Alternative to Skype for multiple homeworkers

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Jon, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Jon

    Jon Guest

    We have been trialling using Skype for our homeworkers who make a lot of
    short calls.

    It works reasonably well and the Skype toolbar which allows us to click on
    any phone number displayed in Internet Explorer and automatically dial it is
    invaluable. We would not want to lose this facility.

    However the facilities to manage the accounts is very poor. For example,
    whilst we can allocate money to a central account which then tops each
    homeworker's individual account, once this money has gone out it cannot be
    reclaimed. Also we wish to regularly download the call logs of each
    homeworker, which means having to do this for each individual account.

    Cost is important (all calls are to UK landlines). A monthly fee that
    allowed unlimited calls might be cost effective.

    I would welcome any suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
    Jon, Jul 27, 2006
    #1
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  2. Jon

    Brian A Guest

    On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 07:37:51 GMT, "Jon" <> wrote:

    >We have been trialling using Skype for our homeworkers who make a lot of
    >short calls.
    >
    >It works reasonably well and the Skype toolbar which allows us to click on
    >any phone number displayed in Internet Explorer and automatically dial it is
    >invaluable. We would not want to lose this facility.

    Go for SIP VOIP and forget about Skype. Come on :) this is for
    business.
    With SIP you can choose to have a softphone on the computer (say
    x-lite for example), or, alternaitvely, issue an ATA to each worker,
    to which you hold the passwords etc. They would then simply plug that
    ATA into their system and connect an ordinary phone to it - no
    computer needs to be switched on ( you might find that an advantage).
    If you do the ATA route do make absolutely sure that you are buying
    unlocked ones - i.e. ones that are NOT locked to one particular
    operator. This is essential if you want to freedom to move operators
    in the future. If you are worried about anyone walking away with an
    ATA you could always set deposit on it. Some ATAs will connect between
    a broadband modem and a computer. Most, though, connect to a router.
    Info: www.voip-info.org
    this forum and
    www.voxilla.org

    >
    >However the facilities to manage the accounts is very poor. For example,
    >whilst we can allocate money to a central account which then tops each
    >homeworker's individual account, once this money has gone out it cannot be
    >reclaimed. Also we wish to regularly download the call logs of each
    >homeworker, which means having to do this for each individual account.

    I would think that if you used SIP VOIP that you could make an
    arrangement with them to have one financial account with a multiple of
    SIP addresses. I am not familiar with business rates so can't advise
    specifically but you could check out:-
    voipfone.co.uk
    voiptalk.org
    voip.co.uk
    and gradwell.co.uk though there is a monthly fee.
    There are lots more but with variable reliability.
    >
    >Cost is important (all calls are to UK landlines). A monthly fee that
    >allowed unlimited calls might be cost effective.
    >
    >I would welcome any suggestions.
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Jon
    >


    Remove 'no_spam_' from email address.
     
    Brian A, Jul 27, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jon

    Brian A Guest

    On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 09:40:15 GMT, Brian A
    <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 07:37:51 GMT, "Jon" <> wrote:
    >
    >>We have been trialling using Skype for our homeworkers who make a lot of
    >>short calls.
    >>
    >>It works reasonably well and the Skype toolbar which allows us to click on
    >>any phone number displayed in Internet Explorer and automatically dial it is
    >>invaluable. We would not want to lose this facility.

    >Go for SIP VOIP and forget about Skype. Come on :) this is for
    >business.
    >With SIP you can choose to have a softphone on the computer (say
    >x-lite for example), or, alternaitvely, issue an ATA to each worker,
    >to which you hold the passwords etc. They would then simply plug that
    >ATA into their system and connect an ordinary phone to it - no
    >computer needs to be switched on ( you might find that an advantage).
    >If you do the ATA route do make absolutely sure that you are buying
    >unlocked ones - i.e. ones that are NOT locked to one particular
    >operator. This is essential if you want to freedom to move operators
    >in the future. If you are worried about anyone walking away with an
    >ATA you could always set deposit on it. Some ATAs will connect between
    >a broadband modem and a computer. Most, though, connect to a router.
    >Info: www.voip-info.org
    >this forum and
    >www.voxilla.org
    >
    >>
    >>However the facilities to manage the accounts is very poor. For example,
    >>whilst we can allocate money to a central account which then tops each
    >>homeworker's individual account, once this money has gone out it cannot be
    >>reclaimed. Also we wish to regularly download the call logs of each
    >>homeworker, which means having to do this for each individual account.

    >I would think that if you used SIP VOIP that you could make an
    >arrangement with them to have one financial account with a multiple of
    >SIP addresses. I am not familiar with business rates so can't advise
    >specifically but you could check out:-
    >voipfone.co.uk
    >voiptalk.org
    >voip.co.uk
    >and gradwell.co.uk though there is a monthly fee.
    >There are lots more but with variable reliability.
    >>
    >>Cost is important (all calls are to UK landlines). A monthly fee that
    >>allowed unlimited calls might be cost effective.
    >>
    >>I would welcome any suggestions.
    >>
    >>Thanks,
    >>
    >>Jon
    >>

    >
    >Remove 'no_spam_' from email address.

    Another idea is to use ta PABX, if you have a large number of workers.
    You could even use the service of easypabx or similar, I believe
    voipfone have a virtual PABX but I have not investigated it.
    I am not sure how you would monitor indvidual charging in this case.
    If you decide to go that route then someone else on here may well be
    able to advise.
    Remove 'no_spam_' from email address.
     
    Brian A, Jul 27, 2006
    #3
  4. Jon

    Ivor Jones Guest

    "Brian A" <> wrote in message
    news:

    [snip]

    > Another idea is to use ta PABX, if you have a large
    > number of workers. You could even use the service of
    > easypabx or similar, I believe voipfone have a virtual
    > PABX but I have not investigated it.
    > I am not sure how you would monitor indvidual charging in
    > this case. If you decide to go that route then someone
    > else on here may well be able to advise.


    Gradwell have a PABX function and have an excellent reputation for
    business use. Not sure if they can do what the OP wants but it wouldn't
    hurt to ask them.

    Ivor
     
    Ivor Jones, Jul 27, 2006
    #4
  5. Jon

    Sean Guest

    Ivor Jones wrote:
    > "Brian A" <> wrote in message
    > news:
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> Another idea is to use ta PABX, if you have a large
    >> number of workers. You could even use the service of
    >> easypabx or similar, I believe voipfone have a virtual
    >> PABX but I have not investigated it.
    >> I am not sure how you would monitor indvidual charging in
    >> this case. If you decide to go that route then someone
    >> else on here may well be able to advise.

    >
    > Gradwell have a PABX function and have an excellent reputation for
    > business use. Not sure if they can do what the OP wants but it wouldn't
    > hurt to ask them.
    >
    > Ivor
    >
    >


    Yes, both voipfone and gradwell do virtual PBX services :)
     
    Sean, Jul 27, 2006
    #5
  6. "Ivor Jones" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Brian A" <> wrote in message
    > news:
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> Another idea is to use ta PABX, if you have a large
    >> number of workers. You could even use the service of
    >> easypabx or similar, I believe voipfone have a virtual
    >> PABX but I have not investigated it.
    >> I am not sure how you would monitor indvidual charging in
    >> this case. If you decide to go that route then someone
    >> else on here may well be able to advise.

    >
    > Gradwell have a PABX function and have an excellent reputation for
    > business use. Not sure if they can do what the OP wants but it wouldn't
    > hurt to ask them.


    They do. He'd need to pay for one account per every 2 simultaneous calls
    (incoming or outgoing) though. He might be able to get away with a
    straightforward SIP account or they could insist on the full Centrex one.

    --
    Thomas Sandford
     
    Thomas Sandford, Jul 27, 2006
    #6
  7. Jon

    Jon Guest

    Thanks to everyone for their advice.

    I will have a look into the suggestions (then probably come back for more
    advice!).

    Jon

    "Thomas Sandford" <${thomas/03$}@paradisegreen.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:44c944fe$0$638$...
    >
    > "Ivor Jones" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> "Brian A" <> wrote in message
    >> news:
    >>
    >> [snip]
    >>
    >>> Another idea is to use ta PABX, if you have a large
    >>> number of workers. You could even use the service of
    >>> easypabx or similar, I believe voipfone have a virtual
    >>> PABX but I have not investigated it.
    >>> I am not sure how you would monitor indvidual charging in
    >>> this case. If you decide to go that route then someone
    >>> else on here may well be able to advise.

    >>
    >> Gradwell have a PABX function and have an excellent reputation for
    >> business use. Not sure if they can do what the OP wants but it wouldn't
    >> hurt to ask them.

    >
    > They do. He'd need to pay for one account per every 2 simultaneous calls
    > (incoming or outgoing) though. He might be able to get away with a
    > straightforward SIP account or they could insist on the full Centrex one.
    >
    > --
    > Thomas Sandford
    >
     
    Jon, Aug 3, 2006
    #7
  8. > "Thomas Sandford" <${thomas/03$}@paradisegreen.co.uk> wrote in message
    > news:44c944fe$0$638$...
    >> "Ivor Jones" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...


    >>> Gradwell have a PABX function and have an excellent reputation for
    >>> business use. Not sure if they can do what the OP wants but it wouldn't
    >>> hurt to ask them.

    >> They do. He'd need to pay for one account per every 2 simultaneous calls
    >> (incoming or outgoing) though. He might be able to get away with a
    >> straightforward SIP account or they could insist on the full Centrex one.
    >>

    I'm not sure about their PABX service, but with their incoming and
    outgoing IAX/SIP services you only need one account, and you get 2
    simultaneous incoming calls per number/line rental that you pay for
    (£3/month) and as many simultaneous outgoing calls as you want.
     
    Thomas Kenyon, Dec 28, 2006
    #8
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