Hosted telephony and digital transformation go hand in hand. Business functions and communications are becoming increasingly cloud-based. Adopting hosted telephony is one aspect which can improve your operations.
What is hosted telephony?
Hosted telephony is a telephone system which is hosted within the cloud. This can be fully managed or self-managed. This technology has several different names which are often used interchangeably:
- Hosted VoIP
- Hosted PBX
- Cloud PBX
- Cloud telephony
- Hosted voice
There is little hardware required in a hosted telephony system. This makes a refreshing change from traditional on-premise systems. A major difference between a traditional and hosted system is how calls travel. Traditionally, call traffic routes through underground copper cables. In a cloud-based system, call traffic transmits over the internet as data. Therefore, a hosted telephony solution only needs a internet connection. If users prefer softphones on their mobile device or laptop/desktop, there’s then no need to buy physical phones at all.
Cloud solutions are the way forward for many organisations due to being flexible, scalable and affordable. With hosted telephony you get the freedom to access your phone system from anywhere, on any device. This solution is ideal for both remote and on-site/office based workers. It also offers reassurance around your business continuity.
The different types of phone
A physical IP phone looks exactly like a normal phone with a keypad and handset. This plugs into your IP network, rather than an analogue telephone line. Depending on model, they have many of the same features, such as:
- display screen
- caller ID
- presence indicator
- transfer, etc.
A softphone (or software-based IP phone) is an application installed on the user’s chosen device. These have all the same features as a physical phone, but with additions such as:
- video conferencing
- queue management
- call recording, etc.
Make telephony a part of your digital transformation
Investing in innovative technology can help organisations weather future unknowns. In our experience, those who had adopted hosted telephony found the working adjustments of the Covid-19 pandemic smoother than others. Having ultimate flexibility over where and how employees work enables greater agility and competitiveness.
Having modern facilities available also presents a more attractive workplace. Existing employees will feel empowered and supported by their technology, not hindered. This also supports attracting the best talent. It can even widen your reach if you don’t need to focus on employee location. New talent brings innovation, alternative perspectives and fresh enthusiasm. All are positive drivers within an organisation.
What are the benefits of hosted telephony?
- Cost saving: Hosted telephony often comes with a very attractive ROI. Aside from install and management costs, there are significant savings to be made on calls. Internal calls are free regardless of location, a particular saving if you have a distributed workforce. Landline and international calls can be lower than typically expected, and free with some packages. Cost saving is also relevant to expanding or unpredictable organisations. Traditionally, significant manual upgrade work was required, now you buy a new license and that’s job done.
- Improved customer experience: Brand image as a form of competitiveness is important for most entities. The many features within a hosted telephony system can maintain the high standards you wish to portray. Some quick examples include:
- Staff always have the same corporate number regardless of location
- UK prefixes regardless of where that user is
- Customised hold messaging or music as an extra branding tool
- Effortlessly and instantly set up group calls or messaging
- Click to call availability on your company website – removing any barriers to contact
- Integrate with CRM software – all your customer information appears whenever they call or you call them
- Minimise lack of availability either from office disruption or power outages
- Ultimate flexibility: We’re now all too aware of the need to be adaptable. A hosted system goes where you go. If you need to abandon the office permanently, set the telephony up in a new location with an internet connection. If you need more or fewer employees based on an unexpected market event, scale up or scale down in an instant. You can become much more agile and resilient in the face of many possible situations.
- Increase productivity: Hosted telephony can reduce unnecessary time spent using the phone and make working practices more efficient. With presence indicators you can see if someone is available, saving a great deal of time in trying to blindly connect. Click to dial features for telemarketers can also cut down time lost due to misdials or having to punch in some numbers.
Traditional telephony is on the way out
We don’t mean this from a preference perspective. In the UK, BT are disabling the PSTN and ISDN networks from 2025. Modern telephony systems are a much more efficient and cost-effective route. It’s time to say goodbye to the inflexible and cumbersome phone systems of old. Millions of businesses are still using fixed landlines. With just shy of 4 years to the deadline, it’s time to switch and start reaping the many benefits.
Want to know more about hosted telephony?
M-Tech are highly skilled in advising organisations on their digital transformation journey.
Hosted telephony and unified communications can make you more dynamic and competitive. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch today.