March 1st, 2018 by admin
If you’re like many businesses, the only time you think about your phone system is when it’s not working. But the ‘set it and forget it’ mindset can cost you in more ways than one. The way we work – and how a business interacts with its customers – has changed.
- Has your business phone system kept pace with the times?
- More importantly, is it capable of adapting the way your workforce engages with your clients?
This eBook outlines five components to consider when evaluating either your current phone system or a new communications solution. Use it to better understand how an updated phone system can help you reduce costs, improve the user experience and grow with your business.
CAN YOUR PHONE SYSTEM FULLY SUPPORT YOUR BUSINESS?
5 Components to Consider When Evaluating a Business Phone System
- VALUE Is your phone system cost effective?
- MOBILITY Can your phone system support today’s ‘anywhere, anytime, from any device’ mode of doing business?
- PRODUCTIVITY Does your phone system help or hamper employee productivity?
- SCALABILITY Can your phone system scale to support changing business dynamics?
- ADAPTABILITY Can your phone system support future and emerging technologies?
1 | VALUE
Is your phone system cost effective?
Cost is not just about the price. Consider the Total Cost of Operations (TCO) to determine overall value and cost effectiveness:
- CAPITAL COSTS - The upfront sticker price of all purchased hardware, software and standard services
- IMPLEMENTATION COSTS - Including consulting, networking and customization fees
- OPERATIONAL COSTS - Including staffing, training, and ongoing maintenance and administration
Some phone systems are overly complex and require lots of staff and time-consuming administration, resulting in greater costs over time. We find that phone systems that are more than five years old require a great deal of staff training and time to administer, change or reassign users and to keep up to date.
Cloud phone systems tend to be easier to manage and provide a robust administration console that is user friendly without requiring the administrative training. Furthermore, a cloud-based phone system comes with auto-updates and will always be running at peak performance.
2 | MOBILITY
Can your phone system support today’s ‘anywhere, anytime, from any device’ employee demand?
Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. Employees are expected to work on the go, wherever they may be. Tech-savvy workers expect their business communications to be just as sophisticated and easy to use as their personal apps.
Does your current phone system provide the same easy features and functionality to all staff members, no matter their location or device?Although many people use their own personal device on the job, they may be hesitant to share their personal number in a professional setting. In addition, use of personal devices further complicates tracking and reimbursement of call costs. Most important, those using a personal device should have the same features and functionality provided by the office system.
Can your current phone system transform a mobile device into a mobile network?If not, look for a provider that provides these features:
- BYOD: Allows employee devices to be integrated with your phone network
- Connectivity Automatic Wi-Fi/cellular call handover to stay connected everywhere
- Dual Persona Separates work and personal calls, and shows the company phone number on
- Caller ID Collaboration Provides video, instant messaging and desktop sharing to facilitate greater collaboration from anywhere
- Security Delivers features that keep voice and signaling safe even in public hot spots
3 | PRODUCTIVITY
Does your phone system help or hamper employee productivity?
A connected workforce is a productive workforce. Does your phone system make it easy for employees to connect and collaborate, no matter if they’re in the office, at a remote location or on the go?
Is your phone system boosting worker productivity or draining it? Reduce employee frustration and increase productive work time with these features:
- ‘Find Me’ Follows employees so they can get the call the first time around, regardless of the device they are using
- Presence Enables employees to see when other co-workers are available, in a meeting, on a call or out of the office
- Collaboration Tools Makes it easier to exchange ideas and get work done with video, instant messaging and desktop sharing
- Application Integration Boosts the power of your CRM by seamlessly integrating calling features, call histories and customer data
4 | SCALABILITY
Can your phone system scale to support changing business dynamics?
To stay competitive in today’s fast-moving business environment, companies must be agile. An outdated phone system will slow you down if your communications technology cannot keep up with business demands. The need to scale quickly isn’t just a concern for fast-growing companies; it’s a requirement for any business that experiences cyclical changes or seasonal spikes.
Scale to maximize business growth.
Nearly every organization can benefit from the agility that comes from aligning its phone system with business needs. Look for these attributes:
- Plug-and-Play Provides phones that are easy to install without costly upgrades
- Flexibility Easily scales to support both the office and your mobile workforce
- Reduced Complexity Avoids complications that add costs and hinder your ability to scale
- Intuitive Enables new users to quickly be productive.
5 | ADAPTABILITY
Does your phone system support future and emerging technologies?
Make sure your phone system can keep pace with technological change and has the ability to embrace cloud-based and customized solutions as required.
CONTINUOUS CHANGE IS NOW UNAVOIDABLE.
“Mainstream adoption of new digital technology options is reshaping expectations for what is normal. Most companies recognize that the difficulty for these companies may ultimately lie not in their propensity to change, but in their ability to change at the pace the market requires.”
Plan for the future.
A phone system needs to have the flexibility to accommodate changes to your business over time. Look for these features and attributes:
- Open APIs Open source software that allows for easy customization and integration with third-party software, allowing you to take advantage of cloud-based business process applications
- Easy & Intuitive Users will be quicker to adopt communications tools that are simple to use, and that look and work as easily as the consumer apps they’ve come to love
Think beyond your current on-premises solution.
More companies are increasingly embracing cloud-based technologies. While you may be planning to maintain an on-premises phone system, various needs over time may point to a cloud or hybrid solution.
- CLOUD Applications are hosted remotely, run either by the provider or a hosting partner.
- Business consumes cloud services as a monthly subscription expense.
- Cloud provider manages the service, relieving IT of most or all network-related tasks.
- HYBRID mixes deployment with some elements remaining onsite and others hosted in the cloud
- Look for vendors that can seamlessly link onsite and hybrid deployments
Something to consider.
With a hybrid deployment, you can transition to the cloud at a pace suited to your needs. This combined, flexible approach protects a company’s investment in its current phone system while still tapping into benefits of the cloud. (Note: Panasonic makes this possible with our Connect solution!)
Hybrid scenario examples:
Your business is adding new offices and making greater use of remote workers You want onsite control with remote sites supported in the cloud, while providing a consistent user experience for all You’re looking for a simple way to gradually transition to cloud telephony.
You want a solution that will work with what you have today, preserving your investment while also giving you the greatest flexibility for the future WHY WAIT? Your phone system is vital to business success. If your current phone system is holding you back, it’s time to explore new options.
- “How to Keep UCC Costs Down as Complexity Grows: Compare vendors and assess your Total Cost of Operations,” Robin Gareiss, Nemertes Research, July 2016 2 Gartner Press Release.
- Gartner Survey Shows That Mobile Device Adoption in the Workplace Is Not Yet Mature. November 2016.