Choosing a Voice Mail System

Written by Jason Morris

Voice Mail put simply In its simplest form a voice mail system is essentially just another phone answering system. They store their messages on a computer disk. Each user is assigned a mailbox where they only have access to his or her messages. They are also password protected so onlyrepparttar assigned user can accessrepparttar 147323 messages in their mailbox. Voice mail systems also allow each user to create their own greeting message. This enablesrepparttar 147324 user to pass on instructions or important messages without takingrepparttar 147325 call.

Voice mail systems can allow companies to redirect callers to other company employees. A voice mail system can answer calls rather than a member of staff; provide them with a common greeting, then guiderepparttar 147326 caller to an appropriate department through a selection process. This is more commonly known asrepparttar 147327 voice mail systems Auto Attendant feature.

Voice mail systems can merge fax, e-mail and voice messages into just one screen of a users PC. Some voice mail systems even offer voice recognition technology. A caller’s voice is recognised byrepparttar 147328 voice mail system andrepparttar 147329 system acts accordingly to pre-defined instructions. This is known as Interactive Voice Response.

What to look for in a voice mail system Voice mails systems are usually additional features of existing in house phone systems. When deciding which voice mail system to purchase you need to look at two key aspects of each one:repparttar 147330 number of user ports andrepparttar 147331 hours of memory that is allocated to messages.

A good voice mail system will have enough ports to handle incoming calls without delay. If allrepparttar 147332 ports are full, then any new callers will be delayed inrepparttar 147333 system until a port becomes available. If a voice mail system has too many ports then its capacity is wasted. The trick is to balancerepparttar 147334 number of ports withrepparttar 147335 estimated number of potential customers.

The capacity of a voice mail system depends onrepparttar 147336 hours of memory it has available. A system with a large number of ports and traffic may need a large number of hours, where as a system with low traffic will need fewer hours. The term hours of memory refers to capacity of a voice mail system to store any messages.

Selecting a voice mail system, check list

1. How do you use your voice mail? This depends on how heavily your staff will be usingrepparttar 147337 voice mail system. A port is in use wheneverrepparttar 147338 voice mail system picks up a call, someone leaves, someone is transferred, or whenever a message is picked up by a user. All these factors need to be taken into account when looking at suitable voice mail systems.

2. Many older phone systems may not support a modern voice mail system. Unfortunately many business phone systems that are above five years old will not be able to fully support a fully featured voice mail system. The only solution would be to replace your phone system with a more modern one.

Buying a New Business Phone System

Written by Jason Morris

Buying a new business phone system is one ofrepparttar most important purchases any business will ever make. The selection of a phone system can either bring a business closer to its customers and clients or, cause confusion and chaos amongst all that use or interact with it.

It is therefore essential that you chooserepparttar 147270 right phone system for your business needs. The telephone is quite oftenrepparttar 147271 fastest and easiest way to reach customers and clients. It should also berepparttar 147272 fastest and easiest way for them to reach you. It should be flexible enough to be able to cover all of your company’s needs and handle all calls appropriately. The last thing any business wants is for its important business callers and customers to be routed incorrectly, disconnected, or faced with a long list of confusing automated options.

There are lots of factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a new business telephone system. Below are a few ofrepparttar 147273 main ones:

1. You need enough capacity to fulfil your current business needs.

2. Assess your potential future growth and select a compatible phone system accordingly.

3. Ensure compatibility with any equipment you already own (headsets, handsets, conferencing equipment, cabling etc).

4. What features does your business phone system need to incorporate?

Fulfilling allrepparttar 147274 factors above and any more you can think of can be an expensive challenge for any business. The aim of this guide is to help you understand what decisions you need to make in order to chooserepparttar 147275 right phone system for your business.

Types of business phone system

There are three major types of phone system available: KSU-Less phones, Key systems and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems. Which type of phone system you choose will depend onrepparttar 147276 amount of extensions you require andrepparttar 147277 features your telephone system needs to have installed.

KSU-Less systems

KSU-Less systems are usually more suited to companies that typically have less than ten employees, or require less than ten extensions. That isn’t to say that all companies requiring less than ten phone extensions can make do with a KSU-Less system. It may be that you require more features which are only available through either a PBX or Key phone system.

Requiring a far lower initial investment thanrepparttar 147278 other types of business phone systems, KSU-Less phones are specifically designed to include many ofrepparttar 147279 features usually only available throughrepparttar 147280 implementation of a full small business phone system.

KSU-Less systems can be easily unplugged and relocated, because they are not permanently wired into your office. This portability allows you to treat a KSU-Less phone system, muchrepparttar 147281 same as any business machine, rather than a lost permanent investment.

You will need to ensure that any KSU-Less system you choose is compatible not only withrepparttar 147282 type of wiring you have in your office, but also with any accessories you may already have, such as: headsets, answering & fax machines and modems. Because KSU-Less phone systems are relatively inexpensive, they are not usually sold, installed, or maintained by telecoms vendors.

All of this means, you have to go out there and do not onlyrepparttar 147283 shopping yourself but, alsorepparttar 147284 installation and support. This is one ofrepparttar 147285 two major drawbacks of KSU-Less systems. The last thing any business needs is to be concerned withrepparttar 147286 reliability and maintenance of its phone system. Another drawback of KSU-Less systems is that they are more prone to something known as “crosstalk”. This is where separate conversations may blend into each other. With PBX, Key systems and Hybrid systems falling in price, it sometimes makes more sense to invest in a full business phone system, rather than become susceptible torepparttar 147287 risks of a KSU-Less system.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems

If your business typically requires more than forty extensions, or your needs dictate you need advanced functions from your business phone system, then PBX systems are oftenrepparttar 147288 solution. PBX systems used to be extremely expensive and only affordable by huge corporations with hundreds of extensions. Though this is stillrepparttar 147289 case for larger installations,repparttar 147290 development ofrepparttar 147291 technology required has progressed torepparttar 147292 point where a powerful, fully functional PBX office phone system for a small business is able to fit onrepparttar 147293 top of a desk.

Nearly all these compact PBX phone systems come with allrepparttar 147294 features you might want as standard. You pay a premium forrepparttar 147295 programmability and flexibility that a PBX offers, but in most casesrepparttar 147296 price difference is not as much as you may imagine between that of a less flexible phone system.

Key Systems

Key phone systems are more typical in businesses that require five to forty extensions. This type of phone system uses a central control unit calledrepparttar 147297 Key System Unit (KSU) to provide features and functions that are not available using ordinary phones. An example of this is: key systems using a KSU allow one extension to call another in house extension, and prevents any other users from picking up a line that is already in use. Key systems usually come as standard with most features any business would expect, but in some cases they are often less flexible than a PBX phone system.

PBX & Key Systems (hybrids)

Though Key and PBX systems have some different technical features, these differences have become somewhat blurred overrepparttar 147298 past couple of years. Many Key systems now offer features that were once only available to those who chose to install a full PBX phone system. Some systems also operate internally as either a PBX or Key system depending onrepparttar 147299 software installed. Sometime these systems are often referred to as “Hybrid” phone systems.

Installation & maintenance of PBX and Key phone systems

PBX and Key phone systems require installation by fully trained and qualified telecoms engineers. All outside and inside lines must connect torepparttar 147300 PBX or KSU cabinet. The installation and maintenance of one of these types of phone system can be just as expensive asrepparttar 147301 phone system itself. In many cases you may be able to userepparttar 147302 existing phone lines available in your office, but unlessrepparttar 147303 phones you have been using are relatively new, they may not be compatible with your new system, requiring you to purchase new handsets as well asrepparttar 147304 system itself.

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