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You dont always need cutting edge telecoms to run a cutting-edge business.
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08/03/2019
Ed Hobson, Technical Director

You don’t always need cutting edge telecoms to run a cutting-edge business

By Comms Group Head of Technical, Ed Hobson

Read time: four minutes

If you read any article featuring technology – and let’s face it, they’re unavoidable – chances are you’ll come across the same old message: upgrade now for the biggest deal, the best solution and something that’s better than anything before.

The truth is, it’s not always that black and white, especially when it comes to your business telecoms.

This dawned on me recently when I spoke to a long-standing client. First off, he was delighted to get straight through to me as someone he knew and remembered.

But that’s another story.

He then told me about his firm’s Avaya IP Office telephone system, which we had installed nine years ago. He said in all that time the system had never been maintained, and that it still uses a Windows PC for voicemail and call recordings. But despite being geriatric in terms of technology, it was still as strong as an ox, never missing a beat.

The problem for him was that his firm had since moved over to Macs and the phone system software was no longer compatible.

Pausing for a moment, I realised there was something of a backhanded compliment in the client’s tale. He was saying that his system – our own installation of nearly a decade ago – is still as robust and reliable as ever. That’s a pretty big thumbs up. And it reminded me once more that on-premise telephone systems really are dependable workhorses that give businesses ultimate control. But again, that’s another story…

I’m still working with the client to devise to a new telecoms solution, but the call has left me with a few words of wisdom for those of you who are running older telephone systems in your business:

·         First, don’t worry. And don’t always believe the hype about the latest greatest technology. If we look at our own customer base, very few are running the most current software or hardware. We still support clients with equipment that was manufactured more than 20 years ago that continues to do a great job and has insignificant operating costs.

·         Second, when your business telephony needs change, don’t try to navigate the complex world of telecoms alone. This isn’t a sales pitch, but rather, a reminder that it really does pay to speak to a specialist.

Think about this: what would you do if someone gave you £1500 to buy a new TV?

You would likely spend a good deal of time browsing the web to find trusted reviews, manufacturer information, and technical guides. You might get similar advice at a big electronics chain if you’re able to find a sales assistant that happens to know about what you’re looking for. But that same assistant might also be keen to shift the backlog of stock in the storeroom, which will make their advice biased. And the chain might not stock all the brands, so the assistant can’t really give you the full picture…

·         Third, go to your local specialist. As one of these ourselves, we always have alternative solutions and pride ourselves on giving advice that genuinely meets your needs. And like any kind of technology specialist, if it’s called for, we’ll visit your business to carry out a full assessment, providing a complete delivery and installation service at a time that suits you.

·         Finally, keep in mind there are lots of lazy resellers of technology out there. It’s easy to shift boxes to make a quick profit and get the buyer a piece of equipment that just about does the job. At Comms Group we try to do far better than that: to use our wealth of experience and portfolio of hardware and software vendors, new and refurbished equipment, connectivity providers and buying options to tailor a versatile solution that will deliver the best value AND last for years.

If you follow these tips, you’ll find your experience of your business telecoms – whether you’re buying from new, or upgrading – is greatly improved. And the best thing of all? This applies whether your telephone system is two or 22 years old.

Need more advice? Get in touch with me or my colleagues today. It will hopefully be the start of a very long relationship!

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