How to Buy a New Office Telephone System: Features & Requirements

Feature Requirements

This is the third installment of our series, “How to Buy a New Office Telephone System.”

In our last blog, we discussed the importance of knowing the limitations of your current system and how it relates to what you should look for in a new one. As part of this insight, we briefly touched on finding the right features for your needs. It used to be that when purchasing a new phone system, you’d only maintain it for about 5 years before upgrading to the latest model. Why? To gain exciting new  features such as voicemail, speakerphones, and call queuing..

Yet, in today’s world that is no longer the case. Since most systems offer pretty much the same features, it’s not a matter of which solution has which feature, but rather for the buyer to have a good understanding of all of most useful features out there today. 

20 Most Common Features of Business Phone Systems

DID (Direct Inward Dial) — Unavailable on analog systems, this allows employees to have their own telephone number that goes directly to their phone thus bypassing the receptionist or automated attendant.

Caller ID — A feature that displays the caller’s telephone number.

Find Me / Follow Me — This allows you to designate a number of phones to ring simultaneously when  your number is dialed.

Mobile Phone Integration — Allows mobile phones to be an integrated part of a company’s communications platform.

Ring Desk/Mobile — No matter where you may be, this feature helps locate you by ringing both your desk phone and your mobile phone at the same time.

Presence — Always know if a user in on the phone with a simple glance at your phone’s screen or monitor.

Unified Messaging — Voicemails are delivered direct to your inbox.

Voicemail Transcription — This feature will turn any voicemail into a readable document, as an alternative method of delivery.

Audio Conference Bridge — This offers the ability for multiple users dial into a virtual conference room.

Video Conference Bridge — The same feature as above, but with video capabilities.

Web Meetings — A very powerful tool that allows users to conduct online meetings including voice, video and screen sharing.

Web-based Dialing — Simply put, you can dial a number on a website with a click of the mouse.

Sales Force Integration — The power to combine your CRM with your communications.

Hot Desking — This gives employees the ability to “log in” to any telephone regardless of location and make and receive phone calls.

Drag & Drop Call Handling — Ideal for high call volume locations, this is a screen-based application that makes it easy to manage multiple calls quickly.

Paging Through Phones — The ability to page an individual through multiple phones, which is especially handy in large work environments.

Call Monitoring —  A tool for managers that allows them to listen in on phone calls. It is a great training tool for call center applications.

Call Recording — Allows calls to be recorded for later playback; an extremely handy tool for mentors and managers.

Call Reporting —  Allows decision makers to gain insights into call durations, inbound vs. outbound, user phone productivity, etc.

As you can see there is a world of possibility when it comes to the features your business can employ in a new telephone system. It’s all a matter of determining which features provide value to your business.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our next blog in the series, “Phones & Devices.”

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