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Most traditional phone companies charge you for extra features that are added to your account. With VOIP service providers these usually come as standard. Features such as:
1. Caller ID
2. Call Waiting
3. Call Transfer
4. Repeat Dialling
5. Return Call
6. Three-Way Dialling
Some VOIP service providers also offer advanced call filtering features. These additional features allow you to decide how calls to a specific number are handled by using caller ID information. They allow you to:
1. Forward call to a particular number
2. Send call directly to voicemail
3. Give caller a busy signal
4. Play a "not-in-service" message
Many VOIP services also allow you to check your voicemail over internet or attach messages to an e-mail that is sent to your computer or PDA. Itís best to check with VOIP phone system suppliers and service operators exactly what features they offer as package and service prices vary greatly.
There are many other cost saving benefits that arise from a streamlined VOIP phone system network. For network administrators, a VOIP phone system means they only have one network to maintain instead of two. The portability of phone system is also greatly simplified. This is because most VOIP phone systems can be configured using a web interface, which can be managed by network administrator. The MAC (move, add, change) process is made much easier, and you will not have to call your system/service provider for every MAC you carry out. All this means lower ongoing costs for your company.
Another cost saving for companies who implement a VOIP system is, because multiple offices, no matter where they are in world are seamlessly connected, they can share many of features VOIP can offer, such as:
1. One single receptionist
2. Auto attendant facilities
3. Voice mail system
Choosing a VOIP phone system
If you have decided that a VOIP phone system is right step for your company, next you need to determine which of your existing telephone equipment you are able to keep. The potential cost savings that can be made through using any existing digital equipment are huge. Many digital phone systems can be IP enabled using minor hardware additions and software upgrades.
When shopping around for potential systems you need to be certain of features they provide as standard and which are optional cost extras. You also need to be certain of exactly what is included with system. Many suppliers claim to include everything you need, but standard components can vary from one company to other. So you need to sure you are comparing equivalent systems when approaching potential suppliers.
You will also need to enquire about compatibility of existing equipment. The technology used in many VOIP systems may affect implementation of any existing telephone hardware.
You will also need to ensure that any devices such as fax machines, credit card processors, and security systems etc can be integrated into your new VOIP phone system. You should make any potential vendor aware of such devices so they can provide you with a suitable phone system for your requirements.
Finally, do not try to save money by buying used VOIP phone systems. Remember VOIP is a new technology, so even last years equipment is outdated. Also installation cost will still apply whether system is new or second hand, and service costs may even be higher due to reliability issues. To put it simply it just isnít worth hassle, higher secondary costs will wipe out any potential saving.
Thanks for reading,
Jason Morris is co-author, search engine optimization and marketing consultant of Business Phone Systems Direct. Specialists in the supply and installation of business phone systems and accessories