Choosing your phone system is a huge decision no matter what size your business. You may be just starting out with your new business, or you may be moving premises. You may simply be analyzing your options for a more suitable system that will save you money. There are many decisions to be made, and the big problem for many businesses is how to pick the right one for your business and your budget.
Here is a guide to the main areas to consider so that you can ensure you find the most suitable phone system.
Landline Phone Systems
Not too many years ago, the landline phone system was the only option for businesses that wanted to use a system that could provide them with all of the features they required. When you are choosing a business phone system, you will find that landline systems are still common. They are used by businesses of all sizes, but in general they tend to be used more by larger businesses.
Landline systems use PBX hardware, which stands for private branch exchange, and this hardware has to stay on the premises. These allow you to use extensions as well as a wide range of other features such as call transferring.
Overall, these systems are known for being very reliable, and they are also familiar for your employees. However, they do tend to be the most expensive types of phone systems available. Not only do you have a large initial expense to set up the system, but you also have to pay for maintenance of the system. As a result, sometimes these are not the preferred option for startups and smaller businesses, but larger companies often use these.
One option you may want to consider if you are just starting out is a cellphone system. You may already provide your employees with cellphones, and perhaps they travel for work or even work remotely from home. For small operations, you may find that it is viable to just use cellphones without having to worry about having a more complex system in place.
You could integrate the cellphones into a virtual system so that you have a business line that you can connect to remote workers, similar to a call-forwarding solution. This can come with other features like call screening and voicemail. It may be a convenient and affordable solution, but it is usually only suitable for small businesses.
VoIP systems are now one of the most popular solutions for businesses both large and small, and they come with many benefits. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it is a system that works over your internet connection. It has improved considerably over recent years, and now it can provide you with a comprehensive phone system for a lower cost than a landline system.
You will need a fast internet speed with a reliable service, otherwise your entire system could go down and there won’t be anything you can do about it. VoIP systems are affordable, especially if you use a cloud-based solution. They also come with many sophisticated features that you would normally expect on a landline system, so you can take advantage of these even if you run a startup.
If you decide to go with a VoIP system, you have two main options to choose from. The first is a cloud-based option where it is hosted in the cloud. The second is a self-hosted option where you buy the system and keep it on your premises. With this type of PBX SYSTEM, you will keep the hardware on your premises. This means there is usually a larger upfront cost, as well as maintenance costs, but it does provide you with a greater degree of control.
Choosing Your Provider
There are many providers for all of the systems described above, and you will want a reliable provider that has a lot of experience and a good record, so make sure you spend time looking around. No matter whether you are choosing a landline system or a basic VoIP service hosted in the cloud, make sure you compare your options, and you may also want to call them up and speak to them to find out what their customer service is like.
Choose the Right Phone System for Your Business
There is a lot to consider when you choose a phone system for your business, so it is well worth spending quite a bit of time over your decision. There is no point rushing because you may end up with a system that is unsuitable and costs more than you can afford. So take your time, look carefully at your budget, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each type of system, and then make a decision based on all of your research.
Surjith Thayyil is a partner at Datavox L.L.C, UAE based telecom solution provider that provide telecom products supply and integration.integration. Surjith founded the company in 2013 after 10 years in telecom sales. He resides in Dubai with his wife and son.