These days a phone is more than just a phone; it’s a lifeline, a video conferencing device, and also, a phone. But, with all the different mediums that go through our phones, the best phone system necessary for your needs can be a challenge to determine. Whether it’s for your corporate business connections or for your home office, a proper phone system can make or break the ability to effectively communicate and manage your business.
When it comes to choosing a phone system for your business, it can be confusing trying to make a choice between VoIP and Digital phone systems. In this post we’ll give you some information about to make the best choice for your business that will help your bottom line.
VoIP vs. Digital Phone Systems
When looking to establish the appropriate phone system for your needs, you have two major choices, Voice over IP (VoIP) and Digital. VoIP is, simply put, the transmissions of data over a signal connection versus a physical line (i.e. the internet).
Digital phone systems work using the existing phone lines with upgraded equipment that makes phone lines compatible with current technology. The basic questions to look out for in either choice are budget, reliability, compatibility with your current phone system and technology, and current networking needs.
When it comes to cost, you have to figure out what your budget is when looking at phone system. VoIP phone systems are generally more expensive than Digital Phone Systems because calls are made over the internet. Depending on your current system, these calls over the internet may require an upgraded signal processing technology, reliable wireless connectivity, and a more enhanced user interface. If your current system won’t support VoIP technology, setting it up may be an investment. The good thing is that although the costs for VoIP telephone equipment are higher, the costs for maintenance are quite low. Once your system is set up, you’re good to go with a reliable fast network.
Compared to VoIP systems, Digital Phone Systems are inexpensive because they function well over the existing phone lines that you already have. The downside with digital, however, is that your business is stuck with the current system, which may be slow and spotty. Upgrades to keep up with new demands and technology might be necessary down the line, meaning that you will likely end up switching from a Digital Phone System to VoIP to keep your business efficient.
Another consideration when choosing a phone system is mobility of the system. VoIP phone systems are very mobile, as you can see from the cell phone we carry around. Whenever you need to travel or move to a separate location, just take the IP phones and the Ethernet connections to the new location and you can be up and running in no time. Since they’re not tethered to traditional phone lines, a VoIP system may enable you to keep your existing telephone numbers. VoIP phones also enable you to forward calls to your cellphone when you’re out of the office so that you can take business calls on the go and never miss a call.
While Digital Phone Systems are practical and convenient; they’re not mobile. If your office moves, then the phone has to move too. This includes notifying the telephone company, ensuring information stored in the phones is transferred, and setting up new phone numbers.
In terms of power, Digital Phone Systems take the lead. These phone systems require little power as their sole means of operation is to transmit information through digital signals using audio data.
In contrast, VoIP phone systems transmit and receive full data transmissions of internet protocols. VoIP phones must to be connected to an AC power source to maintain their signal strength or must be outfitted with Power of Ethernet injectors, devices that allow both power and data to be sent along the network cable. This requires some research on whether or not the network cable in your office can support so much data and power together.
Bandwidth is the backbone of any VoIP phone system because it determines the amount of data packets that can be transmitted along the network at any given time, relative to the amount of sources and receivers with access to them. The larger the bandwidth, the better and more reliable the IP system. VoIP phone systems run along the ethernet cables that computers are running to send email, access the internet and store information. If you don’t have enough bandwidth, too much traffic can affect the performance of either system and slow down production. If the computer system goes down, your phone system goes down too.
Digital phone systems require separate lines since voice information is easily digitized and transmits along existing phone lines, leaving ethernet cabling unencumbered. If the computers go down, phone calls can still be made, and vice versa.
Whenever people discuss VoIP versus Digital, it usually boils down to maintenance. VoIP phones have little maintenance because they can be handled by anyone with administrative access to the system. Maintenance, if necessary, can be done remotely, with little or no interference with normal business operations.
Digital phones, on the other hand, are easy to maintain but they require a physical presence to get into the wiring, replace any bad connections, and perform diagnostics. Waiting on a physical person to perform maintenance on a Digital Phone System can impede business operations since the system usually needs to shut down for proper adjustment.
When it comes to VoIP vs. Digital Phone Systems, the best choice is the one that will work best for your business both now and in the long term. Only you can decide what meets your current phone needs and provides the versatility for your future business goals.