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Written by
Katy Ratican
21 Jun 2022
4 minutes

Office phone systems: Factors to consider when choosing one

Everything you need to know about office phone systems whether you’re getting a new one or upgrading your current business phone
Office phone systems

Office phone systems have evolved to keep pace with the changing requirements of modern offices. Considering the number of calls modern offices handle and the need for constant customer engagement, what you need is an office phone system that has all the basic features and business tools to help you grow.

An office phone system that will work for one business may not work for another even if they operate in the same area or category. If your business fields more incoming calls or if you have to make calls for lead generation, you would need a phone built for that. If you need to send promotional messages, then it’s a different phone system that you should be looking at.

Factors to consider before investing in a new office phone system

The different types of office phone systems

There are three types of office phone systems that you can consider for your business depending on your needs. These are PBX (Private Branch Exchange), VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and second-line apps.


PBX is a private network that you maintain in your office to manage and direct both internal and external calls. This is the traditional option that most businesses have. A PBX connects to a network using copper wires and requires expensive investments to install and maintain.

While it’s reliable, it’s not connected to the internet and is only useful if you are physically in your office or workspace.


VoIP converts audio signals into digital packets and transfers them over the internet. The difference between an on-premise PBX and a hosted PBX is that there is no physical exchange and only software that’s hosted in the cloud.

Since it’s a cloud PBX, you don’t have to invest in expensive infrastructure or take care of its maintenance. VoIP is cost-effective and allows you to make and receive calls from any connected device.

Second-line apps

An increasingly popular office phone system, second-line apps are software that you can use to make and receive calls over the internet. You can get a toll-free, vanity or local number and use them for everything from marketing campaigns to customer support.

A big advantage is that you don’t have to buy an additional device. You can download and subscribe to the service on any connected laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The price of office phone systems

When comparing office phone systems, a crucial factor is how much you will pay for them. If you opt for the wrong choice, aside from the initial costs, you will also have to pay unnecessary monthly charges. These are the usual expenses associated with office phone systems:

  • Initial infrastructure costs

  • Hardware expenses

  • Installation costs

  • Licensing fees

  • Internet connection fees

  • Subscription charges

Traditional office phone systems require high initial investments related to hardware and installation. They’re also expensive to maintain. For VoIP, you’ll have to pay for internet-related charges.

Second-line apps are significantly cost-effective and come only with subscription fees, making them the right choice for businesses on a budget.

Reliability of internet

When comparing PBX and VoIP, you’ll realise that VoIP and second-line apps need stable internet connectivity to work. But most workplaces now have reliable internet connections, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Some second-line apps use mobile networks to connect to the internet, which makes them a superior option because of their greater reliability.


If you need to add numbers to your PBX, you’ll have to contact your phone company and wait for installation. Adding new numbers to VoIP and second-line apps is easy. With the latter, you only have to download the software and connect the new number through your dashboard.

Business structure

If your team members work together from a physical location, a traditional office phone system is a safe option. If you have a lot of incoming calls, a PBX will help you direct those. But if you have a remote or hybrid team, VoIP or a second-line app is your best bet.

Additionally, if your work frequently takes you out of the office, an internet-based office phone system is more of a natural choice.

Chalkboard: A reliable alternative to in-house office phone systems

Why settle for an expensive and limiting phone when you can choose an affordable and feature-rich office phone system? Chalkboard gives you a second line for work that you can start using by downloading the software. This top-ranking virtual number lets you:

Download Chalkboard and try it now. Of all the office phone systems, this is one specifically made for communication, collaboration and marketing.

Add team numbers to any phone
Keep work separate, personal numbers private, and share calls and texts with your team 🚀
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