How to Choose the Best IP Phone for Your Business

  • April 22, 2020
  • Author: Keith Young

Even with evolving technologies like video chat, social media, and email, the phone is still the most used method of communication. 

Hosted phone solutions are increasingly popular today. New IP phone users are expected to increase from 5.7 million in 2018 to 11.3 million by 2024

Choosing your phone system is only part of the process of equipping your business with effective communication tools. If you’ve already decided on a hosted phone service provider, you still need to choose the best IP phone for your business. 

What is an IP Phone?

An IP phone allows you to make phone calls over the internet instead of through a conventional circuit-switched network. It’s designed specifically for use with voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. 

An Ethernet cable (rather than a phone jack) or WiFi connects your IP phone to the internet. From there, it connects to your service provider. 

From a user’s perspective, an IP phone works just like a traditional phone.

Many IP phones look just like a standard office telephone. You’ve probably seen them in offices without realizing they were IP phones. 

There are many types of IP phones, including:

  • Corded and cordless
  • Bluetooth-compatible
  • Touchscreen
  • Softphone apps for mobile devices
  • Conference phones
  • Handset expansions

So, how do you choose the right IP phone for your business?

5 Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right IP Phone for Your Business

The vast amount of options available in IP phones can make the choice overwhelming. Before comparing your options, consider these 5 factors to simplify your decision.

1. Your Hosted Phone Provider

Your hosted phone provider might not support every IP phone on the market. Find out which phones are compatible with your provider’s system. Start with those options.

2. Your Phone Users

Who will be using these IP phones? Make a list of users along with their job or role in your company. Different jobs demand different needs. Consider how and where each user works and figure out what each one requires.

Don’t neglect to consider the needs of employees working from home or in the field. The functionality of their phones is just as important as those in the office.

Remote workers might need mobile integration, yet still require access to a desk phone when they come into the office. In a situation like this, hot desking might be a feature to consider. It enables any user to log into a spare desk phone to use the station and check their voicemails as needed. 

3. Functionality Requirements

With a clear idea of how each worker will use their phone, it’s time to decide on features and functionality. Here are some of the features and functions to consider:

  • Buttons – The number of buttons on your IP phone determines the number of features you can set up for quick access (such as speed dialing, extensions, etc.). 
  • Expansion capability – Is there a chance you’ll need to add a “side panel” for a receptionist? Or maybe you need a USB port. 
  • Headset-compatibility – If you use a headset, you’ll want to choose an IP phone that’s compatible with the type of headset you use (i.e. wireless). 
  • Screen – Do you need a touch screen? Is black and white sufficient, or would a color screen be valuable?
  • Quality – A phone that will be used all day, every day should be a higher quality than a spare phone that will endure only occasional use.

4. Budget

IP phones start as low as $40 and can be as high as several hundred dollars each. Price shouldn’t be the dominant factor in choosing your IP phone, but you should set a budget to avoid overspending. A budget helps you prioritize features and functions.

5. Network Ports

Just like your computer, IP phones use a standard network connection. If each user in your office is equipped with a single network connection, an additional network port on the phones will be an advantage. That additional port allows you to connect your phone to your computer. This simplifies connection and reduces cost by eliminating the need for extra wiring.

Choose the Best IP Phone for Your Business

Gone are the days when a phone was just a phone. As innovative technology provides businesses with greater capabilities and customization, choosing the best tools for your business becomes a tougher job.

UnitedCloud supports a variety of high quality phone brands, fully certified for any budget. We are tightly integrated with Poly, Yealink, Cisco, Grandstream, Snom and carry a full line of our own brandable OEM IP Phones by our partners.  

Many other IP phones may also be used on our platform. Feel free to check with our support team about your preferred phone brand or model.

At UnitedCloud, we’re committed to helping you choose the best IP phone for your business – and for each user. Our specialists are eager to assist you. Contact us today.

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