The single most important consideration when establishing your business technology priorities is the impact on your business mission.

As a business owner, you’ll only want to acquire technology solutions that help you:

  • Inspire your customers and enhance customer service,
  • Manage your costs and improve productivity, and
  • Align with your longer-term business objectives.


Often the telephone system is a major component of today’s business technology investment. And, with the proliferation of options in the marketplace, it is easy to be confused. You may have heard of business phone systems referred to as “hosted”, “virtual”, “VoIP”, “cloud”, premise, or hybrid. But how should you make sense of these? Whatever the status of your business may be, it’s important to consider these factors:

    1. What do you need from your phone system to support your primary business objectives?
    2. What, if any, new developments and features will positively impact your company’s customer service and productivity goals.
    3. Which business phone system features will enhance your business success? These may included benefits derived from voicemail, auto attendant, unified communications, contact center, or call recording.
    4. Do you need multiple lines, digital lines, or full IP service? Will toll-free numbers, virtual in-bound numbers and/or non-geographical numbers assist in attracting callers?
    5. Will an OpEx or CapEx funding structure best meet your accounting requirements?

However simple or complex your needs may be, reliability of your service is key. Frequent system outages may cause your customers and prospects to be unable to reach you. As result, you and your team may find yourselves disconnected from critical vendors, partners, or customers.

Your ability to meet and exceed customer expectations requires that you provide tools that keep your employees happy, productive, and confident in their ability to help your customers. This means minimizing the hassles and organizational stress associated with technology upgrades, so your front-line staff isn’t struggling with the phone system when they should be focused on solving a customer problem.

Keeping your focus on customer service and the bottom line also means that maintenance or software upgrades should not affect your business operations. This is where a well-designed managed communications plan provides the peace of mind with comprehensive provisions to maintain all the facets of the business telephone system’s reliability. It will also ensure that your staff is kept up to date with training and that your service costs are properly controlled.

In summary, as part of your business technology priorities, you need a business phone system pricing structure that works with you. It should also provide options to add features as your needs change. This is another useful way to prevent being left behind and saves your business from having to make a large capital outlay for technology that you don’t need or can’t expand.

How’s your connection?

Is it time to assess the value you’re getting from you business telephone system? Are you maximizing customer service and productivity?

Today’s telephone systems offer the opportunity to maintain the all-important personal connection with customers while effectively utilizing new features available with current technology.

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If you are considering upgrading your telephone system, it’s important to cover the bases to ensure a solution that will fit your business needs and budget.

Evaluation Process

When planning to purchase a new telephone system, it is wise to thoroughly analyze your specific business needs. A well thought-out process will help ensure quality results and a solution that meets your expectations. Don’t fall into the trap of paying too much, selecting the wrong technology or the using the wrong vendor. Most business telephone solutions are long term commitments, so a mistake lives on for years. Be sure to employ an effective process that helps you select the best solution possible.

The following questions will assist in determining your business communications requirements.

What is motivating you?

While the most frequent answer is to replace an obsolete phone system there are actually several factors that could affect your final decision.

Outdated Technology. Perhaps adequate service, support and parts are difficult to obtain for your current equipment.

Available Features. If your current system is simply lacking the features that contribute to improving productivity and enhancing customer service, it may be time for a new solution.

Monthly Telephone Bill. Once a system is deployed, your costliest telecommunications expense may be the monthly telephone bill. Proper planning and coordination with your new system can often lead to lowering monthly costs, resulting in improved ROI.

VoIP. These days, with everyone relocating business services to the cloud, it might make sense for your company to consider a virtual PBX.

Expansion. If your company is in a state of growth, you may have outgrown your current system.

Relocation. When moving to a different location, it might be a good time to replace your technology instead of sinking money into moving an old system.

Do you have a date for completion?
Often, the buying decision gets delayed in deference to handling day to day business operations. The result could be a system failure that makes the decision a more urgent priority and unduly hastens the decision process.

What parameters are important to you?
These days, most phone systems offer the same features. It’s more a matter of whether you would prefer to purchase it as a product or a service. Regardless, there are still plenty of considerations to keep in mind, such as:

1. Up Front Price
2. Total Cost of Ownership
3. Vendor Location & Reputation
4. Fit
5. Brand Recognition

Defining and weighing these parameters narrows your focus saving both you and potential vendors lots of time

Do you have a budget in mind? canstockphoto20338595
It can be hard to be transparent with this information. You may fear that it will be used against you when it comes to making the purchase. However, having a budget in place beforehand can often save you time when it comes to looking for solutions within your price range. Also, vendors know that most customers are looking at multiple solutions and a solution with an inflated price won’t be considered.

Do you have any preferences?
Would you prefer an on-site Premise PBX or a cloud-based virtual PBX? Both have their advantages.

Have you already considered any solutions?

Do you have a preferred provider?
Often, customer loyalty rests with the equipment manufacturer, the product brand or the local value-added reseller. Do you care about the brand name, or are you open to considering all providers?

Is There an Implementation Time Frame?
If you’re working against a hard deadline, it may affect the time you have to explore potential vendors or compare different technologies and therefore change your evaluation process.

Get in touch with Nutec Electro Tel today toll-free at 1-800-898-3336 to schedule your no-obligation assessment and consultation.

What to do

It can be a challenging process to select the right telephone system for your business. Several factors should be considered. Here are a few thoughts that may help you with this exercise.

Reliability is a critical component to any business telephone system. Traditional PBX systems with analog or digital (PRI) connections to the outside world provide proven and reliable service for voice connections with your customers and suppliers. VoIP (Voice over IP) on the other hand is increasingly becoming a popular choice. However, VoIP is dependent upon a reliable internet connection. Before selecting a VoIP service, be sure to have your internet service analyzed for suitability for use as a voice path. Remember, a great internet service for file transfers and email communication may not be suitable for voice transmission.

Cost

Whether your business is small, medium or large, cost is an important part of the equation. Obviously, you will want to ensure an appropriate ROI (return on investment) while maintaining a reasonable TCO (total cost of ownership). Things for you to consider include the value of features best suited to meet your customer service and productivity objectives. Do your requirements include a telephone system that delivers voice communication and multimedia sessions such as video over the internet. Enterprise organizations that have offices spread out across the world may prefer VoIP systems because your location ceases to be an issue.

Flexibility with Modular Options

Both hosted (cloud) and premise based VoIP services can combine web conferencing, fax, voicemail to email, instant chat, and web conferencing with the traditional process of just picking up a phone and making a call. With VoIP smartphone apps, users can now take their office extensions with them wherever they go. You may want to consider a modular system that can combine premise based digital and VoIP components along with a cloud based system that offers the best of both worlds. Whatever choice you make, be sure to ask about an available managed services program to include peace-of-mind and reliability.