Office Phone System Guide

The number and choice of phone systems that your business can now purchase are manifold. The closer your installed office phone system comes to matching your actual requirements, the better the value of this sizeable investment to your business. Consider the following points:

  1. What call volume does your office phone system have to cope with today?
  2. How will call volumes rise in the future?
  3. Does your new office phone system have to be compatible with existing equipment?
  4. What special functions do you want your office phone system to perform?
  5. What do you want the new phone system to do that your existing one doesn’t ?
  6. What problems do you have with your current office phone system?
  7. Will you spend much time working remotely?
  8. How many offices does your Business operate?
  9. Do you have a fast and reliable internet connection to facilitate VoIP phone calls?

How much time you and your employees spend away from the office and its landline can sometimes be the deciding factor when choosing a phone system. Landlines provide guaranteed high reliability and call quality, but they lack the flexibility that modern businesses demand. Switching to a pure IP telephony solution that uses both the internet and an organisation’s LAN with a virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) instead of a landline to send and receive calls may be a more flexible option in terms of both functionality and cost.

Depending on your answers above will help assist in choosing the best office Phone system for you.

  1. ON-Premises PBX – Hybrid Solution

A hybrid PBX combines existing legacy PBX equipment with VoIP. A PBX connects internal users to the outside world with standard PSTN, PRI or BRI ISDN lines. The hybrid PBX can also connect to SIP trunks.

Businesses need to integrate call recording, videoconferencing, customer services and of course mobile workers who all need a reliable phone system. Phone handsets connected to a Hybrid PBX can be a mixture of IP, Digital, Analog , Softphone(Desktop, Tablet or Mobile) or Wireless Dect.

Hybrid Phone systems give you all the benefits of VoIP while at the same time allowing you also to use landline service. Hybrid PBX’s eliminate any long distance charges between internal phone systems of a company. A company office in one area code or country can talk to another without incurring any additional cost. These systems also automatically switch from one to the other in the event of an outage. This gives you vital redundancy in voice communications.

The benefit in buying a hybrid PBX is that it makes it much easier to transition over time to a full VoIP and hosted PBX solution. It can be expensive and a little unsettling to make the bold jump to VoIP, especially if you think your phones work “just fine the way they are, ” Many VOIP  vendors lock you into long-term service contracts.

  1. Cloud-hosted VoIP

Switching to a pure IP telephony solution that uses both the internet and an organisation’s LAN with a virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) instead of a landline to send and receive calls may be a more flexible option in terms of both functionality and cost.

VoIP or landline?

For many businesses VoIP seems like a godsend, as it ticks all the boxes and can offer cheap and free calls, but there are a number of considerations your business should look at very closely before using VoIP phone system.

Few businesses rely on VoIP for all of their calls, instead using this platform for long distance and international calls only. The pros and cons of using VoIP are outlined below:

Pros of VoIP

  • Calls are very cheap when routed over the internet, once your broadband and mobile data plans are paid for
  • If your business has remote workers, calls can be made to them over VoIP directly to their IP Phones or Softphones on  PCs and increasingly tablet and mobile phones as well
  • International calls are an area where VOIP offers real cost-savings.
  • VOIP can also be used for conference calls and increasingly for teleconferencing
  • There is now a range of equipment including hybrid phones that can be used as a standard landline phone and as a VoIP handset

Cons of VoIP

  • Connections and voice quality are reliant on the reliability of the Internet connection
  • Loss of Internet results in loss of phone service (settings can be adjusted so that it goes to voice mail or routed to a mobile phone)
  • Flexibility of system and service is limited
  • Customisation of features may be slow or unavailable depending on provider
  • Calls are only free if everyone else you are calling is also using the same VoIP service provider

Depending on whether you use a hosted VOIP system or your own on-site Hybrid PBX, assess your requirements and the robustness of the VoIP platform you are using to ensure it meets your precise needs.

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