Business phone systems are communication systems that all businesses need. They usually consist of handsets, interconnectivity and a host of host of features including hands free intercom, silent room monitoring, internal paging, caller I.D, etc. The system should work well with other equipment like answering machines, cordless phones, fax machines and computer modems.
Basically. There are three kinds of commercial phone systems on the market today. They are the Key system, Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems and KSU-less phones. PBX systems are suited for firms with over 40 plus employees and also suited for advanced functionalities. The Key system is suitable for a 5-40 employee firm. This system uses a central unit called as a key system to provide unique features like allowing users to make calls to another in-office extension. The problem with this system is that it is less customizable. Recent technological developments have blurred the distinction between PBX and Key systems. Many Key systems use PBX features and some units use both PBX and Key features (hybrids). Both PBX and Key systems are very expensive to install.
KSU-less phone systems are suited for small companies with less than 10 employees. For a much lower initial investment, KSU less phones are designed to provide many of the features of a small business system in a decentralized manner. They do not require a central cabinet and are not installed permanently in your office so they can be moved.
When buying KSU-less systems, you must make sure it is compatible with the telephone wiring, as well as accessories like fax and answering machines. The purchaser has to do his or her own installation, and there is a danger of cross talk. Though cheap, this system is facing competition in price from the hybrid systems.
While buying a phone system, it is essential to choose the correct size (lines and extensions) for your business. Lines refer to total number of outside phone lines used by company. Extensions refer to all the connections to the system from various internal sources like phones, faxes, answering machines, modems, etc.
While buying phone systems it is also prudent to have agreement with vendors or manufacturers regarding ongoing maintenance or warrantees of the equipment that you purchase.