A Guide to Hosted Business Phone Systems
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the old business phone systems and the painful days where only one business conversation could take place at any one time, and you had to unplug the telephone line just to connect the fax machine because the two things couldn’t work at once. If you were around back then, you’ll remember how there was an awful lot of multi-tasking going on!
Calls too were particularly expensive, not to mention the cost of line rental, which then was only really provided by British Telecom – or BT as we now know them. Plus you had the cost of business telephony hardware, so as an option it didn’t come cheap.
How times have changed…
These days, while some are still using traditional phone systems, despite ISDN lines being phased out from 2020 over a five year period, many businesses are now making the move to VoIP and Hosted telephony solutions.
So what’s the difference?
The Jump to Hosted and VoIP Phone Systems
Well, instead of your business phones being connected to a box in your office and physically onsite, when you use a Hosted or Cloud-based telephony solution, you’ll be connected to the cloud instead. You won’t have a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) onsite. It’ll be in the clouds instead, as in physically offsite.
Hosted telephony is a great solution when it comes to business phones for your office given the associated lower costs and that you’ll generally pay less for calls. In fact, and in most cases, your calls should actually be free as they’re made over the internet using an IP line, rather than a – soon to be extinct – ISDN line. You’ll pay for line rental with Hosted, but that’s generally it.
To really make the most of any Cloud or VoIP (Hosted) phone system, you’ll need high-speed broadband or super-fast Wi-Fi, as well as a private connection. The reason for this is so that your bandwith has the best possible speed that can transfer your data and information back and forth across the network. You don’t want any delay or lag when it comes to business connectivity.
And while we’re on that note, if you can afford it and you’re a big enough business, you should really pay for a leased line, which is a dedicated connection between you and the local exchange. It’s not your typical broadband connection, but a private line that you personally lease that isn’t shared with anyone else; hence the really impressive speeds.
Some things are just worth paying for.
Incidentally, Standard Utilities uses all the main business network providers to give you the best possible bandwith speed, including Virgin Media Business, BT Openreach and Eir.
How do I make the move?
You’ll need to know whether your building or office already has Cat 5 cabling. You’ll need this because the Cat 5 cables will go on to talk to your in-house router, which then talks to the internet.
If the answer is yes, you’re in business. All any teleco engineer will need to do is disconnect your current PBX box from the local exchange, and you’re good to go.
If not, you can arrange for either an electrician to install the cable or an engineer in whatever telecoms provider you choose to form a contract with. Once the cabling is in the building, it will then be connected to a router, which will in turn connect to broadband. And, of course, your dated PBX (Private Branch Exchange) box will be switched off so that it no longer talks to the local exchange. Why would it, you’ll be talking over the internet now, right?
We’re here for you
If this all seems a minefield, get in touch and we’ll talk you through your options at length.
Because of the simplicity of Hosted phone systems and their cost effectiveness, it’s likely that you’ll head down this route, if you haven’t done so already.
Standard Utilities works throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as the Isle of Man, and can deliver any of these services up and down the country and across the north and south of Ireland.
Talk to us about updating your business phones or working towards high-speed broadband or super fast Wi-Fi.
We promise that our care, technical expertise and value for money comes, well, as Standard.
You can reach us on 028 9032 8888 (NI) or 01 908 8888 (ROI). Please quote CommunityNI for discount.