VoIP – Things to consider when buying a small business phone system

Gigaset DX800A

Telephone systems are essential to every company’s productivity. Today’s phones offer more than just the option of calling and receiving calls, and business owners have come to expect their phones to provide a lot more, like the ability to communicate in different ways, including data, video, and instant messaging.

Why choose VoIP?

VoIP phone systems from manufacturers like Gigaset or Polycom offer lots of benefits, in addition to the fact that they take advantage of the data network already installed in your workplace. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is particularly suited for businesses working with international contacts and employees, or those that operate at multiple locations where there are many long-distance calls involved.

Gigaset DX800A

According to a recent survey, close to 50 percent of small businesses use IP-based solutions, such as VoIP, mostly because it saves time and money, while enhancing efficiency, productivity, and the company’s image. While large businesses have the financial ability to take on the high installation costs of VoIP at once, small and medium businesses may have to find ways of cutting down their overheads without compromising on quality.

The trick is in finding the appropriate size solution for your business by considering the following factors:

1. Traditional vs. hybrid IP PBX

There are multiple migration options, and your choice depends on the size and needs of your company, existing telephony infrastructure, and your support staff. If you have a technologically savvy workforce, making the direct investment in an IP phone system would suit your business.

Hybrid IP PBX systems, on the other hand, offer a more affordable and manageable solution for small business looking to transition to VoIP, by blending IP technologies with conventional phone systems.

2. Onsite vs. hosted IP PBX

There are many benefits of having your own internal VoIP system, like onsite support, greater feature flexibility, and lower long-term expenses, but this option also requires a heavy investment in hardware and trained manpower to maintain the system.

Hosted VoIP systems, on the other hand, offer the merits of an IP-based phone solution while eliminating the need for in-house IT resources and equipment.

Gigaset DX800A

3. Hardphones vs. soft clients

It is important that you find the right VoIP tools for the nature of your business. If, for instance, you have a local, in-site workforce with minimal IP requirements, then a headphone is the appropriate communication tool for you. But if your staff is remote or largely mobile, you may need to invest in training them to use soft clients that can be accessed from multiple locations, and offer more VoIP features.

Whichever VoIP system you go for, it is important to note that the efficiency of your system will only be as good as the manufacturer or integrator providing it. So, you should take your time when choosing a VoIP service provider, and evaluate what features they offer, their kind of support, and any additional fees to expect.

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