Key Benefits of VOIP Phone Systems for Your Business

The advancement in technologies has certainly provided much greater functionalities than the traditional methods. These improvements have increased the productivity of the business organizations, by enhancing customer services with simple cost-effective solutions. One of the wonderful blessings of information technology for the development of business organizations is the use of VOIP business phone systems. With the help VOIP phone systems, you can have seamless extension dialing between all your business locations on your own private network. You can also avail the benefits of hosted VOIP on the public Internet, which is comparatively easy and much more cost-effective than traditional methods.

With the help of hosted VOIP phone systems, all the branches of your office can be tied together to act as one large office irrespective of their locations. No matter where in the world your office is located, you can have contact with them without bearing the expense of long distance charges between your locations.

With the help of VOIP business phone systems you can efficiently connect all your home-based workers. The wide technological options of VOIP will allow you to economically connect all your workers to your office phone system with a high speed connection such as DSL or cable internet. All you have to do is to connect your phone with a internet connection or install a soft phone named software on the systems of the workers at home that exactly functions like a telephone. This software will allow your workers to connect with your office from anywhere in the world.

VOIP phone systems are not only an economical option for connecting home-based workers, but are also an effective way to connect remote workers. If your business organization has workers that need to travel for working purposes, then VOIP is certainly the best way to connect them to office while they are traveling. Through soft phone software on the system of your remote employee, he/she can contact the office. All the employee has to do is plug a handset into a USB port of the system, which will act just like the handset on your phone at the office.

With the help of this, you will be able to receive and make calls through software just like on your traditional phone at the office. The advantage of having VOIP business phone systems is that, it allows you to make calls just like conventional phone, but the person you call or calls you won’t know where you are located. If you are going away from your business organization for an extended period of time, then setting up a VOIP phone is an ideal way for you to connect with your employees easily and economically. This will allow you to keep track of your business operations, in spite of the fact that you are not physically present in your office.

Avaya IP Office – The Premiere Business Phone System for Small Business

Business phone systems can make or break the image that a business portrays to both their clients and competitors alike. If someone calls and repeatedly receives a busy signal or is consistently transferred to the wrong party, it’s likely that they’ll become frustrated and take their business elsewhere.

Avaya is a well-known name in the telecommunications industry. Formerly Lucent Technologies, Avaya has continued to develop state-of-the-art technology in a continuing effort to streamline the way we communicate. This includes the advancement of IP technology were voice conversations are transmitted via Internet protocol. As this technology moves forward, public switched telephone networks will become less common and less utilized.

Avaya offers many phone systems to suit the size and needs of most any business. Starting with the small IP Office system, that is suitable for small offices with 20 or less employees all the way up to the Aura Communication Manager, which is an enterprise wide solution. Most Avaya systems, offer features such as auto attendant, music on hold, conferencing ability, and IP technology. Their diverse line of products offers the business owner many choices to come up with a communication solution that offers cost savings as well as ease-of-use.

The IP Office system is a system that provides three levels of sophistication depending on the needs of your business. The base level or Essential Edition provides an economical way to have a sophisticated phone system that offers key features used by many businesses. The Preferred Edition offers greater voice messaging capacity and greater simultaneous call volume. The Advanced Edition offers even further advancements in technology and available features.

With the Advanced or Preferred Edition, you can offer your employees greater flexibility in the way they handle phone calls as well as where they work each day. The Power User has the ability to control all communications using an IP phone, a cell phone or laptop. All of their messages are received in one inbox, including voicemail, e-mail and faxes.

One of the advantages to an IP-based business phone system is the ability for the workforce to be mobile. With Avaya’s IP Office solution, employees are no longer limited to working in the office. With the new technology their cell phone simply becomes an extension of the business phone system. Because of this, clients and customers can reach employees regardless of their location. To the person calling, it appears as though the party they’re trying to reach is in the office and available to take their call. This provides the employee with a way to leave the office and meet potential clients while still being accessible to existing clients.

For those employees who must remain in the office, the Office Worker feature ensures that day-to-day tasks such as transferring calls, conferencing, and messaging are handled with ease. Although the majority of most employees are now venturing out of the office to conduct business, there are still those that must remain behind to perform clerical tasks. IP office is also designed with these users in mind with an easy-to-understand interface and reliable desktop phones.

A new reality for many businesses today is to have employees who work for the company through a home office. The Teleworker Feature allows employees to work from home virtually anywhere in the world. For someone calling from the outside, the experience is the same with the same number being used to reach employees. Unknown to the caller, the employee answers their phone which is connected to the IP Office phone system through a virtual private network. This allows the business to have Associates in diverse markets and locations without the additional cost of maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence.

Another benefit to IP office, the receptionist software allows a receptionist to route calls from their PC. This gives them the ability to point and click to control calls as well as provide status on calls are in progress. Additionally, the software has the ability to integrate with commonly used database software. From this interface, the receptionist can monitor all office extensions as well as provide coverage for multiple locations.

A benefit exclusive to the Advanced Edition, customer service supervisor is a reporting and monitoring application that allows the business owner to track call volume. This is helpful in determining the efficiency of how calls are handled as well as the level of productivity that the phone system provides.

If you’re looking for a business phone system that can give your business a professional image as well as provide a way to efficiently route calls, the IP Office system offered by Avaya has several levels to suit your needs and your budget. Designed with the small business owner in mind, the system can be implemented with a minimal number of users while keeping future growth and scalability in mind. With this flexibility, the IP Office system is perfect for the small business of today while allowing for expansion tomorrow.

Business Phone System Maintenance Is Essential for Optimum Performance

A business phone system not only improves the customer experience, but also provides the business with a cost-effective and efficient way to route calls. However, this is only true if the system is running properly and is maintained by knowledgeable personnel. As with any type of technology, over time parts and components can cease to function and will need to be replaced. Depending on the system purchased, these replacement parts can either be nonexistent or very expensive to procure.

This is why it is essential that support and maintenance of the business phone be considered prior to purchase. Although replacement hardware is a key component of keeping a business phone system up and running, there are other maintenance tasks that should be completed on a regular basis to keep the phone system running at its optimum performance.

As technology advances, the operating system and firmware versions need to be consistently updated to keep pace with new technology. Many performance issues can appear when additional features are added without upgrading the core components of the system. In many cases, advancements in network technology can have a direct effect on the performance of a voice over IP enabled phone system. In most cases, the system vendor will have recommendations to upgrade firmware on key hardware components or they might even suggest that you upgrade to the latest version of software available.

In the case of upgrading software, the upgrade will come at an additional cost with the expense of labor for the upgrade being included in the total cost. When upgrading firmware, if the business system is covered under a maintenance agreement, the labor is covered under this agreement with no additional cost to the business owner. Firmware upgrades should be completed periodically to ensure that the system is always running with the latest version of firmware. Most manufacturers make changes to the firmware to address particular performance issues and they release this firmware for specific reasons. If the firmware is not periodically upgraded, the business might not be taking advantage of advancements in technology.

Backing up the business phone system is another area of importance that should be completed on a daily basis or at least whenever there’s a change made to the system. As with any computerized technology, should the system have a major failure you’ll need a backup to restore service as soon as possible. Without a backup of all extensions, call routing, and announcements, the phone system information would have to be re-entered manually. This essentially causes the system to have to be set up all over again which would cost the business valuable time and money. The preferable way to maintain backups would be to create a directory on a server where backups could be written to this directory on a nightly basis. The backups for the system would then be backed up as part of the backup for the file server. Having these backups immediately available is added assurance that should a catastrophic failure occur that communications could be restored in minimal time.

System monitoring is another way to ensure optimal performance and to stay ahead of potential issues before they arise. In most cases, when hardware begins to fail it will often trigger alarms on the phone system. Using software to monitor these alarms, a system administrator can become aware of a potential problem and arrange to have the hardware replaced before it fails completely. This is also true in the case of circuits or phone lines that are performing poorly. When the circuits are not performing properly, this can contribute to poor call quality or audio issues. Even though the issue resides outside of the phone system, monitoring tools can help the system administrator determine which circuit is having the issue so that the problem can be reported to the communications provider. Monitoring the system allows for a proactive approach for troubleshooting and system maintenance.

Since most business systems today are voice over IP enabled, network performance is a key element in how well the phone system performs when making or receiving calls. Monitoring on the network side should also be completed with VoIP technology in mind. The business phone system also has tools that will help the system administrator pinpoint causes of poor audio quality that are related to network performance issues. These tools are dependent on the model of phone system purchased however; most manufacturers recognize the need to have a way to monitor VoIP traffic on a converged network.

The purchase of a business phone system is not the last major decision that needs to be made for communications for your business. Ongoing maintenance and repair is required to keep the phone system running at the highest levels of reliability. Being proactive through monitoring and maintenance will ensure that the phone system for your business will always provide a professional and efficient way of communication.