How To Know Which Phone System Is Right For Your Business

Choosing the right business phone system for your small to the mid-sized company can be a challenging task, given the numerous options available in the market. The advancement in technology has transformed traditional telephone systems into unified communication systems, which allow employees to communicate through phone, video, and text. It has allowed businesses to connect with clients in their preferred method.

In this article, we will compare the traditional telephone system and hosted PBX phones (also known as VoIP) to help you make an informed decision.

Typically four main types

  • Landlines
  • Virtual phone systems
  • VoIP
  • Cloud and on-premises systems.


Traditional Phone System

In this case, a landline is a conventional phone system supported by a local or regional phone company. Landlines also referred to as public switched telephone networks (PSTNs), are analogue systems that utilise the conventional copper cable of the telephone company. You require on-premises PBX (private branch exchange) hardware to operate a landline service.

Creating many extensions and providing phone system capabilities like call transferring and call directories are both made possible by this hardware. Finding a phone system supplier that still offers landline lines may be challenging because so many are discontinuing this form of service.

Benefits of Landline Phone System

Many businesses easily employ landline systems because they offer a dependable, tried-and-true option.

  • Familiarity: Landline phones have been a reliable tool for many organisations for years. Those who want to preserve their current phone number and device, such as elderly relatives or slow adopters of new technology, may be especially strong in their choice of familiarity.
  • Accurate 911 service: A landline call to 911 is dependable and accurate. Landlines were the only available phone type when the national emergency 911 system was founded. Only 11% of people are fully aware of the location issues with 911 calls made from mobile devices, even though geolocation failure rates can reach 90% in some areas.

Drawbacks of Landline Phone System

Landlines are becoming harder to buy and repair as most phone system operators abandon them. These systems will eventually become obsolete; it’s just a matter of time.

  • High Cost:

There are plans required for both local and long-distance calls, and landline phone service is often expensive.

  • Few features:

There aren’t many add-ons accessible due to the outdated technology, and the ones that usually cost more.

Large organisations are required for firms without high-speed internet connectivity since they have the funds and internal IT employees to operate and maintain them.

Virtual Phone System

Virtual telephone systems are a recent innovation based on the Internet and cloud computing. With the improved quality of Internet services, small businesses and home users can take advantage of cloud-based services provided by service providers.

The virtual telephone system functions as a call-forwarding solution, redirecting calls from a main business number to an employee’s mobile or home phone. These systems have various features, such as automated receptionists, voicemail, call recording, call screening, toll-free numbers, and online faxing.

Pros: Virtual telephone systems enable businesses with remote workers to maintain a professional image. Additionally, it provides offsite employees access to advanced phone system features unavailable on typical mobile or home phones.

Cons: Virtual telephone systems do not function as standalone and rely on your mobile or home phone network for call processing. As a result, you are responsible for the cost of the call through the virtual system and the usage of your mobile or home phone minutes.

These systems are ideal for small businesses with remote employees or sole proprietorships.

VoIP Phone System

VoIP phone systems use a company’s existing internet connection, unlike landlines that rely on copper wires. These systems provide a range of features previously only available to large corporations with expensive PBX hardware, such as automated attendants, call queues, and computer integration, allowing for voicemails to be received in email inboxes and for computers to serve as softphones. VoIP systems enable remote workers to access the business’s phone system through their mobile devices.

Pros of VoIP Phone Systems:
  • VoIP software : Offers a high-tech phone system complete with bells and whistles. These systems are substantially less expensive than landline systems and are simple to set up and configure.
  • Complete Portability: A virtual, commonly called a VoIP number, is transferable. It implies that you can use the same number everywhere.
  • Add-On Features at No Extra Cost: You’ll probably be the first to point out that traditional PBX systems also offer remote working with features like call transfer, group voicemail, call queuing, and more.
  • Increased Accessibility: Aside from cost effectiveness, one of the main advantages of VoIP for business is accessibility.

Cons of VoIP Phone System :

You need to have an internet connection for these systems. This phone system won’t function if you live in a neighbourhood with patchy internet connectivity.

Small businesses that want their remote employees to have access to the phone system and businesses that desire the capability of an advanced phone system at an affordable price.

On-Premises VoIP Systems

On-premises phone systems require that all the necessary equipment, including PBX hardware, be housed by the business. This system requires a significant upfront cost as the equipment must be purchased outright. Despite the one-time hardware cost, ongoing monthly fees for SIP trunking or PRI circuits facilitate making and receiving calls. The maintenance, repairs, and upgrades of the system are the responsibility of the business’s IT staff.

Pros of On-Premises VoIP Systems:
  • Your service is always under your complete control. You and your IT staff ensure it is operational and set up according to your preferences.
  • On-premises systems entail a substantial initial expense as the necessary equipment must be purchased. Furthermore, it is necessary to have a dedicated staff member to handle the maintenance and servicing of the system.
On-premises systems are suitable for businesses that prefer to retain full control over their system and access to the equipment and are uncomfortable with the use of the cloud.

Cloud-Based VoIP Systems

Cloud-hosted phone systems eliminate maintenance or hardware concerns, as the service provider is responsible for housing, maintaining, and upgrading all PBX technology. This system allows growing businesses to scale easily by adding new lines and quickly accessing new features. Businesses typically pay a monthly fee based on the number of users.

Pros of Cloud-Based VoIP Telephone Systems:

With a cloud-hosted system, purchasing or maintaining PBX hardware or dial-tone services is no need, as the provider handles these responsibilities. Additionally, the system can be easily set up and configured from a computer.

  • In a cloud-hosted setup, you don’t have direct control over the hardware, and in case of a system outage, you have to rely on the provider for prompt resolution.
Best for:
Small businesses operating with limited resources and without in-house IT support are ideal for VoIP.

With a solid understanding of the basics, it’s time to start considering your business phone system options. To help you make an informed decision, look at our top recommendations for business phone systems.

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