With all the talk about hosted telephony over recent years it’s no wonder some organizations feel sceptical about making the switch away from their current solution. Most organizations are inherently conservative and tend to adopt a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Part of this mentality comes from inherent human stubbornness and preference for what we already know we like, another comes from a reluctance to spend money when it doesn’t seem necessary.
First of all, you can have your IT employees trained to handle VoIP telephony. While we have a clear bias when it comes to this larger question, we admit that it’s certainly possible to train your IT staff to the point where they become proficient enough with the VoIP and Unified Communications technologies to run your PBX systems effectively and efficiently. Training is always an option, and when it comes to switching to IP telephony it can be a really good option, especially if you have a robust IT department that is already experienced in handling your existing phone system but needs to focus on the particulars of the system you’re considering.
Of course if you follow this course your employees should get training in the specific system you’re going to adopt both: as users and as administrators. This will hold true to any new communications system, bet it a hosted PBX or a premise-based system. In fact, regardless of where that system is located, the concepts and operating principles of any IP PBX are pretty much the same.
However, even with training of your IT staff your business may still require consulting assistance from a VoIP expert at some point during your implementation and perhaps later. For that reason outsourced Unified Communications solutions are gaining popularity.
While the desire to physically own and control the technology utilized in your organization’s telephony system is understandable it isn’t particularly easy to dismantle. The fact of the matter is it’s better to focus your organization’s space, resources and attention on the work your employees perform and not on optimizing and maintaining the infrastructure that keeps the lights on and the phone lines open.
Think about all the elements of your organization’s infrastructure, all those elements existing purely to facilitate the production of the products and services your organization runs, and ask yourself if you would really want to be personally responsible for all of them, or whether you’re comfortable having someone else, a specialist group, take care of the “care and feeding” of those systems. It won’t take more than a minute of internal inquiry to realize the more infrastructure operations you can outsource the better- and that includes the infrastructure of your organization’s telephony system.
Yet just because you can easily discount the necessity of physically hosting your organization’s VoIP gear that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to write off the human element quite so easily. That is to say, even though you won’t think twice about sending the physical equipment running your phone systems to a remote location, you’ll probably have a difficult time taking the responsibility of running those systems out of your IT department’s hands.
We admit- the human element of switching to any new technology can be tricky to handle, especially if it involves downsizing within your organization or otherwise making one or more members of your IT department redundant.
There are a couple of different ways to approach this dilemma.
One of the benefits of switching to VoIP telephony solution is the organizational flexibility it provides you. Now, “organizational flexibility” can mean a lot of things, especially when it comes to current generation telephony technology. Organization flexibility can refer to the fact VoIP telephony provides you with a considerably easier time changing the size and scope of your organization, increasing its scalability dramatically compared with traditional telephony solutions. Yet it also hints at the fact that VoIP can help you restructure the way your organization works, including what staff you require and what systems can be handled by outside parties. Is your IT staff ready to finally switch to VoIP?
A report released at the end of 2012 seemed to point towards a very promising future for mobile VoIP, which is, roughly speaking, nothing more than VoIP services run on smartphones and tablets through apps like the one offered by Skype or Google Voice. The report was released by Juniper Research and it projected the mobile VoIP world would chalk up 1 billion total subscribers by 2017. This is a bold projection, one that seems to indicate VoIP is the future of mobile telephony, but many experts read the report and asked a simple question- “How many of those users will actually generate revenue for mobile VoIP provider?”