There are things to think about;
First, you need to choose a type of phone system, there are three; Hosted (VoIP), Hybrid, and IP.
Hosted (VoIP) Phone system - cloud-based, connecting to an internet connection but you are renting the system.
Hybrid Phone System - ideal for those with existing ISDN, Analogue or Digital infrastructure but want the advanatages of IP and protect their investment.
IP Phone System - IP technology, you own the phone system but you are responsible for mainteance and hosting
If you have analogue, digital or ISDN lines and want to protect the investment you have made but want IP benefits, you’ll need a Hybrid Phone system.
If you choose a Hosted phone system, you’ll just need a stable broadband connection.
A hosted phone system is cloud-based, you don’t have a responsibility to host it; it’s all included in the cost.
IP Phone System's can be hosted on-premise, in a data centre, or on your own private cloud. It's a cost you’ll need to account for.
A Hybrid Phone System is an on-site phone system, it isn’t available as a fully cloud hosted system. You have the responsibility of hosting.
Tend to operate on a pay-per-seat model, no upfront costs, no maintenance or hosting costs.
Basic systems start around £8 per seat, per month
A reliable hosted phone system with the features needed would be from £13-£25 per seat, per month. Ensure you check what the price includes.
Suits businesses that don’t want the pay-per-seat model and want full control/ ownership.
Need to purchase system & hosting or maintenance costs
Save some money from not converting fully over to IP straight away.
Has specific PBX which needs to be purchased, with additional hosting or maintenance costs.
Combining your existing infrastructure with IP will allow you to save some money from not converting fully over to IP straight away.
A hybrid phone system has its own specific PBX which will need to be purchased, alongside any additional hosting or maintenance costs.
You are most likely expecting calling features such as Hold, Redial, Call Transferring.
Technology has progressed and you can get so much more, such as; Hold music, Voicemail-to-Email, Conference calling, Door Entry and Caller ID.
Monitoring Barge – Users can listen into a call and "barge" in, if needed.
Ring Hunt Groups – Ring one phone line and it'll ring on multiple phones.
Busy Lamp Field – Visually see colleague availability.
On-Demand Conferencing – Ability to hold a virtual meeting anytime.
Automated Attendant – Ring one number and choose the department you need.
Since COVID, most businesses have kept remote working in place.
Remote workers need to be able to use your phone system remotely and wherever they may be, or have a softphone installed on the PC/laptop or app on their phones.
Have you ever been on the phone to someone and suddenly it cuts out, then cuts back in half way through them speaking?
Call quality is determined by the connection which is why you need reliable connectivity for your phone system.
Unified Communication tools are collaboration tools that bring all forms of communication tech (voice, video, IM etc) into one seamless application.
It extends the use of your phone system & adds value to your business, and very beneficial for remote workers.
Most phone systems have a UC tool that it can integrate with.
Most businesses prefer hosted phone systems because of the benefits of IP and no hassle with hosting & maintenance.
Businesses that want more control will choose IP Phone systems, especially if it makes more financial sense for them to have ownership of it.
Hybrid phone systems only benefit those with existing infrastructure.