Why and how did business telephony requirements evolve?
It was a natural response to the rise of technology that presented more lucrative and diverse business opportunities. It became our reason to work smarter, therefore more cost effectively.
Let’s look at how cloud communications became the next logical step as business telephony evolved through the ages:
Manual telephone exchange (switchboard)
The telephone switchboard system allowed customers to access the business through a central point, directed manually to the correct person or department. This was an important customer contact point and became the voice of the business. The switchboard needed a complex system of cables plus a public switched network system to connect with a circuit of telephones, and to connect telephone calls between users.
- The manual switching resulted in errors and complaints and ultimately, brand damage;
- The complexity increased with the increased number of users and increased connection demands on the switching process;
- The physical hardware required maintenance and technical support and it was costly;
- The service delivery was variable as the operational efficiency of the switchboard was dependent on the public switched network system.
Private Business Exchange (PBX)
The PBX system was introduced to save the cost of requiring a separate line for each user to the telephone company’s central office and to automate the connection process. Generally, a PBX is owned and operated by the business rather than an outside telephone company or service provider.
- This meant a huge hardware outlay accompanied by high set-up costs for the necessary technical expertise;
- As the businesses grew, so did the customisation which resulted in high operating costs to support business needs and processes;
- The physical hardware needed to be maintained and this was normally scheduled over weekends and at night to reduce the impact on the business. This resulted in additional maintenance costs.
Hosted PBX VoIP (Cloud)
(There is a difference between Cloud and Hosted PBX – A Hosted PBX is a physical pbx that you pay for and you host in a data center or it is hosted on your behalf. You are still responsible for it and have to pay it off or rent it. A Cloud PBX is an elastic software environment, where the resources are shared and utilised far more effectively, and resultantly is far more cost effective for the end user. A Cloud PBX will typically offer more redundancy and disaster recovery measures as a hosted pbx is a single box and is a single point of failure. )
Cloud telephony replaces the physical hardware required to run information technology infrastructure with software systems. The telecommunication applications, switching and storage are all hosted by a third-party. These are easily accessed over the internet.
- Adoption of the technology has been slow as business owners lack the knowledge and necessary understanding to grasp the full extent of the business benefits and operational cost savings;
- The transition to realise the benefits of cloud communications from day one requires a move away from the current technology. Introducing a change in systems requires an investment in change management and training.
- This departure can be delayed even more by existing leasing arrangements and escalated by the relative efficiency of the current infrastructure.
Euphoria understands the challenging environment facing SME owners. We will ensure that your transition to cloud telephony is a smooth and uncomplicated process by introducing an implementation plan that will make sense to your business and bottom line.
We are leading the way in South African business communication services.
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