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Ensuring you pick the right telephone system to suit the needs of your business is an important decision. After all, it is your primary link between you and your customers after email.
You need to factor a range of questions into your thinking. For example, do you foresee rapid growth over the course of the next few years? Your Telephone system is a long-term investment, so you don’t want to end up with a phone system you could quickly outgrow.
The number of staff you have who regularly need to make calls will affect the number of lines and extensions you require, whilst it’s also important to consider any other features you need on the system, such as call recording, auto attendant, voicemail or music on hold, conferencing and Presence Management
These are just a few key-starting considerations to keep in mind. Choosing a telecommunication specialist like Direct Line Communications to guide you through the selection process, takes the effort out of working out which systems are right for your business.
We take the time to listen to what you’re looking to get out of your communication system and the functions you want it to have, before recommending a comprehensive package tailored for your needs.
Traditionally, telephone systems in offices comprise of a physical system (also known as a switch or PBX) that sits on site and routes calls into and out of the business accordingly.
Technological advancements have opened up a range of new ways to construct and operate business telephone systems that are very different to traditional methods and can offer substantial savings, by reducing capital outlay and offering ongoing savings on lines and calls.
One of these new technologies is VOIP (Voice Over IP), which routes calls from the PBX via your office Internet connection and removes the need for separate phone lines.
Hosted Telephony is another example of this new technology. This can be deployed within the business by routing your calls through a theoretical PBX that is held on the Internet as opposed to one which physically sits in your office. As there is no need for a physical PBX, Hosted significantly reduces capital outlay and users can be added and removed on an ad hoc basis, which means you only pay for what you need.
If you're concerned about power failures, especially if you're in critical services such as GP practise, Care or IT support, you should buy (and properly set up) a "uninterruptible power supply" or "battery backup" unit.
A UPS combines a surge suppressor with a big battery, and has special circuitry that detects a power failure and quickly switches over to run your equipment on its battery. You will need to know how much power your phone system uses so work with us to assess this and we can advise.
You can choose from a wide range of companies, and ‘phone lines can be bought as stand-alone services or as part of bundled deals alongside other services, such as hosted telephony or Sip Trunks (internet lines).
How do I switch?
There are two different types of process for switching a standard ‘phone service – ‘gaining provider led’ and ‘cease and re-provide’.
Which process you follow depends on what provider you’re switching to and from and the type of connection you have or are looking to change to. If you are switching to or from a cable provider such as Virgin Media, you will need to follow the ‘cease and re-provide’ process.
The length of time it will take will depend on the services you have but you need to know if you are of contract or when your contract expires. Your current provider will help you with this question. You will normally need to give 30 or 90 days’ notice.
You keep your existing landline telephone number when you switch if you want to, even if you are planning to relocate to a new area (subject to internet connectivity)
Cease and re-provide process
If you’re switching to or from a cable network or moving your business, your new provider to place an order for your new service or services.
If you choose to keep your existing ’phone number, your new provider should notify the provider you are leaving that the service is being transferred. In these circumstances you would not normally need to notify the provider you are leaving that you are moving to a new provider (though you may want to check whether the provider you are leaving will charge an early termination fee for leaving your contract).
If, however, you choose to obtain a new landline telephone number from your new provider, then you will need to contact both your current provider to cancel your contract and your new provider to arrange your new landline telephone service.
You may decide to coordinate the start of your new service with the end of your old service, or you may wish to have an overlap of your old and new contracts.
A leased line is a dedicated, fixed-bandwidth, symmetric data connection.
Businesses use leased lines to...
- connect to the Internet
- link PCs and servers in different corporate offices
- carry phone calls over Sip Trunks
- enable staff to connect to their work PCs from home
By definition, leased lines are 'dedicated'. This means that all along the route of your leased line, the bandwidth you need has been reserved solely for your use.
Unlike consumer Internet connections, the bandwidth available does not fall at peak times, when other customers of the same ISP try to use their connections at the same time as you.
2Mbps, 10Mbps and 100Mbps are the most popular connection speeds, though connections of 10,000 Mbit/s (10 Gigabits per second) are also an option. We are an independent supplier so we can tell you who offers the best price for the best service.
The benefits to you of working with us are:
- Integrity and honesty are core to our business values
- An open and transparent approach to our costs and prices
- Access to the best manufacturers of business telephone systems
- Great service backed up by numerous customer testimonials
- A great range of services to choose from