Business Phones: What you need to know

Updated: Aug 10

Are you considering adopting a new phone system for your business? In this article, we define the different types of phone systems, their differences in life cycles, technology options in the past and the present. Read on to learn more.

Different phone systems

Telephones have come a long way from when they first came about in 1876; modern phone systems have virtually unlimited reach, are automated, and are cheaper than ever to acquire. Today’s businesses still use telephones to connect with various stakeholders such as customers, investors, and suppliers, to service their numerous needs, and in most cases, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones are the answer.

VoIP is a system of hardware and software that uses the internet instead of wired circuits to transmit data. VoIP does more than just transmit audio; it can also send a variety of data (video, multimedia, SMS, etc.) and perform other tasks as well.

The hardware (phone system, cables, call recording equipment etc.) and software (one or more applications that run the system) can be either on-premises or hosted:

On-premise – Hardware and software are physically housed within the premises of the company.

Hosted VoIP – Some of the hardware, like desk phones, can be found within the premises. But everything else is hosted online. Hosted VoIP providers provide a managed service for their clients.

Life cycles: On-premises vs. hosted

With hardware, it doesn’t matter whether it’s on-premise or privately hosted, it is affected by the wear and tear stemming from daily use. Barring any accidents or physical damage, hardware should last several years but it will get outdated very quickly as technology advances. Parts become difficult to acquire and upgrading may not be possible without replacing the whole phone system.

On the other hand, whilst hosted VoIP software requires regular updates, it's a fast and easy way to bring new features and benefits that help your business. This is completely managed by your cloud voice provider and included in your monthly costs.

Technology today vs. before

In the past, hardware and software were built to last. Today, they’re built to adapt and change, thanks to cloud technology.

The effect of this shift on hardware and software is dramatic:

Most hardware components are very similar, with replacements and upgrades coming every 5–8 years on average.

Cloud software is faster, easier, and cheaper to upgrade. Critical updates are applied immediately and without your intervention, you never have to replace your equipment (unless you break a headset or phone).

As your business moves forward, your phone system should be agile and fast, and should integrate smoothly with the other systems in your business, such as email or management software.

Be a step ahead

Downtime results in loss of potential sales and, essentially, wasted money. If your phone service is spotty and is constantly unreliable, perhaps it’s time to switch to the Microsoft Phone System?

Nowadays, it’s not longevity that’s important; it’s staying ahead of the curve.

Call our experts today so you can always be a step ahead - 03330 151541

Alternatively, book an appointment now.

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