In this blog, we are going to look at the two ways of procuring a new telephone system.

How do we know the difference, well that’s easy as we’ve done it!

When we started Time Communications in February 2001, we would talk to our clients about migrating from analogue phone lines to digital ISDN lines.

In the years from 2010 to 2017, we advised our clients about VoIP (voice over IP), but still provided ISDN as many businesses either didn’t have the connectivity to allow VoIP or didn’t have the appetite to consider this new technology.

Then Covid ‘hit’ and the firms that were using Cloud Hosted Telephony found that their systems just worked, they had the flexibility to adapt to the demands of working from home and their investment paid off. Those who were still using ISDN were very limited with how their telecommunications could provide robust and flexible working for people who were working from homes and remote offices, and that’s when SiP (Cloud Hosted Telephony) took over.

We are now approaching 2025 when analogue and ISDN are being switched off, and cloud telephony will be the only option.

What was the ‘old’ way of procuring a telephone system (pre-pandemic)?

You would select one or more providers, (usually this would be BT and probably two others) and invite them to visit you.

Meetings of typically an hour or so would take place where you would ask questions, and learn about the people across the table from you, their company and the products they could offer.

You’d get a feeling of whether you could know, like and trust the provider and if you did, you’d accept their request to arrange a time for them to come back to your office and present their proposal to you.

This may then have been followed by a visit to their office and a demonstration of the system being proposed; perhaps one or two references would be followed up on too.


So, what’s the new way of procuring a telephone system (post-pandemic)?


It's a lottery when buying a new telephone system

It’s a lottery when buying a new telephone system


Buying a new telephone system today is now more of a lottery.

We’re used to researching by searching Google and then picking a handful of potential suppliers then checking out their websites, and it’s a complete gamble if you’ve made the correct choice or not.

You’ll get quotes from several different providers, as many as you can in a lot of cases; why, because it’s easy to do!

You just have to answer one or two questions based on how many users you have and how much you are currently spending, (this latter point is so a potential provider can make sure they price accordingly).

You can easily place an order and either everything arrives at your office so you can plug in yourself (😮), or if you are lucky enough someone will come in and set up the new phones.

In summary, it’s a lottery of what you get and who you’re dealing with.

The significant difference between these two methods (in our opinion), is that it’s the providers that seem to have made the change in how they choose to ‘sell’ their product rather than how the customers ‘buy’ their new systems!

We believe that the telecommunication system of a company is a critical part of their infrastructure and as such we would suggest the following:

Set up a site meeting between you and the potential supplier, this is required at a very early stage in the process. There’s a lot of planning and checking required, don’t make too many assumptions!

A potential supplier needs to understand the client’s needs and expectations. They therefore need to see the working environment and how a new system would operate and more importantly, how a new system could allow efficiencies in processes and cost

So, when you are looking to upgrade your telecoms:

  • Why not ask for a site meeting?
  • Why not ask for a demonstration of the new equipment and software?
  • Ask questions about the potential provider, how long have they been in business, who else they work with and most importantly how they provide their ongoing support.
  • Find out if they will install everything for you and train you and your colleagues on site on how to use the new technology, or are they simply going to deliver to your site. If you’re happy to self-install and train yourself using video guides then at least you’re aware.

Would you employ a new member of staff without learning more about them, interviewing them and finding out what level of experience they have?

We think a new telephone system should be treated as a member of your staff, working for you for several years and providing great service.

So why not think of telecom procurement in the same way you would recruit a new member of staff and do some research?

If you would like to learn more about Time Communications and why we are different, click here to get in touch.