Business phones: Things you need to know
Should you consider adopting new phone systems for your business? In this article, we define the different types of phone systems, their differences in life cycles, and technology options in the past and the present. Read on to learn more.
Different phone systems
Telephones have come a long way from when they first came about in 1876; modern phone systems have virtually unlimited reach, are automated, and are cheaper than ever to acquire. Today’s businesses still use telephones to connect with various stakeholders such as customers, investors, and suppliers, to service their numerous needs, and in most cases, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones are the answer.
VoIP is a system of hardware and software that uses the internet instead of wired circuits to transmit data. VoIP does more than just transmit audio; it can also send a variety of data (video, multimedia, SMS, etc.) and perform other tasks as well.
A VoIP system’s hardware (phone units, cables, CPUs, etc.) and software (one or more applications that run the system) can be either on-premises or hosted:
On-premises – Hardware and software are physically housed within the premises of the company.
Hosted – Some of the hardware, like phone units and other equipment, can be found within the premises. But most, if not all, of the software are hosted online. Service providers look after hosted systems for their clients.
Life cycles: On-premises vs. hosted
With hardware, it doesn’t matter whether it’s on-premises or hosted. Hardware is affected by the wear and tear stemming from daily use. Barring any accidents or physical damage, VoIP hardware should last several years.
On the other hand, software requires regular updates. It’s worth noting that it’s faster and cheaper to update software that’s hosted in the cloud versus one that’s on-premises. That said, the differences in longevity between the two are negligible; both can last upwards of 10 years, depending on how dependable your IT support is.
Technology today vs. before
In the past, hardware and software were built to last. Today, they’re built to adapt and change, thanks to cloud technology.
The effect of this shift on hardware and software is dramatic:
Most hardware components are very similar, with replacements and upgrades coming every 5–8 years on average.
Cloud software is faster, easier, and cheaper to upgrade. Critical updates can be released almost constantly, with complete overhauls taking no longer than 2–3 years.
As your business moves forward, your phone system should be agile and fast, and should integrate smoothly with the other systems in your business, such as email or management software.
Be a step ahead
Downtime results in loss of potential sales and, essentially, wasted money. If your phone service is spotty and is constantly unreliable, perhaps it’s time to switch to VoIP phones.
Nowadays, it’s not longevity that’s important; it’s staying ahead of the curve. Call our experts today so you can always be a step ahead.