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
  • Business Phone System Buyer's Guide

    Communication has been a focal point in business since inception, but the industry is changing drastically in how people connect to one another and what tools and systems they use to do so. Less than 15 years ago, 90% of people relied on landline phone systems for communication. Today, less than 60% of Americans even have a landline and 40% rely solely on their mobile phone. more

  • The IT Manager's Survival Guide

    As an IT manager, maintaining physical fax servers and infrastructure is not a high priority. However, fax capability remains a business need simply because chances are your industry is dependent on its security. What if there was a way to reduce the amount of time spent handling fax complaints and maintaining physical servers? And this way took into account security, cost savings, and freed up your IT resources. Would you be interested? more

  • The Top 10 Reasons Companies Continue to Fax in 2017

    Even though many won't admit it in public, many industries still rely heavily on sending faxes in one way or another. And believe it or not, fax usage is, in fact, going up and not down. Don't believe us? In a recent study, 82% of respondents stated that fax usage increased over the past year while only 19% stated that their fax usage went down. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more

  • Top 11 VoIP Myths Busted

    VoIP is one of the fastest growing business communication technologies, with many saying that it will grow at a rate of 10% year over year for the foreseeable future. As with any new technology, there are many myths floating about that claim to answer the questions that surround how the new service works. more