Tips for Choosing the Right Telecom System

As a small business owner, your business could be made or broken by your telecom system or provider. Sales are lost because of a dropped call or a missed voicemail. And since all businesses, big and small, depend on working phones and computers the decision about which kind of system and which provider to go with are big ones.

There’s a lot more to take into consideration when choosing a telecom system, because cost is only one factor. So what are the considerations when choosing a telecom system and provider? Let’s take a look.

Self Analysis

The first step in choosing a telecom system is looking at what you are at risk of losing if your system fails or has a glitch. Is there a dollar amount you can name if this happens? Number of customers lost? Frustrated employees? Taking a really good look at what’s at stake is a good starting point for making a decision.

The next step would be to look at your current system and figure out why it was chosen in the first place. Did that system meet the needs and goals of the business? Is it still meeting the needs and goals? If not, it’s time to look for a new system or provider.

Designing a Master Plan According to the Requirements

Since getting a telecom system is a major task for any business, irrespective of its magnitude, you need to sit down and devise a strategy about the number of connections you need and the features that should come with each connection. Owing to the varying nature of their work, some members of your staff will need phones with all the features while some will simply need the basic connections. List down their requirements and make a cost-effective decision.

Number of Connections or Lines You Need

The number of lines that you may need depends strictly on the nature of your business. If we are talking about a call center, you will need a 1:1 ratio of phone lines. However it can be less for businesses in a different line of work.

Features that Your Employees Will Require

With advancement in modern telecommunication technology, the list of features that come with phone connections has become very long. Out of such a wide range of services, it is a daunting task to pick out the services that you will need at your workplace. Think thoroughly about the diverse nature of work that your employees are required to do; it will make it easier for you to decide which phone line will need which features.

Streamlining Your Systems

Once you have figured out the number of phone lines and the range of features that will be required by your employees, the next most important task is of streamlining your systems to minimize the monthly cost of communications. Tony Campbell, founder and managing partner of WhichVoip suggests, “Sit down with your service provider to discuss your options. If your service provider cannot give you what you need, you’ll need to shop around to check provider comparisons, user reviews, and educational materials.”

Saving the Cost of Communication

Analyze new ways to minimize your bills; some of the ways to do so include decreasing the number of connections or lines you have at your workplace, point-to-point circuit retirement, using IP trunks so you can cut back on long distance usage, making use of smart dialing options and getting periodic hardware or software upgrades of your system.

Misconception About VoIP System and IP Phones

A number of people who are looking for affordable phone connections wrongly assume that a system of IP phones need to have VoIP phones that come on the connection. This conception is wrong, if most of the users of your company phone need a basic connection to get on with their work, you can simply get analog phones where required and save the cost of additional features.

In addition to the above mentioned tips for choosing a telecom system, you also need to make sure that the equipment that you have bought is compatible with your phone connection. It is critical that you make this sure, owing to the cost involved in replacing or upgrading the systems.

Switchboard Photo via Shutterstock


Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson Melissa Thompson is a freelance producer and writer at USA Today for the web only video interview series 'Your Take'. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband.

6 Reactions

  1. That makes sense that if you’re running a call center you would need that 1:1 ratio of phone lines. If I’m in a pretty busy business would it still be okay to go with those types of numbers? I’m thinking we can take it down a notch.

  2. Thank you for the explanations and tips for choosing the right telecom system.

  3. Thanks for the great information. Choosing the right telecom services as well as the genuine service provider are both must for the growth of any business in IT sector. As each & every business has diverse telecom requirements that means a single method probably won’t work for every corporate. Thus one need a telecom solution that offers with plenty of power to run the trade, all at an expense that fits within the budget. However there are some prominent companies like telecom.sify are also there which are capable of providing such excellent unsurpassed quality telecom services that are leading to genuine savings.

  4. I like that you recommend to make a list of employees that will need phones and what kind of features they will all need. I can see why this would help you determine what provider is best for what you need. It might also be helpful to think about if you will need backup lines just in case all the other lines go dead. I know that it is extremely frustrating when can’t get a hold of someone because things aren’t working as they should.

  5. There really is quite a lot that needs to be considered when choosing a phone system for your office. In particular, I like that the article reminds readers to think of the number of lines they’ll need. After all, that can determine the number of cables you’ll need in the office and who you’ll need to call to get them all installed.

  6. My fiance has been talking about looking for a business telephone system. He is interested in what it can do for the workplace but he is also interested in different ways to save as well. I will tell him to look into finding little ways to save money.

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