5 Ways to Save on IP Telephony with Call-Accounting SoftwareA call-accounting solution is a regular companion of any telephony system. To manage your personal expenses for paid calls, you can get by information from your telephony service provider, who uses a call-accounting system to control their client calls. To manage effectively expenses for thousands of paid calls made each day by your employees through your enterprise VoIP network, you need your call-accounting solution.
Learn how you can reduce your employee telephony costs with enterprise call-accounting software.
1. Limit Your Expenses for Paid Employee Calls
Call-accounting software receives call detail records (CDRs) from your IP PBX, processes these data and provides you with various reports that you can use to find out who spends the most on paid calls and why. With this information you can set up your call-accounting software to:
* limit such expenses for each user or user group individually;
* restrict paid calls, when a limit is reached;
* deny access to long-distance calls for selected users or user groups.
You can restrict calls to suspicious numbers, too.
2. Restrict Calls to Flagged Numbers
After you analyze your CDR reports, you can wish to eliminate calls to special countries, cities or certain phone numbers. Call-accounting software allows you to set such restrictions both for all users and for any user or user group individually.
You can also track calls to flagged phone numbers with immediate automatic notifications sent to an appropriate person in your organization when a user dials such number. Thus you will make your employees more responsible using corporate VoIP and save yourself from unnecessary expenses. (For example, this facility can help schools and colleges prevent false calls to emergency organizations.)
Another way to pay significantly less for phone communications is to limit employee private calls.
3. Stop Paying for Private Employee Conversations
If your CDR report analysis highlights unnecessary use of long-time/long-distance "friends and family" calls, you can limit these expenses by:
* limiting duration of local private calls and restricting them during peak phone network load;
* restricting long-distance private calls.
CDR report analysis can help you also detect peak periods and timely assume the necessary measures to improve both your employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, you can sharply decrease your telephone expenses by re-billing charges to appropriate users and user groups.
4. Allocate Call Costs to Appropriate Budgets and Save Time on Daily Accounting
If you use a shared telecom service in a hotel, a motel, an educational institution or a condominium, then you need an easy-to-use tool to allocate timely telecom costs to corresponding users and user groups.
For example, if you manage a hotel, you can use your call-accounting software to provide your quests with timely information about their phone conversations and re-bill them for their costs. Or, if you have to administrate a VoIP network of a university, you can use this software to set different usage rules/limits for students, lectures and staff.
Call allocation also saves time of your accounting staff, providing them with daily reports on expenses of each user/user group in a convenient form to process further.
If you consult your clients by phone, you can bill them for their conversations, too.
5. Bill Your Clients for Phone Consultations
If you are a lawyer, a government contractor, a psychologist or some other specialist, who consults his/her clients by phone, you may want to bill your clients for your phone calls. With CDR reports you can get complete information about your client calls (such as client phone number, date, time, length, cost) and send invoices to your clients for the corresponding amount of consultation.
Case Study: Call-Accounting Software for a Large Manufacturing Enterprise
Today's of "out-of-the-box" software contains various call-accounting applications, however, larger enterprises may require a custom solution. For example, to cut employee communication costs at a large manufacturing enterprise and ease the management of a VoIP network of a few thousands of Cisco IP phones and dozens of Cisco CallManager servers, custom software was developed that provided:
* settings to limit expenses on paid calls of each user/user group individually and restrict paid calls when a limit is reached;
* connectors to the existing accounting, HRM and inventory software to streamline daily tasks of the staff to allocate
+ to allocate timely phone costs to appropriate budgets,
+ to manage phone numbers and automatically update corporate address book,
+ to do phone inventory at all enterprise sites from a single working place.
This custom call accounting and VoIP management solution proved to significantly cut telecom and IP telephony management expenses.
As statistics show, an average enterprise spends about 3-4% of its annual total expenditure to telecom communications. You can use call-accounting software to
* limit your employee expenses for paid calls;
* eliminate long-time/long-distance "friends and family" calls;
* make your employees more responsible using enterprise VoIP network;
* save time and money on daily accounting tasks related to processing of paid call data;
* re-bill your clients/employees/departments for their charges and, consequently, decrease your phone expenses by about 12%, depending on your phone usage.