Types of Business Telephone Systems

Types of Business Telephone Systems

The ability to communicate with one department to another is a hallmark of an effective business. A company, whether big or small, is made up of people who need to coordinate their work with one another. Telephone systems is one way communication can be achieved. Here are the four types that you can choose from:

  1. Key System Unit

The Key System Unit (KSU) is the most basic telephone system and can only accommodate forty individuals at most. Because of limited phone lines incorporated into the network, the KSU is only suitable for small businesses.

However, many of the newer key systems can now handle up to seventy-five phone operators, a capability only available in PBX systems before. It is commonly referred to as hybrids because it combines features of two systems.

A telecom equipment provider typically installs and maintains a KSU and give provisions for expansion as a business grows. Key systems are easy to use and quite similar to how home telephones work.

Phone-line selection is done manually through a central switching device. Businesses get basic features from a key system, but the lack of portability and flexibility might be an issue. 

  1. KSU-Less

This is a variation of the Key System Unit. The features are comparably the same with the biggest difference is that the KSU-less is completely wireless. This is made possible because it does not use a central switching unit. Phones can be unplugged and moved without disrupting communications between individuals. This makes it more portable than the basic key system.

The KSU-less does have a major setback: only ten phone operators at most can be handled by the system. This is ideal only for businesses that have a small workforce and are not looking to grow their operations.

It is also not sold commercially and is therefore cheaper than the basic system. You have to request the KSU-less from a phone-system provider or shop for the equipment and do the installation yourself. Typically, you pay a monthly fee for the service and for any add-on features. 

  1. Private Branch Exchange

Compared to the key system, a private branch exchange (PBX) is an automated system that allows for a more efficient routing of calls through a programmable switching device, making it a suitable option for medium- to large-sized companies.

PBX also offers maximum connectivity. Its central hub is connected to a public switched telephone network (PTSN) and can be integrated seamlessly to include devices like fax machines, computer modems, and internal phone extensions. Just like the KSU, a telecom vendor is required for the installation and support of PBX equipment. 

Although, PBX requires higher upfront costs than the two previously mentioned, advanced features that make the system more flexible make it more economical in the long run. One such advantage is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Businesses can keep running for a period of time even without power.

  1. Voice Over Internet Protocol

Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a fancy term for voice calls made over the internet as opposed to traditional phone lines. This is the same technology that is used in Microsoft’s Skype, Cisco TelePresence (widely considered the most advanced tech in video conferencing), and other business voice providers.

A call made through a VoIP system can be received anywhere in the world as long as there is internet. This is the perfect choice for businesses with operations that span the globe. A fully cloud-based VoIP system offers loads of features at a cheaper price. It’s no surprise that a lot of companies are switching to VoIP for their communication needs. However, it is not without its downsides.

Because the system relies on the internet, it is susceptible to slow connections, making for poor quality service. There have also been instances where users found it hard to contact 911 during emergencies.

Knowing the needs of your company is the first step in choosing a telephone system. Each system is unique and runs on different technology platforms. In addition to features, they also run on different price points. A business should, therefore, think about its financial means as much as it does with business applications and infrastructure needed to support the technology.

About Neel Achary 18722 Articles
Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.