Business Tools

The Truth about Business Phone Systems

phone-systemThe real story about business phone systems is about getting what you want. The truth is that people don’t know what they can get unless they ask for it. Some people think they have to take a choice from a range of off the shelf systems, like in the old days. Others don’t know that the new phone systems are completely scalable and customizable.

Phone System Design Basics

A phone system will naturally have a range of operational tasks, like:

  • Customer service
  • Administration
  • Accounts
  • Warehousing
  • Sales
  • Help desk and technical support
  • Dedicated lines for special tasks
  • Project communications
  • Contract management
  • Management phone operations

In the old days, all of these services would just get put into a general system of extensions. To move phones around, you might have literally had to move the people or the business operations. A switchboard might be used to improve call movements or provide better call clearance, including alternate call options for people not using direct lines.

Those were the systems of 30 years ago, and similar designs are still lurking around trying to pass themselves off as new systems. They weren’t too efficient then. They’re pretty ridiculous now.

The new phone systems are fully digital, and far more efficient. They’re more like computer or internet systems, using servers, “virtual PBX” technology (which is exactly what it sounds like, a digital switch) and software to manage extensions and resources allocation.

Best practice is to use a scalable system to ensure you’ve got the phone capacity to cover everything your business does the way it should be covered. This approach is so simple it’s stunning. You can operate a phone system the way you’d operate a database, simple entries, a few clicks, and you’ve set up your phones for a new project, new promotion campaign, a hotline, or whatever. If this sounds like a dream come true, it’s the result of demand.

Telephone systems are now considered true business systems, rather than just accessories to business. Modern businesses are very communications intensive, and nearly all of their communications have to go through a phone system at some point. The best practice solution was to cut out the interim stages of call management and introduce servers and software to configure the phone systems appropriately.

Phone System Design Options

New phone system business configurations may involve a range of options as well as the traditional in-house operations described above:

  • Remote workplaces
  • Collaboration between parties
  • Contract operations
  • International business operations
  • Combinations of the above

If you’re thinking at this point that it’d save a lot of time and money setting up a system to create easy communications between in-house and external operations, you’re right. There’s very little these new phone systems can’t do, literally with a click or so. It’s easy, too, about as easy as setting up your email or some other very basic operation.

The truth about business phone systems is now this: you can get exactly what you need, whenever you want it. Just tell your supplier what you want. It’s that easy.

Sachin Bansal is a valued contributor for CosmoBC's BizBlog and TechBlog.

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