Every business in the world either uses or could benefit from using phone service. Even if your business deals directly with the public, you still need to call your manufacturer for updates on shipments, check on the ads you have going out, and make sure your accountant has all of your financial information.
As your business grows, so does your need for phone lines, not just to enable you to speak to your customers and suppliers, but also to transmit data between offices, and possibly even maintain a Web site to receive and track orders.
Growth in business is great, but you may easily find yourself overwhelmed by the logistics involved in all the changes. The phone system you had 2 years ago may have been perfect for you at the time, but today you have 20 new employees in house, 5 new outside sales reps, and the Web site for Internet orders is being released next week.
If that is the case, you have probably out-grown your old telephone system. The important thing to know is how to gauge the technology you have, where you are going, and what technology you need to get there. At the most basic level, telecom refers to any service that is provided over phone lines.
Included in this definition are:
- Internet connections over dedicated circuits or dial-up modems
- Regular phone lines used to place and receive calls to your mom
- High-speed data links used for transmitting information
When you boil things down, all phone service can be reduced to the same basic principles of transmitting and receiving signals over fiberoptic or copper wire.
For example, if a backhoe cuts through a fiberoptic cable that supplies your Internet connection, along with the service from your local carrier, your only connection to the outside world becomes your mobile phone.
If your mobile phone provider also uses that link to complete calls, you still may not have a connection to the outside world. With the increase in redundancy being built into the local and long-distance networks, you shouldn’t have an outage that completely shuts down your service.
If you have a good telecom system, when (not if) a breakdown in the network occurs, stopping calls from passing through the east side of town, your system can automatically route calls to an alternative network on the west side.
Many companies rely heavily upon their phone service, and any outage, no matter how small, has a large impact. Sometimes the problem is an act of God, (say your carrier’s switch is struck by a bolt of lightening, reducing it to a smoldering brick of silicon and steel valuable only as a piece of modern art).
Other issues may be the result of bottlenecks in your own phone system, or just a need for more phone lines. The first step to taking care of these issues is to assess the phone service you need right now.