5 Things you Need When Looking For an IP PBX

Posted on: 2017-07-14 | Categories:SIP

What should you look for when shopping for a business IP PBX solution? The exact answer will depend on your requirements, the size of your business and many other factors. Some organizations consider price to be the most important factor when selecting an IP PBX. Others are focused on what features they can get within their budget. Yet other businesses simply want to get rid of their current systems and prepare for the digital future.

No matter which particular solution you select, the bottom line is that it should meet your business requirements at a price that is comfortable for you. If you’re a small business, call center features like ACD queues might not matter to you. On the other hand, larger corporations rely on these features. However there are a few things you should look for in an IP PBX regardless of your particular circumstances.

Interoperability with Other Enterprise Systems

Generally speaking, smaller organizations opt for hosted VoIP instead of on premise SIP deployments. Larger organizations will favor premise-based installations because it gives you more control of the system. You decide when to upgrade, which equipment to purchase and so on.

It’s also important to realize that IP PBX systems have the ability to integrate with other enterprise systems like email. So make sure that whichever solution you purchase is interoperable with other digital tools you might be using. For the most part, this boils down to supporting the Session Initiation Protocol which is the most widely used standard for VoIP. It also ensures that you will not be locked down to a particular vendor or service.

Digital Faxing Support

Quite a few organizations rely on faxing as a key method of communicating with partners, distributors and even customers. Not every IP PBX system supports digital faxing natively. If you rely on faxing and don’t check whether it is supported, then you will have difficulties integrating it later. Many organizations end of retaining a few landlines and fax machines because their brand-new IP PBX does not support the feature.

IP-based faxing is actually more convenient than traditional solutions. You can send a digital fax straight from your desktop computer. You can even receive faxes as an image in an email attachment. But all of this is only possible if your IP PBX supports it.

Support for Mobile Devices and Mobility Features

Going forward, mobility is crucial for the success of any business organization. Most employees today rely on a variety of devices including smart phones and tablets to complete their work. Most likely your business has at least a handful of people who are frequently on the road and need mobility-based features like find me follow me. Many organizations also have staff that work from home occasionally or on a regular basis. Some employees might be constantly rotating through a handful of client sites, only rarely coming into their desk at work.

All these workers need mobile support and features like presence information, complex call routing rules etc. They should be able to make and answer business calls on any device they own. It shouldn’t matter if it is their own personal device or a work issued device. BYOD is a fast growing trend among workplaces, so make sure your IP PBX can support mobile hardware.

Easy-To-Use Dashboards for Configuration

One of the biggest difficulties of managing a PBX box is that it often requires specialized expertise. Making any changes to a long time and only a few people within the organization had the knowledge of how to do it. Today’s IP PBX boxes have come a long way from their analog predecessors. But that doesn’t mean all IP PBX systems are easy to use, setup and maintain.

You need to look for the system that has an intuitive interface and is easy to use. One of the key benefits of VoIP is the flexibility it affords to businesses. So you need to be able to go in and quickly make changes on the fly. Hosted VoIP services often come with web-based dashboards to make configuration easier. Your IP PBX should also have easy access for making such changes.

Scalability

Traditional PBX boxes were not made to adapt quickly to changes. Businesses often outgrew their PBX boxes within a few years and then have to upgrade. IP PBX systems are much more flexible and scalable. However proprietary systems may require additional hardware modules or special software to accommodate more lines or numbers.

Look for an IP PBX that uses the SIP protocol. Not only can they handle your business requirements today but they can also scale to accommodate future growth. In most cases adding more capacity simply requires plugging more phones into the network. So what are you waiting for? So purchase your IP PBX and get started with VoIP today.