Sometimes referred to as ‘Hosted Telephony Services’ or ‘Cloud Telephony Services’, it may all sound a bit confusing if you’ve never heard of these terms before. It is, however, a straightforward and highly sensible option for many offices. For those who are considering a hosted telephony service or simply want to understand more about what this means, please read on as we explain how it all works.
What is a telephony service?
Hosted telephony service providers, such as ASL Group, are increasingly popular options for business all over the world, including UK and European businesses. In fact, it’s thought that around 50% of the European businesses that use IP communications are choosing a hosted telephony service. But what does this mean? In the first instance it means that the office no longer requires a traditional phone line, nor the usual party of hardware that connects the system both on the premises and to the external phone lines. All phone calls are made via a high-speed internet connection, such as broadband, instead.
Hosted telephony services further mean that the company doesn’t need to worry about the maintenance or running of the system, as this is all handled remotely. Companies that choose hosted telephony systems are provided with all the software they need to make and receive voice calls. Calls are managed via the host’s servers and clients access these calls through the cloud. These servers are located and managed remotely by the provider.
What about internal calls?
Some telephony service providers, such as here at ASL Group, allow for free internal calls. Of course, you would expect this in any office, but at ASL we take it one step further as you can even make free internal calls to your other offices, wherever they are in the world. That means calling New York from London is not just cheaper than with a standard phone line, but is completely free. Furthermore, standard call charges are significantly lower than through traditional PBX phone lines, whether you are calling a local landline number or an international one.
Flexibility & cost saving
Telephony services are flexible, and this is one of the major reasons they have become so popular. Connections can be made via landlines connected to the desktop, headsets or indeed mobile phones; an increasingly important tool in modern business as employees find themselves away from the desk more than ever.
Installing new lines or taking one or more down can be carried out remotely by the telephony hosting provider, requested by you the client through the software we provide. This is cheaper than installing new lines to new desks and allows you to upscale your communication activities or indeed downsize your office, at minimal cost and faster than ever before. You can add or remove channels at the press of a button in fact.
Since all hardware is looked after by the telephony service provider, remotely, you will never have to pay for maintenance or repairs. An office phone system is usually left to the IT department to maintain, but outsourcing your telephony means they can focus on their core role. This is another significant example of the cost-saving element of hosted telephony services.
Additional features such as conference calls are easier to manage via a cloud telephony service too. It’s also easier for companies to analyse their call data. This may include how many incoming calls have been made, how long customers are held in a queue, how long the calls take and even customer behaviour. It’s also easier to place callers in a queue and to amend the automated messages that callers receive.
Cloud telephony is likely to become more and more commonplace in offices all over the world. It’s especially popular with small to medium business who can’t afford to develop and maintain their own IP communication system. Using a dedicated service provider means the software and features that are available will also be at the forefront of this fast-moving industry too.
As we see a global trend toward calls being made as voice data, sent across the internet, many companies will choose to appoint a telephony provider to host these services for them, taking out the stress, maintenance and essentially the cost of setting up their own IP communications system.