Your telephone system is one of the most important technologies for your business. It is the backbone of your communications between staff, vendors, and customers. Without a reliable phone system, you’ll be hamstrung trying to keep everyone happy.
When it comes to choosing a phone system for your business, you have a few options. But not all phone systems are created equal. Landlines options are of course still available with PSTN and PBX, and newer options like Virtual Phone Service and VoIP have become available in the last decade or so. We’ll break down your options for you and go over some things to consider before making your choice.
PSTN & PBX
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network, which is your standard landline service. PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a device used with landlines that enables call routing as well as quick and easy internal communications. PBX has been the standard for businesses for a long time.
With traditional landlines, there are few if any surprises, but at this point, they are long since outdated. PBX is inflexible where scaling is concerned, and landline service is just flat out more expensive than other alternatives.
Virtual Phone Service
Virtual Phone Service provides users with a virtual phone number used to forward calls to an actual phone number. It’s mostly used to avoid long-distance charges in IP telephony and for call-forwarding services like “find me”/”follow me.”
Virtual Phone Service is inexpensive but very limited. It’s great for one- or two-man operations, but beyond that, it may prove more trouble than it’s worth.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is telephony over the internet. It is the new standard for business communication. VoIP offers crystal-clear calls and loads of cool and useful features that make communication in many forms a breeze.
On-premise VoIP means you own, house and maintain all the required hardware and equipment. This includes handsets, network servers, routers and any other peripherals that make it all work. VoIP is flexible, reliable and very well suited for larger companies who can afford the equipment and personnel to maintain it all.
Cloud VoIP or Hosted VoIP is the same as on-premise VoIP, but you don’t own, house or maintain any of the equipment. You sign up for VoIP service with a provider who takes care of all that for you.
With Hosted VoIP, all you need to purchase are handsets for your end users and a service package from your chosen provider. Since there’s very little up-front cost, Hosted VoIP works great for small to medium-sized businesses, and it can be a real game changer.
Choosing Your Phone Service
Now that you know what your options are, let’s go over what you should consider before choosing the best one for you and your business.
First, you need to look at the features included in any plan. Consider your needs and compare the different options against those needs. You should also consider other features that could prove useful, even if you don’t necessarily need them. Make sure you’re checking with your vendor on any applicable fees for extra services or features.
Total Cost of Ownership
For many businesses, it’s all about the bottom line, which means taking into account the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). You should consider all of your expenses for the first year of service. Remember to include the cost of any equipment, services, plans, fees, infrastructure upgrades, and anything else related to the service that could cost you money.
It’s also important to make sure the phone service you want will work with your existing infrastructure. This is mostly the case for both VoIP options, where a solid internet connection is required with enough bandwidth to support your internet needs and VoIP requirements.
Current and Future Needs
You need to not only consider how the service meets your current needs, but also how it will need to meet your future needs. You could be running a small operation, but if you play your cards right, you could be expanding in the next couple years. If that’s the case, you need a service that can easily grow with you.
Mobile Device Support
It’s a mobile world now, and you should consider how your phone service could implement mobile device support to get the most productivity out of your staff—especially if they’re on the go a lot.
This is a big one, especially with Cloud/Hosted VoIP. Do they have a good track record with helping smaller businesses? Do they comply with any mandates if you work in a regulated industry? You should also consider customer support. Your service provider should be a partner, not another vendor.
DigiFone Is Your Local Cloud/Hosted VoIP Leader
Now that you have all the information about your different phone system options and things to consider, it’s time to make your choice. It should be clear by now that VoIP is the way to go no matter the size of your business. If you’re a small business, Cloud/Hosted VoIP could be your saving grace, and DigiFone is here to help.
Not only do you get all of the features that Cloud VoIP offers above, but DigiFone service goes above and beyond with these additional features:
- For our friends in the healthcare field, DigiFone is 100% HIPAA compliant with full encryption for voice-to-text transcription. Keep your patients’ PHI safe and secure.
- DigiFone service is compatible with more types of SIP phones than other VoIP service providers are. You can use any handset you like, as long as it’s SIP-compatible.
- We offer free on-site training for your staff, so they know how to use every feature from Day One.
- View detailed call logs and review key call metrics with our in-depth call monitoring and tracking dashboard.
Whether you’re a small business, large corporation, non-profit or government organization, DigiFone Cloud VoIP can help you with all your phone system needs. If you’re thinking about making the switch to VoIP, get started with a consultation from our experts. Call DigiFone at
614-635-9676 or chat with our representatives online.