VoIP vs. Digital Business Phones: Questions & Answers

There are so many options to choose from when looking for business phones. And it can be confusing when trying to select the best one for your business. To help, we’re going to break it down for you in a way that’s really easy to understand.

Common Question: What Is The Right Phone System For My Business In Atlanta?

The first thing you need to remember is that the phone is how people connect with your business. It’s the most personal way to do so other than meeting face-to-face. So, the choice that you make is an important one for your business success.

Let’s break this down…

There are really only two basic types of phone systems today:

  1. VoIP (Voice over IP) System
  2. Digital System

What Is A VoIP Phone System?

This is where your voice is converted into an IP (Internet Protocol) signal. You can plug a VoIP phone into a data jack, and you can connect it to the Internet. It’s not like the old analog phones that were point-to-point systems and much less flexible.

Simply put, VoIP Business Phone Systems don’t require separate technology infrastructures like the systems of old.  In most cases they can connect via your existing data switches and infrastructure.

With VoIP, the human voice can be easily transmitted via IP data packets for enhanced quality and flexibility over legacy analog and digital phone systems.  Where legacy analog and digital systems of the past relied on 100-year-old hardware-based switching technology, VoIP systems of today are software defined. This allows for easy customization of features and call flow, all while collecting information that can be used for smart business intelligence.

There are two choices when you select a VoIP phone system:

  1. Premise-Based VoIP
  2. Cloud-Based VoIP

How Do These VoIP Systems Differ?

Premise-Based VoIP System: This is your own system where you can customize and leverage the thousands of features that are offered and design them just the way you want. You pay for the equipment over time, via a lease or purchase agreement. At some point, this cost drops off, and you’re really just paying for the services. This way you’ll benefit from a good total cost of ownership (TOC) over time. Additional benefits include voice carrier flexibility and flexible support options

Cloud-Based VoIP System: Think of this as renting your phone system in a data center where you’re sharing resources with other businesses like yours. VoIP cloud vendors standardize features and functionalities to profitably deliver services.

The plus here is that cloud-based VoIP provides a low cost of entry because you’re really just paying for monthly service on a per-user/line basis. The downside is that you’ll pay for this as long as you use the service.

This means that the total cost of ownership for a Cloud-Based VoIP System will be more than the Premise-Based VoIP System. The other downside is that you’ll have a basic set of features, unlike with the Premise-Based System where you’ll have thousands of features to choose from.

What Is A Digital Phone System?

Digital PBX phone systems are based on 100-year-old switching technology and equipment. This equipment relies on the addition of hardware to increase capacity or to add features.  Some systems allow limited VoIP functionality for remote locations or users with bolt-on IP cards.

The primary advantage of using a digital phone system is that it’s a proven technology platform that can be delivered on separate IT infrastructure and wiring.

The disadvantage?… Digital PBX Business Phones require a separate, dedicated wiring infrastructure and highly specialized engineers to maintain and service the hardware.  New Digital PBX implementations have rapidly declined as pure VoIP options have increased in popularity.

How To Decide?

If you want to save money and be able to give your customers the best communications experience, a VoIP system is the best choice. A VoIP phone system offers affordable monthly rates — There are no set-up fees or hardware costs to worry about. Setup and configuration are fairly straightforward. Plus, long-distance and monthly maintenance costs disappear. This alone can save your business money.

Most of our clients choose the Premise-Based VoIP System because of the low cost of ownership and the many customized features that it offers. You’ll have a choice of a number of great features that can save you money while providing all the same communication services that large companies benefit from.

As you can see, selecting a phone system for your business shouldn’t be left to chance. Contact the Business Phone Experts at Centerpoint IT to arrange for a Business Phone Assessment for your company in or near Atlanta.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll want to read others on our Blog.

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