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Don’t look back in anger…look forward with Hosted Telephony..

Considering Hosted Telephony? What are your concerns? You may have heard the term Hosted Telephony being used and wondered what it means. If that’s the case read on and we’ll see if we can make sense of it for you. Hosted telephony involves IP telephones that connect to a telephone server located on the internet. So, they use the business’s internal IT network to have access to the internet. The connection to the internet may be via an ordinary broadband or a private circuit, depending on existing requirements the business already has for internet use. Once the telephones connect to the telephone server then they are able to ‘talk’ to the controlling telephone server and function as traditional telephones would by supplying all the usual call features as well.

So, why would you bother to have a hosted telephone system? The advantages over a traditional system are numerous. Hosted extensions are rented on a monthly basis and for this rental the customer can have an exclusive, fully configured telephone system where all their rented extensions behave in a coordinated way, as they would when under the control of a traditional system. The rental replaces any upfront cost for the telephone system, making the system very cost effective. The hosted telephony server offers its clients all the sophisticated features of a modern telephone system, such as call record, auto-attendant, voicemail, and multi-site connectivity without any of the upfront cost of purchasing a system. Consider the aspect of multi-site connectivity for a moment. All of a company’s extensions can communicate as though they are on the same system, regardless of their physical location, as long as they have access to the internet. The hosted system therefore allows businesses to work from many different sites without the necessity of a complex IT network in place.

Of course in addition to this, inter-extension calling is free, and therefore calling between physical locations is also free. Increasingly we are seeing the benefit of disaster recovery coming into its own for our hosted customers. Firstly imagine a scenario with a customer with a traditional system that is connected to the BT network via ISDN lines. In the event of failure of the ISDN lines the customer is at the mercy of BT for a divert of their main number while the problem is subsequently fixed by BT. This divert is only from one number to one number, so the customer with perhaps in excess of 20 extensions and 20 DDI numbers will find only the main number may be diverted to a mobile and this may take up to an hour to be administered by BT. The comparison for the hosted customer is that in the event of the access to the internet going down, Ring24 will divert all of the DDI numbers to any location and this will be done within seconds of the fault being reported to us. Secondly, (and hopefully more rarely) a business may lose access to its premises from flood or fire. The hosted telephony users can set up immediately from another location, perhaps home,  and receive their customer’s calls seamlessly when the business with the traditional system may have a wet or fire damaged system beyond repair and may have days of waiting before normal service can be resumed. Similarly the hosted customer can choose to move to new premises without worrying about the cost of the telephony provider moving and reconfiguring the telephone system, they simply plug the phones into the internet at the new location and carry on, it’s that simple. So, the picture is beginning to develop that the hosted telephone system offers altogether a more efficient service to make sure a business can continue to operate in almost all circumstances of disaster, can have flexible working locations, and all of that peace of mind and flexibility can be had for zero capital expenditure! Perhaps the question should be, ‘Why wouldn’t you consider hosted telephony?’…

Mike Williams