Expand Your Business Phone System

If your office uses Asterisk PBX to handle incoming and outgoing phone calls, or if you’re planning to install Asterisk in the future, you’ve made an excellent choice!  (Asterisk is open source telephony software that offers all the functionality you’d expect from expensive business phone systems, at a very low cost). Now, maybe you’ve been perfectly happy with your PBX for years. But with Asterisk, you can expand your business phone system any time. And it can grow and change right along with the company as your needs change.

Leverage Open Architecture

For me, one of the most appealing features of Asterisk is its open architecture.  Because it’s incredibly flexible and open source, so you can expand your phone system and tailor it to how your company does business.  Here are just a few examples of how you might opt to expand the capabilities of your phone system:

  • Add an intranet web server. And then, migrate your company’s phone directory and frequently-called external numbers into an online phone directory.  This phonebook-on-steroids lets users simply type a few letters of the contact name or company into a search box.  So, once they click on the phone number, the system will dial the contact and make the connection automatically. For screenshots and more information, check out this earlier post.
  • Integrate inbound calls into your order entry software.  Any time the system recognizes the caller ID, it can bring up that customer’s record on screen before you even answer the call.
  • Blacklist known telemarketing numbers and robocalls. Now, your phone system will automatically hang up or send them to company voicemail.
  • Search call history by date, by extension, or by external number.
  • Forward calls to another extension or external number from a web interface.  So whether you’re in the office or working remotely, calls will follow you wherever you are.
  • View or listen to voicemails online.

Even more ways to expand your phone system

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Do you need to route inbound calls to different offices across the country or around the world? No problem. Or do you need your remote workforce to make and receive calls from their home office? Let’s do it.

Want to learn more about how to put your company’s phone system to work? Contact us. There’s never a charge for the initial consultation.

We’re Still Here for You

This is just a friendly reminder that I/O Technologies, Inc is still open for business, writing custom software solutions to meet the needs of your company.

Whenever you need help, we’re ready to connect up with you securely. Our highest priority is the safety and health of our customers and staff members. But we want to stress that we are OPEN for business. For now, we’re practicing social distancing guidelines.

Although our governor recently issued a ‘safer at home’ mandate, we can still program, test and deploy solutions. All our desk phones forward seamlessly, so you can continue to reach us wherever we are.

You can be confident that we are here for the long haul. As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Those Three Words

Customers often come to us with requests which include a phrase that makes me smile every time I hear it: “we just want”.

For example, “we just want a simple enhancement. And from our perspective, it should be easy to program. But it shouldn’t take much time, and it should cost next to nothing.”

Right. And I just want a luxury yacht.

By way of comparison, most people know how to drive a car. Nothing could be easier. But suppose your car’s air conditioning fails. It should be an easy fix, right? Just pour more refrigerant into the system, and problem solved for $20!

Your mechanic probably won’t agree.

So also with software development. Because once we lift the hood, things can often get complicated. Fast. Recently a prospective customer called us, asking for a second opinion. They were frustrated with their programmer’s work. The customer said, “we just want the software to stop throwing errors.” Turns out that the code was a twisted mess. I felt sorry for them. They’d paid a lot of money for software that simply reeked. Now they were hoping we could wave a magic wand to clear away the stench.

They weren’t happy to hear our advice—they’d be better off scrapping that code and starting from scratch.

So here’s the moral of the story: There’s nothing wrong with hoping for a quick, easy and inexpensive fix. But take a lesson from the iceberg—there’s usually more going on under water than what you can see above the surface.

Tracking Data Effectively

Some companies like yours struggle with how to manage their data. They spend too much time tracking data effectively–orders, PO’s and inventory in old software that just hasn’t kept up. Others find updating their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to be a real pain. And a few are still using manual time clocks and punch cards.

I’m going to guess that you’ve already got a handle on most of these issues. If not, would it make sense to schedule a brief phone call, to see whether it might make sense to talk further?

Let me know if you’re interested.