What are the different types of business phone systems?

Monday, 22nd August 2022
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When exploring a new business phone system for your business, the number of brands and options can seem overwhelming – to the point where you might even find it off-putting. However, it’s important you have clear business and personal phone systems so you can separate home and work, as well as deliver the right kind of service your customers require.

If you’re starting up a new business, acquiring your first business premises, or scaling an existing set up, choosing the right type of business phone system is an essential piece of equipment to get your communications running smoothly. Make sure your staff and customers can get the results they want with an appropriate business phone system.

What is a business phone system?

A little like it says on the tin, a business phone system is a dedicated phone system designed for businesses. Unlike a personal mobile phone or cloud phone system (such as software that allows calls), business phone systems integrate several different features. They offer additional layers of service such as voice calls, video conferencing, document sharing, app integration, managed security, cloud storage and data backups. Business phone systems can cope with multiple incoming and outgoing calls, and can activate hold music, call queueing, and call transfers.

There are three main different types of business phone systems that are commonly used today.

Key System Units (KSUs)

A key system unit is a small, landline-based telephone system. Calls come in via a traditional telephone line, which is the routed to a switching or system unit, to be directed to the appropriate line to be answered. This can be done via automated menus rather than a dedicated switchboard operator. KSUs have some telephony features, such as call transfer, view call status, and the ability to make internal and external calls from the same line. However, the features are very limited, and many businesses do not use KSUs anymore as they cannot handle high call volume nor work to support businesses adaptatively.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

Private Branch Exchange, or PBX as it’s more commonly called, are a popular choice for many business phone systems. PBX has been around for several years, but more recently the technology has embraced the digital era and with this it can offer many additional services.

PBX is a private telephone network hosted within a company. Calls internally are very easy, and external lines can be set up for outgoing calls. PBX systems can handle anywhere from a few dozen calls to a few hundred, depending on the capacity set up. It also supports direct dial, call logging, call transfer, and voicemail. The switchboard needed for PBX can be managed in house, by third party or even in cloud. It doesn’t necessarily require staffing although some businesses still prefer this approach.

PBX and cloud telephony systems have come together to create a new offering which combines the simplicity and smaller scale nature of PBX with the benefits of cloud calling. Cloud PBX can be a simple upgrade on an existing phone system which some businesses may find easier or more cost effective.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP systems offer the benefit of PBX while adding many more cloud features that make it a great choice for businesses who want maximum flexibility, scalability, and a range of technology features.

VoIP doesn’t require a traditional copper phone line to operate – it is powered fully by broadband. This means that not only can it conduct voice calls, but VoIP can power video calls and conferencing, integrate apps, operate across desk, mobile and soft phone capabilities, call recording, and virtual tools like assistant, menu and call holding.

You can run VoIP over desk phones, mobile phones, and through computers with softphone capabilities. It’s easy to switch calls between devices when on the go, making it great for business who have hybrid working. Easily share essential information through the cloud, access apps for presenting, note taking, or document sharing, and even make international calls at no additional cost.

All VoIP needs to work successfully is a reliable broadband connection. Everything is run through the cloud and can be scaled up for growing businesses, or add more features as needed to support customers better. It’s cheaper to set up, install and maintain compared to traditional landline systems, and offers great value for service to businesses.

How do I know which phone system is right for my business?

It’s important you get the right phone system for your business so you can offer the best support to customers and staff. Consider a few different factors before deciding on what type of business phone system could be right for you. Think about if you’re planning to grow your business, how hybrid or flexible working fits into your model, what kind of service customers who call expect to receive, how reliable your broadband connection is, what kind of call capacity your system needs to be able to handle.

It may be that a tailored solution is best for you, combining aspects of PBX or VoIP systems to get something that works perfectly for your business and customers. Speak to the experts at Enreach today and discover how we can help create a cloud phone system that works for you.

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Enreach UK Ltd, Communications House, Hadley Park, Telford TF1 6QJ
Call us: 0800 097 6543 Email: enquiries.uk@enreach.com

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