A VoIP phone system makes it possible to customize the office phone experience to each individual employee, from “follow me” logic to soft phones and unified communications solutions. This is truly the future of the office phone.
Since we’ve been in the VoIP business for well over a decade, it’s surprising to find that so many people that we talk to on a regular basis still don’t fully understand VoIP and its benefits. While some may consider the details of their phone system something of a technical matter, we would argue that it’s a very personal matter, especially considering that VoIP is technology that can make your life easier as a business owner or employee, leaving you more time to do your job.
Let’s get technical for a minute.
Switching to a Voice over IP, VoIP, phone system—particularly from a traditional “POTS” (plain old telephone system) PBX or similar—offers a number of advantages.
Generally speaking, a VoIP system is less expensive to maintain that a PBX system, and it almost always offers more flexibility in terms of where phones can be placed in an office, and how quickly lines can be installed and the system expanded.
But there’s another aspect of the VoIP experience worth exploring: what it means for the individual user on that system. In most cases, VoIP means finally having a “modern relationship” with your office phone, where that office phone number can be used to truly connect, conveniently and productively, with the professional who is using it.
What sort of stuff are we talking about? Let’s take a look! We’ve put together five conveniences that using VoIP makes possible for the end user of the modern telephone solution.
1. Voicemail Untethered
For traditional phone users, when you think of office voicemail, you think of something that is tied to that extension at your desk. (If you’re particularly clever, you may have learned how to dial in for messages or access them from elsewhere in the office, but many of us never get that far.) While you can certainly use a VoIP phone on your desk to retrieve messages, with a VoIP system, you’ve got access to a number of other options.
Many VoIP users will opt to have their voicemails forwarded to email. That makes it possible to use your PC, smartphone or another device to listen to the actual audio of a message left on your “office phone.”
What’s more, the caller doesn’t need to know a different number for you—or where you are in the world—in order to reach you by voice message. That means you can check messages as they come into your office phone, even if you’re out on sales calls, on a business trip or traveling for pleasure. That also means you can skip the “I’m out of the office” message on your desk line, since you’ll still have all those options for checking voicemail and replying if desired.
Further, with the push of a button, you can have your voicemail pick right up or even forward your calls to the extension of someone who will be able to answer calls in the event you are out of town for an extended period of time or out of the office for the day.
2. Take Your Phone with You.
Through simple forwarding commands like we mentioned above—or even through more automated pre-programming logic—with VoIP, you can use your mobile device to receive a call to your office phone. So, while you are on the job, but out of the office (or roaming around it), your devices help you connect quickly for anyone who needs to get a hold of you. Fuse.Cloud’s Voice solutions, for instance, offer “follow me/find me” options that make it possible for calls to ring through to your other devices when someone calls your office line.
In fact, we can take that one step further, saving money in the process. One option that VoIP gives you that a PBX never could is doing away with your “desk phone” completely and using your smartphone exclusively. Your smartphone can run software that allows it to accept a call as an extension of your VoIP system so you can use just that one device that you always have on or near your person. Accessing voicemail, conference and other features is easy, and all it takes is a quick download to your device.
3. Extensions unleashed
Another advantage of VoIP is the variety of ways you can set them up to ring in the office so that customer-service calls get answered. One extension can ring multiple phones, either all at once or in sequence. When one employee is out of town, rerouting calls to another is a simple matter; even after certain times of day, a given extension can ring on someone else’s desk.
And those extensions, even if they’re office phones, can move at any time as well. Need to reconfigure the office? Move sales to another part of the building? Unplug the desktop phone from Ethernet in one part of the office and move it elsewhere, and it’ll generally work. (If not, because it loses access to the VoIP router, even that is a simple fix for our technical team.)
Extensions don’t even have to be in the same building—one of the major advantages of VoIP is how easy it is to set up “multi-campus” installations for growing companies. People can be in different buildings, cities, states or parts of the world, and easily transfer calls without the person on the other end of the phone knowing who is where.
4. Soft phones
If you have employees who use the phone a lot—call-center support staff, salespeople, reporters or public-relations folks—they may find that using a phone in software is the best solution.
With options that make it easy to record calls, managing audio files and connect to an office extension with only a laptop and a headset for the conversation, a soft phone can make it easier for employees who need to be in front of their computer and on the phone to take care of business with clients.
5. Unified communications
Perhaps one of the most exciting upgrades that VoIP makes possible is moving to software-driven unified communications systems centered on your office phone system. With a unified communications system like Fuse.One—our mobile, tablet or desktop-friendly app—employees have more than just a soft phone, they have secure instant messages among team members, file-sharing abilities, voice and video conferencing tools, and desktop collaboration tools in one software application.
This makes it possible for mobile and wide-spread teams—including salespeople, heavy travelers and telecommuters—to stay in touch with one another and remain productive.
Fuse.One is the realization of many of the potential advantages of VoIP, giving employees more freedom and ways to communicate with team members and the outside world, while giving your company the peace of mind that comes with using a secure, single application instead of a wide range of third-party or social-media based tools, where privacy and security may not be as robust.
Communications as a Service
At Fuse.Cloud, we’ve been doing a lot more than installing phones and voicemail systems for well over a decade—we’ve been opening businesses and organizations up to new possibilities when it comes to how they securely communicate among their employees and with the outside world.
Ready to save money and vastly improve the freedom and options you have when it comes to text, voice and video communications? Give us a call for free quote and consultation!