What Is a Business Phone System?
Communication is important in the world of business now more than ever. However large or small your business is, whether it operates digitally or in the brick-and-mortar world, it’s essential that you communicate effectively with all your stakeholders.
Every smart business runs a multi-channel communication system, yet despite the importance of emails and instant message apps, the telephone remains as important as ever. That’s why it’s important to understand what a business phone system is and find the right one for you.
What You Need in a Business Phone System
Choosing a business phone system is very different to choosing a phone for home or personal use. When looking for a large, medium, or small business phone system you’ll discover many options, and a myriad of operating systems, so it helps to know exactly what you’re looking for. These are some of the common features which may be important to you:
- Multiple lines
- Call forwarding to multiple sources
- Automated answering
- On hold call queuing system
- Conference call facilities
- Headset support, wired and wireless
Finding the right phone system for your business will allow you to get the features you need at a price you can afford. That’s why it makes sense to consider your phone system options carefully. Whilst many systems are on the market, you’ll be faced with three major choices of operating systems: PBX, KSU, and VoIP. Don’t worry about the acronyms, we’ll explain what each of them is shortly and help you make the right choice.
Private Branch Exchange
Private Branch Exchange phone systems (commonly abbreviated to PBX) are in use by many small to medium-sized enterprises. It has its roots in the early business phone systems which appeared in the 1980s, but PBX has been transformed in recent years by the internet, meaning that it’s now available as a Cloud-hosted solution.
Modern PBX systems have waved goodbye to wires, making the workspace a safer, less cluttered place. Its centralized nature makes it easy for multiple calls to be made and received within the business, and it also features a power supply that is uninterruptible, making this an excellent choice for reliability.
Key System Units
Of these three major business phone system options, Key System Units, or KSU, is the most basic in nature. This makes it particularly suitable for smaller businesses, or for those operating on a tight budget, but it does mean that it lacks some more advanced features.
It works via a central switching unit, the KSU itself, which determines which line each call will be routed through. Whilst reliable, this means that it lacks flexibility and is unsuitable for a business with a large number of workers, or a business that’s looking to expand rapidly. Its main advantage, however, can be its affordability for small businesses that fall within its scope.
Voice over Internet Protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol, shortened to VoIP, is the most modern of the three business phone systems that we’re looking at today. It’s becoming increasingly popular across the United States and beyond; a study by Persistent Market Research concluded that the VoIP market would be worth $194.5 billion by 2024.
Utilizing the latest Cloud technology, a VoIP phone system is both powerful and affordable. Typically, adopting a VoIP phone system costs less than a hosted PBX system, and it’s far more flexible and feature-packed than a KSU solution.
VoIP business phone systems bring a wide range of benefits for you and your customers. They provide exceptional call quality around the clock, so you won’t have to worry about interference on the line or calls dropping out. The data used for the calls is also encrypted, removing any security concerns you may also have.
Another significant advantage of a high-quality VoIP phone system for your business is the speed at which it operates. Calls can be routed quickly and efficiently, cutting down the waiting times which can be a major pain point for customers of all kinds.
Future-Proofing Your Business Communication Capability
If the last twelve months have shown us anything, it’s that you can never be sure of what lies ahead in business and in life. Recent months have necessitated more people working from home than ever before. Official statistics show that the number of people home working rose from 17% to 44% in 2020, a change that the most flexible businesses were better able to cope with.
Flexibility is key when it comes to future-proofing your business, and that also includes your business communication solution. Choosing the right business phone system can prepare your company for the future, whatever it may bring. Installing a VoIP phone system in your business premises means that the number of lines can be rapidly up-scaled when needed, and it also brings dial-in number capability, making conference calls easier than ever before. That’s an increasingly important feature to consider when you’re selecting your next business phone system.
Installing the right business phone system will transform how you interact with colleagues, customers, and potential customers. Increasing numbers of businesses are turning to VoIP phone solutions and achieving better reliability, speed, flexibility, and security. It’s one of the most important choices you can make for your business, and it can also be one that brings the greatest rewards.