Over the past two decades, the telecom industry has made a significant shift to virtualization, stepping away from legacy PBX business phone systems and embracing voice over IP protocol (VoIP), or virtual phone systems. This trend has been advanced for a good reason, as VoIP offers numerous advantages to businesses of any size, from the small office to enterprise. One of the most attractive aspects of VoIP is that it is affordable, feature-rich, and utterly scalable so that even the smallest companies can now enjoy enterprise-level calling options at a fraction of its previous cost.
Regardless of how big or how small a business is, they must always have a way for their customers to reach them. Even in an age where mobile has pretty much taken over our communications, maintaining a professional image means having a dedicated business phone line. For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), this is now within reach, as the high cost of installing and maintaining a business line is a thing of the past. In fact, a virtual business line can allow calls to be transferred to whatever phone or device desired, and when a call comes in from that line, it will alert you that it is a business call – a handy feature for the entrepreneur working from their home or on the go.
As more businesses embrace remote working, or for companies who have teams working in the field, a virtual phone system can direct calls to their mobile devices wherever they are. An infinite number of extensions can be configured so that each worker has a dedicated line on which they can receive calls. A caller dials the main number, selects the extension and is connected to whomever they wish. Alternately, unique phone numbers are assigned to each employee, which can be forwarded to their mobile, their office or wherever they might be.
In the past, the cost of a legacy PBX system for a small to medium-sized business ran into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Installing and maintaining dedicated lines, keeping the equipment housed in its own space, and paying for repairs, updates, and upgrades were the norms. If you wanted to add a line or a feature, you would need to call in a technician, and often it would take days to complete the request, not to mention the hundreds of dollars spent on the service call. Today, making changes to a virtual phone system is instantaneous, as upgrades, updates, hardware, and features are housed in the cloud, and administered online. The average company can enjoy the same quality of voice services at pennies on the dollar in comparison. Since there is no equipment to maintain, that cost is eliminated as well, and the savings to the bottom line can be immediately seen.
Probably one of the most attractive things about a virtual phone system is how nimble it is for any size business. For SMBs, the features offered by a VoIP system helps to engage and connect their workforce, boost productivity, and provide better service to their clientele while staying remarkably lean. Scale up, Scale down, or go global, a virtual phone system offers many advantages that would not previously have been possible. For instance, say a company was expanding into new markets or marketing to regions outside of their typical service area. Their virtual phone system would allow them to create an unlimited number of phone numbers in whatever area codes or exchanges they like, giving them the option to appeal to the local population in the markets they are targeting. Sales teams will thrive in a virtual phone environment, with advanced calling features, contact management software (CMS) integrations, and the ability to make calls directly from their desktop computer. Administrators will love it too because all aspects of productivity can be monitored: everything from call monitoring to call quality, inventory control, and system-wide updates are completely centralized, helping to streamline tasks and promote accountability across the entire workforce.
Bottom line, SMBs who are looking to grow, boost productivity, and save money should give serious consideration to making the switch to a virtual phone system.
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