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How Does a VoIP Phone System Work for My Business?

Voice Over IP Telephony, or VoIP, is the modern standard for business phone systems. It has replaced premises based private branch exchange (PBX) as a way for companies to  to operate their phone systems over broadband connections and save money on expensive landlines. While VoIP is a bit of a catch-all term, companies utilize it in two main different ways.

IP-PBX Phone Systems

The equipment for IP-PBX is located on the office premises like traditional PBX. The difference between the two is that instead of a hardwired user network. IP-PBX uses SIP trunking, an IP-based private branch exchange and a PTSN gateway to route calls. All hardware is housed on site and since it is self-hosted, is the responsibility of the office. Usage charges vary from month to month. This is a reliable VoIP option for businesses with more than 20 employees and a high call volume. It is also highly customizable.

Hosted Phone Solutions

Hosted phone solutions take the pressure off of a company to house hardware, as the key functions of this type of phone system are completed off-site. The only hardware delivered to a business are the phones themselves. The hosting provider shoulders responsibility for keeping the system up and running and managing network downtime. Cost is on a per-user basis and doesn’t vary from month to month. This is a great option for small-to-medium companies without IT departments and those that need room to grow

What Type of VoIP Is Right for My Business?

When deciding on a VoIP solutions, business leaders must consider how much control they want over their company’s phone system. If the business has a robust IT department, consistently high call volume and a need for meticulous customization, IP-PBX is the best choice. If a business is looking for a simple outsourced solution that is feature-rich with predictable costs, a hosted solution might be a good fit.

No matter your unique needs, BCS Voice and Data Solutions offers a VoIP solution for you. Whether it’s an IP-PBX system, Mitel AnyWare hosted phone solution or perhaps just a new phone system, we are excited to help. Click or call today.

Ring in the New Year with a New Business Phone System

What are your business’s communications challenges?

  • Outdated phone units that don’t offer new features? 
  • Unpredictable monthly costs? 
  • Unwieldy cabling and cluttered wiring?
  • Limited and unreliable teleconference capability?

Every company is different, and that’s why BCS tailors our services and recommendations to each company’s unique needs.

For those with outdated phone systems….

As an exclusive Mitel partner, BCS can outfit your company with new business phones that allow for seamless communication. You can go with traditional wired units, cordless phones or even a desktop Softphone. Most even pair with mobile phones, so your employees never have to miss a call.

For those who live in fear of the phone system bill…

BCS offers Mitel AnyWare hosted phone solutions as the perfect alternative to traditional IP-PBX and premise based PBX systems. For one monthly fee on a per-user basis, Mitel AnyWare gives small business owners peace of mind. Even more, AnyWare grows with your business. Add users as needed and know exactly what you’ll pay.

hosted telephone solutions

For those who have no clue where those cables lead…

Hardware failure is one of the leading causes of network downtime. This is why maintaining hardware like cabling, wiring and server components is an essential part of IT operations. Entrust your hardware to our expert structured cabling technicians. They will install (if necessary), inspect and organize your company’s cabling so that a frayed wire or bad connection won’t bring business to a halt.

For those who want the whole picture…

Relying on consumer-level video conferencing apps to connect with remote employees and distant clients is fine to a point, but exceptionally professional organizations need teleconference solutions that integrate directly with their phone and Unified Communications systems. BCS sells, installs and maintains a variety of the latest enterprise level teleconference equipment and applications.

Whatever the problem is, make a 2014 resolution to update and streamline your company’s communications technology by partnering with BCS Voice and Data Solutions. We specialize in providing tech solutions like feature-rich business phones, hosted PBX service, Unified Communications suites and more to small-to-medium businesses in Hampton Roads and beyond.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/luigi diamanti

Looking for a New Business Phone System? 10 Terms to Know.

When on the hunt for a new business phone system, navigating the waters of technical jargon can be exhausting, limiting and just plain frustrating. Whether you are thinking of investing in a cloud-based solution, a premise-based solution or even one of our used business phone systems to pair with your existing infrastructure, we’ve compiled ten key industry terms to help guide your search.

business phone system

  1. Auto attendant- a virtual receptionist that can run a phone system even in the event of network downtime. Directs callers toward their desired extensions and often has the capability, if the desired party is out of office, to direct said caller to the extension’s mobile device (see “mobile twinning”).
  2. Cloud-based business phone system-  Also known as a hosted phone system or hosted PBX (private branch exchange), a cloud-based business phone system stores all communications data wirelessly in the cloud. Requires subscription to a cloud-based VoIP PBX service like Mitel AnyWare and generally has fixed monthly charges on a per-user basis. Usually managed via a graphical user interface. (See: 5 Ways Hosted Telephone Solutions Can Help You Do Your Own Thing)
  3. Hosted PBX- See Cloud-based business phone system.”
  4. IP address- Internet protocol address. A series of numbers assigned to each device on a network. Can be either dynamic or static (fixed).
  5. Mobile twinning- A phone system’s capability to direct a call from a user’s desktop phone or softphone to his or her mobile device.
  6. On-premise PBX- Traditional Private Branch Exchange analog technology with hardware and connectivity maintained on site.
  7. On-premise IP PBX- Uses on-site SIP trunking to make calls and otherwise communicate over the Internet (VoIP). Communications costs vary month-to-month based on usage.
  8. SIP Trunking- Stands for “Session Initiation Protocol.” Acquired through an IP service provider, SIP trunking allows companies with IP-PBX phone systems to place calls outside of the office environment over the Internet.
  9. Softphone- Generally a Unified Communications client, a Softphone allows the user to place and receive phone calls from the desktop of their PC, just as they would from a desktop phone unit.  (See our recent product profile on Mitel’s MiCollab Client Softphone)
  10. Unified communications- Refers to the strategic integration of phone, instant messaging, video conferencing and other communication channels over the Internet through the private network.

Call or contact BCS to talk to an expert who can answer your questions about bettering your business’ communication potential. We’ll offer you advice, perspective and, most importantly, solutions.

 

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Top 5 Ways Hosted Telephone Solutions Can Help You Do Your Own Thing

As a small business leader, we know that you don’t always (read: rarely) get to operate on your own schedule or make decisions that align perfectly with your ideal. That’s why a big part of our mission here at BCS is to bring you greater freedom in business communications with innovative things like Mitel AnyWare hosted telephone solutions.

Unlike premises-based IP business phone systems, hosted telephone solutions are closely managed and monitored off-site by experts and don’t require any expensive or complex hardware. We offer Mitel AnyWare hosted PBX to our SMEs and so many of these clients rave about the time and money they’ve saved as a result.

Here are the top 5 ways hosted telephone solutions can bring you freedom and help you do your own thing:

hosted telephone solutions

1. Choose your own phone system.

One of the greatest things about Mitel AnyWare is its compatibility with a wide range of IP-enabled phone systems. Mitel’s phones are a perfect fit with AnyWare, but you can likely use your legacy IP-enabled system too. This means that you are not required to purchase any extra expensive hardware in order to make the most of your hosted telephone solution.

2. Enable the UC softphone feature (if you want).

Want the world on your desktop? AnyWare works seamlessly with Mitel’s extensive Unified Communications suite, including the Unified Communicator Express Softphone, which affords you all of the feature-rich usability of a business phone right on your computer screen.

3. Be here…or there.

Much like the advantages that come with Softphone capability, AnyWare lets you take advantage of mobile twinning and auto attendant so you NEVER miss a call because you’re out of the office or the system is down. In this day and age, you shouldn’t have to be tied to a desk and you won’t be with a Mitel AnyWare hosted telephone solution.

4. Grow or shrink.

Your business may be small now, but what if in a few years it doubles or triples in size? Will you have to upgrade to a bigger, more complex, more expensive IP-based phone system? No, not unless you think it’s time for a change. The reason for this is AnyWare’s incredible flexibility. Add or subtract users as you see fit and it will only be reflected in a change in the fixed monthly fee. Which brings us to one of the bests ways in which Mitel AnyWare brings you freedom in business and in life….

5. Budget without guessing.

Rather than dealing with the stress of usage-based charges that fluctuate from month to month, Mitel AnyWare works for you for one fixed monthly fee. That way you will know what to expect and be able to invest confidently.

Go ahead and get excited about the freedom hosted telephone solutions can bring you. Call or contact BCS today to learn more about Mitel AnyWare hosted PBX and discuss your options.