6 Business Phone Features you should know about

If you’ve run a small business and only ever had one or two phone lines, then you might not be aware of some of the Business Phone Features available on innoTel’s Hosted PBX phone service.

Business Phone Features

To know which Business Phone Features are right for your business, you first need to know what features are available and how they might help you communicate better with your customers. The following isn’t a comprehensive list, but we find that the following features are often overlooked by small businesses, either because they didn’t know they existed, or they thought these Business Phone Features were strictly for larger businesses.


Out of Hours / Time

What happens to calls that come in after you’ve left for the day? Do they simply ring out? Do they go to your voicemail?

With the Out of Hours feature, you can choose what happens to those calls and when it happens.

For example;

  • During opening hours between 9am and 5pm, you want calls to ring on your phone as normal.
  • Between 5pm and 8pm and on Saturdays between 9am and 5pmm you’re happy to take calls but would like them diverted to your mobile
  • And all other times you’d rather those calls go to voicemail so you can deal with them later.

That and more is all possible with our Out of Hours feature. You can set as many time conditions as you like to suit the way you run your business.

Voicemail to Email

Want more control over your voicemail? Our Voicemail to Email feature quickly delivers any Voicemail as a recording attached to an email to your nominated email address. The email will also contain the date and time of the call, along with the callers number (if available).

Ring Groups

Do you have more than one phone in your office? Want multiple phones to ring based on the number you customer has called?

For example;

Mary runs her boutique recruitment business and has 3 other employees, each with a desk phone. Mary wants each of her employees to have their own phone number, but also wants all of the phones in the office to ring when an incoming call comes into the main reception number.

With Ring Groups, that’s simple! You can setup as many ring groups as you like and you can also choose between whether the phones ring all at once, or whether it rings Mary’s phone first, then Jane’s phone, then Emily’s and so-on in a round robin way until someone picks up the call.

Ring Groups are often used when a full Queue isn’t required and there aren’t a lot of incoming calls.

Call Block

Being harassed by particular callers? As long as their caller ID is available, you can block specific phone numbers and not ever have to hear from them again!

Call Queues & IVRs

Call Queues are the next step up from Ring Groups where there is a higher number of incoming calls. Calls wait in the queue until an agent or employee is available and then the call is delivered to that agent. While the caller waits in the queue, music on hold is played along with any advertising you would like to add in to the mix.


Interactive Voice Response, or IVR for short are those menus you hear when you dial the phone numbers of utilities, banks etc. You know, the ones that ask you to press ‘1’ for sales, ‘2’ for customer service and so-on.

IVRs are great for businesses that have departments and want to ensure the customer gets to the right people and department as quickly as possible. IVRs are usually coupled with Queues and Music on Hold for a complete solution to ensure customer enquiries are handed promptly.


This is just a very small sample! There are many more Business Phone Features that come with our Hosted PBX phone service

The NBN and HICAPS Terminals

The NBN and HICAPSIf you are a Health Care provider, you’ll no doubt be aware of HICAPS, or the Health Industry Claims and Payments Service. Health Care providers will better know HICAPS as the terminal they used to process their client payments and claims with heath funds. In this post, we discuss the NBN and HICAPS and what you might need to do to get ready before making the switch to NBN.

As with most systems like HICAPS, EFTPOS terminals and other systems like Fax Machines, the NBN may greatly affect your ability to use those systems if they use the telephone network. to communicate.

If your business is thinking about making the move to the National Broadband Network (NBN) and you have a HICAPS terminal, you’ll need to ensure your terminal will work when you switch over to the NBN.

The NBN and HICAPS – why the concern?

Depending on the type of NBN service available to you, once installed you may lose some of your existing communications services including PSTN phone lines. Older HICAPS terminals utilise the standard telephone network, or PSTN in industry speak to process transactions. In some areas, the NBN will be decommissioning the PSTN network leaving some businesses with a decision to make out their phone lines and other technology connected to them.

If your phone services are ISDN lines, then there is no need for immediate concern. Your old terminal will continue to function in this case, however it’s always worth swapping out to a new HICAPS terminal to ensure you have the latest features.

What do I need to do?

There’s no need to be too concerned as it appears HICAPS are on the front-foot and have started to swap out older terminals for units that will support life after the switch to the NBN. You simply need to contact HICAPS and request

You may need to consider other changes with regards to your HICAPS terminal. The HICAPS website contains more information on what you might need to do when changing over to the NBN.

The other advantages of moving to the NBN.

Along with upgrading your HICAPS terminal, moving to the NBN also gives you access to new services that might offer a health care provider greater business efficiency, like a Cloud Phone System or Online Backup service to ensure your business better communicates with your customers and your business is protected from data loss.

innoTel has a great range of cloud communication services that are designed to work over the NBN.

Get in touch to find out more.


Backup Internet 4G – Keep your business online with mobile data

Backup Internet 4G Router

As a small business owner, you probably don’t realise how reliant you are on your broadband internet connection until it goes down. For whatever reason, technology can fail at times, leaving businesses without internet access. Backup Internet 4G  solutions can help when this situation occurs in your business.

This could affect many of your business’ tools including your phone, email, EFTPOS and other critical communication tools you use in your business.

What would it mean to your business if you;

  • Couldn’t receive incoming phone calls from prospective customers?
  • Couldn’t process transactions with your EFTPOS terminal?
  • Couldn’t read or response to emails?
  • Couldn’t access your online booking system?

For most small businesses, it would be a catastrophic circumstance to be in, however it doesn’t have to happen to your business.

A Backup Internet 4G solution can work in conjunction with your fixed-line broadband connection and provide you with internet access even while your fixed line broadband is unavailable. In most cases, you won’t immediately know when the fixed-line broadband connection is lost as the Backup Internet 4G solution takes over shortly after it notices you don’t have internet access.

For obvious reasons, a Backup Internet 4G solution won’t work when the power is out, unless you have a laptop with sufficient battery life.

Think of a Backup Internet 4G solution as insurance. It often costs very little up-front to introduce a 4G backup solution into your business network with a small ongoing fee for 4G mobile data access. While this adds to your overall communication costs, think about what you would loe if you couldn’t run your business – we bet that would be worth more that what this solution would cost you over 12-months.

Think of a Backup Internet 4G solution it like insurance; when your fixed-line broadband services decides to stop working in most cases you won’t even know.

While it might not happen often, think of how crippled your business would be without a phone and internet service? innoTel make implementing a Backup Internet 4G solution for your business simple and cost effective. We’ll work with you to get the right solution for your business and the right price point.

Speak to innoTel today about our Backup Internet 4G solutions.

Moving to the NBN. How late is ‘too late’ & nbn disconnection date.

As the NBN roll-out progresses, we’re seeing more and more areas coming up to their nbn disconnection date where all existing copper phone and broadband services will be disconnected in favor of the new NBN services.

The nbn disconnection dates affect those who have had either a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP), Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) or Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) and occurs 18-months after an area has had its NBN network installed and is considered Ready for Service (RFS).

We have come across customers who had thought the nbn disconnection date was the date they had to order a new NBN service by, which is isn’t incorrect, but also given some of the complexities around transferring phone numbers from copper to VoIP services, could mean you need to allow more time.

As the old copper based phone services are being replaced by Voice over IP (VoIP) services, in most cases your new NBN provider will need to also transfer your old phone numbers from your copper phone services to a new platform, which requires a process called ‘porting’. Porting, the process of moving phone numbers between networks, can take up to 30-business days in some cases.

Imagine this scenario;

Michelle runs a hairdressers; all of their appointments are made over the phone and they have lots of long term clients who either know the number off the top of their heads or it’s stored in their phones.

Michelle’s shop is located in an area which had the NBN rolled out 17 months ago and the old copper phone and broadband services in the area are being disconnected in a month’s time. Not wanting to lose her phone number because everyone know’s it, she rings Provider X who discusses the appropriate service plans with her and she settles and signs on the dotted line.

It is not until after Michelle places the order that Provider X realises that there is approximately 20-business days before Michelle’s old services will be disconnected and the porting process for her phone numbers can take up to 30-business days.

See the problem? It’s purely mathematical. The 30-business days required for most phone number ports does not fit into the 20-business days before the nbn disconnection date for Michelle’s area.

So what happens? It’s possible that Michelle could lose her phone numbers. The very same phone numbers that everyone knows.

That’s a BIG problem for small businesses…

What can you do to prevent that happening to your business?

NBNCo recommends businesses should leave no more than 12-months before the nbn disconnection date for their area to transfer their services. While 12-months seems a long time out, our advice would be, if you haven’t already moved across when the network was rolled out, is to start considering the move to the NBN around 12-months out from the nbn disconnection date, with a view to making the move with 6 or more months out from the nbn disconnection date.

This leaves ample time to organise the NBN Broadband connection and porting of the phone numbers, with little to no downtime for your business.

Are you coming to your nbn disconnection date? Perhaps it’s time we discussed moving you to the NBN sooner rather than later. Give us a call, send us an email or jump on live chat and see what innoTel can do for your business.


35 new areas to be disconnected in February (NBN)

NBNCo have been busy over the last few years rolling out the new Broadband network and the time has come for more areas to under-go the mandatory copper disconnection, which occurs approximately 18-months after the network is completed in an area.

The February 2017 list of areas appears to be the largest under-go copper disconnection so far with over 30 areas across Australia to have their old services disconnected. Once again, we’re seeing a high number of business premises in these roll-out areas. Most areas will be disconnected on the 10th of February, while a small number will be disconnected on the 24th of February.

Have you organised to switch to the NBN yet? If you’re a business and you haven’t yet made the switch, time is running out. There’s a lot more to take into account with a business and can take longer to sort through your options and organise. Luckily for you, innoTel are the NBN experts when it comes to businesses and can walk you through the process and provide you with great business NBN services.

NBN FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) services have replaced existing phone and broadband services in these areas, offering super-fast speeds of up-to 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload. innoTel  as a range of NBN business broadband plans.

The following areas, or parts of, will have their existing copper-based phone and broadband services disconnected (disconnected date in brackets);

  • Liverpool NSW (10/02/2017)
  • Riverstone, Schofields, Marsden Park NSW (10/02/2017)
  • Brinkin, Casuarina, Jingili, Nakara, Alawa NT (10/02/2017)
  • Bundamba, Dinmore, Ebbw Vale, New Chum, Blackstone QLD (10/02/2017)
  • Collingwood Park, Redbank QLD (10/02/2017)
  • Manunda, Cairns North QLD (10/02/2017)
  • Redbank Plains QLD (10/02/2017)
  • Sunnybank Hills, Willawong, Algester QLD (10/02/2017)
  • Para Hills, Ingle Farm SA (10/02/2017)
  • Prospect, Dudley Park SA (10/02/2017)
  • Valley View SA (10/02/2017)
  • Victor Harbor SA (10/02/2017)
  • Howrah, Bellerive TAS (10/02/2017)
  • Huntingfield, Kingston TAS (10/02/2017)
  • Brunswick VIC (10/02/2017)
  • Cranbourne VIC (10/02/2017)
  • Cranbourne West VIC (10/02/2017)
  • Gladstone Park VIC (10/02/2017)
  • Seddon, Kingsville VIC (10/02/2017)
  • Shepparton, Shepparton East, Orrvale VIC (10/02/2017)
  • Ravenswood WA (10/02/2017)
  • South Perth WA (10/02/2017)
  • Queanbeyan East, The Ridgeway, Greenleigh ACT (24/02/2017)
  • Campbelltown, Bradbury NSW (24/02/2017)
  • Mangerton, Mount Saint Thomas, Coniston NSW (24/02/2017)
  • Townsville (parts) QLD (24/02/2017)
  • Medindie Gardens, Nailsworth, Vale Park, Walkerville, Collinswood SA (24/02/2017)
  • Victor Harbor, Encounter Bay SA (24/02/2017)
  • Trevallyn, Riverside TAS (24/02/2017)
  • West Footscray, Tottenham VIC (24/02/2017)

Not all premises in these areas will be disconnected, so you should check to see if you are affected. The check if you’re located in one of these areas, check your address using our NBN Rollout Map.

If you are located in one of these areas, it’s worth getting your connection to the NBN sorted as soon as possible.  innoTel can help you make the transition to the NBN in time and smoothly, with no down-time for your business. Get in contact with us to find out how.

The NBN and EFTPOS – The real small business NBN struggle

We field a lot of calls from small businesses who are considering upgrading to the NBN, but aren’t sure whether their EFTPOS machines will continue to work after making the switch? For most retail or hospitality businesses, EFTPOS is critical in the era of plastic money.

In short; NBNCo can’t / won’t guarantee that services like EFTPOS, HICAPS, Fax or Alarms that used the fixed telephone network to communicate will continue to work after a small business, and if NBNCo won’t guarantee it, then it’s unlikely any service provider will also guarantee EFTPOS will work too.

What does the NBN and EFTPOS mean for your small business?

Essentially, it means if you’re still using an EFTPOS or HICAPS terminal, Fax Machine or Security/Medical alarm that uses the old fixed line telephone network, it’s likely you’ll need to upgrade your equipment if you haven’t done so in the last few years.

Most newer EFTPOS terminals these days can connect to the Bank’s network in a number of different ways, offering higher reliability over the old terminals which only connected using one method, usually dial-up. New terminals often have at least two, if not more access method for communication with the bank including 3G mobile (data), Broadband internet Ethernet or Wifi (via your NBN connection) and Dial up (over the old phone network).

What happens if I move to the NBN and don’t change my EFTPOS terminal?

If you have an old terminal and you move to the NBN, there’s no guarantee that your terminal will continue to transact reliably over NBN Phone services. You risk some, or possibly all transactions failing which could lead to a loss of business for you.

What do I need to do to make sure I don’t get caught out?

You should first check with you Bank to see if your current EFTPOS terminal needs to be upgraded. Explain to your bank that you are moving across to the NBN and they’ll be able to organise a replacement device for your small business. You should do this as soon as you consider moving to the NBN.

If it takes some time for the bank to sort out a new terminal for you and your NBN service arrives before the new terminal is installed, you risk not being able to make transactions. Do this early to make sure you’re covered. This also gives you time to test using the EFTPOS terminal via Broadband internet to make sure it works before switching to the NBN.

Are there any other things that need to be taken into account when considering moving to the NBN?

Yes! There can be quite a lot of things, but as no two small businesses are the same, have a chat to our friendly team and we can help you identify potential issues and the things you’ll need to consider before making the switch to an NBN broadband plan.

25 areas will have copper services disconnected in Jan 2017

Quite a large number of areas across Australia are slated to have their existing phone and broadband services disconnected on the  20th of January 2017 as a result of the NBN rolling out in those areas over 18-months ago, some of which include a high number of business premises.

If you haven’t yet sorted out your move to the NBN, now is the time!

As the remaining homes and businesses rush to get their connections sorted in these, we expect there will be an influx of orders. Combine that with businesses generally winding down their operations and taking time off over the holidays, it doesn’t leave much time to switch to the NBN.

NBN FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) services have replaced existing phone and broadband services, offering super-fast speeds of up to 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload. innoTel has a range of NBN business broadband plans.

The following areas or parts of them will have their old copper phone (PSTN) and broadband services (ADSL/ADSL2+) disconnected on the 20th of January 2017:

  • Strathfield NSW
  • Lidcombe NSW
  • Taree NSW
  • Darley VIC
  • Golden Point, Mount Pleasant, Bakery Hill (Ballarat) VIC
  • Cranbourne VIC
  • Yarraville VIC
  • Langwarrin VIC
  • Noble Park VIC
  • Melton West VIC
  • Epping VIC
  • Werribee VIC
  • Drewvale, Karawatha, Parkinson, Calamvale QLD
  • Bellbird Park, Augustine Heights QLD
  • Over 20  (parts) QLD
  • Kirwan, Thuringowa Central, Cranbrook QLD
  • Hyde Park, Pimlico, Hermit Park QLD
  • Collinswood, Enfield, Nailsworth, Sefton Park, Broadview SA
  • Medindie, Medindie Gardens, Walkerville, Gilberton SA
  • Old Noarlunga, Noarlunga Downs SA
  • Applecross WA
  • Bluff Point, Spalding WA
  • Pinjarra WA
  • Victoria Park WA
  • Fannie Bay, Parap, The Gardens, East Point NT

Not all premises in these areas will be disconnected, so you should check to see if you are affected. Not sure if you’re located in one of these areas? Check your address using our NBN Rollout Map. If you are located in one of these areas, it’s worth getting your connection to the NBN sorted as soon as possible.  innoTel can help you make the transition to the NBN in time and smoothly, with no down-time for your business. Get in contact with us to find out how.

The nbn is coming Highett, Hampton East, Moorabbin and Cheltenham (VIC)

The nbntm has begun rolling out in Highett, Hampton East, Moorabbin and Cheltenham and will be the first suburbs to in the Bayside region of Melbourne, Victoria to receive the nbntm.

Businesses in Highett, Hampton East, Moorabbin and Cheltenham can now look forward to faster broadband internet speeds, better access to cloud services and fully featured digital phone services.

The selected areas in Highett, Hampton East, Moorabbin and Cheltenham are all in the ‘In-Build’ state at the time of this post, meaning that nbncotm are conducting pre-construction activities to deliver the network, readying for release to the public.

Hampton East is currently in the ‘Planning’ stage, meaning nbncotm are working through the details on how the network will be constructed.

Postcodes for these areas include Hampton East (3188), Highett (3190), Moorabbin (3189) and Cheltenham (3192).

A mixture of Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) and Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technologies will service these areas, with super-fast broadband speeds up to 100Mbps download and 40Mpbs upload available to businesses.

Register your interest and we’ll keep you update when the status of the nbntm rollout in your area changes and when you’ll be able to make the switch to the nbntm.

Areas will start to go-live from the 9th of December 2016 and progressively throughout 2017. Contact us today and find out when your area and premise will be ready for the nbntm.