Telephone System for 8-10 users

We need to upgrade telephone system. We are a small Church with 8-10 users of the telephone system. What should we install and why?

The best phone system for you comes down to a number of important
aspects. The biggest ones to me are:

  • What features do you want/need

    • Eg., some organizations require advanced IVRs or queues or just
      some very specific functionality

    • Is it time to look into modernizing the way you use voice? Would
      you benefit from deeper integration with your existing technologies?

  • What can you afford, and what should you spend

    • Sometimes it’s worth more to unlock more capability, reduce risk
      or improve quality of life. For example, being able to access your desk
      phone / voicemail from anywhere
  • What tools do you already use, and how would you like them to integrate?

  • What is your comfort in administering and maintaining a solution? Do
    you want something fully hands-off or do you want to save some money
    getting your hands dirty?

  • Is this time to talk about collaboration at a larger scale? Overall
    stack modernization? etc.

We had a similar situation. We use Google Workspace for our staff, so we initially moved to Google Voice. It integrates with our admin console. It provides basic main line, forwarding rules, and call forwarding. Most of our staff use their cell phones with an app to access it. We purchased two Poly 250 OBI phones for two staff who are not tech savvy. Once set up, those phones deploy easily.
Porting our numbers to google voice went well - but it did take talking to a Google Account Rep to get all the settings done. BTW, Google has excellent phone support, something I did not think they had.
If we ever find we want to change to another phone system (RingCentral, etc.), the month to month system is easy to cancel and move. We are happy with Google Voice now.
Note: Ring Groups do have a cost like a voice account. Just check out so you know your costs.
We pay about $180 monthly for all our phones and rules, down from the $1000 our old system had us committed to.

If your email and such are on Microsoft, you should at least consider using Teams as your phone system. It’s accessed through an app on your computer or smartphone, or it can connect with desk phones if you really want that. And, your email inbox is also your voicemail inbox.

I recently switched to 3CX and have been very pleased. I used our existing 100 older Polycom SoundCore IP 450 and 331 phones and our existing SIP trunks from Spectrum with an on-premise Advantra SIP device. I’m running 3CX on a Windows server VM, but you could run it on a desktop PC or even a RaspberryPi. My only cost for 100 phones on 3CX is a $400/year license. With a smaller number of users you could do this much cheaper. 3CX offers smartphone apps, computer apps, web apps, and voicemail, auto attendants, ring groups, call handling modes and more. In a very simple setup you could run it hosted with 3CX and use it with a SIP provider and smartphone/PC apps.