Are you spending too much on connectivity for your business?
Just as you should go through and clean out your desk periodically (so that’s where that user manual for the old printer went!), you should also take a good look at your business’ communications tools to clean out, consolidate and reduce costs where possible.
Here are five ways you can optimize and save money on your business communications:
1: Compare your total expenses to market averages
As you well know from checking your personal cell phone and cable bills, the costs of telecommunications services can vary greatly among service providers and even month to month with the same provider. Regularly analyzing your business’ communications service charges and comparing them with market averages will allow you to catch errant increases and also alert you to when it’s time to consider a switch. To find out what’s reasonable, search the Internet for market averages in your area. Better yet, have a Mitel representative perform a free audit of your business communications expenses for you. He or she will take a look at your current services for voice, data and Internet, including lease and maintenance agreements, etc., to determine if the rates you are paying are competitive and meet your current needs to run their business efficiently.
2: Ask yourself if you have the right amount of bandwidth
Internet bandwidth utilization is crucial to any business. Is your connection sluggish? Is it fine most of the day but slow after lunch or during other peak hours? Or perhaps you have too much bandwidth. Many companies opt for a high-speed connection thinking it’s better only to realize that they aren’t using near all of the bandwidth it provides. Check your bill for a utilization report or ask your service provider for one and see where you stand. You may need to increase your bandwidth, or you may see that you could reduce it—and your costs— without seeing any change in performance.
- Do you have too many lines?
- Are your customers are getting busy signals when they try to contact you?
- Do you have enough phones?
3: Evaluate your VoIP readiness
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is no longer a fad. It is now the industry standard. But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. VoIP can be extremely temperamental, and its quality relies heavily on your local infrastructure. In fact, 99.9 percent of all VoIP quality issues are attributable to local infrastructure. A Mitel consultant can run a network assessment that will simulate VoIP traffic in your environment and look for potential issues that could cause VoIP quality issues. The assessment will check your bandwidth utilization, propensity for network delays and choppiness in signals.
4: While you’re at it, look for inefficiencies
Many companies are paying monthly for services that their internal systems can accomplish at no cost. Understanding your in house capabilities and what’s available to you through your service providers can help keep your cost down and help you run your business more efficiently. For instance, are you paying a provider for functions like voicemail and call forwarding? It’s possible that your business phone system provides these features on its own. Why pay the phone company for functionality you already have? Check each system’s capabilities and make sure you’re not double paying.
5: Check your voice traffic to-cost ratio
Study your usage—by the minute, hour, day, week and month—to get a clear understanding of exactly how many lines your business needs to better serve your customers while keeping expenses down. If your business phone system has reporting capabilities, you should be able to easily pull this data. If not, check the traffic on your phone bill.