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Guide to Selecting a New Business telephone System If you own a business, you may recognize your phone system as the business’ lifeline to customers, suppliers, and the rest of the world. It’s therefore imperative to have a telephone system that makes it possible to communicate efficiently within and beyond the organization. The wrong phone system may come with significant ramifications, such as communication with suppliers and customers breaking down. So how can you tell what telephone system is appropriate for your business. The following tips may be of help: Plan for employees How many staff members do you currently have? About how many do you think you’ll have in the next two to three years? Knowing how many employees need phones now and in the near future is important. It’s important that you choose a solution that will scale without difficulties if you expect your business to grow quickly. This is so that you won’t have to incur the high switching costs in case the old system cannot scale as needed.
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What features will be absolutely important to your telecommunication needs? Would you like to have an auto-attendant feature that connects a customer to the individual they’re looking for? Do you also want conference calling and call forwarding functionality? What about voicemail-to-email functionality so you can receive transcripts of voice messages in your email? Talk to your employees about the functionality they require most. Remember that some of those features may be unnecessary and will only serve to add up the cost. Select telecom technology You’ll have to choose between PBX systems and VoIP systems. A PBX phone system utilizes a centralized piece of equipment that routes calls to the correct individual or department. These systems are costly, and an expert is required to program them. Their main advantage is that they scale well as you only need to buy additional handsets, which are relatively cheap. VoIP systems do not have that centralized piece of equipment. They are easier to use, and are the best option for businesses with several locations. However, each handset is relatively pricey. When choosing between the two systems, you will need to consider your long-term staffing plans. Cloud-based vs. on-premises systems There are many companies today offering hosted or cloud-based telephone services. The good thing about this solution is that it requires a low capital expenditure–you only need to purchase IP telephones, as the rest of the infrastructure is handled by the service provider. You’ll then have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the services. The main downside to this arrangement is that you won’t be in control of the phone service, so when technical problems arise, you must wait on the provider to fix them.

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