Voice communication is an important decision for any business, whether small or enterprise. The shift to digital infrastructure, digital phones and VoIP has provided greater functionality and more budget friendly service plans. However, more options has also created more confusion.
Choosing a Business Phone System
When choosing a business phone system, many factors need to be analyzed. Below are a few questions we frequently ask new clients:
1) What is the purpose of the phone system? Is it to upgrade an existing system for better functionality, add a low cost option to a new office branch or expand an existing system?
2) What are your top priorities in this system? Minimal implementation costs? Fast implementation? Long term savings in phone service contracts? Advanced features and functionality? Flexibility for future growth?
3) What factors are true about your business? You are growing steadily, expanding to new locations? You have offices all over the country? You are constantly adding more employees? Workers are heavy phone users?
The answers to these three questions often narrows the selection to an ideal business phone system, one that satisfies current demands and anticipates the future. With the growing shift of businesses to VoIP and digital infrastructure, many more options and benefits can be realized then 10 even 5 years ago.
Why Choose c2mtech?
While the most advanced systems currently available are VoIP or Voice over IP, which run voice and data on a joint line, there are still many viable options in other areas. c2mtech frequently consults with new clients who believe VoIP is the answer, yet after a discussion they often find an alternative is a better selection. Unlike competitors, c2mtech installs and supports all types of phone systems, infrastructure, service plans and phone hardware from leading brands. There is no incentive for one implementation over another, allowing c2mtech to independently recommend and install the best solution for clients.
How a Phone System Works
An integrated phone network involves only three components: service, systems, and phones. Four types of service exist in the market today: Analog, Digital, On site VoIP and Hosted VoIP. These are represented below in more detail.
The phone system is what delivers the call to the business. In Analog, this is a PBX or Private Branch Exchange, a phone switchboard that uses circuits, located at the business. With VoIP, this is a server, as it connects and manages voice connections solely from the internet.
Phones come in three types: analog, digital and IP. With the exception of Hosted VoiP, IP, digital and analog phones will work with all other types of service and systems. IP and digital have the most functionality when paired with digital and VoIP services.
Analog phone systems are the oldest and most used by businesses throughout the world. Yet, their popularity is waning as many businesses seek more advanced functionality and lower monthly service plans. Analog is still a viable solution, especially for small budgets, businesses with zero tolerance for service outages, and when phones are seldom used. Analog is the most limited option. It can only support up to 23 unique phone lines, phone functionality is basic, analog is expensive to implement and it relies on a plain old telephone service (POTS), making monthly phone bills higher than alternatives.
Digital phone systems have existed much longer then VoIP solutions. The signal is a T1 line with the service called PRI or Primary Rate Interface. Although PRI is the standard public switched telephone network, it allows for 23 unique phone lines and 1 line for data or internet. As a result, PRI enables many more features not possible with analog. Call hunting is possible, if one line is busy or not answered, digital phone systems will ‘hunt’ for another phone line. DID’s or Direct Inward dialing allows for inbound calls to go directly to employee extensions without an operator. Digital Phone systems still have many caveats consistent with analog systems. They are still limited by infrastructure, more expensive then VoIP to implement and they don’t combine data and voice like VoIP, making monthly phone contracts higher. Digital phone systems can use any type of phone receiver: digital, analog or VoIP.
On premise VoIP is also called: on site VoIP, private VoIP, virtual PBX and soft PBX works like a traditional PBX, except it only needs an internet connection, no phone lines. The result is voice and data are shared and routed using software and an internet connection. Most VoIP setups send external calls on a traditional phone line, using the internet connection for internal communication only. However, c2mtech also implements SIP (session initiated protocol), which results in both internal and external calls being routed over the web.
Hosted VoIP is offsite and managed by a third party VoIP service provider. c2mtech recently partnered with Toshiba, which offers a hosted VoIP package. Hosted VoIP eliminates infrastructure costs, and can be setup quite quickly. Hosted VoiP does require a more expensive monthly phone contract and long term is more costly than on premise VoIP.
Telephone systems are precision equipment and only a precise installation can ensure that you have trouble-free service and total clarity in communicating with the world. For nearly four decades, c2mtech has studied telephony in the context of business operations. Contact us today and find the perfect match for your small or enterprise business. We support customers not only in Dallas, TX but nationwide.