The Small Business Guide To Virtual Pbx System Features


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The perfect guide for small or home business owners looking to ramp up their communications through one of the virtual telephone systems offered today. This guide explains and "de-technifies" all of the features you'll need to understand before choosing the right service for your company.

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  • Hi,

    I appreciate your constant update on the telecom trends.

    I represent PBX Plus ( which is based on the award winning (Best of Show for SMB at IT Expo, LA 2009) platform – InVox (

    We would like to see you signup and review PBX Plus. I would be happy to add a FREE US or UK number with unlimited minutes to your account.

    Your number would greet your callers with “Thanks for calling… Please say the name of the person or department you are trying to reach.” Caller can just say your name “…“and call will be forwarded to your mobile, landline or Skype account. It works with my Skype, offers free speech recognition, voicemail and voicemail transcription, eFAX (Fax In), Fax Out, Outbound FAX, Fax on Demand,unlimited extensions and sub-extensions etc.

    The drag and drop designer (visio-like) can be used to configure PBX in just 15 mins. Wizard configures the PBX based on the answers to each question about your business.

    In fact, show attendees at IT Expo walked out “This is the best I have seen till day for telephony era!”

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Adam Smith
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The Small Business Guide To Virtual Pbx System Features

  1. 1. The Small Business Guide to Virtual PBX System Features Created by Marcelo Diodati Copyright 2009, all rights reserved A reference guide for definitions and descriptions of the current features offered by today’s Virtual PBX providers
  2. 2. If you’ve found this presentation, chances are you are searching for a Virtual PBX System for your small, home-based or mobile business. The good news about today’s offerings is that there are cheap hosted alternatives out there that can compete with expensive private systems owned by the fortune 500 companies. That means more options for you. It also means that before selecting one, you have to understand the details of what they offer. That is the focus of this article… to “de-technify” the functionality offered so that you can quickly understand it, implement it and move on with running your business. So without further ado, here is an alphabetical listing of virtual PBX features along with explanations. Use this as a reference guide when comparing services. Introduction
  3. 3. Answering Rules Set up how your system handles calls based on a number of factors including time of day, day of the week, date range and caller ID. For example, if calling after the business hours you set up in your system, the caller will hear the after-hours greeting and will be forwarded to voicemail. Or if a call comes in from a certain caller ID, a personalized greeting can be set for that person or you can have it go directly to a particular extension. Call Forwarding Callers who dial your local or toll free number are directed to any number of phones you assign in your system. They can be forwarded to any type of phone anywhere in the world. Calling Card Use your phone system as a calling card to place calls from any phone just like a calling card. Feature List
  4. 4. Call Logs A record of your calls and faxes is stored on your Web-based account with details such as who called, the phone number, and the date, time, length and result of the transaction. Call Queues No busy signal, no voice mail. If you are on a call and another one comes in, they are automatically placed on hold until one of your forwarding numbers become available. Call Screening A feature where an auto-attendant calls you first before connecting a call and announces the caller’s name. It then gives you options to accept, reject or send it to voicemail. You can also block callers and see blocked caller IDs. Call Transfers Forward calls in progress to any extension you have set up in your system. Feature List
  5. 5. Click-to-call Me A feature offered by RingCentral where you can embed code on your webpage or email to have the system immediately call interested customers. Dedicated Fax A service where you can select a number different from your main phone number to handle incoming faxes. Dial-by-name Directory Get that big business image with an auto-generated company dial-by-name directory offered by several companies. The caller simply dials by first or last name to be connected to the correct extension. Digital Line or VOIP Allows you to use your internet connection to answer and make calls instead of forwarding them to landlines or cell numbers. The advantage of this feature is that it is generally a fixed low monthly charge instead of having to pay per usage when you use your phone to answer calls. Feature List
  6. 6. Fax on Demand A service that allows the caller to select an option when calling you to have a document faxed to their fax machine. Greetings Includes the main greeting a customer hears when they call you as well as voicemail greetings customers hear prior to leaving messages. Depending on the provider you select, you’ll have the option to record custom greetings yourself and or have them recorded by professional voice talents. Internet Fax Receive faxes to your designated number and view them via email or by logging into your web account. Send faxes from your web account or by using fax software provided by some virtual pbx services. Local Numbers Includes your selection of a local phone number. This is useful when you’re looking to establish a local marketing presence in a certain market or when selling to international customers that don’t have the ability to call toll free numbers. Feature List
  7. 7. Message Alerts Get text messages on your cell phone or PDA alerting you to new faxes and voicemail. Mobile Functionality Different companies call it different things but essentially it allows you to access your phone system through software installed on Iphones and Blackberry’s thus allowing you greater mobility. Music & Messages On Hold Have music or specialized messages play while your callers are on hold. Most companies allow you to customize the on hold music. Outgoing Calls Some services allow you to place outgoing calls over the phone or VOIP and the person you are calling will see your toll free (or local) number in their caller ID. A few companies also offer click calling where you highlight a number in your system and it will do the dialing for you. Feature List
  8. 8. Outlook Integration Fax directly from Outlook and synchronize your Outlook contacts with your phone system. Professional Recordings You can create customized greetings and have them recorded by professional voice talent to enhance your image. Real-Time Call Control Certain companies offer you the ability to manage your calls online, in real time with options to accept, reject, send the caller to voicemail or send an instant voice message. Toll Free Numbers Includes your selection of a main toll free number to use with your service. These include 800,866, 877 numbers as well as vanity numbers where you spell out a word as part of the phone number. Feature List
  9. 9. Virtual PBX or Extensions The heart of the system, this is where you can create multiple extensions within your phone system. You can assign multiple extensions for departments (billing, customer service, sales, etc), for individual employees or for different product lines or businesses you may have. The big advantage here is that you can seamlessly offer your customer access to the multiple extensions for people or groups that are spread out across the country without having to call different phone numbers. Voicemail All systems offer unlimited voicemail where your customers can leave messages. Voicemail Delivery The different voicemail delivery options include calling into your system to pick up voicemails, logging into your account over the web to view and listen to them and having your voicemails forwarded to an email address you designate where the message will be recorded in an audio file you can listen to. Feature List
  10. 10. If you’re interested in a detailed review of the features offered by some of the leading virtual PBX providers, please visit For Further Information Marcelo Diodati is an adventure travel company owner and entrepreneur with multiple years of experience using many of the virtual PBX services offered today. His website was set up as a service to other business owners looking for help in the world of small business telephone systems. About the Author