Managed VoIP vs. Owned VoIP

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managedvsownedvoipFor many businesses, converting their phone systems to Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an obvious solution. It is not difficult to sell a company on the advantages and flexibility that VoIP offers over conventional private branch exchange (PBX or internal multi-line phone) systems. Cost, nationwide distribution, centralized messaging, customized caller-ID, and connecting virtual offices are just a few of the reasons to go with VoIP. But setting up a VoIP system can become a significant investment. Depending on the type and size of your business, running and maintaining VoIP at an optimal level may be cost-prohibitive.

VoIP and PBX alike (along with almost everything else in a business) require power to work. If power goes out, so does your phone service. With VoIP, you also need a reliable Internet connection, which you will lose if you suffer a power loss. Also, if the Internet connection goes down, you lose phone service. For a business, this is a huge risk. Losing power must not result in losing contact with clients. If you want to host your own VoIP system, back-up generators and redundant Internet connections are your best protection from these kinds of service disruptions.

Being your own VoIP supplier can also require an investment in IT services to keep the software updated and secure. The open-source software used with VoIP is constantly changing and susceptible to security breaches. Not only could someone potentially hack into your system to place phone calls, but they could listen to live or recorded conversations and steal sensitive information like customer credit card data. Having the right security precautions in place is vital for protecting your business and your customers.

With all of these concerns, from power outages to security, VoIP may not seem quite as attractive to smaller companies, but there is an option for businesses that want the capabilities of VoIP without the capital expense of increasing infrastructure and IT: Managed VoIP service providers have already made the necessary investments. Managed VoIP service providers supply the back-up power, redundant Internet connections and reliable fiber optic cables. If power goes out at your office, calls can still be answered by voicemail or they can be re-directed to mobile phones for a seamless customer experience. To the outside world, it will appear to be business as usual.

Managed VoIP service also provides you with access to their team of engineers and IT professionals responsible for keeping your service running smoothly and securely. Managed services have invested in the personnel, multiple firewalls and extra security features that the average business would not necessarily have.

There is little debate in the business world that VoIP has become the communication service of choice, but that doesn’t mean that it is an easy service to implement. A managed VoIP service provider can make converting your phone systems more affordable and offer you peace of mind, allowing you to concentrate on your business.

Features of Voice over IP and PBX Follow Me

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voipfeaturesBusinesses adapt new technologies to fill a specific need all of the time. Many set up web-managed voicemail and PBX Follow Me without realizing their full capabilities. It’d be a shame to let these tools go to waste. Take a moment now to learn how Voice over IP and PBX Follow Me can modify how you do business.

Web-Managed Voicemail

Web-managed voicemail enables any company with a customer service department to create a customer response line that goes to voicemail. This allows you to store messages for support, feedback and questions so you know that each request will be handled. Employees can use their inbox as a to-do list, filing messages once a request is complete, and you’d always have the message there for reference if needed. This same line will also record customer feedback that you can sort into accolades and complaints.

At thinkCSC, we use the 24/7 contact settings to add enhanced service for our clients. You do this by simply adjusting your PBX Follow Me settings. We give these 24/7 clients a specific code to punch in, which dials them to a virtual extension. PBX Follow Me directs this virtual extension directly to the cell phone of that week’s on-call engineer. Any company can set PBX Follow Me to give customers access to an on-call person, if they need support after regular business hours.

Advantages of Web-Managed VoIP

Another big advantage of web-managed Voice mail IP is that it allows you to manage personal and business voicemails, organizing them into folders; you can also forward phone calls via email. With PBX Follow Me, the extensions you create don’t even have to be actual phones. They can be virtual extensions that only have mailboxes.

Automatic Call Distribution

Automatic call distribution, better known as phone call queuing, acts as a service or sales queue. At thinkCSC, we use the queue for our help desk. The way it works is simple: a customer dials in and presses “1” for service. That call is then dropped in the same sort of queue used by AT&T, Dell or Microsoft. The calls are tagged and organized in the order they’re received. Callers can stay on hold or drop out of the queue and leave a voicemail in our service desk, which is another virtual extension. We also use an email distribution list that’s forwarded to managers, so anyone in the service desk room receives these voicemails through the automatic distribution queue. Nothing falls through the cracks.

Record Every Call

Voice over IP and PBX Follow Me enable you to record every call, which includes conference calls. Yes, there’s even a conference call system that allows you to set up and host your own conference calls, also allowing you to personalize the prompts and record the entire conversation. All of these tools are at your disposal. If you have any questions, you can reach us 24/7. We guarantee a timely response.