Business Phone Systems: How to Choose the Right Fit?

Success in modern business settings requires efficient and effective communication. For a company to facilitate communication between management, staff, and clients, a business phone system is required.

Unfortunately, selecting the best business phone system may be complex since every provider delivers so many options. In this article, we will examine the many aspects of these systems, stressing their primary features and providing guidance on choosing the one that will work best for your company.

Types of Business Phone Systems

A business phone system (BPS) made up of hardware and software is designed to transmit voice communications internally and externally, which results in streamlined communications, boosted productivity, and exceptional customer service.

In the 19th century, human-operated manual switchboards were the standard for business phone systems. As technology developed, phone systems became more complex and effective. Nowadays, landline systems and voice-over-internet protocol systems are just two examples of the many solutions available to businesses that can be tailored to meet their unique demands.

Key Service Utility (KSU) System:

Suitable for small businesses with fewer than 40 employees, a KSU consists of a multiline system that closely resembles a traditional landline telephone. This system is manually connected to a limited number of lines, eliminating flexibility, portability, and scalability.

Typical features of this system include a speakerphone, intercom functionality, call placing and receiving, and hold/wait options.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

More sophisticated than a KSU, a PBX system may be set up locally, hosted online, or accessible via the cloud.

A conventional PBX provides basic functions, including call forwarding, call transfers, mute, speed dial, voicemail, redial, and transmitting calls between each line using standard copper cables. The IP PBX, on the other hand, uses an internet connection to send calls across lines on a more contemporary level. VoIP providers offer IP PBX; however, installing PBX hardware at the workplace is necessary. Additional features of this system include analytics, reporting, conferencing, and remote working options.  

The hosted PBX is the last kind of PBX system. A VoIP firm provides this system, but it is completely offsite and hosted in the cloud, which sets it apart from an IP PBX. Among the various features of this system are interactive voice response (IVR) and automated call distribution (ACD).

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

The most recent technology that enables audio signals to be sent over the Internet is a VoIP system. This implies that you may use any compatible device to make and receive calls from anywhere on the globe. A VoIP system’s more sophisticated capabilities include flexible call management, interaction with other apps, and unified communications.

Considerations for Choosing a Business Phone System

Cost

Cost is crucial when choosing a business phone system, and understanding your budgetary constraints is essential when making a decision. The cost of a BPS varies depending on the type chosen, the number of users, hardware requirements, and installation costs.

Traditional phone systems like Key Service Units (KSU) and on-premise PBX need broad hardware installations and could cost more. These systems require infrastructure and on-site equipment, increasing initial costs. VoIP solutions, which are cloud-based, are cheaper because their infrastructure reduces upfront expenses for businesses by eliminating the requirement for hardware purchases.

Considering the overall cost of ownership beyond initial expenses is vital. The budget should include ongoing maintenance, service costs, and planned improvements.

Features

Another factor to consider is the features your business requires in terms of communication. The functionality of different systems varies; therefore, it is important to understand your business demands when making a decision.

An example of varying features is that KSU systems offer basic fundamental landline systems such as speakerphone, paging, intercom, and on-hold. These features suit well for businesses looking for basic communication needs and may be too limited for those wanting sophisticated demands. However, more sophisticated services like voicemail, call forwarding, and routing are available with PBX systems.

Lastly, a VoIP system is noteworthy because it offers features for businesses looking for a wide range of functions. Additionally, they offer call monitoring, an auto attendant, unified communications, hold music or messaging, call analytics, and reporting.

Scalability

Considering scalability is crucial when selecting a business phone system, particularly if there are intentions to expand your business down the line.

The system’s capacity to add features when a business grows determines its scalability. A scalable phone system should allow you to incorporate more advanced options to accommodate your business’s growing demands. With scalability, your communication infrastructure remains robust and adaptable to any evolving needs.

A scalable system should be able to handle more users without causing any issues or requiring lengthy configurations. This versatility keeps the phone system responsive and efficient, even as your team develops.

A BPS is a big investment, and when considering its scalability functions, it is also important to consider how much scaling it would cost.

Internet reliability

VoIP, IP PBX, and hosted PBX need a strong internet connection; therefore, your company’s internet capabilities are vital when choosing a phone system.

VoIP, IP PBX, and hosted PBX all transfer audio data over the internet, which means any connection issue may cause poor call quality, disconnected calls, service outages, and feature inaccessibility. Therefore, a complete evaluation of your internet reliability is needed to ensure seamless communication efforts.

If your business doesn’t have a reliable internet connection, a traditional phone system may be best. On-premise PBX and KSU systems do not need internet connectivity to operate because they use dedicated phone lines, which may be useful in areas with unstable internet.

Conclusion

Any company looking to improve communication and efficiency needs the right business phone system. From KSU and PBX to VoIP, technology has expanded the options available to businesses.

When considering these options, costs must be taken into account. Traditional systems often incur higher upfront costs, whereas a VIP system can be more costly. There is also a range of features to choose from, from basic functionalities in a KSU system to more advanced options, such as unified communications in a VoIP system, so taking those into account is essential.

Another consideration is ensuring that your chosen system supports future business growth and can easily adapt to evolving business needs. The last factor is internet reliability, particularly for modern VoIP systems. However, in unreliable internet connections, traditional options like on-premise PBX and KSU can offer stability.

The perfect system provider can be tailored to meet your business’s specific requirements, guaranteeing smooth communication and overall achievement.