Customizing a Phone System for your Business

By Kristine Hegglin
Updated: February 18, 2011

Types of Business Phone Systems

There are many different types of phone systems that a business may have depending on the size of the business, specific business needs, and geographic location of the business. Customizing a phone system depends on the type of phone system a business implements. Landlines provide Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and are also referred to as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This type of telephone system is the traditional wired solution. Wired landline solutions are great because they provide consistency, predictability, and have good sound quality. However, it is no longer common for businesses to only have a POTS solution as they can be quite costly. And, POTS solutions aren’t as feature-rich as other business phone systems.

One type of phone system that is rather popular among all sized businesses is the Internet Protocol (IP) telephone system. IP telephone systems are also referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. VoIP systems use internet service to transmit calls using IP addresses. VoIP technology can interface with private telephone networks.  Businesses may choose to make external calls using a POTS line and all other calls can be transmitted through the internet.

Phone System Features and Configuration

All phone systems have different features and functionality. However, some general business phone system features include:

  • Account codes
  • Automated Attendant
  • Caller ID / Call Screening
  • Call Logging
  • Music On-Hold

Account Codes

Account codes enable employees to access phone lines for long distance calls with four digit codes. This feature can provide businesses with accounting information on all long distance phone calls. Businesses can configure account codes by employee ID, product groups, departments, or any way they like.

Automated Attendant

The automated attendant feature enables all incoming calls to be routed to their proper destination by the phone system. The automated attendant can be configured with a nighttime and daytime greeting. Once the automated attendant is configured, there is no human intervention required.

Call ID / Call Screening

Caller ID provides users with information on the calling party. With call screening, users may configure a list of phone numbers that they opt to accept. All other numbers are rejected or automatically sent to voice mail.

Call Logging

Call logging enables users to keep a log of all phone calls. This feature can be configured based on a timespan. For example, users can opt to log all calls for the past two months only.

Music On-Hold

Music on-hold enables businesses to play music or messages while callers are on-hold. Businesses may configure music on-hold to play specific types of music and / or business related ads. Music on-hold is used as a marketing tool by some businesses.
 

Featured Research
  • Mobile Communication Showdown

    It's no secret that businesses are becoming agiler and employees are spending more time away from their desks. The question isn't should we get rid of our landlines, but how quickly can we replace them?However, staying connected with your colleagues, clients, and customers is absolutely essential for cultivating long-term, lucrative relationships that will help your company achieve success. more

  • The Best Business Phone Systems in 2017

    71% of people say they are more creative of people when they are able to collaborate on teams. Collaboration is essential to business success and has never been more impactful than today. As the number of conversations outside of face-to-face meetings and travel increases, it is important for you to invest in a phone system that will allow your business to flourish. more

  • The Future of VoIP Security

    Looking to invest in a VoIP system? With the fantastic strides that have occurred in communication technology one thing to keep in mind is there has also been an increase in concerns surrounding security. As an example of this, in the third quarter of 2016 alone, there were over 18 million malware samples captured. more

  • Impressive VoIP Features for Business Growth

    Great communication is an important building block of business success. Let this sink in, through a simple internet connection, you can connect with people around the globe, from where you are at that moment. All of this is possible with a VoIP phone system, and if you don't have one you should be seriously be considering getting one. more

  • 8 Ways Business Travelers Can Save with VoIP

    Do you or any part of your workforce travel for work, or even telecommute? If that answer is yes, then you should be utilizing mobile VoIP. With VoIP, businesses have been found to save as much as 40% on local calls and a whopping 90% on international calling expenses. more