How to Determine the Right Small Business Phone System for You

multiple employees using a small business phone systemDetermining which small business phone system to use can be overwhelming. With so many options and vendors out there, it’s difficult to determine which one truly meets the goals of your business. At RI Telephone, we see each business owner and his or her company as individual entities. We work to unite you with the small business phone system that works for you and your employees, helping your business thrive in competitive markets.

Is Cloud the Only Small Business Phone System Option?

Today, many businesses use cloud VoIP (voice over internet protocol) systems. Cloud VoIP carries several benefits, such as highly secure communication centers maintained 24-7, 365 days a year, and the ability to connect to multiple locations even when you are out of the office. In addition, cloud VoIP does not require hands-on maintenance. Once your system is configured, any employee who has received training can use your small business phone system. Problems are taken care of with minimum disruptions, leaving you more time to interact with clients and help your business grow.

However, there are a few small business phone system options, with cloud VoIP being only one of them. Other choices include premise-based VoIP and hybrid systems, both of which could be better suited for your business’s unique needs.

Benefits of a Premise-Based VoIP System

small business phone systemA premise-based system uses both traditional analog and VoIP phones. Whether you want to update all at once or build up gradually, this system allows you to implement a solution at your own pace.  Designed to utilize VoIP from end to end, a premise-based system takes advantage of your internet to carry both voice and data communications, reducing costs and more efficiently using existing network infrastructure.

Premise-based VoIP systems give business owners control over how to operate their phones. With cloud-based services, you typically rely on a vendor to manage and maintain your system. A premise-based VoIP solution, by definition, is managed and maintained directly at your business site.

A Premise-Based VoIP Solution might be the right small business phone system for you if:

  • You have a contract in place with your existing carrier and cannot switch to an all VoIP phone service yet
  • You are trying to reuse your existing digital or analog phones
  • You don’t have a reliable or fiber-based internet service
  • Your building is not wired for VoIP or would be difficult to rewire

Benefits of a Premise-Based Hybrid System

small business phone systemCan’t decide between a VoIP system and a premise-based analog? Do you have a binding contract with your current voice carrier?  In these and many other cases, RI Telephone recommends using a hybrid premise-based system. Hybrid systems are great for companies that don’t want to go 100% VoIP yet or want to combine VoIP with existing technology, like analog headsets.

In addition to these benefits, hybrid systems are similar to cloud-based VoIP systems in several ways. With a hybrid system, you can connect with clients and employees anywhere, anytime, no matter their location. If video conferencing is a must for your business, a hybrid solution can offer a straightforward, cost-effective conferencing for a single-seat and beyond!

A Premise-Based Hybrid Solution might be the right solution for you if:

  • Your computer network is not able to support a VoIP system
  • You’re trying to reuse existing digital or analog handsets
  • Your company is hesitant to go 100% VoIP
  • You don’t have a reliable or fiber-based internet service

The Bottom Line

Choosing your small business phone system will depend on several factors, such as how many employees you need to support, what type of internet is available at your location, and how much budget you have allocated. If you have questions, RI Telephone is available to assess your existing system or office location and make personalized recommendations based on your needs.

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