Joining the arena of IP equipment manufacturers aiming to make the cell phone an extension of the PBX, NextWest Inc. this week will roll out its latest technology, called NextMobility.
The offering is aimed at salespeople and field service personnel who want the functions of the office phone system—extension dialing, call transfer, voice mail—when theyre on the road. With NextMobility, users can have calls forwarded from the PBX to the cell phone.
Targeting small to midsize businesses, NextWest offers a system to help them gradually move into IP networking without having to buy IP phones, a dedicated switch or even dedicated lines. In addition to extending the benefits of the IP PBX to the traveling work force, the latest offering can save companies money on internal long-distance calls.
"If you spread this out among 30 or 40 users, its a pretty negligible cost," said Richard De Soto, vice president for NextWest, in Tucson, Ariz.
At the Tucson collections agency of Randall and Richards Inc., more than 95 percent of the work is done over the phone, said Randy Frazee, president.
The agency replaced its legacy switch with NextWests IP-enabled PBX system two and a half months ago, not because it was dissatisfied with the previous product but because it wanted more functions, including call-recording capabilities, at lower costs, Frazee said.
The ability to record calls is vital for compliance purposes and for training, and NextWests technology allows Frazee to monitor calls in the Tucson office, which houses 40 employees, and in the agencys smaller Fort Collins, Colo., office. He saves money on interoffice calling and on receptionist services because one receptionist handles calls for both offices, he said.
"Its not so much about the dollar amount as it is the image and perception to my clients," Frazee said. "This creates a more seamless and professional appearance."
Another benefit Frazee said he found is simplicity. In a business that experiences a lot of turnover, telecommunications moves and changes are a constant, and potentially expensive, duty. The NextWest system can be configured from the desktop, and applications are user-friendly, Frazee said.
Extending IP PBX to the cell phone.
- NextWest NextMobility, launched this week
- Avaya Communications Inc. W310 WLAN Gateway and W110 WLAN Access Points, launched in July
- Altigen Communications Inc. Altiware 5.0, launched in June