Business phone systems came into play after the invention of the key telephone system in the 1930s that allowed for the use of a centralized key system that allowed for switching lines – a rudimentary call forwarding. Since then the invention of several new technologies including the Internet have greatly contributed to the evolution of business phone systems. They are now available in the following types:
1. Key System Units (KSUs): Based on the original key telephone system concept, this business phone system relies on the simple keys for the switching of phone lines. However, because of the basic design of the system, there are a very limited number of features in this system, which only makes it suitable for small businesses with no expansion plans – modern KSUs can handle between 40 and 80 employees/connections based on the vendor.
2. Private Branch Exchange (PBX): The PBX phone system works like an in-house or hosted telephone exchange allowing for greater control by the organization. It also enables more telephony features for the organization, including auto-routing, voicemails and calls logging. The system is usually used by an organization with over 50 employees/connections, but not by a large organization as the telephony options are still limited.
3. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): VoIP has become a very familiar term in business, and for good reason, it is one of the most convenient and cost effective ways for audio communication. It uses the internet to enable telephony and allows for advanced programming of all devices connected to the internet telephone network. This allows it to be of use to organizations of any size and offers options such as call blocking, voice recognition, and web conferencing.
So why would an organization choose to have a business phone system setup? Simply put, it provides many distinct advantages to having several phone lines set up in the organization, they are:
1. Security: These phone systems offer greater security, especially hosted solutions as they are managed by vendors who can afford to invest in security solutions.
2. Reliability: Phone systems offer more reliable connectivity, allowing for minimal interruptions.
3. Scalability: Expanding or contracting the network depending on the needs of the organization is simply a matter of connecting or disconnecting more devices to the system (within the limits of the type).
4. Productivity: Having a phone system saves a lot of time in employees running around attending calls at specific phones, which gives them more focus on the tasks they’re involved in.
5. Capability: Phone systems offer features that help make communication among people and groups simpler, and that make the communication both clearer ad recordable. This improved capability gives the organization more accuracy in communication and task execution.
Business phone systems can go a long way to empowering an organization’s employees and ensuring that it is able to communicate effectively with staff, suppliers, and customers. Businesses should look into their phone system options and consider the ones that most suit their needs.