Telecom Tips: Establishing a Baseline Before You Shop

Selecting the right business phone solution can be a daunting task. There are too many possibilities in the marketplace today. Should your business use a premise-based system or go to the cloud? Is a digital system still relevant or should I follow the crowd and jump into VoIP solutions? So where should your research start? Who can you trust?

>> Looking for a Chicago Phone Systems Provider with Proven Track Record? Check Out Ram Communications <<

The Steps to Establishing a Baseline:

1. Create a survey for your end users.  Here are a few examples to follow:
What do users like about your current phones?
What would they like to change about current phones?
Gaps?  What do we need that we don’t have today?
Mobility? Perhaps your field reps’ cell phones can better integrate into your business system?
2. Create a survey for your management staff.
Does management need remote access to their presence settings on their smartphone devices?
Will a Unified Messaging Solution help their productivity? (voicemail-to-email)
What about Disaster Recovery? Are there technological updates that keep staff and management online better and more easily today?
3. Interview your management staff.
What are the key business drivers? (budget needs, customer experience improvements, reliability)
4. Consult your purchasing department.
What are the ‘acquisition needs’; ie., cash purchase vs. lease vs. rent (cloud)
With cloud-based technologies there are more options now than ever.

KEY: Once you have collected your surveys, document the results and consult with management. Get their support early and often!

Additional Suggestions:

There are more online resources than ever before. You may find chat rooms and blogs from technical forums and even executives who share their phone experiences. Independent research firms like Gartner and The Yankee Group, can provide comparative data on the leading hardware players in the industry  It can be difficult, however, to drill down and find the right VAR to quote, install and support the system you desire. So, there’s no shortcut. Consult your business friends, trusted clients and advisors on who they use and why. Using a combination of sources will paint a clearer picture of your appropriate solution.


Establishing your baseline and researching the top players takes time and effort. However, if you take the time to educate yourself and find the vendor that best suits your needs, your chances for success improve dramatically. Do the work and you’ll be rewarded.

If you are unsure how to begin, ask RAM Communications.  We will be happy to assist you.



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