You Know When To Buy New Shoes, But When Do You Change Your Phone System?

A few weeks ago as I was walking down the block in Midtown Manhattan in the rain I felt my left foot getting wet. After a close inspection I saw I had a hole in my shoe! Time to get a new pair. You might not have this kind of warning when it’s time to get a new phones system.

Phones systems are important. MAYBE email and other non-phone methods are increasing- but for many businesses the phone will be every so important. When you go to bed at night you brush your teeth – but when should you upgrade your phone system.

Phone system provider Fonality offers some guidelines.

“Communications upgrades often take place in the context of a significant event in the life of a business, such as a corporate-wide relocation or a frantic push to keep up with rapid growth,” said Jeff Valentine, Chief Marketing Officer of Fonality. “To prepare for these scenarios, SMBs must evaluate a solution that offers the best features and flexibility to scale in times of dramatic growth.”

In considering an upgrade, companies must weight a variety of factors and please a range of constituencies. Corporate executives crave the chance to shave costs, while customer service managers require new features that foster stronger customer service and product support.

To help businesses navigate these decisions, Fonality outlined six scenarios that frequently spark a system change, offering guidance on how unified communications and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can be leveraged together.

Scenario 1: Moving to a new location

Moving creates a hard-and-fast deadline that forces companies to make tough decisions without delay. While it might be more economical to relocate a small, relatively new system, it’s usually more cost-effective to replace a larger one near the end of its depreciation schedule.

Switching to a hosted VoIP system can help cut costs and allow companies to hand off telephone tasks to an outside provider. Companies wishing to reduce the risk of downtime can choose a hybrid system combining the low cost of SIP trunk lines with the reliability of PRI connections to the public phone network.

Scenario 2: Expanding rapidly

A new round of venture funding or an IPO often leads a young company to hire hundreds or even thousands of new employees and open new offices across the country. Fast-growing companies require simplicity, deploying a plug-and-play model for each location to streamline the process of adding new users and offices. Speed is also essential, allowing IT to quickly implement a large, globally scattered install.

Scenario 3: Standardizing systems across multiple sites

Mergers can result in a tangle of incompatible phone systems, but instead of untangling them all at once, it’s frequently more cost-effective to do it in stages over a few years. Incompatible systems can require routing calls through the corporate headquarters and incurring local-calling costs. To centralize telecom spend, companies can route calls through a standardized VoIP system, and deploy a standards-compliant technology.

Scenario 4: Addressing failures in aging legacy systems.

Some companies’ phone systems are simply worn out to the point of breakdowns at the worst possible times. By using this as an opportunity to switch to standards-based VoIP, companies can experience lower costs and a rich array of Unified Communications features. To limit the overall cost of the upgrade, VoIP can be deployed only where it’s needed, to avoid having to replace more technology than necessary.

Scenario 5: Converting to VoIP.

Many companies are eager to try VoIP, which promises substantial cost savings and adds a range of text, voice and video features that are impossible with legacy analog or digital systems.  Before diving in, companies must consider the user experience this offers employees, and the added complexity that the support team must be able to handle. While many companies balk at VoIP providers who force them to unplug from the public network, Fonality’s solution can be designed so inbound calls use the public phone network, while outbound and in-company calls take advantage of the full range of VoIP features.

Scenario 6: Adding web-based applications.

VoIP lets companies integrate a vast range of web-based technologies into their telecom systems, such as a database, CRM software, soft phones, or videoconferencing. By using an integrated dashboard, such as the Fonality Heads Up Display (HUD), businesses can unify their tools, while maintaining system security.

To help small and midsize businesses adapt during these six scenarios, Fonality created a free e-book available online at

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