This is an additional post in a series of hosted VoIP feature spotlights. A nice feature of Hosted VoIP systems is the ability to conference or transfer calls to a third party. This additional party can be resident on the phone system or an outside number. What sounds like a common feature, you would be surprised how many phone systems do not allow for such activity.
Transferring – Not only is call transferring a nice feature of hosted VoIP systems, it is a requirement with the technology. With the concept of “lines” going away with VoIP (you can handle as many calls as your bandwidth allows), calls answered by an employee terminate to the phone that answers. Thus, to get the call to another party, it must be transferred to them or a park feature.
Many VoIP phones and systems are different, but the typical process to transfer to an internal party is initiating the transfer (typically a button), dialing the extension, and executing the transfer. Some phones allow this to be a one button process or series of buttons to make this simple. Additionally, transferring a call to an outside number is possible. For example, an employee who is out of the office is expecting an important call. This call can be transferred to that employee’s cell phone when it is received by the office.
Conferencing – Similarly, you can add a third party to a phone conversation by initiating the call conferencing feature of the hosted VoIP phone. Again, this additional party can be internal to the system or an external number. Some phones allow the initial conferencing party to exit from the conversation by selecting a “join” feature, which, say after an introduction, that party “joins” the two additional callers and exits.
Some hosted providers also provide traditional conferencing services which allows for more participants than a three way conference initiated on demand from the phone. This can be an add-on service, and pricing can vary widely. Be sure to ask your potential provider about conferencing options and costs.
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.