Telephone System Manufacturers - What's the Difference and Who's the Best?

by Keith McGregor - Date: 2008-10-24 - Word Count: 302 Share This!

When it comes to buying a newoffice telephone system the choices seem to be endless. Every phone system supplier says that their office phone system is the best one for your business but there doesn't seem to be much to differentiate them.

To help you we have devised this guide.

There are 3 main types of business telephony systems, the traditional PBX (key and lamp), the integrated server system and the hosted system. All these systems have their good points and bad, in summary

A PBX system is suitable for small businesses with minimal telephony needs and no requirements for integration with network devices or software. Traditionally these systems will have a key and lamp facility where users can see the availability of other users by looking at their phones. The leading providers of PBX system phone systems are Panasonic, Siemens, BT, NEC and LG.

The integrated server system is ideal for a business that needs flexibility, integration with CRM software programs or intelligent call routing and reporting. This type ofoffice telephone system generally has advanced VoIP capabilities for both internal users and homeworkers allowing remote workers to be connected to the office telephone system though a virtual private network (VPN). The leading providers of Integrated server systems are Avaya, Mitel, Cisco and Intertel.

Hosted systems are excellent for small companies who make few calls but want the features of a larger system. The telephone system hardware is not based in the same building as the phones which can keep initial costs low. However these systems often require a separate broadband line to be installed which can cost more than an in-house system. Each phone may also require a separate line which can make costs spiral. Hosted systems are venerable to system failure due to the slow down of the broadband line.

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South African born Keith has lived in the south of England for most of his life. After graduating from University with a degree in Business Information Systems Management he decided to start Strawberrysoup; a website design company based in West Sussex and Dorset.
Keith successfully gained entry into the Southampton University Air Squadron and spent over 12 months training to fly. Since then he has continued to follow his interest in flying and has now began his own training in the form of a Private Pilot's Licence.
Keith also spent 13 months working within the Image and Printing Group at Hewlett Packard in Bracknell. Throughout his time there, he was responsible for many activities including events organisation and website design and maintenance.

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