Technology is in a constant state of evolution, and is perhaps evolving more quickly now than it ever has before. A quick look around your office is proof enough of that – technology that was absolutely essential to running a successful business not 15 years ago is now all but redundant. Fax machines have been replaced by email, filing cabinets have been replaced by hard drives and the cloud, and anyone with a business computing system no longer has any need for a rolodex.
Your landline phone system is perhaps one of the last remaining bastions of yesterday’s office still in use, but with experts predicting that the landline might be extinct by 2025, are your office phone systems up to the task of making the transition into tomorrow’s world?
Is your phone system futureproof? With the face of business communications changing so dramatically in the last decade, and promising to continue to change for at least the next decade, there are quite a few reasons why your current phone system may not be up to the task of supporting the continued growth and success of your organisation.
Here are the four major indications that your phone system could do with an upgrade.
As a business leader your goal should always be to grow your company. In the world of business if you’re standing still you might as well be going backwards. As such you need to ensure that your phone system will be up to the challenge of handling larger and larger amounts of calls, both inbound and outbound.
Get an expert to check for any bottlenecks within your network, or areas that may not be capable of handling the demands that large numbers of calls will bring. If your system looks as though it might struggle with the upper limit of your call projections, it’s wise to start searching for a system that will be able to handle the heat.
The aforementioned death of the landline is a very real thing – landline connections are falling by the wayside at an alarming rate. As such it’s imperative that your phone system is able to support mobile users. Is your current system capable of transferring a call from your office directly to the mobile of a salesperson on the road? Similarly, can they transfer a call from their mobile back to you? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, and you’re forced to manually give the customer a phone number for them to ring every time an employee isn’t in the office, then it’s time to shop for a new phone system.
In the modern office, all roads lead to the internet. Having taken over almost every other aspect of office life, the internet now has its eyes set firmly on telephony.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the technology used by the likes of Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to allow people to make phone calls without the need for a phone network. VoIP offers its users far cheaper rates (particularly when it comes to long distance calls), clearer sound, and requires less hardware than a comparable landline setup. Futureproof office phone systems will be supportive of VoIP technology – if yours isn’t, it’s time to upgrade.
Further to the point regarding call volumes, another aspect of business growth that may affect the decision of whether or not to upgrade your phone network is its scalability. Are you able to add in a large amount of phones to your current network, or is there a low physical limit? Likewise, is it simple to install more ports throughout your current building? To uproot and relocate your network if you need to change offices? To add more phones into the network from multiple offices in different locations?
Doing any of these things should be simple if you have a solid, reliable and modern phone network. If your current arrangement is incapable of doing any of these things, it’s wise to upgrade.
So you have an inkling that your office phone system are in need of an upgrade, but you’re still not convinced that the time is right. If your current phone system is coping just fine – even if it’s only for the moment – what’s the rush?
There are many benefits to upgrading your office phone systems now that stretch far further than simply futureproofing it. On top of knowing that your business has the technology to grow and develop into the future, you’ll also enjoy the following perks.
With a more efficient phone system comes the sort of communication cost efficiency that many businesses can currently only dream of. With VoIP technology dramatically cutting down the cost of making a call, and old, inefficient phone plans being replaced by those that make far more sense with today’s technology, the cost of replacing your current system will likely be paid back by month-to-month cost savings in no time.
Digital call quality has long left landline call quality in the dust. By upgrading your office phone systems to something VoIP capable you’ll enjoy crystal clear sound that simply can’t be achieved on a standard landline, nor even a mobile phone. With clarity of communication a huge concern for any business, enjoying the best quality voice calls available should be of utmost importance.
The performance of the phone system as a whole will be all the better for upgrading too. You’ll experience fewer disconnections, fewer hardware failures and enjoy the comfort of knowing that your system is ready for whatever your business throws at it.
New office phone systems come with a wealth of functionality – the sort of stuff that you didn’t know you needed until you’ve got it. Thanks to the digitisation of telephone systems, a relatively standard modern day system is capable of things like:
None of these functions are available on standard analogue systems. Upgrading your phone system will allow you to make use of the latest tech, and will help you to better keep track of your communications.
By itself, your old phone system is incapable of being linked into your business’s network, leaving a mountain of hugely insightful data untapped. A new phone system will be able to offer up incredible insights into your business’s communication efforts, allowing you to be more efficient and effective in your communication efforts than ever before.
But more than that, the functionality of a IP network-connected phone system is limited only by your imagination. Leaders can assign tasks to their workers, customers can manage their accounts, purchases can be automatically made; the list goes on and on. A new phone system offers a stunning amount of opportunity to any business, it’s just a matter of grabbing it.
Once you’ve made the call to replace the old with the new, it’s time to go shopping. But before locking your business into a new system, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.
How big is the team that you need your phone system to service? How big might the business get in the future? Which features of a new phone system do you feel would offer you real value? You need to understand what your business’s needs are, and then create a wishlist of the sort of capabilities you’d hope that your new system will bring to the table.
SIP support, in as plain a language as possible, allows you to control communications over VoIP systems. This opens up the opportunity for interactivity in video calls, click-to-chat on web pages, and more functionality on conference calls. It’s wise to choose a system with SIP support, as it will only become more and more prevalent into the future.
While having one network for both voice and data saves you both time and money, what if that network were to go down for some reason? It’s important to have a backup in case of emergency, be it signal failure, power outage or an issue with the provider. A regular phone line and a backup broadband connection can be life savers in times of need.
Technology is in a constant state of evolution, now more so than ever. If your business is to thrive into the future, you’d be silly not to take heed of the signs. By upgrading your office phone systems now you’ll both be enjoying the savings in the short term, and guaranteeing your organisation’s relevance into the future.