Prominent Office Phone Systems Available for Companies
Office phone systems are referred to as a communication system in which various telephones are connected and used in an interconnected manner. These phone systems offer important features, including conference calling, call management, call transference, and call metering. An office phone system can include two phones or more based on the size and operation of the enterprise. Office phone systems are capable of functioning over internet telephony or public switched telephone networks. These systems can be offered to businesses as host services and eliminates the need to invest in costly hardware and maintenance.
Types of Office Phone Systems
Key Telephone System
The key business telephone system is the most standard model amongst all office phone systems available on the market. It is extremely easy to use and offers users basic features of a telephone system. The key system unit, also known as KSU, is an ideal office phone system for small businesses. However, it lacks the flexibility and portability that modern companies look for in business communication systems.
Another version of a key telephone system is referred to as KSU-less. This is a completely wireless version and does not require a central switching unit. While the KSU system’s price ranges from Euro 200 and goes up to 800, KSU-less pricing starts from Euro 100. Since there is no hardware to install, the KSU-less system is quite cost-effective. However, these systems provide users with limited extensions so it is only ideal for businesses that do not make many calls.
Types of Key Telephone System
The following are the types of key telephone systems.
The KSU system allows users to manually select the phone lines they need. The system offers the most basic features of an office phone system, which are extremely easy to use. A major drawback of the KSU phone system is that it is not an efficient option if you are looking for portable office phone systems. You have the option to buy a hybrid telephone system that integrates some features of the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system into the KSU system. While the basic KSU system can be purchased for 200 Euros or less, the hybrid version would cost around 400 Euros, excluding installation and maintenance costs.
KSU-less is a wireless variation of key telephone system that does not require a central switching unit. The KSU-less system comes with technical parts already integrated into wired or cordless phones. KSU-Less phones require a power cord for charging rather than a central system unit. This system renders the flexibility and portability that conventional key systems fail to offer its users.
KSU-less systems are among the cheapest office phone systems as their pricing starts from Euro 100. The major challenge associated with KSU-less systems is that they offer lower capacity and limited extensions. Therefore, they are ideal for businesses that do not forecast drastic growth in the near future.
Advantages of Key Telephone Systems
Below are the top benefits of using key telephone systems:
A Cost-Effective Option
One of the biggest benefits of key telephone systems is their cost effectiveness. KSU and KSU-less systems both come at affordable rates. Therefore, businesses that are on a tight budget can use this office phone system and maintain effective communication.
Considering that this type of office phone system requires minimum maintenance, it is considered a reliable communication tool among businesses.
KSU and KSU-less systems are compact and easy to use compared to complex office phone systems such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and PBX.
As your business evolves, the key phone system allows you to efficiently customise your communication approach.
PBX Office Phone System
PBX is a private telephone network used by corporates. It allows users to communicate internally as well as externally through various communication channels such as analogue, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), and VoIP. PBX allows you to have more phones than physical telephone lines and it offers free calls between users. Furthermore, this office phone system provides features such as call recording, interactive voice menus, transfer calls, and voicemail.
Traditionally, the PBX system would offer proprietary phones to ensure that they can be used with various systems. This means that users either had vendor-lock-in PBX system or system-lock-in PBX system. However, as time changed and technology came into the forefront, there was an introduction of IP PBX. This form of PBX system allows companies to make internal as well as external calls via the IP or Internet Protocol.
PBX phone systems are offered as virtual or hosted and on-premise solutions that can be operated using your existing hardware.
Types of PBX Office Phone System
The following are the primary types of PBX Office Phone System:
Digital PBX System
This type of PBX system is designed to be modifiable with regards to the features and level of your business operations. A digital PBX system is capable of integrating a standard analogue PBX system and IP phones. You can also upgrade this system by integrating VoIP systems. It offers more enhanced sound quality compared to a traditional analogue system. Along with standard functions, a digital PBX system offers features such as voicemail, answering assistant, and call forwarding.
On-Site IP PBX System
Contrary to the digital PBX system, on-site IP PBX systems entirely leverage current bandwidth and internet connections. With the advent and popularity of VoIP phones services as well as unified communication, IP PBX has become one of the commonly used PBX office phone systems. It uses your company’s internal networks and the internet to deliver better communication stability, sound quality, and advanced applications, etc. Some of the prominent features of On-site IP PBX include voicemail to email, video calling, and mobility integration.
Virtual PBX System
A virtual PBX system is also referred to as Hosted PBX or Cloud PB. This type of PBX office phone system offers applications, services, and features through the Cloud. Furthermore, applications, services, and features are billed together in a single invoice. Considering the fact that your telecom service provider hosts your virtual phone system, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, updates or warranties. Some of the advantages of a virtual PBX system include advanced disaster recovery, cost-effective pricing, and a multi-office network.
Advantages of the PBX Office Phone System
The following are the advantages of the PBX office phone system.
The PBX phone system enables calls from various phones to be managed by a single number. This means that rather than creating a complex list of various numbers in the directories, you can just list a single phone number.
Efficient Internal Communication
With a traditional phone system, even when making an internal call, it is routed through the phone exchange company then to the concerned person. This process may or may not be chargeable. However, the PBX system allows calls to be routed internally without having to go through the local phone exchange.
When you have a PBX phone system, you don’t have to appoint a person to manage your calls. It offers an auto-attendant feature that allows the caller to enter the extension number and be quickly and directly connected to the concerned person.
The PBX office system is integrated with software that enables you to establish a unique line into your organization. The control panel offers you various access levels to a unique extension. This further allows you to limit certain phones to ensure that they do not call particular extensions.
Better Cost Management
PBX phone systems have a log record of all outgoing and incoming calls. This is an advanced feature that you cannot avail in traditional office phone systems until your bill comes at the end of the month. This log function allows you to monitor which department is making or receiving more calls and which extensions are being used more frequently. Some extensions may be barely used while others receive regular calls. Using this report, you can adjust your telephone system to obtain the maximum return on your investment.
VoIP Office Phone System
A VoIP is a software-based telephone system designed to leverage voice over IP technology to make phone calls over an IP network. This office phone system converts the audio of analogue telephone into a digital format that can be transferred over the internet. VoIP phone systems are also known as IP phones and encompass features and specifications that are not included in conventional analogue phones. While some VoIPs use A/C adapters to operate, others utilise Power Over Ethernet. The latter uses an Ethernet cable and eliminates the need for separate power or data cables.
Types of VoIP Office Phone Systems
The following are different types of VoIP office phone systems.
Session Initiation Protocols transfer voice as well as video information through a data network, allowing VoIP users to harness shared lines and optimise the flexibility of the communications. Since data is transmitted over a network, companies can use SIP trunks to replace conventional phone networks or utilise the VoIP gateway to incorporate SIP trunking into existing phone systems. SIP trunks work efficiently with cloud technology and integrate with PBX telephone systems seamlessly.
Integrated access is a form of VoIP service that operates in a similar way to standard phone lines. Integrated access VoIP allows businesses to combine VoIP software with legacy phone systems. This approach enables companies to retain their old number and hardware while gaining access to more advanced telecommunication features.
Hosted IP PBX
This type of VoIP service works as a vendor host and operates the PBX, allowing comprehensive communication networks. Companies connect with a hosted cloud-based PBX network with an IP network. The phone system’s hardware is managed off-site by the hosting vendor, and the provider is responsible for maintaining software, hardware maintenance, upgrades, and security. This significantly reduces the training and maintenance requirements of the company, thereby saving time and costs.
Managed IP PBX
Managed IP PBX is another unified communication solution that is offered by a third party. The third party manages all of the requirements; however, the hardware is not off-site but is accommodated on the business premises. For managed IP PBX, a fee must be paid, depending on your phone line and hardware requirements.
Advantages of VoIP Office Phone System
The following are the benefits of using VoIP office phone system.
It is Cost-effective
You can avail VoIP services at cost-effective rates. With VoIP, communication data is integrated into data packets and transmitted via the IP network and the challenge of two callers using one phone line is removed. The IP network efficiently directs the IP connection to the phone service provider or your internet connection.
The VoIP service allows you to make a conference call without needing dedicated phone lines. While this feature is also offered by traditional phone systems, you have to pay for the additional services you are using. VoIP uses a converged data network, hence providing these services at a lower cost.
Versatile Calling Services
The VoIP service offers more than just voice calls. It also allows you to make high-quality video conferencing calls. Furthermore, you can easily share media while on the call, which can improve communication significantly.
Companies are increasingly adopting work from home approach and the VoIP service help them maintain uninterrupted communication with their staff. It allows people to use voice, data, and fax services through their intranet. The portability of the VoIP service allows people to enjoy global accessibility.
We live in a world in which apps, social media, and mobility are being increasingly adopted within daily work in business. However, the prominence of telephonic communication remains the same. Telephonic conversation provides a personal touch, enabling a business to have two-way communication with their clients. The internet is an important tool that helps businesses connect with their audience in a faster and more efficient manner. However, not every customer uses the internet. An effective phone system allows you to directly connect with these customers, present your business ideas, or solve their queries. Furthermore, an efficient office telephone system simplifies the communication between you and your customers. It renders faster and more personal communication compared to emails.
The importance of a formidable business cannot be stressed enough. Having an efficient business phone system allows you to attain a professional brand identity. Business calls should be made from a universal phone system instead of personal mobile devices. This adds a certain degree of credibility and showcases the professionalism of your business. Furthermore, telephone systems such as VoIP allows your business to handle multiple calls by different clients efficiently and without any hassle.
Effective phone systems offer a certain degree of control over business communication as there is no involvement from a third party. Furthermore, a VoIP office phone system provides you with VPN services that offer end-to-end encryption for voice as well as messages.
On the whole, an effective communication structure is paramount for any business irrespective of its size or operational nature. Presently, there is a wide range of options when buying an office phone system. With a little research on your part, you can easily obtain an effective office phone system that aligns with your business needs and budget.