Phone maintenance is costly, and in more ways than one. Not only do you have to consider the costs of replacing wiring, handsets, and even infrastructure hardware, but you also have to take into account all the time it takes for IT specialists to diagnose, then resolve the issue. So what is the cost, obvious and hidden, of keeping your phone system up and running?
Let’s start with obvious: whether you have in-house IT specialists or have to hire a repair person either from your provider or a third-party company, their time costs money. Anyone performing telephone system maintenance must first diagnose any issues, which could include checking not only PBX equipment but also each handset and workstation for malfunction. In a small office, this may be manageable, but when your handsets number in the tens or hundreds, diagnostics and general maintenance end up being significant time-sinks and most likely require more than one technician.
Once diagnosed, the repairs themselves can take significant time and effort. For outside technicians, additional costs may be incurred if a specialized part needs to be ordered, since that means they will have to come at a different appointment time after the part has arrived. For in-house IT, the waiting time for ordered parts could decrease productivity, because no one likes the feeling of leaving a job incomplete. Which leads to the next, more hidden cost:
The concept of opportunity costs is a familiar one to most people in the business world. At its most basic, opportunity cost is any benefit that someone could have received, but gave up to take a different course of action. And when IT’s work hours are taken up by telephone system maintenance, there’s so much more that they’re not doing. Many companies with in-house IT departments have been realizing over the past decade that the break-fix model of IT fails to make the most out of their specialists, and have instead been encouraging departments to focus efforts on procuring and facilitating strategic, business success-driven technology solutions. However, the responsibility for phone systems continues to force IT departments to put out fires and keep the lights on, so to speak.
It’s not just IT productivity that suffers during phone repairs, either. Anyone who uses business phones for work is affected by telephone system maintenance. The inability to make or receive calls from customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders for any amount of time is emotionally frustrating, as well as being a loss of revenue.
A Possible Solution
What could your IT team be doing if they didn’t have the phones to worry about? Research technology that could keep you one, two, three steps ahead of the competition? Train employees to be more tech-savvy to take advantage of solutions you already have? Having a telephone service provider that’s committed to maintaining phones and continuous service can free up IT staff to focus on business goals and solutions. With hosted VoIP (voice over internet protocol), all infrastructure, software, and service logistics are handled by the provider, who generally has greater resources to devote to maintenance, security, and upgrades.
Without telephone system maintenance to worry about, IT specialists can contribute so much more to their companies. A solution like hosted VoIP could be exactly what you need to bring greater innovation, revenue, and success to your business.