Finally! Business Phones Meet Smart Phones / Technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Ever since the first phone system was installed in an office, phones and businesses have been inseparable. Business phone systems...

Ever since the first phone system was installed in an office, phones and businesses have been inseparable. Business phone systems have evolved over the years, as have the phones themselves, but with the widespread adoption of smart phones, tablets, and other smart devices, the business phone system is now experiencing something more revolutionary.

Today a business of any size can manage their entire phone service with a smart phone or other smart device. That means no multi-line phone installation in the office is necessary, and when employees work off-site they can carry all their office phone functionality with them. This allows workers to be more un-tethered to the office than ever before without compromising productivity or availability. This concept works great across a wide range of industries, from consulting to event planning to real estate.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Cloud-based applications have proliferated in recent years, and now entire phone systems can be cloud-based. Today, any smart device can turn into a smart business phone. Users can control their phone settings, access voice messages and faxes, and even add new users to the system. Integration of cloud-based phone systems with services like Box, Dropbox, and Google Docs allow users to fax documents stored in the cloud regardless of where they are.

Setting Up New Smart Business Phone Systems

Administrators can add employees, activate new phone numbers, and set call handling rules on mobile devices, and employees can customize their business phone settings as well. And none of this requires tech skills because these systems come with an intuitive user interface. Two adjectives used to describe today's workforce - mobile and distributed - now apply to today's business phone systems as well.

Cloud-based phone system features include:

  • Virtual PBX
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Call screening
  • Call forwarding
  • VoIP service
  • Voicemail
  • Music on hold
  • Message alerts
  • Multiple extensions
  • Customized greetings
  • Internet and email fax
  • Dedicated fax numbers
  • Comprehensive fax service without a fax machine

The Cloud as Phone Platform

These new cloud-based phone systems work just like an automated switchboard: when someone calls your business number, you can prioritize where you want it to ring. The number can ring first a cell number, then a work number, then a home number, or it can ring all three at once. It can also be set not to ring any numbers and go to voicemail during important client meetings or other situations where taking a call is impractical or impolite.

What this means is that even a very small business can communicate just like a major corporation without having to install an expensive business phone system, because everything is set up and managed in the cloud. When landlines, mobile phones, tablets, and fax machines are managed from the cloud, users avoid problems like hard drive freeze-ups, Windows crashes, and other catastrophes.

Scaling Up Painlessly

Furthermore, the system can be scaled very easily: when new employees are hired, it is simple to add them to the system, allowing their smart phones to function their business phones seamlessly from day one. No more estimating how many phone lines a business will need, because they can be added on demand.

Today's cloud-managed smart business phone systems let businesses avoid the expense of hiring a full-time switchboard receptionist while also avoiding automated systems that drag frustrated callers through endless menu options. They combine the best features of both personal service and automation, and they are affordably priced even for very small businesses.

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