The last thing you want from small business phone systems is down time or unreliable
connectivity. A missed connection can mean a lost sale, added resource expenses, or damage to your business reputation.
Ending problems with telecommunications systems can be almost as challenging as the problems themselves. Assessing the issues, isolating or identifying causes, evaluating solutions and then the implementation can be a monumental task.
Assessment – take a look at your entire telecommunications systems network and infrastructure. Are there specific goals that are set around performance, reliability, features or other items? Consider the purpose around your small business phone systems and how telecommunications fits into achieving your business goals.
Identification – inventory your existing equipment and systems including purpose, age, and any known issues with the devices or systems. Are there older devices that could be failing? Could there be cabling or interference issues? What are the predominant incidents from the last 6 months and are there any patterns?
Prioritization – based on your assessment and identification steps, what are the top priority issues that impact customer service, sales or productivity for the business? If these issues were resolved how would it improve the business overall?
Evaluation – what solutions are available to help in addressing the priority issues? Should you look at wireless solutions? Could updated cabling help? Are there new routers, switches, or phone system packages that could help?
Decision – determine your total cost of ownership for your existing configuration as well as any new solutions that you are considering. The total cost of ownership can vary from one business to the next, but it generally encompasses a three or five year cost including maintenance resources, equipment lease or purchase expenses, any consumables and any firmware or software updates. The total costs over the period are then measured against the potential gains in productivity, customer service, sales or other measurements.
Implementation – launch an implementation project that will include a planning phase, resource allocations, procurement, migration, testing and other steps. Engage upper management to make sure there is sign off on the implementation and resources that are needed to make the install successful.
Many businesses have begun leveraging partnerships with telecommunications systems providers. With the right partner businesses no longer need to allocate internal resources to resolve telecommunications issues. Instead their partner can perform the bulk of the tasks from assessment to implementation. A service level agreement (SLA) can be in place to make sure your partner responds to issues and helps your business to stay moving in the right direction.
Your telecommunications partner can help in areas such as:
Routers and switches specifically designed to meet the needs of enterprise vertical markets with varying levels of volume and activity
Phone systems for businesses that need very simple features or more complicated capabilities to route calls, manage volume, and track activities
Wireless access points that enable mobile workforces to connect inside the offices or while on the go – this allows a consistent and reliable connection for data or voice regardless of the person’s location
Secured systems to prevent misuse or unauthorized intrusions that violate network usage policies
High availability to keep consistent power and network connections – minimizing the failure rate of hardware while keeping the business running
Scalable technology that can be upgraded or enhanced as your business grows or changes
Look for a telecommunications partner that can help you to address your systems problems and help you to plan for the long term.