In October of 2017, Powerpoint Electrics Ltd. (PEL), had their elderly telephone system replaced with a Yeastar S20 VoIP system, as part of an upgrade of their ‘Message/Music on Hold’ service that provided information to callers while on hold or being transferred. Although the system provided some new [basic] VoIP phones that used their computer network, the S20 system still connected to four existing analogue lines, just as the previous system had done.
This system was a prime example showing that ‘going VoIP’ has various degrees of implementation, and allows us to show what can be done to enhance business processes when the full capabilities and options available are explored and actually put to good use …
In June 2019, PEL committed to a two-stage upgrade of their phone system by Foxhall Solutions. The first upgrade project has been completed and has replaced eight basic T21P phones, with Yealink T41S and T46S enhanced ‘business’ grade phones. In addition, we have provided a ‘remote’ T46S phone to be used at the Managing Director’s home office.
This phase of the upgrade has given Powerpoint Electrics the following benefits:
- The T41/46s phones present each extension in the business as a key with the name of the user beside it as a clear [editable] LCD label. There’s no longer a need for an internal phone list!
- Presentation of extensions (and speed-dials) is done using 3 pages [of 5 keys] on the T41s, and 5 pages [of 9 keys] on the T46s.
- Configuration was optimised to put the ‘priority’ extensions on page 1 of the T41s phones.
- Each key has a two-colour LED that shows if the extension is; ringing (flashing-red), engaged in a call (red), or free to take a call (green).
- The key-status LED makes it easy to see if another user is free to accept a call transfer. No more transfers to people who are already on a call!
- Any extension can pick up a call at another unattended extension by just pressing that extension’s key with its flashing red LED.
- PEL users had found it difficult to take a call at one phone, and then transfer that caller to another phone where they wanted to continue the call. With additional keys available on the phones, we were able to program a ‘call park’ facility, making it easy to just press a button and park the call at the first phone, then walk to and pick it up again at any other phone. This feature was already there but needed a complicated key sequence that was difficult to remember when using the basic phones.
- A ‘cloned’ extension was set up for the Managing Director to use at his home office. That allows him to work from home, but be able to take calls from his staff, and answer transferred calls, in the same way as if he was at the PEL office. Calls between the home and office phones are free of charge.
The second phase of the project will occur in early 2020 when contracts on PSTN lines expire. At that time, Foxhall will arrange for the ‘porting’ of PEL’s business number into a SIP trunk group that will be configured as an alternate set of ‘lines’ on the Yeastar S20 system. While phase one of the project represented a one-off investment for PEL, this phase is all about reducing on-going costs!
This project will bring the following business advantages to Powerpoint Electrics Ltd.;
- VoIP calls will use PEL’s existing FTTC Broadband service and therefore the four analogue lines can be ceased. This will drop monthly line costs by around 70%.
- VoIP calls delivered on SIP Trunk channels will have full Caller ID support, and therefore PEL staff will be able to identify their customers, and also use ‘call History’ facilities in their phone to see Caller ID info and use it to return their customers calls.
- PEL will be able to ‘see’ if their four lines are enough! If calls cannot be made due to insufficient lines, then error messages will be sent to advise us of that. Further SIP Trunk channels can be added in a matter of minutes to ensure that customers can be called and answered at peak times.
- An LDAP directory of PEL’s key customers will be set up so that incoming calls will present ‘names’ of callers, as well as their phone numbers. This will allow PEL to recognise callers and greet them accordingly – or route them to the most appropriate person or department.
- Currently, all calls to PEL are arriving on a single number. After this upgrade, PEL will be able to provide Direct Dial Inward (DDI) numbers so that customers can call into business units using specific numbers, for specific products or services.
For Powerpoint Electrics – upgrading to a VoIP system was just the first step. Being aware of what their VoIP phone system can provide in addition to just ‘dial-tone’ is important so that they can get the best return on their investment, and ensure that the ongoing cost of ownership of their system is low.
Call Foxhall Solutions at 01787 320402 to talk about your next phone system …