They Woke Up And Smelled The Coffee
The world of Telephony has started to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to the needs (and marketing opportunities) of the SOHO (Small Office Home Office).
At this years Computer Telephony Show in Los Angeles, walking the isle of the show, I saw more products aimed at 1 to 4 ports (in the world of Telephony a "port" is a line; a one line phone would be a one "port" phone. Love that techno talk) than ever before.
One of the more exciting products is not new to the Telephony world, but .it is extremely new and exciting to the SOHO world. It is a one to four port (line) cordless phone. Now, in the world of the big business, four port cordless phones that function just like a desk phone have been around for years. These phones are nothing like the one or two line phones you can get at the big office supply store. Forget 900 MHz! These phone run on a TDMA digitally encrypted system with one or more "Mini" cell sites located in the building. In effect, you have your own cellular phone system. Not a wimpy little no-range, static, "Cordless" phone from the Office Store. So, the big news is now the SOHO guy can have one. A basic cordless handset will run about $400.00.
The base units will run about another $400.00 each (two are needed to run four ports). The handset will do everything your desktop phone will do, display number called, Caller ID, Hold, Transfer Etc. Now think about the price. It is really not that bad. A good 900 MHz two-line phone is going to be upwards of $200.00. With this system you can go to four lines. Add more handsets without buying more base units, and the things just kick butt over the 900 MHz units!
Look for more in an upcoming Test Site. Additionally, more companies are making small versions of their bigger systems. In upcoming months we will be talking about 2 to 4 port voice mail systems in the $1000.00 or less range, 2 to 4 port phone systems and more. It's time for you SOHO people to look at some real phone equipment. Get out and check out the new stuff.
Switch your phone service over to Centrex or Centernet. In California you can make the switch with only two lines. You and your customers will both reap the rewards. For starters, Centrex or Centrenet is the best foundation for a bulletproof phone system. The monthly cost is comparable to a standard business line running in the $20.00 to $25.00 per-month per- line range. Your existing telephone equipment will still be compatible with this system. With Centrex or Centernet what you get is a "programmable" phone system, that can reroute your calls as needed. Line busy, or No answer? It will send the call to anywhere in the world you want it to go. Cell Phone, Pager, Answering Service, Assistants Office, anywhere you want it to go. Should your office be hit by a disaster, your calls can still be handled.