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Should You Upgrade Your Telephone System?

Long before there were computers, fax machines and Skype, people communicated using the good old telephone. When they are not meeting in person, people conduct their business on the telephone. This is the most important asset you have in your company so don’t take it for granted. It is one of the most basic ways your clients can reach you and having a bad system can mean losing business.

Why upgrade?

Functionality is the main reason why you should upgrade your telephone system. With so much that is happening in today’s world, a simple traditional phone line just won’t cut it. Many offices need their phones to do something more. Several years back, call transfer, intercom, conferencing and voice mail were already considered top-of-the-line features. Now, all phones come with these basic features.

The latest business telephone systems include VoIP and hybrid systems. There are now also cloud-hosted communication services. The latest technology includes SIP trunking (great if you want to save on costs), HD voice (for clear communications), calendar and email integration (better time management), IM and push-to-talk radios (faster communication), wireless DECT handsets for portability and mobile phone connectivity for unified communications. These are just some of the latest technology available today.

You may be using some or most of these features but a new system is required to keep up with your competition.

Reasons for upgrading

Current platform does not function as it should

Back when you firs t purchased your system, you were positive that all features would work as expected. Several headaches later, you realize your equipment is not working the way you want it to be or expected it to be. You may have overlooked some details or the salesman may have pushed you too hard that is why you ended up with something useless to you and your company.

Outdated equipment

A plain old telephone system (POTS) just won’t accommodate new technology. A lot of old phones need to be replaced especially now with state-of-the-art features.

The company has outgrown the present platform

You may have a system with lots of features but your company may have grown too fast so now you need a better one.

The company needs their first business telephone system

Your first system should be right and accommodate all your business needs. It is one of the first major investments you will make for your company.

When do you need a new business telephone system?

You need to change your system when its functionalities no longer meet the needs of your business and employees.

Things to consider

If you say that the sole reason for you to purchase a new system is functionality then you must define what functionality means to your business.

To determine what you need from a new platform, you should talk to all employees who use the phone. You can use these questions as a guide.

  • What do you want your phone to do?
  • What features do you think would improve our efficiency?
  • Do you have any new technology in mind that you think would help us reach our goals?
  • Does our competitor have any phone system features that you like or dislike?
  • How will a new system impact your job? If we don’t change systems, how will it also affect the way you do your job?
  • Do you want to integrate your smartphones, tablets, laptops to our system to improve your job performance?
  • If you can only have one new feature, what would it be?

Give them some time to think about the answers to these questions and ask if they have any more suggestions. Don’t rush it as this is important to everybody.

Next thing to do

After listing what you want your new platform to do, there are many more things to be addressed. Here are some questions you need to discuss with your service provider.

  • How much do your services cost?
  • Is the system expandable?
  • How much to expand or upgrade?
  • Can we resell it? If so, what is the resale value?
  • How durable is your product?
  • Can you give us references?
  • What happens when there is a power outage?
  • What is call recording and is it necessary for our business?
  • Can the Voicemail be upgraded? If so, how much?
  • When the system breaks down, how fast is your response time?
  • Can you fix problems remotely?
  • What disaster recovery features do you offer?

Benefits of Upgrading

Dramatically Enhanced Features and Functions

You can get advanced voicemail systems and flexible conference call capabilities. You can even have video conferencing if you choose to so you can talk to clients from around the world. These systems are impossible with traditional telephony.

Some IP-based systems are even programmable to have the features that you need. Your staff can have all the tools they need to do their jobs better.

Overall Operations Integration

Your system can integrate with your existing data network. This is only limited by the skills and imagination of your network designers. You can have your customers manage their accounts, managers can easily assist staff with a client problem, they can assign tasks; your clients can order and they will be automatically reflected in your procurement process, etc., etc. These functionalities are easily available to you.

Enhanced Performance and Quality

Back when VoIP was first available, voice call quality was a problem. Now, most systems surpass analog ones. This enhanced quality benefits both employees and customers. You want to avoid choppy lines and dropped connections. Improving audio quality is not as exciting as other functions but it is one of the best reasons to upgrade your system.

Comprehensive Network Solutions

Different vendors provide different solutions. You can surely find one that fits your requirements perfectly. They also offer different pricing and payment schemes. You can easily combine all your communications and networking functionality in one comprehensive solution.

These benefits simplify your processes and lower your long-term cost of operation. You are dealing with less equipment so there is less maintenance required. Most systems can also be integrated with your current platform so you won’t have any problems upgrading your whole framework. You get a performance boost without spending too much.

Upgrading your business telephone system may be something you are putting off because of the costs associated with it but rest assured that it is not as expensive as you think it is. Besides, the benefits will far outweigh the costs. If you put this off, that will be one of the biggest mistakes you will ever make because you are missing out on a lot of technology and functionalities that your employees may need to improve their productivity. You are also passing up the advantage that you can gain over your competitors.

Author: Yazz

Yazz is a trained telecommunications engineer with a diploma in telecommunications. He has spent the last 15 years working for Telefonica, one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.