Owning a business is the American dream and when something works, the goal is to replicate and grow; this is especially true in the franchise and small business world which fuels the American economy. For small business owners, replicating business successes to multiple locations and/or complementary businesses through expansion often garners huge financial returns.
Expansion, unfortunately, when combined with traditional technologies, can lead to a number of duplicated expenses at each new location. Topping the list of operational expenses are technologies like phone, email and conferencing services. Additional operational inefficiencies are created by duplicated manual on-site support and operational processes.
Excessive Business Voice Expenses are at the top of the technology cost pyramid. Traditional on-premises voice solutions for each office comprise leased or expensive antiquated legacy key systems needing to be maintained. Featureless multi-line telephones is another alternative businesses might consider, but all traditional options still require expensive PSTN lines at each location. Traditional on-premises voice solutions lack the capability to unite offices, users and operations so they cannot be leveraged for company-wide efficiencies. Additionally, duplicate on-site IT time and resources are required at each location just to keep them up and running.
Email and Groupware Expenses are other areas that multiply quickly for growing businesses and are as essential to those businesses as the phone. With the plethora of communication mediums exploding over the past couple of years, users have a challenge just to keep up. While Microsoft Exchange Servers can provide Email and groupware support, the cost of purchasing and managing this type of solution across multiple location can quickly outweigh the benefits. Alternatively, businesses might rely on free email services like Yahoo, Google or Gmail which lack the professional image, networking and business productivity tools such as global contacts and shared calendars or standard Outlook integration to truly scale a growing multi-location business.
Most recently a new phenomenon in communications has emerged: the insatiable appetite for instant expert information. Seeing people within the company who are available in real-time and being able to access them instantly, allows companies to be more responsive to customers. In some cases, employees are bypassing security and going to free public services such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to achieve real-time access without owners knowing it, thus passing sensitive business information over public networks. Having separate text and instant messaging services require duplicate efforts, costs and multiplies communication check-points for all involved, reducing communication efficiencies.
Finally, staff across multiple locations rarely interact with each another due to limitations of traditional on-premises equipment and the labor intensive processes built around them internally. This creates duplicate administration and non-core business functions, driving up expenses for IT, scheduling, answering phone calls, and performing company-wide operations such as accounting and billing. Common manual practices include the incorporation of a jack-of-all-trades person at each location to keep each office running smoothly. An expensive proposition from several aspects including manpower, overhead and traditional technology cost point of view. The overall customer satisfaction experience is suboptimal and business efficiencies suffer as each office operates independently.
The main point of growing and expanding a business is to increase sales and the opportunities to drive more revenue. Our customers tell us their existing technologies forced redundant expenses and place additional unnecessary burden on manpower.
PanTerra’s WorldSmart solution cuts business technology costs, increases opportunities for efficiencies across growing businesses and delivers the lowest possible total cost of ownership for business owners. WorldSmart also makes companies more responsive enabling them to information regardless of at the desk or on the go. WorldSmart provides business owners significant cost savings through its unified communications approach, giving confidence to companies that they can meet today’s modern challenges.
WorldSmart’s unified communication as a service (UCaaS) simplifies all communications growing businesses need including voice, collaboration, conferencing, instant message, text messaging, e-mail and calendar groupware into a single service. With WorldSmart there is no capital infrastructure, IT support required or long term contracts. For worry free use the service can be full administered with a web browser and also includes complete a FutureProofTM Service Guarantee that includes lifetime updates, upgrades and 24x7x365 “instant” support. WorldSmart has no location or work group boundaries and is designed for multi-location businesses of all types, enabling process integration and location unification.
WorldSmart enables businesses to route calls, instant messages, text messages and voice messages as businesses dictate including operating independently, as collective group or locations, and networked during off-hours with time of day controls. Numbering and automated attendants can be across all locations, single offices or groups. All features are extensible to simplify the business needs and complexities of operating multi-location businesses.
Nancy Perry, owner of five Sylvan Learning Centers throughout Ft. Myers, Florida had independent voice systems at each location consisting of outdated premise based systems and costly POTs lines. Her biggest concern was her monthly phone bill across the businesses. Additionally, the offices operated independently and require her constant physical involvement in day to day business.
After implementing WorldSmart her customers could reach her at any office and be seamlessly transferred to other offices. Employees were able to call across all locations by extensions with a unified dialling plan, and WorldSmart Instant Messaging across all locations reducing costly time of reviewing missed calls, voicemail, emails requiring multiple attempts to reach customer. When employees move between offices including their homes, the phones and instant messaging systems were the same. Nancy works from home without incurring additional local and cell phone charges and with the additional benefit of keeping all her business voicemails and emails centralized. WorldSmart, saved her an addition $250 per month.
After deploying PanTerra, she was able to realize a monthly savings of $747/month, which equated to $8,965 annually or a whopping $26,895 over 36 months in business phone bills alone, while improving several other business objectives.
Dave Smith, owner of two Sylvan Learning Centers located in Washington State had a combination of outdated phone systems and disparate carriers with interoffice calling costing them on their phone bills. Dave also wanted to optimize employees and operations to share responsibilities while keeping both locations open but couldn’t achieve that with his existing solution. Dave felt expanding his hours would grow the business but wanted to do it with call routing across existing employees instead of adding additional overhead to deal with afterhours calls. Finally, Dave is very tech savvy and wanted a system he could administer on his own to implement new ideas to improve the customer experience.
After implementing PanTerra, Dave used a single auto attendant for both centers reducing employee overhead to answer and transfer calls and also decreased customer wait time. Calls were delivered to the appropriate person and team immediately. Dave’s employees are now reached on a single number across both locations, and employees can call each other via extension dialling. Specialized employees are grouped together and now share a common number with a common voicemail. By using WorldSmart Instant Messaging, response times to questions are dramatically improved and when out of the office, Dave gets text messages converted to SMS for constant contact. WorldSmart enabled Dave to develop special call routing to increase service during off-hours across employees, WorldSmart can sent customer voicemails via email to a group of after-hour’s people for the quickest response. Dave also has complete administrative control for all WorldSmart communications through a browser interface allowing him to control WorldSmart from anywhere, anytime with the additional confidence of being able to call, instant message or email ACS, ISN Technologies or PanTerra 24x7x365 for a guaranteed 30 second response time.
Deploying WorldSmart saved David over $360 a month in phone bills alone which equates to $4,320 saved annually and close to $13,000 of savings over 3 years. Dave was also able to implement several business process and customer satisfaction initiatives not available to him prior to WorldSmart. The future looks bright for David’s business and his customers.
Mark King and his wife, owners of a single Sylvan Learning Center, wanted more flexibility to work from home while raising a small infant. They also wanted a more professional and larger customer sounding experience for customers calling. They also felt they missed too many phone calls using traditional phone services while working from home and also requiring extra attempts in returning calls in the evenings to reach customers instead of answering calls to best service their customers. Messages were left, calls would be transferred between home and office and costs were compounding while customer experience suffered. There was a conflict of personal and business lives due to technology constraints.
After implementing PanTerra the Kings’ were able to address both business and professional goals with PanTerra’s flexible solution. They utilized an auto attendant with ring groups for different departments giving their Sylvan Center a more professional and larger appearance. They were both able to incorporate home schedules in with no impact to business with multiple phones per each extension and find me follow me rules. Between home and office both utilized mobile message and find me follow me to be reached staying in constant contact and utilized WorldSmart Instant message to ensure calls were addressed they relied on WorldSmart’s powerful voicemail or auto attendant to manage missed calls.
After implementing WorldSmart the King’s saved $204 a month, $2,457 annually, and forecast savings of $7,370 over 36 months on office communications alone not including home and cell phone bill reductions. They no longer have a conflict of professional and personal goals and they have been able to increase customer satisfaction, call completions and operational efficiencies.
Companies consisting of 5 locations traditionally see a monthly savings ranging from $625-$1,000s, with an average savings per location ranging from $125-$200 on business voice lines. Organizations can forecast voice savings per user ranging from $15 - $80 per month. Additionally, organizations can incorporate secure instant messaging, mobile text messaging and emails under a single operations umbrella and see customer satisfaction improve dramatically. Finally, with WorldSmart, businesses are able to unite employees for a better customer experience and cut wasted overhead costs
American Communications Solutions (ACS), ISN Technologies, and PanTerra Networks have answered the call for Sylvan Learning Center franchise owners by saving them thousands of dollars each month while enabling operational efficiencies that improve their responsiveness to customers. ACS and ISN bring the right blend of experience and understanding that combined with PanTerra’s WorldSmart for multi-location businesses delivers savings and business process improvements.
American Communication Solutions Inc. (ACS), a PanTerra VAR located in Austin, Texas offering its consulting services throughout the US. ACS helps businesses cut through the technology rhetoric to quickly identify, implement and manage results driven business technology solutions. ACS has established relationships with proven technology providers to deliver superior customer value.
PanTerra Networks, Inc. delivers the most comprehensive cloud-based unified communications service through its WorldSmart solution. WorldSmart makes companies more competitive by making them more responsive and includes all services and unlimited usage for unified business communications including voice, unified messaging, fax, video, instant messaging, email and calendaring, file transfer, mobile text messaging and presence integrated into its Unified Command Center (UCC). WorldSmart also includes group communications including desk sharing, web conferencing, IM conferencing, and audio conferencing. WorldSmart also integrates with Outlook and Salesforce as well as other commonly used CRMs through its included application programmers interface (API) enabling communication-enabled business process (CEBP) environments to flourish.
Being fully cloud-based, WorldSmart stores all your communications in the cloud, allowing you to access them with just an Internet connection and browser. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with Research and Development based in Hyderabad, India.
For more information, please visit www.panterranetworks.com or call +1 408.702.2200.