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How-To Choose The Right Phone System for Your Business

September 21st, 2023 | 7 min. read

By John Taylor


Try and relive the Stone Age era today for a moment, and the impossible becomes a possibility. A characteristic example, in this case, is having a business that transacts without a phone system to the point of sealing a deal successfully, and that right there is what the Stone Age era entails. 

Fast forward to the present, and the revolution in the business world currently is shifting the attention of entrepreneurs when they are deciding on the right phone system that will address the requirements of their operations accordingly.


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Choosing the Right Phone System For Your Business: What Are Your Options?

There are many options you can choose from if you are considering the ideal telephone system for your organization, but they fall into two major categories:

  1. An in-house (on-premise or on-site) phone system that requires you to invest in necessary hardware and services with large, upfront costs.
  2. An off-premise (hosted or cloud-based) option with little to no upfront investment, and a monthly subscription fee.

Now you know the different business phone systems options that are at your disposal, whether you are considering an upgrade, replacement, or a first-time installation. The next thing is to ask yourself leading questions that will help you identify the best telephone system for your business, and here are some of them.

  • Is the engagement of more customers through phone calls a necessity for the expansion of my operation?
  • Do my business activities rely heavily on voice calls, or will I do just fine with minimal telephony requirements?
  • What benefits could come from an integration of my business applications with a phone system?
  • What new capabilities will come with a digital phone system (AI, data, analytics, shortcuts for efficiency)? 
  • How will a reliable phone system impact my plans for strategic growth?
  • Is my current phone system able to provide seamless, secure communications for an increasingly mobile and remote workforce?

Answering each of the questions above will point you in the right direction towards establishing the right phone system for your business operations. Take a look at some of the factors worth considering when shopping for the ideal telephone system for your company.

Related Article: Top 5 Hidden Costs Of Your Office Phone System

Phone System Features

As technology continues to evolve, the phone system is no exception, and that is why you cannot afford to maintain a legacy on-site phone system for your enterprise if your priorities include remaining relevant in the industry you operate in going forward. 

If you want to future-proof your firm's telecommunication system, acquiring a modern VoIP system will be a wise idea.

Some of the other benefits of opting for a VoIP phone system include the integration of your business phones with such technology platforms as:

  • CRM software
  • Email
  • ERP
  • Video conferencing or conferencing calling
  • Employee training
  • Virtual faxing
  • Collaboration tools (such as Slack) 


The Cost of Your Office Phone System

Whatever investment you make in your business, remember that your books of account should balance at the end of the day. For that reason, ensuring that your business expenditures do not impact your cash flow negatively is critical.

Getting the features you need, excellent call quality, and the best price is the goal.

When comparing the cost of an onsite system with cloud options, make sure to consider hidden costs. Cloud phone systems are provided on a subscription basis so you get a predicable, fixed cost.

Onsite systems often seem to cost less over three years, but remember, you will also have monthly service fees for phone lines from a service provider. In addition, many onsite systems have annual support fees which range from 20-30% of the total cost system, every year! Not to mention the cost of software and hardware upgrades.


Supporting Your Phone Needs

Expect to hear claims from each phone system service provider that their product is the best out there. The question is, what's the best system for you? Look for a vendor agnostic technology consultant who listens and seeks to understand your business before they start making recommendations.

Getting referrals and checking customer reviews on various online platforms regarding particular telephone service providers can be helpful, but beware. Negative reviews may be the result of poor system design, or the deployment of a phone system without proper preparation of the network.

A reputable phone service provider should be available to offer your business the necessary support (such as a call center)  around the clock, and hiring such a vendor will help your business to thrive as well.


Phone System Security is Top Priority

Although the internet is enhancing communication among businesses, customers, and employees through VoIP phone systems, you should be cautious of the service provider you choose to engage in this case. 

Cases of fraud, malware, and phishing attempts by entities offering VoIP services with ulterior motives should not catch you by surprise because they are part of the challenges affecting both small and big companies today.

A trustworthy telephone service provider should have redundant architecture, tried and proven encryption, authentication, among other security measures that serve as an assurance that such vendors are dependable.


What About Scalability?

Financing services that are not in use or lacking access to necessary services when you need them as an entrepreneur is a disservice to your operations that affects productivity, and that is the case of a phone system that is not scalable. 

Scalability of a modern cloud phone system means the ability to quickly add users and sites, but also refers to the ability to remove user accounts that are no longer in use. With onsite phone systems, adding users and sites may require complex hardware and software licensing, and there is no possibility of scaling down in user count.

The efficiency of your company operations partly depends on the decisions you make, and that is why you cannot afford to acquire a phone system that has no provision for scalability. The impact on your business can be significant.


Communication That’s Reliable

When considering the ideal business phone system to invest in, you should appreciate the fact that whatever option you choose is not immune to downtime. 

Your business communication system failure implies that you may be staring at a potential loss of revenue over the period that such downtime will last, and that is why you cannot afford to take chances when seeking the right telephone services vendor.

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The Final Say on The Most Ideal Phone System For Your Business

By engaging a phone services provider who does not have a fallback plan, risk management, and fail-safe policy, your clients and entire business will face the brunt of downtime when it occurs. In that case, exercising due diligence when assessing various providers of business phone services is not optional since every entity requires reliable phone services.

The process of finding the best phone system for your organization requires an evaluation of the factors above, among others and gathering the facts beyond what you hear. 

Investing in the right telephone system for your firm will not only enhance communication, but it will also improve the reputation of your enterprise and its productivity.

At AIS, we’re not just a technology company. We’re a company designed to inform and educate you on the best purchasing decisions for your business, employees, and customers. The more you know about office technology solutions, the greater success you’ll see. To find out more about office phone systems or any of the products and customer services we offer, reach out to us here. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.


John Taylor

As our Senior Technology Consultant, John Taylor has been in the business technology industry for over 20 years.