The top five benefits of VoIP:

blog_header

1. Convergence:  Convergence is about having one bunch of hardware and wires to carry all of your business; voice, video, media and data. It’s very worthwhile and technically achievable. Your network may need to pass some health-checks and it’s possible that you’ll need to adopt a roll-out that covers network upgrade prior to the full implementation of VoIP – but convergence can halve your services cost-per-desk. Convergence makes it easy and cost-effective to carry out additions and moves & changes – without the need for new cable runs or complex [expensive] configuration changes.

2. It’s all software:  Some traditional PBX vendors try to make it look like its hardware, with product logo’s placed prominently on the boxes – but it’s not! VoIP servers are commonly Windows or Unix/Linux Operating Systems, running on off-the-shelf Server Hardware available from many vendors known to the IT world. This also means that since we are just dealing with a stream of TCP/IP packets, it’s becoming easier to interface the VoIP phone systems to other Management Information Systems, like call data collection, display and recording facilities. It is important to choose the right hardware to put the system together with, but it’s no longer proprietary.

3. Call Routing control:  This can be useful if you find you have geographical areas or call types that you want the best call rates into. Suppose you find a SIP carrier who gives good rates for calls to mobile numbers, but they are not competitive for calls to land-lines … Your VoIP switch can support multiple SIP Gateway accounts and provide a simple but effective way to route your outbound calls through them. For example, you can configure the VoIP switch to detect the 07 dial code prefix used to call mobiles, and have those calls automatically routed through that gateway giving the best tariff. All other calls may be routed through another – or other gateways – where tariffs are better for them. Fall-back strategies cover 2nd and 3rd choice routes in case the gateway is at capacity.

4. Fidelity:  We are often asked if the call quality will be as good as “our old PBX”. In most cases it’s actually better! Not only do VoIP systems offer good audio standards, but they do it dynamically – automatically adjusting the amount of voice compression, to compensate for low bandwidth call paths.

5. Pick & Mix:  As per 3 above, we can change and add Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP’s), to get the best tariff rates for the different types of calls you make e.g. for local, national, International, International to particular countries, and for mobile services. You can even use an ITSP that gives good rentals for SIP Trunks and numbers for incoming calls, but you can guide calls out through completely different ITSP’s with more competitive call tariffs. In addition, there are numerous manufacturers of SIP compliant VoIP hardware for both gateways and phone-sets. It is possible to choose the hardware to build your VoIP telephone system from IT resellers with whom you have purchasing power for IT projects – and to use servers, gateways and phones that you are familiar with. However, it’s also possible to enhance systems to meet your specific requirements by using a different type of gateway or phone with unique features, that fit your project.

Hosted VoIP v’s on-premise IP-PBX

Not only do you need to be aware of VoIP and what it is, but you need to be aware of the ways that VoIP systems can be provided for you. You can either have your own system based at your office (on-premise), or you may have just the phones at your desks with everything else out in the Cloud (hosted VoIP).

Head in the clouds, or feet on the ground – we can help you decide which is best for your business …

When comparing a hosted VoIP solution to an on-premise IP-PBX – some thought should be given to the basic differences between the two systems and the advantages of each. Adopting a VoIP business phone system – whether it be a hosted [virtual] solution, or an in-house IP-PBX – is an excellent choice regardless which type of system you go for – But – understanding their differences can be important in making the right decision and ultimately being satisfied that your new phone system is providing you with a full scope of business benefits. With software IP-PBX systems driving down costs for both hosted VoIP providers and many IP-PBX manufacturers, there are significant benefits for users, who get a modern business phone system with more features, at a lower cost, and with lower on-going operational expenses.

What is Hosted VoIP?:

the-VoIP-cloud

An Internet Business Phone System (also known as a hosted PBX or hosted VoIP or virtual PBX) is a phone system where the service provider houses most of the equipment – and handles onward connections to PSTN & mobile – at a data centre, and maintains most of the technology and resources that the phone system requires to operate.

hosted

The IP phones or desk-sets usually plug into a LAN/router at your office and almost all the signalling, calls and features are handled by the provider’s IP-Media server located far away from their customers. This is a ‘Cloud’ application with Internet used to link the service provider’s equipment, to the phones at your office. The hosted VoIP provider usually charges a “per-seat” (i.e. per extension) monthly service rental, and may include a package of call-minutes and features, or a low per-minute calling cost in that fee.

What is an IP-PBX business phone system:

business-building1

An IP-PBX business phone system (e.g. our 3CX) is like a traditional PBX residing at an on-premise location (e.g. at your office building in the computer equipment room), but, its built from technology that uses network and TCP/IP routing. Signalling takes place between the VoIP phone & the IP-PBX server over your own LAN.

IPPBX

Calls may go in & out through traditional PSTN lines (via analogue or ISDN), or over the Internet (VoIP) using SIP trunking – or even a combination of both! The IP-PBX is purchased from, and usually installed by, a telecom’s equipment company who connects the system to carriers using gateway units or software. These carriers may already handle your calls (e.g. BT), or they may be relatively new ISTP’s (Internet Service Telephone Providers), with aggressive tariffs and service rentals.

Understanding the fundamental differences between hosted VoIP and an IP-PBX will help in understanding the benefits and limitations of each business phone system.

What are you buying?:

Purchasing an IP-PBX on-premise phone system usually consists of buying hardware including phones, a server incorporating VoIP software (e.g. 3CX), and perhaps interface gateways needed to connect to your chosen analogue, ISDN or GSM telephony service providers. However, it is sometimes a mistake to think that all you need are the phones for hosted VoIP. For good quality calls on both platforms, your LAN and Internet Router should be ‘VoIP aware’, and network switches should also have Quality of Service (QoS) and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to support use of phones and PC’s on the same LAN structure.

A summary of the positives and negatives for comparing the two approaches are:

Hosted VoIP:

  • Lower initial equipment cost and lower setup cost (but don’t forget your network components!)
  • Maintenance costs are included in monthly service rentals.
  • There’s potentially, a low monthly service provider’s cost for calls and features.
  • High on-going cost per extension – especially when large hosted systems are compared to equivalent IP-PBX systems.
  • Lines & DDI numbers may be added upon request.
  • New features and upgraded software are part of the service.

On-premise IP-PBX

  • Higher initial equipment cost and higher setup cost due to the need for a server & software.
  • Higher long term maintenance costs (w.r.t. the lifetime of the VoIP Server).
  • Lower on-going monthly cost per extension after system is paid for.
  • Flexibility due to the capability to add, remove & support analogue, ISDN, GSM and SIP Trunk channels, from multiple carriers.
  • It’s easy to add SIP Trunk lines and DDI numbers.
  • Ability to SIP trunk with [different] VoIP providers to get low cost calls.
  • New features and upgraded software as part of service (with current UI in the case of 3CX).

Initial outlays can be identical for IP phones on both systems e.g. twelve Yealink T26P VoIP phones could be used either for an in-house IP-PBX system or for a hosted VoIP solution, but other equipment such as the VoIP server with PBX software and/or routers can be specific for the service. VoIP aware network switches with Power over Ethernet [PoE] are also [highly!] recommended for both system types, as phones need power, and VoIP needs priority over other data on your LAN. On-going maintenance of the server with hosted VoIP will rest with the provider (but is recovered in extension rentals). However – if purchasing an IP-PBX for an on-premises solution, there is Capex, support, and eventual replacement cost of the server to consider.

Costs of moves and changes:

Adding phones (users) to an IP-PBX can be as simple as installing another IP phone, unless additional licensing is required to expand call capacity (in the case of 3CX), but with hosted VoIP you will need to add both the cost of the hardware (IP phone) and add to your service plan, which will increase your monthly costs depending on the hosted VoIP provider’s per-seat service rental. Both can be easy to do. A 3CX IP-PBX has an administrator’s GUI interface where you can create more extensions quickly and easily at no cost – apart from the phone hardware of course.

It is notable that in the hosted VoIP model, every seat increases your service rental costs! However, the addition of an extension to an IP-PBX does not necessarily need another line! This means that on an IP-PBX platform, monthly service costs are not usually affected by the addition of an extension, because usually, the number of extensions far exceeds the number of lines needed by the business.

It is also notable, that the hosted VoIP model will show lowest cost of ownership when compared to an IP-PBX running gateways to ‘traditional’ analogue and ISDN lines. In this configuration, the IP-PBX needs additional hardware & configuration which further boosts the install costs for the IP-PBX system. If the IP-PBX is terminating SIP Trunks via a DSL service, then its on-going service rental costs will typically be much lower than for hosted VoIP! Keep this in mind when comparing proposals – as a hosted VoIP bid may be made to look attractive, simply because it’s being compared with a ‘hybrid’ IP-PBX running expensive legacy analogue or ISDN trunk lines. Remember that you need the same good quality DSL service for either hosted VoIP extensions, or for SIP Trunks into an IP-PBX, so if you can’t get good DSL, you probably shouldn’t consider VoIP outside your own LAN anyway!

Let’s look at other important considerations:

With any system, whether it be a hosted VoIP service or an on-premise IP-PBX the feature set is critical for your business. If it won’t do what you need it to do, then look at another system. Given that, there are other important considerations. Here are some general pros and cons:

Hosted VoIP Positives:

  • Lower initial cost and a Finance model based on a [it’s usually monthly] service rental.
  • A provider has many more resources than a customer. So new feature sets are possible. (Although, these might come only for an additional charge or rental, and only if other subscribers want them as well).
  • Implementation of new features will be handled off-site, entirely by the provider (but not without risk of service disruption!).
  • Its quick and easy to add or drop virtual DDI numbers.
  • It’s easy to move your phone system. Plug in the IP phone to a broadband connection and you’re back to internal dialing, & making and receiving external calls.
  • Deploying a new phone for a user needs minimal configuration, with the phone being automatically provisioned by the Hosted VoIP server when it is plugged in.
  • Hosted providers usually have edge border controllers or other NAT software that can better navigate through routers allowing easier implementation of remote users.
  • A loss of Internet or another catastrophic event at a business premise will have almost no effect on the business operations as calls will still either go to voice-mail or to a cell phone. This is because the PBX equipment is sitting in a collocation facility with redundancy, back-up power sources and other special safeguards.

Hosted VoIP Negatives:

  • Either way, you’ll need a degree of local management to determine call plans and in- and out-of-hours routing. Hosted systems require instructions to be passed off site to a maintenance team who are also supporting other subscribers and therefore change implementation may be delayed.
  • Connections (signalling) and voice quality are directly related to the quality of your Internet connection (but the Internet & ISP’s have got much better in the last two years).
  • The VoIP hosting companies may present the product as just a bunch of phones plugged into your existing LAN & router – however – you’ll need a voice-aware LAN & WAN connection for either hosted VoIP or on-premise IP-PBX.
  • Loss of Internet will result in loss of phone service – including internal calls between extensions (although calls will still go to voice mail or where ever else they are routed to, e.g. a cell phone.)
  • Flexibility and/or customization and new future features may be slow or non existent for some providers. Hosted VoIP providers are unlikely to change or adapt services for single users, although there are some hosted VoIP providers that will customize feature sets for a customer (at a price!).
  • It’s difficult or impossible to integrate the phones with your IT structure (e.g. dial out of databases), to take advantage of Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
  • The hosting company imposes their preferred carrier[s] and therefore, you get a fixed call tariff plan & no Least Cost Routing choices, apart from any offered by the hosting company.
  • Generation of additional extensions to be used in call routing, may incur additional service rental charges – for a non-existent phone!
  • Contracts can be difficult to get out of (especially rolling contracts!) …
  • Fee increases can be charged and/or cancellations fees imposed.
  • Your provider’s stability, both operational and financial effects your business continuity.

IP-PBX Positives:

  • Either way, you’ll need a degree of local management to determine call plans and in- and out-of-hours routing. However – IP-PBX systems can allow somebody with minimal training & local expertise to make these changes on the fly and optimise them with minimal delays and with a full [local] understanding of your business needs.
  • Lower on-going service costs – to cover trunks, numbers and calls only. Note that significant reductions in service rentals can provide rapid RoI! A SIP Trunk rental is much lower than a typical hosted extension rental.
  • The number of trunks required is usually much lower than the number of extensions, which is another reason why on-going monthly service rental costs for IP-PBX are much lower than for hosted VoIP.
  • Having a IP-PBX gives you complete control allowing you to adjust, create, delete users, extensions, turn feature sets on/off, and set your own music/message on hold.
  • Adding more extensions either for users or just for call routing, will not impact on monthly service rental charges.
  • It’s easy to move your phone system. Plug the VoIP Server into a broadband connection and you’re back to making and receiving calls.
  • Deploying a new phone for a user, requires minimum configuration, with the phone automatically provisioned by the IP-PBX server when it is plugged in.
  • Remote users may be connected back into the IP-PBX system via Internet, for internal and external calls.
  • An IP-PBX gives you flexibility to experiment with and optimise your call routing plans – and you can test & see the results immediately.
  • Possibility of adding new feature sets with minimal license maintenance fees as they are developed and added to the system by the manufacturers.
  • No need to change your current carrier[s].
  • Ease of integrating 3rd party CRM applications and Databases to dial from (e.g. dial from Outlook or ACT! Contacts).
  • Ability to add VoIP SIP trunks for route-based savings on calling and reduced monthly service costs.
  • Fast & easy to add new SIP Trunk channels from existing or new providers, and adding DDI numbers into those groups (often taking less than 24 hours).
  • Ability to choose multiple SIP Trunk and PSTN line providers to get the best call rates for each call type / geographic area (huge flexibility in Least Cost Routing!).
  • Ability to use Analogue, ISDN and mobile GSM gateways for incoming & outgoing fall-back in the case of DSL (SIP Trunk) failure – and to reduce cost of GSM mobile calls.
  • IP-PBX’s (e.g. 3CX) make it easy to access call data records so you can query call data as required.
  • Ownership of the VoIP server reduces costs over a period of time after the system is paid for.

IP-PBX Negatives:

  • Higher initial costs, with the Finance model based on Capex or Commercial Lease, especially if analogue or ISDN lines are used.
  • If you have an IP-PBX, then you should have someone who can manage its users – at least to a day-to-day operational level.
  • Expansions can increase complexity (but may also increase flexibility!).
  • Upgrades on software and patches may require an Engineer to attend site, and incur a cost (unusual however, as IP-PBX’s are accessible and maintainable via Internet).
  • External calls made by remote users are routed into the IP-PBX and back out again, using twice the DSL bandwidth at your ‘primary’ site, to create the call path.
  • A loss or failure of a PBX will route calls coming into a business via fall-back strategies (e.g. analogue, ISDN or mobile), until replacement/repair of the IP-PBX.

Contact us at Foxhall Solutions – 01787 228 402 – to discuss which platform suits your business best. We offer a free of charge consultancy to provide our expertise to assist in making your choice … Foxhall Solutions – Putting the Comm’s in Commerce …

3CX makes Skype a part of your business

Skype-userWhen we describe our 3CX phone system, we are often asked … “Is it like Skype?”

Yes – 3CX and Skype share some similarities (they are both VoIP), but were designed for different tasks. In general, Skype has been used for point-to-point communications between one PC & another, and uses those PC’s – along with others on the Internet – to connect the parties in the call. 3CX is a business phone system designed to allow a caller to connect with all the members of an organisation, through Internet & public telephone networks, and through calling strategies that include many call handling features, such as – ringing at multiple extensions, and the ability to transfer answered calls.

Skype has become well established, and can fill a valuable role in enabling customers and staff to make zero-cost calls back into your business from remote locations, via the Internet –  even from other countries! It can also enable the use of ‘Skype Buttons’ on websites, so that calls can be made into your business by a potential customer browsing your site & wanting your services.

Skype Connect’ includes subscriptions to Internet SIP trunk lines, which can be connected to 3CX and act like any other trunk line. They can be allocated ‘Skype numbers’ which means that you can publish a number that enables you to be called by any land-line or mobile – and they can be linked with Skype business accounts so that a customer using Skype to call that account name, calls into your business as though they dialed from a land-line or mobile. The big advantage to your customers and staff is that, when they call you this way, no matter where they are in the world, the call is free! The advantage to you is that you don’t have to have Skype loaded on every PC in your company …

An incoming Skype Connect call can be presented to one or many ‘standard’ phone extensions in your company. It can be queued at – for example, a help desk, and once answered transferred on to somebody else to help the caller further. So while your caller is sitting in front of their PC with their headphones, you can be answering the call on your desk phone like any other.

You might want to use different Skype buttons on different web pages, to call in to different people or groups of people in your company. That way your caller is connecting with the person or department who is going to be able to best assist them with the product or service that they are currently looking at on your website.

Foxhall Solutions have assisted companies to set up Skype for different applications, ranging from IT support help-desks, through to enabling Missionaries working in remote parts of Africa to call their headquarters here in the UK. If you sell or advertise your product or service on your website, and you want to make it easy for your customers to contact you – then you really need to take a look at this facility …

3CX can enhance Skype for your business, using its following features;

  • 3CX is a Skype Connect certified platform.
  • 3CX terminates Skype connect as a SIP trunk for call routing & distribution through your business.
  • 3CX can present the incoming Skype caller to particular extensions, or groups of extensions – and transfer the caller to other extensions as required.

skype-connect-certified

Contact us to talk more about how 3CX can open new and innovative ways for you to keep in touch with your staff, partners and customers.

Using Least Cost Routing to cut business costs …

catblog1Are you dreading that next phone bill?

Least Cost Routing [LCR] provides a set of rules for your phone system, to enable it to guide outgoing calls over different lines, so that you can take advantage of the lowest call tariffs offered by different carriers, for your calls to local, national, international and mobile numbers.

Our 3CX phone system excels at this, simply because you can connect almost all line types, from almost all network carriers. 3CX will connect; analogue lines, digital ISDN2, digital ISDN30, GSM mobile channels, Skype accounts and Internet SIP Trunks. Gateway ‘boxes’ are required to terminate analogue, ISDN and mobile lines – but the most cost-effective SIP Trunk channels only require the 3CX to be connected to Internet through a DSL service terminated by a router.

There are no practical limits on the number of SIP Trunk line groups that are configured into a 3CX system. This means that you can choose SIP Trunk suppliers (and if you Google that term, you’ll see ‘about 251,000 results’!), based on their monthly channel rental, and their tariff rates for calls into geographical areas where you do business.

By carrying out some simple analysis of your phone bills, we can look at the types of calls you make, how many, and what those calls are costing you per minute. This allows us to get a fairly accurate return on investment (RoI), figure that enables us and choose Carriers to create trunk groups to carry your different types of calls, at the best rates!

For example, you may have an extremely ‘friendly’ rate for calls to mobiles via the analogue lines you have, but our SIP Trunk lines could reduce your UK and local call rates by half! You may be opening up a business partnership with a company in Indonesia and therefore, a SIP Trunk supplier with low-cost calls to that region would be of advantage. Typically however, carriers work in a way where they provide a low cost for some services, at the expense of others … 3CX can use that to your advantage – choosing just the best tariffs from each carrier! If your phone numbers are registered with a Carrier that does not give a good call rate, you could even configure 3CX to accept calls on their lines, but make outgoing calls on another Carrier’s trunk-lines with a lower tariff.

3CX can terminate the line groups, and you can determine the number of ‘channels’ you might like for each. For example, two analogue lines may be enough to cover your calls to mobiles, eight SIP Trunk channels may be OK to call local & UK numbers, and just two channels are needed for those calls to Indonesia.

Outbound-rule

A table of rules is created to determine which way to route outgoing calls depending on the number dialed. In our example, a call commencing ‘07’ may be routed via your analogue lines which give the best rate for calls to mobiles. A call to a number commencing ‘0062’ would be routed through the SIP Trunk group giving the best rate to Indonesia, and six-digit local calls, or 11-digit national calls commencing ‘0’ – will use the SIP Trunk group giving best UK rates. These rules can also provide fall-backs so that e.g. if you have all of your lines to mobiles in use, the call will not be blocked, but simply take the next-best route to carry the call.

A further advantage is that these trunk-lines are configured in software and are virtual within your DSL connection. Therefore, it is quick and easy to either change carrier, or add another carrier to take advantage of tariff changes.

3CX provides Least Cost Routing benefits, due to its following features:

  • the ability to terminate many different types of physical and virtual line groups
  • the ability to terminate multiple line groups
  • its ability to work with different SIP Trunk Carriers
  • its ability to identify dialed digits and use them to route calls
  • and – its ability to fall-back to 2nd and 3rd choice routes.

Contact Foxhall Solutions at 01787 228 402 – to talk about how Least Cost Routing can reduce your business costs.

Using ‘Call Groups’ to route customer calls

3cx-call-groupsA potential supplier is called, and the phone rings and rings – and the call isn’t answered! Do they ring again? – or do they try a different company? If you are that supplier, you know how important it is to keep your customer relationships, reduce that ring-time and to answer every call that comes to you …

The ‘traditional’ switchboard or PBX system had an Operator or Receptionist acting as the ‘gate-keeper’, answering all calls, and passing them on to the appropriate person or department – or in some cases, screening & blocking the call completely! However, businesses today are changing the role of the Receptionist, and using technology to ensure that calls still get through to the right person or department, even when the Receptionist is already handling a call, having a break, or greeting visitors. This is good news for the Receptionist as they are no longer ‘chained to their chair’, and can take a wider role and responsibility in your business.

You might think that we’d tell you that you need an Auto-Attendant to front-end your phone system (press button 1 for Sales, button 2 for Accounts etc.), but in most cases, this is not necessary. A much simpler mechanism is to have incoming calls sent to a ‘ring group’ consisting of several extensions where the call is presented to members of the group either sequentially (prioritised hunt), or simultaneously (ring all) so that whoever is free to take the call can do so. Where a Receptionist is employed, a common strategy is to have the incoming call ring for a short period at their desk, then forward on into a ring group where it can still be answered within a reasonable time.

Hunt groups are ideal if you have a hierarchy of knowledge, skills or expertise e.g. if you can’t get to George, then go on to Stan, then on to Lydia. However, hunt-groups do introduce a delay in answering because the call has to ring & time-out at each extension before moving on to the next.

Ring-all groups are ideal where it is important that the call is answered quickly, and where anybody in that team has the knowledge and skills to handle the caller.

Ring groups are ‘fed’ by calls coming into your business on specific numbers and therefore, it is possible to have different types of ring-groups set up to match the needs of your callers. For example, somebody calling the accounts department may appreciate being connected with the Accountant first, or then their deputy as a fall-back. But, people calling your Sales department would appreciate being answered quickly by any sales staff able to take their order.

Foxhall’s 3CX phone system provides the following to help your customers contact you:

  • Prioritised Hunt‘ groups to pass calls through a group of extensions one-by-one.
  • All Call‘ groups to simultaneously present a call to a group of extensions.
  • Flexibility in deployment and use of Direct Dial Inward (DDI) numbers so that key people and departments can be dialed directly.
  • Different call routing plans for in and out of hours service mean that the calls can be handled differently when the office is closed.
  • Call routing can include mixtures of individuals and groups so that callers are answered through all kinds of ‘what-if’ scenarios.
  • Call groups can be edited quickly and easily to put people in, or take people out – so that you can match your staff to your customers – even if staff changes are frequent.
  • Call groups can present information to the phone displays, so that users know what departments or services have been dialed by the caller.

So, call groups are a very simple mechanism that can make it easy to ensure that your customers can get through to you quickly, in almost any circumstance, and talk to the people who are going to help them most efficiently. Contact us at Foxhall Solutions to talk about how Call Groups can help your business.

Make your Sales Campaigns ‘smart’ with 3CX

3CX-sales-campaign

3CX has some very good and helpful features that lend themselves to making it easy to handle sales & marketing campaigns. For example, you might want to sell; green widgets, blue widgets and yellow widgets – and see which widget you get the most sales inquiries about during the month, and to help with production scheduling.

Or – you might want to sell to different towns around your county and determine if it’s town A, town B, or town C that is your best customer.

Both of these scenarios are now very easy to set up due to the ease of obtaining and applying Direct Dial Inward (DDI) numbers to SIP Trunk line groups for marketing campaigns targeted at products and/or sales regions. Using our example – your website might advertise a contact number of 01473 123456 for green widgets, 01473 123457 for blue widgets, and 01473 123458 for yellow widgets. The same can be done for sales regions … However, it is notable that we can also arrange phone numbers with area codes appropriate to the places where a product is advertised – and there is no real limit to the amount of DDI numbers you might have put aside for this purpose.

Incoming calls can be targeted at named call groups which always ring the same group of sales agents in your business – but -present the call differently depending on the number used by the caller. 3CX can present the call to these groups with a short ‘name’ on the display of the phone. This means that your sales staff can answer calls specifically, in a way most helpful to your caller. An incoming call could show ‘BlueWidgets’ on the phone display (see above), allowing the agent to pick up the call and greet the caller with “Thank you for calling Foxhall Solutions – How can I help you with your enquiry about our blue widgets?”

We have used this same configuration for businesses who need to appear as ‘multiple companies’, or ‘virtual branch offices’ for their clients. These businesses have calls arriving on different DDI numbers depending on which ‘company’ has been called. In this case, the phone’s display will show the Agent which company the caller is expecting to talk to, and they can answer the call accordingly.

ring-group-statsAfter the campaigns have commenced, and you want to see the number of calls that have come in on each number (i.e. for each widget, or for each town), it is just a matter of logging into 3CX’s integrated call reporting package, accessing the call group statistics, choosing a date & time period, and then looking at all – or selected – call-groups, to see how many calls were received and answered for each (click the graphic for a better view).

 

We make use of several features of SIP Trunks and 3CX to provide these facilities, as follows:

  • SIP Trunk line groups can have channels added within 24-hours, and with no install costs.
  • SIP Trunk groups may have Direct Dial Inward (DDI) numbers applied in any quantities – with any geographic, or non-geographic number range.
  • 3CX has comprehensive capability to set up ring-groups and/or call queues so that calls coming in on DDI numbers, can be routed to specific groups of users.
  • 3CX allows us to name the groups/queues and have that name presented with the caller ID along with the incoming call, on the display of the user’s phone.
  • 3CX offers a huge & diverse variety of ‘over-flow’ options to allow those calls that can’t be answered (all agents are busy, or after-hours), to still be answered – ranging from voice-mail, through to off-site call-handling services.
  • 3CX includes a powerful call reporting package which allows you to view incoming call statistics for each or all groups & queues.

Give us a call at Foxhall Solutions – 01787 320 402 – to discuss how this powerful feature could help your business.