Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hosted Telecommunications from Packet8

Your business has grown to where a multi-line phones or a simple Key Telephone System just isn't good enough anymore. Yet, the thought of shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a business PBX system and having to support it is really more than you want to face. Is there anything in-between for the in-between size company?

You bet there is. It's called hosted telecommunications. The difference between hosted solutions and the traditional Private Branch Exchange is that the PBX or call center functionality is hosted somewhere else. Think of it like a hosting service for your Web site. You have all the functionality of an in-house system, but there is no rack of equipment in the telephone closet. Instead, you have the full featured business phones on your desks. They communicate via broadband network connections to the provider that maintains all that telephone equipment.

Packet8 is a leader in hosted telecom services for small to medium businesses. They helped pioneer the adaptation of VoIP technology with sophisticated calling features for companies that don't have and don't really want the burden of maintaining their own telephone systems. Their most popular business product is called "Packet8 Virtual Office." They also have an expanded product called "Complete Contact Center." This extension of the Virtual Office gives you call center capability without having to invest in building a stand alone call center.

Packet8 Virtual Office is a hosted iPBX solution that grows with your business. The term "virtual" is important. Your office can consist of separate sites anywhere in the world. For instance, you could have locations with one phone each in all 50 states. The Packet8 Virtual Office will tie them together like they were in one large office building with 50 phones. Smaller companies might consist of several collaborators located in different cities. With Virtual Office, everyone can dial everyone else with 3 digit extensions.

Other familiar PBX functions provided by Packet8 Virtual Office include voicemail, call forwarding, call transfer, conference bridging, call park / call pickup, ring groups, do not disturb, music on hold, Caller ID, distinctive ringtones, and automated attendant. You also get integration with Microsoft Outlook that coordinates your phone and PC so you get screen pops based on your Outlook Contacts.

With the screen pops, you are entering the realm of call center capability. As your needs advance beyond the Virtual Office capabilities, consider Packet8 Complete Contact Center. This sophisticated hosted telecommunications service adds call center features such as skill based routing, monitor and barge-in for supervisor, call recording, and CRM that creates a Web based tool to manage customer interactions. The Contact Center scales from 1 to 100 agents, so your call center can start small and grow with your needs.

Packet8's hosted telecommunications services are based on full-featured business telephones with network adapters so they communicate through your Local Area Network and to the Internet through a Wide Area Network connection. High quality business broadband connections are needed at each location to ensure high voice quality and functionality. That also means that you can have a virtual office location anywhere you can get a high quality broadband connection. Locate your business downtown or out in the boonies. Or some combination of both.

Is your SMB (Small to Medium sized Business) ready for the professional capabilities of a PBX system, but at a price appropriate for your budget? If so, take a few minutes to learn more about Virtual Office Hosted Telecommunications Services from Packet8.

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