Hosted telephony: what is it and how does it work?
Hosted phone system, hosted telephony, hosted VoIP, hosted voice, businesses can’t be blamed for being confused by the terminology surrounding hosted phone systems. Focus Group is here to make sure you’re ‘in the know’ about this technology and why it’s time to consider switching in 2021 before the big BT switch off for UK customers.
By Sonia Older
15 November 2021, UK
Today’s business transactions demand the highest levels of efficiency and productivity, with seamless communication the key to success. Business phones play a pivotal role in this, so it’s crucial to implement a reliable, robust business phone system. Many companies now choose to use hosted telephony, which has the power to substantially enhance communication and deliver a real boost to business.
What is a hosted phone solution?
Essentially, hosted phone solution is where a specialist cloud provider hosts and manages your business phone system in a super secure, networked data centre, supporting the whole environment for you. This means that no matter what device you’re using from IP handsets to a mobile or desktop app, you can make and receive calls wherever, whenever.
For businesses of any scale, hosted telephony offers unrivalled benefits, but this is especially true for SMEs who have the opportunity to tap into technologies previously only affordable to larger companies.
Is VoIP the same as hosted?
Those in the tech industry now seem to use phrases such as cloud based phone system and VoIP phone system (Voice over Internet Protocol) interchangeably, but there is a fine line between the two. To keep it simple, the cloud is where information is held and pulled from, turning any device into a phone, while integrating with the services of a hosted telephony server, which facilitates the transmission of voice and multimedia content over an internet connection. Together they make a fantastic partnership and pack a real punch in the world of business hosted telephony!
What are the advantages of Internet telephony?
Communications technology has developed at an unprecedented rate in recent years and hosted telephony systems are now considered more reliable and efficient than a conventional PBX system, thanks to a whole host of key benefits:
- Cloud comforts – Hosting your system in the cloud as opposed to on your business premises means freeing up valuable office space. Your host is also responsible for all maintenance and upgrades, which can be undertaken quickly, seamlessly and hassle-free. All types of devices can be integrated, too.
- Call control – Hosted telephony is packed full of call management features, including automated attendant, on-hold messages, conference call options, call history, voicemail and recordings, and many more!
- Scale – A hosted phone system is incredibly agile; as your business grows, the technology grows with you. It’s also incredibly quick and easy to set-up, so you can be up and running in no time, with minimal disruption!
- Disaster recovery & backup – Sometimes things can go wrong, but a cloud based phone system comes armed with disaster recovery and business continuity planning in place, so calls can be re-routed to another site quickly and easily.
- Management & analytics – Systems can be managed and configured through a simple and clear interface, with lots of call management features available. Dedicated users can also glean detailed information on real-time call statistics to help businesses make informed decisions moving forward.
- Clear costs – Hosts will charge a set monthly fee, which is bonus when budgeting, while calls made between your offices will normally be free. You will have no PBX maintenance costs or capital outlay to factor into the budget.
- Cloud secure – Layers of security are in place when it comes to hosted telephony, such as voice data encryption, call encryption and anti-fraud measures. And because you have access to reporting, any unusual activity can be detected quickly and stopped in its tracks. Total peace of mind.
- Flexibility – It is largely the flexibility that hosted telephony offers that is the biggest draw; changes and additions can be made instantly. It also gives businesses the opportunity to combine their fixed and mobile technology.
What is the future of telephony?
According to an industry survey conducted by Gamma, out of the 400 companies taking part, just 2% said they weren’t using hosted telephony services in any form. With many businesses undergoing their own digital transformation the move to hosted telephony is a must for many, what with switching off traditional PSTN phone lines and the need to stay up to date and phase out legacy technology it appears this technology is here to dominate!