Distributed workforces are on the rise thanks to technology. Smartphones and tablets, and before them laptop computers, have all untethered the worker from his or her desk. Productivity gains have been significant, but there is a downside. The legacy communications technology of organisations, the PABX, is relatively rigid and ill-suited to the needs of a distributed workforce.
Sure, the mobile worker or home worker can always be in touch, but stand-alone mobile and home phone numbers are not part of an integrated company communications system, and that creates problems.
Using multiple different systems and technologies can be costly. Managing and reimbursing communications expenses can be a significant administrative burden, keeping track of who has what number and how they can be contacted is another administrative task.
This is where voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in a hosted or cloud based IP telephone system comes in. The basic switching functionality of the legacy PABX is moved into ‘the cloud’ and all voice traffic is carried as data, just like emails or web pages.
This means that communications are not constrained by the rigid topology of a wired telephone network: calls can be made from and delivered to any device connected to a communications network and the Internet: a standard telephone handset, a PC, a mobile phone (either as a normal mobile voice call or as data over the wireless broadband network).
And because the whole system is driven by software it can be very flexible to the requirements of users. You can specify that calls should go to your mobile, your deskphone your home phone or to voice mail with a few simple instructions.
You can specify that all outgoing calls appear to come from your deskphone (assuming you still have a desk!), or from the main switchboard number.
And then of course there are cost savings. Voice calls carried as data over your own network between your offices don’t incur any charges neither do voice calls sent as data to a mobile phone (voice calls don’t use much bandwidth, so you have to make a great deal to exceed the data limits on most mobile plans).
You can have a central office phone directory with ‘extension numbers’ for every employee but those calls can be delivered to a whole range of devices on different networks: a standard fixed line telephone, such as their home phone, and IP phone in whichever of your offices they might be working in for the day, or even to a phone in a client’s office if, for example they are working on site on a major project.
Furthermore, your main phone number is no longer tied to the location of your office. All you need to keep communications working on your old phone number when you move offices is an Internet connection at the new location.
And unless you are in the middle of the Outback, a router with inbuilt wireless modem will enable you to use the mobile broadband network to serve multiple users. (However the bandwidth of the mobile network will limit the number of phones you can support from the one mobile connection).
M5 Networks Australia are experts in business VoIP and softphone technology with over 10 years experience providing flexible office phones as an alternative to the traditional PABX. The only business phone company will need from the most experienced VoIP Business Phone providers. Contact the experts today.