By: Mark Linne, Information Technology Shareholder at Tonneson & Company Earlier this year we agreed as an organization that we could no longer suffer through another snow storm, power outage or other “disaster” where clients are not able to reach our team members. Our entire organization has been built on providing a level of service unmatched in the industry and we wanted to make sure our communication system could keep pace. As the IT stakeholder at Tonneson it really came down to me to research, evaluate and strategize on how we could improve our communication uptime so our clients would not be left in the lurch. With a relatively new and reliable phone system on-site from an industry leader, it was hard to look at alternatives, thinking that the added expense would be immense given the task. I started by assembling a short checklist of requirements that, if met, would allow us to consider a move.
- Next generation phone and system features
- High-quality phones
- Better service than existing provider
- More accessible features so staff would use them
- Ability to administer the system online, from anywhere
- Support for remote and home-based employees
- Local, not virtual, customer service and support
- Online fax
- Better voicemail
- Secure system that complies with stringent industry and state standards
Now the hard part: find partners who can help us meet our goals. The search actually ended almost as quickly as it began. Cinetel Solutions is a local consulting firm that specializes in cloud-based technologies. After an initial meeting to discuss our challenges and requirements, the Cinetel team brought in Officesuite from Broadview Networks.
“OfficeSuite is an easy-to-use, cloud phone system trusted by more than 100,000 business people every day. OfficeSuite unifies all your communications in the cloud and requires no out-of-pocket expense for new equipment. It includes everything you need to communicate over the phone, online and via fax—including a complete office phone system, high-quality phones, unlimited calling, common and advanced features, online fax service, as well as Internet access and multi-site data networking options.”
It sounded too good to be true, but together with Cinetel we met with the local Broadview rep who took time to asses our current situation, make a recommendation and walk us through the whole system until every question was answered. After a live demonstration of the system and a quick comparison against other similar systems, it was an easy choice. Broadview really does make it easy to ensure client communications, and thereby business continuity, without engineering and “buying” a whole new system. Like many cloud services, the entire OfficeSuite system—phones, , servers, lines, cards, features etc. —is a “service” and hosted in the cloud. Noting to buy. Nothing to store (except low power desk phones). Nothing to upgrade. The entire process was easy. With our communications infrastructure now in the cloud, we can manage how and where calls and messages get sent with the click of a mouse. Employees, stakeholders and partners can manage their own preferences online which has greatly reduced the number of calls into the IT help desk. Even our remote employees have the same level of access to features and phones without sacrificing quality. We are all on the same system. Cinetel along with their premier partner, Broadview, was able to check all the boxes on our requirements checklist and then some.