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When is it time to upgrade the business phone system?


Many companies are left with the task of deciding when the right time is to replace/upgrade their business communication system. The decision is not an easy one and there are factors that must be taken into account when deciding on the timing.

Here are some of the indicators/trigger points when a company should really begin thinking about an upgrade or replacement:

  1. Moving Offices/Renovating offices – In with the new, out with the old. When a company moves or renovates it’s a sign of change and this is when we find most companies want to upgrade and replace their phone hardware. To move a phone system from one place to another costs money. If the equipment is old, it makes very little sense to spend money to move it considering that it may not be around much longer.
  2. Expanding Operations – The current system cannot scale with your company i.e. your company has outgrown the current phone system. Maybe your current system can expand but the expansion parts are not justifiable given its relative age and useful life.
  3. Changing Operations – Your business operation has changed and the current phone system will not allow for you to handle this change in a functional way. An example of this is a company that decides they want to start call recording/monitoring their call center operations but their current system will not allow for such a feature.
  4. Cost Savings – The term VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has now taken hold in the marketplace, and provides for cost savings on business lines and long distance. If your current system is not VOIP compliant replacement is necessary to take advantage of cost savings.
  5. System was subject to fraud – Older systems, especially the Nortel Norstar, get hacked frequently. Hacking can never be fully protected against but there are steps to take to mitigate the risk. Changing the hacked system is one of those preventive measures. Once a hacker finds their way inside, chances are they will keep on doing so despite the preventive measures taken.
  6. Phone System Failure – Older systems start to malfunction. One day the voicemail may fail, and on another day seven out of the twenty extensions may be down and without power. This is a sign of equipment failure and an indicator that the system is at the end of it useful life.

A phone system is a very integral part of how a business operates, therefore, it is always better to think proactively rather than reactively when it concerns its replacement. Indeed, there will be a capital outlay but it would be far less than the outlay of having to pay emergency response rates because your phone system has crashed overnight and no one can reach you. What is your business risk management plan?

Justin Ramlochan of International Telephone Products LTD is an ASSOCIUM GAIN partner provider.

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