The Client. The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) is an association comprised of more than 10,000 CPAs and accounting professionals. The organization lobbies at the state level, and provides resources, referrals and networking opportunities for its members.
The Challenge. MSCPA needed to upgrade its aging telephone system. The organization's 20 employees worked between two floors of office space in downtown Boston and had relied on their traditional POTS system for years. However, old-school telephony was losing its efficacy. Older phones were becoming difficult to replace. Voice quality and uninterrupted service were taking on higher importance as MSCPA workers communicated with the organization's thousands of members.
The Solution. Bill Townsend, president and CFO of MSCPA, called on the organization's long-time channel partner, Intelliphone. Chuck Garabedian, founder and owner of Intelliphone, recommended MSCPA make the move to VoIP technology. He provided four vendors for MSCPA's review; the association chose Whaleback Systems and its cloud-based managed voice service, CrystalBlue.
The Result. After installing CrystalBlue, MSCPA has discovered a number of advantages over its old POTS system. First, thanks to unified communications, MSCPA has increased employee productivity while saving money and time – "easily hundreds of staff hours and thousands of dollars each year," Townsend said.
Plus, he added, “[Whaleback's] single fee approach, which includes phone replacement, repair, trouble shooting and programming, has decreased the overall costs of running our phone system," he added. "Because we no longer have costs associated with hardware replacement, programming and support, we are saving several thousands of dollars a year."
There are several other improvements, as well. For example, the OrcaDial feature lets users click to dial from various applications, including Microsoft Office programs and Adobe PDF files.
"I use Excel to manage my own list of 600 people, with separate tabs for each category, like friends, family and business contacts," Townsend explained. "Using OrcaDial, our team members also easily call any of our members by dialing them directly from our central database."
Voice mail-to-email also has turned out to be useful for MSCAP employees, who can get their messages regardless of whether they are in the office. Townsend said this helps MSPCA's small team meet expectation that voice messages will be answered right away. The OrcaFax option, which delivers faxes as emails, further helps in this regard. And call forwarding has made reaching staff easy, no matter where they are located.
“Forwarding calls is very easy and team members who move around a lot can keep their phones at their sides, thereby eliminating phone tag," Townsend said. There's also a Web/conference call feature MSCPA employees use to host last-minute and other kinds of group meetings.
In addition, Whaleback's management portal allows MSCPA to easily update email addresses, add phone extensions, obtain detailed call reports and analyze call volume.
"Whaleback has loads of features that are otherwise cost-prohibitive for small businesses," said Intelliphone's Garabedian. "Plus, because the solution is managed by Whaleback, there is minimal onsite equipment and virtually no need for laborious on-site maintenance."
"Whaleback knows when there is a problem before we do – they can pinpoint it accurately right down to each handset – knowing whether the issue is the router, the phone or the connection to the phone," he said. "It is a far cry from the days when a line went down within a hunt group and the whole hunt group went down with it. We have enjoyed a trouble-free experience since we moved to Whaleback."