How do you choose a telephone system for your business?
Modern forms of communication allow businesses to connect with their customers in a number of ways. However, being able to speak to them directly and vice versa is vitally important and not something that an organisation should overlook. A telephone system is the heart of a business and can make the difference between you and your competitors. Choosing the right business telecoms solution, therefore, requires careful consideration.
Consider the following questions to help make the right decision.
How big is your operation?
- A sole proprietor
- A medium sized organisation with one office
- A large organisation based on multiple sites
What are your needs?
- Extensions for each employee
- Voicemail for each employee
- Conference calling capabilities
- Mobile operability
- A scalable system that can grow with the business
Think about the tools that would help your employees to work more efficiently. Consider how your business is growing and think about your needs, not just for the present but going forward. Are you likely to move offices at some point? Are you moving towards having a mobile workforce, with fewer office based employees?
How do you make the majority of your calls?
- Internally or between offices
- Externally, UK only
Do you make a high volume of calls and how might this change? Do you need to consider remote working?
Making the choice between a traditional PBX system and VoIP
What is a PBX telephone system?
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system is a piece of hardware that allows a company to have its own private telephone network, connecting internal phones with each other. The PBX itself connects to the Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN), like an ordinary home landline. For large organisations, a PBX telephone system allows for cheaper calls within the network and negates the need for each individual employee to have a dedicated external phone line.
What is a VoIP telephone system?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology allows users to make calls over the internet, by converting analogue signals to digital ones and then transmitting them as IP packets over a packet switched network. This negates the need for traditional analogue telephone lines. When you choose to operate a VoIP system, also known as a hosted PBX, there is no need for investment in any telephone system hardware. You will, however require IP handsets and these are more expensive than analogue ones. It is important to consider this when looking at potential growth of your organisation. Traditional PBX systems may be an initial investment; however, additional handsets and lines are cheap and easy to add, allowing the system to grow with your company’s needs.
Do you want to rely on your internet connection for all your communications’ capabilities?
For small companies, with limited funds, requiring few telephone lines, a VoIP system can be a good option, provided there is access to a fast and reliable broadband connection. Being sure of the strength of your internet connection and potential call quality as a result is an important factor to consider when making the choice between traditional analogue lines and IP.
Final consideration must go to what you may or may not already have in place.
Do you want to add to or replace existing equipment?
Sometimes it can be more beneficial and financially viable to work with what you already have rather than replace it for something new.
With a multitude of systems and choices available to you it is important that you choose something that you are sure you can work with.
What features will be available to you?
How easy is it to programme and add new lines or features?
Take advice from a reputable business Telephony systems supplier and ask them to provide a demo. Seeing the telephone system in operation will help you to make your final choice.