Telecommunication technology, particularly in the commercial sector, has evolved rapidly since the olden days of fax machines and landline telephones, to become the trillion-dollar telecommunications industry we know today. This evolution has made business communications systems more efficient, reliable, and affordable. It has also created a variety of telecom solutions options for companies to choose from.
Since most businesses still use phones as their primary mode of communication, many enterprise communications systems are built upon the telephony service. However, a lot has changed since landlines. Let’s look at the three leading telecom solutions available to businesses today and examine how each one suits a particular kind of organization.
Key system units (KSU) phone systems
KSU is the most basic business phone solution after traditional telephone systems. As a business tool, KSU is still a lot more advanced and practical compared to conventional phone lines. It provides all the necessary phone features that a small business with no more than fifty on-site employees would need.
The wired multiple phone lines are managed and controlled by what’s known as a key system unit, a central switching interface that allocates all the individual lines and extensions to the users. A phone operator at the front desk manually routes incoming calls to the different nodes by pressing on call-assignment buttons. Users can also make local calls within the system by simply dialing the recipient’s extension.
Although KSU has many useful features, such as intercoms, memory dialing, hold functions and call restrictions, and also a wireless variation known as KSU-less, this system has some serious limitations. KSU is not portable, expandable, or flexible enough for growing and mobile businesses. An organization looking to expand its workforce and enterprise is better off with more scalable telecom solutions.
Private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems
PBX is a considerable improvement on the KSU system. Basic PBX systems feature an automatic call routing and management control system, and, unlike KSU, can use a variety of communication channels, including analog, ISDN (integrated service digital network), and IP (internet protocol). These systems also feature a wealth of advanced digital functions such as interactive voice menus, call recording, digital voicemails, call queues, and business hours settings.
The control unit of PBX phones can be hosted off-site by the service provider, which allows for nearly limitless scalability and flexibility. This makes PBX ideal for growing businesses and those with over fifty staff members. What’s more, hosted IP-PBX systems have no limitations on locality; organizations with multiple enterprise locations can link up using just one service. IP-based PBX can also transfer traditional voice calls to VoIP and vice versa by leveraging the host’s internet connection and private network, cutting the cost of outgoing calls.
VoIP and unified communications
VoIP-powered unified communications are the latest generation of telecom solutions and by far the most versatile yet. VoIP is a way to transmit voice calls over the internet. Unified communications (UC) refers to an integrated communications package suite incorporating both real-time and non-real-time enterprise communication channels. UC relies on VoIP as its core foundation. A typical UC package includes facilities for voice calls, emailing, conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, and faxing.
Unified communications allow businesses to connect with staff, associates, and clients using every available means and from anywhere. UC is ideal for companies with remote workers, BYOD policies, flexible work environments, and robust e-commerce enterprises requiring a multi-channel communications approach. It does not matter whether the company is small or large; UC service packages are customizable to suit a variety of business sizes and models.
UC essentially checks most of the enterprise communication boxes for the digital business environment. This is the main reason why the unified communications model is among the fastest-growing segments of the commercial telecommunication industry. The UC market is expected to register a 16.8 percent CAGR between 2019 and 2025.
A suitable telecom solution should meet your communications demands and align with your business goals and objectives. A good communications system must also bring real value to the enterprise through ROI and increases productivity.