According to the Blueface BCT Report, 35% of organisations will switch their business phone system to VoIP in the next 12 months. For many, this decision will come down to VoIP vs Analog telephony.
There are a number of reasons why the next year is pivotal for business telephony. Rapidly evolving broadband infrastructure (for better IP-comms) and the PSTN Migration are paramount concerns for business owners and communication overseers.
Prime Upgrade Time
Blueface research suggests that an office move is a big motivation to upgrade a business phone system. According to Moving Labor, summer is the hottest time to move, so expect seismic changes in the summers before the PSTN Migration.
Businesses will now be faced with a communications decision: pour money into existing legacy systems or upgrade to the next step in communications technology.
Unlike traditional, copper-wire based telephony, VoIP business phone systems need only a live broadband connection to make and receive calls.
That said, there are many businesses with fibre access who opt for a line-based solution. According to the Blueface BCT Report, 42% of all Irish businesses still paying line rental, some of this number owing to those without access to fibre broadband.
Analog telephony has not moved too far forward from the original cups and string formula and to maintain the ageing infrastructure, companies charge a premium. Global operators – including eir, BT, NTT, Verizon, Orange and more – intend to deactivate the traditional copper line networks.
Line Rental Numbers
Research suggests that Ireland has the highest line rental average cost at an astonishing €22 per line. Five lines? That’ll cost €110 before a call is terminated.
In the years after the IP Migration, support for these constricting networks will fade and soon, POTS will be totally unsupported in developed areas and commerce centres.
VoIP is an over-the-top service (needs only an active internet connection) and costs nothing in line rental. Simply get a hosted seat and start dialling.
Lines aren’t just costing your business short-term expense on your bill, the long-term cost of immobile legacy equipment can be monumental.
An On-Premises PBX can be encumbering during a move or international expansion as the system is geographically dependent. All data stored in the physical systems will need to be migrated, which is why many large enterprises opt for a Hybrid system before moving fully to the cloud. Cloud numbers are flexible and can be moved to a new configuration remotely.
According to CBInsights, failure to expand is one of the top-ranked reasons why 80% of startups fail in their first year. Many of the “post-mortems” suggest that these failed startups had trouble scaling their concept beyond physical borders. Additionally, this inflexibility limited these failed startups’ ability to compete.
Unified Communications and VoIP scales beyond physical borders without the need for new, costly equipment or lines. If a business wants to test a location in Paris, France from Paris, Texas, they can by setting up a quick virtual office.
Inbound and outbound numbers can be changed in real-time and added from the UC Portal. VoIP removes barriers to communication expansion with virtual numbering. Geographic numbering allows you to localise your dialling code in any territory from your HQ’d country.
Before the introduction of ISDN, multi-channel concurrency wasn’t readily available without bizarre customer-specific solutions. The rollout of ISDN – the digitised version of the traditional copper lines – was merely a stop gap with the evolution of high-speed broadband.
In 1989, features such as call waiting, blocking and forwarding as well as expanded conferencing were introduced over ISDN. Advanced features came with limitations; conferencing, for example, had limited ports early on and even with packet-switching, quality suffered and call concurrency was extremely limited.
Scaling your service to include new features is largely in the hands of your provider with PSTN systems. Add new features straight from your UC Portal with cloud based VoIP.
Modern, IP-powered business phone systems have expansive features and enhanced versions of traditional functions. UC Conferencing can now accommodate for as many users as an internet connection can handle and has added video conferencing as well as screen sharing.
Faxing has been modernised with virtual fax, resulting in the mercurial device’s extended longevity in data-sensitive organisations. Softphone applications allow users to bring their desk phone with them via mobile device for unparalleled extension mobility.
The list continues for quite some time but most impressive of these features of visibility and control. The design-driven UC Portal allows users to administer their account, customise call flows, add new hardware and check user availability in an instant.
These features are a large reason why 78% of businesses have increased their desk phone use in 2018.
Disaster Recovery Options
There was a time when your business would grind to a screeching halt if your business phone system had gone down. Customers and staff members plunged into the dark, rapidly losing business and reputation along the way.
Disasters – in telecommunications parlance – are any event that can disrupt your regular operations such as hacking, system outages, device malfunction and more. There are many methods of communication – such as IM and collaboration software – that can temporarily fill the space but voice communication remains the fastest way to convey a message.
Hosted phone system providers allow extension mobility that can facilitate individual users, groups and even your entire business. Users and groups can easily divert their line to their mobile softphone app, while alternate sites can be established quickly as configurations are stored remotely on the cloud and are not location dependent.
VoIP and Unified Communications can operate off high-end 4G connections in a pinch using your laptop as a middleware solution. The imminent rollout of 5G mobile data will enable a business to create dedicated mobile site DR solutions.
All a business needs to call is a .1mbps connection to make calls. If you lose connectivity, you don’t have to lose business with easy DR from Blueface.
Total Cost of Ownership
Detailed in Hidden Fees Sneaking into your Bill, the total cost of owning a phone system can soar with line-base, traditional PBX systems.
Let’s start with the installation. An on-premises phone system requires input from several parties, including your phone system provider, installer, and post-install maintenance.
Should a business want to add new numbers, that will be expensive. Should a business want to repair a fault in service, that will be expensive. Should a business want to determine the source of a fault, it can cost thousands in downtime (idle staff, lost customers etc) and maintenance before a resolution is reached.
Simple issues can balloon into expensive disasters due to inflexibility.
And it is not just maintenance; call barring, forwarding, hunt groups can cost money to implement on physical phone systems. International calling bundles and call termination is far more expensive when achieved through lines.
Hosted phone systems are scalable, meaning a business can easily add new lines, new locations and new users with fully transparent billing. Utilising a fixed subscription – or as a service to those who are familiar – allows businesses to treat their phone system as an easily scalable utility. Businesses can add features, numbers, and new call routes on their own terms.
The Future, Summarised
Mentioned earlier, many providers including BT (UK), AT&T / Verizon (US), NTT (Japan, DE Telekoms (Germany) and more, have announced the discontinuation of line-base telephony. This shift is certain to spring huge growth in the VoIP and Unified Communications market.
In fact, according to Transparency Market Research, the global VoIP industry will be worth $136.76 billion and the user-base will swell from 150 million to 350 million users by 2020. Accounting for current adoption rates, the rollout of 5G mobile data services and a surge in simple integrations, Blueface predicts that this number will be far higher.
The Blueface 2018 BCT Report informed Blueface ‘s prediction that, soon, all mobile calls will be terminated through data and VoIP instead of cellular, further merging fixed and mobile communications. As well as this, fixed broadband is growing exponentially.
No lines, no cellular service and rapidly advancing broadband infrastructure allows companies to deliver far more quality on an OTT service like VoIP. The adoption rates will soon reach a tipping point and the quality and overall product offering will continue to improve.