Office phone systems have come a long way from the old desk phone that was impossible to program and ended up transferring calls to the business across the street, and the system hardware took up an entire room in your building. Phone cable spaghetti everywhere! Many new office phone systems aren't even systems at all – they can fit inside a computer and don't even need to be located in your office!
The evolution of the phone system has been remarkable over the past 10 years or so. Computer networks and phone networks are no longer separate, you can have a phone on your desk without having a phone on your desk, and you can reach someone at their office extension even where they are out of the office.
These advances have not come with a heavy price increase, in fact, they have caused the price of office phone systems to drop dramatically. Now it is possible for even the smallest business to enjoy the same feature-rich systems that large companies use every day. Vendors like 3CX are changing the way we think about phone systems with their innovative software-based system that is big enough for Pepsi, Boeing and Toyota, and small enough for a small real estate company or construction company.
All of these changes can make choosing your next phone system a lot more complicated, so here are some tips to help you choose your next phone system:
Make a wish list of features you would like your new system to offer – even if you are not sure if phones can do that! Talk to your office staff and find out what features that would help their productivity.
Find a trusted phone system vendor that can install the right solution for you. You can’t be expected to know all of the different systems out there, you decide what you need and let a professional choose the right system for you.
Make room for expansion. One of the big problems with older phone systems was that they were hard to expand or change to keep up with your staff changes. Be sure that your new system is easily expandable so that your customers aren't leaving voicemails for people who left 6 months ago.
Consider the total cost of ownership. The phone system is only one part of the story, you have to pay someone for the calls you make as well. Another advantage of modern phone systems is that they can send your phone calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. Specialized companies like Megapath can handle the routing of those phone calls eliminating the need for traditional phone companies, and their taxes and fees.
If you are a small business looking for a new phone system, you don't have to think small anymore! Northbridge will be happy to help you find your next phone system today, just give us a call.