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How to Untangle: The IT Needs of Your Rapidly Growing Business

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As the painful days of the recession begin to subside, many companies are beginning to restart the jets, and are hurriedly expanding workforces to keep pace with growing demand.

That’s great news, but is your IT group ready for a huge influx of new employees?

Communications has changed significantly over the last couple of years as many organizations are now seeing real benefits from unified communications. However, many more have had to put off upgrading their systems due to budget constraints.

Now that the turnaround is here, IT has to pull off a minor miracle: upgrading the communications infrastructure and adding new facilities and people quickly.

More importantly, the communication system now has a mission-critical role and so business continuity is vital to the company’s success. This means making sure everyone understands how to obtain the productivity benefits from a fully integrated communication system—not just the desk telephone, but cell phones, email, voicemail, IM, conference calls, video calls and more.

And IT must do all this without busting its budget, which likely isn’t growing as fast as the staff!

With the right communication platform, however, managing and scaling the system to cope with growth is easy.

If you need to upgrade your communications system to support a rapid influx of new employees, here are the key issues to consider:

  • The system should be sufficiently scalable to cost-effectively meet both the current ramp-up and long-terms needs.

  • Moves, adds and changes (MACs) should not require the services of a consultant. This will drive down the cost of maintaining the expanding system.

  • Learning to use the system should require minimal training. This will reduce the cost of onboarding each new user, a key consideration during rapid growth.

When assessing a system’s ability to support your business’s rapid growth, be sure to ask these questions:

  • Is the solution a single, integrated, fully distributed system that can be deployed anywhere across the entire enterprise with plug-and-play ease?

  • Is the system open, so it can easily integrate with existing systems and be deployed incrementally in order to simplify deployment and lower the cost of the ramp-up?

  • Is system functionality centrally managed, making it easy for one person to manage communications at every location?

  • Is the system interface sufficiently easy to use, so MACs can be implemented by any designated staff member, completely eliminating the long delays and high costs of relying on consultants?

  • Is the user interface simple and familiar, and are the features easy to access, so most users can take advantage of the system with little or no training?

  • Does the system eliminate a single point of failure and offer N+1 redundancy to ensure availability? Is the phone system switch-based, so if the WAN fails, calls can still be placed and received on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)?

If you’d like to learn more about how ShoreTel can help untangle the IT needs of your rapidly growing business, please contact your local ShoreTel reseller.