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The telephone has been around in one form or another for almost 150 years, and in that time it’s proved to be a vital communication tool. For most of its century and a half long run, the telephone has been a hardwired, exchange-based technology. Over the course of the last 15 or so years, all of that has changed. The creation of IP Telephony (IPT) has revolutionized the way telephone communication works.
The ongoing popularity of the Internet and it’s many web-based streaming services has led to an entirely new approach to telephony. The term Unified Communications was coined, bringing together telephony, video, and chat under one solution and marking the single biggest shift in the telephony services industry. Now, IPT has surpassed traditional telephony services as the solution of choice for businesses to the point that conventional services are getting to harder to come by.
Within the last five years, cloud-based telephony solutions have been gaining ground as more and more businesses are moving towards other cloud-based technologies. This trend marks yet another shift in the way the business world views and uses communication tools. Where both traditional telephony and IPT allowed for businesses to buy, install, and maintain their phones themselves, cloud-based telephony works a little differently.
Rather than making an initial upfront investment in the necessary hardware and paying a monthly service bill, cloud-based telephony is entirely subscription-based. Users pay a predictable monthly fee that covers hardware rental, software and services, and support. Now, instead of having to buy handsets and other technology that will be outdated in a few years time, businesses are able to upgrade every aspect of their services as new versions are made available as part of their contract.
Cloud-based telephony is flexible and scalable, growing with your business and allowing you to keep up with new technology and trends more easily. Businesses can build their own communications infrastructure using the public cloud and commercially available telephony solutions, or they can source their cloud telephony services from a dedicated provider.
Many IT providers who offer cloud-based services can provide their clients with cloud telephony solutions, either as a standalone service or as part of a managed services agreement. An IT provider can tell you what type of cloud-based solution is the best fit for your business, which features are a necessity and which are simply a nice bonus, and what, if any, changes need to be made to your existing infrastructure to support this new technology.
While an argument can be made for the familiarity of traditional telephony services, there is one very simple and very important argument to be made for cloud-based telephony – phone calls are no longer the most common or convenient means of keeping in touch. Both at home and at the office, phone calls have dropped well below email, instant messaging, and online chat as the primary means of conducting important communications. By treating telephone communication as a separate entity from the rest of your communication tools, you may be unintentionally segregating one method from all of the others.
As factors such as connectivity, reliability, and call quality continue to improve with cloud-based offerings, businesses are finding it easier to let go of their old telephony solution in favor of something more capable. When you add convenience and cost-savings to this equation, the appeal of cloud-based telephony is easy to see.
Ready to put the power and versatility of cloud-based telephony to work for your business? Get in touch with CPU, Inc. at info@CPUonline.com or (419) 872-9119. We’re the trusted IT professionals for businesses nationwide.