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Tips on Choosing a New Business Phone System

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. Having a telephone system that facilitates efficient communication within and outside the organization is therefore imperative. The wrong system can have major repercussions, such as communication breakdown with customers and suppliers. So how can you tell what telephone system is appropriate for your business. See if the tips below will be of help:

Plan for staff

How many staff members do you currently have? Roughly how many are you expecting to have in the next 2 – 3 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 in order to avoid the high cost of switching in the event that the old system cannot scale properly.
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Determine features required
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Which features are essential to your telecom needs? Would you like to have an auto-attendant feature that connects a customer to the individual they’re looking for? Do you also want conference calling and call forwarding functionality? How about a voicemail-to-email feature, so you can get transcripts of voice messages in your inbox? 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.

Select telecom technology

You’ll have to choose between PBX systems and VoIP systems. PBX systems use a centralized piece of equipment to route calls to the correct person or department. They are more expensive to acquire and require experts 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. The cost of each handset is however 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

Today, there’s quite a number of companies offering cloud/hosted telephone services. The good thing about this solution is that it requires a low capital expenditure–you only need to purchase IP telephones, as the rest of the infrastructure is handled by the service provider. You’ll then have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the services. The chief downside to this arrangement is that you have no control over the phone service so you’ll have to wait for the provider to fix any technical issues that may come up.