St-Joseph Family - Fire survivors - calls Versature for Help

When Disaster Strikes, Who You Gonna Call?

In January 2014 the St-Joseph Family Medicine Clinic of Ottawa, Ontario experienced one of the worst disasters a business can endure: fire. Thankfully no one was hurt when the incident occurred, but even so facilities underwent a prolonged power outage and access to the site was restricted as the damage was assessed.

The old Nortel phone equipment being used by the clinic, powered by Bell lines, was completely inaccessible for the time being. Patients had no means of contacting the clinic, and vice versa.

“Our patients were literally calling the fire department, asking how they were able to reach our administration team. We really needed a fast, effective solution.” recalls Julie Letellier, the clinic’s IT Coordinator.

Understanding that traditional solutions would not be quick enough, the company’s Network Administrator suggested they contact Versature and inquire about VoIP services as a temporary solution to the crisis. Inbound and outbound communication with the clinic’s 50,000+ patients was crucial during this time of emergency.

Same-Day Phone Solution, Long-Term Advantages

The Versature team was able to assess the clinic’s communications situation that same day. Versature first set up the clinic’s IT Coordinator with a Hosted PBX phone at her home and she immediately began to place and receive calls from the office number to patients.

The Versature solution became a temporary crisis-management communication platform during the 10 day transition period while the facility was repaired from fire and water damage.

Once the site was determined safe and power was restored, St-Joseph’s opened its doors to staff and became once again operational. Crisis averted, the Versature equipment was returned with many thanks and services were ended.

But, the St-Joseph Family Medicine team was impressed with Versature’s responsiveness and support in their time of need, and furthermore had come to depend on the abundance of new features and functionality that the Versature solution offered. Once the clinic was through the crisis and operating normally again, the IT Coordinator made a business case to management to transition to Versature’s Hosted PBX solution permanently.

St-Joseph Family Medicine now uses 19 Versature extensions to operate the clinic. Features that have become quickly invaluable to the clinic include:

  • Ring Groups and Auto Attendants, which make business processes flow smoother than before

  • Call Analytics on SONAR, the customer self-service portal, which allows management to monitor call volume and adjust staffing as-needed

And, the flexibility and functionality provided by Versature’s Hosted PBX solution is heads and shoulders above what the traditional phone system could offer. Once staff got a taste of Hosted PBX, there was simply no going back.

“Our old phone system was very rigid. Once we had the equipment installed and features set up, it was very difficult to make changes to things like voicemail or our auto attendant. Versature was entirely different. The system is so flexible and user-friendly, we are able to make changes whenever we need to and the support team is always a quick call away.” says Nicole Mercier, St-Joseph Family Medicine Clinic Supervisor.

If you know a business suffering from a severe disruption like St-Joseph’s was, please have them contact our team immediately to see how we can help.

St-Joseph Family Medicine Clinic is an Ottawa-based Family Health Organization with over 220 years of combined medical experience. Staff include 11+ physicians, an Allergist, a Dietician, 3 nurses, 2 telephone receptionists, and 8 support staff spread throughout 4 offices.


Download the Case Study here.

About Sarah Dingman

Sarah Dingman serves as Versature's Senior Marketing Specialist, putting her experience in content marketing and digital strategy to work in a fast-paced tech environment. Sarah has 6+ years experience working in marketing, specifically within the tech industry, and is passionate about advancements in her field as well as her volunteer roles in the nonprofit sector, such as her position with LiveWorkPlay.