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What type of phone system does my business need?

phone systems

The market for business phone systems means that your company can benefit from a system chosen to meet your needs and enhance your productivity; as much as possible, it can be tailored to you specifically.

From hosted to on-site phone systems, it’s important to make the right decision based on your companies set-up.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many people will use the system? Is this likely to increase or decrease?
  • Are you likely to expand and move offices in the future? Or work across multiple sites?
  • Do you need to integrate homeworkers?
  • Does your budget work better with opex or capex expenditure?
  • Do you have IT staff to manage an on-site system?
  • Are you able to take on and perform ongoing maintenance?

Once you start thinking in terms of how you need the system to work for you, it becomes easier to understand how to choose a phone system. Our guide below will help you make that decision, and you can also call our sales team by getting in touch here.

Hosted telephony

Hosted telephony is suitable for all businesses and is the natural upgrade from the more traditional ISDN lines that BT are switching off in 2025, read more.

With hosted telephony, your communications are hosted in the cloud and your calls are connected over the Internet. Also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, the system is hosted off-site by a provider, rather that in your office and updates are carried out remotely to upgrade the system as advances become available.

Ideal for small, medium, large, and growing businesses, it allows businesses to have multiple communications across a number of devices at once, with high quality levels of service. A future-proofed system, it can also be used across multiple sites with cost savings on free internal calls.

Hosted is right for your business if:

  • You require advanced telephony features such as call forwarding, voicemail to email and call stats
  • Your finances work best on the opex expenditure system; essentially a monthly rental with no upfront costs
  • You do not have or want a dedicated staff member on site running the system (this is taken care of by your provider)
  • You may move offices or expand to multiple sites in the future (there is a simple relocation process and you can keep your number)


On-site phone systems, such as those by NEC, are ideal for medium and large businesses who have IT support on-site and are capable of completing ongoing maintenance of the hardware. It’s a flexible and customisable approach then ensures you can add users as and when you need them without consulting your provider. However, you must have the necessary skills.

If you are happy with your carrier, on-site systems have the benefit of letting you stay with your current carrier. You can also save money through utilising open source features and choosing SIP trunking to route communications traffic.

On-site is right for your business if:

  • You are a large business that needs to add new users frequently
  • Your finances work best on the capex expenditure system; high upfront costs with low monthly rental
  • You have or want a dedicated staff member on site running the system
  • You want an advanced, scalable system

SIP Trunking

If on-site phone systems are the right choice for your business, the decision will include choosing to run the system with traditional ISDN, which you may already have, or upgrading to SIP trunks.

As ISDN lines will be switched-off by BT in 2025, any update to your system should protect you from this loss. SIP trunking, (Session Initiation Protocol) involves using VoIP to create dedicated voice channels to route traffic across a fibre or ethernet connection. Feature rich and flexible, the number of channels can be altered at any time to suit demand, without needing to install physical lines.

If you are concerned by the ISDN switch-off, please get in touch to discuss our ISDN replacement services.

For more information please visit our Telecoms Guide & FAQs, including: