A lot has changed in the world of telephones. The days of a simple hard wired phone at your office location are long gone. With today’s newer phone systems, your phones can be anywhere and ring anyone. Your messages can be forwarded to email, text, or cell phone voicemail boxes. Your computer and software can be used to directly dial out.
In dentistry most of these features aren’t necessary, but in certain instances they can be very helpful. The most common reason to have a VOIP system is when you have multiple offices. Phones can be answered and ring independently of the location and you can use one main phone number for all locations. Also you can answer all the phone calls for all locations at one location and then forward the calls to the appropriate office. You can also set it so that if no one is at your Southside office, the phone will naturally ring at your Westside office or vice versa. The dialer is unaware of where the phone is being answered.
There are few caveats to these new types of systems. There is a balance between monthly costs, one-time equipment costs and quality. There are companies that will sell you just the phones and host their computer at some off-site call center. This is what home services like Vonage use. The advantage is there are no equipment costs and low monthly costs. The disadvantage is quality can suffer. In a dental practice, if your phones don’t work or the phone line quality is sub-par, it is a HUGE inconvenience. We find that phone system outages are some of the highest priority service issues we face. For this reason, we don’t often recommend hosted VOIP solutions.
What we do recommend is an inexpensive phone system that is essentially a computer that runs your VOIP system. These are placed in your office and on your network at one location. All the other phones no matter where they are worldwide call back into this box. This allows us to control the quality of the connections and the configuration of the unit.
There is something to be said for the simplicity of a standard digital/analog phone system. But if you need more versatility and features, VOIP is certainly the wave of the future.
If you need any help setting this up or would like to discuss what is available, please call us at 904.443.0095.