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Dollars & Sense: Transitioning your business to a Voice over IP phone system #VoIP #Telephony #Cisco #SMB

Pardon the pun with the “dollars & sense” thing, but really that is what it comes down to, whether it makes sense, not just the dollar amount.

Cisco Select SMB Partner Greenville Upstate SC

In my previous post, we looked at a company we will call “Business One”, a local small business using PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) with their old key phone system and asked the question “Are you paying too much for your business phone service?”

Obviously, there was money to be saved by simply changing how they have always done things, however, there was expense involved, which came in the form of the need for a new phone system. Let’s look at what is involved to move “Business One” from an aging key phone system to a new VoIP (Voice over IP) system.

First, let’s see what the current system comprised of:

  • 8 total extensions
  • 3 outside phone lines
  • Paging to a speaker (broken)
  • Paging to phones
  • NO music on hold option
  • NO Automated Attendant capability
  • NO voice mail (Simple answering machine turned on manually)
  • NO voice mail going to email
  • NO Caller ID display

We’re talking a very basic digital key system. It has accomplished what they needed, and nothing more.

So what would we be putting in place?

Cisco UC320W unified communications systemCisco’s new UC320W Unified Communications system, which is one unit that controls the local VoIP system, provides a security router, gigabit switch, wireless 802.11n and more.  This is the baby brother to the UC540 system, and it supports up to 24 extensions, 4 copper phone lines, and a fax/phone/credit card machine port.

With additional modules, it can support even more phone lines, at the expense of losing one extension for each additional outside line over 4.   (If you had 8 phone lines, you could only have 20 extensions).

Cisco SPA504G VoIP Phone

For desk sets, Business One has determined they need only the basics, no color display, bluetooth or MP3 player needed here.

We opted for the Cisco SPA504G, a 4 line display phone with outstanding audio quality, crystal clear speakerphone, dedicated headset port, message waiting indicator and an AUX port to connect the optional 32 button sidecar which allows the programming of single button speeddials, transfers, etc. These phones also have a network passthru for the connected PCs and Power Over Ethernet (POE).

Cisco SPA500S 32 button sidecarTo enable the two people who answer phone the most there the ability to easily transfer calls to other worker voice mail and extensions, we added two of the 32 button sidecars (SPA500S). They can tell if someone is using their extension at a glance, and transfer a call they answered easily to another extension, or send it straight to that extension’s voice mail with the push of one button.

The old phone system does not use CAT5 wiring, so new wiring was required to several extensions, and since there are no power outlets in some of those locations, a Cisco ESW-520-8p switch was in order. This switch provides 8 ports of 10/100 ethernet WITH Power Over Ethernet (Meaning, all 8 extensions would not require to have a power adapter plugged into the wall)

The client had an existing 10/100/1000 (gigabit) network for their computers, but it was decided that keeping the networks isolated would be desirable. That fact, combined with the desire to have Power Over Ethernet and long runs of cabling that were required to the warehouse area made for a more costly solution than may be necessary in many cases. However, the complete, turn-key solution rang in at about $4500 dollars. By turn-key, we mean, start to finish: Consultation, installation, configuration & training.

By switching to to this VoIP solution and to the SIP trunks as outlined in the previous post, in less than 2.5 years, the new VoIP system will pay for itself, while providing many features this client has never enjoyed!

New features that Business One can enjoy:

  • Automated Attendant (Many calls are handled by the phone system)
  • Voice Mail for each extension (will replace a single answering machine)
  • Night Attendant will provide different greeting/functions after hours
  • Music on Hold
  • Voice mail is sent to their email to listen to on a smartphone
  • Caller ID so they can screen those salespeople!
  • Display phones loaded with features
  • Ability to transfer a call to their cell phones, or even forward all calls
  • Full call logging, see at a glance every incoming/outgoing call
  • 8 Simultaneous calls through SIP (instead of the 3 they had before)
  • Ability to use inexpensive SIP trunks for service!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Their old system has seen better days, so switching to a full fledged VoIP solution and taking advantage of a decrease in service will pay for itself…

Now, if they would just consider the Cisco SPA525G2 phone, with its beautiful color display, built-in MP3 player, bluetooth connectivity to headsets and cellphones, then they would be stylin!

If you would like to talk about how a system like this could be implemented at your business, please call us at 864.990.4748 or email info@homelandsecureit.com. We are your Greenville / Upstate SC Cisco SMB Select Partner!

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments 1

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