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Phone Systems: What Works Best for a Business

telephone device with illustration icon of voip services

There are many available systems today that can improve a business’ communication experience. The emergence of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems and cloud-hosted systems provide functionalities to combine features like messaging, conferencing, and mobility into a single interface.

Business owners or managers should consider several factors before making a decision about the type of system to use and whether to employ a hosted service.

Phone Connection

Is a traditional landline or a VoIP connection more appropriate for a business?

A landline works with transmissions through the copper wiring installed by a telephone company. They are traditional systems that were heavily relied on by businesses in the past. However, with the rise of VoIP systems, providers have stopped constructing new landline telephone systems and related technology is no longer being developed to improve their capabilities.

On the other hand, a VoIP system only requires a steady internet connection. It is much cheaper to install and to maintain than a traditional phone system. It also provides a unified interface to reduce the necessity of using multiple services and software.

Virtual Systems

Virtual phone systems are more appropriate for small businesses and those who have many virtual employees, or those who work out of site. This is because VoIP systems may have the necessary call forwarding solutions to transfer calls made to a main business number to an employee’s mobile device. It can include additional features like call screening, online faxing, and voicemail.

Hosting Options

Business owners can choose to incorporate their communications system on-site or through the cloud. If they choose to store phone systems and equipment in the organization, they are also responsible for managing the system and providing maintenance and upgrades whenever necessary.

A cloud-hosted system, in contrast, does not require in-house management. Essentially, the provider takes care of managing a service and seeing all upgrades through.

VoIP systems can be hosted either on-site or in the cloud. However, a landline system cannot be hosted over the cloud.

Calling Features

Phone system providers usually offer multiple calling features. These include automated attendants, call forwarding, call logs, missed notifications, and call recording. Small organizations can take advantage of these capabilities, as in the past these options were available only to larger ones.

Collaboration

men on a conference callVoIP systems facilitate collaboration. Employees have easy access to instant messaging, conference calling, and web conferencing when they use these phone systems. This is particularly helpful if many employees in the business work remotely and cannot meet up in person.

Mobility

There are phone system providers that offer mobile apps for employees so they don’t always have to be at their desks. The functionality allows calls and messages to be received and given from a mobile device.

Before installing a business phone system, managers need to factor in the compatibility of their chosen system with existing tools in their business. How does the hosted service fit with the current business model? Businesses should go for a system that helps them grow, instead of one that only matches their current needs.