Making the right connection article in B4 magazine
We recently had an article published in B4 magazine entitled ‘Making the right connection’. In the article, STL’s sales director, Philip Donigan, explained the importance of connectivity and the fact that the key for businesses is getting the right Broadband data connectivity or ‘pipe’ that supports both Voice over IP and data applications.
Here is a summary of the article as published in B4:
As reliance on cloud computing and remote solutions continues to grow, businesses are increasingly looking at their internet connections to make sure they can support their growing bandwidth needs. Connectivity is no longer simply about internet access, it now underpins a business’ entire operational capability and communications needs.
The increasing influence of working Millennials in the workplace is having a profound effect on communications and connectivity. According to Deloitte, by 2025 this tech savvy generation will make up 75% of the workforce. It is therefore vital for organisations to deliver connectivity into existing workplaces that enables this ‘instant communication’ generation to interact at work. Combine this with the announcement by BT that ISDN lines will cease in 2025 and you can see why more businesses than ever are considering higher capacity broadband services and telephony services that utilise Voice over IP (VoIP).
Future proofing the workplace
It is all about future proofing the workplace and giving people the freedom to communicate at work in the same way that they would away from the office. Businesses need to consider why staff need a fixed local phone number and a mobile number when one number can reach them wherever they are. They need to think how people can work remotely without compromising on the firm’s security. The IT department now has to enable people to do their job using both new and traditional working styles in the office, at home or on their mobile. The key to all this is the right data connectivity.
The death bell rings for ISDN lines
With BT withdrawing ISDN services by 2025, all businesses will have to migrate their telephony to a VoIP alternative like SIP or Hosted telephony.
Probably the most widespread alternative to ISDN is SIP trunking. With SIP, telephone numbers are moved off the local telephone exchange into the cloud and then routed to an on site IP enabled telephone system. Telephone calls are delivered over a secure managed data connection that guarantees voice quality and comes with better service levels than traditional ISDN lines.
The alternative is to move your whole telephone system to the cloud with a Hosted system like STL’s Horizon service. With a Hosted solution, numbers are migrated off BT’s telephone exchange into the cloud and telephone calls are delivered to handsets on site, but the technology ‘lives’ in the cloud.
New communication tools
The increasingly wide adoption of flexible working means that employees are now seeking new ways of working and so need supporting technology more than ever to stay in touch with colleagues. A good example of how things are changing is the recent launch of Facebook’s business platform, Workplace by Facebook. This is a Facebook office communication tool and, just like we use Facebook in our personal lives, we can now collaborate using Facebook at work. In order to adopt new tools like this, businesses need fast access to the internet.
Even the smallest businesses now store data and computing power in the cloud, requiring increasingly fast, reliable connectivity for access to systems, sharing files and just to function online.
Where good quality internet connection is viable for cloud then it makes sense to also use hosted voice. Philip Donigan, STL’s Sales Director says, “Routing telephone calls over data lines has been the preferred option for large businesses for a few years, but with the options for high speed, high quality connectivity increasing, it is fast becoming first choice telephony for most SME’s. “
What are the benefits of hosted telephony?
Apart from enabling more efficient and effective working practices, hosted telephony reduces costs. With servers based in the cloud and not in the office, Hosted delivers an operational opposed to a capital expenditure model with little or no up-front outlay. It is purchased on a flexible per seat per month rental basis so if employee numbers rise or fall, you just increase or decrease the number of seats accordingly. Another cost saving is that cloud telephony comes with free calls to local, national and mobile numbers, so the monthly rental per user is calls inclusive.
Phil adds, “Hosted telephony such as STL’s Horizon system offers a wide range of voice communication features, all hosted and supported in our carrier’s network for the utmost reliability and security. Disaster recovery and business continuity comes as standard as does the ability to manage your own calls and facilities.”
What should businesses be looking for in connectivity?
In short, any connection has to deliver the performance, reliability and security that businesses need to make effective use of today’s multi-media services. With IP telephony, unified communications and cloud-based services all the norm, the key for businesses is getting the right Broadband data connectivity or ‘pipe’ that supports both Voice over IP and data applications.
Phil concludes, “With BT ceasing it’s ISDN service in 2025, we are moving many of Oxfordshire’s businesses to SIP and Hosted telephony, which runs over a data connection and provides the perfect solution for voice connectivity.”