Breaking down the office phone system
Office phones have improved over the years with the help of cloud technology and extraordinary manufacturing.
Using an office phone (or any phone, for that matter) used to require the help of an operator who would connect two physical lines in order for two parties to communicate.
After decades of iterations and technological developments, the office phone system of today is allowing us to communicate better and conveniently with those who matter most to our business.
Since VoIP phone systems use your internet connection, phones are able to integrate with enterprise applications and make phone calls by routing them through your network. This makes it easy to transfer data and experience clearer call quality.
The capabilities of an office phone system continue to evolve as technological advancements change the way we communicate. Trends continue to predict the growth of VoIP users and office phone systems are working hard to keep up with shifting communication demands.
A VoIP phone system consists of many moving parts; but we’ll stick to these four main components to give you basic idea.
The PBX. Acts as the brain of the entire system. Its main purpose is to dictate call flow and run the capabilities of your entire system.
Office phones. These are endpoints necessary to retrieve and make your business calls; they’re also known as VoIP phones and IP phones. Faulty hardware can affect the quality of your business phone service and calls.
Internet connection. The reliability of your internet connection defines the quality of your call and powers your phone system. If the PBX is the brain, an internet connection is the pumping heart that keeps it going.
Phone numbers. Having a phone number makes it possible for an individual to contact you. A phone number can seem like a minor detail but having the right phone number establishes credibility and can help others reach your business easily.
What is a VoIP phone?
A VoIP phone looks like any office phone, inconspicuous and modest. When you start discovering what you can do with a VoIP phone, however, it’s on a level of its own.
VoIP phones convert standard audio into digital format so that it can be transmitted over the internet, which makes sense since VoIP is an acronym for voice over internet protocol.
Even though an internet connection is required, VoIP technology doesn’t limit you to using your computer as a communication device.
Functions and capabilities of a VoIP office phone
The beauty of VoIP office phones is that each model can offer something different to its user that will make a positive impact. Having a variety of phones with different functionalities allows anyone looking for a great phone to be as selective as they need to be.
Although there are countless VoIP phone models and manufacturers out there, we can narrow it down to a few physical features every VoIP phone should have.
Graphical LCD display screen. Not all display screens will have full color, but a well it screen with enough room to display the necessary information, like caller ID or call duration, is standard.
Programmable keys. Whether it’s a menu, labeled extensions, or labeling the functions of your keys; having customizable key pads help you navigate and handle the features from your VoIP service provider.
Speakerphone and a microphone.
Ports for necessary connections. Depending on the type of VoIP phone you have, you can find ports for Ethernet and internet connectivity, as well as ports that connect the phone to other devices.
Keypad. Allows you to dial or search directory entries.
While the physical features allow you to do more than with a traditional analog phone, its capabilities (how your PBX system is configured) is what brings the full scope of VoIP phone benefits right to your desk.
Common features you can access with your VoIP phone are caller ID, call forwarding, conference calling, call transfer, and hold.
Office phone systems for small business
Without a phone, communicating with customers and growing your business would be an impossible (or at least inconvenient) task. Small businesses know the importance of having reliable communications, but many are unaware of how VoIP office phone systems can really benefit them.
By having a sturdy office phone as part of your small business phone system, you’re implementing a set of features and capabilities that bring efficient and organized communications to your small business.
Having a way to clearly and efficiently communicate with customers, employees, and colleagues is essential to small businesses growth because it allows you to provide a great calling experience and ensure long-term customer satisfaction.
Whether you’re a small team trying to gain traction in your market or a rapidly growing firm, there’s an office phone that can help you access tailored features and capabilities.
Office phone options
When searching for the “best” office phone, it’s important to start with what your needs and expectations are.
If you usually receive a lot of calls throughout the day, look for a phone with multiple lines. If your business usually receives a few calls per day, a phone with less available lines will work just fine.
Some businesses prefer a phone with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, while others need a simpler device for basic communication functions.
There is no “right” phone when it comes to your business. Whatever your unique needs may be, there are dozens of brands of IP phones that you can choose from that can meet your expectations.
Office phones by brand
FastPBX is a Cisco Small Business Partner, but that’s not why we recommend Cisco phones to small businesses. We do so because Cisco phones are most compatible with our system and work well with our capabilities and features.
You can also use our VoIP service with other IP phone brands, like Yealink, Polycom, Avaya, and Grandstream.
See all the VoIP office phone brands here
Your search shouldn’t stop with an IP phone; there are many accessories you can use to upgrade your device.
Adapters, expansion modules, and headsets are just a few essential accessories business owners are getting their hands on and improving their productivity.
A Cisco SPA500ds is popular with many 5-series phone users because of its one-touch transfer capabilities and easy-to-read indicators. It’s one of the many ways you can organize your call flow and save time while improving the caller’s experience.
VoIP phone alternatives
A VoIP phone may not work for everyone. Sometimes a company needs to supplement their VoIP phones with a softphone app to create a seamless workflow while they’re working on their desktop computer.
This is great for employees who tend to take their work home with them or work both at home and at the office.
Other professionals may not even have a physical office so they don’t need a physical phone. In this case, users can benefit from the mobile-friendly capabilities of VoIP phones and use their smartphones as their business communication device.
This is a great option for freelancers and entrepreneurs that are just getting started in their business venture.