As a consequence of the pandemic, many businesses have moved to a Work from Home and remote access basis. The way they do business, the way they interact with customers and customers interact with them has radically changed.
This has meant a sea-change in internal corporate structures. New Internal and external corporate communications have placed intense pressure on IT as they implement VoIP or Cloud Phone systems on a restricted budget.
Companies that have implemented VoIP Phone Systems have seen the financial and operational benefits of VoIP Phones, but have also seen the downside reducing the cost savings. High maintenance costs, unstable internet connections, and poor quality connections are common issues.
Cloud Computing has rapidly moved to the forefront of IT Developments over the last few years. The trend has accelerated with the seismic changes in business strategies following the pandemic and the move to home and remote working.
Many organisations, faced with the need to move to an e-commerce platform, have chosen to implement it on a Cloud Computing platform, usually supplied and managed by a Managed Service Provider (“MSP”). The rationale is that they can continue with business as usual as normal while implementing the new e-commerce platform quickly during the migration to the Cloud.
As with many IT concepts, there are several definitions of Cloud Computing. A simple definition from IBM defines it as on-demand access to computing resources via the Internet.
For our purposes, on-demand access includes access to physical resources like servers and applications and data resources held on storage devices provided by an MSP.
The Cloud can be in one physical location, for example, an in-house data centre or over several hosted locations.
Cloud deployment models include private, public and hybrid clouds. Private clouds are cloud infrastructures operated only by a single organisation, usually in an in house data centre; public clouds are those delivered by MSPs over the public Internet; and hybrid clouds, obviously, are a bit of both.
One effect of the pandemic has been a quantum increase in remote working and working from home. IT strategies have morphed from strategic to survival as they change to cope with the new business imperatives.
In remote working the need to communicate increases, and it is even more important in helping to maintain team morale and manage projects with a geographically dispersed workforce.
Collaborative applications like SharePoint, Zoom, NetMeeting, and Skype have become the norm in business. Cloud storage as a means of document sharing and project communications is now essential. A Cloud Phone, a phone that uses Voice over IP (“VoIP”) over the Internet is becoming indispensable for productivity, privacy and general communications.
More than ever, business communications are vital to a business’s success. Customers and suppliers need to get in touch. The company needs to maintain an Internet presence to market its goods and services and support an e-commerce facility. Geographically dispersed businesses need business communications to link home office, manufacturing sites and depots at home and abroad
New company business, communications and IT strategies need to reflect the new realities. Many companies are looking to implement an Integrated Communications Strategy that defines a common look-and-feel throughout the business.
VoIP for Business has become commonplace in the business and personal marketplace. Most businesses use it, bringing them many benefits. The increases in Increased remote working and working from home following the restrictions imposed by the pandemic has meant many more small businesses using VoIP for Business.
Originally VoIP meant a level of expense that put out of the reach of the smaller business, but shelf-units and PC-based virtual PBX software have brought VoIP for Business well with the reach of even the smallest business and SoHo users. The increasing availability of Internet access, especially the roll-out of fibre to the home, is also providing benefits to digital telephony. That has, in turn, driving a need for VoIP in smaller businesses.
Before VoIP, whenever an employee left the building they were by and large uncontactable, with the possible exception of catching them at a client, at home in the evening or in their overnight accommodation. This meant communications between staff, the office, and each other were difficult at best. All that has changed with the advent of affordable Business VoIP. Simply put, with Business VoIP and its inbuilt video-conferencing capability, individuals and teams need never be uncontactable, inside or outside the office. It is now possible to be truly mobile.
Most businesses have installed a VoIp for Business system. The digital revolution has enabled most to replace their existing PSTN based systems with VoIP because of the benefits in cost management and customer service.
They might have justifiable concerns over call quality, and that they will need disaster planning measures so they don’t lose their phone service if they lose power. Recent advances in technology and the use of standby power can dispel these concerns. Bottom line, the advantages of VoIP for Business to the business far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Integrating VoIP for Business in an integrated communications environment including video conferencing, instant messaging and Social Media integration brings the business firmly into the 21st century and at the leading edge of communications.
Working from home is rapidly becoming the new normal worldwide. Businesses are quickly modifying their strategies and operations to accommodate it. Ome area of particular interest is that of integrating VoIP for Business into the remote working scenario.
There has, admittedly, been a slow move towards remote working as the digital infrastructure spreads and improves in recent years. Internet access through WiFi has become common in public spaces like hotels and malls and through fiber connections to homes.
The pandemic has accelerated this process, mainly through companies forced to have locked-down workers working from home. A second driver has been the effect on bricks and mortar retail outlets. Foot traffic has plummeted, retail shops are closing, and the malls they operate in are closing, some never to reopen. Retailers are forced into an e-commerce environment. It’s no longer developmental but survival strategies.Continue reading
Now that VoIP is commonplace in business, the focus has moved from implementation to management, particularly the management of VoIP Quality.
The concept is simple. VoIP traffic is a series of ethernet packets. The packets must arrive in the same order as they left and not be damaged or lost in transit to ensure that both parties can talk comfortably. One of the primary measurements of VoIP Quality is that of VoIP Jitter, something that can seriously affect VoIP traffic quality.Continue reading
VoIP has become commonplace in recent times, both in business and as a personal communications tool. The benefits are such that it becomes a no-brainer for both individuals and businesses to move to VoIP, principally because of the reductions in long-distance comms costs.
Cordless home systems based on DECT technology, with a core unit attached to the PSTN, and satellite units communicating over wireless had been around for some time before VoIP. They were similar to VoIP systems but lacked versatility and features in comparison with the later true IP based systems.
Recently, the use of WiFi as a primary network topology, coupled with mobile technology, has become more and more common.
As a result, one of the considerations when planning a VoIP environment is the type of handsets needed. The handset type will depend to a large extent on the network environment and the type of anticipated usage.
One of the major benefits of the digital revolution for business has been the emergence of computer-based PBX systems offering advanced features. in the past, these were limited to larger companies but the emergence of cloud-based technologies has seen the emergence of the Cloud PBX which allows small companies the benefits of voice over IP but at a vastly reduced cost.
Here are 7 benefits which will come to a business if they implement a Cloud PBX solution:Continue reading
The impact of digital convergence and improvements in technology have generated widespread adoption of VoIP phone systems by businesses and individuals. Businesses use them to substantially improve their business profile and improve communications efficiencies. All users use VoIP to substantially reduce their communications costs, particularly for long-distance and international calls.
There is one major difference between the traditional PSTN phone systems and digitally hosted VoIP phone systems. That relates to performance during a power outage. Power to PSTN systems is provided by the PSTN supplier and PSTN phone systems, therefore, they continue to work during a power outage.Continue reading