Why VoIP? VoIP vs Other Phone Systems

Why VoIP? Well, you’ve probably heard that more companies are switching to Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, business phone systems. You’ve most likely also heard they’re saving money when they do.

Still, is it really something you need?

Let’s take a look at the various types of phone systems — and the good and bad of each. While we’re confident you won’t be asking “why VoIP?” anymore, this information will help you decide which solution is best for your business.

Key System Unit — KSU

A key system unit, or KSU, provides the power, signal, and connectivity in your company’s phone lines and provides functionality over and above a regular phone. The phones have buttons that let you know when a line is in use, select your outgoing line, put a caller on hold, call an in-office extension, or use an intercom. The system requires a central switching device that needs to be installed and maintained on-premises by a professional.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to use
  • Often works with existing wiring
  • Not terribly costly to repair
  • Isn’t portable
  • Can be hard to scale
  • Limited ability to customize
  • Needs IT to program it
  • Typically requires a secretary to transfer incoming calls
  • Can cost between $300 and $1,000 per extension, including the central device, handsets, installation, training, and support

A traditional handset is familiar and easy to use.Traditional-style handsets provide familiarity and ease of use.

KSU-less Phone System

KSU-less system is similar to a KSU system, but it’s wireless. The phones themselves have the technology they need to provide the same functions.

Pros Cons
  • Less expensive than KSU or PBX, averaging between $85 and $275 per phone
  • Can be unplugged and used in other places
  • Doesn’t require much tech support
  • Only supports up to eight lines and phones
  • Hard to integrate with other devices
  • Even though setup is relatively easy, you might need IT to help

Free VoIP RFP Toolkit

Private Branch Exchange — PBX

A PBX system connects the telephones in your company to each other as well as to the public switched telephone network, or PSTN. It’s a bit like having your own, albeit smaller, version of the phone company’s central switching office. Like a key system, you need physical equipment on-premises. The system uses a switching device that can be programmed to automatically route incoming calls.

Pros Cons
  • Scalable
  • Can take hundreds of phone lines
  • Lines can be shared among phones
  • Customizable and feature rich
  • Fully programmable
  • Can operate without internet and electricity
  • Typically costs $800 to $1,000 per user
  • Can take time to learn how to use
  • Costly to add on lines
  • Expensive to move to a new location
  • Requires staff to maintain and manage the system
  • High international calling cost

There are also hosted PBX options where the equipment is maintained off site.

Virtual Private Branch Exchange — VPBX

The VPBX system is owned, maintained, and housed by the service provider, which frees up your physical space, and is generally suitable for a small company with a small budget and not much need for outbound calling. VPBX is often used as an auto-attendant so you can set call-transfer options with no need for a receptionist or operator.

Pros Cons
  • Monthly fee per user, based on features
  • Budget friendly, no CapEx expense
  • Usually only handles incoming calls
  • Need a different system for outbound calls
  • No extension dialing

VoIP allows for mobility and connectivity from a variety of devices.From being accessible from any internet-connected device to enabling mobility, discover why VoIP is a flexible phone solution.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP telephony changes telephone audio into a digital format and transmits it over the internet as data packets that are then converted at the other end back into standard telephone audio. It’s significantly less expensivethan the key, key-less, or PBX systems, while at the same time offering more communication options, including voicemail-to-text, IVRs, auto attendants, and unified communication solutions such as integration with instant messagingaudio conferencing and video conferencing; presence information; and more.

Pros Cons
  • Low startup costs
  • Less expensive, or no-cost, calls
  • Simple to use
  • Feature rich with multitudes of options to choose from
  • Accessible from any device that has an internet connection
  • Easy to scale up or down
  • Accommodates multi-person conversations
  • Has ability to transfer video, images, and text along with voice
  • Integrates with other software, enhancing workflow productivity
  • Enables mobility
  • Detailed call reporting available
  • Per-head monthly fee, varies with features chosen; usually ranges between $25 and $75 per user
  • Requires a “good” internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to work
  • Latency that causes jitter and mouth-to-ear delay can be a problem

Discover Why VoIP May Be the Right Solution for You

Just a glance at the tables above will imply that VoIP is the way to go — way more pros than cons. But, it’s essential to reiterate the importance of your internet connection since that has the biggest effect on the quality of voice calls.

That’s why at Voxter we use a dedicated voice connection when we set up your service. It lets us guarantee the quality of your calls. Contact us today or call us at 866-381-8647 to learn more about why VoIP may be the phone solution your business has been looking for.

Free VoIP RFP Toolkit