Let’s face it: Wireless phones take a beating. People drop them, handle them with sticky fingers and even lose them in the snow. That’s why Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) handsets make sense.
Known for secure and clear communications, VoWLAN handsets offer all the functionality of a desktop phone, but in a rugged mobile device. Some models even include text or audio messaging applications.
Rich Costello, senior research analyst for IDC, says there’s definitely a role for enterprise VoWLAN handsets from manufacturers such as Cisco and Polycom.
“Wireless handsets provide a range of functionality without creating integration, support or security complexities,” he says. “Plus, they’re purpose-built for more demanding environments.”
On the West Coast, the Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, Calif., relies on VoWLAN handsets. There, the sprawling 12-acre campus, which includes five buildings, presents unique telephony challenges for the church’s lean maintenance staff.
“In addition to our own activities, we host over 3,000 external events annually,” notes David Guzman, IT manager for 150-employee organization. “Our maintenance teams set up, tear down and provide support for all onsite events as well as ensuring day-to-day upkeep.”
To deliver fast, effective and reliable communications, Lake Avenue invested in Cisco System 7921G wireless phones for its maintenance crew. The church adopted the handsets as part of a larger initiative to replace its legacy PBX with a Cisco Unified Communications system three years ago.
Guzman says the Cisco VoWLAN phones help to maximize staff time while keeping telephony expenses under control. “Among other things, our employees can get their voicemail and access other desktop functions directly from the handsets,” he says. “If it saves them even 15 minutes a day, that’s essentially another employee.
The devices are superior to static-ridden two-way radios, Guzman explains. “The handsets allow us to hold discussions with our maintenance staff more transparently and confidentially than with radios,” he says.
And while the maintenance staff works under challenging conditions, none of the phones have failed.