“John Daniels? Certainly. Please hold while
I transfer you.”
Appear to be Bigger than You Are. Without the Big Expenses.
John Daniels and two fellow “early retirement plan” buddies partnered to create a small engineering consulting business in the United States. Before they could say “ISO 9000” they had enough outsource contracts to keep everyone busy, including two sub-contractors in India and a local temp. Daniels and Hank McKenna worked out of a small shared office in Bradenton, Florida. The third engineer, John Walker, worked out of his home in Indianapolis. They all traveled a lot.
Their target clients were larger organizations with enterprise-sized problems. They interfaced with C-level execs and senior engineers that needed absolute trust in the knowledge and follow-through capabilities of their vendors. Confidence they couldn't develop leaving messages on a suppliers' "answering machine."
John’s wife Sherry had stayed at home to raise their two children but the kids were in school now. John asked if she would do a little part-time work, keeping the partners organized and answering phones.
"Where would I sit?" she protested. "Your office is cramped with just you and Hank in there. I'm already doing the bookkeeping and it takes the entire kitchen table here at home.
By miraculous coincidence, John's independent IT and network administrator, Bill Weller, was in the office installing security software. With a cheerful demeanor bordering on annoying, Weller was quick to offer advice.
"I didn't mean to eavesdrop," he said, "but I know a way your wife can do that job from home. She can receive calls and transfer them to the three of you no matter where you are. It’s like you’re in the same building. Naturally, there’s an auto-attendant if she’s not there, and voice mail if you’re not.” “Bill,” John said as he finished a sip of coffee, "you know we've been in business less than a year. A phone system isn't in our budget."
"What if this thing could actually save you money and pay for itself in months? What if it worked with your existing phones? And what if you could reduce your phone lines to just one, as a backup?" Weller persisted.
You've got business class DSL and a VPN. Voice can be part of your PC network."
John was dubious at first. He worried that he was risking the only lifeline he had to his customers. Then he heard the sound clarity. He began to understand the extended features that were impossible with traditional telephony. He quickly moved from skeptic to convert to evangelist.
His wife began to answer phones "live" from home and transfer calls-even to Indianapolis-as if she were in the same building. The system could even route calls to the partners' cell phones.
Incidentally, every call to and from the remote partner in Indianapolis was now free. And calls to resources in India cost just pennies per minute.