VoIP – Connectivity Wherever You Are

We explored some of the traditional methods of communication we use in our businesses in the last article, we explained that these methods – for all their years of dedicated service – simply won’t suffice anymore. We established that effective communication is – and always will be – the lynchpin of every successful organisation in the world, in the following article we will explore the modern ways that we can communicate with the various entities in our businesses, and how – if done correctly – it can change your organisation forever.

 

Communication for the modern business

VoIP – Telephony for the modern business

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP makes it possible to make a call directly from a computer or a VoIP phone from anywhere in the world – as long as you have an internet connection, and all can be done whilst still keeping the same contact number.

ISDN, otherwise known as the traditional form of telephony for business, is nearing end of life. This should be enough for you to be actively pursuing a new method, and that is before you explore the often extortionately expensive costs of installation and maintenance. VoIP is comparatively cheap, has abilities that are far more advanced than ISDN, and allows your team to be connected regardless of their location on the planet. It makes things possible that we previously couldn’t imagine.

 

Why is VoIP the obvious replacement?

The ‘office setting’ from anywhere

You can ‘pull the wool over your client’s eyes’ with VoIP, and can appear at your desk in the office when actually you are at home. It allows you to be professional at all times – regardless of your location – and the process change for your clients. They dial the same, reputable, familiar company number that they always do and the call can still be answered with the company slogan in a professional way, this is particularly important for brand new prospects that are reaching out to your business for goods or services, the first impression they have of your business comes from this exchange – make sure it is a good one.

Mobility

Traditional phone lines that run to a business have a specific number assigned to them. It is likely that your team is – or is going to – make an at least partial change to remote working, those that have already have had to remember complex codes and keys in order for their device to appear as the office number when actually in their house or the coffee shop, it isn’t the most difficult task for those with a familiarity with tech, but for those that have no technical prowess this can become a long, arduous, and time-consuming task.

With VoIP your team can now work from anywhere with an internet connection, with very little change to the service you offer your clients. If done correctly, your clients should be oblivious to the changes and your team can enjoy the benefits of remote working.

Relationships

Voicemail was once a key part of business. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny in today’s world – VoIP makes Voicemail obsolete; it makes it possible to choose where your calls ring and for how long they ring. Theoretically, you can have the first calls take place to your office (where you spend the most time), followed by your home office (undoubtedly where you spend the most time when home), the next to your mobile (for when you are on the go), and the last to your boat (for when you are having some well needed rest).

VoIP offers a unique opportunity, one that has not been possible before – the ability to guarantee to your client base that you will never miss their call, a promise that has been made previously, but never didn’t actually mean never then.

Reliability

As we just explained, promises can be made that where impossible previously – infact traditionally promises were avoided, better to not promise at all than to break one. But, with the ability to choose where your calls are forwarded to, in the event of a disaster you can simply move to another location and continue as if nothing has happened, uptime can be guaranteed, and in turn so can a top-quality service.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the gem in the crown of the Microsoft Suite of tools, is has rapidly risen to being one of the most effective tools in the entire ecosystem. Over 250 million people worldwide use the app daily and now wouldn’t be able to thrive – or even survive – without it. Teams can seamlessly integrate with other tools in the Microsoft ecosystem, it allows your team to share files, co-ordinate tasks, and schedule meetings, all from one place.

All of its features make many of the traditional methods of communication obsolete – for example, in house Emailing is no longer required, cutting the time for internal conversations by a considerable amount, this means your team have more time to complete tasks that actually add value to the organisation and not waste time.

Remaining familiar with the technological landscape of those in your sector is important, they may already have effective solutions to problems that you are facing. Being vigilant and open to change will ensure that your team are equipped with the best possible tools to complete their daily tasks and solve their own challenges.

It can be a challenging task so please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our expert team and we will help you to choose, implement, and manage the right tools to help your business thrive.

 

Your Business IT Support Partner

We work closely with small, medium and enterprise level businesses – our core values remain strong; we will work smoothly and efficiently as a part of your team to deliver our high standards in cutting edge, creative communication solutions. Thanks to our years of experience, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and pride ourselves on embracing the latest innovations to offer you complete peace of mind. Our team values that each business’ needs are unique, and we are therefore flexible and bespoke in our approach.

 

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VoIP – Modern Communication in a Modern World

The last decade has seen changes to the way we work that we have never bore witness to before. Advancements in the capabilities of technology – and in turn our reliance on it – are the main reasons for these changes, the way we work doesn’t just improve when we use technology correctly – it relies on it.

Technology has the power to revolutionise your organisation, the problem is that most aren’t using it its full potential or are using dated tools, it doesn’t matter how good the tech is if you don’t use it in the best way possible.

The modern workplace is more flexible than it ever has been before, but there will always be one element that must stay and always be achieved to the highest possible standard – communication. Communication is what keeps your business thriving, it is often overlooked as it is so automatic in our minds, but you must be able to contact other companies, clients, and most importantly, your team whenever you deem it necessary.

We all know that we need to adopt modern tools and go through a sort of digital transformation, but now the difficult bit begins – what is out there? What will solve the challenges that you are having regarding effective communicative channels?

Let’s not forget the tools and methods of communication that have allowed our businesses to get this far, unfortunately they don’t quite meet expectation anymore.

 

Communication – The Traditional Methods

Email

Since the 70’s Email has been an integral part of practically every business in the world. Technology rarely survives long enough to become a staple of our lives, but in regard to Email its abilities were so revolutionary that is has cemented its spot as one the most revolutionary workplace tools ever released.

But, in the ‘instant’ world we live in now, is Email capable of delivering what our workplaces need?

The biggest problem – and one of the most frustrating elements of our workday – is Spam. They make up the vast majority of Email traffic businesses receive daily – this traffic offers no value to the business and sorting through them can be a monotonous and extremely time-consuming. The majority of businesses have assigned every minute of their workday to achieving some sort of value. Spam doesn’t feature in that plan.

In fact, it can be argued that Email itself is too time-consuming for the way we work today. Conveying messages and holding a conversation can take hours, for a busy a team, taking hours to have a conversation simply won’t suffice.

The Telephone

The telephone is – and I think it’s safe to say always will be – an integral part of business. There are many alternatives on the market today, but the phone offers a level of personability – and for the less technically familiar – familiarity that simply can’t be challenged. We don’t need to preach to you the importance of the tone of voice, language, and mannerisms we use when talking to clients and our team members alike, all are elements that can seriously affect the outcome of a conversation.

The phone allows you to ‘read’ the conversation, in an Email it is impossible to know how a person is feeling unless they tell you directly ‘no I am not happy with this’ or ‘yes that is great’, even then you don’t know if that is actually how they feel – the phone allows you to hear that mood and change your approach accordingly on the fly.

Of course, we aren’t saying to just scrap all of your traditional methods of communication, we are however, saying that updated versions of your existing methods of communication will revolutionise your business. An updated phone system that is capable of keeping you connected at all times is essential if you want to compete with others in your sector.

In unison with our forms of communication – clients are changing too, there is extraordinarily little loyalty anymore, gone are the days where you continued using an organisation through loyalty regardless of the little hiccups on the way. Now, clients are fickle, they are used to having instantaneous connectivity to one another via phone, Email, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a whole list of other applications and tools, this has led their expectations of businesses to change. Simply, if their demands aren’t met and they can’t get in contact with you they will simply take their business elsewhere.

The telephone is your main lifeline to the vital components of your business – you must always be reachable, clients don’t care your reasoning for being unavailable, the majority will take their business elsewhere in search of instant availability.

Meetings

The way we conduct meetings has changed too, there was nothing worse than being forced into the stuffiest room in the office on a hot sunny day, it was never productive really but there was no other choice. In fact, this is probably one of the main reasons that meetings haven’t – traditionally – happened as often as would be beneficial in most organisations. Finding a date and time that suits your whole team was an impossibility – especially for those slightly larger organisations – but, technology now has the answer, a solution that doesn’t involve everyone being crammed into a room and allows you to stop wasting your teams time.

In the next article we will explore modern communicative methods and see how these up-to-date solutions can revolutionise your workplace, if used correctly they will take you into the future with tech as the powerful addition to your team it should be.

 

Your Business IT Support Partner

We work closely with small, medium and enterprise level businesses – our core values remain strong; we will work smoothly and efficiently as a part of your team to deliver our high standards in cutting edge, creative communication solutions. Thanks to our years of experience, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and pride ourselves on embracing the latest innovations to offer you complete peace of mind. Our team values that each business’ needs are unique, and we are therefore flexible and bespoke in our approach.

 

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Microsoft Teams Telephony and VoIP – Revolutionising Home Working

As we have already explored in the previous article, due to technological advancements and the arrival of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, the world of work has changed by unrecognisable amounts in comparison to just a few years ago.

Covid-19 forced many businesses to make a change to their work processes that they simply weren’t prepared for – they adopted a remote working strategy practically overnight. Business owners – in an attempt to keep their organisations from going under – were forced into the change, and admirably approached it with not just an open mind but a level of spirit to beat the virus and move forward. It was unfortunate, however, that the way they chose to operate from home was only capable of serving purpose temporarily.

Now that we seem to have seen and coped with the worst of the pandemic, business owners need to look to the future and find a long-term flexible solution to their remote working. We now know that VoIP and Microsoft Teams are the best solutions to the majority of issues that business owners are having when remote working. With Teams offering levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity that rivals any app of its kind on the market today – combined with the quality of VoIP – your remote working team can even rival your on-premise one.

In the remainder of this article, we will take a closer look at VoIP and VoIP in Teams. In the process we hope to enlighten you to the possibilities that a combination of the two can offer you and your team.

 

VoIP – what is it?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is a phone service delivered over the internet – it allows you to make a call directly with a computer or a VoIP phone.

Why VoIP?

We’re sure you will agree that starting and running your own business is all about profit. Of course, there are other elements that are important – morale and happiness, for example – but as bad as it sounds the reason that these other elements are important is so that the bottom line is as attractive as possible. ISDN is approaching the very end of life – it hasn’t got long left at all. This – combined with the fact that traditional phone systems are often extortionately expensive – places VoIP firmly in pole position as the logical decision when it comes to choosing the right method of connectivity for your team. VoIP makes them reachable from anywhere on the globe, and it is this fact that renders it so appealing to business owners.

Let’s list some of the many reasons why VoIP has become the number one choice for business owners all over the world.

  • Service Mobility

As you know, traditional phone systems assign a specific number to a line that runs to a business. This makes any change to remote working not only a tedious task but a nerve racking one too – you are trusting your employees to remember and input the right codes into their mobile in order for it to show up as the reputable office number. A lot of time is wasted doing this and waiting for calls to be transferred – all time that could be better used.

VoIP allows you to make your service completely mobile. Your team can work from home for a few days a week, for example, and then spend the rest of the work week in the office; their days can change as you wish according to the needs of the business. VoIP makes adapting between a remote work setting to the on-premise one (and vice versa) seamless – so smooth, in fact, you can pull the wool over your clients’ eyes (they are under the impression your team are still at their desks when in reality they could be anywhere on the globe with an internet connection).

  • Seamless mirroring of the office setting

As we said, your clients should be oblivious to the fact that you aren’t at your desk. VoIP allows you to mirror the professionalism that your team achieves on-premise – customer processes stay exactly the same, they call the same reputable company number and are greeted with the familiar company slogan or greeting. Details like this make a massive difference to the quality of service you are offering your client base – and, more importantly, your potential customer base. Being able to remain professional at all times allows you to not only provide a good service but also establish a repeat customer base.

  • Client interaction

Voicemail was once one of the most important parts of business operations, but, in the fast paced world we live in, it has gradually become surplus to requirements. Voicemail can’t simply be eliminated for every business out there, but, with VoIP, you no longer need it. As we said, VoIP allows you to choose where your calls ring, and how. You could have the first calls to the place you spend most of your time – undoubtedly as a business owner that would be your office – but again, as a busy business owner you are always on the go, so the second could take place to your mobile device, and then another to your house, and this can continue as many times as you wish. This technology offers you confidence that was previously not achievable, and you can announce to customers that you will never miss their calls without just making a wild claim.

  • Versatility of features

VoIP delivers feature versality that old traditional phone systems couldn’t dream of offering. VoIP’s array of small features – when all connected and working together – can revolutionise your workday. For example, let’s briefly explore ‘Voicemail-to-text.’ The feature takes a transcript of your Voicemails and sends them directly to your Email inbox – this offers a unique option; you can deliberately miss a client’s call for whatever reason and continue with your workday with the peace of mind that you can refer to the transcript at a later date when the time suits you. Explore the features in VoIP; there are many – and, as small as some are, when the right combination is found they can revolutionise the way you do business.

  • Reliability

Yes, there is a key issue that comes with VoIP – if you lose internet connection you lose the ability to make calls. Of course, no business in the world can be so precariously placed on the edge of potentially not being able to operate by something so fickle as your Wi-Fi connection. When used correctly VoIP should irradicate this risk – as we said earlier in the article, if implemented correctly VoIP is more than flexible, you can choose where your calls are forwarded to (meaning that if you were to lose your Wi-Fi connection then you simply direct your calls to a different location and continue as normal).

 

VoIP with Teams – The Best Choice

Most of us know what Microsoft Teams is, but, for the few that don’t, Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular business applications on the market. It is one of the latest and greatest additions to the Microsoft suite of tools and has amassed an astonishing 250 million daily active users globally. Microsoft Teams allows businesses to streamline daily work tasks and offers your team the ability to connect with each other from anywhere on the globe with an internet connection. Teams is designed with the sole intention of improving the levels of communication, collaboration, and productivity that your team can achieve, regardless of their location – whether they are at their desk, on holiday with the family, or on their boat sailing the Mediterranean – as long as they have an internet connection, Teams’ features are all available.

Businesses across the globe have discovered just how useful Teams can be when used to its full potential. Using its features correctly can revolutionise your business and allow it to move into the future prosperously.

So why VoIP with Teams?

Teams offers levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity that were previously unachievable, so intertwining the capabilities with VoIP makes for a practically faultless pairing.

The effective use of VoIP within your business will set you up for the future in the right way – not only will it bring your organisation into the modern way of doing things, but – with ISDN on its way out and the change from it becoming mandatory as soon as 2025 – it is the logical choice.

 

 

Your Business IT Support Partner

Uptech is the leading IT support company in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. We are passionate about the support we offer businesses like yours and also provide Enterprise-level tools, Cyber Security Solutions, and IT hardware to businesses in need of a helping hand. Established in 1994, Uptech offers High-end IT Services to Businesses with 5-200 staff, with multiple locations (including WFH), which enables them all to remain Connected. We have helped our clients to progress and improve their IT, and so become more profitable and productive. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

 

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Efficiently working from home with VoIP

The world of work has changed massively over the last few years, with both technological advancements and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic propelling us to a position where work can be undertaken from anywhere. Running a successful business is challenging at the best of times, but the pandemic really accentuated those struggles.

Businesses all over the world were on the brink of collapse, and were forced to adopt a remote working team just to stand a chance at survival. Like we said, technological advancements were always going to make this possible – and they were always intended to become common practice – but what was anticipated to be a gradual transition taking place over years quite literally happened overnight.

Some made the transition as a temporary measure to ‘keep their heads above water,’ but they never anticipated that it would become common practice even after the worst days of the pandemic were over. Unfortunately, as is normally the case when something is rushed, difficulties have arisen that affect everyone concerned, all of which need to be overcome if remote working can remain our new standard practice and a viable option for success going forward.

 

Communication – The Lynchpin of Success

Defining communication as ‘the lynchpin of success’ may sound a little strong but we really don’t think it is. Communication allows you and your team to use your time productively – without it your entire business will struggle to run smoothly. Unfortunately, however, effective communication in a remote setting can be exceedingly difficult to achieve.

The first thought when someone mentions business communications is the telephone – of course, in the modern workplace there are many different ways to communicate, but most of the business that takes place around the globe on a daily basis is conducted on the phone. Its ability to allow for instantaneous and personal conversations with anyone in the world places it well above the abilities of email or message. We all know that some of the modern alternatives to the telephone are incredible – like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, for example – but for spontaneous, unplanned, communication the telephone is still the best approach.

Face to face meetings have become outdated for most organisations, thanks to remote working. Even in the tech dominated world we live in, the phone remains as the main link between you, your suppliers, and your customers, and the levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity your organisation can produce.

 

The Problems Telephony Brings When Remote Working

Telephony can cause real damage to the reputation of any business (and, in extension, the entire organisation) if it is not implemented and managed correctly.

The reputational consequences can be huge, because if calls are answered unprofessionally the communication with the client – or potential client – is already hampered (whether on a personal device or not). But you cannot blame your remote workers, because who answers their personal mobile in a professional way? It is the same when making outbound calls – again, it is hard to maintain professionalism when making important business calls from a number which is not recognised as the reputable company one. You could lose business too – if all the inbound calls are being directed to one single mobile device it is highly likely that some are going to be missed along the way. The client will likely not leave a voicemail – because, let’s face it, who leaves voicemails any more? Therefore, a missed or badly answered call could potentially be the end of that business forever.

Let’s take a look at a solution to these issues for those who have made the decision to continue remote working and not return to the office setting, or at least adopted a hybrid of the two. Flexibility is key to success going forward, and this can only be achieved with the help of Microsoft Teams.

 

VoIP and Microsoft Teams

VoIP and Microsoft Teams connectivity will simplify the quality of communication you can achieve in your work environment, all without the need for multiple applications and tools. We all know that Teams offers levels of communication, collaboration, and productivity that can rival any other app on the market – both in a remote or on-premise setting – but layering it with your Telephony on top is not only simple but also makes your workplace much easier to navigate efficiently.

In the following article we will explore VoIP in more detail and explain why you should choose VoIP in Teams as the solution to your communicative issues when working remotely.

 

 

Your Business IT Support Partner

Uptech is the leading IT support company in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. We are passionate about the support we offer businesses like yours and also provide Enterprise-level tools, Cyber Security Solutions, and IT hardware to businesses in need of a helping hand. Established in 1994, Uptech offers High-end IT Services to Businesses with 5-200 staff, with multiple locations (including WFH), which enables them all to remain Connected. We have helped our clients to progress and improve their IT, and so become more profitable and productive. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

 

Working From Home CTA

Using Teams as a VoIP alternative – communication the modern way

In the first article we explored some of the traditional ways that we communicate in our businesses, and we explained that these methods were once more than capable of delivering levels and quality of communication that were beneficial for any workplace. However, in the modern age, they don’t quite stand up to scrutiny – they no longer allow you to achieve the quality of communication that is required for your business to thrive. It is therefore time for a change.

As we have already explored, communication is – by some way – the most important element of any business.

The remainder of this article will explore the modern methods of communication that can assist you, your team, and in turn your organisation, going forward into the future.

 

Communication in the modern world of work

VoIP telephony – the modern way to communicate

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. With VoIP you can make a call directly using a computer, or a VoIP phone, from anywhere. This can all be done whilst keeping the same contact number (which is vital to modern business, as it can appear to your clients that you are in a particular place even when you aren’t) – we will explore this in more detail later.

Traditional telephony for business (ISDN) is very near the end of its life. This fact should be enough to persuade you to find an alternative solution, but if it doesn’t perhaps the cost will. VoIP in comparison is far cheaper and has advanced capabilities that allow you to communicate with your team, flawlessly, from anywhere on the globe – as long as they have a sufficient internet connection.

 

VoIP – The obvious replacement

The ‘office setting’ from anywhere

VoIP allows you to maintain an image no matter the circumstances, because your team can be anywhere in the world but appear to your client base as if they are at their desks in the office – if you are on the beach with your family, out with your friends on a night out, or simply at the local coffee shop your quality of service need never suffer. VoIP is unique, as it allows you to improve the levels of professionalism and quality of contact to your customers with no change to the service process. The call will still go from the reputable company contact number, and they will still be greeted with the familiar friendly company greeting – this doesn’t sound like much, but to maintain your customer base it is essential to remain consistent – doing so will allow your clients to develop a level of trust and familiarity with you, your team, and in turn your business as a whole.

 

Mobility

Traditional phone lines have a specific phone number assigned to them. The way we work is changing, and many are adopting an at least partially remote working team, so if you choose to continue using ISDN, to make remote working possible your team will have to remember complex codes and keys – which are unnecessary and annoying additions to work processes.

With VoIP your team can make their own choice where they work, with little or no effect to business operations.

 

Relationships

Voicemail has traditionally been a wonderful tool – it allowed us to be certain that if we couldn’t answer a call, we weren’t missing out on anything. Unfortunately, in the modern age VoIP is a far better option, because instead of your call going through to Voicemail when it is not answered it can ring elsewhere. You can choose where your call rings and for how long – let’s say, for example, you spend most of your time in your office, so the first rings can go there, then the second few to your home, and the last to your mobile; by using this system you can be confident that wherever you are or whatever you are doing you will never miss those all-important business calls.

 

Reliability

VoIP offers a unique opportunity; with it you can make promises that simply weren’t possible previously. With the ability to route your calls to locations of your choice, you can guarantee to your customers that, no matter the circumstances, you will be available for contact.

 

 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has rapidly become one of the leading lights in the Microsoft suite of tools. Since its release in 2017 it has undergone a gradual increase in popularity – or at least that was until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we briefly explored, the health crisis forced many to adopt remote working teams, and those teams needed tools to use whilst working from home – the best option on the market is Microsoft Teams. With its influence spanning the globe, over 250 million people use the platform daily, just because it allows you and your team to share files, co-ordinate tasks, and much more, all in one easy to navigate place.

Meetings made easier by Teams

Again, as we explored in the previous article, traditional meetings were awful, not held nearly as often as they should have been, and were very difficult to organise – luckily, there are now new modern methods of conducting far more productive meetings for your team.

Meetings in Teams allows you to organise a meeting in advance. Teams automatically finds a slot which works for all the team members involved and automatically adds it to their diary, thus removing the hours that it used to take to organise a time that suited everyone. Your team can join those meetings from anywhere in world (for instance, if your business requires your team to be on location travelling) – VoIP makes it possible to both be away for business but still involved in the meeting agenda.

It is of the utmost importance that you keep familiar with the technological landscape of successful businesses around the world, as, in this way, you can see what will benefit your own. By adopting the proven methods relevant to your company, you will have peace of mind that your team are well-equipped and able to complete their roles efficiently and to the highest standard possible.

 

 

Your business IT support partner

Uptech is the leading IT support company in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. We are passionate about the support we offer businesses like yours and also in our provision of Enterprise-level tools, Cyber Security Solutions, and IT hardware to businesses in need of a helping hand. Established in 1994, Uptech offers High-end IT Services to Businesses with 5-200 staff, with multiple locations (including WFH), enabling them to all remain Connected. We have helped our clients progress and improve their IT, and become more profitable and productive. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

Teams as a VoIP alrernative

Using Teams as a VoIP alternative – communication the traditional way

Modern business is practically unrecognisable compared to what it was a mere decade ago, with rapid advancements in technology being met by our growing reliance on it. The wave of transition to technology has brought with it a whole new – more productive – way of working. Technology will continue to evolve and its trajectory for the future is only going to improve – this is why it is essential that we use the technology at our disposal to its fullest potential.

It’s a great idea to introduce new technologies into your business. However, it is always advisable to consider the business case to ensure practical application of any new tools, to make sure you avoid the pitfall of change for change’s sake. In any business, the most integral of business operational requirements is communication. Flawless levels of communication are integral – your business won’t survive without it.

Despite the progressive nature with which technology moves forwards, people still need to talk with people. Although situations may change and the means of communication at our disposal may evolve, the bottom line is that you still need to be able to communicate with people in an effective and reliable way.

 

Communication – The traditional methods

Email

Email has for quite some time been one of the most important methods of workplace communication. Since its conception over 50 years ago, it has successfully connected businesses and people to each other anywhere on the globe. Technology rarely remains relevant for such a long time; its longevity only proves that it fully deserves its standing as one of the best communicative tools on the planet – ever. But times have changed – back in the 70’s it was revolutionary to be able to send documents and important messages to people both next to you and around the world at the same time, but, in the modern age, this is a basic feature of most tools. Is Email still relevant in the modern workplace?

One of the reasons that Email isn’t quite what it once was is due to value. In the modern world Email is saturated by advertising, and value is severely lacking. ‘Spam’ Emails are far too common now – many find that their inbox is full of Spam and that is takes an age to sift through them to find the Emails of any value.

Many have had a realisation that Emails can be very monotonous, because, in a world of instant connectivity, it is not acceptable for a simple conversation to potentially take hours of back and forth Emailing to reach a conclusion. The modern workplace has no time to waste, for any reason.

 

The phone

The phone is essentially the same now as it was when it was originally developed, although, of course, it is now like carrying a small computer in your pocket, but in terms of business communication it is practically the same. I’m sure almost every business owner in the world will agree that there is nothing quite as powerful as communicating with others by using your voice. You can adapt the way you are speaking according to the conversation you are having and be selective on your style of speech based on the tone and vocabulary of the person you are speaking with. Conversing verbally by phone will always get a more positive response in comparison to Email (which can be also be mis-interpreted).

 

We all know that the phone is important, but it is time to move forward – a hybrid of traditional communicative methods and modern alternatives is recommended, and a modern makeover for the work phone is long overdue.

Landline technology has had its time in the sun. It simply can’t aid in the productivity your organisation is able to achieve any more, and in modern business anything that doesn’t improve must be removed. Consumers in today’s world are different from those in the past – they want to be able to contact you all the time, with no exceptions. The world we live in is to blame for this as everything is now demanded instantly, and there is always a rival company offering the same product or service claiming to be cheaper and of a better quality to yours. If your client can’t reach you then they will simply take their business elsewhere, or even worse, if they are a potential client, you may never get their business if their initial contact fails or is deemed to be ignored.

The phone is the lifeline that keeps you, your suppliers, and your customers working to the same plan, so it is vital that you are reachable 100% of the time – if you aren’t then that chain breaks and your business could fail as a result.

 

Meetings

Meetings were traditionally something to dread for most employees. The office manager would force everyone into a cramped room for a few hours, and attempt to keep everyone’s attention – this way of doing things has never been productive but had to be done as we had no other way. This is probably the reason that meetings are usually few and far between – and only happen if there is a problem in most organisations. For a lot of business owners’ meetings simply aren’t feasible – it can be impossible to find a date and time that fits around their workforce’s busy schedules – but, with help from the right modern tech, businesses can remove the time and effort that has traditionally been needed to make meetings possible.

As we have already explored, the basic needs we have as both humans and people within business remain unchanged – there will always be a requirement to converse with other people in a clear and effective way, however much the operational and commercial pressures of the modern workplace force us to adopt dynamic ways of levelling-up our mediums of communication; ensuring all our basic needs are met, in a faster, simpler, and more reliable way.

In the following article we will explore VoIP and Microsoft Teams, which are two of the most productive ways of communicating on the market today. We will investigate how – if implemented and maintained correctly – they can revolutionise your organisation’s communicative capabilities. Modern digital tools can guide you to a more prosperous future with strategically aligned, capable technology as a powerful ally.

 

 

Your business IT support partner

Uptech is the leading IT support company in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. We are passionate about the support we offer businesses like yours and also provide Enterprise-level tools, Cyber Security Solutions, and IT hardware to businesses in need of a helping hand. Established in 1994, Uptech offers High-end IT Services to Businesses with 5-200 staff, with multiple locations (including WFH), which enables them all to remain Connected. We have helped our clients to progress and improve their IT, and so become more profitable and productive. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

CTA Traditional Communication

The end of the road for ISDN? – The transition to VoIP

The world is constantly changing and evolving – some would say almost too quickly for businesses to keep up. We are living in a technological age that opens up possibilities that most of us couldn’t have dreamt of even 10 years ago – our lives now rely entirely on how capable the technology we have at our disposal is. With the number of options available in regard to communication, collaboration, and productivity on the market today it can be a very difficult time to find the one that will be most effective for the way you want to do things.

Technological advancements combined with the recent pandemic has led many businesses to adopt an at least partial remote working environment. Businesses have been trying their best to manage this rapid change as best they can, but, due to the uncertainty of recent years, these efforts have not always been sufficient for long term success. Many have realised that the long-term solution that they choose needs to be capable, flexible, and manageable now and in the future.

 

Why VoIP?

In the previous article we outlined that ISDN is nearing the end of its life. With traditional phone systems being very expensive, and VoIP rapidly becoming cheaper it is without doubt the better option for the modern business.

  1. The office setting from anywhere

There are times when working away from the office is enormously beneficial the only problem is when your clients know that you are on the first tee, at the beach, or on your boat soaking up some sun they may misunderstand the “out of the office” message. VoIP allows you and your team to appear in the office no matter where you are as long as you have a stable internet connection. This allows your clients to continue operating as normal, transactions are the same, communication appears the same, and crucially the number they call is the same regular number they have become accustomed to calling, and the greeting they receive upon making the call is still the same as it always is.  It is these consistencies that provide great comfort to your client base that you may not even have considered until now.

 

  1. VoIP allows you to take that professionalism with you anywhere. That first touchpoint a client experiences can be key to establishing a relationship. A consistent professional, knowledgeable, and friendly first contact goes a long way to providing the foundation upon which relationships are built.

VoIP fills the hole left by Voicemail. Of course, some organisations still use it, but for most modern businesses it is simply too slow and doesn’t really serve enough of a purpose to make it worthwhile.

VoIP allows you to choose where your calls ring which allows you to get rid of Voicemail forever. You could theoretically make the first rings take place at the office where you spend the majority of your time, the second could take place at your home, and the last through to your mobile, the choice of combination is up to you. VoIP allows you to offer something relatively unique to your clients, you can make a guarantee that you will not – under any circumstances – miss their call.

 

  1. Feature versatility

VoIP has many features that make it stand out from the rest, but the obvious one to discover is Voicemail-to-text. Voicemail-to-text takes a transcript of your voicemail message for you and sends them directly to your inbox. Again, it offers something unique, you can now deliberately miss those calls that you simply don’t have time for. We all have a client that likes a chat and sometimes there simply isn’t time for that, this allows you to avoid that without being rude. Alternatively, if you accidently miss a call you can carry on your day as normal without the worry that you have missed something really important. You can simply go back to it later and read what it was about and act accordingly.

 

  1. Reliability

Like every system there are flaws of course. If you lose internet connection, you also lose telephony connection. We understand that there is no way of running a successful business whilst constantly panicking that you are going to lose the ability to communicate with not just your client base but also each other and your suppliers – this would be a disaster and could result in serious ramifications for the entire organisation. But, with VoIP set up correctly this problem becomes irrelevant, call forwarding allows everyone to work from anywhere as we said. Problems at the office, don’t worry, just pick up your laptop and go and work from elsewhere.

 

  1. Increased mobility of service

The speedy transition to remote working was a tricky one with traditional phone lines running to a specific number. It forced employees to remember loads of different codes and keys that they had to dial in the correct order for their telephone at home to appear as the office number.

VoIP makes service mobility possible. One day your entire workforce can be in the office, and the following day they can all be at home. VoIP allows your team to continue working no matter how extenuating the circumstances are – for example members of your team may not be able to make it due to train trouble, if this is the case they can simply go back home and continue working from there.

If used and managed correctly VoIP has the power to transform your business into a more flexible, secure, and manageable version of itself.

 

Your VoIP specialist

We launched Premier 35 years ago, and in that time have supported businesses both locally and nationally; we’ve always had a passion for enabling people to stay connected and we’ve grown to provide a whole range of bespoke unified communications investing in, managing and offering new technologies as they evolve

We work closely with small; medium and enterprise level businesses and our core values remain strong; we will work smoothly and efficiently as a part of your team to deliver our high standards in cutting edge, creative communication solutions. Thanks to our years of experience, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and pride ourselves on understanding and embracing the latest innovations to offer you complete peace of mind and the best of what’s available.

The end of the road for ISDN?

The way we communicate is constantly evolving, a mere half a century ago the thought of making a phone call on the move was like something out of a science fiction movie, today if we aren’t connected to each other 100% of the time no matter our location we are not satisfied.

Most businesses have been using ISDN services for quite some time, but BT are unfortunately in the process of retiring it, and this isn’t happening some way off in the future it is expected to be completed as soon as 2025, so now is the time to think about alternatives. You must now start seriously considering alternatives to avoid the potential panic caused by being forced into a last-minute decision. You don’t want to be left behind by your competition who has already had the foresight to make the transition to something new.

We understand that change is always a daunting prospect – especially if ISDN has helped your business succeed, but putting it all off until the last minute is undoubtedly counterproductive – Following the advice in this article and the one following it, will demonstrate that change doesn’t have to be a problem, it can in fact bring prosperity.

 

ISDN – what is it?

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a set of protocols which allow for the transmission of voice, video, and data across the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Upon its arrival ISDN was hailed as a marvel, rapidly becoming a must have for businesses everywhere, its features had never been seen before its then ‘high speed broadband’ allowed voices and data to travel down the same copper lines, almost unthinkable beforehand and the peak of innovation at the time.

 

If it is so good, why are they retiring it?

A fair question with a simple answer. It is simply not practical or economical to keep them running when the components used are aging at such a rate, the PSTN that ISDN operates on is very much nearing the end of its serviceable life. To quote an old adage, everything to do with ISDN is getting a little ‘long in the tooth’, a lot of the parts used to build and maintain it aren’t even manufactured anymore, and the individuals responsible for fitting those parts, creating the system, and maintaining it are either already enjoying retirement or about to. Everything comes back to cost as you know, with landline services taking a massive hit over recent years with the arrival of more and more capable alternatives, this caused the system to haemorrhage money which also coincided with ever increasing maintenance costs – the system has simply lost its economic viability and something has to be done.

 

What is PTSN being replaced with?

Over the last decade or so Telecom’s operators have been constructing brand new revolutionary IT-based networks. The process has been carried out both tactfully and quietly as to not disturb everything too much – which is why you may not have felt or even noticed much of a change.

 

How do I prepare for the ISDN switch off?

Stop investing in ISDN! This is by far the best way to prepare, the demise of PTSN is imminent, investing in ISDN now would be a massive waste of money as It will need replacing soon.

We recommend you adopt a VoIP service on a full IP-based network, don’t worry if you don’t have a clue what we are talking about yet, we will explore this further in the next article.

A VoIP telephone system can be implemented in a variety of different ways, they are as follows:

  • 1.  A Cloud hosted phone system

With your phone system hosted in the Cloud you have no responsibility over the infrastructure it resides in, and crucially don’t have to pay anything out for it. A hugely positive feature of Cloud hosted phone systems is that it uses a virtual PBX. The PBX keeps you connected from anywhere at any time – this allows you to appear as though you are in your office when in reality you are on the beach or sailing the Mediterranean in your yacht (most of us can only dream).

  • 2.  A hybrid phone system

A hybrid phone system is a system that combines a mix of all technologies (IP, ISDN, analogue, and digital).

  • 3.  A SIP trunk

A SIP trunk acts as a virtual phone line that can be purchased and plugged into any compatible PBX server.

 

Introducing your VoIP specialist

We launched Premier 35 years ago, and in that time have supported businesses both locally and nationally; we’ve always had a passion for enabling people to stay connected and we’ve grown to provide a whole range of bespoke unified communications investing in, managing and offering new technologies as they evolve

We work closely with small; medium and enterprise level businesses and our core values remain strong; we will work smoothly and efficiently as a part of your team to deliver our high standards in cutting edge, creative communication solutions. Thanks to our years of experience, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and pride ourselves on understanding and embracing the latest innovations to offer you complete peace of mind and the best of what’s available.

 

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