Vol. 4 Issue 3
AILA INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
AILA President-Elect Doug Stump discusses the
Stateside Waiver in AILA's Interview of the Month.
SPECIAL THIS ISSUE: Picking the right Case
System for your firm:
INSZoom n eImmigration n Tracker n LawLogix
YOUR PRACTICE & PROFESSIONALISM RESOURCES:
Best of PPC
Is a Hosted Phone System Right for Your Firm?
by Jeffrey A. Devore
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
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