Our business phone system customers often ask us questions about phones, phone systems, VoIP, and video surveillance equipment.  Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our customers (click on plus sign for details):

Why should I buy a telephone system instead of multi-line telephones?

  • Multi line telephones have no superiority and lack any of the potentials of a business telephone system.
  • Multi-line telephones can only accommodate as many lines as they are intended for (most capping out at 4 lines). Business telephone systems can handle 100’s of lines. Nonetheless, even if your business is only set up to have a couple of telephone lines, there are many reasons to choose a business system over multi-line phones. Here are some of the advantages:

Interoffice intercom, In-house Voicemail, Customizable programming for your needs, full time auto attendant, after hour attendant and much more…

What is the difference between a line and an extension?

A line refers to the dial tone that you get from your service provider. An extension is a physical phone that sits on your desk. An extension can also be a port in the voice mail system, a single line phone, a portable single line phone, a special conference room phone, etc.

How many lines should I have in my system?

This really depends on the call volume for your business and the number of employees that will be on the phone at any given moment. A suggestion might be to try and figure on having at least twice the number of telephone lines in your system than the number of employees that you expect to be placing outgoing calls at any given time. This insures that you will not have clients getting busy signals when they call your office. However, if your company is in an industry that relies mostly on phone generated business, this proportion will need to be larger.

What does Call Hunting mean?

It is the ability for multiple callers to place a call to the same telephone number and have the calls roll from one line to the next.

How big a system should I purchase?

You might look to the future when purchasing your telephone system and plan for the growth of your company. Buying a telephone system that is perfect for today, but does not have the expansion capabilities of a more expensive system might require repurchasing the system in two or three years as your company grows.

What are the differences between Analog systems and Digital systems?

There are many differences between an analog system and a digital system. A couple of important ones when deciding on which type of phone system to buy are:

  • Analog telephone systems require two pairs of wire against one pair of wire for most digital systems. In most office, most phone runs are done with four pair cable. This means that you can connect a maximum of two analog extensions on that one particular cable. A digital system would allow you to connect four full digital extensions using the same cable run.
  • Analog systems use older technology to accomplish the same goals as digital systems. Analog systems provide less sophistication in programming and use, and are usually lower priced than digital systems.

What is Voice Over IP (VoIP) and how does it affect me?

  • Voice Over Internet Protocol is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets using IP rather than by traditional circuit transmissions.
  • The major advantage of VOIP is that it allows the user to make as many phone calls as they like for a fixed price instead of being charged by the minute. This makes a huge cutback on costs for jobs such as telephone marketing that require making many phone calls for hours every day.
  • Disadvantages of VOIP include:

– Maintaining Reliable Internet Connection. During outrages, there will be no internet connection so you will not have telephone services. – 911 Emergency: If an emergency arrises and you dial 911, the emergency responder might not know your location. – If too many computers are connected to the network and are using the internet at the same time, the quality of VOIP audio will be poor. – The biggest issue is poor audio quality. VoIP is entirely dependent on internet connection and so whatever affects the internet connection will affect VoIP phone service. – Customer service can be poor. When needing tech support, you will be calling another state and might require hours or days of downtime.

Why should I purchase a voice mail system instead of using the voice mail offered by my service provider?

  • Using a voice mail system with your business telephone system offers individual mail boxes for every user in your phone system.
  • Additionally, in-house voice mail systems give a large amount of flexibility with multiple custom service menus, allowing you to better inform and direct your callers either during business hours or after hours with a Full Auto Attendant feature.
  • How many voice mail ports should I plan on?
  • This depends substantially on the incoming call volume for your office and if you are planning on using your system as a Full Time Auto Attendant. We can better guide you on your needs depending on the volume of calls, number of employees or if you are using the voicemail system as Full Time Auto Attendant.

What is meant by “Full Time Auto Attendant”?

Full Time Auto Attendant is when your voice mail system is answering every incoming call as it comes in live. There are many reasons that you may want to have your system use Full Time Auto Attendant. It can be to assist your clients by providing them information during after hours, alleviate the need of a full time receptionist. This can potentially replace the needs of a full time receptionist… or when your employees are away from the desk for a long period of time.

What is the significance to the number of ports versus the number of lines that I have in my telephone system?

The number of ports needed in your voice mail system is directly related to the number of telephone lines that you have, and your incoming call volume. As a general average, we recommend one port of voice mail for every two lines that you have in your telephone system.

I have multiple companies in my office. Can one voice mail system give different greetings based on the number that is called?

This depends on the manufacture of the voice mail system you are considering. Panasonic Voice Mail excels in this feature, providing individual company greetings on a line-by-line basis. This offers the capability of separate company appearances for every single line you have if you need it. Other voice mail system manufacturers would require that the ports of the voice mail be split between the companies and that the lines be directed to separate ports in the telephone system itself.

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Learn more about: Steps When Purchasing a Business Telephone System