VoIP Features Guide for Businesses

One of the big advantages that VoIP phone service has to offer businesses over regular phone service is the abundance of enhanced and useful features associated with this technology. This guide will take you through the most common business VoIP features, providing an explanation of each one. VoIP is the swiss army knife for your business phone system.

Business VoIP Features

If you need to do a side by side comparison of different business providers features, use our feature comparison tool.

Visit our residential service features guide if your interest is in a home phone service.

Click on any feature below to go directly to the description for that feature or simply scroll down to browse.

Basic Features
Local Numbers Toll Free Numbers Virtual Numbers
Unlimited Calling Local Number Portability Online A/C Management
411 Directory Assistance 911 Emergency Service Fax Service
7-digit Dial Local Numbers Call Blocking E911 Service
Calling Features
Caller ID Call Forwarding Call Hold
Call Transfer Call Conference Call Waiting
Do Not Disturb Call Logs Last Number Re-dial
Call Blast Sequential Ring  
Voicemail Features
Password Protection Voicemail Greeting Options Voicemail to Email
Voicemail through Web I/F Multiple Mail Folders Group Messaging
Visual Waiting Indicator Single Unified Inbox Access Trusted Access
Multi-Format Support    
Auto-Attendant Features
Day and Night Mode Dial by name Directory Virtual Departments
Multiple Auto-Attendants Import Greetings Dial by Extensions
Holiday Schedule    
Advanced Features
Cell Phone Integration Soft Phone Support Call Groups
Follow Me Customize Music on Hold Conference Bridge
Intercom Branch Office Support Call Center Support
Call Monitoring Multiple Call Trees Outlook Integration
Call Recording    

Additional Features not listed

If you are looking for information on a feature that is not listed on this page, please use the form at the bottom of this page to leave a comment and we will get it added as quickly as possible.

Basic Features


Local Numbers

Local phone numbers available in all area codes.

Return to Index


Toll Free Numbers

Great for businesses as these numbers allow anyone to call you for free. Be aware that the owner of the toll free number does in fact pay for the call. Providers typically offer a fixed rate option which can result in massive savings compared to the typical pay per minute plans.

Return to Index


Virtual Numbers

Add extra phone numbers to the same phone line. For example, you can have a California number, Colorado number, and Florida number all ring on the same line.

Return to Index


Unlimited Calling

Unlimited local and long distance calling on any extension. Again huge savings can be made with this as it avoids the costly limited calling plans.

Return to Index


Local Number Portability

Number portability is the ability to keep your current phone number and bring it to your new phone service provider. If a phone company offers number portability it means you can bring your current phone number to them rather than losing your number when you switch phone service providers.

Return to Index


Online Account Management

Manage your account on the Internet. Add features to your account or find out when your next payment is due.

Return to Index


411 Directory Assistance

Call directory assistance in your area to obtain phone numbers or other information for local businesses, such as restaurants.

Return to Index


911 Emergency Service

Your VoIP provider directs calls to local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) based on the area code for your system.

Return to Index


Fax Service

Send a fax over your digital phone line using a fax machine and an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA). Another option to consider is what is commonly known as 'e-fax'. This is a feature that allows the user to receive faxes as email attachments. Some providers support the 'e-fax' feature.

Return to Index


7-digit Dialing for Local Numbers

Avoid having to enter the local area code every time you a make a local call.

Return to Index


Call Blocking

Unfortunately many calls to both homes and businesses can frequently be telemarketing calls generated by call center auto-dialers. These are effectively SPAM calls and they are of no use to anyone. This is one example of when you might want to use the call blocking feature so stop these calls ringing your phones. Simple enter the rogue number into phone portal call blocking menu and you will never hear from them again.

Return to Index


E911 Service

E911 stands for Enhanced 911. When 911 is dialed the call is routed to emergency personnel at Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) and the location of the caller (address) is transferred to them. The service works like a regular 911 call would, except that the address transferred is the address on file for that number. However, if you move or take your VoIP device when you travel, you must remember to update your location with this service.

Return to Index


Calling Features


Caller ID

This is the caller number and name that is associated with the callers phone service. In most cases this will be passed to phones digital screen and is a great feature to facilitate screening certain calls.

Return to Index


Call Forwarding

Make sure callers can reach you by forwarding your calls to other devices (cell-phone, etc) when you are away from your desk.

Return to Index


Call Hold

On most IP Phones, there will be a hold soft key that appears during a call. If you wish to either answer another call or perform some other activity while still on the original call, simply press the hold button and the caller will hear music.

Return to Index


Call Transfer

If the calling party needs to talk to someone else other than yourself, press the transfer button and then enter the extension or DID of the person that you wish to transfer the call to.

Return to Index


Call Conference

Talk with two parties at the same time. Call the first party, hit the appropriate button, dial the second party and hit the button again. Then talk as normal.

Return to Index


Call Waiting

If you are on the phone and another call comes in, call waiting will alert you with a special tone. You would then have the choice of answering or letting the call go to voice mail.

Return to Index


Do Not Disturb

Forward calls to your voice mail. This option allows you to send incoming calls to your voice mail without your phone ringing.

Return to Index


Call Logs

Detailed call records by extension or account.

Return to Index


Last Number Re-dial

Simply hit the redial button and your phone will automatically call the last number that was dialed on that particular device.

Return to Index


Call Blast or Simultaneous Ring

When a call comes in, more than one phone will ring at the same time.

Return to Index


Sequential Ring

This feature will allow for a group of phones to ring in a specific order. For example if the first phone is not answered in within the programmed timeframe, the second phone will ring, then the third, and so on.

Return to Index


Voicemail Features


Password Protection

Prevent unauthorized access.

Return to Index


Voicemail Greeting Options

Customized personal greeting. Unavailable / Busy / Employee's Name.

Return to Index


Voicemail to Email

Receive voicemails as email attachments.

Return to Index


Check Voicemail through Web Interface

Good for remote access. Login in to a web portal to check your messages.

Return to Index


Multiple Mail Folders

Organize and save old emails.

Return to Index


Group Messaging

Send a voicemail to a group of people.

Return to Index


Visual Waiting Indicator

Light on the phone which tells you that you have received a voicemail message.

Return to Index


Single Unified Inbox Access

Manage your voice, fax, and email messages from a single inbox.

Return to Index


Trusted Access

Define trusted numbers that allow you to access voicemail immediately, without having to enter a code.

Return to Index


Multi Format Support

Supports all message types including voice, fax and email.

Return to Index


Auto-Attendant Features

For a more detailed explanation of what this feature is, how it is configured and what types of scripts are required, please visit our Auto-Attendant section.


Day and Night Mode

Make your greeting dependant on the time of day or day of the week.

Return to Index


Dial by name Directory

Dial a first or last name to reach the extension of the person you are looking for.

Return to Index


Virtual Departments

Also called ring groups. Setup a call group based on the department e.g. You have reached the marketing department, etc.

Return to Index


Multiple Auto Attendants

If you have more than one public phone number, this feature enables you to set up different messages for each number.

Return to Index


Import Greetings

Enables existing or new customized greetings to be uploaded into the auto-attendant system.

Return to Index


Dial by Extensions

Dial an extension to reach the person you are looking for.

Return to Index


Holiday Schedule

Import your annual holiday schedule and customize the greeting accordingly.

Return to Index


Advanced Features


Cell Phone Integration

Ties cell phones to the business telephone system. Use the pbx system functions on your cell-phone.

Return to Index


Soft Phone Support

Supports a soft-phone on your PC.

Return to Index


Call Groups

Calls can be forwarded to multiple extensions that ring simultaneously.

Return to Index


Follow Me

Calls can be forwarded to multiple numbers that will ring in a designated sequence.

Return to Index


Customize Music on Hold

Easily change the music that is played to your callers when they are placed on hold. Useful to provide corporate messaging and sales information.

Return to Index


Conference Bridge

Set up conference calls using a pre-assigned call-in number. Also known as meet-me conferencing.

Return to Index


Intercom

Target phone auto-answers on mute and broadcasts through the speakerphone.

Return to Index


Branch Office Support

Typically results in free office to office calling via VoIP. Forward calls to any extension in any office.

Return to Index


Call Center Support

Ability to add call-center features to a VoIP service. Call queues, automatic call distribution and CRM integration are some of the features to look out for.

Return to Index


Call Monitoring

This feature provides the ability for a manager or trainer to listen in to calls between an employee and a customer. It can also include the ability for the party listening in to talk directly with the employee and/or to enter the conversation with the employee and the customer (similar to 3-way calling).

Return to Index


Multiple Call Trees

Create unique greetings, inbound numbers, and menu options that route to a shared pool of users.

Return to Index


Outlook Integration

Make and receive calls from your outlook in-box.

Return to Index


Call Recording

Record calls based on set parameters (for example, certain extensions/groups) or on-demand with keypad entries for starting/stopping the recording. One of these options or both may be offered by a service provider. Read our call recording article for more detailed information on this feature.

Return to Index


  • SHARE THIS:

Author: Calum

Published: by WhichVoIP


Related Articles for Further Reading:


left arrow PREV
Business Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
NEXT right arrow
VoIP Protocols

GO TO BUSINESS ARTICLE INDEX


Ask us your question or add a comment:

Use the form below to add your comments/thoughts and to interact with us. All comments will be moderated by WhichVoIP.com before going live. We try to answer all questions within 24 hours.

Name:
Email: (Not displayed on site, used so we can respond to you)
Comment:
Please enter this code below:

By submitting your comment you agree to our site Terms of Use

 

Top Providers for 2016

Provider* $/mo Details
from
$19.99
(4.5)
from
$8.95 5 user min
(4.9)
from
$19.95
(4.7)
from
$19.95
(4.5)
  • SHARE: