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How to Choose a New Telephone System for Your Business

If you own a business, you may recognize your phone system as the business’ lifeline to customers, suppliers, and the rest of the world. Having a telephone system that facilitates efficient communication within and outside the organization is therefore imperative. The wrong phone system may come with significant ramifications, such as communication with suppliers and customers breaking down. So how can you tell what telephone system is appropriate for your business. See if the tips below will be of help:

Plan for employees

How many staff members do you currently have? About how many do you think you’ll have in the next two to three years? t’s important that you know how many employees will need telephones now and in the not-so-distant future. 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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Determine features required
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What features will be absolutely important to your telecommunication 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.

Choose your 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. Their key advantage is the fact that they scale well, as you’re only required to buy addition telephone handsets, which happen to be relatively cheap. VoIP systems do not have that centralized piece of equipment. They’re easier to use, and considered ideal for organizations with multiple 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.

Cloud-based vs. on-premises systems

Currently, there are many companies that offer cloud-based phone 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 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.