The technology of business phone offerings is always changing.

There are many changes, like the shift from office landlines to mobile phones, and offices going from traditional phones to VoIP. Below we highlight five features of modern business phone systems that every business needs to succeed.

Some bring small efficiencies to how your business uses your the phone system, while other updates bring system-wide improvements to how phone systems are managed and secured.

1. Forwarding calls to any device

When you receive an email, you can read it from your computer in the office, your tablet at home, your cell phone on the road. Find Me, Follow Me (FMFM), a feature common to new office phone systems, makes the same possible with phone calls.

Phone calls happen in real time, so you need to set some rules for how you want FMFM to reach you. For example, you can have it ring all your devices at the same time or have them ring in a chosen sequence.

An example of this would be:

  1. Try my office line first
  2. If I don’t answer that, then call my cell
  3. If I don’t answer that, then call my coworker
  4. If there’s still no answer, then go to voicemail.

This is a very useful feature for a business that is heavily sales-oriented like insurance agents, real estate agents, anyone dealing in investments, etc. These people do not want to miss any calls, so FMFM allows them to not be stuck at their desks waiting for the phone to ring.

2. Voicemail transcriptions –  read instead of listening

Chances are you spend a lot of time listening to voicemail messages, especially if you’re running a small business and can’t grab every call as it comes in. A useful feature common to many newer phone systems is voicemail transcription.

Instead of listening to voicemails users can read their voicemails in their email inbox. Their voicemail is transcribed into text and email. The message also includes an attachment with the original audio recording.

These services rely on speech recognition technology to transcribe the audio into emails. This means the messages aren’t always transcribed perfectly word-for-word, but not having someone listen to and manually transcribe messages removes any privacy risks.

3. Optimize your communications with optional applications

To get peak performance optional applications can further enhance your business’s communications capabilities and bottom line. Here are some features of the Vertical phone systems we sell:

IPCR Call Recording – Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and improve employee training and customer service with more advanced call recording capabilities. IPCR Call Recording lets you securely record and monitor calls to and from any phone on your Summit system on demand or systemwide, and quickly search, retrieve and replay calls via your Web browser.

IP Attendant (Office/Hotel) – Streamline call handling and distribution with simplified control of the Summit’s Attendant features and functions via this easy-to-use interface and high voice quality, built-in IP softphone. IP Attendant software displays call, user and system status for standard office use, and is also available with a dedicated hospitality telephony feature set that integrates with various hotel/motel property management systems.

ClickCall – Now you can make calls from numbers in any Windows-based application, Web page, or document without dialing your phone. Save time and eliminate misdials by simply highlighting the number and dragging it into the ClickCall pop-up window to place the call automatically from your desktop phone.

4. Add new extensions

As your business grows you may need new phone lines added. Traditional landlines need their own wire connecting them to the network. If your network has only seven lines and you want an 8th phone, then a new physical line must be added. This can be inconvenient and costly.

Unlike traditional business phone systems, VoIP phones connect to computer networks. They can either plug directly into computers, plug into the networks the computers are on or run as software on a computer. In all three cases, the number of phones on a network is limited only by bandwidth.

The shift from a landline phone to digital bandwidth is one of the big infrastructure changes that help keep costs down while keeping upgrades easy to do.

5. Move to the Cloud to secure and simplify your office phone system

Perhaps the biggest benefit for small businesses is the ability to make the management of your phone system someone else’s responsibility to oversee and manage.

Moving to the Cloud can also be an economical way to keep things simple. Business phone networks can be complex, and keeping them running smoothly can be a challenge, especially as a company expands. Moving to the Cloud shifts this responsibility to companies that specialize in this area. This gives the business owner one less thing to worry about.

If your business is lacking any of these powerful features, contact us for a free custom quote!