Five things to consider before changing your telephony systems

Before the pandemic, a decision to rip out or even phase out your telephony platform would have been a bold move. However, with a shift towards remote working and increased pressure on telephony systems, companies are starting to wonder what to do about their telephony.

With this in mind, Nowcomm’s Chief Technology Officer, James Baly, and Solution Specialist, Chris Massey from Cisco, hosted a webinar to help those companies understand and address the telephony challenges caused by the pandemic.

James and Chris were joined by Scott Bradley, Partner Manager and Alex Gould, Senior Collaboration Engineer, both with vast knowledge of telecoms infrastructure. The experts discussed whether you need a telephony system, what does the ideal telephony system look like and challenges of achieving this ideal.

Here are the main discussion points our experts agreed upon:

Telephony Challenges

With the shift towards remote working, many companies are finding it increasingly difficult to contact prospective customers and partners. Some receptionists are unable to route calls through to team members who are working from home offices. This resulted in, a burgeoning of temporary solutions like Zoom to act as a meeting platform. Many companies are using Microsoft teams or others like Google Hangouts, Slack or even WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Add the telephony system on top of all these different mediums of communicating and it becomes apparent that there is a big demand for collaboration solutions. However, this variety of options may compromise the visibility and security of your infrastructure.

Is traditional telephony ‘dead’?

With the availability and variety of communication platforms and mobile devices one might ask whether the traditional telephony system is redundant. However, a telephony system is not just headsets and phones on the desk. Nowadays telephony must include messaging, video meetings and a whole variety of contact touch points.

Comparing to a simple communication platform, a telephony system has many more features shaped by customer requests and therefore can deliver much better value and visibility. This flexibility allows companies to scale and unify their communication across the entire organisation, including contact centres. Traditional telephony platforms can’t handle the increasing demand for customer interaction via multiple channels such as social media or video chat. Communication platforms and contact centres will need to be able to adapt to end user demands and ever-changing customer preferences.

The future of telephony

Businesses need a business collaboration platform that is a highly secure, scalable, and open. A solution that integrates calling, messaging, meetings, team collaboration, and contact centres with hardware to deliver experiences for users, teams, and customers. Webex is the only platform that has the proven scale, security, and features to meet the calling needs of today’s multisite mid-market customers and large enterprises.

Obstacles in the road to change.

There are number of factors that are preventing organisations from improving and upgrading their current telephony systems. Often when companies try to move towards could telephony, they need to port their numbers which can take a significant amount of time. When you advertised published and printed the numbers on brochures, business cards and collateral – a loss of these numbers could cause major disruptions and – worst of all – loss of business opportunities.

Furthermore, a rigid contract with a current supplier might enforce penalties for breaking the agreement or for early release. It can be especially complex and costly for companies with multiple sites and multiple contracts. On top of that the telephony system is often challenging to maintain in terms of hardware and complex to map out when it comes to dial plans.

Finally, the improvements might cause temporary disruption to the operation and therefore will be met with resistance.

The Benefits of Cloud Telephony

Telephony is increasingly integrated into strategic corporate applications, be it for customer relations, service delivery or support functions. It is thus entirely understandable that companies are more open to migration and more demanding of a high level of quality in their cloud environment. Altogether, 44% of European companies are ready to shift their telephone systems to the cloud.

The benefits of migration, especially in terms of saving far outweigh the effort put into the change. There might be for example redundant fax lines that companies are still paying for without realising there are better, easier, and more cost-effective alternatives. The payment plans are also simplified and it’s easier for companies to manage their spending based on cost per user per month. Could telephony also enable companies to take advantage of a whole variety of collaboration tools and communication platforms. This results in greater efficiency and increased customer satisfaction.

However, the greatest reward of upgrading your telephony system is the simplicity – you can communicate and manage engagement in one platform and consolidate your contracts into one simple plan.

How to make it happen?

The key to successful migration is finding the right, experienced partner to make the upgrade for you. Nowcomm an elite team of technology experts in the design, delivery and support service of Cisco solutions. Our focus is high quality services and support, specialising in Enterprise Network Infrastructure, Collaboration and Security. We are one of only four Cisco Partners in the UK to hold both the Cisco Gold and Master Collaboration status.

If you are planning on adapting the telephony solution, watch James Baly and Chris Massey from Cisco webinar “Adapting your telephony solutions: Why now and how to go about it?” or Contact Nowcomm.