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Choosing the Right Phone System for Small Businesses

Staff Writer's picture

This article was originally published on NewsWire

It can be confusing to know which phone system will be right for your business. To help you, here are the main phone systems out there.

We all know how important communication is, especially in business. This is why most businesses are very keen in choosing the proper tools, to ensure effective communication across all of their channels.

Communication has also been improved through drastic leaps in technology, which has led to a variety of new tools emerging in the market. However, while this is positive it has also made it hard for businesses  to choose the best option, due to the large amount of choice.  

For example, when looking for the best phone systems to use for your business you would be immediately greeted with a wide array of choices. Then you would have to make sure you have a strong understanding of the specific needs of your business and how well individual systems will integrate with your organisation. 

To give you a better understanding of the different choices in the market today, here are the three main types of phone systems:


Key System Unit is a phone system that has a central unit that acts like a regulator for multiple phone lines within a business. This system is optimal for smaller-medium sized organisations (few dozen people) and a bit more advanced than basic non-key phone systems. Modern KSU’s also offer a number of other options including, hold options, speakerphones, memory dialing, speed dials and a lot more. In fact they have become so digitally competitive, that they have been closely likened to PBX Systems. 

PBX System

PBX System or Private Branch Exchange System is composed of multiple phone connections through a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). PBX Systems must be installed by telecom providers. This system can easily be customized to suit your business’ needs. This is most commonly used by businesses since it is not reliant on internet connection, making it more reliable than VoIP.  Although it is more costly compared to VoIP, it can be more efficient than a KSU, in terms of customized menus, unified communications and location-based routing.

Some companies that use PBX Systems have a team responsible for its maintenance, but in most cases the telecom provider handles any issues as part of the package. 

VoIP Phone Systems

VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol and as the name implies it means that calls are made through the internet.  The best advantage of this kind of system is probably the fact that it is more cost-efficient than PBX Systems, which has also led to many businesses nowadays opting for cloud-based VoIP systems

Just make sure that when you opt for VoIP Systems your internet connection is stable enough to ensure the efficiency of your calls.

The advantages of having VoIP Systems aside from being more affordable than PBX Systems, are that they are more adaptable and since it is connected to the internet they can be updated by your provider automatically. They also are suitable for video conferencing, internet fax and instant messaging.

All these systems have pros and cons and it is always up to you to choose which one best suits your individual circumstances. Whether you are looking for small business phone systems or phone systems for a large organisation, it is important that you are aware of all the different types to make an informed decision.


WhichVoIP.co.za is SA’s leading online Telecommunications comparison, information and news portal.
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