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The Ultimate Guide to Enterprise Phone Systems (2022)
Over the years, the internet has become a crucial tool in business communications, and enterprise phone systems are evolving to connect employees with colleagues and clients. This guide will discuss enterprise phone systems and features to look for when selecting your communication needs.
What are Enterprise Phone Systems?
Enterprise Phone Systems are a collection of technologies that enable employees to communicate via voice with colleagues, customers, and partners. The technologies include traditional office telephones, softphones, and mobile devices. They are focused on human interaction through speech rather than visual or texts.
What is an Enterprise Phone System For?
An Enterprise Phone System helps employees communicate and collaborate smoothly, using their preferred device. Many enterprise phone systems today incorporate a variety of devices, from the traditional desktop telephone to softphones and employees’ mobile phones.
What to Look for in an Enterprise Phone System?
Choosing an enterprise phone system can be complex as you need a service that offers reliable, effective and high-quality communications. Here are the things to look for in an Enterprise Phone System.
- Cost Savings: Enterprise VoIP phone systems eliminate the need for onsite equipment or installation of any hardware. Setup, maintenance, repair and upgrades are all handled by the provider. You should also look out for enterprise phone systems with low monthly maintenance costs without compromising quality.
- Portability and Scalability: Another thing to look out for is the portability of most enterprise VoIP systems. Whether working remotely, in transit, or in the office, your employees can access the corporate phone system. Enterprise VoIP phone system is not limited by location.
- Unified Communications: When adopting an enterprise VoIP system, you should look for unified communication technology. Unified communications allow for audio, web, and video conferencing, voicemail, email, screen sharing, etc. They enhance collaboration and increase productivity among employees.
- Uptimes and Reliability: Reliability is crucial in providing quality service as a business. Ensure the enterprise phone system guarantees uptimes as high as 99.999%.
- 24/7 Customer Support: Look for a provider that provides reliable support whenever issues arise. This boosts your customer response times and improves employee efficiency.
Must-Have Features for Enterprise Phone Systems
- Installation, Training, and Support: An enterprise phone system provider is responsible for installation, training, maintenance, and repairs.
- Call Analytics: Call analytics assesses all customer interaction data. It provides insights into inbound and outbound calls regarding call patterns, call volume, seasonal spikes, employee performance, etc.
- Find Me/Follow Me: Find Me/Follow Me allows users to route their incoming calls to multiple phones in a preset sequence.
- Call Recording: Record calls, store them in the cloud and access them from virtually anywhere.
- Local Numbers: Local numbers are important when you want to have a local presence in a location, even if your business is not in the actual place. Find an enterprise phone system provider that provides this in their plans.
- Voicemail-to-Email Transcription: Converts your voicemails into audio files and sends them to your email.
- Call Queues: Automatically route incoming calls to the next available agent.
- Customizable Templates: With these templates, an enterprise phone system makes it easier and faster to change settings according to personnel changes.
- Custom Software Integration: An enterprise phone system should allow you to integrate with any type of CRM and software applications your business uses or requires e.g., Oracle ERP system, Salesforce, etc
Phone Systems Options for Enterprise Businesses
Here are the top 5 phone systems options for enterprise businesses:
- Key System Units (KSUs): Calls come in via landlines to a central switching unit (a keyphone). The keyphone has buttons to view the status of lines, extensions, and incoming calls. Many small businesses use the Key System Unit. It is reliable and easy to use but has limited functions.
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX): PBX is more advanced than the KSU. It can handle up to tens or hundreds of telephone lines. Today, PBXs are mostly digital, although some businesses still use human-operated PBXs. Traditional PBX has the equipment hosted onsite, within the business premises.
- Virtual Phone Systems: Virtual phone systems deliver the PBX functionality over the internet and help employees stay connected virtually anywhere. They are more flexible than traditional, on-premise systems and are perfect for small and large businesses.
- Cloud-based VoIP: Enterprise cloud-based VoIP systems do not require you to install any hardware or equipment. The phone system is cloud-hosted, and all information is stored in the cloud. Cloud-based VoIP systems are scalable, easy to install and manage, and are backed by multiple data centers.
- Self-hosted VoIP phone system: A self-hosted VoIP phone system means that all the hardware and software are stored in your office. With a self-hosted system, businesses have more personalized configuration, more control over their data, and can monitor and control the quality of calls.
Setting Up Your Enterprise Phone System
Enterprise VoIP systems run on desktop and mobile apps and do not need any hardware setup. Installing and setting up a fully-featured one will vary with admin dashboards of different phone systems. Some businesses, however, may still prefer having IP phones on site. Ensure whichever option you choose is compatible with your communication needs.
Final Thoughts on Enterprise Phone Systems
Your business requires the very best communication, and enterprise phone systems can take your communication to the next level. So be sure to look out for the features aforementioned, think about your business-specific needs, and decide which enterprise phone system is best for you.
As a leading expert in digital marketing, integrated campaigns and marketing strategies, Tim has led award-winning marketing communications teams for several communications companies. In addition to serving as the Director of Marketing for ULTATEL, he is also the Kansas City president for the American Marketing Association.