June 29th, 2017 by Bronson Tang
We love reading interesting posts from other top companies in the industry, in particular when they're about hosted and cloud-based services. Recently, Sangoma discussed the benefits of these solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.
You have to go back a bit in history to understand the current technologies. We used to work through public switched telephone networks (PSTN), with physical phone lines to each office. This eventually evolved into a PBX - a private branch exchange which brought the hardware for phone calls into the offices. "All the internal office extensions were connected to this private network and any employee extension could call another employee extension, free-of-charge. If they needed to make an outbound call, they had to press “9” before the number. Many of you may still be doing this today. A private branch made a lot of sense, then."
Then came VoIP (Voice over IP): "Instead of using dedicated voice lines to the PSTN, VoIP instead, uses the internet infrastructure for telecommunications. This is the same internet connection that your office computers use, so, all the office phones, computer and softphones share the same cable connection to the office PBX hardware."
What does that mean in concrete terms? Well, "with a “Hosted” or “Cloud-based” solution, the office PBX is offsite, located in the VoIP provider’s network, instead of your local office. So, anytime an office employee makes a phone call, it first goes out over the internet to your PBX located at your VoIP provider, then is routed to the destination, either back into your office to another internal extension or an outside line. All the maintenance and IT infrastructure of your offsite PBX solution is controlled by your VoIP provider, so your IT department has nothing to do or worry about." That ends up being a much more cost-effective and easy solution for many businesses! You have much less infrastructure to set up, maintain, and keep up-to-date.
Not only do hosted and cloud-based solutions bring savings, they also provide a range of great features such as voicemail to email, caller ID, unified communication, and much more depending on your provider. You can easily add or remove employees from your network with your VoIP online portal, adjusting to your business size as it changes.
Sangoma argues that "there is no down-side to a hosted or cloud-based telephony solution. Unless you are in a unique situation and require a customized telephone system for your business (not common for small to medium sized businesses), a hosted or cloud-based solution is for you." We have to agree with them! That's why we work closely with our customers to find a good solution for their business that fits their needs and infrastructure.