How to Choose a New Telephone System for Your Business

If you own a business, you may appreciate your telephone system as the link to your suppliers, your customers, and the rest of the world. It’s therefore absolutely necessary to have a telephone system that can facilitate efficient communication within the organization beyond. The wrong phone system may come with significant ramifications, such as communication with suppliers and customers breaking down. So how do you know what phone system is right for your business? The following tips may be of help:

Plan for staff

At this moment, how many staff members do you have? About how many do you think you’ll have in the next two to three years? t’s important that you know how many employees will need telephones now and in the not-so-distant future. If you anticipate fast growth for your business, then it’s vital that you go with a solution that will scale easily. This is so that you can avoid the high switching costs in case the old system is unable to scale accordingly.
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Determine features required
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Which features are essential to your telecom needs? Do you want an auto-attendant feature that connects customers to the individuals they’re looking for? Do you also need call forwarding and conference calling features? What about voicemail-to-email functionality so you can receive transcripts of voice messages in your email? Have a talk with your staff members about the features they require most. Bear in mind that some of these features may not be necessary, and will only serve to inflate costs.

Choose telecommunications technology

You will have to decide between a VoIP system and a PBX system. PBX systems use a centralized piece of equipment to route calls to the correct person or department. These systems are more expensive to buy, and will require an expert to program them. Their key advantage is the fact that they scale well, as you’re only required to buy addition telephone handsets, which happen to be relatively cheap. VoIP phone systems do not use the centralized equipment used with PBX systems. They’re easier to use and are ideal for businesses with multiple locations. However, each handset is relatively pricey. When deciding between these two system, you’ll need to take into account your long-term staffing plans.

On-premises vs. cloud/hosted systems

There are many companies today offering hosted or cloud-based telephone services. The upside to this solution is the minimal capital expenditure–since the infrastructure is handled by the telephone service provider, you only need to buy IP phones. You’ll then have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the services. The main disadvantage with this arrangement is that you don’t have any control over the telephone service, so when issues come up, you’ll have to wait for the provider to fix them.