Is your telephone system starting to malfunction? Is it no longer supported at manufacturer level and has been declared end of life? Are you having to Google fix suggestions or to find spare parts, but come back frustrated and empty handed? If so, it’s time to give up on this model, not least because you will be missing out on the enhanced functionality of a modern solution and will be exposing yourself to security threats.
We all want to get our money’s worth from technology and we’re often not keen to move away from what is familiar. Saving pennies is all well and good, but what happens when your ageing phone system fails, which is more than likely if you’re already searching for parts.
Can your business really afford being without a phone system for days or weeks or however long it takes for a new system to be researched, bought and installed? If you’re a small or medium-sized business owner, we know that you want to reduce your costs and increase your profit margins. But how costly will it be for your profit margins if your phone system fails?
Manufacturer support is crucial. When your supplier begins to inform you that your telephone system is about to enter its end of life period, I urge you to take notice. You also need to recognise that ISDN lines – the copper telephone lines most business telephone systems use – are in the process of being replaced by a fibre network. Openreach expects all businesses to have migrated to the fibre alternative by 2025 when they switch the old copper network off.
If your business is using an obsolete telephone system and soon-to-be obsolete voice connectivity, you need to upgrade.
There are several options available to you:
Public cloud-hosted telephone system
This uses internet connections instead ISDN to connect to a public service which is very easy to manage and grow, to link multiple sites and to integrate mobile and remote workers and CRMs. This is paid for on a monthly subscription basis and includes support, upgrades, security updates, business continuity options and free calls to UK landlines and mobiles Be wary of cheap services that are run on existing broadband connections that are already been used for email, web browsing, connecting to other cloud services, etc. Your voice quality will be compromised.
Private cloud-hosted telephone system
This also uses internet connections instead ISDN to connect to a telephone system hosted in a private data centre. Again, growth, linking of multiple sites and the integration of mobile and remote workers and a CRM is simple. It is also paid for on a monthly, inclusive subscription basis.
On-premise telephone system using SIP
This telephone system is located on your site and uses a secure internet connection to support SIP voice services to eliminate the need for ISDN line. Business continuity options are easy to set up, integration with a variety CRMs, contact centres and mobility clients can be accommodated, and you will benefit from free calls to UK landlines and mobiles too.
This is a gateway that can be applied to your existing telephone system to make it compatible for SIP. Only use this if your telephone system is still supported at manufacturer level, as using it for an end of life system is just a patch on something that is already out of date.
With these options available, businesses need to stop looking for fruitless fixes and spare parts. This time would be better spent researching for a new provider and telephone system. If you need our advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.