- Industry: Energy & Utilities
One of the most exciting developments to come from the new generation of mobile communications technologies is the convergence of mobile and landline phone systems. WMP-OneCall has the ability to seamlessly integrate your cellular phone into your enterprise PBX and VOIP systems. This integration unlocks the ability to reduce mobile phone costs while extending the features of your enterprise PBX to the mobile user.
For enterprise users that rely on both a wired office phone and cellular service, the ultimate combination is WMP-OneCall, where they can be reached on a single number regardless of where they are located. Call forwarding is a feature of any PBX today, but WMP-OneCall takes it a step further and connects your PBX to cellular phone users within the cellular network, resulting in utilization of the free mobile-to-mobile call minutes.
In a typical organization, half of company-related calls to cellular phone users are fixed-to-mobile calls that incur exchange charges and accumulate minutes against the pool of billable minutes for business hour use. Moving these calls into the cellular network reduces total billable minutes and allows companies to negotiate contracts with lower commitments, therefore saving significant hard dollars in operational costs.
Traditional Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC): The confusion that surrounds FMC today stems from the variety of ways in which it might be implemented, and the fact that most discussions address only a subset of those options. The major dividing line among FMC solutions is based on whether they are controlled by the cellular carrier or by the Enterprise PBX. Within those broad categories, there will be a number of important differences, particularly with regard to how the calls are handed off between the two environments and the level of user and management functionality they can deliver.
The primary difference among the Enterprise-controlled FMC solutions lies in how, or if, they hand off calls between the networks.
Non-integrated: Most FMC solutions incorporate no integration or hand-off capability between cellular and PBX functionality. The user must manually choose the network on which to place the call. Your user’s will have two phone numbers and two voice mails, one on the cellular network and one on the PBX. Also, the cellular carriers do not subsidize the cost of dual-mode handsets, so the enterprise will be paying the full cost of both devices. Finally, with this solution there is no way of insuring that the user will actually choose the WLAN, or wired, phone to place calls when it’s available.
Simultaneous Ring/Manual Handoff: In this FMC solution, the customer’s IP PBX is programmed so that all incoming calls to the user’s business number ring simultaneously on both their cellular phone and their wired or WLAN phone number, enabling the call to be answered on either device. When one of the calls is answered, the IP PBX stops the ringing on the other. This feature is typically called Simultaneous Ring. It will allow the user to transfer a call in progress from the IP PBX station to the cellular connection by pressing a key. While not as elegant as an automatic hand off, these solutions do provide many of the features similar to WMP-OneCall including one number accessibility, single voice mail, integrated cellular and PBX features, and enterprise number management.
Assume an employee in the field calls the office number of another employee. If nobody answers it, the call goes back to the PBX and the caller either 1) gets to voicemail, that has to be retrieved, or 2) gets forwarded to the mobile phone of the intended contact. When forwarded, the call goes back out through the PBX into the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), interconnects to the cellular company network, and dials out to the intended recipient. The result in this scenario is the Company pays for two simultaneous mobile to fixed land line calls. These are not free mobile-to-mobile minutes that would occur if this was a direct dial, but are outbound and inbound chargeable minutes under the contract pool. WMP-OneCall eliminates the billable PSTN exchange component and the billable minutes that accrue against the mobile phone plan. With WMP-OneCall, the same inbound call is made (from an employee in the field via mobile phone), but when the person being called does not answer, the PBX forwards them through the system to the WMP-OneCall server that interprets the call and sends it out to the mobile phone over the recipient’s cellular network. The process utilizes the free mobile to mobile minutes for the inbound and outbound calls.
Mobile Unified Communications
Up until now, the focus has been on simple handoff of voice calls between PBX and cellular network, but there is another important development: Unified Communications (UC). Initially the enhanced functionality of UC was limited to users who were at their desks, but WMP-OneCall extends many of these same capabilities to the cellular voice users.
- True Caller ID: provides the name and number of the actual caller rather than the PBX number when a call is forwarded to the mobile.
- Visual Voicemail: allows the mobile user to view voice mail messages as alerts and play them in any order they choose.
- Four-Digit Dialing: the mobile user can call any other location on the PBX by simply dialing the four-digit extension number, just as they would when they were sitting at their desk.
How Does WMP-OneCall work?
Many fixed mobile convergence solutions simply transfer a single phone call to a different number. WMP-OneCall goes even further. The seamless integration of the WMP-OneCall solution not only provides call convergence, but extends a full range of IP PBX features so that mobile users can have a more functional, efficient, and productive communications service. One of the most important benefits of the WMP-OneCall solution is that it can be implemented today with no action on the part of the cellular carrier.
Through all of the combinations fixed to mobile calls (inbound and outbound), the savings add up. The only cost to you is the additional cellular modem charges for the cards in the WMP- OneCall server that handle the incoming and outbound calls. This cost is incidental in comparison to the savings. Additionally, the secondary voicemail box on the mobile phone can be eliminated reducing the overall charge per cellular customer because they now only need the company controlled PBX voicemail. If an external or internal party calls your office number the system will ring the desk phone and, through the use of simultaneous ring or call forwarding, push the call back out through the PBX, into the FMC server, and out the cellular network to your mobile phone.
This method creates the largest cost savings but does require some reprogramming of users’ mobile phones to call into the PBX via mobile to mobile and then dials the 4 digit extension of the person they are trying to call. However, the voicemail button will have to be reprogrammed to dial the PBX voicemail. If someone was to call your mobile phone directly and you do not answer, the device will push the call to the voicemail prompt and dial into the PBX via the mobile network. This is the core of WMP-OneCall.
Additional Features and Benefits of WMP OneCall
With WMP-OneCall the most direct and obvious benefit to an organization is the immediate cost savings by reducing cellular charges. Additional benefits focus on increased operational efficiency and productivity. A well-executed WMP-OneCall solution can also yield benefits in terms of convenience, control, and reliability.
- Accessibility: Often grouped under the general heading of "productivity", the first of these benefits would be accessibility. One of the greatest inhibitors to productivity in a modern business environment is the inability to reach critical people at critical times. WMP-OneCall can allow a user to be reached with "one call" to "one number" regardless of where they are located. If you include "presence capability" it will also show the called party’s "availability" status.
- User Productivity: WMP-OneCall can also enhance productivity for the user. Calls in progress need not be terminated when the user has to leave the facility. While that scenario will probably not arise very often, a continuously available voice service would allow the user to return calls, access voice mail, and do other telephony oriented tasks while moving between locations or during what were formerly deemed "dead times".
- Telephone Number Control: While often overlooked, control of the telephone number is a critical issue for large enterprises due to the constant inflow and outflow of employees. WMP-OneCall gives you that "one number for life" capability for as long as that employee is at the company.
The WMP-OneCall solution offers four key attributes which will provide tremendous benefit to an enterprise struggling to deal with communications integration:
- Operational cost reduction
- Integration of any mobile phone with any PBX
- Little need for user behavioral changes
Most of the FMC solutions that exist today only provide vertical integration, requiring a particular cellular provider or cellular device and a particular PBX system, which in turn increases the cost of deploying FMC. The WMP-OneCall solution works with any cellular provider, any cellular device and any PBX. Also, it does not require any additional software on the mobile device or PBX to provide seamless fixed to mobile integration.
For further information on WMP-OneCall, please contact Dan Belmont at 312-980-9385.