We had a call from a new potential customer last week. He runs a countertop business in Austin. He just wanted a simple small phone system that can work with what he has, 3 analog lines. He currently have a 3 handset analog based that share 1 line. Their calls volume had exceeded that 1 line. It was a small office, under 10 employees. I asked him if he wanted VOIP, the latest and greatest, or does he wanted traditional. I think, I’m one of the few that still wants to offer the traditional digital phone system. Why would an IT company offer customer a system that is outdated? Because it made sense. It made sense for this customer. I’ve been in the IT industry for over 25 years now. I’ve moved to Austin in 1998. Well, that makes it 24 years as of this writing. I see far too many consultant always offering the latest and supposedly the greatest? The greatest to whom?
After we talked, I was conveniently in front of my desk, with our system open. This time, I decided to give him a blind estimate on the spot based on what he told me about his phone system and cabling system. This was on a Friday. We agree to start on it Monday. When we showed up, he asked us if we could run 6 data cables for him. So our tech gave him a quote on the spot, and they both agreed to move forward with the install.
Later in the afternoon, I arrived on site. My guys were done running the cable, installing the phones, and all that was left was programming the system, training the customer, and helping them setting up the auto attendant and voicemail system. Well at least that was what I thought. In the process of programming this NEC SL2100, I realized, it’s been a minute since I’ve program one from ground zero. It was fine, I call tech support and he walk me thru a few program that I’ve missed. While I was struggling with the program and waited for tech support to call me back, the customer had found more things for us to do. He asked us if we can install the existing paging system that has been abandoned for some time now. He also wanted us to run some speakers cable for him. So, while one of our other tech was running the speaker, I decided to test this paging system. So I’ve looked in the phone closet, I’ve saw the old 24V power supply for the paging system still plugged in. I was skeptical, but I went thru the process anyway of testing it. I’ve took the toner and plug it to the TIP and Ring (aka input of the paging horn), and it started YELLING (very loud toner signal). That made my day. That made the customer day. The paging horn still work. This is like watching antique archeology finding rusted gold under some rubble that still works.
I think is this the longest blog I’ve ever written. It’s so weird how I’ve grown to enjoy writing. Maybe my passion for this business has came back to life!
In the end, the customer cut us a check. He was so appreciative of what we’ve done. He keeps on talking about how we SHOWED UP, and did what we said we would do. These are the days that makes me feel good, especially after all the hard work. Time are so different, talk to so many business owners, they just wanted people to show up.
It’s 3:12 AM. I’m going bed.