Richard Grohol Richard Grohol CEO - Telsis

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Hosted telephony can help your business thrive

  • The ability to make and receive calls is the lifeblood of any customer-facing enterprise, while conventional fixed telephony systems are becoming something of an anachronism as people now favour mobile devices. The question that most SMEs should now be asking their IT departments is: do we still need to have a physical PBX to handle all our voice communications requirements?

    Hosted Telephony

    The answer from any savvy and forward-looking IT manager should be a resounding “no”. If you are prepared to move to a cloud-based IT environment, why not also make the switch to a hosted telephony system?


    Certainly, a hosted telephony solution that provides the main PBX features in a central, network-based environment is increasingly becoming the preferred option for SMEs — particularly among enterprises with between 20 and 150 workplaces. A key advantage of a telephony solution where the PBX is hosted fully in the cloud is that the service provider takes over responsibility for every aspect of the system — from set-up through to day-to-day operation and everything in between, including security and reliability issues and support.


    One of the most compelling arguments is that a hosted PBX frees up your business to deal with far more important matters, enabling you to stay flexible and more competitive. An SME is able to scale up or down as required, with no need to spend any extra money on infrastructure, switches or IT. Indeed, research has shown that the total cost of ownership for a typical three-year cycle for a hosted solution is less than 50% of a similar, on-premise solution.


    Despite these cost savings, hosted telephony should not just be thought of as something that saves money. The distributed nature of hosted telephony services mean that they also provide built-in disaster recovery. This means that a businesses can continue to make and receive calls, even if they have lost power or they are unable to access their premises.


    Of course, users also increasingly want more sophisticated features, such as hunt groups — where a number of people (or members) are set up to take incoming calls — with fallback (so calls are redirected when the hunt group is not available) and conferencing capabilities. Enterprise users also invariably tend to adopt habits that are formed in the consumer space, and now demand a greater level of mobility and flexibility in their working environment.


    That in turn has helped accelerate the migration to softphones — or telephone services as a desktop or mobile application. A growing number of SMEs now support home working environments as well as employees that are constantly on the move. Businesses that have migrated to hosted PBX phone systems are now integrating softphone solutions into their unified communications plans, enabling calls to be directed to any mobile device via 4G networks.


    Of course voice mail also remains an essential feature of any phone service. In the past, voice mail systems were only able to store messages for a limited period of time. However, some virtual phone systems send voice mails as MP3 attachments, enabling users to keep important messages securely and for an indefinite period.


    In fact, choosing a hosted telephony system with a cloud-based PBX is an easy step to ensure your business maintains its service standards while creating greater levels of flexibility and mobility for your workforce. With cost savings and ease of use on top, it’s a compelling business case for any SME in today’s fast-moving and increasingly mobile world.

    Richard Grohol
    About Richard Grohol Richard Grohol works as CEO at Telsis
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