National Software Consulting Company Maintains a Virtual Office with Our Hosted VoIP Solution
About Project Partners
Project Partners was founded in 1997, and is the world’s foremost expert in providing business solutions and IT systems for project-driven organizations. They are a single-point solution provider for all requirements across the Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Primavera, Oracle Fusion and NetSuite SRP applications to organizations operating in a project-centric environment. They have also developed integrated products that enhance and extend these applications.
Project Partners works with a variety of industries – from construction to education to e-commerce – to facilitate initiatives to complete and schedule large to small scale projects. The project portfolio management company specializes in the software around the accounting of a project to help forecast and ensure that projects stay on time and budget.
Project Partners started as a virtual company and was founded by the CEO who lived in northern California. The company’s other founding partners lived in southern California and Connecticut, and traveled often. At the onset, Project Partners maintained local phone numbers for these primary consultants – a viable solution at the time for the boutique consultancy. As Project Partners rapidly grew, the company needed a phone system that could allow its employees to work virtually while still maintaining the appearance of a unified office with similar area codes and extensions. While Project Partners’ headquarters is based in northern California, their team has grown to include over 50 employees throughout North America. They needed a phone system that could scale with their expanding employee base while delivering a professional presence and unified communication solution.
Switching to Vocalocity (now Vonage Business Solutions)
The Vocalocity (now Vonage Business Solutions) phone system replaced Project Partners’ older, analog system. Their phone system at the time was about fifteen years old, and they wanted to maintain the same features they had become accustomed to while expanding to a full suite of business-class capabilities. Project Partners wanted a modern, hosted VoIP system that had more features and could better support their virtual office. Theresa Clark, Director of Operations at Project Partners says, “We looked at several systems, and the reason we went with Vocalocity (now Vonage Business Solutions) was based on features, ease of use, price and the fact that even though it is feature-rich it is also very easy to use.”
“I believe in teaching people to fish rather than feeding them, and because we’re a virtual company I can’t stand over people to show them everything. I’ve created a mini user guide for the User Portal, and our employees are able to use that to change all of their individual settings. Between a minutes-long conversation with them about getting started, to setting up a new user in my Admin Portal, I find it very easy to do.”
Project Partners uses Vocalocity (now Vonage Business Solutions) to maintain a unified appearance even with a geographically distributed workforce. Because they’re aware that remote employees can often have a feeling of isolation due to the fact that they’re not working in the same office, the consulting company has designed their operations so that employees are able to interact seamlessly as though they’re in an office. Using Vocalocity’s (now Vonage Business Solutions) VoIP service in tandem with video meetings allows them to maintain a personal relationship while still managing work from their homes and offices.
“When a customer or prospect calls, they’re automatically greeted by our Virtual Receptionist. There’s no concept of being in a different location, and that caller can automatically figure out who to talk to within the company,” said Theresa. “And internally, if I need to transfer a call, I can send them to someone’s desk across the country and I just need to press an extension number, just like if we were in the same office.”
By using the Admin Portal, Theresa is able to change settings to their Virtual Receptionist, set up Voicemail Transcription so employees can quickly read an incoming message, and view the employee dashboard to pull metrics about extensions and see who’s on a call.
“With Voicemail to Email and Voicemail Transcription, I can forward that voicemail to other people and I can attach it to a contact in our CRM system – it’s one of my favorite features.”
Because employees are remote, Theresa notes that she has had to call customer support a few times to help new employees deal with personal firewalls, but that the knowledgeable Customer Support team has been very helpful with troubleshooting all of the company’s geographically distributed extensions on their hosted PBX.
The Bottom Line
“Virtual office is the way we work in 2013. I have a hard enough time trying to find people who have the right skills; I can’t imagine trying to find those people and being worried about relocating them or rejecting them because they’re in a different city. With Vocalocity (now Vonage Business Solutions), we don’t have to do that.”
To learn more about Project Partners, visit www.projectp.com