There is a lot of buzz these days about cloud computing and virtual PBX systems for businesses.
Virtual or hosted telephone systems market themselves as a better alternative to traditional PBX systems located on the customer premises. They tout advantages such as protection against obsolescence, software upgrades, connecting remote locations, and included maintenance and phone services.
But I would not count out the traditional PBX systems just yet. If you have a home office or require less than 5 or 10 telephone sets or have employees in different locations, then hosted may be the way to go. For a flat monthly fee per phone you can have all the features of a traditional PBX with none of the headaches.
However, as the number of telephone sets increases, the cost/benefit decision changes. Remember, with a hosted system, in effect you are renting, not buying. Traditional PBX systems, as function of the cost per telephone set, have continued to drop in price. The cost of ownership five years out clearly favor purchase or lease of equipment over renting.
In the 10 to 30 phone range customers should look at the ROI of purchase versus hosted. Over 30 phones, most businesses would benefit from owning rather than renting. Just because new technology is available does not mean that it is right for every business.
Also, most new PBXs can support VoIP telephones at remote locations. If a business has a main office and multiple small remote locations, they can be better served by stand alone VoIP phones at those remote locations.
The Internet has influenced all areas of personal and business life and it will continue to do so in the future. Just make sure that the technology is used wisely for your application.
The last 20 years have seen huge changes in the telecommunications industry and the next decade will be no different.
AT&T and Version, the two largest phone companies, will be offering bundled packages similar to the cable companies: Internet, TV and Phone. This should result in better services and lower prices for consumers.
In my opinion, bandwidth is the driving factor in opening up the residential markets to a plethora of products and services. Much like the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 provided electricity to areas of the United States that did not have access, fiber and other high speed Internet connections will lead the way for companies to invest in providing consumers with new ways to use the Internet. “If you build it, they will come” to quote a famous movie.
GE was not going to develop, manufacturer and market an electric toaster if there were no customers. The same is true for the Internet. I believe that we have only scratched the surface on what the Internet can and will deliver to people’s homes.
Smart homes and appliances are just a few examples of what is available already. Furnaces and air conditioners would contact the repair company when they need servicing. You can control the home environment from your smart phone so that the lights are on when you pull into the driveway.
It is truly an exciting time to be in the telecommunications industry.
AT&T announced that they lost 1.2 million voice subscribers from a year ago. The writing is clearly on the wall that analog phone service is on its way out.
It is being replaced by VoIP service and wireless. In my opinion, as the infrastructure supporting both networks matures there will be an even faster migration away from wireline providers.
Besides the dramatic cost advantage over wireline services, customers are taking advantage of more features and better access to their accounts. They can manage their bills and make changes to their account online.
The trade off right now is quality of service. Analog lines still offer an advantage when it comes to reliability and better audio. However, this will change over time. Remember, the data networks were never designed with voice transmissions in mind.
The network engineers are playing catch up when it comes to voice, but the demand for better and more reliable service is driving the need for more improved voice networks.
The best is yet to come.
New England is experiencing a heat wave. Not good for people or electronics!
The first operators were boys, who turned out to be impatient and rude when dealing with phone customers. Their rudeness made them extinct within only a few years, replaced by females who were, "calm and gracious." The 1960s saw the return of male operators.
Many of you may already have High Definition television or have heard of HD radio, but now HD is coming to the cellular mobile networks. It is available in the UK now and should be coming to the US soon. It gives "can you hear me now" a whole new meaning!
T-Mobile announced that they will begin offering true caller ID (for a monthly fee of course). You thought you already had Caller ID on your cell phone, right? This is because the incoming number is linked to the local address book in the phone. No entry, no name. It is a wonderfull world!
More and more businesses are switching from AT&T to VoIP service providers like Vonage and Comcast. We are switching about two a week. It is all about saving money these days.
Installed a Samsung OS7200S digital PBX at Carriage House of New London, the premier Mercedes-Benz dealership in the area this week. The system consists of digital multiline phones and analog cordless telephones.