How to select the right business phone service

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The way a business communicates internally with employees and externally with customers is key to developing relationships and is ultimately crucial in the way a business operates.

To determine what type of comms service is right, businesses must identify what they aim to achieve from the service. For instance, considering the budget, how many people from the business need access to the platform and what they will predominantly be using it for, is a great starting point.

Other considerations to make include whether the platform is scalable, and how secure it is. Does it offer end-to-end encryption and firewall security? Does part of the company work from home, or remotely elsewhere? If so, this can also be used to make a decision.

SIP trunking

Landlines have been in use for decades and are a necessity on the desks of many businesses, from recruitment agencies and marketeers to doctors surgeries and construction companies. But technological developments mean that the efficacy of landlines is falling short of what increasingly digital businesses now require.

In 2025, BT will switch off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), meaning that the UK’s copper network will become redundant. To remain connected, businesses must find an alternative. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking connects the traditional Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system to the network provider of choice, facilitating phone calls without relying on the traditional Integrated Digital Service Network (ISDN).

SIP enables businesses to upgrade their landlines and is a cost-effective solution to modernising legacy office phone systems. This is particularly important for businesses to consider if they do not want to invest in a complete technology overhaul.

Investing in VoIP

Another advanced communications option, particularly suited for a VoIP call center, is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Similar to SIP, it enables calls through an internet connection, making VoIP an ideal choice for multimedia communications, including messaging and video.

The ability to operate through the internet means VoIP phone systems offer greater mobility, connectivity and functionality. As a result, it’s reported that VoIP could save businesses between 40 and 80 per cent on costs compared to using a traditional landline, making VoIP an ideal choice for smaller businesses who may be looking to lower operational and calling costs.

VoIP offers other benefits for businesses looking to install a hybrid working method or looking to expand. Unlike desk phones that rely on a wired connection, VoIP systems can be used across multiple devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops, making hybrid and flexible working easier to facilitate. This helps with internal long-distance communication for businesses that may have offices in different locations.

VoIP technology is also available as a hard phone or a softphone. Depending on whether a business works remotely, a softphone could be suitable as it can be accessed through a mobile application, whereas the hard phone remains situated on a desk.

Unified communications

The next level of digital comms service lies in unified communications (UC). This cloud-based system unifies numerous business communication tools, including voice, video conferencing and instant messaging. The system enables these forms of communication to work together in one unified environment, allowing the user to stay in touch at any time using any device.

The goal of UC is to make work easier by eliminating the need for multiple platforms, introducing portability and simplifying communication between employees who may be dispersed across locations. This makes it ideal for businesses with teams deployed in different areas, allowing them to collaborate seamlessly, no matter where they are located.

A UC system is ideal for all business sizes, but particularly beneficial for those using many different tools, helpdesks and applications daily to help run their business. This is because it can easily integrate with current infrastructure, enhancing the efficiency of teams and lowering the cost of software licensing.

Crystaline, which provides a full suite of communication technologies, has expanded its UC offering with a new platform launched by Vodafone and RingCentral. The new collaboration tool unites voice and video communication with seamless app integration, for enhanced productivity and improved communication.

With so many options on the market, businesses can often struggle to choose a phone service that is best dedicated to suit their needs. While the landline has served its purpose, these legacy systems need upgrading and businesses must invest in more digital based solutions. It’s imperative businesses determine what they wish to achieve from the system if they are to fully unlock the true value of an appropriate phone service for their business.

To find out more about Crystaline’s suite of IT and communication services, visit crystaline.uk.