This article is not a roaring plea from baseball fans. No, this article is about SPam over Internet Telephony or as it is often shortened—SPIT. Those annoying, unsolicited messages that clutter your email inbox have an ugly cousin that seeks to bombard your digital phone messaging system with pre-recorded messages and cause much more damage. The problem with SPIT is that if it isn’t controlled it can quickly eat up your valuable bandwidth and clog up your system, which can prevent legitimate callers from reaching you. There are software programs on the market to tackle SPIT. Many of these function similar to the tools used to control and prevent email spam.
Digital leased lines are no longer the favorites of bandwidth-hungry businesses. As many alternative sources of affordable Internet bandwidth became available, dedicated point-to-point leased lines begun to fall out of favor with many small businesses. Their relatively high cost, by today’s standards, per megabit of bandwidth make them unattractive in comparison to the generous shared bandwidth offers from various telecommunications and cable carriers. That said, it seems like rumors of their rapid demise are being greatly exaggerated. T-1 lines, for example, seem to be entering their 7th life as market for them is getting sudden support by those who had to deal with at least one DSL or Cable outage.
Recent studies claimed that the market for cloud-based voice over IP services is expected to grow to $30 billion USD by the year 2013. These numbers might sound really encouraging, but what is the real future for Unified Communications As a Service (UCaaS)?
Here, in the U.S., UCaaS hosted PBX services are experiencing tremendous growth. Small businesses, especially in the current economic climate, are always looking for more efficient, less expensive ways to handle their telecommunications needs, and hosted telephony has served them admirably well thus far. Hosted PBX services give them access to a whole host of really sophisticated features, without relying on a large initial investment for equipment or set up.
Introducing automation to your organization’s phone system will either be one of the wisest decisions you’ve ever made, or a potential debacle, depending on how well you implement the following best practices.
Get Everyone Involved
Even though it’s tempting to program auto attendant, routing tree and the flow of your callcenter without soliciting input from the rest of your organization, doing so can potentially alienate your employees and prevent you from reaping the benefits of their unique perspectives and insights. No one understands your customer’s desires and the inner workings of your current phone system better than your ground-level employees, and without their input you will never create the best possible organizational system for your organization’s new telephony experience.
Gather information and opinions from your organization’s decision makers, from your sales & marketing staff, and from those employees who actually man your phone lines day-in and day-out. It’s also wise to consult your telephony solutions supplier too, as those professionals understand the nuts-and-bolts of what has worked, and what hasn’t, for many of their past clients.
How you automate your phone systems needs to reflect the big picture of your organization, it’s branding and its core message, but it’s also a practical technological system your employees will utilize every day- so make sure they have a say regarding how it works.