Brought to you by IPC Tech — Platinum Certified Mitel Support Partner specializing in connecting your business applications to optimize your communication experience.

We enjoy a wealth of options for our business communication needs, from text and email to video conferencing and digital collaboration. But a lot of work still gets done over the trusty telephone. According to a recent study, more than half of U.S. workers say the desk phone remains their top choice for work-related communications.

The problem is that sometimes phones aren’t so trusty. Many of the business phone systems in use today are more than 10 years old, which means they are at heightened risk of failure. Even newer systems require periodic updates and maintenance to keep them up and running.

Given the critical importance of business communications, organizations with older on-premises systems would be wise to enter into a maintenance agreement with a qualified service provider. Most providers offer customized agreements to fit your needs and budget.

It’s hard to quantify the peace of mind a maintenance contract can provide. Even a short-term phone system outage can become catastrophic, particularly for smaller organizations. Lost communication translates to lost business, lost productivity and lost revenue.

After the Warranty

Business phone systems typically come with a five-year manufacturer warranty. Although extended warranties are sometimes an option, most manufacturers stop supporting premises-based gear altogether after about 10 years. That’s when systems tend to become increasingly unreliable.

As systems age, components wear out. Older cables and power supplies become prone to failure and may not be able to withstand a power a surge, causing the entire system to crash. Additionally, it can become difficult to find replacement parts for older systems.

A 2017 study found that the average maintenance costs for a typical PBX system was around $7,200 per year, not including repair or replacement of desk phone hardware. Common maintenance tasks include SIP reconfiguration or PRI adjustments, updating features, and moves, adds and changes.

A comprehensive maintenance agreement with a reliable service provider will ensure you get the support you need to keep your phones operational. Such agreements typically cover a wide range of routine maintenance such as software upgrades, backups and system reprogramming, as well as more extensive repairs.

Service in a Crisis

Emergency service is another critical element of a good maintenance agreement. Look for a plan that guarantees rapid onsite service and support from qualified technicians in the event of a system failure or outage.

Remote troubleshooting and help desk assistance is another important feature. A qualified provider should be able to remotely diagnose issues and resolve most of them. For example, system reprogramming and database restoration can usually be handled without an onsite visit. Additionally, remote connectivity reviews and traffic assessments help ensure that network issues aren’t creating performance problems.

Call flow reviews are also important. Typically set up when systems are installed, the call flow sets rules such as how many times a phone rings, whether a call gets routed back to the receptionist or into voice mail, and what happens to calls after hours. Over time, configuration changes, equipment replacement and other factors can disrupt the flow. A provider can analyze how calls move through the system, identify bottlenecks and make adjustments to resolve any problems.

IPC offers timely and efficient maintenance support for its customers through its TechFirst Customer Success Center. Our certified technicians have years of experience resolving all manner of hardware, software and networking issues. Give us a call to discuss how we can help you keep your critical lines of communication open.