We all know the saying “time is money” but do we really take into consideration what this means? How many of us overlook the amount of time we waste by continuing to use outdated solutions?

how much time spent on business telecoms

Take an on-premise PBX for example. It’s true that the upfront costs are usually pretty transparent, but have you noticed that the total cost of ownership over the life of the contract is often not quite as clear-cut. A PBX needs to be configured, managed and maintained (usually by a third-party). Perhaps it may even need upgrading to continue to meet with hardware demands and an increasing or decreasing number of lines. All of these elements are costing your business in time and money.

Is your PBX fit for purpose?

By now we all know that technology moves at breakneck speed and that often when we buy a product today there is a likelihood that it will quickly be superseded by something else. A state-of-the-art PBX purchased several years ago may no longer be at the cutting edge. Unless you invest in regularly upgrading your PBX, you could be missing out on new features and functions that can really help your business grow.

It’s not just technology that’s constantly evolving; the way we do business is too. Remote working, home working and hot-desking are all on the rise. This means that fewer employees are tied to their desk or are even in their office for extended periods of time any longer.

How easy is it for you, your clients or your customers to reach someone when they’re out of the office? Do your customers have to wait for the person to return to the office before making contact? Or is the amount you are spending on expensive call forwarding charges to mobiles increasing? How much time is lost in the process? How many potential business opportunities are also lost because contact couldn’t be made at the time? How is your customer satisfaction affected as a result?

When disaster strikes

Every organisation needs a business continuity plan that includes telecoms. If disaster strikes at the site where your PBX is hosted, how quickly and easily are you able to re-establish your communications? Do you rely on a third party supplier to make changes to call routing? How much time will you lose as a result? How long will it take before clients, customers and suppliers can contact you and your employees again? How will this affect customer satisfaction?

Save time with a hosted phone system

A hosted phone system moves your on-premise PBX to the cloud. This can offer your business some great benefits, especially when it comes to saving time.

  • You’ll no longer need to invest time and money into managing and maintaining the on-premise PBX
  • You’ll have the ability to assign a single number (DDI) to an employee which can be diverted to multiple devices, whether it’s a desk phone, mobile or, by adopting recent soft-client developments, even a computer or tablet. That means no more taking messages that may not get passed on and no more missed calls
  • It’s easier to put flexible working practices into play, enabling employees to use their time even more productively
  • New users to the system can be added easily and changes made to features and settings via an online web portal
  • If disaster strikes your office, you can continue using your telecoms system with continuity features such as call forwarding, twinning, and alternatives to handsets such as softphones and mobile apps

Remember, when it comes to deciding whether to opt for a traditional system via an on-premise PBX or a next-generation hosted phone system, timing really is everything.

The next generation

Learn more about the benefits of investing in next-generation phone systems by downloading the eGuide: The essential guide to cost-effective telecoms.

This article first appeared on the Gamma blog.