Immigration Practice News

March 2013 (Vol. 4, No. 3)

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HOST PHONE CONTINUED FROM 1 >> domestic and international phone calls. For extensions that see limited use, such as a conference room or a break room, you can choose other options at a lower cost. By not purchasing expensive hardware for every phone and configuring certain lines based on usage, you can achieve a significant cost savings on your monthly telephone bill. There are also smart phone apps and soft phone applications which run in any web browser. When I use the 8x8 app on my iPhone, it appears to my client that I'm calling from my desk. I can easily transfer the call to anyone just as if I'm in the office. Also, each user can configure their phone to their individual preferences. Are you away from your desk and want the call forwarded to your assistant or cell phone? No problem. Want an automated attendant to answer your phones to eliminate the need for a receptionist? No problem. Since configuration is done online, you can change the features on any extension Is Google Voice the Right (Free) Choice for Your Firm? by Greg McLawsen L aw firms now have many alternatives to traditional multi-line phone systems. My firm uses Google Voice for its primary office line. You might want to consider this uniquely powerful tool for your practice, even in addition to your current system. in seconds; and there are hundreds of features to satisfy the pickiest user. One drawback with hosted phone systems is that it increases the demands on your network. You must have sufficient internet bandwidth to maintain call quality. Insufficient bandwidth leads to static and dropped calls. We learned this the hard way. When we first moved into our new office, we had internet service problems that took some time to correct. However, unlike our previous system which required us to preallocate our T1 line between voice and data, phone calls using the new WHAT DO YOU GET? Google Voice gives you a single phone number that rings to multiple devices and locations. A Voice number can ring directly to your desk, your office staff, your Learn more mobile phone, or a call answering about Google service, to name just a few Voice to see possibilities. Since Voice is a "Voice if it's the right Over Internet Protocol" (VOIP) fit for your setup, calls can also be made to and practice. from your desktop or notebook computer. I normally use my Voice line from an iPhone, but I've placed calls from Europe on Voice using my tablet PC. hosted system take priority over data. When the call ends, the bandwidth is automatically available for data until needed for another call. Jeffrey A. Devore is the managing partner of the Devore Law Group in West Palm Beach (Palm Beach Gardens), Florida. Mr. Devore is a past chair of AILA's South Florida chapter, a past member of AILA's Board of Governors, and serves on AILA's Practice Management committee. He also a member and past chair of the Florida Bar's Immigration & Nationality law Certification Committee. FUN FUNCTIONALITY. Voice gives you much more than the ability to have a single number ring to multiple locations. A Voice number comes with its own online voicemail system that also transcribes and emails your voicemails to you (if you want). I find the transcription quality reasonably good and certainly enough to get the gist of a call. Voice also gives you the ability to send SMS text messages from your online Voice account or from email (if you are responding). This can be tremendously helpful for communicating with younger clients. While drafting this article, I used a series of brief messages with a client to quickly clarify CONTINUED on pg.3 >> www.aila.org 2

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