Pagers, tapes, laserdiscs and VCRs have all gone the way of the dodo. Personal landlines are largely in decline with more people opting for the mobility and flexibility of their smartphones. The likes of Facetime, Skype and Google Hangout enable users to connect with video calling – the latter two also support instant messaging, and yet, many businesses remain chained to the same voicemail service and setup that, though they dominated communications in earlier decades, are now not only the opposite of en vogue, but also slower and less effective than many available alternatives.
In the business world we are always striving to be better, to be faster and to be effective in our communications, all while saving money. It may not seem like the obvious path to savings and increased efficiency, but making the leap from old-school voicemail to hosted voice is an opportunity for businesses to do both.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, allows users to make calls via their computers, and according to ShoreTel, the market for VoIP is growing rapidly in the United States. In fact, an IBISWorld report found that the market has increased by 16.7 percent on an annual basis over the past five years. According to the research firm Infonetics’ latest VoIP and UC Services and Subscribers report, Hosted PBX “grew the most of any VoIP service in the first half of 2013 as businesses, particularly larger enterprises, continue to turn to hosted services as a viable alternative to premises-based solutions.” The advanced functionality of VoIP allows for streamlined communication and enhanced productivity, but the fact that the calls are made over the Internet means costs can remain low.
Advanced functionality isn’t just a lot of smoke and mirrors; VoIP offers some key, convenient, productivity-enhancing features that traditional phone lines just can’t. Fortunately these features are not just useful, they are easy to master. MegaPath, a leading provider of business-class hosted voice services, offers not only the features we’ve all come to expect such as call transfer, call waiting and 3-way calling, but advanced web-based features like find me/follow me,visual voicemail, shared call appearance, and mobile integration.
Find me/follow me allows users to program their calls to ring to multiple phones, including mobile numbers, so users never have to miss a call unless they want to. Visual Voicemail, or voicemail transcribed as email, allows users to read their voicemail as email while on the go or while on another call. Similarly, the Voicemail to Email features delivers emails as sound files attached to email for one-click listening. Shared Call Appearance is another feature that addresses the needs of today’s workforce by allowing users to have one phone at work and another phone in their home office that operate exactly the same. Mobile integration, meanwhile, allows users to make and receive calls using their business VoIP number and take advantage of corporate long distance calling plans whether they’re on their smartphone, their home phone, their office phone or even using any PC via the customer portal.
Today’s employees desire and even expect the flexibility to work remotely and efficiently. The ability to support this flexibility transparently can offer many advantages to businesses, such as improved recruitment and retention, a better customer experience, as well as improved employee collaboration and productivity. Hosted Voice and its advanced features are just one way that MegaPath can deliver the benefits of cloud-based services. To learn more, contact MegaPath today!
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