Choosing Your Next Business Phone System

By: Chris Darr
April 25, 2024

A potential customer finds your business online, checks out your website, and thinks you might be able to help them solve a problem. They like what they see so much that they decide to pick up the phone and call you, before reaching out to a competitor. 

You’ve just beaten some incredible odds! All you need to do is answer their call promptly and answer their questions, and you’ll be well on your way to getting a new client. Unfortunately, this is exactly where a lot of businesses blow it. And if you haven’t upgraded your new phone system in the past 8–10 years, that’s probably happening — right under your nose. A modern phone system can offer your customers and staff a much better experience, but picking the right one can be a challenge.

Items To Consider When Choosing a Business Phone System


If you’re looking for a new phone system, good news: you’ve got more options than ever before. But depending on the system, it can be a significant investment, and one you want to get right. 

If I were talking to a client, these are the questions I would ask them before I recommended an on-premises, cloud, or unified communications (UC) solution:

Future Growth & Flexibility

  • Is your business growing? 
  • Do you have hybrid or remote workers or workers who frequently travel? 
  • How are you currently using desk phones, softphones, apps, and video conferencing? 
  • How do you collaborate internally and externally?

Pro tip: If your staff is currently using a variety of applications for phones, meetings, and conference calls, and the ability to work from anywhere helps keep projects moving, UC might provide the most ROI and the best experience. 


  • When do your current service and maintenance contracts expire? 
  • Does your system have hardware or software that’s nearing its end of life
  • How long do you have before you absolutely need to make a change? 

Pro tip: Getting a new system installed can take 45–90 days, depending on the system, and it’s not uncommon to start planning for an upgrade 6–12 months in advance.

Your Budget

  • Would you rather make a larger upfront investment or spend more over time?
  • Is it important for you to retain your existing dial tone? 
  • Would any termination fees apply? 

Pro tip: Some providers will try to advocate for an on-premises system if your phone numbers can’t be ported. If you’d rather use a cloud or hosted voice calling solution, don’t worry — there are ways to retain your phone number! Just make sure you budget for that. 

Customer Service and Analytics Needs

  • Do you have any contact center, call recording, or workforce optimization needs? 
  • Would your business benefit from more data analytics to understand if customer service and sales KPIs are being met? 

Pro tip: Today’s contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions solve many common frustrations that customers and customer service workers experience, including long hold times, infuriating IVR menus, and an inability to solve problems with one quick call. 

Your Integration and Automation Wish List

  • What, if any, applications or integrations are you using today, or do you wish you had? 
  • What repetitive data-driven communication tasks could potentially be automated? 

Pro tip: Depending on your system, communication surrounding order status, payment processing, and appointment reminders can be fully automated, so your staff can devote their attention to bigger and better things. 

Resiliency, Disaster Recovery, and Security


  • Is uptime critical for your organization? 
  • What is your disaster recovery strategy if you experience a significant outage? 
  • What’s the impact on your business if your phone lines are down? 

Pro tip: Traditionally, on-premises systems (and some hosted solutions) can be located in a single geographic area. If uptime is critical, pay attention to the underlying architecture and resilience of each platform you consider. 

Management and Moves/Adds/Changes

  • What kind of support would be needed for the solutions you’re considering? 
  • Do you currently have the resources to manage day-to-day changes?
  • Do you have an IT Team or expert that is able to handle end-user changes?
  • Would your IT team or expert also be able to troubleshoot your system and work with providers to resolve issues during a service interruption? 
  • Do you need 24/7 support? 

Pro tip: Many internal IT teams have the skills to manage an on-premises solution, but not always the time. Moving to a hosted solution can free up the time they need to keep up with cybersecurity and end-user support needs.

How To Make Phone Systems for Business Much Easier


I get it! Researching different voice calling solutions online can be a challenge, and it’s difficult to understand the advantages that you get from, say, a unified communications solution over a cloud voice solution just by comparing a list of features. 

It’s often what’s not listed, like the amount of time it takes to learn a tool, go from app to app, or find information that can make or break someone’s day. 

You’re always welcome to reach out to a Marco phone expert to get their custom recommendations, but we recently hosted a webinar that goes into a lot more detail about how to choose a business system, and how we work to save clients money and bring them a much better value. Click the link below to access it at any time!  

Access the Webinar Learn More

Topics: Phone Systems