Asterisk phone systems are an excellent, fully integrated VOIP PBX solution for businesses of all sizes. The set up eliminates the tremendous cost of setting up a traditional PBX system. This high cost often eliminates the possibility of using PBX for small businesses, but with Asterisk, even the smallest business can have all of the benefits of PBX in their office without spending money they do not have.
What Is Asterisk?
Asterisk is an open source software PBX that can be used by businesses and individuals alike. It is designed to run on Linux, but it can run on other platforms as well, including Windows. Asterisk was developed by Digium, Inc., who also sells the hardware necessary to set up Asterisk phone systems. Compared to other PBX options, Asterisk is incredibly affordable and has many features that are hard to find elsewhere.
Benefits of Asterisk in the Office
Besides the fact that it costs thousands of dollars less than a traditional PBX system, Asterisk provides its users with numerous other benefits. Since Asterisk phone systems are VOIP PBX systems, they use broadband connections to connect the telephone network to the traditional global telephony network. Calls can still be made and received in the same manner that they are with a traditional PBX system. Additionally, because the connection is made through the Internet and not the phone line, employees that work remotely can be connected directly to the office PBX through their Internet connections. When someone calls your office and chooses extension 10, that extension could actually be your home-based worker, and the customer would be none the wiser.
For large businesses that have locations in several geographical areas, using asterisk will allow the various offices to connect over the network. This can eliminate much of the expense of conference calls a company spread over several states usually faces. Additionally, employees who must travel frequently can stay connected to the office PBX system as long as they have an Internet connection.
Asterisk phone systems allow every extension to have its own voicemail box. These voicemail boxes are connected to the employee's email accounts, so no one will ever miss a message again.
If you should ever have a problem with your Asterisk system, you can easily get help directly from Digium. They have friendly Asterisk consulting professionals that will help you get the system up and running as quickly as possible. You can call to ask questions about bugs that you find, and they are happy to help, as this type of feedback helps them improve the software for future users.
Asterisk supports a variety of VOIP protocols. Among the protocols it accepts are MGCP, H.323, and SIP. The program can connect IP phones to the traditional phone line easily. This flexibility makes the system easy to integrate into established businesses.
If needed, Asterisk phone systems can interface with traditional telephone lines. The product comes with several high-end features, such as voice recognition system integration, call data record, and text-to-speech system integration. All of these features make it one of the best PBX products available.
Benefits of Asterisk for Customers
Your employees are not the only ones who benefit from Asterisk phone systems. Your customers will benefit as well, both directly and indirectly, when you implement this system. It has features that are found in the most expensive products on the market, such as on-hold music that supports both MP3 and streaming media. Customers will have shorter wait times because the call queues allow agents to monitor the queue while they take the incoming calls, so they can shorten the calls if needed.
Asterisk phone systems offer the best of both worlds to their users. They provide a plethora of features to the business at a fraction of the cost of their traditional competition. There are other VOIP PBX options out there, but Asterisk is the oldest and most well established, making it the preferred choice among many business owners.
Whenever you leave your house and you are a business man you should always have a couple of your business cards with you. It is always good to have a few on you so if you meet someone that wants to do business you will have a way for them to get in touch with you. If you have to stop and write your number down on a torn piece of paper or something like that it's not very professional.
Even though having your business cards are with you all the time it may not be enough. These little cards are things that will help market you and get your name out there. If you make your business cards to stick out then people will remember they have them and might give you a call if something pops up. The main things your business cards should have on them is your name phone numbers and address. It might also include a business logo or your email address. You will also need to have a punch line or slogan on your business cards to catch the eyes of people.
The other way to make your card stand out is to make them on good paper material. The cards should turn out thick and shiny. If you are choosing to get a colorful card then you need to be sure that it will stand out among other cards. Be sure to tell what you do on the card as in what your profession is.
Even though you may not have room on the front for everything you need about yourself on the card you can still use the back just be sure to have everything of importance on the front of the card. Every business card should be able to fit in a wallet or purse to be able to carry around and have handy.
The more business cards you hand out the more business you are likely to receive. Hanging on to all those business cards makes no point in having them if you are not going to give them out. So you should give out multiples to hope that they will get moved on by others. Also ask for referrals maybe someone else needs your help too.
You should also include business cards when you send mail to someone even if it's a bill to them just be sure to add your business card to everything. Even though the person receiving the mail may not need your card someone else might.
Handing out business cards can be boring but in order to get your name out there it's what has to be done.
When the owner of a small business goes out of town, whether for the holidays, for a business meeting or just for the weekend, they want to know that their technology infrastructure is secure, maintained and working. But how many such owners have that peace of mind? More and more business owners are outsourcing this task to qualified network management individuals or companies that can save them time and money.
Ascensha has outlined some key reasons they are finding small business owners are seeking out qualified IT service consulting firms and why they think that move is so advantageous.
Hiring Third-Party IT Services
There are four key reasons why small businesses are hiring third-party IT service providers right now.
Hiring outside IT services is often much less expensive than hiring a full-time IT staff member. With outside service providers you get to choose exactly what IT programs your company size and workload needs. That means you can decide whether you want to pay for network management, help desk support, systems security elements, server support and on-going maintenance or just a subset of these. With an IT consulting firm you get what you need when you need it and can avoid the high overhead cost of paying an employee.
2. High-Quality Service
Professional IT providers often offer a much higher quality of work than a single IT employee. A good IT consulting firm hires fully trained IT professions that are able to design and implement competitive IT systems, analyze server, desktop, and network vulnerability, and provide desktop and network support. This kind of comprehensive analysis is often more than a entry level IT manager can handle.
3. Improved Network Security
By hiring an outside IT service provider, small businesses can utilize the critical and objective assessment of an unbiased, diligent professional. Outside IT providers are often asked to thoroughly examine threats that exist outside the company and implement technologies that help protect the business from these threats. These companies' main objective is to stay on top of the latest network and system threats to make sure they are on top of securing the systems. That takes time and work that most business owners don't have on their own.
4. Peace of Mind
Probably the most honest and simplest reason small business owners are seeking out outside IT service providers is the peace of mind it can bring. An IT service provider with years of proven experience in the field and access to state-of-the-art tools will undoubtedly do a better job than an employee with a basic knowledge of internet trends and technologies. Knowing that the IT components are taken care of allows small businesses with limited resources to focus their energy on sales, customer service, project management and other income generating work.
Small business owners in any industry can find value in researching IT services for their company. It is not vital that they understand all the components for a secure and functioning server and systems network. It is important for them to take time to find someone who does. There are professional services out there willing to help cut costs and save you time.