Planning for the future?
Date Added: 01 Nov 2013
Added By: Kevin Cooper
It is so important for start-up businesses to carefully plan for the future when thinking about their telecoms requirements. Many businesses start from home and will keep costs to a minimum. The chosen solution will often be a single line with a plain old telephone for calls and a broadband service for internet and email on the same line. The advertised telephone number being the number associated with the single line. Well, it works and it’s cost effective in the short term; however can often be restrictive in the future as the business grows.
The first challenge for a growing business is to increase the number of lines to handle more incoming and outbound calls. This is when a single line and Broadband causes issues. You can’t just add a second line with the same number to a Broadband enabled line, they are not compatible. It’s a similar outcome if you want to upgrade to ISDN2e with a telephone system as Broadband is not compatible with that either.
Further restrictions come into play when businesses outgrow the home office and move to a new office or industrial unit. This will have the same implications with the need for more lines; however it also raises issues with the actual number that you have advertised on all your stationary. Unless you are moving within the same BT Exchange area then your telephone number can’t be moved with you. The solution often involves costly diverts, complicated order processes and increased chance of loss of service.
So the first consideration should be what number you should advertise. I would always recommend a hosted number. This means a number not provided from the local BT exchange. It could still be a 01603 number in Norwich, 01953 number in Wymondham or 0207 in London and so on. However you may want to consider a non-geographic number such as a Freephone 0800 or a UK-wide 0333 number. Whichever you choose, the key is that it’s portable and not tied to the physical line. The number can still be answered on your single Broadband line so the additional cost can be minimal, often just a low call charge for calls received.
Once you have a hosted number you have the freedom to consider a whole range of solutions depending on your requirements. Calls can be distributed across several lines with different numbers and in different places. Multiple calls can be delivered through a single broadband connection or delivered to multi line groups on a telephone system. The ability to have pre-planned disaster recovery plans suddenly becomes easy to deploy. And of course, this doesn’t just apply to small start-up businesses as the benefits of hosted telephone numbers can apply to both small and large established companies.
For more advice and information, please call or email Kevin Cooper, Business Telecoms Manager at Breakwater IT Ltd.
Tel. 01603 709300
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