Expectations From Hosted PBX And SIP Trunking

As trends and things stand now, it seems that the global market for hosted PBX technology and SIP trunking is likely to continue growing.

Rapid implementation of SIP trunking and hosted PBX solutions in the business organizations support unified communication services. This has actually given this expectation a massive shot in the arm.

Studies conducted by various research bureaus have clearly shown a substantial increase in revenue from residential as well as commercial sectors since the first half of 2013. Since then, this sector has seen a substantial growth. Both hosted PBX and SIP trunking has been noted as the fastest growing and most promising segments amongst VoIP based services. This, as per experts, is mainly due to the fact that business houses, corporate and large enterprises prefer to opt for hosted solutions.

All the experts who are dealing with this subject have a unified opinion in this regard. Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking are on the very right track and they expect that residential VoIP is likely to constitute the majority of revenue. However, till now the growth has mainly been fuelled by business services such as cloud based unified communication and SIP trunking. These two are expected to expand further and find broader adoption with business enterprises of every size and scale.

With all enterprises thriving hard for a holistic growth, the expectation for global business oriented VoIP service revenue is set to grow at around 7% CAGR over the next few years.

All this is the scenario from the perspective of the large scale enterprises and the domestic sector. The perspective of small scale enterprises is no push over as well. With people’s concern over security issues on a steady rise, even small scale companies are putting more emphasis on Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking technology services. This trend is expected to go up in the coming days.

The concern of people over security is on a steady rise. Pushed by the failure of security in a number of high profile corporate organizations, small scale companies are investing upon Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking technology for ensuring their own safety and security. In fact, going by the trends, safety and security is, and likely to be, the most pivotal contributing reason why Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking technology is being considered the best option.

However, quite expectedly and not surprisingly, though, quality or clarity of the service provided along with the most favorable pricing structure continues to round out the top three expectations. As expected, though, pricing is in fact on a downslide in terms of importance, and this trend indicates a more familiar expectation that any VoIP based communication system is going to be affordable than a conventional, physical telephone system.

Privacy vs Security in the Cloud

Security vs PrivacyThe rising popularity of cloud in the last few years has also thrown up some uncomfortable questions, both for the service providers as well as users. The primary concern of cloud service providers as well as users has been privacy and security in the cloud. It would be an understatement to say that it was predicted in the early days of the cloud that it could be easily abused by any of the cybercriminals around the world.

Today, the growing cases of cloud hacks have just made those prophecies true. Things are not going to get any better in the coming years because popular services like Dropbox and Sendspace have been abused by many people to host their illegitimate payload.

The Need for Privacy

People nowadays are more concerned about data privacy and they do not want to see their personal data being scrutinized by government agencies or monetized by the cloud data providers. For instance, when we upload our files on cloud storage, we do not want the service providers to search each and every file. We want such a system where customer’s data would be completely encoded and incomprehensible to the service provider. The primary clash is between privacy and security – we want to have the cake as well as eat it!

The Additional Cost of Privacy

In order to put things in perspective we will take up a very popular scenario:  There is a service provider who wants to ensure that their service is not being used by perpetrators for hosting malware. Thus, the service provider would have to use solutions like sandbox testing, file scanning etc. in order to test all the files that were uploaded. The provider will have to incur extra costs for this but at the same time, users can complain about the breach in data privacy, which can pretty much spoil goodwill and reputation of the company.

Where to Encrypt

On the other hand, if the service provider opts for private storage where the encryption is carried out on user devices, no one at the service provider’s end will have any idea about the data being stored.  Now, such a service is highly vulnerable for being used for malicious purposes by cybercriminals. Thus, both the legitimate users as well as the illegitimate users will be shielded from any type of data scrutiny. Both the approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In such a precarious environment, service providers will have to strike a balance between data privacy and security and offer a solution that suits both their business model as well as security. Thus, no matter how hard a service provider tries a certain level of abuse will still remain and this can be termed as an inevitable cost which has to be incurred for doing business.

Your Options

What options does the user have? Well, I would have to reiterate that abuse cannot be completely stopped; however, precautions can be taken by both the users as well as their service providers.  Users will have to take up the responsibility of data security and they cannot shrug it off just because the vendor chose to do otherwise. Users will have to strategize and find solutions for the safekeeping of data on the cloud and this can’t be completely handed over to the cloud service providers. There are pros and cons of using cloud storage and related services – you are the best person to judge because there is no one better than you who knows the importance of security for your business.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE

 

New Unified Communications Solutions From Toshiba

UCedge - Unified CommunicationsOne of the greatest utility of a VoIP or IP based business phone system is Unified Communication. UC allows you to use computer applications, data files, video, and other resources as part of your voice call. Till now, using Unified Communications required multiple resources on hand such a phone system, a computer, and log-in to servers and other databases.

Not any more. If you are using Toshiba’s IP, VIPedge, or the Strata CIX phone systems, your are truly mobile for all aspects of the modern IP based phone systems. Toshiba has introduced UCedge applications for Windows, iOS, and Android operating environments. Once installed, UCedge present a single and uniform user interface for you to access and use all the applications that reside on your Toshiba phone server – whether on-premise or on the cloud.

For more details on UCedge, please click here.

 

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE

What is Interactive Voice Response?

IVREvery time I called up the customer care department of my insurance firm, I was amazed at the automated voice system that guided me to the right person for resolving my issues. Now, how is it possible for a recorded voice to be played up at the right time that leads us to the right agent? It is the IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, that does the trick!

How IVR Works

IVR is an amazing technology that facilitates interaction between the communication system and the caller without any human intervention. Whenever a caller calls up a phone number of an organization, he is greeted by the IVR system reads out a menu, and asks the caller to choose his option. Based upon the response, the IVR searches its internal database to find out the exact extension within the organization for routing the call to. Thus, you and I, or for that matter any caller, can be redirected to the executive who would take care of our needs. The IVR works by asking the caller to press a key or speak particular words for executing a command.

Nowadays there is hardly any company that does not use IVR with their communication system. Companies that have to handle customer calls on a regular basis are the ones that make the most of IVR systems.

Features Galore

There are a variety of IVR systems available in the market and while shopping for an IVR, you will be presented with IVR’s that differ in terms of complexity and sophistication. For instance, there is one IVR that wants the user to only press a particular key to get connected to a particular department. Others ask the user to provide multiple inputs for carrying out a particular operation such as in banks and medical diagnosis centers. Intelligent systems can be established by combining the power of knowledge based systems with IVR.

Other Uses of IVR

There are many companies that even use the IVR to conduct polls and surveys; these surveys or polls can be conducted on thousands of people. All the questions are pre-recorded and the answers can be in the form of a simple yes or no. Thus organizations are often able to build a huge repository of information without using huge manpower or time. The latest form of IVR is also available with TTS or Text to Speech where the commands can be interpreted from the voiced response of the callers. Some experts believe that such technology will soon replace the use of keyboards or keypad in the near future.

How You Can Use IVR

It is very easy to integrate an IVR with your organization’s telephone system, especially if you are using the latest VoIP or IP based business phone systems. There are intelligent interfaces built for using IVR with IP-PBX and related applications.

Some intelligent systems that have been built using IVR are:

  • Stock and bank balances as well as transfers
  • Polls and surveys
  • Intelligent call routing in offices
  • Forwarding in call centers
  • Order entry transactions
  • Information lookup based on selection
  • There are pre-recorded responses that are used by IVR for different situations, keypad command and also the feature to record the voice for future use. The IVR system also uses CTI to display all details of the caller to the answering executive. This helps save enormous time in asking boring and repetitive questions, and impressing the client with information on your fingertips.

IVR has made it possible to reduce the waiting time for customers and route the incoming traffic in an intelligent manner by modern phone systems. It is also amazing to see how IVR helps to meet the customer needs and stabilized the fluctuating customer satisfaction level.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE

Considering A New Phone System? Do Your Homework First.

Communication system is a vital aspect for maintaining smooth business operations. An efficient communication system can really improve your business and boost profits. The world is moving away from the old PSTN system. Internet based VoIP is the new paradigm in office communications.

Prior to choosing a phone system, several factors need to be considered like technology, telephony features, security etc. Now, this implies that you have to do your homework before buying a new phone system which fulfils all the communication needs of your company.

IP telephony systems are gaining popularity among business organizations as it offers amazing telephony features, uses the latest Internet based telecommunication technology and robust security. Let us look at some of the features that are being used by this latest telephony system.

Type of phone system that suits your business:

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is the technology that is put to use by an IP telephone system. Depending on the number of users in your organization, you can either opt for the on-premise VoIP system or a hosted VoIP system. It has been proven that it is economical and convenient for companies with more than 25 users to choose an on-premise VoIP system that involves the installation of an IP-PBX such as IPedge, or Strata CIX  from Toshiba. If you have less than 25 users, a cloud based or hosted VoIP such as VIPedge is ideal. You start with a small number and keep on adding users as you gain confidence.

Now, you have to decide the IP telephone system that suits your business communication needs and budget.

Reason for looking a new phone system:

Other than dialling and receiving calls, modern day phone systems are expected to cater to several other communication needs of a company. You have to have good reasons to replace your old telephone systems and more often than not it would be the inability of your old phone system to offer advanced telephony features like voicemail, auto-attendant, find-me-follow me, voicemail-to-email etc. There are several companies that are offering VoIP services and you will have to make a list of all your communication needs before you subscribe with any one of them.

Phone system should integrate with other business systems:

It is known that a VoIP phone system has the ability to integrate with business applications such as ERP, MIS, CRM platform. Some VoIP systems also offer API’s for integration with software of your choice.

At the outset, you have to understand what integration is and what pieces of your software and/or application you want to integrate. Instead of worrying about technology, look at it from usage point of view – you want to show your accounts receivable to your clients? You need to integrate your accounting or ERP system. You want your and your colleague’s schedules to be integrated? Simple. Integrate your Outlook or similar Time Management software.

Deploy, maintain and support for phone system:

It is important to decide upon whether to go for deployment, maintenance and support or to outsource the operations and maintenance to a service providing company. If the company has a skilled IT team then it can deploy as well as maintain the system without any hassles. If not, it is better to consider a hosted VoIP service provider that provides all the necessary support.

Service provider:

If one opts for outsourcing the VoIP support it is essential to figure out who is going to provide support to the phone system. It is to be ensured that the VoIP provider understands the communication needs of the company. Again if the organization is planning to go for both VoIP and PSTN service, the phone system vendor must know this so that they can offer a proper solution and integrate the two.

Total cost of ownership:

Everyone is aware of the fact that switching to VoIP can save a good amount of money. However, it is important to look at the total cost involved for owning a VoIP phone system. The price factor has to be analyzed in a proper manner so that the company stays within the allocated budget. One needs to know what savings will be realized in the long run if the company opts to migrate to a VoIP system. As the business grows, the organization will tend to add users to the system, upgrade the system with new features and at that particular time, the savings may have to be recalculated.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE.

Affordable Internet Upgrades for Any Business

The Need for Speed

Is there any business in this world that does not run on internet service, or does not have Internet access? Hardly! Every business utilizes the Internet to communicate, to function more efficiently, and to be more productive. No wonder every ISP is working on polishing their Internet service packages to make sure that what they offer is truly reliable.

Every day today businesses are run by exchanging data and by having audio and even video conversations. In addition putting all your data on the cloud has become very attractive. You get enterprise level servers and backup and reliability for low prices today. Of course, if you have a bulk of your data on the cloud, having reliable Internet access 24/7 is absolutely essential.
Today the complete cycle of business can be done on the Net. From producing customers, to interacting with them, to raising your bills, and getting paid through Net Banking, literally every facet of a business operation can be transacted on the Net.

SaasCloud Computing for Everyone’s Every Need

A growing number of people are flocking to the Internet. Many companies may still target customers and consumers through advertisement on television, magazines, billboards and other media. However, another powerful way to reach them is over the Internet. Digital advertisements abound in almost every webpage. Cloud computing, a public cloud, offers services online, on demand, or per the consumer’s needs. One great example for this is Amazon Web services. With cloud computing, the users can choose the service they need at any given time, and the service is fully managed by the provider.

Another form of cloud computing is software-as-a-service or Saas, wherein the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal. SaaS is a very broad market mostly at a nascent stage now. Services can be anything from Web-based email to inventory control, database processing to full ERP system. With this type of cloud service, the consumer or end user may be free to use the service from anywhere without having to spend on expensive hardware and software.

Almost every type of cloud computing service is available online as long as there is Internet access available. Technologists are predicting the demise of consumer hard disk, and the emergence of the Pad as a major computing device. But regardless of whether that happens or not, Internet access is becoming more and more prevalent and more and more inexpensive to access.

Affordable Upgrades for your Internet Access

Internet Service Providers are getting extremely competitive and offering additional services to get more customers. One of the most attractive ways of weaning away customers from your competition is to offer cheaper upgrades. For example, Company X may offer a stand-alone Internet connection at a starting rate of $29.95. When the competition offers Net connection at $19.95, Company X will offer a bundle that has Internet connection at only $14.99. Other ISPs provide on-the-go wireless Internet service at a low rate of $29.95 for 3Mbps. You can get twice the speed at 10% less, at $49.95.

Generally ISPs are offering affordable rates for Internet connectivity. With the advent of services like Saas and cloud computing, Internet connection has become essential for all businesses. ISPs are ready for the new demand and are making attractive offers to attract business of all sizes.

About Phone America

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. PhoneAm’s services cover Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and Wilmington DE. PhoneAm serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Cloud Based Telephone Solutions Vs. On Site Telephone Systems

The internet has completely revolutionized the way of our living. The most significant impact of internet, without any doubt, has been the way we communicate. This is true not just for casual conversation between friends and family, but also business communications between organizations. The internet has had a massive impact on the ways two businesses, big or small, interact, with the internet based technologies rapidly replacing the conventional and archaic systems. Simple voice communications, classically seen possible only through the telephone have also morphed into new modern age technologies like VoIP.

cloud telephone

VoIP, acronym for Voice over Internet Telephony is a technology that enables voice communication over the internet instead of the conventional wired telephones. Businesses both big and small have found this technology to their liking and are replacing their onsite telephone systems with cloud based telephone solutions. Cloud based telephone solutions are systems that to the naked eye would look completely like the conventional onsite telephone system. However instead of telephone instrument being connected to an exchange or PBX, they are connected to the internet. There is no need for having an exchange system with VoIP as this heavy lifting is taken care of by the providers through cloud computing. There are self-hosted VoIP solutions too that enable you to setup your own network with a small machine known as the PSTN gateway. However the cloud based solutions has many advantages that are discussed below.

First advantage of cloud based solutions is that a switch to cloud based telephone solutions could cost your company almost nothing, depending on the size of the company and the infrastructure already present. You would just need an internet connection, with a bandwidth suitable to your needs and VoIP certified plug and play telephones. There is no need for you to invest in expensive hardware for setting up a small exchange to route the different calls to the correct telephones. All of this is taken care of by your service provider located off site and working over the ‘cloud’. The VoIP is also very affordable. Every call cost much less than the wired telephones and the price difference is even more significant while make long distance and international calls. Another advantage of cloud based solutions is in its scalability. With the changing needs in your business, it is practically a child’s play to add more or less lines to your network. This enables you to skip buying expensive new hardware to add more lines to your network. All you need is new SIP enabled phones and the providers take care of the rest. Mobility is another major plus for the VoIP technology. All major providers have systems through which you can even send and receive phones through your smart-phone or tablet PC. This makes it possible for you to stay connected even when not physically present in the office.

There a few drawbacks of cloud based solutions that one must keep in mind. The first is that there needs to be internet connectivity for sending and receiving calls. If your internet connection is out or unstable, the cloud based telephones would not work. The call quality is also dependent on the internet connection, but most users find it to inferior to the voice quality of conventional telephone systems. Lastly, the cloud based systems do not have emergency calling. 911 numbers do not work in such systems and if available, they are typically charged a premium and not offered free of cost.

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