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A Guide to Office Phone Systems

Phone systems are a critical part of many offices, and are considered as essential tools for running businesses. Though the Internet has been growing as a major source of communication between businesses and customers, it is still critical that offices have a phone system in place. Many customers still rely on phone services as a primary means of communication, and it is important to address this need.

Types of Office Phone Systems

Key-Less Systems:
Key-less phone systems are the most basic type of phone system offered for offices. They are typically suited for businesses that have less than ten employees, and the costs of purchasing and installing a keyless system are very low. However, features are very limited, as key-less systems offer only the basic functions necessary for a business to operate.  Another disadvantage of key-less phone systems is that they are neither flexible nor scalable. Additional lines cannot be easily added, and when business owners move offices, they must take all phone equipment with them. 

Key Systems:
Key, or KSU systems are designed for small to mid-sized companies. Though key systems offer most of the basic services needed for companies to run, they provide more flexible features, such as the ability to add additional lines. Key systems are different from key-less systems because of the existence of a central unit, which can be upgraded based on the company’s needs. 

Private Branch Exchange Systems:
Private branch exchange (PBX) systems are best for medium to larger companies, and provide offices with a variety of phone features.  One of the main advantages of PBX systems is that they can be integrated with other technological services in place in the office, and possess flexible configurations. Though PBX phone systems are more costly then key-less or key phone systems, the benefits offered outweigh the costs.

VoIP Systems:
VoIP, or Voice over IP systems are one of the most advanced phone systems available. For businesses that have clients or offices abroad, or representatives that frequently travel, VoIP phone systems allow them to communicate effortlessly through the Internet. 

Tips for Purchasing Office Phone Systems

When purchasing an office phone system, consumers should weigh various choices before making a decision.  In addition to the type of phone system, offices should also consider the following factors:

Office phone systems will offer a variety of different services. Some phone systems have conference calling, voicemail, and auto-attendant features. In addition, many companies are moving their businesses online, and VoIP systems are a viable option for companies looking for a balance between traditional phone systems and internet access.

The size of your company will play a role in the services and the type of office phone system purchased. Different types of office phone systems are distinguished by employee size, and the amount of phone lines they can support. Therefore, installing a complicated phone system may be overkill for a company that possesses less than ten employees. 

Basic office phone systems such as key-less systems will tend to be less expensive than phone systems with advanced features. However, for companies that are purchasing sophisticated office phone systems, the price will generally be offset by the numerous features available.

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