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Enterprise VoIP Migrating to Cloud Services Unified communications as a service offers increased productivity without capital investment.
By: John Shepler
Enterprise VoIP has been replacing switched circuit analog telephone business systems for decades. PBX systems transformed into IP PBX, but they were still premises based hardware and software. Now those telecom rooms are emptying as business VoIP moves to the cloud and transforms into Unified Communications.
What’s Cloud Got To Do With It?
Businesses started installing their own phone switching equipment when half a dozen buttons on a desk phone weren’t enough anymore. PBX actually stands for Private Branch Exchange. It mimics the phone company central office but sized just for your company. Even so, that can mean hundreds or thousands of people and phones. PBX systems that can handle this amount of traffic often require their own dedicated staff.
The impetus to move to the cloud centers around clearing out all that equipment and the staff to keep it updated and running smoothly. However, it’s not magic. The common joke about the cloud is that there really is no cloud, it’s just somebody else’s computer. That’s about it. Only cloud providers have huge facilities with huge staffs for economy of scale. You not only get away from the hassle of running a phone system, you can likely save money in the process.
New Capability and No Investment Required
One problem with in-house technology is that it’s easy to outgrow and it goes obsolete really fast. You avoid both issues with cloud services. A decent size cloud can handle as much expansion as you can think of. Software updates are routinely handled by the provider. Most PBX functions are now in software anyway. That means that adding or changing features doesn’t require junking racks full of perfectly good equipment. It’s a simple download to what is likely a virtual server.
Telephone calls are getting to be just one of many functions that companies want in their “phone” system. The old standard desk phone has to easily integrate with mobile smartphones where a lot of the conversations are taking place. Then there is text messaging, email and video conferencing. This is how business people communicate these days. The voice call is just one option. With IP telephony, the concept of voice as an application has been realized. What’s more, you may want to have multiple types of communication going on at the same time. That’s Unified Communications and cloud providers offer it under the name Unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS.
Special Needs of Call Centers
Many businesses find it advantageous to have their own in-house call center rather than outsourcing that function. With managed cloud services this is easily realized. You can add features such as an automated receptionist, call recording, automatic call distribution, interactive voice responses, call queues, skills-based routing, dedicated phone numbers, integration with CRM systems and reporting & metrics.
The beauty of cloud based call centers is that they don’t much care where the employees are located. None of your people will be sitting in the cloud data center anyway. This means that you can easily add remote workers and contractors to your team. They just let the system know when they are available and they’ll start getting assignments until they indicate they are unavailable.
What It Takes to Connect To the Cloud
You need to take special care in connecting your business and your people to the cloud if you want top notch performance. The Internet can be a bit dicey at the worst possible time, so you want the best connections possible. From your home office and remote offices, if possible, dedicated lines or SIP Trunks are best. Just avoid the Internet all together. Home workers may not even have that option or it can be too expensive for one worker locations, so the most reliable high speed broadband available is highly desirable. New SDN or Software Defined Networks make it easy to combine several broadband connection to make one faster and more reliable Internet connection. That can be the difference between distorted and interrupted calls and smooth seamless connections.
Are you getting frustrated with an under-performing phone system or feel you are missing out on productivity by not having the latest UCaaS features? You have many options available and complementary expert consulting to help you pick the most appropriate for your organization. Find out what Enterprise VoIP, Call Center and UCaaS services are available to you now, quickly and easily.
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