Grab That Phone

November 10, 2010

 Just how important is the phone to business?

 Many view it as a link to the outside world. 

 My Pop used to say, “Nothing starts until the phone starts ringing.”

 He and his brother owned Hutchinson Plumbing and

 Boy did the phone ring!

 When I first got out of college, I worked on the dispatch desk. The phones would start ringing the moment we walked in the door and would not stop until we locked the door behind us at the end of the day. Back in the early 70’s we were getting close to 300 calls a day. On top of that, I was also dispatching 4 service trucks. Walking out of the building at the end of the day, I would still hear the phones ringing in my ears. It usually took about an hour or so to unwind.

 The telecom industry has come a long way since the early 70’s.

 Back then; Bell Telephone was king of the copper.

 Pots (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines were your only option.

 With the deregulation of the Telecom Industry in 1996, competition was introduced to the market and the industry started to evolve. Instead of using copper to feed individual telephone lines, they introduced fiber and the whole market exploded. All of a sudden they were able to deliver 24 lines thru one fiber cable.

At the same time the Internet was being introduced to the public and providers were able to deliver both telephone service and Internet service thru one fiber connection.

As the industry continued to evolve, a number of individuals in research environments, both in educational and corporate institutions, took a serious interest in carrying voice and video over IP networks. This technology is commonly referred to today as VOIP and is, in simple terms, the process of breaking up audio or video into small chunks, transmitting those chunks over an IP network, and reassembling those chunks at the far end so that two people can communicate using audio and video. 

The problem with VOIP in the beginning was the inability to deliver Quality of Service (QOS). You would be talking to someone on the phone and they would be saying ” Hey I am speaking to you thru the Internet.” My response, “Yea I know” either there was an echo, delay , or the voice transmission was broken up or you heard a lot of static. This was one of the main issues that kept VOIP from being embraced by business. It just seemed too unprofessional to be able to exist in a business climate.

The major providers have now addressed this QOS problem by letting you ride their network. This has brought us to a whole new era called appropriately, Hosted VOIP.

Gone are the QOS issues and expanded are the services now available to the consumer:

-voicemail to email

-twinning (ringing both your phone and cell phone  simultaneously)

-HotDesking (make and receive calls using any OfficeSuite  phone on the network)

-outlook integration

-remote workers can be supported over an Internet connection.

 How old is your business telephone system?

If it is over 10 years old, you are limping and on borrowed time.

You may choose to keep limping.

Should you choose to look at a new telephone system, I would strongly recommend reviewing the opportunities available by choosing a Hosted VOIP system.

HBS represents all the major providers and we can schedule a demo of the various systems. Come and kick the tires and see how the telecom industry has evolved.

You no longer have to be afraid to answer the phone.

To learn more about Hosted VOIP products email george@hbsadvantage.com 

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

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