5 Steps to Managing Office Phone Systems for Hybrid Work

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As for desk phones, to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. Despite the rapid growth of remote work and the increased use of video, desktop phone system deployments remain prominent in the communications landscape.

Indeed, nearly a third of businesses plan to expand their use of desk phones, according to a 2021 study by Metrigy that surveyed 395 organizations around the world. The report, “Unified Communications Management and Endpoints,” also found that nearly a quarter of respondents said employees still prefer desk phones to headsets, while nearly 23% provide desk phones to employees. distant who wanted it.

Those who prefer desk phones cite a variety of reasons, including better sound quality without the risk of Bluetooth interference or drops; feature availability, including shared line appearances and speed-dial buttons; and, finally, the good old message waiting lamp. In addition to individual use, desk phones remain a mainstay of meeting rooms, common areas, front desks, and call center agent installations.

Successfully supporting an office phone system installation requires the following:

  1. Give users a choice. If you don’t allow desk phones, you don’t have to worry about their support. But since a large percentage of employees still want a phone, it makes sense to offer desk phones as an available option.
  2. Guarantee performance. Traditionally, desk phones connect to networks via wired Ethernet, with network administrators providing them over their own VPN. This prioritizes voice over other traffic that is less sensitive to delays and jitter. Today, desk phones often connect to Wi-Fi networks or PCs via USB. This makes it difficult to prioritize voice unless it can be done through Wi-Fi hotspots. To this end, proactive testing and voice performance management – ​​down to the phone – is essential.
  3. Phone and desktop integration. Deciding between a softphone and a desk phone doesn’t have to be a decision. Most call platforms today support integration, allowing employees to answer or control a call through a desktop application while using the desk phone as an audio device.
  4. Regular addition of new features. Some modern desk phones can charge cell phones, and they often include features that allow users to connect their devices, via Bluetooth, with headsets or cell phones. Features such as background noise cancellation and text-to-speech are also increasingly available. Refreshing desk phone deployments regularly allows you to take advantage of these new features as they are introduced.
  5. Device management. Desk phone deployments require companies to proactively oversee provisioning, control inventory, and manage voice performance. Most phone vendors offer management applications designed to give support personnel easy access to configuration information. In some cases, these applications are integrated with IT service management and unified communications management platforms. Don’t ignore the need to manage endpoints.

Deciding between a softphone and a desk phone doesn’t have to be a decision. Most call platforms today support integration, allowing employees to answer or control a call through a desktop application while using the desk phone as an audio device.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ensure that all office phone system deployments support Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Law terms in the United States and follow local regulations for emergency services in other countries. This means that if a user places a call to 911 from a desk phone, that call must be routed to the appropriate emergency call center or public safety answering point with sufficient location information. accurate to ensure prompt shipment. On-site security personnel should also be notified. Support for this capability is especially important when providing desk phones to remote employees. You can’t assume that the phone on a desk in a home office won’t be used to dial 911.

Desk phones are likely to be around for a long time and their capabilities will continue to improve. Successful desktop phone support requires proactive management, smart integration, and a focus on optimizing the employee experience.


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