Making the switch from ISDN to cloud-based communications

isdn switch off 2

With remote work accelerating the adoption of cloud-based communications, many businesses are now fully embracing VoIP solutions. Flexible and dynamic, VoIP solutions can be configured to your exact business needs in terms of functionality and costs.

However, it can be overwhelming to know where to start if your business is still in the market for a cloud-based communications solution. We’d recommend asking the following questions to your provider to ensure your unique requirements are met:

1. Can staff use the telephone system at home and in the office?

As the workplace continues to blend a mixture of remote and office working, it’s crucial staff can pick up communications wherever they are located.

Cloud-based communication solutions are often favoured as they offer complete mobility, enabling staff to make and receive calls using a range of devices.

Staff can take their desk phone home and simply ‘plug and play’ or they can use a softphone client on their PC or phone whilst out of the office.  If your organisation encourages hybrid working you should ask for a demonstration so you can see first hand how simple it would be for your staff to stay in touch on the move.  Many cloud-based communications systems have user friendly portals to allow managers to make simple routing changes and monitor calls, a good demo will outline your options so you can decide how much control you want to retain day to day, and understand how you can manage your staff as they transition to flexible working patterns.

If you have an existing office based phone system, why not look at Microsoft Teams Direct Routing which is a quick and simple way to add telephony functionality to your existing Microsoft Teams set up.

2. Is the telephone system secure?

Cloud-based communications mean your organisation’s data will be stored within a cloud environment. Choosing a provider who prioritises the security of your data and proactively works against threats should be a top priority.

Ask your provider about services such as VLAN configuration, user authentication and encryption. They should also work with you to highlight any HIPAA, SOX, PCI, or other compliance guidance depending on your industry.

3. Can I integrate the telephone system into other business-critical applications?

Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship – which is why it’s so important to provide a seamless experience to your customers whether they ring your office phone or submit an online form submission. Cloud-based solutions are flexible by design, enabling seamless integration with other software platforms such as CRMs, project management tools, HR software and accounting applications. This integration ensures no part of the contact journey goes unnoticed.

The level of integration depends on the VoIP solution and license – if you outline your exact needs, your provider should advise you on the right solution and software license.

4. How reliable is VoIP? And, what happens if the system experiences downtime?

VoIP solutions are extremely reliable with most offering 99.9% uptime. However, as calls are carried over the internet, the performance is heavily reliant on underlying internet connectivity.

When adopting a new cloud-based solution, your provider should offer advice on the best connectivity solution for your business needs. It’s also worth considering how home workers broadband will perform and if this needs to be upgraded.

5. Does the system have advanced features?

VoIP solutions usually come with a range of licensing levels. They often start with basic licenses that offer standard features like auto-attendant and voicemail. With more advanced licenses offering call recording, reporting and collaborative tools such as video conferencing.

With hybrid working limiting on-site visits, the level of functionality is highly dependent on how your staff work. Most VoIP solutions will offer softphone environments that are accessible on any connected device, removing the need to have a desk phone both in the office and at home.

Softphone Environment
Softphone Environment

When choosing your cloud-based communication solution, your provider should listen to your current business challenges and recommend the solution and license that best fits.

We have a range of case studies that outline common business challenges and how the VoIP solution was configured and delivered to resolve this – you can read them here.


Your next steps

Introducing new communication technology into your business can seem daunting, especially if your staff are working from multiple locations.

At NTE, we work with you to understand your current and future business challenges and create a unique VoIP solution that provides flexible communication to your staff. Our installation process can be on-site and remote with thorough product training to ensure there’s minimal disruption to your business. 

Contact us today to receive your cloud-based communication proposal for your exact needs.

Want to see how we can help your business?

Contact our team today for a no-obligation review.


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