Recently we’ve installed more than a few cloud phone systems. As I work with clients one of the areas where I regularly find a cost savings opportunity is with their phone system and phone service. Here in the South Florida area there’s a lot of old school phone systems. It’s true that most business rarely upgrade their phone system. It’s not uncommon to see a phone system that’s 10 years old in a client's environment.
Back in the 90’s I used to use a phone system called NBX. They were one of the pioneers of IP based phone systems. One of the coolest features was the ability to pick up my phone and take it anywhere. Home, another office, a data center, you name it. I’d simply plug the phone into a network connection and presto! I had phone service.
I've been making phone calls over the Internet since the mid 90’s. In 2017 pretty much every call made in the US runs over IP (Internet Protocol).
For example, that fax line you have in your office - well, it actually runs out of your building to that phone box out there on the sidewalk, from there it is converted into IP, and now it's on the Internet. This may be simplifying things a bit but but it's basically how telephony works nowadays.
While a lot of companies are communicating primarily via email this these days a lot of people still use the phone and fax as a primary means of communicating with their customers and their partners.
When I'm out and about visiting small businesses I still see old phone systems hanging on their walls. These systems were probably purchased 10 to 15 years ago. That poor old phone system doesn't know that the world has changed around it. It's like that little old lady driving in her car down the freeway going 35 miles an hour while everyone is speeding around her.
Is your phone system living in the past?
Is it a ancient artifact?
You may want to think about moving to a new system. There are so many features and functions that could improve how you communicate with your customers, clients and staff.
I know lots of businesses who say they get a lot less phone calls nowadays. But the ones that are growing are usually tearing it up on the phone.
So think about your customers for minute. Are your customers able to reach you in a timely manner? Are you able to be responsive? Are customers able to find you when they need you?
Think about your customers experience when they talk to your business. Is there room for improvement?
There's a lot more to phones than just picking up the phone and hearing dial tone.
If you need some help figuring phones out shoot me an email.
I’d be glad to help.
As were in the final countdown for 2016 and we look forward to a brighter more prosperous 2017 it's time to make some tech resolutions. So I thought I would give you a head start and help out with a few suggestions.
2. If you're not already on Microsoft Windows 10 then it's time to upgrade there's no reason to be on Windows 7 anymore and it's turning 8 years old this year.
2.5. If you're on anything older than Windows 7 pick up your computers and throw them out the window. It's shameful to have anything like that in your office at this point.
3. If you have a file server in your office that holds all of your documents move to SharePoint or Google Docs. Files on a server are a thing of the past and we just can't have that anymore.
4. If your phone system requires for you to call a phone vendor to come to your office to configure it, it's time to replace your phone system with a shiny new Voice over IP system.
5. If you are changing tapes or swapping hard drives as part of your backup see item 3. Then take whatever is left over and move to some form of cloud backup.
6. If your employees are using less than a 23 inch monitor they are going blind. Buy them bigger monitors and preferably two.
And finally let's talk about some personal resolutions you can make.
7. Ask and listen to your IT company's advice. They will help you.
8. Accept that if you have not done any of the things listed above - that you will not get angry when things don't work as they should, when things take longer than they should and finally when you lose business due to a tech issue.
9. Accept that the tech in your business requires an investment on your part of not only dollars but of your involvement and desire to move it forward.
10. Promise to yourself that you will not demonize technology or devalue the tech in your business. Know that computers can enable you to become a more successful company, improve your business and improve your company culture.
11. And last but not least make the commitment to get the tech right in your business in 2017.
I hope you have a great year. If there’s anything I can do to help shoot me an email.
All the best.