How to choose the right phone system for your business
Are you looking to modernise the phone system in your business? For businesses that rely on telephone communication with their customers, the decision to upgrade is a significant one, and it’s vital to select the best option for your business based on cost, quality, reliability, and scalability. It all really depends on your needs as a business, what you want from your telecommunications systems and your business goals as whole. With only two main contenders to choose from, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or Private Branch Exchange (PBX), we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages to each so you can make informed communication selections that better suit your business needs and goals.
Most commonly known as a “Landline” connection, PBX is a more traditional form of analogue phone system where the business is connected to clients over a physical phone line. Landline can be considered to be a somewhat outdated method. In contrast, VoIP is a more modern and digitised system that transforms calls into data and then transfers that data over to the caller via an internet connection.
These two systems greatly differ in terms of required computer hardware and compatible devices, with many PBX users having to use exact hardware specified by the phone provider. VoIP is more adaptable and can be used with almost any digital device such as computers and tablets, along with traditional office phones. Further flexibility and adaptability with VoIP phone systems allows businesses to integrate with many other software platforms to perform tasks such as recording, auto-transcribing, redirecting calls to other devices and much more. PBX systems are unable to do this and integrate with any other software. Features are l also limited to whatever is included in your physical handset.
One of the only aspects that PBX wins is through a comparison of the phone systems reliability, as most PBX systems can stay connected even in a power outage through their dedicated phone lines physically installed within the premises. As VoIP relies on an internet connection to function, in the case of your losing your internet or power source, you would also lose all connection to your customers. Also, during times of unstable internet connection, VoIP sound quality can be spotty and poor, which doesn’t happen on PBX. If total reliability is high on your list, PBX wins.
However, if your comparison of both phone system is due to you having plans to make big expansions to your business VoIP allows more adaptability for this in comparison to PBX. With PBX, each new phone line requires its own physical cable to run into your building and can create costly electrical work to add additional lines. With VoIP, just contact your provider and they can make the correct adjustments to supply you with another line.
As with most business decisions, cost must play a large role in the final cut. In business it is all about revenue because otherwise what is the point unless you’re a non-profit organisation. The digital operations of the VoIP system mean in almost all cases it would be cheaper than a PBX system. The costs associated with VoIP are monthly network costs, bandwidth upgrades and handsets. However, with PBX you have to pay out for expensive wiring and typically more expensive and complex handsets with special functions. Not to mention that having to have landlines physically installed can take up time within your premises.
Considering these pros and cons, if your business relies heavily on your phone systems being reliable and available under all circumstances, then PBX would be the way to guarantee this. However, VoIP provides a more affordable, adaptable, and scalable phone system which can integrate digitally with other systems, all factors which are largely limited when it comes to PBX systems. However, the choice is down to you, consider you business goals and needs. What exactly do you what from your telecommunications system and will the option you choose help fulfil those needs?
If you’d like to know more about the best phone systems for your business needs, contact the SA1 Telecoms team at SA1 Group today to discuss your requirements. We’ll be more than happy to help.
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