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5 reasons to deploy an on-site telephone system - part 1

29 Nov 2014 12:19 PM -
In this series of articles we will discuss the factors and reasons why you should have an on-site telephone system.

There are probably many factors and considerations behind your decision to adopt VoIP. Whether this decision was quick or a long time coming, the next decision will be about the deployment model. In most cases, the choice is between having your own telephone system or going to a hosted solution. Each has its meritsbut the purpose of this series is on the former.

Reason #1 - ownership of solution

How valuable is telephony is to your business and what do you get for your money? Prior to VoIP, the vast majority of telephony deployments were owned by the business. Just like any other form of hardware, phone systems were purchased – or financed – and managed as capital assets.

The main exception was Telstra Spectrum or nowadays Telstra IP Telephony, which is essentially a system hosted by Telstra and the forerunner for today’s cloud-based VoIP services. Due to pricing it is not really for SMBs but works best in a multi-site environment. The staff at ICS Technologies have extensive experience with Spectrum due to project managing the rollout for Queensland Government and Energex around 20 years ago. At the time 35,000 extensions were deployed over a period of 18 months.

Spectrum's biggest strength is in call centre environments because queue slots are handled dynamically so rather than having to have a large number of lines running into a phone system to cope with infrequent peaks of traffic, you simply have to have enough staff and phones to handle the calls.

Other than this somewhat specialised application, with the advanced capabilities of today’s IP-based phone systems, demand for Spectrum/TIPT is declining along with other forms of legacy telephony. We have converted many sites back to an on-site phone system and virtually since it was installed, various carriers and integrators have been trying to get the Qld Government back onto PABX's of some description. It will be a massive undertaking.

Whatever your situation, chances are you’re quite accustomed to owning a phone system, and may have never even considered other options. As with most things, owning is preferable to renting, and in business, there is good reason for this. Most businesses like certainty, and ownership provides that. Once you own the phone system, it’s yours, and when it comes to something as core as telephony, this becomes one less thing to worry about.

Just because the technology has evolved, doesn’t mean the underlying application is any less valuable. The basic business principle supporting this goes as follows: if something is of value to the business, it is worth owning. Depending on the type of business, you may even believe that telephony – or voice – is even more valuable today than the last time you bought a phone system, meaning that you’ll be even more determined to own next time around.