Updating Your Business Telephone System
With technology’s continued evolution, it’s challenging to ensure the tools your business relies on are up to date, like your business telephone system. After all, people get used to things. Upgrading a vital part of their day-to-day workflow means a time investment because you need to train them on how to use it.
That means not only taking time out of their day for training on a new system. But, also preparing for speed bumps along the way as your team learns how to adjust. There’s also the simple fact that new equipment costs money. It can be a substantial investment, but one that’s well worth it down the road.
What’s important to keep in mind is that your legacy systems have hidden costs that might not be immediately obvious. Old technology is generally much more vulnerable to some sort of breach or hack. This can open you up to liability issues and a risk of taking a big hit to your credibility with customers.
Even more importantly, you might be spending a substantial amount of money maintaining, repairing, and supporting your old business telephone system. Here are some major signs you need to upgrade your business telephone system and what you stand to gain by acting now.
10 Reasons to Upgrade Your Business Telephone System Now
1. You Have Data You Need to Protect
According to IBM’s 2019 Cost of Data Breach report, the average total cost of a data breach comes in at a whopping $3.92 million—even more, if you’re in the healthcare industry. As data becomes more and more important to doing business, more and more organizations are finding themselves targeted by cyberattackers who recognize these businesses have something worth stealing. That could be anything from payroll (which can be used for all sorts of identity and credit fraud schemes) to customer account information that can help them gain access to other accounts across the web.
While hanging onto legacy systems is comfortable for your employees and might seem innocuous, it actually can open you up to significant security risks. Any technology that has been around a while has several well-known vulnerabilities, and without a patch (if it’s even still being supported), you’re just waiting for someone to find the door unlocked. A modern business telephone system can integrate with your network security plan to help you protect the data you have and make sure this isn’t a concern.
2. You Need Unified Communications
Unified Communications (UC) is a hot-button topic on the minds of many businesses these days. Bringing all of your communications (from voicemail to email to text messages and internal chat) into one place saves time because you don’t have to root around in many channels separately to find information. You gain the flexibility to get your data when and where you need it without having to set up some sort of complicated call-forwarding scheme.
For businesses with employees who are frequently in the field, like construction, warehouse control, or logistics, this can be a gamechanger. At the same time, many organizations face a sort of chicken-and-egg situation when it comes to moving to UC. Without a plan to make the switch, they’re hesitant to upgrade their legacy phone systems, but without upgrading, they can’t pull off the move.
If you’re thinking about implementing unified communications, the first step should be to take stock of what improvements you need to implement in your business telephone system in order to make it possible. Equipment needs to a major component of any UC plan, so double-check that the left-hand knows what the right hand is doing, so to speak.
3. You Have Employees Who Work Remotely
Remote workers are becoming an increasingly common part of the business landscape in 2019. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 43 percent of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely in the last year. Even more importantly, people who have the opportunity to work remotely at least once per month are 24 percent more likely to feel happy in their roles, according to Owl Labs’ Global State of Remote Work report.
The shift to cloud-based tools has enabled these trends. Cloud-based tools make sure that no matter where you are, you have access to everything you need to get the job done.
The problem is that legacy phone systems don’t always support cloud integration, and connecting everything and getting it working usually involves significant work. With new business phone systems, you can have access to the same gear, phone numbers, and information you have back at the office.
4. You Plan to Grow
One surefire way to know if it’s time to upgrade your business telephone system is if you struggle to add new phone lines or numbers. Every organization is ultimately looking to grow. You don’t want your legacy phone system holding you back when you’re adding people to your team. Newer cloud-based phone technology makes adding lines and numbers a simple process. There’s no need to make the onboarding process more difficult than it already can be.
5. Your IT Costs Are Rising
One of the biggest hidden costs of staying with a legacy phone system is simply keeping everything working. Between licensing, proprietary hardware, and maintenance, things can add up in a hurry. This figure is known in the industry as the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). And, it should be a major factor in any decision you’re making about whether or not to upgrade your hardware.
It’s easy to look at your budget and chalk up TCO to the cost of doing business. Many organizations don’t consider the savings they’ll gain from upgrading their phone system when considering a switch. Newer cloud-based technology is much easier to maintain, and in the long run, you’ll actually end up saving money. On top of that, you’ll gain productivity boosts from the new things that an upgraded business telephone system makes possible, like UC.
6. You’re Making Business Decisions Based on What Your Business Phone System Can and Can’t Do
Running a business is all about being practical, and over time, leaders learn to be pragmatic and take into account what’s feasible based on the tools at hand. Be wary of being held back by legacy technology that you’re sticking with because people are comfortable, rather than because of what it allows you to do.
It’s easy to justify decisions in the short term. However, over time, these things add up. The result can be a stifling effect on innovation and creative thinking. Everyone works within restrictions to some extent. However, if you’re making business decisions simply because your equipment is outdated… You’re going to have serious trouble keeping up in the long run.
7. Your Current Business Telephone System is Starting to Break
A business phone system that isn’t working properly is a pretty obvious indicator that it’s time to consider an upgrade. It’s not just about the cost of maintaining and replacing a single piece of equipment. You’re also losing your employees’ time, both for the team member who suddenly finds themselves without access to a phone and for the person doing the repair work. At some point, you have to consider whether or not all these fixes are really just bailing out a sinking ship.
8. Your Competitors Have Already Upgraded Their Business Telephone System
Relying on a legacy phone system when your competition has already made the switch can put your business at a significant competitive disadvantage. Between easy UC, scalability, and security wins, there’s more than enough there to make it well worth the investment. Don’t get left behind.
9. You Can’t Support Multiple Locations
One of the biggest reasons to upgrade your phone system is that many legacy solutions cannot accommodate multiple locations. The equipment and the phone system it supports are tied to the building it’s housed in. This can make it much harder for customers to reach the person they need. Make things simpler for yourself, and get the right tool for the job.
10. You Rely on Your Phone System
If your business relies on its phone system (either to stay in touch with customers and support them or to make sales calls), you need to have the latest and greatest technology to make sure you’re working as efficiently as possible. Upfront costs and the possibility of downtime should not prevent you from upgrading. The benefits of an upgraded phone system can often far outweigh those considerations.
What You Can Do Right Now
We often think of our business telephone system as something that can’t benefit from the cloud. After all, it provides the same services (like voice, fax, and voicemail) that we’ve been using for decades.
However, there are hidden costs of sticking with the same legacy system. From maintenance to new features your employees need, to missed opportunities. New technology can do a lot for your business to boost productivity and impact the bottom line.
- Protect yourself from hackers with a more integrated business phone system.
- Factor savings on maintenance into your assessment of upgrade costs.
- Make the move to UC by starting with your telephone equipment.
- Add scalability with a cloud-based solution.
- Consider how your technology is impacting your decision making.
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