Often, a business is run through its phone system. Not only do you need to be available to answer customer questions and make appointments, you will also call business partners, creditors and debtors to get the job done. Choosing the right system for business phones can set you up for success as you scale your operations larger.
Type of System
There are currently three types of systems that you can choose for your business phones, Voice Over Internet Protocol, Key System Units, and Private Branch Exchange. VOIP is the newest telephone system you can get for your company and has the least overhead of the three. With this system, you just need an internet plan robust enough to handle your call volume, a headset and a computer. KSU is older, can be less expensive and easier to set up than the other systems, but more expensive for long-distance calls. PBX was designed with businesses in mind with more automation than the other three and is suited for companies needing advanced messages and call tracking. It is also more reliable during natural disasters and power outages because it relies on a landline.
The hosting location for your VOIP or PBX phone system refers to whether the hosting hardware is located at your offices or with the provider and accessed through the cloud. On-premises hosting means that you and your IT team are responsible for the maintenance and upfront costs as well as the space to house the equipment. This can give you more control over your phone system but can be more expensive than going with a cloud-based one.
Most phone systems and providers offer a range of tools such as call-forwarding, voice messaging and multiple lines. Systems that operate partially or wholly through the internet can also offer features like video calls, virtual meetings and voice-to-text services. Landlines offer more security and can have cloud-based features similar to online systems. The providers you partner with can help you tailor your features, tools and plan size to the needs of your company.