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.

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