By Bayo Odutola, Managing Principal, OLLIP PC
Technology can transform small and medium-sized (SMB) organizations. For proof of this, look no further than my Ottawa-based boutique law firm OLLIP P.C.
With only a team of four lawyers and trademark agents, we protect the intellectual property (IP) assets of global enterprises, interacting with massive law offices along the way. To work with larger firms on global IP asset cases and compete with other larger outfits for clients, we were looking for a way to present OLLIP to clients, peers and prospects in a way that didn’t scream ‘we’re a small business!’ And we found one aspect of this with technology.
We deployed a Cisco Unified Communications 540 System for Small Business as well as a variety of Cisco 7900 Series Unified IP Phones. We also take advantage of Cisco WebEx™ to conference with clients or partners around the world.
That’s a lot of techno-speak, and what it really comes down to is this: my company now has the look and feel of a large law firm. The benefits of these solutions – increased scalability, simplified user management and software updates for IT staff – are helping us grow, become more profitable and gain new clients.
Of course, these benefits also happen to have cool features. Here are my three favourite features of the technology we’ve deployed, which could benefit any Canadian SMB looking to compete with the biggest players in their respective industries.
Single number reach – If OLLIP’s lawyers had one direct line each, perhaps this wouldn’t have been so important to us. But I alone have four phone numbers, spread across multiple continents. If a client needs to call me, the ability to give them one number that rings all my mobile phones is an absolute game changer.
Security camera integration – We’re planning to install a video surveillance camera and integrate it with our aforementioned phones using Cisco MonitorView. This will allow us video camera access from the phones’ screen display and to open the front door. The ability to integrate physical security with our phone system is an incredible plus for me.
Automated attendant/conferencing features – This is so important for us at OLLIP. Using the UC Manager Auto-Attendant immediately made us appear like a much bigger law office, both internally and client-facing. We can customize the prompts that are played for clients when they call the office, receive/save voicemails via email from anywhere and create on-the-fly conference rooms even when I am off site.
Technology has transformed OLLIP and the way we do business. If you’re on the fence about technology and what it can really do, take a look at where you are now and where you want to be. Chances are, technology will be the key (along with an excellent staff) that will make it happen.
To learn more about OLLIP P.C.’s story, read their case study.
For more perspectives and commentary from Cisco Canada executives, customers and partners visit the Cisco Canada English and French blogs.