Optimising Your Phone System

Optimising your phone system. Managing a phone system can be an arduous task; even a relatively simple setup for a handful of users can quickly become complicated and very difficult to understand. Follow this simple guide to help you optimise your phone system and ensure it is simpler to manage.

We have also written a handy guide about network optimisation, available here.

Read the manuals

Whatever system and handsets you have in place, read the accompanying manuals for them. Make the effort to become as familiar as possible with your devices. Very often you will read something useful regarding a feature you did not know about, or you will discover simpler ways to carry out functions you are already using.

Keep it simple

Overly complicated setups that are not really necessary will always come back to haunt you. Remove features that are not required and keep your configuration as simple as possible. For example, if you do not require individuals to have voicemail it should be disabled, or if you have old unused numbers in your system, they should be removed.

Have few administrators

The old adage that ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ applies here. Ensure you do not have more phone system administrators than you really need – it is easy for someone to get carried away with making changes without realising the impact that might be had on other parts of the system, and multiple people making multiple changes at the same time can lead to disaster. It helps to have more than one person able to manage a phone system in most cases, but always ensure the overall number of administrators is limited and that changes are made in a well documented process.

Troubleshoot problems methodically

Some issues can be very complicated. Always investigate issues thoroughly, and carry out tests and troubleshooting very methodically. Understanding the exact symptoms of a problem will help find the root cause.

Thoroughly document your system

It is worth the time spent to document everything about how your phone system works, starting with all the incoming phone numbers and their routes through the system. Flowcharts are an excellent way of documenting the various paths that might exist in your phone system. When you are troubleshooting issues and adding new numbers and features, well written documentation will be worth its weight in gold and will save you hours of time spent trawling through the configuration.

Make sure the documentation is kept up to date.

Here is an example of what part of a well documented phone system might look like:

diagram of a well documented phone system