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There is no 'one size fits all' phone system for small businesses. One small business could have very different telecommunications needs to another, so you need to consider how you will be using your phone system. Once you recognise your small business needs, you can find a phone system to meet them. Therefore, it is important that you as the customer are aware of the types of phone systems available and what they can do for your business.
There are two types of small business phone system solutions available to you:
A Hybrid phone system offers traditional digital or IP handsets with the latest IP technology; allowing you to take advantage of VoIP and SIP. Like traditional phone systems, the "brains" of a Hybrid Phone System are located in a box in your office, and all the handsets connect back to this box.
Hybrid Phone Systems work over both the traditional copper phone network or the internet. This means whether or not you have enough bandwidth to take advantage of VoIP & SIP technology today, Hybrid Systems are 100% NBN ready. Hybrid Phone Systems also allow you to add features and users as needed.
Another great feature of the Hybrid IP system is the ease of use for home/remote users. A Hybrid IP handset can be plugged into the internet at a second location, and will automatically connect back to the head office phone system. This allows for seamless communication, with the remote user able to work as if they were in the office. The Hybrid system also has a smart phone app (similar to Skype/Whatsapp) that connects you to the office from your personal mobile phone, wherever you are.
A SpringCom hosted system, also known as a Cloud PBX phone system is an IP phone system where all the phone calls are made using the internet. Good bandwidth was traditionally something only large businesses could access, but the NBN rollout has opened up many opportunities for our customers, especially when it comes to small business phone systems.
The "brains" of a SpringCom hosted phone system live in the cloud, so each handset only needs to be connected to the internet to be part of the phone system. Hosted phone systems are feature packed, and whether you have 1 handset or 1000, you get exactly the same features. Many of our small business customers have found them to be very cost effective solutions because they don't require much, if any upfront investment in hardware.
A great feature of a hosted system is that as long as an internet connection is available the location of the handsets is not important. Remote and home users can call from anywhere, using the same phone number as though they were in the main office.
For more on the differences between hybrid phone systems and cloud phone systems and which is the best for you check out this blog post.
The decision is ultimately yours, so call our friendly experts and let us help you find the ideal solution for your business.
NBN voice is the process of running VoIP over an NBN internet connection. VoIP has been around almost a decade, and it runs calls over the internet, much like Skype. To utilise NBN voice you can either use a Hybrid PBX, using SIP trunking or a cloud based phone system, which uses cloud technology to make VoIP calls. VoIP calls can run on NBN and other Fiber connections, and in some cases over ADSL for a small office.
The big change with the move to the NBN for small office phone systems is that you will only need a single internet connection to make and receive calls. All of your communications, including phone calls, will run over the internet (via VoIP and SIP) rather than analogue copper phone lines.
Many customers have been told that they will be required to completely upgrade and overhaul their current analogue phone systems. This is not true. NBN voice can run on older style phone systems - you simply need to purchase an analogue telephone adapter (ATA) to enable this. The ATA adapter sits between the old phone system and the new NBN internet connection, converting the data so that your business can run NBN voice.
Speak to our friendly experts if you have any questions about how the NBN will affect your small business phone system.
Check out which systems are most popular and why. Remember that buying a popular system is a smart way to go because popularity is really a combination of customer satisfaction as well as how many units are sold. Plus if you ever need any extra handsets or spares, you can be sure that a popular phone system will be well supported by the manufacturer and you will be in safe hands for years to come.
Either way you know you're getting a proven solution.View Most Popular Small Phone System
The cost of a small business phone system really depends on the type of system, brand and the number of handsets. With Infiniti you can buy outright, rent or lease. If you're getting a Hybrid solution then a 4 handset system could start as low as $20-30 per week depending on the brand.
This cost would include installation, setup and user training. An 8 handset system may cost $30-40 per week. So twice the size doesn't equate to twice the price. Conversely, hosted solutions can be a lot cheaper as there is no expensive physical phone system to buy and can start from just $15 per month.Remove the guesswork and get a free consultation
There is no one best phone line for every person. Although many customers talk about VoIP and SIP as a way to save money, the situation differs from office to office. The money saving aspect of VoIP really depends on how many phone lines you have and the type of phone calls you typically make. With a Hybrid system, you can have a mix of copper and VoIP lines. With a Cloud PBX system, all your calls run over the internet so you just need an internet connection to make VoIP calls.
If the NBN is available in your area, then moving to a Cloud Based PBX and using VoIP to make your calls is the way foward for your business. If the NBN is not available a Hybrid solution using traditional copper phone lines may be the best option for now, and you can easily migrate to the NBN when it rolls out in your area.
The number of phone lines that your small business needs will vary. Think about how many concurrent phone calls you want to be able to make/receive.
For small businesses where everyone isn't on the phone at the same time, then we generally follow a guide of three to one - three handsets, one line, six handsets, two lines, and so on. For small businesses which need to make a lot of calls simultaneously, such as real estate agents, then each user needs their own line.
If your small business has a lot of inbound call traffic then we suggest getting more phone lines than handsets. Unlike a typical home phone that uses Telstra's call waiting service, small business phone systems do not have this feature as standard. Imagine that you have two staff and only two phone lines. Now, if both staff are currently making/receiving calls and another call comes through, the call is going to get through to an engaged tone. However, if you have three lines, the call will go through to the voicemail on the other line. By having a minimum of two lines you have the ability to not miss a call.
With traditional copper phone lines each line gives you the ability to make/receive another call. With a VoIP/SIP Hybrid or Hosted Phone System all your calls will run through a single internet connection making it difficult to understand what constitutes a phone line. Put simply, each phone line in your phone system is a SIP license, and to get more phone lines you just need to add more SIP licenses to the phone system. These licenses allow you, the customer, to have concurrent VoIP calls.
The main difference between a digital and IP handset is that a digital handset is a fraction cheaper than an IP handset. Both handsets have comparable features, with IP handsets offering a little extra functionality.
Again, the right phone for you depends on your business needs. If you have a number of people working remotely, or staff tend to move the handsets around the office, then IP handsets are right for you, as they automatically re-register back into the system when plugged in. With digital handsets, the handset sockets and locations must be programmed into the system by a technician.
As well as traditional desk phones there are also cordless phones, however, if they were not designed specifically for your phone system then they will have very limited functionality, which is not ideal for business! But there is another solution - soft phone apps. A soft phone app is an app similar to Skype that can be installed on your computer. Soft phone apps have all the functionality of premium handsets without the need for hardware.
With all of these options getting the right handsets for your small business phone system can be confusing so give us a call to discuss your needs!
Whether you choose a Hybrid or SpringCom Hosted solution you will have expansion options available. If you have a SpringCom Hosted Cloud phone system you can simply add a pre-programmed handset to the system and you are all sorted. These systems can expand right through to having 1000's of handsets if needed.
Hybrid phone systems can also be easily expanded as your business grows. If you are using SIP then it's just a case of adding another handset/licence to the system and you are done.
We do not want to say that one option is suitable for all businesses, as it all depends upon your own needs. If you do want to purchase outright then you can of course buy all of the hardware upfront. Alternatively, you can purchase a monthly bundle which includes the handset and the call package.
Please give us a call to find the right solution for you and your business.
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