Types of Business Telephone Systems
There are several kinds of business telephone systems available for companies and organisations in the United Kingdom. In this article, we will discuss the various types available in the market currently so that you can determine which telephone system is a perfect fit for your business. This article is all you need when seeking to buy a telephone system.
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is an example of a private telephone system made up of a range of analogue external telephone lines that users share for incoming and outgoing calls (It can either be SIP or ISDN).
The PBX Telephone System interconnects all phones within an organisation. This type of business telephone system is ideal for companies with over 40+ staff who require an automated phone system. An outstanding PBX feature is an inbuilt power supply that offers continuous power supply even when there is no electricity.
A PBX telephone system can lead to substantial cost savings within a corporation since the PBX uses the same ISDN system (multi-lines). This means that you can have more telephones than required lines, hence cutting down expenses.
A business would be required to buy, install and manage the PBX network from the office. A few years back, analogue technology powered the PBX. Today, PBX systems typically use digital or Internet Protocol (IP) technology.
Basically, the PBX telephone system comprises a telephone trunk with many telephone lines. All the lines will be terminated at the PBX.
Two different types of PBX are currently available:
- The Enterprise PBX telephone system
- The Hosted PBX telephone system
The Hosted Telephone Network System
Since the pandemic hit many organisations and individual businesses are shifting to working from home. Soon, a huge percentage of daily work activities will be done remotely. Because of this, employees need advanced features like the ability to easily transfer massive amounts of data from home to workplace and vice-versa.
These advanced features are very expensive for a localised telephone system; they require ample office space, costly equipment, and a comprehensive cable system.
The host telephone, which is also called the hosting PBX, is one of the new technological revolutions in the telecommunication industry. This system enables small and medium enterprises to enjoy using a sophisticated telephone system without the need to have a physical base telephone unit in an office.
A Hosted PBX’s unique feature is that the entire telephone system resides in the cloud (online), which is often provided by a telecommunication provider. In addition, the telecom service provider operates and manages the telephone system and therefore needs no extra instructions or training.
This telephone system enables people to be linked to one office telephone system whether they’re at home, hotel, mobile, or in a remote location. This means that incoming calls to the headquarters may be transmitted via an extension number as though the staff were in the office. Similarly, the person who works in any part of the world may make calls and still present the main UK phone number to the recipient if the office is located in the UK. This has the key benefit of being able to make international calls at the same rate as a local call.
Advantages of a Hosted Telephone System
Continuity of the business – since the telephone exists in the cloud platform, disruption or downtime will not affect it. A competent service provider will use this approach to ensure efficient service provision in the network. In such cases, natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, fire would not impact your telephone network since the phones can easily be transferred somewhere else and the communication to continue seamlessly.
Easy to scale – most organisations and individual businesses will continue to grow over time. One of the advantages of using a hosted PBX is its provision for many lines or extensions, unlike a conventional telephone system. More so, you can install extra lines, and additional handsets can be installed effortlessly and at no extra cost.
User-friendly design – the hosted telephone system has a simple user interface. There’s no need for professional engineers to come over when you need to make some adjustments, improvements, or add extra lines to the system. Employees can learn how to use this system very quickly and effortlessly.
Minimal maintenance cost – the hosted telephone system comprises affordable hardware and maintenance. This system doesn’t need enormous capital expenditure or ongoing maintenance costs.
Easy to integrate with mobile – this is an important feature for businesses that have staff working remotely. When staff are out of the office, they can still make calls that will present the office number to the recipient. This way, organisations can work remotely with ease and seamless communication since the staff will use the same office number from wherever they are. A hosted telephone system is designed to integrate with the cellphone easily.
Recording on the go – the hosted telephone system comes equipped with a call recording feature for both incoming and outgoing calls. This is a crucial feature for training sessions and customer support services.
Extra Features – unlike traditional telephone system, most hosted telephone system comes equipped with additional free-to-use option. This telephone system can handle voicemail, call divert, call management, standby music, and instant messaging.
Divert Calls – Nowadays, people will reach customers in various forms, whether it’s on a personal or office mobile phone. Using a hosted PBX allows for easier diversion of incoming calls to other devices or phones. This reduced the likelihood of missing a phone call.
High-quality voice – the hosted telephone system offers the users a high-definition voice at a lower cost. Since users can call from any part of the world at the local call rate, this considerably reduces the international call costs.
Enterprise Telephone system (On-premise)
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has always been at the centre of continuous growth in telecommunication systems. The On-premise telephone system operates using the VOIP methodology.
This telephone system requires analogue cables, ISDN, and broadband circuits at the premise in order to work. However, in recent years, VOIP gained popularity and is now used as an authentic cost-saving option for making a conventional phone call on landlines.
In this system, broadband data lines are used to transmit voice using the conventional internet instead of using physical phone lines.
However, VOIP has many advantages over conventional analog phone lines, which function exactly like a standard telephone line. Nevertheless, there are many advantages of using VOIP over conventional phone lines. This system functions just like an ordinary telephone line.
A modern local telephone system transmits voice via the internet’s data network, where voice packets containing caller information are transmitted through a data network within the data network.
Initially, VOIP was treated as a second option for a conventional phone line due to its poor telecommunication efficiency. However, the quality of VoIP is now possibly similar to that of a normal call. This results from improved telephone systems and internet connection speeds that have now offered preference to voice calls over data.
With rapid internet access in the past decade, more companies started to explore significant cost savings in moving from conventional phone lines to VOIP. As more people, businesses and organisations are getting interested in VOIP, and its affordability, broadband and voice packages have continued dropping. All telecommunication providers are currently offering voice package at a reduced cost compared to a few years back. Thanks to the ability to carry voice cheaply over the internet.
Advantages of VOIP
1. Affordability – the greatest and most significant advantage of the VOIP system is its affordability. The greatest cost saving when making a move is one of the main reasons organisations worldwide use VOIP as opposed to conventional telephone lines.
Businesses and organisations (both small and large) no longer need to think about costly leasing facilities with VOIP. Enterprises like calling centres that make hundreds and sometimes thousands of calls each day both locally and internationally will benefit significantly from implementing VOIP.
2. Extra Features – VOIP can provide a wide range of useful features for an organisation at no extra cost, together with the standard telephone system features. Applications like caller identity, phonebook, texting, voice-to-email, and call recording are among the features that come bundled in a standard VOIP system.
3. Ability to expand – as businesses grow, there will be a need for additional lines and extensions. With a VOIP system, you will not worry about future expansion since you can easily add more devices effortlessly with no need for an additional budget for buying related devices. This also eliminates the extra cost that would be incurred to hire skilled telecommunication personnel to manage the system.
4. Easily movable – One of the greatest advantages of VOIP is that it can be easily moved from one point to the other. With increased access to the internet, VOIP devices can now be linked on the go from anywhere in the world. This means that people can travel about but still use the system, whether at home, at a hotel, on vacation, or airport.
Enterprise telephone systems allow large and small businesses to handle incoming and outgoing calls in a seamless manner. The functionality of the system is substantially different from standard telephone systems. This system must be built in a manner that will allow it to manage several calls at a go. It should also have the ability to transfer calls from one department to the next within the organisation.
The Key System Unit (KSU)
Another important but less talked about telephone system is the Key System Unit (KSU). This is the most basic telephone system that utilises the key system unit. Due to the limits of the number of telephone lines it includes, this telephone system is only suitable for small-to-medium enterprises with no more than 50 employees.
KSU is an easy-to-use device equivalent to the traditional home phone. It packs all the basic features that an organisation would want, yet it is compact and versatile. The key system unit utilises a central switching mechanism to pick the phone line manually.
It comes in different varieties. The KSU-less system is its variation that features a compact and versatile system that doesn’t use a central switch and cables.
However, the major limitation of KSU-less is that it can only support up to 10 operators and is not available for sale on commercial platforms. This type of telephone system has to be requested directly from the telecommunication providers. Either way, KSU-less is suitable for small enterprises that have no plans for future expansion.
Teleproject UK is more than happy to review your business telecommunications systems and requirements and tailor a solution to meet your companies needs, get in touch today!