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BLT BLT is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 0
Business telephone systems


I'm a bit of a technological geek but I don;t know anything about telephone systems. I've been reading up on the various low-budget panasonic systems but I'm still at a loss as to what exactly I need to buy myself.

I need:

* three different numbers - surely I can have multiple numbers on one line? I have two numbers on my home phone.
* two handsets
* hold music
* the ability to make callers select one of five options when calling in
* voicemail preferably (but not crucial).
* something very cheap.

At the moment I have one bt line which is used for tel and internet.

what should i be thinking of buying?

thanks in advance
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m8internet m8internet is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Posts: 772
You are probably looking at PABX or similar
Yes, you can have multiple incoming phone numbers to any number of phones
However, BT charge a considerable sum for this!
The best alternative, which is not only cheaper but more practical, is to use an intermediary and assign the phone numbers to a local number

Using music on your phone can be handled by most larger phone systems and in some cases can be even be broadcast locally over a speaker system
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turnkeyit turnkeyit is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Nr. Weston Super Mare, Somerset
Posts: 165
Hi there,

You may wish to consider looking at Voice Over IP (VoIP). As you will reep the benefits in lower call costs and monthly line rental. Also, there is no upfront costs in terms of PBX, as it is all virtual.

Voicemail comes as standard, along with call divert and hold music. The ability to have calling menus (Select 1 for sales etc) is also easily customisable through our online control panel.

I would be very happy to provide you with a quote, feel free to email me: sales (remove spaces).

Good luck,
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Unregistered Unregistered is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1
we just put in an asterisk system and its great. Its open source and the costs come from the hardware pbx. I'd be weary of just using the soft version (we have 6 lines)

But I cant recommend it enough

we used for it
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turnkeyit turnkeyit is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Nr. Weston Super Mare, Somerset
Posts: 165
Originally posted by Unregistered
I'd be weary of just using the soft version.
I just wanted to clarify, that the system I provide to many businesses, is the same, or similar asterisk system, it is just hosted virtually in a datacentre, and not locally, which adds to the costs.

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ian37a ian37a is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 18
Music on Hold

I just wanted to point out to people reading this thread that the original poster included Music on Hold as a feature but you need to be careful about licences. Connecting a CD player or MP3 player to your phone system for music on hold moves you into a world of "broadcasting" the music to your caller, yes - honestly, and therefore you need a Public Performance Licence (around £150 per year) and probably a Performing Rights Society Licence as well (around £60 per year).

Crazy is n't it! Not the sort of costs you need when starting up a business. You might think that no one will notice but the people who control this, , have been known to make very aggresive phone calls when trying to get money out of people.

There are a few ways around this. One is to look for royalty free music but this can sound pretty poor (now you know why you often hear a Greensleves played), use a beeping sound, or compose and record your own music.

Good luck
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Admin Tones's Avatar Admin Tones Admin Tones is offline
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Have PM'd you a name and contact I believe will be useful to you.
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Richard.curran's Avatar Richard.curran Richard.curran is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 540
I'd be very interested in hearing about a company that can provide the service that Twilio provide but in the UK and at a cheap rate (something similar to what Twilio charge its American customers)
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Clare M Clare M is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9
Richard, I've had a quick look at Twilio and they provide a wide range of functions. I can offer some overlap, ie. a phone number, a greeting giving the caller some options, route calls to your landline or mobile, and include voicemail. It is based on our central system so nothing for your to install or maintain. However we are a small company so have decided not to provide voip phones as we simply could not support them. Instead we route the calls to your existing landline or mobile which is simple and works really well for our customers.

Please give me a call on 0207 11 11 085 if you are interested.
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harrychessla harrychessla is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
A business telephone system differs from simply using a telephone with multiple lines in
that the lines used are accessible from multiple telephones, or "stations" in the system,
and that such a system will often provide additional features related to call handling.
Business telephone systems are often broadly classified into "key systems", "hybrid
systems", and "private branch exchanges".
business phone systems houston
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 264
You can do what the OP wanted very cost effectively using:

- A broadband phone line
- A computer running a softphone, or a hardware IP phone for around £50-60
- Sipgate or equivalent trunks for each account (we use Gradwell due to inclusive call minutes)
- for the pbx functions

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Superdial_Limited Superdial_Limited is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 13
Instead of expensive phone systems, you might want to consider a dumb terminal (telephone) and smart [voice] network. Callers will need to dial an 0844 number that would point/route to your fixed line. With this you can get key options (e.g. 'press 1 for sales', 'press 2 for support'), you can also set up a greeting message, (no music while you wait), and call queuing that reduces the need to install additional lines. These services are offered upon review of your telephone traffic, i.e. if you don't receive a lot of incoming calls, the advanced features may be turned off as they are network heavy. Let me know if your interested.
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carolinem's Avatar carolinem carolinem is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 305
You need - very helpful and will be able to do everything you have detailed here. If you are wary of using the softphone, we use the SNOM handsets, which although they are about £100/handset are not that much more expensive than a Panasonic switchboard phone (I think we paid about £50-£75/handset for these on our analogue system).
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