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An integrated phone allows for the operation of several devices all at once. Traditional landlines, mobile phones and internet connections allow only one voice call at a time on one network. These are specified as single dimensional phones and lines. An integrated telephone system allows cell phones, facsimiles, local and long distance phone calls, and internet services to all be used simultaneously. All of the bills for these services can be consolidated into only one bill.
In business applications, a multi-line phone is helpful in order to process multiple phone calls at once. It can also be helpful on an individual home level as well. Integrated phones permit multiple calls to come and be handled at once. Calls can then be transferred, put on hold or taken. A ring back feature to alert the operator that the caller is still on hold, is also available. This feature is called a circuit-switched phone system; it allows several customers to be attended to all at the same time.
Integrated phones also allow for internet access. That access may be provided via any number of routes from dial-up to broadband. Standard phone lines provide about 56 kilobits (kb) per second for a dial up speed modem or narrow band modem. The broadband speed is approximately 128 kb per second as it is transmitted over a digital line.
Mobile phone service can also be part of an integrated phone system. Traditionally, mobile phone service providers bill clients separately for the mobile phone activities. An integrated phone will allow these charges to be incorporated into a single bill for cell phone usage, facsimile usage, local and long distance phone charges and internet services.
Additional services include a web dialer, which allows the user to make phone calls via their computer's internet connection. Using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) two computers can be connected relaying both phone and video signals. Most integrated phone services will include both incoming and outgoing VOIP communications.
A media phone may also be an integrated phone. These are usually a touch screen phone with several features including VOIP and internet access for web browsing. Many also have features as photo viewing, internet radios, a built-in camera, organizers, a media player and digital photo frames. Consumers who are away from the office but need to access all communications types on the go generally use these.
We started using integrated phones in my office and yes, there's definitely a learning period, but when you're on the computer and phone simultaneously all day long, the integrated phone system makes it all easier. I can see who's calling, where they're from, what number -- everything.
An integrated phone also makes transferring calls a cinch. I don't have to look up the number -- I just type in the name and the system does the rest. It's a much more efficient way of doing business than having a traditional phone system.
The ladies in our call center and classified advertising departments have integrated phones. This allows them to place orders, cancel orders, check accounts and do nearly any kind of customer service without ever leaving their computer screens. It's all on there, including multiple lines and caller ID.
The reps I've spoken with have said there's a learning curve for the integrated phones, but once you get used to it, they are much easier to use than the more traditional phones. I've occasionally wished for a headset, since I'm on the phone a good bit, but the regular phone is fine for me. That way, I can hear my particular ring from everywhere in the office and can answer it right away.
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