The service has allowed Forino to give every employee a personal direct-inward-dial number for the first timemore cheaply, he says, than it would have been through his previous provider. Its also made it easier, through the phones screen displays and soft keys, to use a lot of features that remain a black art on old digital PBX extensions. "We have a lot of computer-savvy people here, but getting them to transfer calls on the old PBX was a nightmare," Forino says. Now, employees use the phones to transfer and conference calls, to forward calls to home phones or cell phones, and to use cell-phone-like dialing advances such as last-10 phone numbers called or received. While browser-based phone control is an added option with M5, Infinity hasnt seen the need for it, except for its receptionist.The company does, however, want to take advantage of the 7950s TAPI (Windows Telephone API) compatibility to launch customer service and sales calls out of contact manager software; this is a planned integration between PC software and phone. Made to dial through TAPI, the phone then communicates with M5s softswitch to complete the call to the PSTN. Speaking off-site through a noisy cell phone connection, Forino rates M5s voice quality as "very similar to POTS" (plain old telephone service). "In general, Im very pleased with it." M5s Hoffman adds that three-quarters of his own company, on West 26th Street, is working remotely as well during RNC week, as three-quarters of his 300 business customers do routinely. Does M5 need to know about it when its customers extensions skip town? "Yes, because we need to disable [or presumably update] E911 functionality," he says. Otherwise, in Infinity Consultings case, a distress call from the IP phone in Brooklyn would send emergency service personnel rushing to midtown Manhattana place they probably wish they could avoid this week as well. Check out eWEEK.coms VOIP & Telephony Center at http://voip.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.
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