Affordable Small Business Virtual Phone Systems

The phone system, being the most important communication tool in a company, has to meet certain prescribed standards. It should be able to satisfy your business needs now and in the future. Affordable small business virtual phone systems are the ideal options for small business owners requiring high-end phone functionalities at less expense.

A virtual PBX system is implemented through a switching network or Internet protocol medium. The system operates from the service providers’ site itself, so the customers are not required to buy, install or maintain any equipment. Since the virtual phone system is shared among numerous users, compared to the traditional PBX system its service cost is low. Moreover, a hosted VoIP system has all the features that the business telecommunication systems of large companies boast of.

The features of affordable small business virtual phone systems include but are not limited to:

o Auto Attendant
o Virtual receptionist
o Find me/follow me call forwarding
o Music on hold
o Voicemail
o Fax to email
o Caller ID

All the functionalities are delivered to the users through a Public Service Telephone Network (PSTN) and the Internet. The call capacity depends on the amount of bandwidth available. The auto attendant provides a menu of options to the callers such as dial by name, dial by extension, and more. The sophisticated interface presented to the callers through the auto attendant system can give your small business a professional corporate image.

Call routing is possible to mobile, residence or remote offices when you are away from the phone at your main office. Calls can be transferred to the right person, regardless of his present location. The clients of virtual phone systems are provided with web administration tools, which enable them to apply the settings according to their individual preferences.

When opting for hosted PBX phone systems, you will not have to deal with the hassles involved in updating and repairing the system. All the updating and maintenance work are performed by the service provider itself. You will not have to buy additional PBX equipments to add extra features as you expand your business. Virtual VoIP phone service is available at affordable monthly service charges. The small business owners have to pay only for the services availed of.

T1 Lines – Why Your Business May Need One

While you may know what a T1 or T3 line is, not every business owner knows what the everyday uses are for this technology. In this article we will discuss real-world issues within different industries that a T1/T3/OC-3 line is effective for the everyday business. Hopefully this will help you better understand the practical uses for these lines and help you make a better informed decision on your future data/voice line leasing.

Point of Sale Transactions

In the retail, restaurant, and hospitality environment amongst others, the point of sale transaction is considered probably the most vital moment between customer and business. It signals the success of a sale, the precise point where a business moves forward with profitable revenue. It is during this moment in time, a reliable method of transacting that sale is an absolute necessity.

Even more importantly is how these point of sale transactions are made these days. Debit, credit, and payroll cards make up the majority of the sales and all require a method to transmit the financial data to complete the transaction.

A T1 or T3 line is important for POS due not only to the capability to have multiple ports for simultaneous sales registers, but due to the reliability. Reliability is crucial and these lines, when properly leased from the proper Tier One carriers, typically offer 99.9% up-time. DSL lines, some advertised cheap shady lines, or oversold burstable lines (sometimes even sold as T1).

Take note, some smaller mom and pop establishments have been known to use dial-up still. You most definitely will recall if you were transacting at such an establishment had you ever been forced to wait 5 minutes to complete your purchase. T1, T3, and OC-3 lines run many times faster and are far more reliable, period.

Office and Retail Communications

Other than point of sale transactions, many times these same businesses will also require Internet access for desktop computers as well as voice communications for phones lines. Due to the “integrated” option with these lines, a business can have their checkout stand, office computer, and phone lines all run from the same line.

In other case scenarios, a business may be a call center or a business that has more than one office or cubicle. In these everyday scenarios the lines will be used for either 24 phone lines via a T1, or a variable split for Internet and business phones. Larger businesses and enterprises will more than likely deploy a T3, OC-3, but can end up needing even more phone lines and/or bandwidth depending on employee size. In large capacity cases solutions may include OC-12, OC-48, and OC-192 circuits.

Banks and Government

Lately, a newer business telecommunications product has come into play called MPLS, an improved alternative to VPN. While many businesses wanting private data transfers in between their branches utilize MPLS, this is not the case for highly sensitive information that banks, financial institutions, or government agencies.

Point to point T1 lines become necessary for absolute network security. What makes this the most secure connection is that the line or lines are physically run from location A to location B. MPLS is a cloud based solution that has high security, but in some certain instances, it is the need for the highest secure Extranet that is of the most importance. Information to pass through these lines can be client’s social security numbers, customer account numbers, or even military war plans to government officials. Other common terms for a point-to-point can be PTP, P2P, or what is called a dedicated line. These kind of lines can be extremely expensive, but to the institutions and agencies involved, are worth every penny.

While we did not cover every use for a T1 line, this should give you a better idea as to how a T1 line can come into play for your business. Other uses gaining popularity or are already there would be server hosting, videoconferencing, business VoIP, public Wi-Fi access (coffee shops, airports, etc.), streaming security cameras, and more.

SIP Benefits For Business Phone Systems

Session Initiated Protocol trunking otherwise known as an SIP trunk is a voice/data delivery system that allows business and enterprise level establishments to receive feature rich phone service while eliminating many traditional costs that previously plagued many companies. By reducing costs on business phone services, a business can see improved ROI on their I.T. within their first two quarters.

The benefits of deploying SIP service can be boiled down to these simple beneficial elements:

1. Reduced business telecommunication costs give you a better ROI on telecom expenses.
2. International long distance calling billed as domestic long distance.
3. Increased redundancy within your call center voice networks.
4. Lowered network PBX hardware expenses.
5. Scalability within the network without extensive labor and rewiring.
6. The ability to utilize both Intranet/Internet data and voice communications through one connected bandwidth (T1, T3, Gigabit Ethernet, MPLS, OC3, etc.) line.

What Does SIP Trunking Replace?

Quite simply, SIP replaces many traditional business phone service applications including the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), BRI (Basic Rate Interface), DIDs (Direct Inward Dial), and PRI (Primary Rate Interface). This allows for a business or enterprise to be networked for phone services and utilize necessary business features including video conferencing, call routing, caller ID, and more at a reduced cost.

How Are Costs Reduced?

Costs are drastically reduced due to the traffic routing and hosting of the IP PBX being performed by the ITSP (Internet Telephone Service Provider) itself. Businesses need not spare the expense of connecting to the PSTN themselves with their own PBX phone systems. SIP trunking also eliminates the limits imposed by traditional T1 line and T3 line voice channel partitioning giving businesses more flexibility with scalability whether it is business growth or recession.