Telephony technology has gone a long way since Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone. It has jumped from a tethered unit into a hands-free wonder with the smartphone. Just imagine what lies ahead with this once-humble telecommunication device.
This is the nature of technology.
Ever notice why the memory on your devices has exponentially increased throughout the years? From the eight-inch floppy disk that only contains kilobytes to flash drives that can be as high as two terabytes, plus the tiny microSD can store as much as one terabyte in its micro size factor.
Well, whether futurist and technologist agreed to it. One of the influential figures of our time explains. Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
That is why some technology has stood the test of time. The same goes with some companies that evolved and continue to do so—the same principle goes with the transportation industry that started from horse-drawn carriages to self-driving autonomous electric cars.
It is under this premise that all technologies live by. Shouldn’t your business operate on the same principle? This means riding the wave in terms of the latest technology, like in the case of telephony, then utilising its full potential to your business’ advantage.
Related Article: The Business Applications of VoIP Call Recording
The Many VoIP Options
But before we dive into our subject at hand, there is something you should know first before we jump into how to choose a VoIP Phone System; we should first talk about the VoIP options available out there. These are the viable options for a VoIP Phone System you may choose from:
1. Hosted PBX
Sometimes called Hosted VoIP, here the VoIP service provider will do the housing for the IP-PBX, and they are the one controlling the technology.
2. On-Premise PBX
Also called IP-PBX phone system, this one calls for a real estate in the business owners’ premises. This is to house the equipment supplied by the service provider.
3. Hybrid Phone System
This is for businesses that want to migrate to a VoIP phone system.
4. Proprietary VoIP Phone System
Also known as closed “black box” technology, here businesses have no access to system source code or insight into how the underlying system works.
5. Open-Source VoIP Phone System
This is suited for those who want full control and access over the source of the VoIP system. PBX software is free and available to the public.
6. Open ‘Source-Based’ VoIP Phone System
Meanwhile, an Open ‘Source-Based’ VoIP phone system is both an open-source at the core and has a proprietary code built on top.
Plus, there are some VoIP providers that can adjust and allow a business to use analog phones still. In fact, there is an Australian VoIP provider that is so flexible it can even accommodate a company that is still using an analog telephone.
These providers of Hosted VoIP are malleable enough to give others still the benefits of having a VoIP in their system and even use the time-tested units.
Guidelines in Choosing VoIP Phone System
After considering the list above, you better get acquainted with the guidelines in choosing a VoIP phone system:
1. Pointers to consider
Here are some questions that business owners need to consider before buying a reference to the options mentioned above.
• Do we need control of the phone system?
• How much is the allotment for the initial cost of the whole communication setup and the monthly budget for telecommunications expenses from here on?
• Which of the options as mentioned earlier do we go with?
• Do we prefer to manage the business phone system currently installed at our physical location? In any.
• Are we looking for a full-featured Unified Communication solution but want the ease of management from a hosted PBX solution?
2. Gear Up and Surf’s Up
There are a few more things to consider before purchasing a VoIP phone system; these are to bear in mind the following:
a. Internet service provider (ISP)
b. VoIP Provider
c. PBX or IP-PBX (to enable extension lines)
d. IP Phones (SIP Phones)
3. ISP & VoIP Service Provider Rolled Into One
To ensure consistency in service, make sure that your ISP is also your VoIP service provider. This is a good barometer if you are looking for a reliable telecommunications company. Being the service providers of the VoIP system and an ISP at the same time means they have compatible hardware that goes along with their own system. With this way, you will have a guarantee that there is no conflict in the communication system with the hardware you are buying.
In summary, telephone technology has advanced by leap and bounds and every year, the benchmark by which smartphones are judged changes. The annual release of a new smartphone always claims to be the latest and the greatest until a new unit comes along.
Businesses, too, have evolved a lot from face-to-face transactions to online operations. However, there are still others who prefer brick-and-mortar store. Morever, particularly last year, purchasing online was a booming industry. Suppose you will argue that this is because of the current state of affair, or international matters, e.g., coronavirus. This is still debatable.
Though, in the United States alone, there is a prediction that e-commerce sales will hit the USD740 billion mark by 2023. An increase in online shopping has even catapulted Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, to be the richest man in the world last year until Elon Musk, SpaceX, and Tesla car founder, dethroned him.
As of the time of this writing, Bezos reclaimed the title of the world’s richest man. Either way, both billionaires saw the situation and used it to their advantage. Also, they both use technology to amass their wealth. They may be using different kind of technology, but the result is all the same. The key thing here is both, Bezos and Musk, use the full potential of technology to their benefit. Just like that, it is all a matter of riding the waves or getting wiped out by them.