An Overview on the Benefits of Call Forwarding

Communication is vital in any business and these days telecommunication has become an inevitable part of it. Most of the business concerns make use of larger professional telephone system for maintaining contacts with the clients, making purchases or sales and for providing better customer service. For enhancing the communication process, they take services like call forwarding as part of their business phone plans. These services have a number of benefits and prove helpful to the business firms.

Basically call forwarding is a process by which the incoming telephone calls would be routed to another desired point of termination. That point would be any extension number in the office, sometimes a handheld or portable device like a cell phone or even to some other landline number. The most important attraction of call forwarding is that it makes sure that no important calls are being missed when they are unavailable at the location where the telephone number usually exists.

These days the call forwarding facility is often included as basic package for most of the business and even residential landline services. Sometimes, the subscribers are allowed to activate cellular call forwarding services. If the cell phone number is facing any problems, then the subscriber can route the call to any other desired number till the problem is resolved. Even the landline service providers are able to divert the calls at the request of the customer or if some snag with phone equipment occurs.

There are many benefits in using the call forwarding services especially for the business people. One of the main benefits is that even when the main persons are not physically present at the office, they can attend the calls that come for them. This is because an office phone call can be forwarded to an employee's cell phone, landline or any other numbers desired. In larger systems, the call forwarding would be routed to a series of numbers until it is answered. Thus the employee would be able to speak to the customers directly, answer their questions and provide information as long as he is within reach to speak.

The next main advantage of call diverting is that it prevents callers from being exposed to a voice mail message. This would depend upon the increased availability of the employees. There are situations where the callers would not find it comfortable with voice mail and would not feel confident in leaving the message. Moreover they would want to get a response promptly. By using call forwarding system, an employee would have multiple numbers through which he can set up persona voice mail message specifically on cell phone. Portability is yet another benefit of using call forwarding. The call diverting routes phone calls thereby increasing mobility without losing communication. The employees are not at the risk of missing important calls even if they are away from the office for long or short period.

As the business firms would have different numbers, they can expand their presence by forwarding calls to the same central location from many places. When the customer calls a local or toll free number, the call is routed to the main phone line. This is most preferred by customers than making a long distant call. Also it gives an impression that the business is right at the reach and is technologically up to date.

Phone Systems For Small Business – 8 Criteria For Evaluating an IP Phone System

Shoretel’s CEO, John Combs, presented a keynote address recently at IT Expo West, providing very relevant advice to IT managers and others buying a voice over IP (VOIP) phone system. He used the MAC iPhone as an analogy, to illustrate how new technology can quickly dominate an industry. In the case of a VOIP business phone system, IP technology is poised to dominate correspondingly over existing analog (TDM) systems.

VOIP telephone systems can greatly increase user adaption rates, leading to improved productivity in an organization. An IP phone system allows the collaborative and reach aspects of unified messaging technology. The VOIP telephone system generally includes features such as teleconferencing, unified messaging (voicemail in email), web collaboration, mobile integration (cell phones), presence (to locate employees quickly), instant messaging, video conferencing and business process integration (customer relationship management, sales, accounting, etc.).

What differentiates one vendor’s small business phone systems from another’s? Mr. Combs suggests a a very structured selection process when choosing office telephone systems with VOIP for business. He proposed 8 evaluation criteria to be used by the evaluation team making the choice of a new VOIP business phone system:

  1. Usability. There must be an onsite demonstration including the exact hardware to be deployed. It is often advisable to have two or more vendors demonstrate side-by-side, or on the other hand to install alternative prototypes at two separate company offices and then exchange systems and locations to find out which one was best.
  2. Reliability. What is the anticipated failure rate, based on actual deployed systems using Bellcore/Telecordia standards? Mr Combs pointed out that academic failure rates are not sufficient for confidence in deploying a new system. You don’t want to the the “guinea pig” for a vendor’s prototype or Beta testing.
  3. Availability. Make certain understand the impact of downtime on the business based on the planned configuration. Count the points of failure are there in the vendor’s configuration?
  4. Scalability. What are the costs should you need to double the planned configuration?
  5. Architecture. What methodology was used to design the system? Was it well thought out or technology patched together from disparate systems and conflicting architectures?
  6. Total Cost of Ownership. Most of the time upfront costs (hardware, network and implementation) amount to only 20% of the complete system expense over the system’s lifecycle. Day-to-day costs (training, move/add/change, system management, network and utilities) can amount to 80% over the system lifetime. What is the case with the systems under consideration?
  7. Vendor Financial Status. Make sure the vendor has a solid balance sheet, or be prepared for support issues should they encounter financial difficulty.
  8. Vendor References. Your team should contact their industry associates for information relevant to the vendors being considered Did they make a wise decision with this vendor? Do they know of other references? How do actual costs compare to vendor estimates? Is it easy for IT staff to support? What about any “raving fans?”

When evaluating to upgrade small business phone systems, the usual choice is a VOIP business phone system. A careful evaluation of each vendor’s offerings and in particular the presence of “raving fans” for any VOIP business phone system are critical in getting all the benefits of VOIP for business.

Advantages Of Plain Old Telephone Services (POTS) Lines Over The Modern Telephony

In most parts of the world, plain old telephone services POTS lines, commonly known as landlines, have remained the major form of connection to telephony networks for both businesses and residential users. This is a voice grade phone service dating back to the late 19th century. Though technology has brought a lot of changes, these have capabilities that modern telephony like ISDN, cell phones and VoIP do not.

This could be a major reason that despite introduction of advanced telephony service, most offices and residents still maintain their POTS network. These provide a full-duplex voiceband channel where human voice can travel both ways, concurrently. Other provisions are operator services like conference calling, subscriber dialing and call progress tones. These form the basics of any phone service.

In addition, those with landlines network today can order broadband service if they need their computer systems to run faster. In this case, POTS will act as a basis for the new service since one can now connect to the provider through the existing phone line. Once you add the broadband, your business uses the same cable network for both phone and internet.

It is also good to note that the plain old telephone services lines are very consistent compared to modern telephony. This ensures that your business is not getting irregular cut outs at any time of the day. This is a common problem with the newly introduced technologies like the cellular phones and Voice-over-Internet-Protocol.

Users should note that, both cellular phones and VoIP are greatly affected by weather changes. Other disruptions on these kinds of telephony communication include cell tower location problems, satellite positions and even power interruptions. On the other hand, POTs are highly stable as they will not even need power to operate especially if using it for calls only.

Another advantage of using landlines is that, in case of an emergency where people have to contact 911, the operator can easily tell where this is coming from. This way, the caller can receive immediate help. However, this is not the case with most types of VoIP or GSM phones. With VoIP, ability to instantly track a caller will depend on the service provider. Use of GPS tracking for cellular phones without the service is through cell tower triangulation which may take a lot of time. This means one is not going to receive timely assistance from 911.

There is no special instruction required to operate the POTS equipment. Most of its features are basic and familiar to most people who have made calls before. This means a business will not spend resources training employees on how to operate it. However, this is not so for modern communication systems. Some cell systems may require special training for people to operate.

The above are some of the benefits of using the plain old telephone services POTS lines. Since this can also integrate easily with new technologies, it is vital to keep it along the advanced communication systems. One does not have to completely do away with this kind of network. It can save your business a great deal of money and time especially during an emergency.

What Drives Information Technology

Information technology generally refers to all forms of technology used in the creation, storage, exchange and utilization of data, conversation and all multi-media forms of communication. With computer technology constantly changing and improving, businesses are being driven with the need for the right system that is based on the requirements and goals of their enterprise. They are considered business allies in an information-based economy.

What drives information technology is competition within the business environment and the progression of computer technology that it is a part of. The systems of technology involve varied shapes of many state of the art devices that help in the transmission of information to managers translating such information to their decisions in the organization’s operations.

There are many forms of information technology like computers, sensors, robots and decision support systems. The newest one being used in the market today are handhelds to help managers and subordinates to support their daily operations in the office. Due to the emergence of varied accounting system technology, Electronic Data Process Auditing now also known as Information Technology Auditing was launched to also cater to the need for technology control and as a response to utilize computers’ capacity for attestation services.

Information technology has revolutionized business operations. In shaping the structure and functions of work organizations, plants, and office, modern information technology is considered one of prime movers among many industries. When one talks about technology, it brings up a whole exciting world of computers and the Internet. It also prompts terms like server, intranet, security, firewall and network. Other terms in its jargon are Ethernet, VoIP and more.

Information technology has not always alluded to computers, but referred to the oldest information processor, which is the brain. Technology is perhaps man’s scientific attempt to imitate the brain’s efficiency in functions of communication and information storage. Thus it is essentially the communication, storage and processing of information that would suit the purposes of users.

Through the use of high technology in the form of state of the art computers and software systems, communication is well managed. Some companies refer to its Information Technology Department as MIS or Management Information Services. Large companies have bigger requirements for the Information technology departments with bigger responsibilities in information storage, information protection, information processing, information transmission, and even information retrieval. IT contributes to the success of these businesses as it works along side its human resources in accomplishing the organization’s tasks while reducing costs and opening new possibilities that have never been tried before by the company.

When the best of both science and technology is combined, what results is as powerful as today’s advancements in technology. So powerful it is that it is not only a part of man’s life — it dominates it. It makes him realize every second of his existence