Ask yourself: What do I need from my next phone system?
It’s all too easy to simply go out and buy a like-for-like replacement for your phone system, but doing so could mean your organisation missing a golden opportunity to bring a range of powerful new capabilities into your business. Before you start looking at different phone system options, think carefully about what you need from your next phone system.
Cloud-based phone systems are regarded as the best solution for companies of less than 50 employees, especially when they are dispersed over a large number of sites. There are many different types of cloud phone systems to choose from, but it pays to really understand the underlying technology – or platform – behind your service provider. The platform determines the provider’s ability to innovate rapidly and drive the biggest impact on your business.
Some telecom providers base their service on freeware code that has been available for many years on the Internet. It’s great for them because it is low-cost to develop and allows them to start their businesses up quickly. Unfortunately, many of these freeware-based VoIP services have issues with quality and, more worryingly, security that ultimately could cost you dearly with a fraud attack.
By contrast, there are some highly industrialised platforms out in the market today developed by specialised vendors. They deliver superior features and functionality, reliability and a proven track record.
Today, BroadSoft’s platform is used by hundreds of service providers worldwide, including 19 of the top 25 global communications service providers. These leading service providers have rigorous requirements and require a platform that is secure and powerful. With over 40 percent industry market share today, and more than 10M users deployed, you can see why the top service providers rely on BroadSoft.
If 10 million people rely on BroadSoft’s solutions, shouldn’t you?
Key things to ask for…
Costs: Check what is included and not included in the minute’s bundle. Are there any exit clauses in the service? Do you have to rent the phones for longer than the service contract?
Flexibility: Can you add or remove users during the service contract? Do you have to pay for devices or for users?
Disasters: Can the system divert calls to tablets or mobile phones when the access network is down? Are there restrictions in the features when people are remote?
Consistency: Are all the features available to remote workers or do some get removed? Is the quality the same– for example, some mobile systems only use a technology called VoIP when remote, which can hurt voice quality if the network is congested.
Usability: Are the features the same on the phone, PC and mobile devices or are they different? Do you still have to rely on a telephone?
Professionalism: Does the system support features such as auto attendant, music on hold, automatic call distribution, call queuing, so you never miss a call?
Productivity: Does the system have features like conferencing, room-based collaboration and instant messaging and presence?
Mobility: Does the system support iOS and Android devices? Can it support all the productivity features above when mobile?
Maintenance: Does the system have web-based user self-administration and allow you to control powerful features from a single web page? Does the service support diagnostics so the service provider can quickly identify any issues that you may run into?
Buying the correct cloud-hosted phone system has the potential to make a huge difference to the success of your business in the next 5-10 years. Choosing the right system could mean hiring less staff, winning more contracts, worrying less about disasters and yes, saving you money.
If you’ve outgrown your current business phone system, take the time to go through the questions we’ve outlined above, and write out your top needs and requirements.
And last not but not least, the lowest price won’t do you much good if the quality, reliability and security are not core components of the service platform upon which your services are offered. An old saying goes, “Buy cheap buy twice”.