Why Your Business Needs Telephone System Maintenance

Telephone systems are a critical resource for every business. If a Telephone System is not functioning correctly this can result in loss of service and will affect efficiency, productivity and operations of the company which ultimately leads to loss of business. In addition, the add-hoc call out charges and repair expenditure can be significant when you call in a third party company. As a typical business cannot maintain the system of its own, a telephone system maintenance agreement is an ideal solution and it will ensure that the business keeps on going in all situations. Besides the peace of mind, the maintenance contracts will save your business from all extra-unexpected costs and disruptions.

Recently, there has been a large increase in the number of companies that take the telephone system maintenance contracts and help safeguard their businesses. Telephone System Maintenance ensures that your business gets a response that is only one quick call away in case of any problem. You need to pay only a relatively small fee to set up a contract and there are generally multiple options available to you.

When you go for a contract with a Business Telephone Company you will get the option of 24×7 cover if your business works around the clock. You will also be allocated a dedicated account manager to assist you any time even for non-service related issues. These may involve moves, ad-ons, changes, etc. After you make a call with the service desk, the call will be allocated to their engineer who will log your fault and ensure a swift response which may involve an onsite visit should the need arise.

The telephone maintenance companies offer a wide range of telephone system maintenance contracts to meet the needs of clients. There are different types of the contracts that the customers go for. You make only a single annual payment for the contract that may cover all the risks of an unplanned labor and replacement parts cost for maintenance. Installing any new telephone system involves a significant investment. You can save yourself from any huge loss due to a serious fault by going for a telephone system maintenance contract.

Most telephone service-providers also offer their maintenance services with the equipment. Generally, it includes a risk free comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty and a comprehensive phone system maintenance packages. Free maintenance, support, and warranty is generally applicable for one year. The warranty will cover phone systems, defective parts, handsets and internal cards. The manufacturer’s warranties usually do not cover to repair or replace any part or equipment broken or damaged on site and the labor cost to inspect, repair or replace it. If you want to cover the labour, you will have to enter a telephone maintenance agreement.

Telephone Maintenance Companies have dedicated experts and certified maintenance engineers covering the majority of systems available from a whole list of manufacturers. These companies offer 24-7 premium maintenance coverage and also offer a wide range of accessories at discounted prices. They may also assist you with phone system upgrades, additional handsets, phone line installation, business mobiles, broadband services and more.

A Telephone Maintenance Contract is based on certain terms and conditions and certain things may be free or additional on chargeable basis based on the agreement. When you purchase your phone system from a Business Telephone Company, you should expect it to be completely covered against fault or breakdown. A typical premium protection plan for your Telephone System can ensure you immediate access for a quick and expert support 24×7 basis. It covers all parts, labour and technical support via email and phone. A good maintenance service provider will also provide you with the option of remote resolution for the majority of faults which will have you back up and running within no time at all. If a problem cannot be resolved remotely, you should expect an engineer to attend to the problem on site within the agreed time which is usually specified in your written agreement.

Essential Money-Saving Travel Tips for Beginners

Any plans of taking a break after a few months of stressful work? Then, travelling out of town might be a good idea. To ensure that the hard-earned money will go far, here are some of the budget travel tips to keep in mind:

• Call the hotel first before booking it through the Internet. Though it’s convenient to make travel arrangements online, it doesn’t guarantee to give travellers the best possible deals. It’s recommended to call the hotel depending on the expected time of arrival and speak with a supervisor or manager on duty.

Ask if they can offer an affordable package during the stay. Normally, some hotels would give discounts to travellers who prefer rooms that aren’t as coveted as the others. And for those who are celebrating their birthdays or anniversaries, some hotels offer complimentary upgrades for a night.

• Compare prices of airline tickets. People will prefer to purchase tickets online than over the phone because it’s more convenient. However, it’s essential to make a comparison first by calling the airline and check if the ticket price is similar to what is displayed on the Internet. When purchasing tickets, it’s also recommended to consider the extra fees. Once all of this has been made, go for the one that offers a lower rate.

• Book everything alone. Third parties such as travel agents and booking websites offering services to arrange everything seldom work for free. Normally, there’s an equivalent fee that will go to them. Travellers will save more money by booking each and every element separately through contacting their preferred hotel and airline. By doing so, they will also have the option to contact other choices for price comparison.

• Ask for repositioning cruises or flights. Airlines and cruise lines usually reposition their trips from time to time. it’s cheaper than the traditional trips but also offers similar services to customers. One thing to note though, travel time for repositioned trips may take longer than the usual.

• Avoid travelling during peak seasons. As the number of tourists goes up, the travel cost also does. Though visiting a certain country during Christmas time is a perfect idea, travellers can save hundreds of dollars on flights and hotel accommodations if they can wait to visit once the season is over.

• Share a room with a friend. Stay at the hotel is another essential thing to consider on budget when travelling. There are hotels where room rates for a single person is also the same as the cost of rooms for two persons. Instead taking separate rooms for this situation, why not get a room for two? Aside from the saved money, this will also be a good time to spend bonding moments with a friend while on vacation. Forget about the loud snoring during bedtime though.

• Travel like the locals. As tourists, riding glitzy air-conditioned buses with movies on-board is a convenient option but often comes with a hefty price. Doing this might take away the money that should be spent on exploring other places around the area.

Travelling should not be expensive. All it takes is just the right preparation, timing and budgeting. By keeping all these budget travel tips in mind, everyone can have a wonderful vacation without shedding out too much money from their pockets.

Dudhwa National Park – A Treat for Nature Enthusiasts

Residing in the Lakhimpur and Kheri districts in Uttar Pradesh, the Dudhwa National Park is home to a large number of threatened animal species such as the Rhino and the tiger. This tiger reserve houses two beautiful sanctuaries – the Kishanpur and Katerniaghat Wildlife sanctuaries, where you can spot a large number of birds and animal species. Dudhwa is a magnificent wildlife park which offers its visitors excellent views of its lush greenery and beautiful terrains.

Dudhwa is one of the richest bio-reserves in India; the adjacent Indo-Gangetic plains are credited for the flourishing fauna and flora in this region. This wildlife Park spreads over a vast grassland and dense forest. Over 16 species of reptiles, 38 species of mammals and several species of birds are protected here.

Popular Activities in Dudhwa National Park
• Safaris – The Park offers Safari services for visitors, but you can also explore the place on your own by hiring a jeep or a mini bus.
• Jumbo rides – Elephant rides are a popular attraction at the park; the mahouts will be your tour guide, and they will give you a tour of the park on the majestic animal.
• Tharu Village Visit – Tharu is a small tribal community residing inside the Park. Meeting the tribal village is a great opportunity for outsiders to learn about a unique ethnicity and rich culture.

Best time to visit Dudhwa National Park
December to April is the perfect time to visit the park. Since Northern part of India follows the extreme climate pattern, the summers are going to be boiling, and the winters will be freezing. The park stays open from 15th November-15th June.

How to reach?
• Flight – Lucknow is the closest airport to the Park. You can hop on a taxi from the airport to get to the Park.
• Road – Dudhwa has an excellent road connection most of the major cities and States. There are plenty of State-owned as well as private bus services from neighbouring cities like Bareilly, Delhi, Lakhimpur, Kheri, and Shahjahanpur.
• Train – The nearest railway station to the park is nearly four km away. Other railway stations include Palia which is ten km away and Mailani which is 37kms away from the park.

Where to stay?
Accommodation is not an issue in Dudhwa because visitors have plenty of Dudhwa forest resorts to choose from. Apart from the resorts, you can also find forest lodges, dormitory or forest huts to stay. The Dudhwa forest resorts ensure luxurious comfort so that visitors can experience nature with ease. Camping in Dudhwa National Park is a haven for nature-lovers. If you love wildlife, then you will love the Dudhwa National Park.

7 Things to Know Before Visiting Cusco Peru Tours

Cusco is one of the tourist destinations that many Peruvians choose when to pack up and travel, but there is great uncertainty about whether the budget will reach to know one of the places that houses one of the seven modern wonders like Machu Picchu.

If you are visiting Machu Picchu, in Cusco, for the first time, you will experience some knew things and here are some tips that will improve your whole adventure in strange situations.

Choose the time: You must note that from April to October is the dry season with the cloudless sky. Since November, the clouds and rains that reach their peak in December through March.

Meeting hours: The Cusco Peru tourslasts a whole day. We will move out quickly as we can, to seize the day and avoid the crowds. Another thing you can do is go out in the evening and sleep in AguesClient’s, from there to Machu Picchu the next day morning. You can change Aguesclients’ to Ollantaytambo if you like.

Trekking: Some might want to get walking, but it is not an easy task. You can choose the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trekking to Machu Picchu and Coffee Route. Always accompanied by excellent guides and book your space with several months in advance.

Clothing and accessories: It is advisable to take only what is necessary. Water, a jacket for warmth, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, and camera. Always have a rain jacket and windbreaker. Machu Picchu is jungle and warm, but the weather changes in minutes, and can rain, cloud and spend a little cold.

Lunch and drinks: It is advisable to get the food in the village of aguesclients before climbing to Machu Picchu. You can also bring your little taper.

You must ask the locals where they eat them, do not go where tourists eat or nearby restaurants to tourist sites, these are commercial, expensive and bad. Explore the markets, eat llama, and enjoy the best experience in a country as lovely as Peru.

About the currency

The currency used in the country is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (three suns roughly equivalent to one dollar). There are many places where you can change money, for example switched smoothly on the same bus terminal in Tacna. It goes without saying that always look established places to spare potential problems.

Vaccines

You will not need any special vaccinations to enter the country. But keep in mind that if you visit Amazon regions, the Ministry of Health of Peru recommended the yellow fever vaccine. For example, if you go to the city of Iquitos, in full jungle Peru, it is better as a preventive measure you perform the vaccine.

Top Reasons to Use a Hosted PBX Service Instead of a Traditional Telephone System

Hosted PBX services provide many advantages over the purchase or use of a traditional telephone system because they furnish advanced telephone system features as a service over the Internet. Many of those advanced features are expensive to deploy as part of a telephone system. Hosted PBX service is delivered with equipment located on the premises of the provider. This means a business does not need to invest in a telephone system to take advantage of its rich features and capabilities. In most cases, you will only need to purchase or lease the phones which are significantly less expensive than a phone system’s common equipment.

The advantages of a Hosted PBX service can be divided into 4 categories: Financial, Operational, Service and Marketing. Below is a categorized listing of those advantages divided among the categories:

Financial

1. Typically, Hosted PBX services only require the purchase of telephone instruments. They have a significantly lower upfront capital expenditure without the need of purchasing cabinets, cards, additional cabling and installation labor.

2. The entire monthly payment can be expensed instead of depreciating the system over 5 years.

3. Hosted PBX services that bundle outbound domestic long distance into their package have more predictable charges each month. The bills do not fluctuate monthly as the use of long distance minutes rise and fall.

4. Expanding a Hosted PBX system is as simple as adding telephones. Telephone and PBX systems can require additional circuit cards, cabling, card cabinets and labor along with the cost of the telephones.

5. Maintenance/repair costs are minimal or none at all.

6. In most situations, the Hosted PBX customer will save money on the monthly recurring charges associated with a telephone system such as telephone lines and line features.

7. Business users that have multiple small offices and especially small offices in different local calling areas will certainly save the most on recurring charges.

8. Employees can easily work from home with Hosted PBX services. Working from home reduces operational costs including rent on office space, equipment, furniture and utilities.

Operational

9. Call capacity is more flexible with a Hosted VoIP provider. The number of simultaneous calls is only limited by the amount of available Internet bandwidth and the number of telephones. With a telephone system, call capacity is limited to the number of subscriber lines it has from the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC).

10. Regular fax lines only receive one fax at a time. Many Hosted PBX services terminate faxes electronically allowing for multiple faxes to be received simultaneously.

11. Faxes received electronically in an email can be effortlessly stored and redistributed in email form.

12. Faxes can be sent out while simultaneously receiving faxes from important customers.

13. Sometimes the customer does not know who to call when they have problems with their telephone system. Their equipment could be malfunctioning or it could be a problem with the telephone lines provided by the LEC. Confusions about who to call coupled with the occasional finger pointing between the two providers can lead to disruptive trouble for the business. There is no confusion or finger pointing when a Hosted PBX service is used.

14. It is far easier to connect users in multiple offices into a seamless voice system with a Hosted PBX service than with a telephone system, even a VoIP telephone system.

15. Premium Hosted VoIP providers deliver Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) in their service.

16. Telecommuters can be set-up as easily as taking a phone home and plugging it into a cable or DSL modem. Telephone systems can require a special IP card and other special routing equipment to make this possible.

17. Small businesses can use Direct Inward Dial (DID) numbers at a lower price point than paying for a PRI circuit. 10 digit DID telephone numbers can be assigned to any extension allowing a customer to call a department or individual directly, bypassing a receptionist.

18. Many key employment positions can be filled from other cities and states through the use of telecommuting thus broadening the available talent pool.

Service

19. Telephone systems frequently require on-site visits from the vendor’s technicians for routine repair. Hosted PBX customers may never see a technician from their provider. Generally, Hosted PBX services provide quicker response time to service issues since they do not have to dispatch a technician to their customer’s office.

20. Hosted PBX customers can move their own phones within their office.

21. Many Hosted VoIP providers monitor their customers 24 hours a day and can repair trouble without the customer’s knowledge. Traditional telephone system customers must discover their own problems with the phone system and then initiate the repair process.

22. Fire, hurricane, tornado or an extended power outage can destroy your telephone system and stop your office from processing calls. Many VoIP providers can program calls to re-route automatically if their equipment looses contact with your office. Regardless, auto attendants, voicemail boxes and call forwarding will still process calls from the provider’s Point of Presence (POP).

23. Inclement weather can keep employees from the office and answering phones. The Mobile PBX feature automatically processes calls in any weather when someone is away from the office. Further, the Hosted VoIP provider can redirect call to any 10-digit number with a simple phone call.

Marketing

24. Hosted PBX services can provide their customers with published telephone numbers in market areas where they do not have a presence. Now companies can test new market areas and provide the feel of a local presence with minimal investment.

25. Businesses can relocate without ever having to change their telephone number. This can be across town or into another state.

26. Key personnel can be recruited from other cities and states with the availability of telecommuting.

27. Supporting a business within or under a parent company can get costly and complicated to manage. An independent telephone identity (multiple published numbers in hunt) and communications for a “Tenant” can be expensive or impossible on some traditional telephone systems. Using Hosted PBX services reduces the complications and removes the cost barrier for providing professional call processing and published telephone numbers for each tenant you add.

28. Mobile PBX feature integrates an employee’s mobile phone with the Hosted PBX service. Companies can live up to the personal level of service that they have promised when employees can get their calls no matter where they are.

29. Small companies can have their incoming calls automatically handled with the grace of a large company’s ultra-flexible auto attendant system. This can greatly improve the professional image for a small organization.

30. Providing toll-free numbers to attract and simplify the way customers or prospects reach a business is a great use of marketing dollars. With Hosted VoIP providers, obtaining, managing and reporting toll-free numbers is cost effective and simple.

The many advantages of a Hosted PBX service can make it an ideal choice for most small business. Large PBX features can be delivered to the customer for less than the cost of a small phone system. Further, VoIP providers with their Hosted PBX or Virtual PBX services can save their customers money on their recurring telephone line charges in addition to the many other financial, operational, service and marketing benefits.

Should I Replace My Telephone Systems?

A telephone system is a major expense for any business but it is necessary for handling incoming and outgoing calls efficiently. There are a large number of telephone systems to choose from. They all have a set of features that are very similar. These features are upgraded and improved over time but the original features usually remain. I am referring to things like WATS lines or least cost routing. These features were required when telephone service was based on distance and time on a call. Features such as hold, Park, conference, transfer, intercom, and messaging are essential to any phone system. Most of us are familiar with these features and are used to using them on any system.

One holdover, of old phone systems, that I have found in my travels, are the large number of copper lines coming into the systems that have never been reviewed. Many times there are lines and numbers that nobody knew existed, but still appeared on the telephone bill. Usually these bills are so complex that it is difficult to find these extra lines. This brings me to a major difference in the new telephone systems. Most of the new systems are IP-based with the ability to plug copper lines into them. What this means is that the majority of the phone lines that come into the system are Internet-based and don’t require a pair of copper wires. It is possible to increase or decrease the number of line appearances that are available simply by logging into a website. It is only necessary to have one phone number for customers to call into. The only reason for additional numbers is to direct calls to a particular individual. This is accomplished with direct inward dial or DID numbers, which are simply program numbers and are not associated with any particular pair of wires.

When we evaluate the viability of the company replacing the telephone system, one major consideration is what they’re currently paying on the telephone bill. Many times the savings can more than pay for the new system. I usually recommend that they keep one or two copper lines and supply the rest of their phone service via the Internet. This makes it much easier for them to control their costs and adjust their lines depending on the business. Even though today’s business Internet service is almost as reliable as copper telephone lines, this will guarantee that they still have telephone service in the event that their Internet service is down. Adding VoIP telephone service simply involves going to a website, signing up, and entering a username and password into the phone system programming. It is possible to increase incoming capacity temporarily to handle an advertising campaign.

Some of these VoIP providers have a per line monthly charge of $8-$25. With this you get a certain number of minutes of call from 500 to unlimited. Other providers have no monthly charge and simply bill by the minute. Which service you use depends on the types of calls you make. One of the big advantages is that we are no longer tied to two or three providers. There are literally hundreds of telephone VoIP providers on the Internet. Considering that you can port any telephone number to any provider, it makes it very easy to switch providers when your needs change. If you are running a special or an advertising campaign, it is easy to add additional channels for incoming calls. It is just as easy to eliminate those channels once the campaign is over.

Another major advantage of the IP telephone systems over the traditional telephone systems is the way they are set up and connected. The traditional systems have a wire running from each telephone back to the central unit and closet. There are a number of punch down blocks and many wires in a rats nest. Moving an extension usually involves either reprogramming the telephone system or swapping the wires. Adding additional telephones usually involves adding new cards to the system and additional wires, as does any new incoming lines. An IP telephone system simply plugs into the router and the two backup copper lines. All of the telephones can plug in anywhere there is a network jack. If you move to another office, simply take your phone with you and plug it into the network jack in that office. In fact, if you take the telephone home, you can plug it into the network jack at home and it appears as if you are still in your office. This is a tremendous advantage in the event of a snowstorm or if you are not feeling well.

To carry this concept one step further, if you are a small business and you would like to have people in different locations working for you, it is possible to place telephones in each of these locations and have it appear, to customers, that everyone is in the same office. If you have more than one office with multiple people in each office is also very easy to put a system in each office location and simply program them to talk to each other. Unlike in the past, requiring you to have a pair of wires that you paid by the mile, you can be in any part of the world with an Internet connection and have the same access to all employees as if there were in one location, with no additional monthly charges. You can call an employee in another part of the world by dialing their extension as if they were in the next cubicle. I have even seen companies with important customers in another country simply ship them a telephone and tell them they can talk to their sales representative for free anytime they like.

I think it would be advantageous for anyone who has had their telephone system for more than a few years to take the time to investigate the cost of replacement and the many advantages of the new systems. Not only will the savings in telephone service end up paying for the telephone system, but the many additional advantages will make your business more efficient and accessible to customers. Following are a few examples of the many features that are included with these IP telephone systems.

Small Telephone Systems Verses Multi-line Business Phones

Choosing the right telephone system from start is always the best path, but not always the most economical. Before you head down to your local electronic store and pick up the cheapest multi-line business phone you can find, here are few pointers you should keep in mind.

Many multi-line business phones have a pretty decent feature set such as voicemail, caller ID, call waiting ID, 3 way calling and intercom (in multi phone setups). These phones integrate the Key System Unit (or KSU) into the phone itself, which means each individual telephone functions as its own “mini phone system.” The term KSU, (Key System Unit, Key Signaling Unit or Key Service Unit) dates back to the early day’s phone systems, it’s basically “the Brain” of the phone system. All call processing data and telephone line interfacing is carried out by the KSU. For many small offices with less than 4 phones (extensions) and 4 telephone lines, these multi-line phones are adequate and economical. However, as a business grows, the many disadvantages of these phones begin to show their merits.

By comparison, multi-line business phones are sold with the marketing term, “KSU-less design,” which translates (in buyers minds) to lower overall costs. Small telephone systems on the other hand include a separate KSU unit or “Brain” in addition to each telephone. A major disadvantage comes to play when you are interfacing your phones with the telephone company lines. The KSU acts as the “line interface,” for a phone system, all major system connections terminate at the KSU. Now with each multi-line phone acting as its own “mini phone system,” each phone now needs direct connections to each telephone line.

A single telephone line consists of 1 pair of wires. Almost all multi-line phones support up to 4 lines, meaning each multi-line phone needs up to 4 pairs of wires or the equivalent of a standard Cat5e cable. As you begin to add more KSU-less phones to your office you must factor in the cost to install another drop of cat5e (or cat5) cable. You must also account for the additional termination blocks in your telephone closet where all these phones must be “Bridged” (or shared) to the 4 phone lines. As you can imagine, for installations with more than say 4 or 5 phones the wiring aspect can get pretty complex. Anything over 6 or 7 phones will be a wiring mess, if done unprofessionally, which adds to the cost of these low budget systems. However, this bridged connection is how multi-line phones “intercom” one another. By sending a signal over each bridged line, each extension can communicate without actually tying up any of the 4 phone lines. As long as every multi-line phone is connected to all 4 lines (or matching number of lines if less than 4), each phone can intercom each other internally while keeping the phone lines free for external calls.

Small Telephones Systems on the other hand, which come equipped with a separate, dedicated KSU unit, are at a distinct advantage in both areas. Having a single KSU unit means a single interface point for the telephone line connections. Many small telephone systems need only a single pair of wire to connect each extension telephone. What this means is if you are deploying a number of phones in one particular area, you can save dramatically on cabling costs by having your contractor “split” the single Cat5e cable into, at most, 4 single telephone jacks! – This becomes very cost effective as you deploy additional phones. (However, many pros will only split single Cat5 cable once for 2 telephone jacks leaving the remaining wires as spare pairs). Cable management becomes much easier (and neater) as you need not worry about bridging 10 phones to 4 telephone lines. One single pair of wires (to connect to a telephone) of the 3 or 4 pairs in a standard telephone cable is enough for as many lines as the small telephone system can handle since the actual line connections are at the dedicated KSU unit and not at the individual telephone.

Another plus for the small telephone system is the ease of transitioning to a larger phone system. The wiring scheme for the most part will remain the same albeit installing more cable drops to new areas. Not so much the same for the multi-line business phones. Depending on how each phone was “bridged” to interface to those 4 telephone lines, this entire wiring scheme may need to be undone as most small (and large) telephone systems require individual (not bridged or shared) connections to the KSU.

Programming wise there is one disadvantage when comparing small business telephone systems to multi-line business phones, which can be viewed as multiple disadvantages. Since each individual telephone functions as its own KSU it also functions as its own Voicemail unit (if equipped). Which means if you want to enable an Auto Attendant feature (where your callers are greeted by a company recording instructing them to press 1 for Joe Boss, 2 for Sales Manager etc…) you will have to record this greeting for as many times as you have voicemail enabled phones (up to 4). Here’s why, with most multi-line business phones, the voicemail feature includes a personal voicemail box for the extension and an optional auto attendant feature. The auto attendant feature can only handle one call at a time; ergo if you want the system to answer up to 4 incoming calls simultaneously you need at least 4 auto attendant enabled phones. So technically speaking you must record the same auto attendant greeting 4 times, 1 on each phone. You must also enable the system mailbox for each of the 4 phones to accept general messages. You now have 4 different phones/voicemail boxes in your office where you must check for general messages. This is known as a general mailbox, which is a default destination for callers who do not press a menu option or dial an extension. This scenario is not efficient for larger setups but may work for smaller ones.

With a small business telephone system, there is just one central voicemail unit which can handle multiple calls at once. Storage times are much greater and there is just one mailbox for general messages. You can also take advantage of advanced features (if equipped) such as voicemail to email (where the system sends the voicemail in a standard wav format to your email address), which in this fast paced world can be a BIG time saver and added convenience.

One last point on this topic to cover quickly; with the advent of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) continually proving its cost effective existence, many businesses find themselves wanting to take advantage of these savings. Many small business telephone systems on the market today are equipped to handle VoIP telephone lines through either a simple hardware or software upgrade. An upgrade may include adding an Ethernet (or media) port to the system or if already equipped, simply enabling this port through software activation. Simply plugging this unit into your company LAN and perhaps minor firewall configuration you can now start saving on land line costs by calling out over less expensive VoIP lines.

Multi-line business telephone can benefit as well but through a 3rd party VoIP gateway. This gateway converts a VoIP line (sometimes called a “Trunk”) to a standard telephone port. You will need as many gateways as you want lines, (or opt for a multi-port unit). However you may have to plan on spending some time configuring and adjusting the settings of the unit to obtain the proper volume levels while minimizing echo and other artifacts that may be induced when converting the signal from a standard Analog telephone line to SIP or other VoIP protocol. Many high end units come with built in (hardware or software) echo cancellers and noise suppressors which minimize these adjustments (and work very well) but increase the cost of the gateway dramatically.

To conclude, although it may seem like great savings early in your start up phase, for needs of 4 or less external lines and extension phones, the multi-line business phone can actually prove to be a cost effective solution. In my humble opinion these multi-line phones are better suited for a home office (or SOHO) situation. If you have big plans to expand exponentially (and don’t we all!) I recommend you at least consider a small business telephone system. Although a bit more initial investment is required, the benefits far out way the cost disadvantage if not cancel it out completely.

Copyright © 2009 Damian Parkins for PBX Interactive, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re looking for a great small telephone system to start out with that’s not too advanced and bloated with “bells and whistles,” I recommend the XBlue Networks X16 small office telephone system. This system is priced right smack in the middle of a decent multi-line business phone setup and an advanced small business telephone system. XBlue Networks hit the nail on the head with this model by stripping off only the advanced telephone features most small business may not have a need for, or are rarely used; allowing the X16 small office phone system to fill a niche in the market left primarily untouched. This compact, stylish phone system offers some nice designer phones to choose from (for those wishing to be unique) and a great feature set.