Your Guide to Multi-Line VoIP Phone Systems

Posted on: 2019-07-09 | Categories: VoIP Services

In the world of communication, there is a difference between consumer and business-grade phone services. Just consider phones as an example. If you are a consumer, you buy one line for the entire home and everyone uses the same number to make and answer calls. Businesses require a more diverse setup.  

Unless you are an entrepreneur with no employees, your business will most likely need a multi-line phone system. With a multi-line system, you can maintain two separate lines – one for home use and one for your business. For businesses of any size, multi-line phone systems are a must. Why? 

What Is a Multi-Line System? 

Standard phone systems connect two people in a single call. They are designed to carry a conversation between two parties only. A multi-line system is a step above that. They allow more than two people to use their phones at the same time. 

Consider the earlier example of an entrepreneur. If they wanted to use different lines, they can use a two-line phone system. Suppose that business grows in a few years and now they have three employees. They have to upgrade to a four-line system so that more people can use the phone. The number of lines you need will depend on how many simultaneous conversations you want to have. 

PBX Systems 

A PBX is a more advanced version of multi-line systems. Here, the switching and routing of calls are centralized. In a standard multi-line system, the lines are connected to the same box and all the switching happens locally. PBX systems are more expensive but easier to upgrade as the business grows. 

What is a VoIP Phone System? 

VoIP phone system is completely different from your typical landline. VoIP sends voice calls over the Internet and does not use copper lines at all. Its roots lie in Internet protocols rather than traditional telephony. VoIP phones are less expensive than landlines or PBX systems. 

VoIP phone services offer enterprise-grade features at consumer level prices. It should come as no surprise that organizations are switching to VoIP quickly. 

VoIP Multi-Line Phone Systems Explained 

VoIP multi-line phone systems provide the same functions as the more traditional ones. They allow a business to use multiple lines at once. You don’t have to have a 1:1 ratio of users to phones. An office with 12 employees can easily get by with 4 or 5 lines!  

VoIP also allows users to attach multiple devices to a single line. That means you can make calls from any device using the same number. Similarly, incoming calls can be routed to a specific device or sent to all devices at once. 

4-Line Phone Systems vs. VoIP: How They Match-Up 

There was a time when 4-line phone systems were perfect for small businesses. When you have a handful of employees but are not big enough to afford a PBX, these systems fit the bill. But with the launch of VoIP, multi-line systems are using popularity. To understand why let’s compare the two side-by-side. 

Price 

On the basis of price alone, it’s easy to see how VoIP comes out on top. Many VoIP services have basic plans starting from $25 per month. Even for a tiny business, this amount is affordable. You don’t have to buy much equipment either. Your employees can use their personal phones or even their computers or tablets to make calls. Internal calls – between coworkers – are free. Long-distance calls are a fraction of the cost charged by legacy carriers. 

In the case of a multi-line system, you have to purchase the hardware. You will also have monthly charges and have to buy phones for everyone. Typically, your operator will also require you to sign a maintenance contract. That means you have to pay a penalty if you want to get out of the contract early. You have to pay for both internal and external calls. International calls are also very expensive. 

Features 

Most multi-line systems offer features that every business needs. Things like caller ID, voicemail, hold functionality, call waiting, and call transferring come standard. Many also offer advanced features like auto attendant, conference calling, etc. But to use these features, you will usually need to buy extra hardware. At the very least, your carrier will charge extra to enable these services. 

This is not the case with VoIP. Even the basic plans with VoIP include many of the advanced features you need. Some operators will have multiple plans with a different set of features. But some vendors like VoIPstudio do away with plans completely. There is only a single plan for everyone, you only pay for the resources you use.  

VoIP also offers some features that are simply not available in multi-line phones. Examples include digital faxing and sending voicemails to your email inbox. 

Call Quality and Reliability 

There was a time when VoIP phones had poor audio quality. They were also unreliable – you never knew when a call would drop or even if it would complete. Those days are long gone. If you tried VoIP back then and gave up, it’s time to reevaluate. Hosted VoIP vendors have improved the technology to the point where users cannot tell the difference between VoIP and landline quality! 

As for reliability, hosted services allow for automatic fail overs and backups. In case of a local emergency, you can route calls to a mobile device for a separate landline. If your provider has a problem, they will have multiple data centers as backups. 

Ease of Use and Integration 

Multi-line systems need experts every step of the way. From initial set up to final configuration. You also need personnel on hand when something goes wrong. All of this is expensive and time-consuming. These systems cannot integrate with other modern enterprise tools either.  

VoIP services are easy to set up and use. You don’t need experts to configure settings. Users can make changes according to their own requirements. As a business, you can get started with VoIP phones in less than a day. As the system is based on Internet protocols, they integrate easily with other digital tools. For instance, CRM integration is one of the most popular modules in the industry today. 

As you can see, VoIP comes multi-line systems on every aspect you can think of. Whether it is price, features, reliability, or flexibility you need, VoIP is probably the best solution. 

Does Your Company Need a VoIP Multi-Line Phone System? 

It’s easy to determine if your company needs a multi-line VoIP phone system.  

  • Are you an entrepreneur? Get a multi-line VoIP phone system to separate your personal and work calls. 
  • Have a small business with 3 to 4 employees? You will need a VoIP multi-line system to distribute calls among agents. 
  • Do you have remote workers? A VoIP multi-line system can accommodate remote workers, traveling employees, and flexible work schedules. 
  • Do you have a rapidly growing business? A multi-line VoIP system can help you scale up or down as needed. You can also access advanced features without paying through the nose. 

Benefits of a VoIP Multi-Line System 

A VoIP multi-line phone system allows you to purchase fewer lines than the number of employees in the office. If you have employees in multiple locations, it can reduce costs since internal calls are free. It gives you the flexibility to customize the system as per your own requirements. 

You can always add resources when you need them. Pay for as long as you use them and you can remove them if it is no longer needed. You and your employees can make calls from any device including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. You don’t have to purchase additional hardware or software licenses. 

Your vendor will take care of many things like security, reliability, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc. You don’t need to have a team of experts to solve problems when they happen.  

Multi-Line Phone Systems – Designed to Grow With Your Business 

Perhaps the best part of VoIP multi-line phone systems is their ability to scale. Consider a traditional four-line system. You have to pay the costs of all four lines even if you have only 2 employees. When you add workers, you have to purchase extra hardware. You can’t really start small and grow as necessary. You’re either paying too much or don’t have enough resources for your size. 

With VoIP, you can start small – even with a single line if necessary. As you grow, add more lines and numbers. You will be paying the same price per user at every step of the way. What happens when you don’t need all those extra resources? Remove them and stop paying for them at once.  

At the end of the day, a VoIP multi-line phone system gives you quite a lot without breaking the bank. You get more features for less when compared to traditional phones. So don’t hesitate and switch to a VoIP service today!