If this is a task that your small business plans to deal with in 2019, you must first answer some questions in order to follow the right path.
1. Do you need a complete phone system with physical desk phones or can your business live with mobile-based virtual phone service?
2. If you need desk phones, what kind of service do you want? You must choose between a traditional landline service provided and a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system that is available from many providers.
3. If you choose VoIP, do you want to host the system in your company (on-site) or will your service provider host it (in the cloud)? We'll help you answer these questions, but if you already know what you need and only want to know our recommendations for the best commercial phone systems, visit our top selection page.
3. If you choose VoIP, do you want to host the system in your company (on-site) or will your service provider host it (in the cloud)? If you are still not sure, read on. Let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages of these types of phone systems: • Virtual telephone systems •Landlines • VoIP • Cloud and on-premise systems Virtual telephone systems • Virtual telephone systems connect callers to a primary business phone number with remote workers on their mobile or home phones. • These types of systems act as an extended call forwarding solution in which incoming calls are forwarded to each employee's mobile or residential phone instead of the landline when a customer calls the primary phone number. • These systems include a variety of features such as automatic receptionists, voicemail, call forwarding, call detection, free calls, and online faxing. Pros: This type of service allows companies with external employees to present a professional image at any time. It also allows remote workers to access various features of the telephone system that mobile and home phones do not offer. Cons: Virtual systems are not complete telephone systems. Often, your calls are always processed on your mobile or residential phone network. This means that you are charged for the call in the virtual system and that you spend the minutes on your mobile phone or at home. Some virtual services allow you to place calls over an Internet connection when you use the provider's mobile app. Ideal for: small businesses with remote workers or sole proprietorship. Traditional fixed systems • Landlines, in this case, are traditional telephone systems, usually assisted by a local or regional telephone company. • Landlines, also known as public switched telephone networks (PSTNs), are analogue systems that go through the copper wiring of the traditional telephone company. • Currently, some landline systems are considered hybrid systems with VoIP systems. There is a traditional phone line that connects to a company's data network. The data network within the company serves to connect each individual phone. • Many landline telephony systems are disabled by telephone system providers. Pros: Landline telephony systems are a reliable and proven solution that many companies feel comfortable using. Cons: Most phone system providers are moving away from landlines, making it difficult not only to purchase them but also to repair them when problems arise. It's only a matter of time before these systems become obsolete. Ideal for: large companies that have the budget to pay for them and an internal IT staff to manage and maintain them. Required for businesses without broadband Internet access. VoIP telephone systems • Instead of the copper cables on which landlines operate, VoIP phone systems use the same Internet connection that a company already uses. • VoIP systems offer a set of features that only large enterprises using expensive PBX hardware could access, such as automatic operators, call queues, and computer integration, enabling voice messages to be sent. Mailboxes. Email and computer entry for softphone software. • Voice over IP systems allows remote employees to access a company's phone system from their mobile devices. Pros: Voice over IP systems offer a sophisticated telephone system with all options. These systems are easy to install and configure and are significantly cheaper than fixed systems. Cons: These systems depend on your Internet connection. If you are in a community with irregular Internet service, this type of phone system will not work for you. Ideal for: a small business that needs the functionality of a sophisticated phone system at an affordable price and also businesses that want to ensure their remote employees have access to phone system.