Telecommunication Tools

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Businesses today have a wider range of telecommunications tools from which to choose than they ever have before. In part, this is due to the growing number of competing technologies in the telephony field, but it's also a product of sheer innovation. As chips get smaller and faster and networks grow more efficient, the options for managing data grow exponentially.

Of all these tools, how is a business owner to decide which ones he or she really needs and which ones constitute frivolous expenditures? The answer depends on a few factors such as your communication network's internet readiness, the number of employees in your organization, and the amount you can afford to spend. Of course, the tools you select are also a function of your business model. Are you selling bits and bytes, expert opinions, or atoms and molecules?

The Basics

You might consider outsourcing all of your telecommunications needs to one dedicated carrier whose job it is to oversee the network and root out problems before they occur. While you may pay more for remote telecommunications hosting, the extra dollars buy you the peace of mind you need to sleep at night knowing that your built-in redundancy will prevent the collapse of your entire network. Speak with your telecommunications company to find out which services they can provide remotely. If they're not up to speed with the latest products and services, you may want to weigh the option of signing up with a new carrier.

If you make the decision to overhaul your communications system entirely, you should think about VoIP as an option. Although outsourced, managed VoIP is relatively new to the business telecommunications scene, industry research suggests that by 2006, half of all businesses will be outsourcing some or all of their telecommunications needs. Outsourcing VoIP with PBXs managed off-site by a contracted service provider makes a lot of sense. If you don't have the necessary expertise (or don't feel like acquiring said expertise) to choose, install, and implement the right PBX system, it's a golden opportunity to have someone else do it for you.

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