Would you be surprised to learn that you can easily afford all those up to date phone features and put new high tech phones on every desk? Would you be more surprised to find out that you won’t have to invest a penny of your own money to make this upgrade?
It’s hard to believe, but true. The secret is a change in business model from owning everything to paying for what you actually use by the month. This is the power of cloud based communications.
The big technical advance that makes telephony in the cloud a winner is getting the telephones on the data network and off their own proprietary network. There are a couple of key reasons this better both technically and financially.
The technical reason is that LAN and WAN networks have far more bandwidth available than common telco channels. These include traditional analog business lines and multiplexed calls over ISDN PRI digital trunks. Both are good for something like 64 Kbps or less. No problem for voice conversations that are limited to less than 4 KHz. Also no problem for low speed data like Caller ID or dial-up modem service. Now compare this to network connections that start at 1.5 Mbps (T1) and go up to 1,000 Mbps (GigE) and beyond. This opens the door to transport dozens or hundreds of simultaneous calls on one trunk and enabling other features like HD voice for higher call quality.
In fact, there is so much bandwidth available that you can use the same WAN network connection to transport both telephone and Internet data over a single trunk line.
But, wait, aren’t there call quality issues when you send phone calls over the Internet? The trick is not to let the phone calls themselves touch the Internet. Broadband Internet and telephone calls are combined at the provider and then separated at the user location. The combination process uses the same line, but keeps voice and data from interfering. This is done by giving voice packets priority status, something you can’t do on the Internet.
You get higher bandwidth for more call capacity and both broadband and telephone service on a single network line. This is part of the cost savings. More comes from being able to select your provider from many competing cloud communications providers. What a lot of people don’t realize is that analog copper telephone lines are owned by the local phone company. Network connections can go anywhere and aren’t owned by the local telcos.
The last piece of the puzzle is moving the call switching system from the telephone company or a back room in your building to the cloud. Cloud hosted PBX systems have the economy of scale and spread the cost over many customers. Since the hosted PBX provider specializes in this service, these systems are kept up to date with the latest feature sets.
So how do you get free phones? Some, but not all, cloud communications providers include new IP desk telephones as part of your monthly service fee. This allows them to optimize their systems for particular phone models, buy in quantity, and ship you brand new telephones to replace the old ones you have now. If staff up and need more phones, they care shipped to you ready to plug into your network.
Would you like to upgrade your current business phone system without having to make a capital investment? Are providers offering free phones more cost effective than those that don’t? The way to find out is to get competitive quotes for a variety of hosted PBX service providers and see what best meets your needs.