With stylish new office construction, tenant flexibility and a built-in infrastructure to support VoIP technology, Eddy Street Executive Suites' (ESES), a commercial property management company in South Bend, Indiana, sought a more robust telephony solution. Initially, ESES contracted with 3CX for a hosted PBX telecom service to provide their office tenants with a single, centralized business communications system. It took only a couple of months to discover that the hosted product was inadequate for their needs. ESES needed a business phone system that that was inline with the high standards of accessibility, convenience, and workplace innovation that their tenants had come to expect.
ESES made the decision to replace its hosted 3CX service with Digium's Switchvox UC system and the Digium IP phones. Recommended by New Age Telecom, Inc., the Midwest's premier business-to-business provider of voice, network, and communication systems, the Switchvox solution provided a flexible Unified Communications platform that was ideal for both ESES and their tenants. "Shared tenant space requires unique telecom versatility and with Switchvox, the opportunities are limitless," says James Conlin, marketing director for New Age Telecom, a Select Digium partner. He says there is no "cookie cutter" solution that fits all businesses, so the flexibility of Switchvox was important for ESES and their broad range of business tenants. At full capacity, ESES would be providing office and meeting space for potentially 30 or more disparate business tenants, including video and teleconferencing capabilities, virtual office communications, and mobile. New Age has installed Switchvox in a wide variety of businesses, from healthcare facilities to schools and call centers.
New Age conducted a consultative evaluation of ESES' situation and proposed the feature-rich Digium Switchvox SMB 305 with built-in UC for up to 150 users. "Eddy Street Executive Suites needed a premise-based PBX solution with broad-based capability and a lot of functionality so the auto attendant could easily disseminate calls to not only the right company, but also to the right person within that company. This feature also helps the receptionist to be more productive rather than chasing down calls and routing them manually to the right companies and their employees," says Conlin.
Since there are significant cost savings built into VoIP, New Age Telecom is able to offer back-end administrative functions as a managed service, charging a very low monthly management fee to take care of any changes needed. "The premise-based Switchvox is onsite, but all the switching is done in the cloud. Because all administrative phone functions such as adding users, changing extensions, or programming the IVR can be done remotely through a web browser," explains Conlin. "All we need is a remote connection to perform many basic administrative services, without having to come onsite." If ESES has a new tenant for instance, all they have to do is call New Age and give them the new extension. They will have the phone programmed and working by the time the new tenant moves in. "It saves ESES the cost of hiring a dedicated IT/telecom specialist, or paying exorbitant onsite fees every time they have a request or need a change."
Furthermore, Switchvox has provided ESES with an added stream of revenue. "A unique feature for ESES is their ability to offer a premium service fee for live-answer receptionist services, if their tenant chooses it," Conlin says. In order to accomplish this, New Age programmed ESES' Switchvox on the backend, and wrote a script based on the inward dial number that does a lookup on a New Age server for the called number. That triggers call scripts with company logos based on who is calling. In this case, if a call comes into the receptionist for Client A, called Smith Homebuilders, then a customized script might be created that prompts the receptionist to say: "Smith Homebuilders -How can we help you build a new home today?" Because the script populates the receptionist's computer interface switchboard panel, it makes it easy to discern between calls for different companies and answer calls with a customized greeting.
"We have also programmed the queue announcement feature so a receptionist who is familiar with each answer script, can answer using a wireless headset when they are away from the switchboard," Conlin adds.
Shortly after ESES implemented Switchvox SMB 305, Digium launched their compatible Digium IP phones. "We currently have a blended phone install because we bought several Polycoms prior to the launch of Digium's new executive phones," says Conlin. "From now on, we will use Digium's phones because they integrate more tightly with Switchvox than any other brand of phone in terms of web log-in capabilities, visual voicemail, and assimilation with existing address book settings."
End-user management, call management features, and the ability to set rules for complex call routing, and controlled ring routing for multiple inward dial numbers, are just a few of the benefits of Switchvox," Conlin says. "ESES uses a lot of the features Switchvox offers but even with its complex requirements, they haven't scratched the surface of Switchvox's overall capability and its broad range of functionality."
According to Conlin, "When it comes to a cost-effective product that can handle the kind of flexibility, functionality, and versatility needed by ESES, Switchvox has increasingly become our 'goto' business communications solution over the past couple of years."