Choosing the best phone system for your business

If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably given some thought to handling your communication needs. The world of business phone systems is complicated. There are several types of business phone systems and there’s a lot of jargon that can make it hard for business owners to make the right decision regarding which type of phone system to go with. Here we’ll try to simplify it for you.

Traditional vs. VoIP

Traditional business phone systems operate much like any home phone, but on a much larger scale of course. Each phone is connected to a phone line. Voice is transmitted through these phone lines throughout the company and outside of it.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Rather than voice being transmitted via phone lines, it’s transmitted via an internet connection. When VoIP was first being developed it was quite costly and only the largest companies could afford it. Because of advancements in the technology it’s now cheaper than traditional phone service. Not only is it cheaper but it is more flexible because of the wide range of services like conference calling, failover, and mobile integration that come with it. As a result, more and more companies are switching to VoIP each year. It’s expected that 65% of all businesses will be using VoIP by the end of this year.

On premise VoIP vs. cloud-based VoIP

There are essentially two types of VoIP. On premise VoIP is when the business has all of the equipment necessary on site. This is also called a PBX system (Private Branch Exchange). With PBX, the company has its own individual phone network that is completely independent. These systems usually cost thousands of dollars to install. The major advantage to a PBX system is that the business has more control over their VoIP service since everything is on site.

Not all businesses can afford on premise VoIP. In fact, the majority of businesses that have a VoIP system use a cloud-based system (or virtual PBX). Virtual PBX is hosted off site. All the business needs is the phones themselves and a strong and reliable internet connection. Everything else needed, is located off site and is managed by a third party.

How to choose

Unless your business is located where a strong and reliable internet connection isn’t available (that’s becoming increasingly rare) you should choose VoIP over a traditional phone service because of the lower cost and increased flexibility.

As for choosing between a PBX system and a virtual PBX system, there are a few things to consider. A PBX system is more expensive. Not only does it cost more to install but you’ll also need your own IT people to fix any issues. A third party like Equiinet would take care of all of that for you. They have their own 24/7 support team that keeps things running smoothly. The vast majority of small businesses choose a hosted VoIP system like Equiinet’s.

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