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Phone system – Buying guide
Dial S for savings with the new business phone systems
One of the first investments businesses consider as they start to grow is to get a phone system. Actually, business owners usually realize this... as soon as they make the first hires and move the company to a two-room office. Installing a complete phone system, allowing advanced features such as call forwarding, call waiting, call blocking, auto-dialling, conference calls, automatic call distributor, call park, call pick-up, automatic ring back, etc. is no longer the technological nightmare it used to be.
Also, VOIP systems now offer great call quality and almost unlimited possibilities at a fraction of the price of analogue systems. New solutions, such as hosted systems with one single monthly bill for the service and leased hardware make it even more affordable for small businesses to use advanced telephony.
How phone systems work: technology, providers and pricing plans
It’s essential to understand a few technical basics in order to choose the right business telephony system, from the right provider, at the right price. Telephony has evolved at a tremendously fast pace these last twenty years. Private branch exchange or PBX is the key concept to understand how phone systems work, and what components need (or do not need) to be installed. Business phone solutions are now on-premise or hosted, PBX and IP-PBX, Mobile PBX... several solutions can be chosen by businesses. Depending on the scale of their needs, each type of system will have its pros and cons.
There are over 20 providers of phone systems, services and related equipment in the United Kingdom. We have identified and classified the most trusted brands and listed the approximate prices for budget, mid-range and top-of-the-line equipment and service. Don’t forget that on top of the equipment and service cost, companies may also have to pay quite a lot to hire a qualified technician for the installation.
VOIP and cloud-based phone systems, a revolution for small businesses?
Small businesses are often attracted by the savings attached to VOIP systems, especially as far as communication costs are concerned. Even though these phone systems have a lot of advantages, they are not without faults. In fact, cloud-based systems might just be the future.
- Pros and cons of VOIP systems: Cheaper, effortlessly installed, full of advanced features, VOIP systems have a lot going for them. But interested businesses should make sure they have the right internet connection to support the service - and to read the fine print in the contracts.
- Cloud-based phone systems: the new alternative: Offering simple plans with virtually no hardware needed, cloud-based full telephony service packages deliver functionality as a service, with no strings attached and all necessary hardware - usually it’s just a preconfigured IP-phone - delivered, with little or no upfront charges and minimal monthly fees.
Our most read Phone system articles
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Phone system technology
- The unexpected technology behind call centre systems
- Understanding VOIP systems
- Advantages and disadvantages of a VOIP system for small business
- Why quality of service matters - and how to improve it
- Sip trunking, the ultimate phone system?
- Make the switch to the new telephone switchboards
- Why is VoIP cheaper than standard phone systems?