Whether you’re planning to upgrade or setting up a new business premises, deciding on a new phone system for a large office can be worrisome. Most businesses are reliant on their phone system to guarantee consistent communication – both internally and externally.
With a multitude of phone solutions available, it’s important to carry out thorough research before committing. We run through the most popular solutions, highlighting the pros and cons of each, in order to help you make an educated decision on which phone solution is best suited to your business’s requirements.
VoIP solutions for large businesses
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems deliver voice calls through your broadband connection via dedicated handsets, rather than the traditional telephone exchange network. Commonly referred to as a cloud-based phone solution or IP telephony, VoIP makes both a reliable and convenient choice for large offices.
Why choose a VoIP phone system for a large office?
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a VoIP phone system for a large office is how scalable it is, with new users easily added (or removed) using an online portal. This means your phone solution can grow at the same rate as your business, without complication.
Phone systems often make a huge dent in a business’s operational budget – particularly for larger offices. Utilising existing infrastructure, VoIP provides quality calls at low cost. VoIP solutions mitigate the need for a separate phone contract, as well as avoiding ongoing maintenance fees or a costly installation charge.
Free internal calls
One of the biggest benefits that VoIP poses to a large office is offering free internal across multiple office locations across the globe, allowing for easy communication between colleagues.
Openreach recently announced the switch off of the traditional PSTN phone lines, making landline phone systems redundant. As VoIP relies on an internet connection, which has rapidly developing infrastructure, you can remain confident that the technology is future proof, preventing the need to upgrade in the near future. Any system updates are performed automatically, without a mechanic needing to visit your premises.
Multiple user features
VoIP systems are associated with a host of extra features, that will be of particular benefit in the day-to-day communications of a large business. These include, but are not limited to:
- Hold music
- Call recording
- Conference calls
- Call forwarding
VoIP phone solutions possess the added benefit of allowing for remote use. In a large office, it is likely that employees will work away from their desk on occasions; be it at home or whilst travelling for work. As long as their mobile device is configured to the office system, employees can continue to connect as though they were still within the office.
Disadvantages of VoIP
The primary concern associated with VoIP is its reliance on an internet connection. If your broadband were to drop unexpectedly, you could be left without any means of external communication – less than ideal if your business requires constant negotiation with clients or customers.
However, in a large office with a significant number of users, a reliable internet connection is non-negotiable – whether you’re utilising a cloud-based phone system or not. Opting for a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP), will not only increase productivity within the office, but also mitigate the risk of your VoIP system failing to connect.
Is SIP trunking suitable for a large office?
Another cloud-based telephony solution commonly utilised within a large office is SIP trunking.
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is often mistaken for being interchangeable with VoIP, but the IP telephony solutions have different functionalities. Whilst VoIP delivers voice data, SIP trunking has the additional capability of transmitting multimedia data, such as video or images.
If, as a large office, you require all the advantages of a VoIP phone solution, but also require a phone system that has multimedia capabilities – for video conference calls, for example – SIP trunking may prove to be a suitable choice.
PSTN phone system for a large office
Also known as PBX (Private Branch Exchange) or a landline, PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) solutions use copper cables to deliver voice data – the same wires used for FTTC or ADSL broadband connectivity.
The benefits of PSTN included:
- Reliable call quality
- No reliance on an internet connection
- Managed on-site
Should you choose PSTN?
Traditionally, PSTN solutions were widely recommended for large offices, as unlike a smaller organisation, they tended to have the floorspace for the required hardware, alongside proficient IT teams capable of handling potential issues.
However, Openreach’s commitment to ending PSTN services by 2025 will render traditional landlines redundant – ensuring that in a few years’ time, you will be forced to upgrade your office phone system once again, demanding attention that could be better spent elsewhere in the business.
What phone system for a large office?
Ultimately, whilst it may still be feasible to upgrade an existing PSTN set-up in an office, we would recommend against installing a new PBX solution. Alternatively, a cloud-based phone solution, such as VoIP or SIP trunking will offer all the functionalities required within a large office, alongside the assurance of being completely future proof.
At Structured Communications, we have ample experience in delivering reliable and effective cloud-based phone solutions to offices of varying sizes. To find out more about our services, and how we can help your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our specialist team.