4th April 2017

Hosted Telephony- It's the future... But be careful, they're not all the same!

With the announcement by BT CEO Gavin Patterson in 2015 of the end of ISDN service by 2025, all businesses will have to start planning to migrate to some sort of cloud based telephony service.

The first step in this process is to simply replace existing ISDN telephone lines with the cryptically named SIP trunks. These are virtual telephone lines running on your internet broadband. The other key protocol used in moving to internet based telephone systems is the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Essentially, this is telephone over the internet and has come to be the acronym of choice for any internet based telephony solution.

VOIP systems have been used widely for decades now, but commercially available systems have gained a reputation for poor sound quality, speech delays and "brown" outs.

Generally these issues are due to poor implementation; systems sharing the data paths with other traffic and insufficient continuous bandwidth being available for the VOIP calls been made. With Fibre broadband widely available, things have got a lot better for VOIP, and in many cases users have a better call experience using VOIP based hosted solutions than traditional telephones.

Unfortunately these internet telephony hosted solutions are not regulated, so there are a myriad of services available, at various price points to confuse the users in the process of migrating their telephone system.

If your business relies on having clients being able to call you, be careful of the VOIP system you choose.

Hosted solutions offer fantastic opportunities to deal with inbound calls efficiently without tying up bandwidth to stop outgoing calls being made, but if the hosted telephone solution is located on a server that is not widely connected to the rest of the telephone network, or has not been designed to be truly available all the time, having great features will count for naught when the system goes down or calls fail to get through.

Therefore, be sure that your system is located in a secure location, is designed with no single point of failure, and has excellent interconnectivity with the telephone network as a whole. These features do cost a little extra but telephony costs are increasingly trivial compared to other operating costs. Customer and user experience is the greatest priority and people will rate companies they use on their telephone experience with them. Make sure you choose the right company for your business.

Fluid offers hosted VoIP services that are located in Telehouse – right in the City of London. Telehouse data centre has the highest availability and offer the greatest interconnectivity to other networks available. Fluid has also become a valued partner of Caradoc, the medical services buying consortium, offering solutions to NHS surgeries and outlets. Fluid has been involved in many projects to update GP practices telephone systems, where not being available simply isn't an option.

For no nonsense telecom talk – talk to us.