How hosted telephony can increase the flexibility and productivity of your workforce

Over the years the flexibility of working environments has become one of the key drivers in creating a productive and motivated workforce.

Although traditional offices still exist, it is becoming more and more common for businesses to encourage and offer flexible working options to their staff. One of the main reasons for this is the way business communication has evolved, plus the needs and wants of the end-user. Most workers are used to having the most up to date technology and applications in their personal life; therefore it only makes sense for them to have the same services available to them in their workplace. Hosted telephony allows them to have that.

Here are the key ways in which a cloud-based telephony solution can increase the flexibility and productivity of your workforce:

Remote working

A recent survey found that 58% of the UK’s workers are offered flexible working, and with 45% of people spending over an hour commuting to work every day, it’s no surprise that remote working is becoming more and more popular.

Over half of the people questioned in the survey felt they would be more productive if they worked outside of their office. A hosted telephone system allows your workforce to do just that by logging in and out of their desk phone number using either their mobile device or a SIP phone. This gives employees the ability to access their desk phone in the same way they’d log into their emails, CRM or remote desktop. This also means they are easily contactable whether they’re out on the field across the country or working from a home environment.

Expansion

Not only will a hosted system increase the flexibility of your staff, it will also have a positive impact on your businesses flexibility. Because VoIP operates using your internet connection, this makes it a lot easier to add additional users to your existing infrastructure should your business start to grow. Rather than making room for the extra members of staff in one set office space, VoIP enables them to work remotely meaning no costly installation fees.

What’s more is that you can take away licenses/users in the same manner, should you need to downsize at any time or if you operate a seasonal business where telephone users go up and down during certain periods.

For the same reasons, a cloud-based telephone system also gives you the ability to take your system with you should you decide to move office – just as long as the new location has a suitable broadband bandwidth.

Costs

Lastly, when it comes to the price of hosted telephony, what you see is what you get. There are no upfront costs (if you do not require handsets), just a simple monthly bill calculated on a per user per month basis, depending on your call charges.

This gives you the flexibility of managing your budget as your business only pays for the telephony it requires, not expensive hardware or software.

VoIP is certainly a worthwhile investment if flexibility and productivity are already well valued in your business or if this is something you’re looking to improve. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help your business with a VoIP solution call 08000 92 62 32.

Why VoIP would be suitable for your business

There’s no doubt that there has been a shift in the way businesses operate.

Workforces have become more spread out, bring a specific set of challenges.

The question is: can VoIP be a suitable solution for many of the changes that the modern-day business faces? In order to know whether implementing a cloud based telephone system is the best route for you, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions about your business…

Are there any remote workers?

Whether it’s working from a different location altogether or just hot desking within the office, 42% of workers are offered flexible working and it is certainly on the rise. If you have people working from home or on the move, a VoIP solution allows them to be contactable from wherever they are.

If this is not something your business currently does, it’s worth thinking about how this could change in the future. 53% of people feel that they would be more productive if they could work outside the office, a hosted solution gives workers the ability to do this.

Will my business be expanding in the future?

If you plan to grow your business over the coming years then a hosted solution would certainly be beneficial for you. Whether it’s moving office, more locations or more users, your provider will be able to make these changes with a fairly quick turnaround time. Likewise, if you plan to downsize over the coming years, you can gradually reduce the number of licenses you have.

What features does my business require?

Depending on the type of business you operate, it is worth thinking about the features that you would require on a regular basis. If a feature rich phone system is what you are after, things like call forwarding and conferencing often come as standard with VoIP solutions, whereas these would be additional bolt-on’s on traditional systems.

Do you have a seasonal business?

If your business is busier at certain times of the year, you can easily add and remove licenses depending on your needs during that time period. For example, if the number of inbound calls rapidly increases during the summer months and you consequently require more staff on the phones.

Do I have an old telephone system?

Before upgrading your current telephone system it is worth looking into VoIP as an option. It’s important to regularly review your businesses needs and wants when it comes to telecoms. It is a constantly evolving market with lots of new products and services available to businesses.

If your phone system isn’t particularly old but you’re looking to upgrade it, it is possible to integrate VoIP with your current setup.

Is good internet connection available?

A common issue which often stalls the installation of a VoIP solution is connectivity. If there isn’t a strong enough internet broadband connection within your business premises your hosted telephone system simply won’t work.

You can start by checking you have enough bandwidth to provide you with high-quality calls, this is a simple check which you can do yourself. You need approximately 100 Kbps Up and Down to make one call plus the capacity needed for your usual internet activity – email, web browsing etc.

From these steps, it’s clear to see that it’s always important to check that the voice and data solution you’re looking into is suitable for your business. If you ever have any questions about VoIP or any other product, you can give us a call on 08000 92 62 32 to talk about the services available to you.

Six benefits of a VoIP telephone system

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a telephony solution which allows users to make telephone calls using the internet.

Because of the way it functions there are a number of benefits it can bring to your business.

Portability

Because VoIP operates via the internet, you can be a lot more flexible in the way you answer and make your calls, in fact, you don’t even need to have a desk phone. Using a laptop (with a softphone) or a mobile phone (with an app) means remote workers can still communicate with ease no matter where they are working from.

Geographical Reach

As mentioned in the above point,  workforces are becoming more versatile in the ways they work. If your business requires an individual with particular skills but are not within commuting distance from your main office, you can still provide them with the tools which enable them to work for your through the same cloud based technology.

Features

One of the key advantages of a cloud-based telephone system is that they come fully functioning with valuable features. This gives you access to features that would typically be additional bolt-ons at an extra cost such as conference calling, auto attendant, video conferencing and call forwarding. As new features are released they are typically integrated too.

Maintenance

If you use a cloud based VoIP solution the maintenance and updates of the system are carried out by the provider. By removing any additional overheads that you’d typically encounter when upgrading your phone system, the cost is instead spread over thousands of users.

If you do have an office PBX that is IP enabled, you no longer have to deal with BT.

Capital Cost

A hosted VoIP solution is billed on a simple per user per month basis.This may include the handset (sometimes doesn’t), the hosting and all support. If you are not paying for your handset, there are almost no upfront capital costs.

If you are adding IP capability to your internal PBX the costs are different. There is likely to be up front costs for additional hardware to convert your PBX and possibly for licensing, from then on it is a standard per user per month fee.

Depending on the quality and bandwidth of your internet connection you may need to increase your internet connection too.

Disaster Recovery

With your telephone numbers being hosted in the Cloud, your incoming calls will not be impacted if you have any problems at your office. In the event of any kind of internet outage, a pre-arranged disaster recovery plan will divert your calls to another device (i.e. your mobile phone).

As you can see there are a number of ways VoIP can help your business. If you’d like more information about our VoIP solutions you can contact us on 08000 92 62 32.

Frontier’s marketing team welcomes new face

Cathie - Frontier’s marketing team welcomes new faceWe are delighted to announce the appointment of Cathie Tufnail to our marketing team.

Frontier’s marketing team welcomes new face. New to the Marketing team that is! Cathie has been working in the telecoms industry since January 2004. She started working as a customer account manager, before being promoted to a team leader in Customer Support. She segued briefly into Product development before landing in the Sales Team. Here she worked as a channel focused Business Development Manager, helping partners to develop and grow their business.

In 2008, she went to work at a local ISP for a few months. Here she learnt a lot about data connectivity and storage, DR and internet traffic routing in a very short time!

She joined the Frontier team in the summer of 2009. She worked primarily as a Channel Business Development Manager and MyData product champion.

She moved into the marketing team at Frontier in March this year, which is a natural progression given her broad experience in the industry.

In her spare time she writes novels, poetry, short stories and songs, including a musical which is soon to be performed by a local am-dram group.

She also plays the guitar, sings and enjoys movies and books. Her latest project is a screen play for a TV series and she enjoys a good single malt whiskey now and then.

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An Easter Message from Peter Southgate

Well Spring is finally here and at Frontier we have some wonderful and exciting news to share with you this month.

First is our re-designed website. We have updated our product and services offerings and have made the site easier to navigate. Take a look for yourself at www.fvdata.co.uk  and let us know what you think.

Interest in hosted (or Cloud) telephony solutions is increasing and we have recently enhanced our portfolio of solutions.

They provide full functionality at highly competitive prices so if you are considering a change to a hosted solution please speak with our sales team for their advice.

We are also celebrating the successful renewal of our 2016 ISO27001 and ISO9001 accreditations, following exhaustive external audits.

We are clearly committed to delivering first class service and support and the independent audit of our processes confirms that we are doing that.

We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter.

From everyone at Frontier Voice and Data have a very happy Easter!

Regards,

Peter Southgate

Peter Southgate
Managing Director, Frontier Voice and Data