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The Right Size System
It is important that when buying a new business telephone system, that you know your requirements in advance. Knowing what features need to be included with your new telephone system will stand you in good stead when it comes to negotiating with potential suppliers. When considering buying a new telephone system for your business, there are two major factors that determine size of system you require:
Lines. These are sometimes called trunks. The number of lines a system has denotes number of outside lines being used by a company.
Extensions. Most extensions will be made up of handsets. Though any equipment that requires a phone line is classed as an extension. This includes fax machines, modems, and credit card equipment etc.
It is important that you make a list of all extensions and lines you may need for your new phone system. Not forgetting some users may need more than one line and multiple extensions.
With key systems, size of a phone system is indicated as a combination of both lines and extensions. For example a system that has 10 lines and 30 extensions will be shown as a 10 x 30 system.
With PBX phone systems, size is defined as a combination of lines and extensions, called “Ports”. The number of “Ports” is maximum number of connections that can be made to phone system. These include outside lines and inside extensions, as well as any other telephone system accessories.
When planning for a new business phone system, you should take into account future expansion of your company, by foreseeing any extra needs at an early stage. Even if your current telephone system is handling calls well for time being, this may not be case when any future expansion or improvements are fully implemented. A good business phone system should be able to handle expansion easily and in a cost effective manor. PBX phone systems allow you to expand their capabilities, by adding new expansion cards, thus increasing number of ports available for use. A few key systems can be expanded by addition of another cabinet that is identical to first.
When planning your new system it is important that you enquire about potential cost for addition of more extensions or ports. It is important that when choosing a new business phone system, you ensure expansion will come not only easily but as affordable as possible for your company.
Telephone System Dealers and Installers
Finding a good reliable dealer is most important part of buying a new business phone system. A good reputable dealer will not only be able to sell you system you require, but will offer excellent, guaranteed installation and service as well as always be on hand to answer any questions you have when problems arise. To put it simply they will be there to hold your hand and guide you through process, from planning and selection of a suitable system, to implementation of you new system and training of staff. Any potential supplier will be more than happy to talk to you about any aspect of a new business phone system, and offer testimonials as to quality of their systems and installation service.
It is not uncommon for buyers to require a demonstration of potential new phone systems. Any reputable dealer will be more than happy to offer a full demonstration of any phone system they supply. It is better for dealer to visit your site, that way they can get a proper view of your existing system and evaluate your future communication requirements and cabling needs.
Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) specify how quickly a dealer responds to a problem with your phone system. A good dealer will offer a range of SLA’s to cater for most business needs and budgets. Expect to pay more if your business requires 24/7 support or response times shorter than normal.
Below are some questions that you could ask a dealer when looking for a supplier of a business phone system:
1. Can I have a system demonstration?
2. Who will install system and cabling?
3. What range of Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) do they offer?
4. Who will provide system training and what are costs?
5. Can dealer provide remote maintenance facilities?
6. What guarantees and warranties do they offer?
1. Decide which type of phone system best suits your businesses needs.
2. Plan size of your new system by evaluating amount of lines and extensions you require. Don’t forget to plan for any future expansion.
3. Decide what extra features you might require from you new business phone system (voicemail, door phones, etc).
4. Contact a few reputable dealers.
5. Arrange for a demonstration of suitable phone systems.
6. Work with your chosen dealer to select and purchase correct system for your business.
7. Don’t forget to sort suitable training and an adequate service level agreement.
The purchase and installation of correct telephone system for your business is a very important decision. It is imperative that you get it right first time, as functionality and prosperity of you business could heavily depend upon it. Remember to follow few simple guide lines outlined in this report, and you will be more prepared than most.
Thanks for reading my article
Jason Morris is co-author, search engine optimization and marketing consultant of Business Phone Systems Direct. Specialists in the supply and installation of business phone systems and accessories