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Business Phone System Prices

Business Telephone Systems Buyers' Guide

You can certainly reduce the cost of your new phone system with something reasonably priced that appears to meet your basic communication needs. The trouble begins, however, if you want to change the features of the phone system or increase its capacity. You may well find you have to start from scratch.

With new phone systems, it's wise to think about the future. Paying more now for a central control unit that accepts expansion cards, for instance, can save you money in the long-term. And don't forget to

Just what these prices are likely to be is difficult to estimate. Variable factors such as the number of staff and the nature of your business directly affect the costs.

Cost Per User

The cost per user varies according to your the features of your new phone system, but a key system or hybrid for a medium size business may be £175 - £500. If you have a small business, you'll probably find the cost per user is closer to the top end of this scale.

Cost per user for a PBX system is around £400 - £500, but large companies are able to reduce this amount significantly.

KSU-less Phones

If you want a something straightforward and have fewer than ten employees, you may prefer a KSU-less phone system without a central control unit. The price of each phone is about £60 - £100. Bear in mind that with a KSU-less system, you're restricted to what you've originally bought and are unable to upgrade.

Key and PBX systems

For key and PBX systems, the price consists of the central control unit; the phones; the accessories; installation; training; and maintenance. Ensure that your quotes contain all these elements, and ask for them to be itemised if necessary.

  • Central control unit. The central control unit, also called the central base system or the central cabinet, lies at the heart of your new phone system and determines how many outside lines, extensions and accessories you can have. This is also the item you can expand to allow for greater capacity.
  • A unit at the lower end of the scale with the ability to handle a dozen users is about £400 - £500. From this point, prices rise to thousands of pounds for systems able to cope with hundreds of extensions and numerous outside lines.

  • Phones. The phones for your new system may cost from £10 - £200 each. A mid-range phone for around £80 - £120 should provide good sound quality and the ability to access all the features of your new phone system.
  • A headset package costs from about £60, and a conference phone for up to eight users is around £200 - £400.

    A standard receptionist's phone starts at about £260 and has the features necessary to distribute calls across an office.

  • Accessories. The prices of accessories tend to increase based on the number of projected users. As an approximate guide for entry level small businesses, a voicemail system costs around £500 - £600, and a music on hold player is about £90 - £130. A royalty free CD for the music on hold player can be £25 - £30.
  • CTI is expensive and can run into thousands of pounds. Therefore check that you really want all the features the CTI application is offering you.

  • Installation. If you're planning to move your business to a building under construction, you'll find you can keep the cost of phone system wiring down by arranging for installation to take place alongside the other internal works. The same applies to a building undergoing refurbishment.
  • Quotes for the installation of wiring in existing walls, floors and ceilings will inevitably cost more. But if you already have wiring, ask your supplier to get a phone engineer to evaluate its suitability for your new phone system.

  • Training. Training your staff on even the most complex new phone system should be relatively quick and simple. New phone system suppliers will provide such training, and the cost is determined by the length of time the trainer spends on your premises.

  • Maintenance. Suppliers will always try to correct most faults remotely via a modem built into the central control unit. This speeds up repairs and reduces the cost. You may get a service contract included in your new phone system package for a limited period and then have to pay for it separately on an annual basis. You are likely to have to pay for engineer call-outs as needed once you're outside any warranty period. Establish the cost of all these services before you commit to a new phone system supplier.
Phone System Packages

Most new phone system suppliers offer small or medium size business packages. With these, you'll get a central control unit, some phones, and probably voicemail. You can usually save money with a package and ask the supplier to add anything else you need.

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