As your business expands, it’s vital that your IT system is able to grow in parallel. To achieve this, you need scalable tech solutions that can quickly adapt to the changing demands of your business. This ensures that your employees have the technology and resources they require to work unhindered and at maximum productivity.
Why Scalability Matters
IT investments used to require significant capital outlay on new hardware and infrastructure. The rationale behind such investments, was that return on investment would be achieved over the hardware lifecycle, with costs recouped in the form of productivity gains and efficiency savings. However, a common pitfall with legacy solutions is their inability to adapt to the dynamic and fast-changing needs of a business as it grows and evolves.
Today, modern, scalable tech solutions allow you to match your IT costs with the point-in-time demands of your business and provision new resources at short notice to accommodate rapid expansion. The result is IT that supports your growth journey, keeps your team productive and connected, and offers optimal value for money.
4TC Managed IT Services – IT solutions and Support for Businesses Across London and the South East
Here at 4TC, our mission is to help SMEs across London and the South East reap the benefits of tailored, secure and expertly managed IT solutions. Scalability is vital to ensuring cost-efficiency and high ROI in any IT project. In this short blog series, we want to highlight the benefits of some of the most compelling, scalable IT solutions available to businesses, starting with a technology that’s of particular relevance at the moment: Cloud-Hosted VoIP telephony.
What is Cloud-Hosted VoIP Telephony?
VoIP – meaning ‘voice over internet protocol’ – refers to a set of standards and technologies that enable the transmission of voice and multimedia sessions over the internet. You’ve probably used VoIP technology in some form already, perhaps through video conferencing applications like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
So how does VoIP differ from traditional telephony?
Traditional telephony products use technical standards that allow voice data to be carried across the varied circuits of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). While some aspects of this infrastructure have been modernised over the years, the PSTN contains copper cabling and other aging components that struggle to meet the data speeds and bandwidth requirements of modern businesses. As such, the decision was made to fully decommission the public switched telephone network, with BT Openreach aiming to fully digitise the UK’s telephony by the end of December 2025.
The switch from the partly analogue PSTN to a fully-digital broadband system, means traditional telephony products, such as ISDN, will stop working in the coming years. If your business currently uses an ISDN phone system, you’ll need to adopt a ‘Digital Voice Service’ sooner rather than later to avoid being cut off when the PSTN switch off happens.
Cloud-Hosted VoIP – The Smart, Scalable Business Phone Solution
Combining the features and capabilities of a PBX phone system with the convenience and cost-efficiency of cloud hosting, cloud-hosted VoIP is a compelling option for businesses looking for scalable and futureproof telephony. Cloud-hosted VoIP gives you access to a full-featured phone system without the installation costs and maintenance overheads of a traditional system. Instead, the cloud VoIP provider manages the host infrastructure on your behalf; you simply sign up and connect to the system using a compatible device or a VoIP desk phone.
Offering all the advantages of an office-hosted phone system without the drawbacks, we believe cloud-hosted VoIP is the smart choice for SMEs looking for a future-ready and scalable phone system in 2024 and beyond. Here are 5 reasons it could be the optimum choice for your business.
Adding new lines to a phone system was once a challenging and occasionally disruptive task. The process involved reaching out to your provider, scheduling an installation date, and often enduring weeks of waiting for the project to be completed.
Cloud-hosted VoIP puts an end to this lengthy process, allowing you to add new lines in minutes, with subscription-based billing ensuring you only pay for the capacity you need at any given point in time. Various admin tasks can be completed through a centralised management portal, giving you the ability to add new lines, assign phone numbers, and manage billing through a convenient and intuitive online interface.
In short, cloud-hosted VoIP puts you in control of your phone system, allowing you to adapt quickly to the changing demands of your business, and benefit from affordable, flexible billing.
Most modern businesses use multiple communication channels to deliver customer service and explore new sales opportunities. For optimum results, communication across these various channels should be carefully orchestrated to ensure consistent messaging, and to support an efficient, streamlined experience for customers. Customer relationship management software (CRMs) is often critical to coordinating sales outreach and customer service engagements across numerous communication channels, including social media, email, instant messaging, and telephone.
Many cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems enable the integration of CRMs and multiple communication channels to create a single, unified interface for business communications. This allows employees to conduct all communication within a single application, enhancing productivity, and giving staff the data they need to create managed and consistent conversations with existing and prospective customers.
Compared to traditional telephony products, Cloud-hosted VoIP is almost always cheaper to run, and the costs manifest in various ways. In terms of calling costs, reports suggest that VoIP services are 40% cheaper on average than traditional telephony products, with savings rising to as high as 90% for businesses that make a high volume of overseas calls. Hosted VoIP services offer a variety of billing regimes, ranging from flat-fee subscription pricing to usage-based charges, which makes it easy to find a call plan to suit your needs and budget.
But lower calling costs are not the only area where savings arise!
Cloud-hosted VoIP is inherently infrastructure-lite. In fact, sometimes there are no hardware requirements whatsoever, as most systems operate via computer and mobile based software programs called ‘softphones.’ These allow users to access the phone system through existing devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. VoIP-enabled desk phones and headsets could be beneficial to provide a better user experience, but ultimately, VoIP lets you access the benefits of a PBX phone system without the cabling and server infrastructure that such systems traditionally entailed. Moreover, considering the VoIP provider’s role in system maintenance, this results in an exceptionally budget-friendly phone system that delivers an impressive return on investment (ROI).
Access Your Phone System Anywhere
Unlike a traditional phone system which is tied to a fixed physical location, cloud-hosted VoIP provides a virtualised, location-independent experience, allowing you to take your phone system with you and access it from virtually any location. Leverage one phone number as your business’s single point of contact, and transfer calls seamlessly across your business, regardless of where your team are working from. Your customers will benefit from a smooth, frictionless calling experience that keeps you contactable whether you’re working from home, on the move, or even out of the country.
The affordability of cloud-hosted VoIP doesn’t mean you have to compromise on functionality. In fact, most systems come packed with features that support efficient call handling and a smooth, unencumbered inbound calling experience. VoIP providers usually offer packages at various price points, allowing you to choose an option that best suits your needs and budget. Some of the features on offer include:
Redirect calls seamlessly across your team to share the call-handling workload. Conditional or sequential call forwarding can be configured to keep wait times to a minimum during periods of high demand.
Many hosted VoIP systems support call recording, a helpful feature that allows calls to be recorded and retained for training or compliance purposes.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
IVR provides inbound callers with an interactive menu of options, allowing them to route themselves to the appropriate call handler or department based on the nature of their query. IVR makes for a more efficient experience for inbound callers and makes it easier to manage high call workloads.
Voicemail-to-email functionality ensures you never miss a call back by sending a transcript of voicemails to your email inbox.
Offering affordable pricing, unparalleled mobility, a rich range of features, seamless mobility and the ability to add and subtract phone lines in a matter of minutes, cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems deliver an array of business benefits and support the seamless call experience that today’s customers have come to expect.
For more insights into scalable tech solutions, stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll examine the growth-enabling benefits of hosting your IT services in the cloud.
4TC Managed IT Services – Uniting People, Processes and Technology
Secure, stable and optimised IT infrastructure is critical to the success of all businesses in our information age. 4TC helps businesses across London and the Southeast realise their potential through the delivery of expertly managed IT services and support, and solutions that solve business challenges by achieving perfect alignment between people, processes, and technology. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you!