When selecting a phone system for your business, it is best to consider all of your options to choose the right fit for your staff and clients. You want to purchase a business phone system that will keep your workflow seamless and also give your staff all the necessary features they need for communicating with the outside world. There are virtual phone systems that rely on connection to a mobile phone, traditional desktop phones that are available through a telephone service provider, and a voice over Internet Protocol system, otherwise known as VoIP, that can run via many different methods.
Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual business phone systems can connect the lines calling into a main business number to the remote workers on their mobile phones. This type of system works best for very small businesses especially ones that have remote staff that are working from home or somewhere else out of the office. Even though employees are using mobile phones, or their personal home phones, there are still plenty of useful features that this type of systems offers, such as automated responses voicemail, and call-forwarding.
They do lack the complete list of features offered by a landline phone, like having to pay for each call through your mobile phone company and using up any limited data or talk minutes the device may have. In spite of the limited features, this virtual phone system helps keep off-site employees connected and gives the company a professional image with a single, customer-facing business phone number.
Traditional Phone Systems
Traditional landline business phone systems are provided by local phone companies that run on traditional wiring. For this service, a customer needs to have on-premise PBX hardware, or private branch exchange. The hardware creates all of the office extensions and gives the calling features needed for each business, such as call forwarding and voicemail.
Because of the limited functionality of these systems, traditional digital PBXs are generally at the end of their life. Many smaller companies are opting to move to hosted IPPBXs while larger companies may be opting for a premise-based IP system.
VoIP Phone Systems
VoIP business phone systems, or voice over Internet protocol systems, are telephones that run through the Internet connection that the business is currently connected to. The employees have access to a variety of phone features including automated attendants and computer integration.
VoIP also gives off-premise employees access to the business phone system from their mobile devices which is helpful if your staff travels or works remotely. Since this system does run through the Internet though, a dependable Internet connection is important at the office building location.
There are two different options when it comes to a VoIP phone system regarding how it is hosted. First, you have an on-premise VoIP system which is housed within the company and can leave the maintenance and repairs up to the business owner. This system can have significant upfront costs when purchasing all of the equipment, as well as the monthly fees for phone lines, PRI or SIP trunking. Second, you have a cloud-based VoIP system which is housed by the service provider with minimal maintenance or additional hardware for the business to handle. This system allows a company to easily add on features and new call paths when they have a growing business.
Phone systems remain important to the business world and how a company presents itself. While mobile phones are the primary source of communication in our personal lives, it may not be the best source for our professional lives. To preserve a good image, the staff should have the phone features offered by any of the business phone systems available. While each system offers different features, all of them have some basic factors, such as call forwarding, that a mobile device does not offer on its’ own.
When choosing one of the phone systems, all employee needs should be evaluated to make sure all of the bases are covered when they are communicating with customers and other associates. Also, you need to consider the resources that your business has available to them such as Internet connection and IT support. Keep your company communication open with the business phone system that will fit all your needs.