Early MacBook Telephone models paved the way for the modern business telephone. An Apple Mac could be used as an office telephone, mobile phone, or even a combination of both. The innovative and well-designed Mac intellomouse offered users immediate access to voice communications. With the advent of the first mass-produced Mac OS X, business users now have even more options for customizing their workplace communication. Here are some of the features now available from Mac OS X:
* Intra-ircuit switching. One of the original features of the Mac OS X intra-ircuit switching enables you to connect your business telephone systems to your PBX through a single Ethernet cable. This can help you reduce call-processing costs since you won’t need to purchase separate Ethernet cards for each line. The central office Telephone system can link up all of your lines at once, and the key telephone systems also provide this valuable central link.
* Private branch exchange. A private branch exchange is where your calls go to when they aren’t routed through the main public-switched telephone network. If you have a PBX with a private branch exchange, calls that originate in one part of the building can be forwarded to another part without affecting the quality of your call. Modern edge networking and dedicated circuits ensure optimal performance and are ideal for business use.
* Electronic switching equipment. Newer switching equipment offers a new range of options that combine the advantages of different kinds of switches. For example, there’s a flexible and cost-efficient microwave switching that can route voice and data traffic to mobile phones, as well as new high-performance switching equipment that support multimode block wiring configurations.
* Electronic shared-control systems. Many of the newer electronic shared-control systems support voice and data at the same time. They usually use a dedicated circuit bus with several (I/O) systems that enables multiple devices to interface with the same information.
* PBX. Most businesses choose to install a PBX – or business telephone exchange – as an effective and efficient solution to isolate internal and external telephone traffic from each other. In a PBX, the switching systems are contained within a single office, and all calls are handled by a primary switchboard. Switchboards in a PBX may be either internal or external; internal switchboards use dedicated circuit wiring, while external switchboards are usually deployed outside the business.
* Speed Dialing. Similar to virtual receptionist services, speed dialing is a feature of new generation telephone sets, where callers can be directed to a live agent. The increasing popularity of speed dialing can probably be attributed to advances in the field of voice-messaging technology. Callers do not have to wait for a representative to answer; they can simply press a button, and a recorded voice message appears on the attached caller id.
All these features together to present a clear picture of how an effective business telephone provider should be. A business phone service offers outstanding customer service, reliability, efficiency, and value creation. Business telephone providers should offer these features to their customers and not force them on them. Customers want to be treated like VIPs, and if they feel like they’re being primed for a sale, they’ll avoid companies that use those sorts of tactics.
While the above-mentioned observations are certainly true for large and medium-sized businesses, they are even more so for small businesses. Small companies may not have a huge revenue stream, or even a significant profit margin. In this case, features such as voice mail or autoresponders may not be as important. In terms of revenue, however, small businesses may have no choice but to use business telephone systems, since most small businesses are highly seasonal and experience huge traffic swings between seasons. Even if a small business telephone system doesn’t sell a lot of products or services during any one season, it will most likely sell at all during other seasons.
Small business telephone systems must also run on a robust network, as well as providing a seamless connection to the company’s internal telephone system. Communication requires efficient networks, and internet protocols must be compatible with all the company’s software and hardware. A telephone system with these features requires a significant upgrade and maintenance expenses. Internet protocol is less flexible, since upgrades need to be done periodically. Also, while it is possible to set up an internal VoIP telephony system, this option can be expensive and requires a long-term contract.
There are several hybrid systems that can be used in today’s business environment, including voice over IP (VOIP), private branch exchange (PBX), and digital voice services. Each of these has their own advantages and disadvantages. Private branch exchanges (PBX) use equipment inhouse that interconnects with the company network, but allow customers to use a standard telephone to make local, long-distance, or international calls. An advantage of a PBX plan is that employees can use the same line when making calls from their personal phones, and there is no requirement for a switching facility. A drawback of PBX is that it is more complex to operate, and may not be the best choice for large companies with many employees.