When choosing a new phone system nowadays, more and more businesses are turning to hosted phone systems as they offer many advantages over traditional hardware.
It wasn’t so long ago that traditional phone systems were clunky and inconvenient affairs, with a host of wires trailing across the office floor or hidden behind cable ducting glued to the wall. The very thought of having to move office of adding extra phone lines was every business owner’s worse nightmare as it was often accompanied with hours of downtime due to damaged roads, faulty wiring, infrastructure failings or any number of other potential pitfalls. Today, the internet provides a thoroughly modern alternative.
Just as faxes have given way to email, while online brochures and interactive websites have eclipsed posted sales literature, so hosted phone systems have replaced traditional desk phones and taken advantage of today’s high-speed broadband and mobile technology.
Below are ten key considerations buyers should take into account when choosing a new hosted phone system:
1, Is a hosted phone system reliable?
Rather than relying on a dedicated copper wire to relay phone conversations, hosted systems digitise voice data before sending it down the same cables used for broadband. By relocating phone calls online, supremely reliable systems can be established, which are impervious to bad weather or broken phone lines.
2, How much hardware is required?
Voice-over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) phones can connect to the internet with Ethernet cables or wirelessly through Wi-Fi. This eliminates the phone wiring network and need for excess sockets and cabling, in turn reducing the need for expensive telecoms engineers. A hosted phone system requires no more hardware or infrastructure than smartphones. In fact a Hosted phone system allows small and medium-sized businesses to have a sophisticated telephone system without the investment in telephone equipment.
3, How many accounts are involved?
Hosted phone systems brings landlines and mobiles together in a single cohesive phone network, with one all-encompassing contract and less billing paperwork. Because everything is housed under one virtual telecommunications roof, the system can be updated easily and expanded effortlessly, which lends a degree of flexibility that is ideal for companies as they grow, diversify or relocate.
4, How is the hosted phone system managed?
One of the big advantages of a hosted phone system is that it can be managed through an easy to use web portal. You can configure and modify these systems far more easily than with traditional hardwired infrastructure, with all billing information and usage data also instantly accessible. Software updates can be implemented automatically, so new features come on-stream immediately, and this in turn lessens the risk of phone systems becoming outdated.
5, What about geographic restrictions?
Historically, your location was revealed by the area code (and local BT exchange) you were using. Because hosted telephony is sent over the internet, this is no longer the case. That brings a number of benefits, including the ability to infer your staff are in a certain area even when they’re not. For instance, customers in London who see an 0207-area code on an incoming call would assume they were speaking to a local agent, rather than someone based outside the capital, or working remotely.
6, Are allocated numbers portable?
Phones can be switched seamlessly from an office’s Wi-Fi network to the cellular service of a mobile telecommunications partner, effectively turning one handset into both a desk phone and a smartphone. There is no longer any need for separate office and mobile numbers, which simplifies matters for employees and customers alike.
7, How much will this new system cost?
One of the biggest benefits of hosted phone systems is their relative affordability, and these cost savings are largely due to a lack of physical infrastructure. Just as sending an email eliminates postage fees, so hosted systems do away with trunking and exchanges, as well as expensive maintenance contracts. Cost-savings may be secondary to quality improvements when it comes to hosted phone systems, but greater affordability will always impress the FD.
For more information and free expert advice about Hosted telephone systems, please give us a call on 0800 50 533 53. Alternatively you can visit our Cloud Telephones systems page for more information on our products or download our telephone systems buyers guide as useful reference material. You can even run a quick quote to obtain a budget cost for a new telephone system in less than 60 seconds.