May 20, 2022
To put it simply, hosted voice is a phone system that’s managed in the cloud. But while that’s the easiest way to explain what it is, it’s not the best way to understand what it actually does. In this blog, I’ll give a basic overview of how hosted voice works, and what that actually means for businesses.
How Does Hosted Voice Work?
Hosted voice phones look and operate like traditional phones, with a handset, cradle, and buttons. The main difference is that instead of relying on a standard phone line, these phones use an ethernet or internet connection to make phone calls. The PBX, or the “brains” of this voice system, is hosted in the cloud.
Why Should You Switch to Hosted Voice?
Smartphones have drastically changed our expectations for telephone communication. We want it anywhere, and we expect our phones to be loaded with features. Texting or secure instant messaging, even for organizations, is becoming a standard feature, and video is next in line. Those desires have been matched by the evolution of hosted voice solutions. A more comprehensive list is featured here, but below are the top advantages of switching to hosted voice:
1. Gain Built-in Redundancy and Business Continuity
Organizations can’t operate without phone systems, even for a few minutes. We have seen this firsthand when disaster strikes or an unfortunate accident cuts a line that takes down phone service. A managed hosted voice solution can give organizations both the redundancy and business continuity they need to maintain their core functions.
2. Make Budgeting Easier
Updating a landline phone system can be expensive. But with hosted voice, organizations pay a monthly fee per user, receive built-in maintenance and have the option to own or rent the equipment. Cost is actually driving many businesses to adopt hosted voice.
3. Scale to Consume What You Need
The utility-based model has proven to be both a desirable and viable way to consume technology. You only pay for what you need and can quickly scale up or down based on your user needs. Plus, with scalability comes continuous upgrades and new features, so it’s easier for organizations to keep their phone systems contemporary.
4. Enhance Call Management and Reporting
Today’s phone systems need to do more than take and direct calls. In addition to features like automated attendants and call waiting, organizations with hosted voice can analyze traffic to better schedule staff, or integrate their phone systems with tools like Salesforce to track customer engagement.
What Should You Look for in a Service Level Agreement?
You may have already received a call from a provider encouraging you to make the move to hosted voice. And by and large, they’re right. It’s considered the next generation of phone systems and it’s actually quite mature as a technology.
However, not all hosted voice solutions are created equal. Because hosted voice relies on the internet, getting a Service Level Agreement (SLA) matters quite a bit. Not every provider offers one, and without one, organizations may experience poor performance. Don’t move forward with a hosted voice provider without a Service Level Agreement, so there’s no question about what you’ll be getting for your money.
Marco’s Service Level Agreement is a good example of what a proper SLA will look like. It’s easy to find and clearly spelled out. It is lengthy by necessity, and covers everything from client responsibilities and billing, emergency dialing, privacy, and acceptable use.
If after reading this blog you’re wondering if hosted voice might be a good fit for your organization, this ten-question survey can help point you in the right direction. Marco’s phone experts are also on-hand to answer any questions you might have, and recommend a custom solution.