The commercial telephone, dating back as far as the 1870s, revolutionised communications. Before the introduction of the telephone, business communication was limited to that of short distance mail, telegraph, or messenger services. By the 1920s a transatlantic service had been established between London and New York, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward 100 years and we’re inundated with a huge range of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and mobile phone systems for business purposes, from SIP Trunks to Hosted Phone services but what exactly are these systems, how do they work, and which one is best suited for your business? We will answer all those questions in this handy guide to choosing the best phone system for your business.
Discover how Class Networks’ bespoke telecommunication range can provide the best phone systems for your business
The importance of phones for business
Although email is now arguably the most common form of business communication, the telephone is far from obsolete. Modern telephone services are almost unrecognisable from their humble beginnings.
Effective communication, coordination and cooperation are key to the success of any business, and the introduction of VoIP services has now enabled business users (with an internet connection) to chat, video conference, screen share and collaborate in real-time, from anywhere – all within a single application.
Choosing a phone system for your business
Whether you’re a small business owner or CEO of a multinational corporation you have a responsibility to promote connectivity between your customers and employees.
Understanding the different available systems, how they work, and what your business requirements are, are the keys to choosing the most suitable business phone system.
To decide which phone system is best suited to your business you should consider the following:
The different types of telephony services available
Traditional, on-premise telephony platforms
On-premise telephony platforms, as the name suggests, are phone systems that are physically installed within a building. Examples of on-premise telephony systems include:
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX): A private telephone network used within a business or organisation (Analogue)
- Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): A public telephone network operated on a local, regional and national scale (Analogue)
- The most reliable of the communications platforms as they do not require power, nor an internet connection to operate
- Traditional phone systems offer superior consistency of quality
- Limited in terms of their capability, restricted to making analogue calls from a singular location
- Can be considerably more expensive to install and operate than VoIP based systems
On-premise VoIP telephony platforms
On-premise, VoIP platforms enable communication via the internet, and require the installation of all the equipment, including the PBX hardware, within your business premises. They work by converting analogue signals into data packets, which are then transmitted via your internet connection.
- Anytime, anywhere connection
- Low-cost transmission of both voice and multimedia
- Wide range of functions including:
- DDI (Integration of DNS, DHCP, and IP address management (IPAM))
- Video conferencing
- Call parking features
- Roaming capabilities
- Softphone capabilities
- Mobile phone extension capabilities
- On-premise VoIP platforms can be very costly as they require the business to invest in all of the required hardware, as well as premises in which to install the system
- On-premise systems also require the business to take responsibility for the ongoing monitoring, servicing and maintenance of the system
- Reliant on a stable internet connection, without which the system will fail to function at full capacity, if at all
Hosted VoIP telephony platforms
Hosted telephony platforms, also known as cloud-based VoIP platforms, utilise existing internet connections, which are hosted and managed by a communications provider from a data centre. Calls can be made using a VoIP telephone, headset, mobile device or desktop application, and there is no requirement for any hardware to be installed by the user.
- All of the benefits and features of an on-premise VoIP system
- No requirement for investment in hardware or IT departments
- Enable almost instantaneous expansion offering a high degree of flexibility
- Easy budgeting as businesses typically pay a monthly fee on a per-user basis
- The host is in control of your system. In the event of any disruption, you are reliant on them to reconnect your service
Business phone system options with Class Networks
Microsoft Teams Voice
Microsoft Teams Voice has the capability and functionality to replace your existing telephone system. As part of Microsoft’s 365 software, Team Voice is a seamless, one-stop-shop within which all Office programmes and applications are linked, allowing for simple and effective communication and collaboration. Ultimately this helps to improve productivity and business continuity.
With Class Networks’ Team Voice system it’s possible to make and receive external calls to landlines, mobiles and international telephone numbers outside the Teams environment, as well as chat, audio and video conference, screen share and store files all within a single application.
Why choose Microsoft Teams Voice:
- Teams Voice is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, which could represent potential cost savings as there is no requirement for a separate phone system
- As a single application for voice, video conferencing, IM, collaboration and file storage it is easy to navigate
- Accessible from any device or location with an internet connection
- As cloud-based software, there is no requirement for investment and storage of hardware
- All data traffic between the end-user client and our servers is secure and encrypted
Class Networks Hosted Voice
With Class Networks Hosted Voice all incoming and outgoing calls are hosted in our secure data centre, connected to your premises via a dedicated secure connection to the Class Networks voice platform using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Class Voice allows multiple users to access the system simultaneously and enjoy all the benefits of our state-of-the-art system which is available by monthly subscription.
Why choose Class Voice:
- Pre-configured for quick & free, easy installation without annual maintenance charges
- Inclusive calls to UK landlines & mobiles
- 24/7/365 support
- Add & remove users seamlessly as your organisation evolves
- Moving office? You can keep all your existing phone numbers, simply re-plug the service in at your new location and you’re ready to go
Class Networks SIP Trunking service connects your existing PBX (Private Branch Exchange) to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), and subsequently to a national network via broadband, Ethernet or private circuit.
Why choose Class Networks SIP Trunking:
- Save up to 50% online rental and 25% on call costs in comparison to traditional Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) systems
- Free internal calls
- True scalability – add or remove lines as and when required
Business mobile phones
As a Virtual Mobile Network Operator (VMNO) Class Networks can provide provision and support to employees across a range of business mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and specialised in-the-field devices.
Companies with a business mobile plan have traditionally been restricted to connectivity tied to a single network. We can provide you SIMS for business mobiles from several networks including EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 as part of a singular business contract, all detailed on one monthly bill making it easier for you to track and monitor usage.
Why choose a mobile business plan for your company phones:
- Flexible plans and bespoke packages are available
- Capability to recreate your office remotely:
- Send files
- Conference call in HD
- Access all cloud-based services in real-time
Class Networks for your business phone requirements
With more than 1,100 clients within the charitable and voluntary sectors, as well as numerous private clientele, Class Networks have the experience and innovative approach required to deliver eco-friendly and manageable solutions to your communications needs. To find out more about how we can help your business with telephone systems, give us a call today on 0333 800 8822.
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