Find a phone system that’s right for your business.
- When choosing a business phone system, the first decision you have to make is what kind of system you want (landline, VoIP or virtual) and where you want the equipment hosted (on-premises or in the cloud).
- Today’s phone systems offer businesses of all sizes a wide range of valuable calling, collaboration and mobile tools.
- Business phone system give employees numerous ways to tap into their business phone lines when they are away from the office.
- This article is for business owners seeking guidance on what to look for and consider when choosing a phone system.
If you plan to be in the market for a business phone system in 2020, there are several questions you need to consider first to ensure you get the solution that best fits your needs.
- Do you need a full phone system that includes physical desk telephones, or could your business get by with a virtual phone service that relies on mobile devices?
- If you do need desk telephones, what kind of service do you want? Are you comfortable using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, which runs over the internet and is available from a multitude of providers? Or do you want to use a traditional landline telephone service, which is provided by a local or regional phone company?
- If you choose VoIP, do you want to house the system at your business (on-premises) or have your service provider host it (cloud-based)?
We will help you answer those questions, but if you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best business phone systems, visit our best picks page.
Editor’s note: Looking for information on business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.
If you’re not sure yet, read on. We’ll fill you in on the pros and cons of these types of phone systems:
- Virtual phone systems
- Cloud and on-premises systems
Virtual Phone Systems
- Virtual phone systems connect those who call a main business phone number to remote workers on their mobile or home phones. [Learn more about virtual phone numbers.]
- These systems work as an extensive call-forwarding solution, transferring calls to an employee’s cell or home phone instead of a desk phone when a customer calls the main phone number.
- These systems include a variety of features, such as automated receptionists, voicemail, call forwarding, call screening, toll-free numbers and online faxing.
Pros: This type of service allows businesses with offsite employees to present a professional image at all times. It also gives remote workers access to various phone system features that mobile and home phones don’t offer. For more information, see our review of Grasshopper, our top-rated virtual phone system.
Cons: Virtual systems aren’t full-fledged phone systems. Your calls are often still processed on your mobile or home phone network. This means you are charged for the call on the virtual system and use up your mobile or home phone minutes. Some virtual services allow you to make calls via internet connection when using the provider’s mobile app.