The most advanced business phone system technology is well within the reach of small and medium-sized companies.
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In the past, a top-tier phone solution seemed out of the question for the average business owner. But the days of massive phone cabinets, complex configurations and extreme pricing are behind us and now companies of all shapes and sizes can take advantage of sophisticated product offerings.
To some degree, the benefits your company can expect to receive from your phone system will depend on how well you've done your homework. Although there are a lot of options on the market, you'll need to be careful to select one that meets your size and feature requirements.
You should also be aware of the fact that different phone systems deliver different benefits. As an owner or decision-maker, you'll have to wade through the benefits associated with the industry's most common business phone system options.
- Key Systems. Though they may sound complicated to uninitiated business owners, key systems are a relatively straightforward option for companies with few employees. External lines come into a central cabinet that is attached to internal extensions. In the past, the features that came with these systems were limited. But these days, key systems can include features that rival more complex systems. If a key system sounds right for your business, you can expect to benefit from lower implementation costs and a comparatively simple configuration.
- PBX Systems. PBX systems are a step-up from key systems. They handle larger user loads, offer more advanced features and can be more easily customized to your company's communication environment. A big benefit of PBX systems is that they are easily integrated with VoIP technology and other applications that deliver a high degree of flexibility to small businesses.
- KSU-less Systems. KSU-less (Key System Unit) systems give you the advantage of extreme portability. You'll get a lot of the same benefits as you would receive with a key system, but instead of funneling communication through a central cabinet, the phones themselves contain the technology you need for the features you require. Since they aren't permanently wired into offices, they are very portable. The downside is that you may sacrifice a certain amount of quality, and you won't receive the installation and maintenance support you would receive through a typical phone system vendor.
- VoIP. VoIP business systems give your company the ability to channel internal voice communication through the Internet, eliminating long-distance costs and giving you data features you've always dreamed about having. Combined with a PBX business system for external calls, these systems represent the apex of current commercial telecommunication technology – but be prepared to pay more for a system that is fully-integrated with your existing phone system & applications.