How to Choose a New Telephone System for Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you might recognize your telephone system as your link to suppliers, customers, and the rest of the world. It’s therefore imperative to have a telephone system that makes it possible to communicate efficiently within and beyond the organization. The wrong system may come with serious repercussions, such a breakdown in communication between you and your customers and suppliers. So how does one know what phone system is the right one for their business? The following tips may be of help:

Consider staffing plan

How many employees do you have at the moment. About how many do you think you’ll have in the next two to three years? Knowing how many employees need phones now and in the near future is important. It’s important that you choose a solution that will scale without difficulties if you expect your business to grow quickly. This is so that you won’t have to incur the high switching costs in case the old system cannot scale as needed.
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Determine features needed
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What features will be absolutely important to your telecommunication needs? Do you want an auto-attendant feature that connects customers to the individuals they’re looking for? Do you also want conference calling and call forwarding functionality? 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. Remember that some of those features may be unnecessary and will only serve to add up the cost.

Choose telecommunications technology

You’ll have to choose between PBX systems and VoIP systems. A PBX phone system utilizes a centralized piece of equipment that routes calls to the correct individual or department. These systems are costly, and an expert is required to program them. The main advantage with PBX systems is that they can scale easily, as you only need to purchase additional handsets, which are relatively inexpensive. 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, the cost of each handset is relatively high. When choosing between the two systems, you will need to consider your long-term staffing plans.

Choose between Hosted/cloud and on-premises systems

There are many companies today offering hosted or cloud-based telephone services. The advantage with using this solution is the low capital expenditure–you only need to buy IP phones as the rest of the hardware is handled by the telephone service provider. You’re then required to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the service. 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.