Tag Archives: Hosted PBX

How to Phase out an Aging Business Phone System

aging business phone systemThe typical business phone system functions about 7-15 years. If your system is in that range, you have to consider end of life options. It’s important to stay educated about phone systems because manufactures eventually stop supporting older model systems. If your aging business phone system fails and you don’t have a backup plan, it can cause your company serious harm.

Replacing the Existing System

Since you can only keep an aging business phone system going so long, you have to consider what system you are going to move to next.

IP system manufacturers have begun to replace traditional systems for a number of reasons. IP systems offer:

  • More/better features
  • Better integration with third party applications
  • Simpler moves, adds, and changes
  • Presence management and unified communications options
  • More cost-effective carrier options

An IP business phone system still represents a significant investment however. Similar to a traditional system, you still have to pick a platform to fit with your specific business needs. As stated above, there are numerous benefits to switching to an IP system, but it is expensive. Therefore, you should consult with an IP telephony expert ahead of time so that when your aging business phone system is no longer functional, you won’t have to start from scratch.

Move to a Hosted PBX Platform

Instead of a brand-new IP system, you could also opt for a hosted system. While a hosted system functions in many ways like a normal business phone system, it is much different; rather than taking up physical space in your office, it resides in the cloud.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a Hosted system is the cost advantage. Hosted PBX usually charges by the user, along with long distance calling and phone numbers at a flat fee.

Hosted PBX isn’t great for some businesses however, and (as with IP systems) you should consult with an expert prior to making any decisions.

If you have any questions regarding disaster recovery or business phone systems, please contact Advanced Communication Systems today at 800-750-3624. You can also follow us on Facebook. 

 

 

How Advanced Call Forwarding Can Help your Business

Advanced Call ForwardingIn the modern business world, customers expect to reach businesses immediately. However, it isn’t feasible to take each and every call personally. If you have a hosted Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system though, there are some powerful features that can help. The most important for assisting you in this area is Advanced Call Forwarding.

Advanced Call Forwarding allows you to forward an incoming call to either a mobile number or an alternate person if you are unavailable. With this feature you and your staff won’t miss out on any calls. Here are some of the ways in which Advanced Call Forwarding can help your business.

Set up find me/follow me calling for remote workers

Many businesses use remote workers. Remote workers allow businesses to expand their employee and client pool. However, keeping track of remote workers can present a challenge. If you enact find me/follow me however, it makes the task much easier. Find me/follow me is a staggered Advanced Call Forwarding option that allows employees to receive calls at numerous numbers. For example, if a call goes unanswered at the default number, it will ring to a secondary number (such as a mobile number).

Route calls based on time or day

Another frequently used Advanced Call Forwarding option is to route calls to a number or location based on a specific time of day or day of week. This is most commonly used to ensure that all after hour calls don’t go to your business line but to a mobile phone. The best part about this feature is that the caller doesn’t even realize that they are actually reaching a different number.

Prioritize top customers

The majority of hosted PBX solutions also allow businesses to prioritize top customers. Based on your configuration answering rules, a specific inbound number can be directed to a specific number or extension. You can also permit specific contacts to reach your number during off-hours or holidays.

Advanced Call Forwarding permits businesses a large competitive edge and helps them manage calls without breaking a sweat. If you have any questions regarding business phone systems, please contact Advanced Communication Systems today at 800-750-3624. You can also follow us on Facebook.

3 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity with a Hosted PBX

Hosted PBXOne of the most important factors in a company’s success is their employee’s productivity levels. There tend to be two schools of thought on the matter; either develop incentive programs or use restrictive policies to ensure that they remain working. However, there is potentially a simple answer. When you provide your employees with the best possible tools, they’ll be able to do their job efficiently. There are many different tools to help people work and communicate more effectively, but Hosted PBX has features that not only provide something new but also allows companies to get more out of the resources they already have in place.  

Less Downtime for Technical Problems

An outage can be extremely problematic for any employee who is on the phone for long durations throughout the day. Hosted PBX solutions alleviate this problem because troubleshooting them is far easier. Furthermore, if a user’s individual phone they can use the softphone on their computer or in an app on their mobile phone.

Increased Mobility

Many industries have seen a rise in remote employees in recent years. Without a tool like Hosted PBX, it would be difficult for these employees to stay in constant communication with the office. Hosted PBX allows these employees to access the company’s communications system. Additionally, their calls can even be routed from their desk phone to whatever app or computer they are working from.

Unified Inbox

Many employees have stopped listening to their voicemail due to time constraints. Who wants to listen to ten voicemails just to get to the one that is relevant? Hosted PBX has a helpful feature that converts voicemail to mp3 files in your e-mail inbox. This permits you to sort through them and find the relevant ones that much quicker.

A Hosted PBX solution has benefits to any company. Not only can help reduce costs, but it can increase employee productivity by giving them a tool that permits them the ability to perform their jobs efficiently. If you have any Business Phone System questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Are You Unhappy with Your Hosted PBX Provider?

Hosted PBXThe Virtual PBX (also known as Hosted PBX or Cloud PBX) has been a great benefit to companies. However, the product is only as good as the provider; if you’re experiencing problems with your Hosted PBX, it may be time to switch providers as opposed to ditching the service altogether. If you’re experiencing any one of the following, it may be time for a change.

 

Too Expensive:

While it is never a great idea to go for the cheapest price, it is undeniable that a lot of businesses are paying way too much for their Virtual PBX. For those businesses, it may not have begun that way; they may have started out at a reasonable rate, but their provider gradually raised their rates over time. Other businesses may have experienced a rate hike after their first contract ended. Either way, doing a VoIP comparison is probably a good idea if you feel like you are paying too much for your Hosted PBX.

Poor Customer Service:

If your provider isn’t offering superior and timely support, it might be a good idea to switch providers. A lot of businesses justifiably switch due to the customer representatives being rude and not knowledgeable. Sometimes this can simply be due to the provider’s sales outmatching the rate they are growing their customer support team, but either way, the customer is in their rights to make a change if they aren’t happy with the customer service.

Lack of Local Support: 

Cloud business phone systems have been a leap forward in telecommunications, but that doesn’t preclude the need for an engineer having to visit the site from time to time. If you have a local provider, this typically isn’t a problem; having a non-local provider, however, means that geography can sometimes impede them in getting an engineer out to your company in a timely fashion.

The Good News: Changing VoIP Providers isn’t Hard!

Before Hosted PBX, businesses had to spend a lot of money on their business phone system. To justify the expenditure, they had to hang on to the system for a while—which meant that switching providers due to poor service was unheard of.

With cloud business phone systems, making a change is simple. Nearly all businesses use an industry standard SIP phone, so changing providers doesn’t mean that you must change your phones too. Furthermore, cloud PBX hardware is in a data center, so you don’t have any expensive on-site equipment to replace either. Switching is as simple as your new provider programming the phones to recognize the new VoIP system.

If you are interested in Hosted PBX or have any other business phone system questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Hosted PBX Phone System Perks

13619423_sThe best office phone systems are the ones that encourage productivity for your particular business. They typically:

  •  Ensure employees are easily available during working hours.
  • Help provide better customer service.
  • Improve overall communication and efficiency.
  • Reduce call processing time.

A hosted PBX service has many advantages. They incorporate the benefits of a traditional PBX phone system, but offer less headaches.

First and foremost, you need to consider your company’s needs and budget. For example, a hosted PBX with IP phones features the best quality, requires a low initial investment and monthly charges. If you use mainly desktop or smartphone apps, a hosted PBX will have an even lower initial investment and monthly charges, with no added wiring or server costs.

Almost all of the hosted PBX systems on the market have unique benefits and options designed to help your business. They are less costly than the traditional on-site systems. Furthermore, they offer great features like call routing, on-hold music, call waiting, and transfers. Best of all, they can be implemented immediately, and updates and additional lines can be be deployed with the click of a mouse.

Is a Hosted PBX Phone System Right for Your Small Business?

Hosted PBXIn today’s uncertain economic world, between trying to stay in business and trying to turn a profit, small businesses, like your, have enough to worry about. Fortunately, your phone system doesn’t have to be one of them. A Hosted PBX Phone System offers small businesses the same benefits as a traditional PBX phone system, but for a fraction of the price.

Is a Hosted PBX Phone System Right for Your Small Business?

  1. There is no need to purchase or install or maintain anything onsite.
  2. Set up is quick and easy.
  3. Maintenance is handled by your service provider offsite for a small monthly fee.
  4. Hosted PBX offers a plethora of advanced features.
  5. You will not need to purchase any hardware.
  6. Hosted PBX is scalable, meaning it will grow alongside your small business.

Call Advanced Communication Systems (ACS)!

Is Hosted PBX right for your small business? Not sure? Call ACS. Our business communication specialists will thoroughly analyze your needs and design an affordable solution flexible enough to grow and change as your business evolves. We offer solutions ranging from traditional voice to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to Hosted PBX.

Question to Ask Before Calling ACS

  1. What is your budget? As a small business owner, we know your funds are tight. You need a system that will not break the bank.
  2. What features are you interested in? What features are important to you: voicemail, caller-id. One-touch dialing, on-hold music, conferencing, speakerphone, auto attendants, or call transfer?
  3. What is your 5 year plan? You need a phone system that will grow with your business.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is a big decision.

If you have any questions about Hosted PBX please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today! You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

Hosted PBX: Big Business Quality at a Price Small Business Owners like

As a small business owner, you have a very distinct disadvantage. While you are trying to compete with the big boys, you simply do not have staff or the financial resources to compete with bigger businesses. Luckily, there is a solution to at least some of your problems.

A Hosted PBX Phone System!

These phone systems boast big business quality at a price small business owners like. A Hosted PBX phone system offers you the same features that the big companies utilize, but it is also easy to use, easy to install, and incredibly cost effective!

  1. Price: As we just mentioned, a Hosted PBX phone system is much more affordable for small businesses, allowing you to compete with the big boys without breaking the bank!
  2. Features: Hosted PBX phone systems offer you the same features used by big companies.
  3. Communication: Hosted PBX systems allow you to communicate from anywhere on the globe.
  4. Installation: Set up is quick and easy, meaning you will experience very little downtime during the transition to your new phone system.
  5. Scalable: A Hosted PBX phone system will grow with your small business. After all, just because your business is small now doesn’t mean it will be small in the future.
  6. Hosted: You will not need to purchase or install or maintain anything onsite. This is handled by your service provider for a small monthly fee.

Advanced Communication Systems: Your Hosted PBX Phone System Provider

At Advanced Communication Systems (ACS), 3e offer solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your small business communication investment, from traditional voice to Voice over IP (VoIP) to Hosted PBX phone systems. ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider.

Our team of communication professionals will help you understand the available phone system features and technologies and will help you choose the solution for your business.We thoroughly analyze your business needs and devise a flexible solution that will grow and change as your business evolves.

If you have any questions about Small Business Phone Systems please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today! You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

Starting a Small Business? Don’t forget the Phone System!

Starting a small business is a ton of work. From finding an office to establishing yourself in the marketplace, you have a lot to consider. However, one aspect of starting a small business that often gets lost in the shuffle is setting up a business phone system.

Tips for setting up a Small Business Phone System

  1. Ask yourself the Right Questions: How many employees will you have? How much do you expect to grow? What is your budget?
  2. What Type of Equipment do you need? Phone system equipment varies from system to system, so it is important to decide what type of equipment is important to you. Options include: desktop handset, headset, adapters, routers, and more.
  3. Are you interested in any Extra Features? Sometimes these extra features can make all the difference. They include: voicemail, caller-id. One-touch dialing, on-hold music, conferencing, speakerphone, auto attendants, call transfer, and so much more.
  4. Types of Phone Systems: Now it is time to start looking at systems. Ask your provider which type of system helps meet your needs, the needs we have already outlined in numbers 1-3.
PBX (Private Branch Exchange) System PBX systems can accommodate thousands of users and are easily scalable, meaning your phone system will grow with your company.
Hosted PBX Hosted PBX phone systems offer small business owners, like you, you the same benefits as traditional PBX, but for a fraction of the cost. With a hosted PBX system, you will not need to purchase or install or maintain anything onsite. This will all be handled by your service provider for an affordable monthly fee.
Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP allows businesses to use the internet system to make unlimited calls. Best of all, VoIP systems are very affordable.
And More!  
  1. Providers: Perhaps the only thing more important than your phone system is your provider. So do yourself a favor and call Advanced Communication Systems today! We offer solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your small business communication investment. From traditional voice to Voice over IP (VoIP), ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider. Plus, we are an authorized Avaya dealer in Baltimore, Maryland!

If you have any questions about Small Business Phone Systems please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

Tips for Selecting the Right Small Business Phone System

There are so many small business phone systems out there. How can you be sure you are picking the right one?

“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…”

Wait! Before you go and do anything to harsh, we have compiled a few Tips for Selecting the Right Small Business Phone System. So take a deep breath and read on…

1) Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): VoIP is sweeping the globe, allowing businesses to use the internet system to make unlimited calls.

2) Hosted PBX: Hosted PBX phone systems offer small business owners, like you, you the same benefits as traditional PBX, but for a fraction of the cost. With a hosted PBX system, you will not need to purchase or install or maintain anything onsite. This will all be handled by your service provider for an affordable monthly fee.

3) Avaya IP Office: Avaya IP Office is the most cost effective small business phone system on the market today! And the benefits of nearly endless:

  1.  Avaya IP Office scales up to 1,000 users at a single sight
  2. Avaya IP Office features mobile applications
  3. Your customer service will benefit from Avaya IP Office’s responsiveness
  1.  Avaya IP Office includes all of the features you need, including a secure 128-party conference bridge, call recording, auto attendants, voice mail, voice-mail-to-email integration, and much more!
  2. Avaya IP Office boasts one of the lowest Total Costs of Ownership (TCOs) on the market!

4) Call Advanced Communication Systems (ACS): We offer solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your business’s communications investment. From traditional voice to Voice over IP (VoIP), ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider. Plus, we are an authorized Avaya dealer in Baltimore, Maryland!

You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.If you have any questions about Small Business Phone Systems please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

What you need to know before you make the switch to VoIP or Hosted PBX

Switching your office from a traditional telephone system over to voice-over-IP (VoIP) or a Hosted PBX can be very beneficial. But before you jump at the opportunity to update your communication system, you must first take several factors into consideration.

How much Bandwidth is Required?

For starters, bandwidth is the term used to describe the amount of information your Internet connection can send and receive over a period of time, normally measured in kbps or kilobits per second. VoIP requires a certain amount of bandwidth to keep your conversations clear and free of disruptions. But exactly how much bandwidth you will need? This is the first step in determining if your office is compatible with VoIP technology.

  1. Use an online speed test to determine your maximum upload and download stream. We recommend using a fixed connection instead of your wifi connection in order to achieve more accurate results. And to get the best understanding of your Internet connection, you should conduct this test several times throughout the day. You will need to have a high speed (broadband) connection to use voice-over-IP.
  2. How many people in the office will be using the phone at the same time? For example, ten people would require ten times as much bandwidth.
  3. Ask your voice-over-IP service provider what audio codecs they offer. Full Quality Audio (G711 Codec) uses 87 kbps for each concurrent phone call (NEB) while Compressed Audio (G729 Codec) uses 33 kbps for each concurrent phone call (NEB). So, based on a typical DSL connection (600 kbps upload / 5000 kbps download), Full Quality: 600 kbps / 87 kbps = 6 concurrent calls, while Compressed Quality: 600 kbps / 33 kbps = 18 concurrent calls.

What Type of Router will you use?

An often overlooked piece of equipment, your router connects your computer and network equipment to the Internet. And guess what? Your router can have a major impact on your VoIP implementation. Your router should be powerful enough to flawlessly handle your office’s call volume. Factors to consider when choosing your router include:

  1. Number of Phones: The more phones you have connected, the more powerful your router will need to be.
  2. Dedicated Internet Connection: If you do not have a dedicated connection for your VoIP, you will need a router with a quality of service (QoS) setting. This will allow the router to prioritize voice traffic over regular Internet traffic.
  3. Additional Functions: Will your router also handle additional functions?
  4. Router to Modem Bridge: Routers that are not bridged can cause problems with voice-over-IP installations.
  5. Too Many Routers: Too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing. Never use more than one router or nat gateway on the network at a time as this will cause problems for IP Telephones when they attempt to do NAT.

Additional Factors to Consider

  1. Is your office equipped with a good battery backup to protect against power failures?
  2. Will voice traffic be separated from regular internet users or if it will share the same network?
  3. What type of VoIP equipment will you use?

If you have any questions about VoIP, please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

ACS offers solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your business’s communications investment. From traditional voice to Voice over IP (VoIP), ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider.

You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.