Installing a new Voice over IP (VoIP) phone system might not seem like a complicated project, but don’t tell that to Becca Schmidt, Administrative Director at Sacramento, CA-based Wholesale Outlet, Inc.
“If you don’t have technical knowledge, you’re at a real disadvantage, especially when dealing with your carrier,” she reports.
Founded in 1986, Wholesale Outlet serves the HVAC contractor community of Northern California with an exhaustive product line. And like most businesses, its phone system is its lifeblood.
Quest TOCS: cost-effective access to tech expertise
When the decision was made to ditch the old, hard-to-use system for a friendlier VoIP capability, Wholesale Outlet also signed on to Quest’s Technical On-Call Support (TOCS) services. “We’d used Quest’s professional services for a number of years, calling ad hoc when we needed assistance,” Becca explains. “For our VoIP project, we wanted Quest involved in every stage, and their TOCS services provide a cost-effective way for us to get help whenever we need it from engineers who are knowledgeable about our situation.” According to Becca, Wholesale Outlet’s VoIP project proceeded smoothly in the beginning, with Quest helping plan and implement the switch to a new call management system with new phones, routers, and servers. But things began to unravel when it came time to deal with the company’s new carrier.
When switching carriers goes sideways
“Switching carriers became the big challenge,” Becca recalls. “We didn’t expect it to be a problem, but the vendor we selected was outside the country and operated via a third party. It was a frustrating experience from the start, with the carrier stating everything was switched and me telling them the phones were not working.”
“I don’t speak the complex language of telephony,” she says, “so if not for Quest I would have been at a real disadvantage.”
Indeed, notes Becca, communication with the carrier turned out to be such an issue that Quest’s engineers offered to act as intermediaries.
“It got ridiculous,” she says. “The carrier would close out service tickets I’d just opened without the problem being resolved and attempted several times to suggest the problem was on our end. Trying to contact them myself was painful.”
Quest Technical On-Call Support to the rescue
But when Becca reached out to Quest’s TOCS people, things changed. “Quest kept escalating until the carrier addressed our issues,” she says. “The TOCS engineers proved that the problem was not with our systems. What a difference it made to have an advocate who understood what the carrier was telling us — and, as importantly, when the carrier was reporting something that just wasn’t accurate.”
Most of the issues with the carrier have been resolved, Becca is happy to report. “In fact, without Quest TOCS, I’m not sure how we would have completed the project.”
Now, when anything does arise, she gives Quest TOCS a heads-up. “If I have to talk to the carrier, TOCS will prep me, taking the time to give me specific items to raise with them.”
A VoIP success thanks to Quest
Aside from the troublesome carrier issues, the rest of the project has gone according to plan, and Becca is very pleased with the new VoIP phone system.
“The VoIP system itself is fantastic and so easy to use,” she says. “Quest set it up so that everything is truly integrated. And they walked me through initially, highlighting features we’ve never had before.”
Working with Quest over the years has always been a positive experience, Becca notes. She credits the responsiveness, knowledge, and proactive attitude of everyone at Quest, from the technical support and engineering staff to her account manager, Brett Samms. And Becca advises anyone contemplating a technology initiative to take advantage of Technical On-Call Support services.
“Quest’s TOCS services are invaluable,” she reports. “It’s a comforting feeling to know they have your back.”