Is Your Phone System an Antique?
As computer techs, we try not to judge older technology. After all, if it still works for you, and it still works properly after all these years, it can sometimes simply be impressive. And to be completely honest, as amazing as modern devices and technology are today, sometimes even the geekiest of us look back with fondness of the simpler times, when you needed a little plastic stylus to tap away at your tiny phone screen.
With that said, usually technology doesn’t age gracefully, and while you might not realize it, your business could be leaving money on the table by sticking with the more vintage stuff.
Many Area Businesses Have an Antique Phone System Problem
If you are paying too much for a decade-old phone system in your office, you aren’t alone. As it turns out, most of Otsego County and even the surrounding area have been at a disadvantage as far as the options available for business communications. It’s not really anybody’s fault—this area has just been sort of slow to adopt the modern phone solutions that organizations elsewhere have been using for years.
And then there’s the old adage, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. It works well enough for phone systems, because, well, they are only supposed to let you make and receive calls, right?
That’s where local businesses are at a huge disadvantage. Well, at least that’s one of the issues.
There is an even bigger issue, and that’s just how much everyone is paying to keep their ancient phone systems running, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Modern Phone Solutions are Massive Improvements to What You Know
Even the most robust, expensive telephone systems of yesteryear are pretty different compared to what’s available today. The biggest difference is just how expensive older systems are. Most older, on-premise phone systems are more-or-less high-end servers that require some very specific hardware. This makes it difficult to scale when you need to add more users or lines, challenging to troubleshoot and service, and they require a lot of overhead.
On top of that, these older systems almost always end up costing more money for additional features, and more often than not, these features are what you’d expect a phone system to do, like allowing you to bring in multiple people onto a call, call forwarding, and other rudimentary tasks.
These systems tend to be called PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems. A few decades ago, they were essentially the only option larger businesses had if they wanted to manage their own internal phone system with limited phone lines coming into the office, while still giving most users their own desk phone and extension. Like most older technologies, cheaper, more effective versions started to emerge within the cloud.
Enter Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
You’ve probably heard of VoIP. In fact, it’s pretty likely that you are using it in your home, as most internet service providers like Spectrum bundle in phone services with Internet, and they offer their own flavor of VoIP.
VoIP is simply a phone service that uses your Internet connection to make and receive calls, as opposed to traditional phone lines. It’s essentially just digital phone services as opposed to analog. To most consumers, it is indistinguishable from the old-school way of things.
For businesses, it’s a whole different story. Since most businesses need multiple phone lines and have multiple staff using the phones, and tend to take advantage of features like auto attendants, call forwarding, conferencing, and other features that make for a good business phone system, the standard consumer-grade VoIP services aren’t really a good fit.
And for the most part, up until recently, nobody has been showing Otsego County businesses just how capable VoIP can actually be for them.
Otsego County Hosted VoIP Phone Systems
Forget what you know about business phone systems, because we’re about to blow your mind.
Imagine being able to make and receive calls from your desk at the office. Pretty standard, right?
Now imagine taking your laptop home and being able to make and receive calls, simply from a headset connected to your laptop.
It gets better.
Forget the headset, you are traveling on the road, and you need to join a conference call, so you simply use your smartphone. You don’t use your own personal number on the smartphone either, you join with your business line.
For business owners, this might not be a big deal, but you probably don’t want your employees using their personal numbers to interface with customers if they are on the road. After all, you have a phone system that does call recording, tracking, monitoring, and you don’t want one employee getting direct calls that are outside of your control anyway.
Modern Hosted VoIP handles all of that.
You get the same great features of the most expensive, robust onsite PBX systems, but you can also swap things over to any smartphone, giving that phone access to make and receive calls from your business, no matter where in the world the person is.
Call forwarding, parking, placing a caller on hold, call barging, recording, and conferencing? It’s all there, whether you are at your desk, at home, or waiting at the gate at the airport.
A couple of years ago, when Oneonta got that freak snowstorm in April that left 10,000 people in our area without power, our techs were still able to answer calls because their cell phones had their work phone app on them. It’s incredible.
Hosted VoIP Sure Sounds Expensive, But…
For our business, we ended up saving a ton of money by switching everything over to hosted VoIP. We were able to ditch the expensive on-premise server that needed to be upgraded every year or two as we hired more staff, we were able to stop paying for long-distance plans and getting nickel and dimed for features that should just be included in the first place.
There are obviously costs associated with VoIP, including some initial costs if you want nice headsets and desktop phones, but after that, all it ends up being is a monthly cost based on the number of users and lines you need. It’s almost all but guaranteed to cost less and give you more when compared to traditional phone systems.
We’ve been using this technology for ourselves for many years. Our remote staff can handle calls from anywhere, our techs can take calls while on the road, and our sales team can answer inquiries even while traveling to trade shows. Our move to VoIP has been a change that almost went under appreciated because of how simple and sensible it is, and we have been helping other organizations throughout Otsego County switch over too.
Let’s Help You Ditch that Dusty Dinosaur of a Phone System
Stop paying more than you have to for one of the most rudimentary communication tools that every single business needs. We’d love to give you a demo of our hosted VoIP system. We can take a look at your current requirements and quote out what it would take to move you over; just give us a call at 607.433.2200 to get started.