Business Telecom Buyer

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Phone Systems - For Larger Businesses
(40+ employees)

  • Primary needs: top-of-the-line features, reliability. As your business grows, basic features like voicemail and auto-attendants are must-haves. Many businesses with 40 employees or more can take advantage of advanced features such as automatic call distribution (ACD) and computer-telephony integration (CTI).
  • Best bet: PBX system. For the ultimate in phone system expandability and functionality, PBX systems are the only choice. The PBX system provides all the power your business will need - no matter how large you get.
  • Integrate with other technologies. As your business grows, your technology decisions become more and more interrelated. Your phone system needs to work with your teleconferencing provider, call center software, and sales force automation system.
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My business:

Do you have multiple locations, in the US or internationally?
  • Small businesses with multiple locations should consider a VoIP phone system, instead of a traditional set up. VoIP (Voice over IP) lets you use data networks instead of regular phone lines to connect your calls.
  • There are two primary advantages of VoIP phone systems. First, they provide the full features of your phone system to every phone on the system - even remote offices or home workers. Second, they completely eliminate calling costs between your locations.
  • Don't confuse these systems with VoIP service, like Vonage or Skype. Those companies replace your business phone service, your connection to the outside world. A VoIP system in your office simply connects your internal phone network.
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Do you have many mobile workers?
  • If you have some employees who are often on the road, mobile connectivity is an important consideration. In addition to carefully comparing cell phone services, ask the phone system vendors you're evaluating what features they offer to support mobile workers.
  • One helpful feature is the ability to forward calls from a phone extension to a cell phone after a certain number of rings. This "automatic call forwarding" or "follow me anywhere" feature lets callers contact the people they need to reach without worrying about where they are.
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Do you have an inbound or outbound call center?
  • Any group of telephone-centric employees can be considered a call center. Customer service specialists taking incoming calls and telephone salespeople alike can benefit from call center features.
  • The most important is CTI - Computer Telephone Integration. CTI is what allows callers' account information to be automatically called up on your employees' screens as they answer the phone. This makes your call center reps more efficient and increases customer satisfaction.
  • For larger call centers, detailed reporting features help you track how long employees spend on each call, average hold times, and other important metrics.
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