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Is a Multi-Line Phone System Right For Your Business? - What Is VoIP?

Business Phone Line Supplier

If you’re looking to scale up your business this year, it may be time to invest in a better phone system. For many growing businesses, it is important to get your phone system right - not only could you lose out on potential business but it can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction. 

Investing in a multi-line phone system allows you to manage customer calls across multiple lines using the same number - but there’s much more to it than call handling. 

What Is A Multi-Line Phone System? 

A multi-line phone system allows users to handle multiple calls simultaneously. Traditionally, standard phone systems will only connect two people in a single call. Multi-line phone systems allow more than two people to use the phones at the same time. 

However, some phone systems may become redundant after 2025 as BT Openreach will be shutting off traditional phone lines in what is known as the 'PSTN switch off’. This switch-off will affect everyone, both households and businesses as we move to a more reliable technology called VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). 

What Is A VoIP Phone System? 

A VoIP phone system uses the internet to transmit voice calls and does not use copper lines that traditional phone systems rely on. The appeal of VoIP phone systems is that they are much cheaper than traditional landlines and PBX systems (slightly more advanced version of a standard multi-line system). 

The appeal of VoIP phone systems goes much further than price, with some popular features that appeal to companies aiming to boost productivity. Typically a great hosted VoIP phone system will come with: 

  • Multi-line call management 
  • Call forwarding/ handling 
  • Call recording 
  • Analytics 
  • Admin portal 
  • Full training and installation 
  • 24/7 customer support 

Pros of Business VoIP Phone Systems

  • Off-site management - Business owners do not have to worry about system maintenance. The best business VoIP providers manage and maintain the cloud in a secure, off-site data centre. 
  • Lower costs - VoIP systems are cheaper than traditional analogue systems. Most business customers pay just £10 per line. 
  • Installation time - It is much easier and quicker to install cloud-based networks than it is to install analogue networks. Analogue networks require copper wiring, which can take weeks if not months to install. Digital networks only require compatible headsets and suitable bandwidth.
  • Scalable - Cloud-based phone systems are scalable. They do not depend on physical infrastructure, which means that new lines can be added to existing contracts with ease. They are perfect for businesses that want to respond to increasing or decreasing communication needs in their sectors. 
  • Portable - With business VoIP phone systems, everything is done over the internet. Business owners can move premises without disrupting their communications systems. 
  • Advanced features - VoIP systems come with advanced features. Typical analogue communications systems do not have interactive voice response and advanced voicemail features. Even better, business owners can pick and choose which features benefit their employees.

Cons of Business VoIP Phone Systems

  • Dependent on bandwidth - We only recommend VoIP for businesses that have reliable internet connections. When the internet goes down, so do business VoIP phone systems.
  • Audio quality - The quality of VoIP audio depends on the strength and quality of the internet connection, hardware, and services. 
  • Unexpected costs - It is a little known fact that VoIP customers may incur extra costs if they phone someone who does not have VoIP capabilities. Even the best business VoIP providers keep their customers in the dark about this fact. 
  • Hardware costs - Business owners have to invest in hardware that is compatible with cloud-based phone systems. 

Do I Need A VoIP Phone System? 

If you’re not already convinced a VoIP phone system is a great investment, you will soon be required to make the switch. Even with the PSTN switch-off date seemingly a good few years off, you will not be able to purchase a new PSTN line soon. BT Openreach has already started to phase this technology out. The date varies depending on the location of your business premises but will be completely shut off by 2025. 

Nobody will be able to purchase an ISDN or PSTN (traditional phone packages) from December 2023 and the network will be completely switched-off in December 2025. 

Are They Suitable for Large Businesses?

Business VoIP phone systems are suitable for small, medium, and large businesses. These systems are not constrained by the same rules as traditional analogue systems that require copper wiring. In fact, cloud-based phone systems can scale up or down with ease. Business owners can add new phones (or other communication devices) to their contracts as they gain new clients and customers. Business VoIP phone contracts charge customers on each new line. 

We recommend VoIP for business owners who see growth in their futures. Startups companies love VoIP systems because they can increase or reduce the number of lines that they pay for at any given time.

What Do I Need To Know About VoIP Phone Systems? 

Earlier in this guide, we have covered some of the features and that is much cheaper than a traditional line. However, you may have some questions about the security and reliability of VoIP. 

Call Quality and Reliability 

Back in the earlier days of VoIP is gained a reputation for poor call quality. Those days are long gone and VoIP now offers great call reliability. 

Many providers offer 24/7 customer support to ensure that should the worst happen, you’re back online as soon as possible. Service agreements usually depend on the package you choose. Should you have any issues, your provider will have multiple data centres as a backup. 

The only thing you will need is a reliable fast fibre business broadband to support a VoIP system. The more VoIP lines your business requires, the stronger internet you require. Many large companies opt for a reliable leased line - a more powerful internet connection with reliable upload and download speeds with no slow down during peak times. 

Security 

According to a report published by Accenture Security, as many as 70% of business leaders are concerned about cyber security. This inevitably means that there’s going to be some questions asked about VoIP security. 

The truth is that VoIP is as secure as your current IT infrastructure. If your business already has strong protections in place, there should not be an issue. 

In addition, most high-quality VoIP phone system providers have a data-encrypted system to ensure that calls cannot be intercepted by hackers. 

Should I Invest In A VoIP Phone System? 

The short answer is yes. Every single business in the UK must move over at some point and the industry is expecting a last-minute surge of switches the closer we get to the PSTN switch off. 

Many businesses are starting to think about which type of VoIP package is right for their company to avoid the long delays in installation, training and to avoid any significant disruption to the business. 

How Much Does VoIP For Business Cost?

As with any service, the cost varies from provider to provider. VoIP is much cheaper than traditional analogue phone systems. This type of system does not rely on physical copper lines, which eliminates a lot of the costs associated with monthly fees. 

In general terms, business VoIP phone systems cost around £10 per month per user. The initial hardware cost is around £100 per user. 

Browse through our VoIP for business deals to find exact prices. 

VoIP Phone Systems Installation Time

It is much quicker to install cloud-based phone systems than it is to install traditional analogue systems. Despite this, there are a few important factors to think about. 

The number of employees within the business can impact the installation time. Providers have to consider how many lines they need, and whether or not the existing broadband connection can support that many employees. It is not uncommon for new business VoIP phone customers to increase their bandwidth before they begin using VoIP hardware. 

Even with all these moving parts, business owners can have a new VoIP system set up in anything from 10 to 13 business days. One of the biggest benefits of VoIP for business owners is that it guarantees quick, hassle-free installations. 

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