Choosing the Best Model for Your Business Telephone System

telephone system cord

When you’re selecting the right phone setup for your business, you need to consider three important questions. The good news is you already have all the information you need to answer these questions, because they’re about your business. First, do you need a full phone system that includes physical telephones on people’s desks, or can you get by using telephone functionality in computers and/or cellphones? Once you’ve answered that, your next question is whether you need a traditional landline based phone system or whether you’re better served by a VoIP setup. That’s where it begins to get technical, but we’re going to get into what VoIP means for businesses in a moment. The third question you need to ask yourself is about hosting: VoIP can be hosted like a website or a piece of software: it can live on servers in your building, or owned by your company (self-hosting). Or it can live on the supplier’s servers (hosted).

Let’s look at these questions.

1: Phones vs Phone functionality

Do you really need a physical telephone handset? The likely answer is no. Even if your business lives and dies by making phone calls, modern telephony doesn’t require a speaker-and-microphone, dialer-and-cradle handset any more than you need a big CRT TV to watch HBO. It’s probably time to say goodbye to the image of physical telephones. They’re just an added expense, and they tend to tie you down to the old landline network too.

2: Landline vs. VoIP

You are familiar with landlines. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. That’s Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime. You talk over the internet, and the data that makes up the call is broken up into sections called packets and transmitted over the internet like any other online data.

Even using the internet doesn’t set you free from landlines. What it does do is change the exchange rate: a PBX normally only manages two users per line. VoIP can leave that number in the dust, offers video and international calling, routes toll-free office number calls to workers’ mobiles and costs much less. How much less? Depends. If you’re a very small organization, maybe you’re looking at half to a quarter of what you’re paying now with no upfront, rolling hardware or repair costs. Big companies stand to save tens of thousands of dollars.

3: Hosted vs Self-Hosted

Hosting is like real estate. Buy a house and you own it; you can paint it any color you want, bang as many nails in the walls as you want and you’re also the proud owner of the property tax and repair bills. Rent and you’re a little more constrained, but the landlord is obligated to provide a certain level of performance. You don’t have to call plumbers or electricians, just the landlord.

Hosting is the same. Host your own VoIP and the only thing standing between you and full customization is technical skill. Go hosted and you have a lot less elbow room, but the host guarantees performance. Most hosting companies will provide wide options, branding and some service customization, and you’ll also have the security of knowing that keeping your phones up and running is a problem that’s in the hands of professionals, 24/7.

For more information regarding which types of systems are right for you and your business, contact Stratosphere Networks at (877) 950-2999 or fill out our contact form.

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