Companies and organizations usually use private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems. A phone system for business will facilitate a company’s internal and external communication. There are traditional PBX phone systems for business (PSTN PBX) and Internet Protocol (IP) PBX phone systems. Internet Protocol (IP) PBX phone systems are newer and better than traditional PBX.
An IP telephony system has many benefits to your business. Consequently, the main reasons you should choose IP PBX over PSTN PBX include:
- PSTN PBX can easily cause a system-lock-in. A system-lock-in is a situation where a phone system binds your business to that particular business. In this case, it is too expensive for your business to change phones or the phone system itself.
- Traditional PBX is prone to vendor-lock-in. A vendor-lock-in is an issue of compatibility. Your business is only limited to phones which are compatible with the systems of a particular vendor. Moreover, there are phones that are compatible with a given range of systems. As a result, it is limiting and expensive to change phone systems for business or scale your systems.
- Traditional PBX systems limit the number of devices. Your business can only purchase or add so many internal and external telephone lines and devices. Personnel may need to share outside lines to make external phone calls.
Features of an IP Phone System for Business
There are lots of features on IP phone systems for business. Some are specific to a phone system or vendor. However, some standard features include:
- Call forwarding
- Caller ID
- One-touch dialing
- On-hold music or commercials
- Fax support
- Fax to email
- System diagnostics tool
How to Choose an IP Phone System for Business
1. Hosting options
There are two hosting options for phone systems for business. You can choose between either on-premise hosting or cloud hosting. However, cloud hosting is the better option.
- Cloud Hosting
Phone system vendors like Proiptech offer cloud hosting services. Cloud hosting is cheaper because you only need to acquire internet service and subscribe for Voice as a Service (VaaS). Moreover, cloud hosting eliminates the cost and burden to implement, support, and maintain your own system.
- On-Premise hosting
You can choose on-premise hosting bif you have the capability to implement, support, and maintain the phone system hardware and software. Your business will have on-site support and will not spend on hosting services. Furthermore, there are technical businesses that need to control their own system. Therefore, they need on-premise hosting.
2. User Endpoint for VoIP Devices
You will have to choose between softphones and IP desk phones for your IP Phone system for business. Some businesses rely on one while many rely on a mix of both.
Softphones are telephony software applications. They run on smartphones, tablets, and computers. In addition, they utilize microphone, speakers, and device sound cards to facilitate communication. Softphones are suitable for consumer level services.
However, most businesses do not have high definition sound cards on their computers to support softphones.
- IP Desk Phones
IP desk phones offer high definition voice calls. Nevertheless, IP desk phones are expensive and call for proper unit deployment across the phone system. For example, they have a dedicated LAN network or a Voice LAN network (VLAN). VLAN helps support the inbuilt quality on IP desk phones.
3. Network Architecture and Infrastructure
Many companies have little understanding of their phone system network infrastructure. You need to understand the patterns and network volume across the LAN. Gigabit LAN connections can support the traffic volume of most businesses. However, a wide area network (WAN) connection can suffer from congestion, inability to make calls or low number of due to bandwidth limitations, and lower call quality.
Alternatively, you can dedicate a WAN link to VoIP calls only. Thus, it will not compete for bandwidth with other major applications like YouTube. You will need the help of experts like Proiptech to advise and help set up IP networks and infrastructure.
Telecommunication phone systems charge calls per line or per minute. However, cloud services usually charge per call on each endpoint. Ask your phone system vendor about the pricing. Top IP telephony companies list their pricing on the website or have automatic rate finders. The price will depend on installation costs, location, cost of the entire system, and internet cost.
5. Universal SIP Support
A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based phone network has services like instant messaging, click-to-call option on websites, and multimedia conferencing. Consequently, these services help to reduce telecommunication expenses, enhance communication efficacy, and worker productivity.
Remember, vendor-specific, products usually limit cost saving and scalability of the business phone system. However, SIP enabled VoIP systems have universal support and have become a standard for VoIP hardware, and services.
6. Number of Calls It Can Handle
How many concurrent calls can the business phone system handle? The number of calls is a critical factor to consider when selecting a phone system for business. Therefore, you should select a system that is able to facilitate the maximum number of incoming and outgoing calls for your business. Otherwise, your business will not have enough communication and can fail terribly if the system fails to support the calls.
You should also get a system without line restrictions to ensure your business answers all calls.
7. Versatility and Scalability
You also need to consider how versatile and scalable a phone system is to your existing system structure and future needs. For example, get a phone system that supports multiple endpoints because such a system will help you integrate your existing infrastructure. Moreover, you will not have to upgrade all your equipment immediately.
In addition, you should also consider a phone system that supports mobile & remote workers, and office changes. Such a system will be able to adapt to the needs of your business as it grows.
It will be intimidating to choose an IP phone system without the help of an expert or a vendor who is very transparent and informative like Proiptech.Contact them now to get information, products, and services for IP telephony, Call center set up, IP TV, and more. However, as you discuss with your vendor, keep in mind your current and future needs to be able to get the appropriate system for your business.