In this post we opened the discussion of the effectiveness of telecommuting with VoIP, and specifically with gloCOM, our unified communications app. In the next few posts we’ll delve into some of the specific advantages.
Let’s start by talking about the employees. Telecommuting workers are actually better workers.
With no geographic boundaries, companies can find best-fit employees from a much larger selection, and often at a lower rate.
Rather than settling for the local best, companies that use telecommuting can demand specialists or experts from around the world.
Can’t afford to have a specialist on staff? Telecommuting means the position can be part-time, temporary, or even on a consulting-basis.
While telecommuting has existed for years and years, it has never been as effective and productive as it is today thanks to VoIP and Unified Communications. With benefits to both employees and employers, telecommuting is a real option today using UC tools such as gloCOM.
A few major trends have made effective telecommuting not only possible, but maybe even the best option for many companies: The Internet, Mobility, and Globalization.
Nowadays there is Internet access virtually anywhere, whether via Wi-Fi hotspots or LTE data. That plus the constant presence of smart phones, tablets, and portable laptops means that anywhere can become an office in just moments.
Telecommuting is not only plausible; it’s advantageous to many companies today. Globalization means that companies have customers, suppliers, even competitors across the world. It only makes sense to have employees with just as far a reach.
gloCOM softphone enables users to work effectively anywhere with an Internet connection. From crystal clear individual or conference calls to file and screen sharing to group and individual chat, gloCOM will convert into a virtual office anywhere in the world. It overcomes archaic barriers to remote working such as the inability to communicate or technical difficulties. It even monitors productivity and keeps management up-to-date and involved.
Telecommuting provides several benefits to both employees and employers in the following ways:
Moving a business is often a lengthy and complicated process. While VoIP technology certainly means less hardware and cables to move, it still involves some planning and forethought. So the big question is : to take the VoIP System along or start over at the new address?
Traditionally, phone systems have always been purchased and owned. If this precedent has worked well for your business, there is no reason to change now. Owning an on-premise system gives control and peace-of-mind to the company. It is one more company asset that cannot be changed or taken away.
Along the same lines as ownership, an onsite pbx system puts the control into the hands of the company. The in-house IT team can manage and customize the solution to fit current needs and even specific users. With all of the new features offered by VoIP, it only makes sense to have the control to use and change them as you wish.
While some companies will shy away from the larger up-front cost of an on-premise system, others will appreciate making a one-time investment. Unlike hosted systems, on-premise will not require monthly rent or other fees. On-Premise VoIP is less expensive than Legacy because it is software, rather than hardware, based.
#4 PARTNER RELATIONSHIPS
If you already have a good relationship with your providers there is no reason to change now. Your provider already has experience and knowledge of your company, users, and communication patterns. An onsite PBX solution allows you to stay with the same provider rather than start from scratch with a new vendor.
#5 IT TEAM
Companies switching from legacy to VoIP likely already have an experienced IT team in place. An on-premise system allows them to continue their current duties and carry the company through the transition to VoIP. Entrusting the new system to the current IT team will ensure a smooth transition.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to choosing an On-Premise Based PBX system. However there is a caveat; VoIP systems are inherently more complicated than legacy systems. They come with the advantage of an interface GUI to deal with this; however, the core skills to manage the network remain critical. The provider of your legacy system may not be familiar with these skills.
It is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with Thirdlane, given how respectfully Alex Epshteyn at Thirdlane has always spoken of PBXware.
I am often asked why to choose PBXware over Thirdlane and it seems only right to write.
Curious about this question is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories:
Existing users of Thirdlane’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further.
New Providers looking to start a business line with very little resource
Well established businesses – either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems
For the first group, Thirdlane customers have dial tone. However, their ITSP is now so busied with the running of the business that the cost of maintaining the system takes on greater importance.
It is very noticeable how few subscribers the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a handful of customers. These, still quite new, Service Providers are also considering how to automate the monthly invoice run and, ideally, the provisioning of services.
A customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… Surely this should take no more effort than checking boxes to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out, right?
There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x, y, z?’ questions and, less often, bugs or critical failings.
Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses. Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms, the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next.
What has also been learned by bitter experience is problems that may be caused by trying to piece-on a third-party software just because you don’t have it yourself. This could be an Operator Panel, for example, that can be strung through the Asterisk Manager. There’s no choice, you have to do it. The customer is screaming at you. So you spend an hour to download it, install it, try it yourself, and another hour to read the manual. You repeat that with the customer. Next day, the customer wants something that is missing … it is crashing … whatever happened to your sales plan that week?
For some though, there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.
Stay tuned for Thirdlane vs PBXware, Part 2: Cost of Entry and check out these other posts in the meantime: