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Medium Phone Systems

Depending on the nature of your business and the industry your requirements can be very diverse for larger companies. With multiple departments and unique needs helping you find the right solution requires understanding and consideration. Too many companies end up with quasi solutions because they simply weren’t made aware of what technology is actually available – we’ll guarantee that won’t be you.

Things To Consider

What type of solution is right for your corporation?

At Infiniti you can choose from a range of the latest IP Pbx systems and hosted IP solutions for 30 - 2000+ users from local to multinational system deployments. Which office phone system is best for your requirements comes down to several factors:

  • Do you want to control the phone system yourself?
  • Is it beneficial to go full IP?
  • Do you have multiple locations?
  • Do you require staff mobility?
  • Do you have call centre agents?
  • Are you looking to move to VoIP?
  • Do you want to keep your existing phone services in place
  • What type of reporting do you need from the system? Do you need to record phone calls? Do you need to video conference?

There are many more considerations but these items cover a lot of ground and each needs to be considered in your specific context and budget. Following you’ll find very useful topics you must consider no matter which office phone system solution you ultimately deploy.

Which brand of system should I choose?

There are lots of very good brands out there and it becomes incredibly confusing trying to differentiate between the options (Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, LG Ericsson, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung etc). You’re left with various sales people telling you different things. So who do you believe? Our answer is no one. Take everything with a grain of salt and focus more on the outcome and whether the proposed solution will achieve this.

The best advice we can suggest is to work backwards. Ascertain all the possible features available and see how/if they could benefit your business. Then ask for a free quote based on your needs, both present and future. This way you establish a worst case scenario rather than having lots of hidden extras down the road that you weren’t made aware of. If your solution exceeds your budget you can then cull “nice to have” features knowing that you can always add them on if/ when they can be justified.

If you haven’t upgraded in years you’ll actually be pleasantly surprised. The price of phone systems has fallen dramatically and you’ll find that everything you want now costs a whole lot less than you thought. The other great news is services like VoIP can help you defray, even pay for the implementation costs of a new office phone system.

Should you change to VoIP phone calls or stay with existing phone services?

This has very little to do with VoIP technology and more to do with you. The reservation people have is thinking that it isn’t stable or that staff will be off air. This couldn’t be further from the truth. VoIP at this level is proven, reliable and SIP trunking delivers excellent call quality at any level – even enterprise.

VoIP call charges and line rental savings can be quite phenomenal. Our advice is to first work out how much VoIP will save you and proceed from there.

Modern IP Pbx phone systems (not hosted systems) can support any type of VoIP or conventional phone line available. This means if you choose to, you can stay with your current phone lines for now and migrate to VoIP when you’re ready. You’ll still receive all the immediate benefits of the system but the additional IP savings will be on standby waiting for you.

If your reservation about SIP trunks (VoIP) is about being of air then you should know they offer a level of redundancy simply not provided by traditional phone lines. If your ISDN services went down for example, you’d have to wait for your provider to fix them and/or pay exorbitant rates for a temporary diversion to be put in place which still takes time.

With VoIP you have two fail-safe redundancy options:

  • Maintain some existing phone lines on your IP Pbx for redundancy
  • Advanced SIP services will allow you to have multiple predetermined numbers as a fail-safe and will instantly call those in the unlikely event of an outage.

Either way you will have complete and instantaneous redundancy which you simply don’t get on normal lines.

Should I have IP or digital handsets?

This is a great question and one few companies really explain. The inference is that because you are going to VoIP you must have IP handsets. This is simply not the case and in fact, you can operate any combination of digital or IP handsets on most modern IP Pbx solutions. Digital handsets are cheaper than IP but they do require a separate connection (which most companies have anyway).

Here are situations where you should choose an IP handset:

  • Remote workers
  • Multiple office locations where you are networking handsets (not pbx systems) back to the main site
  • Where you only have one Ethernet connection at a desk
  • If you have a need for hot desking (multiple staff using the one phone)

Check out the price of digital vs. IP handsets and make your own mind up. After all, the phone system functionality remains the same.

Which new technology is the biggest game changer?

The elements customers are most surprised about are convergence. Phone systems are now working with PC’s, tablets and mobile phones in a way that is truly amazing. For example, you can now load SIP applications on your mobile devices that allow you to use your handset like a desk phone. It rings on the same extension number and allows you to perform phone system features like conference, hold, mute, system speed dialling and so much more - all through the phone system. All this happens whether your staff are in or out of the office (as long as they have 3G coverage). This same application can work on your PC or Tablet too. You can even centralise all your emails, voicemails and faxes on the same device.

It’s a mobile office in your pocket.

Other notables include HD-quality video for softphones and mobile devices, geo-presence to track staff/ service people right from your mobile, advanced multi site networking, call recording, call centre applications, advanced CTI integration with platforms like Microsoft Lync, sales force and others just to name a few standouts.

What about future expansion of the phone system

Some phone system brands have remained firmly entrenched n the old school logic that dictates a different model depending on the amount of users. This can be fine as long as you don’t plan for exponential growth. More savvy manufacturers and hosted providers allow users to scale on the same platform from 2-1000’s of users. So the smart technology employed by a multinational is now available to even a medium sized company. The great news is you only pay for the features and size of solution you need. Systems vary on a case by case basic so make sure you know the system limits and what extra costs are involved in upsizing beyond just extra handsets (licences, cards, POE switches, extra cabinets etc).

Should I Rent, Lease or Buy the phone system?

The most popular option these days seems to be renting but it depends on your individual circumstances. Renting offers 100% tax deductible monthly payments. It’s great for freeing up cash flow as well as other benefits Link to why rent page ). If cash isn’t an issue then buying a system outright is always the cheapest option as there is no interest charged. Speak to you financial controller for the best payment method for your business and how you treat your Capital expenditure.

These are effectively the major overriding considerations when buying a phone system. To find out how a new office phone system can change the way you work then check out the “Top Must have Features” tab.

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