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The Most Desired Features In A New Business Phone System

by John Ciarlone on July 29, 2014

small business phone systems

Are you still running on phone systems from last decade?

The revolution in online connectivity and networking technologies has reached phone services, with an entirely new world of business phone systems penetrating the market.   Old-style paired-wire phones and hard-wired exchanges have given way to fluid, Internet-based voice systems that eliminate most hardware restrictions.

New small business phone systems can be one of the best productivity upgrades a business today can buy for itself.

 Short on time? Download our free guide to buying a new phone system. 

meraki communicationsThe Five Most Useful Features In New Small Business Phone Systems...

I.  Unified Communications

UC doesn't refer to a particular technology, but rather a unified suite of systems -even from different vendors- with the larger purpose of putting all your communications into the same data network.  While not strictly a requirement, having a unified communications setup of some sort is almost always at the heart of a VoIP upgrade.

Most of the other features discussed here require a UC backbone to be effective, so consider this "Step One" regardless of the other directions your phone system may go.

II.  Voice-over-IP

We won't dwell on VoIP, since its benefits are well-known at this point.  When a company can have (nearly) free long-distance communications, as well as the ability to archive and save phone calls in the same database as all their other traffic, the benefits are obvious.

At this point, at least twenty-five percent of US businesses have already switched to VoIP, and there's no reason to think that trend is going to change.  After a hundred years of copper wire and "Ma Bell," there's finally a better option in voice communications.

III.  Unified Company Directories

Here's one that both your employees and your customers will rejoice over:  A UC-backed VoIP telephone system allows for seamless company-wide phone routing, absolutely regardless of geography.  The same directory list can reach employees in the same town, or halfway around the world.  All routing and transferring is similarly simplified.

Nearly any company today can now enjoy the same "virtualized" phone systems as major businesses, and the ease of operation they bring with them.

IV.  Find Me / Follow Me

With FMFM services, it becomes nearly impossible for your workers to miss a call... ever.  The system has a pre-determined set of contact points for an employee, and will try them until they reach a person.  Not at their desk?  Try at home.  Not at home?  Try their mobile.  This is done "invisibly," with a caller on the line.

This can even extend across multiple formats.  Having failed to reach a worker by voice, for example, the system can take a voicemail from the caller and then send it as an MP3 to the recipient's email box.  Or even as a text transcription, if needed.

V.  Customizable Per-Employee Phone Setupsbusiness-phone-systems-56

Today's business phone systems are really small computers wearing a telephone's shell.  They include microprocessors, and full XML-based scripting ability that (of course) ties into the UC network.

This means that with the right phone system, your employees can customize nearly every part of the customer's experience when calling in.  They can create their own menu systems, even with complex options, such as how to reach them while on vacation.  They can even add their own hold music, based on files held on the network.  

This actually hits  two birds with one stone.  It's easier than ever for your employees to set up their phones the way they need, and they can largely do this without having to ask IT or another telecommunications administrator for help.

Are Your Phone Systems Future-Focused?

Today's business phone systems are an entirely new breed, compared to the old copper-wire networks.  With the range of options they offer for integrating your voice systems into your overall data network, telephones become another key part of your overall communications strategy.

For a free consultation on the best options for your business, just contact Hummingbird for all the information you need!

Topics: Phone Service, Phone Systems

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