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Optimum reachability is of great importance to real estate agency Vergaelen Vastgoed. This SME retired its old switchboard and now uses Cloud Telephony instead. The results have been impressive: ‘This application is crucial to our day-to-day operations.’
Vergaelen Vastgoed is a versatile real estate agency. The employees of this SME manage, sell and lease private homes and business properties. The ambitious team is active in four locations—Turnhout, Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen—and they’re currently examining the possibility of expanding to Ghent and Leuven. The company employs five in-house staff, but for some tasks such as building management, they call on local freelancers, including technicians and caretakers.
Need for flexible telephony solutions
During the first corona lockdown in 2020, Nico Vergaelen, general manager of Vergaelen Vastgoed, realised that his SME needed to adopt a different approach to communication. ‘In pre-COVID times, our staff spent much of their time outside the office. But during the lockdown, everyone either worked from home or from a different location. It was all but impossible to reset our switchboard, something which requires a certain degree of expertise.’ So Vergaelen decided to try a different tack, and switched to Cloud Telephony by Orange.
The benefits of Cloud Telephony
Staff now use their business smartphones to enter their availability on the Orange Cloud Telephony app. ‘That makes the work more transparent for everyone; it’s better suited to our work rhythms and we are easier to reach. The system always checks to see who is available, so every call is answered, which is crucial in our business.’
Calls are made by smartphone or laptop, both of which use either a fixed internet connection or mobile data. ‘This means we use fixed numbers, but not landlines. Most clients call us on our fixed numbers, but as we are often on the move, it is perfectly possible that a call to our 014 number in Turnhout is answered in Brussels,’ Nico Vergaelen explains.
Smooth transition in a single month
The transition to Cloud Telephony by Orange went very smoothly. No more in-house switchboard, but a cloud application made by Orange. ‘Thanks to the in-house specialists at Orange who check in advance whether the package suits your organisation and your way of working, the whole system was in place in a single month,’ says Nico Vergaelen.
The general manager is also very pleased with the application that supports Cloud Telephony: ‘The software is very user-friendly. The proverbial growing pains were limited to a minimum and were dealt with swiftly.’
No physical offices
Cloud Telephony works perfectly with the real estate agency’s overall work methods. For example, Vergaelen Vastgoed doesn’t have physical offices; instead they use flexible office spaces rented from Interoffices. ‘All our infrastructure and data are already based in the cloud. A smartphone and laptop are all we need to have full access to all the necessary data. With Cloud Telephony we now use the same approach for our communications as well.’