Hosted Telephony In A Nutshell
The cloud is usually a mysterious entity that only a few people completely understand. The cloud is a service or a solution offered over the internet. Besides, it’s the same thing with services such as hosted PBX also known as hosted phone systems. Instead of obtaining the physical network and hardware on-site as a PBX telephony or traditional computing, it is all found in a central data centre that’s secure.
Cloud technology has transformed the way IT infrastructure functions, particularly for corporations. Accessing software has become easy, and companies can now access IT infrastructure that’s fully-functional without any upfront charges. It’s now easier for smaller enterprises to access similar technologies previously accessible to only larger establishments; hosted phone services being one them.
Hosted Telephony vs Traditional PBX
If you still depend on a PBX in your business, it may be the time for you to deliberate shifting to a hosted service to enjoy all the advantages offered by a cloud managed PBX. A hosted phone service exists in the cloud instead of your office. The end users use a softphone or an ordinary IP handset to access the system. Calls are received and made through a broadband link to the Gamma system. From there the calls get routed to mobile and PSTN fixed devices.
A hosted phone service means no expensive PBX upgrades or maintenance. The service providers are responsible for the software and hardware, as well as system upgrades. Apart from offering your business access to free IP and low-cost calling, the hosted solution provides an array of smart call administration features as well. Mobiles and other gadgets can also be incorporated.
Perhaps the most significant, is the level of management a hosted PBX offers you. The entire communications of your company, across countries and multiple sites, can be achieved readily, all the way to the level of the individual user using a simple interface.
A cloud-managed telephone system has no up-front costs for software, hardware or maintenance, so it’s a perfect solution for organisations with remote workers and multiple sites.
Are Corporations in the United Kingdom Shifting to Hosted Telephony?
Like many other emerging trends, reaction to a hosted phone solution and cloud, in general, remains mixed among the corporate world. Some view this change to off-premise service as a natural development for a growing business, since Hosted is incredibly cost-effective, quick to install, and notably scalable – all beneficial for corporations with resolved growth objectives in mind.
Other establishments have worries about maintaining control over their phone system, and most of them have expressed their fears on the security risks related to cloud managed telephone system. These reactions get revealed in the level of adoption, which has also continued to vary.
According to a research conducted by Six Degrees in 2014, although around 52% of the respondents to the survey admitted to using Cloud for things such as IT hosting, while less than 50% of the respondents were considering moving their telephone systems to the cloud.
However, there has been a steady increase in adoption. There is a healthy interest especially the SME market which follows the model of these corporations being more receptive and better positioned to adopt new technologies and practices.
This circumstantial evidence gets more backing from research conducted by Cloud Industry Forum, has written an incredibly summarising report investigating Cloud adoption across the UK. Various encouraging statistics indicate the SME’s and also larger corporations are accepting cloud, either purely, or as a hybrid solution combining the existing technologies with off-premise tactics.
This report also gives valuable understanding into some identified barriers to cloud adoption and prior investment in incredibly expensive hardware, lack of budget, data security concerns, and problems in retreating from legacy systems. All these are traditional worries that any respectable Hosted services provider should be well placed to overcome through meticulous planning, reassurance, as well as a precise consideration of the cost-saving benefits in the long term.
With these interests in mind, it’s effortless to see why companies are trying out cloud managed PBX for size first before they fully commit to it. This approach assists in combating those doubts and anxieties inhibiting many corporations as regards to their Business and IT Communication strategies.
There is more evidence suggesting that Hosted is currently coming by its own. Professional VoIP statisticians Cavell, during their outstanding European VoIP summit recently, presented their research indicating that the market of Hosted VoIP had developed by 17.49% at the beginning of 2015, with more than 245,000 seats incorporated to the cloud in the last six months. The highest growths are being seen in most of the corporations with a maximum of 50 employees, although there was a remarkable growth as well in the big establishments with a few huge contracts given that positively affected the statistics.
Benefits of a Hosted Phone Solution
Lower Hardware and Maintenance Costs
A cloud-managed telephone system does not need a significant capital outlay, nor does it require regular maintenance and workforces to administer the system.
Work refers to what we do not where we go, whether it is a local coffee shop or at home. A hosted phone system allows the members of staff to work from anywhere, at any time, using any device. One device can also support two numbers, meaning the business calls set on the mobile gadget will look as if they originated from the desk of that person.
A hosted telephone system allows businesses to service many customers across the world, in spite of the time zone at their headquarters. Your local numbers can buzz to call centres located in another region without the customer realising at all.
Logging of Calls
A real-time estimate using PBX data gives the organisations an opportunity to compare the carrier costs and the cost distribution with real-time fraud discovery. Analysis of under, over, or unused resources with trend coverage; measurement of significant performance indicators throughout your voice network; evaluation of the various carrier rates in different currencies; and mobile use management.
The ability to scale and develop your phone network as your company grows is a significant benefit of utilising a hosted telephone system. Unlike the on-site systems, a hosted phone service allows corporations to remove or add lines hassle-free or extra capital investment smoothly. Besides, you will pay only for what you utilise.
The advanced features that come with a cloud-managed PBX are fundamental to meet customer and employee demands. The hosted system gives you access to remote call management, email, voicemail, directory, auto attendant, voice messaging, and music on hold. A fully integrated communications set also provides interconnectivity between voicemail, IM, email, presence, and video, among others. Moreover, hosted interaction logging allows you to acquire the advanced styles of communication and examine the collected data. All these features enable the organisations to offer their customers quick, dependable and efficient services.
Quality of the Voice
Even now, most of the people believe that hosted hone networks possess low voice quality, although that has changed due to technology advancements. You have no reason at all to worry about having clear calls when you are utilising a hosted phone service.
Retention of Numbers
Employees bring their gadgets whether their firms approve of them or not. A hosted system offers the simplicity of merging company and personal lines on a single device so that your employees will not feel obliged to give away their numbers or use their mobile gadgets for business calls. The calls can get rerouted easily if that employee receives termination from employment or leaves the company.
Long Distance Cost Management
Long distance calls are still costly whether you’re using a hosted phone service or an on-site system, but corporations can manage these costs using specific authorisation features.
Continuity of Business
Some businesses depend on their structures for significant tasks. Healthcare organisations and financial traders cannot risk downtime and interruption once they acquire a considerable call volume. Reliability and uptime guarantees come with the adoption of a hosted PBX.
Hosted Telephone System Considerations and Tips
Hosted phone solutions are incredibly stress-free to setup and use. However, there are several things you should do when selecting a modern-day business phone service, such as:
Making Phone Number Plans
A provisional phone number is essential for the process of porting, but if you have an existing number for the porting process already, you should maintain your current provider up until your number gets ported to the new PBX supplier. If you are acquiring a new number, you should update other people using an email or other means and allow them to know of your change. While brief, all your calls can be expediently routed to mobile phones in the course of the transition period. It’s worth noting that if you decide to cancel your previous carrier service before porting your number, you will no longer have access to that number at all.
Make Arrangements for a Dial Plan
When you are moving over to a hosted system, organising the directing of your calls should be one of the essential things to do first. To accomplish this, you will have to define some rules involving your calls, including:
Your desk phones operation hours
The buttons utilised in activating voicemail and other similar features
The way you handle faxes
Creating your directory
How you manage off-hour calls
Sequential and concurrent ringing
Configuring your 911 settings
Review Your Bill
From what we have seen above, setting up a hosted phone system is incredibly effortless. However, after setting up the system, you should review your bills in the first two months to ensure you are getting and using all the services you purchase. Contingent on the organisation you pick as your PBX provider, the bill of your first month might not reflect number porting fees, setup fees, and activation fees. Your bill for the second month should be a standard bill without additional costs for the setup procedure.
At this point, you will be well-equipped to enjoy one of the highest rationalised and stress-free business communication systems available for both small and large-sized business owners.
Switching from an on-site phone network to a hosted phone service is very simple. With a limited capital outlay, and lower ownership costs, your company can still have quality voice services, and plenty of value-added services to keep your establishment competitive in the market. The business setting is continually changing. So, ensure that your managed telephone system can match.