Hosted voice, also known as cloud-based or hosted PBX (private branch exchange) systems, is a modern way for businesses to manage and organize their telecommunications. Hosted voice systems, both PSTN and VoIP based, allow businesses to move their phone system to the cloud, which provides a number of benefits over traditional on-premises PBX systems.
Businesses can move their existing PSTN PBX phone system to the cloud or take the opportunity to install a Hosted VoIP system. The reason they may want to move to VoIP is because of a move to a Unified Communications System “UCS”.
Many businesses over the years, and especially over the last two years have seen their communications needs grow. They need to support workers working from home and remotely, they need to communicate with local and remote suppliers and customers, and they need to move some business operations to an e-commerce platform. Information and network security is a major concern. In the present business climate, it often needs to be done urgently.
Back in the day, most businesses had an in-house PBX system connected to the public switched telephone network (“PSTN”), operated by a manual or automatic switching system. Then came the Internet and digital communications. The in-house PBX was connected to the PSTN and the Internet using a SIP Trunk.
Strictly speaking, SIP Trunks were not necessary since a PBX could connect using standard landlines. However, a SIP Trunk could provide additional functionality such as call forwarding. Then came VoIP, connecting a digital phone system running on an internal corporate network to the Internet, again often over a SIP Trunk.
Over the last few years, businesses have been steadily embracing remote access to their systems, either supporting working from home or remote access to eCommerce systems. This is often in addition to implementing VoIP systems to accrue their costs and operational benefits.
Other remote access systems used increasingly over the last few years have been collaborative communications systems, both free-standing and supporting integrated voice and videoconferencing, like Messenger, Zoom, and NetMeeting.
More and more businesses, large and small are seeing the benefits of moving to Business VoIP. The operational and financial cases are undeniable, the technology is now sufficiently mature to support effective remote working and working from home.
One business seeing major benefits with the move to Business VoIP is the Call Centre, often called the Customer Response Centre. Business VoIP brings benefits over and above those normally associated with moving to a VoIP environment.
There are a host of reasons why a call centre should transition to VoIP. Here are 5 major benefits:Continue reading
The “as a Service” concept has become common as Cloud usage expands. We now see SaaS, “Software as a Service” and PaaS, “Platform as a Service” for example. There are other implementations of the concept, generically known as XaaS In terms of customer service, CCaaS, “Contact Centre as a Service” has begun to gain some traction.
What is XAAS?
In its simplest terms, XaaS is where an IT service is delivered to the end-user remotely using Cloud Technologies. VoIP, including VoIP Phones, is an example where the configuration of the handset, user profiles and perhaps phonebooks and contact lists are delivered from a central repository in the Cloud held on a hosted server.Continue reading
VoIP is the go-to application for businesses looking at reducing communications costs and improving customer service. Because many businesses are improving their general network security, VoIP Systems are increasingly being seen as an easier target and an easier inroad to the theft of data and disruption of business processes.
To be sure, VoIP Security is still an evolving area, but there are steps that will mitigate the threats to a business. Here are five top VoIP Security vulnerabilities and how to prepare defences against them.Continue reading
Many organisations have implemented VoIP Solutions as part of their move to an Integrated Communications Strategy. Usually, the rationale includes the financial benefits of toll-free long-distance and International calling, improved customer relations, and better performance and productivity in the workplace.
However, if the VoIP Solution is not properly implemented and managed, problems can arise over time. Without becoming too technical, here are some of the more common
Many businesses have recognised the need for improved customer relations recently. Many customers have moved to an online basis, often as e-commerce rather than a physical business. As a result, their customer management arrangements (“CRM”) need to be upgraded.
Often CRM is a part of a wider unified communications system, where all internal and external communications, voice, video and data are linked on a common set of standards, platforms, and information sources. A VoIP implementation is a key part of that.
Simply put, a contact centre is a portmanteau term for a central point from which all customer interactions are managed. It is usually a combination of call centres, offline support centres, and other channels of customer interaction. They may operate using a common Customer Response Management system (“CRM”).Continue reading
Digital Convergence, and the creation of a Unified Communications (“UC”) platform have been embraced by many organisations. A UC is the movement of all digital communications traffic, data, VoIP for business and video, over a single physical network through a variety of software platforms.
Obviously, maintaining optimum response times for all classes of traffic is necessary, especially for VoIP for business and video. It is a vital balancing act that IT performs, usually through the creation and management of Quality of Service protocols.
Cloud VoIP has become an essential part of most business communications strategies. It gives real operational cost benefits, and improves business operations and public image.
Part of the process is selecting the correct VoIP phone type for each user for a range of mobile and desktop units.
One of the first steps in any Cloud VoIP implementation is to determine where VoIP handsets will be needed, the type of handset, and if the supporting infrastructure is available at the installation point. The two main types of handset are software applications on smart devices, and physical handsets connected to a cabled or WiFi network.
The last two years have seen a major shift in IT towards Working from Home and remote access to systems. Because of lockdowns, and the closure of physical outlets, the pandemic has closed some businesses and forced others to move to e-commerce.
Two major disadvantages of Working from Home include the increased communications costs with the staff member, and a feeling of remoteness and isolation when they don’t interact with team members and other members of staff regularly in person.
Many businesses have already installed VoIP to take advantage of the cost and operational benefits of a Unified Communications platform. If the company has a high-speed and stable Internet connection, and most with e-commerce will, it is easy to use the corporate VoIP system to extend communications to staff Working from Home to overcome these problems.Continue reading