Are you ready for a new office telephone system?
This is the final installment of our series, “How to Buy a New OfficeTelephone System.”
Well, we’ve reached the end of the journey. If you’ve read and understand the information contained in this series of blogs, you’re now an expert in the art of choosing a new business telephone system. Your newfound knowledge will make the process more efficient, will delight the vendors you choose to evaluate, and the end result will be a superior communications solution for your business.
This last blog summarizes the steps we’ve gone through our blogs series to thoroughly prepare you for this project
What are the reasons why you are looking for a new business telephone system?
- Are you looking for productivity or communications-enhancing features for your organization?
- Are you looking to stave off the risk of catastrophic failure of your existing old phone system?
- Or are you looking to save money on your monthly telephone bill?
What is your decision-making criteria?
- Do you have a budget established?
- What is the timeframe for the purchase and implementation?
What phone system do you have now and how is it serving you?
- What features do you use now that you can’t do without?
- What is your call volume? (At peak use, how many lines are simultaneously in use?)
- How do you handle telephone calls (when someone is available, on the phone and away from their desk)?
New phone system feature evaluation
- Learn what’s available today
- Inventory your desk phone needs. How many executive phones are required? How about convenience phones in the kitchen, lobby, etc.?
- Do you need receptionist phones?
- How many conference room phones do you require?
- Will you integrate mobile phones with your new phone system?
- Lastly, count your fax and alarm lines
Your phone system connection to the outside world
- What are you using now? PRI? Analog? How many call paths do you have to the outside world?
- Will you be considering SIP trunking (a form of VoiP) for your connection to the outside world? If so, you need to consider the additional bandwidth required for your Internet connection.
Data network readiness for voice
- Confirm that your router is “VoiP ready” or acquire a new unit.
- Confirm that your firewall is “VoiP ready” or acquire a new unit.
- Decide on whether you want to deploy new Power over Ethernet Switches to power your new telephones.
- Will you integrate any of your business applications with your new phone system?
Document your process:
- Once you have gathered all of the above information, I would recommend that you write a document that outlines your project. This will provide a clear picture of your needs and will make the project of buying a new telephone system much more efficient. Even if it is a brief bulleted list of needs, it beats having no written plan.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how to write a simple “Request for Proposal” that will streamline the process of phone system acquisition and implementation.
Thank you for reading this blog series on buying a new telephone system. I hope you found it a useful tool in your quest to get the best for your organization. If your business is located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, we would be interested in consulting opportunities.