Wildix VoIP Phones User Guide – WorkForce and WelcomeConsole

Wildix Welcome Console

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Table of Contents

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Packing list

  • 1 x Start, WorkForce, WelcomeConsole Phone
  • 1 x handset
  • 1 x handset cord (Start)/ 2 x handset cords, 2,5 m and 3,5 m (WorkForce, WelcomeConsole)
  • 1 x stand
  • 1 x extension module (WelcomeConsole)
  • 1 x RJ12 cord (WelcomeConsole)

Additionally, you can purchase handsets, headsets, EHS adapters, keypad extensions, and power adapters from us here at DoTel.

Phone Overview

Connecting the Phone

Rear Panel:

Wildix VoIP Phone Rear Panel Guide
  1. Handset port – Attach the handset using the handset cord.
  2. Headset port – Attach the headset (optional; we recommend Wildix Headsets WHS-MONO, WHS-DUO).
  3. Internet port – Connect the phone to a PoE Switch using an Ethernet cable.
  4. PC port – Connect to PC (optional).
  5. AC power jack – If Power Over Ethernet is not used, connect the phone to AC power using an External Power Adapter and connect the phone’s Internet port (3) to the Internet using an Ethernet cable.
  6. Ext port (WP480G/WP490G/ WelcomeConsole) – Used to connect wireless headset adapter WPEHS (WP480G/ WP490G/ WelcomeConsole) / keypad extension module WelcomeConsole-EXT (WP490G/ WelcomeConsole).
  7. USB port (WelcomeConsole) – Connect USB Headset (optional; we recommend Mono/ DuoLED, WMP codes: MonoLED, DuoLED).
  8. 2 x USB Type-C ports (WorkForce) – Connect USB Headset (optional; we recommend Mono/ DuoLED, WMP codes: MonoLED, DuoLED) and WorkForce WiFi Dongle (can be purchased as a HWaaS item).

Keypad Instruction

Click image to enlarge

  1. LED indicator
    Flashing: Incoming call / Missed call / New VM message
    Off: In standby mode
  2. Soft keys – Used to confirm different operations indicated on the screen above the corresponding soft keys. On the idle screen, soft keys provide access to the phone’s menus: History, Phonebook, Features, Menu:
    – History: access call history and call from history
    – Phonebook: access to shared PBX phonebooks and calls from phonebooks
    – Features: call features, read Appendix 2: Call features for details
    – Menu: phone settings, read Appendix 3: Menu for details
  3. Navigation keys – Use Navigation keys to select and the central key to confirm different menu options; Use Navigation keys to move between the pages of BLF keys
  4. BLF / function keys – Monitor users and features
  5. Speaker key – Press to place a call / answer a call in speaker mode or press during a call to switch between speaker/handset mode
  6. Volume keys – Use to adjust the audio volume (during a call), the ringer volume (in the standby mode or while receiving an incoming call), the speaker volume (in the speaker mode)
  7. Headset key – Press to place a call / answer a call in headset mode (when the headset is connected) or press during a call to switch between speaker/headset/handset mode
  8. Mute key – Press during a call to turn the microphone on/off
  9. Redial key – Press twice to redial the last called number
  10. Voicemail key – Access the Voicemail graphical menu (long press on Start)
  11. Quick DND key – Long press turns on/off “Do not disturb.”
  12. Phonebook key – Press to access the PBX shared phonebooks
  13. Transfer Key

Logging In

Dial *99 or #99 from the phone – “Login” feature code. Your code may be different depending on the vendor. Please follow the audio instructions after you dial the code.

  1. Enter your extension number
  2. Enter the password (PIN – it is sufficient to enter the first five symbols of the user’s WEB password).
    To enter the user password from the phone’s dial pad, take into account the following:
    – To enter any lowercase and uppercase letter, press ONCE a corresponding digit (E.g. to enter A, a, B, b, C or c, press ‘2’ once).
    To enter special characters (%, ^, &, etc), press the star key (*).

Note: A phone will be blocked in case of invalid password entry: 5 attempts – 30 seconds, 10 attempts – 30 seconds, and every next – 60 seconds.

Example: if user password is 4Ag7$Zl@, then you have to dial 4247*

    3. Dial ‘1’ to use this phone

    After a few seconds, an extension is displayed on the phone’s screen; the phone is now assigned and can be used to make and receive calls.

    If you logout via Feature Code 99 on a phone, you are automatically logged out of all the phones assigned to your account. Consult DoTel to change this behaviour.

    Status and Notification Icons Overview

    WelcomeConsole and WorkForce

    Icon Explanation

    IP obtaining icon

    Obtaining IP Address

    under provisioning icon

    Currently provisioning

    Provisioned and ready to be assigned

    Online

    Away

    Reachable by phone
    (user is not connected to Collaboration/x-bees but has an active device)

    DND (Do Not Disturb)

    Incoming Call

    Missed Call

    Outgoing Call

    Call on Hold

    Muted Microphone

    Speaker Activated

    Headset Connected

    The call is established via Opus codec

    The call is established via SRTP

    Voicemail

    Silent Mode Activated

    CFN: destination number / voicemail -> Call Forwarding Activated

    BLF and Function Keys

    BLF / Function keys allow you to monitor users and features, make a call, transfer a call, pick up a call, park a call, change the status of features.

    BLF / Function keys must be set by the user in Collaboration Settings -> Function keys or by the PBX administrator via WMS.

    For WelcomeConsole, you can set up to 40 BLF keys on each extension module (up to 3 modules are supported).

    To use the keypad extension, add the “Exp module” BLF key in Wildix Collaboration, as seen below.

    The Start supports up to 4 BLF keys distributed on two pages. The WorkForce supports up to 16 BLF keys distributed on two pages. The WelcomeConsole supports up to 60 Function keys, including the extension module. Refer to Appendix 1 – BLF keys for detailed information on BLF key distribution for each phone.

    List of Function Keys

    • Colleague: monitor call status (incoming call / in-call), monitor user status (available, DND, away), make a call, transfer a call, pick up a call, check who is calling (see the chapter below for more details)
    • Park Location: park a call and resume (see the chapter below for more details)
    • Line: press to use this line (to place a new call)/ press to make a call with the user’s identity extension (see the chapter below)
    • Speed Dial: press to call a speed dial number; additionally, you can set up shortcuts in combination with Feature Codes supported by the system; read Feature Codes notes for more information
    • Trunk: monitor the status of the trunk (except for SIP trunks) and place a call via this trunk
    • Timetable / Switch / 3 state switch: monitor the status of switch/timetable, press to change status
    • Group pick up: press to pick up a ringing call of a user from your ACL group (feature works for users registered to the same PBX and typically allows you to answer a ringing call for another user located in the same office)
    • Call group: monitor call status (incoming call / in-call), make a call, transfer a call, pick up a call, check who is calling
    • Send DTMF: press to send DTMF tones
    • Contact centre: log into Call groups as a dynamic user (see the chapter below)
    • Identities: press to change the identity of numbers for outgoing/ incoming calls (see the chapter below)
    • Voicemail: press to access shared voicemail of another user (see the chapter below)

    Colleague BLF (Busy Lamp Field)

    List of supported features/ actions:

    • Monitor call status (incoming call/ active call); additionally, you can see who is calling and enable a beep or a ringtone when a monitored colleague receives an incoming call
    • Monitor user status (available/ DND/ away) (available with min. Essential license)
    • press the BLF key to place a call (when idle) or to transfer a call (during a call), to pick up a call (when the monitored user is receiving an incoming call)

    Contact Centre BLF

    It is possible to log into Call groups as a dynamic user via “Contact centre” BLF on VoIP phones.

    Identities

    Identities allows you to change the Caller number and name for internal and external outgoing/ incoming calls.

    Shared voicemail and Call Group notifications manager BLF

    The shared voicemail feature allows you to monitor and listen to voicemail messages of other users via a configured “Voicemail” Function key. The feature is disabled by default. To enable it, you can consult a DoTel PBX admin. The LED indicator becomes steady blue when a monitored user receives a new voicemail message. You can listen to/delete/dial the user who left the message.

    The Call Group notification manager feature allows users to view missed calls and voicemail notifications for specific Call groups.

    Call Management

    Place a Call

    1. Lift the handset
    2. Dial the number and press Send Soft key or wait till the call is placed automatically
      – Press the speaker key to start the call in Speaker Mode
      – Press the headset key to use the headset

    Call from Phonebook

    1. Press the Phoneb Soft key or Phonebook key
    2. Press the Filter Soft key and select a phonebook
    3. Press the Search Soft key, then type the name/ number
    4. Press the Enter Soft key to confirm
    5. Press the Dial Soft key

    Call from History

    1. Press the History Soft key
    2. Select a colleague from the list
    3. Press the Dial Soft key
    4. Lift the handset

    Call via BLF Keys

    1. Lift the handset
    2. Press a BLF key assigned to a colleague/group you would like to call

    Answer a Call

    Lift the handset or press the Speaker key

    Answer a Second Incoming Call

    Press the Answer Soft key

    Receiving more than one call at a time is possible if the “Call Waiting” feature is enabled in Collaboration Settings -> Features.

    Mute the ring of an incoming call without answering

    While the incoming call is ringing, press the Silence soft key

    Forward a call without answering

    • Press Fwd Soft key, dial the number
    • Press OK Soft key

    Decline a Call

    Press the Reject Soft key

    Hold or Make a Second Call

    Press the Hold Soft key during a call, the caller will hear music on hold

    • Press the Resume Soft key to resume the call

    If you have several calls on hold, use the Navigation keys to select the call, then press Resume.

    Make a second call:

    • Press the New Soft key
    • Dial a number or press the Select Soft key to search for a contact in History or in Phonebook

    Transferring

    Blind Transfer

    Transfer without notifying the person who receives the call transfer:

    1. Press the Trans Soft key or Transfer key during a call (the call is put on hold)
    2. Dial the number
    3. Hang up or press the Trans Soft key

    Blind Transfer via BLF Keys
    Prerequisite: BLF key “Colleague” or “Call group” with the “Direct Transfer” option enabled must be configured:

    Press the BLF key configured as “Colleague” or “Call group” during a call

    Attended (Warm) Transfer

    Transfer with a notification to the person who receives the call transfer:

    1. Press the Trans Soft key or Transfer key during a call (the call is put on hold)
    2. Dial the number and wait for the person to answer
    3. To complete the transfer, hang up or press the Trans Soft key or the Transfer key

    Attended transfer to Phonebook contact/contact from Call history:

    1. Press the Trans Soft key or Transfer key during a call (the call is put on hold)
    2. Press the Select Soft key
    3. Select History / Phonebook and press the Enter Soft key
    4. Select the contact, press the Dial Soft key and wait till the person answers
    5. To complete the transfer, press the Trans Soft key or Transfer key again

    Attended transfer via BLF keys:
    Prerequisite: BLF key “Colleague” or “Call group” (“Direct Transfer” option disabled) must be configured:

    1. Press the BLF key configured as “Colleague” or “Call group” during a call
    2. Wait till the second party answers
    3. To complete the transfer, hang up or press the Trans Soft key

    Conference

    1. Press the New Soft key during a call (active call is put on hold)
    2. Make a second call to the contact you wish to invite to the conference call
    3. When the third party responds, press Conf Soft key

    Press Split Soft key to split the two calls or hang up to end the conference.

    Record a Call

    Only users with specific permissions can record calls. The PBX admin must add the ‘Record Calls’ permission to enable the option. DoTel can help you with enabling this feature.

    During a call, press *1 to start/stop recording the call. The feature code, *1, can be changed by a system administrator. If you face any issues, it is essential to check both user permissions and the correct feature code.

    Pick Up a Ringing Call via Buttons

    Only users with specific permissions can pick up calls via their phone buttons. To enable the option, the PBX admin must add the ‘Can – Call Pickup’ permission. DoTel can help you with enabling this feature.

    When a colleague or call group receives an incoming call, the associated button on your desk phone will flash and play an audible sound if you select the speaker icon for that function key. To pickup their incoming call, push the flashing button and you will be connected to the caller.

    See Who is Calling via Buttons

    Only users with specific permissions can pick up calls via their phone buttons. The PBX admin must add the ‘Can – View Calls of Users’ permission to enable the option. DoTel can help you with enabling this feature.

    You see who is calling and receive an audio notification when there is an incoming call:

    • See who is calling: View Calls (eye icon) option must be enabled in Collaboration for this function key.
    • Get audio notification when there is an incoming call: Audio Notification (speakerphone icon) option must be enabled in Collaboration for this function key:

    It is possible to configure a ringtone to be played instead of a standard audio notification (a beep). DoTel can change custom settings for the phone’s configuration. A site administrator cannot perform this task.

    Park a Call

    A ‘Park Location’ BLF key must be configured before using this feature. The PBX admin must also create a Park Orbit extension with a service license in the system settings.

    To park a call, press the park location button on your desk phone during a call. Press the same park button again to pick up that call from any other desk phone with the button configured.

    Call Intrusion and Intercom

    Call intrusion and intercom are usually disabled by default by the system administrator. This feature can be enabled by groups of users or individually. Connect with DoTel to setup these features.

    Listen to Voicemail Messages

    1. Press the Voicemail key to access the graphical Voicemail menu (long press on key “1” on Start / WP480G 2016)
    2. If requested, enter the first five characters of your password
    3. Select the message and press Play Soft key to listen to the message; press Info Soft key for more information (Name, Number, Date, Duration) and then Delete to delete the message

    Record Personal Voicemail Greetings

    Dial *81, enter your passcode if prompted, then press ‘0’ for mailbox options once the prompts start. Your new options include:

    • Press 1 to record your unavailable message and follow the audio instructions
    • Press 2 to record your busy message and follow the audio instructions
    • Press 3 to record your name and follow the audio instructions

    Presence Status Monitoring

    The presence statuses of colleagues can be monitored directly via BLF keys on WorkForce and WelcomeConsole phones.

    Colleagues must have a ‘UC-Essential’ license or higher for presence status monitoring to work.

    The following colleague statutes can be monitored:

    • “available” (green circle icon)
    • “away” (clock icon)
    • “dnd” (brick icon)
    No icon will be displayed if a colleague has no device registered to their extension.
     
    You can also monitor the full presence status of users in Phonebook (available only for users with Essential licenses or higher):
    • Press the Phoneb Soft key or Phonebook Key
    • Press the Filter Soft key and select a phonebook
    • Press the Search Soft key, then type the name/ number
    • Press the Enter Soft key to confirm

    It possible to monitor the following colleague statuses via Phonebook:

    • “available” (green circle icon)
    • “offline” (no icon)
    • “busy” (handset icon)
    • “incoming call” (arrow icon)
    • “away” (clock icon)
    • “dnd” (brick icon)

    Appendix 1 - BLF Key Distribution for VoIP Phones

    Start Phone – 4 BLF Keys across two pages. Use the Navigation keys to move between pages.

    WorkForce Phone – 16 BLF Keys across two pages. Use the Navigation keys to move between pages.

    WelcomeConsole Phone – 60 BLF Keys in total. 20 keys are on the main screen, and 40 keys are on the extension module. Use the Navigation keys to move between pages on the main screen. It is possible to add multiple expansion modules to a single phone.

    In case of any issues with your Wildix VoIP phone, please contact DoTel for support.

    Appendix 2 - Call Features

    Call features are synced between all a user’s devices and can also be set from Collaboration / WMS / Vision/SuperVision / iOS/Android app.

    Press the Featur. Soft key from standby mode to access the menu. This menu allows you to change call features for each type of call (Internal / External / Whitelist / Blacklist) based on user status (available / DND / away):

    • Status: Available / DND / Away
      • Until (only for DND / Away): Time / Date – set expiry time and date for DND / Away user status
      • Activate (only for DND / Away): On / Off – when disabled, call features for DND / Away statuses cannot be changed
    • Call type: Internal / External/ Blacklist / Whitelist
    • Call reject: On / Off – if enabled, all calls are rejected
    • Call forwarding – call forwarding settings
      • busy: On / Off – enable / disable call forwarding when busy
      • unavailable: On / Off – enable / disable call forwarding in case of no answer
      • forced: On / Off – enable / disable forwarding of all calls

    You can set the destination for each type of call forwarding: enter the phone number or the value ‘VOICEMAIL’.

    • Call waiting: On / Off – enable call waiting to be able to receive more than one call at a time 
    • Mobility: On / Off – if enabled, after a timeout, incoming calls are routed also to your mobility extension number; phone number and timeout can be specified in Collaboration Settings
    • Ring Tone: select the ringtone

    Appendix 3 - Phone Settings

    To access Phone Settings, press the Menu soft key from idle:

    • Status: view the IP, Mac, and Firmware of your phone
    • Backlight settings: set the backlight level of the screen and select the timeout (min – 20 sec, max – 1 hour or Always On), after which the phone’s screen should turn off 
    • Audio settings: adjust Talk, Tone, Mic, Key, and Ring Volume
      • Headset Ring Mode: allows you to decide whether the ringtone should be played via Headset or via Handsfree when the Headset is connected

      • Handsfree sound input: allows you to select the active microphone in handsfree mode when the handset is lifted (either the handset’s microphone or phone’s microphone)

    • Network: access to this menu is recommended for the PBX administrator
    • Auto-provision: access to this menu is recommended only for PBX administrator

    Appendix 4 - Supported Headsets

    The Wildix Headsets are compatible with the following VoIP phones: Start, WelcomeConsole, and WorkForce. The available headsets include monaural (WHS-MONO), binaural (WHS-DUO), Bluetooth (WHS-BT), Mono/ DuoLED Wired, and Mono/ DuoLED Bluetooth Wireless.

    Third-Party Headsets Compatible with Wildix

    To view all headsets that have been tested and approved for use with Wildix, please check the complete compatibility list in the following link: Wildix Approved Third Party Headsets.

    Need Wildix Support?

    The DoTel helpdesk is available to provide support to Wildix users. Please call us using the number below, send a message through our contact form, or start a chat with one of our representatives.

    Choosing the Right Communication Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide for Small Business Owners

    Table of Contents

    Introduction

    Communication in a business is a vital piece of its operations. Effective communication is the glue that binds all aspects of a business together. It promotes understanding, facilitates collaboration, and contributes to an organisation’s success and sustainability. Businesses prioritising and investing in solid communication practices will navigate challenges, foster innovation, and build lasting relationships with customers and employees.

    People need to pay more attention to the impact of a business’s communication channels on its performance and reputation. Here are some examples:

    Dispatch Operators

    Clear and timely communication with dispatch operators is essential to ensure that logistics and operations run smoothly, enabling real-time adjustments and efficient response to changing circumstances.

    Customer Service Agents

    Customer service agents are the frontline ambassadors of a business, and effective communication with them is paramount to providing exceptional service, resolving issues promptly, and maintaining positive customer relations. 

    Cross-Departmental Collaboration

    Cross-departmental communication fosters collaboration, breaking down silos and promoting a cohesive work environment where teams can share knowledge, resources, and expertise for the benefit of the entire organisation.

    Adaptability to Market Trends

    Maintaining open communication channels with various stakeholders, including management and customer service teams, facilitates gathering valuable insights, enabling the organisation to adapt quickly to market trends and changing customer demands.

    In every example, it’s easy to understand how misguided communication systems create under-performing businesses. For a dispatcher, this could mean late deliveries or missed job opportunities. For customer service agents, it could cause frustration and negative reviews. For cross-department collaboration, teams do not pass along information and create gaps in service offerings and support. When adapting to market trends, management may need more information from their team to make informed decisions.

    This Article's Purpose: Guiding Small Businesses in Choosing the Right Communication Solution

    In this article, we will compare several phone systems for businesses, from traditional phone systems to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to Unified Communications (UC). By the end of the reading, you should comprehensively understand what will work better for your business in the long term.

    Types of Communication Solutions

    Traditional Phone Systems

    Traditional systems were previously one of the only systems you could purchase as little as 20+ years ago. For this article, we will define “traditional” systems as those using digital grayscale (no colour screens) telephones with analog landlines. Modern systems capable of traditional technology are usually hybrid, meaning they can work with VoIP services, too, utilising the Internet for voice communications.

    Traditional System Pros and Cons

    Pros
    • Reliability of using established infrastructure
    • Consistent call quality for local calls
    • Meantime between failures can be 20 years, depending on the manufacturer
    Cons
    • Limited features for ring patterns and external devices like cell phones
    • Potential higher costs for long-distance calls
    • Loss in quality over long distances
    • Carriers are replacing infrastructure

    VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

    VoIP is the transmission of voice over the Internet. The term ‘VoIP’ can mean several things, from on-premises systems where the phone server resides inside the business to cloud phone systems where the phone server resides in the cloud. The fundamental similarity is that both systems utilise the Internet for communications and rely on a business’s data network, sharing the same type of connection as a desktop computer. These systems are considered more scalable, only requiring licensing and end-user devices to expand.

    VoIP Pros and Cons

    Pros
    • Cost-effectiveness, often including long-distance calling.
    • Feature-rich with more choices of phones, cell phones, and ring patterns.
    • Scalability: Easily adjust the system size to match the company’s growth.
    Cons
    • Relies on internet connectivity, which can be problematic if the data network is unmanaged.
    • Limitations of features beyond voice.

    Unified Communications (UC)

    Unified Communications integrates business communication features such as voice calls, video, chat, SMS text messaging, and other collaboration tools into a single platform. UC seeks to bring more value to a business’s operations than just voice calling. By combining several features, companies can expect cost savings, a single user interface, and greater integration depth to other software such as CRMs, service hubs, and more.

    UC Pros and Cons

    Pros
    • Enhanced collaboration internally and with clients
    • Reduced overall software costs
    • SMS texting on business numbers
    • Greater mobility with mobile and tablet apps
    • Potential of reduced hardware cost if using softphones
    • Easy to implement remote work capabilities
    Cons
    • Initial setup complexity
    • Potential for higher costs than voice-only solutions
    • Relies on internet connectivity, which can be problematic if the data network is unmanaged.

    Considerations for Small Businesses

    Budgetary Considerations

    The below line chart roughly displays how the cumulative cost changes over time between traditional VoIP and Unified Communications systems. Typically, a UC system will overtake an on-premises VoIP system in cumulative cost in the third or fourth year. The timing varies by the system design, optional items, and other considerations. The y-axis is for reference only and may not be a typical price.

    It will be easy to think “VoIP on-premises is cheaper”, but that is not necessarily true. Suppose a business can bundle multiple software and receive more benefits from a UC system in the long run. In that case, they will have saved more money in other areas than they have paid additionally for the UC system. As a company owner, you may find the extra features available on a cloud UC system to be more relevant to you, such as working from anywhere and taking business calls with you via your cell phone. All these pieces are critical to consider in realising which system will be more cost-effective for you in the long term.

    Traditional vs VoIP vs UC

    A cumulative cost comparison

    Another key consideration with the above chart is the system setup and deployment. This is based on a single site, with multi-sites looking different. You may also value a cloud system for automatic backups sent into your company storage. Priorities here play a crucial role in identifying what is important to you for a phone system.

    Other Costs to Be Aware Of

    On-Premises Systems

    An on-premises system works as a server kept within your office building. Our clients often call it the “phone box”. This server handles all the calls, and everything from software and voicemails to user information is stored here. Being similar to a typical business server, there are some potential costs:

    • Upgrading the system CPU – Your manufacturer may perform upgrades, and new features could reside with the CPU upgrade. NEC does this, and although it is an extra cost, it is significantly better than buying a whole new system. In some respects, this is a benefit of choosing specific brands.
    • Like any server, it requires maintenance. Software patches, parts being changed, and other changes are typically billable services. It is worth being on a service plan with your provider so you have standard maintenance covered.
    • Licensing – Some specific high-end programs, such as hotel software integration, may require additional licensing.
    Unified Communications Systems

    A UC system works similarly to an on-premises system; however, the server is no longer in your office building, only the end-user hardware, such as IP desk phones. What is nice about this is that the server is no longer your responsibility to maintain hardware changes, software updates, or network security vulnerabilities. With the system being hosted in the cloud, there may be different charges, such as:

    • Licensing – Most UC systems have tiered licensing to access specific features. Be sure to see the licensing breakdown to make sure you select and pay for what you need. Some businesses want something simple, and others need something more in-depth.
    • Third-party software may charge you for integrations. This point is not negative on the UC system but is worth mentioning. Your CRM, Medical Software, or Dispatch Software may charge a fee to integrate with the UC system. It’s essential to ask your vendors what they are capable of and whether it is included with your services.

    Scalability

    In any business, you are often changing sizes due to growth, refocusing service offerings, and the ebb and flow of sales. Choosing a system that scales with you for your communications can help keep expenses in line with your current operations and maintain a consistent approach as your business grows.

    Traditional systems are notoriously difficult to scale as they require expensive hardware to install for more users or phone lines and cannot be reduced quickly. VoIP is well-known for the ease of adding/removing users and IP phone lines, or SIP trunks as we call them. Any VoIP solution usually takes just a few clicks to add, delete, or edit services, assuming you have no contractual obligations. UC systems allow for additional scalability over VoIP systems in the form of features released in new software updates. For example, you may have started adding business SMS texting, and now you have company group texting for your team to chat with clients. Additionally, now you use integrations to help link with your other systems. Specific pieces may be more critical to you, so if you need scalability but your team would not add value using the UC features, then a VoIP system would work great for you.

    Features and Functionality

    As you will already know, making it this far in the article, features differ across traditional, VoIP, and UC systems. Different vendors also vary by feature set. One UC system could have completely different features from another. We have made a general table below of what you could typically expect.

     

    Feature Traditional VoIP UC
    Voice Calls & Voicemail
    Custom Ring Patterns
    Voicemail to Email
    Conference Calling
    Cell Phone Apps
    Video Conferencing
    Instant Messaging
    Custom Integrations

    User Friendliness and Training

    Any new system implementation requires some training for administration and end users. For communications, the nature of training varies. Natural habits like picking up the phone and dialling come quickly. Aspects such as transferring and conferencing can be learned. More extensive training is required for some VoIP and almost all UC systems. This is because the phone system bridges into Windows and Mac operating systems, and the user needs to be semi-proficient in navigating system settings, especially with notification settings, sound, and microphones. A lot of support we provide to softphone users is related to their peripheral hardware or operating system navigation. Because of this, it’s important to consider service agreements to include this kind of support unrelated to the phone system to avoid being billed hourly for your vendor to train users on Windows. The levels of training required per system type are outlined below:

    • Traditional Systems: Light user training for transferring, accessing voicemail, and call forwarding.
    • VoIP Systems: Moderate level of user training with core functions the same as traditional systems but with some additional features for reprogramming the system and phones.
    • UC Systems: Depends significantly on user proficiency with their operating system. Proficient users require light to moderate training. Inexperienced users require extensive training and ongoing support.
    It will be wise to consider your team’s willingness to learn new systems or whether they have a choice, depending on your company’s market and your reasons for change. Many users, once familiar with new systems, will never want to return to the previous phone system, but growing pains may appear. Bear in mind that if your team will need extra training and ongoing support to achieve the most out of the new system, you should plan accordingly.

    Exciting Your Team with the New Phone System

    Reasons for exploring a new communication system can vary. Reasons could be one or multiple of the following reasons:

    • The system is ageing and may fail or has failed.
    • Users complain about the current system.
    • The phone system is causing customer service issues due to call quality, dropping calls, or other issues.
    • The monthly pricing of your phone system is not competitive.
    • The features offered in a new system would bring competitive advantages, more reliability, or greater flexibility.
    When discussing or informing your team of the need to change, it is essential to outline the reasons. You can keep your team positive for the new change with the following steps:
     
    1.  Be transparent with your team about why the change must happen. This could be anything from finance to function or reliability.
    2. Understand how each department currently uses their phones and speak to the features that would be most valuable for them. This could include texting on the business number, call queuing in busy periods, better call history and analytics, or any other feature.
    3. Host a demonstration with your selected vendor to allow the technician and sales team to field your team’s questions.
    4. Have a plan in place for the transition. Your chosen vendor should be able to help you with this.
    5. Allocate enough time for user training. Your team will be frustrated if they must juggle tasks and be shown how to use the new system simultaneously. If a staff member needs to catch up on their job due to training time, they typically rush the trainer and say it is all simple. After this, they will become frustrated with the system.
    6. Set up some practice calls, group chats, or test SMS texts to play with. Your team will benefit by using and playing with the features.
    7. Ensure enough support is available. Users should be allowed to call the vendor or another colleague for extra tips and support or to answer questions after the system is installed and live.
    8. Review the system setup regularly at the beginning to fine-tune the settings to your liking.

    Case Study: A Doctor's Office Moving to Unified Communications

    The Scenario

    We serve clients all over western Canada, but one case is from a small doctor’s office in Prince George, BC. The doctor’s office manager called us one day asking about a new phone system. They were not currently a client of anyone’s for the phone system because they were using an old Norstar phone system. The system was older than several staff members, and the internal battery had died. The phone system would completely factory default every time the power was turned off. It was so old that the system default was a rotary dial imitation, and calls took forever to dial out. The office manager, through YouTube, had learned how to reprogram simple settings on the system to make it at least usable after a power outage. Their team needed a new system desperately.

    The Function

    While reviewing the current setup and usage, we found the following:

    •  Most doctors like working from home and using their cell phones. This was an issue because they needed to block their caller ID and patients do not like answering unknown callers.
    • Office managers and receptionists also need the flexibility to work remotely.
    • The office was paying a high price for their analog lines with an old system.
    • Users needed to change their auto attendant regularly for new doctors, services, and hours.
    The Solution

    We recommended and installed one of our UC systems, Univerge Blue Connect. This system provided the following benefits:

    • Remote working capability. The desk phones worked over Wi-Fi; users could bring them home or install the mobile or desktop app.
    • Better system administration. We could serve the client remotely from anywhere, allowing for on-demand support. The client can also access the administration webpage to make changes as needed.
    • We could take over all phone services to provide a single monthly bill for services and remove the outdated landlines.

    Conclusion

    Throughout this article, you have learned the differences between various phone systems, from traditional to VoIP to Unified Communications and how they price and function. The most critical aspect for business owners to consider, which we have reiterated throughout writing this, is to base your decision on the company’s direction, your need for flexibility, and scalability. By using the guide for your business decision, you can ensure you have a system capable of growing with you and your team

    The Next Steps: See Phone Systems in Action

    DoTel has been helping businesses just like yours for nearly thirty years now. We help companies understand the best communication system for them and their team. Our services cover hybrid on-premise VoIP systems, maintenance of some traditional phone systems, and hosted-in-the-cloud Unified Communications systems. 

    We offer full demos where your team can meet with us, see what system works for you, go through a live demonstration, and see how everything connects.

    Book Your Demo Today

    Wildix Communications

    Our secure-by-design UC system has powerful softphones and manufacturer-built hardware for the ultimate flexibility and layered redundancies.

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    NEC Univerge Blue Connect

    Univerge Blue Connect is our UC system for small to medium offices. The Universe Blue Engage product line is for powerful call centre functionality.

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    NEC On-Premises VoIP Hybrid

    Our NEC on-premises systems work with analog and VoIP technology. The system can integrate with Univerge Blue Connect, providing businesses the flexibility of both on-premises and the cloud.

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