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The Risk of Using an Old Phone System Just Because “It Still Works”

officereceptionist3It’s easy to justify delaying the upgrade or replacement of a phone system when the existing phone system seems to be working fine. However, an older system that still functions has a high risk of failure.

Older cables and power supplies are prone to failure and may not be able to withstand a power a surge, causing the entire system to crash. If any individual component fails, replacement parts are expensive and difficult to find, as are technicians who can make the necessary repairs. If you’re able to get your old system back up and running, it may have to be completely reprogrammed, which is another time-consuming, costly endeavor.

Instead of thinking it can never happen to you, assume phone system failure will happen and consider the consequences. How much will it disrupt business operations and impact productivity? What will customers do when they can’t reach your organization? How will it affect their perceptions of your company? Sure, employees can switch to their personal smartphones, but how much business could be lost while customers, business partners and vendors are notified of the problem?

Pinpointing the cause of phone system failure and finding someone to repair or replace components could take days or weeks. If the system is beyond repair, you have to make a fast decision about a new system that suits your organization’s operations and communications needs, as well as a vendor that is qualified to replace the system. Meanwhile, the cost in terms of dollars and reputation continues to mount.

Neurology Group of Bergen County, a provider of adult and pediatric neurology services and treatments, knew that its 20-year-old phone system presented enormous risk. Not only did the system fail to support its high-tech operations, but replacement parts were increasingly difficult to find. Most importantly, downtime could affect patient access to urgent medical assistance.

After a comprehensive RFP process, Neurology Group of Bergen County chose the ShoreTel platform and Eastern DataComm. Because it had the expertise and resources to manage an onsite platform, the group chose an on-premises solution over a cloud-based system. Switching to the cloud will always be an option in the future thanks to the flexibility of the ShoreTel system.

Eastern DataComm customized the ShoreTel solution to suit the group’s specific business and operational needs. For example, patients often require immediate medical attention while onsite. Eastern DataComm configured the ShoreTel system to automatically send emergency notifications to the appropriate individuals when someone dials 811. These notifications instantly appear on the ShoreTel screen and tell the recipient where the call is coming from so patients receive the care they need as quickly as possible.

In addition to reducing the risk of downtime and improving patient care, Neurology Group of Bergen County needed a flexible, scalable phone system. With ShoreTel’s browser-based interface, users can unplug their phones and plug in at a different location without losing functionality. Moves, adds and changes are simple. The group recently relocated its diagnostic center and added a neuro rehabilitation program, and Eastern DataComm made sure the ShoreTel system was in place and handsets were added where needed.

Neurology Group of Bergen County will soon roll out the ShoreTel Mobility App so doctors can access communication and collaboration features from any device. ShoreTel and Eastern DataComm addressed the group’s specific requests for enhanced features to ensure compliance requirements will be met.

This high-tech medical office now has an equally high-tech IP phone system. The ShoreTel solution, installed and configured by Eastern DataComm, provides Neurology Group of Bergen County with a reliable, customized communications platform that can adapt and grow in the future.