Investing in a business phone system rather than a set of single-line phones would maximize communication and productivity. Large and small businesses alike are using business phone systems to handle their inbound and outbound calls. They vary greatly from residential phone systems in terms of functionality. It must be able to manage several calls at the same time, as well as transfer calls internally within an organization.

Both the internet and smartphones have changed the way people communicate by introducing new channels, features, and options for voice chat. So, how do you determine which is the best fit for you? Simply put – it’s complicated. The best phone system for your business is determined by your company’s current requirements, future growth potential of your business,  budget, and location to name a few. 

Three Basic Types of Business Telephone Systems

Small companies typically have a limited number of options when it comes to business phone systems. Generally, you will typically have the following options:

  1. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

This is a versatile, feature-rich system for placing and receiving phone calls over the internet and uses the internet to send voice signals (rather than traditional landlines). Other types of business phone systems do not have the same level of versatility as VoIP. Since VoIP calls are handled over the internet, you can call from a number of internet-connected devices, such as laptops, tablets, cell phones, and other internet-enabled desk phones.

VoIP has many useful features but it is not without issues. It requires a high-speed internet connection, it has low quality audio, latency and jittering, and no location tracking for potential emergency calls. Nonetheless, for most companies, the benefits of VoIP outweigh the disadvantages. The three main benefits of VoIP are:

a. Cost-effective. VoIP is often one of the most cost-effective solutions for business phone service. Since it uses an existing internet connection rather than having a new device or external hardware, it is less expensive than a landline.

b. Easy to install and use. If you have access to the internet, then you have everything you need to set up and run a VoIP phone system and handset. Most VoIP providers would be able to get your service up and running within a few minutes.

c. Flexibility. This is one of the most compelling reasons to use VoIP as you are not tied to your desk like you are with a landline. You can leave the office and have your incoming calls forwarded to your phone or another number.

VoIP is a perfect choice for any small business because it is inexpensive. Businesses with distributed teams that do not have a central office may profit the most from a VoIP system. VoIP is a good option if you run a remote team and need everyone to have access to a central phone system. 

  1. Traditional Landline Systems

Traditional phone networks are usually supported by a local or regional phone provider and referred to as landlines. Landlines, also known as public switched telephone networks (PSTN), are analog systems that use standard copper wiring from the telephone company. 

Since it is the most conventional choice, many companies opt for a landline. However, they are slow, costly, and antiquated when compared to the agility of a VoIP device. There is at least one explanation why a small business would prefer a landline service over a VoIP service: the internet. A landline phone can be your best option if your internet service is unreliable, slow, or non-existent. It can also be beneficial to businesses that suffer regular power outages.

Small companies without stable high-speed internet connections can either upgrade their internet package or invest in a landline system. This method is also ideal for office workers who work from a single fixed location. The downside is most phone system operators are abandoning landlines, making them more difficult to acquire and maintain. 

  1. PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

PBX is a centralized network that links people within a company and allows the company to send and receive phone calls by connecting several people within it. The most compelling feature of a PBX system is that it can accommodate even the most complex calling requirements of large corporations. 

PBX systems are best for larger companies who can afford a more expensive phone system and want the customization and power that PBX provides. Since it is a more automated system, this form of business phone system is best for companies with more than 40 employees. Another significant benefit of the PBX system is that it has an uninterruptible power supply, which allows a company to continue operating even when there is no power.

The hosted PBX is an adaptation of this method. The only difference is that the programmable switching machines are no longer built on site rather they are hosted by a phone company. The key benefit is that a company can eliminate some of the installation and maintenance costs associated with a traditional PBX system without sacrificing any advanced functionality.  

Final Thoughts

What phone system do you choose? It depends on your business’ current requirements, growth potential, location, budget, and the layout of your office. If you need or want desk phones, consider a VoIP system, which provides all of the benefits of a conventional landline system at a fraction of the cost. 

At Expert Business Solutions, we work with you to identify your business’ needs while also assisting you in understanding the different various technologies that would best suit your company. We ensure that the ideal solution is provided while keeping your budget in mind and helping your company connect more effectively.

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