For many businesses, traditional phone lines are still the primary means of communication, taking priority over fax machines, skype, and even computers. Speaking over a telephone can be the next best thing to meeting in person, other than a video call such as Scopia which we’ll get into in a later article. No one can ever deny that a simple phone call is easy and immediate. It’s often the primary method through which your clients keep in touch with you, and it makes you more immediately accessible than email or fax ever could for detailed discussions. That’s why your telephone system should be kept up to date and updated when necessary. After all, you change your computers once every few years. Why are you still using a telephone system that was considered average back in the 90’s?
The reason for upgrading your phone system is the same one as for upgrading your phone, your computer, and even your car. At a certain point, new technology emerges that allows for much greater functionality than what you currently have, and usually for the same or even a lower price. Five years ago, cell phones could barely hold 4 GB of storage, and did little more than call and text. Today they do more than come computers, and can have up to 2 TB of storage! And all that for almost the same price; why not upgrade?
Similarly, traditional desk phones are just too basic to be of much use nowadays if your customers need you to immediately engage in a video call, conferencing or switch over to Bluetooth on the run. Features such as call transfer, intercom, voicemail, and conferencing come standard with even the cheapest phone systems, and more advanced systems are already pushing forward to the bigger and better features mentioned above.
Today, VoIP and Hybrid Systems are what define high end telephone systems, along with cloud-hosted communication services. Integration with computer software, email integration, HD voice and video options, wireless handsets, and mobile phone connectivity are considered the latest technology when it comes to business telephone systems, and more and more businesses are embracing this enhanced functionality.
While some of these features may be compatible with your old telephone systems, most of them will require an upgrade to a new system. Although you may already be convinced of this, you may also be thinking that these are just high-tech terms which won’t add any real substance to your office environment. Well, much like those who rejected adopting the use of internet in the early 90’s, this belief is simply incorrect, as these technologies have come to define not just cutting-edge and innovative businesses, but many SMB firms.
Here’s why you need to think about upgrading now.
- Current system: The main reason that anyone ever upgrades anything is because the current system or technology just doesn’t work the way it should, or it just ceases to function altogether (system down!). This could be because it was faulty or mis-programmed right from the start, or because it’s slowly deteriorated over time. Maybe you failed to fix an issue early on, and are now stuck with the eventual pile up. Regardless, your current system is not serving its use to you or your company. That makes it dead weight, and time for an immediate upgrade.
- Outdated Equipment: Maybe your telephone system does work, but it’s absolutely outdated! The same way that it’s time for your dad to ditch his 1988 rusty minivan, it’s time for you to ditch the POTS and adopt a new system with some state of the art features. And maybe pick up your dad a 2017 ECO-SUV while you’re at it.
- Company Growth: It often happens that a company outgrows its phone system, rather than it becoming outdated. Perhaps it even has some cutting edge features, but just not the ones that a company of your size needs. So upsize your phone system before it starts downsizing your company.
- Unequipped for Business: At one point, your company stopped operating out of your basement and moved into a real office. But your basic consumer phone system came right with you, and is now the pillar of your office environment. It’s time to get a real business phone system, and something like Avaya IP Office could be the right choice for you.
So you decided that your phone system needs new functionality. But do you actually know what this functionality is? How do you decide what features are important to you, and which ones aren’t? Sure, maybe the salesman at “Jim’s Telco” is telling you that your business phone line should be able to play the Canadian anthem as its ringtone, but will this really benefit your business, and is he certified on the product to advise accordingly?
Speak to your employees (and to yourself), get expert consultation with a certified professional sales person (which we have), and ask these important questions.
- What features are available?
- What do you think you want your phone system to do?
- Which features will improve your businesses efficiency?
- Can any new technology help achieve your goals or do you need a certain platform?
- With IP telephone systems being at the top of chain, do they fulfill these needs?
- Do you think that integrating your computers, phones, and tablets with your telephone system will increase your productivity? (The answer to this question is often a resounding, “Yes”.)
- Which feature do you care about most?
Figuring out the answers to these questions is the most important way in which you can prepare for getting a new phone system. When you go to buy a car, you usually ask yourself what matters in a vehicle before walking in to buy it. A telephone system is no different, once you’ve done a little research.
Don’t go through this important process alone. Call Smart IP to talk an expert, and get your new communication system up and running in no time!