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The Perks of Upgrading a Decade Old Phone System

rotary telephone

In February, CQL implemented our new VOIP PBX Telephone System to replace our 10-year-old Nortel BCM 200 system. Okay, we weren't using a rotary phone exactly, but it was still time to upgrade.

For a year, we researched our options for either an in-house or hosted VOIP solution. We decided to go with an in-house solution, the CudaTel 370b. This model allows us to use PRI (Primary Rate Interface) as our primary line with SIP as a failover (in case power goes out, clients can still reach us). 

After a few months of using the new system, here are a few pros and cons we’ve noticed. 

Perks We Love:

  • Using CudaTel lets us mismatch different phone makes and models. You can choose different manufacturers, like as Cisco, Polycom, and Yealink.
  • Includes custom menus, screens, buttons for all phones.
  • We have full control over all phone aspects.
  • The ability to block callers before they reach your office so your day isn’t interrupted by spam.
  • Actually, you can block calls or capture it and forward the call to any number, or create a sound bite to very kindly ask them to please stop calling. You can even forward it to the caller’s own number.
  • The user interface is easy to manage and graphically appealing. Previous system was at least ten years old, had tons of folders, and was very old school and time consuming. Now it’s easy to set up and get started.
  • We were able to tie the system into Outlook so we can click on a contact in Outlook and our phone will dial the number (contact us for more info). 
  • Switchboard View lets you see who’s on a call and gives you the ability to listen in, transfer, or drop the call.
  • Built-in reporting keeps call history and also lets you export to CSV. For CQL, we use this for accurate billing of clients. For example, the CSV will show that I was on a call with Trivalent for X minutes.

Problems We Could Live Without:

  • The parking feature lets anyone join a parked call without seeing who’s on it.
  • Missed calls show up on all phones that are part of the call tree.
  • A few of our Yealink phones already have buttons that are stuck or not working.
  • Poor sound quality with multiple users on a conference call. 
  • Calls occasionally get lost in space (when you put a call on 101 and suddenly it's gone).
The overall process to implement the system was clean and fast. We had all lines and phones functioning within 10 minutes of the cutover. Ahead of time, we had all the phones loaded with the latest firmware, music, logos and configuration.

Photo Credit: Billy Brown

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