Many businesses don’t usually give much thought to the telephone systems they have set up in their premises. But the thing is, the telephone is an important piece of kit that should be treated the same as any other vital business equipment.

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By choosing the right telephone system for your needs now rather than later, your business will not have to be concerned about upgrading or the extra costs associated with that.

There are many telephone systems and vendors on the market these days, so in order to make an informed decision about who and what you are going to use, you should check out this helpful guide to choosing the best phone system for your business:

What are your requirements?

As with any other purchases your business makes, you will need to carefully consider what your requirements are.

Here are some key points that you should cover when deciding upon a telephone system:

  • How many employees will you have within the next 12 months – if you are likely to have 50 or more employees in a year’s time, then you should consider investing in a dedicated PBX (private branch exchange);
  • What facilities are needed – for example you might want a telephone system that supports conference calls, one-touch dialling, or the ability to use a headset;
  • How many calls are likely to be made – if you anticipate a high volume of outbound calls will be made, then you should consider VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephones to save on call costs;
  • How often will calls be made from business mobiles – a package deal that includes landline calls and low cost or free calls from mobiles to the office would be useful here;

Understanding the terminology

The world of telephony is full of acronyms and terms that will wash over most people’s heads, so when checking out the best deals for your business you should make sure you understand some common terminology used. Here are some common examples and what they mean:

  • PBX – private branch exchange. Essentially a system of telephones in a building connected to a switchboard, with each phone having an extension number and often a direct dial number attached. Used in large premises of 50 users or more;
  • KSU – key system unit. Similar to a PBX, but more commonly used in the premises of smaller businesses;
  • VoIP – Voice over IP. A methodology or way of making and receiving voice calls over the Internet.
  • ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network. Used in conjunction with large PBX and VoIP systems.

Landline or VoIP for calls?

Landline systems have been the preferred choice of voice communications for businesses around the world, but VoIP brings in a much cheaper alternative. The tradeoff with VoIP is that the call quality can vary on a regular basis, whereas this doesn’t happen much with landlines (unless there is a physical fault on the line somewhere).

Also if you use VoIP over a shared broadband Internet connection, call quality can really suffer and in some cases calls can even be dropped if someone on your network is downloading or uploading files at the same time as your calls.

Getting the best deal

If you are looking for telephone systems, you should make sure that you shop around for the best deal. The best place to do this is online, and don’t be afraid to tell vendors that you can get better deals elsewhere, as they will often try and match the price of your best quote in order to win your custom.