Just as millions of viewers have “cut the cord” on cable television, executives around the world are beginning to reject traditional “landline” telephone service and turning to the internet for voice calls at a 50 percent price cut in some cases. Requiring zero infrastructure, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, takes advantage of cloud technology to be highly flexible and quickly scalable in addition to more economical.
In short, VOIP helps technology executives defeat that tired paradox: Do more with less. Especially with IT and telecom technologies, this paradox too often translates into having fewer or less robust technologies with fewer functionalities.
Now many chief technology officers and chief information officers are using VoIP solutions to do better with less.
CTOs and CIOs, as well as the information architects responsible for their IT roadmaps, must consider not only the technology needed to run their business but also the mission-critical communication platforms key for business intelligence and productivity.
CEOs And CFOs Need To Understand VoIP And Hosted VoIP
VoIP’s packet-based nature allows phone, wireless and applications to run on the same business VoIP network. That brings VoIP and hosted VoIP into the broader business architecture roadmap, particularly given its role in communication intelligence, mobility and connectivity.
The hard-wired circuits of what we now call Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) connected only to phone companies’ Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a simple process, but with limited functionality. Today, VoIP runs low-cost business phone systems that enable a company to keep most existing hardware, leveraging its existing technology investments.
The difference between VoIP and hosted VoIP falls where the hosting occurs: on-site or in the cloud. A 2016 McKinsey study says a well-planned convergence strategy not only saves money for operators but also produces a better experience for customers.
VoIP service providers use Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to put video conferencing and HD voice on the same network as email, text messaging, fax and other data services. Parties can speak into a computer microphone and listen through computer speakers or headsets.
Many of these new services are applications, and in aggregate, can be 15%-30% less costly. In some cases, Call One has saved clients up to 50%. The failure or fear to take advantage of these services with new smaller carriers has a significant cost.
The Right Roadmap Can Mean Up To 50% Savings, And It Starts With VoIP
Interoperable software allows CTOs and CIOs to transform their company’s IT infrastructure into a secure ecosystem that harnesses the cloud’s reliability and scalability. A 2016 PwC report describes this as a footprint with “zero infrastructure—anything-as-a-service.”
But nowhere is this move to software-based solutions more striking than in business phone systems, a world that was once purpose-built and hardware-centric.
VoIP has built a foundation for mobility-solution services, dial-tone services, hosted PBX and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Call One designed a VoIP phone system that became a more agile communications network for Athletico Physical Therapy in its rapid expansion to more than 300 locations in eight states.
The state-of-the-art configuration brought Athletico new tools for training, collaboration and communication with clients. This simplified Athletico’s operations, with reliable connectivity and proactive monitoring. It simplified administration as well—including bill consolidation and cost savings.
Call One was able to provide Athletico with unlimited local calling and bundled long-distance minutes with geographically independent telephone numbers and shared concurrent paths to increase call capacity. Audio, video and web conferencing, presence technology and other real-time communications are available on the network.
The enterprise solution is more scalable, with easy provisioning of extra connections or capacity. Disaster recovery and business continuity options are baked in. The payback is simple for the end user: SMBs can get enterprise-level networks at economy prices.
Skillsets Have Changed, Giving Non-legacy Phone Carriers An Edge
From an IT architecture standpoint, the new VoIP networks require a more knowledgeable staff with diverse skills, or an experienced, new-breed carrier that can deliver a hosted solution. Multiple applications on the same system make VoIP more complex to design and deploy in-house.
“Technology is evolving faster than ever,” says Manpower Group’s Jonas Prising, “changing the skills needed for jobs and shortening the life cycle of those skills.”
Engineers and technicians are consistently cited as difficult to retain, notes Manpower’s annual talent shortage survey.
That’s why Call One’s VoIP platform has been so game-changing for players such as Athletico. Today, IP-based SIP trunks have taken the place of dedicated phone lines at the company. Sitting at the edge of the network, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) has enabled faster speed, better-quality service, better security and monitoring. A Primary Rate Interface (PRI) now allows sites working through an IP migration to move at their own pace, without additional hardware purchases for intermediate steps.
Making the switch need not be daunting, but it takes a VoIP-centric partner with an understanding of both old and new systems plus experience with business customers with various market caps.
Ed Wynn is the executive chairman of Call One, a pioneering, next-generation communications technology company that offers businesses streamlined solutions in a complex space. He has a 30-year track record of developing and implementing proactive strategies in dynamic industries with shifting requirements and excels at finding innovative, practical and timely issue-based solutions that exceed objectives, even in adverse business and legal climates.