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Thinking About Going All Wireless for Phones; Think Again


Recently there have been industry whispers about organizations deciding to cut the cord altogether and go wireless for their business phone services. The reasons are simple: The idea is that just about everybody has a cell phone these days; sometimes more than one. In some cases organizations offer cell phone allowances, or issue their employees a cell phone as part of a corporate plan. Moreover, many staff members have gotten accustomed to using their cell phones for business calls through call forwarding of their desk phones when not at their desks, or by using a ring all option of their phone system which encompasses ringing the desk phone, cell phone, or any other number added to the phone system in the ring all group. As a result of going all wireless, organizations can minimize devices, and overall telecommunications costs for voice services.

The Wrinkle

While the above seems feasible to some at the start, there are a few downsides to consider. Number one, companies that do not offer cell phones as part of their corporate plan do not have any rights to the cell phone number should the employee resign or be let go. This means when the employee goes, so does  the number. One example of where this maybe problematic is when a sales associate leaves for a competitor and is still receiving calls from customers at the former employer.

Secondly, there are still many Baby Boomers and Gen Xers that are accustomed to having a desk phone. They are not interested in using their cell phone for  business calls on a permanent basis. This generation grew up with phones on their desk, and when cell phones were introduced they were either supplied by the business for employees that were mobile, or those other employees that maybe had personal cell phones,  kept them mostly separate from work.

A Happy Medium

One way to address the above wrinkles is to consider using mobile apps. For those employees comfortable and requesting to use their cell phone as a single device for all company voice services, look at using a mobile app. Just about all UCaaS service offerings, and even newer premise based PBX’s offer mobile apps to tie the cell phone into the communications system. The beauty of using an app is that the app provides the dialtone, and is attached to the PBX so you can utilize company DID’s ( phone numbers) and they can be reused should an employee leave the organization. If the DID is published , there is no worry about losing the number, the business remains the owner of the DID; not the employee. There are some caveats, like forcing the employee to use the app when making calls from their cell phones as a general policy, but when adhered to, this can be a great alternative for using cell phone service for calling. And, for those that prefer to use their desk phones, they can remain as they are.