Moving to VOIP telephony – Why now ?
If you have any involvement or interest in telephony, it’s all but impossible to ignore the push towards VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) that is being made. Here at CF Systems we’re no different – in the last month alone, we’ve moved three different businesses onto VOIP systems.
What is it that is driving this change ?
Perhaps the most obvious reason is the impending shut down (by BT) of the current “conventional” PSTN and ISDN telephony networks. This will be occurring in a phased fashion from 2020 (when BT will cease accepting orders for ISDN) and 2025 when the system will be switched off entirely.
What Is PSTN and ISDN ?
PSTN (Public Switched telephone Network) is the traditional telephone network that we all know and love, based on copper cable and the main carrier of both voice and internet traffic for decades. This was followed in the 1980s by ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), which enabled the digital transmission of voice and data services simultaneously across the PSTN infrastructure.
ISDN is used by the majority of businesses across the UK as it brought with it the ability to make and receive multiple calls at the same time.
What’s the reason for the shut down ?
In a nutshell, it’s the fact that both PSTN and ISDN are outdated technology – the basic copper technology on which these are based not having evolved significantly in the last half a century. ISDN is cumbersome and high in cost compared to modern IP (Internet protocol) based solutions.
What does VOIP give me ?
Apart from the fact that the BT shutdown of PSTN and ISDN will force all businesses down the VOIP route, there are distinct advantages from moving to the technology. First and foremost is cost. VOIP system line rental and call charges are typically a fraction of those on “traditional” network technologies.
Advantages don’t stop with cost however, VOIP telephone systems give users a huge degree of control and flexibility compared to traditional technology. Functionality such as the ability to add and remove users, set up individual handset configurations, enable functions such as voicemail, call recording, busy lamp fields, conference call facilities and numerous others – all of this is now available on a self serve basis. Contrast this with your conventional phone system where any changes or administration was typically carried out by the supplier on an hourly rate basis. With VOIP, users are freed to manage their systems themselves without the (sometimes significant) costs of involving their phone supplier or partner.
VOIP telephone systems also typically bring with them functionality that was not available with ISDN based platforms. Conference call facilities, video conferencing, online chat facilities and mobile apps (that turn your mobile phone into an extension of the corporate phone system) are all routinely available built in with VOIP.
Where to now – what are my options ?
There are a myriad of options available for moving to VOIP, many of which offer similar functionality and cost models. Here at CF Systems, we are partners with 3CX, which we believe to be a leader in the marketplace. 3CX offers all the advantages outlined above along with freedom to choose your own SIP trunks, the option to host on premises or in the cloud easily and some of the most cost effective pricing in the industry. 3CX also has the advantage of integration with leading CRM applications such as Salesforce.
For more information and to see why 3CX has over 250,000 installations worldwide, take a look at our website at https://cfsystems.co.uk/infrastructure/products/3cx-phone-system/ or call us on 01209 340030 to talk to one of our consultants.