productivity, connect you to even more qualified job candidates, and optimize communication efficiency. 3. 3 Todays Anytime, Anywhere Workforce In a 2013 survey of 4,938 information workers in the U.S. and Europe, 29% self-identified as anytime, anywhere workers. Thirty-seven percent of respondents are productive at multiple locations; 82% use several apps; and 53% use more than one device. 6 Source: Benchmarking Mobile Engagement: Consumers and Employees Outpace CIOs Readiness; Forrester; May 2013 Small companies are at a unique disadvantage by not supporting their mobile workforce and implementing unified communications. The smaller your organization, the more you communicate with people on the outside, says Art Rosenberg, a UC strategy expert. 4. 4 Location, location, location Today, using a landline as a primary source of communication is a work solution as innovative as watching a movie on a VCR. The anytime, anywhere work mentality introduced a new acronym: BYOD, or bring your own device, which allows medium and small companies to keep pace with larger organizations that can afford to give every employee a smartphone or tablet. Businesses need to provide access to all their tools from any location and on any device since workers are using their desktop computer at home, a tablet on the go, and a smartphone in all of these locations.3 Considering that by 2017 more than 900 million individuals will have a tablet,7 companies that dont exploit UC will essentially be showing up to a gunfight with a butter knife. One way for your forward-thinking company to stay competitive is to understand the constantly evolving needs of the modern workforce. If a worker cant text, respond to email, and share rich data while commuting, at a client site, or even at the corner coffee shop, it will show in your companys overall productivity, as well as employee retention. Mobile device use in a typical workweek. Source: Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, Q4 2012 The bottom line is that it doesnt make sense to try to talk to somebody to make a blind phone call without first doing things like checking your contacts presence information. Art Rosenberg, thought-leader and expert in business communications. 5. 5 Finding Employees With our rapidly growing mobile and VoIP-powered workforce, businesses and workers enjoy more synergist benefits than ever. According to Aberdeens 2012 Mobile Enterprise-Grade App survey, personal devices are model platforms for communicating with potential job candidates. 8 Job seekers are no longer hindered by corporate firewalls; they can subscribe to SMS updates, and receive real-time job alerts. Hiring managers can schedule interviews more quickly by engaging with recruits using text messaging; interviews are scheduled by consulting one anothers presence information a personal contact card that tells colleagues, in real time, how to reach you; and allows the electronic delivery of meeting invitations that automatically update each participants calendar. Now, your HR department can correspond with a job candidate anytime, anywhere, not just during a few stolen moments away from the cubicle, or during off hours. Source: Aberdeen Group, July 2013 6. 6 Choose Your Own Voicemail Protocol Imagine this scenario: Youre expecting a call from a potential client. A missed connection will surely result in that customer automatically calling your competition. Using a desktop app, you can route your calls to your cellphone, ensuring a connection with clients anytime, anywhere. When your phone rings, that call can go out to another associate, or your entire team, which guarantees someone will intercept every incoming call. Image courtesy of Better Voice When a call patches through to your voicemail, your client can get an immediate response with rich content. First, your phone can send an automatic voicemail message, Im sorry I missed your call. Im sending you a text message right now with a link to a video on that exact support problem youre having. You just provided an opportunity to let that client know youre available. At worst, it lowers their frustration by giving them something they need in that moment. These VoIP-driven apps provide your business with a way to fully customize and combine the power of your phone, text- message, voicemail, document sharing, and email. You can do 90% of your work from a smart phone or tablet, says Steven Knapp, COO at Better Voice, a cloud-based phone system. And a service like this can improve callback efficiency by 75%. Hardware is expensive and depreciates in three to five years. Thats an expense businesses dont have to take on. Steven Knapp, COO, Better Voice 7. 7 The Times they are a-Changin, With or Without You One of the most bandied-about reasons for converting from POTS (plain old telephone service) to VoIP is the loads of dough youll save. A more urgent reality, however, is starting to emerge. For POTS, the end times are near. Plenty of businesses are holding on to their copper-wire-based landlines for the convenience, or to avoid the prohibitive cost of upgrading. Justin Kaltenbach, a CIO with HealthIT2, a small healthcare technology consulting firm, recently implemented a VoIP system in his Los Angeles office. Cost-wise, it was competitive with the local phone company. But after numerous problems, and a week of lost productivity, Kaltenbach went back to standard telephony. We had an internet connection with charter cable. No firewall just a standard router. They couldnt get it to work. As a result, HealthIT2 is sticking with their landlines for the foreseeable future. Switching to VoIP can be a hassle for large, profitable businesses as well. It took one Fortune 500 insurance company in California 12 months to convert 350 offices from a legacy phone system to VoIP. It's been a slow process over the past several years, waiting for VoIP technologies to mature to the point where it can meet our business requirements, said an IT manager. But businesses like HealthIT2 are also facing the reality that they will have to convert eventually. Since at least 2003, analysts have been predicting that POTS will be extinct in this lifetime. While eliminating landline phone service is currently illegal (see the Communications Act of 1934), legacy phone providers like AT&T and Verizon are working with the FCC to update nearly century-old laws preferably by 2020.9 When that occurs, your costs could blow up since the competition suddenly just got much less competitive. And everyone will be clambering to convert within a limited timeframe. Our landlines are very basic. VoIP gave my company the ability to better monitor our telesales department and connect our services more efficiently. From an applications standpoint, theres no comparison to voice over IP. Justin Kaltenback, HealthIT2 8. 8 VoIP Service Snafus Knowing these potential VoIP service frustrations will help keep costs and aggravation under control. Bundled service: Sign up for bundled service with caution. Sure, bundling features can help save you money, but if it limits where you can call or charges extra fees for going above a certain number of minutes, that discounted plan can quickly burn through your communications budget. And breaking your contract could cost you dearly. Equipment: Dont be fooled into thinking that you wont need some hardware, or that you can get around upgrade costs. Even if you have a fully BYOD workforce, you still need to have the infrastructure and bandwidth in place for providing email service, file sharing capabilities, video conferencing, and the ability to implement new services. Hosted service: Hosted VoIP service may come with a per-month fee, but the alternative is employing a fulltime, premises-based expert who is responsible for maintaining your hardware. Without hesitation, most experts suggest small and medium sized businesses should opt for hosted PBX. PROS: ANTICIPATE LOWER ONGOING COSTS NO MONTHLY FEE INCREASES PROS: LOWER SETUP COST NO MAINTENANCE COSTS EXPERT SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT CONS: HIGH SETUP AND EQUIPMENT COSTS UNKNOWN LONG-TERM MAINTENANCE COSTS MUST KEEP UP WITH INDUSTRY ADVANCES CONS: PERIODIC MONTHLY FEE INCREASES ANTICIPATE HIGHER SERVICE PROVIDER COSTS ON-SITE PBX VS. HOSTED PBX Communications Act of 1934 No carrier shall discontinue, reduce, or impair service to a community, or part of a community, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that neither the present nor future public convenience an