Effective communication is one of the keys to success for every business and modern business communication systems are designed with this in mind. The internet has opened a world of new modern business communication options such as VoIP Phone Systems and Cloud PBX telephony and a growing number of businesses are making the switch from analogue to cloud communication. In this post, we will take a closer look at how businesses can benefit from cloud communication systems and the different options that are available.
What Exactly are Business Communication Systems?
The term business communication systems cover a wide range of services and technologies that businesses use to facilitate internal and external communication. This includes analogue technologies like landlines, ADSL, and ISDN as well as modern business communication systems such as VoIP telephony, instant messaging platforms, and video conferencing tools.
The Importance of Upgrading Telecommunications Systems Regularly
Analogue telephone lines have been the mainstay of business communications for a long time, but analogue technology has now become outdated and expensive to install and maintain. In addition, when compared with VoIP telephony, analogue systems lack the functionality that modern businesses need. As VoIP systems become more affordable, more companies are deciding to make the switch to digital business communication systems.
The result is that analogue systems are slowly being phased out and replaced with cloud communications systems. As such, any business that wishes to keep up with its competitors will have to investigate modernising its communications infrastructure and switching to new communications technology such as VoIP and unified communications.
VoIP Explained in a Nutshell
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that makes it possible to place telephone calls via the internet. VoIP technology converts audio into data packets that can be sent and received in a similar way to any other data. In contrast, analogue systems rely on sending audio from point A to B in the form of electrical impulses. There are several advantages to using VoIP as opposed analogue systems, including:
- Lower Call Rates: VoIP calls are up to 70% cheaper than analogue calls.
- Shared Infrastructure: VoIP telephony makes use of your existing internet connection which eliminates the need for separate data and telephone communications networks, resulting in lower costs.
- Highly Flexible: VoIP telephony can adapt to the unique requirements of most businesses which is essential in today’s fast-changing business landscape.
- Secure: VoIP telephony is very secure and reliable.
What Does a VoIP System Cost?
The exact costs related to switching to VoIP telephony are dependent on the size and nature of your business. In almost all cases both the upfront and monthly costs related to switching to VoIP telephony are lower than comparative analogue systems.
VoIP costs can be divided into two groups, namely start-up costs and running or monthly costs.
Equipment / Start-Up Costs
VoIP systems are available in two main varieties and the upfront costs differ based on the chosen model:
- On-Site VoIP Telephony: This system requires an on-site server to manage calls which increases the upfront costs. In addition to this, it can be more labour intensive to deploy an on-site VoIP solution, and on-site phone systems do require regular monitoring and maintenance. Although the initial costs in this scenario are higher, you are in full control of your telephony infrastructure.
- Cloud-Based VoIP Telephony: It is also possible to purchase VoIP telephony as a service. This option significantly reduces the upfront capital expenditure since no server is required to use the system. Cloud-based systems also tend to be more flexible and are quicker to deploy. In addition, maintenance of the server and VoIP infrastructure is the responsibility of the service provider which further reduces costs.
Both hosted and cloud-based VoIP systems don’t require end-user infrastructure such as handsets or headsets to work as there are softphones and mobiles apps available and the cost for this differs based on the number of devices needed. It is important to note that computers and VoIP phones can use the same network connection which significantly reduces the installation costs and future maintenance costs.
VoIP: A Flexible Solution for Modern Businesses
The business landscape can change very quickly, and it is important for businesses to adapt to changes as they happen. For example, the recent surge in remote working meant that businesses had to find creative ways to provide employees with the infrastructure to do their work outside of the office. VoIP systems enable employees to work remotely from anywhere with softphones and mobile apps,
One of the biggest advantages of using VoIP telephony is number or extension portability. This allows staff to change desks, offices, or even locations without needing to change their telephone extensions.
Unified Communications in Business
Although the telephone and voice calls remain one of the most important forms of business communication, it is no longer the undisputed king of business communication systems. Instead, unified communications have become the preferred communication method for many modern enterprises.
What are Unified Communications?
Unified communications refer to all the different communications systems that companies use daily. Unified communications include:
- Mobile communications
- Directory services
Unified communications facilitate more effective communication by creating harmony between the different modes of communication in a business. Furthermore, unified communication makes it possible for clients to communicate with your business in the way that best suits them which goes a long way to building long-lasting relationships with your clients. Unified communications can also help businesses to save costs by incorporating less expensive communication methods into the business.
Choosing the Best Business Communication System for Your Business
No two businesses are alike, and no two businesses have the exact same communication needs. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you analyse your communication needs to find the best solutions for your business. Consider the following when choosing your next business communication system:
- Cost Savings: Saving costs and maximising profits are important in any business. By switching to VoIP telephony, you can enjoy significant savings on both equipment expenditure and monthly telephone services.
- Adaptability: Make sure that you look for a futureproof business communication system that will be able to adapt and grow with your company.
- Ease of use: A good business communication system should be simple and effective. Overly complicated systems can quickly end up being underused.
- Integration: Unified communications is the future of business communication systems so make sure that the VoIP system you invest in can work alongside the rest of your ICT infrastructure.
Finding the right communications system for your business may sound like a challenge but it does not have to be. In many cases, it might be wise to partner with a well-established communication service provider that can offer guidance and assist you in choosing the right system for your needs.
Business communication has come a long way since the introduction of the first telephone and modern business communications systems have made it easier than ever before for businesses to connect with customers and staff on a global level. Communication is a key part of the operations of every business and as such it is important for every business that wants to stay at the top of its game to continually invest in the best possible unified communications technology.
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At Conversation Piece, we specialise in VoIP and unified communications technology and we combine this with a clear understanding of the communication needs of Irish businesses. We are proud to be the leading VoIP provider in Ireland. Call us today for expert advice on streamlining your business phone systems and communications. We will make sure that you remain at the forefront of technology.