Friday, January 12, 2007

Who needs call accounting if the cost of telephone calls is peanuts?

The day of exorbitant long distance charges seems to be in the rear view mirror. Many competitors have jumped into the lucrative pool of communication delivery. There has been consolidation of the traditional telephone companies and a spawning of new VoIP service providers.

The cost of a telephone call has been steadily decreasing with the introduction of peer to peer free calling, flat rate plans and bundled services. The telecom department in many major enterprises has been transformed or merged into other areas of IT. The need for a telecom manager may have gone the way of the dinosaur, or has it?

Call accounting systems have risen to the challenge. Most traditional telephone expense management systems have been transformed into broader and more robust communication management systems (CMS).

Toll fraud or finding excessive cost calls is no longer a major priority. A robust call accounting system spans well beyond the traditional component of telephone expense management. Call accounting examines the health of an organization by looking at calling patterns, frequency of calls, network traffic and facility performance.

If Jimmy is making 100 calls a day but none of them are long distance, a traditional system that focuses on cost would fail to recognize Jimmy’s calling patterns. Non-business local calls, incoming calls and toll free calls can result in huge productivity losses for an organization. Frequently called numbers reports can shed a great deal of light on corporate calling patterns, marketing initiatives and telephone abuse. Conversely, Jimmy may be a rising start in the company if all his calls are for networking. Examining calling patterns is essential in fine-tuning and increasing productivity.

Today, there are many entry points into an organization. Auto attendant, voice mail, interactive voice response, email and live operator are some of the many facilities utilized by most average businesses. A strong communication management system will provide statistics that measure the performance of all these entry points. It is imperative that hackers, overflow or failures do not cause bottlenecks that hamper the communication flow of an organization. If a problem arises an effective communication management system should alert administrators in real time.

You cannot manage what you cannot measure! Call accounting will always remain a pillar in the evolution of communication management. Recent polls indicate that VoIP is fast becoming the dominant form of communication. There are countless businesses that may be caught with their pants down. Most companies do not even have a proper migration strategy. Communication management can help ease the transition by highlighting traffic volumes, peak hours, grade of service, abandoned calls, blocked calls, calls to reception and various other peg counts. These statistics will help determine the bandwidth needs and requirements for auto attendant, wireless, IVR and other services.

RSI is recognized as an industry leader in the field of communication management. The communication management product portfolio includes tailored integration to the most popular switching and network manufactures. RSI has been granted Nortel Developer Partner status with recognition for its core portfolio as Compatible Products. RSI is a Cisco Technology Partner, Siemens HiPath Ready Standard certified, Avaya DeveloperConnect Member, Mitel MiSN Member, Adtran Complementary Solutions Provider, NEC Univerge Partner and Alcatel Applications Partner.

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