Fire Your IT Guy, Part 2: Phones

This post is the second part of my Fire Your IT Guy series. In it I explain how I removed complicated and expensive systems from our office and replaced them with web based, user friendly, cheap solutions that don’t require an expert to support them. In this article I’ll talk about how we moved our phone system to the cloud and saved $800 a month doing it.

Category: Phones
Old System: Cisco Phone System
New System: Vocalocity

Our Cisco phone system was hosted on site and configured by a Cisco employee. The phones, routers, and other hardware necessary to make it work amounted to over $10,000 for only 11 people. The system was customizable to an amazing degree, but only when we had an expert come in and program it for us, we didn’t have any way of knowing what was going on ourselves. In addition, our phone bill was over $1200 a month, but we thought that was just the cost of doing business.

Luckily I heard about Vocalocity at a conference and checked it out. They were a fraction of the cost for us since we didn’t need actual phone lines ($400 a month for 15 lines), their phones were cheaper, and we could customize our entire menu with a few clicks. There was no hardware required other than a phone that you plug into a router, and the setup was insanely simple. We did initially have some issues with sound quality, but since we saved so much money on the monthly bill we splurged for a dedicated fiber line which solved that problem. Also, we’ve used these phones from home with regular residential internet connections and they worked fine, so it may have been unique to our building. The other way this company stands out is their incredible customer service. I’ve worked with tons of tech companies over the last several years, but I’ve never been as consistently impressed with customer service as I have been by them. It’s rare that my issue isn’t resolved completely on the first call, within minutes, and I never have to be elevated to a higher level tech that I have to re-explain the problem to.

This switch was worth it for the cost alone, but it’s also much more stable and user friendly than the system we were using. There are all sorts of features like being told which of our companies the caller is calling into on the screen, call recording, and sales call stats. You can download an Iphone app that enables you to receive and make calls from your extension from your cell phone, and so much more. I know I sound like I’m getting paid by these guys but I swear I’m not, I’m just excited about a good product. If you’re looking for a simple yet versatile system, then definitely check them out.