Is your communications system making you money, saving you money, or costing you money? Unfortunately, the chances are high that it’s the last of those options. This can be true even if you have recently upgraded to a new communications solution for your business. In fact, some solutions that say they offer the latest, cutting-edge communications may end up being the most expensive to own and operate. It all depends on your needs.
Here are five things to look for in a solution that’s truly going to save you money:
Hybrid, not IP only: The Internet Protocol (IP) is the basis for most new communications systems. It offers lots of advantages, but you shouldn’t be forced to use it right away unless it’s the right choice for you now. A smart way to save money is to get a hybrid system: one that supports IP as well as older communications protocols. If you have older analog lines, the hybrid system works just fine and you are ready when the time comes to put in T1 and/or SIP trunks. You can convert to IP when it works for you—on your schedule and your budget.
Single, Stackable, Scalable: What if your business suddenly experiences a growth spurt that requires you to increase the capacity of your communications? Should you be forced into a forklift upgrade: swapping out hardware, adding new (and potentially expensive software) and renegotiating your maintenance? No—that’s a money sinkhole. A smart choice is a solution that lets you grow without having to change the basic system box—a single solution that is stackable and scalable.
Works with existing wiring: Does your office or building have a room with what looks like miles of spaghetti? Are there old wires snaking between floors and behind walls? Instead of pulling out all of this wire and replacing it with new cable (an expensive and potentially very disruptive proposition) you should still be able to upgrade, get the latest communications AND keep using your existing wiring. That can save thousands.
Works with existing phones: It used to be when you got a new office phone system, you automatically replaced all your phones. Some manufacturers still require that—and you may want to anyway—but it shouldn’t be necessary. Phones can account for as much as 60% of the cost of a new system and many of the ones you have now may be just fine. You should be able to keep using them and bank the savings.
Hidden Costs: What options come with your communications system? What system resources are required for each device you connect? What are your maintenance options? What options do you have for upgrading software: if you do not have the most recent version and want to upgrade, will you be forced to pay an extra premium? These are nitty gritty details, but the costs can quickly add up if you don’t look at them.
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