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February 04, 2010

Grandstream IP Multimedia Phones Aid Political Race for Massachusetts Senate

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor


From the costs of traveling to making outreach calls to constituents, it’s no secret political campaigns can get pricy.
 
But two weeks ago, the benefits of new IP multimedia phone technology became clear, once again, during the recently contested U.S. Senate race for the seat left vacant when Sen. Edward Kennedy passed away.
 
Scott Brown, the Republican who narrowly defeated Democrat favorite Martha Coakley race for the seat, may be able to attribute at least part of his victory to Grandstream’s GXP2020 enterprise phone, powered by Asterisk (News - Alert). At call centers set aside for Brown, volunteers took advantage of the VoIP phone’s high-tech features to bring voters to the polls, Grandstream reported.
 
This wasn’t the only instance where the IP multimedia phone technology came in handy in a tight political race. In 2008, though Republican call centers’ efforts did not give way to victory when John McCain lost the election, the national deployment of 6,000 Grandstream GXP2020 IP Phones over a Qwest (News - Alert) IP backbone saved quite a chunk of change.
 
Although the  $23 monthly operating rate for Grandstream’s IP phone doesn’t seem like much less than the $50-70 monthly landline phone fee, when you multiply the phone savings “by 6,000,” the GXP2020 came out ahead, according to the company. 
 
Additionally, little or no training was required to get volunteers (of all backgrounds and technical proficiencies) up and running on using the phones. With the solution now nearly paperless, the need to purchase, store and destroy critical voter data was eliminated.
 
Chad Barth Sr., a technology strategist at the Republican National Committee, who spoke at Digium (News - Alert)/Asterisk World last month, told Grandstream the system was an improvement over earlier technology.
 
“Prior to the 2008 election our processes for capturing key voter demographic information were archaic and ineffective,” Barth said. “We lost critical voter data because of antiquated processes. We lost so much money because of antiquated technology. In any other call center you would have to use a phone and a computer. We had one device managing both data and voice. We saved an incredible amount of energy, resources and time with this deployment.”

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri




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