When most people hear the term “call router” the first thing that comes to mind are the “find me, follow me” features that allow individual users to receive calls when they are out of the office on their mobile device or at home. This is because most VoIP providers package and market this as the primary benefit and use of their service platform, when in fact there are many other practical business applications for this feature set. (It’s sort of like using a toothbrush to clean the grout in a tile floor, not exactly what the manufacturer had in mind for their product, right?) The bottom line is that many sellers don’t always know the best uses of their products, so they simply inform you of a use.
In order to determine how this service can be best used by your business, EarthLink stresses that it is first important to understand the primary components of the service and how it works. When a caller dials a phone number it can be routed in different ways. Most plans include the following. Sequential ring – the ability ring one number for a pre-determined period of time or number of rings then route to another number and so on. Simultaneous ring – the ability to ring multiple numbers at once, usually up to three. Time or number based routing – the ability to set up a weekly call routing schedule based on: time of day, day of week, calling party and configure for holidays or special days in advance based on a calendar. With all these routing options you can quickly see that this service is like call forwarding on steroids X 2. So why use all the powerful features just to make sure you don’t miss a call? After all, there are some times when individual users don’t want to be found or followed. Here are a few examples of how businesses could use the feature. Built-in disaster recovery by rerouting calls in the event of power failures or other issues affecting service to another office or mobile line (as seen in the below image).
Holiday and after hours call handling by setting up predetermined schedules for routing calls to alternative location, voicemail or mobile numbers. Let’s say you’re a small company and you want to advertise a single number but you don’t actually have an office with a phone system where everyone takes calls. You could set up a single number that routes to individual mobile users or home phones simultaneously. Or how about a dental practice with multiple offices that rotates between receptionists during the lunch hours setting up time of day based routine?
The icing on the cake with this service is that EarthLink Business enables secure, web-based control of all the routing features so that you can customize your own solution. For a introduction to what EarthLink Business can offer in the way of call routing services and much more visit us on the web at http://www.earthlinkbusiness.com/products/hostedvoice.xea or view a demo of our Hosted Voice offering by clicking HERE.