Tips on Choosing the Right Business Telephone System Does your business still use an old telephone system? If it is, then it may be time to upgrade to a more modern system. Upgrading will not only improve communication, but also allow you to save on maintenance costs. Modern telephone systems come with a lot of features that enhance connectivity within the company, while at the same time making it easy to provide efficient customer services. But how do you know what phone system is right for your business? If you’re a small business owner, it’s unlikely you’ll need all the features that are available with these phone systems. Here are a few handy tips on selecting the right business telephone system: Determine what features are needed A small business’ needs can vary significantly from those of a big corporation with multiple locations. So the first step you must take is to assess the needs of your business. What are some of the pain points experienced with the current system, if upgrading? What new features are needed? A few of the features you may require include: call forwarding, voicemail-to-email transcription, extension dialing, conference calling, etc. Remember that the more features needed, the bigger the costs incurred. It’s therefore important to involve your staff in this process so you can find out what features are really essential.
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Don’t just look at the business’ immediate needs; remember to think about the kind of growth you anticipate in the next few years. In two years’ time, how many staff members do you expect to add? Is opening multiple locations across the country part of the plan? If you’re anticipating significant growth, it’s important that you select a system that can scale easily to meet your growing business’ demands. Choose between an on-premises system and a cloud-based solution An on-premises solution means buying the PBX hardware and managing the entire phone system in-house. This needs a huge capital expenditure, but comes with the advantage that businesses have full control of their hardware and telephone service. Obviously, this solution isn’t suited to small businesses without a decent budget as well as IT personnel to do the maintenance work. A hosted or cloud system, on the other hand, is one where all the hardware infrastructure plus maintenance tasks are taken care of by the phone company. Because you only need to buy IP phones, you’d only need a small investment to get up and running. The monthly subscription fee should also be affordable for most businesses. The disadvantage with this setup is that you won’t have total control over the hardware. Whenever there’s a problem with the service, you’ll have to rely on your provider to fix it as soon as possible.