The Duke City Sound

The Duke City Sound (DCS) is a barbershop chorus representing the Bernalillo County Chapter in the Rocky Mountain District of the Barbershop Harmony Society, a non-profit. The chorus draws its members from throughout Bernalillo county, including the cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. With several award-winning quartets, DCS participates in a number of events through the year.

DCS relies on phones to conduct a number of activities. One of those is the Singing Valentines program. The Albuquerque Singing Valentines program is part of a nationwide collaboration of the three major barbershop singing organizations: the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International, and Harmony, Inc. In 2011, the team delivered 169 singing telegrams for Valentine’s Day, all of which were ordered by phone over the course of two weeks.

In 2012, DSC coordinated the Albuquerque Singing Valentines program, which drew quartets from five local barbershop choruses to deliver sweet sentiments throughout the local area in the form of love songs sung in the barbershop style. DCS had a successful Singing Valentines program, with 16 quartets delivering about 200 long-stem roses and singing telegrams, up about 18% from 2011.

The OnSIP Setup

Vice President (Marketing) Carlos Aguayo, who had already used OnSIP elsewhere, moved his crew to VoIP phones using OnSIP's hosted PBX in 2011. For regular use, they have 2 extensions set up. OnSIP’s intuitive admin portal helps DCS create a simultaneous ring group of the two phones, which allowed any member of the team to take calls. Unanswered calls are forwarded to the coordinators’ personal cell phones, a feature that is a breeze with OnSIP systems.

Come 2012 Valentine season, however, things got busier. In the one week before February 14, DCS received the bulk of its Singing Telegram orders, mostly by phone. Anticipating the increased call volume, the group set up four additional extensions, again as part of the ring group. DCS picked up quite a few voicemails, which was easy to do as they were able to retrieve them as email after hours.

OnSIP also played a key role on Valentine’s Day when DCS delivered live singing telegrams for customers. The singing telegram listeners who also used HD-quality phones got a real treat!

The Sweet Sound of Savings

Prior to OnSIP, DCS ordered a group of phone lines, had them installed one month prior to Valentine’s Day, and then had them uninstalled after the event - all at considerable expense. The team at DCS was looking for ways to reduce operational expenses. One of the ways that the group saved on telecom costs was by taking orders online. Another was by switching to OnSIP’s VoIP phone service.

Even after buying SIP phones, the savings OnSIP provided in a year are considerable. In the past, they typically spent about $395 to have five lines installed, moved, and decommissioned after the event. This year, they spent $121, including the one-time porting charge. Next year, they expect to spend only about $64 on the phone charges for Singing Valentines. That's about 16% of what they paid before moving to OnSIP!

Using OnSIP helped, not just to avoid paying for phone lines when they did not need extra phones, but also because the actual cost of adding phones and deregistering them at any time was zero. “As a non-profit, the significant cost-savings were helpful, no doubt. I think the OnSIP service is hugely successful all around, and we’re very happy with it,” says Carlos. "The VoIP phones ‘just work.’"