Business Phone Services
If you’re looking for the best phone system for your business, Blue Fox Group offers an array of options to fit any type of communication need. We offer on-site independently managed phone systems; hybrid and private cloud systems that allow you to control software updates and manage your own phone system while combining the applications, features, and redundancy of a cloud-based system; and fully hosted, cloud-based phone systems that are run, managed and maintained for you on a monthly subscription fee.
Whatever the need, our team of highly experienced business phone experts can help you find a communication solution to help you communicate better.
Wondering how these business phone services can help your company grow?
While small businesses have unique needs than that of enterprise, all businesses can agree that the way they communicate with their clients has extended beyond the office phone to video, chat, SMS, and other tools that clients both want and expect a phone system to provide.
Public Cloud, Private Cloud, VoIP, and on-site systems and applications have flooded the market making it even more confusing when knowing which phone system and features you really need, and which business phone services will accommodate your needs as you grow.
4 Major Questions to Ask Before Upgrading, Changing or Buying a New Business Phone System
- What should my Business Phone System do?
- What communication options are available to me?
- What am I not asking that I should ask?
- Can I test drive before buying?
What should my Business Phone System do today?
Business communication has changed dramatically over the last five years. Not only is it incumbent on you to provide reliable customer service, but your team also has to be able to service your clients on their timeline using the tools the customers prefer. Additionally, you are no longer reliant on expensive one-time PBX installations that last until the next major investment. You have choices and finding a system that is both flexible enough to meet the demands of your client base while easy enough to implement and be maintained by your team is the ideal phone system of today.
Here's a quick set of features that most businesses look for in a phone system:
- Flexible pricing
- Reliable customer service
- Ease of operation and setup that doesn’t require expensive hardware purchases
- Clear, reliable connections
- Advanced Apps for managing productivity and workload
- Video & audio conferencing solutions that allow for unlimited meetings for small groups of people.
- Screen share for video conferencing’
- CRM integration to communicate out of and track interactions
- Business analytics for evaluating call volume and routing, hold times and overall customers satisfaction
Thanks to the Cloud, AI, IoT, and advanced applications, businesses now have flexible options that were never available before. Popular business communication apps allow businesses to do more with the system they already have in place such as:
- Business productivity – customized applications that help teams enter and track data faster with greater efficiency.
- Business social networking – remaining connected to colleagues and coworkers through an entire project.
- Calendar/To-Do’s -- keep your projects organized.
- Communication & Collaboration tools – enabling teams to engage through talk, text, video, and file share.
- Mobile Security – providing the balance between productivity and security to ensure your data remains safe.
Which communication options are available to me?
Gone are the days of chocolate or vanilla business phone options. Today, businesses have a myriad of options that include both cloud, VoIP, On-Premise and everything in between. To make it easier to understand, we will look at each type of system and provide a rationale for why certain businesses might consider each option.
VoIP Phone Systems
A VoIP phone system is a system that connects the main business phone number to a mobile or home phone. It immediately allows businesses with employees to work from locations other than the company's office. It also gives remote workers access to a variety of phone system features that standalone mobile and home phones don't offer such as call-forwarding, applications, automated receptionists, voicemail, call screening, and online faxing. VoIP phone system is often preferred by companies with just a handful of employees and represents significant savings to the business in overhead costs while providing some of the same rich-feature sets that come with a business phone system.
Cloud-based (Hosted) Phone System
With a cloud-based phone system, there is no PBX hardware or dial-tone service to purchase and maintain. Your entire phone system is hosted in the cloud via an internet connection provided by your service provider who also houses, maintains and updates all of the hardware and updates for you. The cloud allows growing businesses to easily add new lines and provides quick access to new features.
Businesses with fixed budgets and no IT staff to maintain the hardware find the cloud model ideal for quickly and easily establishing communication with their clients without the hassle of hardware and software to maintain. Best of all, you only pay for what you use, making it easy to add additional locations and remove those locations when it is no longer needed (i.e. seasonal employees).
But it is not all rainbows and roses. There are often minimum seat fees and high taxes that can accompany a hosted phone system. Be sure to read the next section on Questions Most Businesses Do Not Know to Ask.
On-premises / On-site Phone System
While many organizations are looking to the cloud, there is still a need for on-premises phone systems. The on-premise phone system is still the preferred phone system of large organizations that require high-security, several users licenses, and access to in-house IT staff that can maintain these systems. While on-premises PBX (private branch exchange) run through traditional copper wiring, on-premises systems allow users to maintain their own call transferring, call directories, and other features that can be less expensive when maintained on the mass scale.
Combinations of both on-premise and cloud phone features that connect to the main PBX are known as hybrid systems and integrate to cloud apps and mobile features without having to place the entire system in the cloud.
Finding the right phone system for your unique business needs begins with a clear understanding of the various type of phone system options available to you.
Private Cloud & On-site Phone Systems
Organizations that want to maintain some autonomy over phone system updates, patches, and release rollouts may choose to combine both the flexibility of the cloud with the on-site controls that come with managing your own phone system. A hybrid of private cloud and on-site options are available to do just this.
Private Cloud alternatives allow internal teams to the ability to maintain control over software updates while combining the applications, features, and redundancy of a cloud-based system. Blue Fox Group’s unique private/public phone offering gives businesses the on-site controls combined with a geo-redundant data centers, and advanced features and apps only found in a cloud system. Information and voice call securely traverse the public Internet to reach their final destination using voice over Internet protocols (VoIP). Employees enjoy the same communications functionality regardless of whether they are in an office, on the road, or working from home.
Questions to Ask Before Updating or Buying a Business Phone Solution
Understand your true cost of ownership
- Would a cloud-based system require you to buy additional equipment such as managed network switches, router, and/or internet MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) to prioritizes cloud speeds?
- Do you have the right equipment to regulate your cloud performance which can greatly impact the quality and reliability of your calls?
- Do you use different carrier services for phone, data, and the internet? Carrier fees add up. Services such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) allow you to wrap up your carrier service into one low monthly bill. Ask your IT provider how you can consolidate all of your carrier services into one low monthly bill.
What are there (hidden) fees associated with this service?
- Yes, there are fees for internet services. Government taxes imposed at the federal, state, local, and municipal government layers are added to the bill. Certain charges such as E-911 and Access Recovery Charges applied by the FCC also add up.
- Different cloud phone providers access different fees. Some providers are more expensive than others. 8x8 and Nextiva publish their tax and fee schedules on the web. Other companies like Mitel, do not but may have fewer taxes than the others. Be sure to ask your provider before signing onto a lengthy contract.
I’m a business, why should I not use the online trial version?
- The online trial offers do not consider your infrastructure and compatibility of voice software within your existing network. While the trial versions are attractive, they often giving you pricing at the entry-level which adds up once you start adding users and feature-functionality. Most importantly, your phone system has to work. No one cares about money saved when you can’t communicate with the client. Be sure to discuss your existing infrastructure, carrier services, cloud performance, network compatibility, and other desired features within a unified communication before you make the decision to trail buy.
What type of business analytics will I need?
- Having insights and data behind who your callers are and the actions they take is an essential part of providing a consistent and reliable customer experience. Call analytics help you better understand your team’s ability to service your client and provide rich insights into staffing levels and customer experience.
Why Work with Blue Fox Group for Your VoIP and Business Phone Needs?
Blue Fox Group VoIP and business phone consultants have been serving the Arizona business community for the past 30 years. Originally Phoenix Telecom, Blue Fox Group evolved into a technology holistic, vendor-agnostic consulting team dedicated to helping you decide exactly what you need, how to budget for it, and how you’ll reach the end result.