With so much focus placed on new methods of communication such as email, text messaging, Skype, and social media, it is easy to see why so little attention is paid to one of the oldest pieces of office equipment still in use: the telephone. Many entrepreneurs heavily research the best computer, tablet, and smartphone combination for their needs. They even place a great deal of their attention and budget into office furniture and decor. Telephony is almost an afterthought left to a ten minute call to the phone service provider you deal with for home service.
Although the business phone has not visibly evolved much over the past several years, the infrastructure of business telephony has been revolutionized. There is now a viable alternative to the on-site private branch exchange (PBX) system. Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) can be a real lifesaver for businesses that need to avoid the complexities of a traditional PBX arrangement. Some of the challenges of a traditional system include the fact that it is:
- expensive to install
- difficult to maintain
- hard to manage
- costly to upgrade or replace outdated equipment
- a system with few customization options for individual users
- installation costs
- phone bills
- maintenance and management
- total cost of ownership
When it comes time to set up your small business telephony, make sure to have a VOIP phone system installed. The initial savings will probably be enough to pick up a half a dozen of those designer office chairs you’ve had your eye on.
There are also other options that may not be the beneficial for your company depending on your goal. Both large and small businesses have more choices in their mobile communications than ever before. Not so many years ago, a Blackberry was the only sensible choice for enterprise-level mobile communications. Today, the landscape has changed considerably. End-to-end encryption and secure instant messaging is no longer the domain of just one company.
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement is well underway. Blackberry: the company once known for providing smart communicators for business, is now offering the infrastructure for other smart communicators. Additionally, business and personal data can live in separate sandboxes on one smartphone. According to Bloomberg:
The new tools all have the ability to segregate personal and business information on one device. They can restrict corporations’ ability to access employees’ personal data, such as texts, photos and posts on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter Inc., ensuring greater privacy. They also let companies wipe business data from the phones remotely — when an employee resigns, for example — without damaging personal content or apps on the device.
This combined with soft phone options offered from your VOIP solution means your personal phone can also be your secure and convenient business phone. These were options that were simply not available in years past. With so many new options for business telephony, the future is calling.