Whether you are a start-up business working from home or planning to move your business into office space there are a number of considerations when looking to move to an IP Phone System.
When choosing an IP Phone System choosing a broadband package that gives you sufficient bandwidth is an important factor. You may already be using up bandwidth to run other business systems such as CCTV, DAB radio or video conferencing so make sure you are receiving speeds that can support these as well as an IP Phone System within your business. Ideally, a better option would be to have a separate broadband installation, one for your IT and one for your IP Phones.
2. Phone Number
To receive calls you will require a phone number and this can be local to you or for any UK landline area. IP Phone Systems give you the flexibility of using multiple numbers for any area code including national numbers 0800, 0330 or 0345 numbers.
If you are moving your business to another location and want to keep your existing number then this is possible using “Number Porting”. Most IP Phone Suppliers offer this service and the number can be transferred from your old supplier for continued use within 5 – 10 working days.
3. The Number of Extensions
An extension will be required for each desk phone or walkabout phone you require. For instance, 4 people using 4 phones will require 4 extensions. Calls can be made between extensions for free even if the phones are in different locations.
4. The Number of Handsets – Phones
For each extension you will require a phone handset and these can either be a desk phone, walkabout phone or softphone. The softphone option is software that runs on your PC and allows you to make and take calls from your PC. Phone handset prices can vary depending on the supplier you choose and the features you require to manage your calls efficiently.
5. Call Handling
This is managed within the hosted phone system (PBX). When calls are received you can decide how they will be answered and by whom and when. When you are unable to take a call they can be diverted to another user, voicemail option or call answering service.
6. Call Costs
Call rates will vary with individual suppliers although expect to pay less for 01, 02 and 0330 numbers and a little more for mobile and premium numbers. Look for fixed pricing bundles which will include all call costs for local and/or mobiles. Calls made and received should be logged and suppliers generally provide you with a PBX Portal where you can monitor calls and change call handling options.
Look for Contract-Free suppliers to give your business flexibility.