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Types of Phone Systems Available to Small Businesses Today

Using a professional phone system for your small business is important, if only for the fact that it will serve as a vital point of communication between you and your customers. But how do you select a phone system that is suitable for the particular type and size of business you have? Of course, it all starts with a clear understanding of the choices you have.

Nowadays, there are four key types of commercial phone systems in the market. Let’s start with what is probably the most familiar to us – the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system. PBX systems are those that are typically contained in huge cabinets and have dedicated operators. But there are smaller-scale PBX systems meant for small businesses. With their increased popularity, these systems have also become more affordable year after year, so it should be a good option for your small business.

Another popular choice for small to mid-size businesses is known as the key system. This type works with a key system unit (KSU), which works by controlling every other phone within a network. It is the KSU that controls each phone’s features and functions, such as voicemail, and makes sure that only one party will be able to use one line at a time.

In the last few years, the PBX system has become very similar to the key system in terms of features and functionality. When a phone system has both PBX and key system features, it is called a hybrid and it has more versatility compared to each of the systems working individually.

If your small business only has a maximum of 10 employees, the best choice for you might be a KSU-less system. This system is composed of typical KSU phones with the same functions and features, but there will be no central unit. One of the biggest advantages of KSU-less systems is that unlike other phone systems, they are not affixed to the building. As the technology is part of the phones themselves, there will be no problem moving the system to a new location if necessary.

A relatively new small business phone system technology is called voice over Internet protocol or VoIP. VoIP phone systems work over a broadband connection instead of phone lines. VoIP technology can provide for the needs of your small business for a lot less cost and with a much higher quality than conventional phone systems.

In the end, the type of phone system you should get will depend on the needs and requirements of your small business. However, make sure you don’t just think of today, but instead consider your needs in the future as your business expands. In other words, find a system that will be scalable.
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