The big exit from legacy telephone systems is coming, and it has big implications for call centers. Many companies are now transitioning to VoIP once their existing landline contracts end. While it’s clear that switching over to a hosted Pbx is the most logical business decision, what is the biggest impact to the call center? Let’s take a look…
Small Businesses: Small businesses will be the biggest losers in the transformation to hosted PBX. Even if your company is currently on a landline contract, you’re likely already tied up in your contract. There will be no cheap entry into the market, and that means increased prices to stay competitive. If you don’t have a choice, your best option may be to move your phones to an independent service provider. The one-two punch of hosted pbx and unified communication offers a lot of value to small businesses, to keep them competitive in the market.
Large Companies: Large companies will also face huge changes with the migration to IP telephony. Corporate IP phones will be required for calls made within the same network. This requires advanced IT support, training, and new equipment. This is also true for virtual pbx options, which many companies are moving to. Virtual phone systems offer some features and functions to traditional hosted pbx systems, but they are often lacking the other capabilities provided by IP telephony.
One of the biggest differences between hosted pbx and VoIP phone service is the mechanism for forwarding. Most IP telephony uses normal high-bandwidth connections to transfer voice calls. SIP trunks are independent gateways that can be attached to any Internet connection. A sip server is built into the sip trunk for failover.
SIP Trunking/Gateways provide a higher level of redundancy for a business. The availability of multiple connections allows for more call traffic to flow through at the same time, which leads to increased productivity and efficiency. They work much like the physical connection to your office network. An IP phone service will have its own SIP trunk or gateway. Most telephony providers have integrated these into their systems so that they are easier to integrate with existing systems and provide a better user experience.
Carrier Grade VoIP:
Many telecoms have recently begun to offer hosted VoIP phone systems and IP telephony services that use standard circuit speeds for their residential customers. These services use a SIP gateway as well as a hosted IP PBX system. These types of systems are typically referred to as “vendor grade” because they are hosted on the same network that carriers operate. They provide excellent performance and include features such as virtual numbers, call forwarding, Voicemail, auto attendant, automated call distribution, advanced call management, and more. While they may not be as fast as a dedicated VoIP service, they offer a great deal of flexibility for your business needs.
Integrated Voice Response (IVR): IVR solutions also utilize the SIP trunk for failover. IVR solutions allow call center employees to interact with customers in real-time using computer based voice applications. For small businesses, this is a very useful feature, especially when the call volume is high. IVR solutions are usually available as part of a packaged IP PBX solution.
Application Server: An application server is a web-based interface that controls the VoIP equipment. It facilitates the provisioning of VoIP services and application functions such as IMAP, SMTP, and POP3.
- It helps you manage all aspects of your VoIP service including the billing process and customer support.
- When shopping for an IP-PBX system, make sure that you find a complete package that offers all these basic services.
- You may then choose from among the many VoIP PBX solutions on the market to address your business phone needs.