Providing virtual receptionists, virtual offices and serviced office services for businesses that want the resources of a large company without the high overheads is critical for the highly competitive serviced office sector.
- Service Office International
- A 12-year old hybrid analogue telephony system was proving inflexible. It could no longer meet client demands, provide support for a backup in the event of a fall over or secure SOI’s longer-term business plans.
- A cloud-based telephony solution using MICD (Mitel Multi-Instance Communications Director) in a Macquarie Telecom Data centre
- 72 x Mitel MiVoice 5320e IP Phones
- 4 x Mitel 5550 IP Consoles
- 164 x Mitel Voicemail (virtual offices)
- 73 x Entry Unified Communications (UC)
- Software, Licenses
Mitel cloud-based telephony provides a highly flexible, feature-rich communications solution that combines IP telephony, unified communications and collaboration in the one managed service. Mitel promotes greater productivity. It is simple to manage and scalable to accommodate 5 to 65,000 users on the one system. Mitel promotes a very low Total Cost of Ownership through low upfront costs and configuration, and hardware and maintenance being included in monthly fees, and accounted for as operating expenses.
For Sydney-based Service Offices International (SOI), these resources range from short or long-term private office rental and ‘user pays’ admin support through to a ‘virtual’ receptionist and office solution for small businesses or people working from a home office. They also include meeting rooms, videoconferencing, reception, secretarial, IT, office administration and support staff on call.
With eight executive staff and 150 clients ranging in size from one to 20 people, five receptionists are needed to handle SOI’s high call traffic. Each call has to be answered on behalf of a client and managed with messaging and call through to a mobile, landline or computer.
However, a 12-year old customized NEC 7400 system was holding back SOI’s business plans. The hybrid analogue technology could not provide the flexibility for clients to access calls and messages across different types of devices in different formats. And customizing the system required significant ongoing investment.
Following consultations with business communication specialists Aurilo Communications, and after reviewing alternative technologies, SOI decided on a Mitel IP telephony solution offered as a cloud service hosted by Macquarie Telecom. The solution also accommodated a move to cloud for SOI’s data services.
Mitel makes it simple for SOI staff to answer the phone as if they were the client’s own receptionist. Using MiVoice Business Console, incoming calls can be handled the way the client nominates: converted to text, recorded or transferred to a mobile, tablet, land line, laptop or desktop.
With Mitel every call can be logged, recorded for accounting and costed to the client almost automatically. That means less time spent monitoring calls on a client’s behalf and more efficient call management.
MiVoice Business Console also provides receptionists with information on who clients are calling, when, the length of the call, average call times and other details. This resource enables receptionists to access information about the caller before taking the call. They can then create a ‘favourites’ list for each SOI client making it faster for staff to deliver the call or provide a personalized message without having to navigate through a large corporate directory.
The Mitel MiVoice Business receptionist console also enables SOI to create different email template responses so relevant emails can be send to clients and include important information such as time, date, phone number and required follow up information.
SOI selected an Aurilo cloud hosted Mitel MiVoice Business system including four cloud-syncronised MiVoice Business consoles, hosted Nupoint voicemail and Mitel 5330e handsets with integrated DECT headsets. Changeover was completed over a weekend. Training was provided by Aurilo. However, staff found the Mitel system intuitive and easy to program themselves.
SOI’s business plans are being accelerated with Mitel. According to Michelle Mills, SOI is working on plans to become a nationwide business offering virtual offices and virtual receptionists without having to invest in physical offices. “Mitel enables us to get national number ranges and have them diverted to our system in Sydney without having to take on additional equipment or software.”
She said many of the systems SOI reviewed didn’t have the flexibility and features offered by Mitel. “Staff are finding it easier to manage the calls, capture information and improve their performance. With Mitel, we don’t have to worry about planning for additional extensions or changes.”
She said that SOI’s clients welcomed the renewed resources, which have led to higher client satisfaction and retention. “Mitel helps your clients and your employees to work smarter and be more productive,” she said. “The value of those benefits to a business is priceless.”
“In addition to saving hundreds of dollars per month on call management, Mitel is directly helping SOI generate about $1,000 in additional revenue monthly. We are also gaining tax advantages...”
Michelle Mills, MD
Service Office International