Small Business Phone System Buying Trends

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: July 06, 2011

Small business phone systems are more affordable, and more feature-intensive than ever before, and businesses of any size can now have access to phone systems that are both functional and professional without breaking their budgets. With VoIP technology firmly gaining a foothold in recent years, and mobile technologies expanding almost daily, new telephone solutions for businesses abound. Below is a glimpse at what is most popular on both the system and features end of things.

Business Telephone Systems

Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems, also referred to as “Hosted PBX” systems, give small businesses flexibility and function at the same time without the need to purchase or lease expensive hardware for their telephone systems. These services are generally contracted as a monthly or annual subscription service with additional charges built in for additional handsets, users per month, features, or customizations. They typically come with a variety of pre-installed options and features, and provide an extremely in depth and functional telephone interface.

The adoption of VoIP telephony has increased drastically over the last several years as the technology has kept pace with the demand for inexpensive and high-quality voice, data and video transmission.

The Right Stuff

Beyond the capabilities a hosted PBX system delivers on the hardware side of things are the features that give all businesses the ability to interact with their customers and employees more effectively. Larger businesses with a dedicated premise-based exchange phone system have traditionally had access to a few of these features, while many others are new additions that simply were not possible with older technologies but are now indispensable for doing business.

  • Auto Attendant: Regardless of the volume of phone traffic your business receives, this will help cut down on time routing calls to the appropriate employee or department.
  • Call Forwarding: An invaluable tool in today’s always-connected environment, call forwarding simply lets you take calls to your extension from another line or number.
  • Visual Voicemail/Integrated Messaging: Another useful tool for employees who are often occupied with other phone calls or in meetings, this function will allow you to see or read your incoming voicemails without having to dial in to retrieve them.
  • Follow Me-Find Me: By sequentially dialing a series of telephone numbers that you have programmed in, this feature will track you from one phone to the next to be sure that you receive all your important calls – regardless of whether you are down the hall or out of the building.
  • Night /Holiday Service: A simple, but invaluable tool to let your customers know that your business is closed for the evening, day, or week. Particularly useful in conjunction with an automated attendant, your customers can be funneled to the appropriate employee or department even after hours.

Professionally designed small business telephone systems are no longer prohibitively expensive. With many monthly services set at exceptionally affordable per-user per-month rates, and the features and functions to make a small business perform more efficiently, it’s not difficult to see why so many small and medium sized businesses have made the switch to a hosted phone system.

 

Featured Research
  • How VoIP is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

    The healthcare industry, like many industries, is in the midst of an era of rising costs and an ever increasing pressure to drive down expenses. Now, what if we were to tell you that there was a simple solution to these problems? The answer is VoIP. And to make it sweeter, it allows for your hospital staff to utilize modern mobile devices as resources instead of antiquated phone systems. more

  • [Infographic] 8 Common Pain Points UC Eliminates

    Every company has moments of frustration, it is when these moments become extended periods of inefficiency, or pain points, where we start to see loss in productivity and employee morale. What truly sets a successful business apart from those of its competitors, is how they take these pain points and use them as opportunities to improve upon procedures and systems to eliminate pain points and move beyond what was the status quo. more

  • Go VoIP and Go Green

    You may be looking to switch to VoIP because of the cost benefits that it will bring your company, but did you know that it is also FAR BETTER than traditional phone systems for the environment as well? With environmental impact being at the forefront of both consumer and business minds, it is essential that business decisions are made now based on economic AND ecological impact. more

  • eGuide: Comparing UC Vendors

    Changing your company’s business communications solution is an investment in time and money that will touch everyone in your organization. A successful unified communications (UC) deployment should streamline everyone’s work flow, simplify IT operations and deliver a lowered total cost of operations. Your company deserves nothing less. more

  • Getting More from Your VoIP System

    Too many businesses fall into the trap of setting up their VoIP as a "plug and play" and getting to work. However, we have found that this thinking only leads to businesses failing to get the most out of their VoIP experience. We have put together an in-depth guide that will walk you through 15 easy steps to get more out of your system. more