As previously discussed in my article, “We Need to Move to “The Cloud.” – The Question vs the Reality”, I established that there are specific use cases and applications that are prime candidates for “The Cloud.” Converting Voice Telephone service from traditional physical copper lines and an on-premise Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Telephone Switch to a Virtual Cloud Based PBX or Hosted Voice over IP Service (VoIP) provides critical Business Communication Continuity.
Telephones and PBX Phone Systems are extremely durable and last for years with minimal maintenance. In larger office implementations with frequent staff changes or desk moves, there may be fee based professional programming services involved to move an extension or reassign a telephone number to a new staff person or location.
Even if rare, when that PBX in the closet breaks, and it will, the entire office may lose all telephone service until the PBX can be repaired. As these systems get older, parts may be more difficult to obtain in a timely manner.
Solution: Move Telephone Service to Voice over IP – VoIP in “The Cloud.”
VoIP is a fancy term for delivering traditional telephone services over an IP Data Network, in this context, the Internet.
Each person uses a specialized VoIP phone that connects just like a computer or tablet directly through the Internet to a PBX (Phone System) in “The Cloud.” This is known as “Hosted VoIP” – because all of the intelligence of the PBX is remote from your home or office and “Hosted” at a Data Center somewhere in Cyberspace a.k.a. “The Internet.”
The primary advantage of Hosted VoIP is that wherever you have access to the Internet and can plug in your VoIP telephone, you have phone service. For example, if you take the phone from your office and plug it in to the Internet connection in your home, you can make and receive calls at home.
Many Hosted VoIP providers provide a “soft client” (think Telephone App), that enables you to use your Smartphone to masquerade as your physical VoIP phone to make and receive calls. The capability is also available for your Windows or Mac computer with a Headset or Microphone and Speakers. Again, anywhere you have access to the Internet; you have direct access to your Telephone Number and all related Telephony features – such as access to Voice Mail. All of these features can be self-managed by the user via a web based control panel accessible through any web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.
If a physical telephone breaks, only that user is affected. The defective phone can usually be replaced overnight or from a spare kept on the shelf. The user can always use one of the “soft client” VoIP apps to make and receive calls from their computer or even temporarily take over another phone from a user not in the office.
Think of a VoIP telephone as a specialized computer. You “Log In” and “Log Out” with a user name and password just like you do to so many other Internet Services (such as Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.)
The other key advantage of Hosted VoIP is that there is no longer an on-premise PBX (box in the closet) to maintain. Each telephone stands on its’ own. This usually represents a significant cost savings in on-going maintenance costs and savings in the large capital outlay required for periodic upgrades or full replacement.
Hosted VoIP usually provides a predictable, fixed monthly cost for all Telephone Services.
All telephone system programming is maintained by Enterprise class “Cloud” based Hosted VoIP providers that have massively large, redundant infrastructures that virtually guarantee that Telephone Service will be operational without issue 24/7/365.
Hosted VoIP offers the ultimate in Business Communications Continuity.
Moving Traditional Telephone Service to Hosted VoIP in “The Cloud” assures that critical business communication can continue during a disaster and eliminates a potential point of failure in your communication infrastructure.