(Courtesy of PressONE) Many of you have heard of VoIP (Voice over IP), equating it with the Magic Jack or Vonage, and you might think VoIP equals free phone calls forever! However, when you try to put that into real life, especially in the business world, you may run into some roadblocks.
PressONE.net has been in the telecom business for over 40 years, starting with traditional premise-based phone systems in the 1980s! PressONE was one of the earliest adopters of what is today called cloud or hosted telephony, having purchased their first platform in 2003. We pride ourselves on providing individualized niche service, while bringing our vast knowledge and experience to ensure that your transition into the cloud is seamless and carefree! So, how does this Cloud VoIP mumbo jumbo really work? What does it mean to be hosted? And will it bring you and your business any savings?
Voice over IP really takes the brains of your phone system out of your office closet and moves those brains into the “cloud” (aka the internet) —where our team of engineers monitors it 24/7/365, providing continuous power and HVAC to ensure that you are never “down.” Once the brain of your system is in the cloud, your phones can be anywhere the internet is—across the city, across the country, across the world! They can work in Israel, on a cruise ship or even in a Starbucks—if that’s where you want to set up shop! It really is brilliant. This structure eliminates so many resiliency issues that your business may encounter: maintaining (and the dreaded upgrading of) old hardware in your office, needing your phone guy to come out and make changes to your system when you have employee turnover or maintaining business continuity during a disaster or even just during a move into new office space. It also eliminates the worry that a power outage in your office will make it seem like you are out business—moving into the cloud ensures that you will always be in business, even if you are physically offline. Moving to VoIP means that you can lose your whole office (chas v’shalom) and you’d still be getting phone calls (automatically routing to cell phones when out of service), voicemails would still be saved and emailed so you can play the messages right from your smart phone and, most importantly, your phone numbers would still work, giving every caller the normal message that you are very much in business and available to take their call. You could even scrap your desk phone altogether and use an app on your cell phone if you’re a mobile warrior and are always on the move! Perhaps the biggest bonus is connecting offices around the world with free extension-to-extension dialing at no additional cost and without requiring any additional hardware!
Perhaps the more beautiful aspect of Cloud VoIP is that you can reap the benefits of a very large company, even if you are not that large—direct-dial phone numbers, automated attendant menus and guaranteed uptimes. Hosted VoIP has the inherent infrastructure to support companies with thousands of phones, but the flexibility to provide those same features to companies of just one, two, five or 10 as well.
Now you might phone a friend who tried VoIP and they might say the quality was terrible. Know that there are a lot of options out there in terms of cloud providers. Some sell based on lowest price, with no regard for churn or overall profitability (and lose clients as fast as they bring them on). Some sell on unstable platforms that have no proper infrastructure or true redundancy, leaving you exposed as though it were in your own office, or worse. Finding the right provider is critical—one that has been in the business for a long time and who understands how to make sure your business needs are met is essential to a happy transition to hosted VoIP. Speak to their existing clients to ensure the provider you choose is the right fit for your business!
PressONE has multiple platforms to meet your specific needs, with systems geographically redundant on all levels. We also have over 100 years of experience combined in our friendly management and staff. Amazingly, there isn’t any catch! With hosted VoIP, you don’t have any systems to buy! PressONE will provide phones for free with your contract! And even give you 90 days to ensure your satisfaction. You can eliminate the excessive charges for your phone lines and voice circuits, and just pay a small monthly charge per phone instead. So, please, go ahead and take the plunge into cloud telephony! Your business will thank you. Shana Tova!
By Allan Schwartz
Allan Schwartz is the executive vice president at PressONE.net and has been in the telecommunications industry for 25 years. He’s a Queens native, transplanted into Bergen County, yet remains a die-hard, disappointed Mets fan.