How A Phone Shortage Might Impact Your Telecom Services

If you haven’t heard by now, we hate to tell you: a shortage of many technology solutions is on its way. This includes a shortage of physical phone handsets, which could impact your organization’s planned migration to new hosted VOIP or hosted Contact Center solutions.

A global phone shortage changes the VOIP landscape.

At the end of 2020, Reuters reported that chips used in everything from cellphones to laptops to smart fridges are experiencing a global shortage. This adds to a perfect storm of factors making VOIP handsets and physical phone handsets really scarce. First, manufacturing plant shutdowns during the pandemic slowed the production of new products, especially ones that are made or partially made in China. Then, many companies started adopting cloud-hosted VOIP solutions to help accommodate working from home during the pandemic. This meant a higher demand in hardware such as VOIP handsets. Finally, major shipping delays caused by the Suez Canal incident  (delays which are still happening) means that products and materials are not getting into the supply chain like normal.

Inventories are lean and can change week to week and, just like home exercise equipment in 2020, online retailers are selling those devices for significantly higher prices than the hardware is worth.

So should you scrap a planned VOIP/Contact Center migration? Absolutely not.

If you’ve already started planning a hosted VOIP or Contact Center migration, you don’t need to change your plans. Here are three tips to help you navigate this change in phone availability:

1. Don’t just assume the model you want will be available.

Make sure to have discussions with vendor representative who has direct visibility into inventory (not just a sales representative). Items on backorder can delay the deployment. This can especially impact your business if you were planning the migration as part of an office relocation on a specific date.

2. Be open to seeing all options.

There are many hosted VOIP/Contact Center solution providers out there and virtually all have multiple hardware options that have been certified on their platforms. You may just realize that another platform or brand that you were not considering may offer you different options that can better suit your specific business needs.

3. Think about other collaboration tools.

If the Zoom/Teams pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there are many ways to collaborate other than talking on a physical desk phone. Softphones, mobile apps, and collaboration integrations like Microsoft Teams for hosted VOIP/Contact Centers have improved tremendously and have become standards in the multi-device collaboration ecosystem.

It’s said that knowledge is power and knowing the options can help you make educated decisions for your business. ProfitComm’s portfolio of over 50 hosted VOIP/Contact Center vendors and our unique RFP Alternative vendor evaluation process can help lead your business down the right path. Contact us for more information today about hosted VOIP and hosted Contact Center solutions.

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