Whether you own or manage a small online startup business, a mid-sized company or a larger enterprise or corporation, the major essential item of operational equipment vital for your success is a reliable telephone system. With use of today's selection of advanced business telecom networks, you can enjoy numerous features and functions other than simply communicating by telephone. Even if your small startup is off to a good beginning with just one landline, one desktop computer, your tablet or phablet and your iPhone or Android, you will most likely need to acquire more digital devices and expand your communications network as your business grows. The majority of mid-market companies benefit greatly from use of cloud-managed telecom plans with quality VoIP services, and popular features for business phone systems today include computer telephone integration (CTI), which enables phone system connectivity with a computer.
Different CTI systems may provide varied features, but popular features often available to customers shopping for versatile CTI are call routing, auto-attendants, caller and account ID, videoconferencing and unlimited calling and faxing. Larger enterprises and corporations normally need more comprehensive feature lists with capabilities such as video-conferencing, webinar sessions and Private Branch Exchange (PBX), a private phone network to be used exclusively by the staff within a company, while outbound calls are made on shared, external telephone lines. Before purchasing a VoIP network, be sure to get expert advice from a reputable, reliable professional VoIP provider company expert.
Trends in Current VoIP System Designs
Modern business phones and telecommunications systems provide multiple phones capable of operating simultaneously. Unlike two, three or four-line telephone systems meant for use by a small or home-based business for calls and faxing, these more complex systems with additional capabilities are specifically designed to manage telecom services for mid-market to large companies and corporations. With use of these business VoIP systems, certain extensions are relegated to each separate phone terminal. According to the number of lines installed, the number of inbound and outbound calls and faxes that can be completed at the same time is determined. With the multi-line feature on phones, your business phone network will place calls on the hold mode if all lines are in use at the time a new inbound call is received by your business telecom network. Current trends in VoIP system designs today include the following technology and options:
WiFi Network Connection: Some companies today prefer VoIP phones with WiFi network connectivity. Also, some telecom systems now connect their separate telephones to the base via wireless technology. In addition, some phones are equipped with Bluetooth technology, enabling use of wireless Bluetooth headsets by staff members.
Display Phones: Telephones with interactive display screens are a growing trend in business. The convenience of a visual display of caller ID, length of call, phonebook memory and contact data is attractive and facilitates faster, more efficient calling and return calls. Business executives and staff alike find this appealing display to be a great time saver.
Built-in Voicemail: Business phone systems with built-in voicemail technology are becoming increasingly popular in business today. With this functionality included, messages are recorded whenever a phone is being used or when a call is not answered. In previous business phone system designs, built-in voicemail was not included, but was provided instead by a central telecom system or by the company's telephone service provider.
Company Mobile Phones: Many entrepreneurs use their own iPhones and Androids for both business and personal calls, text messages and email. However, a growing number of mid-to-large-sized companies are now purchasing mobile phones for their staff members, especially since current model smartphones have capabilities for browsing the Web, sending and receiving email, texting and video-conferencing.
Smartphone Operating Systems: Today, the majority of smartphones on the consumer market use one of four operating systems: iOS from Apple, Windows Phone from Microsoft, Android from Google or BlackBerry from RIM. All of these operating systems are suitable for business use, and the best choice of operating systems for any business is the one most compatible with its in-house IT division and capacities.
Types of VoIP Systems Available for Companies Today
Business phone solutions can range from small, decentralized setups that do not depend on a centralized cabinet (KSU) for routing calls. With these small phone systems, individual phones have the needed capacities to handle an adequate volume of calls and faxes. These simple networks usually consist of 4-line to 16-line stations, and those designed for mid-market companies may include options like intercom use, conference calling and auto-attendant. These compact systems can be installed by any company's employees or by small business owners. Also, many of these decentralized phone systems operate with cordless or wireless phones, so their setup is not a complex procedure.
Although these KSU-less telecom and VoIP networks are cost-effective, their technical capacity for adapting and expanding as your business grows is limited, so be prepared to replace this type of system for a different and more comprehensive one in the future. As any good VoIP Purchasing Guide will advise, both PBX and Key telecom systems have the capacities to service companies and corporations of from ten to hundreds of executives and employees. These more sophisticated systems provide the highest degrees of configuration and most advanced options and features now obtainable.
Devices That Enable Use of Current Telecommunications Technology
Main devices that make the use of current telecom technology possible today include the following:
VoIP Systems: Voice over Internet Protocol systems are designed with a central device called an IP PBX for handling phone calls along with VoIP telephone models or ordinary phones with router connection plus a data network. An IP PBX may be based on either software or hardware. Numerous VoIP networks are structured for interfacing with computers to provide unequaled integration and interaction of computers and phones.
PBX Systems and Key Systems: Both PBX and Key systems can service companies of virtually any size and type. These two system devices are normally placed in a central cabinet, with specific hardware designed and dedicated to route and/or switch calls. PBXs and KSUs are the largest and most comprehensive business phone systems available, and in previous models, PBX systems were the larger and more sophisticated systems in terms of technology. However, today's advanced versions of both systems are competitive in these areas. Hybrid design telephone systems can often operate as either KSUs or PBXs according to their software. Most Key and PBX systems require installation and service from qualified telecom businesses or vendors.
Attractive Features of Modern VoIP Systems
Valuable and popular features of modern VoIP systems for ultimate quality telecommunications services include the following options:
Physical Keyboard: Many advanced smartphones now used for business come with physical QWERTY keyboards for faster text input and easier editing of text. Although every smartphone user today is accustomed to using the touchscreen keyboard, physical keyboards are a desirable convenience and time saver.
Top-Tier Speakerphones: Because levels of voice quality can fluctuate and vary greatly when communicating by smartphone, top grade speakerphones enable business callers to hear calls clearly, facilitating uninterrupted conversing on all calls. Even when dealing with background noise, callers using excellent speakerphones can hear and respond clearly, enjoying complete, uninterrupted calls.
Auto-Attendant: With the helpful addition of auto-attendant systems, business calls are answered automatically with a pre-recorded greeting and message directing the caller either to press a number or extension to reach an employee or department, or to leave a message.
Conferencing and Videoconferencing: With the conferencing feature, employees at three or more different phone extensions can participate in a teleconference, and some systems are designed to include external callers joining a conference call. Many telecom systems also have videoconferencing features so that conference participants can be seen as well as heard.
Choosing a Dealer/Vendor for a New Business VoIP System
Business phone systems for small and home-based businesses can be purchased from dealers, manufacturers and stores. Larger systems with more extensive features and functions designed for mid-market to large companies and corporations are most often bought and installed by telecom provider companies or vendors. If you own a small company or a startup Internet business, be careful to purchase your VoIP system and other telecom equipment and accessories from a reliable, knowledgeable manufacturer, retail store or telecom systems dealer. If you are purchasing a business telecom system for a mid-sized to larger company or enterprise, it is always advisable to buy all necessary equipment, accessories and supplies from a single vendor or business telecom systems provider company. When purchasing your business phone system from a single company, any problems, issues or questions that arise concerning your commercial phone system will be addressed and resolved by the same telecom service team, and your overall service will be more effective and cost-efficient.
There is a good selection of VoIP systems and telecom network features and accessories available today for companies of all types and sizes. Often, owners of small companies and entrepreneurs with startup Internet businesses get the services they need with a small, decentralized telecom system. However, if you have a mid-market sized company, you will need greater communications capacities and features like conference calling, auto-attendant and intercom service. If you are purchasing an extensive telecom network for a larger company or corporation, your best choice is most likely a full-featured PBX or Key telecom system for the highest levels of configuration and the ultimate in advanced feature options. Even some small company owners decide to purchase a PBX or Key system for the practical reason that as their companies grow and business expands, they will need to upgrade by installing a new PBX or Key telecom network. After consulting a recommended VoIP Purchasing Guide, these savvy individuals opt to spend more sooner to save a bundle later on.