Reap the rewards
If it has been a while since you upgraded or replaced your business phone system, you may well identify with feeling overwhelmed and confounded by what’s out there – so much to choose from.
What exactly do we mean by a smarter office? It can mean a variety of things depending on factors such as your budget, plans for business growth or market changes, how you interact with your customers and where your staff are located. Today organisations can use a business phone system to boost productivity, provide cost efficiencies and improve relationships with new and existing customers, suppliers, peers or clients.
Break it down
One of the best ways to feel less overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of business phone systems on the market is break it down into manageable chunks.
Zero in on features
Work out who will use the phone system and how much you are expecting that to grow in the years ahead and what features are a must-have such as voicemail, mobile integration, and automatic call distribution and so on.
A really helpful tip is to pinpoint and separate what your needs are versus your wants.
You may also need to do a technical inventory – look at your current system and pinpoint every piece of hardware and software your business uses.
Common reasons for change include: poor voice quality, outages or dropped calls, the need for better call routing, a reduction in contract or maintenance costs and wanting additional features. Overarching all this is your budget. You can do a lot more with less these days.
Solutions to consider
Will your business lean towards an on-premises phone system, a cloud phone system or a hybrid?
Let’s look at each and why you might opt for one more so than another.
On-premises business phone system
An on-premises phone system will normally provide employees with their own handset and voice mailbox, plus videoconferencing and caller ID and many other features. These more traditional business phone systems work well for smaller organisations or single office locations. Most of these solutions are scalable and can offer other applications for effective communications depending on your set up.
Cloud phone system
Cloud phone systems rely on either a dedicated or shared internet connection for one or numerous locations. Often favoured by medium-sized businesses because they can reduce telecommunications costs by delivering calls over the Internet and eliminating costly voice lines and local and long distance contracts. You can buy a basic cloud phone system and add extensions and features as your business grows making these types of options scalable and adaptive to changes.
Hybrid phone system
Or you can opt for a hybrid system which is a combination of an on-premises and cloud system. It is favoured for its flexibility, immediacy, security and convenience. Many medium-sized businesses wanting a partial shift to a new business phone system will benefit from this hybrid cloud as it can offer an avenue of replacing some but not all of your current equipment if it is neither practical nor necessary for your company right now. And you can add and grow with it as your business changes.
Smarter offices are all about:
- Offering your clients more engagement options with your company, do they want to chat, message or speak with someone directly?
- Mobility for staff to be on the road and have access to all communication options from where they are working that day, just like they were in the office.
- Smarter processes of communication that integrate with security and provide better call flow.
- Having more visibility about what is happening in the office or on the road, who is available, room bookings, fleet management solutions that integrate, etc.
- Video conferencing solutions that interface with in house office equipment or mobile devices.
As you can see there is much to think about. Having an expert guide you through the different options available saves time, provides a better solution and reduces costs. Speak with one of our ICT consultants today.