How to purchase a new Telephone System for the business.
A mobile phone system for most businesses, like their IT, can be a critical a part of a business' infrastructure and selecting a brand new system can be quite a daunting task.
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Perhaps, one of the best things an entrepreneur can perform is be properly informed through their very own research. This can be ideal but could be very time intensive looking for information, whether that be from the internet, trade press or by conversing with and asking advice from people they understand in business.
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Remember that there is a multitude of potential suppliers out there is it range from excellent to poor to rogues! Additionally, there are a lot of manufacturers offering a variety of different products involving different technologies. Attempting to cut from the woods to find out the trees can be nearly impossible!
Here are a few areas for consideration.
Telephone System Suppliers
Ideally you have to select a supplier which is based within A couple of hours drive from your premises. Only then do they really really offer a good degree of support - the closer the better!
Be sure that the sales person has properly identified your needs through understanding your small business. They need to request information about your business processes and try an identify your 'business pains'. Chances are they should define why they are suggesting the machine recommended. Be cautious which they don't have an idea to market you something specific - they ought to behave as a consultant through the entire process and also offer a range of alternatives.
You should also seek 3 local references - these should be similar businesses to yours who have taken similar systems from their website - ring them up and talk with them.
Forms of telephone system
There are now many different types of system available. Although many of them have similar features, there will be differences. Here are some different types:
Basic analogue systems - these have little functionality and connect to basic analogue PSTN phone lines. For a small office of, say, 6 people, this may be OK so long as you have no need for anything much in the way of features, although you still could possibly get voicemail and several other features if needed. Not many businesses use analogue systems nowadays.
Digital telephone - these hook up to digital lines (ISDN2e and ISDN30). However, most digital systems have nw become hybrid systems - see below. The main advantage of a digital method is the ISDN lines provides caller identification, Direct dial to extensions, groups etc, call divert and transfer to external numbers (eg mobiles).
Hybrid Telephone Systems - probably the most everyday sort of system now, Hybrids have surpassed digital systems. A hybrid lets you connect to pretty much any technology. So that you may have analogue, digital, VoIP and SIP lines and extensions. VoIP and SIP are IP technologies. VoIP and SIP can be extremely attractive the following circumstances:
If you have multiple sites
When you have remote or home workers
In case you are moving and need to keep your old numbers
If you're short on voice cabling but have decent and plentiful data cabling
IP telephone systems - These may use digital lines (ie ISDN2e and ISDN30) however you cannot use digital phones - all phones are IP but with some you can use analogue devices (faxes, PDQ's etc). These have to be deployed carefully. Potentially, your voice is persisted your computer network (not always) therefore the supplier has to design the solution sympathetically and references are typical the harder important.
Hosted IP telephone - These use VoIP and IP exclusively (ie you cannot connect ISDN, analogue lines, digital phones etc - things are IP and often all your calls is going to be delivered by way of a broadband connection. This solution deployed badly or without correct management can be a disaster. If deployed well, it can be an attractive option.
People could make a bad decisions, both in business especially in Telecommunications. Your very best chance is always to seek information and so cover the cost of some informed decisions.
Remember, most sales representatives have targets as well as their own agendas therefore it can be very difficult to find potential suppliers offering best advice. Take your time with your project if you're able to - Telephone System decisions can often be left for the very last minute, specifically if you are moving or relocating your working environment. Should you rush things, invariably things goes wrong.
All telephone systems can use traditional voice cabling apart from any systems with IP phones. The very best cabling for all sorts of method is category 5e cabling (the identical cabling you employ for the computer network (or Cat6 if you're lucky enough to get use a computer floor or raised floor within your office).
Probably among the difficult tasks you will face is trying to check quotations. All quotations should be clear and fully itemised. In case a supplier just isn't 100% up front from your outset, this will ring alarm bells. Pick your favoured supplier - when they are more costly than another person, provide them with the other specifications and have these to tell you why they may be higher priced.
Hopefully, it's given you some starting points in order to embark on finding some Telephone Systems which are right for your small business and can deliver long-term value.
Nick Brandon may be associated with Business and Telecommunications for 25 years. Nick is primarily involved in Advice and Management of Telephone Systems installations and support throughout London as well as the Se with the UK, via First Office Systems Ltd, who, themselves, have been around in business for nearly Twenty years.
This scope comes with data cabling including structured category 5e, category 6 and fibre cabling in addition to calls and line installations and packages and online connections.