Posts Tagged ‘digital telephony’

How Does A Business Phone System Work? Part 1 – The PBX

March 31, 2009

A small startup business can begin operations with just a few phone lines from Ma Bell, just like they did 20 or 50 years ago. You need a voice line, a fax line, and perhaps additional lines for the limited number of employees at that stage of a young business. As the business grows, you reach a point where you shouldn’t just keep adding a line at a time. You cross a point where you aren’t a startup anymore, you are an established business with a reputation.

Along with that reputation you have to change your technology to meet the needs of your growing business. When you have several employees and a full computer network, you are retarding your growth if you continue to use cheap four line phones from the local supply store. You need more features than a startup company. You need quality in your technology. Welcome to the world of the automated PBX.

A PBX is short for “Private Branch Exchange” and is your automated operator to handle all of your phone system technology. Remember Lily Tomlin as The Operator who physically made cable connections at her switchboard when a call came in? The PBX automates that process plus does a lot more for you. Up to a few years ago, your phone system was analog and worked totally off of copper wiring. Advances in digital telephony, notably packet switching, have brought us the IP-PBX, a digital PBX which is actually now more of a computer.

An IP-PBX works with a VOIP (Voice Over IP) format so that the phone conversations are connected via the network infrastructure that you already have in place for your computers. The voice signals go through the network cables as discrete data packets instead of screechy tones you hear with a dialup modem or fax line. You don’t need the smaller phone cables you are used to seeing. With an IP-capable phone handset on your desk, you only need one cable from the walljack to your phone and then from the phone to your computer instead of two lines from the walljack. That can save an office about one-third on cabling costs with single cable drops instead of dual cable drops in a new office when they install VOIP.

Before the modern IP-PBX recently came into vogue, an intermediate step since the 1930’s was the “Key” system where you manually push a button to select your phone line to dial out or answer a call. An IP-PBX will automatically choose an available line for you. A 1960’s technology AT&T Centrex system can simulate local PBX features from their central office location but today’s IP-PBX systems hosted at your office are replacing them everywhere.

Of course, all of these technologies work equally well for the basic feature of having a phone conversation. Where they differ is what you can do with those calls and how easy it is to use those features. As you would expect, the modern IP-PBX shows the best scalability and produces the best benefits for the business owner by allowing the employees to be the most productive. Adjusted for inflation, today’s IP-PBX is less expensive than other choices past and present. Also, a service technician can frequently update and repair an IP-PBX from a remote location instead of having to make a service call the next day. Reliability of the phone system should be the number one concern of the business owner and the IP-PBX is the right choice.

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 713-777-2400.

“Productivity Through Technology”

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Why Was Select Phone Solutions Created?

March 22, 2009

Select Phone Solutions was created due to the overwhelming Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone system success by the parent company, Tech Services Group, which is an IT company. Splitting out the phone system work from the IT work performed by Tech Services Group made sense for the company and for its clients.

Tech Services Group was originally formed with the vision of managing all of the technology used by the typical modern office. That included computers, networks, phone systems, copiers, and anything else that makes your office productive.

While computers and such have become very important to running a business, the phone system is the critical human part. We all use it not only to give and get information, we interpret the other person’s voice and inflections as emotional indicators. We may not be able to see them but we can picture their responses in our minds and we change our own messages and actions accordingly.

The world is now not only going to digital telephony, it’s going to converged communications, a combination of synergistic technologies. VOIP phone systems are the backbone of that convergence. We saw the need for an IT company that understood the technology fundamentals to get the best out of those systems. Enter Select Phone Solutions as the experts in designing VOIP phone systems for SMBs, small and medium sized businesses.

Some new phone companies without IT experience can’t help a business coordinate their data networks with their phone system. A hardware salesperson can install a cookie cutter VOIP by reading manuals but they don’t know the underlying concepts of how to merge the capabilities of all the technologies an office needs and uses to provide a customized solution. They also don’t provide extensive technical support after the sale, except to refer you to an 800 number in Bangalore.

Select Phone Solutions inspects your:

  • cabling and can design and/or modify your infrastructure the right way the first time. Out with the CAT3 and in with CAT5e or CAT6 which are the current standards.
  • network capability to ensure that the VOIP phone system will work efficiently and effectively for crystal clear two-way conversations.
  • broadband service to see if you have sufficient bandwidth for your needs, if you should change to a T-1 line or add more of them.
  • office workflow to understand how your phone system should be setup to increase office productivity. We talk with the staff to learn what they do and how they do it.
  • service needs and fully customizes your VOIP phone system to fit your business, not the one down the street. After installation, we train the staff with a Lunch & Learn session.
  • technical support needs and arranges the level of service after the sale that fits your budget, your office time and your business, fully provided by Select Phone Solutions personnel in Houston.

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 713-777-2400.

“Productivity Through Technology”