Blog

3 Good Reasons to Upgrade your Phone System to VoIP (Hint: it’s not all about the free long distance)

Posted by .

Don’t get me wrong – cheap long-distance is a very good reason to upgrade from a standard PBX to a VoIP system. But if you don’t have any branch offices outside of your head office locale, there isn’t much there. So what else is in it for you?

Definition of VoIP

First off, for those of you who aren’t up on what exactly VoIP is… VoIP stands for Voice over IP and it is, in its simplest form, a telecommunications system that uses the Internet or other Internet Protocol network to transmit telephone calls. You can plug it into your existing data network (and use a variety of very cool programs linked to your data network) and you can use it to make the “free” long-distance calls that seem to be the hallmark of VoIP. But there is a lot more you can do with VoIP than that which meets the eye. Here are three of the coolest features of VoIP and why it is very attractive to the small business.

Click to Dial

This is one of my favourites. This gives you the ability to simply click on a telephone number anywhere on the screen to initiate the call. Those of you used to using Skype will know about this feature. Incidentally, Skype is actually a form of VoIP so if you have used Skype you have already used a VoIP application.

Back to Click to Dial… Nice feature – you no longer have to highlight the number on your screen, pick up your phone, try to find that number on your screen and then dial it manually, you simply right-click and dial. A simple, effective time saving measure if ever there was one.

Single Number Reach

Ever wanted to be able to give out one single phone number which you could be reached on? Usually you have to give out your office number and/or your cell number and folks had to try you on one and then the other; a little like a game of telephone tag. Not to mention that perhaps you really don’t want to give out your cell number as is often the case. With Single Number Reach, you can ring both your office line AND your cell line simultaneously. If you pick up your land line first, it stops ringing on your cell and vice versa. But (and here is the really cool feature), if someone calls your office line and you pick up your cell just as you are walking through the office door, you can then pick up your land line and the call is automatically cut over to your office phone. Now you can be in touch, keep your cell number private, and reduce your cell phone expenditures.

Presence

Wouldn’t it be nice to know the status of your colleagues BEFORE you pick up the phone to call them? With presence, you can do that and a whole lot more. Presence is all about choosing the right mode of communication at the right time and regardless of the method (phone, instant message, video call, etc), presence helps you choose it. Presence really simplifies inter-office communication by showing you the status of your coworkers in a simple pane on your desktop. Are they on the phone, away from their desk, in a meeting? Or maybe they can’t be disturbed for any reason right now. Presence will tell you that. You can then make up your mind as to how to communicate with them. On the phone? Send them an email. On the phone but you urgently need them? Send an instant message. Need to collaborate face-to-face but you’re in different area codes? Fire up a video meeting. All from one console. Very cool, very useful, and part of the deal with VoIP.

These are just a couple of the dozens of examples of how a Cisco installed VoIP phone system can make your business, leaner, meaner and more agile. Syncronet is one of only a handful of Cisco Select Partners in British Columbia. We know VoIP for Small Business and we can show you all of these tricks and many, many more – oh yeah, we can also set you up for free long distance.