IP Technology and “Going Green” in the Office

How IP technology can help your office reduce energy consumption and improve profitability has just gotten simpler.

As many companies struggle to cut costs and look for inexpensive alternative energy options, advances in IP technology are making the decision to "go green" easier.

Integrated voice and data PRI and T1 circuits, coupled with increased competition, are driving the cost of data and high speed Internet access down. Lower costs are enabling countless companies to take advantage of a host of IP technologies and solutions that can help reduce emissions and overhead.

After 9/11, there was a spike in video conferencing system sales as travel concerns rose among companies and their employees. Expensive ISDN circuits were the primary component in many of these existing systems. Since then, companies like Polycom have improved IP-based options. As the cost of both video conferencing and high speed Internet access continue to fall, video conferencing systems are being used more extensively than ever.

VoIP telephony is another prime example of how firms can reduce energy consumption. Telecommuting is fast becoming one of the most desired and cost-effective employee perks. Using an IP phone has a wide range of benefits, from reducing energy consumption and stress, to providing more family time for workers. There is a significant return on investment associated with VoIP telephony.

VoIP technology allows you to harness the benefits of your company's phone system remotely. Dialing from your office's phone lines, transferring calls, checking voicemail, along with intercom and conference calling are all typical system features needed to work successfully from home.

VoIP enabled phone systems offer the most flexibility. Pure IP-based phone sets provide the functionality of an office in a home setting that can be used for customer service, sales support, or even day-to-day administration. A SoftPhone is essentially software that is loaded onto laptops for a mobile IP phone solution. Add a wireless card and be connected to your office from any Starbucks or other wireless hotspot. A USB headset allows you access to the office and intercom functions, permits paging and dialing out, and the transfer and receipt of calls all while sipping a Grande Latte. Do you have a "road warrior" in your office? Check out Avaya's affordable IP Office System that delivers powerful system features for configurations ranging from 2 phones to 360 phones.

VoIP can be added easily and affordably to an existing phone system. There are two unique solutions. The first, (MCK), allows connectivity of proprietary digital sets. The second, (Multitech), enables you to connect any analog phone from a home or remote office back to the system through any available analog station port.

Teleconferencing is another technology that reduces the need to travel. From monthly board meetings to remote employee training sessions, conference calling systems allow meetings to be held in a "virtual" setting. Costs associated with this option, though much cheaper than face-to-face meetings, can still prove expensive. An in-house system can reduce costs to as little as $0.02 per minute. Many systems include web conferencing choices that utilize additional features and promote more extensive user interaction.

The bottom line is that IP technology is available to help reduce carbon emissions and travel costs. For more information on how your company can take advantage of IP technology, contact Telcom & Data at 800-335-0229.

From the desk of

Ricardo Trinidad

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