It’s increasingly common for organizations to grow beyond headquarters to branch locations. Even small businesses use this strategy to better serve customers, gain needed skill sets, and take advantage of lower real estate and labor costs. Mergers and acquisitions can quickly expand an organization’s geographic footprint. In addition, many employees now work remotely in home-based offices that become an extension of the business.
This trend has a significant impact on an organization’s operations. Multi-site businesses must take additional steps to ensure that all employees have access to communication and collaboration tools as well as applications and data. If branch locations and remote workers are disconnected from headquarters, productivity, morale and customer service can suffer.
These challenges increase as the distance from headquarters increases. Different time zones, cultures and work environments can make it difficult to build a cohesive team.
That’s why effective communication is especially critical for multi site operations. Employees need the ability to collaborate and share information in a way that’s simple and seamless.
- An IP phone system is an invaluable asset for multi site organizations. Unlike legacy PBXs, which are difficult to expand across locations, a modern IP phone system can be extended to every office and worker. Anyone in the organization can be reached by dialing an extension, and calls can easily be transferred. Everyone has access to full phone system features and a common set of collaboration tools
With a unified communications platform, even video conference calls and IMs can quickly and easily be set up with team members – regardless of their location or platform (smartphones, tablets and even wearable devices).
- IP phone systems are very flexible and scalable — a real boon for growing businesses. Moves, adds and changes can be handled remotely via a browser-based interface, eliminating the need for administrators to visit remote sites. In addition, an employee’s extension is no longer tied to a physical phone jack. Employees simply plug their IP phone sets into the nearest data port and log in to accept calls and access phone system features.
- An IP phone system can also help multi-site businesses reduce capital and operational costs. Because remote offices can connect to the headquarters phone system through a high-speed data line, there is no need to purchase and maintain a separate system in each location. Remote workers can use softphone capabilities, minimizing the number of IP phone sets that are required. And by effectively routing inbound calls, organizations can eliminate the need for a receptionist in each location while ensuring that customers aren’t sent to voice mail or a hold queue.
It’s important to recognize that a cloud-based phone system doesn’t solve all the problems associated with branch locations and remote workers. The cloud eliminates the capital and operational expense of onsite equipment for remote offices, but doesn’t necessarily integrate those locations into the corporate communications platform.
ShoreTel Connect, including the Connect ONSITE and Connect CLOUD platforms, is especially tuned to the needs of multi-site businesses. This unique solution is built from a single software code base, so organizations can mix and match on-premises and cloud-based options while providing users with a consistent experience. Automated directory synchronization and a common dial plan allows extension dialing across the organization.
If your phone system isn’t keeping up with the demands of your multi-site business, it’s time to take a look at ShoreTel Connect.
Let Eastern DataComm assess your needs and design a solution that helps reduce costs and headaches while enhancing your operations.