Many small business still have an out of date telephone system and a slow Internet connection
If you are suffering from 2 or 3 of the following problems then read this article for some great advice.
- A slow Internet connection disrupts everyone in the office
- Staff working from home can’t be part of the company’s telephone system.
- The internet connection is not reliable
- Suppliers pass the buck when things go wrong
- Handsets look scruffy or lack features
- Additional telephone handsets can’t be added to the system
BUT what small businesses don’t realise is that they are also paying over the odds for this unhappy situation.
This article explains how you can resolve all these problems and pay less.
The obvious answer is to go to your existing supplier and ask them for an upgrade.
Your telephone provider will recommend a new Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone system.
Your Internet provider will recommend an EFM or fibre upgrade to your Internet connection.
And they will offer great deals.
BUT you will still be saddled with multiple suppliers, multiple bills and no-one taking responsibility when things go wrong.
AND you won’t have the buying power you get when you order everything from one supplier so you’ll be paying extra.
A better answer is to consolidate telephony and Internet connection with one supplier.
Sounds easy, but as any small business owner will tell you, the key to a well-run business is having reliable suppliers. And they are not easily found. So here are a few Do’s and a Don’t.
Do’s and a Don’t
Do ask potential suppliers who provides the service they offer. You may find that although you are billed by one company, they rely in turn on several layers of providers. We recently saw a proposal for a new telephone system boasting “end-to-end support”. When we looked further the service was supplied by 4 separate companies providing:
i) the handsets and first point of contact for support
ii) the cloud based VoIP system
iii) the broadband and
iv) the copper telephone line the broadband ran over (BT).
Do choose a supplier that can support everything. That way they can’t pass the buck. They should supply and support the telephone handsets, the network the handsets connect to, the broadband connection and the line that broadband runs over. That way responsibility is clear and problems can be resolved quickly.
Do make sure that the solution is robust. With one supplier for everything, the system can be configured to automatically switch to a second line should there be a problem.
Do make sure that it’s *not* all running over the same network. A VoIP system has handsets that plug into a network rather than traditional telephone sockets. Beware of a supplier recommending that your VoIP handset plugs into your computer. Also make sure that you have a separate network switch for the telephones.
Otherwise telephone calls and computer activity will be combined on the same network. That can result in repeated problems that are impossible to fix.
Don’t just buy on price. By compromising on robustness and performance, it is easy for a potential supplier to appear very competitive. You are going to be living with the supplier you choose for a long time and so are all your staff. So, take time to understand as much as you can and demand that your supplier answers questions in plain-English. If you are getting technical jargon, or answers seem vague then you are probably talking to the wrong company.
If you are thinking about changing your telephone system or your broadband then hopefully my tips will have helped a little.
Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this article if we didn’t know the answer. So if you are struggling to find someone that satisfies these high standards then get in touch.
Find out how Evolve can help you with Better Telephony and Reliable Business Broadband :