In future, I strongly believe that more and more telephone conversations will happen over the internet since the traditional phones will be replaced by hosted telephony. Desktop phone systems, mobile phones and VoIP softphones are increasingly using the Internet.
Fast background for hosted telephony
Hosted phones exists around us since the 1960s. It has been running on ordinary telephone lines for many years, and this kind of system is called Centrex. Some people have heard of BT’s featureline version of Centrex. Centrex is still in use today. Centrex or Featureline is a telephone system that is centrally maintained in the switch and can be accessed using a special telephone connected via a standard telephone line. Compared to today’s Internet phone system, it is a bit embarrassing, but it still works well.
On the other hand, making calls over the Internet was difficult in the beginning, but now they are really good. Some people actually call it cloud services. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1970s, but it will take around 2004 until this type of mobile phone becomes a reliable service. The emergence of fast and reliable broadband over the past few years has made it easy to access low-cost and reliable services for domestic and corporate users.
I like Hosted Telephony.
“The number of Internet users in UAE is approximately 9.3 million, which is approximately 98.4% of its population.”
I have been involved in Hosted Telephony for about 10 years and I think this is a great service. I think it was a great concept when it was first introduced. The initial problem was that the available broadband didn’t work because it didn’t work very well. I must say that there was a very painful moment in the initial days, and VoIP telephony was very rare. VoIP was infamous among the earliest pioneers.
I remember my first analog phone and those unreliable mobile phones. The usual situation is that every time a new service or product is released, the original pioneer will be hit hard.
The good news
Managed phones on the Internet have become an era.
The great news is, VoIP-based hosted phones are much better now. The service is highly reliable, high quality, flexible and easy to install. Like most devices, most providers can send pre-configured phones that can connect to the network, so they can be used outside the box. Some networks need to be adjusted, but most don’t.
With the most recent high-definition audio, the call quality is much better than ever.
In some countries, this type of phone is set as the primary service in the near future. In 2018, there are more than 3 million users in UAE, and this number could exceed 5 million in next couple of years. Most major trunk BT phones in UAE do not make any big difference, whether or not they use existing telephone lines through Internet services to do so.
But I still don’t get it. What is actually a mobile phone hosted over the Internet?
In order to explain more clearly…
In the past few years, most companies and HR consultancy firms have gone out to buy phone systems installed in their locations and connect phone lines and phone extensions. The company must then maintain the system or pay for the carrier. Engineers often need to do this when they want to change something. Capital expenditures are relatively high due to technology transfer and manufacturers stop supporting old systems, and new systems must be introduced every few years. This cycle usually lasts 5 to 10 years.
Most domestic users will not dream of owning a telephone system. Instead, they have a phone line and the phone cannot access certain services that are available from the phone system, like voice mail and call forwarding.
A managed phone is a telephone system, but it is located in a computer server that is managed and maintained by the service provider. The only thing your business wants to do is to buy a phone with the service. If the call is wrong, change the settings, and move as if nothing has happened. You can more easily control your phone and phone system accounts from anywhere in your web browser or plug-in widget. It’s like any other application you use today. Maybe it sounds simple, but now it’s just the way it works!
Here are 10 strong reasons why I like it!
Low capital investment
Cost is an important conclusion for many people. There are very few devices required for IP-based managed phones. Need a phone, a suitable broadband power supply and a switch (POE switch – a switch that can be a phone-powered switch).
Considering the service life of a telephone system, a conventional telephone system may cost twice or more after installation. The cost of a managed system is very low. Even so, installation and use is the easiest, saving time and money.
It’s not as good as a dedicated VoIP (IP phone), but you can also use a soft phone (using a computer call).
You can use your conference phone and business or home cordless phone with Hosted Telephony!
Most vendors will have to call one or more manufacturers to choose from depending on whether you are using all of the very simple and elegant phones with a range of color touch screen phones.
This is the most flexible type of Hosted Telephony. Most managed phone systems are subscription-based, with monthly subscription fees, so if you have 8 phones, you will pay 8 subscriptions. It’s like having eight existing phone lines. It’s like talking to other people while on a three-way conversation and putting people on hold, so you can use 16 phone lines.
Typically, the subscription fee is lower than the cost of existing phone line, but it depends on the service provider as well as the features you want. You can also change the number of monthly subscriptions as per your needs. You may need to purchase an additional phone, but at least only pay for the service if you need it.
In a similar manner, you can add and remove additional features, such as call history and operator consoles, as needed.
The mobility of managed phones can mean a lot…
Do you have an office and a person working from home? It doesn’t matter, they can have their own mobile phones or softphones everywhere, but they still belong to the same system.
Sometimes in the office, sometimes in the house, sometimes in the customer, sometimes in the car. Again, this is not a problem. Managed phones can be set by ringing each phone until it answers or until all calls ring at the same time.
Some systems may contain small applications that you can use as a part of your system using a mobile app. Not a second generation mobile network, more and more mobile phones can make calls over the Internet.
With the hosted phone number is not in your area, it doesn’t matter if you need some Bath and Brighton. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it means that the number based on the region is losing its meaning. By default, your mobile network means that the area code is meaningless.
Easy to maintain and support
If you have your own local phone system, you will usually be charged for support. You need support when you don’t understand anything, when you need to change something, and when something goes wrong.
Most of the support for subscriptions is provided through a hosted phone. If there is a problem with your network or broadband supply, IT support may need help. If Hosted Telephony support overlaps with your IT support and your Hosted Telephony provider is providing your broadband, you will override this area.
Support should help you work the way you do and get it done for you when you need it.
Unified experience everywhere
Suppose you are doing business with a major office and 10 branches. Following a traditional PBX path and opening a branch several times, if the branch is very small, there may be a variety of telephone systems or no telephone system. These systems may not communicate each system or part at all. Other phone systems may work differently.
It does not matter if you have a managed phone, it works everywhere, it does not matter if everyone can communicate with others and there are 1 to 100 people in a specific location.
Backup and Failover
Because the base system is typically hosted in a secure, repeatable environment, everything must be backed up to a recorded call in the system configuration. If the system’s computer fails, the other computer will take over and there will be little or no difference.
But … what if I have a broadband failure and some phones are disconnected from my system? This is not a problem. There are many ways you can receive inbound calls depending on how you work. You can forward the call to another branch, your own phone, or another phone from your co-worker. If you receive a call or make a call at the same time, the call keeps ringing.
Control on PC
Most managed telephone systems can be managed by the administrator at the individual level or system level. Some systems have a toolbar in Outlook that controls the phone configuration that many people can use conveniently.
You can also sign in from anywhere via your web browser, menu items on your phone, and star codes.
You can get reports about calls with your system from your web browser login.
More future proof
Sometimes systems are upgraded to fix any errors that may still exist in the system to improve current features and add new features (each computer system always has an error). All of this will be reserved for you. The system can be very different after 10 years, but you do not have to worry. The only hardware you can change is the phone and the switch, but you can work longer because you can get firmware and software updates. Replacing the phone is a cost, but at least the interruption is kept to a minimum and can be done step by step if necessary.
Bolted when needed
Depending on your business and how it operates, you may need additional features such as call history, call waiting, auto attendant, operator console, and call center. You only need to do these things at some point, and only pay for what you use.
Low carbon footsteps
Finally, like other cloud services, your company will contribute to the environment. Hosted Telephony uses high-quality enterprise servers that use less energy and reduce carbon footprint than other servers.
You can use a power-enabled phone, but you do not have a phone system controller to run, so you use less power than a more traditional system.
Each call that a user makes through the existing network requires approximately 90 kbps of Internet bandwidth and may require an existing broadband provision. Even if a dedicated broadband power supply is needed, less energy is used because there is less infrastructure than multiple analog or ISDN phone lines.
Try hosted telephony
Depending on the vendor, you may also want to try IP Telephony. At least you can see how it works from 1 or 2 phones. Some suppliers offer trial which you may use for a few weeks. The demo is easy to get.