Phone System Buyer’s Guide
The average business changes its phone system only about once every seven years. This means that there aren’t very many people who are experts at selecting, purchasing and implementing a new business phone system. So, if you are wondering where to start you are not alone. ShoreTel has been in the phone system business since 1996 and we’ve been offering our ShoreTel Sky technology since 2000. We’ve implemented a lot of phone systems and know a bit about what our customers go through as they begin the journey.
To help, we’ve assembled content relevant to each of the stages that our customers typically move through from the very idea of a business phone system change to making choices about how to implement it. We hope you will find this helpful. If you’ve already passed through a few of these stages, congratulations! Just skip to the one that makes the most sense.
People don’t just buy new business phone systems for the heck of it. They do it for a reason. Here are the most common reasons our clients give for searching for a new phone system:
- Adding an office/branch
- Expiration of the current contract
- Growth in the number of employees
- The current system just isn’t working
- Change in business needs
Depending on the reason for your change, you likely have a set of concerns and questions. Here are some resources that may help you at this point.
- Who Owns the Phone System? – Learn who in the organization should be involved with the selection, purchase and management of your new phone system.
- Business Phone Systems Learning Center – Learn the meaning of some of the terms and phrases you will hear and read as you begin your search.
- The World of Communications – Learn something new about the history and science of communications.
- Phone System Features – Get an idea of what is possible with your new phone system.
- 5 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Phone System (eBook) – Learn about how today’s phone systems can fit the way you work.
- Moving or adding a location? – Things to consider for the new office.
- Replacing a legacy system? – How to ensure a smooth transition.
Today’s phone system buyers have a new decision to make. Traditional PBX solutions are run on servers that reside at your company’s location. Those solutions are still the best choice for some businesses and ShoreTel offers the best in the business. Many others are choosing a cloud-based (also known as hosted or VoIP), like ShoreTel Sky. We suspect you have found this website because you are interested in a cloud-based solution. Here are some resources that might be helpful as you learn more about what it means to put a phone system in the cloud.
- A User’s Guide to the Cloud – A quick review of the history and purpose of cloud computing.
- The Modern Phone System – Learn how the changing needs of business have led to new innovations in business phone systems.
- Why Cloud VoIP – A review of the main reasons that clients select a cloud-based solution for their business.
- Enterprise Communications Don’t Have to be Complicated – Just because technology is advanced, it should be simple to and easy to use.
- Managed Phone Systems – Not all hosted phone systems are fully vendor managed. This page outlines the advantages of a managed solution.
- Cloud Disruption Allows Businesses to Adapt to Change – Learn how ongoing use of the cloud introduces new opportunities for business to adapt and change.
- The Advantages of Using VoIP for Your Business – Find out the key advantages of VoIP for business.
- PBX vs. VoIP – Learn more about why PBX systems are moving to VoIP.
- Analog vs. Digital Phone Systems – This article describes how the two are worlds apart.
- VoIP for Small Business – The reasons that cloud-based solutions are particularly compelling for small business owners.
If you’ve decided to choose a cloud-based business phone system, you’ve likely realized that there are many vendors who would love to have your business. These resources are designed to help you narrow down the field and make sure that you only consider vendors who have a solution that is a good fit with your business needs.
- How to Select the Best Phone System – A quick view of the process from the very beginning.
- Compare VoIP Options and Providers – Learn about the different service you can expect from a provider of basic VoIP and one that provides premium service.
- VoIP Vendor Selection – Selection of the right vendor is even more important when you are selecting a cloud-based service.
- What to Include in a VoIP RFP – Writing a request for proposal (RFP) for a new telephone system is a big job, requiring a lot of information and no costly omissions. Completing this task with confidence requires patience, thoroughness, and attention to detail.
- Virtual Phone System Comparison – A quick guide to narrowing down your choices.
- Which VoIP Solution is the Most Cost Effective for You (eBook) – A simple comparison guide for choosing the right VoIP solution for your business.
- 9 Things to Consider Before Picking a VoIP Provider (eBook) – A simple Q&A guide to help you decide which VoIP provider is best for your business.
- 5 Steps to a Successful Switch to VoIP (eBook) – A simple five-step guide to help you determine your needs before you switch to VoIP.
At this point, if ShoreTel Sky is still on your short list of possible solutions, it’s time to take a deeper look into our product and our company.
- Product Overview – Get a big picture look at our core business phone system and the additional unified communications features available for your business.
- The ShoreTel Sky Experience – What do we mean when we say our mission is to create an experience that customers love?
- Product Demos – Of course, you want to see it. We have video.
- VoIP Infrastructure Overview – Look more closely at the network and systems we deploy to ensure enterprise-class performance for our clients.
- ShoreTel Sky Mobility – Extend the power of your office phone system to the mobile devices you love the most.
- Hosted Contact Center – If you have a need for call queuing and other contact center functionality, learn more about why our bundled solution is a better way.
- Application Integration – Integrating with other applications, like your CRM or applicant tracking system isn’t an afterthought with ShoreTel Sky, we believe it is the key to unlocking business results.
- Intelligence – We believe that a phone system can be one of the most powerful sources of information about the health of your business.
- ShoreTel Sky Phone System Features – We’ve suggested this page before, but in case you missed it, have a look at everything the ShoreTel Sky system can do.
- FAQ’s – Who doesn’t love FAQ’s?
If we’ve convinced you that ShoreTel Sky is a good fit for your business, it’s time to back that up. These resources contain third party analysis, client testimonials and objective facts that should help solidify confidence in your decision.
- ShoreTel was awarded Frost & Sullivan’s Company of the Year Award – Learn why they ranked us among the leading providers in North America.
- ShoreTel Sky Ranks First in Private Cloud Market Share – Review this research by Synergy Research Group.
- Customer Testimonials – Read what businesses like yours have to say about ShoreTel Sky.
- Trust – ShoreTel alone publically shares system performance and customer satisfaction information on-line and in real time. Have a look.
- ShoreTel Sky for the Enterprise – Find out what ShoreTel Sky is a leading solution for enterprise customers.
- Making the Commitment to ShoreTel Sky – A quick recap of validation from third party experts, customers and past success.
The phone system alone does not complete the partnership between ShoreTel and our clients. Here are some final details about installation, support and our business relationship.
- ShoreTel Sky Installation Options – Services designed to ensure a smooth transition to your new phone system.
- Visual Call Flow Editor – See how easy it is to set up and manage your call flow.
- Phone System Management – An overview of how easy it will be to manage our ShoreTel Sky system.
- 1-800 vs. Local Area Codes, Which Should You Choose for Your Business?
- Are You Damaging Your Brand? What Not to do When Setting Up Your Phone System Greetings.
- Terms of Service – Review our standard business terms.
We hope you’ve found this information useful. Still have questions? Did we leave something out? Just want to say “Hi?” Great! We’re standing by.Print