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The world of unified communications is centered on the idea of leveraging powerful technologies and applications to boost productivity. When individual employees have superior tools, they are able to do more with less and increase bottom-line profitability.

However, many businesses are becoming increasingly familiar with the concept of planned obsolescence, which is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. Phone systems and data networks are beginning to show signs of planned obsolescence, and business owners are beginning to reexamine their communications infrastructure. Small to medium-sized businesses need to take a close look at their phone systems to evaluate when obsolescence will strike and what steps they can take to avoid this.

Many of the existing phone systems that businesses are running have been discontinued and are no longer supported by the manufacturer. This basically means the technology has run its course, stopped being manufactured and is becoming exceedingly difficult to service.

In other words, if a business is running its communications infrastructure on obsolete technology, when it breaks down, there won’t be anyone to help fix it. This is a giant risk that business owners are taking when their customer relationships are on the line. An outdated phone system will ultimately crash. Businesses cannot afford to go down and cut off all contact with their customers.

At Connect Telephone & Computer Group, we are educating companies on the risks associated with manufacturer discontinued phone systems as well as their options for new technology. This is an exciting time in our industry because with the advent of SIP (session initiation protocol), many companies can easily justify the adoption of today’s technology based on cost. Plus, these businesses will benefit from applications and features designed to increase their profitability, enhance their employees’ productivity, and give them a competitive advantage, something their outdated phone system cannot do.

Matt Duray is president of Connect Telephone and Computer Group in Billings. Contact him at 406 869-8950 or at mduray@theconnectgroup.com

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