In the past few years, the humble telephone has evolved considerably, and now BT has announced plans to retire the traditional ISDN and PSTN networks in the criterionsystems.co.uk, gradually moving each company to a high-speed broadband connection dedicated to voice traffic.
You will therefore need to upgrade your telecom system sooner rather than later.
Hosted telephony is what it sounds like.
‘Hosted Telephony’ is a form of VoIP that is hosted in the cloud, which means no physical hardware is required on-site, although you can use a desktop application and avoid desk phones altogether.
Hosted Telephony allows your mobile workers to stay connected even if they’re on the go. A single phone number is carried by each staff member at all times, so the office ‘landline’ number can be redirected to a mobile phone and used anywhere there is an internet connection.
By allowing flexible working and hot-desking at multiple locations, as well as BYOD policies, flexible working and hot-desking becomes feasible.
Flexible and Connected
Companies with multiple locations can manage calls centrally, making sure customers get through to the most appropriate branch or individual immediately. Furthermore, intelligent call forwarding ensures that, if a line is busy, the call gets passed on to the next available colleague – reducing dropped calls, again leading to increased customer satisfaction.
Adding new lines quickly and at low cost is also easy, since most hosted systems operate with a license per user. With Hosted Telephony, communication managers no longer have to worry about installing new phone lines or moving offices, since the system is connected to the Cloud, rather than traditional phone lines.
Hosted Telephony also includes virtual numbering. Even businesses without a physical presence on the High Street can create a ‘local’ presence. An increasing number of online operators are utilizing this feature, as it allows them to have a Bristol contact number, even if they are actually based in Cardiff.
Consumers can feel more confident calling a local number, but some companies prefer non-geographic numbering, such as ’08’ or ’03’, which allows them more national visibility. It is easy for businesses to set up bespoke numbers with Hosted Telephony.
Even internal calls between buildings are usually free with most providers. As well as reducing maintenance costs, this can help consolidate costs.
Recovery from Disasters
A lack of hardware means that in an emergency situation, such as a fire or flood, the phone system will remain operational, ensuring ‘business as usual’ by redirecting calls to mobile devices or desktop computers with an adequate internet connection.
SMBs can suffer serious damage during times of crisis, however moving your telecoms to the Cloud will allow you to safeguard against events beyond your control.
A Touch of Humanity
A key element of industry innovation will always be improving customer service, and having the right communication tools at hand is essential. Having key employees available at all times can only foster good relations, as well as lead to faster decision-making and growth.
Changing such an integral part of your business operations can be daunting, but if you consider that virtually everything else is going to the Cloud – client databases, security services, CRM systems, etc. – upgrading your telephony can be a logical next step.
What are the benefits of Hosted Telephony for your business? This is an innovation that you should take seriously because it has low installation and no maintenance costs as well as increased flexibility and potential to improve the customer experience.
A business that plans to grow to become fully devoted to Hosted is a good candidate for Cloud communications.