Running a multi-site business, from a telco perspective, clearly requires scaling up from single-site management. But beyond that, the challenge will be to maintain operational and managerial consistency across the new entity. For questions of cost, certainly, but also for security to be at the rendezvous.
Especially since the issues of multisite companies can be different. Are these several sites of a different nature (offices, factories, etc.)? From several agencies of different sizes? Remote offices? Do your sites have different opening hours? Are your employees mobile? Answering these questions will allow you to select technologies and processes that will best correspond to the particular case in which you will necessarily find yourself.
However, while moving from a single-site company to a multi-site company will create new problems, it is possible that new opportunities will arise. Here, then, without going into the technical specifics, are the three main principles that should guide you on the telco side in this transition from single site to multisite.
1. Absolutely keep the homogeneity of the installations in a multi-site context
With a single site, regardless of the technology chosen, IPBX or Centrex, questions of quality of service arise in a single place. Unless you question the competence of the telco provider, network architecture issues will interfere little with your quest for quality of service.
In a multisite context, all that changes. The question of technical and possibly functional homogeneity is crucial.
You will have separate and sometimes frankly distant premises. In this context, will you want to enjoy the same telephone and network experience at each site? If so, an IPBX makes it possible to benefit from the same telephone functionalities on all the sites. Other advantages: great installation flexibility and free intersite communications.
But sometimes, the small surface area of remote sites (small branches), or even the fact that these locations change regularly, as in the case of home workers and seasonal rentals, mean that the IPBX is not suitable for these cases. use. A VoIP service will therefore be preferred, while ensuring that the limits of simultaneous connections do not pose an organizational problem.
The couple IPBX – VoIP will therefore have to be studied carefully from an economic point of view, but above all to be scrutinized on the functional part. The risk ? That some sites do not benefit from the same functionalities (call transfers, put on hold, conference calls) as sites with better facilities.
2. Streamline multisite management
However, you may be willing to integrate different technologies into your telco architecture for cost reasons. But if there’s one thing you can’t compromise on, it’s centralized administration. In most cases, this allows you to set up the same online administration interface for all your sites. But the advantage is also functional.
From a supervision point of view first. The centralization of the reception of calls makes it possible to set up functionalities of visualization of calls, and presences, even on remote sites. Enough to promote call transfers, beyond the simple technical capacity.
In addition, a centralized administration makes it possible to set up scenarios for sharing the secretariat between the different sites, to compensate for example for the differences in opening hours.
Finally, the deployment and maintenance of sets (assignment and modification of numbers and rights for each user – international calls, mobiles, special numbers) can be carried out from a single location. But above all, centralized management of your telco multisite system facilitates invoicing, whether per site or globally, with details per site. In the end, you benefit if you wish from a single contract, but from individualized telephone consumption.
3. Secure multisite installations
On the security side, setting up a multi-site system will require increasing skills in network management, always in line with cost and quality of service requirements. Are you going to opt for dedicated MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Switching) lines or VoIP between your sites? As a result, will you need to use an SD-WAN (Virtual Private Network) VPN provider?
And beyond that, should redundancy be provided in the event of a primary network failure?
So many questions that did not exist in a single-site logic, and that you will necessarily have to explore now.