Picture this: a sprawling university campus, a large multinational enterprise, or an NHS ICS that includes 10+ hospitals. They are all very different organisations with different needs, but all face a similar set of challenges when it comes to their telephony.

As large estates, most often with multiple locations and a huge range of user needs, each of these expansive settings demands a telephony system that can keep up with the pace of change, offer a seamless service to every user regardless of their location and remain compliant and secure at all times. Successfully managing these challenges on such a large scale can be incredibly complex.

What are the main challenges?

Size matters – and as an estate grows, so does its complexity. You will need to focus on balancing a number of factors: 

Scalability: Imagine a telephony landscape that’s constantly expanding, with new devices, users, and calls increasing all the time. Juggling the increasing demands takes time and resources – how do you scale up efficiently while maintaining seamless communication at all times?

Cost Management: A hefty price tag can be part and parcel of managing large telephony estate. Hardware, software, licenses, maintenance – the list of expenses can be as long as the call queues. How do you prevent the costs from spiraling out of control?

Maintenance and Upgrades: Keeping any telephone system up-to-date with patches and upgrades can be challenging, but with a large estate that has numerous interconnected components, the complications can be exponential.

Security: Unauthorised access. Call interception. Spyware, malware & ransomware. Cyber threats lurk around every digital corner. Protecting the telephony infrastructure from security threats like these has never been more important – not just because of any financial impact but the potential for operational and reputational impact too.

Performance Optimisation: How do you ensure a smooth and reliable call quality across the estate, especially during peak times, when you have hundreds of users across multiple locations?

What are the potential solutions?

Now that we’ve highlighted some of the challenges you need to think about with a large telephony estate, how do you go about addressing them? There are a range of options, and it’s likely any CTO/CIO will adopt a combination of the following:

Unified Communication Platforms: Unified communication solutions take all enterprise channels of communication and place them into a single platform. By integrating voice, video, and messaging in one place, you can streamline management and reduce complexity.

Cloud Telephony: Moving from outdated and increasingly inefficient legacy on-premise infrastructures and hardware, such as aging servers or potentially unreliable firewall appliances into the cloud needs careful analysis, planning and execution to ensure compatibility with your business needs. But doing so can offer huge benefits including scalability, flexibility, and potential cost savings too.

Centralised Management: Being able to monitor, configure and update telephony devices and services across your entire estate by utilising centralised management tools maximises your control and efficiency.

Automation: Employing automation for routine tasks like provisioning new devices or applying software updates not only releases your IT team and gives them time to undertake more demanding tasks, but it also reduces any potential human errors.

Network Redundancy: This is all about having a disaster recovery plan in place, implementing redundancy and failover mechanisms to ensure high availability and reliability of telephony services. Your business need never be affected by downtime again.

Gain valuable insights

When deploying any or all of the above solutions, your organisation can also gain a number of insights into the business, which are vital for managing the system over the longer term:

Data Analytics: How do you know whether the existing strategy is working for your employees and your customers if you don’t analyse what’s working and what isn’t – and then make the necessary changes? Leverage your data analytics to gain insights into call patterns, peak usage times, and user behaviour. You can then make informed decisions on better resource allocation and capacity planning.

User Feedback: How satisfied are your customers with the service you’re providing? Collecting feedback from users will help you understand your customer journey in more detail, if there are any pain points, identify potential improvements and ultimately enhance your overall user experience.

Regular Audits: Taking stock of your telephony estate by conducting regular audits of infrastructure and processes helps identify vulnerabilities, ensure compliance and optimises resource utilisation.

Training and Support: Speed up the adoption process, maximise the benefits of the system and promptly address any issues that arise by investing in training for IT staff and end-users from the outset.

Future-proofing: Keeping informed about emerging telephony technologies and trends to make informed decisions will help future-proof the telephony estate. It’s all about maximising the return on your investment for as long as possible.

Reap the rewards

In tackling the many challenges of a large telephony estate head-on with the right solutions and insights your business will reap the rewards.

Improved communication: Leading to better collaboration, increased creativity, better problem-solving, and a more dynamic exchange of ideas

Cost savings: By eliminating inefficiencies, reducing unnecessary costs, and allocating resources more effectively your business can enjoy immediate cost savings.

Enhanced productivity: With a reduction in errors and streamlined workflows your business will benefit from improved efficiency and higher overall productivity.

As one of the world’s most experienced and efficient enablers of large complex, Microsoft Microsoft Teams Phone, Contact Centre and Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions, Symity’s mission is to enable new and better ways of working for your business.

Get in touch to find out how we can help, have a look at our Teams Phone hub.

Or read about how our Senior Support/Technical Engineer, Kieran Lloyd and UC Today cover this frequently asked questions in their latest combined article:

Kieran Lloyd

Technical Engineer UC