Purchasing a new phone system for your business can greatly improve the efficiency and efficacy of your customer interactions and internal operations alike, but the process of researching and finding the best option to suit your business’ needs can be a challenge. With the wide variety of vendors and options available to business owners and IT managers who are shopping for a new business phone solution it becomes more critical than ever before to have a solid understanding of your requirements and needs in order to ensure the greatest return on your capital investment in your new phone system.
Whether your business has decided on a premise based or hosted solution for your new business telephone system, there are many service and equipment providers available to choose from depending on your specific needs. Listed below are a few of the market leaders and popular choices for business class telephone solutions to help give your research a head start.
Hardware and Premise Based Phone Solutions
These companies manufacture and provide everything from hardware and networking equipment to full service unified communications (UC) packages for businesses of all sizes. Many small business customers purchase hardware (i.e. handsets) from one of these providers and their VoIP service from a small business provider (see below).
Cisco – A global leader in network equipment and communications hardware, Cisco provides businesses with everything from state of the art telephone handsets and networking equipment to full scale UC solutions. Cisco’s business solutions are known for their ability to integrate with most other systems.
Polycom – Another global leader in network equipment specializing in complete UC solutions. Polycom is most noted for its expanding telepresence line, and is at the forefront in hardware for conferencing situations. Their UC solutions for business combine data, voice, and telepresence into one seamlessly integrated system.
NEC – NEC has long been known for its networking and handset equipment and is now also known for its comprehensive UC solutions for businesses of all sizes. With industry-specific solutions such as retail, airport solutions, digital signage, and outsource-focused solutions, NEC has a business telephone solution for almost any niche industry.
Small/Medium Sized Business Phone Solutions
With the increased prevalence (and significantly increased quality) of hosted VoIP networks, small and medium sized businesses are finding these solutions to be the most effective options available. Because they are cost effective and highly customizable, hosted telephone solutions tend to generate a significantly higher ROI for small and medium sized businesses.
Avaya – Avaya is a leader in the UC and hosted business telephone service industry, and they have tailored many of their service options to fit the needs of small and medium sized businesses. With scalable and customizable network and service options, your business will be able to create a telephone system that addresses your most pressing concerns.
8X8 – 8X8 offers their customers all of the flexibility and cutting edge technologies available to larger businesses without the hefty investment involved in setting up and maintaining your own premise based network. This is a comprehensive hosted business telephone solution with an eye toward keeping the overall cost to businesses low.
Digium – Known as “The Asterisk Company,” Digium is a leader in UC solutions and has helped enable countless other business solutions with sue of its open-source Asterisk application. With Switchvox and other solutions, Digium is focused on helping small and medium sized businesses with an affordable yet comprehensive UC solution.
Choosing the most effective partner for your business telephone and/or UC needs is dependent on the specific attributes that your system will need to exhibit. Finding the right service or hardware provider will greatly enhance the returns that your company sees from its initial investment.