Don’t Skimp on a Phone System for Business

When choosing a business phone system, remember the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’. If you put in the effort to start and grow your business, cutting back and using a free phone service will only cause you problems.

So you have a growing company, and you currently pay very little for your phone calls because you are using a free service. It might seem like a good idea now but what about as your business grows? Do you want people to continue to view your business as a one man shop? If not, then you need to upgrade to a professional phone system. And with all the inexpensive VoIP hosted PBX options out there (telecom in the cloud) you not only set yourself up as a professional business but are ready for growth.

VoIP hosted PBX systems normally offer many features that free phone systems do not offer like: call queues, call reporting, call recording, and transcribed voicemails (voicemail to text).

Now, don’t get me wrong, those free phone systems a lot of fans who rave about the features it gives them. But, it’s simply not a professional phone system that any size business should utilize for their day to day operations.

Here are the reasons why you should NOT use a free phone system as a business phone system:

1. It Isn’t a Phone System

No admin login, no separate user logins, no call reporting, no call queues, no unlimited phone numbers, no toll free numbers, no logs for different users, no logs for different numbers, no e911, no dial by name directory, no web faxing, no music on hold etc. etc. It’s just NOT a phone system.

But… if you need more reasons:

2. Most free phone systems are not Based on SIP (Session Internet Protocol) and therefore Lacks Features

Systems that use SIP have many advantages over a POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) in that they can utilize many of the programmable features that only calls sent over SIP can provide. As an example, Asterisk is a programming language based on SIP and is constantly coming out with new features for VoIP providers. Asterisk is an open source software and therefore available for free. Some of the features free services are lacking that a business will need include: Call Queues, Conference Bridges with a Pin Number and email reminders, Call Reports, Administration and User level logins for managing lines/extensions, web faxing, a dial by name directory, music on hold, e911, and much, much more.

3. You Cannot Use Free Services on a Soft Phone

Since most free phone systems are not based on SIP, users of the system cannot use a SIP based client like a soft phone. Soft phones are software programs that run on a computer that enable users to make/receive calls over the internet. An example of a soft phone is Skype. Soft Phones are used by many companies for call centers and in place of a company phone. Soft phones are free to start and then can cost a small one-time cost for a lot of extra features. One company that sells soft phones is Counterpath.

4. Most Free Phone Systems Only Offer One Local Number

With most of these free phone services you are only given one local number. With the advent of VoIP, businesses can finally get local business numbers for any location in the U.S. without having to have a physical location there. So, many businesses are seeing the benefit of maintaining multiple local phone numbers. For example, if your business is located in Austin, Texas but you have vendors in New Orleans, Louisiana, you may want to give them a local number that they can call instead of having to make long distance calls or using your toll-free minutes on your toll-free number. If you have a VoIP hosted PBX system, you can purchase as many local numbers from as many local U.S. destinations as you want. And, you can forward these numbers to any location you want including your cell phone, an extension at your business, or your VoIP phone (wherever that might be located).

5. Free Phone Services Usually Do Not Work with Powerful VoIP Phones

Many of the features that are making businesses more successful when using VoIP are only accessible using a VoIP phone. Polycom, for example, has a entire line of VoIP phones used just for conference rooms. There are also phones used by secretaries that show who is on the phone, as well as basic VoIP phones with buttons like ‘hold’, ‘mute’, ‘headsets’, ‘conference’, ‘forward’, ‘Contact Directory’, ‘Call Lists’, ‘Messages’ and much more. And with a VoIP phone, you can use your phone anywhere in the world you have a dedicated internet connection.

6. HD Voice (wideband audio) is Not Available with Free Phone Services

Wideband audio is an audio technology used in telephony. It extends the frequency range of audio signals transmitted over telephone lines, resulting in higher quality speech. With HD, Voice calls sound clear and crisp, almost like the person is standing right next to you. HD Voice is available with most VoIP hosted PBX providers and with most VoIP phone providers but not with free phone services.

7. Free Phone Services – Voicemail to Text Service is Crummy at Best

Perhaps one of the free phone services coolest features is also currently among its weakest. The transcription service can give you some less-than-literal translations. Voicemails may or may not come through perfectly when transcribed to text. “I hope to see you soon” may come through as “I love your friend June.” Ouch.

8. Privacy Can Be An Issue for Free Phone System Users

Preston Gralla of Computer World says “Lost in all the hooplah about the release of — is this disturbing fact: The service will give (Internet Browser Company) — enormous amounts of information about the intimate details of your everyday life, including recordings of your voice mail and possibly your phone calls. Combined with what (Internet Browser Company) — already knows about you, it could mean your privacy is at an end.” Gralla goes on to say: “— will be offered for free. (Internet Browsing Company) —, though, will certainly be looking for ways to make money from it. One of the most obvious ways is via targeted advertising, particularly because the company recently announced that it’s going to figure out new ways to target ads based on your interests. It already does this with — So don’t be surprised to see ad targeted based on who calls you.”

9. Free Phone Services Do Not Offer Phone Support

Okay, this has to be the biggest problem with relying on a free phone service for your companies phone system needs. Have you, or anyone you know, ever been able to actually talk to their support for anything? I doubt it. Go with a provider you can talk to any time since having a working phone system is most likely a crucial factor in your businesses success.

10 Free Phone Services Do Not Look Professional

Bottom line is, when you are trying to get a new customer to trust you, the fact that you are using free phone services instead of paying for a better phone system shows that you just don’t care. You don’t care that your phone calls are possibly being monitored, don’t care that your phone calls are breaking up and sound terrible, and you don’t care about having reliable business telecommunications.

Conclusion

Free phone systems are not meant to be used to run a business’s telecommunications system. The “fun” little features that they tout are just that, fun. They won’t help you run your business more efficiently and in fact will most likely slow you down. I mean who has time to set up different voicemail greetings for different callers when you are trying to run a business?? And do you really need that?? So stick with what works and grow your business without having to worry that your phone system will drag you down. Choose a VoIP hosted PBX system and you can’t go wrong.

3 Best Android Phones To Consider Before You Buy One

These days Android phones are available in different sizes, shapes and of course with different features. We’ve put together a list of three best Android phones that you cannot afford to miss when you are planning to purchase an Android phone.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first phone to be available in the market that runs on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. Not only does this phone offer you lighting fast performance, a sleek and thin design but it also offers strong data speeds and not to mention all the goodness that the new Android OS has to offer. The phone weighs just 5.1 ounces and also has a stable curve and is comfortable to handle. It has an HD Super AMOLED roomy display which is just perfect for all your multimedia as well as gaming needs. The bottom line is that this is indeed one of the best Android phones available in the market today and definitely a must have.

HTC Evo 3D

What makes the HTC Evo 3D one of the best Android phones available in the market these days is its solid and beautiful design coupled with fast dual core speeds for effective performance which makes it an ultimate entertainment phone. The phone weighs 6 ounces and comes with a sheet of Gorilla Glass for added protection. The 3D display of the phone is one of its main features. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2Ghz dual core processor which supports not only HD videos but advanced 3D technology as well as 3D video capture and playback. Another feature that works in favor of this phone is Sprint’s 4G data speeds. With 4G data speeds you can enjoy download speeds of approximately 3.59 mbps and upload speeds of approximately 1.45mbps.

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx:

There are certain things that the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has working in its favor and a couple of them are its excellent battery life as well as its dual core processor that ensures that the applications on the phone keep running smoothly. The phone weights 5.11 ounces, is incredibly thin, attractive and has a durable design as well as a great display. The phone runs on the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and if you are one of those individuals who can live without the new Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich then this is one of the Android phones that you should consider buying.

Android Phones and How to Make the Maximum Out of Them

In the world of endless technologies cell phones are one of the gadgets that undergo advanced updates at the blink of an eye. This is because it has gathered a global outreach in the recent past and it can be rightfully termed as one of the basic necessities as is food, clothing and shelter. So when the demand is so high the developers aim to raise customer enthusiasm by introducing newer and improved mobile phones in the market. Amongst these the Android OS integrated phones are considered to qualify for the highest caliber in mobile technology and hence there is a lot of hype with every minute advancement with the phones like the iPhone.

Some of the best phones in the current market include the iPhone4, Motorola Droid Bionic, LG Optimus 2X, HTC Thunderbolt and Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. Amongst these the next generation phones have to be, without any doubt, the LG Optimus 2X and the Droid Bionic. What sets them apart is that the world’s first ever dual-core mobile processor forms their major USP. They are doubly fast and are equipped with exceptional graphics that is well supported with the dual-core processor.

There are many websites on the internet that can help you fetch resourceful information on the various top notch Android specs and its comparative study and user reviews. You are best served by these sites that have experts in the field giving you priceless reviews and comments on the latest entries in the mobile biz and their highlights and lowlights that would help you buy the right kind of the Android phone.

Once you make the right choice amongst the various phones for the best Android phone that would suit your specific needs you also need to know the various sources on the internet that advices you to get the maximum out of your Android phone. For instance, if you own an iPhone you must also know that you may not have access to all the Android phone applications available on the internet and may be only restricted to a few. However, it is even possible to get access to these restricted application or API’s by the aid of something known as the iPhone jailbreak software.

The iPhone jailbreak allows obtaining much more functionality in your iPhone than the standard ones. The iTunes App Store does not necessarily have all the apps for an Android OS integrated phone. Most of the interesting apps that you get access to by using the iPhone jailbreak are incredibly helpful and inexpensive. Some are even available at no extra cost. Your chance to maximize the use of your Android phone is by extensive research online for the right iPhone jailbreak providers and websites that guide you through their honest and unbiased reviews.