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Business Phone Systems Overview

A fast growing company needs to have a dynamic communications system that is always a step ahead of the company’s growth. Traditional business phone systems often cannot meet the requirements of modern businesses. For example, more and more businesses are going global, with geographically distributed offices that need to keep in constant touch with each other and with international clients. What kind of communications solution can allow all branch offices and operations to stay in contact without increasing the load on operations?

An IP-based business phone system is an ideal solution because it can help a business save money and increase productivity. IP-based business phone systems run on data networks, including local-area networks (LAN), wide-area networks (WAN) and the Internet. As a result, toll charges on long distance calls are eliminated because they are transmitted over data networks, not the public switched telephone network (PSTN). In addition, installing and configuring new phones does not require expensive new cabling because an IP business phone system is network-based; all that is required to add an endpoint is to plug an audio-capable computer or IP telephone into the network and configure it as an endpoint. While such a computer can be configured as a softphone, typically a handset or head set is also used for convenience and privacy. Laptop softphones can eliminate the need for phones altogether and are particularly useful for mobile workers with access to a broadband network. With an IP business phone system, employees can have easy and fast access to each other and their clients no matter where they are located.

Because IP phone systems are integrated with data networks, they can be provisioned with an easy-to-use visual interface. IP phones include visual interfaces, typically as an LCD screen, which provides useful calling information such as caller ID, elapsed time, and volume. However, computer-based endpoints utilize the computer’s monitor screen and can display a rich array of calling information enabling faster, simpler dialing and call management using mouse-clicks and drag-and-drop functionality. Features like voice mail, messaging, call transfer, call recording – all these and many more features are enabled via the graphical user interface and the computer mouse and keyboard to ensure an extraordinarily powerful and easy-to-use communications system for the organization.

An organization need not replace its existing phone system completely to install an IP business phone system. The transition from legacy to IP telephony can be gradual. An organization can install only those features that are required for the present, and install additional ones as and when required. Both the legacy switchboard and an IP PBX can co-exist, with each being used for specific tasks like intra- or inter-office communication, customer service, telemarketing, etc. Existing handsets can continue to be used, eliminating the necessity for purchasing expensive proprietary handsets.  In summary, IP business phone systems are opening up new communications possibilities, while enhancing employee performance, increasing productivity and raising customer satisfaction.

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