Small Business Tip: Bootstrap Your Phone System with Hosted VoIP

The following is a guest post from Nicole Hayward, Marketing Director for OnSIPIf you have any questions, please feel free to comment on the blog or email Nicole (AT) junctionnetworks (DOT) com.

SaaS: Helping Businesses Everywhere

For the past few years, small business hosted solutions have popped up everywhere.  SMB’s in varying industries are managing projects on Basecamp, tracking CRM efforts in Salesforce, and invoicing clients in Freshbooks. With these solutions, businesses no longer need to worry about deploying and updating software, backing up their data, accessing the data from multiple locations, etc. (Not to mention hiring an IT professional to do all this.) Now, businesses can use these Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to bootstrap their processes. Did you know that your phone service can be a SaaS, too?

Hosted VoIP is a type of SaaS that makes a phone system pain-free. Gone are the days where you need to hire an IT professional (or wait for half a day for the phone company) to install phones and extensions. You can simply sign up for a hosted VoIP service, order phones, and manage the extensions like you would email accounts.

What is Hosted VoIP?

OK, let’s back up for a minute to discuss, What is Hosted VoIP?  Voice Over IP essentially turns your broadband connection into a phone line. You simply need an IP phone with the broadband connection, or a soft phone app on your computer and a headset. You can purchase IP phones on Amazon, or on Telephony Depot. When you make a VoIP call, your voice data travels over the internet. But, a Hosted VoIP provider connects your calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which means you can use your VoIP phone like any traditional phone: Dial anyone, anywhere.

A Hosted VoIP provider will also enable you to assign extensions to phones and will generally offer the business capabilities you need for your phones –  like voicemail, conferencing, hold, call transfer, etc. You could actually achieve all this if you were to deploy your own VoIP software (a Private Branch Exchange, or PBX), but Hosted VoIP providers will do this all for you.  Yes, it’s a SaaS!

How Can Hosted VoIP Enhance Your Business?

Now, let’s look at some more reasons as to why SMB’s can benefit from Hosted VoIP:

Professional Image: Hosted VoIP providers offer an array of phone system features. One basic feature is the auto-attendant, a voice that answers a call and prompts the caller to dial extensions. This feature gives your business a professional, legitimate image from the get-go.

Efficiency: As with any SaaS, hosted VoIP can simplify your business process by giving you the DIY tools to set up your own extensions and phone system features. This is efficient as you minimize time spent on hold with a phone company, and you cut out the need for hiring an IT professional. Plus, there are features in hosted VoIP that can make YOU more efficient. For example, some hosted VoIP providers have a mobile app solution, allowing you to run the app on your phone and answer your work phone calls from the road. And, some hosted VoIP providers can actually email your voicemails to you, so you never need to dial your voicemail and your password to sift through voicemails. There are many other features that can make your life simpler. As the core of hosted VoIP is software, the possibilities are endless. So, research which hosted VoIP company works best for your business.

Cost Savings: Hosted VoIP generally costs less than traditional phone service and on-premises VoIP. For traditional versus VoIP: VoIP wins out because there’s less infrastructure (phone lines and switches) that your calls will travel over – especially true for long distance and international calling. This means the providers’ costs are less, which should translate to your cost savings. For hosted versus on-premises: With hosted, there’s no need to manage a server and the software for your VoIP phone system. This translates in to cost savings in employee time spent (IT person), plus equipment costs.

Scalability: Most SMB’s aim to grow. Again, with hosted VoIP, adding a new employee can mean simply adding an extension in an admin interface and following a few instructions to configure a phone to that extension. And, if your business moves locations, there’s no need to re-install a system. Your business simply takes the phones with them and plugs in to the broadband connections in the new office.

So where can you get Hosted VoIP? Well, of course I recommend OnSIP because of its innovative service and cost savings. But, you can research what service works best for you by simply Googling “Hosted VoIP” and shopping around.

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4 Responses to “Small Business Tip: Bootstrap Your Phone System with Hosted VoIP”

  1. kalis September 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    great article.

  2. Jones Lebond June 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    So I am five years old than this girl who worked for me at my family’s business. As soon as we started working together she hit on me. She always wanted to touch me, told me she loved me a few times, told me we should start dating. She did this for three years. Even my parents joked about her crush on me. I rejected her because she was younger and she was my employee, she was a minor I was an adult. I never even let her know that I thought she was cool.

    So I head back to school in August. She wants to stay in contact with me. I refuse, she tells me we can just be friends and stay in contact. i tell her no. So I leave, I felt bad, I seriously have no idea why, I am usually a cold hearted person.

    I can’t get this girl out of my head. So December comes I add this girl to facebook, as soon as I add her to facebook she puts up that she is of the age of consent which is something she has lied to me about before. I don’t know what I am thinking I try and contact her. She doesn’t respond. I read her IM profile its about some dude she told that she loved and he didn’t respond. I feel bad I think its about me. So I freaking send her a letter apologizing to her thinking I broke her heart. I have had numerous roommate who were broken hearted tried to commit suicide, or had their lives destroyed by girls. I guess I felt really bad.

    She finally responds that I am crazy and to leave her alone. I get a hold of one of my co workers, ask her. The co worker tells me the girl never liked me and she was just screwing with me all three years. She says the girl was breaking up with her boyfriend. So I don’t talk to this girl for six months. I don’t know whether I was really in love with her but I felt horrible afterwards, lost like fifteen pounds and cried like a baby. But I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got on with my life and graduated college.

    Girl never works for me ever again. Except the one weekend my parent go to my graduation, she works so they can get away. I come back two weeks later from college she comes in the store and stares at me. I say nothing to her. Last day of summer she comes in I ignore her. She comes in the next day and talks to my mom for a half hour.

    This winter goes by. My parents become millionaires and it is publicized in local news papers. I am also rescued by the coast guard from death. I had a freaking awesome winter.

    No contact with this girl over the winter except I get an anonymous facebook message from a girl telling me that she loves me and we flirted a lot at the store, I guess it was her. She writes that she can’t hold it in that she love me anymore.

    The week after I was rescued the girl comes in and tries to say hi to me like nothing ever happened. I ignore her. From then on in she comes in my store practically every day for the entire summer. Way more than she ever has. Even my employees are questioning why she comes in so much. One of my employees tells me a girl has been calling for me but wont leave a message or even a name and just wants to know when I’ll be in the store. I also get a ton of hang up phone calls this summer. My mom stopped working in our store. She worked for basically ten hours the whole summer but somehow this girl found out when my mom worked and accidentally bumped into her a few times.
    The co worker of hers who I contacted after I sent this girl the letter no longer works for me seems to come in the next day after my stalker comes in and always wants to talk to me.

    So anyway this girl went to college this August, so the stalking stopped.

    What is going on in her head?
    Thank you. 🙂

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