Top 10 (+1) Places To Go Wrong When Planning For And Purchasing A New PBX

Here are the areas where organizations most often go wrong in identifying their requirements:

  1. Underestimating time & effort

Underestimating the time and effort needed to do this. What you might save at the front end will be more than offset by the cost of trying to fix things after the fact, if indeed they can be fixed at all.

  1. Ignoring the details of how the current system is configured

Failing to develop a complete understanding of how your current system is configured and how circuits and peripheral systems are connected to it. This often results in not buying sufficient capability and capacity with a new system, then encountering costly additions after the initial system purchase. Do not assume that this information is readily available. Someone who knows the questions to ask and can document the answers in a clear and detailed manner needs to lock himself in the telecom equipment room for a day or two with the PBX technician.

  1. Not focusing on how your organization is using the current system

While it takes a lot of time to investigate how your organization is using the functions of the current system, this is time well spent. For example, "How do you transfer calls from one telephone to another?" If you only press the transfer button once now to transfer a call and a new system requires that you press it twice, this may be viewed as a step backwards (which it is!). The intercom is another capability that is often overlooked and can lead to disappointment when a new system is installed. Many manufacturers have focused their energy on accommodating "new technology" at the expense of making the system easier to use.

  1. Assuming uniform capabilities among manufacturers

Assuming that all manufacturers telecommunications systems pretty much have the same capabilities. They don't.

  1. Not completely thinking through Call Coverage

Not having enough discussion and documenting how your organization will cover calls under a variety of circumstances. (i.e. when called person not at the desk, when called person is on another call, day, night, weekend, etc.). You may find that you have purchased a system that cannot accommodate your plans.

  1. Planning Call Coverage with Too Much Detail before the final system selection.

Since each different system (even those from the same manufacturer) has its own proprietary call coverage capabilities and uses its own terminology, it is a wasted effort to plan call coverage down to the details of every telephone at every desktop. Trying to change it after the fact can result in a cumbersome call coverage set up that results in poor service to callers and staff.

  1. Not communicating your requirements well to the suppliers

Collecting a lot of good information, but failing to communicate it well to the telecommunications system suppliers bidding on your project. It is suggested that this communication be both in writing and in a lengthy discussion to confirm what is in writing, to avoid misunderstandings when it is too late to do anything about them.

  1. Falling in Love with Technology

Failing to balance a desire for experimentation with new technology with the need for traditional reliability.

  1. Ignoring the Telephone at the desktop

Paying too little attention to the telephone instrument that will sit on everyone's desk while focusing on technology and backroom equipment. Most people judge the system by how well they like the telephone.

  1. Not Budgeting Enough

Not budgeting a sufficient amount of money for the purchase, including a variety of professional services skills needed to implement it such as consultants, system designers, programmers, project managers and trainers.

  1. Spending too much

Not understanding how much the system will cost, what is needed and what is negotiable. Therefore many organizations spend up to 100% more than is required.

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