How can hosted telephony reduce problems when switching systems?

How can hosted telephony reduce problems when switching systems? [Image: Gajus via iStock]

When businesses implement new phone systems, IT departments can find themselves overwhelmed with the complexity of the project and the number of resulting queries.

According to Gamma, the firm responsible for the ‘How to manage change when introducing a new phone system’ guide, “many IT managers calculate that the complexity of the system upgrade process can outweigh the benefits of the upgrade itself”.

Problems

Implementing new phone systems can cause problems that range from issues with the actual installation to concerns from staff when they have to deal with the new system for the first time.

When installing a private branch exchange (PBX) and the handsets, engineers may come across issues. There may be phone systems that do not work within the restrictions of the office building, which could leave a business without effective communications for the length of the time it takes to fix the problem.

This can lead to a significant challenge for businesses implementing new phone systems. Downtime almost inevitably occurs when transitioning from the old to the new. Companies have to take into account the fact that email might be the only way that clients have to get in touch with them.

Typically, clients might not be pleased with the fact that they cannot get through on the phone. This would be especially true of businesses that deal with older clients, who tend to have lower rates of adoption of email and social media messaging.

Companies will also have to invest in training of the new systems for staff. This can occasionally take a longer time than initially hoped as some workers might take a longer time to get their heads around the changes.

As a result, businesses can suffer. That is because when employees are in training sessions, they cannot work. This causes productivity levels to fall, which means that the business could end up losing money.

Hosted telephony

Instead of simply continuing to use old phone systems despite the fact they cannot keep up with the changing needs of businesses, firms can look to employ hosted phone solutions.

Hosted telephony results in a company’s on-premises PBX being completely replaced. Hosted systems mean that IP handsets connect via a broadband connection to a virtual PBX, hosted in the cloud. This is instead of routing calls from handsets to an internal PBX and out to the public telephone network (PSTN).

Companies employing hosted telephone solutions free up time after eliminating the need to manage the PBX.

One of the major reasons businesses choose to use hosted telephony is the fact it can be installed alongside existing on-site systems. Because a PBX uses ISDN lines and hosted telephony runs on a broadband connection, the original phone lines can still be used until the new system is in operation. When companies need to be contactable, this is vital as it reduces any downtime.

Advantages

Switching to hosted telephony can cut down on a huge amount of work for businesses. Local administrators manage and configure the system according to the specific needs of various organisations. This leaves employees free to manage their calls, which can maximise their productivity.

It can also provide the chance for companies with multiple offices or working locations to use the same system. Although there may be different sites, hosted telephony can provide service to each one. Businesses won’t have to pay additional costs as services will be offered by one system, which is just a single purchase.

Hosted telephony providers can also supply analytics on call statistics, which can help firms make more informed choices about areas in which they should invest further or reduce funding and staffing.

Arrow can provide businesses with a hosted telephony solution in the form of Horizon, which has proven to be cost effective, reliable and accessible.