Small businesses today need the flexibility to adapt to fast-paced marketplaces and changing client needs. As a result, businesses are seeking phone systems that do more than simply make and receive calls. Small businesses need communications systems that accommodate video calls, webinars, instant messaging, and even send emails and faxes when necessary. The following sections describe what small businesses should look for in a new phone system.
Given the rapidly changing marketplace, flexibility and adaptability have become some of the most important factors small businesses need to consider when adopting a communications system. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems provide telephone services over the internet rather than through landlines and are extremely popular among new and small businesses because of their flexibility and pricing. In fact, in 2018, the number of business subscribers to VoIP systems grew to more than 41 million.
All a business needs to set up a VoIP phone system is a stable internet connection, making this option incredibly accessible for small businesses. VoIP systems are especially easy to scale up as a business grows and adds users. As long as new users are connected to the internet, they can easily be added to the VoIP network. Additionally, VoIP systems offer a wide range of features, such as voicemail-to-email, conference calling, and paging.
Similarly, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) integrates features such as voice calling, video conferencing, and messaging into a unified enterprise-wide communications system. Streamlining business communications into a single system is more efficient and cost-effective while maintaining the agility needed to remain competitive.
Each business must decide if it wants to host its communication systems, whether VoIP or UCaaS, on site or off site via the cloud. In addition to installing communication servers, on-site hosting requires small businesses to maintain them as well. These tasks include setup, configuration, troubleshooting, and repairs. While this option affords businesses complete control over their communications, all repairs, updates, and troubleshooting are the responsibility of the company’s IT staff. For small businesses with limited resources to spend on professional IT staff dedicated to the communication server’s continuous upkeep, on-site hosting can lead to costly repairs and outdated communication technology.
Cloud-hosted phone systems, on the other hand, are hosted by a third-party provider over the internet. These are essentially plug-and-play communications systems since the provider covers the daily maintenance of the communications servers— from security to regular updates. The only equipment the small business needs to install are the phones themselves, or in some cases, only smart-phone apps to connect employees to the phone system.
Traditional phone systems require businesses to host the phone servers themselves, requiring costly infrastructure investment and maintenance. VoIP and UCaaS systems, on the other hand, do not require businesses to build any additional infrastructure, and maintenance is taken care of by the service provider. Systems hosted on site may involve periodic repairs, presenting unpredictable costs and lost productivity. However, cloud-hosted VoIP or UCaaS systems are maintained by a third-party provider and so have a predictable monthly fee. Since third-party providers cover all maintenance, most providers build redundancies into their systems so that if one server falters, backup servers ensure communication is never interrupted. As a result, not only do VoIP and UCaaS systems provide more flexibility, but they’re also more cost effective.
Pricing for such systems normally depend on the provider, the number of users in the small business, and the number features selected. Both VoIP and UCaaS systems us IP phones, which can vary in cost from $50 to several hundred dollars each. However, businesses can also connect their employees’ mobile phones to these systems and avoid the costs of installing IP phones.
The best business communication systems are designed and installed by professionals. The IT experts at Dymin Systems provide reliable and flexible communications systems for fast-paced and growing small businesses in the Des Moines area. Hosting both VoIP and UCaaS systems, Dymin provides many communications features such as unified messaging, auto-attendant, and call recording. Offering 24/7 monitoring and support, Dymin is a dedicated to ensuring that its clients can rely on top-performing communications infrastructure. Contact Dymin Systems today to learn more about how VoIP or UCaaS can be customized for your business’ needs.