In the last issue of BiziNet, we spoke about how important it is for small and medium businesses to have a telephone system in place. Here we explain how important it is to have a phone system that boosts your business and offers new features which were not available just a few years ago.
Key sectors such as corporate, education (distance learning), contact centres and health care already have digital telephone systems in place. These phone systems could have been installed just a few years ago and provide all the basic "business functions" at first glance. For example, a receptionist may see other users and lines and transfer calls. Customers may select Voice Menu options such as "press one for support" and "press two for accounts". This looks like a typical office phone system setup, but does it help to provide the flexibility and efficiency that's much needed today?
Today, phone systems are not just a standalone phone service - they are a set of tools that work together as a part of a unified communication system. Current employers may work out of a workplace for health reasons or to simply boost productivity on the go - they can be working from home, on a business trip, in a hotel room and even participate in meetings in their car. Businesses, on the other hand, need to put reliable platforms in place for all types of remote workers.
At the Australian Phone Company, we have almost a decade of experience in Unified Communications and have tried out a number of different platforms and systems. However, the only one that stands out is 3CX - a world-recognised leader for unified communications. 3CX is trusted by a large variety of well-known companies such as PWC, Holiday Inn and American Express. This is because 3CX is very simple to start with (it can be deployed in the cloud within only 10 minutes free of charge for a six-month demo), affordable to use and flexible (it may be used as a communication tool under your fingertips on virtually any laptop, mobile phone, or dedicated VoIP phone). Here, we would like to go through some of the features which your business may have not tried or are not provided by your current phone system supplier.
Web Meetings: A key differentiator of 3CX is that Web Meetings are provided absolutely free of charge in the standard edition. With the 3CX solution, you have a great facility that enables Web Meetings between your employers or external customers. This platform provides more than you are likely going to use. Options start from regular video teleconferencing features. You can share documents, quickly jump to whiteboarding, have an ongoing chat, record your meetings, as well as receive reports and run a poll at the end of your meeting. We can see a huge shift in 3CX-arranged events in the remote education industry. Another quickly emerging demand for one-on-one web meetings is in healthcare, where doctors may see patients at home, have a live conversation with them (without needing to physically attend), provide a questionnaire to the patient to analyse symptoms, and provide information about the patient's treatment options.
Web Client: We're all used to the idea that a receptionist (and only the receptionist) has a big phone with a lot of flashing lights to see the status of everyone in an organisation. But now, the Web Client can run on any computer (that can be physically outside of your organisation), allowing the receptionist to access the same functions such as viewing the switchboard, answering calls, forwarding calls, listening and redirecting calls to voicemail, and viewing the status of other users directly from a web browser. All meetings and Web Meetings can be scheduled from this client, as well with notifications via email. Everyone in the organisation can do this, as long as permissions are assigned which give you the feeling that you are in the same room with everyone else. The Web Client also has an additional chat option which may greatly assist your corporate workflow.
Mobile App: This mobile app is probably the best one in the market. It's the same Web Client - just in your pocket. You can make use of the same features: view status, answer, forward calls, review call history and overall have exactly the same functionality as if you were in your office.
Live Chat and Talk: It's not by any means a new invention to have Live Chat on a website, but it's a new feature to have this functionality in a phone system. You don't need to have multiple windows opened anymore - you may have a Live Chat coming to the same Web Client from external customers, and you can organise the queue, switch between people inside of the company and even initiate a phone call. Everything is in one place for you.
The beauty of this solution is that it's easy to deploy and set-up for remote working out of the box. Your employees just need a USB headset connected to their home PC and they are good to go, as if they are already in the office. They can use all the functions of office phone system from anywhere and also have the option to grab an office VoIP phone for their home and continue to work if required. You can also forget about calling technicians to make any changes to telephone system - everything is managed remotely and phones may be re-provisioned anytime from anywhere.
Australian Phone Company is a Platinum Level partner of 3CX in Australia. We have a long-term relationship with 3CX not only as an IT partner, but as a supporting provider as well. This means that every single 3CX version is tested for interoperability with our system to make sure that 3CX customers are getting the best from their telephone system and the provider.
Australian Phone Company currently has five independent data centres in Australia. This ensures that you are connected to the nearest one at all times and additionally serves as a redundancy measure. We provide a full range of services that includes phone system provisioning, hosting, maintenance, and support for 3CX and end users.
To get a small business cloud-based PBX phone system for your company, visit www.australianphone.com.au and get a three-month free trial to see how it works for you, or give us a call on 1800 APHONE.