How to Choose an IP Phone (Part 2 of 2)

This is Part Two in a two-part series. You can read Part One here.

We’ve already talked some about what IP phones are and how they can help your business.

There are a lot of things to consider, though, so it’s worth discussing a bit more in-depth. In addition to making sure that your phone provides you with basic services, you need to make sure that it will meet the needs of your business.

This is especially important if you plan on expanding your business in the future, or if you have more than one location for which to choose an IP phone.

Business Features

IP phones are generally able to access any feature that your VoIP service offers, though some may be more limited than others.

When comparing phones, look at the features they’ll be able to access; if you have any must-have features that are essential to your business, you obviously won’t want to buy a phone that doesn’t offer them. That’s part of the reason that we offer IP phones ourselves… we don’t want someone to buy a phone that won’t work very well with our service and that doesn’t give them everything that they need.

Some of the most common features that you’ll find include caller ID, call blocking, call forwarding, screening, hold functions and voicemail access. A number of our phones have color displays that makes these features easy to access, giving you control over every feature you use on a regular basis. You may have features that you use more often than others, so you’ll want to make sure that those are easy to access.

Conference Calling

How frequently does your business engage in conference calls?

Most phones have speaker capacity these days, and you may think that’s good enough for the occasional conference call. If you plan on doing conference calls with any regularity or have a number of people who need to listen in, though, you may find that your experience will be less than great.

You might not have considered a conference phone before, but they’re all but essential if you and your team need to be involved in conference calls. They’re designed with multiple speakers to make sure everyone can hear, microphones that will pick up everyone’s contributions to the discussion and connect to your VoIP service just like any other IP phone. Depending on your needs, a single conference phone can pick up any discussions within 7 to 20 feet of the phone in any direction.

Multiple Accounts

Some IP phones are able to connect to multiple VoIP accounts at once.

Some of the phones that we offer can handle 12 or more VoIP accounts at once! This can be great if you have different personal and business accounts, since you can switch over to a personal line to check the voicemail for your home account and then hop back to the business line for business calls.

Because the different accounts are stored within the phone, you can switch among them easily on a call-to-call basis. The different accounts are all handled over the Internet, so you won’t even have to be local to the location where the account is primarily used. All you’ll have to do is select the account you want to use from the menu and you’re good to go.

Choosing the Right Phone

There are a lot of choices when it comes to getting an IP phone for your business.

Carefully weigh the availability of necessary features, the number of phones that you’ll need, how expandable you want you phones to be with different accessories or Bluetooth devices and any other needs you might have such as conference calling.

This may seem like a lot of work to pick out phones for your business, but you’ll want to make sure that you have everything you and your business need. In the end, the extra diligence you put forth now will pay off in increased efficiency and productivity for your business.