7 Signs You Need to Upgrade to Unified Communications

March 15th, 2017 by admin

Does your current phone system lack major features, or worse, reliability? Is it negatively impacting customer service? Are you overpaying for what you are getting?   Having a reliable phone system may seem like a simple thing, but without it, important communications can’t happen. Recruiting top talent, enabling remote collaboration from the road and home, responding to customers faster and with higher levels of service—all require collaborative solutions. Analyst firm IDG says unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) will surge in the next three years (2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration Study). Security, ease of use and total cost of ownership are the biggest drivers for unified communications solutions, but integration into existing infrastructure will also be important, says the group. Enterprise messaging, integration with Google Chrome and business applications, and video collaboration—are just a few emerging features in UC systems. Phone systems for businesses have come a long way, can be easier to implement and manage and close the technology gap between large enterprises and small businesses with affordable cloud and hybrid approaches. How do you know if you need a new phone system? With 20, years in the industry, and ranked #3 on the ShoreTel partner Circle of Excellence worldwide (December 2016), we see a lot of companies looking to make the switch. Following are the leading reasons we see them look to a new phone system, and why you might too.

Just Starting Up

Most startups can only function for so long before needing to look to conference call and communication services. The good news is that a new phone system doesn’t require a major initial capital outlay anymore and advanced systems can include a host of continually updated features that can take businesses from 10 to 20,000 employees through the same platform. From the cloud to a hybrid onsite approach—unified communications can be affordable and easy to implement.

We Need a Call Center

Often companies have had a phone system for years and don’t realize it’s ‘broken’, until they need to set up a call center. It’s then that they realize they’re missing: IM; video collaboration; integrations with Outlook®, Salesforce® and other applications for gaining automatic insights into who’s calling from their computer, enabling quality customer care. Phone systems are not just phones anymore. Often customer service, in addition to IT and departments throughout the organization are involved in this decision to upgrade.

New Innovations/Features

In our work anywhere, anytime society, just about every business can benefit from offering better collaboration tools. Unified communications can be the glue that keeps businesses connected—from attracting top talent across the country to empowering employees and enabling collaboration worldwide. Functionality—like group and video chat, visual voicemail and the ability to change a greeting with the press of a button, calendars integrated with phone—can keep businesses relevant as employee and customer needs change. They can also enable greater safety with the ability for mobile employees to automatically join a conference call with a push of a button on their cell, without taking their eyes off the road.

Call Quality Stinks

This is one complaint often see from businesses looking to make a change. Poor call quality and dropped calls quickly become apparent and can be the result of not having the necessary internet infrastructure on site to back UC service up. Perhaps the provider quoted a small monthly fee per user for UC over the cloud but neglected that the business’ DSL connection would need to be upgraded to SD-WAN or another technology to ensure reliability. If you find yourself in this situation, all is not lost. Going from cloud to cloud, or even to a hybrid solution, can be a quick switch that, with the right provider, can often be achieved in a matter of days for the former. Look to go with a technology business focused on quality with features like dedicated private circuits and a long, established history of servicing businesses long term; ShoreTel customers stay on an average of 84 months for instance.

Draining Resources

Is your business spending too much time worrying about the phone system and making updates to the PBX: adding new phones, replacing parts, upgrading the network, dealing with license fees and separate building wiring? Perhaps you put in Cisco or Avaya and are now lamenting the amount of work required to manage it. On-site PBXs offer many advantages when it comes to reliability, but also require upgrades and trained staff. For some businesses, a hybrid or cloud approach may be a better fit.

Expense

Do you know the true cost of your phone system, including all hard and soft costs?  For organizations experiencing dropped calls, poor service and other negative effects it may be impossible to calculate across departments. Phone costs vary by industry, need and business type. Often the level of savings is surprising; we’ve recently helped a major organization to lower monthly costs by over 50%, by switching from their legacy phone system to a new unified communications solution, as just one example. Maybe you don’t need to switch your phone system, but could benefit from SIP trunks? Or you want the reliability and control of on premise equipment but would prefer to finance it and implement it in a private cloud environment to minimize upkeep and out of pocket costs? Today, there are more options than ever.

Stuck in Dark Ages/Risk of Extinction

Is your business among the few still using old fashioned handhelds and carrier line/PBX? Or a digital phone system? UC systems offer superior out-of-the-box plug-and-play functionality and flexibility, making days of the wiring closet and complex phone/location matching a bad memory. Businesses with phone systems from Nortel & Avaya may also wonder about their technology investments, given a recent announcement from Avaya. For some the answer will be to wait it out to see how their technology will be supported, while others will look to make a shift to a proven technology company to transition to a new UC system. Technology vendors like ShoreTel are making it easier with their ‘Avaya Trade Up to ShoreTel program’; contact us if you would like details. Implementing a new phone system is an important decision with more alternatives than ever to design and manage a solution via cloud, on-site or hybrid. With advanced technology, businesses can easily establish and manage the option that is best for them and empower users to turn their mac, pc and mobile phones into ultimate communications devices—and all through a single interface. With unified communications continually evolving, the most important criteria may be to look to a provider with a proven track record that stays ahead of curve and has your business’ best interests in mind. Is your business still being held back by common myths about switching phone systems? Don’t be left behind: Download the 6 Myths of Switching Business Phone Systems today! New Call-to-action

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