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Company phone/fax numbers without hefty PABX system

We need a phone number for the company for general inquiries, support and also as a back-up number just in case a particular mobile number is not reachable.  This number will be printed and published on all our marketing materials, including letterhead, business cards, website, invoices, etc.

Photo credit: Joenibraw

We want as minimal hardware investment as possible and we always have the idea of able to have the whole company work outside the office when necessary.

Simple solution will just be getting another mobile phone number and a dedicated mobile phone, to be carried by whoever responsible to answer the incoming calls.  However, we are afraid that having a mobile phone number as our company number would give the impression of a fly-by-night company or a freelancer.

Solutions that We Adopted
We came across a radio ads from our local telco, Maxis, promoting Unity Hotline service, where we can get a 1-700 hotline number and all incoming calls will be forwarded to a mobile phone number (which comes with the 1-700 hotline number).  We did some testing and confirmed that it works for all mobile networks, including landline.  However, the shortfall is that it only works in Malaysia.  For audience outside Malaysia, we still publish our designated company mobile phone number.  Another great feature is that we can call from the designated company mobile phone number and have our 1-700 hotline number displayed on the caller ID by prepending *9 to the number that we are calling.  This is especially good for company branding, which is important for a marketing agency like us.

While researching for the Maxis Unity services, we also found out that Maxis offers Unity Messaging service, where faxes can be sent to a 1-700 number, which will then be forwarded to an e-mail address, in .tiff format (which can be opened by default image viewer on Windows and Mac).  Guess what?  We grabbed a 1-700 number for our company fax too, and that saved us a fax machine and lots of A4 papers and toners.

UPDATE (2019-07-10): Maxis has re-branded Unity Hotline to ONEBusiness VoiceGo.

It took us one to two months to finally get all these set up and most of the delay are due to the insufficient knowledge of our corporate account representative.  We were told that we were one of the few who signed up for these services.  We believe these services can definitely benefit a lot of SME if being marketed properly and if the corporate account representatives are being trained properly.  Besides, it will be easier for me to share the links if they are done properly (the Flash file is not too user friendly).

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