Thursday, April 28, 2016

Five things to think about when considering a new phone system

When it comes to business phone systems, one size does not fit all.  Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your business - and plan accordingly:

Plan for what your business will use, not for current needs
If you are purchasing a PBX, you will likely have it for 10 years or more. Ask yourself: “during that time, will my business expand?” In some cases, you may anticipate getting smaller. Find a system that can scale to meet these needs.

Select a system that has features for business strategies you would like to use, even if you don’t think you need those features at present. Having additional ability will help your business grow. Not planning for this will stifle your creativity and could hinder future growth.

Think about maintenance of these systems
If you are going the hardware route, chose a system that will continue to provide software and hardware upgrades, not to mention replacement parts.  Be sure your provider has a maintenance plan that is affordable and meets your needs.  Make certain your vendor is on strong financial footing – you are making a long-term commitment and don’t want to be left with a problem five to ten years out.

What are your mobile needs?
Frequently workers that could be remote or mobile aren’t simply because the phone system doesn’t allow for it. Having a system that allows for remote employees can save significantly on real estate costs, not to mention improved morale, reducing turnover.

Do you need a call center strategy?
Even small companies that just have people to answer the main phone line have a call center.  Think about how your customers reach you; are they always getting to the person they need? Ask your vendor to show you how their system manages different types of call center strategies and how difficult it is ti implement them.

What do you do if you already have a PBX?
There are several strategies that work with what you’ve already purchased. Consider SIP trunking to breathe some life into your PBX by giving it new modern functionality. If your PBX won’t scale, consider adding cloud-based telephony systems to fill the gaps.  These systems will frequently work with your existing equipment, giving you modern feature sets without forcing you to do a forklift upgrade. When the time does come to retire your hardware, you can move to the cloud-based system you are already familiar with.