November 13, 2020Back To News
Yet, long gone are the days of crackling transmissions transported over copper wires. In fact, since the digital revolution, telephone technology has evolved at an incredibly rapid rate.
In this article, we’re going to look at one of the most exciting recent advances in telephony – software-based phone systems – as well as a look at how they benefit today’s businesses.
A traditional business phone system – also known as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) – uses analogue technology to connect business phones to one another and to the rest of the telephone network.
Calls are made by sending an electrical current with an alternating frequency down a copper wire. The signal is then carried to its destination via the traditional telephone network – also known as the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). In essence, this process is exactly the same as the one Alexander Graham Bell used to make the very first phone call: “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you”.
Although Bell’s technology was incredibly innovative when it was first conceived, today, the world has moved on. Yet, many businesses have still failed to embrace the new technology – meaning they are missing out on the many benefits that modern communications systems can offer.
A modern phone system uses digital rather than analogue technology to send voice data. Voice information is translated into binary data and sent via the internet rather than the POTS. However, these transmissions can be converted into analogue form, to ensure complete coverage. In other words, a digital phone can still place a call to an analogue one, and vice versa.
A traditional PBX requires dedicated and expensive hardware to be stored and maintained on site. A software-based phone system completely eliminates this requirement – saving businesses money in initial and maintenance costs, as well as giving them more room.
They do this by taking advantage of cloud technology.
In essence “the Cloud” is an incredibly powerful network of computers capable of storing gigantic amounts of data. End users connected to the cloud tap into this network every time they use a hosted service – be that a word processor, a spreadsheet programme or, indeed, a digital telephony system.
Utilising cloud technology enables individuals to store data much more securely and puts less strain on desktop computers – no one machine is doing the bulk of the work.
In terms of phone systems, the Cloud essentially gives all connected computers direct, remote access to a complete unified communications solution. Using a headset – or a traditional handset if preferred – users can take and place calls, listen to voice mails, transfer calls, set up group calls and do pretty much anything else their traditional PBX system allowed them to do.
However, the best software-based phone systems go even further. Because the entire system can be accessed from anywhere with a secure internet connection, staff can access their communications system wherever they are. Whether it’s a field salesperson making a call from their smartphone between meetings, or a remote worker dialling into a conference call from their tablet, your staff will be able to continue being productive no matter where they are located.
What’s more, software-based phone systems aren’t limited to voice. The greater bandwidth offered by digital communications enables all sorts of other kinds of data to be sent over the network. This means that modern phone systems can just as easily support video calling, instant messaging, presence, collaboration tools and mobility solutions as they can traditional voice calls.
Because of their increased functionalities and flexibility, software-based phone systems allow businesses to enjoy a wide range of benefits. Here are some of our favourites.
Software-based phone systems are more cost-effective than traditional PBX systems. Savings are made in three primary areas: costs per call, installation costs and maintenance costs. By routing calls over the internet, your software-based solution will save you money – especially on international calls, which are around 90 percent cheaper. Because the solution is hosted in the Cloud, upfront installation costs are incredibly low. Since maintenance is carried out by seasoned experts, you’ll also save time and money when it comes to managing and maintaining your system.
For businesses, it’s crucial that all calls are answered promptly. After all, a missed call is a missed opportunity. However, with a traditional PBX, many calls are missed simply because staff are out of the office or are otherwise engaged. By enabling employees to accept calls from their mobile devices, you can ensure you never miss a call again.
Many businesses – especially those with more than one office – struggle to maintain a consistent communications system between locations or teams. This can lead to confusion and disruption. Because all of your staff will be using exactly the same solution, with a software-based phone system, your business will enjoy seamless communications.
If your phone system goes down, what happens to your business? Businesses which rely on a traditional PBX are responsible for managing and maintaining their own system. This places additional pressures on IT or technical support staff and can make recovering from downtime more difficult. With a software-based phone system, management and maintenance is undertaken by telephony experts – making downtime far less likely and recovery easier and quicker than ever.
Software-based phone systems are inherently flexible and scalable. For example, if you needed to add extra lines (in anticipation of a seasonal call influx, say), your provider will be able to add seats instantly. The reverse is also true: if you need to scale back, your provider will be able to carry this out with no trouble at all. Indeed, with a cloud-based solution, you’ll only ever pay for exactly what you need – even when exactly what you need changes.
A cloud-based phone system is not tied to a physical location. So, in the event of a flood, a fire or even if the electricity board dig up your phone lines, your staff will be able to continue working as normal – albeit from a different location. This means that your business is protected against a wide range of disasters and can continue operating even in adverse weather conditions or illness.
For more information about moving to a new business phone system, and to ensure your business will be in safe hands get in touch today! Our specialist team are always willing to help you choose the right solution to suit your company needs.
Elite Group IOM is one of the island’s leading IT and unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and telecoms services to organisations seeking Connectivity, UC & Voice, Cloud Service, IT Software and Security solutions.
For more information on how Elite Group IOM can help your business flourish through technology, contact us today.