As unified communications systems are ostensibly becoming a dominant player in the advanced small business phone systems space, small business owners will want to seriously consider these revolutionary services to transform how their operations stay connected. One of the most common forms of unified communications is Voice over Internet Protocol technology (VoIP). VoIPs are a surefire way for business owners to stay connected by integrating technology comprising internet and small business phone services, customer-service applications, instant messaging, and email.
However, unified communications ensure flexibility regarding how customers and businesses stay connected and the variety of communication tools they can use. These small business phone services also make it easier to track mobile staff as telecommuting becomes a standard work option for small business employees. Of course, different small business phone service providers vary in how they charge for extra features and which features comprise a package offering. One standard small business phone service package offering might combine inbox services comprising voicemail collection, emails, and faxes, making them all accessible by Smartphone or computer. These charges may/may not include the cost of personal cell phones or data plans for those small business phones.
Another standard small business phone package offering is an instant-messaging program that allows employees to check their colleagues' status, hold a video conference, and share desktops on a team project. If a business is hosting an off-site meeting requiring the entire staff to be remote, an employee can use their mobile device as a small business phone and be available for the call no matter where.
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Options & Costs
While generally speaking, costs associated with using small business phones can be negligible, adopting these new communications tools may require an upfront investment, significantly if entirely revamping a company's phone system is the goal or if the new products are incompatible with older small business phone systems. In this case, if a business owner has recently invested in other small business phone equipment, he/she may not be eager to abandon it and start anew. On the other hand, when the price is right and the small business phone services attractive, some small businesses may be motivated to make the switch.
So, switching to small business phones leaves buyers with a choice of hiring a service provider to host a small business phone service, which tends to cost less than buying lots of new equipment, even though buying hosted services does require relinquishing some control of operations. And many business owners don’t mind letting the hosting provider take control if it means reaping cost savings.
Full Business Suite
Integration is necessary to ensure that the phone system can work seamlessly with other essential business tools, such as CRM software, email clients, and scheduling applications.
The integration process can be complicated, and it is recommended that businesses seek the assistance of an experienced professional to ensure that everything is properly connected. Failing to do so can result in data duplication, lost data, and inefficient workflows.
It is essential to evaluate the compatibility of the new phone system with the existing software and hardware infrastructure. The phone system should work well with the existing technology stack and not cause any disruptions to the business's workflow.
Finally, it is essential to remember that the integration process is not a one-time event. As the business grows and its needs change, new systems and applications will be added to the technology stack. The phone system must be adjusted to ensure continued compatibility and seamless operation.
Train Key Users
In today's fast-paced business world, small businesses rely heavily on communication technology to conduct their operations. Small business phones are a crucial aspect of communication technology used to connect businesses with customers and suppliers. However, even with the best small business phone system in place, proper training is necessary to leverage all the features and benefits of the system effectively.
User training is essential to help employees understand how to operate the small business phone system, optimize its features, and troubleshoot basic issues that may arise. With proper training, employees may be able to take advantage of the small business phone system's advanced features, which can negatively impact business operations and lead to lost opportunities.
Therefore, investing in user training before deploying small business phones is crucial. Training can be provided by the manufacturer, the vendor, or a third-party provider, depending on the system's complexity and the users' needs.
Security is Key
When implementing small business phones, it is important to consider security concerns to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access.
Choose a Secure Communication Platform
Ensure the small business phone system has security features like encryption, password protection, and firewalls.
Establish Security Policies
Develop security policies and procedures that outline how employees should use the small business phones and what measures they should take to protect sensitive information.
Train employees on how to use small business phones securely. This includes best practices such as not sharing passwords, keeping phones locked when not in use, and not downloading suspicious apps or clicking on suspicious links.
Regularly Update Software
Keep the small business phone software up to date with the latest security patches and updates to protect against known vulnerabilities.
Regularly monitor the small business phone system for unusual or suspicious behavior.
Small business owners can help mitigate security concerns and protect their sensitive information when using small business phones by taking these steps.
Decide, then Buy Carefully.
Business owners considering small business phone systems will want to be cautious about what they buy. Some products are designed for large business operations and require specialized IT staff. Even companies anticipating rapid growth will want to opt for a less lofty unified communications system than they need to avoid buying products they don’t need at the moment. Ultimately, It's up to the company's IT manager or owner to ensure the small business phone system is appropriate for the number of employees it currently serves and plans to serve.
Compare the best small business phone system offerings to get the best option that will fit your business’s needs.