Are you thinking of upgrading your business phone system or are you contemplating your first telephony solution? There is no one-size-fits-all solution and there are a lot of confusing acronyms like VOIP, SIP, PRI, POTS, analog and digital. The good news is that there are essentially two main options; premise-based and hosted/cloud phone systems.
Let’s try and simplify the conversation. The first decision is whether to choose a local system or subscribe to a cloud system. Local systems are typically purchased, and cloud systems are monthly subscription services. If you have a single location, and one internet connection, then you will likely choose a local system. If you have multiple locations, a cloud solution is a great option (although local Hybrid systems can connect multiple locations together without a subscription to a cloud provider). A cloud system depends on your internet connection and your network infrastructure. You may need multiple internet connections from different providers for redundancy if phone calls are critical to your business and your network will need to provide QOS (quality of services) to give your phone calls priority so that someone downloading does not degrade your phone call quality.
When you choose a local system, you should choose a “digital” system. Both analog and digital are types of signals used to transmit your voice from point A to point B. Both work well and each has its pros and cons. However, digital is the winner in the arena of affordable quality and compatibility (and totally future proof). Digital systems use VOIP which stands for “voice over Internet protocol” meaning the calls are transmitted as data in the same way that your PC transmits information. Local systems should be Hybrid which means that they should support locally delivered phone lines and cloud SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) lines. Another benefit of the VOIP phone system is the portability of a handset, reducing wiring or programming costs when staff members move to different offices. The handset can also be used at a remote location simply by plugging into an internet connection. A digital VOIP phone system local or cloud can be accessed with a soft-phone app, similar to Skype or Facetime, on your smartphone, iPad, PC or Mac. With the softphone, you can make calls on your computer, tablet or smartphone from your office number anywhere in the world. Call centers typically use softphones.
Business Intelligence, metrics and integrations are also important considerations. You may want to automate and connect telephony systems to your CRM to produce performance metrics and increase productivity and accountability.
If your next business telephony solution is local, it should either be a hybrid system capable of utilizing both physically installed and cloud (SIP) lines. If your next solution is cloud-based then the key consideration is the quality and redundancy of your Internet connection and your internal network infrastructure.
Alexssa offers both on premise and cloud solutions. Call us at 262-338-3742 to schedule a short conversation so we can better understand your needs and help you make the decision that is right for your business.