Considering how long we’ve had access to the basic technology, telephones (and proper telephone etiquette while using them) haven’t changed all that much on the surface. What has changed is how the technology fundamentally works, and the options that are available for businesses. Here, we’ll go over some of the options today’s businesses have.
Selecting the Type of Phone to Use
While many may be tempted to eschew the incorporation of telephony in their business, this temptation should be resisted. After all, most businesses still rely on a phone for communication purposes, so any business that doesn’t have one is cutting off a valuable source of client communications. This also makes the decision of what kind of phone to utilize an extremely important one.
There are a variety of options that a business has when selecting a phone to use, each with its own pros and cons. Admittedly, some of these options have slowly had their benefits phased out by current trends and through the introduction (and improvement) of these benefits by other approaches.
This is the phone system that, until relatively recently, was the option for anyone who wished to use the telephone. Utilizing the connections provided by the telephone company, a company would need to host PBX (or private branch exchange) hardware on their premises. A PBX system would allow for the creation of the company’s needed extensions as well as the incorporation of many of the business’ necessary telephone functions, including directories and call transferring.
While there is a high comfort level with these solutions, many service providers are gradually abandoning landlines, and the Internet access speeds that many companies require have allowed them to explore other options more easily.
Virtual phone systems can often be the middle ground between traditional telephony and a VoIP solution. With incoming calls potentially processed through traditional telephony and forwarded to employees through VoIP solutions, the features of this kind of system can give a business that relies heavily on its remote employees a means of unifying their communications, as well as some advanced features bundled in.
A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system is one that eliminates the need for traditional telephony entirely. Instead, VoIP utilizes the Internet connection that your business already needs for the rest of its tasks, or can be leveraged as an app on a smartphone. In addition, most VoIP solutions include the same enhanced features that a business would need, for a much more affordable cost. These can be leveraged in two ways, though an on-premise system, or through a cloud-based service. Each approach has its own pros and cons.
- An in-house system will initially cost your business a tidy expense, as the equipment needed to host the system itself is not cheap. Furthermore, you will need to pay a monthly fee for the necessary components that allow you to make calls. Any maintenance or upgrades will fall to your staff, and will require some skill.
- However, this also means that you are in complete and total control of your business telephony.
- Utilizing a cloud-hosted system will mean that everything is handled for you – you may not need to buy hardware, and you don’t have any maintenance to worry about. This also means that if your phone system goes down, your provider is the only one who can do anything about it. You’re also susceptible to Internet outages, as that is what allows the system to function.
Despite all this, VoIP is a very reliable solution (especially with a good service level agreement), with little that you have to worry about besides the monthly bill.
At Emerald City Solutions, we have the expertise to recommend and implement the right phone system for you. Call (206) 340-1616 for more information.