5 reasons your phone system is really a paper weight


phoneSome of the greatest frustration in your workday can come from simple things, like the inability to make a simple interoffice call or to send an instant message to a co-worker.

david darmstandler
David Darmstandler

In a world where technology is literally at our fingertips, on our wrists and desktops, communicating should be a breeze.

When it comes to your business phone system, the real question to ask here is whether your phone system is improving or inhibiting your work life. Does it make communicating easier or more frustrating? Is your phone system a better paper weight than it is an actual communication device?

Believe me, I’ve encountered the same things you might be feeling. Here are five things to consider if you’re feeling like your phone system just isn’t cutting it anymore.


So ask yourself: Is your phone system cost-effective? Does it provide mobility, increase employee productivity?

Remember this: cost is not just about the price. Your long-term total cost of ownership is the best way to determine overall cost-effectiveness. Total cost of ownership is capital costs plus implementation costs plus operational costs.

A surprising 46 percent of companies are not measuring total cost of ownership for unified communication according to a recent study by Information Week.


Does your phone system provide mobility? Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. Workers are expected to get work done on the go, wherever they may be. The days of employees waiting for a call on their desk phone are long gone.

Seventy-five percent of the U.S. workforce is mobile, and that number is growing. The average mobile worker carries 3.5 devices.

But with this growth comes a problem. Many people use their own cell phones on the job. They give their personal numbers to customers, which makes their companies appear unprofessional. Tracking and reimbursing call costs is a pain, and using productivity apps like Salesforce is nearly impossible.


Does your phone system increase employee productivity? A connected workforce is a productive workforce. A disconnected workforce is not.

According to a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey, communications can dramatically boost productivity. Here are two examples:

  • By reaching co-workers on the first try, 49 percent of businesses reported saving 20 minutes per employee per day.
  • Escalating an IM chat to a phone conversation saved 54 percent of businesses another 20 minutes per employee per day.

Make sure your phone system is boosting productivity not draining it. The more challenging it is for employees to connect, the more time lost during the workday.


Will your phone system scale? Growing too quickly can hurt your business if your communications systems can’t keep up.

Phone system scalability isn’t just a problem for fast-growing companies. Many businesses experience cyclical changes or seasonal spikes in business. Can your phone system ramp up to support a holiday season spike in call volume?

Twenty-six percent of companies across all industries plan to hire seasonal workers in the fourth quarter.

Forty-three percent of retailers plan to hire seasonal workers over the holidays.

Scale to maximize growth. Nearly every organization can benefit from the ability to quickly align its phone system to meet business needs.


Does your phone system support future and emerging technologies? A parade of smart devices over the past decade has radically changed how we do business.

From the Apple Watch and wearable technologies to the latest mobile device apps, companies need to adapt to an ever-changing landscape.

Statistics show anywhere from 74 percent to 90 percent of companies support employees’ personal devices. The technology research company, Gartner, even predicts half of all employees will be required to bring their own devices by 2017.

Given the acceleration of product development cycles, it’s not a matter of simply adapting to new technology developments but being prepared for the next technology changes.

Plan for the future. Make sure your business phone system is flexible enough to stay modern.

David Darmstandler is CEO of Datapath, an IT services company with headquarters in Modesto. You can reach him at [email protected].




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