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Considerations for upgrading a business phone system

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Businesses that want new phone systems should consider premise- or cloud-based VoIP

Companies around the world have been implementing various business phone systems during the past few years in an effort to reduce expenses, improve operations and potentially gain a competitive advantage over rival firms that are still using antiquated communication platforms. In today's fast-paced enterprise landscape, only the organizations with the most efficient collaborative strategies will be able to keep pace with ongoing changes in the IT environment without disrupting the way employees function on a basic level.

The enterprise VoIP system is a particularly disruptive technology among today's corporate communications. Unfortunately, many executives often align the term "VoIP" with Skype, which doesn't always bode too well among organizations that are trying to implement a business collaboration program, according to a PC Pro report. While it is true that Skype is part of the overarching VoIP market, the IP telephony options for companies go well beyond the realms of what Skype can do. Navigating this environment, however, can be difficult for organizations that are not necessarily familiar with the transformations happening within the telecom industry.

PC Pro highlighted how the decision-makers have - often inappropriately - classified business VoIP service by company size. Executives should not feel pigeonholed and, as a result, believe they are incapable of  leveraging a phone system that could introduce benefits to the workplace simply because it is not within their designated classification.

Why make the move to VoIP?

Unlike old phone systems that are rigid, inflexible and unable to adapt to today's mobile environment, VoIP solutions introduce numerous benefits to organizations of all sizes. PC Pro noted that in addition to the financial advantages, which can be substantial depending on the scale of the transition, companies have the ability to converge data and voice packets through a single connection, which makes communicating through multiple platforms easier and more compatible.

Additionally, organizations using VoIP can take advantage of presence technologies, which inform tell where people are located, what platform is ideal for communicating with them and whether those people are available for chat, the news source stated. This is especially important in the contact center, as the department's fast-paced demands require employees to resolve queries as quickly as possible.

What to keep in mind when embracing change?

Similar to most technological endeavors, any alteration in the IT landscape needs to be planned, analyzed and, ultimately, monitored to ensure unnecessary problems do not arise. The same can be said for migrating to VoIP, as implementing a highly connected phone system will require some internal changes to policies and best practices to ensure confidential information and assets are not inadvertently exposed.

Security is among the biggest changes. While organizations in the past only had to worry about individuals in the office creating vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals, businesses using VoIP today need to keep track of people in and outside of the workplace. This is largely due to the fact that the consumerization of IT is encouraging organizations to embrace mobile initiatives and support a remote workforce, allowing employees to connect to confidential networks from home or other locations outside the perimeter of the conventional firewall.

In addition to security, companies should also consider embracing cloud VoIP services, which introduce even greater flexibility and scalability benefits. Unlike premise-based IP telephony tools, hosted PBX solutions are managed off-site and use a pay-per-use cost model. This means enterprises can consume as much or as little bandwidth as they require to meet fluctuating traffic volumes. As a result, organizations do not necessarily need to worry about experiencing performance issues due to bottlenecks and other complications that could hinder end-user experience.

Looking to the clouds

In general, the cloud is considered one of the most disruptive IT forces to hit the business world in some time. This is because the hosted technology is introducing opportunities to change virtually every service available in the workplace, including everything from data storage to voice services.

 

 

The cloud can act as a beacon of light.

 

 

An NTT Communications study revealed that the majority of companies are looking to align their business and IT strategies by using the cloud, as the hosted services provide greater access to more sophisticated applications that can boost productivity and performance. Still, approximately 68 percent of firms have had cloud solutions in place for two years or less, suggesting that organizations still have a long way to go before they can embrace the technology without any problems or concerns.

 

Still, the cloud can act as a beacon of light in the distance; something for companies of all sizes to strive for in the coming years. By planning ahead and working with experienced service providers, decision-makers can make the move to cloud VoIP and experience all of the potential performance and cost benefits that come along with doing so.