Business

Smartphones and the Hosted PBX Experience

It’s no big secret that smart phones are increasing in visibility and usage. They are supplanting traditional desktop personal computers as well as the classic regular cell phones. Technology marches on, and the hot tech items of last decade seem headed for the scrapheap of inevitable obsolescence.


Smart phones support is a must for hosted PBX services

These days, it’s absolutely imperative that your hosted PBX service can handle the latest technology, if for no other reason than to make sure that everyone in your company has access to virtual office capabilities. Delivering this flexibility makes for increased productivity and decreased costs.

Naturally, this means that if your company needs to make sure that your hosted PBX service (otherwise known as Private Branch Exchange) has the capacity to integrate smart phones. But make no mistake about it; smart phone integration in a hosted PBX is “an issue”. There are three main elements to integration, and they are covered below.

Find-Me/Follow-Me

Although the words sound like the title to some stylish thriller coming to a theater near you, they are in fact describing a pair of call forwarding services that are often found together. The Find Me service lets you receive calls no matter where you are. Follow Me enables you to be reached at any of a group of phone numbers.

VoiceMail to Email

If you’re the sort of person who hates navigating through voicemail and would rather simply read any messages via email, then your hosting solution needs to provide this service. Depending on the smart phone and OS, you may have to download a WAV player app in order to take advantage of this feature.

VoIP Apps

Of all three integration elements, this is the one with the most dizzying array of choices. There are countless apps out there for Android, iPhones, and yes, even Blackberries, the device that refuses to die.

There are scores of VoIP apps out there, including some very well-known titles such as Skype, Bria, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Hangouts.

Depending on the individual app, you can have access to conference calls, video chat, call redirection, file transfer, and PC to phone/phone to PC. Most of these apps are designed to run cross-platform.

You Better Shop Around

Before getting started, it’s important to figure out which smart phones your company is using. Many companies don’t have a standard preference, so consequently they don’t make an issue of it (this is often referred to as being device-agnostic). In that case, this information really doesn’t apply to you, ad you’re now free to go and check out some webtoons or play some Angry Birds.

For the rest of you, this whole process becomes easier if your company opts to go with one smart phone device. If you haven’t yet committed to one particular OS, then it’s important to take a good hard look at what each platform offers, and then proceed accordingly. Otherwise, the best way to handle this is to simply find the apps that work best across multiple platforms and run with it. Bria seems to be getting a lot of good buzz for an app that works well with both Android and iPhones.

Smart Phones Are Here To Stay

… and if you have a Hosted PBX service, you better stay on top of the technology. It’s an essential strategy in staying competitive in today’s mobile-heavy environment.

Image credit: Joel Franusic

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Born in the Boston area in 1959, I started writing in 1985. I live in Nashua NH with my wife and three cats. We have four kids in our blended family. I am an utter geek who's into gaming, horror, SF/fantasy, the Red Sox, trains, running, history, and a bunch of other things.

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