Internet technology has revolutionized business communication and delivered amazing efficiency, power, and flexibility. However, this revolution has also created a lot of confusion for consumers. There are so many solutions to choose from, each with it’s own array of technologies and features, that it can be difficult to wade through it all to figure out which system is the best fit for your organization.
To help cut through the paralysis of analysis, we’ve put together the following top ten things you should consider when choosing your next business communication system.
Some companies offer on-site installation and some don’t. If your company does not have its own IT department, you might need to hire a third party to come in and install your new phone system. This can result in added expense.
2. Disaster Recovery
Businesses in the Bay Area have to be serious about their disaster recovery plans. Many companies offer backup systems that store your call data off-site in the case of an emergency. In addition, many phone systems will automatically re-route calls in the event of a disaster or system failure
However, most national companies do not provide on-site disaster recovery. For example, if your equipment fails, Ring Central and 8×8 do not offer on-site equipment replacement. On the other hand, TeleDynamic is a local provider, which means that they are always available to replace failed or damaged equipment at your location.
It is easy to overlook support until there is a problem with your phone system. In fact, one of the top consumer complaints about many national phone system providers is the lack of support.
When your phone system goes down, you will want a company that provides fast, on-site support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
4. Price per Phone Extension
The cost of individual phone extensions can add up fast. It is worth taking some time to go over the fine print and figure out exactly how much each extension will cost before you make a final decision.
5. Supported Phones
It would be awful to find out after-the-fact that your current phones are not supported by your new business communications provider. Make sure that the company you choose supports the phones that you already have. Otherwise, you might be stuck with the cost of purchasing new phones.
6. Contract Obligations
Before you make your decision, you will want to know what kind of contractual obligations you will have. If you ever need or want to get out of your contract, you should have a clear idea of how difficult or expensive it will be to cancel your contract.
7. Cancellation Fee
Some companies charge a cancellation fee if you end or cancel your contract with them. It is good to know about any cancellation fees up front.
8. Custom Solutions
Many companies offer bundled services or packages and won’t custom-design a solution for you. This can create unnecessary expense. For example, if your company needs 24 extensions, but the packaged solution comes with 50, you’ll end up paying for 26 extensions that you don’t need.
Depending on the provider, you might be able to save a significant amount of money by creating a customized solution that includes only the number of extensions that you need.
9. On-Premise or Hosted
Some companies want a simple phone solution that won’t require much hands-on management while others need to access and administer different features. Some phone systems are hosted, which means that the phone system is in the cloud. A hosted system is great because it stores data off-site, which means that it is protected in the event of a natural disaster or another emergency. A hosted system is also very easy to manage.
On the other hand, an on-premise system gives you hands-on control over important features and functions. All of our on-premise systems are also backed up by the cloud, so your data will still be stored off-site in the event of an emergency or disaster.
10. Use of Existing Equipment
Your organization can save a good deal of money if you can use the phone equipment that you already own. Some companies will allow you to use your own equipment and some will not.
Side by Side Comparison of TeleDynamic, Phone Central and 8×8
Now that we’ve covered the top-ten things to consider, here is a quick side-by-side comparison between TeleDynamic and two of our national competitors, Ring Central and 8×8.