One of the big cost-saving benefits for Southern California businesses when switching their phone system to a VoIP based solution is they can instantly allow their "desk based" call center employees to work from a home office.
This saves the company the overhead of maintaining an expensive office cubicle and opens up the potential labor pool to a whole lot of qualified U.S. based call center employees who are glad to "do a quality job for less" so long as they can work from a home office.
This single benefit is one of the biggest reasons many businesses are bringing off-shore call center jobs back to the U.S. that had, in past years, been outsourced to India, the Philippines or some other far away land where they "kind of speak English" but not completely -- and not to the satisfaction of your upset customers calling into your call center.
The big purchase decision question for businesses trying to properly outfit home office employees so they can tap into the new VoIP enabled office phone system is "How expensive of a phone do home workers need?"
Well if the home-office employee is the CEO of the company, then the most expensive phone that Polycom sells. But what about your call center employees that don't have stock options?
Many VoIP and SIP phone vendors will tell you that you don't need to buy your home-office workers a phone at all, saying "the beauty of our VoIP phone solution is all your home office people need is our 'soft phone' that appears right on the screen of their computer".
Well, in theory, soft phones work just fine -- until the soft phone user has opened up 27 browser windows on their computer or you get confused about using the keyboard and mouse for both their phone call and order fulfillment on their computer at the same time.
Combining your computer and phone keyboards or trying to get your computer to be a phone is really a recipe for inefficiancy and "angry at the IT guy" home office employees.
Split the Different for WAY UNDER $200!
The most important phone feature for your at-home worker is the ability to work hands free. Whether your home-based employee is a call center worker keying an order into their computer or your highest paid sales person just needing to wave his or her hands while giving an empassioned sales pitch, you'll likely not find a "work at home phone" that better splits the cost difference than the Plantronics CT14.