Communication is an essential part of running a successful business. As such, every business owner needs to consider which kinds of business phone system would work for them before choosing a phone service provider. Here are two essential questions you need to ask yourself when selecting the phone system.
Traditional landlines telephone service or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)?
A traditional landline is provided by a local telephone company, while VoIP runs over the Internet and is therefore provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). A lot of businesses view VoIP as the better option of the two because it offers free international calls (which are quite expensive on landlines), and you get both landline and mobile phone options. In addition, staff working outside the office can have the VoIP technology installed in their devices to facilitate remote working.
However, there are some downsides to VoIP. First, the installation and training costs are quite high, especially for a start-up business. In addition, your phone system is affected by the Internet such that if it slows down, your call quality and other communication functions will be affected. You also place your business at risk of cyber attacks from random viruses or specific competitors using hackers to manipulate your system. Also, the calls are only free if both you and the people you are calling are using the same VoIP service provider.
Self-hosted VoIP or Cloud-based VoIP?
If you decide to go with the VoIP telephone service, you can either have it hosted within your business premises or in the cloud. On-site/Self-hosted VoIP means that all the hardware needed to run the service is kept in your server closet, while a cloud-based system keeps the equipment at the service provider's data centre and connects your phones to it through the Internet.
Having a cloud-based VoIP means that you will not need to worry about maintenance of the equipment or its ability to scale up as your business grows. The installation costs are also quite affordable, especially for small businesses and start-ups since you aren't buying your own equipment. However, you will have to pay a monthly fee, which could go up as your business grows.
Self-hosted VoIP, on the other hand, attracts high installation costs since you own the equipment. However, you will not have to pay monthly costs, which makes financial sense for large businesses with many users. You also have full control over the scalability and upgrades needed for your system so you can handle them quickly and at virtually no cost to the business. You will, however, be limited in the kind of features you can add to your system unless you overhaul your equipment, which is rather expensive.
For more information about your options for a business phone system, contact a local phone service.