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In today’s job market, employees expect the option to work remotely. For businesses that rely heavily on phone service, remote work might seem impossible. With virtual phone systems, employees can access your phone system remotely to stay plugged into your business.
What Is a Virtual Phone System?
A virtual phone system is a phone system that relies entirely on the internet to make and receive calls instead of traditional landline phone technology. While old-school phone systems use copper wire telephony to relay phone calls, virtual phones employ Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology instead.
VoIP technology allows businesses of all sizes to cut the cord on costly and inefficient landline networks and to embrace newer, more convenient modes of communication that better meet the needs of modern business models.
How Does a Virtual Phone System Work?
A virtual phone system is powered by VoIP technology. It works similarly to traditional landline phones in that it sends and receives voice calls over the internet. However, since virtual phone systems are solely based on the internet for communication purposes, there’s no need for costly hardware or extra installation costs.
For a virtual phone system to work, a stable and secure internet connection with an appropriate bandwidth is required. In Canada, businesses can look at the National Broadband Internet Service Availablity map to determine whether their area meets the requirements for virtual phone systems.
What Is a Virtual Call?
Virtual phone calls are voice calls where the audio is transmitted over an internet connection. Since the audio is transmitted over IP, it can be sent anywhere in the world, allowing businesses to send and receive calls from any location with an internet connection.
Virtual calls can be made using a wide variety of devices that include:
- Cell phone
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Two Types of Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual telephones are available in two distinct types:
- Virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
- Hosted VoIP
Is a Virtual Phone System the Same as a Cloud Phone System?
A cloud and virtual phone system are very similar as they each rely on the internet to operate; many people interchange the terms.
The primary differentiator between the two is that cloud-based phones store their data in the cloud, whereas virtual phones can store data in either the cloud or on an in-house server.
What Is a Virtual PBX?
Virtual PBX is similar to a PBX phone solution except that it is powered by VoIP technology instead of traditional telephone mechanics.
Virtual PBX systems still offer businesses the same features and functions of a PBX network that they rely on and know how to use. For instance, administrators can still set calling rules or have a toll-free number with a virtual PBX as they would with a landline-based PBX. Business owners can still set up extensions for individual departments, control and manage voicemail options, and configure call routing based on business hours.
Additionally, virtual PBX systems can integrate with other digital communication tools, including a wireless paging network, a CRM, an email solution, or a mobile app essential to your business.
What Is the Difference Between a PBX and a Virtual PBX System?
For those with legacy PBX networks, it may not be instantly clear why upgrading to a virtual PBX is a good thing. After all, if the system’s not broken, why bother fixing it?
The number one answer we tell our new clients when asked why they should switch is this: you can save money on your company’s telecommunication bill. Whether you have an established system or are looking to implement one for the first time, a virtual phone system will give you the most value.
Other reasons you’ll save with a virtual PBX system over a landline solution include the following:
- Eliminate leasing costs of handsets and hardware
- Decrease maintenance costs
- Add or decrease a business phone number remotely without a cable company technician.
- Stop paying for multiple phone lines
- Lower licensing fees
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Business Features of a Virtual Phone System
A virtual phone system offers businesses the same features as an on-premise solution. However, because there is no equipment to install or maintain, these features are available at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems.
7 Virtual Phone System Features Best for Businesses
- Auto attendants
- Custom greetings
- Call recording
- Automated call routing
- Video conferencing
- Call analytics and reporting options
- Audio conferencing
What Businesses Benefit Most from a Virtual Phone System?
Almost any business can benefit from a virtual phone system. However, companies that rely heavily on communication tend to find the most success with virtual business phone systems.
In any hotel, communication is key for meeting their guests’ needs; a virtual hotel phone system can help them deliver exceptional customer service. Virtual phones offer guests an efficient and enjoyable way to easily contact the reception desk, book reservations, or ask questions. Additionally, a virtual phone model allows hotels to scale their communication system up or down in line with seasonal demand.
SMBs can benefit greatly from virtual phone systems because of the lower costs associated with the installation, operation, and maintenance of a virtual solution. For instance, with a virtual phone system, there is minimal equipment to install or maintain, thus reducing the cost of a business’s communication bill considerably.
Smaller-sized enterprises enjoy virtual telephone solutions for their low cost, and they still offer advanced features such as auto attendants, custom greetings, video conferencing, audio conferencing and more.
Virtual phone systems are hugely beneficial for businesses in the call center industry. This is due to their ability to help employees easily manage large volumes of incoming and outgoing calls with features like automated call routing and reporting options.
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Setting up a call center with a virtual phone system requires minimal effort compared to an on-premise solution. All that’s needed is an internet connection, a compatible phone, and a virtual phone system platform.
Using a business solution from a reputable provider, you can quickly configure your call center to meet your needs. This includes setting up your preferred data management, integrating critical applications and programs, and training your team.
Virtual phone systems are also popular for K-12 and higher education institutions. Virtual phone systems allow educational establishments to easily manage incoming calls from parents or students and automate absence reporting. Virtual phones can integrate with intercom and wireless paging systems for a fully unified communications system.
Businesses with Multiple Locations
Virtual phone systems are also ideal for businesses with multiple locations. Organizations can simplify their telecom setup and unify communications across all their offices by using the same virtual phone system at all sites. This makes it easier for employees to keep in contact with each other, regardless of their location or time zone.
Organizations with a remote workforce can connect more easily with a virtual phone system. By managing all their staff communications on one platform, companies can easily track who is calling from what number and ensure that employees are being contacted in the most efficient way possible.
Tips for a Smooth Virtual Phone System Integration
Setting up a virtual phone system can be challenging if you don’t have the correct information, guidance or products. With the rise of discount virtual phone solutions, many businesses end up with networks that deliver poor voice quality, service interruptions, and unreliable support.
Your phone network is essential to your business; it’s important to research a phone system before signing a contract and to opt for a provider that knows your needs.
Here are some tips for a smooth virtual phone system integration:
- Consult with an experienced telecom provider – Look for a provider who can advise you on selecting the right virtual phone solution that meets your business needs.
- Test the service – Before committing to a contract, test the virtual phone system to ensure it meets your needs.
- Consider network infrastructure – Make sure your internet connection and network are up-to-date, secure and fast enough for your chosen virtual phone system.
- Keep scalability in mind – Ensure that the virtual PBX can scale with your business as it grows or changes.
- Choose a provider that offers customer service – Opt for a provider that can provide reliable customer support when needed.
A virtual phone system is an effective and cost-efficient way to manage business communication, allowing companies of all sizes to access the latest technologies within their budget.
Get a Virtual Business Phone System Running
At Sunco Communication and Installation, we are experts in innovative and personalized telecommunication systems for businesses. Contact our expert consultants today to get the virtual phone system of your dreams.