When it comes to telephone communication at your business, it’s important to make sure you have the best solution for your company’s needs. Whether you’re frequently making international calls or need advanced conferencing options, understanding the differences between traditional landlines and VoIP phone systems can help you make the best choice.

Here are some of the main differences between each system and how you can make the best choice for your business:

The Cost of VoIP Versus a Traditional Telephone System

PBX systems (traditional landlines) can cost between $800 and $1,000 per user per year and are usually installed in offices with more than 50 people.

Other options, such as KSU-less, are sometimes a little cheaper, with the lowest prices being anywhere between $100 and $250 per user per year. And this is just the cost of the line itself. It doesn’t include calls—you’ll have to pay an additional fee for them.

So why are traditional phone systems so expensive? The main reason is the cost of installing them and providing the interchange required to route all the calls through the company premises. Engineers have to come to your organization and manually install new cables and PBX boxes, all of which typically cost a lot of money.

The costs of VoIP phone systems, however, are usually much lower. Businesses typically pay around $800 per dozen users, which works out to a substantially lower cost per user. The reason for this low price has to do with how these systems are setup. Instead of having engineers physically add lines to a building, the VoIP provider routes all your calls through your existing Internet connection.

Not only is the setup cheaper on a VoIP phone system, but there’s no need to add new infrastructure—you just use your current Internet services. This means you’re paying a fee to your Internet provider for use rather than a per call cost, which can also make this a beneficial option for businesses who make frequent international calls. Often your managed service provider will even bundle VoIP services into your existing monthly fee, slashing your costs even more.

VoIP Offers Capabilities that Traditional Landlines Do Not

The number of features that VoIP offers is too extensive to list here, but suffice to say, it builds dramatically on the capabilities of traditional landlines. You get regular calls in addition to several other features such as voicemail transcription and texting, advanced conferencing options, and more.

Call recording, for instance, allows you to automatically record every conversation that you have with customers, which is excellent for tracking quality control.

Another essential feature is the ability to host conference calls. This capability allows you to speak with as many people in your organization as you like with voice—something that isn’t easy with traditional phone lines.

VoIP also offers DND (do not disturb) features, giving you options to silence your phones without turning them off. You can program the system so that when you press DND, calls automatically reroute to a colleague, including to their cell phone.

On the efficiency front, VoIP is also impressive. If you get a voicemail intended for a specific colleague, you can forward it to them via email or text without having to switch between phone systems. Furthermore, you can integrate VoIP with your customer relations management, letting you know who is calling, and bringing up all the information you have about them up on your colleague’s screens as they talk.

Let’s take a look at some more features that VoIP has that traditional landlines do not in more detail.

  • Click-to-dial. Instead of tapping numbers into a physical phone, click-to-dial is a VoIP feature that allows your colleague to simply click numbers in emails and messages to make a voice call. It helps improve efficiency and cuts down on dialing errors.
  • Softphones. Sometimes you want to make calls from devices that aren’t, strictly speaking, telephones, such as a tablet or desktop computer. With VoIP, it’s easy. You log into your company VoIP portal on whatever device you happen to be using and then make your call. All you need is a headset with a microphone.
  • Service messages. Creating service messages with a traditional landline isn’t impossible, but it’s not easy. With VoIP however, it’s simple. You can instantly create messages telling people that you’re out of the office and when you’ll be back.
  • Hot Desking. With VoIP, numbers are attached to people, no lines. Thus, if you’re experimenting with hotdesking, you don’t end up with a confusing situation where the wrong people are paired with the wrong telephones.

With these benefits, many businesses are choosing to make the switch from traditional landlines to a VoIP phone system. As a cost-effective and multi-featured solution, VoIP phone systems are becoming more and more popular across the business landscape.