<img src="http://www.ofnsv69.com/48887.png" style="display:none;">

Three Companies...ONE Business Phone System.

Posted by Justin Stackawitz on Apr 5, 2012 12:17:00 PM

For someone in need of a new business telephone system, it would certainly seem logical that if there were more than one separate organization involved - if, for example, a landlord was providing communications for multiple tenants - an independent phone system solution would be required for each company.

That is not necessarily the case, though. I am currently working on a project for a multi-tenant medical facility in which all of the tenants are controlled by their affiliated hospital. As such, the hospital is responsible for accomodating each tenant's communications needs (telephone lines, business phone system, voicemail, etc.). Rather than forcing the hospital to acquire separate and disparate phone systems for each of their practices, I was able to easily design a solution which takes advantage of the capabilities of a single system to meet the needs of all tenants concurrently.

There is a great deal of flexibility in the way that telephone systems can be programmed. Because each individual telephone line coming into a system can be told to route its calls to a completely different location than those of another telephone line, this allows the freedom to create separate groups of extensions, with each group representing a completely different company. Just because there are 9 telephone lines (for example) feeding the phone system, that does not mean that they are all accesible by every extension on the system. Similarly, a centralized voicemail system can be accessible by any extension on the same system, so that any of the companies (or groups of extensions, from the phone system's perspective) can have access, and as long as there are enough mailboxes to cover all of the extensions, no additional voicemail is required.

Returning to my medical facility scenario, I was able to use the exact model that I just described. There are to be three separate medical practices all inhabiting the same geographical area of a building, each with three telephone lines of their own, and roughly 10 extensions...so I will provide them with a single, centrally located, PBX telephone system, with ONE internal voicemail card. So long as I equip the system with the capacity to accept 9 telephone lines, 30 telephones, and enough mailboxes in the voicemail for all users, the rest will be left up to our expert technicians! They just need to make sure that the telephone lines for each practice are separated from one another and that those lines will access ONLY those extensions corresponding to the same practice.

So, if you are a landlord, a property manager, or even just have a neighbor that you want to share a phone system with, it may be a lot easier than you thought.

Topics: Business Phone System, voicemail, business telephone system, PBX

Maintaining Mobility WITHIN Your Office

Posted by Justin Stackawitz on Mar 29, 2012 4:08:00 PM

"Mobility" is a term that you will often find associated with VoIP business telephone systems. In almost all cases, the mobility that is being referred to (especially if it is in the context of marketing a phone system) has to do with connecting to a system from outside of the office. For example, we often license IP phone systems to include software for Smart Phones which allows remote workers to use their mobile phone as an extension directly from the phone system inside the office.

However, today I am writing about a different kind of "mobility"...having the ability to move around WITHIN an office, warehouse, plant, or even outdoor grounds. It is fairly typical to have the need to be able to move around within a facility while maintaining a conversation, but users are often confused by exactly how to accomplish this, and what capabilities their specific phone system supports. For the purposes of this blog, I will refer only to handheld cordless phone options, but there are also versions of wireless headsets which provide the freedom of mobility.

Some business phone systems have proprietary cordless phone models which will only work with that particular system...while they may be harder to come by (particularly if it is an older phone system), they are likely more user friendly because they can have multiple lines and behave more like the other desktop sets.

In addition to these proprietary models, good old fashioned analog cordless telephones (just like one that you might put in your house) are also a completely appropriate option for integrating with a phone system. These phones are only single-line devices, so they have some limitations, but they still serve the basic needed purpose of allowing users to move about while remaining communicative.

A third option for intra-office mobility is a variation on the single-line cordless unit just described. There are third-party manufacturers that produce long-range cordless phones designed to integrate as an extension on a telephone system. EnGenius is the manufacturer of choice for Granite Communications, as they offer a few different versions of their phones, each for a different type of application. We have installed this type of phone for a wide spectrum of customers, from residences all the way to an orchard...in each case, using the phone with appropriate range for that specific location.

Please inquire with me if you want to explore cordless options and increase your mobility!

Topics: business telephone system, cordless phone, VoIP Phone System

My Business is Too Small for a VoIP Telephone System!

Posted by Justin Stackawitz on Mar 10, 2012 12:43:00 PM

There are likely alot of people out there who feel, for one reason or another, that their business is not large enough, or sophisticated enough, or liquid enough (or any number of other excuses) to necessitate an IP telephone system.

This thinking is a relic of the past.

As recently as three or four years ago, those opinions might have had some validity. Until recently, the vast majority of VoIP telephone systems required an entire computer server to operate, and even the telephone desk sets were more like individual computers themselves. This type of system represented a considerable investment, and required concrete justification (ROI) to have value to most organizations. But as with just about any technology, these IP systems have been dramatically streamlined, both physically and economically.

Currently, there are many systems available, even to the smallest of businesses, which can legitimately be classified as VoIP telephone systems. Now, in place of a giant server, these systems can operate using a compact router-like IP appliance, and a variety of VERY reasonably priced desk telephones (in many cases, less expensive than their digital counterparts).

Just like the massive desktop computer and rack-full of server equipment in your IT room that you used to have, that has now turned into a thin client or laptop docking station on your desk with blade servers in the back room, VoIP telephone systems have similarly evolved.

So, if you are a smaller company that once thought an IP telephone system was out of your reach because of its advanced technology...think again! In just the last week alone, Granite Communications has installed such systems for organizations ranging from a 20-person marketing firm, to a Doctor's office with a staff of 3. 

Topics: VoIP telephone system, business telephone system, IP telephone system

Telephone Service Options From Your Dial Tone Provider

Posted by Justin Stackawitz on Jan 5, 2012 12:33:00 PM

In previous blogs on this site, we have made reference to the various types of services that are available to customers with business telephone systems. When talking about phone line contracts expiring with an existing carrier, Eric Moore pointed out that there are many alternative options available to the customer, depending on the volume of phone calls that need to be accommodated, and what services are provided in that specific geographical location.  Additionally, I had explained in my blog about the voice quality of VoIP telephone systems that the voice traffic coming from such a system to a destination outside of the system is carried by the services of the local dial tone provider (as opposed to over open Interenet).

If you are a smaller company in a business sector that does not require a great deal of call volume, individual telephone lines will be sufficient for your business. However, if your call volume dictates that you need as many as 10-12 or more paths for simultaneous conversations, it may be more efficient and economical to have your voice paths delivered via a digital or IP service. Similarly, if your business requires individual phone numbers (Direct Inward Dialing) for each person within the company, or if you depend heavily on multi-party conference calls, an alternative to analog telephone lines is also in order. Lastly, if you have special needs for your internet bandwidth in addition to your dial tone, there are combination services using digital or IP delivery which may be appropriate as well.

Most carriers - whether it is AT&T, another Local Exchange Carrier, or even one of the cable companies (Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, etc.) - are now providing dial tone via digital PRI circuits. A PRI will provide you with 23 channels for inbound and/or outbound phone calls, and the carrier can provide as many telephone numbers as you may need for Direct Inward Dialing. This becomes an economical alternative (based on cost comparison) if you are already paying for ~12 or more individual phone lines. If you do not require the call volume of 23 voice channels, but still have a need for Direct Inward Dialing phone numbers, SIP Trunks are another delivery option for your services. Not every carrier currently offers SIP trunks, but for those that do, they are able to provide dial tone via IP to your business telephone system, and can customize the amount of call paths to meet your needs (not confined to exactly 23 as with a PRI). While not as widely available, SIP trunks become a more economical option even if you have fewer than ~12 individual phone lines.

As you can see, if your business is of a certain size, and has certain needs, alternatives to basic analog telephone lines can be a very attractive option.

Topics: Dial Tone, Service Provider, business telephone system, Carrier, PRI, SIP Trunk

20 Years of Innovation

Granite_Logo

Since 1996 Granite has been helping our customers compete and win with communications tools that enhance productivity, improve customer service, and lower costs.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all