Best Business Phone SystemsJune 15, 2021
Whether you are upgrading to a new phone system for your growing company or looking for one that will work in a new business, the rule of thumb is the same. The best business phone system is the one that will provide everything you need without having to pay for extra features you won’t use. A great many of your requirements will be based on the size of your business. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of products and features for you to consider before making a decision about equipment that is among the most vital to your business operations.
Best Office Phones for Small Business
Obviously, there will always be an enormous difference between the phone system requirements of large multinational corporations and small or medium businesses. But thanks to advances in technology, smaller organisations no longer have to wistfully long for some of the features that they would appreciate every bit as much as the big guys.
Small business phone systems should be easy to install, with little maintenance required. At the very least, they should provide conference calling, music for callers to listen to while they are on hold and a voice menu for them to be transferred to exactly the extension they need without having to go through an operator. Fortunately, all of that tends to be standard these days. But now that we’re in the 21st century, you can also get so much more.
For instance, take a look at a crowd favourite, the NEC SL2100. One of the reasons it’s a great phone for small businesses is that it was designed specifically with them in mind. But what is particularly useful, now that remote working has become so widespread, is how this system allows everyone to be connected from anywhere. Here are some of the features that make this possible.
This feature allows users to get voicemail, faxes and texts all sent to one mailbox that they can access either by phone or a regular email program.
This system has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option that allows users to add their own mobile phones and tablets to the system. In fact, there are dedicated mobile apps for both Android and iOS mobile devices.
Hybrid Solution (Traditional and VoIP)
In addition to a traditional wired phone system for your physical office location, it’s possible to use the NEC SL2100 system to make Wi-Fi calls as well. This means no roaming charges and no connectivity interruptions if the landlines happen to go down for any reason.
The NEC SL2100 even has video conferencing and collaboration available, although a licence is required for that feature. While the system is based in one physical location, you can get up to 64 different phone lines and 24 handsets. A system like this goes a long way towards levelling the playing field with larger organisations because there is no way your callers will be able to tell you are a small business from the phone experience you provide. That’s why it’s one of the best phone systems for small office operations.
Enterprise Phone Systems
The needs of enterprise phone systems are vastly different from small business systems. A larger staff and multiple locations require features that wouldn’t be needed otherwise. The popular NEC SV9100 is a good example of how large enterprises can benefit from a fully-featured business phone system. All of the basics mentioned above are included, but here are some of the extras that it comes with.
A good phone system will help you make the most of your valuable time, and the NEC UC Suite really excels at that. For instance, it can tell you whether a colleague is at their desk, already on a call or in a meeting before you try to call them. You can also look up everyone’s numbers directly from your computer, then click ‘Call’ and your computer will make the call for you through your desk phone.
It’s just as helpful when you are the one making calls. You will see a pop-up screen with caller information and controls to handle the call. And if you have the CRM integration feature, you can also access all of the customer’s records, including details about their purchases.
The NEC SV9100 makes it easy for co-workers to share ideas and information. They can:
- Have up to 8 participants in phone conferences
- Use interactive whiteboards
- Workshop possibilities by sharing documents and files in real time
- Display everyone’s video without expensive additional equipment
- Drag and drop files from Windows Explorer to transfer files while on a call
- Use instant messaging in real time
Keeping your customers happy is a major priority, and the SV9100’s has a built-in Contact Centre to help you with that. It will:
- Route calls based on time of day, waiting times and the number called
- Allow priority callers to dial special numbers to jump the queue
- Offer callers the option to hold or get a call-back from the next available agent
- Provide detailed reports to use for scheduling, efficiency improvements and business analysis
- Include desktop with at-a-glance information for both supervisors and agents
- Send alerts directly to desk phones
The NEC SV9100 is geared to let both staff and customers stay connected with just one published phone number no matter where they are or what type of device they’re using. Office workers can set up a virtual meeting effortlessly and on short notice. This not only makes business decision-making faster but also reduces travel-related time and expenses.
Remote workers can communicate with colleagues just as though they were in the office. Office workers can be more accessible and responsive by using mobile handsets anywhere in the workplace.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
For large-scale businesses, TCO is still a major consideration. But what you have to keep in mind is that certain aspects of your phone system can affect costs far beyond the equipment and service expenses.
Security: The SV9100 has IP video door-phone functionality, which can increase the security of your facility by monitoring the entrances with both audio and video.
IT: IT personnel can connect to your network through a centralised management function, either locally or remotely. So, staff can maintain all of the communication servers from one location quite easily.
Efficiency: The UC Suite will show your receptionists a pop-up window that displays caller information for every call they receive. Then, only a simple mouse click or drag-and-drop manoeuvre will be required to answer the call, see staff availability, park and transfer calls or take a message.
Toll fraud detection: It can be extremely expensive to have your phone system hacked. Unlike other solutions to this problem, this system includes toll-fraud detection, so you don’t have to purchase additional expensive equipment. All incoming and outgoing calls will be monitored for suspicious patterns that you can customise to your specific business. It runs in the background and provides alerts as needed.
Even with enterprise solutions, flexibility is still key, so you only pay for what you need. Sometimes, that will be a powerful fully-featured UC system. Or your business may grow to the point where it needs a total UC setup that includes agents, operators and even CRM integration. You can start with one and move up to the other, if necessary.
Operational features aren’t the only things worth noting about the SV9100. The hardware is also impressive.
Small Footprint Servers
The NEC SV9100 equipment won’t take up precious expensive real estate in your office. It consists of a 19” rack-mountable chassis that will support all of your server functions, media converters and media gateways in just one unit. That includes up to 80 traditional phones or almost 900 IP phones. Not only can it be chained with up to three others to mesh as many as 50 systems, but you can also link that stack up to 49 others all around the world.
For up to 32 digital or analogue terminals, all you need is the 9.5” chassis, and it isn’t choosy about where it sits. Mount it on the wall or just put it on the floor.
Wide Range of Phones
The NEC SV9100 offers flexible options for the actual phones as well. You can choose from black or white, 2 buttons to 24, single or dual screens, colour or greyscale. Even more options are available with add-on modules for an extra 8 or even 60 buttons, mobile device pairing and wireless headsets. There are even wireless phones available when you need one in an area where it would be impractical to add new cabling.
We get it, there is a lot to consider when choosing a business phone system. So if you need any advice while trying to find the best office phone system for your company, the experts at Business Telecom are more than happy to help you. We have the best phone for office operations of any size. Just get in touch, and we’ll get you started with the solution that best fits your needs.