For many businesses, the fact that there are even options when selecting a phone system can feel like an overwhelming concept.
We often get asked to help these clients weigh up the different options available to them (there’s many!) and despite all of the options, clients generally want the same outcome – a phone system that is reliable, flexible and easy to use, without costing an arm and a leg.
Here’s our overview of how they compare on reliability, cost, scalability and a handful of other measures.
1. SIP Trunks
SIP Trunks actually isn’t a circus act involving elephants and water. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a digital method of communication over the internet. It uses virtual phone lines to make calls to anyone with a phone number. It’s the closest thing to our old school landlines, and is a super cost-effective way to connect your phone system to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – just using the internet instead of physical cables. Let’s look at it in detail:
- Reliability – SIP trunks offer high availability, and offer redundancy options to be sure you’re always connected. Although they rely on the internet, if there’s an outage then intelligent call routing can divert calls to backup numbers and keep you available. Downtime can be a big issue with phone systems, so with minimal issues here, your business will always be accessible to customers.
- Cost-efficiency – There are significant savings to be had on your monthly phone bill, particularly for long-distance and international calls due to the fact they’re transmitted over the internet.
- Scalability – You can easily add or remove trunks to match the changing needs of your business, whether you have a new starter or an existing role has been absorbed.
- Integration – Most newer phones are SIP compatible so can easily be used if you change to SIP Trunks. This means no outlay on new equipment, and quick rewards in reduced monthly bills after you switch.
2. Hosted PBX
PBX is short for for Private Branch Exchange – a private phone network which is actually what a lot of small businesses already have, even if they don’t know the name of it. The traditional PBX system has now evolved to become “hosted” PBX which uses (our favourite) the cloud. This means you can dip your toe into the world of sophisticated phone systems with enterprise-grade features, even if you’re a bit smaller. Here’s why you might consider it:
- Reliability – They’re particularly reliable, and also have redundancies built into the infrastructure.
- Cost-efficiency – Hosted PBX eliminates the need for on-site equipment and the maintenance costs associated with it. Given everything’s in the cloud, there’s minimal outlay to get started as well as lower ongoing expenses.
- Scalability – Plenty of our new clients are coming to us as they’re growing rapidly, so we love this one! Hosted PBX allows you to easily add extensions or features, so you don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel as your business evolves.
- Professional image – You’ll be able to forward calls, leave automated greetings, dial extensions and all of the other things that will mean your callers feel like they’re speaking to a business that is well-equipped to help them out.
So we saved the best ‘til last. The majority of our new clients choose a VoIP Phone System. and 3CX is our go-to. Where you really want to drive flexibility and cost savings, this is the system for you. Like the others, you’re also using the internet as the basis for your voice calls but with VoIP we also roll in your data.
- Reliability – Just like hosted PBX, the system itself coupled with redundancies that are built in place mean your team (and customers) will experience the lowest rates of down time.
- Cost-efficiency – Our customers are consistently blown away by the cost savings to be had by converting to VoIP. The dollars make clear sense, but given the integrations with other tools like your CRM, you could save man hours too.
- Scalability – We love cloud systems because we know we can grow and contract your set up to suit the changes in your business as they arise. Being nimble here is actually nice for us too, so we can keep our hands dirty solving more complex IT puzzles for our clients.
- Advanced features – You can really give your small business the edge with the multitude of features that VoIP systems like 3CX can offer. Voicemail to email, call forwarding, auto attendants, CRM integrations, call reporting and recording. There’s just so much to help you grow your business and save your time!
So now you know your phone systems from your circus acts, but perhaps you’re still unsure of which would be the best option for your business at the moment.
Xenex Systems is here to show you how to use technology for smarter business, so we offer free audits of your systems. We’d love you to pick our brain, so why not book one in today?