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03 Jun 2015

4 Essential Tips for Navigating the Business Communications ‘Minefield’ in 2015

If you want to make your business efficient, productive and profitable then you need your communications to be actively supporting you and not costing the earth. Here are 4 essential tips to help you achieve that:

  • Manage staff productivity even when working remotely

Convention has it that the office is the central hub for work, but this is not always the most effective solution for many modern businesses.

Allow your staff to work from home with an IP phone, and they should be able to manage their time more effectively. They’ll be able to work remotely whilst still being fully accessible to your customers, just as if they were sitting in the office with you.

No matter where they are, in the office, at home, on a mobile device, if they are using your system then you can, and you should be able to review their activity. This is not ‘snooping’ but an essential tool in order to manage a flexible workforce. You can see for how long they have been working, who they have been calling and for how long. Best of all, as a manager, you can access this data completely privately and anonymously.

  • Buying power is your friend, use it

You need a phone system for the office, you need remote workers connected and supplied with hardware, you need high-speed internet, you need integrated mobile smart phones and you need quality support and follow up. It’s a lot to think about, but this is really an advantage for you. Get all of these services from one provider and use your buying power to negotiate a better price.

Having all of your services provided by one company also gives you the advantage of consistent support – so you won’t be running around and on-hold to several different companies trying to solve problems.

 

  • Cloud-based telephony / VoIP vs. In-house telephony

No longer futuristic, ‘the Cloud’ is here! In recent years all kinds of services have moved from traditional office-based hosting to the Cloud. You may hear cloud-based telephony referred to as several names, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)  is one of the most popular, but it is also sometimes called hosted telephony – but don’t get confused, they all refer to the same thing.

There can be some big advantages to running your systems in the cloud, but it may not be the best option for all businesses. It might make more sense for your business to have your systems in-house or you could even have a hybrid system which includes the benefits of both.

 

  • Make your telephone lines match your requirements

 

It sounds simple but most companies who are experiencing frustrations with their communications are using the wrong telephone/broadband  lines. If using in-house telephony, you need to make sure you have the most suitable phone lines installed. Do you need single lines for phones, fax, internet and alarm lines? Do you need multiple phone lines coming into your office with a single phone number? Or do you need phone lines which can accommodate multiple direct dial numbers?  

 

If you decide to use cloud-based telephony then ADSL lines are not good enough to guarantee the call reliability and quality that you’ll need. To make sure that you can run your cloud-based telephony reliably you’ll need an EFM (Ethernet First-Mile), fibre-broadband or Ethernet connection.

In addition, you should separate your high-speed internet lines for phone-calls and internet data. Putting both through one line will make your call system all the more unstable – send one large file and you might find that your call quality is affected, or worse, you may get cut off!

 

 

About The Author:

Karl Cheshire heads up Lascom Communications (based in Fleet, Hampshire) and have been enabling businesses all across the South East to communicate for over 11 years. They cut through the jargon and give customers fantastic value for money with a professional support service.