ClarityTel Industry Insights

3 Important Criteria for Choosing a Business Phone System

06/30/16

Every business has distinct needs when it comes to phone systems. There are many options to consider, and the individual or team entrusted with making the choice is likely to have many other responsibilities too.

Let’s try to make this simpler. Here are three key factors for an enterprise to consider when weighing options for a phone system.

#1. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

In a cloud-based VoIP system, employees can access applications such as voicemail and call recording from anywhere via the Internet, using devices such as IP phones, desktop PCs, smartphones and so on. According to a 2014 FCC report, 15% of American businesses have now adopted business VoIP services.

The provider hosts the hardware and handles maintenance, support and updates to the phone system which often makes these systems more attractive to smaller businesses with limited time and IT resources.

On the other hand, some small business owners prefer on-premise PBX solutions because they want the ability to manage and customize their own systems. These systems are also more immediately familiar to employees, which can be a plus.

Another option is to consider a Virtual PBX that can be layered on top of existing VoIP systems or landlines. A Software Advice 2015 report found a combined 29% of small-business buyers are either using a cloud PBX or on-premise IP PBX, while only 15% still rely on some kind of legacy PBX system.

#2. Ability to Scale

The need to scale up to meet increased demand is one of the best problems for business to have. In choosing a phone system today, plan ahead for a solution that will grow with your business. You’ll want an option that is efficient and cost effective when the time comes.

Depending solely on cellular service proves problematic when small businesses try to scale their systems. Planning ahead and investing in a mobile compatible phone system can save headaches as the enterprise grows.

#3. Support Services

Many phone systems solutions require training. You’ll want to work with a provider that works with you and your employees to get everyone up-to-speed on the new system.

Also, the service provider should be responsible for upgrading the phone system as updates come available. Look for a solution that offers knowledgeable support staff at your disposal for queries and repairs big and small. Some providers even offer emergency support and 24/7 access for the business that does not sleep.

Watching online tutorials and reading how-to’s along with user comments can help you ascertain which business phone system solution works best.

You’ll want to keep your customer and employees in mind throughout — having the right phone system can make a difference to your customer satisfaction and your employees’ ability to make your small business successful.

Sources:
transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0625/DOC-327830A1.pdf
www.softwareadvice.com/resources/voip-software-smb-buyer-trends-2015/

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