The main differences between business telephone systems for small and larger businesses
So what makes the current cloud-hosted communication systems so appealing to small firms is that they present the same functionality as systems that large companies use?
Before the arrival of cloud-hosted and VoIP based solutions, larger businesses were usually the only ones that could invest the costly onsite equipment for an adaptable phone system with a broad variety of features such as automated attendants, call queues and extension dialling.
Cloud-hosted VoIP systems, have evened up the playing field. The high investment and point of entry required has gone, now micro and smaller businesses can quickly implement hosted systems in the same way large companies can.
One distinction is that whereas a smaller business might choose a lower-tiered plan with fewer features, a larger firm may invest in the more expensive plans that provide them access to everything the business phone system provider offers.
What’s considered to be the key difference between a business phone service and a business phone system?
As it turns out, there aren’t many differences between a business phone service and a business phone system. They both provide the tools needed to efficiently communicate with customers and staff both internally and outside of your office space.
Best way to judge a business phone service is to look at how well the system runs. Is it reliable? This is particularly important for cloud-hosted systems. In the past, business phone services were all based on physical landlines. The reliability of this was high because it was all hardwired and not internet-based. Fast forward to today, and as cloud-hosted phone systems grow in demand and popularity, obtaining a business phone service that offers the same security and reliability as a landline system has become essential.
A critical factor in determining reliability are the uptime statistics. ‘Uptime’ relates to how frequently a phone system is actually up and running. One of the essential components of a business phone system is that you can make a call whenever needed and that your customers and suppliers are able to contact you. The most reliable business phones services and systems have uptimes of 99.999%, which means that the service is only down for a few minutes annually. Some providers offer a guarantee their uptime meaning if it ever dips below a certain amount, they will compensate your business.
So what features do business telephone systems need?
Key things to think about are budget and what your business needs from its phone system. Features to consider could be:
This could be a regular answer machine system, or your company might need to convert voicemails into text for email for example that sends straight to your inbox. This setup means you can scan through missed calls or voicemails at a swiftly instead of having to listen to individual messages.
Automated call forwarding:
This automatically transfers calls to your business phone to an alternative number anywhere. This is beneficial if you’re anticipating an important call, but are on holiday or out of the office.
Enabling you to manage your office telephone system from one central having access for all staff members that need to access it. Some of these dashboards also enable you to combine all your business communication channels meaning you can control SMS, voicemails, emails at one central place.
Easily save the phone numbers your staff members call the most commonly and simply call them with a one-button dial.
Enabling your team to speak to people who aren’t based in the office. Conference calls have become essential due to recent events and are popular for staff meetings with off-site team members or calls amongst your sales team and clients.
If staff members are working remotely, or need to communicate with suppliers without the time involved in in-person meetings, a business phone system with video calling is important.
Basic telephone systems tend to concentrate on the fundamental needs of a business (such as speed-dial or a dashboard), more advanced systems may be able to do all of the above.
How long do business telephone systems typically last?
Most decent business phone systems should last 10 years as a rough guide. That said expect rapid software and technology changes and rollouts as these systems upgrade and improve every year.
Do you need business telephone systems to support a small team?
Most business telephone systems are looking to grow over a number of years, choosing the right system for you can have a significant impact on how your business can operate and scale into the future. It’s best to discuss your business needs with the supplier and decide on what the best product for your team’s size could be.
How will the ISDN Switch Off effect My Phone System?
With the switch off ISDN happening in 2025, BT will no longer be taking orders for ISDN lines, meaning the telephone systems your business uses will need to work over the internet instead. So to future proof your communications its time to consider a system that uses VoIP, SIP or cloud hosting. Businesses that are still using out of date phone systems won’t receive much support at the end of this year (2020).
Have more questions about business telephone systems?
Teleproject UK are happy to discuss your requirements and tailor a system to meet your needs.
Schedule a callback, we’ve love to help.