If you’re trying to find a new company phone system, there are many questions you need to answer first.
1. Do you want a complete phone system that features physical office telephones, or could your business get by using a virtual phone service that relies solely on cellular devices instead of traditional office phones?
2. If you do need office telephones, what kind of service do you need? You must choose from avaya Phone System, which happens to be provided by a nearby or regional phone company, plus a Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, which runs over the web and is also offered by numerous providers.
3. When you purchase a VoIP, do you need to house the machine at your business (on-premises) or have it hosted from your provider (cloud-based)?
We can help you answer those questions, however, if you know the thing you need and only want to see our recommendations for the best business phone systems, visit our best picks page.
Editor’s Note: Trying to find information about business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to present you the important information:
If you’re unclear yet, continue reading. We’ll fill you in on the pros and cons of all the following forms of phone systems:
Virtual phone systems
Cloud and so on-premises VoIP systems
Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual phone systems work by connecting an organization phone line to remote workers on his or her mobile or home phones.
Most of these systems work as a substantial call-forwarding solution, wherein calls are moved to each employee’s designated phone (cell or home) each time a customer or client calls the key business number.
These systems include many different features, for example automated receptionists, voicemail, call forwarding, call screening and on-line faxing.
Pros and cons: This type of service allows businesses with employees working from locations other than the company’s office to provide an experienced face all the time. Furthermore, it gives remote workers access to a number of phone system features that mobile and home phones don’t offer. The downside is the fact virtual systems aren’t an entire-fledged phone system. Your calls continue to be processed on your mobile or home phone network. This means you are charged for the ask the virtual system and use the mobile- or home-phone minutes.
Ideal for: Businesses by using a large selection of remote workers, or sole-proprietor businesses.
Traditional Landline Systems
Landlines in this instance are traditional phone systems, typically backed by a neighborhood or regional phone company.
Landlines, often known as public switched telephone networks (PSTNs), are analog systems running via the telephone company’s traditional copper wiring.
To perform a landline service, you require on-premises PBX hardware. This is basically the hardware that’s employed to create multiple extensions and permit for phone system features, such as call transferring and call directories.
There are landline systems today which can be considered a hybrid with VoIP systems. You will find a traditional phone line which comes to the business that connects to a business’s data network. The information network within the businesses will be employed to connect each individual phone.
Pros and cons: Landline systems can be a reliable, time-tested solution that numerous companies are comfortable using. The largest negative of the systems is most phone system providers are moving far from landlines, making them tougher not just in purchase, but to mend should something break.
Ideal for: Large corporations which may have your budget to purchase them along with an in-house IT staff to run and sustain them. Also needed for businesses without high-speed internet access.
VoIP Phone Systems
Instead of the copper wires that landlines employ, VoIP phone systems make use of the same internet connection which a company is already using to have online.
VoIP systems provide features that previously only large corporations using expensive PBX hardware had usage of, for example automated attendants, call queues and computer integration that enables voicemails to be sent to email inboxes and computers to be transformed into “softphones.”
VoIP systems give remote workers use of a business’s phone system off their mobile phone.
Benefits and drawbacks: VoIP systems provide a sophisticated phone system complete with all the current bells and whistles. These systems are easily create and configured, and they are significantly less than landline systems. The downside, however, is the fact these systems count on your internet connection. So, if you’re in a community with spotty internet service, this sort of phone system wouldn’t meet your needs. [See Related Story: VoIP for Business: Why It Makes Sense]
Great for: Small companies who want the functionality of a sophisticated phone system at a reasonable price, and companies that want their remote employees to have access to the telephone system.
Should you determine that a VoIP system will meet your needs, you now have another decision to help make. While landline systems force you to house every one of the necessary equipment inside of your business, VoIP systems provide you with the option to purchase your equipment outright and self-host, or perhaps to rent the gear from your company and have the provider house it within the cloud.
On-Premises VoIP Systems
With an on-premises system, every one of the equipment, which include the private branch exchange (PBX) hardware required to keep the phone system running, is housed in your business.
On-premises systems need a large capital expenditure, since you are purchasing the equipment upfront.
When you pay one-time fees for the hardware using a self-hosted system, you spend monthly fees for your SIP trunking, or PRI circuit, which is what’s necessary to allow calls to become made and received.
Your IT staff is mainly responsible for handling maintenance, repairs and upgrades in the system.
Pros and cons: The advantage of an on-premises system is basically that you will almost always be in control of your service. You might be relying on you to ultimately ensure it really is ready to go and configured how you enjoy it. The flip side, however, is there is a significant upfront cost, since you will need to buy every one of the equipment. Additionally, you will need someone on staff who are able to service and sustain the machine.
Precisely what the experts say: “Lots of our larger clients with requirement for high availability, high security and customization end up having on-premises [systems],” Beth English, founder of communications consulting firm EE & Associates and current board president in the Society of Communications Technology Consultants International, told Business News Daily. “Some large enterprise-level clients will frequently opt for the premises-based solution mainly because they might have employees to support it, they require a lot of customization, or these are very interested in privacy”
Great for: Firms that don’t feel safe while using cloud and wish total control of their system and entry to equipment always. Also great for businesses with an in-house IT team that may setup and sustain a VoIP system. Additionally, on-premises systems are more appropriate for businesses with regulatory or compliance requirements which might be hard to meet from the cloud.
Cloud-Based VoIP System
With cloud-based systems, there is no maintenance or hardware, aside from IP phones, to be concerned about. The company houses, maintains and upgrades all the PBX technology for you.
The cloud offers growing businesses the ability to easily add new lines and offers quick access to new features.
Businesses typically pay a monthly charge with a per-user basis.
Positives and negatives: With cloud-based systems, there is absolutely no PBX hardware or dial-tone services to acquire and sustain. Your provider manages that to suit your needs. You can put in place and configure 09dexjpky system to your business, all through your computer. The downside of any cloud-based system is you aren’t in charge of the hardware. When the system decreases, you need to depend upon your provider to have it fixed as fast as possible.
Just what the experts say: “If your business does not have a big staff and lacks a person to manage its system, this is a great option to go with a hosted option,” English said. “[Cloud phone solutions] get rid of the headache of having to preserve your very own phone system.”