Considering A New Phone System? Do Your Homework First.

Communication system is a vital aspect for maintaining smooth business operations. An efficient communication system can really improve your business and boost profits. The world is moving away from the old PSTN system. Internet based VoIP is the new paradigm in office communications.

Prior to choosing a phone system, several factors need to be considered like technology, telephony features, security etc. Now, this implies that you have to do your homework before buying a new phone system which fulfils all the communication needs of your company.

IP telephony systems are gaining popularity among business organizations as it offers amazing telephony features, uses the latest Internet based telecommunication technology and robust security. Let us look at some of the features that are being used by this latest telephony system.

Type of phone system that suits your business:

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is the technology that is put to use by an IP telephone system. Depending on the number of users in your organization, you can either opt for the on-premise VoIP system or a hosted VoIP system. It has been proven that it is economical and convenient for companies with more than 25 users to choose an on-premise VoIP system that involves the installation of an IP-PBX such as IPedge, or Strata CIX  from Toshiba. If you have less than 25 users, a cloud based or hosted VoIP such as VIPedge is ideal. You start with a small number and keep on adding users as you gain confidence.

Now, you have to decide the IP telephone system that suits your business communication needs and budget.

Reason for looking a new phone system:

Other than dialling and receiving calls, modern day phone systems are expected to cater to several other communication needs of a company. You have to have good reasons to replace your old telephone systems and more often than not it would be the inability of your old phone system to offer advanced telephony features like voicemail, auto-attendant, find-me-follow me, voicemail-to-email etc. There are several companies that are offering VoIP services and you will have to make a list of all your communication needs before you subscribe with any one of them.

Phone system should integrate with other business systems:

It is known that a VoIP phone system has the ability to integrate with business applications such as ERP, MIS, CRM platform. Some VoIP systems also offer API’s for integration with software of your choice.

At the outset, you have to understand what integration is and what pieces of your software and/or application you want to integrate. Instead of worrying about technology, look at it from usage point of view – you want to show your accounts receivable to your clients? You need to integrate your accounting or ERP system. You want your and your colleague’s schedules to be integrated? Simple. Integrate your Outlook or similar Time Management software.

Deploy, maintain and support for phone system:

It is important to decide upon whether to go for deployment, maintenance and support or to outsource the operations and maintenance to a service providing company. If the company has a skilled IT team then it can deploy as well as maintain the system without any hassles. If not, it is better to consider a hosted VoIP service provider that provides all the necessary support.

Service provider:

If one opts for outsourcing the VoIP support it is essential to figure out who is going to provide support to the phone system. It is to be ensured that the VoIP provider understands the communication needs of the company. Again if the organization is planning to go for both VoIP and PSTN service, the phone system vendor must know this so that they can offer a proper solution and integrate the two.

Total cost of ownership:

Everyone is aware of the fact that switching to VoIP can save a good amount of money. However, it is important to look at the total cost involved for owning a VoIP phone system. The price factor has to be analyzed in a proper manner so that the company stays within the allocated budget. One needs to know what savings will be realized in the long run if the company opts to migrate to a VoIP system. As the business grows, the organization will tend to add users to the system, upgrade the system with new features and at that particular time, the savings may have to be recalculated.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE.

Affordable Internet Upgrades for Any Business

The Need for Speed

Is there any business in this world that does not run on internet service, or does not have Internet access? Hardly! Every business utilizes the Internet to communicate, to function more efficiently, and to be more productive. No wonder every ISP is working on polishing their Internet service packages to make sure that what they offer is truly reliable.

Every day today businesses are run by exchanging data and by having audio and even video conversations. In addition putting all your data on the cloud has become very attractive. You get enterprise level servers and backup and reliability for low prices today. Of course, if you have a bulk of your data on the cloud, having reliable Internet access 24/7 is absolutely essential.
Today the complete cycle of business can be done on the Net. From producing customers, to interacting with them, to raising your bills, and getting paid through Net Banking, literally every facet of a business operation can be transacted on the Net.

SaasCloud Computing for Everyone’s Every Need

A growing number of people are flocking to the Internet. Many companies may still target customers and consumers through advertisement on television, magazines, billboards and other media. However, another powerful way to reach them is over the Internet. Digital advertisements abound in almost every webpage. Cloud computing, a public cloud, offers services online, on demand, or per the consumer’s needs. One great example for this is Amazon Web services. With cloud computing, the users can choose the service they need at any given time, and the service is fully managed by the provider.

Another form of cloud computing is software-as-a-service or Saas, wherein the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal. SaaS is a very broad market mostly at a nascent stage now. Services can be anything from Web-based email to inventory control, database processing to full ERP system. With this type of cloud service, the consumer or end user may be free to use the service from anywhere without having to spend on expensive hardware and software.

Almost every type of cloud computing service is available online as long as there is Internet access available. Technologists are predicting the demise of consumer hard disk, and the emergence of the Pad as a major computing device. But regardless of whether that happens or not, Internet access is becoming more and more prevalent and more and more inexpensive to access.

Affordable Upgrades for your Internet Access

Internet Service Providers are getting extremely competitive and offering additional services to get more customers. One of the most attractive ways of weaning away customers from your competition is to offer cheaper upgrades. For example, Company X may offer a stand-alone Internet connection at a starting rate of $29.95. When the competition offers Net connection at $19.95, Company X will offer a bundle that has Internet connection at only $14.99. Other ISPs provide on-the-go wireless Internet service at a low rate of $29.95 for 3Mbps. You can get twice the speed at 10% less, at $49.95.

Generally ISPs are offering affordable rates for Internet connectivity. With the advent of services like Saas and cloud computing, Internet connection has become essential for all businesses. ISPs are ready for the new demand and are making attractive offers to attract business of all sizes.

About Phone America

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. PhoneAm’s services cover Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and Wilmington DE. PhoneAm serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Cloud Based Telephone Solutions Vs. On Site Telephone Systems

The internet has completely revolutionized the way of our living. The most significant impact of internet, without any doubt, has been the way we communicate. This is true not just for casual conversation between friends and family, but also business communications between organizations. The internet has had a massive impact on the ways two businesses, big or small, interact, with the internet based technologies rapidly replacing the conventional and archaic systems. Simple voice communications, classically seen possible only through the telephone have also morphed into new modern age technologies like VoIP.

cloud telephone

VoIP, acronym for Voice over Internet Telephony is a technology that enables voice communication over the internet instead of the conventional wired telephones. Businesses both big and small have found this technology to their liking and are replacing their onsite telephone systems with cloud based telephone solutions. Cloud based telephone solutions are systems that to the naked eye would look completely like the conventional onsite telephone system. However instead of telephone instrument being connected to an exchange or PBX, they are connected to the internet. There is no need for having an exchange system with VoIP as this heavy lifting is taken care of by the providers through cloud computing. There are self-hosted VoIP solutions too that enable you to setup your own network with a small machine known as the PSTN gateway. However the cloud based solutions has many advantages that are discussed below.

First advantage of cloud based solutions is that a switch to cloud based telephone solutions could cost your company almost nothing, depending on the size of the company and the infrastructure already present. You would just need an internet connection, with a bandwidth suitable to your needs and VoIP certified plug and play telephones. There is no need for you to invest in expensive hardware for setting up a small exchange to route the different calls to the correct telephones. All of this is taken care of by your service provider located off site and working over the ‘cloud’. The VoIP is also very affordable. Every call cost much less than the wired telephones and the price difference is even more significant while make long distance and international calls. Another advantage of cloud based solutions is in its scalability. With the changing needs in your business, it is practically a child’s play to add more or less lines to your network. This enables you to skip buying expensive new hardware to add more lines to your network. All you need is new SIP enabled phones and the providers take care of the rest. Mobility is another major plus for the VoIP technology. All major providers have systems through which you can even send and receive phones through your smart-phone or tablet PC. This makes it possible for you to stay connected even when not physically present in the office.

There a few drawbacks of cloud based solutions that one must keep in mind. The first is that there needs to be internet connectivity for sending and receiving calls. If your internet connection is out or unstable, the cloud based telephones would not work. The call quality is also dependent on the internet connection, but most users find it to inferior to the voice quality of conventional telephone systems. Lastly, the cloud based systems do not have emergency calling. 911 numbers do not work in such systems and if available, they are typically charged a premium and not offered free of cost.

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