Do you know how much business relies on communication these days? It’s literally 100% reliant. Without communications technology, the business world simply grinds to a halt. Whether it’s emails, faxes or anything else – business works by being connected to others. Different businesses have different needs, there’s going to be a big margin of change between companies when thinking about the type of communications technology. Some companies will need internet access, emails and maybe an intranet – but some will favour different technologies. Let’s start with the most basic, or classical, type of communication. Telephones. How do you choose business telephone systems?
Phone systems, believe it or not, can be extremely complex. There’s not a chance in hell that you’re going to get a massive system on a measly budget – you need to work with what you’ve got. A lot of businesses are going to have to bring in another company to install and maintain their system, but this can be expensive so be sure to shop around. It’s important that you consider your budget in the sense ‘Is it big enough to adequately provide the telephone systems that you need?’ Without a good telecommunications system integrator, you might end up with faults, unreliability and will eventually have to face an obstacle to doing business. So, analyse what you want to achieve – and make sure you have a realistic budget for a system that suits your needs.
There are a few different types of system available to a business. It makes it all the more important to find out which one will work best for you. Are you looking for security and reliability over speed? Then a traditional telephone system might be best. This type of system is known as TDM. Do you need speed and flexibility? Then perhaps a voice over IP system (VoIP) is better, this allows for your telephone to be managed as a process on your network. The benefit of this type of system is flexibility in the way you handle calls. Software interfaces can be applied very easily on a VoIP system – which will then create a simple method to track caller information, update customer details and transfer calls to relevant departments.
One of the biggest things to think about when deciding how to choose a business telephone system is unified communications. Known as UC, it is a method of integrating all of a businesses communications devices into a single manageable source that is easily overlaid with interfaces and software solutions. Unified communication integration includes real time (phone, instant messaging, video conferencing and cloud computing) technologies and non-real time (email, voicemail, SMS and fax) with a unified user interface providing simple access to all of these communications tools. UC encourages the facilitation of communication, by making it easy to manage and simple to use.
Communications technology can be immensely complex, and it’s likely that a business will not have the budget to maintain a full time member of staff to preserve it when it goes wrong. This is where managed solutions can be very handy. Of course, you will have to pay for this service – and you may consider it a luxury – but it can be well worthwhile when you need something fixed quick. It can also save money in the longer term by avoiding system crashes and preventing any damage. You also are better placed to upgrade and update your telephony equipment with such an arrangement. It’s easy to think of the managed service as just for maintenance, but the fact is they will also be able upgrade your system with minimal hassle using their expertise and a knowledge of the needs and requirements of your system.
Look At Your Providers Accreditations If you think you’ve found the perfect people to install your business telephone system, then you should probably look at their list of partners or accreditations. Ask the providers for any references, they should be willing to say at least a few people who they have worked with. Keep in mind that businesses will sometimes not disclose clients they are currently working with. If you’ve got the list of accreditations, you need to have a look at them and research whether they are successful as a business. You could even approach them as a business and ask for a reference. Seeing if there are any recognisable brands the provider has worked with in the past is advantageous too. Recognisable brands are a mark of quality, and you should consider this when thinking of about the quality of your provider.