In 2016 BT Wholesale announced that traditional ISDN phone lines were becoming obsolete. As of 2020 businesses will no longer be able to purchase ISDN lines and support for them will come to an end in 2025. As a result of this, there has been a significant increase in the presence of VoIP phone systems, cloud phone systems and hosted phone systems within businesses across the UK. With a large majority of businesses beginning to move away from ISDN phone systems, our Telecoms Experts are taking a closer look at VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), cloud and hosted solutions and how they differ from traditional phone systems.
There is some confusion in the industry, with businesses being informed that they should move to VoIP, “put their communications in the cloud” or choose a hosted solution. However, VoIP, the cloud and hosted solutions are all telephony terms for the same function. There is no difference!
Ultimately, VoIP can refer to both hosted and cloud solutions. They all require a broadband connection in order for your business phone system to make calls, as opposed to needing traditional ISDN phone lines.
VoIP, hosted and cloud solutions are not only a direct response to the end of ISDN, but they also offer businesses a number of benefits, especially small to medium sized organisations. One of the main benefits is that there is no on-site hardware, unlike with a traditional phone system. As a result, the hardware costs are significantly less, with on-site maintenance visits notably decreased, as mostly everything can be done online. Plus, calls are cheaper due to the existing broadband connection. This allows SMEs to put these costs into other aspects of their business.
In addition, business phone systems that work via a broadband connection require a lot less maintenance than traditional PBX systems. With the phone system being in the cloud, the phone systems are much more scalable, therefore making changes easier and more cost effective.
For businesses that offer remote/flexible working and have staff members who are constantly on the go, having a phone system that is either in the cloud, a hosted platform or VoIP means that staff members can connect from anywhere. For example, with Office 365 your emails are viewable on many devices but stored in the cloud to save space and with VoIP, your phone system can be accessed on the go as it isn’t set to one specific device.
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