POSTED ON April, 4 2018

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Are you looking for a new business phone system and confused by the sheer number of different offerings in the market?

Is your existing phone system outdated and holding your business back?

If you are looking for cost-effective ways to upgrade your outdated business phone system and how this fits with a unified telecommunications strategy for your organisation, the starting point should be to look at what your business needs are.

Consider the following:

 

1. Integrate your communications

Unified Communications (UC) refers to the integration of two or more communication services which support the efficient running of your business.

A frequent driver to change your telephone system is a desire to put a customer focus at the heart of your Unified Communications.

 

To read more on how to combine all forms of business communications into a unified solution, and how your managed service provider can support your organisation, download your Guide to Intelligent Communications here.

 

2. Features to Manage your communications and support your business

Well deployed technologies are critical to an organisations bottom line. This starts with the broadband connection and if the capacity it provides is matched to your business needs.

The network is the foundation for efficient delivery of cloud and communication solutions. The Network is vital as it provides the foundation and building blocks to enable the delivery broadband connection and if the capacity it provides is matched to your business needs.

The configuration of the network offers the capability to deploy enterprise-grade solutions to organisations who want to increase their organisational capacity and deliver a premium customer experience. Look for a provider who has network expertise to set-up the local area network switching, connectivity and call control across a resilience data centre infrastructure.

Is your communications system secure? What in-built disaster recovery or fail over have you deployed to ensure you can provide business continuity? If connectivity to your office is disrupted or down, can your service provider redirect your calls remotely to an alternative number?

Read how failover helped Emergency Response during Storm Ophelia.

 

3. Modern ways of working driving new forms of communicating

Modern ways of working have changed, along with employee communication styles and workspaces. We now spend less time in the office and more time collaborating in teams than ever before and your communications must support this collaborative approach.

Digital ways of working have changed how we work across multi office locations and remote working.

There are several call features which support mobile working and ease of communications with your customers. It is worth looking at what features can add value to your business and support effective customer communications.

Ensure that you select a system with a range of features to enable you to manage every call you receive as well as the ease of implementing changes as your business needs evolve.

 

4. Collaborate more effectively

Most providers will have a menu of phone system features and options and matching these to your business needs is the key to a successful upgrade for your organisation.

Are unanswered calls costing you business? Consider how automation and shortcuts to prioritisation can help. Every call counts so features such as auto-attendant, hunt group, single reach number, priority call back option could assist your communications strategy, serve your customers and support mobile working.

Improve productivity and security with call recording, click to dial and fax2 email and explore CRM integration if you are using a CRM system in your company.

Features to support remote working are consolidated voicemail or voicemail to email, easy out-of-office redirects and call forwarding.

If your phone software is over four years old you may need to look at the newer VoIP and video phones and the features they offer to meet a range of communication needs.

New IP phones are user-friendly and cost-effective. They offer full-featured VoIP with wideband audio and enhanced acoustics for desktops, small conference rooms, and huddle spaces and support integrated communications with remote workers. They can be deployed on-premise or to the cloud.

Read more about how Whitfield Clinic use INNOVATE VoiceGrid’s managed service to help them deliver a high-quality, patient-centred service to their patients.

 

5. Ease of management

Look for a managed service provider that can take care of all your needs, from the desk to the datacentre. From the phone on your desk to the local area network switching, connectivity and call control, all which can be supported by a data centre infrastructure with backup controls in place.

Some providers will offer unifies communications as a service (UCaaS). The cost of your business landline and business mobiles can be rolled into one bill with built-in support as a fixed cost so that you know what the monthly fees will be and with no upfront costs.

What service support offering is available and how does this meet the needs of your business? Understand what your business phone provider is offering as part of their solution. It should be easy-to-manage solution and give you the latest communication technologies and equipment.

Consider what consolidation of your communications you can make as part of your business telephone system upgrade. Different equipment and service providers across multiple locations can make monthly reconciliations time-consuming.

What competitive call packages are they offering? What equipment is part of the package?

Cisco VoIP and video phones are among the most reliable phones and meet a range of needs. Do you have the flexibility to easily add DDI numbers for new employees?

If your legacy phone system has several providers, different equipment over multiple locations then there is an opportunity to look at unifying your communications with one fixed monthly cost, unifies billing and call reporting.

Read how Hertz consolidation of their unified communications into ‘as-a-service’ business and a monthly investment saved days each month on billing reconsolidation.

 

Cost-effective ways to upgrade your outdated business phone system 

Mia O'Loughlin

CMO

 

Business Phone Systems for Unified Communications

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