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Mobilizer 06.06.07

Customer Story: ANSR Picks Up 40% Savings with IP PBX Solution

By Michael Barbella

Who: ANSR is an Indiana-based Internet marketing firm specializing in real estate. Formed in May 2006, the company has 30 employees, most of whom are contract salespeople.

Challenge: The management team at ANSR wanted a full-featured phone system that would allow the startup company to minimize capital outlays and overhead costs. The phone system also had to be scalable. CEO and ANSR founder Jason VanDevender knew from past experience that a traditional phone system would not meet the company's needs.

“I knew that Voice over IP was the answer…I also understood that a hosted VoIP solution would enable us to minimize the time spent managing the system and keep our startup costs low,” he said.

Solution: VanDevender chose a hosted PBX solution from Vocalocity, an Atlanta-based provider of hosted VoIP and PBX services for small and midsize businesses. Vocalocity uses its customers' current broadband connection to transport phone calls over the Internet.

With VocalocityPBX, ANSR's sales staff can be as mobile as they need to be. Phone calls to direct-dialed numbers are forwarded to the sales staff wherever they are, which has eliminated ANSR's need to hire extra office personal to field phone calls while staff is out of the office.

Perhaps the most important feature of VocalocityPBX is the ability to create and maintain call groups. Because ANSR runs two separate businesses—an Internet marketing and consulting firm and a real estate brokerage firm—it needed to set up main company numbers and different call trees for each company to ensure calls were routed expeditiously and effectively. “Now I can have both companies in the same office without worrying about how the phone will be answered,” explained VanDevender.

ANSR also relies heavily upon Vocalocity's ability to deliver voicemails as email, an option used mostly by its remote sales staff. This feature also provides the company with an additional way to keep records and boost productivity–mainly by enabling workers to forward quick voicemails to partners and colleagues or other business contacts.

Results: The PBX solution has helped fuel the company's growth over the last year. ANSR started using Vocalocity's PBX solution when it had one office location and 10 extensions; over the last year, the company has added another office location and an additional 13 extensions. VanDevender said he is planning to open a third office over the next year, which would add another 20 employees to the payroll and bring the total number of phone extensions to 48.

The Vocalocity solution also enables VanDevender to set up new personnel on the system with the click of a mouse, assigning extensions in less than five minutes from anywhere in the country. Tasks that might require hours of configuration efforts with traditional PBX phone systems are handled instantly without the need for an IT or communications expert.

“It's a good solution that requires very little maintenance and management. We can update the system as the company grows without the typical day-to-day headaches of worrying about the phone system,” added VanDevender. “With traditional phone systems, you can't touch the system, even for the simplest changes. You have to call the vendor and wait for someone to do it for you.”

VanDevender estimates that his company saves between $2,000 and $3,000 in overall costs every month using the Vocalocity solution instead of a traditional phone system. VanDevender uses that savings to continue building the business.

In addition, ANSR is saving on extensive capital expenditures normally associated with full-featured office phone systems. The company also saves money on phone usage compared to other systems, despite running two communications-intensive businesses.