Your Real Telecom Options

Interestingly, the main reason many executives have for wanting a new IP-PBX [VoIP] telephone system is that it is the only alternative they've been offered. This is unnecessarily narrow and does not reflect the real range of choices available to businesses today.

What Telecom Options Really Exist?

1. Expanding or updating a current system. Even if the existing system is at capacity, most systems come in families, and a larger version may be available. All major systems and families are generally available from multiple sources of supply and maintenance, whether local sources advertise that or not.  Since we're not affiliated with any vendor, we face no artificial restrictions or limitations in trying to satisfy our clients' needs.

2. Expanding or updating a current non-IP system by adding VoIP capabilities where needed. In general, sophisticated Voip capabilities are not needed everywhere. Marketing or engineering may or may not need the latest whistles, but does everyone in accounting need them?  Most good-sized phone systems work perfectly well in Legacy/IP-PBX form. Think of it as a hybrid: if it works for a car, why can't it work just as well for you?

3. If your existing phone system would be good enough if it wasn't too old to be any good any more, consider purchasing a newer preowned system that's the same as yours -- perhaps one with a larger capacity -- and using the spare equipment as a virtually free source of future cards and telephones.

4. If your system is getting old and replacement parts and models are unavailable or the feature set is also antiquated, consider purchasing a different but newer preowned Legacy system from a company that has recently purchased an IP-based system, whether they really needed it or not.

5. Using VoIP for some locations, but not all, and not necessarily for the main location.

6. Purchasing a new VoIP IP-PBX. See it really is a choice, just not the only one.

7. Instead of buying your own system, use a Hosted IP-PBX service to satisfy your needs, for headquarters, or for your branch offices, or even both.  Sometimes, the best choice really is in the cloud.

Teleconvergence isn't biased against technology or VoIP (after all, part of our management consulting practice consists of helping clients determine whether to get into the VoIP business), but we do think a company should consider its alternatives based on its needs, not on the latest technology or what the first two salespersons you contact say you should buy.

Where to read now?  Here are three suggestions:

  • The next section in the Changing Systems? series, What You Should Know About VoIP isn't technical, but talks instead about what VoIP is and can and can't do, including a thorough discussion of VoIP Myths and Realities.
  • The final article in the Changing Systems? series is The 10 Greatest Mistakes Executives Make.  It deals with why executives make poor system decisions.
  • The entire system decision process is something we discuss in great detail when we talk about our methodology in the section The Teleconvergence Approach to System Selection. You'll find it under the Methodologies tab.  

And, as always, thanks for visiting.