Types of business phones include the Key System Unit, Private Branch Exchange and Voice over Internet Protocol. Factors to consider when choosing a business phone include number of telephones, new or existing infrastructure, business applications and budget.
Key systems are usually used by smaller businesses and can support up to 75 users. The multi-line system is supported by a central control device and is typically installed and maintained by a vendor. The phone system can be expanded to allow for growing business needs. Key systems offer many of the features of PBX systems but on a smaller scale.
PBX telephone systems are used by larger businesses with more than 75 employees. The system can support complex implementations typical to larger businesses and allows for better flexibility. PBX systems are characterized by higher upfront costs, but long-term savings can be made through the system's flexibility and customizable advanced features.
VoIP systems do not use traditional telephone lines and instead send voice calls over the Internet. This kind of system is ideal for businesses with remote workers and multiple branch offices. Traditional VoIP phone system equipment is owned and managed by the business while a hosted system is managed by a service provider. Traditional VoIP systems typically have higher upfront costs but lower monthly fees compared to their hosted counterparts.