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5 Things To Look For When Comparing Small Business Phone Systems

by John Ciarlone on September 27, 2013

small business phone systems The small business phone industry has boomed in recent years, as Internet-aware distributed
telecommunications have gone mainstream. Today's small bsuiness phone systems have become more than simple voice networks – they're just one more aspect of a unified data-based telecommunications network that is designed to facilitate communications throughout your operation, no matter where an individual employee is.

You've got a lot of options, besides the standard sorts of business telephones you can pick up at Target. Today, there are alternatives on the market that can give you the sort of advanced, scalable VoIP-based services the large corporations use, at small business prices.

Short on time? Download our free guide to buying a new phone system. 

For a growing firm looking to expand and impress, the best small business phone system is ultimately the one that will open up more possibilities for your firm.

Five Key Features Shared By The Best Small Business Phone Systems Today

I. VoIP-Readiness

Even if your office hasn't switched over from standard copper-wire phone service yet, that day is going to come sooner or later. A modern unified Voice-over-IP system that integrates voice and data offers too many advantages over the old phone standards, and adoption is increasing rapidly despite the global recession.

It's worth paying slightly more now for telephones which are going to be ready for network upgrades to come, rather than having to buy another new phone system when you move towards VoIP.

meraki communications

II. Ease Of Daily Use

Modern business phone systems have become increasingly complex, as they tie into systems with a multitude of menus and options. Look for a phone system that's designed to keep things simple and straight-forward for the everyone who just needs to use the phone.

When your small business's phone system is powered by a unified operating system, administration can be centralized to a single screen, while providing simple, customizable menus to their users.

III. Simple Expandability

As your telephony becomes tied more closely to your network, it's going to pay off if your phone system is already anticipating future expansions. Consider how many lines your current setup will support, and what your upgrade path will be once your employee needs surpass that.

Unified telephone systems allow phones and lines to be added as you need, without calling a phone company, with virtually instantaneous activation. As your small business grows, it ensures your telephone system never gets in the way.

IV. Personalized Menus And Deliverybusiness phone systems

Unified phone systems bring plenty of new productivity options to your workforce as well. IVR systems can now be set up and customized for each line, including custom hold music. It creates a way for your staff to streamline their phone system to work as they need it.

This can be combined with advanced Find Me / Follow Me features, allows a worker's phone to intelligently route messages to their location, including changing the message's format to fit their device. A voicemail, for example, could be compressed as an MP3 and emailed to an iPad, automatically.

V. A Path To The Future

A VoIP phone system, as part of a combined voice\data network, ultimately forms the foundation for a business's telecommunications for the next decade to come. The resulting unified network is ready for expansions, up to and including the point you cut out the phone company entirely with on-site PBX switching.

If you choose with an eye towards your ultimate telecommunications goals, it will pay off in plenty of ways in the long run, but especially in how simple it becomes to make your way towards telecommunications independence. Your future in-house switchboard could just be one more device to plug in and authenticate through the unified network software.

To find out more or get a free trial of the new Meraki MC74, just let us know what you need.

In the meantime, what features do you folks think are most important with your phone systems? Have you started thinking upgrade paths yet?


Topics: Phones