Archive for December, 2011

 

Business phone systems - frequently asked questions

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Here are some frequently asked questions relating to business phone systems that we come across from time to time.

How expensive are new business phone systems?

This question is also sometimes expressed as: is it possible to find cheap telephone systems?

The answer is that a great deal may depend upon the size of your operation and what type of system you require in order to support the development of your activities.

Entry-level systems can be as simple as just two handsets and are available at attractive prices, even when sourced from internationally renowned suppliers such as Siemens business telephone systems.

Trying to ascertain your requirements and conduct your search for systems, based exclusively upon the hunt for cheap solutions, may be risky.

What is cheap for one person may not prove to be cheap for you if it is subsequently unable to prove itself suitable for your needs. It may also be the case that extremely low-cost systems from unproven suppliers, may have quality and standardisation issues.

We will always be pleased to explain a little more about some of the issues here.

Can I integrate my business telecoms systems with other technology?

The answer to this is, typically, yes.

However, there is a caveat or two.

The integration of conventional phone systems with things such as video is now relatively established but we cannot give an unconditional guarantee that any system you have will connect to any other system, unless we have an understanding of the specific nature of the systems concerned.

It is also worth bearing in mind, when talking about the integration of business phone systems, that not all systems have necessarily been built to international standards and protocols. Some may prove to be rather more difficult to integrate than others.

As mentioned above, this is another reason why we favour solutions from business telephony providers such as Siemens.

To save money, can I install my own system?

The answer to this is typically yes, however, whether it is necessarily advisable is a different matter.

If you have selected a small entry-level system, connectivity and installation may appear to be straightforward but with slightly larger systems, it may be far more complicated.

Even in the case of the smaller systems, it is imperative that the design and installation is conducted in accordance with professional standards - and there may also be regulatory compliance issues that need to be taken into account.

As a general principle, it may be advisable in the first instance to consider business phone systems installation as a job for qualified professionals such as ourselves.

Looking for telephone systems maintenance in Kent?

Monday, December 12th, 2011

If you are looking for telephone systems maintenance in Kent and the immediate surrounding area, then we can help!

Of course, when speaking of telephone systems maintenance in Kent, the term may cover a wide variety of services.

Maintenance

Strictly speaking, maintenance suggests regular care and attention. Business telephone systems may be as much in need of that as is a motor vehicle.

There is a wide range of jobs that should periodically be undertaken on even the simplest of business telephone systems, all of which are designed to keep your system operating to the optimum level. If these are undertaken both regularly and professionally, then you may reduce the likelihood of problems arising on your system with all the subsequent impact that may entail to your operations.

The nature of these tasks may vary depending upon the age and type of your system. They may involve things such as checking problem log files and volumes and performing various forms of circuit testing to check for things such as loose connections etc.

In tough economic conditions, there is always the temptation to economise on this sort of activity in the same way as some people may economise on servicing and maintenance of their car.

Attractive as the possibility may appear, it may be worth weighing it up carefully against the direct and indirect costs that your business may incur if you are without your telephone system due to a failure that could have been prevented with appropriate maintenance.

Emergency problem resolution

When speaking of telephone systems maintenance in Kent (or anywhere else for that matter!), it is worth keeping in mind that however well maintained your system is, a problem or system failure is always a possibility.

In those situations, the difference between something being a minor inconvenience and a major catastrophe may simply be the extent to which you have problem resolution support available to you.

If you have a relationship with a service provider, you may be able to put in place what is called a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which will clarify for you, how to call upon emergency assistance and what your chosen provider will be able to do for you under what circumstances.

For example, if one of your peak business periods happens to be the weekend, then finding that your technical support is only available Monday to Friday, may come as something of a shock if your system fails on a Saturday.

By contrast, Monday-Friday support may be perfectly adequate for business phone systems for schools.

Having an agreement in place with a company that is able to supply this particular type of telephone systems maintenance in Kent (including emergency problem response) may be highly advisable. We can offer tailor made SLA’s to match your needs and your budget and will be more than happy to discuss this principle further with you, so please get in touch!

Options for a cheap telephone systems installation

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

In our experience, when people talk about cheap telephone systems installation, they are referring to potentially one of three different things:

  • the purchase of a low-cost telephone system;
  • installing a system as quickly and cheaply as possible;
  • doing the two things together on as low a cost basis as possible.

It may be worth examining each of these in turn while, of course, recognising the enormous pressures in today's economy to keep costs down.

Low-cost telephone systems

There are a wide number of business telephone systems available in the marketplace, occupying a very significant price spectrum.

Whenever speaking about business telecoms and a cheap telephone systems installation, it is important to keep in mind that if your telephone system is constantly causing you difficulties or is unable to support the direction of your business and its future growth, then you may be unimpressed by excuses and justifications based around the fact that it was a low-cost solution.

With business telecoms there is, at least to some extent, a tendency to get a quality and capability that is related to the price you pay.

Going for the very cheapest telephone systems you can find may be a mistake in the long-term and that is why we tend to favour solutions from quality manufacturers such as Siemens business telephones.

Installing systems cheaply

The ultimate in cheap telephone systems installation may appear to be a DIY approach.

Theoretically, this is perfectly possible.

Yet there are some dangers - telephone systems installation is rarely a case of simply running few cables around and pressing the start button.

Your telephone system needs to be designed and installed, taking into account things such as technical configurations, the topology and prevailing health and safety legislation. Professional installers will also be careful not to do the equivalent of painting themselves into a corner, by taking steps such as leaving room for potential future expansion.

We have extensive experience of telephone systems maintenance in Kent and the South East and we know how difficult it can be at times to support and maintain a system that was not professionally installed.

It may not be a risk worth taking.

Managed cost purchase and implementation

We understand the business pressures that our clients are under and we will always work to try and find cost-effective solutions for their requirements.

Yet in the 21st century, virtually all forms of businesses are being constructed and grown around a core of business telecoms technology.

The requirements of no two businesses are identical and a cheap telephone systems installation that may have been suitable for someone else may not prove to be suitable for you. That is why we take very seriously, the business of understanding your requirements and matching an appropriately cost-attractive solution to them.