Is it time for businesses to embrace the telecoms cloud?

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Is it time for businesses to embrace the telecoms cloud?

Technology is changing rapidly, with significant repercussions for the world of communications and business generally. One of the big developments of recent years is the move towards telephony that is based around the internet and possibly hosted on a cloud. It could be time for businesses to examine these concepts and even adopt them.

Early adopters have probably already ditched their PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) or ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) systems and all their unwieldy, maintenance demanding hardware for a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system that can be managed from a website. Even the most resistant businesses will have to adapt to changes in telephony eventually, as BT Openreach, which is the infrastructure arm of the telecoms provider, has announced that PSTN, which uses analogue technology, and ISDN, which uses more recent digital technology, networks will be shut down by 2025. At that point, all telephony will be VoIP.

ISDN is more modern, with capabilities for delivering data, internet connections and video conferencing, but it has largely been superseded by fast fibre broadband. Maintaining ISDN and PSTN - the so-called legacy networks - is expensive.

When a business migrates its telephony to VoIP, it can do so via a system that is hosted, or the present system can be upgraded so that it can be connected to the internet. When an existing system is upgraded, many VoIP benefits are accessible, but the business will require SIP Trunks, otherwise known as virtual telephone connections that create telephone lines via the internet connection that the business has.

When a business subscribes to a hosted VoIP system, all its telephone requirements will be conducted over the internet. The only hardware necessary will be handsets and a computer. VoIP gives businesses the flexibility to dedicate phone lines to clients without costly infrastructure and the installation of a physical phone line. Security can be tailored to the system, with PIN access for various levels for staff. A VoIP provider should be able to provide calls to anywhere in the world very cheaply, and will design a system that is easily scalable, whether up or down.

A fast and efficient internet connection is essential for VoIP. Businesses should then benefit from call clarity and clear video at little cost. VoIP systems can also be hosted from a cloud, with data and services that are easily accessible from anywhere in the world without relying on physical telephony systems. One of the wonderful benefits of VoIP is its flexibility. As long as you have a decent internet connection, you can access your business system and cloud hosted services from wherever you are in the world, provided that you have the login details. When staff travel a lot for business, they can join important meetings via voice or video when they have access to internet and a VoIP system. VoIP is the natural choice for businesses which undertake a lot of international communication.

With new innovations in technology, VoIP and cloud hosted systems are improving all the time, so even if businesses make the change to VoIP slowly, they will still enjoy many advantages. The first step is to do your research, and find out more about VoIP and what kind of system would best support your business.