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  CommServ > Faculty And Staff > News > Helping Departments Reduce Telephone Expenses

Helping Departments Reduce Telephone Expenses

Original posting: 8/22/03

This summer, as budget concerns have increased, Communications Services began a program to assist departments in reducing their telephone expenses. As a part of this program, we are:

  • Reducing and restructuring some of our rates.
  • Creating and distributing reports of services to which departments are subscribing, but which may be underutilized, and which departments may wish to consider discontinuing.
  • Offering and exploring additional services which may help departments maintain their levels of customer service to callers to their department.
  • Helping departments understand how existing service offerings can help them be more effective and reduce expenses.

Rate Reductions

Effective July 1, 2003, Communications Services reduced the Basic Telephone Line Service rate from $19.50 to $17.50 per month. We have reduced the charge for installing voice mail on an existing line from $20.00 to $5.00. (Note that there is no charge for adding voice mail to a line when initially ordering the line.) And we have eliminated the $25 charge for making software changes to an existing line. Also, in the future we will be offering the option of a Paperless Billing Statement. Lines participating in paperless billing will receive a $1.00 reduction in their monthly line rate.

For more information, see Fiscal Year 03/04 Rate Changes for Faculty and Staff.

Utilization Reports

During July and August, we sent departments reports listing:

  • Telephone lines which have been on Temporary Disconnect.
  • Telephone lines which, while unrestricted, have very low call volume.
  • Authorization Codes which have had no usage in the prior 6 months.

These reports should help departments identify services which they may wish to discontinue. We intend to continue providing these reports on an annual basis, and also intend to provide these reports as part of our online account management system (BORIS).

New Services to Help Departments Maintain Service Levels to Their Customers

As workloads increase, time management becomes even more critical for some individuals. One new service than can assist in time management is incoming Caller ID. This service, which is part of our Feature Package 3000, can allow you to prioritize interruptions and allow less urgent calls to be received by your voice mail, while still allowing you the freedom to handle higher priority callers immediately. For more information, see Calling Features for Faculty and Staff.

If a department finds the need to temporarily disconnect telephone lines, we now offer a "greeting only" mailbox for just $2.00/month. This mailbox allows departments to provide information on the temporarily disconnected line and to refer callers to another number. For more information on this service, see Temporary Telephone Disconnection.

Another technology which may assist departments in maintaining their customer service levels is Automatic Call Distribution, or ACD. This technology, which was acquired with the new telephone system, allows functionality beyond the Call Controllers, or "Call Trees," that are currently available. Features such as call queuing will keep callers engaged while awaiting service, but can provide them the option of reaching voice mail if they wish. Communications Services is currently prototyping this technology, and hopes to offer it as a service later this fiscal year.

Using Services More Effectively and To Reduce Expenses

On our new website we are attempting to provide even more information about our services, which we hope will help departments better understand our many services and the features available on our telephone system. For example, our Telephone Line Temporary Disconnection Service is an effective way to reduce expenses on a line which may not be used for several months. And our expanded Calling Features page may give you new ideas on how to save time when using your telephone.

If you would like to discuss ways in which you may be able to use your telephone service more effectively, or find ways to reduce your service expenses, please contact Customer Service at extension 8700, or email us at help@commserv.ucsb.edu.




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