With technology changing at a rapid pace, it’s hard to know when exactly is the right time to move on and upgrade your business telephone system. Whereas companies used to hang on to their old telephone systems for over a decade, this is no longer the case. With software and licencing taking over from physical hardware and cables, it’s now easy to expand and grow your business with great features which ten years ago, you could only dream of.
If you’re still hanging on to that old PBX, perhaps now is the time to move on. Here are 5 signs your business is ready…
Gone are the days when we all worked 9 – 5 with an hour lunchbreak. Nowadays for a business to succeed, you need to be flexible, sociable and “always-on”. That doesn’t necessarily mean you never go home. In fact, technology now allows us to spend more time at home. Having the ability to telework means less travel time, and more work time. Does your current telephone system allow you to work remotely?
Collaboration is now huge – it’s simpler than ever to have an ad-hoc meeting and share ideas with colleagues and even clients. ShoreTel Connect for example allows you to turn a phone call into a collaboration session with no long-winded software installations. If you’re still traveling hundreds of miles a week to attend meetings, you need to upgrade your telephone system!
2. System management
As recently as 15 years ago, we were still using MS-DOS to programme telephone systems. Adding a new user was a painful process and if you ran out of capacity then you were in real trouble! If your business is still going through this pain whenever you have a new starter, then it really is time to move on.
Most modern systems can be accessed on a browser with a little bit of guidance. You can ask your IT guys to deal with this for you, or nominate a member of your team. Adding more capacity is as simple as purchasing licences for the features you want to give those new users.
If that’s NOT the case with your current telephone system, then it’s fairly likely that you are spending far too much time managing your outdated equipment. Chances are it’s no longer supported by the manufacturer, so if you encounter a software issue you’ll be stuck for a solution. Definitely time to look at an alternative!
You may not realise it, but a new telephony solution could actually make your business more efficient. The ShoreTel IP Phone system allows you to check whether your colleague in the Barnsley site is available or in a meeting before making that call. And if he’s out of the office, his call will automatically divert straight to his mobile so you won’t have to redial. Can your system do that?
Another great way to boost efficiency is to analyse your telephone system performance data. This is really valuable and could make a huge difference to your staffing. Maybe you need to change your working hours to suit the demands of your customers, or employ additional staff at busy times. Without that information, you’ll never know what calls you’re potentially missing and what you should be doing about it.
And whilst you’re dealing with the demands of your customers, it’s also important to consider the needs of your staff. Your new telephone system will be a great tool to allow you to monitor calls and give immediate guidance to staff. Set up a collaboration session to share your screen and provide training – whether or not you’re in the same room, same building or even the same country.
Whereas previously if you were out of the office, a colleague would need to take a message for you, we now have the ability to take calls wherever we are. Whether you’re working at home, on a train or killing time between meetings in a coffee shop, your callers will be able to reach you on your direct line. You never need to miss a call again.
Being able to leave the office early to do the school run but still run your business at the same time is a brilliant bonus. The notion of homeworking has changed a great deal in the last few years, with many more workers able to take calls at home via a desk phone or smartphone. With the Mobility Solution as an option with the ShoreTel Phone system, you can use your own device to make and receive business calls, with your clients none the wiser that you’re actually watching your son run the egg and spoon race at sports day.
59% of employers now say they offer homeworking compared to only 13% last year. If you can’t offer that to your employees with your current system, you really need to upgrade before your staff get a better offer!
5. Latest technology
The first telephone was invented in 1876 and it wasn’t until 63 years later that the first phone with buttons was introduced. However since the introduction of the first mobile phone in 1983, things have moved on at a much quicker pace. New features and integrations are being invented regularly. This can be a little daunting for some businesses who are concerned that they will make an investment in a telephone system, only for it to become outdated in the next year or so. The good news is that systems like ShoreTel Connect simply evolve, with upgrades and licences making it possible to try new features when they become available.
It’s human nature to want to “keep up with the Joneses”. Choosing the most up to date technology for your business will keep you ahead of the game compared to your competitors. This means having the ability to schedule a conference call with your supplier, or being able to screen-share with your client to show them details of a new product, even or trouble-shoot an issue they’re having. If your current telephone system can’t do this, there’s a possibility your competitor’s system can……
So what are you waiting for…?
There are probably various reasons you’ve put off switching to a new telephone system. If you can identify with these 5 signs, then it’s time to change. Invest in a system that works for YOUR business and gives you the flexibility to grow and change as all companies do.
To find out more, click here or