A phone system for small businesses should be designed with a minimalist and efficient approach. KSU-less systems are perfect tools that will enhance the effectiveness of your small business. Choosing the right phone system for your company will not only reduce cost in the short-run but give you a higher ceiling for growth.
The need for a "Key Service Unit" depends on the scale of the operations of a company. In traditionally large companies, KSU or PBX systems are the main switching control units for a Key Telephone System - it is the traffic manager of all incoming and outgoing phone calls. A KSU system can work over leased, private, and dedicated lines. A KSU directs line communications from point to point or from multiple points. Thus, large companies use KSU systems to manage their communication flow for efficient and effective business operations - whether phone calls are made within the company or calls are made between companies and clients. A KSU system provides the power, signal, and connectivity in company lines, which is an essential infrastructure for a large company.
KSU systems are preferable for companies that can hire the right technical people to manage their phone lines. Small companies who find the cost of a KSU system too much for their modest operations can use KSU-less systems. This potent alternative is far less expensive, less complicated to operate, and has the right set of features perfect for a small business phone system. KSU-less systems are recognized for their portability and easy installation since the business owner can install the phone system by himself.
A telephone system is a complex structure that is usually overlooked by office managers. Companies sometimes find it hard to install a KSU system because they expected eager phone companies to install it for them. Once installed, the basic features of a KSU system might be too bare compared to the expected office functions of your company. These systems can be upgraded by adding key components such as ACD, CID, and CSTA.
The ACD or Automatic Calling Distribution routes incoming and outgoing telephone calls to the next available operator. It is an advanced call processing designed to increase the responsiveness of a company by rerouting the calls of customers and clients to the appropriate department or support team. An ACD is more apt for call center companies that want to monitor the workload of their agents. It can also gather data such as call frequency and provide reports when needed. This system processes and queues phone calls to available staff and cuts the lag time for incoming customer calls to reach support staff. At the same time, it also cuts the lag time for the staff waiting to be connected to an incoming caller.
CID or Caller ID is a feature optionally added to a KSU system to determine the originating call number. Meanwhile, CSTA provides electronic transmission of voice and fax. There are more features that can be added to upgrade a company's KSU system.
The main selling point for KSU-less systems is exemplified in the "small versus big" philosophy. Everything wired into a KSU-less system is a minimalist and highly efficient approach to one's business operations.
KSU-less phone systems serve as the bridge for businesses that are larger than a group of freelancers and too small for them to rely on a full-blown communication system. KSU-less phones serve as the middle ground for companies that need to organize more than two phone lines without the bloat and technical difficulties associated with traditional phone systems. With the right functions, small businesses can install phone systems within their price range without being sluggish due to lack of features. A KSU-less system allows users to make intercom calls or system-wide pages. Extension lines are also kept private from each other while avoiding accidental call intrusions or eavesdropping.
As described by the term, KSU-less phone systems do not require a central KSU pod. The decentralized approach to this small business phone system bodes well for anyone controlling the cost and maintenance of office operations. Each phone unit in a KSU-less system already contains the features for multi-point communications, reducing the installation process to just plugging the phones into designated phone jacks. The savings taken from a KSU system comes from less phone wires required to install a phone system. KSU-less is also treated as a normal office machine that can be transferred from one place to another. Its portability makes this system more viable for small offices that relocate periodically.
As a small business tool, the KSU-less system can handle only a limited number of lines. Sometimes, companies can outgrow the system as they expand and their business operations become more complicated. KSU-less systems cannot handle more than eight telephone lines. Therefore, investing in a KSU-less system involves projecting the growth and evolution of your company.
Outgrowing your KSU-less phone system is always a good thing. It means that your company is expanding and finding the need to reshape your communication process to cope with your operations. However, it is hard to make an accurate forecast of your company's growth without thoughtful research. Therefore, KSU-less phones are used for small businesses and startups since they only require meager investment.
Once your company has outgrown the KSU-less system, then a KSU or PBX system is more appropriate. A considerable investment is required in installing KSU and PBX phones. It is important to make the right decision regarding this investment by analyzing the needs and operations of your company. Make sure that your new KSU system can handle your projected capacity. There is also a cap on features available in a KSU-less system. If you feel that your functions have outgrown the features given by the KSU-less system, you must move on to a KSU-system that will offer the features you need.
Small businesses and startups are more likely to be inflexible when it comes to spending for KSU-less systems. This item may be nudged as one of the lesser priorities among a bunch of critical expenditures for a small company. With only so much capital money budgeted for a wide range of initiatives, the importance of business phone systems is discounted.
Still, business owners who recognize the advantages to be had in investing in phone systems are likely to have more structure for their company's growth. A sound communication system within employees and between your customers may be the veil that will separate your dynamic company from your competitor's. In an era where half of all the company's products involve technical support and speedy customer service, having the right phone system for your small business will ensure that you have the fastest way of conversing with your clients and reaching out to their demands. With a more responsive company, you can leverage what your consumers want and adjust accordingly. When you look at it this way, the importance of a KSU-less system is magnified. Business phone systems will avoid the hassle of customers' calls being redirected to the wrong personnel or their concerns not being promptly attended to.
Before buying a phone system, the central concern is that your activities and size should match the capacity of your business phone system. Measuring the capacity of a phone system does not come from a hard number drawn by you. There are various factors and requirements that one needs to understand before buying a business phone system. Understanding these factors will help you realize the true cost of the phone system and allow you to negotiate in advance with the vendor.
The two main anchors in describing a phone system are lines and extensions. Lines, or trunks, refer to the number of external phone lines used by the company. The number of extensions refers to the devices in your company that is connected to the phone system. These devices can be your usual tools such as phones, modems, fax machines, and computers. In a KSU system, the capacity is indicated by the combination of lines and extensions. As an example, a 12 by 36 system is twelve phone lines connected to thirty-six extensions. PBX systems are measured by the number of "ports" in the system.
Capacity is important in deciding the right system to employ. You should take into account the future needs of your company at an early stage because installing a phone system can be costly if you have to replace your lines every time that you outgrow the system. Your phone system should also be able to handle contingencies when a flurry of customer calls happen. Thus, have a generous maximum capacity planned to your business phone system and find ways to do this in a cost effective manner.
Telephone systems can be equipped with different features for switching calls and directing call flow. There are a set of features that can be available for a specific industry or you can customize your phone system depending on your business model.
The cost of a phone system is relative to the number of features it brings. However, most companies never use most of the telephone features. You can strip down the number of features that you require depending on what you really need so that you can negotiate for a smaller cost. Limiting the features of your phone system also makes your work flow seamless. KSU-less systems often employ minimalist features, which is perfect for a company with less than ten employees.
One of the features usually included in a standard phone system is auto-attendant messaging. This is a recorded message that instructs the caller how to get to the department that they are looking for. Usually, the recorded message tells you to press a button and select various options to isolate the customer's concern and refine the support process.
KSU systems also have conference features where employees can conduct conference calls. Other features include music-on-hold, data gathering programs, and caller-ID. These features can enhance the value of your company. It is best to consult the vendor on the different ways that you can take advantage of the different features of your phone system.
The prices of a phone system vary depending on multiple factors. For a KSU or a PBX system, the base system or the central control takes the bulk of the phone system cost. KSU-less systems do not need a central control. The control center is the limiting factor in expanding or upgrading your phone system and the price ranges from a thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the number of features that you install in the system. With the control center that holds your line and extensions, the phone units take up another bulk of the cost. The number of phone units is limited by the capacity of your phone system. Each phone unit can have different features, which are priced accordingly. It is important to assess the features that you need in a phone system and purchase the phone units that employ these features. Otherwise, you may be forced to purchase phone add-ons for features like voicemail and music-on-hold.
With the units and control center in place, installation and wiring can exhaust your budget. If you have wires in your building, ask the vendor if they can take advantage of these wires to lessen the cost. For new office buildings, having the wiring plans in the design of your building will save you a lot of money.
Once you have the materials installed, getting it to work can be tricky without the proper personnel that can program your phone system and train your employees to use it. Your employees should be comfortable with the phone system in place so that you can develop an effective work flow. This is where business practices and fine tuning come in. You can improve the responsiveness of your company exponentially by harnessing your equipment and converting it into an effective medium to engage your consumers and your personnel.
Programming and training are flexible costs. You can have an elaborate phone system and render it ineffective if no one can use it appropriately. When you consider a vendor, ask them if they offer training and phone system configuration since they already have the technical expertise necessary to get these things done.