Options When Choosing Small Business Phone Systems

Choosing a business phone system seems like it would be a simple enough task but in reality it could be one of the toughest decisions a small business owner may have to make. On one hand, a business can go with a traditional landline system that can provide a consistent and reliable form of communication. On the other hand, Internet-based phone systems can save small businesses a lot of money while allowing them to be more flexible. Here’s a look at some of the options available to small businesses when looking for a phone system.

Private Branch Exchange Phone Systems

There are a few basic types of small business phone systems business owners can choose from. The Private Branch Exchange, PBX, system, which is the most commonly recognized and used system. It consists of a large array of cabinets that have dedicated operators. This system is used mainly by large businesses but new affordable options are being released every year making it a viable option for small businesses.

Voice Over Internet Phone Systems

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Voice over Internet phone, better known as VoIP, is an Internet-based phone system that uses an Internet connection instead of wires to establish communications over the phone. It has almost all the same capabilities that landlines have like voicemail and fax, while boasting a few features that landlines simply can’t offer. Like the ability to use multiple different devices to place a call ranging from tablets to mobile phones instead of being tied down to one device.

Landline Phone Systems

Many small businesses that are just starting out only rely on a mobile phone for all their business needs but this can be a very risky practice. If your business has an office or a store with more than one employee a landline system is a great option for a phone system. There are a few benefits to using a landline over alternative small business phone systems like VoIP. One benefit is that the quality of landline phone calls cannot be matched. Even in areas with bad service the call sound will be better than both mobile phones and VoIP systems. Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about your phone system crashing if your Internet connection slows down or crashes.

 Even though choosing a phone system may not be at the top of the priority list for small business owners if your business is established setting up a phone system will make it run smoother. Knowing what your options are and what you should be looking for can help you purchase the phone system that’s just right for you and your business.

How To Implement Group-Based SMS Messaging

Working in an office with your colleagues doesn’t always mean that your team is going to communicate effectively. In most cases, you have team members leaving the office, working on other projects, and also just failing to follow up with important and relevant information. As a result, this puts you in a stressful and inconvenient position. It can be extremely difficult to make sure that everyone relieves the same information or is up to date on a project. One way to overcome this issue is to implement group-based SMS messaging. This type of messaging system is very easy to implement and it has a number of benefits, those of which are enumerated below.

Implementing the System

Setting up the system is no trouble at all. These are the steps that you want to take:

  1. Your contact list should be uploaded
  2. Set up a keyword for people to opt-into the list by simply text messaging
  3. The connectivity should be through HTTP/SMPP
  4. Connect to the SMS gateway as a group member

These instructions are a general way to connect to nearly every system. However, it is important to keep in mind that there certainly are exceptions to these. How to implement the system will depend on your carrier.

Instant Messages

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The main benefit to using this type of system is that messages are instant. You can be completely certain that everyone in the group chat is getting the same message at the same time. Therefore, you won’t need to deal with the excuse that someone may not have seen something. In addition, the instant messages allow people to reply when they can. You can see exactly who read the messages and whether someone is typing back a reply.

Connectivity

Another advantage is that you can be sure that the entire group is connected on the topic. If one person has an important point to make, the message is going to be relayed to the entire group rather than one person. This effectively prevents miscommunication and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Efficiency

Finally, an additional benefit is that this system is very efficient. Rather than writing emails or texting people individually, you can get the message out in a split second to a group of people who will be interested in the message. This saves you time as an employer or a project manager.

Call Quality With A Standard Definition Codec

With any call that you take, the quality is very important. With poor quality, you can lose out on clients, bypass important information, and fail to attain the connection that you are looking for with the individual on the other side of the line. When using your phone lines, you may want to consider incorporating a standard definition codec. To help ensure that you are making the right decision for your phone use, below is an overview of what this codec is and how it can effectively improve your call quality in any situation.

Codec Explanation

To begin with, a standard codec is a mechanism that is responsible for compression and decompressing sound into an analog for your network and computer. When it comes to audio codes, there are dozens of options available. Different types of technology utilize different codes for optimal performance. In many cases, people have taken responsibility for using the proper codecs for their technology. When it comes to telephones, there are certain codecs that help the phone line work best. Below is an overview of the best definition of the codec for your phone line.

Phone Codec

There are a number of HD voice codecs that are optimal for any telephone line. The standard level is a G.711 for VoIP voice quality. This quality is about the same that you’ll get out of a standard phone. The next level above this is a G.722. While it is a bit outdated, it still provides excellent call quality and a high level of clarity for any of your calls. It also uses about the same amount of bandwidth as the G.711. You can also be confident that the G.722 works well with any type of headset, despite whatever manufacturer you are using.

The next option is the G.722.2. This is the highest level of quality that you can get. It is also optimized for real-time communication over a number of technologies. This system is also incorporated into a number of applications for easy use, quality service, and strong call quality.

Summary

Overall, with any of the standard codecs above, you can get the call quality that you are looking for. The call quality is clear, crisp, and high-quality. You won’t need to worry about not being able to hear or understand the other person on the line. It is the best way to retain a positive business relationship between you and your callers.

Understanding How A Cloud Fax System Works

Many people still don’t know that you don’t always need a fax machine to send a fax. Cloud faxing works by assigning a fax number to each person that signs up for the service. That number can then be used to receive faxes from anyone who knows it. People can send faxes via e-mail without having to use a fax machine.

What is Cloud Faxing?

Cloud faxing, also known as fax-to-email or Internet faxing is the same thing as having a traditional fax machine without the high cost or the hassle of trying to figure out how it works. You can send and receive faxes directly from anyone without having to purchase any software, extra phone lines or hardware giving you the ability to fax anyone, anytime, anywhere.

How Does Faxing Over the Internet Work?

Although Internet faxing may seem like a complicated process it is relatively quite simple. In order to send a cloud fax all you have to do is:

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  • First, attach a document to an e-mail message. This document can be created using a program like Microsoft Word or scanned and uploaded to a computer.
  • Using the recipient’s fax number the sender addresses a message the message to it.
  • Once the message is sent the server translates the attachment so that a fax machine can read it then sends the data across the phone line.
  • Once the recipients fax machine decodes the data it will print the fax.

In order to receive a document from a traditional fax machine to an Internet fax system:

  • The sender must dial the fax number that the recipient received from the fax service through the cloud.
  • The traditional fax machine then translates the data and transmits it over the phone line.
  • Once the cloud service receives the data it then translates it into an image file and sends that image to the recipient’s e-mail address.
  • Once it is received all the recipient has to do is open their e-mail, open the attachment, and view the file sent.

And that’s all. The entire process to send or receive a fax can take less than 5 minutes.

So if you’re tired of fighting with your fax machine and giving up trying to send a fax the traditional way simplify your life by faxing using the cloud. Don’t let your fax machine be the boss of you. With low, predictable monthly fees that you’re in control of and the ability to relax knowing your business’ information is safe and secure you’ll be wondering why you didn’t switch to the cloud fax system a long time ago.

 

Setting Up Hunt/Ring Groups Effectively

Whether you own a business or are working independently, taking calls can be a challenge, especially if you also have duties that require you to leave your office. Many companies and phone technology providers have attempted to resolve the issue, but none of been as successful as those who have developed hunt/ring groups. These groups are an option that allows you to map you DIDs, which also standards for direct inward dialling. Direct inward dialling are a number of lines that phone calls can be directed to. For example, the DID will signal to distinguish the number that it is about to connect the business’ PBX to.

When you use a hunt group, you can designate the three different destinations that will ring when a call is received. You can also determine in what order you want the calls to ring in. Essentially, calls can be reached in three different locations and after a few moments, you can have the call redirected to any other designated line. Below is how you can easily set up the group.

Setup

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  1. Setting up the group is extremely easy once you have your portal chosen. Your portal is the type of cloud communication system that you are using for your telecommunication purposes. While each system is different in terms of setup, this guide is a generic recommendation.
  2. To begin, log into your telecommunication company’s portal and login. Once you have signed in, you need to go to the administration page.
  3. Once you’ve reached the administration page, you’ll see on the screen “services.” Click on “hunt group” under services. The group should designate a feature that allows you to add. Once you find that feature, you’ll need to fill in the fields on the page. You’ll usually be asked for your Hunt Group IP and a name for the group.
  4. After you’ve finished those preliminary steps, also make sure to click on “allow call waiting on agents” if it is applicable to you.
  5. The next stages include setting up rules. For example, you can set your group policy, which is your ring pattern. You can also designate rules for how long the phone should ring before transferring to a different line. Finally, after these steps, you should also add users to the hunt group. When you finish designating the rules and setting up the system, just click “finish” and test out how everything works.
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