RCN Hosted Voice Review

Auto Attendant has eliminated the need for multiple people to have to answer calls


What is our primary use case?

Our office phones are the primary use.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from regular phone lines to digital phone lines and that was certainly an upgrade. 

The Auto Attendant is also something that is very important to us. It has eliminated the need for people who are getting paid to be paralegals to constantly be answering the phone. The old system, before we had Hosted Voice, would ring through the office and someone had to pick up that line. We didn't have an Auto Attendant.

The transfer from office to office is also an improvement: Putting a call in Call Park and then being able to transfer it to our other office which is 20 minutes away.

What is most valuable?

I really like the portal. It makes listening to your messages so much easier as well as changing your voice mail. Some of the attorneys use the Follow Me where the phone will follow them. They like that feature. The scheduling is also a very nice feature.

What needs improvement?

The way that you listen to your voicemail messages through the receiver so that you can't fast forward or rewind - I don't like that at all. I listen to them all the time through the portal. In fact, if we didn't have the portal, I wouldn't like the phone system.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The weather actually affects the lines and, obviously, so does our internet, and electricity. Other than that, when we're on a call, we generally haven't had a whole lot of problems. But we have had issues where, with a storm, the lines go down. And we've had issues where we were dropping calls and that was dealt with by our RCN rep. There are external factors that RCN can't control.

I would rate the stability at nine out of ten. It's extremely reliable. Aside from some learning-curve glitches, we've had no problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is unlimited.

Everybody in the office has a phone and there are 22 users. They include the receptionist, secretaries, paralegals, bookkeepers, attorneys, and partners. We're maxed out. We've been growing, and since we initially put the system in, we have added phones, but I don't see us really upgrading any time soon. This is sufficient for us. I am responsible for the deployment and maintenance, along with a receptionist in each office.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support is fantastic. I love that it's US-based and within local markets. That's something I really do appreciate. I really appreciate calling and speaking to someone I can understand, and getting my problem solved. If I leave the office after I make a call to tech, I come back to four voicemails because they want to make sure that they fix the problem. They're very helpful.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was somewhat complex because we were going from regular phone lines to digital, so there were all these different avenues we had to explore. But once we were set up and things were up and running, it was a fairly smooth transition. Our rep and the gentlemen who helped install Hosted Voice were very helpful.

Setup begins before they even come here with the phones. But the actual onsite setup took about half a day. It was quick.

What about the implementation team?

Our RCN rep who came out to install, Robert, was our integrator. He did the job. He taught everyone how to use it, did a 30-minute training session. If anybody had any questions he was around to answer them. He was very helpful. It took us a day or two to get used to using it.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI with the Auto Attendant, as I mentioned earlier, and the phone lines work much quicker. You can put somebody on hold much quicker. With that, our receptionist really handles the brunt of the calls, and rarely do our paralegals have to take a call. When our paralegals have to take a call, we're pulling them from something that they're doing on a case and interrupting them. They get paid a lot more money than our receptionist does, so right there is a definite return on investment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Obviously we felt that pricing was fair because we chose RCN over quotes from several companies. It was reasonable, especially considering that we were already RCN customers and it was the easiest choice to make.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were comparing hosted voice solutions everywhere. We were really just comparing prices. We already had RCN and they offered us the best price.

What other advice do I have?

Do your research and make sure you're getting everything you need.

As for the what I would say to a colleague who said to me that a cloud solution is not safe, I asked our IT department about that. The answer is that everything is on the cloud, and it really is in jeopardy of not being safe, but that's why you take measures to protect your information. For instance, we have firewalls set up all over the place so that our computers aren't hacked. We're working with RCN which is obviously a very well known, successful solution company, and we trust that our information is being protected through the cloud.

In terms of packet loss and reliability, I don't have anything to really compare it to. I can't say either way. Because it's still fairly new to us, we did lose a good amount of calls because people weren't sure how to transfer them or put them on Call Park. I don't think that I'm at a point where I could even really tell you about the reliability.

We don't use the voicemail transcription feature. I'm not aware of the automatic upgrades. I don't know whether it's been upgraded since we've gotten the phones. If it's happening in the background I don't even know, so they must be really smooth.

Transferring a call to voicemail took a little while for people to get used to, as did putting a call on Call Park, rather than putting them on hold. It's not difficult, it was just an adjustment period.

I would rate Hosted Voice at nine out of ten. There are some glitches sometimes. For absolutely no reason, we would drop calls over the last year-and-a-half. We have the caller ID so we can call them back and explain, we apologize that we dropped that call, but dropping calls in our business is almost a safety hazard. If we drop a call from a client who needs an attorney and they call another attorney's office, we've lost that client. That's one of my biggest probably reasons it's not a ten. But RCN can't help that.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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