On one fundamental level, telephone systems still perform the same basic function they have for many, many decades: enable people to carry on voice conversations without having to be in the same room. But, in many other ways, today’s telephone systems are not your grandfather’s voice conversation enablers.
TMCnet spoke with Nick Branica (NB), president of IPitomy, to get a sense of how telephone systems have changed in recent years and what they are now capable of doing. IPitomy is a VoIP phone system provider that specializes in using Internet Protocol (IP) technology to deliver advanced telephony features at prices affordable even to small businesses.
TMCnet: What are some of the ways that telephone systems have changed in the past few years?
NB: The biggest change in the past few years is the migration away from the standard time division multiplexing (TDM) features to a more converged feature set based upon customer demand. The biggest features now available in some systems are remote telephones and IP integrated branch offices. This is about as far as the TDM technology will go. The next step is a pure IP architecture where remote phones, branch office networking, messaging, advanced conferencing, music on hold, nativeSIP Trunks and Web-based configuration are all included in one seamless application. The IP architecture is best suited for this and will bring down the cost.
TMCnet: For resellers, what are some of the challenges faced in choosing which VoIP phone system solutions to offer and how to market them?
NB: The biggest challenge is looking to the future. The resellers who have not yet embraced IP telephony will need to accelerate their move toward the inevitable. Customer demand, price, ease of installation and increased IT department involvement all are pointing to IP telephony. The days of the telephone system being a complicated specialty device with proprietary wiring will soon be replaced by a telephone system that can be installed on theLAN and maintained by the IT department. To compete in this arena, resellers will need to adapt to the reality and offer products that can compete with these trends.
Smart resellers will look for products that have the ability to meet the needs of the future, while keeping some of the important features that customers are familiar with. Features that will continue to be important will be a good DSS/BLF console, intercom/overhead paging, remote administration and telephone sets that can perform in a similar fashion to the sets that are being replaced.
VoIP phone systems offer some important advantages that TDM systems will never have. These benefits can be fully appreciated by installing an IP-based system in-house and using it to its full potential. This is the best way for sales people and technicians to get ahead of the competition and become experts in the technology.
TMCnet: How do IPitomy’s VoIP phone system solutions address the needs of resellers?
NB: IPitomy is a relatively new enterprise, but our breadth of experience in the business telecommunications marketplace is vast. IPitomy understands the needs of resellers and business owners. IPitomy systems have been developed from the very start to be simple to install and maintain, yet extremely rich in features and functionality. This has led to the development of a very cost-effective business telecommunications system that includes functionality found mostly in far more expensive systems.
The combination of affordable price and well thought out features provides an unparalleled opportunity for resellers and an irresistible package for business owners.
TMCnet: For business owners, what are some of the challenges faced in choosing from the many VoIP phone system solutions available today?
NB: Business owners face a monumental task in choosing a business telephone system. The hardest thing for a business owner is putting value on intangibles like increases in productivity and employee satisfaction. Choosing a phone system based solely on price may not be the best choice. Considering what really works for your business and how your business can reduce expenses and increase employee morale are important factors in purchasing a new system. Saving $1,000 on outdated technology is OK if you are planning on going out of business soon. Purchasing a phone system that can reduce your operating expenses, increase productivity and generally increase employee morale might save $1,000 per month.
Reduced expenses can come from a better use of telecom resources like getting rid of analog phone lines in favor of a T1. This alone can save hundreds of dollars per month. Using remote extensions to accommodate parents who need to care for family members increases morale and decreases days lost to absence. All totaled, a new phone system properly provisioned and installed can save a lot of money year in and year out.
TMCnet: How do IPitomy’s VoIP phone system solutions address the needs of business owners?
NB: IPitomy telephone systems address the needs of business owners in a variety of ways:
Lower per seat cost of almost any comparable IP phone system.
Reduced operating costs by reducing service calls. With an IP-PBX moving a telephone does not require a service call. Just unplug it and move it! The overall simplicity of the system allows many changes that may have required a service call in the past to be accomplished with in-house people.
IPitomy uses standards-based telephones. By purchasing standards-based SIP telephones, you are protecting your investment and assuring that the telephones can be used if you grow out of your phone system. Proprietary telephones lose most of their value the day you buy them. Reduced operating costs by connecting to low cost VoIP service providers. VoIP service providers can save up to 50 percent on recurring phone bills.
Increased functionality provides the means to meet the needs of a changing workforce. Remote telephones provide an extension to anyone who can’t get into the office or who needs to work from home. Using home based workers also saves on real estate expense, utilities and infrastructure.
IPitomy provides a full compliment of traditional PBX features in addition to the IP-PBX features so businesses can grow into their new IP-PBX with a comfortable transition at their own pace.
IPitomy is all inclusive. Every IPitomy system includes every business application required for success: PBX features, messaging, music on hold, remote extension, branch office networking, remote administration and a simple-to-use Web-based user interface for making changes.
TMCnet: Why does IPitomy call itself a “full service VoIP provider”?
NB: IPitomy not only provides the full compliment of hardware and software for a cutting-edge IP-PBX application, but we also provide as an option a VoIP service that can reduce telecommunications costs and increase flexibility. IPitomy remains compatible with just about any VoIP system on the market, but many customers find that using our service and having a “one stop shop” for the entire package is convenient.
IPitomy is compatible with any type of phone line as well as most VoIP services. By combining traditional PSTN connections with VoIP connection from a VoIP service provider, business owners enjoy a redundant system that has the highest availability at the lowest cost.
TMCnet: What else should people know about VoIP phone systems and IPitomy?
NB: Your business telephone system is your connection to customers, sales, support and vendors. When evaluating a phone system, look ahead. The trends in business are favoring IP phone systems. Your ability to compete in the future for sales, provide leading edge support to your customers and create the most accommodating environment for your employees will be better served by using an IP phone system.
IPitomy is committed to developing the best VoIP phone system at the lowest possible price. We do this by taking advantage of all technology has to offer to create a competitive product that is setting a new standard in business telecommunications.