If you’re looking to grow and develop your business in the coming years, it’s vital that your IT system is able to keep pace. This means sourcing solutions that scale effortlessly in line with your growth, and ensuring that your end users have the systems and devices they need to work effectively and productively. One of these solutions is VoIP, which enables businesses to conduct calling using a smart device with an internet connection. Highly scalable, cost-effective, and feature rich, it’s one of the most popular scalable IT solutions on the market.
In the first piece in a series on scalable cloud-based IT solutions for businesses, we tell-all about VoIP and how it can empower businesses like yours. But first, let’s explore what scalable IT is and why it’s important.
Why is Scalable IT important?
IT scalability ensures your digital systems closely match the demands of your business throughout its growth and evolution. This translates to IT costs that closely mirror point-in-time demand, improved business agility, and the ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. With scalable IT solutions, your business gains a competitive advantage that it can use to win new business and expand into new markets.
As a leading IT support provider to businesses across York, North and East Yorkshire, Armco IT helps companies exploit powerful, scalable IT solutions that empower growth and drive down costs. In this mini blog series, we want to draw your attention to 4 key scalable IT solutions that all businesses should consider adopting in the years ahead. These solutions support agile operations, deliver cost-efficient IT capabilities and provide outstanding return on investment.
Let’s start by exploring VoIP, a solution that’s particularly relevant at the moment, as businesses look to upgrade their communications infrastructure ahead of big changes to the UK’s telephony infrastructure.
Cloud-hosted VoIP Telephony – What is it and why is it so relevant today?
VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is a fancy name for technologies that facilitate the transmission of voice data across IP networks -the internet. If you use a video conferencing solution like Microsoft Teams or Zoom, you’re already using VoIP-enabled technology.
Traditional telephony products, like ISDN lines, are designed to enable the transmission of voice data across the analogue parts of the UK’s telephony infrastructure, much of which still consists of copper cabling. This infrastructure, however, is set to be fully decommissioned over the coming years, as BT Openreach aims to make the network fully digital by its target date of December 2025. In fact, as of this month, BT has stopped selling new ISDN telephony products, with VoIP powered solutions now being the only available option for businesses looking to expand their telephone systems. If your business currently operates an ISDN phone system, you need to explore VoIP alternatives now, as your existing system will stop working after the digital transition.
Cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems are one of the most compelling options available to businesses looking for a futureproof phone system that affords effortless scalability. In simple terms, cloud-hosted VoIP takes the functionality of a full-featured, on-premises PBX phone system, and hosts it in the cloud. Cloud VoIP providers host, maintain and secure their systems on behalf of their customers: all businesses have to do is sign up, and connect via internet-capable devices and compatible desktop phones.
Offering unmatched scalability, cost efficiency and a multitude of empowering features, we believe cloud-hosted VoIP is the best telephony option for most businesses in 2023 and beyond. Here are 5 key benefits of cloud-hosted VoIP that make it such a compelling choice.
Making additions or alterations to a traditional ISDN phone system could be an arduous, time-consuming, and inconvenient affair. You’d have to contact your service provider, pencil an installation date into your busy schedule, and potentially wait weeks for the new line to be delivered.
Cloud-hosted VoIP systems allow you to provision new phone lines in as little as a few clicks. This allows you to get new lines up and running in a matter of minutes, with changes reflected in your monthly bill. Centralised management portals make it easy to manage your account, assign phone numbers and perform other admin tasks that traditionally might have involved lengthy calls to customer service.
Cloud-hosted VoIP offers convenience and scalability as standard, allowing businesses to mould their phone system around fluctuating capacity needs and ensure cost-effective billing that reflects changes in user demand.
Unified Data and Communications
In order to drive sales and support the best possible customer experience, modern businesses must carefully choreograph customer and prospect engagements across numerous communication channels, including email, instant messaging, telephony and social media. Customer relationship managers often play a key role in this endeavour, by tracking and cataloguing engagements to ensure customer support and outreach efforts strike a tone that resonates with clients and prospects.
Cloud-hosted VoIP systems often integrate multiple communication channels into a single interface: a practice known as ‘unified communications.’ This supports a seamless and productive user experience by avoiding the need to migrate between segregated applications when maintaining conversations with customers and partners.
Many VoIP systems also support CRM integration, creating the ultimate in integrated business communications by uniting data, voice, email, SMS, instant message, social media and more in a single, intuitive interface.
VoIP Offers Lower Costs
Estimates suggest that VoIP is on average 40% cheaper than analogue telephony, with businesses that make frequent oversees calls reporting savings of up to 90%. Whether charged on a per-user flat fee basis, or according to usage, cloud-hosted VoIP is invariably much cheaper than traditional telephony products on a like-for-like basis.
And the cost savings don’t stop there!
Cloud-hosted VoIP provides infrastructure-lite telephony. Most systems can be accessed through software programmes known as ‘softphones,’ which can be installed on desktop PCs and most internet-connected smart devices. For an enhanced user experience you may wish to invest in VoIP compatible handsets, but this is really the only hardware consideration in a phone system that avoids the costly cabling and server infrastructure that accompanies traditional analogue phone systems. Added to the fact that the VoIP provider is responsible for maintaining the system, and you have an exceptionally affordable phone system that delivers outstanding ROI.
Hosted VoIP systems provide flexible, mobile telephony in a way that cannot be achieved with a traditional phone system. With the ability to leverage a single contact number across all connected devices, including mobile phones and remote workstations, hosted VoIP allows you to answer calls from anywhere, and transfer calls to anyone in your organisation whether they’re in the office, at home, or on-the-go. Callers to your business enjoy the same, frictionless experience no matter where you’re working from, and you avoid having to juggle out-of-office contact numbers, keeping communication efficient and streamlined.
A Host of Helpful Features for Businesses
Whether you need a simple phone system to keep in touch with your valued customers, or a feature-rich system with call centre style functionality, hosted VoIP offers a wealth of options, with tailorable plans that allow you to choose the right assortment of features for your business. Here are just a few of the helpful call-handling features and functionalities on offer:
Interactive Voice Reponse (IVR)
IVR allows inbound callers to self-route to the department best suited to handling their query. Using voice prompts and keypad entries, IVR harnesses automation for a streamlined call handling experience that benefits both your business and its customers.
Some VoIP systems feature voicemail-to-email transcription, which sends transcripts of voicemails straight to your inbox. Deliver outstanding customer service by ensuring you never forget to call back.
Integration with other software
A powerful aspect of many VoIP solutions is that they can integrate with other software including CRMs, a Microsoft 365 platform, and more. As time goes by, the most competitive and successful businesses will be the most streamlined, integrated, and efficient. VoIP is another step in these directions for many businesses.
Call forwarding allows you to reroute calls to another agent when the original line is unavailable. Conditional or sequential call forwarding makes it possible to share high call volumes among your team, and redirect calls if the original line is busy or remains unanswered. This useful feature minimises wait times and minimises missed calls.
Call recording is a common feature of VoIP phone systems, allowing calls to be recorded and stored for training, quality control or compliance purposes.
Providing flexible call plans and billing, powerful productivity features, the option to integrate communication and data channels, and unmatched versatility, cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems deliver the agile, scalable telephony modern businesses demand, and today’s customers expect.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we explore how cloud hosting is helping businesses build dynamic and agile IT systems that support unhindered growth.
Armco IT: IT Support and Managed Services for Businesses Across York, North and East Yorkshire
There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.