Things to Consider When Buying a Used Phone System

by : Mark Allen

So, you have reached a decision and have opted to purchase a phone system for your business. But wait! Don't go rushing straight out there and pick the first one that you find. Whilst purchasing a used phone system need not be a complicated business, there are a few things you need to consider before you act upon your decision.


How many telephone users?
One of the first things to consider is how many telephone users are currently employed within your company? Once you know this number, you will be able to determine how many extensions you will need a phone system to support and how many phone lines.

Will the amount of telephone users increase?
The very next thing to consider is whether or not the number of people using telephones within your company is likely to increase in the next five to seven years and if so, by how many? This is because on average, businesses change their phone system every five to seven years and so it would be wise to account for this and buy a system that your business will not outgrow too quickly.

What is the maximum number of extensions it can handle?
More specifically, what is the maximum number of extensions it can handle without having to replace the 'box on the wall'? Make sure that you check the capacity on the system you are purchasing and most importantly contemplate whether or not you need a larger system in the range to get the maximum capacity stated. As with the previous point, work out at what stage you will need to invest in a larger box and get this information in writing.

Always know your budget!
The cost of telephone systems vary considerably depending on a number of factors and so a prospective buyer should know their budget. Factors range from the number of users required to any applications that you may want to implement. Applications could be anything from voicemail to an out of hours attendant and so on.

Purchase or lease finance?
Another thing to consider is whether you will purchase a phone system outright or lease finance it. For example, leasing offers tax benefits and allows you to spread the cost over a period of years. When looking into this, be sure to ask your potential suppliers of the leasing arrangements and the finance terms that are available.

Which applications do you want?
One of the most important considerations is do you know what applications you require for your business. Some features like group hunting, pick-up, transfer and speed-dial come as standard with most systems but applications such as automated attendant, call recording, computer telephony integration (CTI) and voicemail are additional features that can greatly improve customer service and staff efficiency. So, it is best to consider the benefits that these features can offer to your business.

Stationary or mobile?
Is your business of such a nature that certain staff need to be contacted at anytime from anywhere in the building? Nowadays, many office staff require mobility which is the reason why more and more companies are investing their money in Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony (DECT) systems that provide total cordless coverage in an office or an industrial site via a series of strategically placed base stations. Hot desking allows people to log on to any handset whilst unified messaging stores e-mails, fax, SMS and voice in one location. Messages can be retrieved at any PC with internet access.

How to choose a supplier!
How are you going to choose your supplier? It is worth looking around for resellers that are fully trained and accredited by the system manufacturers. You should make sure that they can offer a complete service which includes consultancy, installation, maintenance and project management. Additionally, you could also ask them for customer testimonials. This is a great site to find an installer in your local area.

Do you want to save money?
Carrier pre-select (CPS) and Least Cost Routing (LCR) enables you to achieve significantly lower costs for all your outbound calls without any need to change your existing BT telephone numbers or install any additional hardware. So you should seriously consider whether or not you want to save money off the cost of your telephone calls! Cheaper call rates can reduce your bill but as these are always projected savings, great care should be taken to justify any claims that are made. Discuss the options that are available to you with your supplier of choice.

Ask for a live working demonstration!
It would be worth your time to see a live working demonstration of the systems you are considering for purchase. Asking for a demonstration will allow you to determine it's ease of use and potential. It will also help you to decide which features and functions your various staff will need to get from the system and it's range of handsets.

What is your maintenance agreement?
There are different types of Maintenance agreements and so it would be wise to be sure to choose the right level of cover. Whilst telecoms engineers still have to visit in the event of a system failure, there are now many suppliers that can offer remote maintenance which allows them to dial-in and fix smaller faults that arise. It is very important to be aware of what is and isn't included in the agreement.

Taking Them Into Account

Once you have took all these considerations into account and know exactly what phone system would suit your needs, you are now ready to go out and purchase your ideal system. Being aware of all your needs will allow you to meet them and maybe more.

Resource: This site has a various manufacturers of used phone systems at great prices.