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Guide to Selecting a New Business telephone 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. It’s therefore imperative to have a telephone system that makes it possible to communicate efficiently within and beyond the organization. The wrong phone system may come with significant ramifications, such as communication with suppliers and customers breaking down. So how do you know what phone system is right for your business? See if the tips below will be of help:

Plan for employees

How many employees do you have at the moment. About how many do you think you’ll have in the next two to three years? It’s important to know how many employees are going to need phones now and in the near feature. If you anticipate fast growth for your business, then it’s vital that you go with a solution that will scale easily. 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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Decide on the features you require
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What features will be absolutely important to your telecommunication needs? Do you want an auto-attendant feature that connects customers to the individuals 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? Talk to your employees about the functionality they require most. Bear in mind that some of these features may not be necessary, and will only serve to inflate costs.

Choose telecommunications technology

You’ll have to choose between PBX systems and VoIP systems. A PBX phone system utilizes a centralized piece of equipment that routes calls to the correct individual or department. They are more expensive to acquire and require experts to program them. Their main advantage is that they scale well as you only need to buy additional handsets, which are relatively cheap. VoIP telephone systems do not utilize the centralized piece of equipment. They are easier to use, and are the best option for businesses with several locations. However, the cost of each handset is relatively high. When deciding between these two system, you’ll need to take into account your long-term staffing plans.

On-premises vs. cloud/hosted systems

There are many companies today offering hosted or cloud-based 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 need to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the service. The main disadvantage with this arrangement is that you don’t have any control over the telephone service, so when issues come up, you’ll have to wait for the provider to fix them.