More than just handsets – Buying phone systems involves much more than just ordering a consignment of handsets and plugging them in
When choosing a phone system whether it be an ON-Premise PBX or hosted cloud solution, there is a wide range of costs depending on size, complexity, and what the installation environment looks like, but the components breakdown below should give a good idea of what is required and what the main components are:
Wiring – Each phone and each computer will need to be connected to a central location like a comms rack. Digital and Analog phones will work off standard 1 pair copper wire and IP Phones require at least Cat-5 cable. If you are replacing an existing system, you may be able to reuse the existing wiring.
Telephone lines – Depending on your specific requirements you can choose between standard telephone lines(POTS), ISDN or SIP lines. More and more customers are now migrating to SIP lines but the quantity and quality of service will largely depend on the availability and reliability high bandwidth internet lines.
Telephone stations: There is a considerable and wide range of handsets to choose from. You may choose from a standard analog phone to very high end IP and Digital models. For meeting rooms you can use specialised spider-like Conference phones. Y
PBX Control Unit – The common control equipment for a business phone system may be a Server or a Cabinet depending on what system best fits your appication.
Advanced Phone system features
There are many advanced features available as optional extras
- Automatic Attendant
- Call Recording
- Unified messaging -Voicemail to email
- Monitoring software
- Call Logging
- Call Centre
- Staff training
- Remote Workers
Ensure all suppliers quote for the same system
Because so many variables are involved, not least among the businesses offering phone systems, we cannot overemphasise the importance of properly understanding your requirements and preparing a carefully specified brief for the work. By doing this, all potential suppliers will be forced to quote for exactly the same installation. This will make it much easier for you to compare different quotations.
And remember to look carefully for any hidden costs:
- Start-up costs beyond setup and equipment fees?
- Day to day usage costs not covered by the solution?
- Requirement for add-ons or extras to handle your existing phone system?
- Additional costs for upgrading?