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SOS Implemented Solutions Catalyze Growth for Risse

 
 
Windows-based VoIP System and Microsoft Network unlocks secure remote access for 75+ workers
"The network before was like scrambled eggs. The difference before and after is night and day." - Pat Risse, CEO
 
 
 

Overview

 
 
Sacramento contracting firm Risse Mechanical had pushed its old phone system and network beyond their useful life. The network was unreliable, employees were missing calls, and a lot of labor went into managing faxes each day. "With SOS's help, we were able to relieve frustration among our 75-plus staff and increase productivity," says Pat Risse, CEO.

The solution was a new Microsoft small-business server, fast, reliable HP servers, and Cisco network equipment, topped off with a leading edge Windows-based, multimedia VoIP phone system configured by SOS to leverage existing Microsoft office applications to increase the staff's efficiency and allow management to support remote workers the same way they support their internal staff.

Risse's team can now take advantage of:
  • Secure remote access to voice and data for 75+ mobile workers
  • Automatic call routing
  • Automatic dispatch to address customer emergencies
  • Electronic fax management
  • Dependable voicemail system
  • Outlook group and individual calendaring that works
  • A reliable high speed network
  • Centralized data
Some of the benefits are:
  • Improved customer service
  • Greater productivity for 75+ mobile workers
  • Higher capacity from more efficient call distribution
  • Simpler to schedule, track, and change appointments
  • Easier management of hundreds of faxes per day
  • Quicker access to Risse's critical support services
  • Lower cost of ownership by self-administering the voice and data system
  • Lower long distance bill - by about $6,000-$12,000 per year
  • Automated products and services information available to callers
 

Challenge

 
"With the old network, our Outlook calendaring system rarely worked, the network was not backed up regularly, there were no network printers, and we were spending too much time and money fixing the network," says Risse.

Risse's engineering department kept having to clean out old files to free up memory on the server. Still, customers trying to leave a voice mail would be cut off after a few seconds, and some messages were lost completely. "Even seemingly simple communications were a challenge, and that impacted morale. Something had to change," Risse recalls.

"I'd read case studies about VoIP and knew it was the answer. As soon as the old phone system and server had been fully depreciated and were off the books, we began looking for a VoIP expert to design a new system. The recommendation for SOS came from an IT professional at McClellan Park."

SOS performed an equipment audit for Risse and discovered some additional issues: Network backups were being performed improperly, the company needed new anti-virus and anti-spyware policies, and settings were inadequate for such things as assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on the network.

"We had a long-term business plan. We needed a long-term IT business partner to provide long-term solutions," says Risse.

Risse sat down with SOS's chief technology officer, Lawrence McNutt, and SOS account manager Catherine Keck to design a new Microsoft-based system.

"We were starting to work with Home Depot. I saw a tremendous opportunity for growth there, if we could get more efficient. SOS demonstrated how this business technology would pay off by enabling us to serve customers better and be more productive."

"By the time they put in a new reliable, high-speed network, I was convinced that SOS was the right company for us. They have excellent technical knowledge and customer focus. So we had them implement the phone system too. It went online a few months later."
 
 

Solution

 
What Risse bought was a comprehensive converged voice-data solution designed around the Windows operating system.

The DNS server, which converts domain names to IP addresses, formerly was outsourced by an ISP. Now it is housed internally for maximum network performance. Also Active Directory was installed to provide the security framework and service location for all of Risse's client workstations. Active Directory also automates network management of user data, security, and distributed resources, and enables interoperation with other directory services.

The universal port capabilities of the Vonexus system greatly expand the ability of Risse to handle spikes in fax volume. With this greater efficiency, Risse has been able to manage Home Depot's high volume of faxed work orders. In addition, the company is saving the cost of dedicated fax machines and telephone lines.
 
 

Results

 
"Risse now has a network that really works," says Risse. "We now get full value out of the Microsoft Outlook personal information manager - which is critical to scheduling." Automatic Call Distribution has replaced the inefficient 'ring all' method and routes incoming calls to agents as they become available. And the company now has a reliable system for routing emergency calls on nights and weekends.

"Risse has a more reliable phone system that makes it easy to move offices around and transfer calls, and the annual cost of operations has actually declined by a few percent. The cost of long-distance calls has dropped by about half," notes Risse. "The annual savings on long distance is about $6,000 to $12,000 - even though we're making a lot more long distance calls now."

"We're not even utilizing the system to its fullest yet," says Risse. "But we've got the infrastructure."

"The network before was like scrambled eggs," says Risse. "The difference before and after is night and day. When the network was inefficient, chaotic, disorganized, then so was the company. Now the network runs reliably, calls are routed intelligently, and we've become more efficient at handling faxes. As a result, although we've taken on new, large-volume business, things are smooth and organized now. The technology changes were a good investment.

"Thinking of all the measurable improvements and the intangibles, I'm thinking we'll probably get the payback within two to two and a half years."
 
 

About SOS

 
SOS helps organizations choose and use advanced communications technology to serve customers better, work smarter, and increase profits. SOS is a nationwide expert in voice and data solutions for business, including Voice over IP (VoIP). Since 1992, hundreds of businesses have chosen the SOS team for IP communications, call center technology, and network security solutions. Clients can experience 100% return on investment in 6 to 36 months from SOS's simple, smart, secure technology solutions. SOS is headquartered in Loomis, California with sales offices in the northwest. For more information: www.teamsos.com or 916-632-8800 x 1711.
     
   

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