The JAR Group is a small business in a trendy, developing industry: online marketing. Specializing in search engine optimization, JAR helps companies drive up sales by increasing and improving their website traffic. The firm works out of a similarly trendy address. Of its 20 or so employees, 15 or so operate out of loft space in DUMBO, (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), with panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge, multitenant conference space, sky-high ceilings and no walls. If any of its SEO analysts or Web marketers wants to move operations from their fixed workspaces, they simply take their laptops and stretch out on the corner couch.
Challenge. The JAR Group is the new-school digital workforce — mobile, dispersed and free-range. Gen X and Y, these employees have never signed up for land lines, and they’re not about to start being tethered at work. Because of their mobile ways, having a “fixed" phone system just didn’t work for them. Additionally, they needed a phone system that would scale with them as they brought on consultants for larger projects and then just a few weeks or months later scaled back once again upon completion of the project.
Solution. The JAR Group decided to try out a new VoIP service — OnSIP from Junction Networks. Melissa Koehler, JAR’s business development manager, set up the system more than a year ago. “We had been using another VoIP service provider, but the service didn’t scale," she said. Melissa works from home one day a week. Calls to her extension ring through to the free eyeBeam softphone from Counterpath Corp. running on her laptop. Location independence also came in handy this winter, when New Jersey-based employees frequently were snowed in. “Having one number to put on our business cards also gives a bigger business impression," she noted.
With OnSIP, JAR Group employees now can take most of their office calls on the softphones on their laptops or the cell phones in their pockets. If they have smartphones, as most do, they might also use the mobile VoIP clients via Wi-Fi. All this helps the JAR Group’s bottom line, as there’s less desktop hardware to buy and with VoIP, few or no cell phone minutes to charge back to clients.
Cooler still, they’ve got PBX, business-style phone service while being so mobile. This means you can reach them as extensions to one company phone number, including the two who work in a New Jersey office and those working from Scottsdale, Ariz.; Eugene, Ore.; Denver and Philadelphia. They can transfer calls between each other with four numbers or a few online clicks, retrieve and swap e-mails and do everything else that regular extensions do within a brick-and-mortar office. This is because all of their softphones and handhelds are attached virtually to the OnSIP hosted PBX service.