In This Month's Mailbag:
VoIP Business Integration
I have recently started receiving your magazine, and am amazed at the
changes taking place in the world of telephony. My goal is to find an
"IP addressable" softphone to support my remote sales force.
Currently, each member of the team accesses our corporate network via a
local ISP and invokes a VPN tunnel. Once on the network, I would like to
know if a PBX can assign an extension to an IP address so each user could
use a headset connected to their laptop as their telephone. This would
provide the ultimate flexibility to my telecommuting endeavor while keeping
the costs as low as possible. Based on your experience in this industry,
please let me know if you think this is possible and provide suggestions for
making it a reality.
My goal is to support a geographically dispersed sales force via an
Internet connection to our internal network and have them use their computer
as the telephone. I would like to accomplish this without the use of a
traditional telephone. Additionally, I would like to have this work with a
traditional PBX system. The traditional PBX will handle all of the routing
of phone calls for those employees in the main office as well as the remote
employees. I would like to stay the PC-based route, so I suppose I will need
client software capable of supporting IP telephony. Is it true that the
client software may be stand-alone, standards-based IP telephony, multimedia
software (such as Microsoft's NetMeeting), or may it be part of a broader IP
telephony family? What product might you recommend for my applications?
The way I envision this is each remote employee is assigned an extension,
when he connects his computer to our network he "registers" as his
extension, and when the PBX routes an incoming call to that extension, the
PC will inform him of the call and he can then perform all traditional
telephony functions: Answer, hold, transfer, etc.
I would greatly appreciate your assistance in helping me understand this
technology as it will enable me to deploy a truly mobile work force.
-- Mike Steinmetz
Tom Keating, TMC LABS Executive Technology Editor, responds:
You should check out Data Race, now IPaxess,
Teltone's OfficeLink 2000 product, as
well as MCK Communications' product line,
all of which might suit your telephony needs.
No Fear Of A WAP Planet: Responses To The
Wild, Wild World Of Wireless In The September 2000 Issue:
Hello! Just tried your WAP page and it worked like a champ! It didn't
have a whole lot on it, just one headline, but your article points out some
things that have my brain turning over ideas. One of the things that I have
finally been able to get is DSL (at least, I will once they install it!).
With an "always on" connection, and a DSL router/firewall, I have
plans for some home control apps over the net. One thing I need to be very
sure I have right first is security! But WAP means I could do these things
from my cell phone! Oh no, more projects!
Thanks for the interesting article!
-- Charles Dunn
I just tried to view your site
from my mini-browser and I got an "invalid content type" error.
For the sake of interest, where do you see the future of WAP-enabled
phones and the call center? It seems that WAP-enabled phones have some
potential to take the place of the IVR.
Thanks for the article.
-- Glenn Abel
Robert Vahid Hashemian responds:
Thanks so much for your e-mail Glenn. There was a database change,
which was not correctly distributed to the WAP area of the Web site. It has
As for your other inquiry, I can't see how PDA's would dethrone IVR's.
The technology is still immature and too fickle to allow us to offer a
definitive opinion. But I have no doubt that the wireless technology
combined with e-service and e-commerce has begun to change the way we do
business and that would invariably include the call center.
We invite readers to send their input and advice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To The November 2000 Table Of Contents ]