Video calls have ‘zoomed’ into our professional and personal lives over the last year, but customers still expect businesses to have a phone number they can call them on. The question is, does that number need to be a traditional landline or have business phone systems gone online too?
Business phone systems are going digital. In the world where remote working (or hybrid working) is now the norm, businesses still have telephone numbers, that still get called by customers, and still need to be answered.
Traditionally, business phone systems were a landline, connected to a PBX, and you could call that company by dialling a number from your own phone (be that landline or mobile), and you’d get put through to the right department (usually).
Now, in our digitally transformed – and let’s face it still digitally transforming – world; landlines are old hat in everyday life, employees are not always in the office but are predominantly decentralised and yet they still need to answer calls from customers and prospects.
The virtual world of voice
Whilst many a business still has a traditional landline PBX or PSTN phone system, more and more are moving to the virtual world of voice, and that means using an Internet connection to make and receive phones call rather than a landline.
More commonly known as VoIP phone systems (Voice over Internet Protocol or Voice over IP), these Internet-powered phone numbers provide a multitude of benefits over landlines.
Lower call costs is the most obvious benefit, but then you also don’t need to pay for and manage all the hardware associated with PSTN set ups, you don’t have to pay for multiple phone lines and you can route your business calls anywhere on your VoIP network.
You can still have a traditional ‘hardware’ handset if you wish – it looks like and works like a real phone except it is connected to your VoIP system. Or you can go for the software option – this means you can use an app on your PC to make calls and just like you do with video calls you use your PC or laptops speakers and microphone to make your call. And if that sounds familiar then you’d be right – that’s exactly how Zoom and Microsoft Teams works – and that’s how its VoIP app Teams Voice works too.
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Choosing the right phone system for your business
If you are going to have a virtual or VoIP phone system for your business – and the question is: why wouldn’t you? – then there are some simple first considerations to think about.
How good is your internet connection?
It seems like a pretty straightforward thing to check – but it’s not just the connection in your offices – it’s the connection your people have if working from home or otherwise remotely. VoIP phone solutions rely on a good Internet connection. So it’s got to be a consideration from the start. You also need to consider what happens if your office Internet suffers any kind of disruption. What is your business continuity plan if you lose your ability to make or receive calls virtually?
Does your virtual phone system need to integrate with your other business systems?
The beauty of an application like Teams Voice is that it integrates seamlessly with the main Teams app. As businesses interfaces are becoming increasingly unified, the experience of seamlessly transitioning between the different tools used by your business is a key factor in employee experience and productivity. Virtual or VoIP phone systems that are properly integrated, enable your teams to manage the customer interaction process without having to manually switch between multiple services and software.
Will your virtual phone system be secure?
Remote and hybrid working has presented businesses with a number of challenges. With the unprecedented, and very necessary, uptake of remote working this last year, those challenges have increased exponentially, particularly when it comes to security and business vulnerability. Anything that is done digitally or virtually is naturally open to more risks and breaches than in person or on-premise activity. Ensuring that whatever system, tech or app you choose, for your virtual phone system, is secure, monitored and recoverable is entirely a non-negotiable these days. Services, such as redundant architecture, tried and proven encryption, authentication, and other security measures should be on your checklist for any provider you end considering for your business phones.
Going online with your business phones
It’s pretty easy to get your virtual phone system up and running, whether you are a small business or a larger organisation. The considerations and process involved apply to businesses of any size or any kind.
And even if you have your own IT team, cyber security specialist, or other team responsible for your internal business systems; to ensure that you get the most efficient, secure and relevant phone system, that supports the needs and goals of your business, your first port of call should be to talk to experts in the field of virtual voice calling.
If you would like to know more about what virtual voice calling, how it can reduce costs, the need for infrastructure and hardware, and effectively support businesses with any kind of remote or hybrid working set up, take a look at our additional resources or you can ask to speak to one of our experts.
Or watch our now on-demand session, where expert Jason Wynn explores the power of Teams Voice and Meeting rooms. Click here to watch or find out more.