Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ignore That PBX Behind the Curtain

You work in a two person office but you know that you're better than that big firm down the street. You just don't sound like it. Especially since you haven't quite got the cash flow to hire a full time receptionist and your one partner answers the phone, "hello there." The other partner works from a home office 500 miles away and is on the road most of the time anyway. Isn't there some techno magic that can make bankers, suppliers and customers think they're talking to a Fortune 500 Corporation?

Of course. Don't you know that in the virtual world all things are possible? In this case the magic you need is a solution called "virtual PBX", but not just any virtual PBX system. You want iTeleCenter.

Here's why. If you really worked at that big firm down the street you'd be using a real PBX or Private Branch Exchange telephone system. That's the technology that puts a phone on every desktop, gives you an extension or directly dialable phone number, lets you transfer calls at will and get an outside line by pressing the number 9. PBX phone systems are de rigueur (French for you're behind the curve if you don't have one) for big business. The one thing they are not is cheap.

So you've got a couple multi-line phones you bought at the office supply store and hope you can grab the incoming calls before your genius but oh-too-casual partner can answer. What iTeleCenter can do is to transform your existing phone or phones into a professional grade PBX telephone system. Take note. This is really important for anyone who has nightmares about the bottom line turning red. iTeleCenter uses your existing phones regardless of whether they are gigantic executive desk phones, cordless handsets, cellphones, or candlestick phones like the ones Al Capone used in the Roaring 20's. OK, not the last type unless you buy a modern replica.

Most virtual PBX systems are based on VoIP. You have to buy all new phones of a particular type enabled for the service and connect them to your broadband Internet service. But if you can't afford a PBX system, chances are you've got the cheapest DSL or Cable Broadband you can get just for Internet access. Those connections are problematic for decent voice quality. Problematic in that just as you're closing a major new client, some kid gets home from school and starts downloading videos that hog all the bandwidth assigned to your area. Your voice gets distorted, you start to cut off each other's speech, and the call dumps mid-sentence. Bye, bye big contract.

iTeleCenter is so virtual that it stealthily enables all your regular phones to be big business phones. You keep the same phones and phone lines. They just have more functions. What functions? How about a customizable main greeting, also called an auto-attendant? This is the first thing that callers hear and will direct them to the proper extension. Don't let your partners record this. Have it professionally done by iTeleCenter.

Extensions? Sure. They're numbered from 1 to 999. You can have an extension ring to yourself, your partners and employees at their desks or wherever they may roam, even sub-contractors and third party support vendors. Each extension has its own login with call forwarding, mailbox and message notification settings. Go ahead and give yourself 3 or 4 extensions called "departments." Major sales prospects will think your company has gotten huge overnight. Those extensions, by the way, can also be configured for FAX on demand, message taking voicemail, question and answer, greeting only or automatic call distribution.

There's a lot more to iTeleCenter including toll free numbers, call screening, integration with Microsoft Outlook, dial-by-name directory and music on hold. But rather than spend hours reading about it, why not take a 7 day free trial? If you like the way it works, and how could you not, plans start at under ten bucks a month. Don't stay small-time a minute more, when you could be sounding big, big, BIG. Learn more and start your iTeleCenter 7 day free trial right now.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter