Enterprise Phone Systems

Elevate business communications with enterprise phone systems

8x8_office_31535_web.jpg

Enterprise Phone Systems

Elevate business communications with enterprise phone systems

8x8_office_31535_web.jpg

Enterprise Phone Systems

Elevate business communications with enterprise phone systems

8x8_office_31535_web.jpg

Enterprise Phone Systems

Elevate business communications with enterprise phone systems

8x8_office_31535_web.jpg

The way your company handles its business communications is a determining factor in its day-to-day efficiency.

For example, do you have one unified communications platform that provides every functionality you need? Or is your business phone system used exclusively to make phone calls. Do you use separate services for messaging, emailing, and video conferencing?

One way or another, your business phone system plays an important role in your daily workflows and the way they play out. That’s why we’re going to take a closer look at the ins and outs of enterprise phone systems, starting with what they are and moving on to explore the options you’ve got when it comes to picking your enterprise phone.

Skip ahead if you like:

What is an enterprise phone system?

Basically, an enterprise phone system is the phone service that a large business uses. A business phone system is somewhat different than one you might find at home. That’s because even a small business generally has more employees than the average household, and businesses often need to place multiple calls at the same time.

Whether your phone system has advanced features or not, the most important thing is that it suits your business needs. Those vary between individual enterprise businesses, of course, so it’s important to ensure that you’ve chosen the right communication solutions for you.

What are the types of business phone systems?

Every kind of telephony comes with its own benefits, which is why it’s important to know about all the different types of business phone you can choose from.

We’ll cover the four most prominent, widely-used types here:

  • Hardware-based PBX
  • Cloud PBX
  • Enterprise VoIP

Hardware-based PBX

This is the oldest of the communication systems. It’s hardware-based and relies on copper wires to physically connect each device to a network for call routing.

Unlike the other three solutions in this list, traditional PBX doesn’t let users place calls via the internet. That’s the major difference between enterprise PBX and other more modern, cloud-based phone solutions.

Cloud PBX

This is a reworked version of traditional PBX. Instead of copper wires, a cloud PBX system routes your calls via the internet.

We’ll go into more depth on using the internet to place calls just below, where we’ll explain what VoIP is and how it works.

If you’re using a cloud PBX system, you can ensure that your incoming calls are routed to the right place right away, which means improving customer experience. For example, if someone’s looking to contact sales and they dial your company’s general phone line, they’ll be directed to your sales team quickly, saving them time and effort.

Enterprise VoIP

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is essentially a technology that lets you place calls via the internet instead of using a traditional phone line. It’s versatile and compatible with a lot of different types of phone systems.

In particular, it’s very useful in the form of an enterprise VoIP phone system or enterprise cloud phone system. These let you host your phone system in the cloud, much like cloud PBX.

In fact, cloud PBX is a type of hosted enterprise phone system. It’s not the only one though; all cloud PBX systems are a type of enterprise VoIP, but not all enterprise VoIP phone systems are cloud PBX systems.

VoIP Vs. PBX

While virtual PBX does rely on VoIP technology to work, traditional PBX doesn’t have much in common with VoIP. We’re going to compare the two, so you can get a good idea of how they stack up against one another, and why many people opt for an enterprise VoIP provider instead of a PBX one.

What is an enterprise phone system?

Basically, an enterprise phone system is the phone service that a large business uses. A business phone system is somewhat different than one you might find at home. That’s because even a small business generally has more employees than the average household, and businesses often need to place multiple calls at the same time.

Whether your phone system has advanced features or not, the most important thing is that it suits your business needs. Those vary between individual enterprise businesses, of course, so it’s important to ensure that you’ve chosen the right communication solutions for you.

What are the types of business phone systems?

Every kind of telephony comes with its own benefits, which is why it’s important to know about all the different types of business phone you can choose from.

We’ll cover the four most prominent, widely-used types here:

  • Hardware-based PBX
  • Cloud PBX
  • Enterprise VoIP

Hardware-based PBX

This is the oldest of the communication systems. It’s hardware-based and relies on copper wires to physically connect each device to a network for call routing.

Unlike the other three solutions in this list, traditional PBX doesn’t let users place calls via the internet. That’s the major difference between enterprise PBX and other more modern, cloud-based phone solutions.

Cloud PBX

This is a reworked version of traditional PBX. Instead of copper wires, a cloud PBX system routes your calls via the internet.

We’ll go into more depth on using the internet to place calls just below, where we’ll explain what VoIP is and how it works.

If you’re using a cloud PBX system, you can ensure that your incoming calls are routed to the right place right away, which means improving customer experience. For example, if someone’s looking to contact sales and they dial your company’s general phone line, they’ll be directed to your sales team quickly, saving them time and effort.

Enterprise VoIP

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is essentially a technology that lets you place calls via the internet instead of using a traditional phone line. It’s versatile and compatible with a lot of different types of phone systems.

In particular, it’s very useful in the form of an enterprise VoIP phone system or enterprise cloud phone system. These let you host your phone system in the cloud, much like cloud PBX.

In fact, cloud PBX is a type of hosted enterprise phone system. It’s not the only one though; all cloud PBX systems are a type of enterprise VoIP, but not all enterprise VoIP phone systems are cloud PBX systems.

VoIP Vs. PBX

While virtual PBX does rely on VoIP technology to work, traditional PBX doesn’t have much in common with VoIP. We’re going to compare the two, so you can get a good idea of how they stack up against one another, and why many people opt for an enterprise VoIP provider instead of a PBX one.

What is an enterprise phone system?

Basically, an enterprise phone system is the phone service that a large business uses. A business phone system is somewhat different than one you might find at home. That’s because even a small business generally has more employees than the average household, and businesses often need to place multiple calls at the same time.

Whether your phone system has advanced features or not, the most important thing is that it suits your business needs. Those vary between individual enterprise businesses, of course, so it’s important to ensure that you’ve chosen the right communication solutions for you.

What are the types of business phone systems?

Every kind of telephony comes with its own benefits, which is why it’s important to know about all the different types of business phone you can choose from.

We’ll cover the four most prominent, widely-used types here:

  • Hardware-based PBX
  • Cloud PBX
  • Enterprise VoIP

Hardware-based PBX

This is the oldest of the communication systems. It’s hardware-based and relies on copper wires to physically connect each device to a network for call routing.

Unlike the other three solutions in this list, traditional PBX doesn’t let users place calls via the internet. That’s the major difference between enterprise PBX and other more modern, cloud-based phone solutions.

Cloud PBX

This is a reworked version of traditional PBX. Instead of copper wires, a cloud PBX system routes your calls via the internet.

We’ll go into more depth on using the internet to place calls just below, where we’ll explain what VoIP is and how it works.

If you’re using a cloud PBX system, you can ensure that your incoming calls are routed to the right place right away, which means improving customer experience. For example, if someone’s looking to contact sales and they dial your company’s general phone line, they’ll be directed to your sales team quickly, saving them time and effort.

Enterprise VoIP

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is essentially a technology that lets you place calls via the internet instead of using a traditional phone line. It’s versatile and compatible with a lot of different types of phone systems.

In particular, it’s very useful in the form of an enterprise VoIP phone system or enterprise cloud phone system. These let you host your phone system in the cloud, much like cloud PBX.

In fact, cloud PBX is a type of hosted enterprise phone system. It’s not the only one though; all cloud PBX systems are a type of enterprise VoIP, but not all enterprise VoIP phone systems are cloud PBX systems.

VoIP Vs. PBX

While virtual PBX does rely on VoIP technology to work, traditional PBX doesn’t have much in common with VoIP. We’re going to compare the two, so you can get a good idea of how they stack up against one another, and why many people opt for an enterprise VoIP provider instead of a PBX one.

What is an enterprise phone system?

Basically, an enterprise phone system is the phone service that a large business uses. A business phone system is somewhat different than one you might find at home. That’s because even a small business generally has more employees than the average household, and businesses often need to place multiple calls at the same time.

Whether your phone system has advanced features or not, the most important thing is that it suits your business needs. Those vary between individual enterprise businesses, of course, so it’s important to ensure that you’ve chosen the right communication solutions for you.

What are the types of business phone systems?

Every kind of telephony comes with its own benefits, which is why it’s important to know about all the different types of business phone you can choose from.

We’ll cover the four most prominent, widely-used types here:

  • Hardware-based PBX
  • Cloud PBX
  • Enterprise VoIP

Hardware-based PBX

This is the oldest of the communication systems. It’s hardware-based and relies on copper wires to physically connect each device to a network for call routing.

Unlike the other three solutions in this list, traditional PBX doesn’t let users place calls via the internet. That’s the major difference between enterprise PBX and other more modern, cloud-based phone solutions.

Cloud PBX

This is a reworked version of traditional PBX. Instead of copper wires, a cloud PBX system routes your calls via the internet.

We’ll go into more depth on using the internet to place calls just below, where we’ll explain what VoIP is and how it works.

If you’re using a cloud PBX system, you can ensure that your incoming calls are routed to the right place right away, which means improving customer experience. For example, if someone’s looking to contact sales and they dial your company’s general phone line, they’ll be directed to your sales team quickly, saving them time and effort.

Enterprise VoIP

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is essentially a technology that lets you place calls via the internet instead of using a traditional phone line. It’s versatile and compatible with a lot of different types of phone systems.

In particular, it’s very useful in the form of an enterprise VoIP phone system or enterprise cloud phone system. These let you host your phone system in the cloud, much like cloud PBX.

In fact, cloud PBX is a type of hosted enterprise phone system. It’s not the only one though; all cloud PBX systems are a type of enterprise VoIP, but not all enterprise VoIP phone systems are cloud PBX systems.

VoIP Vs. PBX

While virtual PBX does rely on VoIP technology to work, traditional PBX doesn’t have much in common with VoIP. We’re going to compare the two, so you can get a good idea of how they stack up against one another, and why many people opt for an enterprise VoIP provider instead of a PBX one.

VoIPPBX
Any VoIP phone system is going to be internet-based, meaning that all call routing happens via the internet and no additional hardware is needed besides phonesLegacy PBX is based on hardware—more specifically, copper wires. A traditional PBX system connects office phones to a phone network using those copper wires
Compatible with modern VoIP phones, as well as any iOS or Android mobile phone your company or employees already ownBuilt around use with landlines, can’t be used with softphones or handheld mobile devices
Depending on your VoIP provider, VoIP solutions can be part of a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) systemTo use PBX as part of your UCaaS system, you’d need to opt for a modern PBX solution that doesn’t rely on hardware. You can do this with, for example, enterprise cloud PBX
Enterprise VoIP necessarily has great scalability, since it’s not hardware-dependentTraditional PBX is not easily scalable. However, new and modern solutions like cloud PBX are much easier to scale, and can be compared to enterprise VoIP systems in that regard
If you’re using an enterprise VoIP phone system, your phone system itself is hosted in data centers at off-site locations that keep your data secure at all timesPBX cloud phone systems are also hosted from data centers. Legacy, non-cloud-based PBX systems aren’t hosted online, so they’re based on-site at your office’s location

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

Sometimes, being able to make calls is enough. Other times, you want to be able to join video meetings, host video webinars, send emails, take part in conference calls, and send SMS—ideally all from one phone system.

In other words, what you’d want in that situation is to unify communications. That’s what UCaaS is for.

With UCaaS, you can configure and implement custom solutions that perfectly suit your business needs. That’s because UCaaS aims to unify all your communications, so any specific apps or software you use can be incorporated into your communications solution.

UCaaS usually offers VoIP and PBX services as part of its unified communications package. Let’s go into more detail about what features UCaaS offers.

Which features does a unified communications phone system offer?

As the most customizable communications solutions, UCaaS systems come with a lot of built-in flexibility. That means they offer lots of top features, ranging from online faxing and screen sharing functionalities, to useful integrations that help you streamline your daily workflows.

Phone service with bonus features

Of course, you’ll want to be able to use your phone system to place calls. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for only the basics, however.

With a UCaaS system, you can set up things like call analytics, which gather data and process it into useful graphs and charts you can use to improve your call performance. You can also use call recording, call transcription, and call logs to more easily keep track of everything that’s being said in your calls.

Smaller features like caller ID that can identify phone numbers are also a big help. They make it easier to implement successful call transfers, which improve call flow.

Video conferencing

UCaaS users can enjoy integrated video conferencing within their phone solution. Being able to receive visual information alongside audio data can be a real lifesaver when it comes to conference calling. Presenters can enhance their talks with visual cues, while listeners can indicate their interest using facial expressions and body language.

Additionally, video conferencing can really make international calling feel more personal. When the people you’re speaking to are far away, connecting meaningfully in real-time can be tough. That’s why video conferencing is an essential tool to streamline communication and boost team collaboration.

Integrations

Integrations let you customize your business VoIP system in a cost-effective way. They let you use apps like Hubspot, Microsoft Teams, and Salesforce, as well as other CRM and related business software, from within your UCaaS platform. They let you add as many functionalities as you need.

In other words, integrations can take your cloud phone system to the next level.

Call center functionalities

Most, if not all, large businesses, digital businesses, and enterprises have some kind of contact center. UCaaS systems can help you manage yours more effectively.

If you’ve got contact center software that your customer support teams are already comfortable using, you can integrate that into your UCaaS system. If not, you can compare plans from different UCaaS providers and find one that includes a built-in contact center functionality.

Your UCaaS system can help with lots of things related to customer communications. For example, it can automatically manage your call queues for your agents, automatically handling all call forwarding and eliminating the need for a human operator.

Virtual receptionists

An interactive virtual receptionist (IVR), or auto attendant, is enormously helpful in handling your incoming calls. It directs callers to the right place, reducing the risk of anyone hanging up before reaching an agent and/or leaving an angry voicemail stating they couldn’t reach anyone.

That’s why many new UCaaS users purposely pick out a service provider that can offer them a built-in IVR system.

Top 3 benefits of VoIP phone systems

  1. They’re cost-effective
  2. They’re compatible with VoIP phones
  3. They’re future-proof

1) They’re cost-effective

Implementing a VoIP system is a great way to guarantee cost savings in the future. This is true for a few key reasons.

Firstly, VoIP systems are highly scalable. That means that whenever you want to expand your business, your phone system will grow alongside you easily, without needing you to invest lots more money or time into it.

VoIP phone systems also tend to operate under fixed pricing plans. That means your monthly price doesn’t change when you make more calls or do more web conferencing—it’s all included in the fixed price you already paid.

Lastly, your provider handles the upkeep and maintenance of any hardware equipment needed to make your VoIP phone work. That means you get to save money in that regard.

2) They’re compatible with VoIP phones

Are you someone who prefers to use a softphone, or who’s got a cloud contract for a VoIP phone? A VoIP phone system can support you perfectly.

One of the most useful plan features that comes with a VoIP phone system is full compatibility with those kinds of phones. You can keep using your new tech without having to worry about calling rates, since those are included in the monthly fee.

3) They’re future-proof

Traditional PBX is going out of fashion quickly. It’s harder to scale, less compatible with modern tech, and more prone to poor connectivity than VoIP systems, which discourages new users from opting for non-VoIP solutions.

VoIP phones, on the other hand, are ready to handle the challenges of the future. They’re versatile and can work with any hardware—just as they can enable you to work from anywhere.

As long as the internet continues to exist, you’ll keep being able to make calls via VoIP. That means that come what may, your phone system is prepared for the future.

Which business phone system is the best for you?

Ultimately, the needs of your enterprise will determine the best phone system for your business. Nowadays, it’s better to invest in a VoIP solution. It’s cheaper, requires fewer field staff, and offers more features than a traditional phone solution. You can even get it as part of a UCaaS solution that offers even more collaboration tools.

Whatever your business needs, let 8x8 help you find the best business phone solutions for them. Contact sales or request a demo today.