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Last Updated: 28. June 2018

An Overview Of Small Business Telephone Systems

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In the latest years, small companies have faced many innovations regarding their use of telephone systems; at present, most of the telephony solutions adopted are either Internet Protocol (IP) enabled or PBX systems, even though in 2013 44% of office communication tools were still time division multiplexing (TDM) based.

Nowadays, enterprises need to move to VoIP Phone based solutions in order to be reached whenever and wherever they are. In fact, people are often out of their offices and IP based telephone systems allow them to receive phone calls, messages or emails on their phones, thus keeping them easily in contact with customers.

Certainly, this is not the only reason why small businesses are encouraged to get a telephone system: sharing resources among workers proved to be truly efficient from both a time-saving point of view and as a way to smooth the whole process. Moreover, phone systems help to save money, hence lowering the costs of companies’ telephone bills, as using one network to carry voice and calls means having one supplier only rather than a dedicated landline for every worker.

In addition, such systems have many extra features that help making the management of small businesses easier, such as voicemail, caller ID, automatic call-forwarding systems and others. Busy workers have the chance to properly set up their schedule and to save time in their daily organization.

Which System To Choose

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When it comes to choosing which telephone system may be the better fit for the company’s needs, it is fundamental to know which functions are needed and which systems can provide them. In order to facilitate the choice for enterprises, here is a quick list presenting the features of a selected number of telephone systems, and a classification of the first three most qualified brands in the field: Cisco, ESI and Nextiva (according to Top Ten Reviews’ top recommendations for the best small business phone systems).

The systems have been ranked following the evaluation of several criteria, such as overall ratings, collaboration, features and help & support. Ratings for the aforementioned companies were very high: Cisco received 10 out of 10 points and ESI and Nextiva got 8.85 and 9.63 respectively.With regards to collaboration, a very important feature representing the ability to share and to easily access information, all three systems are rated with 10 points and each of them provides conference calls, mobile capabilities, unified messages and instant messages functions.

Features assessed in the ranking also include the maximum number of users allowed per system- 1,000 for both Cisco and ESI and around 100 for Nextiva-, automatic call transfer, customizable hold music, messages and mailbox recordings, automated attendant and computer telephone integration. With regards to help & support, all systems are equipped with emails, telephone, company blog and video support. However, Cisco and Nextiva provide a 24/7 service and a live chat.

In conclusion, it is truly important to carefully evaluate the characteristics of each different phone system available on the market in order to choose the most appropriate devices that can help and add value for the business.