Immigration Practice News

March 2013 (Vol. 4, No. 3)

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IPN Immigration Practice News Vol. 4 Issue 3 American Immigration Lawyers Association www.aila.org AILA INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH u AILA President-Elect Doug Stump discusses the Stateside Waiver in AILA's Interview of the Month. SPECIAL THIS ISSUE: Picking the right Case Management presents... System for your firm: INSZoom n eImmigration n Tracker n LawLogix YOUR PRACTICE & PROFESSIONALISM RESOURCES: aila.org/ppc ? ! Mentor Directory Message Center Newsletter Archive Practice Success Tips Best of PPC Resources! Is a Hosted Phone System Right for Your Firm? by Jeffrey A. Devore W hile email and texting may be the wave of the future, there is still no substitute for the telephone in the business world. As attorneys, we need to be accessible not only to our clients, but also to the rest of the outside world. After more than 10 years in the same location, our firm recently moved. As part of that move we opted for a new telephone system. We needed approximately 20 extensions, though some would hardly see as much usage as others. When we moved into our old office, we had installed a (then) state-of-the-art PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone system that included features such as voicemail, call forwarding, and conference calling. The PBX was joined with our T1 internet service through a PRI (Primary Rate Interface) to share a common line of voice and data. All of the acronyms— POTS, PRI, PBX—was enough to drive you CRAZY. We looked into obtaining a new PBX-based system for our new office; however, we found the hardware costs quite excessive. So instead, we started looking at alternatives such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Many people have never heard of VOIP but use it all the time. Skype and Google Voice are examples of VOIP. Both emphasize their low cost, ease of use, and flexibility, especially for small businesses. In addition, both of these systems utilize VOIP, accessing the internet to place phone calls and connect to the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System). But what if you are not a solo and need more from your phone service? Enter what are known as "hosted" phone systems. With a hosted system, all of the equipment is kept in your provider's data center. All you need is a high speed internet connection and a VOIP phone, which you buy or rent from your service provider. We looked at a number of systems including Nextiva and Ring Central, but ultimately chose 8x8. With a hosted VOIP system, you get all the features of a full service PBX system without the upfront hardware or maintenance costs. For a flat monthly fee per phone, you get a line with unlimited usage for CONTINUED on pg.2 >> www.aila.org 1

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