Getting the phone system installation right for your start-up business is a more critical step than some people imagine. Very often it is left to the end, until the business space has been acquired and plans are afoot to bring in the required personnel.
That would be a mistake. The approach that pays dividends is to prioritise your new business phone lines and installation as one of the first activities for activation in your business plan. That gives you the best possible probability that you will get it right and provide a telephony service that fulfils the needs of your business.
1. Clarify your requirements
There are a great number of systems available on the market and a large number of suppliers. The options can be highly confusing, so it definitely pays to speak with the experts. For example, our team here at GPS Telecom will work to clarify your requirements (even aspects that you are unsure about or never thought to include). Once you have a prioritised list of the functions that are critical to your business, then you can start looking for a system that matches them.
2. Select a system
Knowing what you need really does help to quickly sift through the technology options such as PBX, VOIP, in-house or hosted, and so on. Each has pros and cons. You will benefit from speaking with representatives of your shortlist of vendors for advice about how their system can match your requirements. You may also find that, where a specific feature is not available in a system, a good vendor may be able to suggest a workaround that achieves the desired business function in a different manner.
3. Order the lines from BT
You may need a mix of fast Internet and possibly old style analogue PSTN (for card processing machines, for example). Your system vendor will tell you exactly what to order. The number of lines you need obviously depends on the number of users but the count of lines reduces with larger numbers. For example, you may need 20 lines per 100 users but 10 lines for 20 users. It does depend on the technology to a great extent. Be sure to order the lines in good time so as not to delay the subsequent installation and commissioning of your new phone system.
4. Get the cabling ready
You will need cabling for the telephone system and possibly also for the computer network unless it is totally dependent on in-house WiFi. The convention is Cat5e & Cat6e which allows one socket for the phone and another for an Ethernet connection for desktop or laptop. Again, your supplier will certainly be able to specify exactly what is required.