For the past three years, I\u2019ve conducted an extensive research benchmark assessing VoIP and convergence. And I\u2019ve followed the VoIP market since writing one of the industry\u2019s first in-depth stories on the topic back in 1994. Year after year, I learn about sophisticated rollouts, unique applications of VoIP and converged applications, and interesting business drivers, such as IP-enabling contact centers, enabling mobility, or establishing business continuity.Then there\u2019s five-digit dialing. And the ability to transfer calls. And that intercom feature.It\u2019s these relatively simple capabilities that often drive some sophisticated organizations to commit to VoIP and larger convergence projects. Why? They want their branch offices to simply be another extension of their headquarters\u2019 communications systems.Behind cost savings\/avoidance, IT executives rank \u201cimprove communications\/features\/apps\u201d as the No. 2 business driver for their convergence projects, according to Nemertes' Convergence & Next-Generation WAN Technologies benchmark.When we ask what these features are, many of the respondents chuckled at the simplicity of their response. \u201cWe just didn\u2019t have consistent phone service everywhere. Older sites had old systems; new ones have phones, but no features,\u201d says one CIO of a large, multi-site school district. Like other organizations, the school district had no four-or five-digit dialing between buildings, networked voicemail, or the ability to transfer calls.Even some banks were in the same situation, managing 30 to 70 different types of PBXs throughout their network of bank branches. Rather than simply transferring a prospective customer to the branch that handles, say, mortgages, representatives would tell that person to hang up and dial a new number (and sometimes, they\u2019d have to dial yet another number). Why not make the process more convenient by simply transferring that call and not risking that the customer (or prospective customer) doesn\u2019t call a competitor instead?In a single building, call-transfer, intercoms, and abbreviated dialing are a given. And they're features that employees have embraced for years for good reason. As more employees move out to branch offices, those features must follow them - not only for productivity\u2019s sake, but to effectively serve customers.We love to hear about IP-enabled contact centers, rollouts of real-time communications dashboards and other collaborative applications, and linking VoIP handsets to the CRM system. But sometimes, it\u2019s just the ability to transfer a call to the branch office, or to deal with a colleague across the country by pressing four rather than 10 digits, that truly drives a VoIP implementation.Did these often-underrated \u201csimple\u201d features drive your VoIP project or will they? How did your end users and decision-makers respond? Were those features enough to justify the capital costs of a VoIP deployment? Share your thoughts with me at email@example.com.