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Upgrading to IP voice may be critical to survival

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Enterprises that want to thrive need to consider replacing old phone systems for something shinier.

As the technologies in the business and consumer worlds continue to blend, decision-makers need to prepare for changes. New demands emerging within the workplace that have spawned from the consumer landscape are transforming the traditional office phone system, introducing a number of new opportunities for the corporate environment as a whole.

The simple fact is that organizations are no longer satisfied with using outdated land line phone system, as the antiquated platforms do not have any of the characteristics that are now required in the business world. Better scalability, availability and performance are just a few of the qualities that an innovative enterprise VoIP system has over its predecessor. This means decision-makers who are looking to stay on the forefront of their respective industry, not to mention the private sector in general, must consider making some serious infrastructure adjustments.

Unlike old phone systems, VoIP can keep up with the fast-paced requirements associated with today's corporate operations. This is important for several reasons. While staying relevant will ensure operations are as efficient as possible, it will also present consumers with an image of resilience and flexibility. A recent Business 2 Community report highlighted the importance of maintaining this image and how deploying an advanced VoIP service can help.

Using telecommunications to stay applicable

The wide array of VoIP phone system features make the technology appealing to a wide number of companies. The auto attendant service, for example, can be extremely helpful to redirect calls when traffic levels are peaking, Business 2 Community noted. By leveraging auto attendant, companies can provide incoming callers with a variety of pre-recorded messages depending on a customer's needs. This is especially useful in the contact center, as employees sometimes cannot manage the large number of interactions or consumers wish to avoid the often drawn-out service process.

While a properly deployed auto attendant application can dramatically improve customer experience and make an enterprise seem even bigger than it is, the solution is not the only benefit associated with implementing a VoIP system. Leveraging a remote area code is another major advantage of VoIP. Business 2 Community highlighted how companies can establish an area code to give them an appearance of being local - or in some cases, much larger than they really are. This can be an effective tactic at attracting and retaining new clients, which is the basic rule of survival in the business world.

In many cases, VoIP providers also allow users to access advanced conferencing, video and fax applications, the news source noted. Video is especially important today as the proliferation of mobile devices in and outside of the workplace provides individuals with access to high-definition cameras that can connect to the IP network at virtually any time. This enables organizations to reduce costs by eliminating the need to travel, while simultaneously enhancing collaboration between parties that could be miles away from one another.

Keeping up with technology

The business phone system landscape is constantly changing due to the proliferation of mobile and IP-based technologies. If enterprises want to stay relevant with both competitors and consumers, decision-makers need to be sure they replace old phone systems with more applicable offerings that support adaptability and flexibility.

A new study by CompTIA highlighted the importance of keeping up with technology, as doing so gives organizations the ability to develop unique strategies that will give them an advantage in the coming years. The survey polled more than 1,200 business and IT executives and found that more than three-quarters of respondents believe technology is either "important" or "very important" to the success of their business. In fact, the majority of decision-makers intend to invest more heavily in IT this year.

CompTIA noted that updating old systems is among the top priorities for 2013.

"Emerging technologies such as cloud computing continue to see adoption gains as well," said Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA. "More than half of responding companies say they are either experimenting with or fully using cloud computing solutions."

Advances in cloud technologies have even driven these services into the telecommunications industry, as the hosted PBX solution is currently considered to be among the top phone systems available to the enterprise. This is because a cloud telephony offering is highly scalable, flexible and adaptable - all of the things a business needs to thrive in the future.

Enterprises that want to be competitive and relevant in the long run need to consider embracing a new phone system, especially if they are using an outdated land line offering that simply doesn't hold water anymore. By understanding current and long-term objectives, executives can work with a trusted service provider and implement a next-generation platform to keep goals in sight.