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Hosted Telephone Systems – Parts 1 to 3

We provide a host of telephony platforms for
our customers to allow them to take advantage of telephony services without having on-site
equipment. The terms “hosted” and “cloud communications” really are very interchangeable. They mean
one and the same thing. The term cloud is relatively new and simply refers to services
that are provided by a third-party provider in the cloud. We believe that customers should have access
to a telephony platform that comes without any hidden costs. That platform needs to be
stable, scalable to business needs and agile enough to adapt and be able to accommodate
things that the business requires. There are many reasons for a business to choose a hosted
platform over premises based piece of equipment. I think firstly, there’s the capital expenditure.
Because the system’s rented, you can plan the expenses very easily. Also, there’s no
in-school or maintenance costs associated with operating on a hosted platform. Secondly,
to reduce risk, the system’s already there, it’s already in place, and it’s already working. It’s going to scale with your business and
you don’t have to make decisions as you would with premises based equipment, for example,
where you would need to buy maybe, a 25 user system now although you only have 10 users,
you don’t need to plan your capacity in advance. I think also this [xx] professionalism. Typically
for a small business, you need to provide things like IVR’s, and actually the feature
sets that you require from a hosted or telephony system are a lot more than a large business
would provide. By using a hosted system you can unlock those
features far more easily on a standard monthly fee than buying an expensive in-house system.
There are numerous technical benefits of running on a hosted platform. First thing’s is the
lines and the access. We will take care of the connectivity to the public telephone network
and actually routing the calls which means you don’t need to worry about legacy circuits
such as ISDN on your premises. On the access circuits chances are you’ve
already got an existing connection to the internet but we can use that to group the
calls over as well. Operationally, you don’t need to worry about back-ups because the provider
will maintain that. You don’t need any support staff on site to maintain any on-site equipment.
These benefits of reliability and scale, reliability as the platform provider, we provide fault
tolerance to make sure the platform runs 24/7. And in terms of scale, with multi-tenantism
can run from one to thousands of extensions very easily. We also have the ability to integrate
with on-site equipment. This is probably best explained with an example. Maybe we use the
example of looking up a sale and record of a customer assistant. So when a call comes in, we would look up
the name rather than the numbers so we can present that with the call. This really puts
us apart from one of the mail-hosted telephony platforms. By virtue of using a hosted platform,
location independence comes out of the box. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re connecting
from the office, whether you have some remote workers, whether you have people connecting
from hotel rooms while they’re on the move. That all happens by default. One of the trends
we all say is start-up companies are exclusively using cloud based services. Particularly,
they will getting their email services, their application services, from people like Google
Apps and now the telephony services all from the cloud. This is because of the availability of high
speed internet connections such as broadband and AFM circuits. We got customers right through
from agricultural, right up to finance. We have them on a simple level, of simple to
telephony right through to call centers. The choice of using a hosted telephony platform
is really more about how you buy it, and your capability of buying what you need. You may need 10 extensions today and not know
what the scalability requirements are, and it’s easy to scale a hosted platform down,
or up to maybe 20 extensions in a year’s time. As a good example, one of our customer’s marketing
moves, moved to the Foehn telephony platform and saved 50% on their annual communication’s
cost. That’s a very good reason for moving. There’s
also good reasons for owning your own PBX on-site. The hosted telephony platform we
provide at Foehn is based on the same technology and offers exactly the same features as our
own premise equipment. The moving and transitioning from hosted to home premise or home premise
to hosted or actually having a mix of both for disaster recovery is perfectly feasible
and very easy to do.

Robin Kshlerin