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HANDLING YOUR PARK’S PHONE CHALLENGES

Reliability
Does your park facilities have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place for phones and Internet? How does the park survive power outages or phone system interruptions?

Suggestion:
If your park does experience some type of chronic service or performance issue, consult your IT staff for suggestions and ideas for improvement. If your IT staff doesn’t already have a relationship with a consultant, consider a telecommunications expert who can bring sales engineers and product experts in for a discussion. Initial consultations can prove very valuable. A little education can go a long way to improving your voice and Internet infrastructure.

Ease of Use
How easy or difficult is it for your residents to reach you? Does the phone solution help or hinder residents during registration days when the system is normally at its peak usage? Can your staff easily transfer calls from one facility to another? Or, do residents have to hang up and dial a different number for the pool or golf range?

Suggestion:
There are many ways you can improve your park’s phone presence through new systems, simple enhancements or programming updates. Engage your current phone vendors and establish a baseline. Identify the critical functions in your system and plot out the shortest course to a better solution.

Security
How protected are your voice and Internet systems from hackers? Does the current technology help you or hinder your ability to enforce usage policies for part-time and full-time staff?

Suggestion:
Be sure your park keeps a strict Policies and Procedures Guideline in place for acceptable phone and Internet use. This can be a unique challenge with part-time or seasonal employees. Make sure new staff is trained and understands your systems.  Also, be sure your IT staff has strict security guidelines in place to protect your phone and Internet accordingly.

Cost Controls
Who in your organization has the fun task of managing your phone bills, phone systems and related costs? Are your park’s costs in line with the rates stated on the original contracts? When was the last time someone took a closer look at the overall cost of your park’s telecommunications? Does your solution still provide a financial value in line with your organization’s budgets and objectives?

Suggestion:
Consult with other park districts to find out the types of systems and procedures they have in place for cost controls. For added reassurance, get a recommendation from a reputable telecommunications consultant who can not only help you analyze and explain phone-related bills but also provide you with an updated market analysis. This way, you have an idea how your solutions stack up against current market pricing and technology.

Functionality
Does your current phone system still cover all your needs? For staffers and residents? Ask both groups and you may be surprised at what you find out.

Suggestion:
There’s always something new in telecommunications. However, start your research with your own staff and residents.  Depending on the gaps you encounter, you may be able to fill them in by asking your current vendor for updated programming changes on your current system. In some cases, updating your service package will not only save your park money but can provide many of the features your staff and community are looking for.

For more information on Telecom Tips please call Rob today at 847.358.0917 x200.
Telecom Tips: Handling Your Park’s Phone Challenges
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