Business office phone systems
Business office phone systems,Consumer preferences for communication have come to affect both internal and external business communications. Simple desk phones and legacy telephony systems aren’t enough to maximize workforce productivity or sustain great customer experiences.
Today’s employees and customers expect seamless access to modern tools – advanced email clients, instant messaging, videoconferencing, messaging tools and more. As remote working and business travel become more and more accessible, desk phones just won’t cut it anymore.
Rather than trying to force outdated phone systems to work for the modern, mobile workforce, businesses can benefit by taking advantage of cloud-based “unified communications.”
The only thing worse than having outdated technology is having unruly technology!
If employees aren’t given the new high-tech communication methods they need, they will find a way to get it themselves. This leads to what we call a BYOD nightmare, where all of your employees and business data end up on different unsecure platforms, with no way to properly manage any of it.
Video: How To Manage Mobile Devices (BYOD)
A communication systems upgrade will lead to a more streamlined business. This is especially true when the upgrade is handled by a managed IT service provider that can inspect your personal situation, and pinpoint exactly what your business communication needs are.
We know, at first glance, upgrading communication systems can seem like a negative to the bottom line. However, if you look closer and see how advanced communications help employees work faster, make fewer mistakes and remain aligned to business goals, the benefits are clear.
Case Study: Improving Business Communications
A mid-sized financial firm headquartered in Washington, DC was expanding rapidly. This expansion included opening up additional offices across the region, including a few home offices.
They were not only dealing with an older landline phone system, but many employees had taken it upon themselves to use readily available free tools for internal chat, sharing content, video and more. Known as “shadow IT,” this is not only a nightmare for IT staff to manage, it can also pose serious security risks.
The company asked Ntiva to source a single communications solution that would offer integrated instant messaging, voice, video, conferencing, and content sharing.
They also wanted the solution to be easily accessible from any laptop or mobile device, as remote working and travel were starting to be a huge part of the culture.
Ntiva proposed migrating to a cloud-based communications and collaboration solution that offered all of the above and more. By moving to the cloud, employees could now access all the communication tools they needed from anywhere and any device.
Equally important, the entire employee base was now on the same secure system, making it simpler and faster to get in touch with colleagues and reduce a major headache for the internal IT team.
An unexpected but added bonus was that their new phone system integrated with Salesforce, their chosen CRM. A significant percentage of the company’s resources were involved with attracting, monitoring, and maintaining prospects and clients.
By taking advantage of embedded calling features along with integrated call and client histories, employees not only gained a more holistic picture of business performance, but their interactions with clients became much more streamlined and efficient.
The bottom line? Moving to cloud communications eliminated capex, reduced in-house operational maintenance and increased employee efficiency.
How Can an MSP Help Your Organization’s Communication?
You’ve probably heard of popular messaging systems like Slack. These platforms, when used properly, can keep all of your data in one secure application.
Without an official option to transfer data, employees will end up sending confidential files over public channels!
Most businesses are switching to Microsoft’s Office 365 platform, which offers all of the familiar productivity software we use every day, but in a cloud-based setting.
This allows files and data to be transferred and accessed securely all around the world.
Office 365 includes a messaging app called Microsoft Teams, allowing for instant message-style chats, secure file transfers, and even video conferencing for everyone in the organization.
This app along with its seemingly endless third-party integration gives your team one place to handle all day-to-day tasks.
An IT service provider can also help improve your external communications with Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony.
Take your work number with you on your cell phone, and handle calls, voicemails, and conferencing from anywhere. No more missed calls or waiting around for an important transfer at the office!
VoIP telephony lets you conduct business like you’re in your office no matter where in the world you may be. A few simple steps, and your desk phone is obsolete!
Of course, managing an entire office of phone extensions and transfers can be overwhelming. A respectable IT servcice provider will provide co-managed IT support with your current IT employees, or handle all of your IT management if needed.
From internal instant messaging, to file transfers, and even phone calls, your organization could use a boost in every form of business communication, whether you’re a fresh start-up, or a global industry leader.
How To Select the Right Phone System For Your Business
Having a phone system may sound quaint in this day and age of social media, messengers, live chat, email, smartphones, Slack, Trello, etc.
However, sometimes there’s nothing like picking up the phone and having a one-to-one conversation with your clients, customers, partners, or vendors to build rapport, accelerate the sales process, or avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.
In addition, customers still expect businesses to list a phone number as a way for them to speak to a “real person.”
The good news is, we’re no longer limited to the good ol’ landline. There are many options to choose from and here’s what you should consider when selecting a phone system for your business:
- Plan For Your Business Growth
Installing a new phone system is a commitment of time and resources so you want to make sure the technology you choose can sustain your business for the foreseeable future.
Look at your business plan and envision how many staff members will need a phone line in three to five years. Base on this projection, select a phone system solution that can support your current needs without hindering the growth of your business.
- Identify Essential Features
Each business has different communication needs. Identify the must-have features before comparing plans and providers so you don’t end up paying for bells and whistles that you don’t need.
For example, do you have a receptionist or will callers be directed to an auto-attendant to reach individual employees? Do you need a conference call or call forwarding feature? Do you require a voice mail system?
- Consider Device Options
Does your business require a traditional phone system that includes physical office phones or do employees have more location flexibility so a virtual phone service that relies on laptops and mobile devices would work better?
If yes, you might want to check out the possibility of using a softphone application – they can be a good option for certain types of businesses who don’t need physical desk phones.
An office with one physical location has different requirements compared to a business with multiple locations. Meanwhile, an organization that has a large remote workforce may have other priorities.
- Match Technologies With Your Needs
How you intend to use telecommunications technology will impact your choice of device and provider.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems put the phone technology primarily on a piece of hardware.
Commonly known as “landline,” PBX provides stronger connection and more reliable service but it’s more expensive than alternatives such as virtual phone systems or VoIP (Voice over Internet protocol.)
VoIP harnesses the power of the Internet to provide many features such as automated voicemail, conference calls, call recording, and more. It’s often less expensive, works on computers, and integrates with a variety of software programs.
A virtual phone system is a great option for businesses with many employees working in multiple locations. It operates on an employee’s mobile or home phone network while offering many different features.
Select the Right Phone System For Your Business
The decision to purchase a new phone system can affect the operation of your business for years to come.
However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the right business phone system. You need to consider the pricing structure and weigh it against reliability, security, mobility, support, and features.
In addition, IT and telephony are converging. Understanding what this trend means for your business operation can help you take advantage of the technologies and the efficiencies.