Multi-line Phone Systems for Business

Multi-line phone systems are an integral part of many business’ communications infrastructure. Cloud technology has revolutionized the process, offering better features, enhanced scalability, and lower costs.

man using desk phone

What are multi-line phones

figure at desk on zoom meeting

Multi-line phone systems are designed to allow a single telephone system to host multiple lines. Similarly, they allow two phones to share the same telephone line. Typically, both phones will ring at once, and can be answered by either party or both at the same time.

Multi-line phone systems have a number of useful applications for large and small businesses:

  • A single employee can accept multiple important calls on multiple phone lines from the same device

  • A secretary can screen calls before passing them on to an executive

  • A manager can monitor the calls of an employee and step in where necessary

  • Two employees in the same department can share phone lines, ensuring that someone is always available to answer important calls

How does a multi-line phone work

Multi-line phone systems for small businesses are a relatively simple, basic telephone system. They often serve as a middle-ground for firms who need multiple lines but are not large enough to warrant an in-house Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system.


However, these business phone systems are typically quite limited in their versatility, as a single-device system cannot engage in more than one outgoing call at the same time. Multi-device systems can do a bit more, but they are still inherently limited.


A multi-line phone system used to make sense for small firms because they were substantially lower in cost than a PBX system. Today, a better option exists: Cloud PBX systems that leverage VoIP phone technology. These innovative business phone systems allow for greater versatility, better mobility, and lower costs than traditional telephone systems while offering a suite of advanced features to improve the efficiency of business communications.

How to set up a multi-line phone system

Cloud phones are an innovative alternative to traditional office PBX systems. Instead of firms hosting a physical PBX desk phone in their offices, similar technology is utilized in the cloud. This frees businesses from the hassle of purchasing and maintaining expensive business phone equipment and provides much more versatility than traditional phone systems.


Cloud-based phone systems utilize Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP phones allow for voice data to be transmitted digitally over the internet rather than through standard telephone networks. VoIP phone systems interact with traditional networks so users on a VoIP phone can still call any phone number in almost any country, regardless of which phone system that number is using.


Cloud phones also allow for incredible versatility. Users can make and receive phone calls on their desk phones, computers, and mobile devices, all using the same telephone number. Remote workers can seamlessly interact with in-house staff, and make calls as if they were in the office. Managers can stay connected after-hours, ensuring important calls are never missed.


To utilize a cloud phone system, businesses simply need to sign up for a VoIP service provider. These companies handle all the logistics, and make it incredibly simple for businesses to take advantage of this innovative technology. With VoIP, you can sign up in minutes, add users and phone numbers with the click of a mouse, and enjoy a suite of useful calling features, all with no physical equipment required.

Cloud phone systems vs traditional phone systems

Cloud phone systems

  • Make and receive calls over the internet

  • No limit to the number of users or phone lines

  • Requires no equipment or hardware

  • Can be used from anywhere, on any device

  • Combines voice, video and chat into one platform

  • User-friendly apps and software for all major devices

Traditional phone systems

  • Calls route through traditional, physically-wired phone lines

  • Number of lines is limited by the number of physical connections

  • Requires substantial investment in physical PBX system and phone hardware

  • Can only be used on physical office phones, in a specific location

  • Covers voice and conference calling only

  • No apps or software

Which is the best multi-line phone system for your business

Zoom is a leader in the digital communications industry. Our innovative video conferencing tools have revolutionized the way businesses communicate internally and externally. And now, Zoom Phone is providing powerful tools for businesses to modernize their multi-line phone systems with the help of cloud-based VoIP technology.

  • Cloud PBX you can rely on

    Zoom Phone is a digital telephone systems provider that functions entirely in the cloud. Businesses can sign up and utilize a cloud-based PBX business phone system that’s hosted on our globally distributed servers. Zoom Phone offers enterprise-class security and reliability at a price that’s accessible for large and small businesses.

  • Affordable, predictable, globally available

    Zoom Phone uses innovative cloud technology to offer industry-leading features at competitive prices. Businesses can get started for as little as $10 per user, per month. Costs are predictable and transparent, and easy admin features make it simple for managers to oversee communications remotely. Zoom Phone is available in 42 countries and growing, giving multinational firms the freedom to manage global communications on a single platform.

  • Easy to switch and grow when you do

    Zoom Phone makes it simple and affordable to make the switch to a cloud multi-line phone system. You can get started in minutes and the process can be done entirely online. New users can be added with the click of a mouse, allowing for ultimate scalability and flexibility. Unlike traditional business phone systems, Zoom Phone is not held back by physical hardware limitations. Whether your business has 5 employees or 5,000+, Zoom Phone has the features, infrastructure, and competitive pricing to fit your needs.

  • Dynamic and integrated

    Zoom Phone is integrated with dozens of popular business applications. It works seamlessly with Zoom Meetings, allowing users to elevate a 1:1 call to a Zoom video conference meeting. It provides out-of-the-box integrations with business tools like Salesforce, Slack, Google G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and much more. Dozens of innovative features give employees the tools needed for efficient and productive business communication. By consolidating voice, video, chat and more, Zoom Phone is the dynamic communications platform that can help your business thrive.

Cloud multi-line phone system: FAQ

Yes. A cloud phone system can do everything that a physical multi-line phone system can do. In fact, it can do everything that a full-fledged PBX system can do - and much more.

Possibly. Some newer desk phones and cordless phones will work with VoIP (see a list of compatible devices here). Because VoIP is a cloud service it can be used without any additional hardware. Users can make calls from office computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. If physical office phones are desired, Zoom Phone Hardware as a Service offers an affordable way to procure the latest hardware with very low upfront costs.

Virtual phone systems are almost always more affordable than traditional telephone systems. Zoom Phone plans start at just $10 per user per month. Costs scale with the size of your business and the features and calling plans you need, but in almost all cases, cloud-based multi-line phone systems provide cost savings over traditional providers.

Multi-line business phone systems like Zoom Phone are ideal for a remote or semi-remote workforce. Employees can make calls, participate in video conferences, and chat internally whether they are in the office, at home, or on vacation.

Group meeting with whiteboard

Zoom Workplace

Enable modern collaboration with chat, phone, whiteboard, and video meetings in a single offering.

  • Start a phone call or video meeting from a chat message

  • Collaborate on a whiteboard from your desktop or room, and easily share it with others

  • See whether a colleague is available with presence status


Zoom Workplace — your all-in-one communication and collaboration offering.

Contact sales to get started with Zoom Phone today!

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