The Big Switch off is happening in 2025. This is BT's plan to switch off all traditional analogue (PSTN) lines and ISDN lines. A lot of businesses’ communication still runs on this outdated technology. It’s not just for phone calls. You may be using analogue or ISDN lines for alarms, fax machines, PDQ machines, CCTV or to support your broadband services and these will need to be replaced.
Can your current system cope or even survive in the Big Switch Off? If you’re not sure, now is the time to start looking at upgrading your business phone system.
A new system can help businesses become more efficient by enabling work environments through hot-desking, home working and extending the service to mobile devices.
Here are the top five things to consider before upgrading your business phone system…
Can your new system support efficient and effective team working? At Lister Unified Communications, we can advise on and supply phone systems which support the very best team working.
Our VoIP phone systems bring you unparalleled flexibility to communicate from anywhere and from any device….Desk-phone, Softphone, Mobile App as well as options to collaborate with colleagues with video-call, instant messaging, conferencing, presence, voice, desktop sharing of applications and documents
If there’s always one phone in the office which is ringing, hunt groups will distribute and allocate calls across the team. You should also be able to hold a call and pick it up on another phone or answer a team member’s phone without leaving your own desk. Groups can include particular teams, sites or departments or can be customised for any group.
Your new phone system should allow you to transfer calls to any internal or external phone.
You want your customers to have the very best, seamless experience while they are on the phone to your company.
Customer expectations are high. When they contact your business, they expect their issues to be resolved first time and they expect accuracy and speed. To do this, you need a phone system which can cope. According to business insight organisation, Gartner, two-thirds of companies are competing on this basis.
You want to make sure you are keeping up and preferably getting ahead of the competition. Businesses need to adapt to changing customer demands or risk failing. Too often, SMEs have been left behind because customer service solutions are seen as too expensive, too difficult to implement or too complex to use with limited resources.
Rather than leave a phone ringing indefinitely, the right business phone system can improve your company image and help direct customer calls to the right person to help first time.
An auto attendant service gives callers a menu of options to help route their calls.
Call waiting means you are ready to take your next call straightaway, while music on hold means callers will hear your messages while they are waiting.
Being passed from pillar to post is frustrating for callers and a diversion inhibitor will prevent this from happening.
CLI flexibility means you can call out from any phone, but you can choose which number you call from – so customers aren’t confused by getting calls from different numbers.
Work is no longer a place we go, it is an activity we do. Now we work at home, in coffee shops, on the train and hundreds of other places, in addition to the office. And we don’t just work 9 to 5. We might start early and finish early or do a bit of work in the morning and get back to it in the evening.
So your business phone system needs to be flexible enough to be able to cope.
There is no need to forward calls to your mobile while you are out of the office, because we can supply systems which do it all seamlessly.
You can take your profiles and settings to you home, meaning you never miss a call. And in the office, the hotdesking facility means you can use your number on any enabled phone in the company.
Our flexible systems also allow you to play a voicemail message from your desktop or mobile and email a copy of the recording to yourself or even the whole team. Call notify will also help you keep track of important calls by emailing you.
When it all goes wrong
Phone fraud is becoming a real problem in the UK, costing businesses £953 million a year. It can result in bill shock and loss of service, which can be disruptive to your business operations. According to a survey of 1,000 businesses across the UK commissioned by ITSPA, 27% had been hacked in the past five years, costing each an average of £12,000.
Now, more than ever, businesses are looking for flexible and adaptable solutions to face challenging and unexpected situations. Any number of unfortunate events could happen at any minute and being ready to face these challenges is vital. While organisations might already have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) for their IT services, they too often overlook their phone system.
It is important to put plans into place for how you would prevent and recover from hacking or any unseen events. Starting with the latest phone system and making sure it is updated regularly is a good way to minimise the risks.