9 questions to ask before you upgrade your phone system

Buying the correct phone system can make a difference to the success of your business in the next 5-10 years. Choosing the right system could mean hiring less staff, winning more contracts, worrying less about disasters and yes, saving you money. Take the time to find answers to the 9 key questions outlined below before upgrading your new phone system. 

1. Costs: Check what is included and not included in the minutes bundle. Are there any exit clauses in the service contract? Do you have to rent the phones for longer than the service contract?

2. Flexibility: Can you add or remove users during the service contract? Do you have to pay for devices or for users?

3. Disasters: Can the system divert calls to tablets or mobile phones when the access network is down? Are there restrictions in the features when people are remote?

4. Consistency: Are all the features available to remote workers or do some get removed? Is the quality the same – for example, some mobile systems only use a technology called VoIP when remote, which can hurt voice quality if the network is congested.

5. Usability: Are the features the same on the phone, PC and mobile devices or are they different? Do you still have to rely on a telephone?

6. Professionalism: Does the system support features such as auto attendant, music on hold, automatic call distribution, call queuing, so you never miss a call.

7. Productivity: Does the system have features like conferencing, room based collaboration and instant messaging and presence?

8. Mobility: Does the system support iOS and Android devices? Can it support all the productivity features above when mobile.

9. Maintenance: Does the system have web-based user self-administration and allow you to control powerful features from a single web page? Does the service support diagnostics so the service provider can quickly identify any issues that you may run into?

Be sure to ask about the underlying technologies that the service providers have in place that allows them to innovate rapidly and drive the biggest impact for your business. The fanciest features or the lowest price won’t do you much good if the quality, reliability and security are not core components of the service provider’s platform upon which your service relies on.