The most enduring form of technology in business today is the humble telephone. Since its invention by Alexander Graham Bell back in 1875, it has continued to be the primary means of communication for businesses the world over.
Other forms of communication such as fax, emails and text messaging now provide additional behind-the-scenes support, but the telephone continues to be where the real business is done on a daily basis. Terms are negotiated and deals are closed through the medium of two voices talking directly with each other.
There seems no indication that this trend will change any time in the near future, so it makes good sense for any business to continue to invest in the latest and best phone system available. So, given that you want to upgrade from your current system, what exactly should you be looking for in your next business telephone system?
The latest business phone systems do a whole lot more than just connect two parties. Modern phone features include:
- Selective call routing, which allows you to forward calls to your mobile phone while you’re out of the office during the day and to re-route them to your voicemail overnight
- Teleconferencing and video conferencing, which allow meetings to be convened between a number of different participants in separate physical locations
- Automatic dialling, allowing more calls to be made per hour and reducing the cost of wrongly dialled numbers
- Recorded answering service that can direct callers to their desired destination by prompting them to select from a voice-activated menu
- Voice recording, which is often necessary for compliance reasons and always useful for staff training purposes
- Voicemail and faxes that are forwarded to your email
- Touch-screen reception that shows all calls throughout the company and their current status.
The latest business phone systems provide high-quality audio communication. Unlike the older analogue phone systems, the new systems employ technology such as VoIP (voice over internet protocol), which converts unreliable analogue signals into crystal clear digital signals.
The latest business phone systems also offer a level of reliability that was never possible with analogue phone systems. Because they are fully redundant systems (if one part fails, another takes over), some of the new systems are able to deliver almost 100 per cent uptime.
Because VoIP phone systems use the Internet rather than landlines, costs for installation, maintenance and usage are a fraction of those charged by traditional telcos. Installation costs are much less because the systems are software-based rather than hardware-based, and maintenance costs are also lower for this reason. Usage costs are also considerably cheaper, with local and interstate calls generally being free on many plans and international calls being charged at a fraction of the normal cost.
Given that the telephone remains the most long-lasting and efficient way to do business, investing in the latest telephone technology is not only good for current business, but it is also an investment in your company’s future growth and long term prosperity.