Call Waiting vs. Hunting vs. Voice Messaging:
Call Waiting is a popular residential and personal calling feature. It works great – never miss a call – one line becomes two – but it has no place on a business phone line. If you’re on an important call, the last thing you want is to be interrupted. And if the person you’re speaking to can hear your Call Waiting clicking or beeping in the background, that individual instantly understands that you’re not using a professional setup.
Hunting, also referred to as roll over, allows an incoming call to roll from a main line to a secondary line and so on, if any of the lines are busy. Hunting requires at least two lines so it’s exponentially more expensive than Call Waiting. Hunting also requires some sort of phone system and more than one employee to field incoming calls.
The Verdict: If you’re a home based or small business, the cost of hunting and all its associated requirements could be too much to swallow. If that’s the case, you’re much better off using Voice Messaging to manage multiple calls. With Voice Messaging, if you’re on a call, all additional calls will go to that service. You’ll be dependent on a caller leaving you a message, but at least callers won’t hear a busy signal and your calls won’t be interrupted by Call Waiting. If you’re operating a mid sized to large business, the only way to go is multiple lines and hunting.
eFax vs. Fax Machines:
Ask yourself how often you or someone in your organization manually feeds a paper document into a fax machine, dials a number and presses send, or what happens after you and your employees receive a fax. If the first answer is hardly ever and the second is that you scan the document and save it as an electronic file in your computer, why are you still utilizing a fax machine and wasting money on paper, ink, maintenance and a phone line?
eFax services send incoming faxes to email. You can open and save documents to your computer. If you need to send a paper document, scan and email it. You don’t have to change your fax number. You can port an existing fax number to an eFax service and be done with your fax machine forever.
The Verdict: Email was supposed to be the end of faxing. Email has been around since the early 1990’s but Staples still sells fax machines, fax ink and paper and businesses still pay $40 a month for dedicated fax lines. That being said, I can’t think of one good reason to maintain a fax.
Company Provided Cell Phones vs. Employee Owned:
This is a popular debate with telecom professionals and hundreds of pages have been written about the topic. It seems like a no brainer to eliminate all the headaches related to wireless procurement and support by simply offering your employees a monthly stipend for their wireless phone service. Your employees are happy because they can purchase the phones they want and aren’t restricted in their use.
The Verdict: Employee owned saves you from a number of headaches with a few caveats: If your company employs a sales staff, you should supply them with wireless phones. That’s because most sales reps give their cell numbers to customers and if a sales rep quits or is fired, you could lose a customer or two to a competitor. If security is important and your employees receive emails that include proprietary and sensitive information, company provided cell phones is the better way to go.
Hosted VoIP vs. PBX:
Do you want to buy a phone system or rent end sets from a Hosted VoIP provider?
The Verdict: If your company is smaller and you have fewer than ten phone lines and ten people needing a phone; if you don’t currently own a phone system and don’t want to sink close to 10k into a system and pay for the required maintenance, it might make sense to go hosted. Hosted VoIP providers roll the cost of their phone equipment into their monthly service charge. That typically includes your phone service, phone equipment and internet access. You’ll receive all the latest technology and functionality, your equipment will never become obsolete and you’ll never have to worry about software updates or maintenance.
If you’re operating a larger business, that requires more than ten business phone lines and end sets; if you have staff onsite that can help you manage your technology; if your accounting staff understands how to depreciate a capital expenditure, it makes more sense to purchase a phone system.
If you would like help with any telecom product or service, contact CarrierBid telecom consulting today or complete the form on the right side of this page.