Modern telephone & small business telephone communications can be very confusing, selecting the wrong solution can often cost you an arm and a leg. In reality this really does not have to be the case, for example if you are only after a very basic solution. You need look no further than your local Maplins store for a complete range of DIY business telephone systems. These can be installed by any competent DIY enthusiast.
On the other hand if you feel that you would like to take into account system user growth, as well as exploit some modern system integration along with feature rich adaptable functionally. Then there really is no getting away from the technology of Asterisk.
Asterisk is an an open source communications software tool kit for building & integrating communications , it is the foundation of literally millions of telephone systems in existence today. It can be used along with a few extra expansions cards, to turn an ordinary computer into a comprehensive communications server. Its is very scalable, feature rich, used worldwide & is completely free to download for use as you see fit.
This means that if you have the time & technical know how, you too can have a state of the art business communications system with all the bells & whistles generally associated with a large company.
How can this help my businesses? Well in order to have a greater understanding, we need to consider some of the historic practices of telephone system suppliers. Up until the most recent years most mainstream telecommunications manufactures built systems that have turned out to be expensive to run & maintain, further more with many of these systems you could only buy parts from the same manufactures & if you wanted a specific extra feature you had to pay a shed load of money for it.
That landscape has been changing over that last decade or so, as the cost of electronic hardware has come down & the available access to technology such as Asterisk. New players have come to the market place, offering more features with more user / owner administrative technical control / access. The supply market has slowly but surly become competitive.
In todays market it really is realistic to get a very powerful small business telephone system control unit for under £500, one that will allow you to take greater advantage of modern telecommunications technology & system integration.
Some of the most commonly used features & application of a modern system would be the automation of least cost routing for calls, VOIP (voice over internet protocol) lines, conference calling, auto attendant, call queuing, CRM (customer relationship management) integration. These are just a few of the many features a modern telephone system can offer above & beyond the traditional landline connection to the local telephone exchange.
In acknowledgement of the changing landscape of onsite business telephone systems equipment manufacturing & supply, the likes of Avaya, Toshiba, Mitel, Panasonic & Siemens have all embraced Asterisk based technology in one form or another. However in terms of affordable business telephone systems, it's worth taking a look at some other manufactures, such as Elastix, Draytek, OpenVox, Digium, Atcom, Snom, Zycoo and the many more new entrants to the market place.