What Are the Different Types of Business Phone Systems?

Which Phone System is Best for Your Business?

There are 3 main business phone system options: KSU, PBX and VoIP. Learn more about each of them below to determine which is best for your company.

Business phone system features are very different from traditional phones for your home. A good business phone system must be able to handle multiple calls at one time and transfer calls to other phones within the system.

When you are selecting a phone system for your business, make sure you understand all of the base features being offered and which are add-ons. You should also be sure the company has good customer reviews and reliable customer service should you have a problem.

Commercial Phone System Features

Here’s a list of some of the most popular features available:

Conference calls are a must for most businesses today, especially if they have employees working remotely.

Call forwarding allows calls to be forwarded to another phone in the system, another number (like a cell phone), and even to an email address.

Multiple lines allow employees to place calls on hold while taking another call. The size of your business is the main determining factor for how many lines you will need.

Headset capability (both wired and wireless) is available for most business phone systems, allowing employees to handle calls hands-free.

Custom on-hold messages allow you to record a message that benefits your business while they hold for an available operator.

Auto-attendants allow the system to take and route calls to the right team member automatically.

Visual voicemail not only allows callers to leave messages for your team members, but it can also transcribe the message and send it via text or email to the recipient.

Business Phone System Types

Key system units – KSU

Key system units are the most basic phone system – comparable to a home telephone. This type of phone system uses a central switching device for manual phone line selection.

Advantages of KSU System

  • Flexible and easy to use
  • Operator can manually select an appropriate phone line
  • It has basic features needed by most businesses

Disadvantages of KSU System

  • Can only accommodate 40 phone lines
  • Lacks portability and flexibility

KSU-less system

There is a variation of the KSU system that is wireless and does not use a central switching unit. It has the same basic features but it is portable and flexible. Unfortunately, this type of system is limited to approximately 10 employees. Therefore, it a good for a very small business that doesn’t intent to grow.

Private branch exchange – PBX

A private branch exchange or PBX, is a more advanced phone system than the KSU and KSU-less systems. It incorporates programmable switching devices which are typically installed on-site and automatically route incoming calls.

Advantages of PBX System

  • Can handle companies with more than 40 employees
  • It automatically routes incoming calls
  • Dedicated power supply that can remain functional even during power outages.

Disadvantages of PBX System

  • You need a dedicated team to manage
  • The business is responsible for all maintenance
  • It is possible to experience redundancy issues between worksites

Hosted PBX is a modification that may make sense for some businesses. The difference is that the programmable switching device is hosted by a telephone provider instead of on-site. This configuration avoids some installation and maintenance expense associated with a standard PBX system.

Voice over Internet Protocol – VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocal is a newer and more flexible choice for business phones. It is the more advanced system by a long shot, and requires both the internet and a computer for operation.

Advantages of VoIP

  • Expansion or relocation of employees or departments at a fraction of the cost
  • Supports as many lines as needed
  • Voicemail and secure fax to email
  • Built in instant messaging and paging
  • Easy conferencing
  • Reconfiguration of a remote extension in just 5 minutes
  • Easily and inexpensively communicate across the globe

Disadvantages of VoIP

  • A stable internet connection is necessary, limiting when and where it can be used.
  • Bandwidth and latency issues can result in poor quality communication.
  • Devices can be the target for cyber-criminals, which can be avoided with proper protocol.

VoIP systems can be hosted as well. Lower installation and maintenance costs are typical with the hosted version because the service provider hosts the central telephone system. Many companies, including Total Tech also offer lease options.

What is the cost of a business phone system?

There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of the phone system. How many lines do you need? What features does your business need? Do you have multiple locations or employees that work remotely? Do you expect your business to grow and needs to change in the near future?

The best way to find the perfect business phone system for your business is to schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists. We will evaluate your specific situation and needs.

Why Total Tech? We use the latest technology with the most up-to-date features. Most of our customers actually reduce their phone cost by as much as 70%. Our goal is to provide better service while cutting your business expense. Contact us for a free consultation today.