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What is a business telephone system, and what are the key differences between them?

Ask most people if they know what a business telephone system is, and chances are that the majority will respond with a confident 'yes'.

Dig a little deeper and you will likely find that for most people a business telephone system (as they understand it) consists of little more than a handset or two and a couple of lines. Whilst technically this description is correct, the reality is that modern day business phone systems are comprised from more than just a handset and a line, and can be used for much more than just making and receiving calls.

Modern business phone systems are able to route calls to specific parts of the business via hunt/call groups, create automated attendants, integrate CRMs (for more effective customer management) as well as being able to set up hold music/bespoke welcome messaging and voicemail.

There are essentially three different types/category of business telephone system, these are Multi Line telephone systems, PBX telephone systems and VoIP telephone systems.

Multi Line Telephone Systems

A multi-line telephone system is perhaps the most basic and cheapest class of business telephone system from a hardware and configuration perspective. However, Multi-line systems are not necessarily cheaper over the long term as it is not possible to make calls over the internet. Multi-line systems tend to be better suited towards very small businesses who do not require anything outside of simply being able to make and receive a call.

PBX Telephone Systems

A PBX system is a significant step up from a Multi-line phone system and offers quite a bit more in terms of features. A PBX system allows the company to run multiple lines, connect multiple handsets, automate call handling (such as user groups, IVR's etc) and integrate CRM's. An analogue PBX system can also be upgraded via SIP trunking to allow calls to be made over the internet (rather than using traditional lines).

PBX phone systems tend to be used by small to medium sized businesses.

VoIP Telephone Systems

VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol (also known as IP PBX telephone systems) are the most modern variant of a business telephone system. VoIP telephony uses the internet to make and receive calls and is by far the most agile class of telephone system. In addition, most VoIP business telephone systems are cloud hosted, meaning that there is significantly less physical hardware required / to be installed.

VoIP telephone systems are feature rich as standard, and can be upgraded often for relatively little additional expense. The other massive advantage of a VoIP system is that as it is cloud hosted, which means that moving your system from one location to another (or introducing a new location) is incredibly easy.

To find out which system would best suit your business requirements, and to start your free, no obligation quote, simply click on the "Compare Prices" button below.