Businesses use communications tools not just to send messages and deliver information, but also to maintain client and supply chain relationships. Regardless of the type of business, effective communication is the key to productive and professional relationships.
However, different businesses have different communications needs. Most — if not all — businesses still require voice-based communications systems, even in the form of desk phones, as voice interactions can often still be more reliable over emails.
The good news is that there's a vast range of options nowadays. Modern business phone services can come in the form of regular local phone service or Voice-over-Internet -Protocol (VoIP), which essentially takes analog voice signals and transmits them to a receiver via the internet. VoIP services can be easily sourced from managed services providers (MSPs), which also often provide support alongside their service.
Here are two questions you should ask yourself when determining which phone system your business needs:
- Does my business need a complete phone system that includes physical desk phones, or would mobile device-based virtual phone service suffice?
- Should I choose to use VoIP, would an on-premises setup be more beneficial, or should a service provider host it (cloud-based)?
The first and most important thing to do is determine whether you need a physical or a VoIP phone setup. Of course, it depends from business to business and from industry to industry. For businesses that have manpower dedicated to customer support, physical desk phones are often more natural to use and easier to teach.
The second question puts costs into perspective. On-premises setups are often more costly because they entail the purchase of expensive hardware and hiring a dedicated IT team. On the other hand, purely cloud-based setups leave users with less control and can sometimes result in a less robust service framework — from a responsiveness perspective.
Below are the phone systems businesses can choose from, along with their benefits:
Virtual phone systems
Virtual phone systems connect people who call a main business phone number to remote workers on their mobile or home phones. Effectively, virtual phone systems act like a call-forwarding solution, and they can be tailored to accommodate several possible features such as automated receptionists, voicemail, call screening, and online faxing.
With this system, the company will be able to maintain good responsiveness at all times, and it also gives remote workers access to a variety of phone features that mobile and home phones don’t offer. Virtual phones are best for businesses that employ a large number of remote workers.
Traditional landlines are phone systems that are supported by a local or regional phone company. Business landline services require on-site private branch exchange (PBX) hardware, which is used to create multiple extensions and other system features.
The main draw of a traditional landline network is that it is a reliable, time-tested solution that many companies are already comfortable with. Traditional landlines are best for large corporations that can afford to spend on expensive hardware and an in-house IT department that can maintain them.
VoIP systems use a regular business internet connection, and it can mimic the same network features that only companies that own expensive PBX hardware previously had access to. Some of these features include automated attendants, call queueing, computer integration, voicemail-to-email options, and computer-based phone simulators (softphones) that can also be used via mobile devices.
VoIP systems are robust enough to meet the capabilities of a traditional landline system for a fraction of the price. With a robust VoIP phone system, your small business can enjoy the functionality of a sophisticated phone system without the huge costs.
Find out which phone option is best for your business by talking to our experts. Arnet Technologies provides telephony consulting and solutions for the Greater Columbus Area. Call today to schedule your strategy session!