Business Phone Systems

Business Phone System Basics

A reliable telecommunications platform is a prerequisite for success. And choosing the right phone system begins by understanding all your options. If you're woefully behind the market, don't worry -- we've got you covered with an overview of phone system basics.

Securing the best possible business phone system for a small or medium-sized business is no easy task.

Business Phone System Basics

For those who aren't familiar with telecommunication lingo, the selection process can be frustrating and in a worst case scenario, you could end up with a business phone system that is either oversized or unable to accommodate future growth.

The key to finding the right business phone system is to know your options as well as the issues that are associated with commercial telecommunication solutions. Not sure where to begin? Here are the business phone system basics you'll need to have before you start your search.

Phone System Options

There are generally four kinds of phone systems that are utilized by the business community: Key systems, PBX systems, KSU-less systems and VoIP systems. Even though KSU-less and VoIP systems have special features and are gaining traction, most companies continue to rely on either key systems or PBX technology.

  • Key Systems. Key systems are the most straightforward of the four options. External phone lines come in through a central KSU (Key System Unit) cabinet that is also connected to internal extensions. Although they are less versatile than other systems, modern key systems offer many of the same benefits as more complex systems and are appropriate for companies with less than 40 employees.
  • PBX Systems. PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems offer more bandwidth and features than key systems. If your company employs more than 40 people, a PBX system is probably a good choice because you'll have the ability to program the system to your specifications and handle a large number of users in a customized communication environment.

Business Phone System Issues & Considerations

There are several issues that need to be considered during the transition to a new business phone system. In addition to making sure that your system has the capacity to handle your current needs, you'll need to talk with your vendor about its capacity for future expansion. A good solution can be expanded by installing additional components rather than replacing the entire system.

Also, you should be aware of how compatible the new system will be with your current communication resources. You can virtually count on having to buy new handsets, especially if your current handsets are outdated. But wiring and other hardware components are often transferrable from one system to the next. If not, you'll need to those costs into consideration during the selection process.

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