The ever-changing business landscape has driven voice technology to evolve from the good ol’ analog landlines to powerful digital telephony.
Pre-VoIP, analog systems have supported businesses for decades. They’ve been reliable tools for inbound and outbound calls, and can also be used to transfer calls across extension lines. It has well-known functionalities like hold, mute, redial and speed dial, but not much else. It’s simple and easy to use, but has limited potential for expansion.
Meanwhile, modern telephony allows companies to add more-advanced features and capabilities, such as music on hold, VoIP integration, and alarm systems, which can be supported with modular add-on boards. Newer IP interface allows unified messaging features like voicemail delivery to email, fax delivery to email, voicemail transcription to SMS, click to dial, and a desktop client.
What drove the evolution of voice technologies from analog to digital? According to unified communications expert Dave Michels, the obvious advantages of software-based telecommunications solutions influenced this shift.
Michels adds that software-controlled solutions offer a superior upgrade path and more advanced features for integration with existing and future business systems, such as CRMs, messaging and social networking.
Here are the top five advantages of software-based voice technology:
1. Easy to Use & Operate
Back in the day, businesses relied on communication via landline phones, which can prove to be clunky and unreliable. Today, Internet telephony using VoIP is not only faster and more efficient, but it also eliminates the need for constant maintenance or hardware upgrades. The service provider hosts, maintains and upgrades all of the PBX technology for the customer. You can set up and configure the system for your business, all from your computer.
It’s easy to setup and simple to use, providing clients the ability to customize as they see fit, with no technical experience necessary.
2. Improved Scalability
Hosted PBX doesn’t limit your business’ growth. With a hosted system, your customers are able to scale up or down as needed, without the manual labor or wait associated with traditional phone lines.
Businesses can start small and gradually increase their usage over time, depending on their business needs. Cloud services are also self-managed so your customers won’t need to hire an IT guy to set up their communication system.
Enabling businesses to deliver results faster, cheaper and with more quality is key to giving them the competitive edge they need to win against their competitors.
3. Flexible and Future Proof
Hosted PBX allows your customers to access and update their phone system as needed, whether they’re at home, overseas, on the road or on vacation.
Additionally, hundreds of companies operate from different locations. Now, more than ever, the demand for cloud-based services is increasing. Remote work setup means team members should have the ability to collaborate through audio video conference and cloud-based office suites.
Internet telephony breaks down barriers and opens up collaboration with other staff members in different departments and locations. With unified communication, businesses can shift to Internet-based voice and data communication and allow employees to use real-time chat and voice call features for better collaboration.
4. Fully Featured
Hosted PBX and VoIP give your customers a feature-rich solution for their business or organization — complete with limitless call routing features and leading application integration, including Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook, and more.
Having the ability to re-route calls, move numbers across multiple sites and switch from one channel to another to mitigate service interruption, makes hosted PBX and VoIP a flexible and resilient option for businesses.
There are no heavy investments to getting started with Hosted PBX. Customers don’t need to purchase or maintain a cumbersome telephone system for their business.
Hosted PBX systems also cost less to maintain in the long run, lowering monthly phone bills, which makes the system a double treat for customers looking for a cheaper business phone solution that provides serious ROI.
As with most things, change is inevitable for voice technology. Businesses have different communication needs and requirements from their providers, and this has pushed the shift from analog to software-based telephony. Experts predict the usage for hosted PBX and VoIP will continue to grow until 2020. We can only guess what comes next for business communication.
Do your customers use analog landlines or have they shifted to Internet telephony? Share your experiences in the comment section below.