What is a multi-line business phone system

Phone systems come in various shapes and sizes, with differing qualities and aspects to boot. The specifications of a particular phone system will be advantageous depending on your business and operations, as having a phone system that caters to these needs is important in ensuring efficiency and productivity in the workplace. 

One such phone system is a multi-line phone system. It is a commonality amongst many phone systems of frequent use over a long period of time, and has served businesses well in this period. But what exactly is it?

Beginning with terminology, multi-line is exactly what it reads: multiple lines connected to a phone. As part of the system, a singular phone is used to host multiple phone numbers. The lines can also be internal or external. This functionality is dependent on the use of the system. For instance, external lines connect to outside the business, whereas internal allows for communication within the premises such as between colleagues. The process of how a multi-line phone system functions is similar to other systems. Audio data packets are relayed through the wires of the phone to the beneficiary. 

multi-line business phone system

Multi-line phone systems also possess the usual qualities expected of phone systems, such as caller ID, speakerphone, voicemail and hold. 

The key benefit of this system is simultaneous use. With a multi-line phone system, two or more calls can be handled at the same time. This is a significant difference to phones with single lines, whereby one call can only be done at a time. The lack of efficiency is removed with a multi-line system, as calls do not need to be forwarded to voicemail or another function. Rather, another phone can answer an incoming call. 

A factor of consideration that is important when deciding on the need for a phone system (in this case multi-line) is the number of employees. Typically, a multi-line phone system is not suitable for medium or large businesses. The technology is restricting, especially when considering the number of employees present in a building. Thus, it is usually more appropriate for small businesses. The capabilities of this system make communication between small teams more succinct and contained, which would not be the case if the system was present in a business with more than 10 employees. 

The type of multi-line phone system described so far is quite limited in its abilities. It has existed for a long time, but is quickly being replaced by more advanced multi-line systems. When compared to the current market, they are referred to as ‘On-Premises’ because of their installation at the location they serve their purpose. The most notable examples of these are the PBX (Private Branch Exchange) and KSU (Key Systems Unit) phone systems, which have been frequently utilised throughout the evolution of phone systems. 

Phone systems of the present do away with excessive cables and replace them with the use of the cloud. Known by many names such as “cloud phone system” and “hosted phone system,” these new phone systems exist in the cloud and allow for unlimited phone lines to be connected. The cloud hosts the multiple phone numbers, as well as managing the systems’ use. 

Additionally, cloud phone systems are not restricted to traditional desk phones. Many have the added functionality of laptops and personal mobile phones to be connected, meaning you can make and take calls from anywhere. 

Multi-line phone systems are essentially everywhere you look. From physical lines established through a singular phone, to systems that use cloud technology, it could be suggested that multi-line is the fundamental feature of any business phone system.

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