How your company does business and the type of infrastructure it has will be major factors when replacing an existing phone system with a new system.
Good guidance is extremely helpful. A telecom professional can not only offer a price quote, but offer advice about the system, both its strengths and weaknesses and how they pertain to your business today and in the future.
Deciding on which type of phone system would be best for your needs often results after a quick review of answers to a few important questions.
Whether or not you plan on keeping your current telephone provider and how they deliver dial tone will dictate some specific requirements for a new phone system. If you have 4 CO telephone lines and plan to keep them, then the new system will have to be able to accept those FXO connections. Likewise, if you have a PRI circuit, then the new system must be able to accept a PRI. Going all VoIP, then the only need is bandwidth.
Expanding the number of lines can be accomplished by a variety of means, depending the phone system you get. Adding VoIP capabilities will allow SIP trunks as additional lines using the Internet. If your company has four traditional lines now and want to expand to 7 then the hardware must be able to accommodate a second 4 port CO card for the additional lines.
Cabling and infrastructure will often define a cost effective phone solution. For instance, an industrial facility with a mix of offices and production space may still have traditional phone lines to many of the phones, especially in the production industrial part of the premise. Running Ethernet cables in high steel beams over machinery requiring lifts can be costly and not worth the expense.
Newer technology for some is not new for others, so to answer a question about the type of phone system in regards to advance features comes down to business needs. Sales, call centers and office environments typically would want advanced features that make business easier and save costs by improving efficiencies. A parts supply house may look at advanced feature needs as a well designed attendant and voicemail to email.
Many businesses now manage their own phone system. The days when a phone tech has to make an on premise service call for anything related to the phone system is changing. Hosted VoIP providers have built systems that make everything easy and intuitive and offer online and phone support as part of the service. Some on-premise VoIP phone systems are designed to be intuitive and allow for customer self management. However, on-premise traditional PBXs still require a phone technician that knows the particular system.
There are many good on premise PBX phone systems available in a range of prices that should match a specific set of requirements. Most companies with an understanding of their needs should be able to stay inside a reasonable budget.
Hosted VoIP providers do offer a range of plans, from basic to advanced and it's easy to quickly determine a price for the system with phones and a monthly cost.
For the do it yourselfer who wants control and to be able to manage their own system there are several excellent choices of VoIP appliances and phones.
The best phone system for your companies situation can vary from another's choice. Next we discuss 4 different scenarios with the best phone system choice.
Continue with part 2 which will describe some important differences in how a company gets its current phone service and how the facilities' infrastructure can play a big role in the best PBX phone solution.