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Buying a new enterprise phone system can be a complex and daunting undertaking. Here are four insider tips to guide the process.
Not too long ago, an enterprise phone system was simply a network of traditional telephones used to provide internal communications within a company and to make and take outside calls from customers and vendors. Today’s business realities and new technologies make things a lot more complicated. A modern enterprise phone system may include traditional phones as well as mobile devices, softphones, and audio and video conferencing tools, can be serviced by a regional or local phone company and Internet phone connections provided by a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, usually includes voice mail and instant messaging capabilities, and be able to provide effective communications between widely dispersed corporate locations, employees, partners, and vendors on a global scale.
With the complexity of modern phone systems and all of the options available, it’s no wonder companies have difficulty choosing the right enterprise phone system for their needs. There’s a risk of either under-investing or over-engineering a new system, resulting in costs for capabilities that aren’t needed or a system that doesn’t do the job, also costing money. Accurately assessing current needs with an eye to future growth and choosing the right system and vendor is vital. Here are some essential tips for selecting the perfect match.
Assessing Current And Future Needs
A company needs to know what its phone system requirements are, and what they might be in the future. The process starts with an analysis of how the current system is working, what it does right, and what it doesn’t. Feedback from all employees and departments is necessary, and this can be collected through surveys, focus groups, and polls, as well as an always-open channel of communication to management. Once problem areas have been identified, the capabilities and features of the new enterprise phone system necessary to rectify the problems can be decided on. The new system should be flexible and scalable enough to accommodate the expected requirements of future company growth.
Choosing An Enterprise Phone System Provider
Hiring the right phone system vendor is just as important as choosing the right kind of system. The vendor should have a good reputation and be able to show a track record of success. They will be able to guide and advise on what features and services would best fulfill a company’s particular communication needs. A good vendor will be able to provide fast local support and technical assistance and full-time customer service. They should also be able to provide an enterprise phone system package that will fit into a company’s budget with a flexible purchase or leasing options. The new telecom provider should ensure that a company fully understands what the implementation of the new system will entail, and be able to provide a detailed description of the process. After an enterprise phone system is installed, the vendor should be willing and able to support it with regular testing and employee training, providing all the materials necessary for a successful and trouble-free transition.
Hardware And Equipment
Another consideration for a company buying a new enterprise phone system is the equipment and hardware necessary. If a lot of new functions, features, and capabilities are being added, then it’s almost a certainty that new hardware will be required, such as different types of phones, upgraded phone lines, and mobile devices. An organization needs to assess whether the costs associated with buying and maintaining new equipment is within its budget, or whether t would be more cost-efficient to choose a vendor that will supply and maintain all the hardware necessary as part of a package deal.
Data Security Considerations
Cybercrime and data breaches are an unfortunate reality of the modern business world. Especially for companies using Internet-based VoIP communications, it’s important to have encryption and security firewalls and software in place to protect the information being transmitted. Access privileges need to be reviewed and strictly controlled, as well as physical system security safeguards.
Choosing an enterprise phone system that will be effective, efficient, and safe is a big undertaking for any company. But with the right planning and partners, it can be accomplished smoothly and successfully.