For a number of businesses using telephone systems, switchboard systems are a necessity. With a range of options provided in this form of equipment, it is possible for businesses and staff members to significantly improve a number of processes; this can be a massive time and money saver in many businesses, and can also offer levels of efficiency that may be inaccessible without the tool implemented into your system. From small businesses to large, employing a switchboard system is an excellent way to provide staff with real-time, responsive functionality that can dramatically upscale your business.
Whether you already have a telephone system or need one installed, including a switchboard is an excellent idea. The best way to find the best option and products for your business is to compare suppliers. To find out more about what options are available, simply continue reading this page - to compare quotes today, just fill in the form above.
To compare services and prices today, simply complete the form at the top of this page. It only takes a minute, and it could save you a a considerable sum on your products, services and installation.
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What Is A Switchboard?
A telephone switchboard system is fundamental to most business’s day-to-day operations, allowing phone calls to be managed and directed to other lines within the same company or routed externally to and from the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
Switchboards are invaluable when managing high call volumes, helping direct customers to the specific departments or staff members who can assist them most effectively.
Some switchboards, which these days are usually better known as Private Branch Exchanges (PBX), are simply hardware boxes with racks of sockets where phones and handsets can be inserted. More advanced business switchboard systems are fully-functioning computer systems that can handle huge numbers of virtual extensions and connect to the external phone networks via Internet data transfer rather than sending and receiving analogue voice signals.
Modern PBX switchboard systems are made up of a combination of hardware and software, but the precise specifications can vary depending on whether the system is a ‘hosted’, cloud-based system or an on-premise system.
Telephone Switchboard Prices
There a range of options available for businesses in need of switchboard capabilities. Many of these options include virtual dashboards or built-in functionality that is included in reception phone equipment. However, for larger companies, it may be necessary to purchase and use a dedicated switchboard tool.
The table below includes just two examples of the kind of equipment that you might wish to include in your telephone system. The prices are based on current sales-cost, and can be used as an indicator of what you might pay. Of course, if you require either a more complex or less complex piece of equipment, then you can expect to pay more or less accordingly.
The best way to find the switchboard system most suited to your business is to compare services and products. Approved Index can help with this process. To compare top UK providers, you simply need to complete the form at top of this page.
The Cablematic Switchboard with 3 lines and 8 extensions is one of the less complex options on offer. Providing companies with switchboard functionality, this tool can significantly improve a variety of processes.
|BPT Mitho Switchboard Monitor|
The BPT Mitho desktop switchboard is a modern tool with a range of features. Suitable for any business looking to provide staff with high-spec functionality.
As mentioned, the prices above are not always going to be absolute, and some suppliers may not offer this exact equipment. However, the prices and options here might give some indication as to what you can expect to pay.
Which Switchboard System Is Best For Your Business?
A modern telephone switchboard system not only makes it easier for your business to handle volumes of calls quickly and efficiently, delivering the quality service your customers expect, but it provides team members with the tools to connect and collaborate effectively with each other, improving productivity and coordination, with a distinct impact on the bottom line.
Poor or out-dated PBX switchboard systems can greatly hamper a business's operations, so it’s important to install a system that is best matched to the size of your business (in terms of the number of phone users) and the volume of calls you anticipate, and which also provides the appropriate set of additional features and integrations with your other systems (such as email platforms and CRM software).
Choosing from among the many telephone switchboard systems available can be quite a daunting task for the uninitiated. There are many options, both in terms of competing providers and the different systems they offer, each with their own features and strengths. One thing to bear in mind here is that in the vast majority of cases businesses will save a considerable amount simply by switching from a traditional analogue switchboard system to any modern VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system. Beyond this, the key questions are really about how to make the most of the flexibility offered by VoIP phone solutions for your specific business needs. Choosing a system that is not an ideal fit for your business’s needs could impact the ability to expand the communications systems in line with the company’s overall growth. This in turn could lead to more expense down the line as further changes and upgrades are necessary.
With this in mind, while budget is of course a primary consideration when planning a new switchboard system purchase, putting some thought into the possible future communications needs of the business will also help to clarify and futureproof your purchase, locking in those savings for years to come and allowing you the flexibility to expand as and when the need arises.
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Telephone Switchboard Options - What To Look For In A Telephone Switchboard System
Business telephone switchboards are these days more commonly referred to as PBXs (Private Branch Exchange), which do essentially the same thing as traditional telephone switchboards but are operated automatically by computers.
The system itself is a combination of hardware and software, and the primary difference between modern VoIP phone system solutions is basically where the system is physically located: with an IP-PBX system, the system is located ‘on premise’ in a dedicated hardware rack unit, whereas with a hosted or cloud-based phone system, the system is located off site on the providers own servers, requiring no on premise equipment footprint.
Small businesses should look at the various types of telephone switchboard systems to determine which is right for them. The size of the business is probably the biggest determining factor about which kind of switchboard system to choose.
Standard features to look out for that will be part of any modern business phone system include voicemail, the ability to transfer calls, a main receptionist portal, and the ability to add any number of virtual lines that you might need as your business grows.
Whether you're looking for a direct replacement for a traditional PBX switchboard system, or you need a hosted, cloud-based VoIP solution, our database of suppliers can provide the perfect solution.
Are Virtual Switchboards Better?
Virtual switchboards, also known as hosted PBX, certainly offer advantages over traditional analogue ones. This is because virtual systems employ Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP enables voice and other modes of communication to operate faster and more efficiently by transmitting data over the Internet. Because the equipment for this system is typically located off-site in the service provider’s own data servers, you’ll save a lot of money and space by not having to buy, maintain and upgrade any bulky hardware units.
- With a virtual switchboard employees can work remotely and still have access to the company’s network using IP phones, mobile phones and even just normal phones. You can also just have a single number for the company even if your employees and offices are located in different places.
- A virtual switchboard system is scalable — you can easily expand or reduce your system as the number of your employees changes.
- Virtual switchboards have many useful features which would have been expensive or impossible to implement in an older analogue system, such as Auto Attendant (which minimizes the need for a receptionist), Call Forwarding, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) which allows callers to interact with a computer by using their phone keypad or their voices, making it possible for your business to attend to calls 24/7.
Below we’ve outlined three key criteria that should help you when comparing telephone switchboard systems to find the perfect system for your business.
Features And Functionality
It is important to make sure that the telephone switchboard system has all of the features and functionality that you need it to have. If the system cannot perform all of the duties that you need performed, it is not the right system for you! Additionally, you may want to check how elaborate the system will be to set up and operate, and whether you will need to factor in time and budget for staff training so that you can all get the most out of the new system once it’s installed.
It can be easily glossed over when focusing on flashy features and attractive user interfaces, but really one of the most important things to know about your telephone switchboard system provider is how reliable the system is, and how responsive the support service will be when things inevitably go wrong. You’ll need to know that the system can handle the amount of caller volume you expect to receive, and that the service can be scaled up as necessary to accommodate increases in caller volume in the future without overwhelming the system.
Look for customer reviews of each telephone switchboard system to understand how existing users view the system, and whether they have experienced any downtime and maintenance issues.
Once you have found some potential solutions for your business phone switchboard system needs, cost is going to be a major factor in determining which one to ultimately go for. This may seem so obvious that it’s barely worth mentioning, but in fact it can be surprsingly tricky to compare the overall costs of phone system solutions as many providers use different pricing structures and models. Make sure that as well as the clear up-front costs of equipment purchases and monthly charges, you also take into acocunt potential installation costs, ongoing support and/or maintenance, future equipment replacement and the pricing of additional lines and features you might want to include as your needs grow.
Finding A Switchboard System Provider
Many business telephone system suppliers in the UK offer switchboard systems. The lowest price for a standard switchboard system that can handle 8 lines is £300.
VoIP service providers offer scalable virtual switchboard systems to businesses of all sizes. You can add as many features as you like and easily change the number of extensions vary. Subscription rates vary, but many companies charge by the number of extensions and the number of features you want on your system. Voipfone, for instance, charges £1 per extension a month. Whichever service provider you go for, make sure that it is a member of the Internet Telephony Services Providers Association.
Telephone Switchboard Quotes
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By filling out one simple form you can receive up to 4 quotes for a telephone system from leading UK suppliers. So don't struggle on with your existing phones - compare prices and save money on a new system today.